Today, Wizards of the Coast has announced that three Magic: The Gathering cards are getting banned in the Modern format: "Mox Opal", "Oko, Thief of Crowns", and "Mycosynth Lattice." The changes are effective on tabletop and Magic Online starting on January 14.
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Ian Duke explains that "Mox Opal" and "Oko, Thief of Crowns" most strongly contribute to the high win rate of blue-green Urza decks.
"Over the last several weeks, base blue-green decks using Urza, Lord High Artificer have risen to the top of competitive Modern, earning the most 5-0 trophies in Magic Online league play and maintaining a non-mirror match win percentage of more than 55%," Duke wrote. "These decks also have a winning matchup against nine of the other ten most popular competitive decks, indicating an inability of the metagame to adjust on its own."
Duke also pointed out the fact that Oko has become the most played card in competitive Modern, with an inclusion rate approaching 40% of decks in recent tabletop tournaments and league play. "In additional to having a high overall power level, Oko has proven to reduce metagame diversity and diversity of game play patterns in Modern," Duke explained. "In order to improve the health of game play and to weaken Urza decks and other top decks."
As for the "Mycosynth Lattice" ban, the reason is its interaction with "Karn, the Great Creator" and how this compinaion, popular in Eldrazi and other Tron decks, can completely lock the opponent out from casting further spells. "While decks featuring this combination often win in other ways, the deckbuilding cost to include this interaction is low, causing it to show up more often than is fun in competitive play," Duke said.
Do you think Wizards of the Coast made the right decision to ban these three cards in Modern? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.