Magic: The Gathering Bans Oko, Thief of Crowns & Much More

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By Jake Vyper | More Articles MTG Writer/Streamer
November 18, 2019  10:59 AM

 

Magic: The Gathering players have been anticipating Wizards of the Coast to make today's ban and restricted announcement, and it's finally here. 

Today, WotC announced some changes across all formats, but as expected, Standard is getting the most changes this time, banning three cards: "Oko, Thief of Crowns", "Once Upon A Time", and "Veil of Summer". 

However, Standard is not the only format where Oko is banned. "Oko, Thief of Crowns" is also banned in the Brawl format. 

In Legacy, "Wrenn and Six" is banned, and in Vintage, "Narset, Parter of Veils" is restricted (only one copy of this card is allowed in each deck). 

Magic R&D developer Ian Duke explained why the cards were banned in the latest announcement.

"Oko, Thief of Crowns has also reduced metagame diversity and diversity of gameplay in Standard by shutting off build-around creatures and artifacts," Duke explained. "Ultimately, Oko's power level has proven higher than is healthy for the current metagame, and higher than intended for future environments, including Theros: Beyond Death and forward."

Of course, many already expected WotC to ban Oko today but what's really surprising is the banning of "Once Upon A Time" and "Veil of Summer". 

"Once Upon a Time is one of the key reasons green has been overrepresented in the environment," Duke said. "It contributes to a high consistency of strong starts and provides a level of early mana fixing that other colors don't have access to. This advantage is especially important in the context of a small five-set Standard card pool with less flexible mana bases. Arena data indicates that." 

These changes come to effect on November 18 for MTG Arena and Magic Online; November 22 on tabletop. 

Are you happy now that Oko is banned in Standard and Brawl? These changes should help the Standard format become more diverse again. Hopefully, WotC won't need to ban any card in Standard in the near future. 

The next MTG ban and restricted announcement is on December 16. 

Related: Magic: The Gathering Developer Exposed 452,000 Players' Account Data

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Jake Vyper is a Fantasy & Sci-Fi Author, Social Media Manager, and Founder of Epicstream.com
@Jake Vyper | jake@epicstream.com