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Wizards has posted its Magic: The Gathering banned and restricted list update for Jan. 13. The update addressed only the MTG Modern format, but it does so in a big way. Oko, Thief of Crowns has been banned in his third constructed format, meeting his end alongside Mox Opal and Mycosynth Lattice.
Oko, Thief of Crowns is banned in three constructive formats
Oko and Opal have both died for the same sins: a highly effective Urza deck that was boasting a 55% win rate in non-mirror matches. Oko was also being played in other successful decks, showing up in about 40% of the entire metagame. While not quite the Standard-levels of dominance Oko enjoyed in the first season of Eldraine Standard, the three-mana Planeswalker is simply too effective at its rate to allow for healthy metagame diversity.
Mox Opal, while attributed the same faults as Oko, has been a Modern menace for years. Wizards has stated that, while Opal was indeed a problematic and overly consistent enabler for the Urza decks, its ban was the result of its potential to harm the future of the format. I expect this addition to the MTG banned list to be well-received by the player base.
The last card on the list is Mycosynth Lattice. On its own, the card looks to be not much more than some casual fun. But paired with the recently printed Karn, the Great Creator, your opponent literally cannot activate the abilities of their cards. This combo has been quite popular in Tron strategies that can cast the six-mana artifact at a discount. As something that turns games of Magic into “non-games,” where one player is irrevocably locked out from playing, Wizards has made a strong choice in removing a piece of the combo.
Wizards is paying attention to the health of the Magic: The Gathering Modern format, and many Modern players today likely let out a sigh of relief that their format still has room to grow. Make sure to stay tuned for all the latest Magic news — and additions to the banned list — at Daily Esports!