Another major banning has hit Modern this morning with one of the biggest Magic: The Gathering cards in the format finally being removed. Destined to live as a banned card, Oko, Thief of Crowns was one of the key pieces in the two of the best Modern decks. After being banned in Standard, Oko took his talents to Modern, becoming an absolute powerhouse that dominated the format. Similar to Hogaak, Oko was exceptionally powerful and made interactions awkward.
Along with Oko, Mox Opal and Mycosynth Lattice were also banned in modern. Both featured prominently in a variety of decks, their removal feels less earned. Wizard of the Coast’s reasoning for banning Mox Opal was due to how fast it accelerated decks. In their recent announcement, Wizard’s said this about banning the card:
As a source of fast mana in the early game, Mox Opal has long contributed to strategies that seek to end the game quickly and suddenly, whether with explosive attacks, one-turn win combos, or by locking out the opponent with “prison” elements. While none of these decks previously warranted a ban of Mox Opal, it has historically been a part of decks that approached problematic impact on the metagame or did indeed necessitate other bans. As the strongest enabler in the recent Urza artifact decks, and a card that has been concerning in the past and would likely cause balance issues in the future, Mox Opal is banned in Modern.
As for Mycosynth Lattice, this card was only banned due to its interaction with Karn, The Great Creator. With both out on the field, Mycosynth Lattice made it impossible for your opponent to cast spells or do virtually anything. Essentially a two-card winning combo, this pair was destined for the bin. After all, if we cannot live in a meta where Splinter Twin exists did you really think that these cards would remain unbanned?
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. As a result, we are banning Mycosynth Lattice in Modern.
Oko’s banning was the most needed and welcomed of the three. Wizards explained that Oko decks made up 40% of the recent tournament and tabletop games. This is more than enough reason to get rid of the card – especially since WotC rarely lets a single card rule a format for long.
All of these bannings are officially in effect for paper players and will be active on the 14th for Magic Online. To read more about Wizard of the Coast’s reasonings, make sure to read their announcement post, here.
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