Oko Autumn is over ladies and gentlemen. Here’s the official announcement.
- Oko, Thief of Crowns is banned.
- Once Upon a Time is banned.
- Veil of Summer is Banned.
- Oko, Thief of Crowns is banned.
- Wrenn and Six is banned.
- Narset, Parter of Veils is banned.
Tabletop Effective Date: November 22, 2019
MTG Arena Effective Date: November 18, 2019
Magic Online Effective Date: November 18, 2019
That’s a relief. I feel like they solved a lot of problems with this ban, and I would say it was all called for, and they really went above and beyond.
For Standard, they made absolutely sure that green is weakened. No second chances. I like it, they accept their mistake and eat it by banning not only the main target card, but also the two strongest support cards that ran alongside it. They note that they believe this was necessary in order for green to be at the power level they want for Standard.
Brawl was no surprise, they announced earlier last week that Oko would be banned in Brawl in Arena, and everyone was having a panic attack that they would have different ban lists for Arena and paper. Now, they have realigned into one. Oko was essentially doing to Brawl what he did to Standard, thus the ban,
Wrenn and Six being taken out of Legacy is huge. She has been rampaging the format ever since Modern Horizons released, and in this announcement they actually note that Temur Delver had a 56.5% win rate. Simic based food decks in Standard had roughly a 53% win rate. That is disgusting.
Last, and certainly not least is Vintage, catching Narset, Parter of Veils in a ban. I don’t follow Vintage like I do other formats, though I’ll watch the occasional tournament. Essentially, because of how much card advantage is built into Vintage, and with how much fast mana there is, Narset was soft locking people out of games, making matches extremely one sided. Vintage has been explained by Luis Scott-Vargas as almost being a completely different game from Magic, and I would tend to agree. A normal game of Vintage functions much different from a normal game of any other format. Everyone has fast mana and extremely effective card advantage, and wins in unfair ways. It’s a lot of fun to watch but is a much different beast from anything else you’ll see in this game.
With Wrenn and Six strong arming Legacy and Oko strong arming Standard, I officially dub this Temur Autumn, the hardest time to play Magic since Hogaak Summer. We kicked off this year by banning Krark-Clan Ironworks in Modern, and we had a vision of a brighter future. Now, we are again revisited with a fresh taste of what may be a bright future, and we still have the Pioneer announcement to come.
For Pioneer, I can see them banning Once Upon a Time. I was talking to some friends the other day, telling them I believe Veil of Summer would be banned in Standard because it did to Standard the exact same thing it did to Pioneer. I also believe the reverse is true for Once Upon a Time, it gives the mono green deck in Pioneer far too much consistency. I was playing Pioneer last Thursday after the Veil of Summer ban, and I was shocked at just how powerful mono green was even after catching to separate bans.
Power creep has been the talk as of late for 2019. A lot of cards that ended up being too powerful crept their way out of the design team, and formats suffered dearly for it. Everyone is pointing fingers at the design team for their mistakes, and they did make these mistakes, but is it their fault? During Rivals of Ixalan Standard, people were complaining loudly at how weak the power level of Standard had become. Basically they wanted stronger cards because eternal formats look like fun, and I believe this message was passed on to the design team, and they were instructed to push cards.
Yes, power creep did happen, yes it was RnD and the design team that did it, but it the player base that was asking for stronger cards.
I believe this is the end of an era. Bryan Hawley, lead of the design team, has already posted an article about their mistakes this year. This looks to be the turning point, the culmination of everything we’ve endured this year, the shifting of the stars if you will.