Oko, Thief of Crowns
23, Apr, 24

MTG Players Divided on the Overabundance of Oko

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Article at a Glance

Despite first being introduced in 2019’s Throne of Eldraine, Oko is undeniably iconic in MTG. Undoubtedly everyone’s favorite shirtless Simic Planeswalker, Oko is iconic for all the wrong reasons. Rather than being a beloved Faerie Planeswalker, and total hottie, Oko, Thief of Crowns was a multiformat menace.

Capable of turning any threat into a 3/3 Elk, Oko, Thief of Crowns is infamously overpowered. Banned or restricted in almost every format, this Oko was so good that players were very much fearing their return. Thankfully, Oko, the Ringleader is significantly more balanced than their crown-stealing counterpart.

Unfortunately, while Oko, the Ringleader is better, Outlaws of Thunder Junction doesn’t have one Oko. Instead, thanks to the Breaking News Bonus Sheet, Oko, Thief of Crowns has been brought back to the limited environment. For some MTG players, it seems Thunder Junction may have a little bit too much Oko.

This Plane Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us

Oko, Theif of Crowns

Unsurprisingly, when they appear in Draft, Oko, Thief of Crowns is an incredibly dominant force. Unless they’re dealt with immediately, which is incredibly difficult in and of itself, this Oko often snowballs out of control. Miraculously, Oko, Thief of Crowns doesn’t have the highest win rate in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Limited, but they’re nonetheless seriously strong.

Thankfully, while Oko is undeniably powerful, you shouldn’t be playing against them in every single game. For better or worse, Breaking News cards only have one dedicated slot within Play Boosters. In this slot, there’s supposedly a 1:15 chance of finding a mythic card such as Oko. 

Since there are fifteen Breaking News mythics in total, Oko, Thief of Crowns should appear once every 225 Play Boosters. In theory, these odds mean having your games warped by Oko should be a fairly rare occurrence. That being said since an eight-person Draft uses 24 packs, and Sealed uses 48, if you play a lot of limited, Oko will undoubtedly appear.

On paper, it’s hard to say the chances of Oko appearing are a major problem. Should you do an eight-person Draft once a week, it’d take nine weeks for Oko, Thief of Crowns to appear in someone’s pack. In theory, Oko wouldn’t even appear until after Modern Horizons 3 launches on June 14th! Unfortunately for these odds, MTG players rarely Draft once a week on a regimented schedule.

Thanks to MTG Arena and Magic Online, it’s incredibly easy to Draft multiple times a day, let alone a week. Due to this, a lot of MTG players have been encountering Oko a lot more often than you might expect. When you remember that Outlaws of Thunder Junction has not just one, but two Okos, it’s no wonder players are sick of them!

Decidedly Divided

Oko, the Ringleader

Between MTG Arena and many stores hosting larger events, it’s unfortunately unsurprising that the pair of Okos are so prevalent. This has left some MTG players, such as Tumblr user Honor-basquiat, frustrated about their games being warped. Rightfully so, Honor-basquiat highlights how it can be incredibly demoralizing to have your Limited experience warped by a card not even in the set.

“Not everyone plays on Magic Arena and does Limited events dozens of times. Some people only play Limited in paper a couple times or at a pre-release and it’s extremely discouraging when the one or two times you play Limited, you get bodied by a notoriously OP card that isn’t even a mechanically new card.” 

Honor-basquiat

Responding to this concern, MTG’s Lead Designer, Mark Rosewater, expanded the question to a wider audience. Setting up a poll, Rosewater asked “Should Oko, thief of Crowns be on the Outlaws of Thunder Junction Breaking News bonus sheet?” Currently, the results of the poll are impressively close, with each response claiming at least 30% of the vote.

“Yes: 36.4%

No: 32.6%

Don’t care: 31%”

Blogatog Poll Results

With only 865 votes cast and a few hours still remaining on the clock, this poll is hardly comprehensive. That being said, it’s clear that a decent chunk of the MTG community is divided by this poll. For some MTG players, Oko is no different from any other overpowered Limited bomb that’s a delight to play with. Other players, meanwhile, understandably don’t want their games to be unnecessarily warped, especially by a threat like Oko.

Ultimately, while this poll showcases a split opinion that might not merit a repeat, Wizards has a lot more data. Revealing some of this, Mark Rosewater highlighted how the majority of players are positive toward powerful Bonus Sheet inclusions. “Many more people are expressing happiness to get the cards than frustration that they potentially can show up in limited games.”

As if this statement wasn’t evidence enough, Wizards of the Coast has been making Bonus Sheets for years now. If the reaction to Bonus Sheets containing cards like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer was too polarizing, surely Wizards would have stopped. 

Good Times All-Around

Holy Cow

While there may be some complaints about Oko, alongside a few bugs, Outlaws of Thunder Junction is a great set. Boasting multiple multi-format all-stars, fantastic reprints, and compelling Commanders, this set has it all. Thanks to all this, MTG players are already having a great time playing Outlaws of Thunder Junction, requesting many high fives be dispensed.

Given it’s one of, if not the, most hyped set of 2024, hopefully, Bloomburrow can continue this trend. Since this set heralds the long overdue rotation of Standard, and Alchemy too, Bloomburrow is sure to have an impact. Before all that, however, Modern Horizons 3 will be released first. Thankfully, based on initial leaks and previews, this set might not be as busted as first feared.

Read More: Hidden Gem Combo Card Creates Broken Multi-Format Strategy!

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