Vraska - Outlaws at Thunder Junction
23, Feb, 24

Wizards Reveals New Oko Planeswalker With Crime Mechanic!

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Article at a Glance

As many players know, Magic Con Chicago is currently taking place. It feels like a tradition at this point that a ton of new information about future sets hits the internet from these events, and Chicago is no expectation.

Taking place on Friday, a new MTG preview panel revealed details about multiple future MTG sets in a surprisingly short amount of time. While the Modern Horizons 3 details likely stole the show, there’s a lot more to see than just new free spells and Fetch Land reprints.

One of the four sets to be detailed for this Magic Con preview panel happens to be the next Standard tentpole set. Outlaws of Thunder Junction allows the Magic IP to sink its teeth into the Wild West trope, and what better way to do that than pit a bunch of MTG villains against each other?

One of the biggest MTG villains, at least in gameplay history, is undeniably Oko, Thief of Crowns. This absolutely disgusting Planeswalker eventually got banned in Standard, Modern, Pioneer and Legacy. Thanks to its low mana value, insanely high loyalty, and its ability to both create threats and turn opposing ones into vanilla Elks, Oko continues to terrify the Commander format.

At long last, players finally have a new Oko Planeswalker to see (Oko didn’t lose his spark!?). Thankfully, this one doesn’t look nearly as disturbing as the character’s introduction to MTG back in Throne of Eldraine.

Oh, yeah. Wizards of the Coast is also reprinting Thoughtseize for some reason.

Oko, the Ringleader

Oko, the Ringleader looks like what Oko, Thief of Crowns was meant to be. This Planeswalker has a particularly scary static ability, allowing it to play a bigger role in many decks. After utilizing whatever loyalty ability suits the situation best, you can then turn Oko into a copy of one of your creatures and apply pressure to your opponent. As a word of caution, while Oko does gain Hexproof, it is not Indestructible.

This makes Oko’s -1 ability a lot more practical. Creating a 3/3 Elk being an obvious callback to his original card, instead of turning opposing creatures into an Elk, Oko can now turn himself into the token he creates temporarily. This ensures that Oko’s static ability can be used to pressure the opponent in some way, shape or form, but you’ll ideally have better targets available.

Oko’s ultimate can be incredibly explosive, but relies on the rest of your board state to be effective. While this can be a deadly threat in an aggressive lens, the ultimate will be somewhat unreliable. That said, Oko’s static ability does allow the Planeswalker to be used aggressively.

As far as viability goes, I could easily see Oko seeing Standard play.

Oko’s +1 ability may be the one drawing the most questions. Card selection is certainly a powerful ability to have on a Planeswalker, but turning that selection into advantage elevates the power level of this Planeswalker considerably. The problem? It appears that turning Oko’s card selection ability into card advantage requires the use of a new keyword. What the heck is committing a Crime?

Committing a Crime

It turns out that Magic players have been Committing Crimes for, well, as long as they’ve been playing the game. Burn players, in particular, appear to the filthiest of criminals, at least according to what Commiting a Crime means in MTG.

Committing a Crime occurs when a player simply targets an opponent’s stuff. Whether you target them, a creature they control, or another permanent, that is considered Committing a Crime. The new card Hell to Pay was used as an example of a card that Commits a Crime.

I was incredibly excited when reading Hell to Pay until I noticed that the Treasure Tokens this card creates enter tapped. This card regardless seems like a great role-player in Treasure matters Commander decks, and could be an interesting removal option if the ramp elements provided by Hell to Pay are good enough. Personally, I do not expect this card to see play outside of Commander.

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Tinybones Returns!

Tinybones looks like the strongest card of the entire set. For one mana, you get a creature that is very difficult to block, and threatens to cast your opponent’s spells. This certainly has some Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer vibes, but that problematic monkey is certainly much stronger than Tinybones.

The amount of value Tinybones provides for one mana is a complete steal (no pun intended). This creature is certainly powerful enough to theoretically see play in Standard and Pioneer, no question.

Orcish Bowmasters isn’t super popular in Modern right now, but it does answer Tinybones rather brutally. That said, with the amount of players dumping cards like Mishra’s Bauble into their graveyards early on, Tinybones could provide a ton of value there, too. I love the look of this new Skeleton Rogue.

An Epilogue Set Redesigned as a Bonus Sheet

Remember March of the Machine: the Aftermath? If you do, your memories probably aren’t fond. That set was one of the worst received in all of MTG history, which isn’t surprising. The set had a ton of problems, from a tiny card pool to unremarkable cards.

Well, it turns out Wizards of the Coast actually had another Epilogue set penned in for 2024. After seeing how poorly March of the Machine, the Aftermath did, a decision was made to turn the ‘Big Score’ Epilogue set into a secondary bonus sheet called The Vault – a set of treasures that Oko is keen on stealing. This move may be underappreciated by many MTG players, but I cannot underscore how significant it is. This was a great move from Wizards of the Coast.

All of these cards will be available as Mythic Rares that take the same slots as the Special Guests in Outlaws of Thunder Junction. They will all be Standard legal.

Sword of Wealth and Power is an obvious extension of the Sword cycle. Granting Protection from Instants and Sorceries, this Sword looks absolutely fantastic. Sadly, the combat damage effects from this sword, while powerful, are somewhat situational. Creating a Treasure Token is ok, and copying an instant or sorcery can be quite powerful, if you can use it.

Nexus of Becoming is yet another card appearing on The Vault bonus sheet. Nexus of Becoming requires some building around to work, but the card is undeniably powerful. This already has a nasty combo in Standard with Portal to Phyrexia, allowing you to essentially cheat out a 3/3 copy of it three turns early. Nexus of Becoming isn’t a one-time effect either, threatening to continuously create value and card advantage.

This card seems absolutely fantastic, and I would not at all be surprised if this card saw Standard and Commander play.

Fblthp Got Lost Again

Fblthp also made an appearance in Outlaws of Thunder Junction, and for once, we’re about as lost as he is!

At the time of writing, we do not know what Plot means, so Fblthp’s ability raises a lot of question marks. It appears, however, that Fblthp is a card advantage engine that somehow allows you to get cards from the top of your deck into play.

Insane Bonus Sheet Reprints

While The Vault seemed like a last second pivot, this bonus sheet was fully intended to release alongside Outlaws of Thunder Junction. The Crime Bonus Sheet provides a series of cards that are meant to help players Commit Crimes, and Thoughtseize certainly feels like a Crime when it targets you.

The cheapest variants of Thoughtseize demand $10, but popular variants can easily go for four times that. Notably, Textured Foil variants will be available for the reprints in this bonus sheet. All in all, this is a great reprint to see.

Crime/Punishment has also been confirmed to appear on the new Bonus Sheet. For quite some time, this MTG card was surprisingly expensive thanks to its Punishment side. This two-mana card absolutely blew out Urza’s Saga boards in Modern, not only destroying the land itself, but basically anything it can create.

Urza’s Saga, however, has fallen out of favor in the Modern format, so this card only has a secondary market value of $5. A lot of this value has to do with the fact that, before now, Crime/Punishment only had one printing. This reprint should make the $40 foil variants of the card a lot more affordable.

What Else Got Revealed Today?

As exciting as these Outlaws of Thunder Junction reveals are, there were three other sets detailed today. We already highlighted the absolutely absurd reveals from Modern Horizons 3, but Assassin’s Creed also had a lot of new cards to show off.

Finally, Bloomburrow also had a few new cards previewed. If you want to take a look at those, stay tuned!

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