Wizards of the Coast has banned Oko, Thief of Crowns, Mox Opal, and Mycosynth Lattice in Magic: the Gathering’s Modern format.

Oko, Thief of Crowns

At this point, Oko, Thief of Crowns shouldn’t need an introduction. This infamous card was played in nearly 40% of decks in Modern leagues on Magic Online and tabletop tournaments, especially in decks built around Urza, Lord High Artificer. As it had in Magic’s other formats, Oko “reduced metagame diversity and diversity of game play patterns in Modern” thanks to its +1 ability that can turn nearly anything into an ability-less Elk and high amount of starting loyalty.

Oko was initially banned from Brawl in early November 2019, then from Standard a few weeks later, got “suspended” from Historic and banned in Pioneer in December, and is now banned in Modern. All in all, this may have made Oko, Thief of Crowns the most quickly-banned card in Magic. It was released as a part of the Throne of Eldraine expansion on October 4, 2019, then was banned in Standard for 45 days later, banned in Pioneer after 73 days of legality, and then banned in Modern after 101 days.

Perhaps Wizards should have saved some time and banned Oko in Legacy today, as well?

Mox Opal

Wizards came into this Banned and Restricted announcement with the goal of reducing the power level of the Modern Urza, Lord High Artificer decks. While Oko was just another powerful threat in the archetype, Mox Opal was the glue that held the deck together and enabled some of its fastest starts.

“It has historically been a part of decks that approached problematic impact on the metagame or did indeed necessitate other bans,” Wizards said in their announcement. “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.”

Therefore, Wizards concluded, “Mox Opal is banned in Modern.”

Modern Sutlai Urza

Creatures (14)
Gilded Goose
Ice-Fang Coatl
Emry, Lurker of the Loch
Urza, Lord High Artificer

Planeswalkers (4)
Oko, Thief of Crowns

Spells (7)
Archmage’s Charm
Metallic Rebuke
Stoic Rebuttal
Cryptic Command

Artifacts (15)
Engineered Explosives
Mishra’s Bauble
Mox Opal
Aether Spellbomb
Arcum’s Astrolabe
Lands (20)
Breeding Pool
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Mystic Sanctuary
Polluted Delta
Scalding Tarn
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Island

Sideboard (15)
Ceremonious Rejection
Nature’s Claim
Veil of Summer
Damping Sphere
Ashiok, Dream Render
Mystical Dispute

Mycosynth Lattice

The inclusion of Mycosynth Lattice in today’s Banned and Restricted announcement came as a surprise. While the card forms a two-card combo with Karn, the Great Creator that locks opponents out of the game, the Eldrazi and Tron decks that utilize that combo haven’t been particularly successful in the current Modern metagame.

However, Wizards said that the “deckbuilding cost to include this [combo] is low, causing it to show up more often than is fun in competitive play,” and that they believe Modern will be a better place without the combo.

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