As part of a massive Banned and Restricted announcement, Wizards of the Coast banned Oko, Thief of Crowns, Arcum’s Astrolabe, and Dreadhorde Arcanist in Magic: the Gathering’s Legacy format.

Don’t miss our coverage of today’s other news: bans in Modern, Pioneer, and Historic, plus the unbanning in Vintage and the change to the cascade mechanic.

Interestingly, Wizards said that these bans are the result of community feedback rather than on the power level or impact of the cards in the format. “While balance hasn’t looked problematic in Legacy,” Wizards said, “we’ve heard community feedback that a few cards have come to draw too much of the focus for deck building and gameplay.”


The first card on most people’s list of complaints was Oko, Thief of Crowns. Since its release in the Fall of 2019 in the Throne of Eldraine expansion, Oko has been banned in Historic, Modern, Pioneer, Standard, and Brawl—so why not continue erasing the card from all Magic formats by banning it in Legacy, as well?

Wizards agrees, at least somewhat. Legacy has “an especially high overall power level,” Wizards said, so they had “been waiting to see whether it would fall in line with the average power of the rest of the metagame.”

“Over time, we’ve seen Oko continue to remain a major metagame presence and a contributor to lower diversity,” they continued. “With its huge card pool, Legacy is a format that should offer tremendous variety of deck-building options and reward innovative deck construction and tuning. Because of its power and flexibility, Oko can provide an easy answer even to unanticipated threats and defenses and generally homogenizes gameplay patterns in a way that’s counter to the spirit of the format. Therefore, we’re choosing to ban Oko, Thief of Crowns.”

But Oko wasn’t operating alone in Legacy. The most common Oko shell was the so-called “Snoko” archetype, which combined Oko, Thief of Crowns with Arcum’s Astrolabe and other snow cards to ensure the deck never had an consistency issues.

Arcum’s Astrolabe…has contributed to the power and consistency of Snowko decks,” Wizards said. “Traditionally in Legacy, deck builders need to make choices about whether to have easy access to many colors or build a mana base that’s resilient to disruption like Wasteland and Blood Moon. Arcum’s Astrolabe allows mana bases to have both high color flexibility and high resilience to mana denial that’s a uniquely important part of the Legacy metagame.”

“Ultimately, we think a narrow class of decks having such resilience for a relatively low investment is an advantage that leads to less metagame diversity,” Wizards concluded, and Arcum’s Astrolabe is now banned in Legacy.

Legacy Snoko

Creatures (10)
Dryad Arbor
Ice-Fang Coatl
Leovold, Emissary of Trest
Noble Hierarch
Omnath, Locus of Creation
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath

Planeswalkers (3)
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Teferi, Time Raveler

Spells (23)
Green Sun’s Zenith
Abrupt Decay
Force of Negation
Force of Will
Swords to Plowshares

Artifacts (4)
Arcum’s Astrolabe
Lands (20)
Flooded Strand
Misty Rainforest
Mystic Sanctuary
Polluted Delta
Snow-Covered Forest
Snow-Covered Island
Snow-Covered Plains
Snow-Covered Swamp
Tropical Island
Underground Sea
Volcanic Island

Sideboard (15)
Abrupt Decay
Carpet of Flowers
Collector Ouphe
Dead of Winter
Dread of Night
Nihil Spellbomb
Path to Exile
Red Elemental Blast
Scavenging Ooze
Surgical Extraction
Veil of Summer

Dreadhorde Arcanist

In perhaps the most surprising ban on a day full of surprising bans, Wizards also decided to ban Dreadhorde Arcanist in Legacy.

Dreadhorde Arcanist has proven to be powerful and game defining in a way that further adds to cards and strategies that were already among the most powerful, like Temur Delver,” Wizards said. And they believe that these problems were only going to get worse with today’s ban of Oko, Thief of Crowns. “Without Oko, we anticipate that Dreadhorde Arcanist strategies would only become more prominent.”

“Ultimately, the community sentiment we’ve heard is that Dreadhorde Arcanist makes gameplay revolve around it too early in the game and that too many games come down to whether an opponent can immediately remove it,” Wizards concluded. “Therefore, we’re choosing to ban Dreadhorde Arcanist in Legacy.”

Legacy Temur Delver

Creatures (11)
Delver of Secrets
Dreadhorde Arcanist
Young Pyromancer

Planeswalkers (3)
Oko, Thief of Crowns

Spells (27)
Chain Lightning
Lightning Bolt
Spell Pierce
Force of Will
Lands (19)
Flooded Stran
Misty Rainfores
Polluted Delt
Scalding Tar
Snow-Covered Islan
Snow-Covered Mountai
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
Blazing Volley
Blue Elemental Blast
Pithing Needle
Red Elemental Blast
Surgical Extraction
Ancient Grudge
Null Rod
Sylvan Library
Klothys, God of Destiny

Where Art Thou, Uro?

When Wizards revealed last week that they were planning to ban Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath in Pioneer, Modern, and Historic, they also mentioned that they were considering banning Uro in Legacy. However, that ban did not come to pass in today’s raft of bans.

“[W]e did discuss banning Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath in Legacy,” Wizards said, “but we feel its power level is more in line with the overall power level of Legacy (as compared to Historic, Pioneer, and Modern). The bar is high for what three- and four-mana spells need to accomplish in Legacy, and we believe Uro can coexist as a competitive but not dominant option.”

“Additionally,” Wizards believes that “the bans of Oko, Thief of Crowns and Arcum’s Astrolabe should significantly decrease the metagame share of existing decks that Uro naturally slots into.”

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.