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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-30 5:08 am 

Joined: 2016-Sep-16 11:05 pm
Age: Wyvern
I actually see Oko as being closest to Iona, Shield of Emeria. Instead of hosing a single color, it specifically hoses decks built around your commander. Examples such as Kaalia of the vast or Prossh, Skyraider of Kher. It has the potential to hit a lot of other deck types as collateral damage and wreck games without making any special effort to do so.

See this card through the eyes of a newbie just playing the game. They picked up or built this brand new deck based around their commander and all excited to play it. Turn 5 their commander is turned into an Elk and they do nothing for the rest of the game.

So after the game you tell the newbie you need 5 sac outlets. Oh and you'll also need 3-5 pieces of graveyard hate, 10-15 other answers, 10 or so ramp cards, another 10 or so recursion cards, and 10 draw or library manipulation cards. The newbie scratches their head and looks at you and asks - well after all of that, what's left for deck building and fun?

My primary points are:
1. Oko destroys a specific type of deckbuilding meta and can effectively remove players from a game. Having answers in your deck is not the same has having them in your hand - or even seeing them in a specific game
2. The default response of pack more answers is not always the answer. At some point you are packing so many answers and responses you no longer have a deck.. You just have answers within a color pie.

I don't look at Oko as overpowered and impossible to deal with (just harder than a creature). It just ruins specific strategies and probably warps the entire table around itself until it has been removed.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-30 9:47 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
crimson wrote:
It just ruins specific strategies and probably warps the entire table around itself until it has been removed.
Based on speculation, right? Not actual ruined games?

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-30 10:44 am 

Joined: 2016-Sep-16 11:05 pm
Age: Wyvern
MRHblue wrote:
crimson wrote:
It just ruins specific strategies and probably warps the entire table around itself until it has been removed.
Based on speculation, right? Not actual ruined games?


I haven't played since July, so no I have not seen Oko in action. But that doesn't stop me from understanding game play, deck construction, pacing of games, and RNG of cards observed in any given game. It doesn't stop me from remembering my experiences of having my commander shut out and not being able to do anything for multiple turns. I don't need to be an active player to remember how a single card can cause games to be shutdown until removed.

I've played against Darksteel Mutation, Imprisoned in the moon and Song of the Dryads. Understanding the difference between a single target one off card and a repeatable effect does not require active playing. Due to my former playgroup - I also understand how useless removal can be, including exile. (Oko is in the same color as Rift Sweeper)

A lot of people defended Paradox Engine. A lot of people said if you are playing monocolor decks to pack colorless removal to handle Iona. People defended Prophet. I look at Oko and see the potential to be at least as obnoxious.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-30 4:23 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
And people said Panharmonicon and Yarok would need to be banned as soon as they were spoiled.

People do a lot of theory crafting, and gameplay is what actually matters.

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sir squab wrote:
My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-02 12:42 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Ok y'all, some play data (with randoms at an LGS, rather than my own down-powered playgroup):

I got to play one of my copies of Oko on Saturday, under great conditions. My deck was Toothy/Pir, against (in player order to my left) Sidisi, Brood Tyrant (but, it was secretly a Meren deck with blue), Varina, Lich Queen and Tuvasa, the Sunlit.

The game went on pretty well until Varina Body Doubled a Jin Gitaxias. Without any options, I drew a bunch of cards with Toothy via High Market, and chucked out a The Great Aurora. I drew into some lands and ramp, tossed down a Nature's Lore, Wood Elves and Oko, and then turned the Wood Elves into Wood Elks. Post-wrath Oko feels like it should have been oppressive.

The turn cycle after: Sidisi spent some time developing some ramp; some time before, I had clued in that their deck was actually a Meren deck, torched their Ashnod's Altar and spent my Reality Shift on Meren, and the direction of their deck was struggling. Varina played a jabronie, Anointed Procession and God-Eternal Oketra (in that order, I guess they didn't want two 4/4 Zombies?), and Tuvasa (who had been laid really low by Jin's hand limit) did basically nothing. I untapped with Oko, and Elked God-Eternal Okelktra, tabled Master Biomancer, and attacked with my Wood Elks which traded with Okelktra.

Next turn cycle, Sidisi played Terastodon, and stomped on Anointed Procession and Oko, giving me basically a 5/5 mutant Elkephant. Varina then tabled their general and Spark Double'd it, and Tuvasa played their general with a Curator's Ward.


-----


I promise this isn't just a four-paragraph dies-to-removal anecdote.

So, two uses, not on generals, one of them to improve a Wood Elves (but the other to answer a fairly obnoxious permanent that would have been very hard to remove otherwise).

On the pro-Oko side, it really did die to removal. One use was to basically give +2/+2 to my mana dork, which isn't spectacular (but it's not nothing!). It's also worth noting that Jin Gitaxias got brought into play again, and there was a possible future that I could have Elked Jin (which I would say is nothing but good for the game). Instead, it died in a wrath from Tuvasa. In terms of the initial Oko play, I'm not sure how oppressive Oko would have been if it hadn't just been stomped. Varina also could have had a board that threatened Oko if they had just played in the proper order (they really could have had two 4/4 Zombies with Oketra). If each player had decided to play their generals as though Oko was not a big deal, it would have been an uphill battle; but it is kind of a prisoner's dilemma where it required the Sidisi player to buy-in (and realistically, Sidisi did very little for their deck; they tabled it once for the self-mill-3). Basically I could have Elked one of two Varinas. It's also worth noting that I played Oko into fairly optimal conditions: players had their boards wiped and their hands scrambled, and when I had Auroraed, I drew 23, the Varina player drew 21 (because Jin Gitaxias), and Sidisi and Tuvasa were in the low-teens, so I should have been fairly far ahead in terms of cards. If I had played Oko at other parts of the game, there were a variety of reanimated critters, zombie tokens and other things to just punch Oko in the face.

On the anti-Oko side of things, I can see how it a) chilled players into maybe not playing their generals, and b) could have gone further if Sidisi hadn't drawn into an answer. I think that there isn't really anything I could have played that would have had the trifecta of being a single card, as aggressively costed (which really mattered because we were in a post-Great Aurora where we have hand-sizes that are much greater than 7 and want to capitalize on them), and admitting the same or fewer answers that would chill a player from tabling their general once per turn cycle. Oko is undeniably powerful, and Elking something like Meren (if she hadn't been banished from the game) or Varina would have somewhat hamstrung those decks.

In terms of comparable cards, if I had High Market out (I didn't, lost in the Aurora), maybe Willow Satyr is comparable (since it doesn't even leave behind a 3/3 Elk, but has summoning sickness and is more vulnerable).

Edit: For structure.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-02 7:18 am 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: New Hampshire
MRHblue wrote:
And people said Panharmonicon and Yarok would need to be banned as soon as they were spoiled.

People do a lot of theory crafting, and gameplay is what actually matters.

You've done a lot of raging about the people that claim the sky is falling whenever anything is first spoiled, but what does that have to do with whether Oko is obnoxious and/or oppressive?

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-02 12:24 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
You've done a lot of raging about the people that claim the sky is falling whenever anything is first spoiled, but what does that have to do with whether Oko is obnoxious and/or oppressive?
I pointed out theory craft leads down a lot of useless roads. The people I was replying to admit to not even playing with or against it.

Yes I am sure it can be obnoxious, lots of powerful cards are, especially when they are wielded by people who enjoy that sort of thing. But I think Oko is going to end up a lot more like Panharmonicon than Paradox Engine.

This is hardly rage, so lets keep things adult please.

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sir squab wrote:
My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-04 12:13 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
MRHblue wrote:
I pointed out theory craft leads down a lot of useless roads. The people I was replying to admit to not even playing with or against it.

This is the thing I find the most troubling in this thread. A lot of it reads like 3/3s are actually 0/0s, or that you can't just attack Oko.

Like, I get that Oko can dunk some commanders or cards that protect commanders, but, if you can successfully defend a planeswalker at a multiplayer table where you're just handing out 3/3s, you're probably already winning, and Oko might not be adding much to your board state.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-04 2:43 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Feb-07 4:15 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Sinis wrote:
MRHblue wrote:
I pointed out theory craft leads down a lot of useless roads. The people I was replying to admit to not even playing with or against it.

This is the thing I find the most troubling in this thread. A lot of it reads like 3/3s are actually 0/0s, or that you can't just attack Oko.

Like, I get that Oko can dunk some commanders or cards that protect commanders, but, if you can successfully defend a planeswalker at a multiplayer table where you're just handing out 3/3s, you're probably already winning, and Oko might not be adding much to your board state.

From where I'm sitting, the whole "protecting Oko" thing is kind of a red herring. To start, you're not "handing out" 3/3's. Talking combat stats alone, when your target is an Omnath or a Skullbriar or pretty much anything with evasion or anything at 5+ mana, a vanilla 3/3 is a sharp downgrade and if you can't handle that you really can't handle the thing pre-elk.

But more importantly, I'm not looking at Oko from the perspective of just his potential, but comparing it to his baseline as well. Take a look at this theoretical spell:

Quote:
Elk Within, 1UR
Sorcery

Destroy target artifact or creature. Its controller gets a 3/3 elk token. If the creature was a commander, it cannot be cast while the elk token is on the field.

Rebound

At minimum, a much much better version of ^that card is what Oko effectively brings to the table most of the time in practice. That's a pretty strong baseline, and it only goes up from there once you account for what synergy with Oko any given UGx deck has, as well as his other two abilities. But more importantly, after he's gotten off his second Elking of a commander, he's already punched above his cost and any extra utility you can get out of him is just icing on the cake. And since he does start with high loyalty, getting his ability off twice before he dies is not an especially difficult task, even sometimes with no way to defend him.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-04 4:46 pm 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I think thats all pretty fair up to the 'spell' version. You can't kill a spell that is being rebound with the elk.

Not to mention Oko is the type of card to forge alliances against to kill it.

Yes its a very good card, but nothing I have seen here convinces me its even close to ban-able. Could that change with play? Absolutely.

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sir squab wrote:
My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-05 1:21 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-16 5:36 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Toronto, ON
Uktabi_Kong wrote:
From where I'm sitting, the whole "protecting Oko" thing is kind of a red herring. To start, you're not "handing out" 3/3's. Talking combat stats alone, when your target is an Omnath or a Skullbriar or pretty much anything with evasion or anything at 5+ mana, a vanilla 3/3 is a sharp downgrade and if you can't handle that you really can't handle the thing pre-elk.


At one point in this thread, people were talking about how you could Elk people's greaves, and that meant you couldn't really protect your commander (even though we're talking about spending one turn to Elk the Greaves, and then ANOTHER turn to Elk the now-vulnerable Commander).

Now, the argument has shifted to how we're only Elking Omnath or other giant threats and we're not just handing out 3/3s.

I mean, something's gotta give, right? You're either able to protect your commander with greaves, OR the Oko player is giving you a free 3/3 that can attack Oko. It can't be neither.

Quote:
Quote:
Elk Within, 1UR
Sorcery

Destroy target artifact or creature. Its controller gets a 3/3 elk token. If the creature was a commander, it cannot be cast while the elk token is on the field.

Rebound

At minimum, a much much better version of ^that card is what Oko effectively brings to the table most of the time in practice. That's a pretty strong baseline, and it only goes up from there once you account for what synergy with Oko any given UGx deck has, as well as his other two abilities. But more importantly, after he's gotten off his second Elking of a commander, he's already punched above his cost and any extra utility you can get out of him is just icing on the cake. And since he does start with high loyalty, getting his ability off twice before he dies is not an especially difficult task, even sometimes with no way to defend him.

I'll be honest, I don't find this remotely convincing.

When you make it a Sorcery, you're implicitly saying "Counterspells or bust". My contention has been (and has ALWAYS been) that you can attack planeswalkers and that is an inherently balancing factor. Even the most resilient planeswalkers at my group's tables don't live long, unless they literally cannot be attacked because someone has played Pramikon and Spark Doubled it.

Second, by making it a Sorcery, you're implicitly allowing people to pollute their thought process with cards like Leyline of Anticipation or Quicken and allowing for scenarios where an Elk Within player can Elk your commander in response to trying to protect it with something like Greaves or an aura. Or that they can copy it with a Fork, or recur it with an Eternal Witness, or whatever, permitting more than one Elk Within in a turn cycle.

In short, it's NOT a Sorcery as a baseline. As a planeswalker, it admits FAR more interaction from your opponents than a Sorcery, and admits far LESS modification from your own cards than a Sorcery. I believe that's a balancing factor, and I have yet to see any convincing argument that you cannot simply punch Oko in the face until he dies. In my experience in multiplayer, that's how EVERY planeswalker dies, and people have creatures other than their generals.


I see what you're trying to get at. You're saying that getting two activations with Oko shouldn't be too hard. I'm saying that's probably not going to happen, and in my experience, basically no planeswalker gets to activate twice, no matter how high their starting loyalty is or what their + abilities are like.

I'm also saying that two activations with Oko just isn't that bad for gameplay. It's no worse than being hit with something that's much harder to deal with, like Song of the Dryads.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-05 9:36 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Sinis wrote:
I have yet to see any convincing argument that you cannot simply punch Oko in the face until he dies.


^This is why most of my decks (if the manabase can support the colorless slot) have Rogue's Passage. Not as a WinCon, but because sometimes a PW needs to be punched, and a 4 colorless activation cost is usually worth it. Not to mention, politically, I often use it on an opponent's creature that has already been declared to attack said Planeswalker (or make a deal to provide unblockable if they do attack said PW).

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-06 3:00 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sinis wrote:

I'm also saying that two activations with Oko just isn't that bad for gameplay. It's no worse than being hit with something that's much harder to deal with, like Song of the Dryads.

We've also been over this in the thread already, but Song of the Dryads is not as good nor is it as hard to deal with with. If Oko gets on activation and attacked to death, you've gained life/stalled.

Song can be destroyed by a couple colors and you get your commander back, without a new tax/summoning sickness, and removing the aura is 1 for 1. With Oko, you (and the table) have to handle it so nothing can be simply re-elked, but you have to kill your own commander now, either in combat (which may be hard when your opponents have 120 life - "meh, i take 3 lol") or with your own removal, which puts you below parity for card advantage and tempo. Then, you have to recast, with the tax, further using your own resources.

This shouldn't be ignored (but that said, Oko doesn't need a ban) and "Song of the Dryads is harder to deal with" is completely dishonest i think.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-06 3:35 am 
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Sovarius wrote:
We've also been over this in the thread already, but Song of the Dryads is not as good nor is it as hard to deal with with. If Oko gets on activation and attacked to death, you've gained life/stalled.
Same is true of any planeswalker. Which is why I was insisting on not calling it a Sorcery.

Quote:
Song can be destroyed by a couple colors and you get your commander back, without a new tax/summoning sickness, and removing the aura is 1 for 1. With Oko, you (and the table) have to handle it so nothing can be simply re-elked, but you have to kill your own commander now, either in combat (which may be hard when your opponents have 120 life - "meh, i take 3 lol") or with your own removal, which puts you below parity for card advantage and tempo. Then, you have to recast, with the tax, further using your own resources.
Can we stop pretending that we don't have sac outlets in our decks?

Quote:
This shouldn't be ignored (but that said, Oko doesn't need a ban) and "Song of the Dryads is harder to deal with" is completely dishonest i think.

I should have written "The results of Song of the Dryads is harder to deal with", because if you don't have bounce (which doesn't super help in this case), or are not in w/g, you can't just High Market it because it's a forest. You can do that to an Elked commander.

Also, planeswalkers can be dealt with by every colour, because every colour has creatures. Not every colour can easily deal with an enchantment.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Dec-06 6:32 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
And on top of that creature wipes are a lot more common than enchantment wipes.

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My... history of buying Magic cards is probably a tapestry of bad financial decisions >_>
niheloim wrote:
No, I think he's right. I'm just all butt-hurt over prophet.


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