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 Post subject: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-10 3:47 pm 

Joined: 2009-Jul-02 4:25 pm
Age: Drake
So who else underestimated how strong Elking someone's commander would be? I sure did. I just had a game where I turned someone's First Sliver into an Elk and watched their whole deck fall apart. He tried so hard to kill it and recast it, but nobody would block and he never recovered. I died to some other player, the Sliver player breathed a sigh of relief and went to remove the Elk marker I gave him only to be reminded that the effect doesn't end, and he did nothing for the rest of the game.

On one hand, that's kind of hilarious in a griefer kind of way, but on the other hand, that is some tuck-level feelbads.

How do we feel about our new Elk overlords at this point? Good for the format? Neutral? Unhealthy?

After watching this dude's day get ruined I might be leaning toward unhealthy. :facepalm:


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 12:41 am 
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Joined: 2008-Feb-29 5:57 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Duvall, WA
majikal wrote:
So who else underestimated how strong Elking someone's commander would be? I sure did. I just had a game where I turned someone's First Sliver into an Elk and watched their whole deck fall apart. He tried so hard to kill it and recast it, but nobody would block and he never recovered. I died to some other player, the Sliver player breathed a sigh of relief and went to remove the Elk marker I gave him only to be reminded that the effect doesn't end, and he did nothing for the rest of the game.

On one hand, that's kind of hilarious in a griefer kind of way, but on the other hand, that is some tuck-level feelbads.

How do we feel about our new Elk overlords at this point? Good for the format? Neutral? Unhealthy?

After watching this dude's day get ruined I might be leaning toward unhealthy. :facepalm:


this is pretty ,uch why i always have a handfull of sac outlets in every deck. Even first sliver could be running the vindicate sliver or darkheart sliver or basal sliver and have prevented this and got some value. Seems like poor deckbuilding to me. In standard it may be a problem, and i personally hate planeswalkers, all of them. But its just another removal spell in a pool of like 15,000 different cards. Hell, Acidic sliver could have sacced his general AND killed oko if he had a token to sac too. There are plenty of options out there, Burn, removal for pw, sac outlets, flicker effects, bounce,


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 1:37 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Shoe wrote:
Even first sliver could be running the vindicate sliver or darkheart sliver or basal sliver and have prevented this and got some value. Seems like poor deckbuilding to me.

Sooo, they shouldn't ever cast their commander unless they have a sac outlet out? Because that's what I'm seeing you say.

We have no idea what was or wasn't included in the deck in the form of sac outlets. And once it's an elk, it's no longer a sliver so Basal sliver or Darkheart Sliver will no longer help (Necrotic Sliver would be okay -- but that's one particular sliver.)

That said - I'm somewhat surprised there wasn't some sort of board wipe in the game that helped the guy out.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 3:57 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
The elk ability on Oko, Thief of Crowns is incredibly dangerous. He is or will soon be the newest EDH bogeyman.

My hope is that the EDH RC decides Oko interacts poorly with the format and bans Oko. I don't know if he'll warp the format, but I feel he interacts with it poorly approximately the same way Karakas does, simply by making commanders irrelevant repeatedly for a trivial investment.

Over on Scryfall we've catalogued the swap removal cards. There's two types: either the card removes the target from the battlefield and replaces it with a token (like Beast Within) or it is an aura (like Darksteel Mutation). Oko is the singular exception: his card is a one-shot effect that stays true forever.

The ones that remove the target from the battlefield are just spot removal or wipes with a trade; you can simply choose to do nothing and you'll be able to get your commander back later. The auras require you to actively do work to protect or restore your commander: you must either remove the aura or find a way to remove your commander from the battlefield (spot removal, board wipe, flickering). This means the aura is a better way of taking a commander out of the picture long-term, but players can still do something to reverse it. Oko's range of responses is narrower still than the aura approach: it's like an aura, but there's no actual aura to remove, so the only option is to remove your commander from the battlefield somehow.

Also, of all of them, Oko is the only one that's trivially repeatable. Once I use my Darksteel Mutation on your commander, I can't also Darksteel Mutate something else: my aura's played and out of my hand. With Oko, I can just elk commanders turn after turn, even while ticking up loyalty! Once you remove my Darksteel Mutation I have to do some work to get it back and probably won't get it back right away; once you reset your elked commander I can just Elk it again the very next turn. This means you can't just reset your commander, you have to also remove my Oko. (I can, of course, Copy Enchantment the Darksteel Mutation to get one extra use, but I can also Spark Double my Oko to double my repeatable capacity.)

So. He's hands-down the most effective swap removal option ever seen: he's got the narrowest range of responses available; and he's trivially repeatable; and you have to remove two things, not just one. He's simply the most effective card at making players' commanders irrelevant for the rest of the game, and if Oko's player can wall up for a couple of turns he can do this to everyone's commander and keep it that way. And he's at CMC 3!

Everyone should be packing spot removal, but Oko drains more spot removal than the other options. Everyone should prepare that they may not be able to make much use of their commander during the game, but Oko makes this more likely to be true and stay true for the lowest resource investment of all other cards I can think of.

It's not even the only ability on the card, so when the player has nothing more to Elk, Oko's still useful in other ways. He's in Simic, meaning it's not even colors people will be unhappy to play: traditionally they're the two most powerful colors to have in an EDH deck anyway. It's not like he's Boros colored.

So, yeah, Oko's incredibly dangerous.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 5:14 am 
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Joined: 2012-Dec-03 3:16 am
Age: Elder Dragon
I know it is not a popular opinion, but I still miss the tuck rule. There are some commanders that just should be gone. I know you can just kill it until they cannot afford to pay the tax on most **cough Derevi, Empyrial Tactician cough** or commanders that never hit the battleground **cough Oloro, Ageless Ascetic cough** but elking someone's Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger should be fair game.

There is often a board wipe coming anyways to reset the commander or maybe someone will block it with their 4/4 unless it is Jhoira of the Ghitu, Maelstrom Wanderer or some other annoying commander. I do think most commanders are fine, but there are certainly options that should go away and stay away. (And no, I don't think any of the options I mentioned above should be banned, they are just commanders that I thought of off the top of my head that are less fun than most).

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 10:11 am 
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majikal wrote:
So who else underestimated how strong Elking someone's commander would be? I sure did.

I pointed out how obnoxious that was going to be the second Oko was spoiled, and I was told I was being silly and overreacting.

The only silver lining for him is that it IS still his commander, so at some point, if you just keep attacking the same player with it, they HAVE to block, or they'll lose to commander damage.

Oko is not cool. WotC has admitted that they were stupid enough to not consider its use against other players, and basically just assumed people would be making a food, then elking the food and so on. I'm not sure how the hell they missed how OP that ability is, especially gaining loyalty while doing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 11:44 am 
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Sid the Chicken wrote:
The only silver lining for him is that it IS still his commander, so at some point, if you just keep attacking the same player with it, they HAVE to block, or they'll lose to commander damage.



This.

A 7 turn clock with a commander is not anything to sneeze at, and depending on the deck build, and other decks at the table, there's bound to be some form of pump spell floating around.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 2:56 pm 
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20MillionTrees wrote:
Sid the Chicken wrote:
WotC has admitted that they were stupid enough to not consider its use against other players, and basically just assumed people would be making a food, then elking the food and so on. I'm not sure how the hell they missed how OP that ability is, especially gaining loyalty while doing it.


Can you post a link to this "admission of stupidity?" Nothing personal but I just find it really hard to believe R&D wouldn't consider that route.

I'd like to see a link to where they've admitted mistakes on Oko's design, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it's out there. They've made fairly egregious mistakes in the past, like accidentally allowing Snapcaster Mage to have Flash.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-11 3:20 pm 
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Joined: 2009-Aug-20 7:49 pm
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Here's a link - I was having trouble finding the full twitch stream, but the clip in this article covers it pretty well. Melissa del Toro (a magic designer) saying they underestimated how powerful elking everything in sight was going to be. She puts the appropriate company spin on it... "We're monitoring the situation and are aware of the issues" type statement.

http://epicstream.com/news/JakeVyper/Wi ... m-With-Oko

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-12 6:28 am 

Joined: 2012-Apr-11 7:17 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sid the Chicken wrote:
http://epicstream.com/news/JakeVyper/Wizards-of-the-Coast-Finally-Addresses-Magic-The-Gatherings-Problem-With-Oko

That clip is pretty far from supporting "WotC has admitted that they were stupid enough to not consider its use against other players, and basically just assumed people would be making a food, then elking the food and so on.?" right?

I agree its way too powerful, and testing should have shown this, but saying something like that about WotC without more than that clip seems way out of proportion.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-12 10:38 am 
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MRHblue wrote:
That clip is pretty far from supporting "WotC has admitted that they were stupid enough to not consider its use against other players, and basically just assumed people would be making a food, then elking the food and so on.?" right?

I disagree. WotC isn't literally going to say "We were dumb, herp derp derp". You have to read between the lines on this. She states that they did underestimate how strong the +1 ability is as a defensive ability to remove "other creatures and artifacts". Again, while she was not explicit, the phrasing (using the word "other") implies that the playtesters were either only using it on the tokens made by Oko or only using it on expendable stuff on their own boards, without considering its ability to neuter the strongest thing on the opponent's board. I may be phrasing it more crassly than Melissa del Toro did, but the bottom line is that they dropped the ball on how dumb this was going to be and she's stating so.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-12 3:48 pm 

Joined: 2014-Apr-03 3:46 am
Age: Drake
Oh noes First Sliver got elked. Why wont somebody think of the slivers?

I say "good". Slivers deserve every bad thing coming for them. Especially First sliver.


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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-13 6:08 am 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
I think of it this way: Karakas is banned, I believe, because it allows one to bypass the commander tax AND abuse their ETB/leaves-play triggers AND hose enemy commanders, all in one. Oko only does the last thing on that list. Seeing as cards like Meddling Mage, Declaration of Naught or Nevermore are and always have been perfectly legal in the format, I think it's safe to say the fae king won't have to fear the banhammer anytime soon.

That's the technical side of things. Now, exactly how dickish it is to actually put him in a deck is up to each group and its particular flavor of social contract.

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Last edited by Antis on 2019-Nov-13 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-13 1:02 pm 
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illuknisaa wrote:
Oh noes First Sliver got elked. Why wont somebody think of the slivers?

I say "good". Slivers deserve every bad thing coming for them. Especially First sliver.

I can't say I disagree, but remember that shit can happen to people that aren't running First Sliver.

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 Post subject: Re: Oko, Thief of Fun
AgePosted: 2019-Nov-13 5:57 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Nov-16 1:14 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Prague, Heart of Europe
This is just an opinion, but if a deck is literally turned off by having its commander Elked, to the point that it can't kill one planeswalker, I'd say that's a deckbuilding issue, not an Oko issue.

Even in the First Sliver case, that's a 5C aggro deck for crying out loud. If there is a deck that really should be able to take out Oko, that's it. It's a singular anecdote that stinks of monumentally bad luck more than anything, I feel.

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I could be wrong. I'm just not in the mood.
tempesteye wrote:
In my early teens I was a Timmy.
In my late teens I was a Spike.
In my 20's I was a Johnny.
Now, I just like to play.
'Active decks' list here.
Currently hiring servants for my palace, made from my own walls of text.


Last edited by Antis on 2019-Nov-14 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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