What Would Standard Look Like Post an Oko Ban

AetherHub Decklists 
By: Gapollard1 - 04 Nov 2019

Analyzing the Meta After an Oko Ban

With the next B&R announcement coming Novemer 18th, it appears the obvious frontrunner to get the boot from Standard is Oko, Thief of Crownsimage. We have seen how getting a turn 2 Oko off can completely warp games, and how around 60% of the meta is running the card. This trounces the 40% Field of the Dead meta, and many pros are saying that the ban of FotD has made Standard nearly unplayable. Star City Games has gone as far as changing the Standard portion of their tournament on Nov 15-17th to Pioneer, and here at Aetherhub we are banning Oko in our next two community tournaments (Sign up here!).

Although Oko is not an absolute lock to get banned, with other options such as Veil of Summerimage, Gilded Gooseimage and Nissa, Who Shakes the Worldimage on the table, it does appear the writing is on the wall. If you are playing in our Aetherhub tournament and want some deck ideas for this weekend, or you're just curious how an Oko ban would look, this is the article for you!

Cards that Become Viable Again

One of the most broken parts about Oko is its +1 ability to turn any artifact or creature into a 3/3 Elk. This can be a 'free' way to negate a lot of top end threats an opponent could play, which invalidates a lot of cards that would otherwise by good. You do not want to commit all your mana on a card late game when it is easily negated the next turn by your opponents planeswalker, meaning they use 0 mana to elimated your threat creating a huge value swing. 

One card that is most affected by this is:


This card saw a ton of play the first week or so of Standard, and theres no reason to think it wont return to glory after Oko is gone. This card combos incredibly well with creatures like Barkhide Trollimage or Growth-Chamber Guardianimage, and fits very well into Gruul, Golgari or Mono Green strategies. 

The Great Henge v0

Another popular strategy last Standard that Oko invalidates is W/U flyers. 


When the whole point of your deck is to cheat Sephara out early, it is completely negated by the fact that Sephara can be turned into a 3/3 Elk so easily. Eldraine brought with it a few decent cheap flyers, so this deck does have some new toys to work with. Plus, the Spark Doubleimage, Sephara combo to create two indestructible Sephara's is a pretty incredible if you can pull it off, and there are some new things that might be worth exploring like adding Rankle, Master of Pranksimage to the mix.

Next lets talk about Feather:


This was a popular archetype the last two standards, and has been seeing almost no play this go around. While this deck does have answers to Oko in the form of God's Willing, the deck just doesnt match up well against the Simic Strategies. A massive Hydroid Krasisimage can shut down the offense from Feather, and if Oko can get off his +1 it is still really devastating to the deck. With Oko gone, will this deck have the juice to regain popularity again? There are certainly some new additions from Eldraine that could be added, Faerie Guidemotherimage and Embercleaveimage come to mind, and splashing green to run cards like Domri's Ambushimage can also be explored.


Boros FeatherCleave

Main 60 cards (17 distinct)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (17)
Creature (22)
Land (21)
Side 15 cards (8 distinct)

Lastly, another popular strategy in the early going that has seen significantly less play now Dimir Tempo headlined by:


This deck was popularized originally by Mogwaii when he piloted it to Top 69 in Mythic early on in the season. The problem with this deck is it is just too slow to keep up with a turn 3 Nissa or a turn 2 Oko.  Although Lochmere Serpent has flash and can't be blocked if you sacrifice an Island, the 6 cmc usually makes it come down too late. If a Nissa or Oko comes out on curve, the game is often already well out of hand by the time the serpent can make an impact. Also, if the serpent is turned into an Elk, than your biggest threat on the board becomes relatively obsolete. The deck does have some answers against the powerful Simic cards in the form of Thought Erasureimage and Drown in the Lochimage, so maybe eliminating one of the biggest threats in Simic will make all the difference in making this deck viable again.

Lochmere Dimir

Main 60 cards (22 distinct)
Planeswalker (4)
Creature (18)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (13)
Land (25)
Side 15 cards (7 distinct)


The Return of Aggro?

While all the cards/decks listed above are midrange strategies, I would expect the real winner of an Oko ban to be aggro decks. Lets face it, aggro really isnt that good against Food. Not only can Oko deal with most of the top end cards Embercleaveimage, Chandra's Spitfireimage, Torbran, Thane of Red Fellimage etc., but cards like Wicked Wolfimage and Hydroid Krasisimage can be massive tempo swings and that can basically clinch a game. Despite this matchup, Mono Red Calvalcade is still seeing a lot of play in best of one on the ladder, and expect this to see even more with Oko gone


Main 60 cards (13 distinct)
Planeswalker (6)
Creature (23)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (11)
Land (20)

Mardu Knights is another deck which has already seen competitive play, and I would expect it only sees more with Oko gone. While cards like Embercleave were great against Field of the Dead, they arent great when it gets turned into a 3/3 and your opponent has great defenders like Wicked Wolfimage out on the battlefield. Unless a great control deck can be created that can be fast enough to punish these decks, expect an uptick in popularity initially.

The big winner from an Oko ban however has to be Golgari Adventures. This deck has continued to see a ton of play despite Oko, and is great in most matchups except for against Food. With Oko gone, the deck has the ability to really show its true potential, and is my early favorite for what would be the new top tier strategy. 

Golgari Adventures