Episode 6: Oko on a Smoko

Oko is banned almost everywhere, the World Championship is coming and Theros Beyond Death has been fully previewed.

Subscribe to the show via its RSS feed.

Your Host: Fabian A. Scherschel

Oh, hello there! It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Well, to be completely honest with you, I hadn’t planned to drop off the face of the plane like I did, but I was really busy at the end of 2019 there.

Anyway, that’s all water under the bridge. Grab an ale and settle in, because 2020 is here and there’s lots of interesting and important things happening in the world of Magic the Gathering

Crack-a-Pack

But before we get into the new stuff, let us start the show with a Crack-a-Pack of Throne of Eldraine, before nobody cares about this set anymore when Theros Beyond Dead launches in Arena on Thursday.

Season 1 of the FML is in Full Swing

The fab.industries Magic League (FML) has kicked off and Season 1 is in full swing now. We’re playing four splits per season with fixed decks for each split. Since we are six players, one split consists of three rounds of Best-of-Three matches. At the end of the season there will also be a Playoffs bracket with the best four players.

So far, I have played three rounds. Since Round 3 hasn’t finished yet, here are the FML standings after Round 2:

  1. MegaSlippers (6 Points, GW 80%)
  2. false (6 Points, GW 80%)
  3. igwigg (3 Points, GW 50%)
  4. fabsh (3 Points, GW 50%)
  5. SparrowHawk (0 Points, GW 20%)
  6. tamesidesmurf (0 Points, GW 20%)

GW = Game Win Percentage

You can read about the ongoing battles on my blog and watch my matches on YouTube or when I stream them live on Twitch.

Banhammer: Oko, Once Upon a Time, Veil of Summer

Well, here we go. Since we last met, Wizards has been swinging the Banhammer quite happily…

As we all expected, Oko has been banned. Very thoroughly banned, indeed – in Standard, Brawl, Pioneer, Historic and now also in Modern. People were really sick of him, too.

Also banned are Once Upon a Time and Veil of Summer. Green was just getting out of hand there for a while. Especially at the Mythic Championships.

MTG Esports Changes for 2020

Oh dear, a lot has changed since we last met. Better get another round of ales here, this might take a while to explain.

Mythic Championships are gone. They have been replaced in 2020 by Mythic Invitationals, which are different from the one that was held in 2019, though.

Mythic Invitationals will be 128-person events held over 4 days for a $750,000 prize pool.

In 2020, these will take place as follows:

Paper Magic tournaments (formerly the Pro Tour) are now called the Players Tour. Tournaments will be held in three regions – The Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. In 2020, the following Players Tour events are on the calendar (finals in bold):

It is not quite clear yet, what Players Tour events will have coverage this year.

The Magic World Championship XXVI will take place in Honolulu on 14-16 February. The prize pool is a cool $1 million. The world champion gets $300,000 – the largest individual prize in Magic history.

The contenders are: Javier Dominguez, Autumn Burchett, Eli Loveman, Matias Leveratto, Thoralf Severin, Jean-Emmanuel Depraz, Ondřej Stráský, Piotr Glogowski, Andrea Mengucci, Seth Manfield, Marcio Carvalho, Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, Chris Kvartek, Raphael Levy, Gabriel Nassif and Sebastian Pozzo.

Competitive Play Recap

Ondřej Stráský won Mythic Championship VI in Richmond in an all-Oko final with PVDDR.

The following month, Piotr Glogowski took down Mythic Championship VII in Long Beach by putting lots of cats into the oven.

The banning of Oko, Thief of Crowns, Once Upon a Time, and Veil of Summer after Mythic Championship VI had a dramatic impact on the Standard metagame at Mythic Championship VII. The most popular archetype were Sacrifice variations based on the Cauldron Familiar / Witch’s Oven combo. Sacrifice decks made up 28.3% of the field, with Glogowski’s Jund Sacrifice being the most popular at 13.4%, followed by Golgari Sacrifice at 10.4% and Rakdos Sacrifice at 4.5%.

And recently, Team Hareruya Sword won the Team Series. The format of the final, interestingly, was a team drafts of Theros Beyond Death.

The Team Series Final came down to Hareruya Sword’s Mengucci vs Ultimate Guard Pro Team’s Paul Rietzl. Mengucci had drafted a more aggressive BW deck while Rietzl assembled a slower Esper deck. In the final game, Mengucci went wide and flooded the board with too many permanents for Rietzl to handle, winning the game, match, draft, and Team Series Final for Hareruya Sword.

This was the last Team Series Final, as Wizards has discontinued the Team Series. It seems that, going forward, teams will only be important at top competitive levels as playtesting alliances.

In other news, Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen has declined his invitation to the Rivals League.

Theros Beyond Death Revealed

I took part in a reveal stream for the card The First Iroanian Games by German IT news site Heise at the beginning of the year. Which was very, very exciting. There were even some news stories on the card.

All in all, based on the full preview, this set doesn’t excite me as much as Throne of Eldraine did, but I like the general theme of it, nonetheless. The variant cards certainly aren’t as flashy as the Eldraine ones were.

There’s a new mechanic called Escape:

Spells with escape can be cast from the graveyard for their escape cost. The cost includes exiling a number of other cards from the graveyard. If a creature escapes, it may receive an additional bonus.

Returning mechanics are Constellation (an ability that triggers whenever another enchantment enters the battlefield) and Devotion (effects based on the total number of a certain coloured mana symbol you have in play).

Unsurprisingly, this being a Theros set, enchantments are a big thing. Sagas are back!

Theros Beyond Death also introduces the new creature types Demigod and Tentacle, as well as Gold artifact tokens, which can be sacrificed for mana (unlike Treasures, these don’t need to be tapped).

There is also a new planeswalker called Calix.

Give Me Your Thoughts

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the show!

Email me:
Twitter: @moxandmermaid

Thanks and Credits

Our hosting is sponsored by Bytemark. Podcast theme: The Tavern of the Whoremongers by Audio Magma. Soundscape by Fantasy Realm.

Very nice of you to drop by. I hope we will meet again soon. Farewell!