Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast announced that Field of the Dead, a powerful, zombie-producing land that has been seeing heavy play, would be banned in Magic: The Gathering's Standard format. While many players are certainly happy to see Field of the Dead exit Standard, some remain skeptical that this banning will be enough to right the ship that is MTG's most popular constructed format, and a handful of these fans have decided to express their skepticism by posting memes on the Magic: The Gathering subreddit.
This skepticism, and the resulting memes, center around the idea that the yesterday's banning of Field of the Dead in MTG's Standard format will do little to promote diversity in deck building. While indeed players will no longer have to go up against decks focused around Field of the Dead and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, an archetype that made up 42% of the field at the recent Mythic Championship 5, some fans believe that these decks will simply be replaced by those that feature another extremely powerful card: Oko, Thief of Crowns.
Without question, Oko has already proven itself to be one of the most powerful Magic: The Gathering Planeswalkers ever printed, and decks that include it, such as Simic Food, Bant Food, and Bant Ramp, are all seeing frequent play. It is reasonable to expect that many former-Field of the Dead players that are looking for new deck post-ban will migrate towards one of these Oko decks, and the memes featured here paint a picture of what some fans fear Standard will look like moving forward:
Of course, it is possible that the banning of Field of the Dead will open up new deck building opportunities that more efficiently combat the powerful Planeswalker. However, the ability for Magic: The Gathering's Oko, Thief of Crowns to come down on turn two, with the assistance of Gilded Goose and Arboreal Grazer, is likely to remain a real problem for many of the decks that players might wish to test, and fans will need to build their decks with this specific play pattern in mind if they want to win matches.
If ultimately Oko does completely takeover the format, or warps it in ways comparable to Field of the Dead, Wizards may decide that it needs to be banned in Magic: The Gathering's Standard format as well. However, considering that the Thief of Crowns serves as something of the face of MTG's newest set, Throne of Eldraine, it is likely that the developer will try to avoid this scenario for as long as possible.
The Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine expansion set is now available.