Winners and Losers in the Post Ban Standard

Kasper Nielsen

Kasper Nielsen


Your Crowns are safe, The thief has been caught. This past Monday a ban hit Standard and it will no doubt make a big impact.

Were all banned, and has now left the format in a state of, looking for the next big thing.

Once Upon a TimeOko, Thief of CrownsVeil of Summer

In this article I will try to give an overview of what you can expect to see in the new Standard format, now that these cards are gone. I will comment on the cluster of bans as a whole not for each individual card.

Personally, I think something needed to happen and quite frankly I think it should have happened earlier, but here we are now and for the first time in a while the Standard format looks entertaining again.

With that said, here’s my take on the impact of the Standard bannings.

The Winners

These are the decks/cards that I believe had the most to gain from the bannings that happened this Monday.


Golgari Adventures

Edgewall InnkeeperFoulmire KnightLovestruck Beast

Golgari Adventures lost 《Once Upon a Time》, which does mean the deck will be slightly less consistent at using 《Edgewall Innkeeper》 to make their deck run smoothly, however this deck was at least close with the food-based midrange decks, and now that they lost their most oppressive tool, Golgari may take the crown as the Midrange king.

A good example of the Golgari Adventures deck is the list Mike Sigrist recently played to a strong showing in the Twitch Rivals event:

Black Red (Green) Sacrifice

Cauldron FamiliarWitch's OvenMayhem Devil

Like the Golgari Adventures deck, this deck was already close, and the disappearance of the top deck in the format could be exactly what this archetype needs, to take over. It’s also feasible that these decks should be playing a Jund base and that will prove the better midrange deck.

For instance Matheus Yanaguira playd this following list to a strong result at Twitch Rivals:

Flash Decks (Izzet / Simic)

Brineborn CutthroatBrazen BorrowerQuench

Whether Blue Green or Blue Red these decks could stand to have a bit of a resurgence, both version had massive trouble defeating early Okos in the previous format, but actually play reasonably well against large parts of the field.

Here is an example list of how an Izzet Flash deck could look from Percsalert in the Twitch Rivals tournament:

Jeskai Fires

Cavalier of FlameDeafening ClarionFires of Invention

Cavaliers were always kind of awkward vs Oko, add to that the diminished consistency of the best starts in the format, which the 《Once Upon a Time》 ban will produce, Jeskai Fires could be primed to go over the top of the format, especially if the format becomes a midrange grind fest.

Aggro Decks

Oko was a pain for aggro decks, and his synergies with the rest of the food package even more so, therefore now that the most painful part of those strategies has gone away, this could easily open the door for a Mono-Red, Rakdos, or other low to the ground aggro decks to make their way into the spotlight.

Common for all of these decks is that none of them played 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》, and therefore, naturally stand to move up in the world in its absence, however notable decks like Gruul and Selesnya Adventures does not make the list, due to them taking a fair bit of splash damage from 《Once Upon a Time》.

Pelt CollectorOnce Upon a TimeEdgewall Innkeeper


Several individual cards and card cycles stand to make a lot of ground now that the bannings have happened, I believe the biggest winners will be:

《Spawn of Mayhem》

Spawn of Mayhem

Being a card right on the cusp of being good enough for a while, now that the most egregious Midrange options have gone away, it may finally be time for the spawn to take his rightful place killing people in your upkeep.

《Questing Beast》

Questing Beast

We all know it, we all read it, 《Questing Beast》 is a SUPER powerful magic card, however, Oko made this mighty create seem timid and honestly at times useless, now that it will no longer get elked, and maybe not always run into 《Noxious Grasp》 immediately. The record holder for most abilities on a Standard creature since maybe ever? Might finally have its time to shine.

《The Great Henge》 / 《The Cauldron of Eternity》

The Great HengeThe Cauldron of Eternity

Both of these cards have natural high power levels, however their lack of immediate impact under most normal circumstances made it impossible to responsibly put them into your deck in an Oko filled metagame, now that they won’t be turned into elks anymore there is definitely a chance that these 2 potentially massive guild arounds can cause some havoc in the format.

《Teferi, Time Raveler》 / 《Narset, Parter of Veils》

Teferi, Time RavelerNarset, Parter of Veils

Teferi and Narset played quite poorly against Oko and was also quite mediocre against the decks that Oko and 《Once Upon a Time》 created. If it wasn’t for the presence of 《Questing Beast》 I would say that these cards would be ready to take over.

The Big Creatures

God-Eternal OketraCavalier of ThornsNiv-Mizzet, Parun

A number of creatures exist in Standard, that so far has seen themselves relegated to fringe play due to Oko. These creatures tally such heavy hitters as, the Cavaliers and 《Niv-Mizzet, Parun》, cards which clearly punch above their weight (even though heavy) however the punishment of getting them turned into elks have recently made people shy away from them, seeing as the investment into them was too big for a 3/3 elk.

The Losers

Where there are Winners, there are Losers and let’s face it. Some of these decks/cards lost a lot this Monday, and may never quite recover to former glory.


Every Deck That Played Oko

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Let’s get real here for a second, every single deck that played 《Oko, Thief of Crowns》 more of less doesn’t exist anymore. At least they will have to go through major deck surgery, in order to have even a reasonable chance of existing, now that their main man Oko left the building. Not only that, almost every single one of these decks also utilized both 《Once Upon a Time》 and 《Veil of Summer》, in order to streamline and protect their game plans. I would be very surprised if iterations of the former decks are still around post bannings.


Once Upon a TimeVeil of Summer

In my opinion Gruul stands to lose a lot with these bannings. Gruul only loses 《Once Upon a Time》 and 《Veil of Summer》, but in my experience with and against the archetype this is maybe the deck where 《Once Upon a Time》 did its best work, the reason for this is that the deck plays vastly differently with and without a one drop, of which the deck plays 8. Taking away 《Once Upon a Time》 will cause a lot fewer great starts for the deck and the deck will therefore end up with worse results. Losing 《Veil of Summer》 is also a loss for this deck, but I don’t see that as making the same level of impact.


《Gilded Goose》

Gilded Goose

《Gilded Goose》 and Oko went hand in hand, almost no decks played one without the other and there was a reason for that. The 2 cards compliment each other to such an extent, that there were a lot of discussions about maybe you could get away with banning the Goose and let Oko stay. The now present lack of repeated food generation means that the Goose looks more like a 0/2 《Lotus Petal》 than it ever has before.

《Wicked Wolf》

Wicked Wolf

For a lot of the same reasons as the Goose, the banning of Oko will cause a potentially sharp decline in the amount of 《Wicked Wolf》 we are going to see. With food now being a much scarcer resource it will be much harder to utilize the potential of 《Wicked Wolf》, in order to make up for the relatively small 3/3 base size of the creature.

《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》

Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Nissa stands to take a hit, mostly because the biggest power of Nissa is when she is cast ahead of time and leads into powerful follow-ups. With the loss of 《Once Upon a Time》, these accelerated starts will be fewer, and the games where Nissa can come down on turn 3-4 and dominate will be far fewer.


These are my thoughts on the impact of the Standard Bannings this time around. Did I forget something that will be seriously impacted? Do you not believe these to be the correct bans? Do you think I am wrong in the impacts I said it would have on certain cards? Comment the article with what you think the impact will be.

Until next time.

Kasper (Twitter)

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Kasper Nielsen

Kasper Nielsen Kasper Nielsen is a Pro Player from Denmark and he was dreaming to succeed at Premier Event since he was a child. In 2017 Season, he made Top 8 at GP Utrecht 2017 as his first achievement. He then accomplished Top 4 at GP Lyon 2017 with his teammates and finally, he appeared Pro Tour Sunday in November 2018 with Red White Aggro. Dream came true but this is the beginning of his Pro Tour career. Read more articles by Kasper Nielsen