By Cody Perez
September 4, 2019
After months of waiting since the initial tease of the upcoming fall expansion, Wizards of the Coast is finally ready to start revealing spoilers from the upcoming Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine card set. Throughout this month leading up to the release, there will be new card announcements and more.
The first of these began this week with the very first official card reveal in the form of the featured planeswalker that will be making the set what it is. That is none other than Throne of Eldraine Oko, Thief of Crowns. Oko will also be making his debut appearance in this expansion.
That’s right, Throne of Eldraine Oko, Thief of Crowns is the newest planeswalker on the scene, and he fits perfectly with the setting of the world of Eldraine. If you didn’t already know, the expansion this season is all about fairy tales and the Arthurian legends, so you’ll find that Oko represents them well.
Interestingly enough, Throne of Eldraine Oko, Thief of Crowns was teased before his official card reveal last week. A lot of his backstory was revealed. Oko is a shapeshifter Fey which means he is part of the fairies in the multiverse.
He was experimented on to try and suppress his prankster nature of using his abilities to mess with people. This only made him go more in-depth into who he is, though, making him resent people and not trust anyone. All of this fits perfectly into his character and the abilities that he has.
To kick things off, Throne of Eldraine Oko, Thief of Crowns is a legendary planeswalker card that costs three mana in total to summon. Two of the mana must be one green and one blue each while the third can be anything. As you’d expect, this means that Oko is a hybrid planeswalker.
After the initial announcement of him last week, we suspected that this was the case and accurately predicted that he would be a mix of green and blue. As a rather cheap hybrid planeswalker, he has three primary loyalty abilities that he can use while on the battlefield.
The first of these three abilities allow him to grant two loyalty points and what it does is create a food token. You may be wondering what a food token is or what it does and you will find that none of his other two abilities answers this question. However, other cards in the set have answered it for us as we’ll get to in a bit.
His second ability is a plus one loyalty point ability that targets an artifact or creature on the battlefield. Then that target loses all abilities and becomes a green elk creature with base stats of three/three. This is a reasonably useful ability for a couple of reasons.
The first has to do with the fact that it doesn’t specify who you will target on the field. This implies that you could target an enemy card or one of your own if you’d like. It depends on your current situation in the match how you would want to use this particular ability.
For instance, if you have an enemy monster that is far too strong for you to handle or the abilities are challenging you, you can remove the abilities and reduce the stats of them to only three/three. That would make them easier to take out than it was before.
Or, on the other hand, if you have a weak card at the start of a match that you don’t have much use or is going to die soon or they’ve already used up their ability, you can make them useful again by converting them to the green elk creature with stats of three/three.
The final ability of Throne of Eldraine Oko, Thief of Crowns will take some explaining and time in the metagame to see how useful it is. At the cost of five loyalty points, you will exchange control of one of your target artifacts or creatures. Then switch it with a target creature your opponent controls that have an attack of three or less.
This, of course, makes it clear that you switch an artifact like a food card or one of your creatures with your opponent’s, namely being the three/three elk creature you can create. But it does seem weird and not the most useful since you have to trade something for it.
This only benefits you in the long run if you happen to have an artifact or creature that is weaker than the elk creature you are going to get in return. Or if the card you are giving to the opponent is somehow able to weaken your enemy while on their side of the field.
Unfortunately, this ultimate loyalty ability for Throne of Eldraine Oko, Thief of Crowns doesn’t seem all that great. However, with the right card combo, it could make sense and be a useful addition. Thankfully, though, this card is still solid for its low mana cost and first two abilities.
Speaking of those first two abilities, one of them doesn’t make sense if you don’t know what a food token does. For Oko, a food token doesn’t help him out at all. It is meant for use in combination with other cards like the Gilded Goose who can use the food properly.
In the case of Gilded Goose, it is another card that was revealed in the first batch of spoilers for the upcoming expansion. It is a green bird creature card that costs one green mana to summon and has the stats of zero/two. It also has the flying ability attached to it.
When Gilded Goose enters the battlefield, it creates a food token. With that food token, you can use two mana, tap this card since it has no health to attack anyways, and sacrifice the food token artifact to gain three life. But the food token mechanic doesn’t end there.
You are also able to use two mana, one of which must be green, and tap the card to create a new food token once you have used the last one. And then last but not least, you can tap the card to sacrifice a food token and add one mana of any color to your field.
As you can see, now the food token that Oko can create becomes more useful. Used in tandem with a card like Gilded Goose, you can use that food token to gain three life or add a mana of any color to your field. This becomes extremely useful, especially in the early stages of a match.
Being able to double or even triple your mana in just a couple of turns early on or gain life in the latter stages of the match is unbelievably helpful. We can see decks popping up early on in the new meta for green and possibly blue decks that will revolve around Oko, the food tokens, and Gilded Goose.
We will have to wait and see, though, if there will be more cards like these that will add to the food mechanic and make a deck like this more appetizing. We won’t have to wait too much longer. The Throne of Eldraine expansion is set to release, Oko and all, September 26 digitally and October 4 in tabletop physical form.