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Make Your Modern Deck Better With This One Weird Trick

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Psst.

Hey you.

I know you've been playing your Modern deck for years, but how would you like to make it better with one neat little trick? One simple addition that will take you to the next level?

If you want to up your Modern game, here's the ticket!

Oko, Thief of Crowns

"But Jim... I'm not playing blue or green..."

Doesn't matter!

Oko slices, he dices, and he slots right in to any Modern deck you can dream up.

If you're already playing Blue and/or Green... great! If not it's not a problem; with a little ingenuity we can fit Oko anywhere!

"Anywhere?"

Yes, I said anywhere!

Join me as we take a tour of Oko in Modern from A to Z!

Affinity


While Mox Opal is currently doing scary things alongside Oko, Thief of Crowns and Urza, Lord High Artificer in various Simic Urza decks, don't forget about one of the original Mox Opal decks!

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Affinity doesn't have much space for creature removal, as any non-artifact you add to the deck makes the synergies of the deck harder to assemble. Luckily, Oko makes artifacts, can deal with annoying creatures, and is also a threat in and of itself! Affinity has always struggled with decks jam packed full of removal, which is where Oko shines as a sticky threat. You can even swap your spare Mox Opal for their creature as well!

With Springleaf Drum and Mox Opal, Affinity has perhaps the easiest time casting Oko on turn two of any deck in Modern, something that shouldn't be ignored.

Amulet Titan


Amulet Titan is one of the most confusing decks in Modern, with complicated and convoluted endgames involving tutoring up Tolaria West and oddball lands like Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion. Do you want to know what's not confusing however?

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Playing Oko, Thief of Crowns on turn two!

Sure Oko, Thief of Crowns doesn't really fit into the main plan of Amulet Titan, but it's not only a great Plan B but also deals with many of the creatures that can give Amulet Titan problems like Blighted Agent, Death's Shadow, and Wurmcoil Engine. And of course, against the highly interactive decks of the format Oko can provide pressure as early as turn two while you get your engine online.

Amulet Titan is already playing Simic Growth Chamber, why not Oko too?

Azorius Control


Remember Azorius Control? The somewhat plodding control deck of the Modern format, which usually won with Celestial Colonnade, Snapcaster Mage beats, or a planeswalker ultimate?

Looks like a great place for Oko to me!

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Oko does a lot for Azorius Control, a deck that is already happy to add cards like Arcum's Astrolabe (plays great with Teferi, Time Raveler and Oko himself) and Ice-Fang Coatl. Oko helps to keep tabs on the more powerful artifacts and creatures in the format, making them easy to sweep away with Supreme Verdict, while also giving you a way to turn the corner and actually kill your opponent. Azorius Control always struggled against resolved planeswalkers, but Oko gives you a never ending stream of attackers to pressure them with. Oko even gains life against decks like Burn!

And you even get to play Veil of Summer in the sideboard!

Burn


Burn hasn't changed much of the years. Four copies of Goblin Guide here, four copies of Lava Spike there; if anything Burn is known as the deck that is simplistic and reliable in what it does. But what if we added a new angle?

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Beating Oko, Thief of Crowns and his never ending parade of life-gaining food tokens can be tough, so what we if go a little bigger with some Okos of our own? Oko triggers prowess, provides unlimited threats, and makes your opponent feel foolish for casting Abrupt Decay on that turn one Goblin Guide. Your opponent wants to play Timely Reinforcements or Collective Brutality in a sideboarded game? Throw some elk at their face instead!

We even get to dip into Tarmogoyf and Snapcaster Mage for a little extra resilience, while still keeping the speed that Burn had to begin with. Hell, we wanted to play Fiery Islet anyway!

Death's Shadow


Death's Shadow has always been a powerful and interactive deck that was a little threat light. You needed to play a good amount of enablers and interaction because if you drew too many creatures you would die, but not drawing any creatures was also a problem.

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Enter Oko, Thief of Crowns!

Doubling down as both a creature and an interactive spell, Oko is cheap enough to be a resilient threat after you've torn your opponent's hand to pieces with Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek. Your opponent's 3/3 Elks won't be any match for your huge Death's Shadow and Tarmogoyf, and Oko even provides you an extra card type for Tarmogoyf and Delirium. While the food token's life gain may seem like a nombo in the deck, it certainly helps out against decks like Burn where you want to go low but not too low, giving you more precise control of your life total.

Oko checks all the boxes!

Devoted Druid Combo


The Devoted Druid plus Vizier of Remedies infinite mana combo has been a part of the Modern format since Vizier of Remedies was printed, often played in pesudo-combo creature shells. At first it was all about Collected Company, but now Finale of Devastation has taken center stage as a tutor and win condition in one. But what about a Plan B?

Oko, Thief of Crowns

When you kill your opponent on turn three life is great, but what about when they are able to kill your Devoted Druid and make you actually play Magic? Well you just hit them with the best planeswalker ever printed! Devoted Druid Combo is another deck that doesn't have much room for removal and is somewhat weak to opposing removal, making Oko again a perfect fit.

Eldrazi Tron


Okay, adding Oko to a deck-build entirely around colorless lands is a little tough. But considering how well Ancient Stirrings and Stubborn Denial already play with Eldrazi, as well as the stupid Once Upon a Time, we've got another nice turn two Oko deck!

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Lots of creatures, light on removal, soft to removal... sound familiar? We've got yet another deck where Oko is happy to jump right into the fray as early as turn two! If your opponent plays something bigger than your Eldrazi? Elk it! If your opponent wants to play Supreme Verdict? Elk them!

Oko is so popular he even makes friends with weird spaghetti aliens!

Goblins


Sure, Oko doesn't make Goblins, but who says Goblins can't make friends?

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Oko is a far better stand alone threat than something like Munitions Expert, while also being great against mass removal. Lifegain is actually quite good in Goblins, as Sling-Gang Lieutenant has shown us, giving us time for our card advantage to get online, while Oko also helps to invalidate the scariest creatures.

Plus, playing Blue and Green gives us access to awesome sideboard cards like Unified Will and Cindervines!

Humans


Playing a more normal mana base in Humans is something that Dylan Hand and I tried of a SCG Tour Open in early 2019, with the benefit being that you get to actually play real sideboard cards that aren't creatures. But there's a new reason to be able to cast non-creature spells in Modern:

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Deck that's light on removal and loves having a non-creature threat? Where have we seen this before? Oko, come on down! You're the next contestant on the "Oko in every deck in Modern" show! As a nice bonus, any of your creatures that you make into a 3/3 Elk will retain previous +1/+1 counters allowing you to size them up even more.

We even get to play real sideboard cards now like Rest in Peace and Stony Silence!

Infect


No mana base realignment is necessary in order to get Oko into Infect, a Simic deck already playing Noble Hierarch and ready to cast Oko on turn two.

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Because of how linear Infect is, you really want to overload on cheap removal to keep yourself from dying on turn two or three. Oko provides the perfect juke from that strategy, being amazing against removal and great at shutting down creatures that could clock you quickly.

2019 was very kind to Infect, as not only is there an entire playset of Oko, Thief of Crowns, but also playsets of Once Upon A Time and Veil of Summer. Viva 2019 Magic!

Living End


Ah yes Living End, a deck always looking for great three-mana spells because it can't play any spells that cost less than that. Good three-mana spells, good three-mana spells...

Oko, Thief of Crowns

How about Oko, Thief of Crowns!

Oko actually serves a very unique purpose in Living End. Living End is a deck that wants to stay alive long enough to cast a good Living End, but not actually kill their opponent's creatures because then they would just come back via Living End. Oko does a wonderful job of slowing down your opponent's creatures without actually removing them from the battlefield, setting up perfect Living Ends. Furthermore, Oko can provide pressure against your interactive opponents to help force them to act, while also gaining life to buy you time.

It's a perfect fit!

Tron


What, you think that Tron can't cast Oko?

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Maybe you're not getting it.

Oko.

In.

Everything.

Just turn the cards that Tron usually fears like Blighted Agent and Death's Shadow into Elk and move on your merry Tron way. Pressure interactive decks, gain life against Burn, you should have the idea by now. Unlike Standard and Pioneer, they're letting us play with this card in Modern, so we should probably be doing it!

Titan-Shift


Okay, so we can't cast Oko off of Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. I guess Primeval Titan and Oko can't be friends...

Oko, Thief of Crowns

Wrong!

We just need to rethink our Valakut deck into a Field of the Dead deck!

Sure, we lose the ability to just kill our opponent out of nowhere, but we gain the power and interaction of Oko, Thief of Crowns! Titan-Shift decks used to struggle with any creature it couldn't kill with Lightning Bolt or Anger of the Gods, but Oko struggles with nobody. Oko buys the time, while you set up your unstoppable Field of the Dead endgame.

With all of these 2019 Magic cards in it (Oko, Field of the Dead, Once Upon A Time, Arboreal Grazer, Veil of Summer, Castle Garenbrig) how can we miss?

Separating Satire From Reality

The fun part is that this article isn't a joke.

While some of these decks are just memes I (or others) threw together, many of them are actually decks that have done well either online or in paper tournaments. So we end on a fun little game for y'all to play at home:

Which of these decks are real and which are ones I just made up?

(And no cheating!)

Have fun and happy holidays!

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