#CMWhatTheTrend: Oko & Co.
Welcome to another installment of #CMWhatTheTrend, where we examine current trends on Cardmarket, check out why certain cards are popular, and speculate on future price developments. This week, the tale of Oko Standard has come to an end, but will the cards live happily ever after?
One Upon a Time …
… there was a Standard format that was quite out of balance. Oko, Thief of Crowns was by far the most successful card in Standard, featured in a nice 69% of Mythic Championship decks and surrounded by a large cast of Food synergies. Cards like Wicked Wolf, Gilded Goose, Trail of Crumbs, and to an extent Cauldron Familiar were all supported by the 3-mana planeswalker pumping out those artifact tokens. Coupled with Once Upon a Time, this made for a very consistent deck—too consistent, it seems, since the unholy trinity of Veil of Summer, Oko, Thief of Crowns, and Once Upon a Time is now banned in Standard.
The first thing we notice is a massive drop in price for Once Upon a Time. A drop from €15 to €8 shows how unprepared players were for this ban. Few players expected Wizards to actually take action against one of the strongest card-selection tools in modern Magic, but they did.
Now the sky isn't completely falling for this card. Being a free cantrip has proven to be absurdly powerful in the past—looking at you, Gitaxian Probe—and Once Upon a Time has already shown up in Modern, Pioneer, and even Legacy at times. The high supply driven by Standard players selling their copies now will go away after a while and that's when we'll see where the price stabilizes.
Veil of Summer is in a similar spot, only with a much higher supply due to being an uncommon from a set with a lower MSRP. The Standard demand was very similar to Once Upon a Time, since both were in every green deck, which makes for a much lower price-decrease for our uncommon. Any aspiring Modern or Legacy player still needs these. Nevertheless, this card is also down three Euros now, going from around €5 to €2.
What about Oko?
Well, there's not going to be a lot. Not a lot of Standard play, but also not a lot of price movement. The community was talking about how Oko should be banned right after Mythic Championship V and since then Wizards had communicated matters in a way that made it fairly obvious that they would change Standard in a major way after Mythic Championship VI.
When everyone knows a card is about to leave, they plan accordingly. As far as the market is concerned, the ban had already happened. Indeed it would have had a much bigger impact on the price, had Oko not been banned.
This is why you shouldn't wait for a cheaper opportunity if you're looking to get some copies of the 3-mana walker. They're not going to go a lot lower anytime soon. The opposite may be true: as soon as players realize that the price is not dropping, they will jump on it too. So secure yours sooner rather than later.
The Legacy of Wrenn
People didn't expect the banning of Wrenn and Six either; this is why the price graph looks so similar to the one for Once Upon a Time. It also shows why it's particularly problematic when Wizards overshoot the mark on cards that don't ever make it to Standard or Pioneer. The only demand for the planeswalker now comes from Modern players. This is somewhat of a first in Magic history and the existence of Pioneer is new too, so any prediction remains wildly speculative. That said, I would expect some (further) recovery but not a full recovery.
Wizards have once again sent us into the wild west of a format. This seems to be their strategy to keep the game fresh as I outlined before. Everything as well as nothing might be viable. Without Oko, you can once again reasonably slam The Great Henge, Circle of Loyalty, Feasting Troll King, and many other big threats onto the table. You no longer have to fear for them to be turned into Elks.
If you want to profit off of this new Standard, you'll have to figure out what the newe broken flavor of Magic will be. Fires of Invention? Knights? The Great Henge? I'd recommend not getting rid of your Standard cards too quickly, as we're on a wild ride—and there's no way to get off it.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.