Banned On The Run.
See, that’s a surprising amount of subtlety for the strip, the idea that their dialogue can be read relating to multiple things.
Most importantly, I wrote it to relate to two elements of the Magic: The Gathering Sealed Draft Tournament at school. The first reference is to my co teacher’s deck, since he drafted the guy in Panel One, Oko. Oko is simply one of the best cards in the set, probably the game. Once we all knew that he was playing an Oko driven deck, we all took games with him way, way more seriously. As a result, he traded games way worse than usual, because everyone played substantially better against him. No mistakes, as it were, no one missed anything.
The second layer of meaning with respect to the tournament is a player. Nice guy, one of the most active players in the club…but he has missed a ton of his games in the seating round. As a result, we are going to have to start counting them as losses, so that we can start the Elimination Tree. Arguably we will let him have the week, so that we can start the bracket as “March MODOK Madness!” Still, consequences are looming, and that will certainly be stressful and confusing to him, at least for a minute. He’s just that kind of person.
The third level is about Oko himself. Oko at this point is banned in almost every format of play for Magic, which is amazing to me. You can’t play him except in Vintage, Legacy, and Commander. The card is just so fundamentally “busted” that it had to be banned over and over again. Now that Sealed Eldraine isn’t really a thing…he’s not even really that playable at all. Vintage and Legacy decks are just so expensive to begin with, and your Commander play group will just probably not allow Oko to be played on the table.
As a character in the game, Oko was pretty cool. A Loki like trickster planeswalker, with heavy duty magical powers…he brought a lot to the narrative. Ironically, given all of the bans, he wasn’t exiled to a prison realm or killed off, because unlike some of the massive planar threats the game has had lately, he really just caused major political strife for one world, that is off the beaten path anyway.
That’s kind of what Oko is talking to Cap about. It seems excessive to him that he’s going to be stuck in Eldraine (Eldraine “sealed” format takes on a new meaning there), or just beaten up badly by Cap with her axe-hammer. Granted, she has a habit of imprisoning people on the Moon, tossing things into the Sun, and other cosmic scale excess, so he might not have his mind on the right sense of scale here. The thing is, even Cap is bummed about it, and you can see that.
Sure…Oko decks were annoying, but you could build around them. You could play around them. Only the preponderance of net decking scrubs that swamped the entire game with the same deck, because of its clear power level, was the problem.
Obviously, this was pretty much a post about my lunchtime and afterschool Magic club. Honestly, that has been the best part of school this week, so I felt like sketching and posting about pretty much nothing. I started with Panel One, just trying to draw a more “animated style” Oko with a floral pattern of some sort, like Cap’s portrait earlier in the week. It seemed like there could be some story to it, so we got the two panel piece here.
End of the week, True Believers.