If the standard we are aiming for is interesting creature that could do powerful things and is not completely unplayable then Omnath certainly hits the mark. His effect can be very good, even if it as I suspect frequently isn’t, the effect when combined with library is a great value engine. I agree with that idea so much I tried to build something with him. I can not find a shell that is comp viable and works for Omnath and I strongly suspect none exists but it certainly could be a pice of a fun rouge deck and maybe even steal some wins. And in the end it is always possible that some clever mind see how to do what I cannot and makes this guy viable.
Yeah, to be clear, I don't think cards have to be the next reckoning in Vintage.
I have a very low threshold to play cards I find interesting and this card certainly meets that criteria. I just tried to share a bit of why I thought it was interesting and how I intended to explore it.
This card seems like it will get banned in Standard. Just insane to have 9 mana if you played it on turn 4 or have it come down for free on that turn 5.
I agree the Sylvan Library interaction is great. The interaction with Wrenn and Six is alone is also pretty crazy. Also just blocking for any of your planeswalkers is great (4/4 > 3/3 for Oko). Generating an absurd amount of life + mana is also great. This card does so many great things.
The mana cost isn't all that prohibitive in the right deck. Deathrite + an on-color mox (4/5 moxes are on-color for this) lets you play it on turn 2. On turn 3 with a fetch land you now have 9 mana. That lets you power out pretty much anything you can think of (okay not Griselbrand), and even drop multiple planeswalkers in one turn.
you should just be playing something like tezzeret and winning on the spot, not durdling and gaining life with a 4/4. This is vintage, where the game should be close to wrapped up with 5 permanent sources of mana.
Wow, I just saw this and I feel personally attacked. Brian Kelly and I will durdle as much as we want, thank you very much.
More seriously, I established the scope of the comparison along the lines of value and mana generation, not vintage playability. The purpose of the comparison was to help people conceptualize why the card is seeing so much play in formats like Pioneer and Modern. Pointing out things outside of the scope does not invalidate the comparison and does not really add much. I'm pretty sure most people are able to process that Omnath does not have haste, is a 3/2, is card #50 in Shards of Alara, and had a different artist. It is not incredibly useful to compare these metrics as Bloodbraid Elf sits in play as a 3/2 while Omnath continues to generate life, mana, and potential damage as the game progresses, giving each a different functional role. Also, I think both Dominic Domingo and Chris Rahn did a great job on the artwork for each of the cards despite different styles.