Lutri, the Spellchaser
– Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths
May 22, 2020
Commander [EDH]: Banned
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
As I commented a while ago over on Instagram, Lutri is not starting off banned in my 50-card singleton format, but you can almost see some of the things they were worried about in Commander. That format sees a lot of surprisingly powerful instants and sorceries (funny how often a “social” format devolves into locks and gutrippers . . .), and a lot of powerful variants on the spellslinger archetype, in addition to eliminating the High Rhulain’s opportunity cost. He’s rather harder to use in Standard’s environment that rewards consistently hitting your haymakers, although I maintain that having diverse threats can sometimes help against control decks, not to mention foiling Sorcerous Spyglass’ targeting one card by name. Between that and some of the spells floating around in Pioneer and Modern, I think he can easily blindside people who aren’t prepared, and there’re lots of casual environments where he can play a role. And I seriously doubt I’ll ever have to ban him in 50-card singleton.
And now we return to the companion mechanic, with the card in question having multi-format impact in just about every constructed format. Lutri, the Spellchaser is effectively a Dualcaster Mage that can be cast from outside the game, alongside a companion condition that’s rather easy to meet in Commander (where 99% of decks will meet this without problem) and Vintage (a format whose power is defined heavily by the Restricted List). The body is pretty mediocre, though it can get there, and a free Twincast on a stick is really powerful. It’s definitely a card that’s not for every deck, though it can be useful even in the 60 as a creature (and note that, with how Lutri is worded, you can run one mainboard and one sideboard to take advantage of it twice). It’s far more distorting than it looks, and it might have been one of the most-warping cards to come out of Ikoria thus far.
Constructed: 4 (not every deck will want/need a free Twincast, but this is pretty nice if your deck does)
Hello everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day! Today we’re looking at the ultimate Izzet Companion that was so good it was banned before it even saw the light of day.
So the Companion Mechanic is basically too good, and Lutri is one of the too-goodiest, acting as an 8th card that can’t be interacted with and its companion ability basically being a moot point for all EDH decks. It’s got Flash, so you can basically turn any of your critical instants or sorceries into another copy as well as getting a 3/2 otter on top of it. Man that sounds pretty gosh-darn juicy!
Now unfortunately in a lot of constructed decks this ability is a little too chaotic for it to fire off like the more streamlined companion abilities and it was simply too good for Commander. So where does he fit in?
Well he does okay in draft, he’s an easy pick-up for blue red and even without the Companion aspect he can just be really good as a double removal spell with a creature on top. But that’s not why we’re here to talk about Lutri today. As you all know my favorite format is Cube, and that’s where this guy is going to shine like a crazy diamond.
This guy may have been lauded as too good in Commander but those bans have no effect on the personal curation of a Cube format! This guy is the Izzet All-Star I’ve been dreaming about, a spells matter draft deck that utilizes this guy to the extreme is so screamtastically juicy. In most Cube decks they’re singleton so he’s an auto-in as a Companion and the targets he can fire off on are just mad-insane.
Ancestral Recall to draw 6 for 1UUU? Yesplease.
Maybe Double Cryptic Command for late-game intense value? Sure why not.
Okay maybe you just need to double swords to plowshares and use Lutri as a blocker to blow out your opponent. I guess that’s okay too.
But how about the big-brain. How about.. Cast Time Spiral. Time Spiral on the stack, cast Lutri copying Time Spiral. First Time Spiral resolves, untap 6 lands, empty out some other instants like Seething Song, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual just cause or just unload some removal instants, or whatever. Float a ton of extra mana with heartbeat… then draw another 7 cards and untap again!
In a Powered Vintage Cube I don’t think Lutri is going to be TOO good, just really, really, really, REALLY good!
…However my cube runs 3 copies of Lightning Bolt because Lightning Strike and Searing Spear suck and I have the Judge Promo, MPR Promo, and MagicFest Promo foil so booyah!
Constructed 2/5 – While it’s companion is too strong for Commander, the restriction might not okay here.
Limited 4/5 – He’s pretty good on his own and the companion here is a bonus, pretty strong pick being able to double up removal though.
Cube 5/5 – This guy is super high pick, and easily first pickable after the more staple picks like Sol Ring and Lotus. It’s Hybird Mana means it’s also very flexible.
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