21, Apr, 21

Should Lutri, the Spellchaser be Unbanned in Commander?

Let's talk about the quickest card to be banned in Commander ever.
Article at a Glance

A year ago this week saw the quickest MTG card to ever see a ban in Commander — Lutri, the Spellchaser. It didn’t get to see the light of day in Commander, as the card was a pre-emptive ban before Ikoira: Lair of Behemoths dropped.

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Why Do People Want Lutri Unbanned?

Again, you can bring up ‘Rule Zero’ and play Lutri in Commander anyway, but that’s avoiding the issue altogether. Since Rule Zero varies on playgroup and could cause debate amongst unknown players, it’s more the principle here.

The issue lies with that Lutri is banned in all aspects of Commander. Banned as your general, banned as a Companion, and within the ninety-nine. It makes sense for Lutri to see a ban as a Companion since it is a “free” card for Izzet (or Prismari) EDH Decks to always have access to, but the Companion rules update makes that a little worse than before. Granted, the criteria for having Lutri is easy enough as Commander is already a singleton format.

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What we don’t understand is why Lutri is banned within the ninety-nine. It’s a singleton format so the chance of seeing the Elemental Otter is relatively low. You can run a bunch of instant and sorceries but it doesn’t break the format in half, and there are worse cards making waves in Commander at present anyway.

Commander is such a broad format and there are plenty of Izzet (or Prismari) Commanders to choose from. We seriously doubt players would default to Lutri when building a Commander in those colors. It would be fun to have access to it, but it wouldn’t reshape the format as there are so many things you can do.

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It feels as though the Commander Rules Committee (RC) are being a touch stubborn over the banning. With Strixhaven: School of Mages and Commander (2021 Edition) coming soon, the Commander landscape looks to change once again. At worst, they could unban Lutri and see how the card fares in the format and if it’s an issue — ban it again. There’s nothing wrong with trying things out and see if they stick. It happens in Modern with cards such as Stoneforge Mystic, Bloodbraid Elf, and Jace, the Mindsculptor seeing unbans to great success.

Either way, it’s been a long year since the banning of Lutri and a lot has changed in MTG during that time. Let’s give the Elemental Otter a chance, an actual chance.

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