Magic: The Gathering‘s latest standard set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, has yet to officially release, but that hasn’t stopped Wizards of the Coast from preemptively banning a certain card from the new expansion.
Companion, a new keyword being introduced with Ikoria that encourages players to build their strategy around a single creature spell, is the culprit this time around, and for good reason, too. Lutri, the Spellchaser, an Izzet-colored (red/blue) card, requires that those who wish to make use of its powerful Flash ability use only one copy of any given card (excluding basic lands) in a deck containing it. In standard, where singleton decks aren’t commonplace or traditionally on the same power level as those able to include multiple copies of the same card, the restriction makes sense.
For Commander and Brawl, on the other hand, where one-of decks are the norm, the drawback is essentially non-existent.
Confirming the ban in a blog post earlier today, the company said:
In the case of the companion card Lutri, the Spellchaser, the deck-building restriction is to play “singleton,” with no more than one copy of each nonland card in your deck. The idea is to reward a player for choosing a diversity of different cards rather than multiple copies of the most efficient card for the job. This makes a lot of sense in most formats, where it often dramatically alters the way a player would choose to build their deck in exchange for starting the game with an extra powerful card.
In Brawl, however, the Singleton deck-building restriction is already built into the format rules. This means that there is no trade-off against how one would normally build a deck. Any deck including both blue and red would benefit from including Lutri at no deck-building cost.
Interestingly, discussions over the legality of Lutri in both formats were held as early as the design process, Wizards reveals, though instead of changing the effect or replacing Lutri with another card entirely, it decided against such measures due to the “fun deck-building challenge and opportunity for self-expression” it presented in other formats.
Whether Lutri will prove to have a prominent place in Magic: The Gathering‘s Standard meta remains to be seen, of course, though if not, it certainly won’t be due to a lack of players attempting to make the deck work. Will you be one of them, though? Let us know in the usual place below!