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Thread: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

  1. #1
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    Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    If you’ve ever wanted to play more Delver? I’m not talking about more games of Delver, but more. In this time of companions Lutri, the Spellchaser might be what you’re looking for:
    [Singletons]
    Delver
    Elvish Reclaimer
    Gilded Goose
    Noble Hierarch
    Hexdrinker
    Grim Lavamancer
    Collector Ouphe
    Scavenging Ooze
    Tarmogoyf
    Brazen Borrower
    Dreadhorde Arcanist
    TNN
    Uro
    Klothys, God of Destiny [14 dudes]

    Oko [1 PW]

    Brainstorm
    Ponder
    Preordain
    Portent
    Peek
    Opt
    Ancestral Visions
    Once Upon a Time [8 cantrip]
    FoW
    FoN
    FoV
    Daze
    Spell Pierce
    Spell Snare
    Stifle
    Veil of Summer [8 counters]
    Lightning Bolt
    Rift Bolt [or Chain]
    Izzet Charm
    Abrade
    Magmatic Sinkhole
    Punishing Fire [6 removals]
    Sylvan Library
    Crashing Footfalls
    Crop Rot
    GSZ [4 utilities]

    Grove of the Burnwillows x1
    Karakas x1
    Misty Rainforest x2
    Scalding Tarn x2
    Wooded Foothills x4
    Trop x3
    Volc x3
    Wasteland x3 [19 land]

    Sideboard:
    Lutri, the Spellchaser
    REB
    Pyroblast
    Active Volcano
    Flusterstorm
    Mindbreak Trap
    Bojuka Bog
    Surgical
    Tormod’s Crypt
    Cindervines
    Soul-Guide Lantern
    Compost
    Questing Beast
    Sulfur Elemental
    Kavu Predator (don’t even worry about it, he combos with Grove)

    So the null hypothesis is that this deck won’t be good. If anyone is brave enough to try and reject the null hypothesis remember not to cut Kavu Predator b/c he increases the power of the experiment, and that’s the best way to achieve statistical significance. Also don’t cut Compost b/c this companion is probably trash.

    On a more serious note the Delver skeleton is pretty well preserved in terms of creature and spell type totals. There are probably some better cantrips and burn spells to upgrade to. Wouldn’t touch the P-Fire/Grove/Kavu stuff though since Lurrus has lifelink and that’s a thing right now. The Mindbreak could be some other counterspell and maybe there’s yard hate optimizations to be had. Some other directions for the deck could include things like Carpet of Flowers, Berserk (doubles as removal), perhaps actual Regrowth (since companion is a Fork) and/or another utility land.

    If people are getting away with 80 card decks, who knows...maybe legacy singleton can be a thing. As much of a meme as the list is, the maindeck and SB card selections and structure are intended to be as competitive as possible (so let’s not advocate for a Dryad Arbor even though you see a GSZ).
    Last edited by Fox; 04-21-2020 at 10:45 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    Lutri seems good with suspend spells like Rift Bolt and Ancestral Vision because you will have all your mana untapped when you cast them.

    I don't know if a true tempo deck is possible with only 1 FoW and 1 Daze. If I was going to make a Delver-ish version of this it would probably be way more aggro / burn-heavy (maybe even UR only if there are enough spells) but the lack of good aggro 1 drops is a big problem. (Lutri also good with 0 mana spells e.g. Fireblast).

    The other option is to play a more controlling deck with this companion (grixis probably) because having to split your answers between like fatal push / tyrant scorn / drown in the loch / dismember doesn't seem as much of a cost as having to split your threats between e.g. Delver / Swiftspear / Goblin Guide / Jackal Pup etc, and a gameplan that naturally involves you reaching higher amount of resources allows you to realistically copy 2-3 cmc spells

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    The issue with Grixis is that that design space is already closed. There’s no reason to ever experiment with Lutri there when you could be on Lurrus. Without ever testing you kinda just know Grixis Lurrus is probably going to have around 25% higher winrate. It’s a bad starting place if you’re trying to see if this can be competitive.

    Afaik RUG isn’t starting any games with companions, so we know that there will be less catchup work. I do like the suggestion of Ancestral Visions over Clairvoyance, and Crashing Footfalls is probably a reasonable card as well. Rift Bolt definitely replaces Tarfire. I don’t think Fireblast is a card which a singleton deck can afford to start with in hand. I just don’t see Fireblast ever finding a window where casting it will aid the gameplan before ~turn 6 or higher.

    Right now lifegain is everywhere, so I don’t think there’s much chance for a UR strategy that’s trying to play aggro with very much underpowered creatures b/c it got Lutri as companion. This is one of those points where you just take UR Delver and put 1-2x Lutri in the maindeck [no companion] and find out if 1-2x Fireblast is worth playing again. A 3/2 flash that pitches to FoW is a pretty reasonable card even when it’s not copying FoW/FoN or Pyroblast, so I don’t think you give up the 4x construction. There’s also the dies to Goyf test, and I would guess that UR-only singleton would have pretty much the worst starting point possible.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    They just printed a 2-mana Delver and a black companion to recur all 8 Delvers. How many more Delvers do you need?

    The singletons involve running so many marginal cards that the free +1-2 card advantage generated by having a companion is negated by having lower card quality in the deck and 3 fewer Ancestral Recalls than usual. With 1 FoW you're scooping to the combo decks that are usually good matchups, and with Scalding Tarn + 1xBrainstorm you're losing the long game against every other blue deck that will outdraw you.

    Having "8 counters" and "8 cantrips" doesn't make up for it. Every time you have a tier 2 counter instead of FoW on turn 0, you just lost a game to TES or BR Reanimator or Chalice @ 1 or Vial. Every time you have Opt instead of Brainstorm, a fair blue deck just outdrew you (and you depend on Lutri just to make up that difference). I just don't see how the value of Lutri outweights that drawback.

    If you do want Lutri, you could play it in the maindeck without the singleton restriction?

    Edit: Nevermind, they nerfed the combo in advance.

    Lutri does seem good with Suspend spells like Crashing Footfalls and Ancestral Vision, which you could conceivably copy for insane value without straining mana.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    This is fun. As for going the UR Tempo route, this is what I came up with. Not much cute Otter stuff here; just trying to emulate Delver plus that free & guaranteed 3-drop. Honestly, I think the companion thing is messed up enough that this might be better than it looks. But I agree that the lack of Forces and Daze looks to be main liability.

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/2943814#paper

    What did I miss?

    (shit, are they brainwashing me into Commander at last?)


    EDIT: Even though we're short on Arcanists, we want extra cantrips to find our better spells. Mission Briefing should probably be in there somewhere.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    @FTW I don’t think any Vial deck would ever want to face this over RUG Delver. Too many convenient artifact/enchant killers, and doubling up a FoV is only ever 3 mana away [should you draw FoV]. I think the only maindeck in legacy more hostile to artifacts would be Goblins.

    While it’s true this deck is down 3 Brainstorm, it draws far more polarizing effects than RUG Delver could ever hope to. When it comes to RUG Delver, they’re dumping everything into a low-to-the-ground strategy and they don’t have a recovery mechanism; they need Brainstorm to keep coming back to that plan as consistently as possible. The singleton restriction puts this deck between RUG Delver [including ability to pressure life totals] and Maverick [dudes with effects] in terms of playstyle and intended length of game. So yes, RUG Delver has better cantrips, but this deck is a good deal more interested in finding lands rather than needing to flush away early game pieces [without mid-lategame effect].

    I think the counterspells are certainly good enough for combo, particulary since aggressive combo isn’t necessarily dodging FoV. They’re generally playing against 3x turn 0 counterspells and a far more horrifyingly unpredictable suite of 1 mana interaction. If you’re really concerned about the GY stuff on turn 0 then you can add Noxious Revival, which happens to make it even harder for people to get rid of Lutri (general utility vs any strategy makes it fine for maindeck play). Put simply, this deck is more likely to survive early combo than Maverick, Aluren/Food Chain, etc...; it’s likely comparable to 4c Oko in terms of making it to the midgame. Once you get into turns with mana you’ve got 4 ways to get Karakas (itself, Crop Rot, Reclaimer, GSZ for Reclaimer) and all kinds of obnoxious stuff like Ouphe, Scooze, Cindervines.

    It’s singleton, so ya it’s probably worse than playing cantrip cartel...but it’s +1 card to hand size, and that’s the big question: does this mechanic make a flaming pile of nonsense perform on a comparable level to RUG Delver’s win%?

    @Tobitzki I think you have to be careful with prowess threats and cantrips that aren’t designed to chain together. This [prowess + cantrips] is a combo towards counting to 20, and there’s nothing above it that can recover from those early slip-ups. Once the deck slips up early you’re looking at catastrophically mistimed cards like Fireblast; mistimed b/c the deck, while it looks fair, is highly disruptable A then B then C pseudo-combo.

    In my list, maybe it gets off to a good start and has tools to snowball quicker by taking the red cards upstairs. When that doesn’t happen there’s this midgame plan for some interaction and prison’y speedbumps into sheer ridiculousness with Lutri/Ancestral/Footfalls/free spells/Karakas, actually escaping Uro (better colored mana than RUG Delver, and 2x mana dudes), hanging in there with life gain on 3 cards, and maybe just derping people out with elks or a Goyf. In singleton you really want to be careful about dedicating yourself to a single plan, it’s all about being a feather on the wind.

  7. #7

    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    It’s singleton, so ya it’s probably worse than playing cantrip cartel...but it’s +1 card to hand size, and that’s the big question: does this mechanic make a flaming pile of nonsense perform on a comparable level to RUG Delver’s win%?
    The fact that it is singleton (meaning very different games every round I would think) would make this very difficult to work out. But...it looks very fun, I can see myself running it in one tues.
    Quote Originally Posted by Laser Brains View Post
    With the printing of Gigantosaurus, Thrashing Brontodon and Steel Leaf Champion the deck has evolved from good to very competitive. Anyway, give it a few play tests if you are interested and let me know what you think.

    Winter Maze
    Quote Originally Posted by CptHaddock View Post
    With veteran explorer I know that I 100% will not enjoy a 30 minute grindfest against someone who can barely afford dual lands and believes that their deck can cast a 10 mana 8/8.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    How does the UR tempo list test?

    I think it's missing too many tempo pieces to present the same kind of clock, and Lutri doesn't help add tempo. What it does do is add avenues for mid-game card advantage. RUG Waterfalls (midrange Cascade) is a better fit for this than RUG Delver. You can't match their tempo gameplan of pressure and consistency. You can run diverse singleton answers and grind out lategame card advantage, but that is not a tempo strategy and so the card choices shouldn't be tempo cards. Delver specializes in being a 50-50 deck, having a decent matchup against everything. It does that through consistency and efficiency. A singleton deck can't match that and shouldn't try to. But it could do some things better than Delver, being 75% against some decks and 25% against others. You can't match consistency so just go for payoff.

    Ancestral Vision and Bedlam Reveler seem good in this sort of gameplan. You can outdraw other decks, especially using a free companion to copy some low-cc draw spell.

    As Foretold (which is also good in RUG midrange with Visions+Footfalls) allows you to cast spells for free, which you can then copy with Lutri. Effects that bounce Lutri like Curfew might be abuseable (at worst it's a 1cc answer to Marit Lage and Emrakul).


    It’s singleton, so ya it’s probably worse than playing cantrip cartel...but it’s +1 card to hand size, and that’s the big question: does this mechanic make a flaming pile of nonsense perform on a comparable level to RUG Delver’s win%?
    UR Delver can already get +1 card to hand size splashing black for Lurrus. And already has done so with good results. So just getting some free companion isn't enough edge to justify the flaming pile. Can Lutri's ability be abused to generate real value?

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    @FTW the list has 4 ways to find a Karakas which should make this among the most bounceable companions out there (with a reason to bounce). Outside of Karakas, having spells that rescue your creatures are generally a poor investment; you should assume that the creature died on the stack or on arrival, so the effect you want has to get it back from the yard (Noxious/Regrowth, Kcomm, and others. These need to either bring Lutri back in hand or to the field at instant speed).

    As Foretold in non-singleton exists more on the tier 2.5 side of things, where it’s basically the same thing as Splinter Twin with a little more win%. They’re in the family of Volc/Tomb, and they’re both a worse [less-winning] way to play than mana than SnT. Twin and AF pilots often drop cantrip cartel and rely on Chalice cheese and SB Moon, to dubious effect. When you have a silly battlecruiser deck you’ll generally need 4x copies of key pieces, and these key pieces most often fail to get better with multiple drawn/deployed. AF in a singleton deck that can cast all its spells (and only has Footfalls/Ancestral 1-ofs) isn’t going to unlock much; you’ll be marginally better vs Choke but 3x more expensive than trying to yolo with the Carpet gambit.

    If ever you had AF -> Ancestral on the stack + Lutri to copy, your opponent lost a few turns ago. All you need is few worthwhile effects for Lutri while you’re going about your business not drawing dead cards like AF. The list of effects right now are:
    -quadruple disenchant
    -double FoW/FoN (or maybe double Veil) in response to hostile countermagic
    -double dink 1 or 2 PWs for 10 (Sinkhole)
    -draw 6
    -deploy 16 trample
    -turbomill 5 cards to yard for Uro by copying Izzet Charm if you have nothing better to do.
    -double REB effects in postboard games

    ^these combos are always in hand b/c of companion mechanic, so all you need is the plan to get to the mana. They are already more than enough to win games of legacy; I don’t think you really need to add additional winmore at this point. The Bedlam Reveler might seem fine, but he’s a real clunker when you have better cards (Uro, Dreadhorde, Sinkhole) with lower to the ground ideas for gaining yard value.

    Edit: one more thing on the Ancestral Visions is that there’s not a sane opponent who sees Lutri in your companion zone, three untapped mana, and an Ancestral getting placed on the stack and says “Forcing the Ancestral is a good idea.” This just browbeats the opponent into letting it resolve, drawing you card for the turn, and still having 3 untapped mana. You’re only casting Lutri there to push a copy of Ancestral over their countermagic. Proactively casting Lutri to copy Ancestral without provocation, i.e. opponent countermagic, is a bad play; when Ancestral resolves [by itself] you’re ahead, so keep getting ahead in a responsible way.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    @Fox. I understand that you want to brew a different deck; my first instinct was just to emulate a consistent & proven gameplan as closely as possible to balance out the variance that comes with singleton, instead of aiming for specific high-ceiling synergies of a strategy that's arguably already jank (i.e. Waterfalls; really no offense, I mean we're brewing with an Otter here...).

    But my list is actually less Prowess or quasi-combo than you think and its midgame should be its strongest suit, as @FTW points out (Peezy, Arcanist, TNN, Brazen B, Bedlam). In the 1-drop department you just have to take what's there after Delver, so I agree that playing real tempo is the iffiest part. This is also what I like most about RUG idea: the redundancy of mana dorks. Other than that, Fireblast could be Seal of Fire. Rift Bolt ought to be in there. JVP could be another value 2-drop..

    Incidentally I just realized that I built a 7-pt Australian Highlander Deck while being stuck in an OZ city with no Legacy scene, sooo...

  11. #11
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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    A card like Lutri seems to reward cards like Snapcaster Mage, Cunning Wish, Gifts Ungiven, and Intuition. If you're looking for value, but also consistency, those cards allow you to have that kind of game plan. You can build redundancy without having to rely on bad cards like Peek, Tarfire, and Opt. I know those cards aren't mana efficient, but once you give up having 4x Brainstorm/Daze/Force of Will then efficiency isn't really your goal.

    Some cards to consider:

    Snapcaster Mage
    Eternal Witness
    Merchant Scroll
    Gamble
    Gifts Ungiven
    Intuition
    Cunning Wish
    Burning Wish
    Living Wish


    Just some food for thought.
    Brainstorm Realist

    I close my eyes and sink within myself, relive the gift of precious memories, in need of a fix called innocence. - Chuck Shuldiner

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    @Mr. Safety Snapcaster is probably fine, but it‘s also a 3cmc card that will have a harder time taking over a game than Uro/Oko/Klothys; the card you‘d be looking at replacing is TNN I think. E-Wit has that same 3cmc problem, and given that Lutri copies spells, I think ability to Fork a Noxious/Regrowth probably perform better (these spells are also better at getting from 2 to 3 mana). Merchant Scroll doesn‘t have a large pool of targets; you can tap down on your turn 2 to tutor a FoN/FoW, but you‘re also not helping a card like Dreadhorde.

    I don‘t really get what the deck gains by casting Gamble. I don‘t think casting 4cmc spells [Gifts] is where you want to be; if this deck had no problems getting to 4 mana, I‘d rather be casting a PW. All of the Wishes and Intuition are heavy on the mana, low on the payoff. They are also exceptionally hard to Fork with Lutri.

    The thing about bad cantrips is that you can make up for their shortcomings by giving them a bigger target. The biggest target is ofc the 19 lands, and you complement this with cards that operate on lower mana demands. So your bad cantrips [hopefully] get your lands set up, so the next step is finding something to do with the mana now that you have it. You‘re looking to complement all the low mana cards and that‘s where you‘ve got:
    -lifegain to extend the game
    -lock pieces/yard hate
    -mana dudes to help escape Uro (with bad cantrips in yard for escape or Dreadhorde or Sinkhole)
    -Oko the 1-card combo (can randomly use Goose‘s food, your elks maybe get to attack as 4/4 with exalted)
    -4 ways to grab Karakas for Lutri
    -a timing window favorable to early suspend into mana for Lutri (b/c the plan was getting to 3 mana by the time it gets off suspend)

    ^the last point here is pretty important, as cards like Intuition/Wishes/Merchant Scroll fail to set up the mana on time, hurt your early creatures, and then they distract/steal mana once you‘re in the Lutri phase of the game. A good way to look at this is putting your 1-2cmc dudes in your left hand and putting Oko/Uro/Lutri/Klothys is your right hand, drop Intuition/Wishes/Merchant Scroll type cards on the table between your hands - now ask yourself if the cards on the table bring your hands together or apart.


    Edit: updated original list. -1 Clairvoyance, -1 Cindervines, +1 Footfalls, +1 Ancestral. In SB -1 Return to Nature, +1 Cindervines.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobitzki View Post
    instead of aiming for specific high-ceiling synergies of a strategy that's arguably already jank (i.e. Waterfalls; really no offense, I mean we're brewing with an Otter here...).
    Yes Waterfalls is maybe a tier 2.5 deck, but what tier is Otter supposed to be?

    Can Otter do anything other than high-ceiling strategies? That's what its ability is designed for. There's nothing tempo about Twincast or a 3-mana 3/2. A tempo deck can't sit around with 3-mana up all the time to threaten Lutri as a way to force through spells. Lutri will be very easy to play around if you have to tap out often, like a tempo deck usually does (built to optimize mana efficiency). To get consistent value from Lutri you need more lands, which is more midrange than tempo.

    If you try to match RUG Delver at its own plan you'll just end up with a strictly worse version of Delver instead of a legitimate unique strategy. A 3/2 vanilla creature does not justify singletons when Lurrus exists. The deck has to abuse the Lutri ability enough to justify singletons. Karakas is a good engine.

    The point of As Foretold was not just to cast 0cc spells but to save mana overall. It's hard to leave 3 mana open all the time to threaten Lutri. AF lets you cast regular spells for 0 mana and leave mana up for Lutri. That was the point, but it may still be too weak and high variance.

    Curfew is better than most rescue spells in that it hits both players for 1 cmc instant, doesn't target (i.e. less vulnerable to tricks), can be used to respond to removal on Lutri, and answers stuff like Marit Lage and Emrakul even if you have no creatures. It has synergy with other creatures like Snapcaster and Coatl if Lutri is gone. Karakas is still better overall, but in a singleton deck you're forced to consider some low tier cards. It may not be good enough to make the cut, just an option.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    @FTW There‘s nothing anti-tempo about a card that is always in your hand without ever taking space or acting as a dead draw. The question is whether or not this translates to something competitive given the hilarious restriction. Lurrus is clearly a better card, which is why we‘ll never even consider Lutri in a deck that can make B/W mana, as they can play 4-ofs. The colors for doing something different exist [this justifies the experiment], and we can infer [without testing] that Lutri in any maindeck is probably not good enough. The direct comparison to Shardless Agent you‘re pointing out with RUG cascade is on target, but only for that maindeck Lutri.

    The issue with RUG cascade is the mismatch of high costs & low countermagic, translating to slow starts and dying before you get to play the game. While cascade can run towards FoN and away from BBE (probably for the mix of Uro, Oko, and Dreadhorde) to try and hold on vs combo, it kind of undermines the point of their deck and they‘re still quite prone to dying to 1-2 Wastelands. On top of all this tension you add that their deck can‘t really do anything to directly challenge a 3cmc PW (Narset/Teferi/Oko) which all happen to dismantle their strategy. So this is how RUG cascade fails in legacy [timing problems], and those issues are what I want to see if Lutri can fix - can we capture the essence of RUG cascade‘s lulzy blowouts without registering a structurally conflicted, bad deck. Lutri obviously isn‘t going to add topdeck consistency, but perhaps you can cut through the variance with every card working towards a clear goal in their own way (as opposed to only being meaningful in an A plus B fashion).

    As Foretold is a dead draw, always has been, always will be. That said, you can engage in [non-singleton] silliness an try to derp people out with Tomb/Chalice and huzzah them with janky effects whose non-jank forms are banned (actual Ancestral, Balance). Sidestepping the variance of no cantrips, the issue is that the followup of PWs classically used by Twin/AF all fail the Oko test (JTMS and Chandra)...and failing in series to Oko is that Chalice cheese.

    AF and cards like Curfew don‘t really pressure opponents and have assumptions that you‘re already winning (like AF resolving and having things to freecast, or untapping with Lutri in play or having at least the 4th mana to keep him safe). I generally assess cards based on a hypothetical where things went wrong, so I can‘t be wasting time topdecking anti-combos. So like with Curfew, we‘ll assume the oppo isn‘t trying to kill your creature; do you want to reset your Delver, do you ever want to cast this with just Dreadhorde in play, etc... I‘m much more interested in a card Lutri can Fork for CA, which also gets him back from the grave (Regrowth-types). Let‘s continue the things going poorly motif, do you want to be at 2 mana and have Curfew or would you rather Regrowth a Fetch? I‘m fine with subpar cards, but they need to harmonize with as many situations as possible. That‘s another reason why I don‘t like the UR using stuff like Swiftspear and Stormchaser; they are only good in a circumstance where everything is going to plan.

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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    @FTW There‘s nothing anti-tempo about a card that is always in your hand without ever taking space or acting as a dead draw.
    The anti-tempo doesn't come from the companion. It comes from the singleton restriction. You lose tempo the second you don't have as many tier 1 Turn 1 threats (1x Delver), the second you lose the power of 4x Daze to punish greed and reward you for your tempo, and the second you don't have 4x Brainstorm to fix bad hands and shuffle back extra lands to efficiently draw you into more gas. If you can't consistently deploy efficient clocks and police their tempo and minimize your own variance, you can't play a tempo game.

    You lose tempo by running Opt instead of Brainstorm, and by having stuff like T1 Lavamancer instead of T1 Delvers.

    The reference point isn't a vacuum or a singleton deck with no companion. It's a deck with 4-ofs. That's what you could have if you didn't have Lutri.

    The question should always be "does Lutri's value justify the cost?" The cost isn't just 3 mana for an 8th card in hand, it's also the deckbuilding restriction.

    Lutri costs tempo by playing singleton. What does Lutri give you in return? It doesn't replace the tempo it cost. It gives you card advantage: a free creature and a copied spell.

    A Xerox tempo list already steals extra card advantage from being able to run off only 2-3 lands and use cantrips to convert excess lands into spells. That already translates to an extra card or two per game, which you lose in a mana-hungrier singleton list with worse filtering. The free card in Companion zone isn't a free +1 card advantage in a vacuum, because you're starting at a deficit. Lutri just tries to make up the card deficit, with variance. If it fails you're probably behind on cards relative to a Xerox deck. If it succeeds, then you could end up ahead in cards.

    Basically, Lutri represents a higher-variance 3cc gambit to steal mid-game card advantage. That's not a tempo thing, that's a midrange thing.

    There's nothing pro-tempo about needing 3 lands in play and having to hold 3 mana open while resolving other spells.


    The current RUG cascade 4x decklist is irrelevant because we cannot play it with Lutri. I'm talking about the RUG cascade philosophy, which is to aim for 3-4 lands in play and midrange card advantage instead of 2-3 lands in play with 1cc threats and mana denial. Don't play Wasteland and Fireblast, play Ancestral Vision and Footfalls and planeswalkers and spells that are blowouts if copied. There is no tension in running all the 8 counters you have next to a 1x Shardless Agent in a singleton deck. The probability of flipping a counter will be low due to singletons.

  16. #16
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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    Just a little detour on the Lurrus stuff going on in legacy right now...No one is becoming a better fair player playing with or against Lurrus - c’mon guys, Daze in a Karakas/Badlands deck... There‘s nothing skill-testing about one person not being able to do anything b/c it‘ll die to a spell Dreadhorde recurs or while Lurrus is left unchecked on the back of earlier threats discarding removal and this rather unstoppable value parade they can threaten upon reaching 3 mana vs any opponent who slips up with a conventional strategy.

    You play a deck like this and it‘s not just the no-skill blowout mirrors, but you‘re also probably hoping to dodge the Fox & Kraken cannons. So that‘s life with [non-LED] Lurrus, and it‘s probably not long for the format ~ you‘re specializing in an archetype that‘s going to fall off a cliff. So let‘s tally up what Lutri singleton has in store for Lurrus without even trying [i.e. not playing worthless cards outside that single m/u]:
    -Waste Lurrus off the 1-2x Karakas they have to topdeck and can‘t recur.
    -Waste them off of B/W sources to condemn Lurrus to life as a household pet
    -Tutor Karakas 4 ways to push Lurrus off
    -Give your opponent Karakas targets they don’t want (Uro/Lutri) b/c of value reprisal
    -Ouphe the Baubles, Scooze or Klothys the yard, tutor either with GSZ
    -Dome Lurrus with 6 burn spells, one of which is P-Fire which has a fun little interaction against lifelinkers
    -Deploy dudes that Lurrus’ removal isn’t that good against (4+ toughness, protection from instants, etc...)
    -Overrun Lurrus with a 1-card combo (Uro/Oko/Klothys)
    -Dome Lurrus with Lavamancer

    ^This isn‘t even trying to intentionally troll Lurrus, it‘s just what Lutri wants to be doing anyway either for goldfishing purposes or ticking off the legacy effects a maindeck needs checklists. Come to the Fox and Kraken cannons, and you‘re going to notice even more relevant effects at higher densities in a Lutri pile than fair Lurrus hoping 5-6 Force effects will get them there.

    You‘ve got somewhere around 20ish (just grossly estimating) cards that do what you want against a new hot deck like fair Lurrus; pretty good consistency for a singleton deck. Clunkers like AF and Curfew don‘t bring enough to the table, they just sign you up to lose harder the moment you got behind. Consistency isn‘t just topdecking with better odds (multiple copies + cantrips), but yes, that is by far the easiest way to get it. In the above case of anti-Lurrus effects, does it really matter what the name of the card is when ~one in three draws does what you‘re looking for? If you think it still matters, remember that people have to advertise their companion before you make a mull decision in game 1 and Lutri is packing the lulz.

  17. #17
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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    Agreeing with a lot here. High-level discourse, I appreciate it. As for the opportunity cost of starting with an untouchable free extra card in hand, yes: it's about the variance of singleton. The closest reference point ought to be the 80-card Yurion piles, which reduce their chance of seeing Brainstorm and other cornerstone cards, and folks are quickly coming around to the fact that it is indeed worth sacrificing those little percentage points of consistency for a card that they wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole as a non-companion (something we couldn't necessarily say about Lurrus, thanks of the power of the Bauble engine alone.)

    This also means that we can constitute that a UR tempo version does take the biggest hit by losing 3 Delvers & 3 Dazes, but it's still a matter of degrees. Without testing we can't know that those losses are, in fact, too much. Let's NOT keep underestimating the structural advantage of this obnoxious mechanic, shall we?

    Having said that, I'm coming around to the Noble RUG take on the strength of the green 1-drops (Reclaimer and Hexdrinker next to 3 Mana dorks--I would definitely play BoP, too.) And what I reassembled comes pretty close to your list, @Fox. Once you go RUG, the deck kinda builds itself, incl. the Crop Rot tech which in turn enables Fire/Burnwillow and Karakas for the Cat meta. With the redundant T1 mana accelerators we can lean into the abundance of tier-1 3-drops (yadayada... Noble RUG Delver/Midrange philosophy). The Otter is strong enough as a nerfed weirdo Snapcaster. I'd stay away from dead topdecks like the suspend cards.

    A few card suggestions to consider:

    Become Immense: cute win-now button with Arcanist, but more importantly, gas with Lutri.

    The Royal Scions: underplayed PW with very strong stats, and in a creature-heavy build, all abilities are relevant. (Been liking them in UR Delver, though it's tough cutting a Brazen Bouncer)

    Narset: Maindeckable here, as she helps us find Forces, Oko, and the good cantrips.

    Rielle, the Everwise: Not sure about this one, but if we did want to lean into a low-key Looting theme (Faithless, Scions, Dack, Izzet Charm) she might be worth exploring.

    Parcelbeast: Now here is a fun CA engine to mutate onto a T1 Bird or Goose.

  18. #18
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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    Ark4n (aka Legacy_Council on twitch) ran a Lutri as Grixis league to a 4-1 finish. League was Fox, Cat, Fox, Snake, Cat. Both Fox decks looked like the best list that is out there; only loss was to the first Fox. The first Cat opponent was on miracles-like build trying to cheese wins off CB; the second Cat was the real deal (Grixis). The Snake opponent was a sub-optimal list that kinda just took 4c [no black] xerox and used the extra 20 cards to add Punishing maverick stuff. Problem their deck had is you can’t really play mana duders and wraths (the whole point of white), so instead they played a few uncounterable Chandra (did you know she can’t minus to kill Otter haha); they predictably couldn’t stem the bleeding onboard (even with Oko) either game and Lutri deck had burn in it...

    The first four opponents lacked any Wasteland or credible yard hate, which made Grixis Lutri look a lot better than it is (never had trouble recasting Kroxa, even without any Badlands). The Grixis Cat featured two games where either deck was exposed as tremendously vulnerable to Wasteland. Lurrus from either opponent looked fairly underwhelming and completely unprepared to deal with Lutri’s ~7 removal spells and Wastelands.

    The Grixis colors [for Lutri] have a lot of holes and a near-complete reliance on opponents playing dudes they can kill rather than some other wincon. The payoffs effects were also a bit sketchy, hoping Gurmag would get there or having mana for Kroxa; often Lutri was just converted into a double Peek. The other issue is that you’ve got opponents actively advertising their deck before you decide to keep or mull in game 1, and Grixis has no cards that just put a stop to things. In either Fox game it would have been nice to have RUG’s access to hands with FoV, Ouphe, or mana accelerators.

    The best moment of the league was game 1 against Grixis Lurrus where they do the classic Grixis thing of never being able to establish a board presence on 1 mana and get Wasteland’d twice in a row. They play their Fetch and pass, and then effin’ Lutri taps its one colored source and windmill slams Serum Visions...and the opponent has to take a good long think about the choices they made in life that brought them to a point in legacy where they really have to consider Daze’ing it.

  19. #19
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    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    I watched Ark4n's stream. Lutri has potential, though he and the chat agree it would be better as control/midrange than tempo, like I kept saying.

    His blowouts came from control cards (KCommand, Kroxa) and patient plays. His misplays were all from trying to play like a tempo player (Wasting early mana sources instead of saving it for Karakas, aggressive self-Thought Scours to cantrip instead of saving it to disrupt Miracles/Sanctuary/CB, playing out Sprite Dragon too early into removal instead of waiting to having a spell up, tapping out to play extra bodies instead of holding up Snap+Counterspell, etc.). Lutri does not lend itself towards tempo plays. The value comes later.

    He should have even won round 1. He just didn't know how to play against Zirda. He had the disruption to win both games if he played correctly. Zirda's new. Players will catch on after more matches.

    RUG has some clear advantages over Grixis for the midrange strategy: better mana development, Oko, Uro, Klothys, more tutors, good hate for the artifact-heavy combo decks. Grixis would have to tilt towards hand disruption (Hymn, Liliana, Cabal Therapy), and cards like that make it more awkward to support Karakas and easier to lose to Wasteland.


    Re: the 80-card Yurion piles
    It's a similar drawback but different magnitude. Yurion has a lower impact on the chance to see cards.
    Yurion (80-card): 3/4 chance to see any card
    Lutri (singleton): 1/4 chance to see a 4-of

    You can compensate by running tutors and multiple diverse cards to fill the same role, but that's still easier to compensate for in 80-card piles than singleton.

    The other big difference is Yurion doesn't try to play tempo. They play control. Control can get away with playing bigger piles, as long as they have enough card advantage and density of answers. They play for the long game so the variance of the initial hand matters less as long as they have value and interaction. Tempo can't pull off the same because it needs speed and consistency. This is why Lutri needs to tilt towards control/midrange.

    I concede that Wasteland is good because of the metagame, but to be used as a control card (kill Karakas, Depths etc.) and less as a tempo card (try to manascrew them and clock them). Ark4n talked about going down to 2x Wasteland and up to 21 lands. In RUG 3x Wasteland seems fine because of other ramp.

    @Fox: With those points about hating on Lurrus value decks and Fox cannons, Maverick seems well-positioned in this meta, either splashing red (Punishing Maverick) or blue (Oko, Uro). Without singletons, Maverick can deploy the hate and best threats with more consistency. It can also has 4x Thalia to punish all these greedy Bauble players running curves heavy at 0-1.
    Last edited by FTW; 04-25-2020 at 11:33 AM.

  20. #20

    Re: Otter Nonsense featuring Lulululutri, the Spellchaser

    I agree that making the deck more midrangey seems good
    I don't think MrSafety intuition idea is that bad actually. I think the deck can easily play a Loam as a value 1-of and then you can make piles like Loam/Grove/PFire or Loam/Uro/Karakas and such

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