Friday, January 11, 2013

Shadow Era Spoilers #21: Lyra Blackrose

Do you like Shadow Energy? I like Shadow Energy. More specifically, I like spending it. But I also like cards in my hand. If your opponent is like me, they'll hate today's spoiler.

Dark Prophecies 77/150: Lyra Blackrose
Spoiled by Kyle on 1/11/2013

The instinct might be to say that this card is best for Serena, but I wouldn't say so. In fact, if Serena already empties an opponent's hand, this card may become redundant. Regardless, what you want to be looking at is what the opponent is, not the player.

Decks which use their Shadow Abilities as a primary form of removal will probably have to take the discard at least once, assuming Lyra drops at the right moment. This includes Eladwen, Lance, Zaladar, Victor, Majiya, Banebow, Gwenneth, Baduruu, Boris, Logan, and Nishaven. Moonstalker will be pained, as Now You're Mine can't hit Lyra and MS strategies often involve chaining his ability together for multiple turns. Traditional priest decks are in trouble as well, because Wizent's Staff becomes a complete waste of time.

14 out of 20 decks, not too shabby.

The question now is just how good the effect itself is.

Against most of the above decks, the ones who use their energy on removal, Lyra is a simple one-for one trade. You spend one card and some resources on Lyra. Your opponent spends some SE on killing your card, but also loses a card in exchange. It depends a lot on the specific opponent in each situation, but that's the basics of it. You run the risk of Lyra being removed without SE, as well as the risk of the random discard not hitting something important.

Lyra might still be okay to use against some of these heroes, but not all.

Where she shines are the other matchups, Moonstalker and priests.

Moonstalker, currently, has no easy way to kill Lyra. Now You're Mine won't target her and Captured Prey doesn't shut off the ability. Meanwhile, Moonstalker relies on using his ability frequently to stick allies on a populated board. Lyra has the ability to take down those fatties before they even get the stealth, a powerful tool indeed.

The priest decks out there currently rely on Wizen't Staff as a primary source of draw. Lyra, obviously, makes the effect much worse. It looks like Priests are getting a retooling with Dark Prophecies so it's possible a new card replaces the Staff, but in the least the current priest cards are in for a beating.

In the end, it looks to me like Lyra is much better in some decks than others. Use Priest of the Light to stop an early activation if necessary, then drop Lyra and make them pay. She'll probably see play in both Lance and Serena sideboards when Dark Prophecies hits.

Rating: 7/10. She works in plenty of matchups, but sometimes that's not enough. She seems rather hit or miss to me, and while good in the right meta, not so overall. I expect her to see play in sideboards, but that's better than other cards that I can't see being played at all.

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