Trials of Mythron is just about here so let’s get to the theorycrafting and the planning. I’ll be using the same format I used last time. I’ll briefly go over some potential I see for every Faction card and Neutrals that I think are of special interest to us, I invite you to do both as well in the comments. I’ll be using my own Colloquial Tierlyst to help qualify my judgements so have a read there if you’re not getting why certain words are capitalized. We have a properly sized expansion on our hands this time around so there’s a lot to digest! As usual, I’ve sorted the new cards by the archetype (existing or potential) the belong to.
Set Rotation vs Lyonar
Losing Denizens of Shim’Zar isn’t especially damaging for Lyonar but we are losing several useful tools. Losing Afterblaze is a big blow for Zeal decks, losing Dawn’s Eye pretty much kills any hope for an Artifact-centric Solo deck (assuming EMP is getting nerfed) and Ironcliffe Heart will be sorely missed in some Bond variants. We should be okay on this front in terms of competing though because none of these cards were pushing Lyonar’s power level forward to any significant degree.
Lifestream is probably the best individually strong card to come out for Lyonar. I don’t see it doing much in Tempo Heal and Zoo decks but will likely be a 3-of everywhere else. The bigger the target, the better, but just getting a reliable tutor that thins the deck is strong. This’ll be a Staple until it rotates out.
I was hoping to see some more cards that explained to me why Indominus is the way it is, but we didn’t get any. I don’t get what this card is trying to achieve. If the effect stuck around a while after Indominus got removed things might be different but it looks like Trash to me.
Looks like CPGs response to our complaints about Divine Bond as the only real win condition in Lyonar was something like “Oh really, well here’s some more!” because now we can get entire posses swole at once. For this to work you need to be able to generate and maintain a board and we don’t have a Bond deck that does this yet. Maybe we’ll get a Bond Zoo hybrid deck of some type, or maybe Legion will be able to get the job done. It looks too conditional to me when compared to Divine Bond, but I’m going Viable on this one.
The only way this card works is if Divine Liturgy works. Will that happen? I don’t expect it will. Spending the 2 mana to Intensify this (and then hoping to draw it) seems like a good way to lose a match before you can do anything. But maybe the meta will slow down enough for it to work. Until then, I’m betting this card is Trash.
It’s just really really bad. Trash.
Afterblaze out, Marching Orders in! What a cool card for Brome to play with! Spreading out the effect is really great for protecting against removal and the Aegis effects is absolutely insane. This is going to be rocking some worlds in a Zeal deck. Watch out for Sandswirl Reader and Eternity Painter though.
Without Marching Orders it’s worse than Wings of Paradise. With Marching Orders this is actually Niche playable, and finally gives Lyonar enough bodies for a fully stocked Zeal minion deck. The 2-drop slot is still sparse but whatever.
This card is probably just a Meme but if it’s going to work anywhere it’s probably here. Zoo has the buffs Scarzig would need to destroy anything ánd survive the ordeal, and the deck would actually benefit from the Feather Knight’s buffs. Try it out if you get it from an Orb.
Is this even Zoo support? It’s weird and random and I can’t think of a deck with enough 1-Attack minions that can actually pull this off. Legion might help but would also slow a Zoo deck way down. And the payoff is random anyway. I think it’s probably Trash, what do you think?
Zir’an appreciates a good strong Viable 3-drop! It’d be great if opponents ran this cute little thing as well. Silverguard Knight is more reliably strong but the Pridebeak can do some real work against spell-heavy opponents like Shidai. I’ll be trying it out.
Healyonar has been a tempo deck for a while, and here is another Niche 3-drop that might fit into it very well. It can be difficult to have enough damage on Zir’an in the early turns so getting a strong tempo body that can help in that regard might be nice because Zir’An can heal it all back easily as long as she can maintain that tempo lead!
Legion is such a fascinating card that I don’t really know where to put it. I think CPG is trying for a new “recruit” subtheme in Lyonar where minions generate other minions. Legion looks great for Zeal decks and Zoo decks but I think it’s in a league of its own. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets run in a mid-range “company” deck that just summons a bunch of minions every turn, I dunno. Looks like a Staple in several potential decks.
Radiant Standards is just oozing potential. +3 Attack for 3 mana is decent by itself and you can pull some very good cards if you build your deck around it. Legion, Auroara, Silverguard Knight, Surgeforger, Scintilla, Sunforge Lancer, and it can pull Neutrals too! You do have to build the deck around it but I see possiblity. Very Niche card to be sure.
A 4 mana 7/7? In my Lyonar? Not exactly, but still pretty interesting. I hope the Alarmist lets you pick the placement for Protector. If it does, this could be a very strong T2 play. Losing the Protector from its effect removes it from the resurrection pool (because it got transformed) and paying 4 mana for 2 2/2’s is not very impressive. Songhai is probably going to make this Viable duo impossible, but I’m still hoping.
Lyonar might have finally gotten its win condition! In the proper Niche deck you’re summoning up to 8 Provokes in an airtight seal around your General. Play it in a slow deck that can keep your General alive and you can try to run the opponent out of resources.
That’s the optimistic version. Reality is likely to be that this effect is way too weak to compete with other slow decks in the meta (Hatefurnace and Xor’Xuul come to mind), and slowing down for this (admittedly big, but also unwieldy) payoff is probably not going to work. Still, we might be closer to making Martyrdom playable than ever before, so cross your fingers!
Ironcliffe Guardian is probably better, but this is still good so if you need more big Provokes at 5 Mana you got ’em. It’s possible that the Immolation threat does more than I expect but I’m not convinced yet. It would kind of bug me if CPG just made a strictly better Guardian though.
I think Lyonar got several good cards, but nothing that makes me think the Faction is going to generate a top-tier deck this rotation. Lifestream is good, Marching Orders is good, Legion is good and War Exorcist is good-ish. Everything else isn’t necessarily bad but do more to enable or maintain certain decks than elevate them. Still, I think there’s hope for a big, beefy Bulkyonar deck where there wasn’t any before. I hope.
What do you think? What does the way forward look like for Lyonar?