Silver Thorn Dragon Master, Mystic Luquier

Silver Thorn Dragon Master, Mystic Luquier

   Whelp, it's been a looooooong time since my last update because work is demanding so there's been less time I can juggle around, and then this article got further delayed because I had to test the card due to it being yet another very open-ended card. And it's also been a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time since Silver Thorns got their last support. But at least Silver Thorns has always been a rogue deck for the past 2 seasons, thanks to their great G1~G2 lineup (which allows that cheesy-but-effective sit-on-G2-to-vanilla-your-opponent-strategy that started happening since S4), despite them being like 2 seasons outdated.

   So the long-waited technically Luquier Silver Thorn support that we got was Silver Thorn Dragon Master, Mystic Luquier, a Stride unit from FC2015 that gave all clans stride units like candies in a Piñata. Interestingly enough, unlike all the other Luquiers, Mystic Luquier looks very, very 'meh', and does not do any field recovery and does not give you any direct plus. All she does is field re-scaling and/or rearrangement, and the ability is an ACT and not even an AUTO, and therefore does not even enable extra attacks. She is also highly restricted in which decks can run her, requiring both a Silver Thorn deck base and using exclusively Luquier G3s.

   Unfortunately, she is not the god-send that Pale Moon support that players have been waiting for, and is not a card that will suddenly turn Silver Thorns from a rogue deck into a meta defining deck. However, she's not quite the 'meh' card she seem to be either; she's deceptively powerful, and similar to cards like Big Bang Knuckle Turbo, is designed to improve what the deck does best and fix certain issues that the deck had. It's a neat little breath of life for Silver Thorns to toy around with until Pale Moon gets their proper support.

   So, what exactly does she improve and what exactly does she fix?

Late Game

   The last time Silver Thorns received any support was during BT15 at the end of S3, and then soon after that, we got into the Legion era (S4), where the power creep between the seasons is arguably worse than what happened from S2 to S3. The power creep was large enough that while you still could technically plus beyond the standards of S4 with Venus's skill, everything else with Silver Thorn's G3s are so badly out-creeped that it basically renders Silver Thorn without a late game. And Mystic Luquier gives them that late game.

Venus Luquier gives your opponent a chance
to breath because of her LB4 and  runs
out of steam once you run out of CBs
   Mystic Luquier is Silver Thorn's current answer to post-G3 games; she fills in the gap before you get to LB4, she fills in the gap when you're at LB4 and doesn't need to use Venus's skill to refill a field, and she fills in the gap after your Venus plays if your opponent somehow is not dead yet. In other words, she is one card that fills in all the voids Silver Thorn had after Silver Thorns rides to G3.

   You no longer give your opponent one turn of breathing room just because you're not @4 damage yet. You no longer get stuck with nothing if your opponent refuses to give you your damage to do stuff. You no longer force next to nothing out of your center lane. And you no longer run out of steam after you expended all your CBs.

   Instead of sitting on a G3 that only asks for 15k shield per turn and provides no pressure other than that 1 turn of Lion play, as long as you are able to stride and have some warm bodies to swap out for cards in your soul, every turn after G3 will be a pushing turn to attempt to finish what you didn't finish in the early and mid game. And as long as you have Lions that you can pump, every push turn you get this way will be of fairly decent quality. On top of the Lion plays, Mystic Luquier also makes it easier to setup an Ana behind a Lion without consuming CBs, which ends up having similar pressure as a big RG column with an additional crit.

Early Game

   "Wait, what? What does Mystic Luquier have to do with early game? She's a stride unit and doesn't even go in the soul!"

   Whao there, don't judge a card's impact on the early game just because she can only be used late! There are cards that have an impact on the game by impacting player behavior simply by existing, such as Gatling Claw and Omega Loop Glendios. Her very existence actually has quite a bit of impact on Silver Thorn's early game in largely 2 ways.

Raise your hand if you've ever used your starter ASAP simply because your
opponent is playing  Kagero, even though you don't even know if they're running this card?

   The first type of impact is actually not something so unfamiliar to many players, and is something that players that had experience with clans such as Bermuda Triangle or Granblue are more familiar to; and that is the deck's ability to maintain a fluid field and the ability re-scale their field.

Upright Lion just got a lot more valuable
because he now defines our late game
   Mystic Luquier herself is essentially a field re-scaling machine. What this means is that a Silver Thorn player now has more freedom and less risk in dropping down boosters/PGs and/or triggers in the same column to push in more attacks in the early game without either having to commit to that field, or requiring a Venus Luquier field reset to re-scale the field.

   The other impact on our early game behavior is that now Silver Thorns actually have some means of an end game, the player is allowed to shift some power and reliance away from the early game and move it towards the mid and late game.

   While Silver Thorn's early game is still essential, what this means is a Silver Thorn player no longer have to bank completely on pulling off a good early game to win the game, but instead can spread the power out to attain a better balance and have the deck scale better into the late game rather than completely fall flat and lose steam later on. And thanks to Clifford being Pale Moon's on-hit that can still enable Zelma shenanigans, the deck's reliance on Ana also dropped a little because it became easier for your center column to apply on-hit pressure.


   All in all, while Mystic Luquier isn't enough to revive Silver Thorn back to its glorious days, it definitely is a valuable and much needed addition and breaths life into the deck. She doesn't change the core idea behind Silver Thorn decks and the deck in today's standards will still be a rogue deck, but she does improve most aspect of the deck and make it playable, and make it less risky to just throw down warm bodies to rush.

   The G1 and G2 lineup of Silver Thorn still carry the bulk of the weight of the deck in general and early game is still essential, but now we can actually prolong the attack and momentum into the late game for basically as long as we are alive and force out a considerable amount of shields with a vanguard with Stride power and large RG columns. The deck also gets to keep the rare niche of sitting on G2 to make your opponent vanilla where only less than a handful of decks can afford to do in the current meta.

   I'm really looking forward to what Bushiroad has cooking back there for season 5 Pale Moon support, seeing that so far the vast majority of season 5 clans support have been more than satisfactory in season 5.