Lobotomizer is Aether's rare weapon. This weapon is infamous for being able to remove creatures abilities, crippling several decks that depend on said abilities to grow or to have control. It removes momentum as well, leading to a strong synergy with shields too.
Lobotomizer is a weapon that costs 3 to play and deals 5 damage per turn in both unupgraded and upgraded versions. As such it has a reasonable attack, while not being too expensive. The main reason to use it is however its skill, lobotomize. For 2 (unupgraded) and 1 (upgraded) Lobotomizer can remove all active abilities from a target creature (it can't however remove passive abilities like devourer or statuses like adrenaline).
This allows the player to neutralize creatures with pesky abilities like accretion, paradox, abilities obtained from mutations or abilities that can be problematic in the long run, like firefly or growth. Another interesting and less known fact about the lobotomize ability involves the summoning sickness of creatures. When a creature with no abilities is already in the board for more than one turn, its owner can cast a spell that grants it an ability (like mitosis) and use the ability on the same turn. However, when a creature is lobotomized, its summoning sickness is reset, meaning that the opponent won't be able to use any abilities he could have granted to the lobotomized creature and must wait another full turn (barring Shard of Readiness removing the summoning sickness). Moreover, this happens even if the creature has no abilities, which is useful against decks that rely on Butterfly Effect for permanent control (Dream Catcher being a notable example).
The synergy between aether's weapon and its shield is astounding. At a first glance it removes the menace of permanent control coming from creatures, leaving only Pulverizer, Deflagration and Steal as options for dealing with the dimensional shields (Deflagration and Steal are mitigated by the fact that redundant copies of the shield are normally used). Furthermore, lobotomization is the only way in game to remove Momentum, which together with spell damage and poison is the main threat to dim shield based decks. The fact that both cards are in the same element makes them a killer combination in mono aether. However the synergy is deeper, as it can also deal with strategies able to outstall dims as well as some break strategies. Overall, lobotomizer deals with
- Shard of Focus
- Adrenastaffs (that allow the deck to survive a dim chain and are hard to kill)
- Crusaders (they could be used with Staffs for healing or with Titan to bypass the shield)
- Firefly Queen with bonds (builds damage for a break and healing to survive the chain)
- Mitosis with Bonds (same reason)
- Pharaoh (builds damage for break)
- Chrisoaras (poison bypasses shields)
The biggest thing to consider here is that countering certain cards is not what makes the combination strong; it is the amount of decks you counter by covering all of that, specially in restricted metas. In war for example, many decks can be countered by just coupling lobotomizer with a rush, and adding dims turns the combination into a hard counter.
The fact that, in the unupgraded meta, lightning is almost synonym with an instant kill makes lobotomizer a perfect complement to a deck focused in creature control, allowing you to spare lightnings only for the main hitters, instead of having to use it to kill creatures with troublesome abilities (that tipically don't have large attack).
The interaction between lobotomizer and aether's shields and creature removal make it a staple in Mono-Aether decks, as well as in Aether based stalls. It's focus on dealing with disrupting abilities is also crucial for countering certain False Gods, with it featuring prominently in RoL/Hope. However, because of the investment in quanta that is necessary (especially in the unupgraded meta), rainbow decks will tipically substitute it with a Mind Flayer, that has the same skill.
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