Having completed our tour through some of the big Envy allies, we now turn to the most offensive-minded of the homunculi: the Ultimate Spear, Lust.
Lust: Cloaked Stranger is one of two Lust allies released in the Premiere expansion. As Lust herself was the only homunculi leader available in Premiere (discounting the stage three Envy: Father Cornello), it is perhaps not surprising that her early allies were designed to play well in other decks, and are very ability-based. Cloaked Stranger allows you to immediately defeat an opponentís card with strength equal to or lower than Lustís, making her very dangerous.
The main strategy needed for Lust is understanding the scope of her ability. Her ability targets characters rather than strictly allies, making leaders potential victims. It also does not limit her targets to those in a search party, meaning that she can snipe at that annoying Trisha Elric: Supportive Mother or Hakuro: General you opponent has been hiding at home. Use this ability in situations in which you are likely to defeat your opponentís leader, allowing you to effectively control the cleanup stage.
Attachments, particularly Pistol, are a must to give Lust a larger scope of targets for her ability. Something like Lab Gear is also recommended if she is to be run in a wits-heavy Envy deck. Fortunately, her relatively high cost makes the pool of attachments available to her fairly deep. Very Sick is a good choice if you want to be sure that whatever you defeated using Lustís ability stays down. For maximum ally control, consider running Cloaked Stranger with Envy: Mole or some Binocular attachments for stealth. This will make no character safe from your attacks, allowing you to control your opponentís home.
Lustís sole strength is in her ability. Few cards provide an equivalent, no questions asked defeat kind of ability. Against low-strength decks, particularly Elric decks, her ability can be devastating. While a 5/5/0 attribute line is not terrible early in the game, Lustís cost ensures that she will not be available very early in the game, making her attributes both a positive and a negative.
Two things really hold Lust back. The first is her high cost, which made her almost unusable except in an Envy: Father Cornello deck when she was first released. Even now that other homunculi leaders are available, her cost is a bit prohibitive. Her second problem is her relatively low attributes. To use her ability, she must be assigned to a search party. This paints a huge target on her back, and she cannot last long against most middle of the road allies in a one on one fight. Furthermore, her attributes render her ability largely useless against the more powerful military or rebel characters, though Elric allies should be easy targets. Though this can be overcome with attachments, the existence of cards like Prison Guards and Aflame make over reliance on attachments very dangerous.
This card was released as a rare ally in Premiere, as well as a chase foil and autographed edition in Hero's Passing.
Artwork and aesthetics:
This card falls somewhere in the middle for me so far as Lust artwork goes. It is not bad, but also none too exciting either.
Overall, I give this card a 5 out of 10. Its ability is very potent, and capable of really causing headaches for Elric decks. Unfortunately its high cost, coupled with fairly low attributes, make it a huge liability and frequent target of your opponentís efforts. While not a bad card in its own right, there are just better Lust allies available now for this one to see large amounts of play.