TL;DR: Should You Pull?
What Does It Do?
Special Costume Lyra and Phanpy are a Ground-type Support Sync Pair, and a callback to the Rocket outfits accessible during the HeartGold and SoulSilver. Their Rebuff Reducing Hit (Ground) is their primary distinguishing point, as with Earthquake, Special Costume Lyra can apply a Ground rebuff to all enemy targets, giving an approximate 30% increment in output to Ground-type pairs. If Earthquake is too expensive and not much distributed rebuff is needed, however, Lyra can rely on the much cheaper Mud Slap as an alternative. Complementing this is her Trainer Move, Initiate Infiltration!, that increases the Defense stat of all allies by three stat ranks and Attack by one stat rank, as well as provide Thorton’s Type Resistant effect. With a robust physical statline and Mini Potion All, Special Costume Lyra is a particularly durable tank capable of taking a lot of punishment. While her Attack buffs are weak by Trainer Move, Team Beef Up 9 gives her team more Attack buffs when Lyra is hit by an attack, providing further gradual increments the more hits she takes up to a cap. Team Mighty Sync 9 rounds off her base passives to provide a single-use Physical Move Up Next stack to her allies, which is common amongst the Ground pool.
At her base, Special Costume Lyra doesn’t seem anything particularly special outside of her Ground rebuff. The vast plethora of competent physical supports within accessible distribution from Hilbert and Samurott, Aaron and Vespiquen, Sonia and Yamper and Shauna and Chesnaught make it difficult for Special Costume Lyra to distinguish herself outside of her very limited niche, especially with her stunted buffing profile.
How To Use It?
Sync Grid Considerations & Lucky Skills
While not as severe as Special Costume Zinnia, Special Costume Lyra does struggle for a higher dupe reliance relative to other units for optimal functioning as well a grid structure that is both divisive and expensive.
With nothing notable at ⅕, two copies grants Special Costume Lyra Earthquake: Trip Up 9 to drop distributed Speed. Outside of accuracy debuffs, Trip Up 9 allows her to further debuff against Latias, while also being particularly useful for physical Cakewalk abusing Strike sync pairs such as Victor, Sygna Suit Brock and Wally, though it can also be useful to accelerate Tech nukes as well, especially as Speed-scaling nukes from units such as Gordie, Sygna Suit Diantha and Sygna Suit May have become progressively common. As a matter of fact, access to this tile essentially makes Special Costume Lyra the best speed-dropping Support to date, which allows her to better distinguish herself as more powerful units scaling with these drops become available.
The variety of Sand tiles such as Sand Shelter, Shifting Sand and Sands of Time 2 can be useful in the event that gauge is a concern in specific sandstorm compositions, though the most synergistic sand abuser with her, Cynthia, tends to not be that worried with gauge to begin with. Freevenge and Sterner Stuff on the top left quadrant round off the relevant ⅖ tiles, with Sterner Stuff being preferred for its better consistency and complementing Special Costume Lyra’s already stellar defensive frontline. While Freevenge 2 is a good mitigating option for gauge especially when she tends to partake in more gauge expensive compositions, its rate means it can be concerning to reliably employ relative to the more reliable value of Sterner Stuff as it streamlines into one of her more important ⅗ tiles.
At three copies, Focus Group 9 becomes available as Special Costume Lyra’s most important new tile, as it adds some much needed depth to her buffing game otherwise confined by only Attack and Defense buffs. While the move being tied to attacks means that she’s a comparatively slower buffer than the rest of her cohort, it’s still very useful in its own right, with First Aid 4 streamlining the route as a fluid prerequisite. Berserk Bunch on her Trainer Move is also important to further accelerate her otherwise slow Attack buffs from her Trainer Move and Team Beef Up 9, giving her a more reliable offensive roundup for faster stages. However, depending on the units she’s been used with, such as units with better Attack independence like Maxie and Sygna Suit Giovanni, the tile is less needed, as is in longer battles where Team Beef Up 9 will eventually reach its capped value.
The remainder of the ⅗ tiles bolster Special Costume Lyra’s defensive profile. Outside of the aforementioned First Aid, Lyra gains access to up to two Mini Potion All MPR 2s and a Master Healer 1, making her a reliable distributed healer for long fights. Sync Damage Guard can be helpful for Extreme Battles and for better short-term insurance, while Vigilance and Team Wise Entry 2 on the bottom are also available options, though the bottom right route to them and the costs of the passives themselves are so overpriced that she cannot take them while having Focus Group 9 with the excess energy being wasted due to an inability to take other tiles. Special Costume Lyra’s best builds employ the top left and right quadrants, or top right/bottom left quadrants; the former version is better for fastre buffing and short fights while the latter provides her with reliably continuous healing alongside her crit and First Aid backbone, which she can reliably take with the remaining energy unlike the bottom right quadrant.
Adrenaline 1 is Special Costume Lyra’s ideal Lucky Skill due to her passive skills otherwise eating queue. Nevertheless, options such as Revenge Boost 4 and Head Start 1 can also be useful for gauge or ramp options.
Special Costume Lyra is a decent Master Mode performer where even her most expensive compositions gauge wise can make use of her for fast offensive clears due to the low move and thus gauge consumption. Nevertheless, her gauge concerns can mean that she struggles to compete with the rest of the physical support cast in this mode unless her durability is more appreciated. Focus Group 9 and Team Beef Up 9 also make her an excellent Battle Villa unit due to her ability to provide these buffs for free.
Special Costume Lyra does find a more comfortable home in the Legendary Gauntlet where her slew of reliable healing tools, Mud Slap accuracy drops and excellent bulk allow her to function as an ideal gauntlet anchor or solo clear machine, with particularly good matchups against Latias due to her debuffs, while careful timing of the rebuff can also be particularly helpful against Uxie. Lyra’s robust physical bulk, Sync Damage Guard and healing can also provide her with a decent niche in Extreme Battles, where her superior durability can be more useful relative to her surrounding physical support cast.
Ground-type units are the main reason to employ Special Costume Lyra and receive notably result increments over the common physical Supports. Uniquely for a rebuffer, Special Costume Lyra’s best or most synergistic partners tend to be the Techs rather than Strikers; Ground-types such as Bertha and Courtney are such partners, the two of whom facilitate their own steroids, have some semblance of self sufficiency, and require no further external demand.
As far as Strikers go, Maxie is likely the best candidate, as his ability to provide Speeding Sun to Courtney and access to his own Healing Sun gives the composition some semblance of gauge insurance to abuse both Ground Zone and rebuff simultaneously. While a buffed Cynthia can also compress all steroids while also having no gauge or sufficiency issues, having to run Dust Kicker and Sand Alert can significantly cut into her output relative to builds that provide sandstorm externally, such that Lyra’s rebuff increment can lose out in practice to compositions using foreign setters such as Ingo and Anniversary Raihan, making her more of an option than a strict upgrade. While Sygna Suit Giovanni seems like an excellent option (both thematically and compositionally) the extremely poor gauge of the composition can make the team extremely difficult to properly use outside of very short or limited clear spans.
As aforementioned, Cakewalk abusers can also find a home with Special Costume Lyra, though most of these compositions are already inbuilt with available alternatives; she would have to find use of her compression of being a support that debuffs to justify herself. Outside of that, Special Costume Lyra functions as a more durable standard physical support, albeit one with more gauge concerns than most of the cohort.
Is It Worth Pulling?
If you’re willing to bring yourself to be taken by Special Costume Lyra and Phanpy’s deceptive charms, she may be worth your while. Nevertheless, Lyra’s extremely specific and narrow niche that is otherwise overshadowed by a role with extremely high distribution and competition means that you won’t be missing out on too much by skipping her relative to the other three Special Costume units of this year.