Grumpy's Guide to Keera
In this series, we will give you a quick breakdown of each champion. This is geared mostly towards people who have not played with this champion much, so it’s not an in-depth tactical treatise. This is more of a quick breakdown and assessment of the champion.
We will grade each champion’s offense, defense, support, mobility, and control. We’ll explain each grade and then give you a quick vision of a dream activation for that champion.
In a separate series, Grumpy has written about how champions match up with each other. Here are the matchup evaluations for Guardians, Maelstroms, Slayers, and Shapers.
Here is the grading scale for each category:
Keera brings an unparalleled combination of threat range and damage potential. Her basic gimmick is that her Young Dragons are the point of origin for Keera's attacks. This is not optional, and the Young Dragon has to be within three hexes of Keera. This means that each of her two dragons allows her to threaten a six-hex area of the board with it's epicenter up to three hexes away. This is quite a lot of threat, especially given how many tools Keera has at her disposal to put the dragons where they need to be. Moreover, her two attacks give you a kind of toolbox that can threaten any defensive profile. However, the Dragon Princess has her downsides as well, so she's a well-balanced character overall. I still really enjoy putting her on the table even though new releases have confounded her somewhat.
Keera was the first champion to be released after the Kickstarter, and at first she was dominant. Rangosh has always been Rangosh, of course, but Keera introduced a second heavy hitter to the game. Until skullbreaker released, it was really just the two of them. Peet and Maxen are strong in their own ways (and Lorsann kind of), but their crews simply do not bring the same overall level of firepower as Keera and Rangosh. Skullbreaker has given players another option in Keera's category. Even tougher for Keera, though, is that Kailinn is a nightmare matchup for her. It's usually not that big of a deal when a champion has a bad matchup, but Kailinn is different because her speed makes her impossible to hide from. Against a list with the centaur, it's hard to put Keera out there. It's a pity because Keera is an fun, powerful, and interesting character.
Here are Keera's Cards:
Offense - Outstanding
Keera's Rain of Fire attack is devastating to targets that rely on their dodge stat, and her Vicious Bite attack brings a huge handful of dice (and an auto-wound) for those high-armor targets. As if this weren't enough godlike destruction, Keera's dragons are powerful and well-rounded attackers in their own right. Keera is effectively rocking a 7/5 and a 4/8 (actually each is a bit better than that), and both operate at essentially range 4. It's incredible. The dragons also bring 2 attacks which are effectively better than 3/6 and 5/4. The dragons' flight and speed, combined with Royal Blessing give this crew the tools to ensure that they can put a dragon where it needs to be. Firebrand is not the strongest ultimate, but it's another way to hand out damage over a wide area. Firebrand can happen dicelessly in either phase, which is useful. Keera and the dragons are right up there with Rangosh and, I think, a more devastating offensive crew than Skullbreaker and his orcy friends. She's arguably tops in this category. This is the one area where she is better than average, but she is way, way better than nearly everyone else at it. Dracarys! It is required that you say this out loud when using Rain of Fire. I don't make the rules.
Defense - Bad
Keera herself has awful defense. At 3/2 with 6 wounds, she is quite possibly the squishiest champion in the game. She does gain a measure of safety from the fact that she does not need to be close to her enemies in order to roast them, though. The reason I give the crew a defense rating this high is the dragons. They have truly terrible defensive stats at 2/2, but 5 wounds is... a lot for a follower. Kailinn aside, Keera is a nightmare for Maelstroms. On paper, one might be tempted to make the case that someone like Titus, Grimgut, or even Blackjaw with his Kick would be able to take these dragons down efficiently. Nope. It's a trap. I've played a fair amount with Keera, so trust me on this. It's almost never efficient to focus your efforts on bringing down the dragons. Unless you have Kailinn. Or an ice javelin. Or, somehow, a big crossbow on a ship?
Support - Awful
The dragons have an accuracy 5 dodge blight? That's really it. She's a Slayer; they aren't exactly known for this category. Keera has tremendous offensive output, but she does not really help other crews. This crew certainly supports itself with extra moves, rallies, and offensive boons, but the blood of the dragon doesn't really concern itself with the lesser houses.
Mobility - Average
Keera's speed stat is a pedestrian 2. She has no way to go faster. On its face, this speed stat is just average, but most 2/2 champions have some way of spending more actions to go faster if the situation should call for it. Keera can't do anything like that, so I'd say she has below average overall mobility. The dragons however, whoooh! Those sweet scaly bois can really move. It's good they were not kept in a Mereenese cave during their adolescence. With a speed of three in both phases and the Flight ability, these beasts go where they want. Intuitively, you'd think that they could fly over objective hexes, but they can't. Still, Keera's Royal Summons in both phases can also let them take an additional advance, so if you spent two of Keera's actions and two of the dragons actions across a turn, you could move each of them up to 12 hexes.
Control - Average
There are no obvious control skills on Keera's card, so this might seem a bit generous. Hear me out. Yes, she cannot reposition enemy models, but Keera can control the board in at least three important ways. First, she can KO champions, which, in addition to scoring points, generates a powerful control effect. Second, her dragons can form a very resilient, mobile meat shield. They are vulnerable to being hit by enemy control skills, sure, but the dragons easily can get in front of opponents and are hard to remove because of their big health pools. Finally, the sheer amount of board that Keera threatens really does constrain your opponent's moves. It is bad for your health to let Keera activate when you are adjacent to a dragon. Unfortunately for opponents, this means that a lot of the board is bad for their health. You don't want to wake the dragon.
It's pretty simple, but Keera just wants to activate in the clash phase with an enemy champion adjacent to a dragon within range of By My Command! That's all she needs. In this situation, Grimgut tried to Nom Nom his way to three points, but unfortunately that 7/7 attack only has a 35% chance of getting through all five of the Young Dragon's health. This sets up Keera's retaliation.
Against the tub of guts, Vicious Bite has an expected damge of 3.51. Rain of Fire (Dravarys!) has an expected damage of 2.42. This means Grimgut will probably have 3 health left. The Young Dragons should be able to finish him off. The expected damage from their Bite is 2.76, so they may not even need to roast Grimgut like a Tarly boy in order to finish him off.