This will be the initial entry into my First Thoughts series. In this series, I will address new cards that have been revealed for Great Nature and give my first impressions on them. I will be doing a more in-depth analysis of new cards once we know the full set contents and some testing can be done, but this is to give a preliminary idea of what these new cards are capable of as well as pointing out some of their potential shortcomings. Without further ado, let’s jump into our first candidate.
[AUTO](RC)[1/Turn]:When this unit attacks a vanguard, if you have a vanguard with “Honorary Professor” in its card name, choose up to one of your other rear-guards in the same row as this unit, until end of turn, it gets [Power]+4000, and “[AUTO](RC):At the end of turn, draw a card, and retire this unit.”.
At long last, Honorary Professor is being turned into the full sub-clan that it has always deserved to be. This is the first official rear guard support for the sub-clan and there is quite a bit to look at in its relatively short text.
The first thing to note is that this card’s ability is not restricted to Generation Break, meaning you can use it before you ever have the chance to Stride or use a G Guardian. Keep in mind that this is not as liberating of a condition as it may seem. While it does not require GB to function, it does require an “Honorary Professor” Vanguard. Taking a look at this card’s name, it would seem to suggest that Bushiroad wants to keep the Honorary Professor name exclusive to Grade 3 and higher units. We could see Honorary Professor rear guards in the future, but this card currently cannot use its ability until you are at least on Grade 3. This does mean that you have more skills that you can utilize if you go first, but in about half of your games, being on Grade 3 should be functionally identical to being at GB1.
Something that sticks out as particularly awkward about this card’s ability is what it can target. Treatise Panther can target any rear guard in the same row, indicating that it can buff any rear guards to its left or right. However, as the activation condition for its ability is upon attacking the opponent’s Vanguard, this gives it only one viable target: your other front row rear guard. With our current card pool, you will want to have Crayon Tiger in front of the other column as often as possible and Crayon Tiger is generally not something you want to be losing for a blind draw, especially since only a 4k buff is not going to be sufficient to increase Crayon Tiger’s presumed 16k column by enough to force an extra stage of shield from your opponent. If Treatise Panther were not restricted to once per turn, he would be more readily useful to stack extra draws onto the other column. This is, at least, only the first Honorary Professor rear guard support, so it is very possible that we may get more cards going forward that want to be targeted by Treatise Panther. Only time will tell.