Omniscience Dragon, Al-mi’raj: First Thoughts

Once again we have an Omniscience Dragon whose name is a figure from legend.  Al-mi’raj is a figure in Arabic poetry that would prey on animals big and small.  It was a constant worry for villagers because it would attack them and their livestock, leading the villagers to enlist the help of witches to drive the Al-mi’raj away.  In Vanguard, Omniscience Dragon, Al-mi’raj terrorizes the landscape of a clan we thought was just settling down in the way its builds worked.

[G guardian] (Usable when both fighters’ vanguards are grade 3 or greater, and the number of face up G guardians in your G zone is three or less)-Opponent Turn’s Guard Step-[Choose a card with “Heal” from your hand, and discard it] Call this card to your (GC) from face down.
[AUTO]:[Soul Blast (1)] When this unit is placed on (GC), you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to two cards from your hand, call them to separate (RC), choose up to four of your rear-guards, until end of turn, they get “[CONT](RC/GC):Resist” and “[CONT](RC):This unit cannot be retired even if it is hit.”.

I mentioned it terrorizing the landscape of Great Nature and I was not exaggerating.  There’s plenty to be said about the implications of this card, so I won’t waste any more time.  First off, we will look at a build that this new G Guardian resurrects, if that build could even have been said to be truly alive in the first place: Famous Professor, Bigbelly.

As noted in my Bigbelly vs Bigbelly: Analysis article, the original Bigbelly unit has a plethora of issues largely stemming from its weakness to different forms of control.  Because your field could be disrupted and key units could be removed before you had the chance to Stride, your opponent ended up with far too much control over where you could put your power boosts.  Thanks to Al-mi’raj, those weaknesses are heavily mitigated.  Not only can you call specific units that you want to buff with Bigbelly on the following turns, those units also cannot be hit or targeted if you so choose, rendering them nearly untouchable.  Keep in mind that none of this can be accomplished without the requisite Heal trigger used to active a G Guard, but thanks to Great Nature’s draw power, this is a relatively small concern.

Because of how much Al-mi’raj brings Famous Professor, Bigbelly back into the picture, Great Nature has been provided with a few separate builds for players who want to focus on mostly G era GN cards.  You would still be fully justified in wanting to build a deck solely geared around Teacher’s Cane of Affection, Bigbelly.  His on-Stride skill keeps him independent enough of outside influences to be run on his own.  However, with some of Famous Professor, Bigbelly’s weaknesses covered by Al-mi’raj, one also would not think you were crazy to consider building a deck around him instead.  He can buff twice as many cards as Teacher’s Cane and the on-hit skills he provides do not give you any immediate bonus, but they do instill a bit more pressure into your RG attacks.  As a third and possibly most sensible option, you can always build a deck that uses both versions of the Grade 3 Bigbelly, gearing your G Zone and main deck to be able to work with either one, regardless of which you ended up riding.

Al-mi’raj does not only benefit Bigbelly decks, though.  Because the ability to call units specifies “up to two”, you can always choose to call zero if you don’t feel the need to.  The abilities this card gives the up to four chosen rear guards are nearly identical to the abilities given by Dizmel.  Since any Great Nature deck can now easily afford soul blasts, this card can almost always be treated as a better Dizmel, replacing him wherever you may have included him in your Great Nature G Zones.

Needless to say, I am very excited about this card.  The implications outlined here that it brings to Great Nature decks resound loudly, and I cannot wait to test out fun new builds that include it.

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