Sage-saint Professor, Bigbelly: Analysis

The famous professor became such a profound instructor that students flock to his classes in droves.  Just as he has had an enormous impact on the students of Great Nature University, he has provided a wealth of power to the clan itself.  It is hard to imagine a Great Nature G Zone without Sage-saint Professor, Bigbelly, which makes him an important candidate for an analysis of what really makes him tick.

[Stride]-Stride Step-[Choose one or more cards with the sum of their grades being 3 or greater from your hand, and discard them] Stride this card on your (VC) from face down.
[ACT](VC)[1/Turn] Generation Break 2:[Counter Blast (1) & Choose a face down card named “Sage-saint Professor, Bigbelly” from your G zone, and turn it face up] Choose one of your rear-guards, and it gets [Power]+4000 for each face up card in your G zone until end of turn. Choose one of your units, and until end of turn, it gets “[AUTO](VC/RC):When this unit’s attack hits a vanguard, choose up to the same number of your other rear-guards as the number of face up cards in your G zone, and [Stand] them.”.

Immediately upon release, this card earned a valuable spot in G Zones across the clan, no matter what build you were running.  Managarmr looked on as his role as the clan’s primary finisher was diminished and taken over somewhat by this big blue panda.  He is more or less Great Nature’s answer and upgrade to Blizza, giving 1k less power per face up unit but applying more pressure behind the turn thanks to the AUTO ability it bestows.

One of my favorite things about this card is that it provides you with choices for how you want your turn to play out.  Even though the power buff and on-hit skill are given out all at once, you can choose two different targets if you desire.  That is, in fact, often a point of confusion for players both old and new when attempting to utilize this card to its fullest.

With a current ideal field setup, you will have Sage-saint Professor on the Vanguard circle, a boosted Crayon Tiger on one side, and an attacking column on the other.  Assuming this field, it tends to be a no-brainer to give the buff to the non-Crayon front row rear guard.  Rarely would you want to be giving the buff elsewhere, as you want to put as much pressure in shield from your opponent’s hand as possible by restanding a large attacker with Crayon Tiger.

More concerning is where to place the on-hit skill.  Unlike the power buff, the on-hit restand can be given to any unit, including the Vanguard itself.  Because of the way Great Nature’s attack patterns work, this is generally not the road you want to go down if only because your Vanguard should be your first attack unless you run Stand triggers, at which point you may accidentally render the on-hit skill redundant.  Your best bet in most situations is going to be to give both the buff and the on-hit skill to the same non-Crayon rear guard.  On-hit skills work best when attached to attacks that are harder to guard, and if you have Crayon Tiger on the field, that big attack is going to be coming at the opponent’s Vanguard twice in the same turn.

As long as you have a full field, you can get some value out of the attack hitting no matter when your opponent lets it through.  If they let the rear guard’s first attack hit, you can stand its booster to lend extra strength to the column’s second attack.  If your opponent waits until the rear guard’s final attack to let the damage through, you get to restand your Crayon Tiger column.  Although Crayon Tiger is only once per turn, an extra 16k attack (or more if you assigned any triggers or power buffs to that column) will at the very least be enough to force another card or two out of your opponent’s hand and at best can be the last bit of push you need to finish them off.

Under the right circumstances, you may want to assign the on-hit skill to Crayon Tiger even though its attack will likely be weaker than your other rear guard column.  The time to do this would be when you are reluctant to give your opponent any more damage.  I often find myself in a position where I put a crit on my more powerful rear guard during my Triple Drive but my opponent has the shield to block my restanding rear guard and has the luxury of taking my weaker Crayon Tiger attack for an extra CB to use on their coming turn.  If you feel as though you may be in a position where this situation is going to become relevant, putting the on-hit skill on Crayon Tiger can be a deterrent against that easy damage.  Suddenly, that attack becomes more dangerous, being able to restand the other rear guard column’s booster, lending even more power to the freshly standing unit.

Wherever you choose to put Sage-saint Professor’s abilities, this card is a force to be reckon with, granting more and more power with every Stride and G Guard you perform.  Your opponent will rarely feel comfortable staring this card down mid to late game, needing to drop quite a few cards from their hand to survive your onslaught.

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