Honorary Professor, Chatsauvage: First Thoughts

There’s a lot to cover in the new Honorary Professor support, but this card has arguably been the center of the most discussion in the new reveals.  His ability is unorthodox and can be slightly confusing, so let’s take a look into this card to see what makes Honorary Professor, Chatsauvage as good as he is.

[AUTO]:[Choose a grade 3 card with “Honorary Professor” in its card name from your hand, and discard it] When this unit is placed on (VC) by riding a “Honorary Professor, Chatnoir”, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose a face down “Omniscience Dragon, Cath Palug” or “Immortality Professor, Brahmananda” on your G-zone, Stride it on your (VC). If you Stride, until end of turn, you cannot Stride.

At first glance, this card may appear to be useless.  As is commonly known, Break Ride skills are lost under normal circumstances when you Stride.  Even though Chatnoir’s Break Ride skill focuses on rear guard attacks, the ability itself comes from the Vanguard and as such, even the rear guard power gain and retire/draw are lost if you Stride over a Grade 3 that has been granted the Break Ride skill.

However, Chatsauvage brings Vanguard’s interesting card interactions and timings into light.  Chatsauvage’s skill forces your Stride for the turn to happen at a different time than it normally would.  In Vanguard, if two skills activate simultaneously, the turn player decides in what order those abilities resolve.  When you ride Chatsauvage over Chatnoir, two things happen at exactly the same time.  Chatnoir’s ability activates to give your Vanguard +10k power and the rest of the Break Ride ability, but Chatsauvage’s skill also activates to discard an Honorary Professor Grade 3 and Stride.  As the turn player, you can decide to resolve Chatsauvage’s skill first.  This allows you to Stride before resolving Chatnoir’s skill, gifting the Break Ride to the G Unit instead of giving it to Chatsauvage.

Chatsauvage has two specific targets that he can Stride into with his ability.  When you use him and gift your G Unit the Break Ride skill, you turn your G Units into incredible powerhouses.  Cath Palug suddenly gives +8k and draw 2 for every attack.  Brahmananda lets your multi-attacking get bigger and beefier with every rear guard attack, potentially closing out games by overwhelming your opponent.

Even if you have to ride Chatsauvage first and miss out on the combo, all is not lost.  Unlike previous backup Grade 3 choices for Chatnoir decks, Chatsauvage himself still has the Honorary Professor name.  This means that if you are unfortunate to miss out on riding Chatnoir first, you still retain access to the two G Units that require Honorary Professor Hearts.

Do I wish Chatsauvage had a second ability, perhaps his own on-Stride skill?  I do, but with the combos he enables, that surely would have been asking for too much.  The only major drawback I can see that is worth noting for this card is that he is restricted to Cath Palug and Brahmananda specifically.  This means that any future Honorary Professor support may make him a bit awkward if we get more G Units to work with.

Overall, there is a myriad of reasons to love Chatsauvage.  I for one welcome him to the ever-growing cat family within Great Nature University.

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