Eternal Professor, Brahmananda: First Thoughts

For the longest time, we have only had this card’s art but as of the other day’s Monthly Bushiroad scans, we now know everything about the new professor.  Along with the revealed rear guard support for the Honorary Professor sub-clan, Eternal Professor, Brahmananda appears to support an entirely new play style for Great Nature.

[Stride] (Released when both players’ vanguards are grade 3 or greater!)-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.
[AUTO](VC):[Counter Blast (1) & Choose a face down card named “Immortality Professor, Brahmananda” from your G zone, and turn it face up] When this unit attacks, if you have a heart card with “Honorary Professor” in its card name, you may pay the cost. If you do, choose up to the same number of cards from your hand as the number of face up cards in your G zone, call them to separate (RC), and until end of turn, they get “[AUTO](RC):When this unit attacks, this unit gets [Power]+4000 until end of that battle. At the end of that turn, draw a card, and retire this unit.”.

Mid-battle calling is a mechanic that is largely new to Great Nature, but Brahmananda brings it to the forefront of the Honorary Professor sub-clan in style.  Important to note is the fact that Brahmananda calls cards from hand up to the number of any face-up cards in the G Zone.  This is likely due to the fact that Honorary Professors do not have a common naming convention for G Units, but has the side effect of making this card potentially very powerful with the right setup.

When paired with Honorary Professor, Chat Sauvage, Brahmananda could net you a very profitable turn.  Thanks to Chat Sauvage being able to grant Chatnoir’s Break Ride skill to your G Unit, every attack by a unit Brahmananda called that turn will grant your field 8k power.  It will give itself 4k via Brahmananda and grant another unit, even potentially itself if you so choose, 4k power as well.  In theory, a full field called via this unit on a Break Ride turn that can all attack would grant your field an extra 40k power and an intimidating draw of 10 cards during the End Phase.  This is, of course, very much an ideal scenario generally only possible in a vacuum, but it’s fun to think about nonetheless.

There are a couple fun combos that immediately come to mind when thinking about using this unit.  If you have a Crayon Tiger on the field, you can call the new Grade 1 unit that gains the ability to attack from the back row behind Crayon Tiger (Note: You can find said card in my Honorary Professor overview article.  Its First Thoughts article will go up tomorrow).  When you attack with Crayon Tiger, you can choose to stand its booster, standing the Grade 1 up to attack after Crayon’s battle is finished.  This simple combo executed on a Break Ride turn would grant the Grade 1 8k power – 4k from Crayon Tiger and 4k from the Break Ride – during Crayon’s attack, brining that attack to 24k power.  Following that, the Grade 1 would attack on its own, giving itself another 8k power – 4k from Brahmananda and 4k from Chatnoir – for a 25k swing.  During the End Phase, you would retire the Grade 1 and draw 4 cards just from that one column.  Factor in your other column or other calls from Brahmananda and you could see truly impressive gains.

A second combo relies on rulings where Honorary Professor, Chatnoir is concerned.  A very important thing to note is that Chatnoir’s Break Ride skill is not rear guard reliant.  What I mean by this is that although the skill activates when a rear guard attacks, the full skill is not tied to the targeted rear guard itself.  Because you must resolve as much of an ability in Vanguard as possible and the Break Ride skill’s activation condition was met on rear guard attack, you will still get all draws from the Break Ride skill even if the original target for the power gain is not on the field at the end of the turn.  This allows Brahmananda to potentially force quite a bit of shield out of your opponent’s hand without losing out on defensive draws if you fail to finish your opponent off.  You can attack with any rear guards you choose before the Vanguard attacks and if any of them were the beneficiary of a Break Ride power buff, you will still get the draw for said buff at the end of the turn even if you call over them with Brahmananda to continue your offensive assault.  Keep in mind that this is not true for all retire and draw skills in Great Nature.  Cards like Coiling Duckbill assign the full ability to a specific unit and require that that unit specifically be retired during the End Phase to activate the draw skill.

Brahmananda does of course have its faults.  It relies entirely on its rear guards in regards to back row attacking.  Were it to give its called targets the ability to attack from the back row itself, units like Treatise Panther and Go-Home Toad would be significantly more versatile and useful.  Instead, they are still fairly restricted.  Treatise Panther will still be required to target your other front row rear guard, which in some builds may still be Crayon Tiger, which is not a unit you want to be retiring often.  Go-Home Toad is probably the worst offender, though.  To gain Brahmananda’s +4k on attack ability, the attacking unit has to have been called by Brahmananda itself.  Go-Home Toad suffers horribly because of this.  Toad’s ability to attack from the back row is gained from a main phase ACT ability, causing it to miss out on that ability when called during battle.  This can be circumvented somewhat by giving it power via a different unit on a Break Ride turn but it makes Toad awkward at best on a normal Brahmananda Stride turn.

Eternal Professor, Brahmananda breathes fresh air into a sub-clan that was already strong but largely provided more of the same thing the rest of the clan already did.  Whether that ends up being for the better remains to be seen, but more offensive options are rarely a problem.  Prepare to see this unit’s adorable face across the table from you at all levels of tournament play this year.

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