Gifted Bear: First Thoughts

Gifted Bear is the final new card that needs to be looked at from this week’s Monthly Bushiroad reveals.  Honorary Professor finally has their own starting Vanguard and like many cards in Great Nature, his goal is consistency.  Will the consistency he brings be enough to dethrone the reigning Chatnoir starter?

[AUTO]:Forerunner
[ACT](RC):[[Rest]this unit] Choose a card with “Honorary Professor” in its card name in your hand, and you may reveal it. If you reveal, search your deck for a card with “Honorary Professor” in its card name with different card name than the revealed card, show it to your opponent, add it to your hand, shuffle your deck, choose a card from your hand, discard it, and at the end of that turn, retire this unit.

In a way, Gifted Bear is his own built-in Honorary Assistant, Mikesaburo.  However, there is one main difference between the two.  While Mikesaburo can grab any Grade 3 when the unit he targets dies, Gifted Bear requires you to already have an Honorary Professor Grade 3 in hand.  If you choose to run Gifted Bear, gone are the days where you could quite so comfortably run lower Grade 3 counts.  You are going to want to be somewhere close to normal grade ratios if you want to get the maximum consistency out of Bear.  What he is useful for, though, are combos.  If you already have Chatnoir, Bear ensures that you will then have the Honorary Professor, Chat Sauvage you will need to ride once you are at four damage.  If you have Chat Sauvage, Bear makes sure you don’t have to worry about riding him first instead of Chatnoir.  This is also accomplished by Mikesaburo without needing to discard a card, but he does so in a self-contained manner.  While Mikesaburo needs a target and a way to retire said target, Bear only needs himself and a Grade 3.

You could compare and contrast Bear and Mikesaburo all day but in the end, the way they work best may very well be together.  Unlike Telescope Rabbit, the current starter of choice for Chatnoir decks, Bear ensures a retire target at the end of the turn without spending valuable CB.  Gifted Bear marks himself for death for no cost beyond resting for his own skill.  Because of this, Honorary Professor decks now have a near guaranteed end of turn retire target that they can stack effects from Mikesaburo and Coiling Duckbill on.  This development could mean all sorts of changes to Chatnoir decks going forward, replacing Telescope Rabbit and potentially even making Binoculus Tiger redundant.  As a minor note, Bear removes himself from the field, opening up spots where you can call Reader Pig or Go-Home Toad later in the game when you are ready to combo with Eternal Professor, Brahmananda.

At first glance and first analysis, Gifted Bear seems to provide a very desirable skill while simultaneously enabling other cards that are already commonly played in Honorary Professor decks.  Don’t be surprised to see this Vanguard stand up across from you once G Character Booster 02: WE ARE!!! TRINITY DRAGON releases later this year.

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