Bushiroad’s Bigbelly: Deck Analysis

Bushiroad has given players a gift.  This is a gift that they like to hand out whenever a new set releases, but it is always nice when the gift is wrapped and signed out specifically to Great Nature players.  This gift is that of a deck list.  Each new set, Bushiroad comes up with a deck list for new key cards in that set.  This time, Bushiroad has given us a deck list centered around Teacher’s Cane of Affection, Bigbelly.

Starter:
1x Scintillating First-year Student, Littlebelly

Triggers:
4x Brushing Kitten
4x Polish Penguin
4x Application Researcher, Ponbelly
4x Chemical Skunk

Grade 1:
4x Fine Coat Maltese
4x Traveling Momonga
4x Diligent Assistant, Minibelly
3x Coiling Duckbill


Grade 2:
4x Lesser Writer
3x Crayon Tiger
3x Problem Child, Greybelly
2x Fullsack Squirrel

Grade 3:
4x Teacher's Cane of Affection, Bigbelly
3x Contradictory Instructor, Tusk Master

G Zone:
4x Saint-sage Professor, Bigbelly
2x Omniscience Dragon, Wisdom Teller Dragon
2x Omniscience Dragon, Managarmr
2x Omniscience Dragon, Hrimthurs
1x Omniscience Dragon, Fernyiges
1x Omniscience Dragon, Kirtimukha
2x Immortality Professor, Kundalini
2x Omniscience Dragon, Al-mi'raj

Much like my previous Deck Analysis article, we will look through this grade by grade bur first, if you would like to see the list for yourself, you can find it on Bushiroad’s website here.  (If it redirects you to the English Vanguard website at first, close that window and click the link again)

The starter of choice here seems to make sense for the deck as a whole.  Littlebelly provides much-needed Counter Charge with his own skill and is also a sitting target for Fine Coat Maltese if you so choose.  The trigger lineup is not unconventional.  Stand triggers can be understood in a deck that hits with so much power.  Chemical Skunk’s skill is more than a bit underwhelming (Why give OTT and DP powerful new Stands but hand GN a Margal?), but it does provide a couple useful things.  3k power isn’t much, but if you’re putting that on a unit that will restand, that number doubles.  If that 3k causes you to hit an extra stage of shield, that Stand trigger has effectively forced 10k shield out of your opponent’s hand.  He also provides on-demand Soul, which is a resource Bigbelly decks can quickly run out of.  Another potential option here would be Watering Elephant, which provides Soul – albeit more slowly – while providing a field-sustaining ability.  Do keep in mind that maintaining a field presence may be the last thing on this deck’s mind thanks to Teacher’s Cane’s GB2 ability.  However, also keep in mind that Watering Elephant is a Success unit, making it a call target for Bigbelly in a pinch.

The Grade 1 lineup seems incredibly solid to me, to be completely honest.  In a deck based around Success, Maltese can be a recurring source of Perfect Guards while being a minimal hindrance on your End Phase plays.  Traveling Momonga is a fantastic Success unit which can be called via Bigbelly’s on-Stride skill and searches out key cards like Grade 3s for Stride or Crayon Tigers for offensive pressure.  Minibelly allows you to Stride more consistently and also allows you to search out Bigbelly if you draw into Tusk Master instead.  Finally, Coiling Duckbill is a source of extra draw in lieu of having other, more useful Success units at the Grade 1 level.

I feel this deck starts to lose focus at the Grade 2 level.  I understand wanting to cram in as many Success units as possible to make Bigbelly consistent, but I do not understand doing so at the cost of Crayon Tiger.  To make matters worse, the unit that they have chosen is possibly the worst choice they could have made.  This deck thrives off of removing its own Success units from the field, so why would they choose to run a unit like Fullsack Squirrel which needs to survive your turn to use its ability?  If you just wanted another 4k power, there’s no reason not to run Field Glass Otter or even Archaeology Junior, Cornegie instead.  My advice would be to cut the two Squirrels to add fourth copies of Greybelly and Crayon Tiger.  Both provide great offensive pressure as well as valuable retire and draw.  Lesser Writer is a solid choice for second Success unit at G2 because it buffs up your Success units, making it easier to hit their thresholds while simultaneously rendering Kagero and Gear Chronicle’s disruption G Guardians useless against your successful attackers.

The Grade 3 lineup seems to be emphasizing the focus this deck has on Teacher’s Cane of Affection, Bigbelly.  Famous Professor, Bigbelly is nowhere to be found here, opting to run Contradictory Instructor, Tusk Master instead.  I imagine this unit is at three copies to compensate for the missing Crayon Tiger, but as I recommend keeping Crayon at max copies and as Tusk is also searchable via Momonga, I would say that it is a good idea to add a copy or two of a Success Grade 3 to make up for the lost Success consistency at the Grade 2 level and the lack of it almost entirely at the Grade 1 level.

The G Zone honestly seems more rushed and last minute than anything else.  Omniscience Dragon, Wisdom Teller Dragon particularly stands out, as it is not a common choice for Great Nature decks even now and certainly does not get any more appealing with the release of G-CHB02.  Any card that gives your opponent that much control over what you do is generally frowned upon.  Another point of confusion I have is the inclusion of two copies of Omniscience Dragon, Al-mi’raj.  While fantastic in a deck centered around Famous Professor, Bigbelly, Al-mi’raj seems questionable in a deck that actively shuns having rear guards at the start of your turn.  Notably missing are Head of the Bastion, Ardillo and Omniscience Dragon, Afanc.  Ardillo is a phenomenal card to have in any Great Nature deck, but his condition is the easiest to meet in this deck.  A virtually guaranteed 25k shield is nothing to be discounted.  Meanwhile, Afanc is your last line of defense against Kagero.  Although Kagero may not be a commonly played meta deck right now, Great Nature’s G Zone space is not so tight that you have to exclude him.  He can almost single-handedly win the Kagero matchup for you if you wait for the right turn to use him and the G Zone is nothing if not a toolbox to prepare you for any situation.

I know that I said a lot, but in the end, I am fairly impressed with this deck.  It includes some informed if unorthodox choices and the few mistakes I feel it did make do not seem to be so egregious as to call this deck utter trash.  With a few slight modifications to fit the deck’s playstyle as well as local and widespread metas, you can go far with this build.  Thanks for the gift, Bushiroad!

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