Just like they did with Bigbelly, Bushiroad has given us their interpretation of a deck for the Honorary Professor sub-clan. It is to be expected that the deck would run a selection of cards from the new set, but just how does Bushiroad’s version of how to utilize these new cards seem to stack up against other Great Nature builds?
1x Gifted Bear
4x Immortality Professor, Brahmananda
2x Omniscience Dragon, Fernyiges
2x Sage-saint Professor, Bigbelly
2x Omniscience Dragon, Managarmr
2x Omniscience Dragon, Cath Palug
2x Immortality Professor, Kundalini
2x Omniscience Dragon, Al-mi’raj
This deck (which can be found here) is puzzling to say the least. The starting Vanguard makes sense but it rapidly goes downhill in a fast spiral from there. Gifted Bear is a great card for securing your Honorary Professor, Chatsauvage combo. As stated in his article, he also combos very well early game with Mikesaburo and Duckbill. Now to be fair, this deck is very combo heavy, but I still cannot wrap my head around Draw Triggers in Great Nature, especially at 8. Draw Triggers do very little to add to early game combo draw consistency, to the point where they may as well be entirely useless. Later in the game, they become doubly useless, as Great Nature has the draw power on its own to shun Draw Triggers. In a multi-attacking deck, Crits and Stands make infinitely more sense to keep constant pressure on your opponent. Their specific choice of units as their triggers baffles me as well. They have chosen Ruler Chameleon as their lone Critical. His ability is nearly worthless in this deck, costing a Counter Blast where CB is tight. Meanwhile, they have chosen two vanilla Draws over Castanet Donkey, who could help get key units to greater power levels. I am not disparaging the use of vanilla triggers, though. In fact, I applaud them for using vanillas. If you are going to be running Binoculus for early game retires, you want all of your triggers to be vanilla so that you can hit key early game numbers with them. All in all, this trigger zone is nothing short of a nightmare. Remove everything except the Heals and start over with vanilla Criticals and, if you so choose, Stands. Be consistent. It’s how this deck wins games.
Overall, I like the Grade 1 lineup quite a bit. Shell Master provides vital Counter Charge. Reader Pig combos heavily with Immortality Professor, Brahmananda and Crayon Tiger. Sabu and Duck combo with the starter and provide you with early game rush as well as ways to add other combo pieces to your hand.
The Grade 2s are yet another tragedy. I understand wanting to use Honorary Professors in an Honorary Professor deck, but this is taking it too far. Thanks to Reader Pig, one of the best Grade 2s to combo with Brahmananda is Crayon Tiger. Even without Pig, Crayon Tiger is a large portion of Great Nature’s offensive power, no matter what variant you’re building. Especially in a build that has no room for Tusk Master, maxing out on Crayon is crucial. Binoculus seems a bit out of place here, but not so much as Go-home Toad. Toad provides extra attacks from the back row, but his complete lack of synergy with Brahmananda makes his inclusion questionable. You are honestly probably better off not worrying about Toad, even in an Honorary Professor combo deck. Similarly, Treatise Panther suffers from a lack of synergy with Brahmananda. Even on a multi-attack combo turn, Treatise Panther will only ever be able to grant his buff to your other front row rear guard. Buffing and killing a Crayon Tiger for a random draw is not a valuable enough skill to put Treatise Panther up to max copies. If you’re dedicated to going with a full Honorary Professor combo, keep in mind that every potential combo piece you add is going to make it harder and harder to pull off your strategy.
There is honestly nothing much to look at in the Grade 3 section. Because of Chatsauvage’s skill, including four copies of both himself and Chatnoir makes perfect sense to keep the combo consistent.
As for the G Zone, I believe that I see where Bushiroad was trying to go with it but I still have strong negative feelings toward it. It seems as though Bushiroad planned this G Zone out for the long game. Go into Cath Palug, burn your resources, go into Fernyiges to get them back, rinse and repeat for heavy draw each turn. The main issue, other than the loss by deckout you’re going to earn yourself, is that Vanguard as a game does not last long enough to make that kind of draw power relevant. In Vanguard, most clans and decks are geared toward at least attempting to end the turn on their second Stride. Great Nature is no different. Especially in a deck where you can use Brahmananda as your first Stride for a more powerful Sage-saint Professor, Bigbelly, what is the purpose of elongating the game when you can almost always just go into Bigbelly once or twice and win? Like their Bigbelly deck, Bushiroad left Afanc out of this G Zone. It would appear that Bushiroad is aware of just how hard they have left Kagero in the dust meta-wise, but it still isn’t advisable to go into a serious tournament without an Afanc or two lying in wait, ready to deny the Denial. The final point of confusion I have is the inclusion of two Al-mi’raj. Unlike Famous Professor, Bigbelly, this deck has no reason to desire opponent’s-turn calling. There are no on-Stride skills to assign to rear guards, so keeping them in hand to call during your Main Phase or with Brahmananda is perfectly fine. Even though Honorary Professor does not quite have the same mass retire that Teacher’s Cane of Affection Bigbelly has, Ardillo is still a prime choice for G Guardian, granting easy or even free bonus shield.
Honorary Professor is a deck that is going to take time and care to get just right. It would appear that even Bushiroad isn’t entirely sure of what to make from the sub-clan, and they designed the cards. For now, trial and error prevails, but I have to file this list under “error”.
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