Honorary Professor: First Thoughts

Today’s article is going to be a new take on the First Thoughts series.  Instead of looking at a single card, I will be giving my thoughts on an entire sub-clan.  I will likely have more articles like this in the future so if you enjoy this, let me know what other sub-clans or deck types I haven’t covered yet that you’d like to see my impressions on.  To start this potential series off, I’ll be taking a look into the recently fleshed out Honorary Professor sub-clan.

G-CHB02 has given us a handful of cards that turns Honorary Professor from a couple connected cards into a full sub-clan, and the results are unexpected to say the least.  I don’t know that much of anyone expected Honorary Professor to become what it has, but I suppose points go to Bushiroad for originality this time.  The Honorary Professor sub-clan is a small group of cards that is focused on a combo that allows for multi-attack turns.  Everything seems designed to set up for a single burst turn, Break Riding Chatsauvage into Brahmananda and getting in as many attacks as you can to poke for extreme pressure and, barring a kill on the opponent, draw heavily at the end of the turn.

As with everything, there exists good and bad.  The good is that the Chatsauvage combo really can net you insane draw.  If you Break Ride into Cath Palug and go for a standard current Cath Palug turn with Crayon and all, you net +28k power, a restand, and draw 7 for CB4.  Brahmananda coupled with the Break Ride combo nets you +8k power and draw 2 for only Brahm’s own CB1 for each RG attack you make that turn.  When combo’d with Reader Pig and/or Go-Home Toad, your multi-attacks on this Break Ride turn can get downright deadly.

The bad is just how awkward the combo is.  You need the right cards in hand to pull it off, and they’re not general either.  The cards you need are specific and you need them at the right time.  Without Reader Pigs, your multi-attacks aren’t going to extend very far, and this issue is worsened due to Go-Home Toad’s complete and utter lack of synergy with Brahm’s on-attack call skill.  I will never understand why Bushiroad didn’t allow Brahm’s call targets to attack from the back as part of the Stride’s skill.  This would have made Treatise Panther infinitely more versatile and opened Pig and Toad’s spots for other more generally useful cards outside of an overly specific combo turn.

The need for combo pieces may inspire you to run Draw triggers.  Consider, though, the negative effects this will have throughout your deck.  For one, Draw triggers lack any sort of offensive potential whatsoever.  This is a deck that goes for the throat, and lacking Criticals works counter to the deck’s core strategy.  Beyond that, Draws do very little to increase consistency of draw for specific cards.  You need to hit them to start off with and beyond that, you’re still hoping for very specific draws.  Add to this the fact that Great Nature is in legitimate range of decking out in its new decks and Draws start to look like a worse and worse option.

Many players have already considered running part of the sub-clan and leaving out the clunkier parts.  Toad is a common choice to be dropped, Binoculus or other more versatile Grade 2s being run in his place.  Some players are even going so far as to drop Chatsauvage, pinning the Break Ride combo itself as too situational and gimmicky to rely upon.  Whatever your choice for cuts, rarely do I see anyone attempting to make the full sub-clan work, and I do believe that this is with good cause.

Currently, Honorary Professor seems to suffer from a common ailment among new sub-clans.  The concept is there, but they just have not received the cards necessary to flesh it all out.  With time and more sets of support, I believe that we will see Honorary Professor’s unique style of play become something to be feared, but until then, we may have to make a few necessary sacrifices for consistency’s sake.

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