Bigbelly vs Bigbelly: Analysis Update

Similar to the first article I posted on this site, this will be a “compare and contrast” sort of deal where our two Bigbelly Grade 3s are concerned.  I decided to revisit this article and write an updated version because, as many of you are likely aware, quite a bit has changed since then.  New cards bring new strategies and new ways of interacting, bringing cards back into consideration that once may have been found underwhelming.

I will save space here by skipping the unit introductions.  If you are unaware of what Famous Professor, Bigbelly (FPB) and Teacher’s Cane of Affection, Bigbelly (TCAB) do or need a quick refresher, their effects are in the old article linked above.  Last time we started with FPB, so I think this time we’ll switch things up and begin with TCAB.

Ultimately, not a lot ended up changing for this card between the last article and this one. Sadly, this set did not give us too much in the way of great new Success units, though we were granted more Resist toolboxing thanks to Lesser Writer, a great target for TCAB, providing you with plays around otherwise troublesome G Guardians as well as giving your field an extra boost.  We also finally got the skill of Omniscience Dragon, Fernyiges.  Fern is a great utility card for TCAB for a couple reasons.  First, he provides resources just like in any other GN deck.  More importantly, his skill is an easy way to make sure your field is clear if you want to focus on getting the Stride cost buff from TCAB’s GB2 skill.

Because we were not gifted a large array of new powerful Success RGs, this card can still have the occasional consistency hiccup.  There will be times when you find yourself with less-than-ideal targets to call for his skill or worse, none at all.  However, this should be mitigated with careful play and deck building.  TCAB is still an incredibly solid card that I believe will see quite a bit of play.

FPB is where things really got interesting this set.  Before, he was a mess of inconsistency and weakness to control.  Now, his issues have been mitigated to a degree.  Omniscience Dragon, Al-mi’raj gives you less to worry about against decks that can retire or spin your field, as you can call buff targets back as long as you have a Heal trigger and targets in hand, also giving them protective abilities to keep them around until you get the chance to target them with FPB’s on-Stride skill.  Another boon granted to FPB is Fullmark Gorilla.  Keep in mind that his GB2 only protects him from attacks and you will still need to pay his CB cost if you want to keep him around through your own retire effects, but even with the cost, Fullmark provides another avenue toward getting and keeping units on the field to target with FPB’s ability.  Finally, Fernyiges works wonders with the units like Alibelly and Fullmark, as Fernyiges gets the draw/CC/SC for each rear guard targeted, not each retired.

Even still, FPB has some kinks to work out.  You can only guarantee ideal targets for him if you have a Heal trigger in hand and while this may not be a huge feat for a clan that draws heavily each turn, it is still something that you need to keep in mind when considering FPB’s overall usefulness.  The deck is still much more vulnerable to Lock, just by virtue of having units on the field where TCAB actively tries to get rid of them.

Regardless, it feels nice to have choices.  With testing, I feel certain different players are going to be popping up with all kinds of Bigbelly decks once this set releases.  We will see pure TCAB decks whose goal is to wipe the field and gets heavy draw and easier Stride costs.  We will also see pure FPB decks that mitigate retires by saving units and strategically use Heal triggers to ensure they always have the best targets.  We will also, of course, see hybrid decks, a blending of the two strategies with decks built to make the most of whichever Grade 3 you end up riding.  I for one look forward to seeing them all in time!

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