Fun And Interesting Plays in Great Nature

This is yet another new sort of article for this website.  Generally, I have looked at cards or decks and either predicted or reported on how I believed they would do in the future or were doing already respectively.  Today, I want to look at the clan in a more broad sense and point out some of the more uncommon plays you may want to make in certain situations or matchups.

Recently, I shared on GNU’s Facebook page a video posted by my team’s YouTube channel showcasing my Chatnoir/Arusha deck.  In this video, I covered the deck, why I made some of the tech choices I made, and a brief overview of some of the general strategy surrounding the deck.  However, one of the comments on this video brought up a good point.  There was a niche but potentially important play that I neglected to cover in my deck profile.  As I said in my response, it is not possible to cover every possible play you may want to make with any given deck and still keep deck profiles to a reasonable length.  Then it dawned on me.  I can’t do that in a deck profile, but I had somewhere more suited to that kind of long-form explanation, so here you see my first foray into this arena.

I will begin with the play outlined by the user on YouTube.  Arusha is a cheap restander.  Discard one is a pitiful cost for a phenomenal skill.  Unfortunately, Arusha’s restand comes with the drawback of not being able to pass triggers to itself.  Often, this will result in your opponent throwing down a 1-to-pass on your VG attack, safely blocking themselves from taking damage.  Remember, however, that Arusha can pass trigger effects to any rear-guard, including the VG’s booster.  If your opponent guards just enough for a 1-to-pass and forgets your booster, you can give the power from a trigger to the VG’s booster and the power will be added to your VG attack, sometimes pushing in unexpected damage past what your opponent assumed was an easy block.  If you have an extra Crayon Tiger on the field beyond the one that will likely be used to restand the unit you buff with Arusha, you may even choose to use it to restand Arusha’s booster, giving you a second chance to catch your opponent off guard.

In the vein of plays enabled by having multiple Crayon Tigers, you can always make your restood RG attacks stronger if you have the CB to make it happen and want to go for a big push.  When your first Crayon Tiger attacks, you can use its skill to stand its own booster.  Even though the booster is now standing, it is still considered to be boosting the attack.  This grants an extra 4k power to the attack right away and gives you the added benefit of allowing you to add that booster’s 11k power to your first Crayon’s second attack as well.

Crayon Tiger seems to be becoming a theme here with my third fun play.  This one includes some of the new support, and I believe I mentioned it in a previous article as well.  If you Stride into Brahmananda, you can use the new Honorary Professor support G1 alongside Crayon Tiger for a play that works even if you have one column fully locked down by Link Joker.  Call Crayon to the front row in your Main Phase and when Brahm attacks, use its skill to call Reader Pig behind Crayon Tiger.  When Crayon attacks, you can use its skill to stand Pig.  As noted before, Pig would still count as boosting so you would not lose his power on Crayon’s attack.  Afterward, Pig would be able to attack on his own from the back row, poking your opponent for an extra 11k.  If you used Sauvage to Break Ride into Brahm that turn and/or have a second Crayon Tiger, you can extend this combo to repeatedly attack with Pig and potentially make him bigger and bigger each time.

For my final tip in this article, I will continue the theme of restanding boosters.  Saint-sage Professor, Bigbelly provides a Rear Guard with the ability to stand other RGs if its attack hits the opponent’s Vanguard alongside a large power buff.  This may be obvious to many, but I have been asked about this before, so it is worth noting that if you give the buffed RG the restand ability as well and its attack hits VG on its first swing – assuming you have a Crayon Tiger on the other side of the field – you can choose to stand the buffed unit’s booster to add an extra bit of power on that unit’s second attack.

These are certainly not all of the fun or interesting combos available to Great Nature decks.  We have just broken the surface today and I do plan to write more of these articles in the future, so if you can think of a combo that you believe deserves to be featured in a future article, feel free to let me know and I will be happy to give you a shout out if I use your tip going forward.  You can contact me in a number of ways.  Comment on one of my posts on Facebook, message Great Nature University on Facebook, comment on the reddit thread for this article posted on /r/cardfightvanguard, or leave me a comment on this very article.  I promise I will see it in any of these places.

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School Hunter, Leo-pald: Throwback Thursday

Today marks the start of another new series of articles.  This is a series I have been interested in starting for a while now, because it lets me take a look back at the past powerhouses of Great Nature.  By looking at the clan’s past, we can often learn lessons about its present and future.  It is only fitting that for the first Throwback article, we should take a look at Great Nature’s first true boss card: School Hunter, Leo-pald.

[AUTO](VC) Limit Break 4 (This ability is active if you have four or more damage):[Counter Blast (1)] During your end phase, when one of your «Great Nature» rear-guards is put into the drop zone, you may pay the cost. If you do, call that card to an open (RC).
[AUTO](VC):When this unit attacks a vanguard, choose another of your «Great Nature» rear-guards, and you may have that unit get [Power]+4000 until end of turn. If you do, at the beginning of your end phase, retire that unit.

I often point back to this card when discussing what I believe to be the core concept of this clan.  There is nothing particularly flashy or fancy about how the original Leo-pald worked.  It simply worked.  When I speak about Great Nature, the word I often use is “consistency”.  Consistency is the name of the game with our clan, whether that be the consistency of riding, consistency of plays, or consistently having the shield to make it through your opponent’s turn.  Nowadays, we get many of those things from very all-around powerful cards such as Honorary Assistant, Mikesaburo but years ago when all we had was Booster Set 7: Rampage of the Beast King, the deck needed to be as fine-tuned as possible to make sure everything ran smoothly.

The first thing that Leo-pald provided was that all-important buff and retire.  Leo-pald remained the boss of choice for many Great Nature players until we received his “Reverse” form in Booster Set 13.  With only BT07, the retire was not as important as it was largely redundant.  You were often already retiring your own units with Binoculus Tiger, so stacking on an extra retire from Leo-pald did not matter.  Those +4k power buffs in those times were often enough to hit that extra stage or two of power that you needed for the kill during a time in Vanguard’s life where mass draw or huge power pushes were not nearly as common.

With the introduction of Booster Set 8, that retire became important with the arrival of Coiling Duckbill.  Suddenly, you wanted that retire.  By putting a booster (and 7k, no less) on the field, you could recoup your loss from a retire for virtually nothing.  These kinds of resource washes – possibly even soft plusses – were a rare luxury in Vanguard at the time, leading Great Nature’s retire skills to become something of envy instead of something to be mitigated and tolerated.

Beyond the buff and retire was Leo-pald’s Limit Break 4 ability.  At the end of the turn, you could Counter Blast 1 to revive a unit that was retiring.  So now, not only are you able to draw when a unit retires, you don’t even need to lose that unit permanently.  Because of the prevalence of the Grade 1 and Grade 2 Hammsuke cards at the time, Counter Blasts were at something of a premium, but with smart resource management, players rarely ran into situations where they did not have a Counter Blast or two to spare for Leo-pald when they needed to revive key units to maintain board control.

Cards like Leo-pald still have something of a niche place in Great Nature line-ups to this day.  I cannot say that I particularly recommend running him in a current GN build, but he has led the way in interesting Grade 3-Stride interactions.  Because you un-Stride first in the End Phase, you can choose to run cards like Leo-pald that have skills which can be activated during your End Phase to retain card advantage.  Leo-pald is at the head of a group of cards containing others such as Minette and Tester Fox who allow those fun interactions.  Who knows?  Maybe some day we’ll see a resurgence of Leo-pald into the game with some new support cards.  I for one would love nothing more.

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