Well, it was inevitable. With the delayed release of Crimson Crisis knocking that set three weeks back, there just aren’t that many cards left to write about, and that means I get to write about whatever crazy stuff I want! Hear that? It’s the sound of my frown turning upside down. It sounds kind of like a slide whistle.
This newfound freedom means I’ll be talking about Greenkappa
, a card that actually saw side deck play as a once-off in Adam Kolb’s Day 2 deck at Shonen Jump Championship Houston
. I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of Solemn Judgment
, and playing my own copies of it to fight back just doesn’t make me feel warm and tingly inside. This guy, however, comes with tingles aplenty! . . .
Dark / Warrior
650 ATK / 900 DEF
Flip: Select 2 face-down Spell or Trap Cards on the field and destroy them.
Greenkappa was released as a Hobby League promo, long before Hobby League kits were widely available. Back then, such kits were a trove of awkward promos that most hobby stores weren’t even aware of, and releases were infrequent. Greenkappa was then reprinted in Dark Beginnings 2 much later, a massive set where it was tricky even to find a particular common you wanted. I think it’s possible the average player hasn’t even seen this card.
To make matters worse, Greenkappa was both released and reprinted in an era where few duelists would ever set more than one card to their back rows. Negation cards weren’t popular and Heavy Storm definitely was, so setting two or more cards at once was seen as a big risk at best (and a newbie’s mistake at worst).
Fast forward a few years and we find ourselves in "The Solemn Judgment Era." Seeing two cards set at a time in the opponent’s back row is common, and while seeing more than two cards there would have been unthinkable in formats gone past, it’s now pretty plausible. With Gladiator Beasts (likely the number one setter of cards at the moment) gaining some power from new cards in Crimson Crisis, that trend is likely to continue, with the only mitigating factor being the sudden upswing in play of Royal Oppression in TeleDAD (Greenkappa can’t destroy continuous traps that are flipped in response to its effect, though it will destroy its other target anyway).
A Lose-Lose Situation . . . In discussing Greenkappa, we have to talk about it from two different perspectives. First, the impact the card has when your opponent either doesn’t expect it or refuses to let it influence his or her play. Second, its impact when a smart player is aware of it and begins to play around it. Let’s look at each individually.
In a vacuum, Greenkappa will generally do one of four things. In a worst case scenario, you’ll set it when your opponent has two or more cards in his or her back row, and those cards will be activated before Greenkappa is flipped — this is bad news, as it might mean you’ll lose Greenkappa’s effect. Worse yet, Greenkappa could wind up destroying your own cards — try not to let that happen, ever. On the other side of the fence are three positive scenarios that are all quite different.
First, and arguably best, is the scenario in which your opponent attacks into Greenkappa and loses two of his or her cards — a straight gain in card presence on your side; though you likely lose Greenkappa, your opponent loses two cards to your one. If you manage to keep Greenkappa on the field (say, by sending your opponent signals that you set Sangan or Legendary Jujitsu Master) and flip summon it the scenario is largely the same, though you do get the opportunity to tribute Greenkappa for something else. That latter scenario isn’t all that likely in today’s aggressive metagames, so for all intents and purposes let’s consider it the same as losing Greenkappa to an attack. Point is: your opponent loses two back row cards.
Next, Greenkappa could quite easily destroy one of your opponent’s back row cards while its other target is chained. Emergency Teleport, Mystical Space Typhoon, Dust Tornado, or Royal Oppression are all cards that could commonly be chained in this case. Remember two things: certain cards can be chained to Greenkappa’s effect when it’s flip summoned, but many can’t be chained when it’s flipped by an attack. The same trick that you used to keep your Morphing Jar secure can make Greenkappa more effective. In addition, remember that when your opponent is forced to chain a card to Greenkappa’s effect he or she has invested a card that player likely didn’t plan to use quite yet. A chained Emergency Teleport for Krebons may fend you off for a turn, but that Krebons won’t last past the end phase. Even if the chained card does resolve somewhat normally, you’ve forced your opponent into action.
Finally, should you flip summon Greenkappa and threaten two cards, it’s quite possible your opponent may see a need to negate the summon with Solemn Judgment. If that’s the case, then that player loses half his or her life points to a monster with 650 ATK (as well as one of that player’s negations). Not a bad deal!
What I’m getting at is that unless you play very badly and wind up losing Greenkappa’s effect entirely, there’s no good move for your opponent to make. Whether you gain sheer card advantage, information and pressure, or life point lead from activating Greenkappa’s effect, you score a pretty huge profit for little effort. The only card you really don’t want to see played in response to Greenkappa’s flip is Gladiator Beast War Chariot, but even eliminating that one card from your opponent’s back row creates big opportunities for follow-up.
Another Lose-Lose Situation "But Jason!" you cry. "What if my opponent simply refuses to set more than one card and plays around Greenkappa? Then Greenkappa’s useless!" Which is a fair thing to ask. Luckily it’s also wrong on many points.
The natural reaction to getting smacked by Greenkappa is to stop setting so many cards, and while that eliminates your chances to play Greenkappa’s flip effect, it also severely hinders your opponent. If he or she is only setting one card at a time, then the threats of Mystical Space Typhoon, Breaker the Magical Warrior, Snipe Hunter, and Dust Tornado become far greater, and your ability to simply press one threat through your opponent by hurling two that player’s way becomes far more dangerous. Shaping the way your opponent approaches the game is a deadly tactic; you’ll force experienced players to abandon particular sets of options, while a less experienced player will be disoriented and left making bad decisions.
As for Greenkappa being useless, that’s not exactly true. Not only does it become a discard for a variety of effects like Phoenix Wing Wind Blast’s, it also benefits from its Dark attribute. That makes it fodder for Allure of Darkness, and (combined with its low ATK) a searchable candidate for tributing with Crush Card Virus. In fact that latter reflection brings me to my last point . . .
It’s Eminently Searchable If you’ve read my last deck fix in The Apotheosis or have simply been paying attention to this article, you’ll notice that Greenkappa is a Warrior. That means it’s searchable via Reinforcement of the Army, making it a viable once-of in the main or side deck for plenty of big archetypes. Searching out Greenkappa actually lets you shift gears from the two "modes" of play I described earlier. Search it out when your opponent has set cards to the back row in order to take advantage of Greenkappa’s effect, or search for it earlier on to reveal that you have it, and deter your opponent from setting cards. The searchability, and the resulting flexibility and control over how you play Greenkappa, is what makes it so good.
For one card slot, you get the accessibility of running multiple cards, and the control to either devastate the opponent’s back row or deter him or her from playing stuff there altogether. Greenkappa’s a promising monster offering tremendous potential, and it’s finally come into its own. Give it a shot!