During the Awakening Saga it seemed like the game couldn't be more revolutionized than it already was. And then when DM-38: Angelic Wars hit the stores, we were treated with what would become one of the most popular Fire cards to date: Genji Double Cross, Blastdragon!
The card's first flavor text says: 'Victory, in a flash!', which suits its speed attacker and blocker destroying effect pretty well. When those two typical Fire effects were both used in one card, which to top it all off is also a double breaker, it was more than obvious that beatdown would take a new step with this guy in the meta, and soon a new decktype centered around him was made, but we'll get into that a little later.
Name wise, his kanji consists of 爆竜 GENJI・XX which is read as Bakuryu Genji Daburu Kurosu. All of the Double Cross Armored Dragon/Flame Command have Blastdragon (Bakuryu) in their name. As for Genji, that is the other name for the Minamoto clan in Feudal Japan. For those of you passionate about Japanese culture, after defeating their rival clan the Taira (also known as Heike) in the Genpei War, the Minamoto would go on to establish the Shogunate. For more information, check wikipedia.
Speaking from the lore's point of view, Genji Double Cross is one of the five heroes that fought against Devil Diabolos Zeta. After the death of Storm Double Cross, Genji was named the leader of the Double Cross clan, which consists mostly of Armored Dragon/Flame Command creatures. Previous Double Cross creatures that are worthy of mention are Tornado Shiva Double Cross and Flame Shiva Double Cross.
Genji Double Cross is first and foremost a beatdown card. The great thing about him is that while being a powerful speed attacker (7000, take that, Hanzou!), he can also take down an annoying blocker that's standing in the way. That Syrius is looking ever so menacing? Does the annoying Berlin stop your Jenny from discarding? Have no fear, with Genji Double Cross, those problems are a thing of the past! And you also get to destroy a weaker creature or break two shields as well. What an incredible deal!
Strategies and game play:
So far there are three decktypes that I can think of which use Genji Double Cross. Those are:
Hyperspatial Genji beatdown (the original decktype made for him in the Awakening Saga.)
Lambda Beat (an updated version of the previous one with Cosmo Cebu Lambda as an additional beatstick.)
Genji Gift (It's a nickname that I gave to this decktype. Ever since Come On Pippi and Geo Crashing Miranda were restricted, people have been trying to keep FN Faerie Gift decks around. And let's be honest, who wouldn't like a turn 4 Genji Double Cross? Just saying...)
Combos with other cards:
There aren't any specific combos with Genji Double Cross that can revolutionize the meta. He's mostly used as a blocker killing beatstick. But the great thing is that he has three races and Kung Fu Soul, which means that he gets lots of support. The thing is that you usually want to get him out quicker, and this is where mana accel (Bronze-Arm Tribe and his buddies) and cost reducing (Faerie Gift, Cocco Lupia) are valuable. But I think that if you want more info on that, just check this, this, this and this.
Also, it should be noted that since Genji has the Samurai race, he could have affinity with cross gears, but I do not see many useful ones these days. I guess you could combine his blocker killing effect with Ice Lance to permanently rid your opponent of blockers, or try a fun Samurai deck with him and Zangeki Mach Armor, the possibilities are endless.
Ways to counteract it:
There are many ways this guy can be counteracted, first and foremost by blockers he cannot touch, such as his rival, the blocker that Fire cannot touch and the annoying immortal thing. Those form the unholy trinity of annoying blockers. A worthy mention gets Perfect Galaxy as well, who while not being cheaper or able to get out quicker via Heaven's Gate, is still a strong card!
It is ironic that while Genji can't take down his enemy, Hyperspatial Shooting Hole can.
Other ways that you can counteract him is via discarding your opponent like crazy, thus slowing him down consistently, or via the usual removal. By far the most useful way of getting rid quickly of the bugger is a good old Hyperspatial Emperor Hole or Revive Hole into his former rival from the Darkness civilization, Black Ganveet. Simple and highly effective. Just don't bounce him unless you intend to discard him afterwards.
* Excellent attacker that can destroy early blockers.
* Has a multitude of race support along with some Soul support.
* Aids beatdown decks that intend to finish the game by the turn he is played normally.
* It cannot destroy certain blockers.
* It targets the opponent's blockers, and creatures such as Heike Double Cross will not be affected.
* It is limited only to blocker removal, so against other beatdown decks it might not work as good.
There are reprints of Genji Double Cross as well as many cards named after him. Here they are for you to feast your eyes on:
"Victory, in a flash!" -Genji Double Cross, Blastdragon
The original card of him from DM-38, and how fortunate that it is a MIRACLE version?
After years of slumber, the mighty leader of the Double Cross is reborn!
The normal reprint from DMX-12, which in my opinion looks even cooler than the original!
Go home, Genji, you're drunk!
The troll version reprint from DMX-12. Honestly, I know this is supposed to be humorous, but how could they do this to my favorite Fire card?!
"At long last, I have achieved the power of Awakening!" - Genji Double Cross, Temporal Swordsman
The psychic version of Genji Double Cross pretty much reflects him in a weird way. It requires all your creatures to be tapped in order to awaken, and the original is a speed attacker that would most likely be tapped on the turn he gets in the battle zone.
"Now that I have awakened, I will lead the Double Cross to Victory! Beware, Zeta!" -Crimson Genji Double Cross, the Swordmaster Awakened
Crimson Genji Double Cross reflects the original a little better in the sense that when he attacks, all of your opponent's blockers are destroyed. As for his second effect... it makes him rather dependant on Fire Birds, which means that a special deck would have to be built for him.
When the spirit of Storm Double Cross reached for his former right hand from the grave, they both swore they would vanquish the evil from their lands.
Storm Genji Double Cross is the only evolution psychic creature. However, I have seen it used mostly in Volg Thunder deckout, where Zabi Mira can spam multiple Volg Thunders to mill the opponent, then those can evolve further into Storm Genji.
"The time has come for Devil Diabolos Zeta to meet his fate!" -Last Storm Double Cross, the Super Awakened
Once awakened, this beauty will spam your entire hyperspatial zone, which means one thing: you get to replay your four Volg Thunders that so generously helped you bring Storm Genji Double Cross out.
"Genji! I will fight along you, pi!" -Genji Aini
Genji Aini is a pretty sweet early turn card in the sense that it can help you spam other Fire Birds easily. Who wouldn't want to end their third turn with two Cocco Lupia in the battle zone?
"I hope you are proud of me, Genji-sama!" -Genji Boy
Genji Boy is a Human/Hunter version of the original Genji Double Cross, albeit weaker and being forced to attack. I think I've only seen it in some Human beatdowns from E2, but for some reason this card has a little emotional value to me.
"And now for my final move, I will bring forth my fellow friends to aid me in this battle! Come forth, Fire Birds!" -Crimson Genji Double Cross, the Swordmaster Awakened
Unfortunately this might be the weakest of all five Blaster spells, since spamming two Aini creatures is not something to be extatic about.
Artwork and aesthetics:
I totally dig Genji Double Cross's original artwork. The blonde mane really gives him the aura of a proud Samurai warrior, and that is completed with his Samurai gear that he wears. I like the X scar that he has under his left eye and I also like the 'Double Cross' pun that his two cross-shaped swords have to offer. Though personally I am not a big fan of the tone of red that was used for his skin, or the colour choices for his pants. (white, green and red don't mix that well in my opinion) Meh, 8/10 for Toshiaki Takayama's effort.
Genji Double Cross is to this day one of the most known Fire cards out there, and for good reason, for he has impacted the meta quite a lot and empowered lots of beatdowns! Sure, there are certain blockers that can counter him and sure that he would eventually end up being killed by Black Ganveet if you're facing a control, but on average he is what makes beatdowns more aggressive and he was surely a breath of fresh air back in his day. I give this card a 10/10 because at this game's current state he is more than balanced.
Examples of Genji decks can be seen here: