Wattsquirrel: How It Works and Why

A friend of mine was building a deck based on the “Watt” archetype and asked me how Wattsquirrel worked.  Today I’ll be talking about just that.  Let’s dive right in and look at the card.

Level 3
This card can attack twice during each Battle Phase. If this card battles, negate the effects of the monster it battled after damage calculation (including in the Graveyard).

So this little critter has two different effects.  The first one is pretty obvious: A Continuous effect that lets declare two attacks during each Battle Phase instead of one.  But what about the second effect?  Well, according to the TCG rulings, this effect is a Trigger effect.  If we compare this effect to Red Dragon Archfiend’s original text, we can also see that the effect activates after damage calculation.  And as for what the effect does, that’s also very simple: It negates the effects of whatever monster Wattsquirrel battled.

The tricky part of the effect is the last bit in parentheses.  What exactly does “including in the Graveyard” mean?  Well, I’m going to tell you.  But first, let’s set up an example.

James controls a face-up Treeborn Frog in Defense Position, and one Set Spell/Trap Card.  His opponent, Pete, controls a face-up Wattsquirrel.  It’s Pete’s turn, and he decides to attack with Wattsquirrel.  James activates his Set card Waboku.  As a result, Treeborn Frog survives the battle, but Wattsquirrel has negated its effect.  Pete moves to Main Phase 2 and activates Dark Hole from his hand, destroying the two monsters on the field.  When James’ Standby Phase rolls around, he tries to activate Treeborn Frog’s effect to Special Summon it, but it is still negated.

“Wait a minute,” you might say.  “How can it be negated?  It changed places!  Shouldn’t the effect have disappeared?”

And that’s the tricky part I was talking about.  You see, the “including in the Graveyard” part of Wattsquirrel’s effect doesn’t simply mean that monsters destroyed by Wattsquirrel in battle will be negated.  It means that the monster’s effects will be negated, including if it goes to the Graveyard by any means.  In essence, this effect lingers even if that monster goes to the Graveyard.

But that’s not the end of it.  There are a few times when that monster’s effects will no longer be negated.

  • If a monster being negated by Wattsquirrel is on the field or in the Graveyard and returns to the hand or Deck (Main or Extra), or is banished, then it’s effects will no longer be negated.
  • If it is in the Graveyard and is Special Summoned back to the field, its effects will no longer be negated.
  • If it is on the field and is flipped face-down, it will no longer be negated when it is flipped face-up again.

This also applies to a few other monsters, such as Ally of Justice Nullfier (see its rulings), Barbaroid, the Ultimate Battle Machine, and Evilswarm Obliviwisp.

So, what does this mean for monsters like Necro Gardna or Stygian Street Patrol?  Same thing it means for Hand of Nephthys when it’s revived by Junk Synchron: You can activate the effect, but it will still be negated.

But what about monsters like Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World who can be Special Summoned from the Graveyard by their own Summoning conditions?  Those are negated too.  As it turns out, Summoning conditions are, for the most part, effects.  Conditions that prevent summons (i.e. “cannot be Special Summoned by other ways”) are NOT effects that can be negated.  But the actual Summoning method can be negated.  You can find the specific ruling on Grapha.

There are more monsters out there that work like Wattsquirrel.  You can make very good use of them if you find them.


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