[EN-OP5] Felipe Arze: Winner of OP Latin America Final with Purple Luffy

Felipe Arze is the winner of One Piece Latin America Final with his OP5 purple Luffy Leader. There were 512 players participated this tournament.

1. Quick self introduction (when did you start to play OP card game) and your achievements

Hello to all!. My name is Felipe Arze and I am from Santiago, Chile. I started playing OPCG 2 months ago in the last part of Op04 playing Rebecca.

I do not have any previous achievements in the game since this was my first major tournament and dont play any other tcgs at the moment (Last one was WWE RAW DEAL like 20 years ago =P)

2. How do you generally play this deck?

I love Purple Luffy because of his versatility and strategy. You can be very defensive or really oppresive if you want to depending on the match-up.

The principal advantage is you can get to 10 Don by turn four either going 1st or 2nd using the leader ability and the cards in my deck. The MVP of my deck is Paulie if I could run more copies of him I definitely would!. 5 cost characters are the heart of this deck, like Queen, Kid, Magellan leaving my big bodies to go for the finish.

I play Kaido and Luffy G5 Nika, which is an excellent card in my worst match up Sakazuki

Click into the image for the decklist.
3. Generally how do you deal with all the current tier-1 decks (Sakazuki, Katakuri, Purple Luffy , enel etc)
Sakazuki: I truly believe is PLuffys worst matchup and the main reason it wasnt so favored prior to Finals by many top players. Basically you have to draw perfect and expect an average or less draw by the Sakazuki player. My main tech in this matchup is the Luffy G5 and Sheeps Horn so I can go for game in a turn in which the Sakazuki player isnt expecting. This won me 2 out of 3 of the sakazukis I played on the swiss wounds at Finals.
 
Katakuri: I believe is a favorable match up, and the only thing as with all yellow decks are the triggers luck that you can encounter. You should try to anticipate those possible triggers, and be very aware of what the player does when he uses his leader ability. My main strategy is try to make a big board and leave Kaido in my hand in case there are last minute triggers like Bege, Sanji or Brulee.
 
Enel: Also a favorable matchup, however the most difficult game I faced on my way to the championship was the top 4 against Mexican player Agustin. The pressure of the rush Enel is really something that makes you lose the game especially when there is more than one on board. My main strategy is to be really aggresive from the beginning attacking life from the start and not letting him get resources at hand.
 
Mirror: Like every mirror is a lottery and usually results in which player had a better draw or won the dice roll. I always prefer to go first on the mirror since I can start to put pressute frome the start and not let him ramp comfortably. Usually the one who finds Kaido first has a big advantage
4. What do you think is this deck’s weakness?

My deck weakness is concistency since i dont have searchers to look for the cards I need. In that regard cards like Kalifa and Queen let me cycle and are really important. My main weakness is Sakazuki since he can basically answer all my bodies including Magellan

5. How were your matchups during the Latam Final and how did you play to win against those opponents?

Swiss: 

R1 Katakuri W
R2 Enel W
R3 Sakazuki W
R4 Katakuri W
R5 Enel W
R6 Katakuri W
R7 Sakazuki W
R8 Pluffy W
R9 Sakazuki L

Top 16
Katakuri 2-0

Top8
Sakazuki 2-0

Top4
Enel 2-1

Final
Enel 2-1

My main approach was not a competitive one, I just wanted to have a nice time and that took a lot of pressure out of me so I could play really confortable and secure.

The only match I experienced real pressure was the top 4 against Enel, where I had the second game dominated and my oponent made a remarkable comeback.

6. Any tips or hints that you want to share with other players?

Play the game for love, for fun, to have a great time, to make friends, to enjoy. Not to win prizes or prove you are better than everyone.

Be friendly with your opponents, be a good sport and the result will eventually show up.

8. Do you have any message or shoutout to your team or your local community?

Shoutout to everyone who supported me this weekend, my wife, my kids, my brother Matias, my friends Seba, Manu, Cedric, Carlos, Nico, Javier etc. Big shoutout to Poison and Potion my local store and I will see you all at the World Finals!

[JP-EB1] Ryu-san: ST13 Black Yellow Luffy Deck

Ryu-san used Black Yellow Luffy and won a clean result of 9-0 in Asu Championship. He wrote some note on his deck build and the reason to use or not use certain cards for the deck.

His matchups:

Swiss: Win Red Purple Law, Moria, Moria, Sakazuki, Red Green Law, Sakazuki

Top Cut: won Sakazuki, Red Green Law, Sakazuki.

Click into the Image for the decklist in One Piece Top Decks
The reason why I don't use yellow Newgate

In team format 3on3, it is easy to hit Sakazuki and I will try to go 2nd. I will try to mulligan for Gecko Moria because it is important, because you don't know if whether you can draw the remaining 3 cards later.

Backstory of The Deck Construction

In team battle, we focused on Sakazuki, Moria, Katakuri, Red-Purple Law, and Black-Yellow Luffy as virtual enemies, and aimed to consistently win against opponents other than Sakazuki.
So, I decided not to use Newgate, which is the main character that faces Sakazuki, and instead I used Yellow Sabo, Makino, and Great Eruption (ST06-015).

2-cost Yellow Sabo

I mainly used it to suppress the lower rate of 5-cost yellow Sabo and to destroy the opponent's character in red-purple Law or mirror. In addition, it can be used to increase the hit rate of search, slightly increase the evolution success rate into 5-cost Sabo, and increase the number of life self-harm cards, increasing stability.

Makino

I wanted to accumulate 10 cards with 2000 counters, so I wanted to chose 5-cost Yamato, but by using Yellow Sabo, the number of 5-cost characters has increased, so I chose 2 copies of Makino  to make it 10. Makino also can use to reduce life, look at your life and sort them in your desired order.

Great Eruption

It is mainly used in the early stages or when there is unused active Don, and plays a compressive role in the deck. The probability of drawing cards from the entire deck increases slightly.
Even if I drew it in the second half, it wasn't that much of a hindrance because I could cut it off with leader effects and Sabo effects.
Sometimes you can defeat your opponent's 7 Borsalino with Great Eruption + Yellow Sabo! ! !

In individual battles, it is highly recommended to use 4 Edward Newgate and 2 copies of 5-cost Yamatos in those 6 slots!

Original Note in Japanses

DMで多かった黒黄ルフィの質問の回答

・黄ニューゲートの不採用について

チーム戦でサカズキと当たって後攻取れてマリガン基準がモリアなのに引けるか分からないうえに後3以外で出しづらいから。

・デッキ構築の経緯

今回のチーム戦で仮想敵としてサカズキ、モリア、カタクリ、赤紫ロー、黒黄ルフィをメインで考え、サカズキ以外に安定して勝つことを目指しました。 なのでサカズキ対面メインのニューゲートを不採用とし、そこの枠に黄サボ、マキノ、大噴火を採用しました。

・黄サボ

5コスの欠損率を抑えられ赤紫ローやミラーでの相手のキャラを取ることをメインに採用しました。他にもサーチのヒット率up、サボの進化先の微増、ライフ自傷カードの増加に使え安定感も増してます。

・マキノ

2000カウンターを10枚積みたかったので5ヤマトとの選択でしたが黄サボを採用したことで5コスが増えたのでライフ1残しされた時などにしっかりライフを取り切れるカードの10枚目として採用

・大噴火

主に序盤やドンが浮いた時に使ってデッキの圧縮的な役割になります。 デッキ全体のカードの引く確率が少し上がります。 後半に引いてもリーダー効果やサボの効果で切れるのでそこまで邪魔にはならなかったです。 たまに噴火+黄サボで相手の7ボルサ倒せます!!!

個人戦ではそこの6枠はニューゲート4枚と5ヤマト2枚採用するのがかなり丸くオススメです!

[JP-EB1] Guan Rong: Finished at 1st Place in Asia Final with Saka, I am heading to the World Final.

Yesterday was Asia One Piece Final (Feb 4 2024), the battle of 23 best OP players in Asia (outside of Japan). We got the winner is Guanrong with Sakazuki from Malaysia, and 2nd place went to a Singapore representative, Benjamin with Gecko Moria. 

Here we have a quick interview with GuanRong for his tournament report.

1. Quick self introduction and your achievements?

Hi my name is Guan Rong, from Malaysia. I have been playing OPCG since it release. My Biggest achievement is Asia Champion, other than that I am also MY Region Champion and multiple CS Top Cut.

2. Why did you choose this deck for the Asia Final?

I choose Saka because I like the Leader effect that gives me changing my card once per turn and with its system it helps to build up the trash at the same time so it makes this deck more flexible and changeable. This deck is more on skill base so I kinda like it. I didn't really prepare for this Asia Final due to some personal issue and I have been informed that EB01 is illegal until yesterday late at night they change. So I been force to change my deck build yesterday and I slept at 5am.

Guan Rong Sakazuki Deck
Click into the image for the decklist.
3. How were your matchups during the Asia Final and how did you counter those leaders?

R1 Free Win
R2 Saka from PH
R3 Moria from HK
R4 Saka from HK
R5 Saka from Indo

Top 4 Moria from HK

Final Moria from SG.

I personally feel that in this current meta Saka needs to go first when it is against mirror or Moria.
 
For Sakazuki Mirror the early game plan is to set up Tashigi and Brannew so that u wont lose your hand and have body in the field. They can be a good attacker when you use hound blaze to add power for them. In the Sakazuki mirror match, the most important thing is to have more resources and use less resources to respond to your opponent. In late game we need those 7c Borsa and Moria to build boards and because they are high cost characters it is harder to clear. I will always try to predict my opponent's move and keep a set of responding material in hand.
 
For Moria Actually if I have 4c Borsa it will be much easier to fight against it. But I didn't expect so many Moria in this Final. When fighting against Moria the best move they could have in the first few turns is a few Perona to discard your hand and call the 4c Thriller Bark remover to clear the board. Late game is Moria gaming so I would prefer to check their trash because Moria can't really drop their puzzle into their grave so I just need to double check and predict their move so that I can always respond. When fighting against Moria, Sabo is a very important card with the combo of Rebecca, they are two unkilled Blockers. It's good to use to stop Moria to end the game. Remember to check their trash on Lucci and Helmeppo so that you can predict how many Characters will be KO if they drop off Moria with Eruption or Ice Age.
 
P/S: I didnt use 4c Borsa because I feel that there will be less Moria and 4c Borsa in the  mirror matchs and other matchups that does not feel that good in EB01 format
4. What do you think is this deck’s weakness?

I didnt expect that to meet so many Moria because in my perspective I feel like Moria is not a good meta in EB01 format. When I built this deck yesterday I was more concerned about the matchup against Mirror /Kata Enel/BY Luffy. For me I feel like the hardest matchup is against Katakuri. If the opponents are lucky with the trigger it will be the biggest challenge Saka will face. So my plan is to use Kuzan and Sabo to counter Katakuri.

5. I heard that the host only informed about EB01 format to be legal for this tournament just the night before. Then which cards in EB01 that you included into the deck?

Ya I only got informed that EB01 was legal yesterday late last night. So I considered putting T-bone for the 2k counter and the 3c brook to my deck but due to lack of time and testing on using Brook in Saka so at the end I decided to just replace Vego to T-Bone.

6. Any tips or hints that you want to share with other players?

I would say practices make perfect. This is my dream to qualify for the World Finals. I put a lot of effort and practice before just to win. I realise that I put too much time and energy into it, ignoring what's really important and losing something good in my life. I recommend people to distinguish between hobbies and what is really important in their life. Be grateful for what they have. Stay Happy

7. How was the tournament's experiences, is there anything that the host can do it better for the tournament?

I dont realy like online tournaments. I prefer to play face to face. The TO did their best. The experience for 2023 Asia Final is good but I think offline will be better

Asia finals (23 man)

Singapore 5 players: 4 Moria 1 BY Luffy

Taiwan 3 players: 1 Saka 1 RP luffy 1 Moria

Malaysia  3 players: 2 Saka 1 RP Law

Thailand 4: 3 Saka 1 Reiju

Hongkong  4: 2 Saka 2 Moria

Philippines 2: 2 Saka

Indonesia  2: 1 RP law 1 Saka

[EN-OP5] Zhao: Top-16 Place OPTCG Oceania Finals with Sakazuki

Introduction

Hi everyone, my name is Zhao and I’m from Eternal Magic. Last weekend I have reached top 16 at the OCE Championship Finals in Melbourne. I would like to thank One Piece top decks giving me this opportunity to post this on their website, also thanks to Eternal Magic (William Chong) providing me a kit and also my boys from the PX3 team constantly supporting me and also testing with me, without them I definitely will not be able to achieve this result.

Its a long story, but I started off with this game as a collector and I thought to myself, since i have got all the cards I might as well play the game. So here I am. I have been playing games my entire life. I have played both PUBG and CSGO competitively before, and this is probably the third game that I am trying to be competitive at. 

I still remember the first time ever when I played locals in Goodgames Rockingham WA, as whitebeard. I fell in love with the game and also the community. I won in my first ever event, and pulled my first ever winner nami card, thinking that it worthed millions of dollars. That’s where i start playing the game more seriously and i meet my boy Nicholas Koh and Jason Pan from PX3 on my second/third event. They gave me lots of tips on how to play whitebeard during the set and they have now become one of my closest friends.

I have only played 3 tournaments so far:
2023 Online Regionals Top 64 (Whitebeard)
2023 Online Treasure Cup Top 128 (Whitebeard)
2024 Offline Championship Finals Top 16 (Sakazuki)

And I’m so ready for the upcoming treasure cups and regionals.

My matchups for the OCE Championship finals

P Luffy (W) I went second, i highrolled everything i needed to answer the board and top decking literally everything i needed.

Saka (L) didnt see a single rebecca and hina. Went second

Kata (W) Went first. Saw both my 7 don and 9 don turn characters, which was Borsa and  mihawk, literally creating huge character and removing their board.

Enel (W) Went first. I saw all three of my 7c borsa, allowing me to remove their board, and my opponent gave me 3 life by putting all 3 borsa at the bottom of my life with katakuri.

Enel (W) Went first. Mihawk once against came in clutch allowing me to clear board and establishing bodies. And i used ice age + great eruption + hound blaze on their yamato, +3k on my mihawk, swinging 13 to the other yamato and setting up a 4c blocker borsa literally won me that game.

Saka (W) Went second. Just saw all of my RHL’s constantly answering my opponents board, until he runs out of juice.

Saka (W) Went first. Top deck mihawk when i was out of RHL. Opponent setup blockers borsa, and i swung 6 leader 9 cost mihawk with 1 life up when my opponent got 0, and top decking houndblaze next to remove the rebecca and swing 13k and 13k leader to end the game. 

Saka (W) Went second. My opponent mulligan and his facial expression told me that he bricked. So i was constantly removing his board and applying pressure putting him to 0 life with 13 cards in hand.

My Sakazuki Deck

Click into the image for the decklist.

What do I think of sakazuki deck:
Sakazuki is actually a very complicated deck if you would like to perfect it. Is not a deck like whitebeard where you just play characters on curve and doing maths for counter, which is exactly why I like it. There’s so many options on every situation in every different matchups. However, being efficient in what you do, making the right decision and thinking 2 turns ahead is generally how it differs a good play and a not so good player.

People have been asking me why the mihawk, why not 10c kaido, why not just play an extra hina. The reason behind it is it help against all yellow match up and also mirror. Is a 9k body that yellow cant remove and also 9c character which require your opponent to have great eruption to remove it with RHL for all mirrors.

How do you play against all the meta decks:

Sakazuki (mirror):

I generally want to go second, but I really do not mind going first if i see the right cards. How i see it is if you are going first, your goal is to be answering your opponent’s board. On the other hand, if you are going second, your goal is to constantly establishing board and answering your opponents board. So if i got first and see my 7c borsa and 9c mihawk that pretty much wins me the game, if im constantly seeing RHL after.

Going second my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Brannew
Turn 2 – Borsa
Turn 3 – Borsa/Kuzan +Hound Blaze.
Turn 4 – Great Eruption Borsa
Turn 5 – RHL or setting up blockers

For my starting hand for going second, I always look for brannew/rebecca/rob lucci/hound blaze. Brannew and rebecca will the number prioritiy as one help you build trash and the other one help you grabbing what you need from trash.

Going first my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Leader’s Ability
Turn 2 – Hina/Brannew depending on your hand, I will always prioritize Hina
Turn 3 – Great eruption + Hound Blaze + Brannew/ 7k 7k swing.
Turn 4- 7c Borsa
Turn 5 – RHL or Mihawk.
Turn 6 – RHL or Blockers.

For my starting hand for going first, BHina/Brannew/Hound blaze/7 borsa/ great eruption/rebecca. As you do not need to do RHL for your early games you will prioritise more to get hound blaze or characters so you can constantly apply pressure and also develop your board with constant 6k+7k swings.

In the end the mirror is whoever can consistently remove board efficiently and setting up characters efficiently is the player that will win. The best way to tell is in your turn, if you have more cards in hand than your opponents, then you are very ahead.

Katakuri:

For Katakuri, I generally want to go first to stop their curve. I find that 7c Big mom is very annoying if they drop it on their turn 4 if they are going first. However, know where to take a life or give a life is very important, making the wrong decision can make you lose the game.

Going first my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Leader’s Ability
Turn 2 – Brannew or Hina
Turn 3 – Answering the Perespero with either Hound Blaze, or Lucci or playing sabo/4c borsa
Turn 4 – 7 Borsa on a 4c Character
Turn 5 – Mihawk the katakuri
Turn 6 – Sabo + Kuzan or ice age/ 2 GE Borsa the big mom.

Normally going first, I’m looking for Sabo/4c Borsa/ 7c Borsa/Kuzan/ Iceage/ hound blaze. 4c Borsa/Sabo is extremely important as it allows you to defend efficiently especially katakuri will either consistently swing 7k or 5k to ur leader. Borsa/sabo can save you lots of cards. As long you can consistently remove board and building board, this should be quite easy to defeat.

Going second my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Brannew
Turn 2 – Borsa/Kuzan but always borsa due to gedatsu.
Turn 3 – Hound blaze and Kuzan or Roblucci Great eruption to answer the board
Turn 4 – 7c Borsa GE for 7c Big mom or RHL
Turn 5 – Mihawk the Kata
Turn 6 – Consistently removing board with Kuzan that has been either set up before or ice age.

Going second borsa is really important, i will always mul for 4c borsa, because katakuri curve will be 3c Pero 5c Gedatsu 7c Mom 8/9c Kata or Yamato 10c mom. Which means he will be consistently swinging 5k every turn which allows you to have a free block every turn with borsalino.

Enel:
This is the easier matchup compare to katakuri, however you will still want to see the same thing just like against katakuri. I love to go first against all yellow decks as it put them off their curve, and most katakuri or enel player prefer to go second anyways for some reason, which is even better for you.

Constantly swinging 5k is also important, because its an easy guard and it will bait your opponent onto guarding rather than taking life. You wanna be consistently taking cards out of their hand if possible. Imagine you have 2 attackers. Your leader and a 4c borsa, the enel have 11 cards, you have 10 don open, swinging 5 with your leader first will make your opponent think, what if he swing 5 and 15k to lead, i would have no life if i take, they will normally counter out and you just leave your borsa standing. If they dont you can easily swing 7k to his lead forcing him to counter or he will be at no life and establishing your board. So swinging 5k constantly is better than swinging huge normally for this match up.

Going first my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Leader’s Ability
Turn 2 – Brannew or Hina
Turn 3 – Answering the Ohm with either Hound Blaze, or Lucci or playing Borsa
Turn 4 – 7 Borsa on a 4c Character or great eruption houndblaze swing into the rested character
Turn 5 – Mihawk the 7 mom or katakuri
Turn 6 – Sabo + Kuzan or ice age/ 2 GE Borsa the yamato.

I normally look for my sabo and ice age in this match up and also most of my removals. If you play sabo on the turn before he plays yamato. This allows you to make a them make play inefficiently, which can help you win. Ice age is mainly for enel as they will be -5cfor the whole turn, double roblucci or hound blaze will totally remove it from the field and making them trashing life at the same time. I love it when they play ohm, I really believe that is one of the worse cards in yellow deck, as it might bottom deck the cards they need like yamato or katakuri or 7c bigmom to the bottom, and when it happens, you can tell by just looking at your opponent’s face.

Going second my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Brannew
Turn 2 – Borsa

Turn 3 – Answering the Gedatsu with either Hound Blaze, or Lucci or playing sabo/4c borsa
Turn 4 – 7 Borsa on a 4c Character
Turn 5 – Mihawk the katakuri/7 mom
Turn 6 – Sabo + Kuzan or ice age/ 2 GE Borsa the Yamato

I normally look for 4c borsa just like the kata kuri matchup so you can consistently guard a 5k leader swing which helps you manage your resources efficiently. Consistently removing board is super important in this match up and keeping 1 life up can also save the day as Amaru 16k leader when you have no life will ruin the day.

Purple Luffy:

This should be an easy matchup,  however watching Allen Lu, which is the OCE championship finals champion, make me doubt myself as his deck focus on ramping so quickly and spreading the board which makes it hard for us sakazuki removing the board efficiently. I generally want to go second in this match up as i feel like its easier to deal with a paulie on their turn 4 than dealing with a magellan on their turn 2. But hearing from lots of good players, they prefer to go first, and I really think is personal preferenced.

Going first my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Leader’s Ability
Turn 2 – Brannew or Hina
Turn 3 – Answering the 4c with either Hound Blaze+ GE, or Lucci + GE or playing Borsa/Sabo
Turn 4 – 7 Borsa on a 4c Character or great eruption houndblaze swing into the rested character
Turn 5 – Mihawk the kid or 7c fatty
Turn 6 – Sabo + Kuzan or ice age/GE houndblaze kaido or RHL the board with iceage/GE

I normally look for hound blaze for the magellan and also borsa as a early blocker for the swing. For this match up having removals are very important as they spread the board with character too quick, you need to be having answers for all character they established and constantly putting pressure to their life early game to chip cards off their hand and put them off when they leaders ability for more don. You also want to be countering his attacks early game as you always need to assume that there might be there one player that run 10c gear 5 luffy in their deck.

Going second my curve is normally
Turn 1 – Brannew
Turn 2 – Borsa/ answer board with Hound blaze

Turn 3 – Answering the Magellan/5c character with either Hound Blaze, or Lucci or playing sabo/4c borsa
Turn 4 – 7 Borsa on a 4c Character or 7c character with ge
Turn 5 – Mihawk the magellans or setting up blockers, or rhl or hound blaze to remove the board.
Turn 6 – Sabo + Kuzan to prepare for the kaido or ice age/ 2 GE Borsa the Yamato

Is the same as going first, I like to see borsa so they can’t paulie me and also having alot of hound blaze so i can remove their board constantly and applying pressure. Sabo in late game is very good as well, as it helps protecting your character from getting bombed by their kaido.

Conclusion

In the end as a sakazuki, there is no games where you actually play everything on curve, as you might not see all the cards you need. But playing efficiently depending on what you have in hand is there maximise your chance on winning. As this is a card game, luck is always required to do good, sometime you could be unlucky and not see the cards you need, that where you need to close the gap with your skills, because sometimes your opponent can also whiff and brick their hand.

Shoutouts

I would like to thank the boys from PX3 Team, especially Kevin Ngo, and Jason Pan, that is constantly practising with me whenever i needed, to further master my deck. And also the owner of the team Jimmy James giving me the opportunity to practise with his team.

I would like to thank the owner of Eternal Magic, William Chong for providing me a kit to compete under his banner, if you guys are ever looking for one piece cards, go check out his website https://eternalmagic.cc.

I would like to also thank the whole perth community that has been supporting me from the beginning and throughout the whole journey

I would like to also use this opportunity to share my personal patreon with you guys where i offer online and offline coaching (if you are in perth), and also content where can help you strive to become a better player. https://patreon.com/user?u=38446056. If you have any enquiries, feel free to message me on my twitter too. https://twitter.com/ETN_Zhao.

Special mentions: Choyang Yu, Brandon Ngo, Nicholas Koh, Ethan Silverton, Kenneth Chiew, Hugo Meneghella, Darcy Healey, Nathan Nguyen, Armin, Matthew Smith, Connor Nicholls, Amon Kioshi, Matthew Franchi, Harrison Kneeshaw for the constant support. LOVE YOU ALL. AND THOSE THAT I FORGOT TO MENTION, YOU WILL ALWAYS LIVE IN MY HEART. <3

[EN-OP5] Antonino: 3rd Place OPTCG European Finals with Sakazuki

Hello, last weekend there are 2560 players from around the world (mostly NA and European) traveled to Utrecht Netherlands to play One Piece Card Game European finals. The top-3 decks are all Blue Black Sakazuki.

Today we caught up with Antonino, a player from Italy who managed to make 3rd place and he will share with us about his deck and tournament review.

1. Quick self introduction (when did you start to play OP card game) and your achievements?

Hello everyone, my name is Antonino Borzi and this past weekend I reached third place at the OPTCG European Finals in Utrecht. First, I'd like to thank OPtopdecks for the invitation and for this interview and to say hello to the whole community, Italian and not, who followed and supported me even from home during my journey in these European finals, especially to my team: K2Tcg.

I started playing OPTCG exactly when it was released in December 2022. Initially I approached the game purely for collecting as I was a big fan of Oda-San's work and really liked the card art. From there I started going to local tournaments to be able to win shop exclusive promos and on the advice of my girlfriend Romi who I salute I convinced myself to go to my first competitive tournament and first official one piece tournament in Europe in Birmingham. It was an experience that made me fall in love with the game and the community in general and despite having no experience in any other TCG or games in general I managed to place 33rd out of 512 with purple Kaido winning a chopper treasure cup, a card that seemed impossible for me to win at the beginning. From there it went all downhill, I won my first serial at the treasure cup in Barcelona by making top 8 with Red luffy where unfortunately I had to clash in top 16 with a close friend Juan Mendez (Gato) to whom I send my regards and wishing him luck this year to get his serial. After this top I made top 16 with Black lucci CP at the regional of bologna thanks to Alfred Goh who inspired me to play the deck and taught me a lot seeing him playing at the Grand Asia Open and few Asian Flagships. After that, post op3 ban when everyone thought the dad was dead I made first place at the 1024 players treasure cup online with red Whitebeard (miss you dad) closing 10-0 and top 16 at the regional of Milan with the same deck. 

2. How do you generally play this deck? (Early, mid, and late game decisions).

Sakazuki is a deck that is as fun as it is difficult to play. It makes you feel a mix of emotions, sometimes you hate it and sometimes you love it, but you still know that there is no better deck that rewards the pilot more if it is perfectly piloted. Lately you often hear players (Yellow players mainly 😊) complaining and shouting about banning certain cards because the deck is very strong compared to others and I totally disagree. The deck is definitely very strong, but I can say with certainty that it's the deck that needs the most skill from the birth of the game and needs an excellent pilot. It has so many micro decisions to make, starting with the trashing ability of the leader that if not used properly leads you to lose most of the times.

During early and mid-game I usually tend to control the opponent’s board developing mine by using as few resources as possible (keep this in mind) to avoid being short of hand cards in late and not being able to remove big threats of the opponent. Apart from cleaning board you also want to mix it with pressure to setup lethal in late with cards such as hound blaze. 

3. Generally how do you deal with all the current tier-1 decks (Sakazuki, Katakuri, Purple Luffy , Enel etc)
Rebecca Blocker: The ultimate combo

Sakazuki Mirror: It's obvious to say that you want to go second because you are in a card advantage position, which is why I decided to put pilaf in because on T2 and not only (there are too many strong spots) it allows you to even that advantage or to put you in a win position. A key card in this matchup is Rebecca because it gives access to the so-called "combo" in combination with Lucci and Hina that allows you to clean up your opponent's board every turn and in case your opponent can't respond to the combo anymore the game could almost be over (bottoming pieces of combo he doesn’t have in trash is OP). Be careful not to easily get to one or 0 life as cost reductions plus hound blaze could easily override your blockers and allow your opponent to find the lethal

4C Kuzan: The Yellow Nightmare

Katakuri: Going second simplifies this matchup quite a bit as it allows you to make your plays on curve and prevents a potential 10c mom from entering the opponent's board. My advice is to always attack from 5 or 6 opponent's boards or lives and use the don for any triggers or standing pieces left on the field to clean them. It is quite a complicated matchup in case the opponent triggers a lot, so before each play you must analyze all the possible situations that could lead to that play. Also, except for the first life(nullify gedatsu effect) I always tend to counter all the attacks less than 7k and let them pass if they are 7k or more. 4c Kuzan is a key card in this matchup and against yellow in general since if it manages to stay on the board (often a Thunderbolt target) most of the times it wins the game by itself.  

Enel: Similar matchup to katakuri (Trigger gap 😉 ) , but different way of approaching lethal because of the leader ability that makes the deck a t1 and also different way of approaching resource management. In this matchup you will feel like you are in a constant resource war and against a strong opponent's hand you will be in an unfavorable position if oppo sees very well every turn. For this reason, you need cards like pilaf or cards that allow you to draw so your hand is always fueled. Also, I'm always careful not to get to one life because in case I don't see a Sabo my other blockers are all too vulnerable to one or more potential Amaru, which is why I don't attack my opponent the turn before he can go lethal with Amaru if it’s not for me committing lethal and I usually leave him at 2 lives trying to develop board and to remove as much as possible the opponent's threats always remembering that important resource management.

Hound Blaze: The Pluffy Killer

Purple Luffy: I think that this match is almost hound blaze dependent, if you don't see any copy of that card, you should be ready to concede ☺ Jokes aside, Pluffy is a very aggro deck that goes 10x faster than you so how can you beat a deck that goes faster and more aggro than you? By going as aggro as possible by removing threats. Hound blaze is the card that allows you to do this as it removes and gives you a +3k to one of your pieces to attack life or a rested opponent's piece to turn off his aggression. So, my advice is to go aggro and always try to control your opponent's board because if you can't exert enough pressure and your opponent manages to stabilize his board with blocker and vanilla the game is already over.

4. What do you think is this deck’s weakness?

I think that the weakness of Sakazuki are the decks that put you so much pressure in the early game and you having no answers to that. If you can survive the explosive start of some deck and manage to pilot it perfectly the deck is unstoppable. 

5. How were your matchups during the Europe Final?

Here are my matchups:

SWISS DAY 1 

Pluffy(W); Saka(L); Enel(W); Enel(W); Saka(W); Saka(W); Enel(W); Katakuri(W); Saka(W); Saka(W)

SWISS DAY 2 

Enel(L); Zoro(W)

Final result: 10-2

Top 64:  Pluffy 2-0

Top 32: Sakazuki 2-1

Top 16: Zoro 2-0

Top 8 : Sakazuki 2-1

Top 4: Sakazuki 1-2

3rd Place Final

Sakazuki 2-1

6. Any tips or hints that you want to share with other players?

Yeah, there are some tips I would like to share to the readers, if you arrived at this point without getting bored you deserve that. First, leader ability: you don't have to trash every turn, maybe in early to fill the trash but once you've played a brannew that filled the trash and have your hand set don't feel obligated to trash, try to think 3-4 turns ahead and figure out if you really need to trash or not.

During my early days of testing, I felt frustrated because the deck wasn't giving the results I wanted. The main problem was that I wasn't playing it properly, so make sure you give it the right amount of time to test if it's the deck you'd like to master and have great results with, test each matchup 50-100 times until you understand each play and mechanic.

7. Do you have any message or shoutout to your team or your local community?

Yes, First of all I want to thank my K2TCG (Be sure to follow us for content soon) teammates Matteo Longhin, Giansalvo Oliva and Roberto Rondino that were so unlucky on not getting that top knowing how much they have worked to arrive there. They are the best players I know, and our group together is a force of nature, we will conquer Europe one day I am sure.

Also I want to thank the whole Campania community, especially Luca Irano(Lekelly) for the testing against Zoro to help me solve the matchup as best as possible and Lorenzino for always believing in Pilaf(Best card). Gigi (il TCG), Mirko, Montre, Nacho and the other Italians and friends I shared the top cut with, especially Riccardo (Xorph3n) that finally deserved to be up there with his favourite colour and worked so hard to reach that. I send the greetings also to the players from Veneto, from Sicily (especially to Riccardo and Matteo for our intensive testing days <3 ) to the whole Barcelona community(David, Ains, Erick, Marc, Gato, Monaru and more), the no name group(Armando, Mattia, Riccardo, Dima, Frenk and Gallo), the Colosseum Community and the guys from Perugia ( Betti burnt my phone XD ).

Special mention to one of my closest friend Luca de Luisa and my Girlfriend Romi who supported me every day and believed in me. 

Other mentions to which I would like to dedicate one speciale last space are Caste, Rello, Gianciaccio, Angelo, Katayuri, The Rizzato Brothers (Shachi & Penguin), Bubo, Sas, Lucas, Khaisake, Giseq(Young beef), Ste, Deku, Polish, Edo, Simo, Gap, Vale, Ilduty, Mirko, Mino and Leo. I hope I am not forgetting someone so don’t hate me in case I did ☹ 

[JP-OP6] Ferdinan: Won 5 Flagship(s) with Blue Nami Deck.

Hello everyone, today we have a quick interview with Ferdinan Nolanda from Indonesia. He played blue Nami and won 5 flagships, as well as reached top-16  in Bandai Card Fest Kuala Lumpur (400+ players) (Malaysia).

1. Quick self introduction and your achievements.

My name is Ferdinan from ogre team (Indonesia), a boy who likes low tier deck, winning 5 flagship from 6 flagship by using nami’s deck.

Click into the image for decklist in One Piece Top Decks

2. How do you generally play this deck? (Early, mid, and late game decisions)

In early game, I'm using kaya to make the cards in hand more better, to search white snake, love-love beam, sanji’s pilaf and Gavel.

In mid game, i'm using Gavel to reduce the deck then use white snake and love love beam to increase the number of card in hand then use Mr.1 for add Gavel from the trash

In late game, I'm using kaya for reducing the deck and hand then use Deathwink

3. Generally how do you deal with all the current tier-1 decks (gecko, Yamato, enel etc)

I think I can beat tier 1 deck by using the new event card from op06 (white snake), so I can counter their attacks. I resisted the attacks from the early game so in the late game when their attacks becomes higher I can take the life.

4. What do you think is this deck’s weakness?

It will be bad when Kaya and event cards for draw power such as Love love Beam, white snake, sanji’s pillaf are going to trash by the other card effect.

This deck also suffers if it meets aggro deck like Zoro.

5. How was your pairings during the recent BCF and were there any decisions that you wished you have done otherwise?

Deck used: Nami
R1 vs Sabo WIN
R2 vs Saka WIN
R3 vs Yamato WIN
R4 vs Saka WIN
R5 vs Katakuri WIN
R6 vs Saka LOSE
R7 vs Moria WIN
R8 vs Saka WIN

Result day 1 rank 5

Top 16
vs Saka LOSE

I wish I redraw my first hand on my top 16 because that hand are not playable on the late game.

6. How do you manage when your opponent builds a wide board? Often it will put a lot of pressure on your don resources, hand size and counter cards…

I think I must have a lot of white snake and mellow (Love-love Beam), so I'm using kaya for search that cards, so I can guard the attacks without reducing a cards in my hand then always open 10 Don.

7. How do you play Chef to make effective use of his ability? Do you return your own character or your opponent’s? And Often the opponent will not let his attacks go through.

I'm using Zeff just for reducing the decks, and if there is a kaya in my field I will bounce that card to my hand.

8. What do you think are important cards or effects that Bandai can release in future that will great

I think nami’s deck need more cards which can add cards to hand.

[EN-OP5] Rafael Abreu: The old man is still running fast and furious

Hello everyone, I'm Rafael Abreu, writing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. First of all, I wanna thank the whole One Piece Top Decks team for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and my experience playing Straw Beard.

I started playing One piece Card game since the start here in Brazil but initially I was also interested in collecting the cards as I’m a huge fan of One piece since my childhood. I already have experience with other cardgames like magic the gathering and after playing a few local tournaments with the starter decks I really like the game and decided to continue playing it. Here at Rio de Janeiro the level is reasonably high, problably one of the strongest communities in Brazil, for this reason I decided to play it more serious and became quite competitive giving a lot of efforts to get better.

I am an engineer, married and father of 2 children. Time is not something I have in abundance. That's why I try to study and develop myself by optimizing my resources as much as possible.

In the last two months I managed to make top 4 at na tournament with 33 participantes and 1st place at the 25 players tournament, playing with Whitebeard, Strawhat variation (Straw Beard).

Why White Beard?

The reason why I decided to bring WhiteBeard was that, first, it is my favorite character by far, and, obviously, the deck is pretty strong and consistent. At the first wave of restrictions of 9-Beard and 1 Marco blocker, I decided to test the deck to see how it performed and to make people understand how WB wasn’t a dead strategy. I quickly realized how much stronger the deck was than before. The data at the pre- and post-restrictions tops in English-format tournaments during this period shows how much WB, instead of being nerfed, had improved. Also, WB going first or second has a very strong curve, and winning or losing the die role is not that important except at most in mirrors.

Another discussion that is quite interesting is Pure Beard versus Straw Beard. Let’s talk about the history of the SB deck first. The deck originated from the end of Japan's OP03 meta, and it first showed up with no 9-Beard. It was a rush alternative to WB Moby Dick decks, but then at the very end of the format, SB began to start running 9-Beard because he was very strong in the mirror match. Naturally, SB makes a lot of sense because it's a rush deck, and Nami conveniently searches for Rush Luffy and a bunch of defensive events.

Both of these decks are extremely similar. The main differences are the bases of the searches, Nami and Izo, but even with this difference, the content of the decks is still relatively the same.

Maybe swap Frankie for Speed and Chopper for Fossa, but those are the main diferences (Figura 3). The event and the majority of the unit lineup are the same. At OP3.5, the PB version features one copy of 9-Beard and Marco Blocker due to it being searchable by Izo, while the straw hat version doesn't include both of those cards but instead includes, like, more of the four drops (6k) and a total of four Rush Luffy. Then came OP04's ban.

Figure 3 – Units variation.

Now in OP05, with the list of restrictions dropped, 9-Beard and Marco are back in the game, bringing with them more than just material “impact “at the table.

Let's now discuss the two approaches a little better, considering the current meta game (OP05). The first one we're going to look at here is PB, based on Izo, and due to it being based on easily we have cards like Fossa instead of Chopper, but we're able to run very powerful units such as 9-Beard, Marco Blocker, five-cost Marco, and Ace. I think the main benefit to PB is that it is stronger in the mirror match considering that we're able to search for 9-Beard and Marco Blocker, two cards that are very powerful at the mirror, and we're able to search for five-cost Marco and Ace against various other decks outside of the mirror match as a punish card. Being able to search for Ace is huge indeed; SB can't really search for Ace. Can run like three to four copies and hope to reasonably draw because the SB goes through a lot of cards very fast, but having Izo is a kind of insurance to search for what you want when you do need it, which is absolutely fantastic. I also think that five-cost Marco being searchable is also amazing. That said, I do think there's some disadvantage to PB compared to SB.

SB features a Nami base instead of the Izo base, and then we have a lot more defensive. Rather than searching for a bunch of our units, instead we search for, like, our defensive events, and we have a total of 12 defensive cards that are able to search for Nami, and on top of that, we are able to search for Rush Luffy. Rush Luffy is very strong in the meta right now against the sketchier matchups such as Sakazuki and Purple Luffy. Sakazuki is going to the bottom deck or K.O. units anyway, so why not have our unit immediately get value before they get rid of it? Against matchps like Blue Crocodile, if they only bounce into our hand with Sogeking or something like that, we can just play it again next turn and swing with it once again. Also, Rush Luffy ability to swing unblockable is amazing. Than, with ST-10, the deck now has one more powerful rush unit on Rush Sanji. The drawback of the card is almost negligible, and it is also a 1K counter.

Both of these versions have their place in the field, but if you want a better matchup into non-mirror matches, I think SB is the deck of choice. However, if you want to see the mirror match while also still being relatively good into "bad matchups," I do think that PB might be the deck for you.

But wait! How about the Hybrid Beard? Personally, I think having Nami or Izo just streamlines the deck and brings more consistency to the main strategy of both decks. So I just don’t go in this Hybrid direction at all.

StrawBeard Deck Building and Game plan

I think SB is currently the strongest aggro deck in English because this version performs a lot more consistently than PB and the Hybrid versions, it's a lot more straightforward to play, and it has the potential to have a positive matchup with every other popular meta deck with a few exceptions.

Some people look at SB lists and wonder why the leader isn't just Red Luffy, and the reason is that the advantage of developing early games is absolutely insane, even though we are losing a life every turn. Essentially, drawing two cards every turn is a resource to see our units and defensive cards more consistently.

This is what the decklist for SB looks like to me right now.

Click into the image for decklist in One Piece Top Decks

The general game plan for this list is to build resources with our Nami or drop a Sanji in the early game, attack with Frankie, two-cost Sanji and our Rush units in the midgame, and then go for the late game, dropping a Rush unit for turn keeping the initiative and pressure. 

“Keep initiative and pressure” is primarily a chess concept but can be easily translated to any competitive activity. In a nutshell, this is the point at which you force your adversary to play uniquely in contrast to what they ordinarily would in light of the fact that they dread the repercussions of making the plays they typically would. Remove your opponent from their comfort zone.

Another important factor at the moment is the weight that the 9-Beard Unban has. Most opponents, as soon as they see the leader on the table, assume that we are playing with a full set of Marco blockers and 9-Beard, respecting these cards too much. This psychological effect has an absurd practical advantage because, by letting him play around the 9-Beard, the opponent exposes himself even more to the rush strategy. 

“You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.”

― Mikhail Tal

With PB, traditionally drop our 9-Beard in the late game. It's important to notice that we want to be in two life. In order to stay at two left naturally, we need to guard every attack in life early. If the opponent's swings are too big number then I think it's fine to let at least one attack during the early game. Having one life on your 9-Beard return isn't the end of the world, but you ideally want to have two life. Note that this is a fairly linear strategy that is relatively easy to play around with and make a plan for, but SB is quite different. In this strategy, you have room to take some hits, depending a lot on how your hand is. Ideally, it is an interesting balance between defending the units to maintain pressure and reaching turn 4 with at least 1 life. This way, you can still drop a rush unit like a Rush Luffy or Sanji and still have Don!! open to defend against possible tall attacks.

It is important to know how to use your life as a shield; it is a very valuable resource that allows you to make plays without worrying about lethal damage. With enough 6/7K attacks, getting into life can leave the opponent with one or two lives very quickly, and when their life count is low, this is now part of each of your opponent's turns. Now they will have to dedicate some portion of Don!! to play defensively, whether doing blockers, events, or clearing your board; however, you still have a leader swinging every turn and dropping rush units. When you do this, pressure will start to build.

When you get to your opponent's very low life, they also know pressure starts to form, but this is also where your opponent has to start countering with cards they want to play most of the time. Sakazuki, for example, when you start swinging for 7K, of course they can discard Tashigi or Tsuru in the beginning, but with enough of them, they will now have to discard Tashigi and Borsalino, or if they're running low on counter, discard Rebecca and Brannew (Figure 7). You are forcing your opponent to start countering with cards that they want to play, and that is putting them in the corner. Also, if your opponent has to attack your characters, they are giving you more time to kill them with more Rush units.

Figura 7 – Counter examples for sakazuki

When pressure has already been formed, your opponent has to react to it in a certain way to either clear your board or play with less Don!! and when they clear the board against an aggressive strategy, we are more than happy to take that life, and then we will probably be one of these Rush units that can help end the game. It doesn't matter if you've lost board control because their life is so low at that point that they have to play very defensively, and they're not going to be able to kill you at the end of the game because they don't have enough Don!! to get past a Radical Beam, Guard Point, or multiple of those.

I'm also a fan of Red Hawk right now due to its strength against Sakazuki, for example. Being able to open a window to your opponent's attack and defend yourself when dealing with characters like Brannew, or in the best scenario, Rebecca, is one of the lines that absolutely goes in the direction of keeping the pressure. At its worst, it's a 4K counter against any deck, but also against decks like Law or Zoro, it's very strong to hold up early just because it stops attacking, which is like a free block. Then, against the mirror match, you can just kill random blockers, or you can kill random one-drops, like Makino.

Talking about blockers, traditionally we have Chopper, Bartolomeo, and Marco (Figure 9). The reason we use none of these blockers is that after playing this deck, you kind of realize that you don't need blockers. I think it's generally better to run more events, like Guard Point or Bad Manners Kick Course.

Figure 9 – Traditional blockers

The Tournament

The tournament was held at the Goblin Hero Store, based in Freguesia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There were a total of 25 players and a Swiss format with 5 rounds (best of 1), plus a cut for the top 8 (best of 3).

Regarding the metagame, as expected, we predominantly had the most popular decks at the moment: Sakazuki (5 players), Katakuri (4 players), and Purple Luffy (3 players) were among the most played (Figure 11), together making up half of the field. Zoro and Whitebeard also had good participation, almost 30% of the field.

My matchups in the Swiss format were: Zoro (win/play), Purple Luffy (win/draw), Katakuri (win/draw), Zoro (win/play), and Katakuri (win/draw).

For all matches, the game plan remains the same as previously described, putting pressure on the opponent and keeping them in an uncomfortable position. With the exception of the Purple Luffy match, all opponents seemed to play around 9 beard, which was part of the deck's strategy. The matches I played in the draw were as expected, as we started and ended the turn by drawing two cards and managing to put pressure with two cost Sanji . Purple Luffy has very good weapons against our strategy, such as Magellan and, fundamentally, Law Blocker. Receiving two Law blockers in a row in the late game can be brutal and cost you the game. It's definitely something that needs to be played around. But my opponent didn't have the space to fit these cards correctly and ramped up aggressively. I managed to get through 5-0 without too many problems, as shown in the table below (Table 1) .

There are some observations I would like to make. First, players who have played with the same deck for a long time have a better understanding not only of their own strategy but also of what other decks can do. The top 8 were a representation of this, with exceptions. Second, regarding the Sakazuki deck, it is not intuitive to play at all. A player with little experience does not have the resources to deal with strategies beyond the mainstream of the meta, mainly those that are very aggressive in the early game. In this sense, I would like to highlight Heitor who reached the top 8 with his BP Crocodile, a completely original list. A skilled player with absurd knowledge of the deck's limitations and repertoire.

My matchups in the top 8 are: BP Crocodile (2-0), Katakuri (2-0), and Zoro (2-1).

Once again, I managed to impose the rush strategy with great efficiency. Sb for a BP Crocodile strategy is an absolutely bad matchup.

The matchup against Katakuri is a favorable one. When going second, I play Sanji first, then establish my 4/6000 and 5/6 rush on curve, and from turn 4, I start attacking the leader with as many 7k attacks as possible, rushing them down. Going first, the gameplan is similar, with Nami in the alternative, but it can get difficult depending on what they trigger from life. Turn one Nami, turn two Sanji, and 7k attack or 5k attack with Nami and 6k with leader; turn 3 attack 6k with Frankie and 7k with leader; from turn 4 you need to really start pushing for their life, playing more rush units and focusing on 7k attacks when it is Don!! efficient.

I ended up letting a game slip away against Zoro in the final due to my carelessness in dealing with my opponent's board, believing that I could do lethal damage. This is a really interesting matchup. For me, the key to winning is to spam 6K attacks and develop too wide of a board for the zoro to respond. The key cards for this strategy are again the rush units, which allow SB to be aggressive while countering important damage while being really Don!! efficient. Also, don’t be afraid to take the life when they swing for it in the first turns.

At the end of the day you have to understand what every deck wants to do and try to make them as uncomfortable as possible in their attempt to do so.

Message

I want to thank my entire local community, especially Alexandre Lomba, owner of the Goblin Hero Store, for promoting and helping to create a truly competitive and, at the same time, healthy and fun gaming environment.

The old man continues to be a top-tier deck for OP-05; I don't see that changing in any aspect. As mentioned previously, I believe Newgate only gets stronger, especially in fields where he is not expected. Expect to see him playing not only in local games but in any other tournament. If the old man is the leader in your heart as he is in mine, rest assured, he will continue to be successful and perform very well even in OP-06, I believe.

If anyone out there wants to share an idea, give their criticism, or make suggestions, they can find me on Twitter at @rafaelhvabreu.

Thank you very much, everyone. Good luck and good games!

[EN-OP5] An Interview with Pierre Breuil, The winner of Paris Treasure Cup

Hello everyone, We would like to introduce Pierre "Trec" Breuil, a player from France who recently won the Paris Treasure Cup (438 players) with leader Sakazuki.

His matchups is tournament is: 11 win – 1 lost. He won 6x Sakazuki, 1x Enel, 1x Katakuri, 2x NewGate. He lost 1 game in Swiss round, against a player with Sakazuki leader.

1. Please introduce yourself? What is your achievement in Onepiece Card Game so far ?

Hello, I'm Pierre "Trec" Breuil, a French player and content creator (Coaching, Articles, Videos). I started One Piece at the beginning with the Super Pre Release. I won 4 Serials: 2 Luffy (2nd place Kinemon at Birmingham ; 2nd place Ace 3o3 at Glasgow) and 2 Shanks (5th at Liverpool with RP Law ; 1st at Créteil with Sakazuki).

2. How were your matchups in the Paris Treasure Cup?

I faced 7 Sakazuki, 1 Ener, 1 Katakuri and 2 WB.  Yellow is always feared because of the triggers. WB is hard if he goes with a good game plan / decklist and the mirror match is a chess game.

3. Was there a moment that you almost lost the game, but you managed to come back with a win?

My second match was against a Katakuri. Fortunately I was second and I got a Kuzan4 because I didn't see a single blocker the whole game. I needed to be aggressive: pushing life, taking the damage from 7cost Bigmom and protecting this Kuzan until the end.

4. Is there any game/matchups that left a strong impression, and why was it?

My day2 was only Sakazuki mirror matches. After each match I looked at my next match and I was like: “aaaaaah, Sakazuki again without the dice”. I had very good matches, 2 bo3 were streamed and I liked them a lot. I think I will try to see them again and maybe spot mistakes we made.

5. Will you continue with Sakazuki or will you try a different leader for another big tournament in OP5 meta?

I like to play every leader to have a good knowledge of the game. I will continue to try and cook stuff because I don't like to play like the other players. Sakazuki was the easy choice this time and if I don't find something else it will be him again. Well played, this deck is amazing.

6. So what is your goal with One Piece TCG?

My goal is to have a Serial each expansion. At this moment it works well. My dream is, of course, to go to the Worlds in Tokyo but it will be really hard. No one, at this moment, can say "I will be in".

7. Is there any message or shoutout you want to say to your friends or your local community?

I want to thank my community, students, and friends because they helped me improve. This first year of One Piece was amazing and I hope it will continue the same. I met a lot of good people. I had good results this time ; a lot of good players didn't. Stay focused and passionate, my friends, even if it's hard, even in dark times. Success will come. I also know a lot of good players will come soon so we all need to continue to improve.

Thank you very much and Good Luck !

[EN-OP5] An Interview with the 1st Place Team in CoreTCG Regional

Hello everyone, One Piece Top Decks had the chance to interview the team that won 1st place in Los Angeles Regional hosted by Core TCG. The tournament happened in Dec 16th with 142 teams (426 players).

The team members are:

A – Adam Cisneros – Nami
B – Dylan Chu – Sakazuki
C – Nicky Goldman – R/G Law

1. Tell us something about your team?

Nicky: We are all sponsored by ProjectCCG. Were all really close friends and test together. Even the 2nd place team is part of our local One Piece group, so it was amazing that we all could get the last serial Luffys.

Adam: We all started out with yugioh and have been in and out of various tcg's. One Piece really brought us back together and we have been so excited to finally compete at a premier event locally and showout for it.

Dylans: My teammates are all my friends that I see/talk to basically almost everyday. Even the team we played the finals I would consider my teammates as we’ve all formed a connection through One Piece. 

Adam Cisneros - Nami

2. What is your Achievement with OP TCG so far?

Dylans: In Solos I have two Top 8s and two Top 32s in One Piece. 

Nicky: I have 5 singles top 8's and 2 3on3 tops in One Piece. With Adam, we have gotten 3rd and a top 16 at other 3on3 events with the same leaders we used for this event.

Adam: I only have one premier top which was the 3v3 cup in Pittsburgh earlier this year where we finished 3rd by .00000000001%. Individually I Finished Top 32 Long Beach Treasure Cup and the 1500 player Pasadena Regional.

Nicky Goldman - R/G Law

3. Tell us something about your deck choice? Sakazuki is good, But why Nami and OP1 Law?

Adam: Nami has such a positive win spread versus the current meta. It was already a solid pick before OP05 but with even less whitebeard and R/G Law represented, this gives Nami an even better chance to shine.

Nicky: We have always considered Nami a respectable deck and we've concluded that the only match up you insta lose is against Law. Back then, Law was probably on most teams, so you had at most, a 33% chance of hitting the Law player as Nami. This format is different and better for Nami. Law does not have as much representation this format and Nami has a good match up against most of the new meta decks right now. Fun fact, Adam's winrate vs. Law with Nami is positive somehow, so props to him. 

Dylans: It was an easy choice because my teammates are the best Nami and Law players I know. Outside of the reasonings stated by my teammates I felt like they’re insane players that would do well piloting any of other decks.

Dylan Chu - Sakazuki

4. What is your tips for Nami and Law leaders  in current meta (and what to look for in mulligan)?

Adam:For Nami, you really want to see cycle more than anything but having at least 1 bounce card is also very crucial. Depending on the matchup you also have to hard mulligan for Nojiko since she is not searchable. The tempo she buys you is equivalent to a cycle card or more in some cases.

Nicky: As the Law player, what Im looking for in my opening hands are a Bonnie and/or blocker Law + a playable early game curve. Against Sakazuki, Im trying to find as many searchers as possible so I can mitigate Sakazuki's destruction.

5. Could you share the matchups result of each deck in this tournament?

Adam: Nami Finished 5-1: (Win: Saka Zoro Saka Saka Whitebeard; Lost: Enel X)

I could have finished undefeated but I made a critical error in how I stacked my deck with desert spada but luckily my teammates won out that final round.

Saka and Enel are some of the Easiest matchups for Nami. Whitebeard was the hardest matchup of the day. The consistent big body rush swings and zeff being a non factor, make this matchup very difficult.

Nicky: OP1 Law win: RP Luffy, Sakazuki, Enel, RP Law, P Luffy, Lost to Sakazuki.

Both Adam and I went x-1 and Dylan went x-0 Sakazuki is definitely Laws worst match up, but its not an insta loss. In my experience, I think Law can win at least 50% of the time. I personally dont like those odds, so I may consider swapping decks.

Dylans: Sakazuki Finished: 6-0.

Win: Bello, 3x P Luffy, Enel, Sakazuki

The hardest match up for Saka is definitely either Nami or Wb so I got lucky and didn’t see anything throughout the day. The easiest match up is Pluffy and in my person opinion, Enel as well.

Message and Shoutout

Dylans: Much love for my teammates and people in our play testing group (3 of which we played in the finals: Brian, Henry, and Kyle). Shout out to these stores having the best locals: Project CCG, Wildcardcyclone, Game Cellar, Top Choice Gaming, and CoreTCG. RIP Boba Ave W Valley.

Nicky: Huge shout out to our local community in social. All the people that go to ProjectCCG, CoreTCG, and WildCardCyclone. Huge congrats to the 2nd place team: Kyle Vo, Henry Pham, and Brian Huynh. And to our boy Jackie Moc that also got 2nd in the regionals. Also shout out to the sponsors, Dylan and ProjectCCG.

Adam: OP has had some of the most supportive people out of any tcg I've played, from my short travels I've had the chance to hang out with complete strangers who are just so hospitable and kind. So shout outs to those people, they make playing the game that much better. Also shout outs to our Sponsor Project CCG, they've supported our team and testing group the whole season and we hope to bring home more Wins, not just tops.

[JP-OP6] Zach: Arlong Leader is playable in OP6 meta

Hello everyone, I’m Zach L. from Singapore and I’ve been playing OPTCG since May 23. I have some background in card games such as Yugioh, Hearthstone, and Duelyst as a casual player but that was many years back. I find OPTCG one of the most enjoyable card games ever created today, with many interesting decisions to make. Most importantly, the Singapore community is a joy to play with, with everyone being very friendly to each other and welcoming to newbies like me.

My ARLONG Deck

I decided to try out Arlong as I saw a few guys playing it casually in some other events and also doing well in OP04, and wanted to try it out in OP05 as well. During OP05, I ran the Big Mom Engine with all the trigger 4c 5Ks. After my testing up to the end of OP05, Arlong matches well against Pluffy due to the ability to rush him down and has a fair chance against Sakazuki if you manage to clear their board efficiently with either Don Krieg or tech in Choo. 

The only problem was Enel (and at the end of OP05 mono green Uta), there was no way to deal with those two decks because they were simply “stronger”. 

Click into the image for decklist in One Piece Top Decks

Then OP06 arrived, and Arlong got an insane boost. He can now drop down 6Ks such as the new Kikunojo and Arlong, plus he can use 2c Hiyori on turn 1 going second to swap your top life with Cracker, then take your first life to play cracker and smack leader with a cheap 7K double break to threaten them. With Vander Decken, you no longer need to fear 8c Kid because you can just spend 2 don and 2 cards to get rid of it and resume smacking face.

Most importantly, you gain 9c Zoro SEC, which was the one missing piece that Arlong needed to play evenly against leaders like Enel who have a strong sustain to end-game.

Arlong’s strengths are that you can consistently flood the board with 5Ks 6Ks every turn, and swing at the leader every turn with multiple attacks 7K or higher. The 6Ks are not as easily cleared by the 5K power leaders, so it is much easier to defend your board. Not only that, but with a bit of luck, you have many triggers that disrupt the board such as Onami, Chibi Zoro (Yellow Zoro), and multiple ways to rest blockers through triggers so you can almost always make opponents drop cards to defend their leader. I’ve found Arlong to be consistent in being aggressive while laying down a scary board at the same time. Plus, having to deal with multiple 7K attacks and still having to fear triggers is a scary thought.

However, in some games, it becomes a race against who can finish the opponent faster. Arlong (due to being 4 life) dies to Bello Betty who can just repeatedly swing at your face for crazy undefendable numbers and swarm the board faster than you can swarm yours. RP Law is also theoretically another difficult matchup since they can go wide and clear your board at the same time.

Yellow matchups often come down to who manages to get better triggers in life most of the time as well. Especially in the case of Katakuri who gains a lot of aggro power in OP06, can lay down a scary board while still aggro-ing you to death, while their triggers stop your attacks and nuke your board because your main attackers are all 4c and below. Finally, since the meta has become gradually slower, it is important for you to mulligan into or draw 9c Zoro otherwise you are just a sitting duck waiting to be out-controlled and destroyed.

Strategy

Mulligan

You want to go first in all matchups. Mulligan for at least one 4c Kikunojo, 4c Arlong, or 4c Cracker in hand in this particular priority. You want to see 9c Zoro in almost all matchups, hard mulligan if you have to because there is no way to search for it. Momo searcher in the starting hand is optional as even though they are your first turn play, if you go first you are generally not activating the search until you are at 5 don.

No Django?

Django was a key card in Arlong decks pre-OP06 because of the crazy effect – for 5c, your leader can restand. So at 9don, you can keep hitting face for 9K twice, and if you kept chaining this, your opponent would likely be dead. Plus, being able to cheat out two units while attacking at 8K twice is also a plus. 

However with the release of OP06, Django’s usefulness has subsided. Not only is he a brick in hand and life, with the Wano engine you have no way to search for him. Not only that, OP06 meta has a lot of decks with a ton of blockers, so a leader restand isn’t strong enough to finish games anymore. Plus, the optimal Django play is at 9 don where you can hit twice for 9K, but why would you do that when you can simply play 9c Zoro and kill your opponent next turn? The power creep is real, and Django is a thing of the past. This leads us to the next section…

About the 9c Zoro

9c Zoro is key for most matchups. The strength of playing 9c Zoro on curve is unmatched because you are generally putting up so much aggro that the opponent is left with 1-2 life left (unless you are Reiju because your hand size is so big). Most people don’t expect a 9c Zoro since you are constantly attaching Don and smacking their face with multiple 7Ks, so there is the element of surprise. Plus, it puts the opponent into a panic mode where they have to consider if they can either defend 3x 16K swings with cards in hand or by playing blockers, or end up having to go for game that turn. If you have been defending yourself well, you should have around 2-3 life left and still a healthy hand so you will generally be able to survive unless your hand bricks. 

What to play turn 1-4

Going first, your first few turns are generally the same. Turn 1 play momo if you have it or just pass. Turn 2 attach 2 don to your leader and smack face for 7K, using 1 don to play your 4c trigger character (Kikunojo is preferred). Turn 3 search with momo if you have it. Assuming Perona or Yellow leaders didn’t KO your 4c 6K, attach 1 don to make a 7K swing, then make another 7-8K swing with leader, playing another 4c trigger character, otherwise search with momo or swing for 9K and play something. On your 7 don turn, it is generally better to use 3-4 don to play another trigger beater then use leader effect to play one more. Going second is generally the same though you will be on the backfoot losing the chance to attack first. Make sure to defend your board and also your leader if it’s cheap to do so (using one card you don’t need), and try to keep a Kuroobi or Izou in hand when you want to finish the game. Remember that even smacking face 3 times with a no-don attached 9c Zoro is still painful, and you can use Hody Jones to rest two blockers/don and still have 3 don left for Zoro to attack 3 times.

Matchups

Let’s discuss some common matchups in OP06…

Reiju

Reiju is one of the hardest matchups for you. Not only is her hand size usually 7 cards or more, she can defend the heck out of your 7K swings and still end up healthy. Not only that, if you go first against her, she can come out with a 7K rush Ichiji on turn 2 to poke you to death. 

Against Reiju, not only do you want to look for your 4c 6Ks, but you also want to hard mulligan for your 9c Zoro and also see your Vander Decken. Vander Decken deals with that pesky turn 2 Ichiji but still is expensive at 2don and 2 cards to KO Ichiji which can be brought back to life next turn (and still attack!), but at least that makes Reiju lose some tempo. You need to defend any attacks lower than a 7K hit to your life. You may sometimes want to get rid of their board first before smacking at their leader, so you can survive until your 9don turn. 

Immediately play 9c Zoro the first chance you can get, because you are not surviving a long game with Reiju. After that, rest their blockers, swing low with your leader and your remaining characters and then swing 16K at their life 3x and hope for the best.

Enel

Enel is another problematic matchup because their leader ability means you always need 3 clean hits to end them. 9c Zoro automatically solves that issue for you and Yellow has no way to remove 9c Zoro before he attacks. Hard mulligan for 9c Zoro, then go aggressive and smack their face (and then their board once you leave them at 1 life), and then survive until the turn after you play 9c Zoro. 

Enel is the second-most toughest matchup for you because they often also have a ton of cards in hand, can go aggressive if they want to, and due to being yellow have many triggers that will clear your board and ruin your day. Bege trigger especially will stop your 9c Zoro in his tracks, and Enel has 2 chances to do so on his last 2 lives. Literally for this matchup, pray that no triggers will mess you up. 

Katakuri

Katakuri is your toughest matchup, no joke about this. While Katakuri usually folds to aggro, your board is not wide enough to withstand their constant trigger blockers and trigger KOs, and Bege as usual ruins your day any turn. Plus, Katakuri’s ability is too efficient, giving him a 7K attack plus being able to look at your life and rearrange it to his liking so you don’t get many good triggers off at the right time. Even if you drop 9c Zoro, you might not be able to survive the next turn because they may have a few units and 7c mom on the field that you cannot defend against. When they start the 10c Mom loop, you will lose. You have very little chance of winning unless your opponent lowrolls. If you can get Katakuri to 1 life before they reach their 10don turn, you will likely win even if they play 10c Mom.

Yamato

The general way to play against Yamato is similar – have as many counters in your hand as possible, and get rid of their dangerous characters that can threaten you early such as Cracker. You may choose to ignore the Kikunojo but make sure you have enough counters in hand. Remember that Yamato often runs Amaru so your blockers may not work against them, so block early if you have a blocker on the field before they become useless later. If you can swarm the board faster than Yamato, you have a good chance of winning because Yamato generally cannot deal with your board without losing tempo unless they luck out on some triggers.

Sakazuki

Unless Sakazuki highrolls Hound Blazes and 4c Rob Luccis, he will have trouble against your aggro. Prioritise having 4c Arlong over the other 4c triggers in your initial hand. Having 9c Zoro in hand is good if your opponent plays more defensively with many blockers, but may not be necessary so you can discard it with Arlong if you have too many other bricks in hand. Arlong will make it difficult for the leader to reduce your character’s cost (yes, that -1 cost is huge) and stop them from removing your board without losing too much tempo.

As usual, just keep smacking his face at 7K or more each turn. Sakazuki usually uses blockers to defend against attacks, so if there are no blockers he will just keep on losing cards in hand to stop your huge attacks. Even if he has a ton of blockers, you can rest them with many of your other cards. If he plays Gecko Moria on 8 don turn, he loses tempo because you can rest his blockers easily and continue to smack his face (do clear the Rebecca if you are not intending to win the next turn).

Gecko Moria

Generally, Moria has a hard time against your aggro. The same goes for Moria as Sakazuki, get all the 4c Arlongs you can have, because locking Moria from attacking slows his swarm down. I’ve generally not had a difficult time against Moria, but I have yet to play more against him. 

Perona

Perona is getting more popular recently due to the Doflamingo engine combined with Navy. You must have 9c Zoro somewhere in hand to win this matchup. Perona will clear your board easily with the Leader effect + Ryuma, and she often also plays a ton of blockers that will stop your 2-3 swings of 7K per turn. You may want to have Vander Decken in hand to clear an early Ryuma and slow down the tempo for Perona to survive, just make sure you play him while none of your beaters are rested. Also, even though Perona can clear your Momo on her 4don turn, but you should still play momo on turn 1 if you have him because it’s a bait – If she rests your momo to clear him on turn 2, she loses value because Ryuma now doesn’t have a good target to KO and you can get in two 7K hits next turn. At the same time, their turn 1 Baby5 is a bait and it’s often better to hit their face first and let them choose to get a second search down or play Ryuma.

Perona is also the only leader that can play 8c Moria and suddenly play 3 blockers (Rebecca, Borsalino, Corazon) and defend against your aggro effectively. You will not win this match if you do not have 9c Zoro.

Whitebeard

The whitebeards today run a hybrid strawhat and whitebeard pirates deck. You have an advantage in this matchup because you are generally always swinging high at 7K, plus your main attackers Kikunojo and Arlong already are at base 6K which makes it easier to attack into leader and defend against attacks. Whitebeard generally does not play 5c Marco against you because there is nothing worthwhile for him to KO. Smack leader’s face as much as you can so he cannot play his 9c Whitebeard, and always keep in mind that whitebeard has a ton of counter in his insanely large hand, so you can often slowplay it at the end and try to clear his board while resting the Marco blocker so he has to drop more than 1 card to defend. 9c Zoro does help, but is not necessary to win. Remember that Hody can rest dons as well, so you can always rest Whitebeard’s active dons to stop him from activating radicals at the turn you are going for the game.

Other Matchups

Unfortunately, I did not manage to play against many RP Laws, but I believe it will be a tough matchup for you theoretically since they wipe your board plus swarm you faster than you can swarm them. Pray for some good triggers in life that can clear your board. Focus on killing their board whenever possible. They don’t usually defend against 7K attacks (unless they have 5c Kid and they can defend cheaply against your 7K with 1 card). Remember they also have Reiju to fix their problem of having no hand size now. 

You also automatically lose to Bello Betty players as long as they know what they are doing and focus on your face. Queen will also be able to starve you, and you will not be able to deal with 9c Sanji SEC into another top end like Aramaki or Yamato. Keep Vander Deckens in hand to deal with 8c Kid in Green Uta and smack into face as much as possible (You can 7K into Nami a few times to make the opponent drop 2 or more cards and force them to make a tough choice). You swing hard enough to make Nami and Purple Luffy players have a hard time.

Recently Tournament with Arlong Deck

In standard battle in our LGS, I went 5-0 and faced 2 Peronas, 1 Reiju, and then 2 Whitebeards. I needed the 9c Zoro for the two Peronas and the Reiju, and Arlong + some lucky triggers helped me win against the whitebeards. I didn’t play 9c Zoro against the whitebeards.

Note: In the two Perona matches, I managed to draw into 9c Zoro somewhere in the game despite not having them in the opening hands. For the second Perona, even though my opponent had 4 blockers on the field at one time, I managed to keep 9c Zoro alive for 3 turns which proved fatal. 10c Doflamingo unfortunately only removes one attack off 9c Zoro (use activate main to spend 2 don to restand Zoro, so you can attack again then spend 1 don to restand), so you still get two attacks with him which is plenty.

Shoutout

Thank you for reading my lengthy article. Arlong is an underrated off-meta leader that is fun to play especially if you like aggro decks that have fun triggers! I hope that this writeup makes you feel like running him in your next local event. 

I would like to thank Daimonji for being an amazing store and the friendly players I have met there who have been welcoming to me as a newbie and given me many opportunities and tips to get better. Also, thank you to OnlyWaifu for being a great support group. Lastly, I would also like to give a shout-out to Sato, one of the first friends I made in this game who has been a great teacher and friend.

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