Invited Author: Marco Morales
Hello, my name is Marco Morales, and on May 13th, I won the One Piece Latam Regionals, which had 350 players from different countries. I have played various TCGs throughout my life, achieving good results in most of them. I've been playing this game since the launch of OP01, alongside my friends with whom I test and prepare for most of the tournaments.
After a frustrating result in the treasure cup in February, where I played purple Kaido, I realized the need to prepare better and bring a deck that was consistent above all else. I wanted a deck that allowed me to showcase my skills and wouldn't hinder me by losing against itself. I initially started playing a lot of Green Kinemon, but I discarded it due to its low power level and difficulties facing Red Newgate (in any of its iterations).
After testing nearly all the meta decks with my team, we decided that taking a Red Luffy deck would be the best choice. It was strong and consistent, had favorable matchups (especially against Zoro and Law), and would give me the best chances of winning the tournament. As my friend said, it was a "high risk, high reward" decision, and boy, was he right.
I believe the deck is quite strong, featuring the best card advantage in Nami and Curly Dadan, the strongest removal in Jet Pistol and Nico Robin, and of course, the best card in the format: Edward Newgate. Here is the decklist I played:
Regionals Day: Match Ups
Upon arriving at the tournament, we were informed that it would be fully played on the same day, consisting of the nine Swiss rounds and the top 16. Considering the potential exhaustion, I appreciated having a strategy that allowed for quick game finishes, regardless of the result.
Though I don't have vivid memories of all my matches, I have a summary of my matchups (in no particular order):
vs. Red/Green Law (2-0)
vs. Red Zoro (2-0)
vs. Green Kinemon (2-0)
vs. Red Newgate-Boat (1-1)
vs. Red Newgate-Strawat (0-1)
These results led me to a 7-2 record and the ninth seed in the top 16.
TOP 16 vs. Red Newgate-Strawat
This match was the most important of the day, as the winner would take home a serial Luffy. It was a rematch against the player who had defeated me in the Swiss rounds, a matchup I considered difficult for my deck. To make things worse, I was playing against an excellent player, a recipe for disaster. The first game started poorly as he claimed victory. However, during the second and third games, I executed my planned strategy of attacking their leader as much as possible with 6k power to reduce his hand size. I then launched several strong attacks at the end, drew more copies of Edward Newgate than him, and managed to secure the victory, claiming the long-awaited prize. The final result was 2-1 in my favor.
TOP 8 vs. Red-Green Law
Heading into this match, I felt more mentally relaxed. However, my opponent had been undefeated thus far. Fortunately, I knew it was a favorable matchup for me. This became evident quickly as I gained control of the board using Nico Robin and Masked Deuce, making it difficult for my opponent to activate their leader ability. In this matchup, it is crucial to both control the board and attack the opponent's leader to prevent them from burying us in card advantage. I emerged victorious with a score of 2-0.
TOP 4 vs. Red-Green Law
Thanks to my previous success and with my confidence soaring, I approached this match as if I were playing at my kitchen table. I was able to demonstrate the strengths of my deck by effectively controlling the board and destroying almost every important character my opponent played. The game became slightly more complicated as my opponent was using Green Izou, something its not taht common, and made my Nico Robin less effective. However, this only prolonged the game and caused my opponent to miss some searches with Nami/Bonnie. So it sticked to the plan and secured the win with a score of 2-0.
FINAL vs. Green Kid
This match took me by surprise, as it was a matchup I had not tested before. However, luck was on my side as I drew back-to-back-to-back Edward Newgate in the first game. This applied significant pressure on the 8-cost Kid, forcing my opponent to waste most of their cards in hand to procect his character but eventually i was able to destroy it and win the game. In the second game, I drew Otama along with Jet Pistol to counter my opponent's Kid, and then played two Edward Newgate to seal the game and become the Latin American champion.
I believe I had a solid performance in the tournament. As the rounds progressed, I refined my gameplay, and the deck never disappointed me. It remained consistent, strong, and dominant. Additionally, whenever challenges arose, Edward Newgate proved to be the solution. I am confident that the deck still has potential in OP03, and I'm waiting to see how it performs in the new meta.
I would like to express my gratitude to my friends Phillipe and Cristian for their endless hours of testing and advice, especially regarding which deck to play in this tournament. I would also like to thank my girlfriend for her patience and unwavering support during my preparation, even when I encountered difficulties.
Thank you, and see you soon.