Invited Author: Giacomo Einaudi
Hi everyone! I’m Giacomo (Jack) from Italy, I’ve recently placed second at the Lyon regional. I’ve started playing the OP tcg in august thanks to some friends which bought some cards and involved me in the game. I’ve always played card games and I have played competitive mtg for almost 10 years, but it has been a couple of years since I have really been involved with the game. One Piece made me rediscover my love for card games. The game is fresh, really easy to learn, but hard to master, the limited card pool so far makes it so that practice and deckbuilding choices really matter.
Achivement in One Piece Card Game: This was my first competitive OP tournament. So far, I had only played on my local scene in Turin, where I have to admit the level is very high with a lot of top European players and this made it possible for me to improve at the game in a short amount of time.
Deck and Strategy
I have been playing Rebecca since I started in August. I built a deck back in OP03 meta just to play some games but I was already focused on the OP04 meta were I knew I would play Rebecca because I really like the control gameplay of it and it seemed like it was going to be a top deck. However, compared to the Asian meta here in Europe it evolved a bit differently and I think in a more unfavorable way for Rebecca. I thought about playing something else but I also knew my months of practice with the deck would have paid out with a bit of luck with the match ups. The main reason to play Rebecca is to have a good match up into the red decks, which I knew would have been most prevalent at the regional.
I also like the match up against Queen and G/P Doflamingo which are 2 decks that people like to play to counter Whitebeard. Therefore, I was theoretically very confident of the position the deck had in the meta with only Katakuri being a nightmare to face but I figured the deck would struggle in the late rounds of the tournament due to bad match ups against WB and Law.
Rebecca is a control deck, its main strategy is to develop a board while destroying what your opponent is presenting on the other side of the table. In most matchups, you want to play down a Kyros in the first turns which will act like your leader since it is almost indestructible, especially if you also deploy the colosseum alongside it. Kyros is fundamental against Law and Zoro as it also destroys something when it gets played and it allows you to attack your opponent characters, take cards out of their hands but also apply pressure on their leader.
With this deck you will see a lot of cards with the leader effect, but you need to be mindful of remaining with less than 6 cards in hand, so you almost always want to discard to counter out attacks and keep your life total high. If you don’t counter enough you will get into situations where you are not able to activate your leader and you are basically playing without the ability to attack and without a leader effect so you effectively lose all your advantage.
Rebecca is strong because you are able to draw 2 cards a turn, if you lose that advantage you miss all the reason you are playing the deck for and you will almost certainly end up losing. I believe the deck is very intricate and you need to know well what you are looking for because every turn you are presented with a choice to pick between 2 cards and if you make mistakes you are going to lose.
Your initial hand is also important, you want to have a 2k counter in hand to avoid the scenario I presented above and you want to use your mulligan and leader to see important cards in the match up.
These will be:
–Kyros in almost every game a part from Whitebeard were I will say it is your worst card to draw since it doesn’t hit anything important and you don’t want to pay a Don to have to attack with it;
–2k counter against WB, you want to have as a many as possible to not lose life in the early game;
– Orlumbus is key against WB and non-red decks, it is the engine of your deck and what allows you to destroy high cost characters;
– Three thousand worlds, this is a card you are looking for in your initial hand against WB and Zoro since it is the only card you can’t fetch with the leader and you need to naturally draw it to not lose to Marco.
– Sabo is key against Zoro and Katakuri since it protects your characters and cleans your hand from unneeded cards.
– Luffy is a card you want to have against decks such as Queen and G/P Doflamingo that don’t apply too much pressure. In the red matches you are looking for it only in the mid to late game and you may pass on picking it at the beginning because you don’t want to have too many non-counter cards in hand. You always have to be mindful of the possibility to mill yourself out so there will be spots in which even if you don’t need Luffy you have to take it and play it just to put cards at the bottom of the deck.
Regarding the match ups against the top decks:
– Whitebeard is I think an even match, the game will usually always develop in a similar way with them trying to pressure you and you trying to destroy what they are doing while using your 2k counter to not lose life early. To win you must get to a spot in which you drop Luffy, you maybe do one attack then you restand it and you wait to do 2 big attacks in one
turn while using your cards to destroy their blocker. Win or lose will usually depend on how many rush Luffy they will play and how many blocker they will present to you in the final turn.
– Zoro is a good match up for you but you need to not lose too many lives early to not randomly lose to a Diable Jamble in the late game.
– Law I believe is your best match up (even if I lost to it in the final) since what they are doing matches very badly with what you are doing. The fact they only have 4 life means that you can also pressure them easily and they rely on 1 cost blocker to defend themselves which you easily can get rid of.
However, I wish I have tested the match up a bit more because their deck is also very dynamic, and they can play it out in many different ways which I have to admit I was not prepared for all of them.
–Katakuri is honestly just terrible, everything that they are doing is bad for you, starting from the leader that asks you to discard 2 cards just from a 1 Don investment to 10cost Big Mom which you almost can’t destroy. In the early game Perospero is also very bad for you because if you destroy it will go look for Big Mom so you need to invest your three thousand worlds on it. A triggered character at the wrong time can also present you with one more attack you were not anticipating but at the same time if you don’t get aggressive in any way you are just going to lose. Thunderbolt is great against you because it destroys Orlumbus and blockers in the late game.
To be honest I don’t have a genius plan against Katakuri, you just do your things and hope they don’t do theirs, knowing if they do you almost certainly lose. The only thing you can do to play better against Katakuri is to build your deck differently by playing 10 cost Kuzan and more Trueno Bastardo that together with Orlumbus allows you to deal with Big Mom.
However, I decided not to do it since by building your deck that way you lose percentage points against your other good match ups and you only gain some points against Katakuri, it doesn’t suddenly become a good match up. Overall, especially in a long tournament like this, I think by building your deck to play better against Katakuri you are going to lose more than you win.
Finally, as I said, the deck is very complicated, you need to practice it a lot and you need to develop your observation haki to be able to look a couple of turns into the future to know exactly what your opponent wants to do.
Funnily enough, as I write this article, I realize that I’m saying a lot “you lose to” and not “you win by”, but I think this is the tough reality of
how you should approach this deck. You should first understand the scenarios in which you lose in the early game because once you get to the late game you are almost certainly going to win. At the same time, I also want to note that there will be scenarios in which if you don’t get aggressive soon enough you may take control of the game, but you still risk of losing it, so you have to be very mindful of it.
Law: LOSE WIN WIN (On time)
Yamato: WIN WIN
Zoro: WIN WIN
WB: WIN WIN
Law: WIN LOSE LOSE
Overall the tournament went exactly how I expected and wanted it to go, I anticipated facing 1 or 2 Katakuri and was ready to lose to those and just win all the other games, but I was lucky to never face it. I faced the non-red decks all in the first rounds of the tournament when they had not yet been preyed upon by red decks and I faced all the Zoro and Law at the end.
Theoretically, Blue Crocodile is the worst matchup you can face but I was lucky that the game developed in my favor. I won the dice roll, he went first and I used Tashigi+Kyros to destroy the only Sentomaru he played that game. He kind of missed his 7 Don turn since he only played a Boa Hancock to the board and I used Orlumbus+3 rd Kyros to destroy it, so when I passed to him on 9 Don I had already established a board with 4 5k characters which he was not able to recover from.
My swiss and top cut games against Yamato were very similar to that. Here you want to develop a lot of Kyros to the board that they can’t get rid of and then you just go 1 for 1 for all the game and win. I was lucky that Yamato was the only mono yellow deck I faced all the tournament since it is much better for me due to the lack of 10 cost Big Mum, but it also makes sense since he was there because he won a lot against WB which Katakuri would not have been able to do.
Queen opened and closed my day1. The match up is one that I like to face since it is always very intricate and I have the impression Rebecca has a slight advantage but a lot depends on what happens in the first few turns when they usually don’t play much a part from blockers and you should develop a board to establish your advantage. From there they will start their chain of 8 and 9 cost drops which you answer with your orlumbus+removal or Luffy that can easily clear 2 9 drops in one turn since their decks want to go empty handed and they will not have the counters to save 9 costs. It is very important to not waste your Luffy in the early game, you always want to play it in a spot where you know you can do 2 profitable attacks since you are never going to untap with it unless your opponent is topdecking and looking for a removal.
I was very surprised. I only faced Whitebeard once and it was in the top4 against my friend Matteo. I think I played very well in the match against him, especially in the second game where I knew he had 9 cost Newgate. I played it in a way that would lead to him deploying Newgate at 2 life, feeling safe. There I built my trash to be at exactly 15 cards trying to swing double with my Luffy and I was reward with a top deck of my third king kong gun which led me to winning the game by the exact margin I needed.
My Zoro matches were pretty straight forward with no real risk of me losing. Especially in the top8 were where I faced my friend Stefano, which I had prepared the match up with and was expecting him to make it hard for me because he knew what he was doing. However, my deck was completely “on fire” as we say and gave him 0 chances. Luckily, we got to face each other only when we had both already secured our serials.
On the other side, Law, which I came into the tournament knowing it was a good match up gave me much more of a headache. I realized that Law players were approaching the match up in different ways with some of them just trying to attack big in the first turns which is a game plan that if you know they are going to do is very easy to counter. On the other side, if you are prepared for them to do that and then they just play a normal game you may end up losing just like it happen to me in the final game were I made a bad keep on my first hand on the back of 2 2k counters waiting for the 8k attack on turn two, which did not come, leaving me with a suboptimal hand without Kyros that I only drew too late costing me the game.
I feel like this is one of the best aspects of the game: you can playtest extensively some match ups but if you are always accepting the game to go as you played at home with your friends you might lose to a person that has a different impression of the match and has come prepared with a different plan or build. So, for this I think it is critical that you exchange opinions with other players and you are not stuck on your ideas!
I want to thank OnePieceTopDecks for the opportunity to write for them, I have enjoyed it a lot (maybe too much). It has been special for me knowing that just a few months back I was coming here to check decks to build. I know that this article may not be as useful as a guide for the deck since I don’t think the future for Rebecca is very bright, but I hope you may find some ideas to implement in your games, especially when playing control decks.
I want to thank all my local community in Turin, the Italian community from which I got a lot of support and most importantly all my friend group that joined me on this first pirate adventure. At the end it all started as an excuse to spend some time together and ended up with us coming home with 2 serials. I hope everyone keeps enjoying the game without forgetting that it is just that: a game, a way to be with friends, meet people, travel to some new places and the fact that it is awesome to play is just a great addition!
See you at the next tournaments!