[EN-OP5] Derek: First Victory with Green Blue Rosinante

My name is Derek and I am from Newfoundland, Canada. I started playing card games in 2016 with Magic and have since dabbled in others such as Kingdoms, Lorcana, and of course One Piece. Our local scene actually didn't start until the release of OP-02 because OPTCG product is very hard to come by on this island and OP-01 was never sold in stores anywhere here. I have yet to play in Regionals events but my biggest achievements in the One Piece Card Game thus far are a Store Championship win with GP Doffy in OP-04, and now this 1st Anniversary SB with GB Rosinante in OP-05!

Blue Green Rosinante Deck Strategy

The overall bread-and-butter for this deck is protecting your search engines and your Sugars with your leader as you use them to develop card advantage and board advantage, respectively. Your Baby 5 searchers will find your blockers to further protect your low-power units, and they'll find the biggest wincon of the deck, 10c Doflamingo. 

OP-01 Eustass Kid combos well with Doflamingo because if your opponent can't remove Kid with bottom-decking or 8c Katakuri, then they're forced to attack and that sets up Doflamingo quite well. Protecting your Sugar with leader and other blockers is important because if she can stick to the board for even two turns in the early game, that gives you an opportunity to remove whatever character(s) your opponent just played which provides you a huge board advantage going into the mid-game. OP-01 X. Drake works well with Sugar here because you can remove the rested character while developing one yourself.

Click into the image for decklist in One Piece Top Decks
In terms of other meta decks, this deck definitely struggles against Sakazuki and Purple Luffy, therefore finding itself on the outskirts of newest leader additions to the game. These two decks are obviously seeing a lot of play right now and that really doesn't bode well for Rosinante on a regional level. 
Sakazuki simply has an easy time removing our Sugars and blockers, and our game plan crumbles. Sugar and X.Drake can help with the Rebecca blockers, 4c Lucci, Hina, Kuzan — really most of their characters — but our gas runs out far quicker than theirs. One thing I've found a little successful against Sakazuki is running a FILM package, but that starts to become a little too inconsistent for the deck. 
For Purple Luffy, you want to rely more on Three-Thousand Worlds to get rid of their OP-05 Eustass Kid blockers, and Red Roc to take care of anything bigger than that (which is a lot). Running lots of these events starts to eat away at other space in our deck, so really all we can afford to do is try to stall until we see those cards, or an 8c Kid / 10c Doffy combo. ST-10 Eustass Kid makes it extremely difficult for us to get hits on their life as we have to utilize our 6k characters a little more. 
On the other hand, Yellow matchups are actually quite nice for Rosinante — they don't have widespread removal like Sakazuki, and their bodies aren't really as threatening as Purple Luffy. If you can establish blockers and a Sugar to remove even one character per turn, they lose tempo quickly. OP-01 X.Drake hits most of their mid-game bodies like Ohm and Holly (in Enel), the 4c Sanji blocker (with the help of Sugar), Three-Thousand Worlds to help with the 5c characters that X.Drake can't reach. Building a wall of blockers stops them from getting through surprisingly easily, and if they invest too much DON!! into their attacks then it delays their bigger threats for an extra turn, such as Enel, Katakuri, and Yamato (in their respective decks).
 As for Red decks, if you can find your OP-05 Rosinante blockers early on, they're forced to use removal on those instead of your rested threats, since you can use that blocker's ability to save your rested characters if they were to be KO'd. OP-03 Marco suffers to Three-Thousand Worlds, and Sugar helps with the comeback of OP-02 Marco big time, as well as removing their OP-03 Izo and OP-03 Buggy characters as they come down — these characters can swing easily into Baby 5 and Sugar, so removing them with your leader and then getting your leader set as Active to block their leader attack is crucial for building early tempo. 
Apart from that, following the general gameplan of searching for cards every turn and building a wall of blockers will set you up for victory.

Matchups

My matchups in the tournament were R1 Enel, R2 Enel, R3 R/P Law, R4 Ace, and R5 Nami. The absence of Sakazuki and Purple Luffy were noticeable; again, not a whole lot of product came to the island and people's pre-orders from other sites had not yet come in so this resulted in only one Sakazuki, and I think only one Purple Luffy as well. The staple cards just simply weren't available. 
Could things have turned out differently for Rosinante if these decks were more prevalent? Absolutely. 
Are we going to find out how Rosinante does when more of these decks are around locally? Also absolutely. 
This is some of the most fun I've ever had playing any leader (alongside OP-02 Sanji haha), and I'm probably going to ride this one out for the rest of the set, for better or worse. 

Enel (x2):  A lot of what I've said above will speak to how I won the Enel matchups — early Sugar and X.Drake removal, wall of blockers, OP-01 Kid and 10c Doflamingo. Matchup theory differentiates when you start playing against humans, because human error is a thing and my matches could have gone differently if different lines of action were taken — countering out of smaller attacks to afford the hit from bigger ones, playing defensive as opposed to going for game; those sorts of things. Both of these Enel players are in my playgroup and we had all just played together the night before, so getting the two early teamkills is not what we want to see! But they were good fun through and through, and we all learned something in those tournament matches for next time, which is the least you can really ask for.
 
RP Law is a leader I had never played against up to this point so I didn't know what to expect. I had two early Sugars and they both got removed with DON!!-3 leader ability which set my opponent back a lot… I understand this is the strategy for RP Law as it's their own way of developing tempo and being behind on DON!! synergizes with a lot of characters in their deck, so maybe it really is more valuable than I'm making it out to be. They brought out I believe a ST-10 Heat with their first leader ability and a ST-10 Bepo with the second one, and I just conveniently happened to have both of my X.Drakes in my hand to deal with those after they attacked. By the time my 8c Kid turn came around, they only had 4 DON!! to work with, and their biggest body was a Queen blocker, so their attempt to remove with attacks wasn't really going to work. But sure enough, they had the OP-05 Fire Fist event to drop Kid's power while KO'ing my THIRD Sugar, and then the FILM promo Gordon dropped it further down enough to DON!!-3 to bottom deck the 8c Kid. I got lucky with my last life card because it was a +1k counter that was required to get out of one of the last two swings. Sometimes these matches just come down to luck. They were also missing some copies of key cards from their deck so I'm looking forward to a rematch with this opponent, always super fun matches!

R4 Ace, pretty much see above notes about Red decks for this one. Early Sugar to remove searchers which made it easy to keep her around. I had a Sugar on board when they played Whitebeard so it got rested, then of course the attack with leader, so I played a 10c Doflamingo to lock them both down. I had another one on my following turn as well so it all comes back to finding your 10c Doflamingos and getting that lockdown in the late game, and surviving long enough to get to that point.

R5 Nami: I actually lost this match. There were five of us that went 4-1 and three of them were my opponents (R2 Enel, R4 Ace, and R5 Nami) so I ended up having a huge advantage on the tiebreakers. Not really much to say about this matchup, Nami favours against slower decks and they had some pretty gnarly life triggers so it's hard to keep up with that. Not sure how I'm going to navigate this matchup in the future; just hope they don't have good life triggers I guess? Get more characters on board sooner probably? We'll see.

Hints and Mulligan

Rosinante wants to go second. Mulligan for a Baby 5 searcher absolutely. If you don't see her in the mulligan, hopefully you have a Sugar for another powerful turn 1 play. 2c Rosinante worst case scenario, but you really want to save those for when you have a board established. OP-01 Doflamingo blocker is a nice turn 2 play to set up your top 5 cards for any pieces you don't have in your opening hand.
 
– If you're going second and you're starting with a Baby 5 search, be careful for this: if you're going to block Baby 5 with leader and you want to search with her again next turn while also getting leader active again, you need to counter out and not take the hit so your hand doesn't flood. You pass Turn 1 with six cards in hand after the search. If you take the life hit you're at seven, then draw you're at eight. If you search with Baby 5, you're at nine, and you just can't play three cards with 3 remaining DON!! to re-activate your leader. If you counter out of that first hit, you're down to five cards, draw takes you to six so you're generally safe with the search, hopefully there will be something you can play with 2 or 3 DON!!. If you have another searcher in your hand, maybe it's not the worst thing in the world to go up to nine cards and just play the other searcher and leave her as active.
 
– In terms of variations to the list, some people like running dual searchers with Jewelry Bonney to help with finding OP-01 Law, the 8c Kid, OP-01 Killer blockers if you choose to opt for those, and the X.Drakes. OP-04 Rosinante is an option with all of the 5c green characters we run as well! I haven't done a whole lot of testing yet with the new Monet blocker and blue X.Drake blocker, but those are next on the list. Punk Gibson testing is yet to come as well, I don't know how I feel about it quite yet since I don't run the Bonney engine to search for it. All of this is discussed in the Rosinante leader thread in the global Discord, come say hi if you want more specific tips relating to certain tech options!

Shoutout

Huge shoutouts to Midgard Gaming for being awesome hosts for our One Piece locals.

Also big shoutouts to all the homies at the local scene, in the Rosinante thread in the Discord for deck discussion, and of course my good pals on my team / playgroup: Steph, Randy, Mitch, and Arman.

Bonus shoutout to Randy for being our local resident Judge, and my brother for always popping off when I win even though he doesn't know what any of it means. If anyone reading is looking to try out Rosinante, definitely do so! He is such a fun leader and can do some incredible things with enough practice.

Thanks for reading!

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