[EN-OP6] Joshua: GY Yamato Fortress (Part 2): Game-Plan Guidelines Against Sakazuki and Moria

Joshua made top-16 in Oceania Regional on Mar 23 with Green Yellow Yamato, he wrote an article for deck profile and matchups. Link to the article is here.

In this article, he will share with us his game plan and strategies against OP-06 top-tier leaders like Sakazuki and Moria. The last article (part 3) is game-plan against leaders Katakuri, GY Yamato, Red Purple Law and Reiju.

Click into the image for decklist in One Piece Top Decks

GAME PLAN against SAKAZUKI

This is a very interesting matchup as we basically fully abandon the fortress plan I have just layed out and go full agro. The reason for this is our kid will 90% of the time just simply be removed as soon as we play it out so it's just a waste of resources to play for it. Instead we will go as agro as we can, this is where the Izo and especially the sugars come in so handy to just constantly be resting there 4 cost blockers early on to just keep swinging at life. This is actually why I opted for sugars in the deck over more big bodies like 10 drop Doffy. Which is what this deck traditionally runs. But I found the sugars to be much more useful for this matchup and occasionally a few others. It's also just another 1k counter that's searchable so no downside really. Our little blockers are also mostly useless in this matchup so I would always just keep them for the counter in your hand.

Basically we are turning this match into a big 50/50 which is kinda the only option. This may be controversial but I actually like going second against Saka as we can often play out 2 cost sugars or Izo on that third turn to still swing for 9 or 8 after swinging for 9 on the second turn also. Same with using o nami on the third or fourth turn to still swing in for 9+. Then we really want to try to have at least 1 Hody in our hand for that lethality. It's super important as it can rest those pesky 5 cost sabo blockers which our sugars and Izos can't. Saka has a lot of bricks so if you can force out counters each turn hopefully by the time you're at your 8 9 10 don turns they don't have many resources left.

I won both my Saka match ups in OCE Regional doing this sort of play-style and both times my opponents just didn't have the counters in their hands and were just full of bricks. Another thing I tend to do, which is something I'm still not 100% on as of now, is actually countering a lot of the low early swings. Since we aren't playing with our Kid or blockers once they build up their board you won't really have much to protect yourself. So using our blockers or Gedatsu as 1k counters early on I have found to be pretty good. Occasionally this has backfired if i end up needing the card from life later on but as long as your initial hand and draws are decent I think it's fine.

Mulligan for – Sugar, Izo, Onami, Hody jones, Baby 5

We actually don't want to see our kid at all as it just clogs our hand. Same with bonnie searcher honestly as it can just bottom deck cards we need. If you really have no other play using bonnie to get 2ks or even a punk gibson is still nice though. But our main focus is having those characters that can rest the blockers. I really do think going second is better but the turn by turn below should still be relatively the same even going first.

 Going second

Turn 1 (2 don)  – if you have a searcher just play it out, ideally baby 5 to try to find sugar if you don't have any. Any 2k are also helpful.

Turn 2 (4 don) – usually just swing at face for 9. Whether they take or counter, it's good for you. Generally they will just take it but if they counter out that's honestly better cause it reduces their hand size a lot really early on. Good players will usually just take it though.

Turn 3 (6 don) – depending on what they play, ideally use sugar to rest a borsalina or rebecca blocker they play out and then just just attach the rest of don to yamato and swing 9k at lead. Izo here is also fine. It's just that it costs an extra don so our swing won't be as big, plus it's a 2k as well that could be useful later on. If they didn't play out any blocker, use Onami if you have it to add banish to you leader swing and this will basically guarantee at least 3 cards out of hand. Otherwise if u dont have Onami and they didn't play a blocker just attach all Don to lead and swing or attach 4 to lead and save 2 for a searcher to try to get more counters or Sugar.

Turn 4 (8 don) – This is a pretty flexible turn depending on the board state, hand size and what life there is. If you are confident you can go for the game by playing out a Hody to rest two blockers and attack with lead and attaching the 2 rested Don to Hody then go for it. But unless you're like 90% sure you can win by doing this it's probably better to set up to do this the following turn. So instead you should be trying to get rid of at least 1 blocker, whether that be by resting it and swinging into it or if that's just swinging big at lead and forcing them to either block it or use a ton of counter from hand. Either one is good for you. Other than that, playing out more searchers to get cards is a good option. You could even throw down 2 or 3 blockers just to slow them down and make them use resources on their next turn. This is also where leaving 2+ don up for a punk gibson or even 2 of them if you have both is super useful too. Not only can you counter some attacks but being able to rest any of their 4 cost blockers. If your opponent is good they will probably know you have a punch gibson if you leave up 2 don. So often they will just end up using their 4 cost blockers to swing since they know it will get rested anyway. However we can actually use this to our advantage and leave up 2 don at the end of your turn anyway even if you don't have a punk gibson. This bluff has actually worked more than you think. The last thing you could do and it's quite the last resort, but if you really have nothing else and have a kid in hand you just play this out with a blocker. This at least forces them to use quite a lot of resources to get rid of it. But any of the above i have found has been a better use of the Don we have.

Turn 5 (10 don) – This turn is where you can hopefully go for the game. Because if you can’t make the following turns it's gonna be pretty tough too. The general plan would be to now play out Hody to rest 2 blockers, attach the last 3 don to lead swing 8 then swing 10 with Hody by attaching the 2 rested don to him. Now if they still have 2 life and your 8k leader swing doesn't go through it can be tricky. Or if they have 3 or more blockers it's equally hard. So in these situations it's really up to you to read the board and you and your opponents hands to figure out the best plan. You could just use this turn with the goal in mind to just clear their board a little and make them use up counters so you can win the next turn, if you can survive till then that is.

If you're going first it's still very much the same plan, just slightly tweaked when you can do certain things because of the different amounts of don per turn. A small thing I'd like to add that's nice for being on the odd curve is if they counter out of your first 8k swing then the following turn when you're at 5 don u can play Gedatsu to take out any 4 cost they have. You can of course do this on the even curve too but i find by your 6 don turn they have most likely taken the life. I will say though if you get a good chance to play Gedatsu u should still do it even to just take out a small unit like tashigi or brannew. Having another body to swing with is super handy, granted it isn't instantly removed.

This is still very much just a try to run them over 50/50 playstyle, but that's honestly the best course of action with the deck we are running. I don't think it's perfect and I'm still working on small things I can do to make this a little more consistent but it won me plenty of games. 

GAME PLAN against Gecko Moria

*After writing this up I have played a bunch more into Moria and I think I have found a much more effective way to win this one, involving trying to go first actually. A lot of what I have written below still applies but there's definitely a bunch of stuff I have now changed, so I will try to write up a new one and post it over on my twitter at some point. I need to get this article out for the good people over at one piece top decks though so just gonna go with what i have here for now.*

On paper this sounds like a favorable matchup as our Kid is really effective at stopping all the 5k swings their board often has. However we mustn't forget Moria has access to those same removal cards that sakazuki has too, things like ice age, great eruption, hound blaze, Rob lucci etc are still a concern. If we are able to make our kid stick for a turn or 2 though it should be pretty easy to snowball it from there and win. We really just need to focus on getting the kid down with the Rosinate blocker. It's super important that this is the combo because that blocker really restricts what they can do to remove Kid. Now they can get around the kid with leader effect into playing down the Absolum to ko the rosinate as its only a 2 cost. So having a few rosinates in hand is really nice so if you can still make the kid stick even after the rosinante is ko'd we can still play another the next turn. But what's super powerful about the Kid Rosinate combo is that 8 cost moria into ice age + rob lucci (or just ice age rob lucci by itself) is that Rosinate can basically tank the “second " card removed from rob lucci's effect. It essentially sacks itself twice as this effect happens at the same time. So this either makes your opponent have to have Absolum to ko rosinate first or if they don't know how Rosinate works they may end up just waiting all that Don to just ko rosinate. One more thing i'd like to add is you cannot let the 4 cost Kuzan that -4 cost on attack stay on board. This will basically guarantee your kid will get removed if you play it into the Kuzan. So just keep this in mind and consider other options if it's in play when u go to play kid. This is also why I like to actually have two kids in hand in this matchup. For that Kuzan scenario but also just in general they still have ways to remove kid so being able to play a second one after they just spent so much to remove the first is really nice

Other than that we still are going with our basic strategy. Playing out searchers early to build hand size, using Onamis or Sugars in the middle turns to force counters, rest blockers or banish their life. Then taking life till we are at 0 or 1 when we play kid and using Hody jones to go for lethal by resting the blockers. A small note on Hody is it can sometimes be good to rest there 8 drop moria (granted you don't think you can currently win the game on that turn) and try swing that with the rested don plus the kid that's hopefully still on board. Getting rid of their only really big body they play is really good for keeping your kid going. I'd only do this if their hand size is pretty low though as if they have lots of cards it will be easy to counter this. 

This is a matchup where while you still want to be down to that 0 or 1 life by the time the kid comes out you definitely want to be countering out a few of the swings early as Moria builds up the board pretty quick and if your not careful all those 5k bodies can really run through your life too early. One more super important thing is to be really mindful of their trash and what cards have been played and what haven't. With this it's also important to understand what you might be sending to the trash if you are ever swinging at their board. Just as a quick example if they have an Absolum on board and they have none in trash it actually is probably best to just leave it as putting it in there trash with a ko will just come back to hurt you later as that's there main card to just get rid of your rosinate pretty easy. There's many other cases too, like with dr hogback but you get the point.

Mulligan – Kid, baby 5, bonnie, Hody jones, rosinate.

As with any matchup outside of sakazuki we really want Kid in our starting and searchers. Like I said earlier I like having 2 kids in hand for this matchup so having a bonnie searcher is really good to try to find another. You don't need rosinate in your starting hand but it's nice to guarantee it, though baby 5 should be able to find it pretty easy. As with every matchup we want to go second to drop kid on curve but it's especially nice in this match up as Moria can't drop there 8 cost moria on curve

Going second – Same thing as with most matchups, going first doesn't change what we are trying to do, just when we do things and slightly different calculations on don. Not being able to play kid on curve does mean we need to be a bit more defensive earlier. Whether that's through countering out a little more and putting up a few blockers earlier. As i pointed out in the saka matchup being on the odd curve also means you can make use a little easier of Gedaustu. So once again if they counter out of your first swing that means you're able to ko one of their 5 cost of less characters. Just be mindful of what your sending to the trash

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