[EN-OP6] Joshua: GY Yamato Fortress (Part 3): Game-Plan Guidelines Against Yellow Leaders, Reiju and Law

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 part 2, he shared with us his game plan and strategies against OP-06 top-tier leaders like Sakazuki and Moria.

In this last article (part 3) is game-plan against leaders Katakuri, GY Yamato, Red Purple Law, Enel and Reiju.

Click into the image for decklist in One Piece Top Decks

GAME PLAN against Katakuri

This is honestly a pretty easy matchup. Unless you get super unlucky and aren't able to find your kids and supporting blockers this is a really tough deck for the kat player to beat. Pretty much as long as you focus on not getting run over too quickly before you drop your Kid you should be good. Hitting op06 most Kat decks have cut out the 8 drop sec Katakuri which was the only way they could win, by just putting our kid into our life. The one thing to do for this matchup is just be mindful of their triggers, use o nami where we can and once you have them at 3 life a lot of the time its better to just not swing face and to just swing board until you get your kid down.

Another thing you really have to get down in this matchup is to be able to know when to take life and when to counter. We actually want to make sure to be at 0 by the time we drop a kid so if they drop the 10 mum we are giving them as little value as possible. They spend 10 don just to give themselves a life, we dont lose anything and they also can't attack our kid for much since they spent all their don. Maybe only a swing with the 7 mum which is just countered by a 1k. Other than 10 mum they don't really have big bodies to swing at our kid. Whenever they do put down the 10 mum we also can just use our next turn to build up even more little blockers so when they attach Don to their smaller units to hit Kid it's even harder to break through. So unless they are randomly running the 8 drop sec katakuri or run you over before you can get to your kid turn it should be a pretty free matchup. We still as always want to go second, while a lot of the time the Kat player doesn't mind going first for their pudding first play and 7 mum on curve, it does mean they can't drop 10 mum on curve. Honestly neither 7 or 10 mum even matter to us, especially if we are already at 0 life when either of them drop as they will get no value.

Another thing to mention and this will go for all yellow decks, is that you may need to counter out a bit more early on. This is mainly due to their triggers and how they can play out units for free. This is partly why once we get that first leader swing in it can be better to just swing at board or build up ours rather than going at lead more. O nami is super super valuable against yellow so this is the exception to this as if you have an o nami on your 6 don turn using her to add banish to lead then swinging 9 is really good. Forces out at least three cards and if they somehow don't have the counter they lose cards they could have in hand and most importantly for us potential triggers that would make our game harder than it needs to be.

Another small tip, this is also just in general against all yellow decks, is to actually sometimes counter out of there first or second swing if they swing only a 5 or 6. This is because it only takes one of our cards and it stops potential triggers like Kikunojo and other cards like that that require your life to be at 3 or less to play out. Not a huge thing, like if they swing 7 or more it's generally not worth countering and just taking the life to increase your hand, but it can be useful in certain situations

The last and one of the most important things is be super aware of when your opponent is looking at their life and putting cards on the bottom. You can lose games by thinking you have calculated lethal only to be hit with a Bege trigger or a blocker out of life or even a 0 cost event or amaru trigger that gives them another life. Plan around this and don't forget about when they do this. Same if they use a Hiyori to manipulate their life, just be mindful there's probably a trigger coming your way. If you think its probably a trigger to either gain another life or bege/blocker you can still swing for lead knowing this just make sure your setting aside some don to add an extra blocker or leaving up 2 for a punk gibson. Essentially setting yourself up for one more opponent's turn before definitely winning on your next.

Mulligan – Kid, rosinante, any of the searchers, Onami, Hody

Going second – as with the other matchups, going first against kata just means we need to be a little more mindful of letting too many swings through since we cant play Kid on curve. It shouldn't matter too much though, also remember they will be able to play big mum on curve. Once again and this doesn't just apply to going first but using Gedatsu to pop things is also a great play on 5 don. O nami can be super nice too on your 7 don turn since you have even more don to play with before the kid turn, so as long as you know you can't die during there next turn use that nami banish on lead and swing for 10k double attack. Super powerful. Once again you can do all this no matter if you're going first or second it just that certain plays just flow better on certain curves. Just dependent on the match

Turn 1 (2 don) – play searcher, if you already have a kid in hand it's pretty safe to just start grabbing 2ks and blockers. If you dont its obviously gonna be priority number 1 to search out the kid

Turn 2 (4 don) – either attach all to lead and swing or attach 2 or 3 to play out another searcher or use the one u played turn 1 if they didn’t KO it. We definitely do want to build our hand so the more 2ks we can find the better

Turn 3 (6 don) – As you may start to see this turn before we drop the kid is a flexible one depending on that current game state. I really like using o nami here and just attaching the rest to lead and swinging, forcing them to use the counter in hand. But if you don't have that you can always play out an early blocker, more searchers or a Gedatsu if it makes sense to play out. I don't mind using Gedatsu to take out a pero even if they get the top 3 searches off it. While they do build their hand, yes having less attacks to deal with on board is worth it a lot of the time. But as always, really read the board and game state when deciding what to play here.

Turn 4 (8 don) – Mainly just playing down kid and rosinate/other blocker. I actually tend to not swing 5 at lead with our yamato on this one just so they don't have more cards in hand and potentially more characters on board off the triggers they get if they take it. It just means it makes it even easier to keep our kid on board. If you feel as though they will counter out of it though then getting a card out of there hand is also nice. But generally i like to just play the kid and blocker and pass

Turn 5 (10 don) – from here it's pretty rinse and repeat till you win. Sometimes the games can go a little longer if they keep playing blockers or healing their life, but once our kid is down we have almost guaranteed the win, just gotta be patient and play smart. Try to take out bigger bodies if you can't immediately go lethal. If you can, of course go for it with a combination of leader swing, kid swing and Hody rush. But if you cant i would definitely focus on trying to clear there big bodies as that's the only way they can beat you if by using them to chip away at kid. Sometimes I like to even play down the Hody with the intent on resting the big bodies like 7 and 10 drop big mums just to try to clear them. If you can't then that means they have probably used a lot of counters out of hand and next turn will be easier to win the game. Just be mindful to keep replacing your blockers when they get taken out and don't forget about your punk gibson either, leaving 2 don up for that is nice. You should always have at least 2 even 3 blockers up until you can secure the win. It's just a repeat of this until you can bring home the win.

As long as you find what you need, this matchup isn't too difficult. Just make sure you don't get run over before you drop the kid and you should be set. If they do end up having the sec katakuri, if you're able to find this out early definitely plan around this and try to have 2 kids in hand. If you don't have 2 of them by the 8 or 9 don turn it might not even be worth playing it out. If you don't find out they have it till they drop it on you… well then hope for the best that you can survive that turn and try to get it back to your hand from life and just play it out the next turn. Overall though it shouldn't give you to much trouble just make sure to practice it a lot in the sim, just like with any matchup 

Thats the big 3 decks covered as this is what you will face most of the time and to not have this article be any longer then it already is ill only briefly touch on a few others. I can go into more detail on these ones over on my twitter if enough people want it.

GAME PLAN against Green Yellow Yamato (mirror match)

This might actually be the easiest matchup, regardless of what type it is (sky island or Wano). Lottery the only way they can win is by running you over before you get your kid down or forcing you to have a low hand size by your Kid's turn. They can also get super lucky with their triggers to either heal life in their last lives or just getting tons of bodies on board. But that's very rare and as long as you draw well and have your late game sorted it's a pretty easy game. Just follow the basic game plan and you shouldn't have many issues.

GAME PLAN against Red Purple Law

This one is actually the matchup I feel I still am trying to figure out. As it only gets stronger going into EB-01 I really am trying to figure out a solid game plan going into it. At the moment my general plan is to try and starve them to slowly whittle down their resources. Law is a very resource dependent deck so that's why at least at the moment this is my train of thought. So using your sugars and Izo to rest whatever they play to try to clear it or force counter is nice early on, especially that shura blocker he will cause you lots of trouble so i try to clear him right away. Gedatsu is also amazing in this matchup and I have started to try mulligan for him. Since we are starving them they will always be at 4 life and since the majority of the bodies they play are 4 cost of less we can keep clearing them with Gedatsu.

Another reason we want to try to whittle down their resources early on is so we are in a better position to play kid. Because they have so much cost reduction in gordon, raise max and Otama it's pretty easy to just play 1 or 2 of them to just instantly bottom deck the kid. It's still a work in progress and i dont think it's fully figured out yet. Law was one of my only losses, it was still a close game but my opponent was very skilled and felt in control the whole match. I will keep working on this and try to work out a good strategy against it.

GAME PLAN against Reiju

While I didn't face any during the regionals I have still played it a bunch on the sim and a few times at locals. Its slightly favored on our side but they can very much draw well and overwhelm you pretty easy. Forcing out as much of their 2ks out early is really good for going for lethal later. Since they draw a ridiculous amount anyway I don't really mind swinging big into their life, they're just going to draw a bunch the next turn anyway. Try getting a kid into your starting hand so you can focus on using your searchers to get lots of 2ks to defend him. Since they're always down on don a lot of the time they can't swing very big into kid, so having plenty of counters in hand basically guarantees he will stick.

One small tip i have found is to actually leave there 7 cost rusher on the board most of the time. Because his on play can -2000 power to a character we don't want them constantly recycling it into our kid every turn. All it takes is the 7 cost plus the 5 cost that can ko a 2 or less to get rid of one of our blockers to turn the tide against you. Generally though if you can get counter out of there hand as much as you can and establish a solid board with kid and plenty of counter, you should be good most of the time

GAME PLAN against Enel

Now enel can actually be really bad for us. Since they usually run 4 of the sec 8 cost katakuri they will just keep putting our kids into life. So my biggest tip here is to have a minimum of 2 kids in your hand by the 8 or 9 don turn, even 3 is actually nice. Because out of the sec Kat it's actually a pretty good matchup. Since they're going to be low on life they usually have to play a big body like Kat or Yamato to heal then they can't really swing too big into Kid. So as long as you're able to have a few kids ready to go it should be okay. But of course if they find all their Kats it will be hard no denying that. But even if they do keep doing that once you're that late into the game their hand size is often low and full of bricks so you can even just go for a game with leader, kid and a rush Hody. Honestly though Enel isn't that good in the current op06 meta so you probably won't even face him much. I didn't get any Enel in my run.

Deck’s Strengths and Weaknesses

This deck is super strong as a defensive late game deck. Most decks outside of black will have a very hard time removing him. It's also just super versatile with its green yellow mix and the leader abilities. Thats whats so great about yamato as a leader really is you can have success with it no matter what build you use. But the fortress build is definitely the strongest in my opinion.

Now its weakness is quite clear in its matchups against black. Their heavy removal destroys what our entire deck is built around, so that's obviously gonna set us back no matter what we do. But again coming back to the versatility of yamato, with a few deck changes we can tech some things in to deal with mainly the sakazuki matchup but it also carries over a bit to decks like moria and Perona. Now it's still a weakness yes and we would much rather dodge the Saka matchup but we have ways of winning it. If you can get that fortress going though it's almost impossible to get through.

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