[JP-EB1] Guan Rong: Finished at 1st Place in Asia Final with Saka, I am heading to the World Final.

Yesterday was Asia One Piece Final (Feb 4 2024), the battle of 23 best OP players in Asia (outside of Japan). We got the winner is Guanrong with Sakazuki from Malaysia, and 2nd place went to a Singapore representative, Benjamin with Gecko Moria. 

Here we have a quick interview with GuanRong for his tournament report.

1. Quick self introduction and your achievements?

Hi my name is Guan Rong, from Malaysia. I have been playing OPCG since it release. My Biggest achievement is Asia Champion, other than that I am also MY Region Champion and multiple CS Top Cut.

2. Why did you choose this deck for the Asia Final?

I choose Saka because I like the Leader effect that gives me changing my card once per turn and with its system it helps to build up the trash at the same time so it makes this deck more flexible and changeable. This deck is more on skill base so I kinda like it. I didn't really prepare for this Asia Final due to some personal issue and I have been informed that EB01 is illegal until yesterday late at night they change. So I been force to change my deck build yesterday and I slept at 5am.

Guan Rong Sakazuki Deck
Click into the image for the decklist.
3. How were your matchups during the Asia Final and how did you counter those leaders?

R1 Free Win
R2 Saka from PH
R3 Moria from HK
R4 Saka from HK
R5 Saka from Indo

Top 4 Moria from HK

Final Moria from SG.

I personally feel that in this current meta Saka needs to go first when it is against mirror or Moria.
 
For Sakazuki Mirror the early game plan is to set up Tashigi and Brannew so that u wont lose your hand and have body in the field. They can be a good attacker when you use hound blaze to add power for them. In the Sakazuki mirror match, the most important thing is to have more resources and use less resources to respond to your opponent. In late game we need those 7c Borsa and Moria to build boards and because they are high cost characters it is harder to clear. I will always try to predict my opponent's move and keep a set of responding material in hand.
 
For Moria Actually if I have 4c Borsa it will be much easier to fight against it. But I didn't expect so many Moria in this Final. When fighting against Moria the best move they could have in the first few turns is a few Perona to discard your hand and call the 4c Thriller Bark remover to clear the board. Late game is Moria gaming so I would prefer to check their trash because Moria can't really drop their puzzle into their grave so I just need to double check and predict their move so that I can always respond. When fighting against Moria, Sabo is a very important card with the combo of Rebecca, they are two unkilled Blockers. It's good to use to stop Moria to end the game. Remember to check their trash on Lucci and Helmeppo so that you can predict how many Characters will be KO if they drop off Moria with Eruption or Ice Age.
 
P/S: I didnt use 4c Borsa because I feel that there will be less Moria and 4c Borsa in the  mirror matchs and other matchups that does not feel that good in EB01 format
4. What do you think is this deck’s weakness?

I didnt expect that to meet so many Moria because in my perspective I feel like Moria is not a good meta in EB01 format. When I built this deck yesterday I was more concerned about the matchup against Mirror /Kata Enel/BY Luffy. For me I feel like the hardest matchup is against Katakuri. If the opponents are lucky with the trigger it will be the biggest challenge Saka will face. So my plan is to use Kuzan and Sabo to counter Katakuri.

5. I heard that the host only informed about EB01 format to be legal for this tournament just the night before. Then which cards in EB01 that you included into the deck?

Ya I only got informed that EB01 was legal yesterday late last night. So I considered putting T-bone for the 2k counter and the 3c brook to my deck but due to lack of time and testing on using Brook in Saka so at the end I decided to just replace Vego to T-Bone.

6. Any tips or hints that you want to share with other players?

I would say practices make perfect. This is my dream to qualify for the World Finals. I put a lot of effort and practice before just to win. I realise that I put too much time and energy into it, ignoring what's really important and losing something good in my life. I recommend people to distinguish between hobbies and what is really important in their life. Be grateful for what they have. Stay Happy

7. How was the tournament's experiences, is there anything that the host can do it better for the tournament?

I dont realy like online tournaments. I prefer to play face to face. The TO did their best. The experience for 2023 Asia Final is good but I think offline will be better

Asia finals (23 man)

Singapore 5 players: 4 Moria 1 BY Luffy

Taiwan 3 players: 1 Saka 1 RP luffy 1 Moria

Malaysia  3 players: 2 Saka 1 RP Law

Thailand 4: 3 Saka 1 Reiju

Hongkong  4: 2 Saka 2 Moria

Philippines 2: 2 Saka

Indonesia  2: 1 RP law 1 Saka

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