One Piece Card Game's Awakening of the New Era expansion (OP-05) brought us six new leaders but we didn’t see all of them. Sakazuki, Purple Luffy and Enel are at the top of meta when Belo Betty, Sabo and Donquixote Rosinante don’t have what they deserve. They all have an interesting playstyle, let’s keep a closer eye on them!
We will make it clear now, we didn’t see them because of Sakazuki crushing all three. They were played at the beginning of the OP5 in Asia because Sakazuki took some time for the decklist to be refined and the deck to be played correctly. With the delay, in the English format, we have less room for the yolo attempts of new expansion’s decks t because the format is partially “solved”. Never totally solved, things can always happen, and sometimes it can “Rock Paper Scissors” waves.
The glass cannon and more destructive deck of the game. With one card and the cost of ”0” Don, you can add 9k power to your board, it’s insane. But there is a price, the deck is straightforward and brittle. She needs board, she has only 4 life and not that much defense. You have to rely on your Trigger Summon to surprise your opponent.
Red / Yellow is a good combination of color to surprise and punish your opponent.
Supposed to be good versus the king Sakazuki because you can kill him quickly. But… It doesn’t work if Sakazuki plays well. He can take his time, kill your board and attack when he can deal with a trigger summon. It’s like playing against a Katakuri without having to rush because of BigMom10’s clock.
By the way in other matchup, even more if your opponent didn’t have that much blockers, you can kill very very fast.
Classical list we saw performing in Asia, a lot of people “copy past” this one, but there are a lot of options if you want to have more control (Revolution Army Fire Fist, Amaru, ...).
Belo Betty sweet spot: you can quickly put a lot of pressure with the leader effect, triggering all characters' conditions like the free summoning from Ivankov4 or the Karasu stat reduction (letting you hit 8k on 4k opponent leader; very effective).
Red / Black is not a good combination, red wants to be aggressive or to control with stat reduction where black tries to be more passive and control with level reduction.
Sabo can be played with a lot of packages, depending on what you want.
- Revolution Army: Mix of control and aggression.
- Straw Hat crew: Pure rush.
- Whitebeard Pirates: Control and resilience.
- Navy: Pure control.
Did we not find the best way to play it or does it not work ?
The “Donx1” is really a big condition, preventing Sabo from making the best turn possible. You play ST Nami1 or Haruta to give the one don per turn, but they will quickly die in a Lucci4.
Sabo, as Bello Betty was supposed to be good versus Sakazuki thanks to his strong leader ability allowing to protect our board against destruction. However Sakazuki is not only a Black leader, he is also Blue, letting him bring back our cards under the decks. Borsalino7 and Hound blaze crush Sabo.
I tried a lot of lists, my favorite is the control one. The Black color has got a lot of good cards but they have very average leaders (before Sakazuki). This Sabo lets you have good control of the board thanks to your leader ability, keeping alive your character so you can trade or put pressure on the opponent leader.
Sabo sweet spot: you can keep alive your blockers (Sabo5, Hina5, Borsalino4) each turn for free with leader ability or maintain your Kuzan4 to put pressure and have good Rob Lucci4.
Very technical leader, he has… blocker. As Sabo, it’s a strong power but with a restrictive condition , he needs to have 6 cards or less, not letting you draw as much as you want from effects or from life.
Green / Blue didn’t see that much play, it allows you to play the blue part of the “Donquixote Family”, but it doesn’t synergise well. Green plays on resting and kill / lock rested characters where blue wants to bring back in hand or under the deck active characters.
We can say that having a 4 lives leader blocker will just kill you quickly. Yeah, but your lives are a resource you have to use. It helps you protect an important character or using a “5k base stat” will prevent a little character from trading a little of you. For example, an opponent Nami trying to kill a Baby5 or a Sugar in rest. If you can protect your Sugar each turn, your opponent can’t attack her and all rested opponent characters will be killed by your board or effect (XDrake5, Krieg, …).
This a homemade, cooked, decklist ; beside locals, Roscinante didn’t really achieve anything in OP5. I hope we can see him someday, he has a really cool design.
Roscinante sweet spot: your leader ability prevents the opponent from killing your Sugar or Baby5 Tutor ; with 5k base stat he can do a free block on a little swing (all the 2/3k early characters) or take the damage on a big swing. In the same turn of sugar you can trade or use effect to take control of the board.
People tend to forget that in “Trading Cards Game” there is “game”, you don’t need to play the S Tier deck to have fun. I understand the competitive part and some people need to win to have fun but sometimes it’s cool to play something else from Sakazuki.
Moreover, you should never underestimate a rarely played deck, because: will you know how to play against ? That player knows how your Sakazuki deck works and you have never seen their leader. In One Piece, you can quickly be behind in the match if you don't play optimally.