Kingdoms of Intrigue, the fourth One Piece TCG set, is here, and, as most card games, we'll have a Pre-Release event, in which we'll be able to put our hands on the new cards for a bit before they are released and play in the Sealed format.
Considering that, I decided to bring a guide for this event and some suggestions of cards to look out for when it's time to build your deck!
How the One Piece TCG Pre-Release Works
Before we begin discussing the cards, it is very important we know how the event works, so we can discuss what is the best way to play it!
One Piece TCG's Pre-Release event follows the same models of other established card games' Pre-Releases, but it also has its differences. Let's see it step by step:
- Each guest gets a Kit with 6 Booster Packs of that set (in this case, OP04 - Kingdoms of Intrigue);
- The player will have to build a deck with 40 cards (not more, not less, which is different from other known card games);
- The player can use any leaders they might have, as long as they're valid for the set in which the event is being played in, or from a set which precedes it (in this case, all leaders from Kingdoms of Intrigue, Pillars of Strength, Paramount War, Romance Dawn and from the starter decks until ST-09 are valid. Considering this logic, if you're playing a Paramount War Sealed event, for instance, only leaders from Paramount War, Romance Dawn and starter decks until ST-06 would be valid.);
- There are no color restrictions for decks. Even if the card doesn't match your leader's color identity, in One Piece TCG's Sealed format, you can use it. (You can, for instance, use a Charlotte Linlin OP03-114 with Roronoa Zoro OP01-001 as leader if you're playing in a Pillars of Strength event!);
- There is no limit on number of copies of each card. Like other TCGs, this restriction doesn't exist in the Sealed format, so you can use the same card as many times as you open it!
- You can alter your deck in between matches, and change the leader or even the whole deck structure. There isn't a limit for these changes, as long as you use only the cards acquired in the kit you got at the event.
- The player must bring their own 10 DON!! deck. The event doesn't provide DON!!.
- Players can't exchange cards with each other during the event. You must stick to the cards you got from your kit until the end of the event and should use only them to build your deck. Even if the leader rule doesn't apply to the deck's limitations, you can't exchange a leader you got from the kit until after the event is finished.
- Each guest at the event gets a special promo card from that event and the winner gets a card with the "Winner" stamp on it, such as the example below.
(P.S.: Whether this promo card is valid in the event will be decided by the organizers, as there isn't a clear rule for that.)
Now that we understand the event, let's discuss the best tactics to have good results in it!
Choosing your Leader
The leader, unquestionably, is one of the most important decisions when it's time to build your deck, as they should match the strategy created by the other 40 cards in the deck you chose to play.
Kingdoms of Intrigue Leaders
In Kingdoms of Intrigue, we have six new leaders.
Nefertari Vivi and Rebecca
Let's discuss these two together, because, despite them having very different strategies, they are definitely not the leaders we'll want to use.
Their quirk of not being able to attack is a gigantic downside in the format. Though they are leaders whose decks have great potential in the Constructed format, you'll hardly get a combination of cards good enough to make up for the disadvantage they bring in Sealed formats.
Queen and Crocodile
These two are a bit better when it comes to deckbuilding, but they still fall under the problem of being too situational.
Their abilities require you to have opened specific cards in the set (some we'll mention later on) to make them playable, but, if you manage to open enough cards to corroborate these leader's abilities, they might turn out to be very strong and tough to deal with.
This is the set's favorite card, and it might be its strongest leader in the Constructed format. Their ability is broad enough to work in any strategy, giving you resources to defend yourself even when playing high-cost cards. It is a viable option if you get many defensive events and high-cost cards!
Our dear Purple Tiger brings one of the best abilities in Sealed. Even if his ability is only relevant in case you get good removals, its second ability makes it harder for your bigger characters to be removed, or can even transform a blocker into a good fighter, being able to return it to their original position at round end.
This ability's potential is incredible when it comes to the Sealed format, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it stand out alongside the known favorites.
Good Valid Leaders
Even with good options of leaders in this set, we can still look back and bring excellent cards into the equation.
Roronoa Zoro OP01-001
It is no surprise to see this leader here once again. His ability is as versatile as Donquixote Doflamingo's, and as powerful as Issho's, making it a suitable option for any deck in Sealed.
This is a leader who has been losing space in the Constructed format, but it is definitely a star in Sealed. Its ability allows you to attack with a lot of DON!! twice in a turn, making it the best option to finish games by surprise.
Charlotte Katakuri OP03-099
Katakuri is a leader which can attack with 7.000 power for just one DON!!, controlling the top of your health pile or the opponent's, and it can both give you an advantage or prepare you for that trigger which would complicate your turn if it caught you off guard. It is a very powerful leader and a great option for both offensive and defensive strategies.
Yamato is an incredible leader for the game's end stages, becoming a hard target to hit due to his ability. The extra resource your opponent will use to try and hit you might be the resource they won't have when they need to defend themselves against a final attack, so this is definitely a leader to look out for!
Now, let's examine some of One Piece TCG Sealed's deckbuilding logic, and show which are the types of cards to look out for.
3 Cost, 5.000 Power
Cards with this trait are usually important to have in a high amount, as, even if they don't have an effect, they are able fighters who force your opponent to waste cards and become the targets of attacks and removals, gaining you time, so you can build your board with cards which will match the strategy created.
5 Cost, 7.000 Power
Just like 5.000 power cards, 7.000 power cards are also important to consider, and, in some cases, depending on your leader, you can have even more copies of them than of 5.000 power cards, because 7.000 is the ideal number for a successful attack in One Piece TCG (considering most leaders have 5.000 power).
Use all 2.000 counters you can find, because they are the best way to defend your leader without using Don!!.
Usually, the cards with this trait won't have much impact if they're played mindlessly, but the option is there, and play options are very important for any TCG.
Similar to the topic above, blockers are essential to have in your deck. With Kingdoms of Intrigue as a base, considering this set has several ways to untap characters, blockers become even better. Try to always keep a considerable number of them in your deck.
Removals are the strongest type of card in One Piece Sealed events. Considering Kingdoms of Intrigue as our main focus, as mentioned before, there are several ways to untap characters in this set, and, as a result, it is always good to have some removals saved for that character which is putting pressure from your opponent's side.
Kingdoms of Intrigue has excellent removals we'll mention later in this article.
High-cost threats, are, as the name suggests, high-cost cards which can bring victories if they aren't resolved immediately after they enter the board.
As they are high-cost cards, you won't want to have too many of them in the deck, nor draw them from the top too early, which is why it is always nice to keep from 2 to 4 copies in the deck, always considering your leader's ability.
Every set has those cards which, when played in Sealed, are every opponent's nightmare. Let's take a look at some of the best cards we can open in Kingdoms of Intrigue!
Pell is an excellent way of putting pressure on board. You'll always attack with 7.000 power to use his ability and this way remove something relevant from your opponent's board. The fact this ability can be activated when attacking makes Pell the best red fighter in Kingdoms of Intrigue's Sealed format.
This is a way of having constant attacks without risking too much. Daddy Masterson, even with no DON!! attached to it, forces your opponent to waste resources and still protect themselves at round end, and is a removal magnet, protecting your other creatures with bigger utility effects.
It is definitely a card you'll want to run in any deck you build!
This is the set's nightmare. Sugar becomes a magnet for any removal due to its extremely-hard-to-deal-with ability, which makes the first unit your opponent plays vulnerable to attacks, and, if it has Rush, it becomes unable to attack. It also has Counter 1000, which is the icing on the cake!
This is a great card to play if you want to use Donquixote Doflamingo (green and purple) as your leader. The synergy between the two is very nice, as you won't run out of resources to defend yourself even if you've used all your DON!!.
This card also has the ability of locking down three of your opponent's tapped units, guaranteeing you even more time to establish this character on board. This card is already thought to be one of the strongest cards in Constructed, and, undoubtedly, it is expected to do the same in Sealed.
This is an event which rivals the honored Punk Gibson OP01-058, with the opposite effect. It untaps one of your characters instead of tapping one of your opponent's, protecting that key unit from being targeted or even untapping that blocker which ends up preventing your opponent from winning.
Gum Gum Red Roc
The iconic main character move has become the best removal in the game so far, being able to return any character to the bottom of the opponent's deck. It goes around certain cards' K.O. immunity, and even the 9 and 10 cost threats.
Removals, as mentioned before, are the strongest type of card in One Piece's Sealed format, so, the best removal in the game will find space in any deck any player might build.
Monkey D. Luffy
This card, despite being very situational, when it hits its prerequisite to activate its ability, becomes one of the strongest fighters in this set. This ability's disadvantage of not being "untapped" at the next "Refresh Phase" is cheated out through one of the many ways to untap a character we've seen so far.
It isn't a card for all decks, but, wherever it can fit, it will be one of the factors which will define the outcome of the match.
Yamato is a versatile card which catches the opponent by surprise in one of two ways: either removing a high-cost character, or healing one health point, and, besides all of that, removing a low-cost card from play as well.
It is a card you'll feel comfortable playing either you're ahead or behind, and it has the potential of turning the game to your favor even in the most complicated situations.
Sabo is an excellent blocker due to its high power. Its ability protects your characters on the turn it comes in, and it is a great way of gaining time. Depending on the deck you build, Sabo can be an agile attacker as well. It does all that, and it also has an effect which filters your hand!
Pre-Release events are a great way to start playing a TCG, as the event's main focus is to have fun. So, if you have that friend who is starting to take up an interest in the game, but doesn't know where to begin, this is a good way of introducing it!
But what about you? Which Kingdoms of Intrigue card most stood out to you? Leave it down below in the comment section!
See you next time!