One Piece TCG

Deck Guide

Zoro & Sanji Starter Deck - ST12: Review

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In today's article, we'll see the new One Piece starter deck: ST12, which brings to the game the first leader with two characters, Roronoa Zoro & Sanji! We'll discuss the contents of this deck, and how to upgrade it based on a list that performed really well in Japan.

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에 의해 번역 Joey Sticks

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에 의해 검토 Tabata Marques

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Introduction

The purpose of a starter deck is to stand out to possible consumers and be their entryway into the game. So, adding an extremely iconic character, beloved by fans, from a certain franchise can be a decisive factor when it's time to make such a product stand out on the shelves. In Pokémon, we always see decks with the starter Pokémon from the first game - Charizard, Venusaur, and Blastoise - because that's what sells, and many times attracts different types of players, beginners or veterans.

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Now, what if we added not only one iconic character, but two? In today's article, we'll analyze ST12 - Zoro & Sanji, commenting on the new cards and the quality of this product in general. We'll also go over this deck's competitive potential based on a list that is much more optimized and competitive.

The Leaders

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As leaders, we have the two most iconic fighters from Luffy's crew: Roronoa Zoro and Sanji. These characters notoriously don't get along well, but, on this card, they look great.

Together, they make up a leader in blue and green, with four life points and the Straw Hat Crew type. Additionally, the greatest new feature is its double attribute, which gives this leader both Slash and Strike attacks. There are just a few cards that interact with this, but this leader, even if it's part Strike, can't knock down a Buggy OP03-008 because he can't be knocked down by Slash cards, for instance.

Roronoa Zoro & Sanji ST12-001's effect is a bit more technical and is harder to manage. This effect is triggered when this leader attacks with one DON!! attached. It allows you to return one of your characters that costs 2 or higher to your hand and untap one of your characters with 7000 power or less. This means they'll be able to attack a second time, maybe with more DON!! to deal more damage, or you'll be able to save one of your characters from, possibly, being removed or attacked next turn.

This ability is quite conditional: it depends a lot on what you have on the board and which plays with this leader you can make. Furthermore, you'll need to know how valuable it is to return one of your characters to your hand, and which characters are better to untap.

I feel like this leader could benefit from "East Blue" as a secondary type because this would allow us to build more lists, as it would interact with more cards.

The Starter Deck

This is the list included in ST12 - Zoro & Sanji:

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Right away, we see something that is common to find in this type of product: it has less copies of the really impactful cards. This way, we'll be torn between buying a second copy of this product to have the complete play sets of the exclusive cards, or buying them as singles.

We already discussed Dracule Mihawk ST12-003 in our article about how to use and upgrade the Starter Deck 11 - Uta. When this card goes on the board, if you control two characters or less, it can play one card that costs 4 or less of the Muggy Kingdom type or Slash attribute, except cards with "Dracule Mihawk" on them. An interesting quality we want in the Roronoa Zoro & Sanji ST12-001 deck is cards that are cheap and trigger an effect when they go on the board. This way, our leader will be able to return characters to our hand all the time, and we'll use their effects constantly.

Another card that goes along with this reasoning is Emporio.Ivankov ST12-010, which allows you to play characters that cost 2 or less from the top of your deck when it goes on the board, and also refills the cards in your hand when it attacks. Meanwhile, any time Duval ST12-014 goes on the board, we'll be able to reorganize the top three cards in our deck, or send unwanted cards to the bottom. It is also a blocker, and, therefore, it is useful even after it goes on the board.

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The last notable characters in this deck are Roronoa Zoro ST12-008, which allows you to tap blockers and other relevant characters your opponent controls, and Sanji ST12-011, which can get up to 6000 power easily if it has a DON!! attached, and you have five cards or less in your hand.

We also have, as events, Plastic Surgery Shot ST12-017, a blue card with the same "enter the battlefield" effect as Emporio.Ivankov ST12-010: it allows us to look at the top of our deck and play, on the board, a character that costs 2 or less, or decide whether this card will stay on the top of our deck or go to the bottom of our deck. It is also useful as a Counter, and gives +2000 power to your leader or one of your characters. Lion Strike ST12-016 taps one of your opponent's characters as long as they cost 4 or less, or even taps their own leader! The best thing about this event is that we can play it on our turn or on our opponent's turn as a Counter, which allows us to play it in several different ways and break our opponent's game flow.

As we said before, in this deck, we only have two copies of all these very relevant cards, and they are relevant both to this deck and your collection overall. This means we'll have to get more copies of them in some other way. However, I'll highlight Zeff ST12-013, as we'll have four copies of this card when we buy one ST12 - Zoro & Sanji, and it is relatively useful.

The effect that Zeff ST12-013 triggers when he goes on the board is just like Duval ST12-014's effect. Additionally, it also triggers an effect when it attacks which allows us to see the top of our deck and play a character that costs 2 or less on the board. This really resembles Emporio.Ivankov ST12-010's "enter the battlefield" effect.

Otherwise, this deck has those classic cards in beginner products that aren't really strong, but allow this product to work properly in general as soon as we take it out of the box.

A More Competitive Build

When I was looking for lists that did well in relevant tournaments, I found this list by king_syumi which guaranteed them a Top 4 at a Flagship tournament. The list is the following:

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This build uses a few of the best blue options that are included in the starting deck, 4 copies of each. Emporio.Ivankov ST12-010, Duval ST12-014, Plastic Surgery Shot ST12-017, and Sanji ST12-011 are all in this deck.

As expected, this deck is full of low-cost characters that we can return to our hand and trigger interesting effects when they enter the battlefield. One such card is Sugar OP04-024. Even if she isn't paired with a Donquixote Pirate leader, this character still triggers her "enter the battlefield" effect. So, she still taps an enemy character that costs four or less, disabling blockers or turning some annoying enemy card into a perfect target.

Another excellent addition is Emporio.Ivankov OP02-051. With 7000 power, it is not only an excellent target to untap with our leader, but it also fills our hand with cards when it enters the battlefield and puts an "Impel Down" character that costs 6 or less on the board for free. At first, this ability may seem quite inefficient, considering this Ivankov can't play itself with this ability, and we only have Emporio.Ivankov ST12-010, apart from him, in our deck.

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However, if we inspect this deck a little bit further, we'll notice that Monkey.D.Luffy OP02-062, besides being part of the Straw Hat Crew, also has the Impel Down type, and, as it costs 6, it can interact with Emporio.Ivankov OP02-051's ability!

Monkey.D.Luffy OP02-062 is another happy surprise in this deck. Besides gaining Double Attack when we discard two cards, it returns a character that costs 4 or less to our hand, something that interacts really well with this deck. Because of its prowess in combat, it will be a great finisher in our games.

Scratchmen Apoo ST02-008 is in this list to tap your opponent's DON!! before they can activate an event with Counter, besides being a +2000 Counter on its own. Urouge ST02-003, on the other side, grows alongside your board, and it is perfect to deal direct damage to our opponents.

Usopp P-049 helps us curate the cards in our deck, be it by reorganizing them at the top or at the bottom. Alvida OP01-064 allows us to return smaller characters to our opponent's hand, besides being a +2000 Counter. Finally, we have the iconic duo of green FILM cards from OP02: Tony Tony.Chopper OP02-034 and Trafalgar Law OP02-035. These cards are always excellent in green decks that move the cards from the board to our hand and back onto the board.

Other Options

I, personally, really enjoy Ipponmatsu OP04-042, which, when entering the battlefield, gives +3000 power to one of your characters with the Slash attribute, and it is viable in different builds.

Gecko Moria OP01-068 is another interesting character for our game plan, considering it gains Double Attack when we have a full hand, with more than five cards, something that isn't hard considering we always return characters to our hand or draw cards with Emporio.Ivankov OP02-051.

Final Words

This isn't the most competitive deck among the structural decks released. Even abroad, with OP07 and EB01 cards, it still struggles to find its place in the meta as a viable option. But, still, it is a very fun deck and has a lot of space for upgrades. This deck's nature allows us to play it in several different ways.

From a financial standpoint, if you truly just want the Dracule Mihawk ST12-003 copies, buying this deck might be an excellent option, considering that they, alone, are worth almost the full price of this product. It would be like buying singles and also getting extra prizes.

See you next time!