Bandai Card Games Fest 23-24 World Tour Final in Japan - Day 2

Bandai Card Games Fest 23-24 World Tour Final in Japan – Day 2

Has Sakazuki finally been banned? Our coverage of everything announced at Bandai Card Games Fest!

Bandai Card Games Fest 23-24 has officially ended and what an event it was! If you missed our coverage of everything announced on day 1, you can check it out here! However, today is a new day and we've got even more revealed!

A Brand New Playmat Featuring Ace and Sabo

Let's start things off hot with a playmat that's pure fire! This playmat features Sabo on the left side, doing his iconic Dragon Claw Fist pose, and Ace on the right, aiming a wall of fire with Heat Haze! This mat goes on sale at the end of next month (April 27th) and retails for 3,850 yen!

Starter Deck 14 Leader and Abilities Revealed!

While we've known for a while that this starter deck would be based around the training done during the timeskip and that the effects would focus on increasing character cost, no one knew exactly who the leader was going to be! Many speculated Rayleigh would be making his first appearance in the TCG, especially with Roger's debut coming shortly after, in OP-08. However, it's a mystery no more as we now know Luffy will be headlining the deck! He's a mono black leader with the following effect:

Donx1 - All characters you control have +1 cost.
If you control a cost 8 or higher character, this leader gains +1000 power.

To clarify, "all characters you control" would refer specifically to characters that are on the field, not anything in your hand or trash. Additionally, both parts of his effect are don effects, so they will remain active during your opponent's turn, effectively making Luffy a 6000 power leader in the late game. Unfortunately, that is conditional on your 8 cost or higher character staying on the field. If it gets removed, Luffy would lose the extra 1000 power.

This deck should be very interesting and has the potential to take black in a slightly new direction. Since its debut, black has been all about reducing cost, but if this deck has the proper support, it could become more of a general cost manipulation color. That would provide black players a versatile toolbox to handle a variety of situations. Unfortunately, Luffy on his own isn't enough, so we'll have to wait a little longer to see what kind of support the deck brings.

The promotion picture also provides us some information on that front. This deck will have 2 different super rares and 14 different commons. As will all starter decks before this one, there will likely only be 2 copies of each super rare and 4 copies of most commons, with 5 of the 14 only getting 2 copies each. That would give us the grand total of 51 cards, when we include the leader.

This deck goes on sale at the same time as the fire brother's playmat, April 27th, and retails for 1,320 yen.

Japan's Nationals Tournament

The 2024 season is about to start with a bang, as applications for the first wave of championships begins March 4th!

Okay But What's Banned Though?

So anyways, there's another super cool playmat getting released in championship venues...


Okay okay...3 cards have gotten the ban hammer, starting on April 1st. ST06-015-great-eruption, OP06-116-reject, and old man OP05-041-sakazuki (with a twist). I don't think anyone expected Bandai to throw the entire leader away, which is good because...they didn't.

A brand new Blue/Black Sakazuki will be released, as a way to pseudo-errata the original. This leader has the following effect:

Once Per Turn/On Main: You may trash 1 (Navy) card from your hand: Reduce the cost of up to 1 of your opponent's characters by 1.

This nerfed version greatly reduces Sakazuki's consistency, since he was previously able to cycle cards every turn and puts a resource cost on his cost reduction. They did quite a good job on this one, as the leader is still very playable and his engines were untouched (outside of Great Eruption). However, that discard cost will definitely impact how people pilot the deck. Also, I'm a sucker for art that looks THAT good!

The King of the Pirates Has Been Crowned!

The day started off with 16 of the strongest One Piece players facing off against each other. The roster was made up of 11 Sakazukis, 2 Enels, 2 mono-purple Luffys, and a lone Zoro. As they faced off on the main stage, tons of other competitors were off on the left, taking on the world's first, best of 3, flagship battle! After hours of play, 4 Sakazukis, from 4 different nations, stood above every other players:
Clyde (American), railz0 (Croatian), Shirokko-kun (Japanese), and Guanrong (Malaysian) moving on into the semi-final round! It was a bit odd that 4 fleet admirals were competiting for the King of the Pirates label, but I guess that's what you get when you hold worlds at Marine HQ.

Clyde and railz0 faced off first, a rematch from the preliminary round. It was a hard fought game, but ultimately railz0 came away the victor and advanced to the finals.

The set between Shirokko-kun and Guanrong was live streamed and I'm sure everyone was on the edge of their seats! Careful though, that's not very good for the chair. Anyways, Guanrong took down Japan's final representative and prepared to take on the final hurdle.

GuanRong and railz0. Sakazuki versus...another Sakazuki. Only one could walk away the King of the Pirates Marines.

After dominating the first two games in a best of three set, the winner was...

GuanRong!! Making him our very first One Piece World Champion!! Aside from the title, he's earned himself this gorgeous Gear 5 Luffy, presented by talented actor and real-life Zoro, Mackenyu!

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