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One Piece OP-02 Paramount War Pre-Release Guide – Rules + Prizing

OP-02 Pre-Release Event - Guide + Rules

The second set of the One Piece Card Game is due to be released on March 10th. With it comes the first wide-scale pre-release for the game, as well as promotional and winner cards.

OP-02 Paramount War Cards

OP-02 Paramount War features the first set of Black color cards and introduces a range of new leaders and multi-color leaders for the first time. Black/Red, Green/Blue, and Purple/Black decks will now be available.

Lots of cards are coming that will change the meta entirely. Red (and therefore the meta-defining Law leader) will get a good boost with even more quick removal, search, and anti-3-cost cards. With the Leader Kin’emon, we’ll see Green decks branching out from Kid and developing the Wano Country machine further.

Yet again there will be some great alt arts, with Uta as a secret rare with an alt art that may fetch Nami alt prices. There will also be another Manga alt card of the Super Rare Ace (not a Secret Rare this time) which will be the rarest and likely most expensive card.

What Is A Pre-Release?

One Piece Card Game Pre-Releases will be the first chance to buy cards from new sets. You’ll get cards for attending, and have the chance to buy OP-02 Paramount War booster boxes or packs from the store before anyone else. There’s also a fun tournament with exclusive cards and stamped Pre-Release card sets to collect.

OP-02 Paramount War Booster Box
You can pick up OP-02 Paramount War booster boxes at the event – as long as there is stock!

Bandai pre-releases feature a different ruleset to the standard “constructed” format that you will have been playing with until now. The official site page states that the format can be constructed or sealed.

However, it’s likely that most events will go with the sealed format. This is common to pre-release events in other card games like Digimon, Magic: The Gathering, and Pokémon. Because of the color-coded leaders in OPCG – it’s a little more complicated.

Check with your local store to get a spot and find out what format they’ll go with. Some will just go with the normal constructed.

How To Attend The OP-02 Pre-Release

Officially, you must sign up for a pre-release through the Bandai TCG+ app or website. Sign-ups will open on Feb 17th. Tournaments should feature eight players per block, with one winner of the eight.

Pre-Release events will be held on the week before the full OP-02 release (which is March 10th). Events can be from March 3rd to March 9th. Some events may be held later depending on stock arriving on time or stores not having space within that week.

Stores may have multiple event blocks i.e. two pre-releases on the same day, each with eight players and one winner card per eight players. Most stores will only allow you to attend one per store, but you might be able to attend multiple different stores.

Some stores have already started to book their spaces. Most will also book spaces exclusively by contacting the store and pre-paying for your space, then dealing with registration through the app at a later date.

The event should cost roughly the same as six booster packs, plus a little extra for the store itself.

Contact your local game store now to book your space
Support independent stores before chains

What Do You Get In A Pre-Release?

Players should receive six randomly drawn booster packs from a sealed OP-02 booster box as part of the entry fee. You use these six packs to create a deck of 40 cards or your choice, we’ll go into that later.

OP-02 Paramount War Booster Pack
You’ll get six OP-02 Paramount War boosters on entry to make your deck

Every player attending will also get a P-025 Smoker card and one OP-02 Pre-Release Pack. This pack contains just two cards from a special Pre-Release set. The set is made up of just the 75 common and uncommon cards from the main OP-02 set. Each card has a Pre-Release stamp.

It’s possible to get one extra Pre-Release pack if you buy a booster box from the store holding the event. You can’t buy more boxes for more packs – just the one. As demand is so high, we recommend contacting your store to see if they will have boxes available or if you need to pre-order one for the day.

For every eight players, there will be one winner card given to the person taking the top place. It is the same as the P-025 participation card but with a shiny Pre-Release Winner stamp, with no alternate art.

P-025 Smoker was originally released in the Japanese version as a promo that came with the December 2022 V Jump magazine. It’s one of the missing numbered promos, as the English release has seen P-001 to P-024, then P-028 to P-032.

P-026 Morgan and P-027 Franky Shogun still haven’t been announced but we imagine they’ll be part of the next Tournament Pack in local stores.

One Piece Card Game Pre-Release Rules

The Sealed format rules are basically the same as the standard Constructed – except for the number of cards in your deck, some color differences, and what you can do in between rounds.

Building A Deck

To start, players each open their six standard booster packs. Then you’ll make a main deck of just 40 cards instead of the normal 50. Your main deck has no restrictions on color, or how many of the same card you use.

That means you could have six of the same card, five of another, and all five of the available colors in your deck if you choose to do so. There are also no banned or restricted cards – though you can only use cards you’ve opened from your own six packs in that pre-release.

Choosing A Leader

According to the official sealed format rulesYou may bring your own leader (including those from previous sets) to use in the event“. That means you can choose your current go-to leader, try something new from currently released sets, or use any leader you pull from the booster packs you’re given on the day.

Normally, your deck is limited to the color or colors of your character. In the pre-release there are no leader color restrictions – which means you don’t have to choose cards the same color as your leader and “can include cards of any color in your deck“.

However, any rules on cards that specifically refer to color still count. So if you run a searcher that can only search for a certain color, that still applies. Leader, Character, Event, and Stage cards that refer to color all still apply.

Using The Sideboard

The sealed format rules state: “Any cards left over from deck construction are treated as sideboard cards. In-between games, players can exchange cards in their deck with cards in their sideboard“.

That means after a match, you can swap as many cards from that sideboard in and out of your deck before the next match starts. So if your first choice of cards didn’t work out, try something else and see how it goes.

Rules FAQ

Every other standard rule still applies. So types or crew effects are still in place e.g. “Add 1 {Straw Hat Crew}” still means Straw Hats only. The tournament will most likely be the standard Swiss-style event, with 35 minute rounds, 5 minutes of overtime, and you still need to say “good luck, have fun” and mean it.

The rules that apply to this tournament are the Sealed Format Rules, as well as the official Comprehensive Rules, and the Tournament Rules manual.

  • Can I only have four of each card?
    • No, you can have as many of the same card as you’d like. There are no restrictions, so you could have ten of the same card if that’s what you pull. There are no restrictions on rarities either.
  • Why 40 cards in the main deck, not 50?
    • With 6 packs you’ll have 72 cards to choose from, though a few will likely be Leaders. Let’s be real – not all cards are great. So instead of having to choose a bunch of stinkers, having a smaller list of 40 means you’ll be more likely to see the good cards you’ve chosen. It also speeds up the game somewhat and makes running out of main deck cards (which counts as a loss!) a more real threat.
  • What cards/sets are legal in the Sealed format?
    • The only legal cards in your main deck will be the ones you pull from the six packs you are allocated. You may choose any Leader from cards you pull on the day, or from Leaders in previous sets you bring. Any DON!! cards are legal, you just need ten.
  • Can I use cards from the OP-02 Pre-Release Pack in my deck?
    • Good question. The site doesn’t officially say you can, so we’d assume not. Bandai Judges say this is up to the tournament organizer or store. Check with your store first and make sure everyone playing gets the same chance if they say yes. Everyone should get the same amount of cards to choose from, so bear this in mind if some people bought a booster and got an extra Pre-Release stamped pack.
  • Can I use cards that I opened from another pre-release, or cards I opened from a booster box I bought at this pre-release?
    • No to both. Only cards you got from the six packs you were given at the pre-release are legal if the store is running the Sealed format.
  • Will all tournaments use the Sealed format?
    • The official site states that stores can choose between Sealed or Constructed. Check with your store before attending. It’s probably worth bringing your normal deck and a bunch of Leader cards you might use anyway if things change.
  • What Leader can I use?
    • You can use any Leader from previous sets, starter decks, or promo packs (in the Global set). You can also use Leader cards you pull from the six packs you get.
  • When can I use cards from my sideboard?
    • The cards in your sideboard don’t have to be displayed anywhere, they’re just your spares. You can change your deck (still up to 40 main cards only) in between games, not during. Round 1 sucked? Change it up.
  • Can I swap Leader cards from my sideboard or from Leader cards I brought to the event between matches?
    • Bandai judges are saying that stores are allowed to decide how Leaders are used at the event. Some may say you need to choose a Leader (from OP-02 cards pulled or any other set) before the first match and stick with it. Some may decide you can switch between Leader cards you pull from the OP-02 cards that make up your sideboard.
  • Can I keep the cards I get in the boosters?
    • Yes! The cards you open are yours to keep. The event is just an early chance to buy cards, as well as a fun tournament.
  • Do abilities that mention color still count?
    • Yes. Although you can use different color cards in your deck from your leader, any effect on a card that mentions color still applies. For instance, Leader Law’s ability still means you have to swap cards of different colors. As another example, OP02-005 Curly Dadan is a searcher card that has “reveal up to 1 red character card” as part of its search. You can still only reveal red character cards, even if your Leader isn’t red.
  • Can I swap cards between other players?
    • No. The rules specifically state players can… “build their decks using only the cards they open.Swapping cards with another person is cheating.
  • I think some players are working together to win, is this allowed?
    • Talking about decklists, cards, and strategy is fine. Deciding a winner or giving someone cards to build a deck isn’t. It’s cheating and grounds for not only a game loss but a permanent ban from all Bandai games. Notify a judge or organizer and refer them to the rules – 7.4.3 section 4 in the Tourney rules manual about collusion. In some card games like Pokémon, players would work together to choose a winner and give them either the best cards or throw matches, in order to get winner cards and share them if kept or sold. This led to some games not awarding winner prizes, or giving them out at random. Don’t do this.
  • If the cards I draw are bad, can I use Japanese language cards or proxies?
    • As ever with official games, nope. You play with what you’ve got. The sealed pre-release format is a tried-and-tested method for wild and weird games that force you to try out new cards from the set before you just build a meta list and never stray from it. It’ll be fun!
  • Can I use DON!! I pull from the OP-02 packs?
    • Yes, if you want to show off the cool special Shanks DON!! from the new set – go for it. However, with just six packs to open, you’ll need to bring your own DON!! to the event.

What To Expect

Remember to bring: –

  • 10 x DON!!
  • Any Leader cards you might want to choose from. We’ll probably bring every Leader we’ve got and see what matches up on the night.
  • Sleeves – Standard sleeving rules still apply. Cards must be sleeved in opaque (not at all see-through) sleeves. Your DON!! and Leader cards should also be sleeved, but in a different color from the main deck.

This is a great chance to try out new cards, as well as get away from the OP-01 meta that has dominated in the recent Treasure Cup. Many of us have been playing the game online since before its release, and by now know almost exactly what to expect in most color decks.

Getting to try not just new cards, but cards that you might not have thought to use, should be fun! Remember, this is a card game. Past all of the hype, availability issues, reselling, and secondary market stuff, the gameplay itself is fundamentally great.

Before we sign off, remember to book your spot early and get involved in the local scene. Also, do me a massive favor and leave a comment below with the cards you want to play in the Pre-Release.

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