How To Play One Piece TCG: A Beginners Guide - Gathering Games

How To Play One Piece TCG: A Beginners Guide

Welcome to the world of the One Piece Trading Card Game! This exciting card game brings the thrilling adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew to your tabletop. Whether you're a fan of the One Piece anime, manga or newly created live Netflix action  or just looking for a fun new card game, this guide is here to help you get started. At Gathering Games we have a huge collection of past, present & future One Piece trading cards!

The Basics of One Piece Card Game


  • One Piece Card Game deck
  • Playmat (optional, but recommended)
  • Tokens (for tracking damage, effects, etc.)


  • Each player starts with a deck of cards, usually around 60 cards.
  • Shuffle your deck and draw a starting hand of 5 cards.
  • Place your deck face down as your draw pile.
  • Designate a life total (usually 5) which is tracked within the life area on the playmat. Each leader has a life total on the card, these cards are then laid down from your deck, face down, in the life area to represent your total life.

One Piece Gameplay 


  • The goal of the game is to reduce your opponent's life total to zero while protecting your own.The life points are represented by the life cards in the life area. The number of cards is equal to the leaders life point total. When a successful attack is made to the opponents leader, the opponent adds one of their life point cards to their hand, to represent them losing a life. To then take the victory, a player must make a final  successful attack on the opponents leader after no life point cards remain in their life pool.

Turn Structure:

  • A turn consists of three phases: Refresh Phase, Draw Phase, DON!! Phase, Main Phase and End Phase.
  • During your Draw Phase, draw one card from your deck.
  • In your Main Phase, you can play cards, attack, and use abilities.
  • Your End Phase is where you end your turn and resolve any end-of-turn effects.

Card Types:

  • There are various types of cards in the One Piece Card Game, including Character Cards, Crew Cards, Event Cards, and Treasure Cards.

Playing the Game

Playing Cards:

  • To play a card, you typically need to spend a specific amount of Resource Points (RP), which exhaust the Don cards - your main resource of the game.
  • Place cards in your Crew Area, Event Area, or Treasure Area, following card-specific rules.

Attacking and Defending:

  • Characters can either attack your opponents leader or rested crew cards. A crew card with the ‘blocker’ keyword can then be used to block an attack.
  • Defenders can be used to protect your Captain and Crew from attacks.
  • Calculate damage based on the characters' Attack value, which needs to be higher than your opponent's card to succeed

Crew and Character Cards:

  • Characters have unique abilities, stats, and affiliations (Pirates, Marines, etc.).
  • Crew cards provide support and abilities to your Captain and characters.

Winning the Game:

  • You win by reducing your opponent's life total to zero. To take a life point away, the attacker must successfully attack the opponent's leader. Each time an attack succeeds, the opponent takes a life card and adds it to their hand. To win, you must make a successful attack on the leader while the opponent has no life points remaining. 
  • Some cards or abilities may offer alternative victory conditions.

One Piece TCG Strategies and Tips

Building Your Deck:

  • Balance your deck with a mix of characters, crew, events, and treasure cards.
  • Consider synergy between your cards and plan your strategy accordingly.

Timing Your Moves:

  • Timing and sequencing of card plays and attacks are crucial.
  • Keep an eye on your opponent's actions and react strategically.

Team Synergy:

  • Certain characters and crew cards work well together, providing bonuses and powerful combos.

The More Advanced Rules 

Advanced Abilities:

  • Learn about special abilities, such as Haki or Devil Fruit Powers, which can greatly impact the game.

Special Card Types:

  • Explore unique card types like Logia Cards or Legendary Characters.

Your Own Spin on Rules:

  • Customise the game with your own spin on the rules or variants for added fun and challenge.

While the One Piece TCG may seem one of the simpler card games in the tabletop world, that really does not diminish the fun! So for newbies & advanced TCG players alike, take a look at our collection of One Piece booster packs & starter decks today!