Patterns and Transitions 3: GTR & More

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Another way to increase your efficiency is to combine a variety of forms. Time for an info dump!


GTR stands for Great Tanaka Rensa. It's an incredibly famous transition that you'll find 90% of players spamming. Typical transitions require you to make a really high tower to bring the chain up to the next floor, but GTR's structure circumvents that.


GTR is useful because it's really flat, making the trigger (the greens) easily accessible. At that point, you can just do whatever you want on top of it to extend.


GTR also makes building your first floor really easy. Common patterns to use with GTR are 2-2 Stairs and Sandwich.

Chain Chain Chain Chain
2-2 Stairs Stairs + 3wide Tail Sandwich 1-2-1 Sandwich

GTR Build Order

GTR is easy to build, but it's also easy to build it in the wrong order. Take a look at the following chain.


You might be thinking, "What's wrong with it? It worked in the end." Well, let's say before you got the blue pieces, your opponent sent you some garbage. Let's also take into account that in some versions of Puyo Puyo, the first unit of garbage always lands in Column 1.


With 1 measly unit of garbage, your entire chain just became completely unusable for the next 10 to 15 seconds. If your opponent has any brains, they'll use that time to punish you with more chains.

So, what can you do? Some players will suggest that you simply build your GTR on the right side of the board instead. But that's entirely missing the core of the issue. Instead of taking shortcuts, you should learn to build GTR faster and more efficiently. Here's a video of me showing some of the better ways to make GTR. (GTRs. Okay I did these pretty badly but whatever.)

Basically, you should focus on making as much of the GTR "core" before you make the rest of the form.


Other Useful Forms

If you watched the above video, you probably noticed that I didn't use strictly 2-2 Stairs and Sandwich to make the first floor. Since GTR uses up 3 columns, it'll sometimes be difficult to construct a clean first floor if you limit yourself to just two patterns. In the following sections, I'll list additional forms that you can supplement your GTR with in order to make your chains even more efficient.


L-Shape can be used to convert GTR or Sandwich into Stairs. It's also commonly used as a base. You'll have to know some tailing forms as well to make good use of it. That's in the next guide.

Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain
L-Shapes More L-Shapes GTR→L-Shape GTR→L-Shape→

2-2 Stairs


Sagat Special (Tail)

Tanaka Special

Doing 2-2 Stairs on your first floor can present problems when you try to extend because it leaves a gaping hole in your tail end (see Column 6 below):


You could always waste a few Puyo to bring up Column 6. But that's stupid. Instead, you should use Tanaka Special once you get to the wall. Tanaka Special can also double as a round-opening form or a Hellfire.

Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain
Tanaka Special (Red & Blues) - Normal Form Tanaka Special (Red & Blues) - Long Form (a.k.a Kuma Stacking) L-Shape→Tanaka Special GTR→L-Shape→2-2 Stairs→Tanaka Special Tanaka Special - Hellfire Form (Green or Reds)
Chain Chain Chain
GTR→2-2 Stairs→Tanaka Special→3-1 Stairs→Tail GTR→Sandwich→Tanaka Special GTR→Tanaka Special (Long Form/Kuma Stacking)

Long Sandwich & Super Long Sandwich (Flat Stacking). And S/Z Sandwich

In the previous guides, I taught you various 2-column Sandwiches. 3- and 4-column sandwiches also have a few uses, like salvaging your own color mistakes or setting up for a Tail.

Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain Chain
Long Sandwich (Flat Stacking) GTR→Long Sandwich Super Long Sandwich GTR→S. Long Sandwich & Tail Z-Sandwich and S-Sandwich (reds) Long S-Sandwich (Green) (a.k.a. New GTR)

Other Forms

If you'd like to learn some other forms, see List of Chaining Forms.

Previous: Efficiency 1: Color Decisions
Next: Efficiency 2: Tailing