MetaZoo is a thrilling trading card game that combines strategy, folklore, Cryptids and the unique aspect of the “Fourth Wall” to deliver an immersive experience. Our quick and easy How To Play MetaZoo guide will hopefully simplify the gameplay mechanics for newcomers and provide a detailed walkthrough of the game. Let’s get started!
What is the object of MetaZoo?
MetaZoo is a trading card game where players, known as casters, battle each other by using their “spellbooks” (aka decks) to summon creatures, cast spells, and outwit their opponents. The goal is simple yet challenging: reduce your opponent’s life points from 1,000 to zero. But there’s a twist – the environment around you (the Fourth Wall!) can directly affect the gameplay, making each match a dynamic and unpredictable encounter.
Building Your Spellbook
The Composition of a Spellbook
Remember that when we talk about your spellbook we’re talking about your deck of cards. Your spellbook is your arsenal, containing at least 40 cards that you’ll use throughout the game. These cards are known as “pages” and come in various types, each serving a distinct purpose in your quest for victory.
Choosing Your Pages
Selecting the right combination of beasties, artifacts, spells, potions, and aura pages is crucial. Your deck should reflect your strategy and adapt to potential environments you might encounter, leveraging the Fourth Wall effects to your advantage.
Before you start picking pages, decide on the overall strategy of your spellbook. Do you want to be aggressive, focusing on dealing damage quickly? Or would you prefer a control style, aiming to manage the battlefield and outlast your opponent? Your strategy will guide which pages you choose.
Your ability to contract pages also depends on having the correct aura types. Ensure your spellbook has a balanced mix of aura pages that align with the color requirements of the most important pages and cards in your deck.
And one other thing to mention is that, just like in other trading card games, you want a good “mana curve” (or in MetaZoo terms an “aura curve”.) This means having a range of pages with different aura costs so you can effectively use your aura each turn.
Understanding the Pages
Beasties: Your Frontline
Beasties are cryptid creatures that fight for you. They have life points and strength which determines their resilience and combat effectiveness. They stay in play until removed, making them an important part of your offense and defense.
Beasties are often inspired by Cryptids, folklore, and urban legends. Here are some examples of Beasties that might be found in the game:
- Mothman: One of the most iconic cryptids, Mothman is often a powerful card with abilities that can disrupt your opponent’s strategy.
- Bigfoot: A MagicCardInvestor.com favorite! Bigfoot is arguably the most famous of the cryptids and Bigfoot cards offer strong physical attacks and high life points.
- Chupacabra: This creature is known for its blood-sucking legend, and in the game, it might have abilities that weaken or directly damage opponent Beasties.
- Jersey Devil: A legendary creature from the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, it might have flying abilities and cause fear in other Beasties.
- Fresno Nightcrawlers: These are peculiar creatures that could have unique movement abilities on the battlefield.
- Flatwoods Monster: A cryptid with a spooky appearance that might have abilities related to scaring other Beasties or affecting the opponent’s vision.
- Loveland Frogman: A humanoid frog cryptid that could have abilities related to water or swamp environments.
- Piasa Bird: A Native American legend, this Beastie might have strong aerial attacks and abilities.
- Snallygaster: A dragon-like beast that could potentially have a variety of powerful attacks.
- Hodag: A creature from Wisconsin folklore, it might have abilities that involve forest environments or intimidating other Beasties.
These Beasties would typically have various attributes assigned to them, such as life points, attack strength, and special abilities that can be used during gameplay. The specific abilities and stats of these Beasties would be detailed on their respective cards, and players would use them strategically to win battles against their opponents.
Artifacts: Tools of the Trade
Artifacts are permanent pages that provide ongoing effects. They can bolster your beasties, hinder your opponent, or alter the state of play in significant ways. There are a number of types of artifacts that you need to be aware of as they certainly affect how you build your spellbook:
- Power-Boosting Artifacts: Artifacts that increase the strength or life points of your Beasties could be incredibly valuable. An example might be an artifact that grants additional damage to attacks or provides a defensive buff to your creatures.
- Mana-Accelerating Artifacts: In card games, artifacts that allow you to generate additional resources can be game-changing. An artifact in MetaZoo that lets you produce extra aura or use aura more efficiently would likely be highly sought after.
- Card-Advantage Artifacts: Any artifact that allows additional drawing of pages from your spellbook or lets you manipulate your chapter (hand) could provide a significant strategic advantage.
- Protective Artifacts: Artifacts that can protect your Beasties from being targeted or destroyed, or that can negate the effects of opponent’s spells or abilities, would be powerful defensive tools.
- Utility Artifacts: Artifacts with versatile abilities that can be used in a variety of situations, such as removing negative effects from your Beasties or allowing you to look at an opponent’s hand, are often considered strong due to their flexibility.
Spells and Potions: Momentary Might
These pages are your instant effects – powerful actions that can be used once to disrupt your opponent or swing the momentum in your favor.
Spells in MetaZoo are akin to instant or sorcery cards in other trading card games. They are used for immediate effects and can significantly impact the game state. Spells may have a variety of functions, such as:
- Direct Damage: Some spells can deal damage directly to Beasties, Casters, or other targets.
- Healing: Other spells may restore life points to your Beasties or even to your Caster.
- Buffing/Debuffing: Spells can also be used to increase the strength or life points of your Beasties or to weaken your opponent’s Beasties.
- Control: Control spells might change the rules of engagement, such as preventing a Beastie from attacking or blocking.
- Utility: There are also spells that provide utility, like allowing you to draw extra pages, look at an opponent’s hand, or manipulate the pages in play in some way.
Potions, while similar to spells in their one-time use, often have effects that are more focused on altering the state of Beasties or providing a temporary boost. Potions may:
- Enhance Abilities: Potions can temporarily increase a Beastie’s abilities or give them new abilities.
- Alter Combat: They might change the outcome of combat, such as by increasing a Beastie’s strength during a battle phase.
- Provide Protection: Some potions can protect a Beastie from being targeted or destroyed in a turn.
- Special Effects: Potions may also have unique effects not found in spells, such as reversing damage dealt in a turn or resurrecting a Beastie from limbo (the graveyard).
Both Spells and Potions are typically one-time use pages that go to the Cemetery (MetaZoo’s version of a graveyard, which is an area of the Arena where you place spells and potions you have already played) after their effects have been resolved. They are crucial for creating dynamic and strategic gameplay, allowing players to respond to threats, set up their own board, or recover from difficult situations.
In MetaZoo, the timing of when you play your Spells and Potions can be just as important as the effects themselves. Some can be played on your opponent’s turn, adding a layer of depth and surprise to the game. The strategic use of these pages can turn the tide of a match, making them a vital component of any spellbook.
Aura Pages: The Currency of Magic
Aura pages are the resources you’ll tap into to contract other pages. They come in different types, each corresponding to the various elements and aspects of the MetaZoo world.
Aura Pages in MetaZoo play a crucial role as they are the primary resource system of the game, similar to lands in Magic: The Gathering or energy in Pokémon TCG.
Aura Pages are used to generate Aura, which is required to contract (play) other pages from your hand. Each Aura Page typically provides one Aura of a specific type per turn, and you’ll need the appropriate type and amount of Aura to play Beasties, Artifacts, Spells, and Potions.
Types of Aura
There are multiple types of Aura in MetaZoo, each corresponding to different elements and aspects of the game’s lore. The Aura types include but may not be limited to:
- Flame Aura
- Water Aura
- Forest Aura
- Earth Aura
- Light Aura
- Dark Aura
- Spirit Aura
- Lightning Aura
- Cosmic Aura
- Frost Aura
- Neutral Aura
Each type of Aura is associated with different kinds of Beasties and spells, reflecting their elemental nature or thematic background.
Terra Pages: Setting the Scene
Terra pages define the game’s environment, which can enhance your beasties’ abilities. They are the key to activating the Fourth Wall effects, allowing the physical location you’re in to influence the game.
Terra Pages in MetaZoo are a unique and innovative aspect of the game that interact with the game’s “Fourth Wall” mechanic, which involves the real-world environment around the players. Here’s a closer look at how Terra Pages function:
Function of Terra Pages
Terra Pages define the in-game environment or terrain where the battle between casters takes place. They can influence the game by providing various bonuses or effects to Beasties and other pages, often based on the alignment between the Terra Page and the Beasties’ types.
Fourth Wall Effect
The Fourth Wall effect is a distinctive feature of MetaZoo that allows the physical surroundings of the players to impact the game. For example, if you’re playing near a body of water, Water-type Beasties might receive a boost. Terra Pages can simulate these real-world conditions on the game board, so even if you’re not near a forest, playing a Forest Terra Page could provide similar benefits as if you were.
The Flow of the Game – HOW TO ACTUALLY PLAY METAZOO:
Starting the Game
To begin, each player draws seven pages to form their chapter (hand). If you’re not satisfied with your initial draw, you can mulligan, drawing one less page each time, down to a minimum of one. A coin flip usually decides who takes the first turn.
A player’s turn is divided into the following:
1. Start of Turn
- Untap Phase: At the very beginning of your turn, you “awaken” (untap) all of your fatigued (tapped) pages. This includes your Beasties, Artifacts, and Aura Pages that were used (fatigued) during the previous turn.
- Draw Phase: You then “bookmark” (draw) a page from your spellbook (deck) and add it to your chapter (hand).
2. Main Phase
During the main phase, you have a wide range of actions you can take, and you can perform these actions in any order you choose:
- Contract Aura Pages: You can contract (play) one Aura Page from your chapter into the arena (battlefield) awakened (untapped). Most Aura Pages have no cost to play.
- Contract Terra Pages: You may contract a Terra Page from your chapter to change the environment of the arena.
- Contract Pages: You can contract Beasties, Artifacts, Spells, or Potions from your chapter. Each of these will have an Aura cost that you must pay by fatiguing (tapping) the appropriate Aura Pages.
- Activate Abilities: If your Beasties or Artifacts have abilities that can be used, you may activate them during this phase.
- Set Traps: If you have trap pages (a type of spell), you can set them face-down during your main phase.
- Declare Attacks: You can declare attacks with your Beasties against your opponent’s Beasties, Artifacts, or directly against the opponent’s life points.
3. Combat Phase
If you choose to declare an attack, the combat phase begins. Here’s how you do that:
- Declare Attackers: You fatigue (tap) your attacking Beasties and declare which opponent’s pages they are attacking.
- Declare Defenders: Your opponent has the chance to fatigue (tap) their Beasties to defend against the attack.
- Resolve Combat: Calculate damage based on the Beasties’ strength, apply any effects, and subtract damage from the life points of the Beasties or caster involved in the combat.
4. End of Turn
- End Phase: Any “end of turn” effects resolve here.
- Cleanup Phase: If you have more pages in your chapter than the maximum hand size at the end of your turn, you must discard pages until you reach the maximum hand size.
- 36 booster packs per box
- 12 additional cards per pack
- 1st Edition
During your turn, you can also respond to your own actions with Quick Spells or Potions, similar to how you might in response to an opponent’s actions on their turn. The ability to play certain pages at specific times, and the strategic use of your pages’ abilities, are key to mastering MetaZoo gameplay.
That’s about it. The gameplay is very much like Magic: The Gathering in the basic order and how you do things. If you know how to play Magic, you’re more than halfway there when it comes to knowing how to play MetaZoo! Here are some important things to remember:
To play a page from your hand, you must contract it by paying its aura cost. This is akin to casting a spell or summoning a creature in other card games.
When you declare an attack, you fatigue (tap) your attacking beastie and choose a target. Your opponent can defend with their beasties, or if they choose not to, the attack goes through to the intended target.
Damage is calculated by comparing the attacker’s strength against the defender’s life points. If the defender’s life points are reduced to zero, it’s sent to limbo (the graveyard). Any excess damage may spill over to the original target if the defender was not the initial target.
MetaZoo’s gameplay depth comes from knowing when to play your pages, how to respond to your opponent’s actions, and how to maximize the Fourth Wall effects. Understanding the synergies between your pages and predicting your opponent’s moves are key to mastering the game.
Building a Balanced Spellbook
A well-constructed spellbook has a balance of different page types, ensuring you have the right page for any situation. It should also consider the aura types you’ll need to contract your pages effectively.
The “Fourth Wall”: A Game Changer
The Fourth Wall effects are unique to MetaZoo. Playing near a body of water, for example, can strengthen water-type beasties. This mechanic encourages players to be mindful of their surroundings and use them to their advantage. Watch for how your surroundings affect abilities on cards as it can certainly be a game changer.
Here’s a fun and interesting video showing the TOP 10 METAZOO 4TH WALL EFFECTS!
MetaZoo Gameplay FAQ’s
1. Do Terra Pages have Aura Types?
A. No, Terra Pages do not have Aura types. Instead, they represent the environment or ‘terrain’ of the battle and can affect gameplay through the Fourth Wall mechanic. They are separate from the Aura system, which is used to contract (play) other pages.
2. How many cards do you draw to start the game in MetaZoo?
A. At the beginning of a game of MetaZoo, each player draws seven pages to form their initial hand, also known as their “Chapter.”
3. Can you play multiple Terra Pages in a single turn?
A. No, you can only contract (play) one Terra Page per turn. This rule helps to maintain balance and prevent players from overwhelming the field with multiple environmental effects at once.
4. What happens if a Beastie’s life points reach zero?
A. When a Beastie’s life points reach zero, it is destroyed and sent to Limbo, which is MetaZoo’s equivalent of a graveyard for Beasties.
5. Can Spells and Potions be played on an opponent’s turn?
A. Some Spells and Potions in MetaZoo can indeed be played on an opponent’s turn. These are typically referred to as “Quick Spells” or “Quick Potions” and will specify on the page if they can be used during your opponent’s turn.
6. How does the Fourth Wall mechanic work in competitive play?
A. In competitive play, the Fourth Wall mechanic is often standardized to ensure fairness. This means that certain real-world conditions may be simulated by Terra Pages or agreed upon by tournament rules, rather than relying on the actual physical environment where the game is being played.
7. Can you MetaZoo Spellbook have more than 40-cards?
A. Yes, your spellbook can be more than 40-cards as long as you can still shuffle the deck with your two hands. You cannot put 200-cards in your deck and use an electronic shuffling machine as an example.
Playing MetaZoo is an adventure that blends traditional card game elements with innovative mechanics. Whether you’re a seasoned card game player or new to the genre, MetaZoo offers a fresh and engaging experience. With strategic deck building, mastery of the Fourth Wall, and clever gameplay, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a formidable caster in the world of MetaZoo.
I hope you enjoyed our quick run-down on how to play MetaZoo. Look for more information here about the different aspects of the game as well as MetaZoo collecting and investing information too! Have fun!