Written by: Brittany Pfeifer
If you’ve been around the Orc’s Lair within the last two years, you may have noticed the increase in MetaZoo products and events taking place. You may have even seen our YouTube channel, where the Orc Man and I face off every MetaZoo Monday. Several people have come up to me during tournaments or casual games asking, “What is this game?”
Well, friends, let me tell you! MetaZoo, in my opinion, is the best trading card game at this point in time! Not only is the art style super cute (many say it reminds them of OG Pokémon), but the game itself is super easy to learn!
What makes MetaZoo unique?
Aside from the art, which I adore, MetaZoo has several other things going on that make it very different from other TCGs. As you may have already noticed, MetaZoo (so far) focuses on cryptids primarily in the United States. Hence the name Cryptid Nation. Creatures like Bigfoot, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, the Fresno Nightcrawlers, and Salem’s Witches are only a few of the cryptids and creatures you see in MetaZoo. So, if you like legends, folk tales, or spooky stories, this is the game for you!
Speaking of stories, the lore behind each of the cryptids is super fun to learn about! One thing I love doing is looking up the story of each beastie to see how they came to be. You may also notice the location, size, and year in which the beastie originated is written on each MetaZoo card. Put that with the flavor text, and you have some lore! If you find yourself wanting more lore than what’s on the card, you can always surf the web, or check out The Orc’s Lair YouTube channel for my new YouTube Shorts series: MetaZoo Lore in 60 Seconds!
The biggest factor that sets MetaZoo apart from any other TCG is the use of the 4th Wall. Yes, your surroundings influence the game! At last week’s tournament, a player brought in balloons so he could make his “Killer Clown” beastie stronger. If it’s night time in real life, certain beasties may do something special. And, if you want to play a deck that thrives in an environment that you aren’t in (for example, we don’t have a forest nearby), you can use a “terra” card from your deck to give you that bonus! Depending on whether your game is casual or competitive, or how the tournament organizer runs their tournaments, the rules about using the 4th wall may vary. At the Orc’s Lair, we love 4th wall effects!
MetaZoo sounds so cool! How do I start playing?
I originally had a whole section of this blog on how to play, but it got to be very lengthy (there’s so much to say about MetaZoo!) I’ll write a full beginner’s blog next, but for now, here are some helpful starting tips.
For me, deck building is intimidating. Some people love it, and that’s awesome! I, however, feel I am not very good at it, and therefore I love the theme and release decks. Theme decks and release decks are both pre-constructed decks. The cards in the deck are chosen to complement one another, creating a harmonizing deck. Some decks even contain cards that you cannot pull in a booster pack, including rare cards and alternate art cards! Personally, my favorite of these decks (so far) is a release deck called “Sarah Good.” For a beginner, I recommend getting your hands on a deck that stands out to you. Practice playing that deck, and once you feel you have it figured out, try another deck!
Ready to try deck building? You’re going to need cards! You can always go for acquiring an entire booster box, or you can start small and just find some packs. My recommendation? Spellbooks! Spellbooks are perfect for beginners and experienced players alike. They contain ten packs (from whatever set you choose), a playmat, an official MetaZoo coin, status effect tokens, card sleeves, and a stack of aura cards. Spellbooks are a great way to get all of the MetaZoo essentials, and start your collection!
Speaking of sets, a lot of people ask how many sets MetaZoo has had. At this point in time, MetaZoo has released five sets, not including holidays and other promos. Cryptid Nation started it all, then there was Nightfall, Wilderness, UFO, and Seance! The next set, Native, is set to release in April 2023, and I am super hyped for it!
So if you’re ready to dive into trying out my favorite TCG, stop by the Orc’s Lair to learn to play! If you’re not in the area, check out the MetaZoo Play Network to find a friendly local game store near you! Good luck, Casters!