“Playing the Meta: a Caster’s Guide to Reading the Market”We can all read the same book but interpret in different ways. When playing competitive MetaZoo at this early stage in its development, it’s the same way. I’ve interpreted competitive MetaZoo to have 3 major steps: the Preparation phase, The Battlegrounds, and the Burning phase. Each of these steps cycle back into each other very rapidly. Today, we will discuss a major part of the Preparation phase: THE MARKET WATCH! *Dislcaimer: This is not financial advice LOL*
I like to be fully tuned in all parts of MetaZoo because the immersion allows me to understand it better. The Market side can get feisty, though, so if you don’t want to interact with it, that’s ok! Just sit back and observe. I have found that watching the market move is a form of preparation itself. During the few months leading up to Caster Cup 2022, I stumbled upon some odd buyouts that made me question my gameplay knowledge and deck building potential. I noticed an odd surge on the local Facebook markets trying to buy the Cardboard Basement Investor’s “Rudy: Totally Not a Timmy” card. My initial thought was, “What the heck does this card even do???” After looking at it, I was surprised to see how beneficial he could be in our spellbooks. He’s like “Adam Ackler” mixed in a pot with “Loveland Mailman”! This is 4 drop neutral with fleet and confusion! WHAAAAAT?!? While I understand people want to collect and finish their promo sets, when i see these weird surges, I trust my gut and investigation. Another example I noticed was Dinged Dingbelle, the promo Metazoo created to compensate old buyers on the obliterated cardboard packaging we love so much to this day. Yet another fleeted beastie, but lightning! The obvious market surges are when you see complete buyouts on the market, a clear sign that someone is intentionally buying out cards. Remember that one day where “Prism Aura” suddenly jumped up from a $40 card to almost a $100 card? All the players started freaking out, worrying about not being able to play with this magical special aura. I took it as a sign, realizing that “Oh man, someone cracked the code to dual auras.” Little did we know people were cracking the code to the multiverse of auras. Shoutout to all you creative folks!
“Gaasyendietha” was another one that slid under the radar for most people. Similar to the “Prism Aura” buyout, there was an odd market target for the Gaasy dragon. Everyone knew that card was good, but not all of us knew how to properly utilize it. Fast forward to the Caster’s Cup, and that deck is taking names left and right! This card is something I wish I investigated more during my preparation phase.Lastly, we will discuss the card that motivated me to play this lightning list for the Caster Cup; “Loveland Mailman”. I was gonna play water, but then I saw the massive shift of targeting for that card, triggering the internal survival alarm in my head: “YOU FOOL! DONT PLAY WATER, EVERYONE AND THEIR MAMA IS GONNA BUILD TO COUNTER YOU!” That led to my prompt decision to switch to lightning, haha. Although it was just one card being bought out, it signified that playing the current meta will mean half of the pro players start aggressively countering you. I knew a lot of people would be stubborn and stick to their almost 200-300 card investment (more often than not triple that), so I decided to go for the counter play. I’ll leave with this last note: Yeah, cards will be sold everyday and value will go up and down, but if your gut senses that the market is dictating the current meta, or that there might be a possible secret meta, do your due diligence and research the targeted cards. It might prove useful in the next big competitive Metazoo tournament! Happy hunting and have a great time investigating!