How an outsider prepared for success at the 2022 Caster’s Cup and how you can too!
Hello everyone! My name is Dagan and I was Rank 6 at the end of day one of the Caster’s Cup. Due to unfortunate circumstances I wasn’t able to prove myself on day two. I am primarily a Flesh and Blood player, but have an extensive background playing tons of card games including Magic, Pokemon, Force of Will, Hearthstone and Blackjack. My most recent accomplishments are a Top 4 finish at the Flesh and Blood US National Championship and winning multiple Pro Quests earning me invites to both Pro Tours. Today I wanted to talk about my Metazoo story with how I prepare for success large tournaments, and how you can too!
Before I hop into the main topic, I should explain how I got involved with Metazoo. My Metazoo story started with an event called the Van Meter Visitor Festival in my home state, Iowa. I have traversed the corn a couple times to be there, as my dad has written a short story about the creature. Metazoo actually had a booth where they were giving out promos, so that’s where I got my first card! The cryptid seed was planted, but I didn’t actually look into the game itself until the next year.
Like a lot of people, the Caster’s Cup prize pool is what really got my attention. My local game store posted about their qualifier event and it made me double take, $250,000? I’m a simple man, I’m in! My approach to TCGs has always been competitive with my sense of enjoyment coming from the process of learning a game, going through the process of finding the best strategies, and playing at the highest level. Seeing as the game was newer and the competitive scene hadn’t really been tested yet, I saw an opportunity! I only had about a month from initially learning about the event to playing in it with a Flesh and Blood Pro Tour in the mix, so I had to get to work!
The Scientific Method
I could talk for hours about each section in detail, but here is the short version of how I approach attacking a new game.
Step 1: Whenever I join a new tcg it’s important to understand the broad rules of the game and identify the keys to winning the game. It was clear to me that board control and tempo were the key factors of winning the game, so what cards do that best?
Step 2: See what decks have already been doing well first, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There aren’t that many competitive resources yet, but Caster’s Society was clearly the go-to. Once I saw how each deck worked I started to identify the key cards in each to find their strengths and how they play into what I identified in step 1. This leads us to the next step.
Step 3: The metagame/matchups. How do all the best decks and strategies interact with each other? This is the step that takes the most time, as it generally involves playing all the decks into each other to learn how they interact to find out the win percentage for each matchup. Some people like to create spreadsheets to chart it out, but that’s not necessary.
Step 4: Final Deck selection and practice. Once you’ve identified the deck you think has the best matchup spread and strength you finalize what cards to play in the list based on what you learned on each step before.
The Final List
With only a couple weeks worth of real gameplay under my belt, this is what I came up with.
3 Ball Lightning
3 Radioactive Hornets
9 Lightning Aura
2 Lightning Glass
1 Chaos Crystal
2 Absorb Aura
2 Lightning Bolt
1 New Years New Beginnings
1 Powerup Red
1 Lightning Storm
1 Stunning Storm
4 Lightning in a Bottle
Side Deck (15)
1 First Anniversary Celebration
2 Metal Man of Alabama
2 Void Spell
2 Anti-Potion Potion
1 Wood Devil of Coos Country
1 Lightning Split
1 Lightning Bolt
4 The Columbia River Sand Squink
1 Bubbling Brew
4th Wall List (4)
My biggest value is consistency, which should be clear given the nature of this mono-colored aggro deck. I’m sure everyone knows at this point how powerful lightning is, the list itself isn’t super unique, but it gets the job done. Quetzalcoatlus still proves itself to be one of the best beasties in the game however the lack of Dingbelles I’ve seen played in other spellbooks is an atrocity. I mean look at this bad boy!
“A large group of Dingbelles is called a Dong, and these Dongs are generally run by the Dingbelle with the largest wrench.” -Dingbelle Ringleader
The biggest tips I can give you towards leveling up your game is to always experiment, ask questions, learn from people better than you, and get lots and lots of practice! It was great meeting everyone in Texas and I hope you learned something from my approach to help your casting journey going forward! -Dagan
Also if you would like to learn more about the Van Meter Visitor here is the link to the mentioned ebook: The Visitation: An Account Of The Van Meter Visitor.