State of the Meta

Happy Holidays Casters and Beasties! As we come to the end of another year of Metazoo, we’re only just starting to see the influence that the new Seance set is having on the competitive meta. Caster’s Society recently hosted their One-Year Anniversary Partner Celebration Tournament on TableTop Simulator (available on Steam) and with a turnout of 106 players, we really got to test out some new and exciting Spellbooks vs some of the old reliable Spellbooks and I’m here to talk about how it all went down. Let’s dive in.

Coming into this tournament there was a lot of talk about which new Seance cards would make a stir and I saw some really creative combos played in the Arena throughout the day. Burning Effigies certainly made an impression with their speed and turn-based damage effects. If an Effigies player starts with the right hand, ideally with Unending Fire CrystalChaos Crystal and a few copies of the Burning Effigies spell, it can be nearly impossible to turn the game around by turn 3. Each instance of the spell will create 3x Effigy tokens and each deal 25 damage at the start of your turn. 9x effigies will be dealing 225 damage and will close the game easily if they aren’t immediately dealt with, not to mention a well-placed Fourth of July will prevent attacks and essentially lock in the win. It’s a scary deck, to be sure, and I believe it’s one of the reasons that when the dust settles on the new meta, it’s going to move a lot quicker than the UFO meta. Overall, Jesus Tijerina’s Burning Effigies earned him 3rd place out of 106, so there’s no doubt they’re legit and will be making appearances at many future tournaments. Be ready for the quickness.

Another new Seance deck that was blowing minds all day was an Embedding Artifact deck piloted by Colin Williams, one of the youngest talents in the game. His deck, inspired by Metauniversity’s Scarecrow build, was designed mostly around the “Sam’s” artifacts and the new spell, Embedding the Soul, which brings them to life. It starts with Sam’s Scarf, which will lower the aura cost of any page with “Sam” or “Sam’s” in the name, meaning that once you have 2 Scarfs in the Arena, all of your Sam’s Backpack and Sam’s Cryptid Cam are free to contract. Not only that, but the Sam’s Backpack can search the Spellbook for other “Sam’s” artifacts so before long, you’ve got a board flooded with artifacts, all with LP 50 or higher. Now all you have to do is contract Embedding the Soul and all of those artifacts lose their effects and gain an attack that deals damage equal to their LP; oof it is deadly. Colin gobsmacked me for 380 damage in 1 turn like it was no big deal, and proceeded to stomp me in just the same way in the following game. This is another deck that will be contributing to a fast meta, because if you can’t destroy the artifacts as they arrive or prevent the Embedding, you’ll be dead in a few turns. Colin fought his way to 14th, but I expect to see these light decks in the Top 10 at future events. There’s a ton of potential there.

Not surprisingly, outside of the Effigies and the Artifacts, the vast majority of the decks at the tournament were UFO meta decks, with maybe a new card or 2 from Seance. After all, if it ain’t broke… etc. Loveland Lockdown took 2nd, Green Fireballs (some with effigies, some without) took a few of the top 10 slots and Lightning was back in a big way with the birds. I’m proud to say that my birds list earned me the top spot, 1st place!! Caster Society has the list available to view and test at the link posted below. The big takeaway for me was, as I’ve mentioned earlier in the article, the new meta will be fast. I built that lightning deck expecting to come up against effigies so it was designed to be lean and mean with 3x Phantom Car and 2x Metal man of Alabama guaranteeing early game presence, and this time, that strategy paid off. Between Cosmic, Flame, and Lightning the games moved heckin’ quick and I was glad to have early game presence.

That’s all for this State of the Meta, I hope you got some good tidbits from reading. To be frank, I think we have entered a rather balanced playfield for Metazoo. I joked before that we are entering the “DAMPEN META”, and I still stand by that. Being able to stunt the opponent’s strategy and hit the gas is all it takes to win the race at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if for the next month or two, we continue to see different decks winning tourneys each week until the cream rises to the top. There are so many new combos to try and wildly different styles of play available to Casters that it really comes down to you, the pilot, knowing how to play your deck and adjust for your competition. Where will we be by the next Caster Cup?! Who knows, but I can truly say I’ve never been so excited to be competing in a TCG. Metazoo gameplay just continues to get better and better. In case I don’t see you, Happy New Year! And thanks for reading!

– Moldy

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