What pages should you put in your spellbook?Part 2 – Not all pages are created equal
This article will be a continuation of my previous article, expanding on the topics explained previously and further sorting pages into categories so we can better understand what it takes to design a competitive MetaZoo spellbook. If you haven’t read my previous article, I highly suggest you do so, although it is not necessary to understand the topics we are discussing. As with all of my articles, we will be assuming you have a basic understanding of MetaZoo and how it is played, so without further ado, let’s begin.
Today we will be explaining certain categories of pages and how they work within your spellbook. We will begin by setting these categories, then describe how they work, and finally give a few examples of pages that fall into them. The categories we will discuss are: Power, Support, Value, Disruption, and Utility. We will go step by step through each category and try to flesh them out as best we can, so that you can make the best decisions you can when choosing what to put in your spellbook.
The easiest page to identify in most cases is the power page. These pages tend to be incredibly strong, and in a lot of circumstances entire spellbooks can be built around them. For example, “Chessie” is a beastie that’s able to deal tons of damage in a single swing with relatively little investment, other than playing your spellbook as normal. Power pages don’t always have to be beasties though; “Zombie Apocalypse” is an incredible power page! It isn’t necessarily one that you can build a spellbook around, but its effect can clear an entire board of high-power beasties and swing a game in your favor very quickly. Power pages also don’t always have to be high cost either; pages like “Radioactive Hornet” are power pages as well, with the ability to flood the board with hard to deal with flying tokens early in the game, along with inflicting the extremely annoying status effect “Paralyze”. Aggro lightning spellbooks LOVE this page and the power it brings to their already powerful line up of beasties. Identifying power pages and including them in your spellbook is a key component to becoming a high-level caster.
Support pages are a little trickier to identify. These pages are pages that, when used properly with your power pages, can swing the tempo of the match in your favor. One very clear example of this type of page is “Lightning in a Bottle”. “Lightning in a Bottle” on its own does nothing, but when combined with a page like “Napa Rebobs”, “Chessie”, or “Dingbelle”, it can (indirectly) dish out tons of damage or flood a board with tokens. Another great support page is “Power Up Red”. While at first glance it may seem like a power page, upon closer inspection you realize that on its own it does nothing and only truly becomes powerful when combined with another page, thus making it a support page. It’s important to balance your Spellbook with both power and support pages to get the most from your pages. Support pages, as the name suggests, cannot do anything alone, only supporting other pages that have good stats, traits, or effects. Other, not so clear examples of support pages are pages like Special Terras and Aurafacts, which either provide us with added effects and damage or give us additional aura to make strong plays earlier in the game.
Pages that provide value closely tie into my previous article, most often providing you with more pages than before you contracted them or removing multiple of your opponent’s pages for the cost of just one of yours. The most iconic value page to date is “Bookmark”, allowing you to trade the one page for two pages from the top of your spellbook. This gives you one more page than you started with. In my previous article we went in depth on the concept of these pages, so I won’t spend too much time discussing them here.
One of my favorite types of pages is the disruption page. These are pages that throw a wrench in the opponents gameplan, and often have the ability to be played during the opponents turn. Often referred to as “caltrops”, named for the ancient weapon that was just a bunch of small spikes scattered on the ground, not meant to harm or wound anyone, but instead to slow them down and disable their horses. One very common example of this is the page “Smokey Spirit”, a page that can stop an opponent from destroying your beastie in combat and making them have to deal with it getting off an attack or powerful ability again on your next turn. Other great examples of this type of page are “Dampen”, “Void Spell”, and “Anti Potion Potion”, all three of which negate and destroy an opponent’s page and, if played correctly, can leave them with no other plays for the turn and in a very bad situation. But not all disruption pages have to be pages that are played on your opponents turn. The new “Fourth of July” promo page that is soon to be released is a great example of a disruption page that can only be played on your turn but has an effect that stops your opponent from their gameplan on their turn, and can ultimately leave them in a very difficult position. Disruption is not always a necessary component in a spellbook, and is normally favored by more midrange to control style spellbooks, whereas aggro spellbooks tend to forgo these types of pages for more power and support pages.
The last type of page we will be discussing today is the utility page. Utility pages are pages that fall into multiple of the above categories, thus giving them the utility to be used in a variety of ways. A very popular example of this page would be “Loveland Frogman”, a page that has the very powerful effect of giving a bunch of status effects to the opponent’s beastie, but also bookmarking additional pages at the start of your turn, thus falling into both the power and value categories of page evaluation. Looking for pages that can fill multiple roles is important when building your spellbook, because it frees up space for other powerful pages to fit in. Another great utility page is “Torrential River”. At first glance it may appear to be a power page, but looking again we can see that in addition to its ability to do massive amounts of damage, it bookmarks a page from the top of our spellbook every time we play a water page, providing a ton of value if played at the right time. This makes it a utility page. Utility pages are by far the strongest of all pages, so identifying them and using them correctly in our spellbooks will take our casting to the next level.
That rounds up this week’s article, come back next time for more competitive MetaZoo talk. Until then, this is your friendly neighborhood caster signing off. Happy casting!