ArticlesGuest Article – Event Planning

Alex TruellSeptember 11, 2018

Editors Note: For many players, building a MetaX deck is an entertaining aspect of the game all on its own. The challenge of finding the perfect strategy, ratios, and personal flair or tech options is relished, and the wide-open nature of deck building gives rise to many personal styles and processes. In this series of articles, guest author Alex Truell discusses his own personal methods for approaching deck building in MetaX!

It is with no small amount of trepidation that I approach the subject of Events, the third and final card type in MetaX. Events are effects isolated from any other impact on the game. Characters have effects too. So do Battle Cards. What makes an Event stand out from other ways of putting effects into play?

From a mechanical perspective, they act a little differently than the other two card types, with appropriate pros and cons. Events can be played without a character to play them- but only after characters have already generated the MP to play them. They can be played when all the slots on your board are full, and they won’t take up space afterwards. They are played in the same phase as Characters, unlike Battle Cards- so if an effect adds a character to your hand, you can still play it.

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They are also a serious drain on your MP. While there are Events available at no or negligible costs, they scale up to a -9MP cost, and most cost something to play. Many of the effects from lower-cost Events can be found on other types of cards, but the higher cost Events max out the power levels effects in MetaX are allowed to reach.

There’s really not a way to quickly categorize or think about Events, and a recommended Event count would be woefully unreliable. But there are some effects found on Events that are worth keeping in the back of your mind. When your deck concept is nearly realized and you’re trying to shore up weaknesses or tech against difficult matches, these can make a big difference.

Clearing Space

In a deck with a wide array of characters (especially those Strikers with PLAY effects), it can become extremely important to free up space.  Events such as Camaraderie, Death in the Family, and Resurrection of Power are inexpensive and give you room to play someone else while offering other benefits.  To reuse that same character, look at cards like Teleportation and the “on steroids” version, Unexpected Turnaround.

Information Gathering

Gaining knowledge can be key to certain decks, but is generally beneficial in any circumstance.  Detect and Peer can tell you about your deck, Sleight of Hand dives into your cards stolen as Victory Points, while Assault, Identification, and Echolocation let you peek at an enemy’s hand (while disrupting their options too).

Recursion

A key defense against mill decks or your own aggressive draws, recursion effects let you bring cards back from the discard to thicken your deck. Backup, Discipline, Rebirth, and Reinforcements all fill this role.

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Retrieval

Similar to recursion, these effects also pull lost cards back from the discard pile, but do nothing to guard against mill as the cards jump back into hand or go directly into play.  Coming Storm, Diversity, and Joke’s On You exemplify these type of Events.

Removal
Clearing out enemy threats is a big theme in Events.  A few notables include Disgraced, Endless Brawl, Evil Parade, Inherent Weakness, Killing Blow, Meta Superiority, and PreenPower Players might also be a removal card, as it neutralizes the threat posed not by the character itself, but by its effect- and a blank Support character is sometimes worse than an empty slot!
Draw

Draw power is a universal advantage in card games.  Some options include Battle Frenzy, Birds of a Feather, Gathering Strength, Gifts, Heroic Charge, Ingenuity, Overboard, Point Blank, and Push and Pull.

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Tutor

Pulling exactly what you need from the deck is a refined form of draw, and can let you run less copies of key cards or access niche counters quickly.  Look for Elite Scout Regiment, Green Lantern’s Light, Hope Burns Bright, Leap Into Action, Legion of Doom, Man Beyond Tomorrow, and Passion for the Hunt.

Protection

With no form of counterplay/interruption available during your opponent’s turn, protection needs to be preventative.  Conceal, Confidence, and What’s Mine is Mine are notable options.

Deck Facilitators

Some deck concepts simply don’t work without Events to tie them together.  Assume the Mantle lets you cross Trait-specific effects.  Blood and Rage helps the Red Lanterns go all in on attacking.  Brutality, Devour, and Steam all help the MP-starved, highly-durable Titan theme.  Crime Spree fuels the Rogues Gallery’s appetite for Basic Battle Cards (while Hand to Hand lets you cheat that requirement and use some non-basic attacks too).  Gotham City’s Finest refills your fragile GCPD roster.  There are also Trait-stamped Events that aren’t truly essential, such as Purifying Shield or Infighting, but offer distinct advantages to that deck that other Traits can’t access.

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Since most Events use MP, you need to balance their costs (and the costs of your higher end Battle Cards) against your MP generation.  3 Unexpected Turnarounds can be powerful (as shown at GenCon), but you need the MP to play them.  At the same time, Terry McGinnis is a thing, so low-cost Events are at risk of being neutralized by the wrong matchup.  Don’t be afraid of a few high-cost Events, if they make significant impact when played.  Also, feel free to toolbox with your Events until you find something that really works.  One copy of Power Players can be just what you needed to deal with that one obnoxious character.

(Header image background artwork by Alayna Lemmer-Danner)

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