How to Play the MetaX TCG

Universes collide as you battle for crossover supremacy!

MetaX is a crossover TCG where your favorite heroes, villains, and more from different universes clash in a race to score Victory Points. MetaX currently draws on the DC Universe with its releases Justice League, Green Lantern, and Batman, as well as the hit anime Attack on Titan, with more to come!

Overview

In a game of MetaX, each player brings a 40 card deck made of their chosen Characters, Events, and Battle Cards that work towards their chosen game strategy. Players take turns moving through the Turn Sequence, which involves playing their critical Characters, using helpful Events to augment their strategy, and attacking their opponent using their Battle Cards until a player has scored 7 Victory Points (VP), or until a player’s deck has run out.

MetaX uses Meta Points (MP) as a universal resource. Players begin the game with 0 MP. Characters will typically gain you MP, which you can then spend as you see fit. Events will typically cost you MP to play, and Battle Cards can either gain you MP or cost you MP. The unique ways MP can be gained or spent creates many layers of interesting strategy!

HELPFUL TIP
Players have a maximum MP of 10! If anything would cause you to gain MP over 10, the additional MP is lost!

Card Types
http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/character_example.png
Characters

Characters are the heart of any MetaX deck. Characters can be a primary way of obtaining MP to play the other cards in your deck, and their Stat symbols in the lower right hand corner  – some mix of Strength (red), Intelligence (blue), and Special (green) – show you which Battle Cards they are able to play to Attack or Defend.

All Characters have an effect listed on them, with one of three different symbols:

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/effect_types.png

Each Character also has a Trait listed just below its card art. These have no inherent value in the game – so feel free to mix and match whichever Characters you want into your own creation! However, some card effects will reference these Traits and cause some decks to be powered up by focusing on one or two Traits in particular. For example, Mikasa Ackermann – Lethal Force gets a lot more powerful when there are more Scout Regiment Characters in your deck to search for – but nothing stops you from putting in some Titans, or Villains, or Red Lanterns!

Characters are needed both to gain MP to use many of your other cards, as well as being your only means of Attacking and Defending. Because of that, Characters are often one of the pillars of your deck, with most decks playing somewhere between 12 and 16 Characters.

HELPFUL TIP
You can only have a maximum of three Characters in play! With three in play, you cannot play or gain control of a new Character until you find a way to KO or remove one of your current Characters!

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/event_example.png
Events

Your deck’s Events can serve a wide variety of purposes, from drawing cards, to dealing with your opponent’s Characters, to letting you search or replay key Characters, and much more beyond that. Events will typically cost you some amount of MP to play, though some are free to play. To play an Event in your hand, simply pay the MP listed in the upper right hand corner, use the effect listed on the card, and then discard it to your discard pile.

Very few effects are able to let you re-use Events, so they are often a very valuable resource that you won’t want to let go of easily. However, should you stumble upon a combination of cards that can allow you to bring an Event back into your deck or hand, a whole strategy may be able to be formed around bring back and re-using the most powerful events, like Evil Parade and Microscopic Victory!

However, because they aren’t as critical to gameplay as Characters and Battle Cards, Events should usually have the lowest total count in your deck, with many decks playing somewhere between 5 and 10 of them.

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/battle_example.png
Battle Cards

Battle Cards are the most unique part of MetaX. Unlike many other card games, your Characters cannot attack or defend on their own – each time you wish to Attack or Defend with a Character, you must also have that Character play an appropriate Battle Card from your hand.

Battle Cards come in all three stat varieties, and some of them even have multiple different stats listed on them. In order to play a particular Battle Card, a Character must meet or exceed that Battle Card’s rank in that stat. In other words, a character must have an Intelligence stat of 4 or greater to play a 4 Intelligence Battle Card. For Battle Cards with multiple stats, a Character must simply meet or exceed the listed rank in one of those stats.

Many Battle Cards have effects listed on them – those that don’t are considered Basic Battle Cards and are referred to as such by card effects. When a Battle Card is played, first its MP value must be either spent or gained – if a Battle Card has a cost that you cannot pay, it cannot be played. Then, resolve any effect on the Battle Card if possible. After using the effect, your Character is now considered Attacking or Defending – but the specifics of that, as well as battle resolution, are described below.

Regardless of its effect, a Battle Card can always be played as an Attack or Defense. However, some effects only will occur when a Battle Card is used specifically as an Attack or as a Defense, as shown by the symbols below:

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/bc_effect_types.png

Because a Battle Card is always required for a Character to attack, your deck needs to play enough of them to be able to attack enough times to score 7 VP – and keep in mind that your opponent will be trying to defend against your attacks as well, preventing them from earning that VP. For that reason, most decks play somewhere between 14 and 22 Battle Cards.

Beginning a Game

When beginning a game of MetaX, each player brings their own 40-card deck to the table. For your first games, we recommend using the decks contained in the Attack on Titan 2-Player Starter Box.

Each player begins by shuffling their deck adequately, and then players will randomly determine who will be taking the first turn of the game by performing something like a coin flip or die roll – the winner of the roll will then pick if they would like to take the first turn, or if they want their opponent to take the first turn.

Once the starting player has been determined, each player draws a starting hand by drawing the top 5 cards of their deck.

HELPFUL TIP
Each player may choose to “Mulligan” their hand once, placing all five cards on the bottom of their deck in any order, and drawing 5 new cards. If you do this, you are stuck with your second hand, so choose wisely!

Now, the starting player begins their turn, following the turn sequence below. After they have finished their turn, their opponent will begin the turn sequence, and players will alternate turns until a player has won the game.

Turn Sequence

A player’s turn consists of the three steps below – the Prep Step, the Planning Step, and the Battle Step.

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/prep-step-header.png

The first step of the turn is the Prep Step. This step consists of two actions, performed in the following order:

  1. Prep each of your Pushed Characters. A Pushed Character is one that has been turned sideways through gameplay or through a card effect. To Prep them, simply turn them from their sideways position to be vertically straight again.
  2. Draw a card from the top of your deck. Note that the player who was selected to take the first turn of the game skips this action on their first turn and thus does not draw a card.

After completing these two actions, move on to the next step.

Pushing and Prepping is a key concept in MetaX!
http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/planning-step-header.png

The Planning Step is when players get to play the cards and use the effects that define their strategy. In your planning step, you have several actions you can use -all of which are optional, and you may perform them in any order. Two of these actions may also be performed any number of times, requirements permitting. These actions are listed below.

  • Play a Character from your hand: Select a Character from your hand and place it one of your 3 slots in your Character Zone. Gain any MP listed on the card, and then use any “when played” (triangle) effects, if needed. You may only use this action once per turn.
  • Play an Event from your hand. Select an Event from your hand and place it in front of you. Pay the MP cost (if any) and then use the effect listed on the card. Then, discard it to your discard pile. You may play any number of Events on your turn as long as you can pay their costs!
  • Use the Push Effect (circle) of a Character you control. Push (turn sideways) the Character and then use the effect listed on the card. You cannot use the Push Effect of a Character that entered play this turn, and you cannot use the Push Effect if the Character is already Pushed. You may use any number of Push Effects on your turn.

When you have completed all the actions you wanted to perform, it’s time to move on to the last step of the turn!

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/battle-step-header.png

During the Battle Step, you are able to Attack with your Characters by pushing them and playing Battle Cards. Your opponent is also able to Defend your attacks by playing Battle Cards with their prepped Characters. For each attack your opponent does not defend, you will score a Victory Point (VP) by taking the top card of your opponent’s deck and placing it face down in your VP Pile. When a player scores their 7th Victory Point, they immediately win the game.

The Battle Step consists of the following substeps, each of which is further detailed below.

  1. Declare Attacks – Declare each Attacking Character and play their Battle Card, one at a time.
  2. Assign Defenders – For each of your Attacks, your opponent may choose one of their prepped Characters to defend with. Each Defender is assigned and must play a Battle Card, one at a time.
  3. Damage – For each Attack that has been defended, assign damage to the battling Characters.
  4. Victory Points – Each Attack that was not defended scores a Victory Point, and the Battle Card used in that Attack is discarded.

Once a player’s Battle Step has been completed, all Characters return from the Battle Zone to their respective Character Zones, and then the turn is over, and the opponent begins their turn, working through the same sequence. Repeat this process until a player achieves victory, which occurs immediately either when they score their 7th Victory Point, or their opponent’s deck has no more cards remaining.

The Battle Step in Detail

The Battle Step is the heart of the action in MetaX, so it’s important to be very precise in how Battles are resolved! Each of the four substeps listed above are detailed below.

1. Declare Attacks

In this sub-step, the turn player may assign any of their Characters that did not enter play this turn to attack the opponent in an attempt to score Victory Points. Players may attack with as many or as few Characters as they like during their Battle Step, and a player may also declare a Team Attack during this step – the details for Team Attacking are in the Advanced Rules below. Use the sequence below to correctly declare your attacks.

  1. Select a Character that did not enter play this turn that you wish to attack with.
  2. Push that Character and place it in the Battle Zone.
  3. Select a Battle Card in your hand which that Character is capable of playing – remember that a Character can only play a Battle Card if it meets or exceeds one of that Battle Card’s stats.
  4. Play that Battle Card. If that Battle Card has an MP cost, it must be paid to be a legal play. If that Battle Card gains MP, gain the appropriate amount. Then, use any non-“shield” effect on that Battle Card.
  5. That Character is now considered Attacking. You may now repeat these steps from 1 if you have additional Characters you would like to Attack with.

Once you have gone through the above steps for each Character you would like to Attack with, it’s time to move on to the next sub-step.

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/attack-example.png

Darkseid‘s Strength of 7 allows him to Attack with this 7 Strength Battle Card. He is pushed and moved into the Battle Zone, the Battle Card is played from hand, and its effect is used.

HELPFUL TIP
Be sure to resolve each Attack declaration fully before moving on to the next Character! Some Battle Card effects may impact your decisions, such as drawing you new Battle Cards to attack with!

2. Assign Defenders

Next, the opponent is able to assign their prepped Characters to defend against your Attacks. If they defend any of your Attacks, they will prevent you from scoring a Victory Point from each defended attack. However, it will also cause the Characters involved to take damage from the ensuing Battle. Much like declaring your Attacks, your opponent will go through the following steps for each Character they wish to defend with:

  1. Select a prepped Character you control to be a Defender, and select which Attacking Character that Character will Defend against. Each Attacking Character may only be defended with a single Character – there are no “team defenses”.
  2. Place that Character in the Battle Zone – note that Defending does not Push your Character!
  3. Select a Battle Card in your hand which that Character is capable of playing – remember that a Character can only play a Battle Card if it meets or exceeds one of that Battle Card’s stats.
  4. Play that Battle Card. If that Battle Card has an MP cost, it must be paid to be a legal play. If that Battle Card gains MP, gain the appropriate amount. Then, use any non-“swords” effect on that Battle Card.
  5. That Character is now considered Defending. You may now repeat these steps from 1 if there are additional Attacking Characters and you have additional Prepped Characters to Defend with.

Once you have completed assigning any of your Characters to Defend against any of your opponent’s Attacks, you can move on to resolving each of those Defenses.

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/defense-example.png

Armin is assigned to Defend against Blackfire‘s attack using this 6 Intelligence Battle Card. Darkseid is not assigned a Defender. Let’s see how these resolve below!

HELPFUL TIP
Because a Battle Card is required each time you Attack or Defend, you are always limited by the amount of Battle Cards you have. Learning how and when to Attack or Defend is a critical skill in MetaX!

3. Damage

In the Damage sub-step, each defended Attack is going to resolve by having the Characters deal damage to each other. Damage in MetaX is represented with the Battle Cards themselves!

The active player selects a defended Attack as the first battle to resolve, and both Characters in that battle attach their played Battle Cards to the opposing Character as damage. Any time damage is attached to a Character, check to see if that Character was KO’d by that damage – there are two different ways a Character may be KO’d, both of which are described below. If any Character is not KO’d by the damage, that damage will stay attached to the Character, leaving the Character open to potentially be KO’d by adding on further damage in the future.

When a Character is KO’d, place it in its owner’s discard pile, and place any Battle Cards attached to it in their owner’s discard pile(s).

If there are any more defended Attacks to resolve, continue selecting and resolving them in this way until all have been resolved. Then, it’s time to move on to the final sub-step of Battle.

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/damage-example.png

Since Armin defended Blackfire‘s attack, the two are going to deal damage to each other by attaching their played Battle Cards to the other. Armin‘s 6 Intelligence is enough to HP KO Blackfire, while Blackfire‘s 3 Special does not KO Armin by either method – but it will stay attached to him to be added to later!

KO’ing Characters

Any time damage is attached to a Character, you must check to see if that Character has been KO’d. The criteria for KO’ing a Character is based on a comparison of the Stats and Ranks of the Battle Cards attached to that Character as damage, and that Character’s Stats and Maximum Rank.

A Character is KO’d immediately when the damage cards attached to it meet the criteria for either of the two types of KO listed below.

HP KO

An HP KO is a type of KO that looks at the Ranks of Battle Cards attached to that Character as damage.

Each Character has an “HP Value” which is equal to their Maximum Rank – in other words, whichever number in their Stats is their highest.

If the sum of the ranks of the Battle Card(s) attached to a Character is ever equal to or greater than that Character’s Maximum Rank, that Character is KO’d by HP KO.

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/hp-ko-1.png
http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/hp-ko-2.png
TKO

TKO is a type of KO that looks at the Stats of Battle Cards that are attached to a Character as damage.

Each Character has a number of different Stats – either 1, 2, or 3 Stats – represented on the bottom right corner of the card. In this instance, it isn’t important which Stats they have represented – simply the number of stats is needed.

If the number of Battle Cards with different stats attached to a Character is ever equal to or greater than that Character’s number of stats, that Character is immediately KO’d by TKO.

HELPFUL TIP
Some Battle Cards have 2 or more different Stats. These Multi-Stat Battle Cards are treated as a single stat when calculating TKOs – they act as a wild card filling in any single missing stat from among those on their card.

4. Victory Points

Finally, any undefended Attacks will successfully gain a Victory Point for their controller. Regardless of the rank or stats of either the Battle Card or the Attacking Character, each undefended attack scores the player a single Victory Point.

Select a Character whose attack was undefended, and gain a Victory Point for that attack by having your opponent place the top card of their deck face-down in your VP Pile. Victory Points cannot be looked at unless an effect allows it. Then, discard that Character’s Battle Card to your Discard Pile. If that was your seventh Victory Point, you immediately win the game!

Otherwise, continue gaining VP for each undefended Attack in that manner until all have been resolved.

After completing this sub-step, the Battle Step ends, and all Characters that are still in the Battle Zone are sent back to their respective Character Zones. The opposing player then begins their turn, starting with the Prep Step.

HELPFUL TIP
Gaining Victory Points can take away critical cards from your opponent’s deck! The cards in the VP Pile can’t normally be retrieved without very specific card effects!

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/vp-example.png

Darkseid’s threating Strength 7 attack paid off! As he went undefended, a Victory Point is passed to his controller by the opponent and placed in his VP Pile, bring his count up to 3. With 4 more, he will achieve victory! Darkseid’s Battle Card is then discarded and the Battle Step is over.

Ending a Game

The most common way a game of MetaX will end is when a player gains their 7th Victory Point. When that occurs, the game immediately ends and that player is the winner.

The game can also end when a player’s deck has run out of cards. The moment a player’s deck becomes empty, their opponent wins the game.

In either case, it’s time to return all cards to their owners – watch out for those attached Battle Cards – and then shuffle up and play again!

Advanced Rule – Team Attacks

After you’ve gotten the basics under your belt, it’s time to add a new dimension to the MetaX Battle Step with Team Attacks!

Team Attacks allow you to link Characters together to form an Attack that is capable of gaining a VP even when it is defended!

Team Attacking is done during the Declare Attacks sub-step of the Battle Step, at the same time you would declare normal Attacks. However, the process is slightly different – see the steps below.

Declaring a Team Attack

To perform a Team Attack, in your Declare Attacks sub-step:

  1. Declare that you performing a Team Attack, and select one Character to be the Lead Attacker, and up to two other Characters to be Linking to that Attack. Just like Attacking, Characters cannot Link the turn they enter play.
  2. Push the Lead Attacker and place it in the Battle Zone.
  3. Select a Battle Card in your hand which that Character is capable of playing, and whose Stat is shared by any Linking Characters.
  4. Play that Battle Card, paying or gaining MP as usual, then using any non-“shield” effect on the card, if able.
  5. Next, for each Linking Character, pay 5 MP, Push that Character, and place it in the Battle Zone.
  6. Those Characters are now considered Team Attacking.

A Team Attack may be declared before or after any other Attack in the Battle Step.

HELPFUL TIP
Team Attacking can be costly. Many decks will not choose to Team Attack except towards the end of a close game. But some decks can build around Team Attacking with special effects that reward it!

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/team-attack-example-1.png

Batman and Catwoman are Team Attacking. Batman leads the attack, playing a 5 Special Battle Card. Catwoman shares the Special stat, so she is able to be linked in to Batman‘s attack by paying 5 MP, pushing her, and placing her in the Battle Zone.

Resolving a Team Attack

Team Attacks are able to be Defended just like regular Attacks in the Assign Defenders sub-step of the Battle Step. A single Character may be assigned to defend the Team Attack, and, in battle, it will trade damage with the Lead Attacker only.

However, the main advantage to performing a Team Attack is that – even if it is defended – you may still score a VP!

Whether or not your Team Attack scores a VP is determined in the Damage sub-step, just before trading damage between the Defender and the Lead Attacker. To determine if the Team Attack successfully gained a VP, you need to compare both sides’ “power”, a value which is calculated differently for each side. Calculate “power” as follows:

Attackers:
Rank of Lead Attacker’s Battle Card + Each Linked Character’s Rank in the shared stat

Defender:
Rank of Defender’s Battle Card + Defender’s Rank in that Battle Card’s stat

If the Defender’s “power” is greater than the Attacker’s “power”, then they have stopped the Team Attack from scoring a VP. Otherwise, if the Attackers’ “power” is equal to or greater than the Defender’s “power”, their Team Attack was successful, and, before trading damage, the Attacker gains 1 VP.

If a Team Attack is not defended, it simply scores 1 VP, just as a normal Attack would, in the Victory Points sub-step.

HELPFUL TIP
Team Attacks are more successful when the Characters linking in have high ranks! A Team Attack with two high-rank characters linking in can have a “power” so high that it’s impossible to stop the VP gain!

http://www.metamaniacs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/team-attack-example-2.png

Atrocitus is chosen to defend the Attack, playing a 4 Strength Battle Card. We’ll calculate each sides “power” to determine if the Team Attack was successful! The Attacker’s side is 11: 5 from the 5 Special Battle Card, and 6 from Catwoman’s Special stat. The Defender’s side is just 10: 4 from the 4 Strength Battle Card, and 6 from Atrocitus’s Strength stat. The Defender’s “power” did not exceed the Attackers’, so the Team Attack scores a Victory Point!

Following this, the Batman’s 5 Special would be attached to Atrocitus as damage, and Atrocitus’s 4 Strength would attach to Batman, the Lead Attacker.

One of the most fun parts of any TCG is building your own decks – and MetaX is no exception!

A legal MetaX deck is made up of exactly 40 cards. There are limitations on how many copies of a card you can play – we’ve got that broken down by card type below.

Characters

Character cards include both a Title (such as “Superman”) and a subtitle (such as “Man of Steel”). They are uniquely identified by both. A deck can include up to 3 copies of any unique Character card – meaning your deck can include no more than 3 copies of Superman – Man of Steel – but can also include up to 3 copies of Superman – Kal-El and up to 3 copies of any other unique Superman cards you’d like to include. While all Characters have a Trait listed on the card (such as “Hero”), there are no deck building restrictions based on Trait or card frame color, so feel free to mix Heroes, Villains, Black Lanterns, Scout Regiment, Titans, Arkham Inmates, and more!

Characters are important for your deck’s overall strategy and smoothness of gameplay, so many decks tend to play somewhere between 12 and 16 Characters.

Events

Events are the simplest card type. Events simply have a card title – you may include up to 3 copies of any unique Event card in your deck.

Many decks play somewhere between 5 and 10 Event cards.

Battle Cards

Battle Cards follow their own uniqueness rules for deck building, and the rules are slightly different for both Single and Multi-Stat battle cards.

When constructing a deck, for each rank, you can include up to 3 Single-Stat Battle Cards in each Stat. This means your deck can include no more than 3 copies of “1 Strength” Battle Cards, mixing and matching effects. A deck that plays 3 “1 Strength” Battle Cards can also play up to 3 “1 Special” and up to 3 “1 Intelligence” Battle Cards, along with up to 3 “2 Strength” Battle Cards, etc, etc.

In addition to Single-Stat Battle Cards, for each rank, a deck may also include up to 3 copies of Multi-Stat Battle Cards at that rank, once again, mixing and matching effects. So a deck that includes 3 copies of 1 Strength/Intelligence/Special (U92-JL) may not also include any copies of 1 Strength/Intelligence (U82-AT), but would instead have to mix-and-match up to 3 copies in total. It could, however, include Multi-Stat Battle Cards at higher ranks, following the same restrictions.

Battle Cards are absolutely crucial to interacting with your opponent and winning the game, so most decks include somewhere between 14 and 22 Battle Cards.

For examples of correctly constructed decks, feel free to explore the Deck Tech and Gameplay videos across our site to see what the Maniacs are playing!

I already control “Superman“. Can I play another copy?

Yes! There is no in-play uniqueness rule to worry about. MetaX is a game where universes collide, and that means sometimes multiple versions of the same character will co-exist!

I already control 3 Characters. Can I sacrifice a Character to play a new one?

Nope – you must find a way to get rid of one of your own Characters in order to free a slot. You cannot even attempt to play a Character if you already control three! Remember that you can always throw your Characters into danger by attacking or defending with them!

I have three Characters in play, I have 0 MP, and all my Battle Cards and Events cost MP to play. What can I do?

MetaX can be a tricky game to get used to! Unlike other card games, it’s not always right to fill your board with Characters as fast as you can. Sometimes, playing conservatively can keep options open for you and allow you the opportunity to win the longer game. Likewise, building your deck with a lot of MP sponges (cards that cost more MP with bigger effects) but not enough MP gain can cause this to happen! If you lose this game, try tweaking your deck a bit, then shuffle up, and play again!

A Character I control has only one stat. Does a single Battle Card KO it?

Unless your Character has a special effect like Solomon Grundy or Towering Titan, any Battle Card will TKO your Character, as it has only one stat, and one stat will be attached to it.

My Character has a Multi-Stat Battle Card attached to it that includes all three stats. Is it instantly KO’d?

No, each Battle Card attached to your character can only count for one unique stat. Multi-Stat Battle Cards act like wild cards – they will fill in any missing stat from among those on the card to count towards a TKO.

I have a card that refers to “Basic Battle Cards“, but I don’t see any Battle Cards called Basic. What does this mean?

“Basic Battle Cards” refers to any Battle Cards with no printed effect. This includes the Single-Stat, effectless Battle Cards that come in starter decks, but also includes several Multi-Stat Battle Cards that have been printed thus far: 1 Strength/Intelligence/Special (C40-BM), 4 Strength/Intelligence/Special (U94-JL), and 7 Strength/Intelligence/Special (U99-AT).

© 2018 Metamaniacs. MetaX Trading Card Game is ™ & © 2017 Panini America, Inc.       Justice League, Green Lantern, Batman, and all related Characters and Elements are ™ & © DC Comics. Attack on Titan and all related characters and elements is ©HK/AOT. All related elements are used under fair use.