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!
One of the most unique aspects of MetaX is how the engine utilizes the board. In most games, controlling the board with a lot of characters is a core strategic advantage. The more characters, the more actions are available to the player, and the more they can disrupt their opponent’s efforts.
MetaX turns that on its head in a number of ways. First, the board is limited to 3 slots for characters. No matter what deck you use, no matter how long you’ve held control of the game, you cannot put out more than 3 characters.
Characters are also the primary source of the game’s resource, Meta Points (MP). And, for the most part, they only generate it when played. That means regularly playing characters is important- and with only 3 slots, freeing up space regularly is important too!
Finally, characters do not inherently have an action mechanic. You need to pair a character on the board (from a previous turn) with a Battle Card from your hand to attack or defend; without that pairing, your character on the board is just taking up space.
What this amounts to is highly strategic decision-making about who to play and when to play them. Your 3 slots are a finite resource, and you need to have a plan for how a character will be used *right now* before you put anyone in them.
When considering my character line-up, I tend to think of characters playing 3 different roles, and plan how much space my board is going to allot to each role.
Identifying these roles in your own decks can help guide your plays. Figuring them out on your opponent’s board can direct your disruption efforts.
The role of a Champion is obvious: they play the battle cards and score the Victory Points (VP). Sometimes they act as your blockers too, but ideally you’re able to cover that with other characters. Champions are easy to identify because they usually have big stats and powers that synergize with attacking or help them survive. Because a character can’t attack on the same turn they’re played, Champions need to be hard to remove. They also need a steady stream of Battle Cards; when your draws don’t turn out, these are the characters left standing around doing nothing. They tend not to have Push effects, and most often have a 6+ stat.
Behind every leading role is a supporting role contributing to the cause. Supports help you further your primary goal by making other cards more effective. They often have Continuous or Push effects that enhance your attacks or disrupt your opponent. Supports seldom play Battle Cards; they’re too valuable to risk losing to damage. They’re also prime targets for removal effects – Conceal was made for these characters! A Support can clog up your board once their effect becomes unnecessary, so watch for opportunities to clear out unwanted Support with a block or an Event.
Unlike the other 2 roles, Strikers aren’t intended for long-term residence on the board. In fact, taking up space is often the balancing downside to their useful effects. Strikers are exemplified by the Play effect, though there are examples with Continuous and Push effects too. They’re ideal candidates for blocking- the bigger the damage, the better. As such, they *need* to be compatible with the majority of your Battle Cards. A Striker without an exit opportunity can leave you locked out of your board.
So how do you allocate your space to these roles? Well, 1 slot to each role is a good baseline, but strategies vary widely. The GCPD, for example, don’t have a Champion they can rely on, so they focus much more on getting immediate impact from Strikers. Decks built around Evil Parade are unlikely to see much benefit from Supports. The Titans are all about durable Champions, seldom leaving room for a Striker to flit in and out. All that is to say that I’m in no position to tell you how to use your 3 board slots. It’s a delicate balance of deck-building, deck-piloting, and in-game decision-making that will lead to the right answer. Knowing what you’re baking into your deck is the first step.
(Header image background artwork by Alayna Lemmer-Danner)