Welcome, folks, to our first installment of Pulse of the Meta – a periodic article series where we check in with the MetaX community to bring you not just what we at MetaManiacs think, but give you some insight into what the larger community thinks and how the wider playerbase responds to questions about the MetaX TCG!
Each time we prep for one of these articles, we’ll be posing a community question on our Facebook page, so make sure you are following us there to see when a new question goes up! We’ll try and vary who we are choosing answers from each time, so if yours didn’t get picked for a particular question, just try again next time! We value all the feedback we get but we simply pick and choose answers based on providing as wide a scope as possible to answer the question.
With all that said, our first Pulse of the Meta began with a simple, but fun question: Which MetaX TCG card is your favorite?
Feel free to add your own thoughts to the thread above, or scroll down to hear what others had to say, and some of our own thoughts on their great choices!
Let’s kick this off with an awesome choice that may not have immediately jumped to your mind! MetaXshop (who also run, as you might have guessed, a MetaX TCG singles shop) answered with 1 Strength/Intelligence/Special (U92-JL). U92-JL is a Battle Card that can single-handedly give you all the fuel you need to finish a game on its own. As MetaXshop alludes to, if you are able to keep connecting with it, you can keep on returning it to your hand, perfectly punishing an opponent who is unable to (or chooses not to) defend against it. Each time you do so, it effectively nets you +1 card, and not just any card, but a Battle Card that can continue to +1 your hand. As many experienced players know, having a stream of Battle Cards in the late game is often the difference between ending a game with a W, or attritioning out and losing.
When paired with cards like Power Corrupts, Batman – Dark Knight, or Mr. Freeze – King of Cold, you can directly force these attacks through to ensure you get the card’s value. Alternatively, attacking simultaneously with other high-priority defendables like 1 Intelligence (C41-GL) or 7 Special (R139-JL) can put your opponent between a rock and a hard place if they can only defend one, and any time you can force your opponent to make difficult decisions like that, you open a door for yourself to gain an advantage in the game.
While it faces stiff competition in card slots from the popular 1 Strength/Intelligence (U82-AT / U86-BM), U92-JL, in the right circumstances, can keep Battle Cards flowing better than most straight card-draw effects, which tend to be highly popular. Always keep it in mind for your builds because it can play a very key role in winning games!
Next up, we have a great choice by Chris Lambkin, also known as the guy who graciously volunteered his time to run both the first MetaX TCG OCTGN League Tournament and the currently ongoing MXOLT III. Chris picked out one of the most popular rares from Green Lantern – Green Arrow – Hand of Death.
Chris cites the options that Green Arrow gives you as one of the main reasons for his choice, and I can’t disagree. While I think the majority of the time he is played it is for the KO option, the ability to pick “Discard” when you need to keep board presence, or when your opponent’s hand is already low and their choice is going to be tough (once again, forcing the opponent into tough decisions the highway to game advantage!), can prove critical to securing a game.
One of the keys to Green Arrow is building him into a deck that, like Chris mentions, can really benefit from his seemingly symmetrical choices. If your deck is running Characters that can return from being KO’d like Female Titan, or draw you cards when they are KO’d like Atrocitus – Survivor, then you are setting yourself up to turn a simple trade into a landslide in your favor. Likewise, playing him in a deck that utilizes cards in the discard pile like one with Starfire – Koriand’r, Cat and Bat, or Cunning Plot can give you benefit in the Discard mode as well. And, of course, let’s not forget how perfectly he sets up the powerful Black Lantern event The Darkness Grows!
I expect Green Arrow to be a fan-favorite for a long time because he’s potent control of multiple varieties and he can glue together so many different decks. It helps that he’s a Black Lantern as well, which is a trait with a definite “cool factor”.
MetaXstreamist Bryan “Kadjaft” Mardling threw in his two Australian pennies as well, stating that his current fave was Card Burst because it helped him burst through a deck building wall with a Starfire-centric deck recently.
While not every metagame is experiencing the wave of 2 Intelligence (C42-GL) like the meta down under is, Card Burst is still an exceptional card to get things moving in a deck that needs to dig to certain cards, and also wants certain cards in the discard pile. Like its older brother Burst of Power, for 2 MP you are able to swap out any number of cards in hand for new cards in deck. While Burst of Power is best applied in decks that prefers to save certain cards for later in the game (or preserve its deck size against Mill decks), Card Burst has a definite edge when your deck needs discard access. This includes Starfire-abusing decks, and it also includes decks with character recursion like Cunning Plot, or decks that seek to make a toolbox of Battle Cards in the discard pile to access with Joke’s On You or Coming Storm. And there are whole traits that have plenty to gain from Card Burst such as Black Lanterns, GCPD, and of course Arkham Inmates.
Card Burst definitely fills a unique niche in the game, and while other cards have similar effects that can actually grow your hand size when it is low, such as Ingenuity and Captain Levi – Juggernaut, only it and Burst of Power give you massive control over your hand’s contents when your hand is decently large. Consider pairing with a deck that draws enough to be able to make significant hand alterations in the mid to late game. Just be careful not to Mill yourself out!
Russ Park went with the sophomore act of Ra’s Al Ghul as his favorite card, and it’s hard to argue with such a versatile and potent choice. This card is clearly what guest writer Alex Truell would classify as a Champion, the Character you want slamming into the Battle Zone turn after turn, which makes it easy to rally around him when you see him winning you games!
Ra’s can both be built around, and easily slot himself into Rogues decks with an Intelligence slant, or many other decks with a tweak to the Battle Card selection. His effect is punishing for decks that are all-in on low-rank, effect-focused Battle Cards, as many of those decks will find themselves completely unable to block him. Even if the opposing deck has such BCs in its list, once you know which ranks those are, pairing him with effects like 6 Strength (R136-JL) and Mr. Freeze – King of Cold gives you ways to shut down specific blockers and potentially make him unblockable anyway. Regardless, though, his “hard to block” effect essentially adds value to every Intelligence BC in your deck, making already strong cards like 2 Intelligence (C38-JL) that much better.
Fortunately, if a meta develops where Ra’s is king, there are a couple of easy things players can do to help keep him at bay. First, and most obviously, diversifying Battle Cards to include higher rank options can give you basic outs – remember that any Rank 7 BC will take him down! But secondly, his rank 7 Intelligence may give him access to any Int Battle Card, but it also is his Achilles Heel, making him vulnerable to Rank 7 hate cards like Mister Freeze – Victor Fries, and…
…our final choice of the article, Wonder Woman – Amazon Princess chosen by player and blog-writer Tommy Andre. While many Push effects are generally considered on the weaker end, Wonder Woman has long been an exception to that, proving a massive thorn in the sides of any Rank 7 focused decks. She sports a fantastic statline, with a Stat Sum of a respectable 16 (in other words, there are 16 different Rank/Single-Stat combinations that she is capable of playing), two max-6s, and she avoids being both Max Rank 5 and Max Rank 7, which are the Max Ranks that face the most hate-cards!
Tommy is spot on with his choice here, as it is very easy to slip Wonder Woman into many different deck lists that are concerned about particular Rank 7 decks. It’s also worth noting that her effect doesn’t target “Max Rank 7 Characters”, but simply “Rank 7 Characters”, meaning she can also take down Eren Jaeger – Mysterious Titan if given the chance! But best of all, while the card discard feels like a completely worthwhile trade for a character KO in most decks, you can take it even further by including it in a deck with Vixen – Mari McCabe and similar effects to remove the drawback, or even net advantage from its use. The compounding value is sure to bury your opponent, and will easily turn Wonder Woman into your favorite card as well!
That’s all for our inaugural checking of the Pulse of the Meta, and I hope you took away a new idea or two from seeing some of the favorite cards of other players in the community! If you’d like to see your ideas featured in our next article in the series, make sure to like and follow MetaManiacs on Facebook so you don’t miss when we post our next communal question!
Until then, keep the Meta in your heart beating strong!