A guide to buying product for a new – or growing – MetaX TCG Collection.
(Last updated 9/21/2018)
With the release of Batman, the MetaX TCG has grown to the point where, on the one hand, the strategic options and card choices are deep and fascinating, resulting in a wide variety of gameplay options – but on the other hand, there are four sets of product to wade through, which can make jumping in a more daunting experience. The goal of our buyers guide will always be to help you find the products that will give you the best bang for your buck, to make jumping in as easy as possible and let you get the most value out of your hard-earned cash.
Before we jump into that, though – it’s worth mentioning that one of the best aspects of MetaX is that you don’t need everything from every set in order to play, compete, and enjoy the game. In fact, if you have a favorite license out of those currently in the game, you build functional and solid decks using only cards from that set. Of course, you may find that certain cards in Justice League provide a great strategic advantage to your Attack on Titan themed deck, but the cards have been developed to not make mixing and matching a requirement if it’s not something you want to do. So, the golden rule of the Buyers Guide – if you like a particular theme the best, buy cards from that set!
With all that said, let’s begin by looking at the Starter Decks available, before moving on to the Booster Packs.
To date, there are two different Starter Deck releases available, listed by release below. Starter Decks are not required to play MetaX. While they feature many cards with unique artwork compared to their booster counterparts, the only cards that are functionally unique to Starter Decks are the set of Single-Stat Basic Battle Cards – which, outside of a couple of very specific deck builds, are not typically used in constructed MetaX decks.
However, we do recommend picking up a Starter Deck as an early purchase, because doing so will get you playing right away without having to build a deck of your own, as well as giving you a solid starting point to start building off of for your first deck. Read on to see the differences between the two currently available Starter Decks.
The Justice League Starter Decks (MSRP $14.99 USD) contain 50 cards each – a 40 card blind, preconstructed deck, and 10 foil cards. There are four different decks you can get – roughly themed to Villains, Super family, Bat family, and JLA. The 10 foil cards you receive in addition to your deck will be cards randomly picked from the deck you receive.
These decks are ideal for the fan getting into the game who really enjoys the DC Universe. They fit thematically better with the cards in the various DC booster releases (Justice League, Green Lantern, and Batman), leading to easier deck tweaking with a smaller collection.
As far as the cards contained in each one, there is a great suite of powerful and useful Characters and Events in each deck, however all of the Battle Cards in each deck are the effect-less Basic Battle Cards, which simplifies learning the game, but also means the decks are significantly less powerful than a full constructed deck using Battle Cards found in booster packs.
Lastly, due to the blind-buy nature of the decks, its possible for two players to get the same deck in two different starters, which isn’t quite as much fun to play against each other as two different decks would be.
The Attack on Titan two-player Starter Deck set (MSRP $29.99 USD) made efforts to rectify many of the inconveniences of the Justice League Starter Decks. The box set contains two 40-card preconstructed decks – no blind-buy – and 20 randomized foils from the set of Starter Deck cards. The two decks are roughly themed around the Scout Regiment and the Titans.
Each deck is headlined by two copies of a Rare card (Mikasa Ackermann – Stoic and Crawling Titan – Surprisingly Quick), as well as containing two copies of a non-foil Promo card, an alternate artwork version of Captain Levi – Humanity’s Strongest Soldier. Aside from Levi, the other Characters do not use alternate art to their Booster counterparts, but all the Events and Battle Cards do feature alternate artwork.
The decks also feature a suite of non-basic Battle Cards, as well as the full set of Basic Battle Cards, meaning the gameplay between the two decks is much more exciting, and by giving you 2-of nearly every card in the decks, there’s room to tweak your decks with your Foil cards right out of the box, or with additional booster purchases. The decks are also easily combined into a single Scout Regiment themed deck to take to your local tournament.
The biggest con to these starter decks is that they aren’t as easily tweaked and combined with the many DC releases, but fans of Attack on Titan will find a lot to enjoy in these decks and can easily start branching into other Attack on Titan themes quickly with these as a starting place. Because of their better and more predictable out of the box gameplay, as well as the ability to combine them into a single, solid deck , the Attack on Titan Starter Decks are currently our recommended way to start playing the game.
As mentioned above, Starter Decks are not necessary to start playing – the budding player can get everything they need to build decks simply from buying booster packs. However, certain sets will lend better to building certain deck types than others, and some sets contain a higher amount of universally played cards than others.
Whether you are looking to start or expand your collection with booster packs, it’s worth knowing the pros and cons of each set. Check out their breakdowns below – for the TL;DR, we recommend Justice League as a first purchase due to the high amount of generically useful cards at all rarities in the set. But remember the golden rule – if you like a theme, buy that theme!
Justice League, the first MetaX set, is also the least thematically parasitic – that is, the general themes are focused on Heroes, Villains, Rank 5 Characters, and Rank 7 Characters, all of which are types of cards you will find in nearly every other set. Because of that, as well as many of the cards featuring clean and simple effects that many decks want to play, Justice League cards by frequency are the most played cards among tournament decks.
The high rarity XR (Cross-Rare: 1:24 Packs) and UR (Ultra-Rare: 1:48 Packs) chase cards continue that trend, having generic value in a lot of decks, with the URs Batman – The Caped Crusader and Superman – Last Son of Krypton finding a home in several top decks from recent tournaments. XRs Darkseid, The Joker, and Harley Quinn have all also performed well competitively, with only XR Wonder Woman having yet to find a home. As such, your chance of opening a useful chase card – or two – in a box is quite good.
The Rares in Justice League are also very potent, with tons of powerful Events and Battle Cards that many decks from all IPs want to play, so it’s a great set to start building a collection of. While later sets such as Batman continue to offer some cards as generically useful as those in Justice League, they are still also packed with trait-focused cards that don’t work a wider variety of decks. For these reasons, Justice League is still our recommended set to build your collection off of, no matter what licenses you want to build decks from.
The follow up to Justice League was Green Lantern, which took a complete 180 on set design, focusing instead on 11 (!) different Character Traits, many of which receiving only 4-5 Characters. This massive design shift meant that many traits were built very linearly in comparison – for example, an Red Lantern focused deck has 5 Characters to choose from, and several of them have effects that work off of having other Red Lanterns in your deck or simply work well together.
This means that, while there are a number of generically useful cards in Green Lantern, a player investing in the set would want to first be interested in some of the themes of the various Lantern Corps in the set, because much of a Green Lantern collection will lend towards building decks that use other cards from the set. However, that’s not to say that’s the only use of these cards – they also can be used to building interesting mixed trait builds with other sets (such as a Red Lantern/Titan deck).
For chase cards, the UR Superboy-Prime is considered to be one of the stronger cards printed, and allows decks to mix traits more readily thanks to his effect. UR Green Lantern is a definite powerhouse card in the Green Lantern traited deck, but tougher to use outside of it. XR Sinestro – Master Tactician has seen the a lot of play out of the XRs for his ability to splash into Rank 5 focused decks, and the other XRs Parallax, Batman – Reanimated, and Superman – Protector of Life have seen some play, with Superman likely being the least used.
Attack on Titan marked the game’s first foray to a non-DC property, and as such, the cards in Attack on Titan, while strong in their own right, have the least direct synergy with the other sets. That said, as Attack on Titan was designed to be able to be played on its own, it still has a host of potent generic card effects at different rarities that you may want to get your hands on – cards like Camaraderie, Triple Threat, and 3 Strength (C42-AT) can easily – and sometimes optimally – be slipped into decks focusing on DC properties.
Players who enjoy the Attack on Titan theme will find a lot of gameplay to explore here as well, with various Scout Regiment decks being possible and powerful, as well as Titan themed decks, Military Police Regiment decks, and some interesting Garrison Regiment builds. The Cadet Corps also proves an interesting faction, having some overlap with the Scout Regiment but ultimately providing an interesting splash into any of the other traits.
The chase cards in Attack on Titan are uniquely split between two traits – the Scout Regiment has both URs (Mikasa Ackermann – Battle Genius and Captain Levi – Juggernaut), while the Titans hold all four XR positions. (Colossal, Armored, Female, and Eren Jaeger). This means players looking to build a Titan deck will certainly find improvement in every box, as the Titans in the XR positions can and have all been used to great effect in different builds of Titan decks, and the more splashable UR Scouts can prove a strong addition to any deck. Of the two, Mikasa has seen the most play so far, but decks are lurking in the shadows that utilize Captain Levi to his strongest.
Set four, Batman, is regarded by many to be the best set released yet – not necessarily for sheer power, but because its design was well implemented and it manages to straddle the line of both introducing new and potent archetypes, while also supplementing and spawning new versions of older decks. As such, it makes an excellent second purchase as it will both provide new ground to build decks while giving you a host of useful cards to augment decks you are already playing with.
If you already have a set of Basics from one or more Starter Deck purchases, the Rogues Gallery, even at low rarities will offer you a great payoff for building your deck with those, making such a deck a cheap and easy way to start competing. Likewise, Bat Family, GCPD, and Arkham Inmates all provide budget friendly deck types that play completely differently and offer a solid competitive starting point as you delve into the game and learn more. And the additional support for Heroes and Villains gives anyone with a Justice League collection a lot of fun new toys to power up their decks.
Much like Green Lantern, the URs in Batman are split between the trait-focused Batman – Prepared who easily powers up any Bat Family deck, and the generically useful The Joker – Unpredictable who can give many decks a great speed boost. XR Harley Quinn – Queen of Arkham has already become a fan favorite seeing play in many decks, with XR Nightwing – Adopted Son trailing behind her in use. The last XRs, Catwoman – Burglar Extraordinaire and Robin – Carrie Kelley – are much more limited in their use, with the former requiring a Basic Battle Card focused deck, and the latter needing Rank 7 characters to play off of. It seems clear that, at this time, Harley is the best box hit, but the others need only find their place in a deck to close the gap in value.
The last point we want to cover in this guide is the age old question – should I buy packs online or from my local store, or should I look for singles?
Ultimately, that’s going to depend on how you are building your collection. The biggest advantage to Booster Packs is your chance to hit those Chase Cards, but the more cards you are looking for from a particular set, the better. For example, if you love the Green Lantern theme and want to build a variety of Lantern Corps decks, you may find purchasing a Booster Box to be worthwhile, as it will give you a ton of Rares, as well as most of the commons and uncommons and you can start building multiple decks right from that. And, if you open up either Ultra Rare in your box, you’ll find a powerful tool that you can build your deck around utilizing.
If you decide to go the singles route, you may find tracking down or purchasing all of the Rares and Chase Cards to be a bit more of a hassle and still reasonably expensive. For many players, they will not need a full set of the game, so either purchasing the specific cards you need, or purchasing boosters and trading the cards they don’t care for will be a more worthwhile endeavor. If you know exactly what cards you want, though, singles will always be the cheapest route – though we always recommend to support your local game store that stocks MetaX as much as you are able to!
Many players may, over the course of the game, take a mixed approach – if a set uses a license that really appeals to you, you may want to collect the whole set, and that may mean buying product to try to open up those chase cards. If a set releases and you don’t care as much for the IP, you may skip it entirely, or you may just purchase singles of the cards you want to integrate into your other decks. And some players may try to keep to a budget and just focus on getting sets of Commons and Uncommons in new sets – and there are a ton of great budget decks you can build as well!
Ultimately, the choice is yours, but we hope this guide helps you narrow down what purchases you want to make and how you want to build your collection.