MetaZoo Collectible Card Game – A Guide to Rules, Strategy & Instructions


MetaZoo is a collectible card game (CCG) that’s a blend of strategy and folklore, featuring cryptids, magical spells, and artifacts. The game was created by Michael Waddell and it quickly gained a following due to its innovative gameplay and the charming theme of American folklore and cryptids. The cards themselves are well illustrated, each telling a story of mythical creatures and legends.

The game is set in an alternate version of America where these cryptids and magical beasts are real and interact with the players. What’s really cool about MetaZoo is that it incorporates your surroundings into the gameplay. For example, if it’s raining outside or you’re near a body of water, certain cards become more powerful. This “Fourth Wall” feature, I find, makes each game a unique experience.

MetaZoo has various sets of cards, and yes, they are still being printed. New expansions and sets are released periodically, keeping the game fresh and exciting. The community around MetaZoo is growing, with players sharing strategies, deck builds, and stories of epic battles.

Quick Tip for MetaZoo

Always be aware of your surroundings! The weather and location can give you an edge in the game, so use it to your advantage.

Rules for playing MetaZoo

Playing MetaZoo involves a few key rules. Each player starts with a deck of 40 cards, and the aim is to reduce your opponent’s life points from 4000 to 0. You can do this by summoning creatures, casting spells, and using artifacts. Each turn, you can draw a card, play a resource (called Aura), and then play Beasties, Spells, or Artifacts. You can also attack your opponent’s Beasties or directly attack them if there are no Beasties in the way.

One of the most important rules is the “Spellbook” limit. This means you can only have three copies of any card in your deck, ensuring a fair and balanced game. There’s also the “Caster” rule, which limits the number of spells you can cast per turn based on the amount of Aura you have.

Remember, the Fourth Wall effects can change the game dramatically. Cards might have different abilities if it’s day or night, or if you’re near certain elements like fire or water. This makes the game unpredictable and adds an extra layer of strategy.

Card Types for MetaZoo

MetaZoo cards are divided into several types:

  1. Beasties: These are the creatures you summon to fight for you.
  2. Spells: Magic spells that can have various effects like healing or damaging.
  3. Auras: The resources you need to summon Beasties and cast Spells.
  4. Artifacts: Items that provide ongoing effects or abilities.
  5. Traps: Cards that are activated in response to certain actions.

When you’re starting out, you might want to get a starter deck. These are pre-built decks that give you a balanced mix of cards to start playing right away.

How to Play MetaZoo and Game Mechanics

The game starts with each player drawing a hand of seven cards. You decide who goes first with a coin flip or any other method you agree on. Here’s a quick rundown of the game phases:

  1. Draw Phase: Draw a card from your deck.
  2. Resource Phase: Play an Aura card to use as a resource.
  3. Main Phase: Summon Beasties, cast Spells, set Traps, or use Artifacts.
  4. Battle Phase: Attack with your Beasties or directly if the path is clear.
  5. End Phase: Resolve any end-of-turn effects and check for any Fourth Wall effects.

The game ends when one player’s life points hit zero or if a player can’t draw a card when required to.

How to Win at MetaZoo

Winning at MetaZoo requires a mix of strategy, knowledge, and sometimes a bit of luck. As a beginner, focus on learning the different card types and how they interact. Intermediate players should start paying attention to the Fourth Wall effects and how to use them. Advanced players will want to master deck building and anticipate their opponent’s moves.

Always keep an eye on your opponent’s Aura and what resources they have available. This will give you clues about what they might be able to play. Try to control the battlefield by having more Beasties than your opponent and protect your own life points.

Best Strategies for playing MetaZoo game

One of the best strategies for playing MetaZoo involves understanding the “Caster” concept and how it interacts with the game’s “Fourth Wall” feature, which allows the real-world environment to affect gameplay. Players should familiarize themselves with the cards in their deck and how they might be influenced by their surroundings, ensuring they maximize these effects to their advantage. Deck building is also crucial; players should aim to create a balanced deck with a mix of Beasties, Spells, and Artifact cards while considering synergies between them.

Resource management is key, as players need to effectively use their Aura (the game’s resource system) to summon creatures and cast spells at the right moment. Bluffing and predicting opponents’ moves can turn the tide of the game, so staying attentive and adapting strategies on the fly are essential. Lastly, understanding the meta-game, or the most common strategies and decks currently in play, can give players an edge by allowing them to prepare counter-strategies and anticipate what they might face in competitive play.

Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Balance your deck with a mix of Beasties, Spells, and Artifacts.
  • Use the Fourth Wall to your advantage by playing cards that are boosted by your surroundings.
  • Try to anticipate your opponent’s moves and plan your turns accordingly.
  • Keep track of what cards have been played to predict what might be coming next.

And don’t forget about sneaky tactics like bluffing or setting traps that can turn the tide of the game.

Deck Building and Best Cards in MetaZoo

Building a strong deck is key to winning at MetaZoo. You want a good balance of cards that work well together and suit your playstyle. Here are some tips:

  • Include a variety of Aura types to ensure you can always play your cards.
  • Have a mix of low and high-cost Beasties to keep your options open.
  • Choose Spells and Artifacts that complement your Beasties or disrupt your opponent.

Best Cards in MetaZoo

Some of the best cards in MetaZoo include powerful Beasties like Mothman, spells like Lightning Bolt, and artifacts like Powerup Red. These cards can give you a significant advantage if used correctly.


Good scenarios in MetaZoo might include having a strong board presence with multiple Beasties or having the perfect counter to your opponent’s strategy. Bad scenarios could be running low on life points or not having the right Aura to play your cards.

To turn these scenarios to your advantage, always try to have a backup plan. If you’re in a strong position, press your advantage but be wary of overextending. If you’re in a tough spot, look for opportunities to disrupt your opponent or make a comeback with a well-timed spell or trap.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing MetaZoo game

Q: How many cards can I have in my hand?
A: You can have up to seven cards in your hand at the end of your turn.

Q: Can I play multiple Aura cards in one turn?
A: No, you can only play one Aura card per turn during the Resource Phase.

Q: What happens if I run out of cards in my deck?
A: If you can’t draw a card when required, you lose the game.

Q: Can I change my deck between games?
A: Yes, as long as it follows the Spellbook limit and has 40 cards, you can modify your deck between games.

Q: Are there any banned cards in MetaZoo?
A: Yes, there are banned cards. Always check the latest rules and banned list before playing in a tournament.

Additional Tips and Tricks

When playing MetaZoo, always be ready to adapt. The game can change quickly, and being flexible with your strategy can lead to victory. Practice makes perfect, so play as often as you can to get a feel for different card combinations and strategies. And most importantly, have fun! MetaZoo is a game that’s meant to be enjoyed with friends and fellow enthusiasts.

For those interested in the lore behind MetaZoo’s cryptids, check out this cool link about American folklore and the legends that inspire the game’s creatures: American Folklore.

MetaZoo 2023 Event Roadmap

Official 4th Wall List

MetaZoo Games (Official site)

MetaZoo Games (YouTube)