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Top 10 Nightfall Cards for MetaZoo

Happy Holidays MetaZoo players! It is I, Moldy Claus and I come bearing gifts, tips and good tidings. Today’s article will sum up what I think are the top 10 Nightfall cards – and what a set it is! The Metazoologists have truly outdone themselves. It’s looking like they may have successfully fixed a meta largely dominated by Quetz’s, Dingbelles and Gumberoos and they’ve introduced a couple new cards with effects that boldly change the pace of gameplay. Let’s get into it.

 

 

Header - 10. Borne From the Earth

Borne From The Earth

This is one of those cards that will see so much competitive play that it’s already being abbreviated to “BFTE”.” Price is right at one neutral aura and it allows you and your opponent to search your spellbook for a Terra page and contract it immediately, instantly boosting each of your beasties and raising the power levels on both sides of the Arena. Terra bonuses are typically damage and LP bonuses that activate once a certain Terra page hits the arena.

Normally, I wouldn’t top 10 a card that helps your opponent so much, but in this case it’s worth it because BFTE goes on to say, “the next beastie you contract this turn costs one less Aura for each Terra bonus active in the Arena.” Okay, so you fetch a Terra from your spellbook and as long as you’re holding a beastie who gets a bonus from that Terra, BFTE will pay itself off! That’s usually how it works out and with that effect, you’ll usually be happy about it. However, if you’re holding a beastie with more than one Terra bonus active after contracting BFTE, it will cost that many less Aura. Bonus points! Don’t count on that always happening but when it does, enjoy it.

I usually only run one in my spellbook and it does the job. Like most tutors, BFTE allows you to run less Terra in your spellbook (since you’re not relying on top-decking), leaving room for more beasties and spells.

 

Header - 9. Jack-O-Lantern Bomb

Jack-O-Lantern Bomb

Is Fireball not enough for you? Do you lay awake at night wishing you had a flame spell powerful enough to blow away the Jersey Devil in one shot? Well, you can now rest soundly knowing that MetaZoo has made your wish come true. Merry Christmas, it’s Jack-O-Lantern Bomb!

75 Damage and Burn for three aura is a major upgrade for flame spells but be warned… it only deals this damage to Pages. You cannot send a Jack-O-Lantern Bomb at your opponent’s face, as much as you may want to, but this card does plenty of work as is.

The bomb also has an alternate cost of one Flame aura if you happen to have a Beastie in the Arena with “Headless” in its name, but will deal only 50 damage if you contract it this way. The list of beasties who give you access to this cost might be a bit longer than you think, including the following: Headless Horseman (NF), Headless Horseman (Halloween Promo), Headless Annie (NF Release Event Deck Leader), Headless Coal Miner (NF) and Headless Nun (NF). Light ’em up my friends.

 

Header - 8. Grim Reaper

Grim Reaper

For those of you who caught my IG video on Grim, I admit, I was a little harsh, but come on people. The idea that I need nine Dark Aura pages in the arena to contract this force of destruction was (and still is a bit) beyond me. I only run 10 to 12 Dark Aura pages in my entire spellbook and I have never had nine of them in the Arena at once. Therefore, I have never contracted Grim Reaper. I cannot tell a lie… but, if I had contracted Grim Reaper, I’m 99 percent sure I would’ve won that game. And that’s the thing that has worked to soften my heart a little bit towards ye olde Death.

In that rare case that he actually makes it into the Arena, Grim Reaper has been designed to be somewhat unstoppable. I’ve seen a bit of confusion over this so allow me to break it down for you. As you read Grim’s effects you will see the following, “This page cannot be affected by other pages.” That’s affect, with an “a”, ya hear? That means what it says – no page can affect Grim Reaper. It cannot be destroyed, damaged, effect-ed, inflicted, targeted, etc.

Once Grim has been contracted, the only course of action is to Flood the Earth (a wipe who’s effect cannot be prevented — giving it priority over Grim’s effect, very importantly) or in most cases, to block his attacks. Block like your LP depends on it. Each beastie you throw in front of an attacking Grim will buy you one more turn to live and potentially deal enough damage to steal the game out from under your opponent… but let that damage through and if you’re like me, you’ll sweat profusely while you’re opponent gets to roll a dice and likely force you to lose the game. It’s the most powerful beastie in MetaZoo, no one can argue that and so it’s made the list but it’s almost impossible to pay the cost, so build wisely friends.

 

Header - 7. Absorb Aura

Absorb Aura

Ah, balance in the Force. I think everyone who’s played Cryptid Nation has watched a game suddenly become very one-sided because of the zero-cost, resource-generating Aurafacts and so MetaZoo developed a card to help mitigate this unfair advantage. Until now, whoever had more Aurafacts in the early game was very likely going to win, simply due to resource advantage. Absorb Aura costs zero aura, destroys any zero-cost Artifact, allows you to Bookmark 1 and generates an aura of the same type as the destroyed page.

Competitive players will be running Absorb Aura in every tournament spellbook or sidedeck, as we will be seeing a lot of Aurafacts in tournament play and the effects of Absorb Aura turn those tables beautifully. Not only will this page kick the leg out from under your opponents, lessening their precious Aura ramp, it can also be used to destroy your own Aurafacts for a Bookmark and one extra Aura in a pinch. Fatigue Blood Ruby for two Dark aura then cast Absorb Aura for free, bookmarking 1 and generating a third Dark Aura for yourself. A tech card if I’ve ever seen one, and one of the best in the set.

 

Header - 6. Witch's Lightning

Witch's Lightning

Dingbelles beware. As if Lightning needed any help, here’s one of the most efficient removal spells in the game. For one Lightning Aura, you can dole out 20 damage to three different pages. Three targets for one is what we call “omg, worth it” in competitive TCGs. Goodbye Token Beasties, Fearsome Critters and troublesome Spirit pages (eh hem, Feu Follet). If your opponent happens to be playing a lot of Water pages, that 20 damage will be increased to 40 per target due to the Aura Type Advantage that Lightning has over Water. The minor downside is that you can’t stack this damage on the same target but I’ll just say it again; one Lightning Aura, three targets, 20 damage. Boom shakalaka.

 

Header - 5. Grafton Monster

Grafton Monster

So, I’ve nicknamed this card The Budget Grim and I firmly stand by that moniker. With an Aura Cost of six and no depressing limiters placed on the contracting process (unlike Grim, Aurafacts and cost reduction are fair game with Grafton), I’ve been lucky enough to get this beast out on turn two and it is incredibly hard to deal with.

Like Grim, though not quite as powerful, Grafton cannot be affected by non-beastie pages and cannot have status effect indicators placed upon it, making him quite durable. Can’t be paralyzed, sleep-ed, confused, or any of that nonsense. Grafton also must be the target of all attacks while in the Arena and will counterattack for 50 to 90 damage depending on your Terra bonuses, meaning he tends to eliminate the opposing beasties one by one until only he remains. And with that Aura Type Advantage over Lightning, Grafton deals an extra 20 damage to Lightning pages. Quetz no likey. Trust me, when it comes to mid-game beasties, there’s not much better than the Budget Grim Reaper. You’ll see what I mean next time you contract him. Just cross your fingers that your opponents don’t Flood The Earth.

 

Header - 4. Adam Ackler

Adam Ackler

Right off the bat, I want to point out that I had some major internal debate about placing Adam higher than Grafton on this list because as I stated before, Grafton is one of the hardest cards to deal with in the game… but Adam takes the cake when it comes to versatility. I wouldn’t call him a game-ender, but like Snallygaster, Adam is one of the few Neutral Aura Beastie Pages in all of MetaZoo, allowing him to be included in every spellbook, no matter the Aura type.

When you contract Adam, you will have to choose Dark or Light Aura type for him while he’s in the Arena and those will give you two very different play styles. Dark Adam will deal an extra +20 damage with his Sublimation attack and will also get an additional +25 damage Terra bonus from the Nighttime Terra (bringing his total damage up to 95) whereas Light Aura type will grant a +25 LP Terra bonus from Daytime and allow target page or Caster to recover 20 LP each time Adam attacks. Keep in mind you won’t be able to access both Terra bonuses on Adam at once, no matter how tricksy you get. The Terra bonuses are decided only when you contract him and cannot be changed unless he is contracted again. His attack, however, will change with his Aura type so if you contract a Dark Adam but later decide you need to recover some LP, Chaos Potion will do the trick, but only for a turn. In sum, Adam is reliable, versatile, easy to contract and gives you options. Try ’em both and let me know which Adam you prefer… Dark or Light?

 

Header - 3. Indrid Cold

Indrid Cold

My most anticipated Beastie of the Nightfall release, Indrid may be a tad expensive at six Dark Aura but trust me, he doesn’t disappoint.

When Indrid is contracted, you get to return up to two Dark Beasties with an Aura cost of two or less from your Limbo to the Arena, awakened, and while he’s in the Arena, Dark Beasties gain Immortal (meaning they will remain in the Arena even if their LP is reduced to zero). That’s a three-for-one as long as you have some beasties in your Limbo, plus immortal. Considering that Dark Aura type encourages an aggressive play style and has a number of excellent Beasties at two Aura cost or below (Cabbagetown Tunnel Monster, Bunny Man, Chupacabra, Hopkinsville Goblin, etc.), by the time you contract Indrid you’ll very likely have some Beasties waiting in Limbo for a second shot at glory.

Let’s not get carried away though; Indrid comes with a couple downsides. First off, if you don’t have any Dark beasties in Limbo, he’s not nearly as valuable for obvious reasons; the three-for-one becomes a one-for-one. Second, he makes all Dark beasties gain immortal. That includes your opponents’, so beware a Dark against Dark mirror match when you’re playing Indrid. You might just end up complicating your path to glory… but as with many cards in the Nightfall release, MetaZoo maintains balance. Indrid’s attack will take control of any Dark Beastie it targets, so should you find yourself in that mirror matchup, make sure you keep Indrid safe and with each attack your Army of Darkness grows. Pun intended; gimme some sugar.

 

Header - 2. Flood the Earth

Flood The Earth

The penultimate wipe and options! I mean, wow. It’s one thing to have a card that destroys all non-Aura pages and cannot be prevented, it’s another thing to allow two per spellbook with an alternate cost and alternate effect.

For now, I’d like to focus on the cannot be prevented part of the effects. That innocent little phrase means much more than you may think. Cannot be prevented doesn’t just refer to counterspell effects like Dampen or Reflection, it also refers to cannot be affected pages like Grafton Monster and Grim Reaper. That’s right folks, it’s a Grim killer. Why? In MetaZoo, cannot be prevented is an effect that takes priority over other static page effects. They really mean it literally – nothing can stop the flood.

Now, let’s talk about the icing on the cake – the alternate cost and effect. Flood the Earth isn’t just a wipe. If you don’t currently need a wipe or maybe you don’t have the five Water Aura required to contract it, you may instead contract Flood for one Water Aura and Bookmark 1 as the effect. This won’t win you the match but considering you’re only allowed to use the wipe effect once per game and you’re permitted to have two in a spellbook, the option to “cycle” it for a Bookmark is a great option and only works to make this a more playable card. Bonus tip: let Frogman cast Flood The Earth for you and he will be the one who is unable to cast any other non-Aura pages this turn, not you. See how that works? Tricksy little hobbitses.

 

Header - 1. New Beginnings

I said I was going to talk about cards that were changing the pace of the game and so I will. BFTE gives you Terra, Flood the Earth floods… the earth, and New Beginnings gives you and your opponent a new chapter’s worth of ammo so you can have a Matrix-style action sequence in the middle of your MetaZoo game. I’m only half kidding.

This spell is insane. I’ve had New Beginnings in my starting hand of a number of games now and it’s cruelly powerful in this scenario. Let’s say you bookmarked seven pages to start the game but you don’t feel confident in your hand, mulligan right? Okay, reshuffle and bookmark six pages this time but it still isn’t thrilling you. You mulligan again, now down to five pages, putting you at a major disadvantage to your opponents. You would consider risking another mulligan but before you do, you notice that one of those five pages is an Aura page and one of them is New Beginnings. You now have the option to say “I’ll keep”, and then on your first turn, cast New Beginnings, shuffling the three remaining pages back into your spellbook and bookmarking seven new pages. A fresh hand. Your opponent will do the same, only they might not be so thrilled about it.

Shuffling a good chapter back into the spellbook and drawing seven new pages is a potential disaster and I’ve won the game purely based on forcing my opponent to reshuffle and draw a garbage hand that has no Aura or low cost Beasties. Besides potentially ending a game on the first turn, New Beginnings is also useful when you have no cards left in your chapter. For one Neutral Aura, you get to bookmark seven pages and reload for future turns. Your opponent will do the same, so be wary, but if you’ve constructed a proper spellbook, chances are it’ll be worth the risk, especially if you’ve noticed your opponent saving a couple pages for the right scenario.

I don’t need to tell you that bookmarking seven is about as much of a game-changer as you can hope for at one Neutral Aura cost and so I include one in every spellbook I build. Each caster is only allowed one New Beginnings per deck, so in most games, each player will get to reload their chapter twice. There’s only one situation I wouldn’t play New Beginnings in, and that would be a game in which I have established control over the Arena and am inevitably headed towards a win. If you’ve already won the game, don’t give your opponents a fresh hand of options… but otherwise, enjoy the rush! 


To wrap things up, Nightfall is a major step up for MetaZoo in a variety of ways. Almost every Aura type received an overhaul and I can’t wait to see who rises to the top in tournament play over the course of 2022. It’s an exciting time to be a competitive MetaZoo player so get out there with your best spellbooks and, to quote the illustrious Rick and Morty, “SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT!”

As always, thanks for reading and if you have any questions, come find me on IG @Metabroz – I’m happy to help!

❤️🧪-Moldy

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