What’s New in the Wilderness Rulebook?

Greetings fellow casters and beastie humanoids! Wilderness is here and with it comes a bunch of new meta staples as well as a new rulebook – one very much overdue for the community. If you’re like me and obsess over rulings, effects and ways to exploit them, this new rulebook is a welcome addition to the reference section, clarifying and redefining a whole variety of effects and game mechanics for us, the players. If you haven ‘t gotten a copy of the New Unabridged MetaZoo Wilderness Rulebook, you can download that here.

Today, I ‘m going to be covering a few new mechanics and effects that have been added to the game or modified for clarity. As a competitive player, you know that understanding the cards you’re playing and the phases of the turn in detail are essential tools in your tournament kit and so I’m going to make sure you know what you ‘re doing. Let’s start with clarifications that have been made on the “Start of Turn” phase.


Header - Start of Turn

If you remember from my previous article, start of turn is the first phase of the turn that occurs before the active player bookmarks and awakens their pages. It comprises of a resolution of any start-of-turn effects (i.e. frozen counter reduction) which can be arranged and ordered by the active caster as well as a priority window for each caster should they wish to contract a page, as long as that page “may be contracted at any time.” You cannot contract basic spells, beasties and potions at this time but you can contract “anytime” pages such as Paralyze, Frost Shot and Dampen.

ParalyzeFrost ShotDampen

All of this should sound familiar. The start of turn is a potent time to contract things your opponent may not expect and up until now, it has had a mechanical hole I’m surprised we haven’t seen taken advantage of. Since the start of turn happens before you bookmark and awaken, technically a caster could fatigue any awakened aura pages to generate the aura before they awakened those pages for their turn, essentially ramping up their Aura resource.

You may be smacking yourself on the head and saying “why didn’t I think of that?” but you can forgo the Dobby-like masochism and relax because this is no longer an option. The rulebook now states that after Bookmarking a page from the top of your spellbook and Awakening your pages in the Arena, “any unspent aura is used” before you proceed to your main phase. So no more stacking Aura before you awaken your pages. This wasn’t something I ever saw in competitive play but it easily could’ve been a situation at the upcoming $250k tournament in Dallas, so I’m glad this has been cleared up.


Header - Combat

As you know, combat is a game mechanic that can occur multiple times in a turn and I’ve broken down in a previous article how priority passes between players during combat, with an advantage typically given to the active player (the player whose turn it is). In my priority article, I mentioned that one of the stickiest moments in combat is the priority windows in which you can “respond” to the opposing player’s actions. Until now, the final priority window for anytime actions occurred before defenders were declared, with the explanation that after defenders are declared, you move into the game mechanics of damage dealing and no further actions can be taken until after combat resolves.

This is no longer the case. There is now an official priority window after defenders have been declared, more properly allowing both players to plan their anytime spells and effects for the ideal moment where they can have the most impact. I always thought the lack of a priority window after defenders were declared was a major point of confusion for a lot of players, (especially those of us coming to MetaZoo through Magic), so I’m really happy to see this has been adjusted


Header - New Aura Type

Prism Aura

Lastly, we should touch upon the new Aura type, Special Aura. Prism Aura is certainly the chase card of the set. A card which generates one Aura of any type is what we’ve all been waiting for – finally, we can build multicolor spellbooks without having to worry so much about our Aura balance… but what Aura type is a page which can generate every Aura type?

What’s important to know is that Prism Aura is not a neutral page but is in fact it’s own Aura type, Special Aura, which has no strengths or weaknesses to the other Aura types. This comes as a great disappointment to all those Gaasyendietha players out there who thought for a minute that they’d be contracting Bookmark and New Beginnings every turn. Sorry guys, I feel your pain, but we can’t just hand Flame players all the power quite yet. We must sadly accept that we will never get a Neutral Aura page because it would break the game. But we can dream.

That’s all for today folks! I hope this helps you prep your brain for the next tournament and I wish you all luck on qualifying to compete in Dallas at the end of May. It’s going to be wild. If you have any further questions on Wilderness or MetaZoo in general, come find me on Instagram @metabroz – I ‘m always happy to help!

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