With the leak out prior to the actual release of the trailer for the Boomsday Project, most people had an basic idea about what to expect from this expansion before it was showcased. The Boomsday Project features the prominent return of Dr 7, aka Dr Boom, everyone’s favorite mad scientist genius who dominated the meta back during the release of Hearthstone’s first expansion – Goblins vs Gnomes. The Boomsday Project visits Dr. Boom’s research center in the Nether – called Boom Labs. This is where the fast flashback happens for long time Hearthstone players, as mechs, seen way back during Goblins and Gnomes, return to the game! The keyword of the expansion seemed to be “Magnetic”, allowing mechs to fuse with one another – combining their stats and effects. While everyone was a bit confused about it, considering the few mechs remaining in Standard format, Blizzard dropped a hell lot of mechs in the Boomsday Project to compensate for it. That’s where things started getting wackier.
Everyone knows how the Hearthstone meta works. For the first couple of weeks after the expansion drops, people play wacky homebrew decks, till some of the big sites prepare a report on the meta, and everyone is quick to jump on the bandwagon by netdecking their way to victory, or complaining because they don’t have enough cards for a deck that fits into the meta. However, expansions released in the past year, have had maintained quite some variety of classes on the Standard ladder. The Boomsday Project seeks to continue doing that, only that decks became more – wackier – than before. Quite some theorycrafts were built around single cards, which was estimated to have a very powerful effect, the most prominent being Mecha’thun, a mechanical version of the Old God C’Thun, which destroys your opponent when you have no cards in your deck or hand. OTK (One turn kill) decks which were based on trying to kill your opponent by rapidly drawing out your deck, and then triggering Mecha’thun’s deathrattle by killing it. Pulling off the combo is harder than it sounds, because drawing your entire deck takes time. However, with the meta settling down, Mecha’thun’s popularity has also decreased a bit. The amount of time taken to pull off the combo is insanely high, which makes the decks easy fodder for aggro as well as other control decks.
Aggro decks have gained some newfound strength with the new mechs. Paladin, especially, seems to have gained quite much, with the new one mana Glow-Tron replacing Dire Mole. The deck also includes cards like Ziliax and Wargear to utilize their magnetic potential to create huge threats during mid game. One of the most prominent issues aggressive Paladin decks suffered from was the lack of big minions to hold the line during mid and late game, and the Boomsday Project, with its army of mechs, have provided them just the answers they needed to stick to the board. Kangor’s Endless Army, the new Paladin legendary spell, have found space in a few decks utilizing the Magnetic property of the mechs to stick to the board.
The meta has also favored the rise of odd rogue, which employs both aggro and tempo flavors depending on the condition of the board. Odd rogue utilizes the power of Baku the Mooneater to upgrade her hero power to generate 2/2 daggers, which enable her to trade away minions and hit the face for an increased amount of damage. Once your opponent is down to the final stacks of health, a Leeroy Jenkins and Cold Blood combo seals their fate. A few tempo rogues have also come up, trying to wrest board control while ensuring damage to the enemy hero. One of the best tempo decks to ever exist in the Hearthstone meta was once which existed since the game was in beta – zoolock. With cards like Soul Infusion and Doubling Imp, the deck gains an infamous amount of power, and combining it with healers like Voodoo Doctor and Fungal Enchanter to ensure you never lose a lot of health. Healing isn’t the only thing the ‘healers’ do – they trigger cards like Lightwarden and Happy Ghoul, which increase in power with the healing. If you ever think you need a boost to the number of cards in your hand, the legendary spell,The Soularium, helps you draw three cards with a catch – you must discard them at the end of the turn. Considering the number of cheap cards in the deck, this is more likely not to be a hindrance, since you would be able to use all of the cards right away to gain some board, heal up, or push some damage.
OTK has become the flavor of the new expansion. You develop the board, then hold it long enough so that you can kill your opponent in one turn. The most prominent ones are Malygos rogue and Malygos druid. Malygos druid packs a lot of punch, contesting the board with their insane armor gain as well as board clears. Then summon multiple copies of Malygos using cards like Floobidinous Floop, the new Druid legendary, Faceless Manipulator and Ixlid, Fungal Lord. Add the Ysera and Lich King to that, and the deck is insanely good.
Malygos rogue summons copies of Malygos with deathrattle effects, and then destroys with damaging spells like Eviscerate. Mage makes a huge comeback with the flavor of OTK mage, but without using the legendary quest Open the Waygate. Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, the mage legendary spell reduces the cost of all minions in your deck to 1, helps you pull off the OTK with Archmage Antonidas and Sorcerer’s Apprentice much faster and easier than before. Extra draw effects in the form of Stargazer Luna as well as Arcane Intellect helps you cycle through useless cards and draw the combo faster.
If OTK is a thing, then so are wacky decks that depend upon board presence. One prominent emerging type is Deathrattle hunter, which triggers then deathrattles of friendly minions multiple times to generate a huge board early on. Cards like Spider Bomb,Devilsaur Egg and Mechanical Whelp have powerful deathrattles, which are triggered earlier on with cards like Play Dead and Terrorscale Stalker. If you’re falling short of board value, Carnivorous Cube helps you multiply the value of your deathrattles. A few prominent archetypes like Token Druid make a comeback with some new additions from the Boomsday Project like Mulchmancer and Landscaping. This increases the ferocity of the decks, as they are able to generate value and strike back after board clears faster than ever before. Tempo Mage, another prominent archetype not seen much on the ladder, has made a sudden resurgence thanks to the power of a combination of Spell Damage as well as additional draw effects. Cards like Cosmic Anomaly and Celestial Emissary help boost the damage of your spells which helps clear about the opponent’s tokens as well as do a significant damage to the opponent’s face. Stargazer Luna as well as Aluneth improves the draw capabilities of the deck, making it harder for the opponent to come back after taking a hit to their face.
Recruit warrior gets the biggest addition of all – the mighty Dr. Boom himself. In many variations of the deck, players have opted to cut out Scourgelord Garrosh for the heroic Dr. Boom, since he offers much better value once you play him. You can gain 7 armor, generate microbots to trade and clear the board, deal 3 damage or even discover a mech from the Boomsday mechs to play. All mechs gain Rush in his presence, which becomes a threat to the opponent’s board. Combine that with board clearing cards like Execute, Shield Slam and Brawl, and you get to know how hard it is to counter a recruit warrior once he starts rolling.
After a long time, Hearthstone found two potential legendaries that everyone would try to collect. The more prominent one being Ziliax, a legendary mech that has rush, divine shield and taunt, and also can fuse with other mechs with the magnetic property. He also has lifesteal, which means he gains you health whenever he attacks. Combine that with the divine shield, which means you are almost always guaranteed to gain 3 health when he enters the board. Be it a tempo deck, be it a control deck, be it an aggro deck, Ziliax has crept into a lot of different decks, and is probably the safest craft for any player who wants to play a deck from the Boomsday Project.
The second card is Whizbang the Wonderful, which grant you the power to play any of the deck recipes in the game, even if you do not have all the cards for the recipe. The only catch here is, you do not know what deck you will end up with, or what class! That’s the wonder of Whizbang. You get to experience a lot of the best decks that defined and moulded the Hearthstone meta, by spending a lot less dust than you would if you wanted to craft them. The decks are easy to counter, but if played properly, can win you games. This is a valuable cheap way for new players to discover quite a few archetypes, as they farm dust and build up their collection, piece by piece.
The Boomsday Project meta variation is a faint reminiscence of the Journey to Un’Goro meta, which was one of the first expansions to see a lot of classes having tier 1 decks (in other words, decks that have a decent winrate). The cards introduced in Boomsday not only have a strong nostalgic effect for older Hearthstone players, it also shakes up playstyles a lot, so that people don’t have to worry about facing the same decks time and again on the ladder (except zoolock, that will continue to exist till the end of time). At this point, the only thing anyone would miss is Ben Brode’s laughter, which featured prominently in all expansion trailers released till date upto the Witchwood.