I’m going to level with you and admit that right now, when I sit down to play some Ranked games in Hearthstone’s latest expansion, I have absolutely zero clue what to expect. The Boomsday Project has delivered a slew of oppressively powerful combos, new aggro options, Mecha’thun OTKs, and broken control decks, making it often difficult to tell what you’re facing each time you encounter a new opponent. In a way, it’s exciting: variety in the metagame is always good, and if multiple decks are broken, well, that kinda makes for a level playing field. Here are a few of the most exciting decks from the set so far:
Deck code: AAECAaIHArIC7QUOtAH7AfYEmwWIB90IhgmBwgLrwgLc0QLb4wKm8AKo9wL1gAMA
I’ve played versions of most decks on this list, but I haven’t had as much fun with any of them as I’ve had with J4ckiechan’s Academic Espionage-based Rogue deck. The gameplan? Shuffle a bunch of OP stuff into your deck with Fal’dorei Strider, Augmented Elekk, and Academic Espionage, then draw it with cards like Sprint, Elven Minstrel, and Witchwood Piper, which will often pluck out powerful minions that have been reduced to 1 Mana by Academic Espionage. It’s hard to tell whether an optimized version of this thing will actually have a place in the metagame (I’ve had a bit of trouble against aggro), but boy does it feel great to play.
Alternatively: If you want something a little more aggressive and consistent, try a Deathrattle deck like this one from Blinkblink (AAECAaIHBK8EnOICoIAD0YEDDbQBjALtAtQF3QiBwgKrwgLrwgKL4QLb4wK09gLe+gLs/AIA), which can overwhelm the opponent with strong Deathrattle triggers in the early turns.
Deck code: AAECAa0GBu0FpQmdxwLc9QLx+wKIggMM+wHlBPYH0gryDPsM0cEC2MECns4C8M8C6NACvfMCAA==
If you lived through the days of Priest before the Raza nerfs, you will remember how horrifying the class can be when it has access to broken mechanics. But something about the Priest’s Mecha’thun deck, which can guarantee a win on turn 10 if it amasses all its combo pieces, feels downright wrong. The setup is simple enough: With an otherwise empty hand, you play Reckless Experimenter, then follow it up with a Coffin Crasher and two Ticking Abominations. The Coffin Crasher dies at the end of the turn, summoning Mecha’thun from your hand, then the Ticking Abominations go off and kill your big robot boy. What’s crazy about this deck, though, is you’re guaranteed to draw the combo once you play Hemet, Jungle Hunter, which destroys all the lower-cost cards in your deck.
Alternatively: If you’re looking to try something similarly broken, but won’t put your dignity on the line, try out Kolento’s Combo Boar Priest (AAECAa0GBIoBiAXtBdEKDfsB5QTRwQLSwQLYwQLwzwLo0AKp4gKm8AKC9wKh/gLQ/gLxgAMA). As we’ve seen from even the most seasoned pros, it’s extremely difficult to play correctly, but once you do, there’s nothing quite like playing dozens of cards in a single turn and ending up with a 100-Attack Stonetusk Boar for your troubles.
Deck code: AAECAQcK0gKGzQKOzgLCzgL2zwKf0wLK5wL95wK49gKS+AIKS6IEkQb/B8zNAurnApvzAvT1Avv+AouAAwA=
Recruit Warrior has always been a promising archetype, but this expansion gave the deck a potent new tool in the form of the Legendary spell The Boomship, which for 9 Mana summons three minions from your hand and gives them all Rush. Paired with Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, this deck provides potent comeback mechanics to make up for its potentially weak early turns, and even runs the apparently-underrated Bull Dozer, a nine-Mana 9/7 Mech with Divine Shield that’s actually really strong when it has Rush.
Alternatively: If you want a more traditional, control-focused Warrior deck, try out Gaara’s Odd Warrior (AAECAQcMogLQAqoG+QzRwwLTxQKixwKO+AKS+AKe+ALi+AKe+wIJS6IE/AT/B/sMm8ICyucCg/sCs/wCAA==). It’s dead in the water against most Mecha’thun decks, but Tank Up is still a damn good hero power if you want to play the long game.
Deck code: AAECAR8G+wbTzQKG0wLL7AKA8wKggAMMjQH7AZcIq8IC2MICnM0C3dICi+EC4eMC7/UCtPYCufgCAA==
The Boomsday Project brings Deathrattle Hunter some impressive new tools that elevate the archetype from “get big minions for cheap” to a version that has some flexibility. Spider Bombs give you triggerable removal that can also combine with Zilliax for a clutch Lifesteal, while Fireworks Tech brings another Deathrattle trigger along with a pretty good buff. Deathstalker Rexxar gives the deck necessary late-game fuel if it starts running out of sick combos. Kolento’s version of the deck is a little greedier, running Prince Keleseth and Abominable Bowman to get even bigger bodies on the board.
Alternatively: Bomb Hunter (AAECAR8EycIChtMC4fUCoIADDfsB2QfTzQLh4wLg9QLi9QK5+ALi+AKY+wKo+wK8/AL2/QKJgAMA) is a more Boomsday-flavored Hunter deck which uses Mech synergies and Goblin Bombs to carpet the opponent’s face. It’s not very strong to be honest, but can win if you pump out enough early aggression. It’s also not that expensive to craft (although I wouldn’t suggest making a Boommaster Flark if you don’t already own one).
Deck code: AAECAZICBrQDxQTCzgKZ0wKb6AL1/AIMQF/pAdMD5AigzQKHzgKY0gKe0gLb0wK/8gLi+AIA
Before this expansion dropped, everyone figured Druid would be the most powerful class, and while the others have caught up a bit in the arms race, Druid still has all the the tools to destroy just about any strategy deployed against it. Chief among those is Malygos in this deck, which teams up with Dreampetal Florist and deadly copycats like Prince Taldaram and Flobbidinous Floop to set up massive-damage swing turns. With great defensive options in the form of the still-busted Speading Plague, and some of the best card draw in the game, the only thing a deck like this loses to is, well, other combo decks.
Alternatively: If you want a slightly more convoluted win condition, try this roided-out Boomsday Togwaggle Druid (AAECAZICBvIFmdMC/esCmu4C4vgC5PsCDEBf6QHEBuQIoM0Ch84CmNICntIC29MCv/ICj/YCAA==) from Tylerootd, which mills your own deck and then switches it with the opponent’s--the game plan has a bit more resilience against other combos.
Deck code: AAECAf0GCqIC7QXbBswIrs0Cl9MC6OcCv/ECp/cCnPgCCooBtgfECOfLAvHQAvLQAojSAtjlAuL4AoCKAwA=
If control beats aggro and combo decks beat control, it stands to reason that a control deck that counters multiple combos should be pretty damn good. If you’re tired of getting destroyed by Mecha’thun or Malygos-oriented OTK’s, try out Stancifka’s Control Warlock, which runs both Demonic Project and Gnomeferatu, giving you the power to completely destroy certain matchups. With the ability to turn a minion in each player’s hand to a random Demon, it’s an instant death knell for certain decks that rely on specific minion combinations. On top of that, Warlock still has some of the best board-clearing spells in the game, along with healing to survive the onslaught of aggressive decks.
Alternatively: If you’re not about that control life and want to climb the ladder fast, try out a good old Zoo deck like this one from RDU (AAECAf0GBPIFnOIC7/ECj4IDDTCEAfcEzgfCCPcMm8sCn84C8tAC0eECh+gC9PcC0/gCAA==), which runs cards like The Soularium, Soul Infusion, and Doubling Imp to beef up the already-powerful Heal Zoo archetype.
Deck code: AAECAf0ECLQDxQTtBewHuAib0wLu9gLG+AILigG7ApUDqwTLBOYElgWYxAKWxwKV/wK5/wIA
Druid gets a card that discounts a single minion by seven Mana, sure, but Mage gets Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, which discounts every minion in the deck down to just 1 Mana. Along with Luna Stargazer, which draws a card every time you play the right-most card in your hand, Thijs’ Malygos Mage has the potential to chain-draw card combos that can seal wins in the late game while controlling the board in the early stages. The best part? With potent finishing tools like Frost Lich Jaina, Archmage Antonidas, and Alexstrasza, it’s easy to tailor your win condition to whatever best fits the situation at hand. Whether you want to grind elementals, set up Fireball chains with Antonidas, or blast the opponent out of the water with Spell Power, there’s an option for that in this deck.
Alternatively: If you want something a little faster, try Apxvoid’s Tempo Mage (AAECAf0EBHGi0wLu9gLvgAMNuwKVA6sEtATmBJYF7AXBwQKYxAKP0wL77AKV/wK5/wIA), which runs Secrets and Aluneth to burn the enemy out as quickly as possible.
Deck code: AAECAZ8FAqcFnvgCDkb1BYPHArjHAuPLAtHhAtblArXmAv3qAqX1AuL4Avb9Atb+AsyBAwA=
As an unassuming 1-Mana 1/3 Mech, Glow-Tron is one of the most unassuming cards of the Boomsday expansion, at least to someone unfamiliar with past metas. Now, it’s a centerpiece of Paladin’s powerful new Odd deck, Matixo’s Mech Odd Paladin, which keeps constant pressure on the board via quick Silver Hand Recruit swarms and strong buffs from cards like Fungalmancer, Wargear, and Level Up. Mechs and the Magnetic keyword have given the archetype new life by offering a convenient choice between buff and swarm options.
Alternatively: If you don’t have Baku the Mooneater or are just looking for a change of pace, you could play the new version of Even Paladin (AAECAZ8FBM30AsvsArfpArnBAg3RgAPh/gKR+wKbywKzwQKWCfYHrwfPBvQF 3AOZAvsBAA==), a deck that uses even-costed Mechs like Annoy-o-Module, Upgradeable Framebot, and Coppertail Imposter instead of the ones featured in the odd variant.
Deck code: AAECAaoIBOvPAqH4Aur6Apj7Ag3wB5MJkcEC68ICm8sC+9MC0eEC4vgCvPwC9v0CiYADjIADzIEDAA==
In creating this list, I’ve discovered that I really enjoy decks that give you powerful options with a heavy dose of RNG. Back when Evolve was in Standard and Evolve Shaman was a top-tier deck, I loved the idea of flipping a dinky board into a massive one, and Boomsday is making that a possibility again thanks to cards like The Storm Bringer, which turns all your minions into random Legendaries, and strong token-producing cards like Thunderhead, Giggling Inventor, Explodinator, and Microtech Controller, which are all new to this expansion. Noko’s Token Shaman might not have the Doppleganster/Evolve combo that made the original iteration so popular, but it’s got more ways to swarm the board and a Bloodlust win condition that tends to land surprisingly frequently.
Alternatively: Weghuz’ new build of Even Shaman (AAECAaoIBs30AqfuAsLOAvPCApkCIAyTgAOP+wL28AKU7wLL7AKbywKswgKx CPAH2QfTAb0BAA==) is currently a top-tier deck on ladder due to its consistent board pressure and midrange value, which is often good against Zoo decks that are currently wreaking havoc in Ranked mode.