• published the article Biology Project: The Symmetrical effect set to break the Hearthstone Metagame. By Justin Warden

    Biology Project: The Symmetrical effect set to break the Hearthstone Metagame

    By Justin Warden

    Symmetrical effects have always been controversial in card games. By nature, they are hard to evaluate because they provide both players with an advantage. In Magic the Gathering (the original TCG), many symmetrical effects have been either Broken, or underpowered. Take Windfall, for example; Windfall is a spell in MTG that costs 2U that forces both players to discard their hands and draw cards equal to the highest number of cards discarded to Windfall’s effect. This card seems balanced or even bad at a first glance, since both players draw an equal amount of cards, but the opposing player doesn’t have to spend any resources (mana) for the effect.


    As it turns out, however, Windfall was an insane powerhouse that was banned in its standard format. This is because, while the effect seems bad and symmetrical, it actually allowed the casting player to refill their hand for free. In an aggressive deck, Windfall allowed the aggressor to quickly fill the board and then draw back up to 5-7 cards for three mana. In addition, forcing the opponent to discard his/her hand is very powerful, as players tend to keep good hands, so the second hand drawn is generally weaker than the discarded hand.


    Unfortunately, Biology Project is also a deceptively powerful card. While it’s true that both players gain mana crystals, few classes are as well equipped in Hearthstone as the Druid class to use mana effectively. Furthermore, the Druid player doesn’t gain empty mana crystals, so Biology Project also ends up acting as an Innervate like affect, giving the caster access to even more mana on the turn it’s played.


    With Biology Project, Druid has the ability to quickly ramp into game ending spells, like Ultimate Infestation, or the new Juicy Psychmelon. With these “card draw” tools, druid can quickly recuperate the last card advantage from ramping with the Biology Project, and find game ending “Win Conditions” to utilize the newfound mana on.


    Right now, the best sequence I can image in the following:


    Turn 1: Biology Project, Biology Project, Wild Growth, pass.


    Turn 2: (7 mana available) Juicy Psychmelon, Ferocious Howl


    Turn 3: Cast any of the 7 or 8 drop cards you just drew, proceed to win the game.


    This combo is insane, and while the other revealed Druid cards are good, none are powerful without the unreal mana ramp provided by Biology Project. No aggressive deck is strong enough to race a 8 drop minion on turn 3.


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    Posted in: Biology Project: The Symmetrical effect set to break the Hearthstone Metagame. By Justin Warden
  • published the article Boomsday - The Dreaded Aggro Shaman Returns! By Justin Warden

    Boomsday - The Dreaded Aggro Shaman Returns!


    By Justin Warden


    Any seasoned Hearthstone player will remember the death of Hearthstone; the day players discovered the incredible synergy between Tunnel Trogg, Jade Claws, and Patches the Pirate. For four months we all suffered through what felt like a one-deck-meta, trying our best not to die by turn five. Personally, I almost disenchanted my collection when my opponent played the following:

    1. Turn 1: Trogg, coin Trogg.
    2. Turn 2: Jade claws, overload for 1, attack for 4.
    3. Turn 3: Southsea Deckhand, pulling patches from the deck, lighting bolt my face for 3, overload for 1, attack for 11.
    4. Turn 4: Lavaburst by face for 5, overload for 2, attack for 15. I died.



    Next month, Electra StormSurge enters Standard, and Hearthstone dies again.


    Electra has every element that breathes “broken.” Not only is she an aggressively priced legendary (she only costs 3!) but she is also an elemental to synergize with elemental matter cards.  


    Not that any of that text matters. All that really matters is that she doubles the effect of the next spell cast this turn. This is an extremely flexible ability, and it’s good in pretty much every single deck that runs spells. With cards like Healing Rain, Electra becomes reno Jackson, healing for 28. Her real use, however, is in an aggressive shell, where she acts as an efficient finisher.


    For example:

    1. With Lava Burst, she becomes a better pyroblast -- 8 mana for 10 damage and a 3/3 body. On turn 9, you can potentially combo for 15 damage!
    2. With Feral Spirits, she combos to be a better Living Mana for a class that has great direct damage!


    Let’s compare Living Mana with Electra + Feral Spirits on turn six.


    On turn 6, Living Mana reads: 1 card, create 6 2/2’s -- or in other words, 12/12 in stats for 6 mana.. Destroy all your mana crystals. For every 2/2 destroyed, gain a mana crystal. On turn 7, that leaves you with one mana crystal to play with. If you want to regain mana moving forward, you need to kill off your creatures rather than going face.


    On turn 6, Electra + Feral Spirits reads: 2 cards, generate one 3/3, and 4 2/3s with taunt. Next turn, overload for 4. For those counting, that makes her a 6 mana 11/15 spread across 5 bodies. On turn 7, you are left with 3 mana crystals available, meaning you can still cast spells. Furthermore, on turn 8, all your mana unlocks, meaning you can aggressively attack face without worrying about losing resources moving forward.


    All in all, we should prepare to worship our Shaman overlords, because aggro shaman is back.

    This article is brought to you by the Amazon Appstore. 

    Posted in: Boomsday - The Dreaded Aggro Shaman Returns! By Justin Warden