Science experiments mean repeating the conditions across both the test and the control groups. Boomsday’s science “Projects” are no different, and are one of the few examples of truly symmetrical effects in Hearthstone. Sure you have minions that give both players a bonus, but the Projects have no body attached. Both sides get exactly the same benefit. So with a technical total value of zero, how have the Projects turned out? Have truly symmetrical effects proven their worth?
Research Project: The poor man’s Coldlight
Research Project is the card with the most precedent. Coldlight Oracle was Hearthstone’s most infamous mill card before its early retirement to Wild. Mage’s Research Project has the same effect, minus one mana and the 2/2 body. But while Coldlight saw occasional play in the then-popular Freeze and Quest Mages of the day, Research Project is struggling to find a home.
With Arcane Intellect available at only 1 more mana, it seems like a better strategy to seek other card draw options. What’s more, there are no high-powered combo mages that want that critical mass of draw. And as long as Aluneth exists, Tempo Mages can rely on that, Arcanologist and Arcane Intellect alone. But don’t sleep on this card; Mage may have some wacky combo decks in the future, and Research Project may end up being an integral tool in their arsenal. Alternatively, combined with shuffle effects and spell duplication it could be part of a powerful mill deck.
Biology Project: Ramp on steroids?
Biology Project may have been slightly over-hyped. I myself was one of its heralds of doom, but its ladder representation has been respectable rather than apocalyptic. Still, Biology Project is a potent card. It accelerates both players’ mana by 2. This gives the Druid access to incredible ramp and a coin-style mana boost, at the cost of giving the opponent an equally potent acceleration.
Biology Project has almost been a victim of its own success. It’s necessarily more powerful against opponents that cannot utilise their mana fully. As such, it’s far better against aggressive decks. Unfortunately, especially in the post-expansion meta, combo decks (especially Druids) are exceedingly popular. These decks that can utilise their mana well benefit almost as much as the Druid does, without the expense of a card. However, while it has some drawbacks, it’s exceedingly strong in certain matchups.
Against Aggressive decks, it has an effect similar to forcing them to skip two early turns; denying them portions of the game where they have a vital tempo advantage. If more aggro decks become popular, and Druid archetypes that desperately need mana become more potent, Biology Project may yet be as powerful as it was predicted to be.
Weapons Project: The new Fiery War Axe?
Weapons Project is one of the most directly impactful of the projects. By granting 6 armor and a 2/3 weapon to both heroes, it’s a well-designed Control tool. Aggro can’t utilise it well, as the armor slows down their gameplan and the weapon contests their minions. Meanwhile, Control loves it; the armor nullifies the opponent’s weapon if you don’t play minions. The 2/3 is great for smacking down early threats.
Not only that, but it has powerful synergy with Warrior staples like Shield Slam and Harrison Jones. As a great added bonus, it’s perfect for disrupting the opponent’s weapons. In a meta full of Twig of the World Tree and Skull of the Man’ari, that’s an extremely potent upside.
While it’s not quite Fiery War Axe good for early game removal, its greater late-game flexibility means it’s given Warriors a much-needed boost. Although it’s not the most popular Project in terms of raw numbers, a great proportion of non-Odd Warrior decks run it. This arguably makes it the most impactful on a class-by-class basis, though it’s not the most popular overall.
Demonic Project: Because we needed more reasons to play Warlock I guess
Boomsday brought tons of new combo decks. In a great act of foresight, Team 5 introduced a perfect way to tech against these unstoppable combinations. Unfortunately, they only gave them to Warlock. Demonic Project isn’t quite as powerful as Dirty Rat in many respects. Its major downside is that it can also disrupt your own minions. It also can leave you with a troublesome demon to cope with.
However, it’s still a great meta call. Not only is it excellent versus combo decks, it also has a potent and unexpected synergy. Sacrificial Pact is a perfect counterpart to it, meaning that your opponent simply cannot play their transformed demon without risking wasting their mana and giving you health.
Of course, it’s still not 100% accurate. You risk missing their Toggwaggle or Malygos for a smaller minion. However, it gives Warlocks a decent chance to tech against combo decks when they dominate the meta. If only other classes were so lucky.
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