Tokens have been powerful in Hearthstone several times during the game’s history. The power of Imp-losion carried Zoo decks for years, and even simple Shaman totems were a scary sight once upon a time when Thunder Bluff Valiants roamed the lands. However, token support was gradually weakened, to the point that Ravenous Pterrordax had a hard time making ends meet in Journey to Un’Goro as it simply could not find suitable food.
There are still plenty of token-generating cards in the game, but most of them are simply not good enough. Cards such as Fiendish Circle simply do not have what it takes to make token decks great. It’s the good token stuff I’m talking about, it has been in short supply in the past couple of years.
The Witchwood brought some token decks back to the meta. Druid received Wispering Woods and Paladin re-discovered its board-flooding Hero Power with Baku the Mooneater. Even Zoolock found a way back to the game, although more through the power of Happy Ghoul than actual tokens. Amidst all of this, Fungalmancer has found a spot in multiple classes, including ones that do not really run many tokens as such.
With the current meta focused on battles on the board, tokens are always an interesting option, and The Boomsday Project is introducing several token-generating cards into the game. Are they good enough to build new decks around?
Token-Generating Cards in Boomsday
We will soon have a chance to find out in practice which cards survive in battle. There is no lack of candidates in Boomsday! Most classes receive potential token support in their class cards, and the neutral cards that support tokens take the game to the next level.
How about three minions for five mana, two of them Annoy-o-Trons, all from a single card? That’s exactly what Giggling Inventor is promising, and that is some powerful token support indeed. Add in things such as Explodinator, Replicating Menace, Microtech Controller, Whirliglider, and Mecharoo, and we have an almost unprecedented collection of cards that can summon multiple minions at once.
Most of these tokens are Mechs, too, so all the Magnetic buffs can be applied to them to take a token board from wide to tall in an instant. Add in some Wargear for your tokens and you’re all good to go!
Old buffs should not be forgotten either. There has generally not been enough tokens around for many buff cards to shine, but Fungalmancer has already found its way to the meta, and Bonemare and Boisterous Bard are still there waiting for the right archetype to surface.
Druid and Treant decks
Treants are actually becoming an archetype of their own, it seems. We have already speculated on what form Treant Druid could take and whether it could replace Token Druid. Some of the pieces have already been there in Soul of the Forest and Living Mana, and now we’re getting a ton of new support:
- Landscaping – To summon some early-game Treants.
- Dendrologist – To Discover some spells while we’re at it.
- Mulchmuncher – Because free stuff is nice.
- Tending Tauren – A mini-Cenarius.
- Floop's Glorious Gloop – To trade off our tokens for mana.
Are all of these cards good enough to make it? Not necessarily, but the sheer abundance of options means that there is plenty of tinkering you can do to build a Treant deck. Could Druid even come out of this with two viable token archetypes? Possible, even if unlikely, as the more powerful one tends to crowd out the weaker one, even if the power difference is small.
Hunter and Goblin Bombs
Sometimes tokens do not even have to have attack to be scary. Hunter has the means to summon some Goblin Bombs on the board and buff them up with Magnetic minions and spells. In the case of Boommaster Flark, there can be plenty of those bombs around whereas a simple Bomb Toss in the early game can leave a ticking time bomb up on the battlefield.
Mage and Unexpected Results
Mage can also summon multiple minions in a turn, although they are of slightly bigger variety, thanks to Unexpected Results and Astromancer. Add in Vex Crow from The Witchwood – a card that saw some play, but was generally not considered good enough to be run in Tempo Mage – and some kind of spell-and-token galore starts to look like an option. Violet Teacher has not usually been associated with Mage, but it could have something to contribute to such a deck too.
However, Mage lacks means to buff up its tokens, and as they are generally not Mechs, Magnetic does not help there.
Paladin and Baku
Paladin does not receive any real token support, its new cards are more directed towards buffing up Mechs. That said, Odd Paladin Hero Power is already the ultimate token creator and Lost in the Jungle, Level Up!, and Vinecleaver provide lots of support. Perhaps some of the new Mech stuff finds a role in the deck, or the deck carries on as a separate archetype from Mech Paladin.
Rogue and Deathrattles
Blightnozzle Crawler does not quite summon two minions at once, as the second one comes from a Deathrattle. However, Rogue gets plenty of tools to play with Deathrattles in Necrium Vial, Necrium Blade, and Myra Rotspring. Combined with a selection of Deathrattle cards that summon minions, Rogue too could be flooding the board in no time – if Fal'dorei Strider is not already good enough for you for that purpose.
Shaman and Elementals
Some of the scariest token support cards are coming for Shaman. Thunderhead is the type of token generator that commands immediate attention, and Electra Stormsurge can be used to create wide boards, among other things. Voltaic Burst gives access to some quick token generation as well. Finally, the daring token enthusiast may decide to go for tokens no more with The Storm Bringer and turn that token board into a Legendary board.
Combine these with good old Fire Fly and the rest of the Elemental crew, and Elemental Shaman may end up looking very different in Boomsday than it has for the past year. Perhaps it even chooses to embrace its Bloodlust roots or go for some The Runespear for surprise buffs (OK, that is unlikely, but possible).
Warlock in the Zoo
The current Zoo builds rely on the Warlock Hero Power a lot as there are not that many suitable token-generating cards. With Doubling Imp and Omega Agent joining the team, there may be some more tokens available in the future. Failing that, The Soularium makes sure that card draw is even less of an issue.
Are Tokens Good Enough?
In The Witchwood, Odd Paladin, Even Shaman, and Zoo Warlock ended up as some of the top decks in the game. Hearthstone is a tempo-based game, and aggressive strategies are typically some of the most effective.
In The Boomsday Project, several classes gain access to formidable board-flooding strategies similar to the ones that have proven effective in The Witchwood. Alas, there are still some choices to be made between going tall and going wide: if the meta has plenty of high-health Mechs with Taunt and Shudderwock Shamans, Control Warriors, and Control Warlocks with tons of removal, token boards may not find a way to push through.
Then again, looking at the success of Odd Paladin, it has succeeded despite board clears as it can simply rebuild again and again until the opponent fails to find an answer. Token decks can also make use of Magnetic Mechs themselves and buff up their tokens into major threats.
The board-based strategies of Paladin, Warlock, and Druid are not going anywhere. Paladin receives an alternative route with Mechs and Druid with Treants, whereas Warlock receives new tools to complement its existing strategy. Hunter and Shaman receive plenty of new tools to take new approaches to board control.
The only new area-of-effect damage tool is Shaman’s Beakered Lightning, so the toolkits to fight against tokens do not improve in any significant way. It looks like the field is all set up for a ton of battles for board control in The Boomsday Project!