Worldbreaker Deep: How Strong Is the Deck Now after Maokai Buff?

In Patch 3.0 Maokai received a nice quality of life buff to his passive. Is it enough to propel the deck into the meta?
  • Origins

Well, you got it right – we’re talking Deep today!

With Patch 3.0, both Maokai and Nautilus got the new Worldbreaker skins, but that wasn’t all that Riot had in store for Deep fans – Maokai was on the buff list! Now the champion’s effect triggers once another ally is “summoned” instead of “played”.

The buff doesn’t seem to be extremely impactful to the archetype, but the ability to Toss cards and summon a Sapling with Maokai by summoning a unit through a spell can potentially make the deck’s gameplan more consistent, and allow for different new interactions. For example, the Spiderling summoned off of Vile Feast is now capable of triggering Maokai’s effect!

The list I’ll feature in this article was created by Morpice, a Master player on the American server, who took the archetype to the competitive ladder in the first days after the patch and had success with it.

Their take on the deck had a new interesting addition to the list – Line ‘Em Up, a card that summons a Powder Keg, which triggers Maokai’s effect at Burst speed!

  • Gameplan

With Deep, you’re looking for your aggressively Toss cards as early in the game as possible – to that purpose, Dreg Dredgers, Sea Scarab, Deadbloom Wanderer, and Lure of the Depths are what you’re hoping to see in your opening hand.

Maokai acts as a Toss engine, accelerating your ability to go Deep and buff up all your Sea Monsters. At the same time, the Saplings he summons allow you to keep the board in check, challenging pesky opposing units and killing them. Ultimately, you want to level up Maokai, he is a win condition that will obliterate your opponent’s deck and put them on a timer.

Once you go Deep your Sea Monsters will start carrying you – Abyssal Eye, Devourer of the Depths, and Shipwreck Hoarder all have their unique abilities that will be fully unlocked after you’re down to 15 cards in your deck. The additional stats they’ll gain will make it difficult for your opponent to answer them.

If you’ve managed to sneak in Lure of the Depths early on in the game, your Sea Monsters will be cheaper to play, allowing you to set up solid tempo plays, sometimes ahead of curve.

A leveled-up Nautilus is your key to pure board domination. If you manage to keep him on the board, Nautilus will lower the cost of all your Sea Monsters by 4 mana, which will allow you to slam down multiple Sea Monsters in one turn. The 13|13 stats oт Nautilus along with the Fearsome keyword forces your opponent to block the petrifying titan in order to preserve their health.

Atrocity acts as a finisher card, once you’ve pushed enough damage. Usually, you’re looking to play Atrocity on Nautilus.

  • Verdict

Although Morpice had a good run on the ladder with Deep, for now, it doesn’t really seem to be anywhere close to Tier 1 material.

Many decks in the current meta run answers for Nautilus, cards like Vengeance, Homecoming, and Minimorph can completely shut down your plan once you play Nautilus, causing you to fall behind on the board.

When it comes to matchups, Deep doesn’t really perform well into most of the popular decks on the ladder – it falls short against Kennen Ahri, Iceborn Poros, Pantheon Demacia, and Kindred Viego. The only deck that Deep seems to hold its ground against is ARAM Iceborn Spiders.

You can tech Deep for a specific matchup – but that will mean it’ll perform worse into other matchups, where the teched cards might not find much use.

I don’t believe the buff is enough to bring Deep back into the meta as a top-tier deck, but it’s awesome to see the developers add small buffs in order to give a specific archetype a slight boost in overall performance.


Alaa "TricksterSorry" Yassine is a competitive Legends of Runeterra player. His passion for card games ignited in his youth with favorites like Yugioh and Pokemon. Currently, he dedicates himself to achieving professional excellence in Runeterra, while also creating informative video and written content for the Runeterra community.

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