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.
With Deep, you’re looking for your aggressively Toss cards as early in the game as possible – to that purpose, Dreg Dredgers, Sea Scarab,
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,
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.
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
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
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.