Introduction and Deck Stats
Hey there, Raphterra here! Today, I’m bringing to you a guide on Solo Nautilus Deep.
Deep is an old archetype that might be finally back to high-tier status, as I used the list featured in this article to climb from Platinum to Diamond at 70% win rate (33 Wins – 14 Losses).
It’s still too early in the expansion to make conclusions on the true power level of Deep, but the deck feels very promising to play with it’s new support cards. If you want to see the deck in action after reading this article, check out my detailed video guide!
Deep is a midrange combo deck that’s built to enable the Deep keyword and dominate the mid-late game with Nautilus and his sea monsters.
In order to go Deep as soon as possible, the deck uses Toss cards like Dreg Dredgers, Sea Scarab, Deadbloom Wanderer, and Jettison. Once Deep, the deck wins by going wide with Level 2 Nautilus and discounted sea monsters.
Prior to this expansion, Deep had a horrendous matchup against aggressive decks unless it’s hard teched with several heal cards like Withering Wail. However, teching Deep with too much healing reduces it’s consistency against midrange and control Decks.
The Worldwalker expansion brings two new cards that help Deep solve this problem: Megatusk and Undergrowth. Megatusk is a new sea monster that heals your Nexus and allies at burst speed once you’re Deep. Undergrowth is a control drain spell that also progresses the Deep win condition with its Toss effect.
These cards give Deep a better matchup against most aggressive and burn decks without compromising the deck’s consistency against other deck types.
You might notice that the list I used does not run Maokai. Despite Maokai being a great Toss engine, his 1/4 statline is just too much of a tempo loss. Level 2 Maokai also only matters against a handful of control matchups; against aggro and midrange, Maokai is a big liability. There are many other Toss cards available in the card pool, so Megatusk is just a better card to take Maokai’s slot.
General Mulligan Guide
Lure of the Depths will be impactful if played early against slower midrange / control decks.
Against other specific deck matchups, you can keep Vengeance if you already have a good hand.
Games with Deep are straightforward, and usually go in the following pattern:
- Phase 1: Toss, Trade, and Survive
In the early-mid game, you want to Toss as much cards as possible with Dreg Dredgers, Sea Scarab, and Deadbloom Wanderer.
If you can afford the tempo loss, playing Lure of the Depths early can also pay off long term. Jaull Hunters can be used to pick off your opponent’s key early units.
- Phase 2: Go Deep, Go Wide, Go Aggressive
Once you reach Deep, your sea monsters will have the stat advantage and you can start attacking aggressively to force your opponent into taking bad trades.
Level 2 Nautilus will allow you to go wide since he discounts the cost of all your sea monsters. You win when the game reaches the point where your opponent can no longer keep up with your big board of sea monsters.
- Determine if you can play Lure of the Depths.
Against slower midrange/control matchups, it’s best to play Lure of the Depths first before playing your sea monsters to get the most out of discounts.
However, if you are up against aggro/burn decks, do not be greedy since you can’t afford the tempo loss from Lure of the Depths. It’s much better to play your early sea monsters like Sea Scarab to make sure that you don’t get behind on tempo.
- Use Salvage and Jettison correctly.
The best way to use Salvage and Jettison is to surprise your opponent and go Deep at burst speed. Outside of that, you almost never want to use them proactively unless you have no other cards to play.
- Threaten removal with Jaull Hunters and Vengeance.
If you’re up against decks with key early units like Aphelios or Maokai, you can pass early to bait your opponent into playing these units then pick them off with Jaull Hunters.
In the mid game, keeping up mana to threaten Vengeance is recommended against decks with mid-game units like Illaoi, Nautilus, or Garen.
- Use Megatusk as a burst speed heal.
Using Megatusk as a burst speed heal will not allow burn decks to respond with fast-speed burn spells like Mystic Shot and Noxian Fervor.
There might be spots where it’s tempting to play Level 2 Nautilus first to make the most out of discounts, but evaluate if you might need the immediate heal from Megatusk before passing the action to your opponent.
- Don’ deck out!
Always check the number of cards remaining in your deck. If you’ve already played Level 2 Nautilus, avoid playing your Toss cards to prevent decking out. Sea Scarab in particular is a card that I’m usually looking to trade away or replace once I’ve already played Level 2 Nautilus.
Matchups and Mulligan Guide
Annie Jhin – favored
- Focus on surviving the early game by blocking with early units. You can stabilize in the mid game with heals from Megatusk and Undergrowth.
- Avoid using Vile Feast and Undergrowth proactively if your opponent has mana for Noxian Fervor. It’s better to use these spells to reactively to counter fast-speed burn spells.
- If you’re low on Nexus health, use Megatusk as a burst-speed heal so that your opponent can’t respond with burn spells.
- Jhin is the primary target for Vengeance and Devourer of the Depths.
Annie Ezreal – favored
- Toss and trade units early. You can use Jaull Hunters or Undergrowth to remove Annie before she levels up.
- Once you’re Deep, you can force them to take bad trades with your big sea monsters. Each sea monster will usually force two-for-one trades.
- Ezreal is the primary target for Vengeance and Devourer of the Depths.
Bard Demacia – favored
- Keep up in tempo early and try to force trades to keep their board as narrow as possible. Only play Lure of the Depths if you have nothing else better to play.
- Once you’re Deep, they can no longer outstat your sea monsters in combat. Always represent mana for Vengeance to threathen their mid-game units like Garen, or Cithria the Bold.
- Devourer of the Depths can cause huge tempo swings, but keep in mind they can use Sharpsight to keep their high-health units safe.
Deep – even
- Aim to go Deep faster and hard mulligan for your Toss units. You can use Jaull Hunters early to pick off opposing Toss engines like Sea Scarab and Maokai.
- Delay playing Nautilus until your opponent has levelled up Maokai. Level 2 Nautilus saves games from Maokai by shuffling cards back into your deck. The exemption to this is only if you’re sure that you can close the game out immediately by going wide with discounted sea monsters.
- Save Vengeance for either Nautilus in the mid-late game, or Maokai in the the early game.
Bard Zed Elusives – even
- Take open passes early and represent Jaull Hunters. Your opponent will be forced to either burn mana or risk getting their key units removed.
- Keep your Abbysal Eyes alive for defense. Your opponent can output a lot of damage in the mid-late game with their elusives if you don’t have an elusive blocker.
Lurk – even
- Hard mulligan for early blockers and trade with their Lurk units early. If you can keep their board narrow, you can win by going wider in the late game with level 2 Nautilus.
- Save Devourer of the Depths for Pyke, and save Vengeance for Rek’sai. They will try to rally with Blood in the Water if they have champions on board. They may also use Bone Skewer to keep their champions alive.
Scouts – unfavored
- Prioritize removing Miss Fortune with Vengeance or Jaull Hunters. You can take open passes from Turn 3 onwards to force them to burn mana.
- You may need to use Devourer of Depths pre-Deep to keep up in tempo. This is an unfavored matchup; you need to be aggressive and just hope they don’t have answers to your removals.
- Use your Nexus health as a resource to avoid taking bad trades. You can stabilize later on with heals from Megatusk.
Lissandra Taliyah Thralls – unfavored
- Hard mulligan for your Toss units and aim to go Deep as fast as possible. It will be hard to keep up with multiple Frozen Thralls if you’re not Deep.
- Be the aggressor in the early game. You can push for Nexus damage since their early units don’t trade well into yours. Every Nexus damage will make it easier to close out games with Abyssal Eye.
- Be mindful of Ice Shards and Blighted Ravine. Make sure to keep your Nexus health out of range from these burn board clears.
For quite some time, Deep has been sleeping in the lower tiers of the meta. It’s really nice to see Riot releasing new support cards to revamp old archetypes. Time will tell if Deep can make it to the higher tiers once the meta settles.