Hi, Random7HS here. Last week I took Trivo‘s Deep deck featuring Sea Scarab and Lost Riches from Platinum 3 to Masters with approximately an 80% win rate. Once hitting Masters, the win rate went down a bit due to the prevalence of Aphelios decks, but I still maintained a positive win rate.
Deep has been out of the meta for the last few months, specifically because it is unfavored against Twisted Fate Fizz, Aphelios, Lee Sin, and Fiora Shen. However, with the release of Shurima and Lissandra, Deep has significantly more good matchups.
Because of Withering Wail and Deep’s early drops, Deep can usually survive against more aggressive Shurima lists until it hits Deep. Against Lissandra and Watcher, Nautilus can refill your entire deck while developing a board that your opponent cannot easily deal with.
As mentioned earlier, Lost Riches shuffles win conditions into your deck.
Treasure Trove can net you even better value, depending on what you hit. Unfortunately, with every new set, Treasure Trove gets a bit worse, especially as more synergistic cards are released, because the range of cards you can get increases.
Keelbreaker, in this meta, is essentially The Ruination for your opponent, which can leave you with some of your own board. 5 damage is enough to clear every card in Twisted Fate Fizz, most cards in Fiora Shen, Aphelios, Lissandra, and an unleveled Trundle.
Lost Riches swings Shadow Isles matchup even more in your favor than it was before by allowing you to fork them between Nautilus and a Treasure. Resolving a Treasure in midrange matchups is often game-winning because of the value a single Treasure can generate.
In bad matchups, like TF Fizz, Demacia, or Aphelios, resolving an early Treasure can often swing a seemingly lost game into your favor.
In most games, similar to ramp cards, you want to play Lost Riches as early as you can, while making sure you can recover from sacrificing tempo. Because of how Treasures work, every Toss card then has a random chance of giving you a card that can single-handedly win you the game in certain matchups. Ideally, you want to cast Lost Riches on turn 4 and hold off on playing your Toss cards (including Dreg Dredgers!) until after.
My first reaction to Sea Scarab was that it’s a worse Thorny Toad that makes Jaull Hunters and
Yes, Sea Scarab does make Slaughter Docks worse, but its synergy with Nautilus makes the Sea Monster tag an overall winner.
I have never actually felt like I miss Atrocity in this deck. In this meta, Timeline Ledros, which has started falling off in my games recently, is the only matchup that I would add Atrocity in for. In most matchups, if Nautilus is on the board and your opponent is at 13 or less HP, you’re usually already winning. In prior metas, Atrocity was very good in Deep because you would often only attack with a single Abyssal Eye at a time to play around The Ruination. With the addition of Lost Riches and the lack of Ruination in the meta, if you can keep a Nautilus on board, you will usually be free to summon out your hand anyway.
I used to like playing one copy of The Ruination in Deep. However, it gains a lot less value now with the addition of Lost Riches that can generate Keelbreaker. Ruination also does not hit that many matchups in the current meta. Often, most decks can rebuild their board after seeing The Ruination cast.
Black Spear is another card I used to like running one or two copies of. Black Spear can remove both Twisted Fate and Aphelios through 2 HP worth of protection. However, since there is no Jaull Hunters in our deck, Maokai is the only card that can proactively trigger Black Spear.
The Box is a card that has been popularized as an answer to Twisted Fate or opposing swarms of Wiggly Burblefish. However, against other matchups in this meta, I’ve found Withering Wail to generally be preferable. If you are queuing into a lot of Twisted Fate Fizz, I would definitely recommend playing The Box.
The deck is weak in the early game and just wants to survive until hitting Deep. You do not have to play out your entire hand early. If your opponent offers you a pass, you are more than happy to play a Toss card and pass in most matchups.
Be mindful of what your opponent can play. If they have the ability to remove your Nautilus, try to hold off on your Nautilus in hand until a turn that they don’t have enough mana to deal with him or you have a Treasure to win the game afterwards.
When playing Maokai, always try to get at least one Toss trigger off of him. If you draw a spell-heavy hand, consider not playing your units until Maokai is summoned. It is sometimes better to not play him on 4 and play him on a turn in which your opponent has tapped out enough so that you can summon a second unit immediately. In some control matchups, it is better to wait until Maokai is leveled before summoning him.
There’s a counterintuitive interaction around Maokai and info about obliterated cards. If you summon him already leveled you will not be able to see which cards from your opponent you have obliterated. However, if you level him while he’s on the board, you will be able see a subset of the cards you milled.
In faster matchups, make sure to carefully plan out what blocks to take, factoring in Sea Scarab tosses, Withering Wail, Maokai, and Vile Feast. In some cases, it is better to let attacks through or take unfavorable trades into higher HP units, knowing you can clean up their lower health units later on.
Mulligan for: Salvage, Dreg Dredgers, Deadbloom Wanderer, The Slaughter Docks, Sea Scarab, Maokai, Lost Riches, and 1 copy of Jettison.
Tech Cards: – 2 Withering Wail, – 2 Thorny Toad, +2 Vengeance, +2 Mist’s Call.
Lissandra Trundle’s main win condition is to summon Watcher and deck you out. However, you have two cards that can prevent this win condition: Nautilus, and Lost Riches. Nautilus will add all Tossed Sea Monsters back into your deck upon levelling, while Lost Riches will shuffle 2 cards into your deck. Be careful so that Sea Scarab would not lose you the game as he keeps Tossing after you shuffle cards back in.
In most games, unless I can get lethal with Nautilus, I usually will not summon him until either Watcher attacks. However, it is generally not worth saving your first copy of Lost Riches for Watcher because Lissandra decks will sometimes auto lose to a well-timed
It’s often better to wait until Maokai is leveled before summoning him to play around possible Vengeances. However, even if you cannot, exchanging your 4 mana for their 7 isn’t the worst trade.
In general, assuming you drew Nautilus, the only time you will lose this matchup is if you take too much damage, opening yourself up to a burn finish. If your opponent wants to take the matchup slowly, it is often correct to play the slow game because Lissandra cannot deal with the tempo of Treasures and Sea Monsters in the late game. Additionally, if you can clear their champions, Maokai will eventually win the game for you.
Mulligan for: Jettison, The Slaughter Docks, Lost Riches, Nautilus, and Salvage. Withering Wail is okay to keep because it’s a card that you can cast to take out of your hand to prevent yourself from overdrawing.
Tech Cards: – 2 Thorny Toad, – 3 Sea Scarab, – 3 Vile Feast, + 2 Vengeance, + 3 Riptide, + 3 Glimpse Beyond.
All-in Fiora has almost no answers to
Even without drawing 2 Nautilus, you can sometimes win by dumping down Nautilus with a hand of Sea Monsters or removing their Fiora with Devourer of the Depths. When doing this, be careful of Judgment, Concerted Strike, and Single Combat.
Mulligan for: Dreg Dredgers, Deadbloom Wanderer, Sea Scarab, Thorny Toad, Moakai, Vile Feast, and Withering Wail.
Tech Cards: – 1 Abyssal Eye, +1 Withering Wail.
In general, a well-timed Withering Wail will win this matchup on the spot. Generally, by the time you hit Deep, Nasus will only be around a 7/7, which Nautilus can easily block.
In general, their only win condition is racing you down before you hit Deep. To prevent this, try to save your chump blockers for their higher damage units if you can, especially if you have withering wail to clean up their board. If you can, play around Glimpse Beyond, Shaped Stone, and Rite of Negation.
Make sure that you keep track of how many units your opponent slays and how much damage they can deal with Atrocity. It is sometimes better to not take a trade if their Nasus is starting to approach 10 Power and you can survive Atrocity. If Nasus levels, it’s not the end of the world, but it severely increases the chances of an Atrocity lethal.
Mulligan for: Dreg Dredgers, Deadbloom Wanderer, The Slaughter Docks, Sea Scarab, Thorny Toad, Moakai, Lost Riches, Vile Feast and 1 copy of Jettison.
So long as you chump block their 5-attack units and play around Reckoning, you can generally live long enough to reach Deep. Once you reach Deep, try to not summon Nautilus into Icevale Archer + Culling Strike unless you have a treasure to follow up with or you’re at least even on board. Ashe decks generally have a hard time dealing with the incremental advantages of Abyssal Eye and Devourer of the Depths. It is often better to just open-attack with Abyssal Eye to pass priority.
If you can, try not to summon Maokai while they have Culling Strike mana up. If they are smart and always keep Culling Strike mana up, it’s not the end of the world because that’s one less answer for your big Sea Monsters later on.
Mulligan for: Maokai, Lost Riches, Dreg Dredgers, Sea Scarab, Thorny Toad, Deadbloom Wanderer, Vile Feast, Jettison.
This matchup basically comes down to whether or not they can inflict enough damage before you hit deep. If they draw Renekton on turn 4 with 2 Vulnerable cards, they’ll be in a very good position.
This is probably the only matchup in which leveling Maokai early can hurt you. If you draw Maokai on later turns, it is often not worth summoning him if you have other units because they can Exhaust the Sapling and challenge it with a strong overwhelming unit.
Try to play around Shaped Stone, Troll Chant, and Rite of Negation if you can. Mid-to-late game, if you have low health units on the board that you don’t need to block with, try to trade them off to play around potential Vulnerable spells.
Mulligan for: Dreg Dredgers, Deadbloom Wanderer, Sea Scarab, Thorny Toad, Moakai, Lost Riches, Vile Feast, and 1 copy of Jettison.
This matchup is extremely similar to Sejuani Renekton except most of their cards aren’t as threatening because they don’t run Battle Fury. If they can level up Buried Sun Disc, you don’t really have an answer, but usually, the game is over before Sun Disck levels, either due to a hoard of Sea Monsters or an early Renekton level.
Similar to Shurima Overwhelming, try to play around Vulnerable, Shaped Stone, and Rite of Negation. Once you hit Deep, they don’t really run anything that can deal with Nautilus backed by Sea Monsters.
Mulligan for: Maokai, Withering Wail, Dreg Dredgers, Sea Scarab, Deadbloom Wanderer, Vile Feast.
Tech Cards: – 2 Thorny Toad, +2 The Box.
Twisted Fate Fizz is one of the deck’s worst matchups. This deck only has two answers to an early Twisted Fate level up, double Vile Feast, and a turn 6 leveled Maokai. If your opponent does not manage to get an early Twisted Fate, however, if you can hit Deep fast enough, you can often outrace them with Nautilus and a swarm of Sea Monsters.
Maokai on 4 is very good in this matchup because they have no answers to it except casting 2 damage spells on it. As mentioned earlier, if you can level Maokai early enough, you can sometimes deck your opponent out if they level up Twisted Fate.
This is probably one of the few matchups I do not recommend keeping Lost Riches unless you have a Maokai and 2 early game followers.
Mulligan for: Dreg Dredgers, Deadbloom Wanderer, The Slaughter Docks, Sea Scarab, Thorny Toad, Moakai, Lost Riches, Vile Feast and 1 copy of Jettison.
Tech Cards: – 2 Thorny Toad, + 2 Vengeance.
Before the release of The Veiled Temple and Aphelios, Deep could usually win this matchup by playing it slow, only summoning 1 Sea Monster at a time until they tapped below Falling Comet mana. Unfortunately, Temple means that they can develop a threatening board while keeping Falling Comet mana up.
However, Deep does have a few ways to win. If you draw Maokai early, Maokai can often level by turn 6 or 7, assuming they don’t draw an answer to him. Depending on your opponent’s hand, an early
Additionally, if you can survive long enough, eventually you will be able to build a strong enough board that the Aphelios player cannot survive against. If you are playing against the Shadow Isles build, this is a bit harder to do because of Atrocity. However, against Burblefish Aphelios, because of Withering Wail and Vile Feast you can often survive their onslaught of Burblefishes.
In general, try to clear Zoe and Aphelios with Vile Feasts if you can. If you have to pick, the Zoe level up is often the more threatening because Aphelios spells don’t generally do too much to you once you hit Deep.
If they don’t have Apehlios, attacking with Abyssal Eye early is fine because it burns their hush and you get a free draw if they don’t have it.
If they play Solari Priestess, try not to summon Nautilus until they drop below 6 mana or they play their Invoked card.
Mulligan for: Dreg Dredgers, Deadbloom Wanderer, The Slaughter Docks, Moakai, Lost Riches, Salvage, and 1 copy of Jettison.
Tech Cards: – 2 Thorny Toad, + 2 Black Spear.
Fiora Shen can summon enough threats early in the game that they can often win before you hit Deep. Additionally, Fiora can win games by herself by eating all of your early drops. Maokai also will almost never get more than 1 trigger, if that.
Fiora Shen is a deck that loves to pass. If offered passes, you generally want to take them if they have the attack turn. If you have the opportunity to burn their mana, take it. Once you drop a Nautilus, they have almost no answers to it outside of a pumped up 1 drop.
Fiora Shen is a scary deck to play into because they have a wide range of options with their spells, e.g., Rally, Barrier, Strike, etc. At some point, you’re going to have to pick which card to play around; try to pick the line that plays around the most options. It is often a necessity to partially play into Fiora in order to survive. Once you hit Deep, if they don’t draw Concerted Strike, Devourer of the Depths will usually be able to clean up the Fiora.
If Fiora Shen draws well, the game will often come down to whether or not they have Deny for your Treasure.
If you are looking for a deck to climb to Masters with, Deep is a deck I would highly recommend. Deep is one of the better decks to play to counter Lissandra decks or archetypes seeking to prey on either Fiora Shen or Twisted Fate Fizz. Unfortunately, the higher you go in Masters, the more common Aphelios, Fiora Shen, and Twisted Fate become, and their counters are less present.
However, given that it loses to Fiora Shen, Aphelios, and Twisted Fate Fizz, I would not recommend bringing it to a tournament. If these decks get nerfed in the next balance patch, Deep seems like a deck that is well poised to make a resurgence in both high-level ladder and tournament play.
Thanks for reading and good luck in your games! Like always, I am more than happy to answer any questions, feedback, or comments you may have in the comments below or on this Reddit post here.