Going Deep: A Guide
Hey Everyone! Tchamber5 here with a guide to one of my favorite decks this patch: Sea Monsters. To be honest, I didn’t expect to have as much success as I am currently having with the deck, but after going on several insane win streaks with the deck, I realized that I was thinking about the deck in the wrong way, which is to say, I made the assumptions that It took little skill and all you had to do was slam big, dumb monsters on the board. Surely, this deck would be worse than something like Lux-Karma or Vi-Heimerdinger, because those decks utilize my big brain. However, After about 40 games I feel like I can say the opposite, as the deck really stresses your ability to understand the value of attrition, make trades, and utilize your mana as best as possible every turn. I am hoping that this guide can give players that are new to the deck some insight into how to play it to its full potential.
First, Let’s go over the deck list I am currently using:
Deck Code: CEBQCAQFBIAQCBJIAYBAMHJHFQXTKOADAEBAMJICAICQOCADAECRSHJWAMAQEBIDAEBAMBICAECSWNA
As a full disclaimer, I am not the person responsible for brewing this list, but rather, I pulled this from SwimStrim’s website, which I highly recommend visiting. You can find it here. I consider myself a good pilot in card games, and even a good tuner, but a brewer I am not, at least not in the competitive sense, so I use the resources at my disposal to give me the best and latest lists, and will iterate on them from there. This guide is not necessarily geared toward the seasoned Runeterra player, but rather, someone who is looking for a new archetype, and wants to get shown the ropes. But who knows, perhaps both will find something useful here.
Anyway, before we dive into the specific cards, I want to talk about the archetype as a whole:
Solid early game that has lifesteal and units with reasonable stats, as well as several cards that enable our late game plan.
Late game that goes over the top of most other decks.
Individually powerful units, especially when you get deep.
Free wins. Sometimes, you just curve out and kill your opponent. Sometimes, you slam a Maokai in the late game and there effectively win the game on the spot.
Absolutely throat punches decks that are not ready for it, AKA, any deck that isn’t tier 1
Multiple angles of attack, including mill and beats with big monsters.
Can have some clunky draws: The deck has a high curve, and you can just lose to aggressive decks when you have a starting hand of all 6+ cost cards.
Really soft to Vi-Heimer and some other S-tier decks. I definitely think that these matchups are winnable, but they allow less room for mistakes and you can get very easily punished for poor sequencing. Basically, they run more efficient cards than us, and have a win condition that is easier to enact and is faster than ours.
Note: I won’t include every card in the list here, just the most important to the functionality of the deck
Nautilus is the only champ that we have three copies of. He is a big body that can block almost any unit, and when he levels up, he will likely end the game if you are at parity on board. Beyond being a beefy monster, he also allows you to slam 2-4 sea monsters into play in a single turn once he levels up. He also synergizes really well with Atrocity, allowing you to chuck 13 damage at your opponent’s face.
Maokai is a little weird. You don’t want him in a ton of matchups on turn four, though he can provide some great board presence with his saplings. Rather, Maokai is in the deck because he provides a way to close out games when you get into board stalls. Sea Monsters relies on having bigger units than the opponent, and cheats on removal a little bit, so it’s not uncommon to see a situation where your sea monster game plan is progressing more slowly than you would like and your opponents board is developing to be problematic. Enter Maokai, who upon entering the battlefield, will reduce your opponent’s deck to very few cards, and will likely win you the game.
Jaull Hunters, Deadbloom Wanderer, Dreg Dredgers, Vile Feast, and Thorny Toad
I grouped these cards together because they conglomerate to form the key pieced to the early game of the deck. You want to have one or two of these in your starting hand. Feast and Wanderer are especially important for surviving aggro onslaughts while developing your board, while all of these cards contribute to the Toss game plan. Speaking of which….
Jettison and Salvage
Jettison was a card that I sort of looked over when it got spoiled in preview season, but hs become a key card in Deep decks. It’s very easy to hold up one mana in this deck, and you can even use it as a combat trick if you have 19 or less cards in your deck. Salvage can operate in the same way, and it also helps you regas your hand in the late game, or draw you some cards when you have some spare mana. I would not consider playing less than 3 of each of these cards.
Devourer of the Depths
This card is very powerful, and one of the reasons the deck can cheat on hard removal like it does. The fact that you are able to kill a unit while developing your board with a 7/7 is really impressive, and this is one of the huge draws to the Deep deck for me.
This card is great. You don’t want to draw multiple copies, which is why it is only in here as a two of, but it gives you enough reach to end the game out of nowhere, and can totally punk your opponent if they are not playing around it. It is soft to deny of course, so keep that in mind.
These are cards that we likely won’t see cut in the near future unless the meta shifts dramatically. There are a few other cards that I didn’t mention in the list above that I could see being flexed out, but I like the 40 cards as they are now.
Matchups and Mulligans
This is a quick and dirty guide to mulligans, and may not include every matchup, and there are no hard and fast rules, just general guidelines.
This can be a tricky matchup, but I think that the way to win is two-fold. One, mulligan for removal. Two, Abyssal Eye is clutch in this matchup. With every other unit, I would attack into their units with abandon as long as they are big enough to trade (obviously, don’t your 1/1 into their 2/2). I especially like doing this with life steal units, to help you stabilize. Try to find a chance to turn the corner as early as possible.
I may be crazy, but I find this matchup to be super reasonable. Obviously if they have the nuts, you may die. However, we have enough early board presence and lifegain that it's not a hard match. Keep anything with lifesteal and you should be ok.
This is a matchup that seems good on paper, but is perhaps slightly unfavorable for sea monsters, though it is close to even. I think that this is a matchup where Deep is A hair too clunky, and your opponent is too efficient, so my game plan is to play as efficiently as possible in regards to my curve, and just try to stick to plan A - Getting deep super quick and playing big dudes.
They Who Endure
I think that this is a favorable Matchup for Deep, though it’s close, as the Endure opponent can sometimes play infinite chump blockers and make a 20/20 overwhelm unit. I believe the key here is to go deep as early as possible, and start slamming big units.
Pretty rough. They have a lot of spells that can really mess you up and just put you super behind on tempo. Deny is surprisingly effective here, and getting a Will of Ionia cast targeting your 7-cost unit is certainly a feel bad. The game plan here is to play as mana-efficiently as possible. This matchup also stresses your ability to read your opponent’s hand, and I would recommend playing out your weaker units first to draw out removal if possible, and then slamming your large units after they have cast their Will of Ionias. I would try to save your Devourers for when they play Heimer, but if they play Heimer and he sticks for a turn or two, the matchup becomes very slanted against you. I would even keep cards like Grasp in your starting hand so that you can deal with Heimer as soon as he lands.
Tips and Tricks
Have a tip or trick to add to the list? Hit me up on twitter or let me know in the comments and I will add it to the list.
Try to save Maokai until he is leveled up. There are certain matchups you may want to make a sapling early and often, but usually, he is just a card that says: mill your opponent’s deck.
Don’t just toss your entire deck if you don’t need to. I often save Jettison until I want to pump a sea-monster by +3/+3 or I have an extra mana to spend on a turn where I have nothing else.
Also for toss, keep in mind that you are obliterating non-champion cards. If you are digging for a Nautilus or Maokai, tossing cards can be quite useful, even if you have very few cards left.
There will be situations where you are going to win, but you only have a few cards left in your library and there is a chance you will mill yourself. To avoid this, there are a few things to look for. For one, Nautilus shuffles cards into your deck. Secondly, casting a champion spell, even when there aren’t any really good targets, is worthwhile just to shuffle another card into your deck. All this to say, keep an eye on your card count, and plan accordingly.
Don’t be scared of losing your Jaull Hunters to removal. At the very least, it replaces it self with a contextually relevant card, and draws a removal spell out of your opponent’s hand. Best case? You kill your opponent’s best thing and draw a card.
Be aware of what you are playing against, and think about what they could possibly have in their deck. It is very important to decide when to be the control, and when to be the beat down with this deck.
On the same point, keep in mind what your opponent could do in response to your Devourer trigger. It feels bad to have your opponent play a pump spell in response to your Devour skill to fizzle it.
At the end of the day, This deck has its weaknesses. However, it’s a really solid deck that has a solid win rate against the field and is also just very fun to play.
Thanks, and I’ll see you next time.