September 7, 2014 by Hectares
Update Dec 5: Seal of Deepwood has been nerfed twice since its initial release in Set 3, however the tips in this guide remain helpful for understanding how your plays can influence your opponent’s options.
Many people have expressed frustration with Seal of Deepwood’s impact on draft. The card is certainly warping the format, but is it truly unbeatable? This post is a rough sketch of how I handle Seal of Deepwood in Set 3 draft.
Bonus: Watch this AN draft queue (picks and four games) where I kept Seal in mind throughout.
Make sure to pick up a good number of high (6, 7, 8) attack blockers. Prioritize them over some of the fancier creatures with interesting effects. If you don’t draft well, you’re not going to beat Seal of Deepwood. I think of it as the SolForge draft version of a gear check. To get a sense of what makes for a good draft deck take a look at Konan’s Introduction to Draft Deck Building.
- Check for SolBinds to give you extra info about what to expect from your opponent.
- Assume your opponent is looking for any acceptable opportunity to play Seal of Deepwood unless you see they are not on Uterra.
- Don’t make blocks that are reversed by a +1/+1 buff (this is always a good tip because Gloomfiend is highly picked as well).
- When deciding whether to block or empty lane, go for empty lane unless you’re confident it’s a good block (this is one of the hardest elements of SolForge, but essential for beating Seal).
- Play a threat (or two!) that you know your opponent has to deal with quickly. Make sure that if they play Seal it puts them behind on board.
- If Seal comes down in the first four turns, plan around the +9/+9 buff as you make your plays in PL2. If you keep the pressure up in four empty lanes, your opponent might have to pass on the Seal. If you block an inactive creature with regen, and then they Seal it, you might not like the result.
Pay attention to the games where you faced Seal of Deepwood (this can be done for any card that you seem to lose to regularly). Don’t give up when facing it. It’s not auto-win, despite being very powerful even in the hands of inexperienced players. Check the game log after the match.
– What did you do right?
– What choices were you unsure of and might try to play differently next time?
– Were there any close pick in the draft phase that might have helped you stabilize the board / keep the pressure high when you needed to?
Pass the gear check, pass the skill test, stay positive, and good luck on your next draft!
Helpful Comment Giveaway – If you have your own tips for beating Seal or a favorite anti-Seal draft pick you like – throw it in the comments and you may be rewarded for your contribution. Congrats to Diablo for winning the random roll. Your prize has been sent to the e-mail associated with your comment.