Countering Seal of Deepwood in Set 3 Draft

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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.

 

Card Selection

 

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.

 

Play Tips

 

  • 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.

 

Keeping Track

 

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.


6 comments »

  1. Diablo says:

    I take Organ Harvester a bit more highly than I used to because of Seal. It’s not a horrible card to level anyway, and is one of the best remaining ways to deal with huge pumped up individual monsters, since Blight Walker and Botanimate are no longer in the format. You can even sometimes 2-for-1 with its level 2 and 3 forms, finishing off a small/medium guy on board and sacrificing it to kill one of their best threats the next turn.

  2. Nix42 says:

    A possible answer to Seal of Deepwood is Spiritcleave. It is a higher pick for me, as a creature buffed with Seal of Deepwood is very likely to be the one it targets. It can be a bit awkward to level it, but as a 1-of, I do find it effective. In other matchups, it isn’t as good, but it is still a playable card.

    Another possible way to deal with Seal of Deepwood is to go aggro. This strategy is only viable with some pools of cards, but if you can kill them before PL3, when Seal gets truly ridiculous, it has clearly provided them no value. This isn’t an answer per se, but does effectively limit its power.

  3. kjax says:

    Seal of Tarsus is also a reliable answer. Keeping your own threats around through smart blocking is the best gameplan. Consistent creatures like the Alloyin minotaur is a great way to ensure you have a threat every player level that can combat the seal.

  4. snouty says:

    I have a friend, his name is Sap

  5. okeyj74 says:

    In my most recent draft, Iron Maiden was an amazing counter to SOD!!

  6. Hectares says:

    Going to roll this giveaway on my stream and contact the winner via the e-mail address left with the comment. Diablo, Nix42, kjax, snouty, and okeyj74 are the eligible candidates. Thanks for the suggestions!

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