Sweepers and Sheriffs: A JPS Control Deck Guide

Hello! My name is MrNoTimeMan. You may recognize me from my frequent trolling of the official Eternal Card Game discord server. While at first glance, I may appear to be just another internet troll, I actually do fairly well on the ranked Eternal Card Game ladder. I am usually floating around top 10 and frequently hit rank 1. This season I have been having great success with almost exclusive play of my version of JPS Control. I am here to tell you how the deck functions, why I play the cards I do, and how to navigate difficult matchups. Let’s dive right into it!
 

Card Choices
 

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Jennev Merchant: The star of set 4. Merchants have shaken up the game in an exciting new way. However, unlike the others, this merchant is more than just a tutor. It is a threat. A 3/2 aegis body is not something you can just ignore. Jennev Merchant forces your opponent to either spend two removal spells on it, which clears the way for your other aegis threats or play a unit that is big enough to block it. If they sit there and do nothing they will take a substantial amount of damage and that damage wins games. Jennev Merchant is also a tutor. You can grab a power if you need to get to 5 power for your feast callers or harsh rules. You can grab a feast caller or black sky harbinger if you need a threat. You can grab a Vision of Austerity if you need to deal with a pesky relic. Jennev Merchant is a highly flexible, card advantage tool that can be a tutor, a win condition, and an all-around good pal. Definitely should be an auto-include of 4.
 

Sheriff Marley: My favorite card of set 4. You may see Sheriff Marley and be a bit confused on why the card is here. The answer is aegis. The tribute is basically irrelevant in most game states.  Sheriff Marley is a one card win condition that takes multiple removal spells to kill. Also, the card oozes card advantage and can come down to block as early as turn 4. You can send away the deputies to your merchant or strategize. You can force time decks to commit more threats into harsh rule by blocking their singular threat with a deputy. Sheriff Marley is cheap, flexible, the best threat against control, a card advantage engine, and an all-around good pal. Marley is an auto-include of at least 3.
 

Jotun Feast Caller: It turns out that a single point of defense is all a unit needs to go from basically unplayable to all-star. Jotun Feast Caller wins games. It asks a question to your opponent: Can you deal with this? If they can’t you start drawing cards and dealing damage and adding to your advantage. If they can it means they either played 2 removal spells or a blocker that you somehow didn’t have removal to deal with. Fearing only Auric Runehammer, Jotun Feast Caller is the final addition to the triple threat of aegis dudes and an all-around good pal. An auto include of 2 in the main and 1 in the market.
 

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Jotun Hurler: The LSV special. It seems that LSV knew something we didn’t all along. Jotun Hurler is great and is Primal’s Vara’s Favor. Deal 1 damage to deal with Oni Ronins and aegis or combo it with unit combat or hailstorm. Then ship the 4/4 body away with your strategize or merchant, getting a 2 for 1. Jotun Hurler deals with aegis, which is a huge threat against you and gets a 2 for 1 thanks to strategize and merchant. Sometimes, if you need, it can be a 4/4 that can beat down. Also all around good pal. Hurler is an auto-include of 2.
 

Black-Sky Harbinger: Lifesteal is good. Flying is good. Dealing 1 damage to everything is good. Black-Sky Harbinger is good. A fantastic card against aggro. A fantastic card against time decks. An aegis popper, a threat, and a stabilizer. The best card in a lot of matchups and an all-around good pal. Auto Include of 2 in the main and 1 in the market.
 

Kenna, Shaman of the Scale: Kills Icaria. Extremely rarely can draw a card. Wins the game. An all-around good pal. Flex slot.

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Sword of the Sky King: Win condition. Wins fast and is very hard to deal with for most decks. Works on a different axis than the rest of your cards. Can be used as removal for almost anything. Powerful but not exactly necessary and can be replaced. Flex slot.
Permafrost: Shuts down Teacher of Humility all the time. Extremely strong against aggro and can deal with threats from most decks. Can’t be cut because you need answers for the teacher. Auto include of 4.


Annihilate: The best card against time decks. Allows you to cheaply kill anything they have and also deals with a turn 2 Teacher of Humility. Allows you to play around Predatory Carnosaur. Also quite good against Gift of Battle decks. Dealing cheaply with Rilgon’s Disciple, Geomar, and Kosul Battlemage, and Jennev if you can deal with the aegis. One of your removal options. Flex slot.


Strategize: DRAWS TWO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Combos with Sheriff Marley, Jotun Hurler, and cards that are bad. This card is amazing and allows this deck to function. Auto include of 4.

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Eilyn’s Choice: My favorite card in Eternal Card Game. This card is so flexible. It allows you to negate any hard to deal with spell. Channel the tempest? Nope. Aid of the Hooru? Nope. The End is Near? No way. Predatory Carnosaur? Not going to happen. This card is amazing and allows this deck to win safely against some scary stuff. Auto Include of 3.

Rain of Frogs: Grabs Icaria sometimes. Use it post merchant to grab the card they tutored for. Extremely horrendous vs aggro. Flex slot.
 

Harsh Rule: Kill all units. This card is the reason to play Hooru. This is the best card against time midrange and makes the matchup extremely favorable. Don’t be afraid to use it on one unit. Auto Include of 4.
 

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End of the Story: A worse harsh rule. I like to have six harsh rules. The tribute never matters. The warp matters sometimes and is great. Sometimes you don’t need six harsh rules. Flex slot.
 

Vision of Austerity: Kills relics forever. Relics are good. Auto Include 1 market.

 

Potential Card Choices

 

Auric Runehammer: Kills aegis threats and wins the game. Bad against time decks and Icaria. Bad against pump spells. Awkward with permafrost.

Rindra’s Choice: Kills haunting scream and Icaria and counters stuff like aid of the hooru
 

Scourge of Frosthome: Market for control
 

Wanted Poster: option if you need more card draw but not good with permafrost
 

Eiyln, Clan Mother: Extremely good against time midrange and worse against Icaria decks. Option instead of Kenna.

 

 

How to Play
 

This is a control deck. Your main win condition usually involves running your opponent out of resources. Using your Harsh Rules and your draw 2’s. Then once you have stabilized you are free to play a threat and quickly win the game. Try not to play 2 threats at a time against any deck with Harsh Rule, because even if all your units have aegis you still don’t want your opponent’s Harsh Rule to get two aegis units worth of value.

Play your card draw and your crests so that you hit five mana and can use your sweepers. Try to keep your life total high, but also keep in mind that your life total is a resource. Don’t be afraid to take extra damage so that you can get more value out of Harsh Rule. If you have Sheriff Marley as your win condition, keep in mind that you can hold your deputies in hand until after the opponent has dealt with them. Also don’t immediately throw your deputies away to Strategize or merchant: Those little guys can win the game and shouldn’t be underestimated. Try to save your Strategize until you know what you want to put on the bottom or there is something specific that you need, i.e. power. Try to draw before you scout. Sometimes that means playing Wisdom of the Elders on your turns so that you can scout. Sometimes you have to leave Wisdom up at fast speed so you have to scout first. Try to save your merchants until you know what you need. It is usually really great to grab a Feast Caller but sometimes you will really need that Vision of Austerity and you don’t want to waste your merchant. Remember you’re a control deck, you can play slow.

Mulligans: I usually keep any hand that has a Wisdom of the Elders and 3 power because that card is extremely good. Other than that, you can always keep a hand that has a cheap removal spell, a few crests, and a merchant. Mulligan a hand if you don’t have enough power or have 2 or more expensive cards with no way to get rid of them.


Matchups

Time midrange: Favorable. Time midrange is why I built this deck. Harsh rule and spot removal are incredibly difficult for them to beat. The first lesson of this matchup is to never kill the cards that give them more power. Save your removal for their bigger threats. Do your best to kill 2 units with harsh rule but don’t be afraid to kill just one. Kill Teacher of Humility on sight but also you do not auto-scoop to Disciplinary Weights. I have won many times versus a teacher hitting me on turn 2 and so can you. Just try to play your power drops and get a lot of value with your Harsh Rules and win with Black-Sky Harbinger, it is difficult for most Time decks to deal with and will race any threat time decks could play. Once you are ready to play your win condition, try your best to play around Predatory Carnosaur by leaving up enough power for Eilyn’s Choice and Annihilate.

Good cards: Annihilate, Eilyn’s Choice, Permafrost, Slay, Vanquish, Wisdom, Harsh Rule, End of the Story, Black-Sky Harbinger, Eilyn.

Worrisome Cards: Dawnwalker, Thundering Kerasaur, Mystic Ascendant, Heart of the Vault, Teacher of humility, Stand together
 

Oni Ronin decks: Slightly unfavored. My decklist that I have is pretty much ignoring the existence of Oni Ronin decks. Yet it still can win a lot of games against them thanks to Black-Sky Harbinger. The key to this matchup is not value but life total. Keep your life total high. Play your units on curve and don’t be afraid to block. Try to get them to use removal on your other threats and then slam Black-Sky Harbinger and win. If you are facing a lot of Oni Ronin decks on ladder add in some more Hailstorms and don’t play Rain of Frogs.

Good cards. Permafrost, Annihilate, Hailstorm, Slay, Harsh rule, Black-Sky Harbinger

Worrisome cards: Anything with Aegis or charge.
 

FJS: Even. Icaria the liberator, this is the only good card in FJS and your whole gameplan revolves around beating Icaria the liberator. Auric Runehammer is the other card that gives you trouble and stops you from being able to freely run out your aegis threats due to the threat of it. Save your Rain of Frogs until they have 6 power or until after they have used their merchant, or Rise to the Challenge. Use your removal spells to deal with all their threats and try not to take too much damage. You win this matchup through sheer card advantage as they simply do not have enough. Try to use your merchant to get a  Vision of Austerity on their runehammer as that card is extremely good against you. Icaria is a tough card to beat, but it is beatable with smart plays and good deckbuilding choices.

Good cards: Jennev Merchant, Strategize, Wisdom of the Elders, Rain of frogs, Kenna, Shaman of the Scale.

Worrisome cards: Icaria, the liberator, Auric Runehammer, Ixtun Merchant
 

Gift of Battle decks: Favorable. Gift of battle decks are extremely popular right now. Luckily you have a good matchup against them. Kill everything in sight! Do not let anything live. They have extremely high burst potential, Stand Together, and no charge units. Their aegis units are the best against you because you have to use two spells on it. Try to get your Jotun Feast Caller down as soon as you can and start attacking they can’t do much against your threats. If they play their merchant they have probably gotten a Gift of Battle, so be very careful. The main thing is to kill everything, draw cards, and play a threat to turn the tables as soon as you can. Their deck is very fragile. Exploit it!

Good cards: Removal

Worrisome cards: Aegis units, stand together.
 

Channel the Tempest control: Even. This is a fun matchup. They have Channel the Tempest and Sword of the Sky King usually as wincons. Eiyln’s Choice is the best card in this matchup as it counters their Channels. Just draw cards play power drops, leave Eiyln’s Choice up every turn once they reach 8 power. You should get rid of your removal spells with Strategize and merchant. Try to save a merchant for Vision of Austerity to deal with the sword. Make sure you always get value with Marley and always get a deputy. Use Rain of Frogs to take a look at their hand and craft a game plan. Patience is key.

Good cards: Eilyn’s Choice, Wisdom, Strategize, merchant, Marley, Rain of Frogs.

Worrisome cards: Sword of the Sky King, Duelist's Blade, Auric Runehammer, Moondial.
 

One thing I want to make very clear is that this deck is extremely flexible to whatever decks you are running into. Seeing a lot of aggro? Add more hailstorms and cheap removal and a harbinger! Seeing only time decks? Add some vanquishes and some wanted posters! Seeing lots of control? Add Eilyn’s choice and Rain of Frogs! FJS getting you down? Get those Rindra’s choices and frogs. I also want to say that I haven’t fully unlocked the potential of this deck. There is much more to discover! So if you have any ideas of cards that might make the deck better, try them! They might work. They might even be better! You never know unless you try.

This deck is extremely fun to play with many decisions in the game that matter and decisions in deckbuilding too. I have been exclusively playing this deck to great success this season and I just keep having fun! I hope you enjoyed this deck tech and I hope that you have just as much fun as I do playing this deck!