Headlined by player Omen47, JPS Control is a deck that has been picking up popularity recently as players teched out their control lists against the heavily midrange slant of ladder. When the ladder reset, many players turned to heavily aggressive decks to try to climb quickly or control decks to crush aggro. This deck has the removal spells to beat aggro and the best late game plan of any control deck, as well as playing some less played cards. For a more detailed breakdown of the deck, read on:
Importable Decklist – TJP Control
4 Seek Power (Set1 #408)
3 Suffocate (Set1 #251)
2 Annihilate (Set1 #269)
2 Lightning Storm (Set1 #206)
2 Vanquish (Set1 #143)
3 Eye of Winter (Set1 #210)
4 Feln Bloodcaster (Set1 #386)
4 Push Onward (Set1 #213)
4 Wisdom of the Elders (Set1 #218)
3 Deathstrike (Set1 #290)
2 Feeding Time (Set1 #381)
2 Steward of the Past (Set1 #287)
4 Harsh Rule (Set1 #172)
3 Black-Sky Harbinger (Set1 #385)
1 Celestial Omen (Set1 #241)
2 Azindel’s Gift (Set1 #306)
1 Sword of the Sky King (Set1 #186)
1 Touch of the Umbren (Set1 #308)
1 The Last Word (Set1 #309)
4 Justice Sigil (Set1 #126)
5 Primal Sigil (Set1 #187)
6 Shadow Sigil (Set1 #249)
4 Seat of Cunning (Set0 #62)
4 Seat of Order (Set0 #51)
4 Seat of Vengeance (Set0 #55)
Total Shiftstone Cost (excluding Power): 26800
In simple terms, JPS Control is a high curve Feln control deck that plays Justice for Harsh Rule instead of some of the heavier Feln cards like Champion of Cunning. Like many control decks, it is packed full of removal and seeks to run its opponent out of threats before finishing them off. This deck’s two card “finisher” is Azindel’s Gift and The Last Word. Azindel’s Gift will force your opponent to play out their hand every turn, which prevents them from hoarding answers or situational cards. With an empty handed opponent, the way is clear for The Last Word, which will win the game in two turns if not contested regardless of the opponent’s health and armor.
In the early game, your strategy is the same as many other control decks: survive at all costs! Use your early removal to trim down your opponents forces and Harsh Rule to reset the board. Focus on playing power and building your hand moving into the midgame. Your primary midgame strategy, especially against midrange or control opponents, is to rush to 7 power and cast Azindel’s Gift. The Gift will usually take 4 or 5 cards out of your opponents hand, often answers that they have been forced to hold onto due to lack of targets. Once your opponent is under a Gift, they’ll be forced to play out their hand every turn or lose it, giving your perfect information. Moving into the late game, you want to neutralize, then remove each threat the opponent plays to clear the way for your finisher. Sword of the Sky King is your primary finisher as it is difficult to remove and gives you a burst of armor, but The Last Word can end the game regardless of your opponents life total (and is cool as hell).
Any unit based midrange list is going to have a very difficult time pushing through JPS’s multitude of removal spells. JPS is also an effective deck for beating control decks, as Azindel’s Gift is extremely powerful in control vs control matchups and your win condition is not vulerable to unit removal. If the game goes long, you’re usually going to win.
JPS is not the control deck of choice from dealing with rush decks. While life gain and mass removal are present in the deck, they are expensive and only present on a few cards. A suitably aggressive start can put you far enough on the back foot that you either can’t stabalize or get burned out. Additionally, JPS is a three faction deck with heavy Influence requirements – you need JJPPSSS over the course of the game. This can make choosing the correct power to seek for quite difficult and you can stumble on power or influence (although that is quite rare).
Card Specific Summary
Seek Power – An important role player in this and most three faction decks, Seek Power ensures that you find the correct influence and enables power drops. As a control deck with plenty of cheap spells, the loss in tempo isn’t a major problem.
Suffocate – I’ve spoken at length recently about how effective Suffocate is in the current metagame, so its inclusion here should be no surprise. While it does deal with a number of aggressive threats, here it’s a cheap way to remove important multifaction units including Bloodcaster, Maiden, Harbinger, and Siraf.Suffocate also combines with Vanquish to give you cheap removal that can hit any threat.
Annihilate – Annihilate is not a premium removal spell in this deck, as it misses many of the premier threats that this deck has trouble with. However, it’s fast speed and efficiency are enough to make it worth the card slot, as it shines against Combrei fatties and weapon decks like Mono Justice.
Lightning Storm – Control’s primary response to flood strategies, while also cleaning up Scouting Party tokens. Play more copies of this card if you expect a lot of Jito, although I’d suggest a different control deck in that metagame.
Vanquish – Combines with Suffocate to cover all the metagame’s threats for two power or less. Deals with all the midrange and control fatties, including Champion of Cunning (although not ideal).
Eye of Winter – You have plenty of removal spells to deal with Endurance units. While Eye costs power every turn, it locks down the threat of your choice, allowing you pick and choose how to use your removal spells. Fantastic long game value, but be aware that opponents can silence off the stun and the unit can immediately attack you.
Feln Bloodcaster – While this card flew under the radar directly after the change, its stock is rising. The 2/5 is a fantastic blocker against aggro and an annoyance to control, while its Ultimate gives you card advantage in the mid and late game. A unit thats good early and good late in every matchups is certainly worth playing!
Push Onwards – While it doesn’t actually grant card advantage, Control is all about looking for more cards, be it removal, lock pieces, or finishers. The power reduction also allows you to surprise opponents by playing Harsh Rule on turn 4 or Gift on turn 6 while their defenses are down.
Wisdom of the Elders – Fast speed, three power, two for one. Control decks want more cards and this provides more cards. Costing double primal is a real consideration, try to find it early if you don’t need more Justice or Shadow to unlock your removal.
Deathstrike – Costing four is a real concern, but fast speed unconditional removal is worth paying for. It can deal with charge units the turn they are played, or remove units on your opponents turn to clear the way for Gift. It does cost double shadow, which is makes it harder to cast than Feeding Time on average.
Feeding Time – Useful against recursive threats like Dawnwalker or to prevent void recursion, but usually just an easier to cast Deathstrike.
Steward of the Past – Steward does a surprising amount of work. A 3/5 deadly unit is useful both on offense and defense, and the void silence is useful against a lot of different decks and units. It’s good in the control matchup for pressuring your opponent and drawing their removal away from your Bloodcasters (as silly as that sounds). As an added bonus, the summon effect will pop an enemy player’s aegis.
Harsh Rule – Kill all units.
Black-Sky Harbinger – This card does a couple of different things. It’s primary purpose is to clean up tokens (especially Scouting Party). Secondly, but equally important, it gains you some health back and forces a reaction out of your opponent. Harbinger’s summon pops Aegis (even on player) and single armor weapons like Auric Runehammer.
Celestial Omen – Six power to draw a card is just not a good ratio. However, it’s a redundant copy of all of your finishers that offers a bit more versatility and dilutes your deck with fewer 8+ power cards. Mostly helps you finish games you’ve already locked up faster ,but sometimes you really need a Harsh Rule.
Azindel’s Gift – This is the card that makes this deck work. Situational cards will naturally pile up in your opponent’s hand and midrange opponents will stockpile threats to avoid playing into Harsh Rule. Control opponents are often focusing solely on buffing up their hand. Gift will usually get a few cards from your opponent immediately and ensures you have perfect information for the rest of the game. It’s not particularily good against aggro, but at least ensures they can’t suprise you with a flurry of burn spells.
Sword of the Sky King – The serious win condition against all but the slowest of decks. SotSK ends the game in three swings and requires multiple cards to remove. If you’re low, it gives you a good health buffer. You do need to remove your opponent’s units to actually attack them, even if they’re stunned, and you don’t want the Sword to get chipped down.
Touch of the Umbren – This card does double duty as both removal spell and threat. It takes your opponent’s best unit and turns it against them, which is especially powerful against cards like Siraf. Keep in mind that the unit gains Lifesteal, but will not be readied if you steal an exhausted unit.
The Last Word – The fun win condition! The Last Word is very fragile, but if your opponent doesn’t have a hand, they have only a single turn to answer it before it kills them. The ultimate is very effective against a heavily armored opponent, as it will kill them regardless of health/armor. Against midrange decks, quickdraw and deadly combine to pick off a unit every turn. Keep in mind that your spells are also deadly while you have it out (which only applies to Lightning Storm).
JPS Control is a fun control deck with a great matchup against plenty of midrange and control decks. If you find your attachments being removed or yourself being Gifted, look into Eiyln’s Favor or Protect for sources of Aegis. Deal thousands of damage in a single shot with The Last Word!