Hello everyone, Dragonguy here today to bring you a guide for a deck that has slowly been gaining traction recently – Jayce Elise Sentinels.
This deck is an evolution of the Vi Elise Fearsome list that emerged a few months ago, and there have been many different versions of the list running around. As of now, there is still no agreed-upon “best” version of the deck, so for this guide, I won’t only cover the cards in my list, but also other cards to consider slotting in.
This deck is quite flexible and can function in both an aggressive or control style based on the matchup and hand state you find yourself with.
Both of our champions help complement each other’s playstyle. Elise is a low curve aggressive unit that can push some damage early, and spawn additional units. Jayce, on the other hand, is much slower and lets us double up our plethora of expensive spells later into the game. Jayce also has the flexibility when he comes down earlier to either remove a unit, or act as a difficult-to-block attacker. Combined, these two transition into each other well and provide a strong curve.
We supplement our aggression gameplan with the Sentinel package of Burgeoning Sentinel and Buhru Sentinel. Along with Elise, these give us some aggressive Fearsome starts that can easily punish decks lacking anti-Fearsome blockers. Our other early game unit, Ferros Financier, acts as an early blocker that gives us an expensive spell for later, depending on what we need for the game.
In order to proc the Sentinels and give them their stat boosts, we need some early spells to kill units off with spells. Mystic Shot and Vile Feast are both good spells for picking off opponent’s units early. Mystic Shot has the added flexibility to go face, and Vile Feast gives us some healing and a chump blocker.
Thermogenic Beam is quite flexible, as it can be used early to pick off a low HP unit, or later to kill something high HP and trigger as a 6+ cost spell. Glimpse Beyond gives the deck some much-needed draw and still helps proc the Sentinels as well. Despair allows you to use your HP as a resource to remove a problematic unit, which can be crucial in certain matchups.
From this early game, we then transition to our 6+ cost spells gameplan. Forge of Tomorrow provides an on curve body and gives us back our spell mana after we cast a 6+ cost spell. This allows us to still have the mana for interaction after playing an expensive spell.
Assembly Line is a solid card, giving two 3|3 bodies for 6 mana. This gives us units to block with, or use to push for damage. Shock Blast can remove two units from the board, or go face to push some damage. Both of these spells get better if Jayce is on the board and levelled, as they get doubled and provide additional value.
With all these high-cost spells, Albus Ferros can get some really nice value. He draws us Jayce so we have additional ways to find him, and his attack trigger pushes unblockable damage, which we can pump up with the high number of expensive cards we cast each game.
Techs and Options
- Brood Awakening: This card has not been seeing much play in lists due to its weakness to ping effects. However, it can instantly level Elise if unanswered, and getting 3 bodies in 1 action is great for getting chump blockers when needed. For this reason I like it as a 1-of, but it could certainly be cut for other cards.
- Aftershock: Turbo Thralls and The Bandle Tree are prevalent decks in the meta, and are expected to see play at Seasonals. Because of this, I wanted at least one card that can answer landmarks if needed, but isn’t dead in non-landmark matchups.
- The Box: Dealing 3 damage to potentially multiple units is strong, but the downside is it only hits units summoned this turn. This card doesn’t get much value unless you can hit several targets at once.
- Commander Ledros + Atrocity: SI + PnZ control decks often use this 2-card combo as their top end, and for good reason. Commander Ledros + Atrocity can end the game over 2 turns, and is difficult for control decks to efficiently answer. Personally, I chose not to use this because it comes online so late in the game, and can be awkward when drawn early.
- Get Excited!: Some decks are running this as a 1-of to deal 3 to something at Fast speed. I have chosen to run Aftershock over it in my list, but the 1 less mana and Fast speed can certainly make it worth considering instead.
- Vi: Quite a few decks are playing a split of Elise, Jayce, and Vi in their list. They are either going for a 2-2-2 split, or they are going 3 Elise 2 Jayce 1 Vi. Vi is a powerful removal tool, but also reduces consistency for your other champions. Also, she incentivizes Commander Ledros + Atrocity in your deck, as she can drag away Fearsome blockers and is a good Atrocity target herself.
- Vengeance: Having a Fast speed kill spell without any downside can be important, especially for answering a problematic unit during an open attack. There are plenty of good units to use this on, and just having the option for an unconditional removal spell has felt good in this meta.
- The Ruination: Sometimes, you just need to reset the board, and no card does this better than The Ruination. While expensive, it is effective at what it does, and also has the chance to be pulled from Ferros Financier as well.
- Piercing Darkness: This is an expensive drain card that can deal with all kinds of targets, while also providing some much needed healing. The downside, of course, is that it is a bit expensive at 6 mana, and can be fizzled if the unit dies before it resolves. However, it does help level up Jayce, and can provide some much needed healing in certain matchups.
Mulligan for: Fearsomes, Shock Blast, Early removal
- Be careful about which units you have get damaged in this matchup, as that makes them vulnerable to Ravenous Flock and Scorched Earth. Because of this, it can be better to take damage and make your units not get damaged.
- Their first fearsome blocker doesn’t come in until round 4, so you can leverage your fearsomes early game to push damage.
- You should try to save a Vile Feast or Mystic Shot for a Teemo, as he can plant a lot of puffcaps if not answered.
- Thermogenic Beam and Vengeance can kill off Swain and The Leviathan in the later stages of the game.
- Before using Despair on either of their champions, remember: both Teemo and Swain get their Nexus Strike effects upon hitting your Nexus. Consider if you can afford to let this happen.
- While they should be able to eventually gain board control, you can finish them off with your burn spells.
- Albus Ferros can be answered by Minimorph or get stunned, making him a bit unreliable for pushing damage.
Mulligan for: Fearsomes, Poppy Removal, Aftershock
- Their deck has very few fearsome blockers other than Poppy, making it strong in this matchup as well.
- If you can keep Poppy off the board, you should be able to leverage your fearsomes to push early damage.
- Aftershock is great in this matchup as well for removing the first The Bandle Tree and slowing them down.
- As this is a Minimorph deck, Jayce and Albus Ferros are not likely to stay on the board for too long.
- This deck does not have healing, so you can also play for burn to close out the game.
- While their deck does excel at flooding the board with units, they don’t run any direct nexus damage other than Pokey Stick, so you shouldn’t have to worry about over the top burn.
Mulligan for: early units, Removal spells, Glimpse Beyond
- They can have some explosive early starts, so you want to look for early units to slow them down.
- Assembly Line is also pretty good into them, as most of their units can’t kill the 3|3’s you get.
- Outside of Lecturing Yordle and Gangplank, their units are pretty low HP, and die to your early removal.
- Outside of Double Up, it’s hard for them to deal a large burst of damage at once.
- Because of Double Up, you should try to save a Glimpse Beyond or even Mystic Shot to deny the damage.
- Once you can stabilize their aggression, it’s difficult for them to come back, as you can hold mana to answer their developments.
- It is usually better to leave Twisted Fate alive if he is not close to levelling to deny them the opportunity to play another one.
Mulligan for: Despair, early units, other early removal
- While you have some removal for their units, they have excellent protection and buff spells to keep them alive.
- Despair is amazing in this matchup, killing any problematic unit without way for them to save it. Vengeance does the same but is less mana efficient.
- Try to use your removal on your attack token, so they won’t be able to utilize the buff effects for their turn as well.
- Always be wary when they have 2 mana open, as it could mean Sharpsight or Twin Disciplines to counter your removal.
- Their deck doesn’t have many fearsome blockers, so you can use these to push damage in this matchup as well, or force out combat tricks defensively.
- The longer the game goes, the more favored it is for you thanks to your more powerful spells.
- Try to keep their board as small as possible to deal with a possible Rally play and give less value to their units.
Mulligan for: Champion removal, early units
- The name of the game is stopping Plunder procs when you can to slow down their champion level ups.
- If they haven’t passed yet, don’t be afraid to pass back and force them to use something. Either they will miss plunder, or they will be forced to use something for value then they wanted.
- Try to remember how many of your cards they nab, as you would need to play around your own cards as well as theirs.
- You can push early damage with fearsomes, but Jagged Butcher with Plunder can block them and shut down your plans.
- Monster Harpoon is strong into your units, so think about deploying them if they have 3 mana open, especially if they’ve already triggered plunder.
Mulligan for: Fearsomes, Mystic shot, Despair
- This is another matchup that will outscale you, especially if you aren’t able to answer their champions.
- Fearsomes can push crucial early damage and are out of range of early ping effects, but can be blocked by early units like Twisted Catalyzer.
- Their deck does contain a decent amount of healing, so you will need to burn them quickly or they can recover.
- If you find yourself wanting to win this matchup more, it is better to switch in Commander Ledros and Atrocity, as Albus Ferros is more vulnerable to their darkness.
- Minimorph can still mess with your plans, and gives them a solid answer to your top end units.
- You want to try and go wide so they won’t be able to answer you effectively to push through damage to win.
- This is one of your worst matchups, as they won’t have many problems blocking your fearsomes after they hit 2 lurk procs.
- Take any trade you can if your unit will survive the exchange, as Lurk only has Pyke and maybe Bone Skewer for removal.
- This will end up being a race, as their end game lurk units will outscale you, so you need to burn them out first.
- Getting spells that summon multiple units in one action is great early for being able to go wide and try to push damage or block their attack effectively.
- Thermogenic Beam is your best answer to their large end game lurk units and Rek’Sai, so try to save it for them.
Mulligan for: Despair/Vengeance, Fearsomes, Jayce
- The main threat here is Lee Sin. You have a few ways to kill him with Despair and Vengeance that are only stopped by Deny and Bastion, but otherwise your options are slim.
- Jayce is good in this matchup as a challenger to threaten Eye of the Dragon or Zoe and either force protection or kill off a unit.
- They do not have many fearsome blockers, but cards like Concussive Palm offer fearsome blockers and stop your attackers, and they can buff a unit to block fearsomes.
- Glimpse Beyond can stop a Lee Sin kick and reduce the damage you take.
- Outside of Lee Sin, they do not have good interaction with your units, making it difficult to get punished for developing.
- If your opponent has Eye of the Dragon, sometimes it can be good to pass turn to force them to either spend mana on spells to get the Dragonling, or burn mana and miss out on it.
Jayce Sentinels feels like a good next step for the Sentinels PnZ archetype, and I think the deck has been quite good. People are still trying to optimize the build and figure out the best way to sculpt it, which is a testament to its potential.
For ladder play, you may want to make some adjustments to the deck based on what you are playing against. Maybe more hard removal and drains if you’re playing against more aggro, or adjustments to the top end if you have been playing into a lot of control.
While this is not the only Jayce deck out there right now, this is my favorite of them. It has a nice mix of control and aggressive elements, and feels like it has game into a lot of the different decks prevalent in the meta.