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Jerusalem Heroes / Pharisees

Jerusalem Heroes / Pharisees

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Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth.  Well, with this Contender Deck, the meek shall inherit the Lost Souls!  Designed by Derek Tirado, a National tournament top ranking player, and the founder & former owner of Your Turn Games, this deck features Jerusalem church heroes that have powerful abilities and gain additional, amazing benefits when they’re converted to meek, such as FBTN, CBN enhancements, soul protection, regardless of protection, and more!  The defense is comprised of Pharisees that persecuted Jesus and His disciples, as well as the Jerusalem believers after Jesus’ ascension.  This defense revolves around meek Lost Soul strategies, strong banding, and soul hiding. This deck is very fast as it is chock-full of draw abilities and searching. It is one powerful, fun, fast deck you do NOT want to pass up!

Not only does this deck serve as a legal Type 1 constructed deck, you can easily convert it to a GoC Only constructed deck to use in that format as well, since many of the cards are from the GoC expansion, thereby essentially giving you two decks for the price of one!  See bottom of this page for recommended add-on cards to convert this deck to GoC only and to boost this deck's theme from other expansions!


Son of God (I/J)
New Jerusalem (I/J+)
Angel of the Lord (I)
Ride on Victoriously / Awesome Things (LoC)
Harvest Time (GoC)
Christian Martyr (I/J)
Burial (GoC)
Lost Souls
The First (I/J+)
Escape (PC)
(5) N.T. Meek Lost Souls (I/J)
Book of the Law (LoC)
Temple Veil (GoC)
Send the Helper (GoC)
Unsuccessful (PoC)
Herod's Temple (GoC)
High Priest's Palace (GoC)

Mary, Mother of James (GoC)
Joanna, the Generous (GoC)
Mary, the Restored (GoC)
Salome, the Sorrowful (GoC)
Matthew, the Publican (GoC)
Bartholomew (Nathaniel) (GoC)
Lazarus, the Called (GoC)
The Watchful Leaders (CoW)
Angel from the Sun (RoJ)
Resurrection Revealer (GoC)
Good Enhancements
Power of the Spirit (GoC)
Baptism of Jesus (GoC)
Untouchable (GoC)
Life in the Son (GoC)
Spirit as a Dove (GoC)
The Lord's Prayer (GoC)
Root of Jesse (LoC)
Evil Characters
Supercilious Scribes (GoC)
Repudiating Rulers (GoC)
Proud Pharisee (GoC)
Disciples of the Pharisees (GoC)
The Sanhedrin (EC)
The Entrapping Pharisees (GoC LR)
The Brood of Vipers (GoC)
The Expert Lawyer (GoC)

Evil Enhancements
Fear of Man (GoC)
Distort the Truth (GoC)
Just a Hireling (GoC)
Pretension (GoC)
Clinging to Power (GoC)

Andrew, First Called (GoC)
Simon the Zealous (GoC)
Love One Another (GoC)
Lost Child Found (GoC)
The Ascension (GoC)
Callous Conspirators (GoC)
Simon the Host (GoC)
Plot to Kill (RoJ)
Tenants Kill the Son (GoC)
Strict Sabbath (GoC)
Deck strategy and tips:

  • The offense has a strategic mix of Gospel heroes from the Jerusalem church that have strong situational abilities and when they convert to meek.  The strongest of these is making good Gospel enhancements CBN and also negating characters and enhancements--FBTN (or fight by the numbers).  They are backed up by powerful enhancements and protect abilities.  Use the right hero (or heroes) to make the best rescue attempt at the right time. 
  • The defense's primary strategy is to interact with meek Lost Souls.  This is accomplished by the evil characters gaining benefits by having these souls out, but the defense can also benefit by protecting and/or hiding meek Lost Souls.  The defense is also supported by strong, quick battle-winning dominants and enhancements that stall the opponent's rescue attempts.  The evil characters are also hard to stop from activating their respective abilities, due to their abilities having the CBP modifier. 
  • If you can time your attacks correctly, and have the right resources/heroes, you should be able to win a soul each attack.  Ways to help with this are to get Son of God and New Jerusalem early to rescue two souls.  Then, use one of your FBTN rescuers (or Lazarus) that negates characters and enhancements (or evil cards if you use Lazarus).  If your opponent uses one character to block with, use Angel of the Lord to discard that character.  Then, use Root of Jesse to protect your meek heroes from your opponent's cards on your next attack (use Root in your prep phase prior to entering battle).  This will add a layer of protection over that hero for that battle.  For this attack have the Awesome Things dominant in hand and use Bartholomew to attack.  After your opponent blocks, and if you don't have initiative, use Awesome Things to play one of your battle-winning Gospel enhancements to remove that evil character(s).  Since Bartholomew makes good Gospel enhancements CBN, your opponent won't be able to respond.  Another strong attack is to use Mary Mother of James and convert her to meek to band to Mary the Restored (make sure your opponent blocks from hand when you do this.  Or, use The Ascension to do this).  Then, when he blocks from hand, your Gospel enhancements will be CBN, and Mary the Restored will negate characters and enhancements due to her converting to meek, making you able to activate your enhancements but your opponent's will be negated!  Another winning tactic is having Herod's Temple in play and you have a big numbered lone N.T. human hero in battle.  Use Herod's Temple to cause all enhancements to be tossed (it's best to do this after your opponent presents a blocker so you can make the strategy work that much better for you).  
  • Use Root of Jesse in your prep phase to protect your meek heroes from opponent's cards.  This is a good way to help protect your lone attacker from cards like Christian Martyr.  Also, use The Watchful Leaders to band to one of your Jerusalem heroes to protect that hero from harm.  This is another way to protect against Christian Martyr and the like.
  • Use Temple Veil, Book of the Law, and/or Send the Helper to reset your best meek hero in territory so you can use its ability on your next attack.  Temple Veil is a great option as you should be able to look at your opponent's hand and plan your attack accordingly.  Also, activate Temple Veil in Herod's Temple so you can activate an second artifact on your artifact pile.
  • Use Resurrection Revealer or Angel from the Sun to tutor the right Empty Tomb female or disciple.
  • There are plenty of ways to soul gen (Bartholomew, and certain star abilities on your cards), but one of the best ways is using Harvest Time.
  • The First lost soul is a great way to get you many resources, particularly if you play it right and so long as the condition for The First is met:  If you draw the Escape soul, use the Escape soul to tutor The First, which will then get you a draw 1 and topdeck itself.  Also, if you are able to use one of the star abilities that read "Play a lost soul from each deck," not only will you soul gen for your next attack, but you can play The First soul, get a draw 1, then topdeck The First; it'll be as if you never had to pay the cost to play one of your own souls!  Also, each time you draw, and The First is on the top of the deck, you'll be able to keep topdecking it and drawing.  If you don't need to soul gen on your opponent's side, and you're attacking with Bartholomew, play The First from your own deck, get the draw, then topdeck The First.
  • Get to your good dominants quickly by using cards like Spirit as a Dove, Mary the Restored, and Book of the Law.
  • If you're able to pull it off, convert your own Callous Conspirators to a hero as his ability will work very well when rescuing!
  • Use Lost Child Found at the right time to bounce annoying cards in your opponent's territory, or to bounce up to 3 of his evil characters in territory to help set up your Empty Tomb female heroes' "if blocked from hand" abilities, or bounce your own cards (such as your meek heroes to reset them to their special ability side).
  • A strong play is to use Supercilious Scribes to exchange a good card in hand for any card in the Reserve (generally, you'll want Strict Sabbath, so long as you control a meek soul and your opponent doesn't).  You should have initiative to play it.  Then, if you still have inish, or your opponent passes inish, play a battle-winning enhancement, like Pretension to remove the hero from battle.  It'll be very difficult for your opponent to stop this as he will be restricted from playing enhancements with Strict Sabbath.
  • If you know your opponent has Angel of the Lord in hand, try and use a band to help mitigate the use of AotL on your lone blocker.  Use Sanhedrin to band to another low-numbered Pharisee.  Hopefully this'll give you initiative to play an enhancement, like Unsuccessful or Just a Hireling, to effectively win the battle.
  • If you have Christian Martyr and Burial in-hand, and your opponent is rescuing with a lone hero that's not protected from Christian Martyr, it's best to use CM over Burial as it's an easy block; save Burial for the right time to maximize its potency (such as play Harvest Time so you can soul gen on your opponent, then play Burial to underdeck all of your meek souls you just played with Harvest Time).
  • If your opponent is attacking with a lone human hero, and his hand is protected, the best blocking option would be The Entrapping Pharisees as it's an auto-block capture of that hero, since your opponent won't be able to instead the capture by discarding a card from his hand, since his hand is protected from your cards!  Just make sure you have a NT gray card in hand to reveal to use TEP's ability.
  • Disciples of the Pharisees--get a nice draw, or give yourself initiative?  This is the choice you'll have to make with this character.  If you want to make sure you have inish to play a card like Unsuccessful or Just a Hireling, keep your Pharisees in hand then block with him alone to make him a 1/1 blocker.  Not only will you get a draw 1, but you'll most likely have initiative to play that battle-winning enhancement!  But, if you want the draw and can still give yourself inish, only play 2 Pharisees then block with Disciples of the Pharisees (he'll now be a 3/3 in stats):  you'll get a draw 3 and also have inish to play an battle-winner.
  • Herod's Temple is a great way to change your strategy to toss instead of trying to get initiative, or lose to a battle-winning enhancement your opponent plays.  So keep this strategy in mind for when you block with your lone Pharisee and the time is right to use a big numbered enhancement like Plot to Kill or Fear of Man to toss that lone hero!

YTG recommends the below cards as other viable options for this deck’s theme for Type 1 and/or GoC Only constructed play.  You can view and purchase them by clicking on each one, or search for them here!

To convert this deck to a GoC Only constructed deck, remove all cards that do not have GoC or GoC LR after each card title from the deck and Reserve.  You can then add any number of GoC or GoC LR cards from the Reserve to the main deck, in order to make the main deck a minimum of 50 cards.  You'll also need GoC or GoC LR lost souls to replace any non-GoC cards (purchase separately).  Another option is to purchase GoC cards separately to replace the non-GoC cards in the deck / Reserve (see below list of recommended GoC cards).

GoC cards

The Resurrection

Authority of Christ

Unholy Writ

Good Seed

Doom Speakers

Three Nails

The Proselytizers

The Obstinate Pharisee

The Great Commission


Gathering the Sanhedrin

Lost Soul (Mark 1:40)

Lost Soul (John 8:3-4)

Self-Righteous Prayer


Demanding Miracles

Grapes of Wrath

Crowd's Choice

Vine-Grower's Rebellion

Rotation cards

The Plotting Pharisees

Saul of Tarsus

Seize Him!

Humble Seeker

Threshing Floor

Three Woes

The Second Coming

Chronicles of the Kings


Scattered Sheep

Nicodemus the Seeker / the Teacher

Matthew's Begats

Windows of Narrow Light

The Deceiver

James, Leader in Jerusalem


High Places

Blood of the Lamb

Eye On It

Gamaliel's Speech