So my plans for this AMK Standard format have changed once again with the new emergency ban announcement from WotC (Felidar Guardian is gone). I feel bad for two friends I have who only bought into the 4-color Saheeli combo deck because this past Monday’s announcement indicated that the deck was safe “for now.” Those friends dropped somewhere over $100 on the deck with the knowledge that it would likely be banned within the next 5 weeks at the next ban announcement but they wanted to play in some events with the deck. Then two days later an “emergency ban” happens and now they are out the money they spent.
Luckily for me, I mostly play Tier 1.5/2/complete jank decks so I’m generally safe from bannings. Let me tell you about the card that I am, unsurprisingly, most excited about…
Approach of the Second Sun is, in my opinion, one of the most constructed-playable alternative win condition cards that has ever been printed. I don’t expect it to become a top deck in the format but I sincerely believe that there is some combination of cards that can win reliably with it in Standard. My goal will be to figure out what that combination is (or steal a deck list from someone who figures it out). To begin with I’m trying out a UW Control shell with cards like Disallow, Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, Dovin Baan, Cast Out, Stasis Snare, and Censor to keep me alive long enough to see the Second Sun.
I’ve also considered a Bant deck using mana ramp and card draw to try to get to the win faster (maybe even with some turbo fog thrown in for good measure). Another possibility is a GW Tokens style deck that uses Approach of the Second Sun as an actual alternative win condition in case plan A (beat them to death with an army + Gideon) goes awry. A BW Control deck has also crossed my mind but I seriously think it lacks the card draw (we miss you, Read the Bones) to keep up. Although you could go with a mindrange BW Zombie package that also plays one or two Approach as backup as well.
For budget reasons the UW Control idea I’ve been tossing around runs 0 Torrential Gearhulks (I don’t own them and just don’t want to buy into them at the moment for this particular deck). So instead I’m relying on Flash Enchantments to keep me alive. I also play one Sphinx of the Final Word as my only mainboard creature to help guarantee that my Approach resolves. In the sideboard I have 3x Gideon, ally of Zendikar (I don’t own the 4th, and with the recent impromptu banning I don’t want to invest in it) and 2x Linvala, the Preserver to help alleviate the pressure to resolve Approach twice in a game (Gideon is more for control mirrors, while Linvala should help against aggro if I can survive to cast her). I thought about making my sideboard more transformational and including a more comprehensive UW creature package but I wasn’t able to find any I was happy with. I suppose I could turn my sideboard package into a UW Panharmonicon-style package with Cloudblazer, Linvala, and other value ETB creatures but I’m not sure.
I’ll play my first FNM event with the deck tonight and see how it goes, I guess. If you have any ideas on how to make Approach truly great feel free to let me know!