Beyond Approach

Hi everyone, and welcome to my first article with Gathering Magic. My plan is to bring you some of the most innovative Standard decks that are doing well either on Magic Online (MTGO) or in other tournaments. With that being said, let's get down to business. This week I have a few different versions of Approach of the Second Sun decks for you, so no matter what your color preferences are you can utilize this powerful alternate win condition. Let's begin by taking a look at the original version of the deck, {U}{W} Approach.

This is a typical {W}{U} Control deck that attempts to minimize the amount of creatures your opponent plays by either destroying them via Settle the Wreckage and Fumigate or by denying them the ability to enter the battlefield by using various counterspells like Disallow or Essence Scatter. You also have cards like Search for Azcanta and Glimmer of Genius that can help you filter through your deck as you attempt to find a copy of Approach of the Second Sun. Those same spells also help you quickly draw back down to Approach once it has been played and put back into your library as your seventh card down.

The next deck I have for you takes the basic shell of the {W}{U} Approach deck and adds Green for a few cards. Let's take a look at Bant Approach.

So, not only does the addition of Green allow some mana ramp in the form of Spring // Mind and Hour of Promise, but it also allows you to play Carnage Tyrant during sideboarded games. This deck also utilizes a lot of deserts for various effects. Scavenger Grounds is particularly useful against decks utilizing The Scarab God or God-Pharaoh’s Gift decks. Also of note is Ipnu Rivulet, which you can use to good effect by targeting yourself with its effect after you've already played Approach of the Second Sun once, as it will get the top four cards of your library out of the way so you can draw it again sooner.

After sideboarding, you'll usually want to replace your copies of Approach of the Second Sun with potent creatures such as Carnage Tyrant (if your opponent is playing counterspells) or Regal Caracal (if your opponent is playing a more aggressive style of deck). Hashep Oasis and Shefet Dunes are desert payoffs in these games, allowing you to pump up a big, trampling dinosaur or a lifelinking cat.

The next deck I have for you pairs Red with White and brings a way to potentially win the game on the spot. Let's take a look at {W}{R} Sunbird's Approach.

If you manage to get a little lucky, you can win the game on the spot if you are able to cast Approach of the Second Sun while you have Sunbird’s Invocation on the battlefield, assuming that there's another copy of Approach somewhere in the top seven cards of your library and assuming that your opponent doesn't counter the one you've played from your hand. It may be a tall order, but it's certainly possible. And even if you don't manage to hit an Approach, you still get value by being able to cast any of the other cards that are revealed for free.

Azor’s Gateway is a nice addition to this deck, as it allows a repeatable way to draw an extra card each turn which can help you dig through your library faster as you search for your Approach of the Second Sun. While I'm typically a Red aggro player, I have to admit that this type of Approach deck looks pretty fun.

The next version I have for you is the {B}{W} version. Let's take a look at it.

This {B}{W} version isn't as all in on the Approach of the Second Sun plan as the other decks I've shown you are, but it can still win with it as a back-up plan. And by having access to Mastermind’s Acquisition, you are able to search out your only copy of Approach whenever you want it. Or if you happen to need an answer you know you have in your sideboard, you have the ability to get that instead.

A good way to win with this deck is through the use of Profane Procession. If your opponent has a creature that you need to get off the battlefield, you can choose to exile it with Profane Procession. Then, provided the game goes long enough, you can use your opponent's own creature against them. Also keep in mind that you can save your own creature from being destroyed or exiled by your opponent provided you have the mana to activate Profane Procession. It's a very mana-intensive plan, but this deck is built to go the distance in a long game.

The final deck I have for you today combines what I consider the strongest creature in Standard with Approach of the Second Sun. Let's take a look at Esper Approach.

So for Game 1, you are playing the long game by keeping your opponent's side of the battlefield clear of threats. If you manage to get down a Search for Azcanta, it makes finding Approach of the Second Sun much easier. Also, Torrential Gearhulk can be another way to a potential victory. After sideboarding, you have access to The Scarab God, the card I believe is quite possibly the strongest creature in Standard. You also have Profane Procession in the sideboard which, as I mentioned above, can be used to great effect.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, Approach of the Second Sun can be played alongside many different color combinations and do well. Which of these decks is your favorite? Let me know in the comment section below. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

—Mike Likes

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