Second chance for Second Sun

As many of you will be abundantly aware of by now, I am a huge fan of aggressive decks. I am most at home when I’m attacking with a huge swathe of creatures or doming my opponent with burn spells. Now I’ll occasionally pick up a mid-range deck when the mode takes me, but aggro is defiantly where I feel most comfortable. My feeling on control decks, however, are very different.

It is no secret that I don’t like playing with or against control decks. Something about being able to stop players getting on with playing the game just doesn’t sit well with me, and only having one or two ways to win the game makes me feel super anxious. I’m also quite an impulsive person, so taking more than five turns to beat my opponent feels wrong to me.

However, occasionally there comes a deck that, despite its abundance of counter spells and win cons, is just so much fun to play that it breaks down my walls of heavy cynicism around the archetype. When that happens, I end up doing the unthinkable. I play control. The last time this happenned was during Amonkhet Standard, when I briefly put down my mono-red deck and instead sleeved up Approach of the Second Sun.

For those of you who need a reminder (or didn’t play during Amonkhet Standard), Approach of the Second Sun is a seven-mana Sorcery that reads “If this spell was cast from your hand and you’ve cast another spell named Approach of the Second Sun this game, you win the game. Otherwise, put Approach of the Second Sun into its owner’s library seventh from the top and you gain 7 life.” This is part of the reason why I enjoyed the deck so much. As one of the most unique and achievable alternative win conditions in recent years, Approach of the Second Sun held a reasonably high position in the meta at the time, and as a result a version of the deck even made it into the first run of Challenger Decks.

This is how I first came to play the deck, and I had a blast playing it despite the fact that it runs counter spells. So, when it came to thinking up a brew for Pioneer (Magic’s latest format) I decided to re-sleeve Approach of the Second Sun.

The idea of the deck is simple one. Cast a second copy of Approach using removal and counter spells to keep our opponents at bay until we can do so. To this end, we are running two copies of both Dovin’s Veto and Essence Scatter as well as a playset of Absorb as our counter spell package. We also have Detention Sphere and Supreme Verdict as our removal slots, which both do a great job at keeping the battlefield clear of pesky creatures.

We also need ways of finding our Approaches, so card draw and card filtering is essential. A playset of Opt is a good place to start, as well as a couple of Glimmer of Genius to dig deeper into our library. Speaking of digging, Dig Through Time is a great way of finding our second copy of Approach after we have cast the first, and we should be able to delve away quite a bit of the cost at that stage of the game. Search for Azcanta does a great job of filtering our draws, and three copies of Narset, Parter of Veils adds to the card draw while preventing our opponents from doing the same.

On the subject of Planeswalkers, lets throw in some copies of Teferi, Time Raveler as well as two Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Both can be used to bounce pesky threats and provide card draw. Additionally, Teferi, Time Raveler allows us to cast our Approach of the Second Sun at instant speed and stops other control decks’ counter magic.

Our mana base runs playsets of Glacial Fortress and Hallowed Fountain, as well as Fabled Passage to held with fixing. We also run two copies of Field of Ruin to take care of opposing utility lands, rounding the mainboard off with six Islands and five Plains.

Spells (23)
Dovin's Veto
Essence Scatter
Glimmer of Genius
Supreme Verdict
Approach of the Second Sun
Dig Through Time

Enchantments (4)
Search for Azcanta
Detention Sphere

Planeswalkers (8)
Narset, Parter of Veils
Teferi, Time Raveler
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Lands (25)
Glacial Fortress
Hallowed Fountain
Field of Ruin
Fabled Passage

Sideboard (15)
Seal Away
Gideon of the Trials
Leyline of Sanctity
Settle the Wreckage
Detention Sphere

When it comes to the sideboard, we run two copies of Disenchant to handle Artifacts and Enchantments alongside Seal Away if our opponent is on the aggressive creature plan. Gideon of the Trials gives us a great alternative win condition for the deck, while Leyline of Sanctity protects us from hand attack and burn. Settle the Wreckage comes in if we need to handle hexproof attackers, and finally two more copies of Detention Sphere in case we come across a heavy token deck.

There we have it, Second Sun Control for Pioneer. What do you think of the deck? is this the kind of deck you would play? If so, tell us about your thoughts on the deck in the comments below. While you’re there, you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.

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