Jeskai Approach by Guillaume Matignon at Pro Tour Ixalan – Top 8

Creatures (2)
2 Torrential Gearhulk

Non-Creature Spells (32)
2 Approach of the Second Sun
4 Opt
4 Censor
4 Harnessed Lightning
1 Essence Scatter
4 Disallow
2 Commit // Memory
4 Glimmer of Genius
4 Settle the Wreckage
1 Pull from Tomorrow
2 Search for Azcanta

Lands (26)
4 Spirebluff Canal
4 Inspiring Vantage
4 Aether Hub
4 Irrigated Farmland
4 Glacial Fortress
6 Island

Sideboard (15)
2 Torrential Gearhulk
1 Essence Scatter
1 Pull from Tomorrow
2 Negate
2 Jace’s Defeat
3 Baral, Chief of Compliance
3 Fiery Cannonade
1 The Locust God

Summary

Going into Pro Tour Ixalan, the Standard format appeared to be fairly diverse, with aggro, midrange, and control all viable options. However, which archetypes within those categories were going to succeed was the real question that players had to answer. The deck we’re featuring today is the only control deck to top 8 the Pro Tour, Jeskai Approach, which takes the traditional U/W Approach deck and adds red to better position it in this format.

Like the U/W Approach decks in this format, this deck uses Approach of the Second Sun as a win condition, Glimmer of Genius as a powerful card filtering and draw spell, Censor as a cheap conditional counter spell that replaces itself, and Search for Azcanta as another source of card advantage whose stock continues to rise in this format. Approach of the Second Sun, while not the most mana efficient of win conditions, is good for these style of decks, as it offers some not inconsequential life gain and it only demands a significant mana input, something this deck is very capable of.

The makeup of the rest of the deck is a good indication that Matignon did not start this deck based on the U/W Approach decks of the format. Opt isn’t card advantageous in and of itself, but it helps to smooth draws and dig towards the card this deck needs at any given time. Disallow has more or less fallen out of favor in Approach decks in Standard, due mainly to the fact that Supreme Will is a better option. It counters spells more often than not, is less color intensive, and can act as an Impulse when needed.

Settle the Wreckage is a new and exciting board wipe printed in Ixalan, but it’s certainly a surprise to see the full four copies alongside zero copies of the preferred board wipe in the format, Fumigate. Settle is notably cheaper, but it’s not a good option on turn 4 where it ramps the opponent, and it doesn’t do anything against creatures that aren’t attacking. The red in the mainboard is only for Harnessed Lightning. The U/W Approach deck was in desperate need of a two mana spot removal spell, and Harnessed Lightning provides just that.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Commit // Memory

-2 Settle the Wreckage

+1 Essence Scatter

+2 Fumigate

Sideboard

-3 Baral, Chief of Comliance

+3 Regal Caracal

This is day 309 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 308 here, where we featured another Standard deck that popped up towards the end of Pro Tour Ixalan.

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