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With the contents of Amonkhet fully known, all of the deckbuilders and brewers of the world are spending extra hours late at night tweaking their latest Gideon shell. Look, we know that ultimate is totally not worth it, but we just can't help ourselves.
It's not a problem until we show up to a Grand Prix with sixteen copies of the dashing planeswalker, so let's just hope it never comes to that.
Meanwhile, the rest of Amonkhet is dripping with build-around cards and new tools and toys for existing archetypes as well. It is extremely early in the brewing process, and this is the time where dreamers get to dream and test all of those obscure cards that most have already cast aside as unplayable. If you put the effort in and are crafty enough, though, few cards are truly unplayable (I'm looking at you, Bog Hoodlums).
One card that has caught my eye, not once but twice, is Approach of the Second Sun.
Like most people when they first saw this card revealed, I found the card interesting but didn't quite know whether it had any competitive viability. Seven mana for a locked-in half of a Primal Command is not exactly the deal of the century. At the same time, however, it is often very difficult to correctly evaluate a card in brand-new space like this.
Our first tool when looking at new cards is almost always to compare it to cards we are familiar with. Every set seems to have a new “Thoughtseize” or “Force Spike” or “Oblivion Ring.” We all use anchoring here to help us make a snap judgment about a card that we can't even play with yet. It is maybe the best tool at our disposal in this window of time, so it makes sense that we turn to it so quickly. But people are hardly robots, and our snap judgments, no matter how rooted in past experience they may be, have a chance at being wrong.
Like most evaluations, the power level of a new card rests somewhere along a spectrum. Let's arbitrarily assign this spectrum a scale from zero to ten. If you are looking at a new card like Cast Out and comparing it to Oblivion Ring, you might arrive at it being an 8/10 on the power level spectrum. There is still a good chance you are wrong, but if Cast Out ends up being a 7/10 or a 9/10, or even a 10/10, your comparison paid off pretty well and you are probably pretty happy with your evaluation.
Now let's go back to Approach of the Second Sun. First of all, there is no analog to this as close as the Oblivion Ring / Cast Out comparison, so our confidence level in our evaluation has to be lower based only on this scheme. Let's say I pull a number out of thin air though and eventually decide it is a 4/10. Without strong reference material, my margin of error here might extend all the way from 1/10 to 7/10. Even conservatively, we are looking at a range from 2/10 to 6/10, and a card falling into either end of this range is radically different in power level from one on the other end. A 2/10 is hardly playable, whereas a 6/10 might be an all-star card that just happens to only serve a niche function. I would never feel confident in accepting my initial judgment when it comes to this type of card and then moving on. In my opinion, as a brewer, this is specifically the kind of card you need to put into lists and get some games in with before writing it off.
Approach of the Second Sun may very well not be cut out for a job in Standard, or it might, but I know I am not gonna wait around for some other people to decide that for me. So what is the best shell to harbor this beauty?