Approach of the Sunbird

Sunbird’s Invocation was among the first cards spoiled from Ixalan and I thought it had some potential in a rogue deck building environment. It’s an enchantment which makes it harder to remove, it gives us card advantage in the form of a free spell, and it’s in the color that can help us stay alive until turn 6.

So I told myself this will be awesome in a Dinosaur deck if I can cast something huge and it ‘cascades’ into something else netting me more value per mana spent. However a 6 mana spell won’t find a place in an agro deck even if I tried. This playstyle is better in a commander deck, but more on this Commandosaur topic later.

To get maximum value from Sunbird’s Invocation, I need high value, high impact cards that help win the game. Red gives me access to Shock, Lightning Strike, Chandra and Sweltering Suns. Red had the most answers to today’s meta decks like BG energy, Temur, Ramunap red, probably pirates or dinosaur tribal, and Planewalkers. What it was weak against were enchantments and creatures having 4 or more toughness.

Lightning Strike
Sweltering Suns

White had this covered in Gideon of the Trials, Cast Out, Fumigate. Early damage might be too late for our sweepers so Sunscourge Champion joins the party as a great card we can play to have early chump blockers and much needed life gain.

Another thing that’s cool is if we cast Approach of the Second Sun with a Sunbird’s Invocation in play, we can literally win the game if the Approach we just cast from our hand ends up digging up a second copy of Approach. Given that the free Approach resolves, the one we are currently casting satisfies the win conditions which then wins us the game on turn 7. This is possible on turn 6 if we have a Chandra, Torch of Defiance helping us ramp. Not to mention cascading a Chandra from Dusk or Gideon from Sweltering is so good, it won’t be often but if it does, it rocks.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance

In theory the deck shows promise in a non-control heavy meta but even if that’s the meta you are in, red white colors provide us an agro transformative sideboard to catch unsuspecting control players off guard.

Deck name: Approach of the Sunbird

Creatures: 11

  • 4 Raptor Hatchling
  • 4 Sunscourge Champion
  • 4 Vizier of Deferment

Spells: 24

  • 2 Shock
  • 2 Magma Spray
  • 4 Lightning Strike
  • 2 Sweltering Suns
  • 2 Dusk// Dawn
  • 1 Cast Out
  • 2 Gideon of the Trials
  • 3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
  • 3 Approach of the Second Sun
  • 3 Sunbird’s Invocation

Lands: 25

  • 4 Inspiring Vantage
  • 2 Stone Quarry
  • 4 Ramunap Ruins
  • 7 Mountains
  • 6 Plains
  • 2 Scavenger Grounds

Sideboard: 15

  • 4 Glory-bound Initiate
  • 4 Adanto Vanguard
  • 4 Earthshaker Kenra
  • 3 Ahn-Crop Crasher

Pre-board you play a control deck, using spot removals to clear the board while we assemble the combo. Raptor Hatchling is so good in both defense and offense. Vizier is also a great card to blink out huge attackers or your own Sunscourge to gain life back post-blocks. Dusk//Dawn was preferred over Fumigate because the Dawn part works for our deck too.

The deck is looks good against most match-ups but if you are up against control, side out all the Approach, Sunbird, Sweltering, Gideon, and Vizier to free up 15 slots and push the entire sideboard in.

Post-board you will be one step slower than Ramunap on turn 1, but you will have Dusk//Dawn to replenish your board when you don’t have good blocks, and keep Sunscourge in to help you win the damage race.

Let me know if you had the same idea on how to use Sunbird’s Invocation at the comments section below.

Cheers, Vanson.

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