This deck is everything I like most about Magic and in particular, about deckbuilding. None of this midrangey attrition fest with creatures and removal spells where you’re basically playing glorified Limited decks. We have a plan, that plan wins the game outright, and we’re going all in on it.
For those who aren’t familiar with how the combo here works, when almost every card in your deck cycles, you find yourself with plenty of cards in hand, and then you can cast New Perspectives and start cycling through your deck at warp speed. Shefnet Monitor and Vizier of Tumbling Sands net extra mana, especially if you have a Weirding Wood on the battlefield. Shadow of the Grave lets you rinse, lather, and repeat until you get to enough mana to cast Approach of the Second Sun twice in one turn. Just beautiful.
The choice of cycling cards here is very important, since they all have some functionality outside of their normal mode. Renewed Faith and Haze of Pollen buy precious time against aggressive decks, Cast Out deals with problematic permanents, and Shefnet Monitor can ramp you straight from four to six mana for New Perspectives. Vizier of Tumbling Sands similarly serves as a ramp spell.
The ramp element here is particularly important because so many of your lands enter the battlefield tapped. Without the additional mana, the deck would likely stumble too often from turns 4 to 6 to consistently race aggressive decks or win key counter wars against control decks.
The sideboard here is certainly rough, but I particularly like Drake Haven as an additional threat that lets you play a fair game, although I use the term “fair” quite loosely. Without the second threat card, counterspells like Negate would be very difficult to beat because you would have to sculpt near perfect hands before going off.
As much as I like the linear approach for combo decks, I presume this archetype will have to incorporate some disruption in order to compete, but I’m happy enough to see a combo deck in Standard that isn’t so obviously overpowered. This one will stay around and be much more fun to play.