Single Card Discussion: Notion Rain

 

Hello and welcome back to the Single Card Discussion series! After my pieces on The Eldest Reborn and Alms Collector, it’s time to take a look at yet another multiplayer gem that I feel has been sadly overlooked.

Today’s card is one that I’ve thought would be useful in multiplayer since it was first spoiled this year, and I have no doubts that it will be going forward. Today’s featured card is Guilds of Ravnica’s card-drawing spell, Notion Rain!

Let’s take a look!

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FOF

Thus far in my Single Card series, I’ve looked at some great multiplayer gems.

• I started the series with Utter End, my favorite spot removal spell from Khans, here.
• I looked at a red card, Outpost Siege, my overall favorite card from Fate Reforged, here.
• Another red card, Greater Gargadon, a fantastic sacrifice outlet, here.
• I looked at the first monowhite card, the tricksy Seht’s Tiger here.
• The first blue card of the series, Gilded Drake, a potent thievery effect, here.
• I went over white control card World Queller and how to use its powerful effect here.
• I looked at the once-restricted blue recursion card Recall, the only blue card that can recur dead planeswalkers (plus any other type of card), here.
• I went over the first black card of this series, Commander 2014’s Flesh Carver, an excellent sacrifice outlet here.
• As part of my week-long look at Modern Masters 2015 cards, I looked at Endrek Sahr, Master Breeder, and his token-making prowess here.
• We went over the red sweeper Magmaquake, which hits all planeswalkers at once, here.
• I looked at Shrouded Lore, a strange black recursion spell, here.
• We discussed the power of tapping down opposing creatures with a trio of white cards: Glare of Subdual, Sandsower, and Diversionary Tactics, here.
• I took a look at two green recursion creatures, Hua Tuo, Honored Physician, and Loaming Shaman from Ravnica, here.
• I looked at an Innistrad favourite, Reaper from the Abyss, an excellent card for killing off opposing creatures, here.
• I looked at the powerful Magic Origins card Chandra’s Ignition, a mighty Wrath effect/player killer, here.
• I spotlighted Vorinclex’s potent new win condition and mana-ramp spell, From Beyond, and the possibilities of an Eldrazi sideboard here.
• I looked at my favourite modal spell from Commander 2014, the deceptively useful Wretched Confluence here.
• I looked at new Ally tribal leader General Tazri and how she would interact with the Allies here.
• I looked at the Mana Reflection/Soul of the Harvest love child, Zendikar Resurgent here.
• I looked at the super Purify slash big dude, Kalemne’s Captain, here.
• I went over one of my favorite lands from Shadows Over Innistrad block, Westvale Abbey (and its flip side, Ormendahl) here.
• I took a look at Amonkhet’s new powerhouse card drawing spell, Pull from Tomorrow, which is deceptively good, here.
• I went over the aftermath all-star, Commit // Memory, a powerful and flexible bounce spell and draw 7, here.
• I looked at a third Amonkhet card, as I looked at a second aftermath card, Dusk // Dawn here.
• I took a look at a fourth Amonkhet card, Mouth // Feed, which was the third aftermath card that I really liked, here.
• I shared my thoughts on the simple-but-powerful Commander 2013 land, Opal Palace here.
• I looked at Hour of Devastation’s graveyard-hosing Scavenger Grounds here.
• I delved into Commander’s Verdant Confluence here.
• I looked at Theros’s Bow of Nylea here.
• I took a look at a removal spell that has aged very well, The Dark’s Ashes to Ashes here.
• I looked at a simple, yet deceptively powerful Equipment card, Bloodforged Battle-Axe, here.
• We went over the surprisingly useful split card Pure // Simple, the bane of Equipment, Auras and multicolor creatures, here.
• I looked at super fun “swap my team for yours” card, Cultural Exchange here.
• I took a look at the cards with the myriad ability from Commander 2015 here.
• I looked at classic Urza’s Destiny rattlesnake card, False Prophet, an excellent way to deter attacks, here.
• I took a look at Commander 2014’s Fork variant-on-a-dude, Dualcaster Mage here.
• I looked at new Dominaria card The Eldest Reborn, which is a great mix of one-shot kill spell and recursion, here.
• Finally, I looked at Commander pre-con card Alms Collector, a great way to piggyback off other players’ card drawing, here.

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In this series, I always like to highlight cards that have been subtle or unknown all-stars for me in my own EDH games, but for today, I’m going to take a look at a newer card that has flown under the radar since it was spoiled, and I can already tell that it’s going to be great.

As befits the Dimir guild, it is a card that looks simple, but has a lot of subtlety to it: Notion Rain, from Guilds of Ravnica.

With every Magic set that comes out, the first thing I always look for is new and exciting card drawing spells. I love drawing extra cards in Magic; each extra card gives you more chances to draw your lands, draw your threats to kill people with, and draw answers to opposing threats. In short, card draw spells win games. So Notion Rain was immediately on my radar, as the newest card drawing kid in town.

The most immediate card to compare this to is Read the Bones, from Theros block. These are nearly identical, as you get to look at two cards, draw two cards, lose two life with each one. With Notion Rain, however, being able to put the two cards that you look at into the graveyard is not a drawback, it’s a very relevant bonus.

Throughout my time playing EDH, I have noticed that decks which utilize their graveyards as a resource always tend to do very well in any longer game, as they always have more and more resources to draw upon. The graveyard basically acts as an extra hand for anyone who looks to use it, giving them more and more options as the game goes on.

Simply put, the graveyard is an immensely powerful resource in Magic, and any card that interacts with it in some way can likewise be quite powerful.

Notion Rain being able to put two cards of your choice into your graveyard is incredibly good, and the surveil ability cannot be understated here. You can put creatures into your graveyard (to fuel generals like The Mimeoplasm and Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, or just dump a giant creature in order to reanimate it with something like Animate Dead); you can put instants/sorceries into your graveyard (to use later with Dralnu, Lich Lord, or to recast with Spelltwine); or anything in between. You can even dump something like a Drownyard Temple into your graveyard to bring back later on.

Surveil is a very powerful ability, giving you card selection that stretches into a longer game, so long as you have built around reusing your graveyard.

Personally, I’ll be using Notion Rain in our The Mimeoplasm and Dralnu, Lich Lord decks, and I foresee it being a quiet role-player that will subtly end up winning games for me. Draw extra cards (likely looking for my land) early on, and put spells and creatures in the graveyard that I can use later? Sign me up!

This is a great card for any U/B/x graveyard-based general, and I look forward to seeing it hit my table for quite some time to come.

 

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