Video: Notion Thief in Standard

Looking for something different to take to #SCGINDY? Check out this video of Sam Black as he breathes new life into Standard by taking his very own Notion Thief brew for a spin!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a Standard Notion Thief deck. I didn’t really expect it to be competitive, but after I finished the list, I thought it
looked fun enough that I had to try it. I’ve tweaked it just a little bit, so today I’ll be playing with:

Round 1

In the first game, I had to keep a highly speculative six card hand, and I really failed to draw out of it. I had to mulligan again in the second game, but
my hand was a little better. Eidolon of the Great Revel is a huge problem for my deck, which plans to cast lots of cheap spells, and in general, aggressive
red decks seem like they should be pretty good against me since I can’t really clog their hands.

Round 2

Now, this matchup is much more my speed. My opponent’s a little slow and a lot clunkier, which gives me time to set up and makes it difficult for them to
take advantage of the extra cards. In game one, Notion Thief against Eidolon of Blossoms was particularly awesome, but I also got to execute my mondo combo
(even though it was after I’d already basically locked up the game.)

Round 3

In the first game, I mulled to five and got absolutely run over. In the second game, I was barely able to get my Cloudfin Raptors large enough to
stabilize, and then took control with Master of the Feast and Notion Thief. Game three played out similarly, but with a good Pain Seer start instead of
Cloudfin Raptor. The match ended in a disconnect by my opponent. I’m impressed and surprised that I was able to beat red, but my draws in the second two
games were pretty good.

Round 4

That first game was interesting. Once I started to get going, I thought I’d probably win, but I was aware that decking might be an issue (it’s possible I
shouldn’t have played the third Dictate of Kruphix). I suspect that I’d lose either way to Crypt Incursion. Game two was over immediately, as my opponent
just conceded to my turn three Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. I guess that was a good sideboard card. The third game went more like I imagined post-sideboard
games would go, where I used cheap counters to get under my opponent and ran away with the game from there.

Overall, I was impressed with how consistently the deck did its thing. The mana isn’t great and the early creature/Hidden Strings interaction is a little
unstable. It’s possible the card draw/Notion Thief shell would be better served by having some other early game. I’d like to avoid Thoughtseize because
it’s pretty bad with making my opponents draw cards. I do like the ability to spend extra mana, but it’s possible that counterspells and removal would be a
better way to fill the rest of the deck.