This week's TCGplayer Top 10 is a special one. All of the cards are pre-orders from War of the Spark. As such, the reason for them getting into the Top 10 isn't based off tournament results or how they performed in videos. These are all here because players expect these cards to make an appearance in the new meta just around the corner. So without further delay, let's dive in.
Our number 10 this week, while being a sorcery, is basically a Dimir version of Flametongue Kavu. The spell deals 4 damage to a creature, gains you 4 life, mills four and gives you either a 4/4 creature or four +1/+1 counters on an Army if you already control one—all for five mana. While the converted mana cost breaks the flavor a bit, it's easy to see why Wizards couldn't make this cost four mana. Zombie strategies may give this a try and maybe even a blue-black control build can make use of it, but be warned—a card like this is a serious liability in a control mirror, since it won't have any creatures to target. At least you can still discard it to jump-start Chemister's Insight.
Aristocrats gets a new version of Zulaport Cutthroat with Cruel Celebrant. If you played Standard during Zulaport Cutthroat's heyday, you remember just how strong that 1/1 creature was. Cruel Celebrant tacks on an additional point of toughness and another card type to drain your opponents with. In addition to Standard, Teysa Commander players will likely enjoy another drain effect that triggers on token deaths.
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer is one of the best of the uncommon planeswalkers in War of the Spark. Saheeli's static ability is reminiscent of Monastery Mentor. The flexible mana cost makes it easy to play on curve and the minus ability is incredibly strong. This feels a lot like a piece of a Cheerios deck. The static ability pumps out artifact creatures as an alternative win condition and the minus ability can copy whatever creature- based draw engine you're playing to double your odds of drawing your win condition.
Ever since Persistent Petitioners came out, any card with the subtype Advisor has been drawing interest—so it's possible that Persistent Petitioners had an impact on Tomik, Distinguished Advokist's sales. Tomik has a lot of benefits on his own in Commander as well. His abilities disrupt some popular land-based Commander decks like The Gitrog Monster, Azusa, Lost but Seeking and Lord Windgrace. As your commander, Tomik, Distinguished Advokist can get in early commander damage starting as early as turn two. While Tomik might not look like an aggro commander right off the bat, I think he could play a similar role to Isamaru, Hound of Konda while his abilities act as just a bonus.
If Torrential Gearhulk and Glimmer of Genius were smashed together, you'd get something pretty close to Commence the Endgame. This card has a lot of potential in Standard. Being an instant draw spell, you can play it on your opponent's end step, but when you add in the X/X token or X +1/+1 counters, it opens up your options significantly. Need a blocker? You've got one. Trying to end the game quickly? Cast before damage to buff your army by your hand size. No doubt, the versatility of this card is what pushed it into the number 6 slot.
Where to begin with Blast Zone? The hype for this card blankets almost all formats. I'm honestly surprised it's not higher on the list. Blast Zone is a threat even with zero counters on it. If your opponent's army gets a bit too big to deal with, crack Blast Zone and it's gone. Just like that, no spell to counter, and no damage to prevent. In Modern, Tron can throw one in the main deck and search it up with Expedition Map, Sylvan Scrying, or Ancient Stirrings. In Commander, this is an easier to tutor Ratchet Bomb that is also easier to get back from the graveyard.
I talked about this one a few weeks ago and it's still holding strong in our Top 10. Proliferate is a powerful mechanic and I think it will be a fun mechanic to play and play around. I know superfriends commander players will be trying to find a spot for this in their ninety-nine.
This is another card getting hype from multiple formats. Modern especially has been keeping graveyard removal in mind due to the increase in Dredge and other graveyard-based decks. Ashiok's -1 ability not only mills four, it also exiles everything in the graveyard at that point. This actually gets around the Eldrazi's shuffle triggers, as the mill and the exile are within the same ability, so the cards are exiled before their shuffle ability can resolve. Ashiok's static ability may be even more relevant to Modern than it's -1 ability, as it shuts down all search effects that your opponent controls. Fetchlands and Expedition Map are shut down as long as Ashiok remains on the battlefield, which may be a while since Ashiok starts at 5 loyalty.
Boros now has its own four-mana board wipe. It may not be a Day of Judgment, but if you build around it well enough, it can sometimes be even better. A lot of people are skeptical of Solar Blaze because it will never kill a Wildgrowth Walker, but reaching number 2 this week makes me think enough of you see potential in this card in the upcoming meta. Don't forget to check your opponent's creatures' abilities before casting this, though. If they have deathtouch, great! The creature will kill themselves even with a higher toughness, but if they have lifelink or another damage trigger, make sure you don't accidentally play yourself.
The moment I saw this card, it became one of my favorite planeswalkers and clearly I was not alone. Monastery Siege from Fate Reforged was a great Standard card, but so many times I wished I could just have both abilities. Well, Wizards has granted that wish with Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor. Kasmina actually protects herself twice over. Her -2 creates a 2/2 Wizard Token and loots, giving you a blocker, while her static ability makes every spell targeting her—and other creatures and planeswalkers you control—cost 2 more. Both commander and standard sales should be pushing this one. Superfriends decks like Atraxa, Praetors' Voice will include Kasmina, Enigmatic Mentor and Azami, Lady of Scrolls decks could probably put those Wizard Tokens to good use while sitting relatively safely under that umbrella effect.