Gen Con, "The Best Four Days in Gaming," kicked off preview season for Commander 2019 this past weekend, which helped break Core Set 2020's controlling grip of the top sellers.
There's a good mix of familiar faces and newcomers on the list, so let's get right to it.
The Spirit Pirate refuses to die, still holding down the one-drop slot in the blue-green flash deck. From growing your Brineborn Cutthroat to discounting your Lookout's Dispersal to straight up drawing you cards, this little flier does a lot to make that deck fire on all cylinders.
Gen Con wasn't the only thing going on this past week. Star City Games hosted a Modern tournament in Columbus, Ohio, with the winner using Mystic Forge alongside Urza, Lord High Artificer and over thirty artifacts to power out the classic Sword of the Meek / Thopter Foundry combo.
If you prefer a more straightforward beatdown approach, the Forge also appears alongside Eldrazi in various Tron lists that are starting to show up at final tables.
Colorless cards that work well in a variety of decks have a history of selling well, and Mystic Forge looks to be no exception.
This summer's Core Set did a lot to bring balance to the metagame by bringing back creatures with protection, and by giving us a cycle of spells that punish specific colors and strategies.
For everyone tired of the Esper Control decks dominating their local Friday Night Magic scene, salvation was found in Veil of Summer, which does four things for just a single green mana. Being a cheap and versatile answer to one of Standard's most popular decks should keep this card on our list for a while yet.
Green isn't the only color that gets to walk over countermagic-based strategies. Fry gives red decks an uncounterable answer to Teferis big and small. It also cleanly takes out Gideon Blackblade during your own turn, before its lifelink-granting ability puts the game out of reach for your burn.
Making a surprise appearance in some recent aggressive Bant lists, Voracious Hydra works great alongside Hydroid Krasis when both are supported by Llanowar Elves, Paradise Druid and Leafkin Druid.
You can pour all that ramp into one of your Hydras, or fire off a game-winning Finale of Glory and go over the top with a squadron of Angels.
The first wave of previews gave us a reprint of the desirable Seedborn Muse, and showed four new legendary creatures that got Commander fans excited to explore each deck's theme: flashback, madness, morph and populate.
With something for every type of player, the decks quickly took their place on our list, and you can expect to see single cards from each deck continue to appear in the coming weeks.
Another week, another leyline gets a turn in the spotlight, but this one seems to have a very specific application in Modern at the moment. Since Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis dodged the latest round of bannings, players are desperate to find ways to shut down the graveyard-based strategy.
A Leyline of the Void in your opening hand stops not only Hogaak, but other pesky cards like Vengevine, Arclight Phoenix and even Narcomoeba as well.
Already showing up in over 300 Commander decklists on EDHREC, this humble artifact slots into a ton of tribal strategies. From the W/B Vampires list Gabby Spartz used for Fandom Legends a few weeks ago, to a Mono-Red Eldrazi list that 5-0'd an MTGO Modern League, the Icon provides a buff and great way to refill your hand in just about any tribal build.
With madness being the theme to one of the Commander 2019 decks and a new legendary Vampire as the build-around card, it's no surprise Falkenrath Gorger made it onto our list this week.
He fits in perfectly, granting madness to every other Vampire in your deck, which means Anje Falkenrath becomes an almost endless stream of creatures entering the battlefield—at instant speed!
As good as Anje and her Falkenrath bloodline may be, even the most regal Vampires need help sometimes. Rotting Regisaur also fits perfectly into the red and black madness Commander deck, where the normal downside text "discard a card" becomes a reliable and free way to cast your madness spells.
Or, if you'd rather stick to a sixty card format, the Jund Dinosaurs list is also a force to be reckoned with, as Seth Manfield recently proved in Solving Standard.
That's our Top 10 for the week. Core Set 2020 continues to put up big numbers, but Commander 2019 might start to take over as we learn more about the decks.