Modern showcases all sets from Eighth Edition onward. By now, that’s 15 years of cards. But there’s a world of difference between 14 and 15 years of cards. Over the course of the last year, new printings have spawned completely new archetypes, revitalized others, and enriched existing ones.
In my previous article, I broke down the top 5 most important Modern additions from Dominaria. Today, I’ll cover the Top 5 from Core Set 2019. For each card, I also have a sample deck list, taken either from last weekend’s Grand Prix or from a recent Magic Online event. Let’s get to it!
The Most Important Modern Additions From Core Set 2019
5. Sai, Master Thopterist
Sai adds resilience to the KCI deck, especially after sideboard. When opponents attack the combo with Rest in Peace or Stony Silence, Sai still offers a win condition. And even if opponents don’t have such a hate card, Sai makes it easier to combo off, as every artifact spell you play now effectively adds 2 mana to your pool.
Joao Choca made Top 8 last weekend with the first copy of Sai already in the main deck. “Sai, Master Thoperist was the best card in my main deck—literally won every game I resolved her,” he said.
Joao Choca, Top 8 at Grand Prix Atlanta 2018
4. Elvish Clancaller
The Elves deck can generate ridiculous amounts of mana early on with Elvish Archdruid and Heritage Druid, and it uses all that mana with Ezuri, Renegade Leader to set up a lethal attack. Elvish Clancaller is a natural fit for this deck.
The Anthem effect of the Lord synergizes particularly well with Dwynen’s Elite and Collected Company. And since mana is plentiful, the 6-mana ability of Elvish Clancaller can be activated early and often.
Brent Clift, 11-4 at Grand Prix Atlanta 2018
3. Militia Bugler
The card advantage generated by Militia Bugler mitigates flood, beats removal-laden decks, and can dig for key disruption creatures. Militia Bugler has found some space in decks like Devoted Company, where it increases the consistency of the combo while adding a Collected Company hit to the deck.
But it has seen even more play in Humans. Its creature type is a perfect fit for that deck, and when you copy it with Phantasmal Image, you can set up a value chain that is hard to beat in the late game.
Martin Hrycej, 12-3 at Grand Prix Atlanta 2018
2. Stitcher’s Supplier
At Pro Tour 25th Anniversary, the breakout deck in Modern was Bridgevine. The two namesake cards enable explosive starts, but they only have value when they are in the graveyard. That’s why Stitcher’s Supplier enabled the entire archetype: It gave the deck a creature that could not only mill over Bridge from Below but also bring back Vengevine. It even had the right creature type for Gravecrawler.
Takumi Utsunomiya, Top 8 at Grand Prix Atlanta 2018
1. Supreme Phantom
Supreme Phantom is the Spirit tribe’s first 2-mana lord, so it led to a resurgence of interest in the tribe. It turns Mausoleum Wanderer into a Spell Pierce, gets Spell Queller out of Lightning Bolt range, and increases your clock substantially.
Combining a powerful air force with disruptive elements, Bant Spirits won the last two Modern Grand Prix events: first in Stockholm, and last weekend in Atlanta. You could argue that it’s the deck to beat in Modern right now, all thanks to Supreme Phantom.
Peiyuan Zheng, 1st place at Grand Prix Atlanta 2018
As honorable mentions from Core Set 2019, I’ll point out Alpine Moon, a cheap way to interact with Tron decks, and Remorseful Cleric, a tutorable way to interact with the opponent’s graveyard in Chord of Calling decks.