10. Mogg Flunkies
It's got some great things going for it. First, it's a goblin, so it has explicit synergy with the sort of goblin tribal subtheme we see with Arms Dealer and Krenko, Mob Boss. Second, it enables niche decks in limited. It's one of those cards whose value changes drastically based on the deck you're drafting--that's the sort of thing that adds depth to a limited format. Third, it very deliberately doesn't interact with Exalted. I love that.
9. Tormented Soul
This is one of those ones that was good in its previous printing because of the environment surrounding it, and is now being reprinted in a very different environment where it's still good, but for very different reasons. In M12, you always wanted this on the first turn to power up your Bloodthirst guys. In M13, now it's partying with the next keyword mechanic, getting buffed up by Exalted to break creature stalls. I for one think that's cool.
8. Quirion Dryad
Quirion Dryad is a pretty fun card in general, and if it gets a chance to shine, that's something I'm happy about. In M13, Quirion Dryad is positioned to capitalize on the multicolor fun of the imminent Return to Ravnica block. We call that timing.
Everyone loves Rancor! It's powerful, it's fun, etc. Not much to say except that it's a sweet card, and it's nice to see it in booster packs.
6. Gilded Lotus
Because you can't have Nicol Bolas without a way to cast Nicol Bolas.
Also, it even has synergy with some Scars of Mirrodin artifact stuff, which is a nice bonus. And we finally get a printing in a card frame that doesn't suck. These are good things.
With the return of Rancor (against which your vanilla Demystify is woefully ineffective), it's the perfect time to notch up white's targeted enchantment removal. Also, I really like the new art. This is from the ending of Beauty and the Beast, right? I'm pretty sure.
4. Reliquary Tower
Did you know this is worth, like, multiple dollars? I know, right? That's crazy! But we Commander folks love us some reliquaries. And let's be frank, Spellbook is a really bad card, so no love lost there. Kick out the zero-mana artifact and give us the land! Yeehaw!
3. Volcanic Geyser
Fireball is great, but it's also really, really strong in limited. Since it's basically the most splashable bomb in existence, you just take it every time, basically. But now in M13, we have Volcanic Geyser instead. It's still a crazy bomb that you'll windmill first-pick, but the double red requires a greater color commitment, making the card feel very different in an actual game. I appreciate that. I also like the new art.
2. Scroll Thief
One of my favorite blue cards returns for M13! Scroll Thief is so much fun to play with. Every time you hit with it, it feels like you got away with something. It creates a little mini-game within the game, where you have to try and connect with your 1/3 and your opponent has to stop you. It also perfectly embodies the philosophy of blue's creatures: it's powerful not because it's big and strong, but because it's smart and stealthy. Blue wins by outwitting and outmaneuvering its enemies, not by stomping on them until they die.
Plus, it gets even better in this format because with Exalted hanging around, you have a new way to push it through. Yay!
1. Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
Okay, I'll be honest here, I'm only putting him at the top because he'd melt my brain if I put him any lower. You don't piss off Nicol Bolas.
That being said, he really is a great card. He never saw a lot of tournament play the first time around, but who knows? Maybe he'll make a splash this time. I'd certainly be excited to see him at the top tables of a Pro Tour. Fingers crossed!