There will be a point in time at which we all look back and regret not playing 4 traverse in every standard deck.— Sam Pardee (@Smdster) March 20, 2017
It all started here:
Like iterations of Mardu Vehicles eventually brought Walking Ballista to the deck, constant iterations of Four-Color Copy-Cat culminated in that Ben Friedman runner-up list, sporting Traverse the Ulvenwald (Friedman's piece on the deck is worth a read). In Friedman's list, delirium gets turned on easily; Traverse the Ulvenwald can grab Felidar Guardian or even Ishkanah, Grafwidow if you've got a bunch of Felidar Guardian in hand and are looking for something spicy to blink.
After playing the deck against Mardu a couple times, I'm not sure how or why Ishkanah fell off the map in the first place. Pro Tour Magic Origins champ Joel Larsson wrote a good piece on "battlecruiser Magic" last month, and the top decks prove his point. Copy Cat is a combo deck, but the optimal build of the deck is dense in threats and thin on lands, exacerbating its threat density. Friedman's build smartly turns Felidar Guardian into a world-beater, capable of blinking Ishkanah, Grafwidow to bury an opponent with when Saheeli Rai doesn't show up, somehow. The OTHER Aether Revolt Standard deck, Mardu Vehicles, has been a battlecruiser deck since day one; Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, Heart of Kiran, and Unlicensed Disintegration aren't precision weaponry, they're blunt objects you tee off on your opponent with.
With no premier-level Aether Revolt Standard events before Amonkhet drops, this is where the format ends. Standard's almost at full bloat, with the two best decks full of the best cards, streamlined for winning games. If Amonkhet has cards good enough to compete in Standard, the rich will get richer, so to speak. If the cards in Amonkhet aren't good enough to make an impact in a Standard full of cards, we could a Coldsnap situation where maybe two Amonkhet cards make up all of the set's value (back in the day, those cards were Scrying Sheets, and, of course, Tarmogoyf). When only a couple cards have the burden of carrying an entire set's value, those cards get really expensive, and players get priced out of the game. It's a bad situation either way you slice it. We'll see what happens. Onward and upward.
I've never been shy about how bad this card is. It blows. Playing it in a format where the best deck incidentally has four copies of Thraben Inspector is unconscionable. It's terrible. Put it in the garbage can.
Would you look at that! Swords to Plowshares With a Different Drawback is still good. Who could've imagined?
Note: There are still plenty of Modern Masters 2017 cards hanging around the Top 10 this week. They're here because the prices plummeted, allowing players to finally buy them. Good times!
Another card with a drawback that doesn't outweigh just how damn good the card is, Goblin Guide has had an indelible impact on Magic since it was originally printed in Zendikar. I wish this card had been around ten years ago so I didn't have to mess around with Slith Firewalker and other such nonsense.
(just kidding I love Slith Firewalker more than I love most family members.)
The cornerstone of Modern's best deck got a reprint in Modern Masters 2017 as a rare. The only surprise here was that it didn't break the Top 10 on Monday.
Modern is a weird place, probably the only place where Inquisition of Kozilek actually performs better than Thoughtseize. You probably can't reprint this one enough.
It's the ol' crowd favorite! Do you really need to know why Fatal Push sold well at this point? The card is awesome. It's played in every format. C'mon.
You have Corbin to thank for these.
I think this is here because it's great in Death's Shadow decks and that players are speculating on it, which is fine, but there's TONS of Gatecrash out in the world, and while Orzhov Charm does return Death's Shadow to play, it still ain't no Kolaghan's Command. Orzhov Charm is a fine card, but its applications are narrow and Death's Shadow will never play more than two copies.