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MTG Arena Standard Decks – Best-of-One (BO1) Metagame Tier List – Theros Beyond Death Standard

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Our Magic: The Gathering metagame tier list ranks all the best ladder decks for the Theros Beyond Death Standard best-of-one (BO1) game mode. In this guide, we provide a description and explanation for each archetype, a sample decklist, with links to more decklists and deck guides, if any available at the time. If you want to view all the best meta decks and their ranking in one snapshot, we have a summary table below and explain in further detail the reasoning of their rankings below as well. Before we start, please read the following important key points on the BO1 mode:

  • In MTG Arena there are far more BO1 games being played, but currently there is a lack of data regarding what people are playing. We take into account the metagame data supplied by the MTG Arena Tool tracker and the occasional snapshots shared by the Untapped.gg tracker (they are also working on global statistics). Until then, much of the information is therefore subjective and will be reviewed on a consistent basis by our team.
  • Best-of-three (BO3) is how competitive MTG was intended to be played – sideboarding allows players to leverage skill and mitigates variance. Most pro players and tournaments play BO3, which makes obtaining refined, archetype defining decklists more difficult. This also makes decks with more predictable strategies better here, since opponents cannot prepare against it.
  • BO1 has a different hand selection algorithm to BO3 – it selects from two opening hands, the one that has the closest to the average land to spell ratio for your deck. Games also generally favor whoever plays first.
  • Combining all the reasons above and with a more broad and diverse player base, the BO1 metagame currently heavily favors aggressive strategies, which generally has a lower barrier of entry, and to some extent combo and control.

Check out our Best-of-Three (BO3) Standard Deck Tier List!
You can also check out all our budget Standard deck options here!

March 2020 Ranked Season

The card style rewards for the March 2020 ranked season are Escape Velocity and Thryx, the Sudden Storm for reaching Gold and Platinum rank, respectively. Reaching top 1200 Mythic at the end of the season qualifies you for the Mythic Point Challenge – Core Set 2021 in April. Check out the March 2020 Season page for more details!

Metagame Tier List – March, 10 2020

TierDeck ArchetypeDecklistsRelated Archetypes
0Mono Red AggroDecklists
1Rakdos SacrificeDecklistsJund Sacrifice
1Jeskai FiresDecklists
1Mono White DevotionDecklistsMono White Aggro
2Temur AdventuresDecklists
2Gruul AggroDecklistsGruul Adventures
2Simic RampDecklistsBant Ramp
Sultai Ramp
2Mono Black DevotionDecklists
3Azorius ControlDecklists
3Mono Green StompyDecklists
3Esper ControlDecklists

Looking for more Standard deck archetypes and decks? Check out our deck database!
Tip: You can now filter the decks by play mode – BO1 or BO3!

Tier 0

Mono Red Aggro

All Mono Red Aggro decklists / Deck Guide

Exactly one deck has had a 55%+ win rate according to MTGArena.pro’s tracking numbers every single week of THB in Bo1, Red Deck Wins. Theros Beyond Death was borderline transformational for Mono Red Aggro. Initial excitement focused around Phoenix of Ash, and while this is a strong card, Anax, Hardened in the Forge has been the real hero of this deck. It combines beautifully with Embercleave and with Torbran, Thane of Red Fell. Mono Red is statistically the best deck in Bo1 and makes up by far the biggest chunk of the meta. It is the deck against which all others are measured in Bo1, and has had pretty good success in the non-Bo1 tournament scene as well with a win at Magicfest Lyon.

Tier 1

Mono White Devotion / Mono White Aggro

View All Mono White Devotion Decklists / Deck Guide
View All Mono White Aggro Decklists

Mono White Devotion has staked a claim to relevancy in Bo1. It is a flexible deck based around the lifegain and Devotion synergy introduced to Standard with Theros Beyond Death. The deck is quite interesting because it can be aggressive, like the traditional white weenie, or even a more midrange build suitable for longer games and resilient to disruption. Either way, the deck is primed for BO1 currently because it can fend off the opposing aggressive decks quite well due to the lifegain offered by many of its cards.

Rakdos Sacrifice / Jund Sacrifice

All Jund Sacrifice decklists
All Rakdos Sacrifice decklists

Sacrifice strategies received some new cards in Theros Beyond Death that are definitely worth experimenting, and could get stronger over time. Woe Strider is the most obvious inclusion out of the lot, as it provides another free sacrifice outlet in addition to Witch’s Oven and makes good use of the graveyard as another resource. Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger gives this deck staying power and Mayhem Devil is the bane of Mono Red.

Jeskai Fires

All Jeskai Fires decklists

The Fires that won’t die… In recent weeks, Fires seemed to have taken a Critical Hit, but now it’s back and firing on all cylinders again. The absence of Azorius Control has been good for business. Mystical Dispute has been popping up more often, giving broad denial to all those triggers by Anax, messing with Rakdos’ mojo or straight up countering Uro. The key to this deck’s relevance in the Bo1 metagame remains Deafening Clarion, though the ability to include Shatter the Sky helps it out as well in the very aggressive Bo1 metagame.

Tier 2

Temur Adventures

All Temur Adventures decklists

Temur Adventures is probably the second most common deck in the Bo1 meta, though Mono White Devotion may overtake it at some levels. The results at DreamHack Anaheim and overall ladder performance by Aaron Gertler, have been impressive and lend to its legend. Still, this is a complicated deck to play, if only because there is a lot of risk of timing out for an inexperienced player. The deck had been “under the radar” so to speak as it adds no new cards from Theros Beyond Death, but definitely can still match the power level of the likes of Azorius Control and Jeskai Fires.

The deck creates enormous card advantage via Lucky Clover and Edgewall Innkeeper, which cannot be matched by other decks in the format. The weakness of the deck lies in its speed, but Fae of Wishes, Brazen Borrower and Bonecrusher Giant ensures it can at least have a chance against aggro decks. If Clover drops on turn 2, this deck can take out any aggro deck on the list on their best days.

Gruul Aggro / Gruul Adventures

View All Gruul Aggro Decklists / Deck Guide
View All Gruul Adventures Decklists

There are two main builds of Gruul in the current Standard environment, Aggro or Adventures. In BO1, we lean towards the straight up Gruul Aggro deck as it is more explosive – you care less about the card advantage that the Adventure package provides and just want to end the game as soon as possible.

Simic Ramp / Bant Ramp / Sultai Ramp

All Simic Ramp Decklists / Deck Guide
All Bant Ramp Decklists
All Sultai Ramp Decklists

Simic Ramp received a huge boost in Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. Interestingly, this seems to have resulted in a splintering of the archetype, with Band and Sultai Ramp cannibalizing Simic’s share of the metagame. Bant is basically a Good Things build with Elspeth Conquers Death, Shatter the Sky and Teferi. Meanwhile Sultai went with hand hate (Shockingly!) with Thought Erasure, while employing the go wide and yet still tight removal approach with Casualties of War. My gut says there is still a lot of evolving going on here.

Mono Black Devotion

View All Mono Black Devotion Decklists

There are two main builds of Gruul in the current Standard environment, Aggro or Adventures. In BO1, we lean towards the straight up Gruul Aggro deck as it is more explosive – you care less about the card advantage that the Adventure package provides and just want to end the game as soon as possible.

Tier 3

Azorius Control

All Azorius Control decklists

Theros Beyond Death has completely changed Azorius Control, adding many powerful cards and upgrades the decked desperately needed. It adds a four mana board wipe, one of the best finishers of our time with Dream Trawler and a whole bunch of Sagas such as The Birth of Meletis and Elspeth Conquers Death that provide great value as the game goes on. Other support cards like Thassa’s Intervention and Omen of the Sea cannot be ignored either, as they add a lot of consistency and flexibility to the deck. This is the cream of the Control crop and with the right mix of sweepers, a good player can do well with it. That said, the deck has slipped far down the list to tier 3 as Esper Control and Bant Ramp have taken up almost all of its meta-share recently. It doesn’t help that Bo1 format doesn’t favor Control and the sustained prominence of  Temur Adventures has been punishing.

Mono Green Stompy

All Mono Green Stompy decklists

Theros Beyond Death was not a great set for Mono Green Stompy but it has of late enjoyed a bit of a resurgence. I want to slip Stompy into Tier 2 this week… but I just can’t. Sorry Stompmeister. Still, we have four mono-colored decks in the Top 10, I think that says some impressive things for the metagame right now.

Esper Control

All Esper Control decklists

Esper decks received a huge boost in Theros Beyond Death, but it hasn’t led where folks hoped, and in Bo1, the deck is rare to come across. The two Temples and Ashiok, Nightmare Muse are the biggest additions but it just hasn’t gained a foothold in the larger meta. I think this deck needs just the right build to be successful, which means it is probably too fragile to become effective in wide circulation with such a chaotic metagame.

mtgazone

Terence

Welcome to MTG Arena Zone!

21 Responses

  1. Brendan Dillon says:

    Are you getting data straight from the likes of Untapped.gg or relying on self-reported info?

  2. James says:

    With BO1 deck lists and strategies, it’s safe to say this website had everything an MTG Arena player needs.

  3. sterisk says:

    Hey Terence, my friend is questioning your credibility when I showed him your list. How can I convince him your tier list is legit?

    • mtgazone mtgazone says:

      Hi sterisk! You can’t convince anyone really – we are not pros or have solid statistica to back it up (yet) and we state above that it is subjective. One way would be to try for yourself, climb the rankings with one of the decks and show your friend!

    • Vince Campanile says:

      The deck lists are easy to import. Wouldn’t take long in the Play queue ( a truly darwinian environment ) to determine if the concepts are valid.

  4. Beloved Beloved says:

    Hey thank you so much for this list, really helpful read for me!

  5. anon says:

    Where is the untapped.gg data? I can’t find it on their site

  6. VanBersi99 says:

    I think Abzan Auras deserves a place in this tier list, I’m currently 31-5 since I built this deck

  7. Brendan Dillon says:

    I don’t think Knights can be considered T1 anymore. I love the deck, but it got nothing out of THB (unless you count a scry land) and everything else got better. Right now Mono-red with Anax is looking T1

  8. Boggle says:

    Those Mono White Devotion lists are performing VERY poorly in Bo1 now.

    • mtgazone mtgazone says:

      Speak of the devil, we were just updating the list! 🙂

      • Boggle says:

        Brilliant, I was trying them out and they just get blown out so hard by the new RDWs stuff that it’s not even funny. If you’re Mono-W with that level of lifegain and power and you’re still getting crushed because RDW is on Embercleave plan now, you’re not staying in T1.

        I think they’ll end up Tier 3 unless a better plan is found for the aggro mirror.

      • MGN says:

        And now you’ve put Mono-White Devotion back into T1? It’s T2 at best. sheesh.

        • Red5ive Red5ive says:

          In the Bo3 or general standard Metagame, I agree it’s probably T3. In the current Bo1 metagame, it’s a whole different story, it does very well against RDW and that allows it to do very well. But give it five minutes and the Arena Bo1 meta will change again.

          • Shawn Rand says:

            I agree mono white is still going strong. Adapting to the meta and adding gideon has made it a headache for some archetypes. But red still has the tools to pull the win fairly consistently. Been seeing a lot of white on the ladder and it seems to be in a good place.

  9. Boggle says:

    I think it’s worth mentioning that CoverGoBlue’s Bo1 Bogle deck (G/W Enchantress) is at least Tier 2 in Bo1, perhaps even T1. It utterly crushes Red with its combinations of lifegain, tall, vigilance Paradise Druids and has enough engine sustain to have a game against control. It can also go wide against sacrifice strategies and has some resistance thanks to Hunted Witness.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OemibZWQBxU

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