MTG Arena Standard Decks – Best-of-One (BO1) Metagame Tier List – Theros Beyond Death Standard
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.
February 2020 Ranked Season
The card style rewards for the February 2020 ranked season are Wolfwillow Haven and Taranika, Akroan Veteran for reaching Gold and Platinum rank, respectively. Reaching top 1200 Mythic at the end of the season qualifies you for the Ikoria Mythic Qualifier #2 in March. Check out the February 2020 Season page for more details!
Metagame Tier List – February 3, 2020
- February 3, 2020: Tier list adjustment to the current metagame.
- January 23, 2020: Revamped the tier list for week one of Theros Beyond Death Standard. We took into account the snapshot Untapped.gg shared with the community. Please use BO3 decklists as a reference point since BO1 decks are still far few in between.
- January 16, 2020: Theros Beyond Death is now released and the tier list will be updated to reflect the metagame.
|Tier||Deck Archetype||Decklists||Related Archetypes|
|1||Rakdos Sacrifice||Decklists||Jund Sacrifice|
|1||Mono Red Aggro||Decklists|
|2||Gruul Aggro||Decklists||Gruul Adventures|
|2||Mono White Devotion||Decklists||Mono White Aggro|
|2||Mono Black Devotion||Decklists|
|3||Esper Hero||Decklists||Esper Control|
|3||Mono Green Stompy||Decklists|
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!
Jund Sacrifice / Rakdos Sacrifice
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. The Rakdos decks have also been on a surge the past week as its more aggressive stance is better in an open metagame and especially in a BO1 environment.
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 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. We’re excited to see how control decks unfold in the coming weeks, especially in BO1 where it is particularly weaker to aggro decks.
Jeskai Fires is similar to Rakdos Knights in that it does not receive too many upgrades from the new set other than the Temples. Until the new decks figure out ways to beat the it, the core deck is itself powerful enough to remain on the metagame watchlist for now as it fades away slowly over time.
Mono Red Aggro
Theros Beyond Death adds some depth to the previously under powered Mono Red decks, with Phoenix of Ash making the biggest impact. It has evasion, good later on in the game where it can keep coming back from the graveyard and even has an ability that can be used as a mana sink. Anax is also another card that has impressed – it holds Embercleave really well, and is resilient against board wipes and removal. While these cards may not be enough to take the deck back to tier one status, it is worth keeping an eye on.
Rotting Regisaur and Embercleave is still one of the best streamlined aggressive combinations for BO1 play until the metagame settles down. The deck does not add too much valuable cards with Theros Beyond Death unfortunately, but there are definitely cards worth experimenting such as Shadowspear.
Gruul Aggro / Gruul Adventures
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.
The new age Simic deck receives a huge boost in Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, which goes hand to hand with the pre-existing shell with Cavalier of Thorns. Nissa, Who Shakes the World remains a key (or shall we say, broken) card in the new Standard metagame and this will likely be the deck to beat in the coming weeks.
Another deck that received a boost with Theros Beyond Death is Temur Reclamation. It is still weak against Teferi, but it has more flexible main deck answers such as Storm’s Wrath and Thassa’s Intervention. Uro is also a huge boost as it adds more ramp and a secondary win condition that can repeatedly come back from the graveyard.
Mono White Devotion / Mono White Aggro
A tentative addition to the tier list, Mono White Devotion 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 currently primed for BO1 currently because it can fend off the opposing aggressive decks quite well due to the lifegain offered by many of its card.
Mono Black Devotion
Another new addition to the metagame, Mono Black Devotion makes use of the Devotion mechanic and makes use of Gray Merchant of Asphodel as the key card, but similar to Mono White Devotion and being a new deck, has a few variations. There is argument that the deck is easy to disrupt by control decks keeping its creatures off the board, but Mono Black Devotion has enough value going for it that it may not be an issue. We will find out whether this deck will be part of the meta with refining or fade away, at least until the first set of tournament results.
The latest version of Simic Flash looks to defeat opponents by mixing counterspells and ramp spells. It does not add a whole lot in Theros Beyond Death, but still plays a role in the meta to keep the slower decks in check.
Esper Hero / Esper Control
Esper decks received a huge boost in Theros Beyond Death as well. The two Temples and Ashiok, Nightmare Muse are the biggest ones (in addition to the cards above in Azorius Control), comparing it to the great Teferi himself. The more midrange Esper Hero deck applies pressure through the powerful two drop Hero of Precinct One or a more traditional control deck. Either way, there is a lot of variation in these lists so far but it looks like it’s finally time for control decks to shine.
Mono Green Stompy
Unfortunately, Theros Beyond Death was not a good set for Mono Green Stompy. Though it received some interesting cards like Nylea, Keen-Eyed, Destiny Spinner and The First Iroan Games, the new cards do not help too much to enhance the deck with ahead-of-the-curve big creatures. This is still a popular BO1 deck however, so it will be interesting to see if any players adapt the new cards into the deck.