MTG Arena Standard Decks – Best-of-One (BO1) Metagame Tier List: June 11, 2020 Update

embercleave_by_joeslucher

Deck tiers are complicated to assess, particularly in Arena. The metagame is constantly shifting. At the end of the day, the most important thing in climbing the layer is the player, not the deck. A skilled player will be able to be successful with just about any deck in this list. That said, having a strong sense for what you are going to face in an event and knowing how to build to beat it is perhaps the most important skill a player can have. You can show up with the most powerful deck and make all the perfect plays in a match and still get buried if you show up with a deck that everyone is tuned to beat.

Best-of-One (BO1) Standard Tier List – June 11, 2020

Key CardTier (BO1)Tier (BO3)ArchetypeColorDecksGuides
znr-232-omnath-locus-of-creationFour-Color OmnathDecks
znr-236-soaring-thought-thiefDimir RoguesDecks
znr-145-kargan-intimidatorMono Red AggroDecks
thb-229-uro-titan-of-nature-s-wrath-1Sultai RampDecks
piko-216p-winota-joiner-of-forcesBoros WinotaDecks
znr-215-turntimber-symbiosisMono Green StompyDecks
znr-115-nighthawk-scavengerMono Black AggroDecks
znr-148-magmatic-channelerIzzet SpellsDecks
znr-193-lotus-cobraSimic RampDecks
eld-226-lucky-cloverTemur AdventuresDecks
znr-189-kazandu-mammothGruul AggroDecks
eld-171-questing-beastMono Green StompyDecks

Tier 1

Mono Red Aggro

Elton John, he of “Candle in the Wind” fame also wrote a song called “The B—- is Back”, and it sums this deck up pretty well. This is the deck that just won’t die. The Obosh variant is banished to eternity (probably) and Embercleave is back doing its thing. There’s not a whole lot that needs to be said  about this deck that hasn’t been said before. Beating monored remains no mystery: well-timed sweepers and key removal of the likes of Torbran, Embercleave, and Anax.

Jund/Rakdos Sacrifice

Unsurprisingly the strong decks that were untouched by the bans have remained strong. Jund and Rakdos sacrifice made some use of Companions, but the nerf on Companions didn’t hit the sacrifice decks as hard as some. For starters, a Lurrus Jund/Rakdos deck is still pretty playable, the deck largely held onto Lurrus for late game shenanigans rather than being an essential component played on curve. However, the best builds of sacrifice are the non-Companion versions right now. Jund has more consistency through the use of Trail of Crumbs to draw a ton of cards. On the other hand, Rakdos has more mana consistency. Neither is a deck you can go wrong with as a good pilot.

Boros/Jeskai Cycling

Cycling is a nightmare in draft and limited and it isn’t far off in Standard Bo1. The deciding factor in a lot of games for this deck is not whether but how many Zenith Flares they draw. The deck pecks away at you with token creatures and Drannith Stinger, or a swole Flourishing Fox, then finishes you with a huge Zenith Flare.  The cycling mechanic makes it incredibly consistent. It’s probably the most straightforward deck in the metagame to pilot and the lack of any rares beyond a few multicolor lands also make it entry-level friendly. I find the Jeskai version less consistent in the current metagame as I don’t think Improbable Alliance brings enough value.

Tier 1.5

Temur Adventures

Temur Adventures is largely unchanged from the Eldraine days, it’s a bit of a shame the Adventure mechanic is likely a one-off, though if it weren’t the deck might end up overpowered. Some decks have splashed Adventurous Impulse to add some consistency, but usually just one or two. This remains a complicated deck to play, if only because there is a lot of risk of timing out for an inexperienced player. The deck is walking talking card advantage at a level few others can match. The weakness of the deck lies in its speed as it can be pretty slow to get rolling at times, 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. This deck may be Tier 1, but I can’t quite put it there. Yet.

Mardu Knights Lurrus/Rakdos Knights

This is a deck that can out-aggro mono-red. The key card of this deck from Ikoria is Fight as One, it gives cheap insulation against the sweeper spells that are so common in the metagame. Knights plays off of heavy synergy and the incredible extra value from Tournament Grounds, without which playing this deck as three colors would be impractical. The timing on Fight as One or Unbreakable Formation is what will make or break the play of this deck for its pilot and opponent. Lurrus can still work here as it wasn’t getting played on curve but was more of a card for reinvigorating the deck late in the game. The companionless Rakdos flavor of knights is straight out of Decmeber throwing Embercleaved Rotting Regisaurs at your face. They’re more like second cousins than siblings but take the same mindset to pilot.

Tier 2

Temur Reclamation

The non-ban of Wilderness Reclamation still puzzles many, including myself, but Reclamation is here at least for now. The continuing persistence of Teferi in Standard may present a roadblock for the deck to deal with as well, but for now, it’s one of the best decks in the format. Racing the deck with Aggro or keeping a lid on Wilderness Reclamation with Teferi may be the way to go if you want to beat this deck.

Bant Ramp

This Bant decktype may have benefitted from the loss of Agent of Treachery as it sometimes felt like it was trying to do too much. Without Winota or Lukka to cheat it out, Agent was good but not amazing. Now I think it feels a little more focused, even for a Deck of Good Things. Teferi is still the most broken and powerful card in the format (and did you know M21 is going to be all about Teferi?). In a format that plays a lot of aggro the only sweepers in the deck being Shatter the Sky (Time Wipe seems to have been relegated to sideboards in Bo3 and gets left out in Bo1) in an 80 card deck means the odds of having the sweeper you need against an aggro deck aren’t as good as the format may require.

Flash Decks

To my surprise, Flash seems to be making a surge in popularity even with Teferi remaining in the format and being one of the most commonly included cards in the format. I’m pretty excited as I really enjoy Flash, but the decks still struggle against many aggro builds. Still, it’s a different archetype from everything else in the format and its growth is a welcome addition to the metagame.

Tier 3

Azorius/Esper Control

Azorius and Esper Control always seem to be almost there these last few months, but just can’t get the footing they need in Best of One against aggro, sacrifice and Fires. With Fires now gone and Reclamation in its place, can Control find a toehold? My Magic 8 ball is saying not yet, but time will tell! An excellent pilot can still be extremely successful in Bo1 with Azorius Control, but it’s a lot harder to do.

Red5ive

Brendan Dillon is an old school mono-artifact dude with a penchant for overthinking the little things.

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Brendan Dillon
Brendan Dillon
9 months ago

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

Terence
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  Brendan Dillon

I disclaim above that statistics are limited – untapped don’t have it yet – and yes it is subjective. Let us know your thoughts!

James
James
9 months ago

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

sterisk
sterisk
9 months ago

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

Terence
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  sterisk

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
Vince Campanile
5 months ago
Reply to  sterisk

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.

Beloved
Beloved
9 months ago

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

anon
anon
9 months ago

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

David
David
8 months ago
Reply to  anon

The data is not on their site yet. It was on a Reddit post they made under u/UntappedGG

VanBersi99
VanBersi99
7 months ago

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

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  VanBersi99

Agreed, it is a very strong enchantment deck

Heartless Gamer
Heartless Gamer
6 months ago
Reply to  VanBersi99

Meh, I am getting trashed playing this deck in ladder in Plat Bo1. 33% win rate; the pieces just never come together for me.

Brendan Dillon
Brendan Dillon
7 months ago

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

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Brendan Dillon

Yes, Gruul and Rakdos are both tier 2 now.

Azorius is definitely tier 1.

A few decks still missing from this list.

marco
marco
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

hello, plz can you share a list for azorius bo1 😀

Boggle
Boggle
7 months ago

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

Terence
Admin
7 months ago
Reply to  Boggle

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

Boggle
Boggle
7 months ago
Reply to  Terence

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
MGN
6 months ago
Reply to  Terence

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

Shawn Rand
Shawn Rand
5 months ago
Reply to  Red5ive

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.

Boggle
Boggle
7 months ago

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

H.S
H.S
5 months ago

Can you post the particular decklist for each deck you cite?

Val
Val
4 months ago

Please update this for Ikoria like the Bo3 list. It would be very helpful! Thank you!

Towndrunk
Towndrunk
4 months ago

Jeskai Yorion Lukka as T2? Would love to know the reason why I thought it was one of if not the best deck in standard

Nodnaut
Nodnaut
4 months ago

Towndrunk, there’s so much aggro in BO1 you occasionally get burnt out or oboshed before you get fires or lukka going… And treacherous agent is less threatening to a rakdos sac deck then say a bant or temur deck.

Terence
Admin
4 months ago
Reply to  Nodnaut

Thanks, this is the reason.

mtgarenanews
3 months ago

Looks like I will have to put Temur Adventures on yet another map ;D

Terence
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  mtgarenanews

Actually just forgot to add it. :X

nibo
nibo
3 months ago

The Rakdos Sacrifice “Deck Guide” link (still) links to the wrong Article. Namely the Jeskai Keruga Fires “Deck Guide”.

Terence
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  nibo

Thanks, fixed!