MTG Arena Standard Decks – Best-of-Three (BO3) Metagame Tier List – January 2020
Our Magic: The Gathering metagame tier list ranks all the top competitive decks for Throne of Eldraine Standard. With the advent of MTG Arena, there are more events, tournaments and matches being played more than ever before and it may be hard to keep track of the best decks in the format. Here we will include the defining meta decklist, description and explanation for each archetype, 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. We will provide further explanations as well.
January 2020 Season
The card style rewards for the January 2020 ranked season are Epic Downfall and Stonecoil Serpent for reaching Gold and Platinum rank, respectively. Check out the January 2020 Season page for more details!
Metagame Tier List – January 4, 2019
- January 5, 2019: The tier list remains overall steady and is expected to be so until the release of Theros Beyond Death. Removed the 1.5 tier, and reassessed sample decklists. Added Temur Adventures to Tier 2.
|Tier||Deck Archetype||Decklists||Related Archetypes|
|1||Jeskai Fires||Decklists||Five-Color Fires|
|1||Jund Sacrifice||Decklists||Rakdos Sacrifice |
|2||Izzet Flash||Decklists||Mono Blue Tempo|
|2||Gruul Adventures||Decklists||Gruul Aggro|
|3||Mono White Aggro||Decklists|
|3||Esper Control||Decklists||Esper Doom|
|3||Mono Red Aggro||Decklists|
The most popular deck since the Standard banning of Oko are the Fires of Invention decks – who would have thought playing spells for free would be powerful? Fires of Invention practically doubles your mana as well. The version that players seem to have settled on is the one featuring Cavalier of Flame, Cavalier of Gales and Kenrith, the Returned Kingas the creature package and Sphinx of Foresight to help you find the cards you need. The deck has access to cards to stall the game with Deafening Clarion as the key card. This deck is perfect for a slower meta and especially where green-based aggro decks (such as Gruul) have been hit hard by the loss of Once Upon a Time.
Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven welcomes Trail of Crumbs as the new partner for card advantage, showing the core engine is still powerful without the help of Oko, Thief of Crowns. The deck is currently positioned well in a metagame that is less prepared against it, though as it becomes more prominent artifact, enchantment and even graveyard hate will be able to shut down the deck without too much difficulty. Even then, drawing the wrong half of the deck can be a common occurrence too. The Golgari version is just as good, capitalizing on Casualties of War and a more consistent mana base. The Jund versions include a splash for the best sacrifice payoff cards, Mayhem Devil and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King.
Simic Flash is a deck packed with creatures with flash backed up by counterspells. It is one of the decks that has not been weakened by the Standard bans, and has always been present in the metagame. At Mythic Championship VII, the deck archetype has been innovated to become a more midrange deck that goes for the longer game that forgoes the early creatures like Spectral Sailor and Brineborn Cutthroat and has a semi-mana ramping strategy.
Although this Rakdos deck is called Knights, it acts more like a combo deck that involves Rotting Regisaur and Embercleave to finish the game out of nowhere. The other game plan involves curving out your creatures like a standard aggro deck that are individually annoying for your opponents to deal with.
Temur Adventures is a deck that gains an incredible amount of card advantage through Lucky Clover and Edgewall Innkeeper. The key adventure card is Fae of Wishes, that grabs game finishing or defensive cards from the sideboard. The other adventure cards such as Bonecrusher Giant, Lovestruck Beast and Brazen Borrwer also provide immense value even on their own, and they each have their role to play. The deck has been popularized and perfected by Aaron Gertler, who took the deck to high Mythic rankings. The weakness of the deck are to aggro decks as it does take a few turns to get going.
- Golgari Adventures by Chris Kvartek (Kavartech) – Mythic Championship VII
- All Golgari Adventures decklists
Golgari Adventures has evolved into a solid midrange deck that has not been hit too hard by the loss of Once Upon a Time, and is boosted slightly by the disappearance of Veil of Summer and less decks needing to use Noxious Grasp or Aether Gust in their maindeck. The deck has a good curve that does not rely too much on Edgewall Innkeeper’s card advantage and can act as the aggressor, or out-grind opponents also when necessary. The key point of this deck is that there are a number of viable builds available. In the recent tournament, Chris Kvartek innovated the archetype with his aggressive deck featuring Rotting Regisaur and The Great Henge, whereas Ally Warfield brought with her the Knights and Lucky Clover package to capitalize on the Adventure spells even more.
A new entry into the tier list, this is another green / blue deck but focuses solely on ramping mana mainly via Risen Reef and Nissa, Who Shakes the World and going for the big Hydroid Krasis for the win or searching for End-Raze Forerunners with Finale of Devastation to buff all your creatures and overrun your opponent. This is a fairly linear deck that does its own thing (unlike Simic Flash which has some interaction), where it asks opponents to answer your threats and keep up with your strategy.
Izzet Flash is a new archetype similar to Simic Flash. It plucks away at your opponent’s life total throughout the game, countering their key spells along the way. Gadwick, the Wizened is the major incentive to play the deck. Once you draw a few cards with it and untap with him with a handful of spells to back it up, it will be smooth sailing from there. It even can tap down your opponent’s creatures so that you can attack through their blockers.
Gruul Adventures combines the aggressiveness of Gruul Aggro and the Adventure package from Edgewall Innkeeper for card advantage. This deck was a stand out from Mythic Championship VI performing well even against the Oko Food decks, but the loss of Once Upon a Time hurt its consistency significantly, and enough for it to be wary of its future place in the metagame. The saving grace is that you are less likely to face Noxious Grasp and Aether Gust in the maindeck of your opponents now that Oko is gone.
Mono White Aggro
Mono White is a viable aggro archetype that can have some explosive draws thanks to Venerated Loxodon and being able to go wide super fast. It is quite weak to sweepers like Deafening Clarion (though it includes Unbreakable Formation as a hedge against that) and it has no late game power so games will decided pretty quickly. At this stage, the deck is probably not tournament worthy but is nice and quick to climb the ladder.
This is a fairly linear combo deck that uses the excess mana generated by Wilderness Reclamation at the end of your turn and killing the opponent with Expansion // Explosion. As another slower deck similar to Azorius Control, be wary of playing this deck as players are better equipped against it or more players run Teferi, Time Raveler. The banning of Veil of Summer did help, but not by that much.
The banning of Veil of Summer brings back the traditional Esper Control back on the menu, supported by Teferi, hand disruption, targeted removal and board wipes. Esper Stax – built around Doom Foretold and Dance of the Manse, is still a valid variation of the deck. As the metagame develops further, Kaya, Orzhov Usurper is a great way to answer Witch’s Oven and Cauldron Familiar so we can see this deck rising in strength.
The Azorius Control deck is packed with counterspells and Prison Realm to answer all your opponents in a timely manner. The deck gets better in a Teferi-less meta, but its weakness is in the lack of finishers and the length of time needed to win. We are not a huge fan of this deck archetype without cards like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and its extremely grindy nature.
Mono Red Aggro
- Mono Red Aggro by gmatigMono Red Aggro by sandydogmtg – #162 Mythic – Throne of Eldraine Season 3
- All Mono Red Aggro decklists
Mono Red Aggro is always an over-performer in an unknown metagame, where its linear gameplan and consistency makes it harder for unrefined decklists to beat. The banning of Oko and Once Upon a Time is also the most significant factor that allows Mono Red to be a bigger part of the meta as it was very difficult to beat the Food decks.