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MTG Arena Standard Decks – Best-of-Three (BO3) Metagame Tier List – Theros Beyond Death Standard

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.

Check out our Best-of-One (BO1) Standard Deck Tier List!
A new player looking for Budget Standard decks? Look here!

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 25, 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. There are no Standard tournaments to refer to yet, and the closest thing we’ve done is a recap on the Standard Metagame Challenge. We feel that the metagame is still open and all of the popular deck archetypes are quite close in terms of strength, despite the different tier levels.
  • January 16, 2020: Theros Beyond Death is now released and the tier list will be updated to reflect the metagame.
TierDeck ArchetypeDecklistsRelated Archetypes
1Jund SacrificeDecklistsRakdos Sacrifice
1Azorius ControlDecklists
1Jeskai FiresDecklists
1Mono Red AggroDecklists
1Temur ReclamationDecklists
2Simic RampDecklistsBant Ramp
2Gruul AdventuresDecklistsGruul Aggro
2Rakdos KnightsDecklists
2Esper ControlDecklistsEsper Hero
2Simic FlashDecklists
3Mono White DevotionDecklistsMono White Aggro
3Mono Black DevotionDecklists

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 1

Jund Sacrifice / Rakdos Sacrifice

All Jund Sacrifice decklists
All Rakdos Sacrifice decklists

Sacrifice decks are still the top tier decks of Standard at present, and may be strengthened further by the new Theros Beyond Death cards. The Jund Sacrifice deck is still one of the top decks, but the downside of the deck is that most players will find it hard to master. The Rakdos variation is more aggressive in nature and may be more straightforward to play. The new cards such as Woe Strider, Nightmare Shepherd and Kroxa are still yet to be proven, but look promising.

Azorius Control

All Azorius Control decklists

Control decks have been completely reinvented with Theros Beyond Death, adding a lot of new cards from card draw spells, sagas, finishers and removal spells. Shatter the Sky and Dream Trawler are probably the main contributor, but that does not discount supporting spells like The Birth of Meletis, Omen of the Sea and Elspeth Conquers Death. Ultimately, this also means the rise of Teferi, Time Raveler again in the metagame, and it will readjust as decks that rely on Instants such as Simic and Izzet Flash would be a difficult proposition.

Jeskai Fires

All Jeskai Fires decklists

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

All Mono Red Aggro decklists / Deck Guide

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 and former glory back when Goblin Chainwhirler was around, it is worth keeping an eye on.

Temur Reclamation

All Temur Reclamation decklists / Deck Guide

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.

Tier 2

Simic Ramp / Bant Ramp

All Simic Ramp Decklists / Deck Guide
All Bant Ramp Decklists

Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath will be the cards to beat in the coming weeks, as the green and blue combination goes from strength to strength. The Simic version is pretty linear on the first game but after sideboarding you gain a lot of weapons to deal with opposing disruption. The Bant version is another potent combination, adding the powerful white cards such as Teferi, Time Raveler, Knight of Autumn and even Dream Trawler (more on that below).

Gruul Adventures / Gruul Aggro

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

There are two main builds of Gruul in the current Standard environment, Aggro or Adventures. In BO3, the Adventure build is usually better as it can play longer games and is more resilient after sideboarding as well. We feel that the optimal build of the deck is yet to be discovered as it has a lot of potential with the new Theros Beyond Death cards. Phoenix of Ash, Klothys, God of Destiny and The First Iroan Games and even the new Temple of Abandon may all add a lot of power to the deck.

Rakdos Knights

View All Rakdos Knights Decklists

Rakdos Knights is still one of the better aggressive decks as the Embercleave and Rotting Regisaur is still a difficult combination to deal with. The deck does not add too much (if any) valuable cards with Theros Beyond Death which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. The decklist is pretty streamlined by now and players will still be able to play it effectively until the metagame settles down, but eventually the new control decks will catch up with it and will be slowly phased out.

Esper Control / Esper Hero

All Esper Control decklists
All Esper Hero decklists

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, along with Azorius Control above.

Simic Flash

View All Simic Flash Decklists

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.

Tier 3

Mono White Devotion / Mono White Aggro

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

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. The deck less good in BO3 as opponents can prepare appropriately for it and you are less likely to face an aggressive deck.

Mono Black Devotion

View All Mono Black Devotion Decklists

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.

mtgazone

Terence

Welcome to MTG Arena Zone!

17 Responses

  1. Risto Kaasik says:

    I feel like Simic Flash should be tier 2-3. I played whole last season with Simic Flash (490 games), when DotD was not banned and Flash was unfavored (around 40-60)against it. It has even match-up against Food decks, and completely dominates all the control decks (Fires and Stax) and is very strong against most aggro decks (Gruul, rakdos and mono red). Only decks that completely rekts Flash are Golgari Adventure and Dimir Mill.

    Speaking of Golgari Adventure which I chose to play this season is completely out of the picture. Have played 60 games with it, which is not a lot but still have not played a single mirror match. And frankly I am not having such success with it as I had with Simic Flash. Maybe I’m not playing it correctly but it doesn’t do well against control decks and neither Aggro decks.

    • mtgazone mtgazone says:

      I think your skill and experience of the deck matters a lot in MTG, perhaps even more so than the strength of the deck. 490 games is a lot! The pros bring the strongest decks to tournaments because their skill level is so similar, which means playing a weaker deck would be a huge disadvantage.

  2. Brendan Dillon says:

    Assuming a ban comes on Oko (though I think Restricted list would be more reasonable), it will be interesting to see the next phase of the metagame, though I expect it to remain strongly green, there are just too many strong green cards to build around right now.

    • mtgazone mtgazone says:

      People are expecting the deck will continue on as a Ramp variant just without Oko – kinda like last Standard season, with more options now. Being restricted is out of the question, as that is usually just for the Vintage format.

    • Philip Kendall says:

      Nothing’s ever been restricted in Standard, they’re not going to start now – and if they were, Field of the Dead would have been the prime candidate as it was obnoxious only in multiples.

      • Brendan Dillon says:

        So young… That’s not true at all. Standard (originally known as Type II) had many restricted cards back in the day. Maybe no restricted cards since you started playing, but that’s not ‘never’.
        And what made FoD obnoxious wasn’t when it triggered in multiples, it’s that there were so few ways to counter it in the first place
        Oko is powerful, but it’s just a planeswalker, there are plenty of ways to tackle him, but having to deal with another one right after getting rid of the first, that’s the nauseating part.

  3. Jake S says:

    I’ve been playing a lot of Simic Flash in Plat, and it easily carried me to Diamond in the last couple of days in Bo3. Since hitting Diamond I’ve found it to be less than ideal, but switching to an Izzet Flash version has done absolute wonders.

    What’s nice about the Izzet version in the current metagame is its ability to easily switch to a Draw-Two archetype through sideboarding Irencrag Pyromancers and Improbable Alliances. This lets it have a much better matchup against both aggro and T3feri, though Narset then becomes a problem (though a less painful one than T3feri). Shifting Ceratops is a lot less scary when you have red removal, too.

    Royal Scions is really the standout card. The versatility of cycling through your deck or beating down the opponent wtih their +1s, plus the inevitability of their ult, makes for a very scary card that people tend to either overlook–to their detriment–or dump too many resources into, leaving plenty of room for a Brineborn Cutthroat to get stacked.

    Overall the deck seems to be pretty well positioned against the top of the field, though who’s to say whether it will pick up steam. Personally I’m hoping it doesn’t, so I can afford to grab the Scions in paper!

  4. Kakata says:

    How is Golgari Adventures tier 1? that’s easily the worst deck in the meta right now and I don’t see anyone using that deck in tournaments lately either.

  5. Andrew says:

    Is there a link to BO1 decklists

  6. Brendan Dillon says:

    Considering the Top 8 at MCVII, I think it’s pretty reasonable to move simic Flash into Tier 1, and equally reasonable to move Fires to Tier 2. Personally I prefer Jund Sacrifice over either. Golgari Adventures is probably T2 as well.

    • Damian Cohen says:

      And even more reasonable to include Simic Ramp Elementals (as played by Andrea Mengucci) at least in tier 2 status. It’s been fantastic all the weekend.

    • mtgazone mtgazone says:

      It’s a bit hard to base the list purely on the tournament as it’s a completely different metagame environment – this version of Simic Flash is good, but I’m not sure if it’s Tier 1. Maybe 1.5 currently?

  7. battaile says:

    good stuff Terrence, loving these tier lists

  8. Ayongs says:

    i spent all my WC for temur reclamation, the deck is good but struggle a lot when fight against aggro, any tips pls ? :’)

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