MTG Arena Standard Decks – Best-of-Three (BO3) Metagame Tier List: July 25, 2020 Update
Explore the MTG Arena Traditional (BO3) Standard metagame tier list as we rank and review the top decks regularly. For each archetype, there will be:
- A brief description of the archetype, and if any, a link to the full deck guide with a more detailed overview.
- How it matches up against the other decks in respect to its ranking on the tier list.
- Link to the archetype page, where you can find the best and latest decklists representing them.
Best-of-Three (BO3) Standard Tier List – July 25, 2020
Here is a summary of the best decks representing Traditional (BO3) Standard below, which you can also find this at our metagame page. We base the ranking based on various sources such as tournament results, data from third-party applications, ladder experience and in consultation with players.
|Key Card||Tier (BO1)||Tier (BO3)||Archetype||Color||Decks||Guides|
|1||2||Mono Red Aggro||Decks||Guide|
|2||2||Mono Green Stompy||Decks||Guide|
|2||2||Mono Black Aggro||Decks||Guide|
|2||2||Mono White Aggro||Decks||Guide|
Tier 1 Decks
This is a deck that is built around Wilderness Reclamation + Expansion//Explosion combo, and it has been around in one form or another since Ravnica Allegiance set printed in the early 2019. However, it was only after a rotation last fall when the archetype has really begun climbing the tier list. Incorporating the last piece in form of Shark Typhoon in Ikoria, it has become an absolute king of the metagame after the Agent of Treachery and Fires of Invention bans.
Meta revolves around Temur Rec both in the tournament scene and on the ladder. Essentially, all other decks are ranked based on how effectively they can resist the inevitability and insane mana advantage of Wilderness Reclamation. Bant Ramp and, to some extent, Sultai Ramp are the only archetypes that stand a chance against it in the long game, while the rest of the meta builds aim to go under Temur Rec. Hence, the exists a wide variety of mono-color aggro decks, that are in turn being preyed upon by Mayhem Devil Sacrifice builds. So – it’s a paper-rock-scissors meta in a sense, though heavily skewed it is.
This ramp archetype, enabled by Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath and Growth Spiral, has already established itself as a strong force long time since even before Core 2021. But as the latest set has introduced the likes of Jolrael, Mwonvuil Recluse, Scavenging Ooze and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon to Bant Ramp’s toolbox, the archetype has solidified its top-tier status.
The strongest suit of the Bant Ramp archetype is that it is able to incorporate all of the most broken cards of its three colors, and back that up by insane mana-advantage enablers. The archetype plays Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Elspeth Conquers Death, Teferi, Time Raveler, Hydroid Krasis… Some builds even get to cut Ugin, the Spirit Dragon as a ‘redundancy’ – the quality of cards it can choose from is that high! There are currently two main ‘schools of thought’ regarding an optimal Bant Ramp variant: 1) Play all the ramp you can get and go bigger on the late-game threats; 2) Play Jolrael and secure early boards with its triggered ability that creates Cat tokens. Both have their own matchups’ implications and jury is still out on which direction is better.
Tier 2 Decks
This is the deck that rose in popularity as a specific meta answer to the prevalence of Temur Reclamation. In essence it has the same gameplan of Wilderness Reclamation + Expansion//Explosion, but adds white into the mix – which techs the deck for the Temur matchup perfectly. Four-Color build has the access to Teferi, Time Raveler, which is probably the biggest counter to the things Reclamation wants to do; but also Dovin Veto, Solar Blaze and Kenrith, the Returned King are all providing strong options for the sideboard.
The list could be a great choice for tournament meta, where you expect around 40% of the field to run Temur Rec nowadays. However, in the ladder environment Four-Color Rec can too easily fall prey to the aggro strategies – playing more shocklands hurts and teching against Temur is not worth it in a less of a focused ranked meta.
Rakdos Sac is an old Cat Oven + Mayhem Devil deck, that ditches green for a more explosive early game start. Temur Reclamation used to have a very favourable matchup into Jund Sacrifice, but with Rakdos they often have to play on the back foot because of Dreadhorde Butcher and the Rotting Regisaur out of the sideboard. Meanwhile, Rakdos still does just as well as Jund into creature mathups thanks to Mayhem Devil and its insane combo with Call of the Death-Dweller.
The deck has no bad matchups in the meta, which is why it was holding a Tier 1 status in our list for some time. However, lately the archetype fails to report any good tournament showings, which suggests it is positioned below the top dogs as of now.
Mono Red Aggro remains practically unchanged since Theros Beyond Death. Embercleave and Anax, Hardened in the Forge are still what makes this deck tick, and the newest inclusion of Bolt Hound does not make much of a difference. What really holds off the Mono Red from rising to the Tier 1 status is that it really lacks quality 1-drops. The RDW players are nostalgic about Bomat Courier as they are forced into stuffing the maindeck with Grim Initiates and Tin Street Dodgers. All works as long you can enable your Embercleave, but the uneven quality of cards in Mono Red is obvious.
Still, this contemporary reincarnation of RDW is a solid choice to climb ladder fast – as it always proved itself to be. It also can spike high tournament finishes from time to time – most recently it happened in SCG Tour Online Season One Championship.
Jund Sacrifice equips quite a few of card advantage engines, which gives it an edge in slower matchups, as compared to Rakdos variant. Guilded Goose + Trail of Crumbs combo, Korvold, the Cursed King and a support for Bolas Citadel are three main reasons to splash for green. In this current meta Jund continues to fall off in popularity, being somewhat pushed out of the metagame by Temur Reclamation. Outside of that, its matchups’ table is pretty even, and it’s still a viable deck to climb with, though a bit trickier to master than its more of a straightforward Rakdos offspring.
Agressive Mono Green builds today have an access to quality above-the-curve creatures, which enable a solid beatdown strategy. Pelt Collector into the likes of Lovestuck Beast and Yorvo, Lord of Garenbrig, backed up by Vivien, Arkbow Ranger make up for some impressive early board dominance. Add to this massive haste/evasion threats like Questing Beast and Shifting Ceratops, as well as creatures that scale well into the late game (Stonecoil Serpent, Scavenging Ooze) and you can see why Mono Green is regarded by many as a premium aggro deck of the format.
As the deck have risen in popularity, the metagame has been able to adapt a bit more to it. Unfortunately, the archetype gets hosed pretty hard by Aether Gust – which is a card that any deck can include at no cost and run as a universal answer against both fast and slow decks. Also, as any curve-out aggro archetype, Mono Green is prone to bad early draws and flooding. In situations where Temur and Bant can often fix their mulligans by going through their library fast, Mono Green is locked into playing the hand they were dealt and there’s no way around that.
Basically, it is the same Ramp shell of Bant, but choosing to splash for Casualties of War instead of Teferi, Time Raveler. Additional perks in the sideboard include sweepers like Cry of the Carnarium (which could be a nice answer to the new hotness of Mono White Aggro, see below), and disruption catch-alls like Thought Distortion and Agonising Remorse. However, it seems that the average card quality – and the array of options available – in Bant Ramp are higher, so Sultai remains a fringe deck and an underdog, at least when it comes to the tournament meta.
Mono White Aggro NEW
The new White Weenies broke into the meta in big way just a couple of weeks ago, scoring a top finish in the Red Bull Untapped International Qualifier 3. The list runs a ton of resilient early drops like Garrison Cat, Hunted Witness and Seasoned Hallowblade, and aims to buff them with Glorious Anthem, Basri Solidarity and the usual suspect Venerated Loxodon. Mono White gets on the board really quick and hits hard, often ending the games right before turn 4-5. Temur Rec players just don’t get to play a game at all!
This deck was able shake the Standard also because meta was too focused on the Temur and Ramp mirrors for a while. Lists have become incredibly greedy and disruption-heavy over the time, and many even stopped running sweepers to combat low-to-the-ground creature decks. Moreover, White Weenies dodge Aether Gust and even Shatter the Sky/Storm’s Wrath can’t answer their gameplan cleanly due to all of those sticky 1-drops. It remains to be seen if Mono White are to continue their rise through ranks as the meta learns to treat the archetype as the real threat it is.