MTG Arena Standard Decks – Best-of-Three (BO3) Metagame Tier List: July 25, 2020 Update

Seasoned Hallowblade

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 CardTier (BO1)Tier (BO3)ArchetypeColorDecksGuides
standard-archetype-rakdos-sacrifice12Rakdos SacrificeDecksGuide
thb-125-anax-hardened-in-the-forge-crop12Mono Red AggroDecksGuide
war-79-bolas-s-citadel22Jund SacrificeDecks
eld-226-lucky-clover23Temur AdventuresDecksGuide
thb-229-uro-titan-of-nature-s-wrath21Bant RampDecksGuide
rna-149-wilderness-reclamation-art-crop21Temur ReclamationDecksGuide
war-221-teferi-time-raveler-art-crop33Azorius ControlDecks
rna-174-frilled-mystic-art-crop33Simic FlashDecks
m20-216-omnath-locus-of-the-roil33Temur ElementalsDecks
yorvo-lord-of-garenbrig-art22Mono Green StompyDecksGuide
standard-gruul-aggro23Gruul AggroDecksGuide
archetype-sultai-ramp32Sultai RampDecks
eld-187-doom-foretold-art-crop33Orzhov YorionDecks
rna-85-spawn-of-mayhem22Mono Black AggroDecksGuide
Ugin33Simic RampDecksGuide
venerated-loxodon-art-by-zack-stella22Mono White AggroDecksGuide
rna-149-wilderness-reclamation-art-crop22Four-Color ReclamationDecks

Tier 1 Decks

Temur Reclamation

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.

Bant Ramp

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

Four-Color Reclamation NEW

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 Sacrifice

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

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

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.

Mono Green Stompy

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.

Sultai Ramp

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.

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Risto Kaasik
Risto Kaasik
9 months ago

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… Read more »

mtgazone
Admin
9 months ago
Reply to  Risto Kaasik

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.

Red5ive
Brendan Dillon
8 months ago

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
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  Brendan Dillon

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
Philip Kendall
8 months ago
Reply to  Brendan Dillon

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.

Red5ive
Brendan Dillon
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Kendall

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.

Jake S
Jake S
8 months ago

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).… Read more »

Kakata
Kakata
8 months ago

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.

mtgazone
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  Kakata

Yeah, I agree with you there. It was based only on the Twitch Rivals tournament in the new meta where it won the tournament. Tier 2 at best at the moment.

lauera9482
Andrew
8 months ago

Is there a link to BO1 decklists

mtgazone
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

We’re working on them – it’s a bit hard as there are no tournament results to go off, which means we have to probably come up with our own decklists. 🙁

Red5ive
Brendan Dillon
7 months ago

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.

damianvc31
Damian Cohen
7 months ago
Reply to  Brendan Dillon

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
Admin
7 months ago
Reply to  Damian Cohen

Good point! I think it’s somewhere in between tier 1 and 2. I’ll update this tonight.

mtgazone
Admin
7 months ago
Reply to  Brendan Dillon

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?

battaile
6 months ago

good stuff Terrence, loving these tier lists

Ayongs
Ayongs
5 months ago

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

aamllama
aamllama
4 months ago
Reply to  Ayongs

4x Storm’s Wrath and Dragonfire, maybe sideboard Lovestruck Beast against aggro.

Rasmus Jørgensen
Rasmus Jørgensen
3 months ago
Reply to  Ayongs

Flame Sweep?

battaile
4 months ago

“due to its trouble with the manabase.”
I feel like this deck (Gruul aggro) would be unreal if the mana didn’t suck so badly

Rémi Ragham
Rémi Ragham
3 months ago

When RedDeckWins deck is totally pushed out of the meta, you know that the format is unhealthy 🙁

mtgazone
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Rémi Ragham

In BO1, about a third of my matches have been Mono Red – so it’s not completely dead yet! But yes, have not seen any in BO3

lauera9482
Andrew M. Lauer
3 months ago

Why are most of the decks on this site BO3? I feel like BO1 is much more popular.

legolas42
2 months ago

Most tournaments are in bo3, so it is easier to know which decks are good in bo3 than in bo1.

Noname
Noname
3 months ago

What are all these old comments, from Nov 2019 for example, doing here? Could you remove them? Makes for a better reading experience if the comments are actually referring to this article.

legolas42
2 months ago

temur adventure is not in the tier list? it made top 4 at the last MagicFest Online Weekly Championship