MTG Arena Standard Decks – Metagame Tier List – Updated November 5, 2019

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.

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Throne of Eldraine Season 2

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Metagame Tier List – November 2019

  • November 5, 2019: There has been a slight metagame change, and results from MagicFest Nagoya and Lyon are out. Next update will be after Mythic Championship VI held on November 8-10, and the next ban announcement on November 18, 2019.
TierDeck ArchetypeDecklistsDeck Guides
1Sultai FoodDecklistsDeck Guide
1Simic FoodDecklists
1Bant Ramp
Bant Food
Decklists
Decklists
1Sultai AristocratsDecklists
2Golgari AdventuresDecklistsVideo Deck Guide
2Jeskai Fires
Grixis Fires
Decklists
Decklists
Grixis Fires Deck Guide
2Rakdos Aristocrats
Jund Aristocrats
Four-Color Aristocrats
Decklists
Decklists
2Gruul Aggro
Gruul Adventures
Decklists
Decklists
Deck Guide
Deck Guide
2Temur ReclamationDecklists
3Selesnya AdventuresDecklistsDeck Guide
3Esper StaxDecklists
3Simic FlashDecklistsDeck Guide
3Azorius ControlDecklists
4Mardu Knights
Rakdos Knights
Decklists
Decklists
4Mono Red Aggro
Mono Red Cavalcade
Decklists
Decklists
Deck Guide

Tier 1

Sultai Food

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The Food deck archetype makes use of the Gilded Goose, Oko, Thief of Crowns and Wicked Wolf package. All this combined with the best green cards such as Nissa, Who Shakes the World for ramp and Once Upon a Time for card selection, makes the core deck very powerful against most decks. This core deck archetype became the best deck since the banning of Field of the Dead, which had kept the Food decks in check. This makes the deck now on a tier of its own.

The Sultai version splashes black for Noxious Grasp in the main deck, and some other disruption cards included in both main and sideboard such as Massacre Girl and Vraska, Golgari Queen. Noxious Grasp is the best removal spell in Standard at the moment due to the prevalence and dominance of green cards, as shown in the Mythic Championship VII Qualifier Weekend. This also gives it an advantage over the mirror matches.

Simic Food

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The Simic Food version is a straightforward deck using the core green blue Food and ramp package, almost identical to the Sultai version above. The main advantage of this color combination would mainly be consistency of the mana base and being slightly stronger against other non-green decks in the metagame.

The card choices are a bit more flexible also, as you can use Questing Beast, Voracious Hydra, Brazen Borrower and even Maraleaf Pixie in your flex spots of the deck. As such, the matchup against the Sultai mirror match is a little bit worse but there are certainly cases for and against using the Simic version but the differences are minor enough that it shouldn’t matter to most players.

Bant Ramp / Bant Food

Nissa, Who Shakes the World Art by Chris Rallis

The key difference between the Bant list and the other Food lists is Deputy of Detention and Teferi, Time Raveler. The Food and Bant versions differ in their use of Wicked Wolf, and the Ramp version tends to use bigger finishers such as Mass Manipulation or Finale of Glory.

They are both strong against different decks, but its main hedge card is Teferi to stand a better chance against decks such as Temur Reclamation and Azorius Control. Though once again, the green/blue core deck is strong enough that the difference is very minor if you choose to play one or the other but do remember the 80% of the deck is still the same.

Tier 2

Golgari Adventures

questing-beast-art

Golgari Adventures is a midrange deck based around Edgewall Innkeeper and Adventure cards. Without an immediate answer to the innkeeper, you are able to draw a stream of cards while playing big creatures and casting removal spells at the same time. The best version of the deck involves a more value oriented approach with cards like Find // Finality and packed with planeswalkers like Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Vivien, Arkbow Ranger and Garruk, Cursed Huntsman.

There are also other popular variants of the deck. There is a Knight tribal build that incorporates Lucky Clover and more aggressive creatures like Questing Beast, as well as a Jund build that splashes red solely for Bonecrusher Giant.

Fires of Invention

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The Fires of Invention decks are certainly powerful but have fallen in popularity recently as they are quite slow to get going. The primary build uses Fae of Wishes and numerous sideboard cards to fetch win conditions to silver bullets, and a bunch of planeswalkers similar to the Jeskai Walkers last Standard season to alpha strike with Sarkhan, the Masterless. A variant of the Jeskai version that has been used is more of a combo deck, that aims to use the free mana to give Cavalier of Flame and Cavalier of Gales haste and kill your opponent in one turn.

The deck is also relatively flexible on its build. Another popular variation is the Grixis version that uses Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God as its signature card. You can check out the deck guides in the links above for a more in-depth explanation!

Aristocrats / Sacrifice

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Aristocrats has become a new contender in the new Standard metagame, mostly due to the power of Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven. Other than pinging your opponent for 1 damage a turn, you can also steal your opponent’s Gilded Goose with Claim the Firstborn. Sacrificing Food tokens and lands also triggers Mayhem Devil. All without having to directly attack the opponent, you can get a lot of value as you can passively deal damage.

Decks have been splashing green for Korvold, Fae-Cursed King for even more card advantage for the three color build, and another further splash Blue for Oko, Thief of Crowns and some Food package as it involves sacrificing things as well.

Tier 3

Selesnya Adventures

Edgewall-Innkeeper-Throne-of-Eldraine-MtG-Art

This deck archetype is a combination of a Selesnya Tokens and the Adventures build. White allows the deck to go wide with cheap Adventure cards such as Faerie Guidemother and Giant Killer. Lovestruck Beast is also a giant wall that aggro decks will have a hard time passing through. This deck is particularly good in this Oko-heavy metagame because of March of the Multitudes. Just be careful of board wipes like Massacre Girl, which the Sultai Food decks sometimes run.

Gruul Aggro

gruul-spellbreaker-art

Gruul Aggro is one of the better aggressive decks in the current Standard due to its big hasty creatures applying pressure, combined with the power of Embercleave that can end games out of nowhere. Aggro decks are definitely suffering in this current metagame, but if one of them was to have at least a 50% chance, Gruul would be it.

Simic Flash

brazen-borrower-art

As the metagame has shifted away from Teferi, Time Raveler, Simic Flash gets slightly better in the metagame. This can change at any time, and maindeck Aether Gust, Noxious Grasp and even Veil of Summer many decks are packing in makes it more difficult. Shifting Ceratops is another card that can hate out the deck easily.

Esper Stax

golden-egg-eld-mtg-art-lindey-look

This deck revolves around playing Doom Foretold – using artifacts and enchantments such as Guild Globe and Golden Egg to use as sacrifice fodder to keep it around as long as possible, and bringing them back with Dance of the Manse to finish off your opponent. The deck is showing consistent showings in various events, though obviously would not be the first choice.

Azorius Control

The Azorius Control deck is packed with counterspells and Prison Realm to answer all your opponents in a timely manner. As stated on the Simic Flash above, the deck gets better in a Teferi-less meta, but the deck’s weakness is in the lack of finishers and the length of time needed to win. There aren’t even cards like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria in the current card pool to make this deck a very enticing choice for the ladder grinders. The deck is also a little bit too slow but since the Food decks are keeping the aggro decks in check, the deck fares a little better.

Temur Reclamation

Another deck that gets better in a Teferi-less meta, this is a combo deck that uses the excess mana generated by Wilderness Reclamation at the end of your turn and kill the opponent with Expansion // Explosion. The deck can be challenging to play, and as pointed out above, aggro decks prey on this deck so be wary of the meta as it evolves.

Off Meta

Mono Red Cavalcade

greg-rutkowski-torbran-thane-of-red-fell-1500

Mono Red is a shell of what it used to be before Standard rotation. It is no longer feasible to try and fight Oko and Food decks in the current metagame with Mono Red – there just isn’t enough tools to fight them. As the deck was strong against Golos decks which is now banned, the deck basically has no chance in the current metagame. This deck is still a decent option for those players who prefer best-of-one play, want to grind quickly, or as a budget option.

Mardu Knights

blacklance-paragon-art

Knights are the latest tribal decks to be introduced with Throne of Eldraine, and each of the three colors that it is associated with – white, black and red all has strong cards, so why not combine them all? This three colored aggressive deck has the best cards from each color. This deck also relies on Embercleave like Gruul Aggro, and is also used with Rotting Regisaur to form a deadly combination. The weakness is its unstable manabase, and is quite weak to disruption.

6 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.

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