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MTG Arena Standard Decks – Metagame Tier List – November 22, 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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Metagame Tier List – November 22, 2019

TierDeck ArchetypeDecklistsRelated Archetypes
1Jeskai FiresDecklistsGrixis Fires
1Jund SacrificeDecklistsRakdos Sarifice
Golgari Sacrifice
1Golgari AdventuresDecklists
2Rakdos KnightsDecklists
2Simic FlashDecklistsIzzet Flash
Mono Blue Tempo
2Mono Red AggroDecklists
3Gruul AdventuresDecklistsGruul Aggro
3Esper ControlDecklistsEsper Doom
3Azorius ControlDecklists
3Temur ReclamationDecklists

Looking for more Standard deck archetypes and decks? Check out our deck database!

Tier 1

Jeskai Fires

The most popular deck since the Standard banning of Oko are the Fires of Invention decks. There are a few different variations of the deck floating around, but the one adopted by many top players is the version that features Cavalier of Flame and Cavalier of Gales as a quick win condition, as you stall the game with planeswalkers and bard wipes such as Deafening Clarion. 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.

Jund Sacrifice

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. Some versions include a few copies Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, but the best sacrifice payoff is still Mayhem Devil.

Golgari Adventures

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. Variations of the deck that includes the Knight package and Lucky’s Clover are still strong contenders.

Tier 2

Simic Flash

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. It has shown strong showings in some large tournaments from time to time, but the existence of Teferi, Time Raveler and Shifting Ceratops is enough for it to ever become a top tier deck.

Rakdos Knights

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.

Mono Red Aggro

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.

Tier 3

Gruul Adventures

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.

Esper Control

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.

Azorius Control

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.

Temur Reclamation

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.

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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