Discover the best Magic: The Gathering Arena Standard decks and archetypes that the players are using to climb the ranked ladder and win tournaments. Our MTG Arena Best of One (Bo1) Standard Meta Tier List regularly reviews and ranks the top decks in the format, carefully curated by our expert DoggertQBones. We also follow up our choices based on a variety of factors and sources, with comprehensive analysis from the data available. Updated January 17, 2023!
|Tier 1||Mono White Soldiers|
|Tier 1||Azorius Soldiers|
|Tier 2||Mono Black Aggro 🔼|
|Tier 2||Naya Humans|
|Tier 2||Esper Legends|
|Tier 2||Mono Black Midrange|
|Tier 2||Mono Red Aggro 🔽|
|Tier 2||Selesnya Enchantments|
|Tier 2||Mono White Aggro|
|Tier 2||Mono Blue Tempo|
|Tier 2||Grixis Midrange|
|Tier 2||Mardu Midrange|
|Tier 2||Esper Midrange|
|Tier 2||Boros Heroic 🆕|
|Tier 3||Rakdos Midrange|
|Tier 3||Rakdos Aggro|
|Tier 3||Rakdos Anvil|
|Tier 3||Gruul Aggro|
|Tier 3||Mono Green Aggro|
Tier 1 Decks
Mono White Soldiers
While the newest aggro deck in the format, it’s quickly shot up my rankings and become, what I believe, to be the best one. Best of One is generally centered around it’s aggression, and an aggro deck that plays all good cards that are also very synergistic with one another. Mono White Aggro isn’t new to being the top deck of the format, and having the synergistic twist is just what the deck needed to shoot back up the rankings and reclaim the throne. Between the go wide strategy, the aggression, and your surprisingly good interaction, this is the clear winner in the metagame right now.
Weaknesses: While a powerful aggressive deck, you aren’t impossible to disrupt, so decks that want to beat you probably will be able to. However, to do that successfully, they would have to go all in on an anti-aggro game plan.
When is it good to play? Considering this is a powerful proactive deck, as long as the metagame isn’t literally all decks with copious amounts of removal and board wipes.
Most of the things that were said about Mono White can apply here, but rather than getting Lay Down Arms and perfect mana, we go Blue for slightly less consistent mana and more card diversity. While generally adding a color is a huge detriment to a deck, Fortified Beachhead makes it functionally free as it’ll be rare that you stumble and extremely rare that you’re color screwed. Furthermore, going Blue gains you access to strong Soldiers like Dennick, Pious Apprentice, Harbin, Vanguard Aviator, and Skystrike Officer which are all quite powerful.
Weaknesses: Like Mono White, decks dedicated to beating you will likely be able to do so as being picked apart with removal is difficult to contend with.
When is it good to play? Same as Mono White – considering this is a powerful proactive deck, as long as the metagame isn’t literally all decks with copious amounts of removal and board wipes.
Tier 2 Decks
Mono Black Aggro
One of the best aggro decks of the format, Mono Black has undergone a small transformation with the new set. The old Mono Black was looking to go all in with it’s curve, but with access to better mid game threats like Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor and Phyrexian Fleshgorger, the deck has slowed down a bit. Despite that. you still have an excellent curve, even better removal than before with Go for the Throat entering the format, and the insane late game of Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Invoke Despair per usual.
Weaknesses: While powerful, the midrange strategies are relatively similar to your build, but go a bit bigger which can let them outscale you in games where you have slower hands.
When is it good to play? Mono Black is a well balanced deck so I think it’s a strong choice in any metagame, but if there were a lot of aggressively slanted midrange decks looking to go slightly bigger than you, that could be a small issue.
Naya Humans if functionally a Mono White Aggro deck that makes a lot of mana base concessions in order to play Halana and Alena, Partners, which may seem excessive, but is a proven and powerful strategy. Since the mana base is still relatively clean and you get to play utility lands anyway, you get to play a normal aggressive deck with really powerful top end that can run away with the game if left unchecked.
Between the disruptive creatures and fast curve, this aggro deck focuses more on individual card quality than synergy to overwhelm the opponent quickly and effectively.
Weaknesses: Since you are a three color deck (technically), you will be a bit more prone to stumbling compared to your other aggressive counterparts. Furthermore, like any aggro deck, a lot of interaction or extremely problematic creatures like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse will always give aggro decks issues.
When is it good to play? Since this is a generically good deck, as long as the metagame isn’t completely hostile to aggro decks, this seems like a fine option as it won’t be particularly bad or particularly excel in any metagame.
A deck packed to the brim with Legendary creatures, this inherent weakness is offset by the monstrous strength of your mana base between Plaza of Heroes both being a color fixer and utility land as well as the Kamigawa Channel lands which can either be lands or functional Gideon's Reproach, Unsummon, or Raise Dead respectively.
Beyond the obscenely powerful mana base, you are playing a surprisingly effective aggressive deck that can have brutal curve outs that many decks could struggle to beat. Unlike other aggro decks, your card quality is also very high as you get to play cards such as Raffine, Scheming Seer and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse in an aggro deck!
Weaknesses: Out of all the aggressively slanted decks, this is the clunkiest as you only have a couple of one drops, a decent amount of tap lands, and a higher curve than normal for aggro.
When is it good to play? When there are a lot of midrange decks, this will do better to combat them than the traditional low to the ground aggro deck.
Mono Black Midrange
Mono Black Midrange looks to play the long game with powerful threats and excellent removal. One of the key features of this build versus more traditional midrange options is how low the curve is. Between
Furthermore, to help bolster your early threats, you have a litany of removal that can handle different threats between Cut Down for early creatures, Go for the Throat for almost anything, then Liliana of the Veil and Invoke Despair for edicts. Between your early threats and copious amounts of removal and card advantage, it will be very difficult for the opponent to keep a meaningful threat on board.
Weaknesses: The deck doesn’t have any glaring weakness which is one of the factors that makes it so powerful, but if the opponent’s deck is built in such a way that most of their cards are generating value, you can be outpaced. Bigger midrange decks like Jund or Grixis can be marginally bad matchups because of this.
When is it good to play? This is a generally powerful deck so the better question would be when it isn’t good to play. As long as the metagame has a normal distribution of decks, this seems like an excellent option.
Mono Red Aggro
A strategy as old as Magic itself, Mono Red Aggro is a general mainstay in Bo1 Standard due to it’s consistency and power. Looking to play relatively quick games of Magic, Mono Red has a fantastic curve, then can back those threats up with eight burn spells that double as removal and reach.
Since all the creatures work well towards an aggressive game plan and you aren’t compromising in card quality, Mono Red can be an extremely punishing deck for those who aren’t prepared to face it, or simply decks that happen to stumble. Furthermore, gaining access to a mini
Weaknesses: Mono Red can struggle when there is a lot of incidental life gain and cheap interaction, and this Standard format has a lot of those effects. In particular, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse can give Mono Red a lot of issues if not killed quickly.
When is it good to play? Mono Red is inversely good to how much respect players are giving aggressive decks. If Midrange decks still play a lot of cheap removal and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, it’s not going to be easy to win. However, a lot of those cards are pretty poor in Midrange matchups, so if those decks start cutting it to get an edge there, Mono Red can severely punish them.
Functionally a Kamigawa block deck, Selesnya Enchantments is all about synergy and one of the few purely synergy driven decks in Standard. Most importantly, the deck functions off the back of the payoffs for playing so many Enchantments including Generous Visitor, Jukai Naturalist,
Beyond the synergistic portions of the deck, you are just a rather powerful aggressive deck. Between a low curve and good reach, this deck is hard to face as you have to constantly disrupt it lest you got overrun by their surmounting advantages.
Weaknesses: While this can survive past individual pieces of interaction (although it can even struggle there), mass removal is very hard to come back from for this iteration of the deck.
When is it good to play? You don’t want to play Enchantments if something like Azorius Control is popular as this is excellent at beating aggressive decks while still being solid against the faster midrange decks.
Mono White Aggro
An extremely classic archetype, Mono White Aggro takes up two spots in Tier One! Like the many iterations before it, and somewhat similarly to Mono Black Aggro, Mono White looks to leverage an aggressive curve and disruption to push through damage. You have an excellent curve, but beyond just being aggressive, most of your threats either disrupt or generate additional value. In particular, cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben,
Weaknesses: While Mono White can disrupt the opponent quite well, it can be just as easily disrupted. A few well timed removal spells can be a big issue for this deck as your card quality is going to drop off quicker than your opponent’s in most matchups. Furthermore, with a higher density of three drops, you are more prone to clunky draws as it can be difficult to double spell until the mid game.
When is it good to play? Mono White is a great option in most metagames, but will truly shine when the midrange decks care less about aggro. If there’s still a lot of cheap interaction and/or board wipes, this isn’t the ideal pick, but still reasonable. However, the second decks start skimping on those effects is when Mono White is at it’s best.
Mono Blue Tempo
Leveraging the power of cheap threats and interaction, Mono Blue Tempo looks to play a very different game compared to the rest of the metagame. While most other decks are looking to either close the game out fast or grind the opponent out, Mono Blue is simply stopping the opponent from doing any relevant until they can win on their own schedule. Between Spell Pierce, Fading Hope, Slip Out the Back, Essence Scatter, and Make Disappear, the opponent will struggle to do anything of relevance. Then, you can simply drop a huge Haughty Djinn or discounted Tolarian Terror to seal the game from there.
Weaknesses: Mono Blue is only as good as the cards it can counter. If you miss out on countering something important or the opponent slips enough threats underneath your permission, it can be difficult to recover from. Furthermore if your threats keep getting removed, it’ll take awhile to close out the game.
When is it good to play? The slower the metagame, the better Mono Blue is. If people are trying to resolve five+ mana spells, they’re going to have an exceedingly difficult time doing so.
When is it good to play? Gruul is solid at being a nice “middle ground” aggressive deck where you aren’t super scared to face anything in particular, but you also don’t excel in any matchup. That being said, you would still like to dodge the midrange decks packing a lot of cheap removal and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse.
The previous World Championship winning deck, Grixis looks to combine excellent interaction with powerful late game threats to overwhelm the opponent. More so than the other midrange options, you look to leverage your copious amounts of removal spells as you have threats that can take over the game late single-handedly. While you could go the Invoke Despair route, using the creatures has seemed to be a more successful strategy. In particular, Bladecoil Serpent is a tough threat to come back from as you can get a four for one on it very often.
Weaknesses: While you excel in the midrange matchups, decks looking to punish slower strategies such as Mono Red Aggro or Mono Blue Tempo can be very problematic. No matter how strong your cards are, they don’t mean much if you die before you get to cast them or they are simply countered.
When is it good to play? If the metagame turns solely into midrange mirrors, going over the top of them would definitely be the way to go. Bladecoil Serpent and Invoke Despair are extremely powerful cards and most midrange decks aren’t equipped to handle the value produced by them in conjunction with the other powerful cards you play.
Nearly a Mono White deck double splashing Black and Red, it is an extremely powerful midrange deck looking to play many of the best cards available in the colors. In particular, Archangel of Wrath is the big draw to Mardu as it can come down and immediately stabilize you against many board states. All in all, you are just a pretty classic midrange deck with fantastic threats and a few good pieces of interaction.
Weaknesses: While powerful, it can be a bit clunky as the curve is higher than other midrange decks and the mana base is less clean.
When is it good to play? If you’re looking to go over other decks in the metagame and there aren’t any super go big decks like Ramp or Kami War, this should be in a good spot.
The most popular of the three color midrange options, Esper Midrange is a powerhouse looking to simply take the best cards of its color combination and jam them in a deck together. While you do give up some equity in terms of your mana as you have to contend both with eight painlands and a lot of slowlands, gaining access to powerful options such as The Wandering Emperor, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, Wedding Announcement, and most importantly, Raffine, Scheming Seer is a worthy trade off.
For Esper, your game plan isn’t different from the other midrange strategies – deploy powerful threats and use interaction as needed, but the upside is, ideally, your card quality is simply higher than the opponent’s which will give you an advantage in the average game.
Weaknesses: I mentioned it already, but the biggest weakness is easily the mana base for this deck. While the cards you gain access to are powerful, having to work with a mana base that may not cast anything on curve until the mid game can be extremely brutal.
When is it good to play? If midrange decks start dominating the metagame, Esper can have an edge as you have very high card quality and can take advantage of the slower metagame. While a slow mana base is still a hindrance, it is much less an issue if most decks aren’t interested in winning early.
A cool new spin on aggro decks, Boros Heroic plays like the Heroic decks of old with cheap creatures that like seeing spells and a lot of cheap spells to produce a lot of burst damage out of nowhere. When uninterrupted, the deck can generate extremely quick wins, but it has a decent amount of interaction of well so you aren’t just reliant on the opponent not doing anything relevant.
Weaknesses: Decks that play a lot of removal can be a big issue for this deck. If you don’t have a creature out, this deck will fall apart very quickly.
When is it good to play? If there aren’t too many decks rocking a lot of cheap removal, then this seems reasonable to play. However, it’s definitely at its best when decks are looking to play mostly solitaire as Heroic can race quite well in those circumstances.
Tier 3 Decks
A derivation of Mono Black Midrange, Rakdos trades out the perfect mana base and some removal to gain access to Bloodtithe Harvester and the obscenely powerful Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. Consequently, this makes you more aggressive compared to the other midrange strategies at the slight expense of fewer pieces of interaction.
Weaknesses: Similar to Mono Black Midrange, your largest concern are decks that can go over you. However, unlike Mono Black, you are somewhat aggressive so this isn’t always a huge issue, but can still be difficult to beat if they can survive the early to mid game.
When is it good to play? Like many of these decks, you can play this in realistically any metagame as it’s a well balanced deck. This is a great choice if you want to be bigger than the aggro decks to still be strong against them, but want a little extra speed against the slower decks.
A new aggressive deck bolstered by the meld pair of Phyrexian Dragon Engine and Mishra, Claimed by Gix, you have a lot of things going for you. First off, since you’re Rakdos, you get to play both of the powerful one mana sagas in Okiba Reckoner Raid and Kumano Faces Kakkazan, you get the best two drops in the format with Tenacious Underdog and Bloodtithe Harvester, then you get a bunch of excellent mid game options like the Meld pair, Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. Out of all the aggressive options, the card quality here is likely the highest.
Weaknesses: While you have excellent card quality, you mana is substantially more inconsistent than the other options. You’re hoping that your colors work out and that you don’t draw Haunted Ridge too early as that can disrupt your aggressive curve.
When is it good to play? In a metagame with a lot of midrange decks, this could be a good aggressive deck that tries to go pound for pound with them on card quality.
One of the grindiest decks in Standard, Rakdos Anvil utilizes Oni-Cult Anvil in conjunction with cheap artifacts and artifact producers in order to whittle away at opponents. One of the key features of Rakdos Anvil is how difficult it can be to interact with the strategy. Most decks don’t have main deck artifact hate, and creature interaction, even board wipes, are not particularly effective against the strategy.
Beyond the Anvil half of the deck, you still have many excellent midrange cards at your disposal like Bloodtithe Harvester (which works double duty), Liliana of the Veil, and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker to play a fair game as well.
Weaknesses: Since the deck is two halves, drawing the wrong mix of cards can be very awkward. Cards like Voldaren Epicure and Sokenzan Smelter are a lot more embarrassing without Oni-Cult Anvil, and conversely, Anvil is only good if you have artifacts to sacrifice. Since the deck is less focused, there is a greater chance you’ll die without putting up as much of a fight compared to the midrange decks as the midrange cards you play aren’t as effective here as they would be elsewhere.
When is it good to play? Anvil likes metagames where the games go long, but aren’t dominated by over the top strategies such as Jund which is packing Titan of Industry. If you have a midrange metagame, this seems like a reasonable choice in it.
Looking to combine the best threats available in Green and Red, Gruul Aggro is all about bringing the beatdown fast. While you obviously lose equity in terms of mana base compared to the monocolored counterparts, that’s offset by having access to a litany of excellent aggressive creatures as well as the Gruul all star, Halana and Alena, Partners.
Rather than needing to only get under decks to win, Gruul has a high enough card quality that it can even play into the mid game and still win, unlike something like Mono Red which will drop off substantially if the game starts extending into turn five onward.
Weaknesses: While you are an aggressive deck, your curve isn’t the best set up to be an aggressive deck. With the crux of your threats condensed around the two and three drops, you may have slower starts than you need to beat the powerful midrange decks. Furthermore, while your mana base is good, there will be a non-negligible amount of games where your colors won’t work out or you are forced to play off curve.
Mono Green Aggro
Mono Green Aggro looks to utilize pure creature quality in order to cement it’s wins. Now powered by artifact synergies and Teething Wurmlet, the deck looks to deploy a strong curve as fast as possible to kill the opponent before they can deploy their threats. Thankfully, your threats tend to be larger on curve than most other decks so you can keep the pressure on throughout the whole game.
Weaknesses: The major problem with Mono Green is that it’s a good deal slower than other options like Mono White, Mono Red, Mono Black, and even Gruul. While you are better defensively, a lot of the midrange decks aren’t going to care much if your creatures are a bit larger than normal as they can go over the top of you. Furthermore, you have no real means to beat a Sheoldred, the Apocalypse which is a huge problem.
When is it good to play? If aggressive strategies really pick up steam, Mono Green is relatively well positioned against them as your creatures block well. While your curve may not always work well to support this, it’s difficult for creatures to break through an army of three and four toughness creatures.