Standard (BO1) Metagame Tier List

Introduction

Discover the best Magic: The Gathering Arena Standard decks and archetypes that the players are using to climb the ranked ladder and win tournaments. Explore the MTG Arena (BO1) Standard metagame as we regularly rank the top decks in a tier list, as well as our comprehensive analysis and review.

  • Click here to view the separate analysis and tier list for Traditional (BO3) Standard.
  • Click on the deck archetype name to find a brief description, links to the full deck guide with a more detailed overview and to find the latest decklists representing it.
  • Each deck will be ranked in numerical order as well as tier order. The higher something is within the tier, the better it is than other decks.
  • Below the tier list you will also find a curated decklist for each archetype as well as a full explanation and reasonings behind these rankings and tiers.

Methodology

When constructing the tier list, we take into account a variety of factors and sources:

  • Field representation, win rate and matchups: How prolific a deck is on the Mythic ladder and how it stacks up against the other popular decks in the metagame.
  • Third-party applications: that track matches and publishes the data directly from ladder play. Currently, we have access to Untapped.gg, MTGA Assistant, MTG Arena Pro and MTG Arena Tool.
  • Tournaments: Important results shaped professional players. MTGmeta.io and MTG Data aggregates these results to analyze their performance.
  • Game Mode: As a general rule, best-of-one (BO1) prefers linear strategies and the metagame is different from Traditional best-of-three (BO3). Read more about the differences here. Generally speaking, the tournaments results are in BO3 only, have a much smaller sample size and its environment is very different from an open MTG Arena ladder experience.
  • Opinion: Our own ladder experience and in consultation with players.
  • Others: If a deck doesn’t appear below, either the play rate of it is too low for it to make a tangible impact or it falls below the tier 3 threshold which we sometimes will highlight as Honorable Mentions below. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad deck either, as this will just be focused on the most popular decks in the current metagame.

Legend

  • Tier 1: The best of the best. The most consistent decks that sport the highest win rates and generally, the highest play rates.
  • Tier 2: Very solid decks that are slightly lacking in some capacity, whether it’s consistency or power compared to the Tier One archetypes. These can still be strong choices for ladder or for tournaments if you are highly skilled with the archetype or play them during the right metas.
  • Tier 3: Either these decks are poorly positioned or have a lot of power/consistency issues. These are decks that see play, but are generally worse choices than your other options.

Tier List

  • November 24, 2020: We’ve made some changes to the list in light of the flux in the metagame. Everything is not in fixed state because the powerful cards are now banned – you can counter most strategies, though Throne of Eldraine cards remain a blight on many formats.
  • October 30, 2020: The guide has now been been fully updated to the current metagame.

TIER ONE

1. MONO RED AGGRO

BO1 Mono Red Aggro – Untapped.gg 56.7% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

Mono Red Aggro’s presence in BO1 is evergreen due to its consistency, ease of build and speed. After the bans of Uro and Omnath, Embercleave has proven to be one of the most powerful cards left in Standard and in conjunction with cards like Torbran, Anax and Bonecrusher Giant, this deck is a force to be reckoned with in BO1 play.

2. GRUUL ADVENTURES

BO1 Gruul Adventures – Untapped.gg 57.5% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

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Gruul Adventures is currently the deck to beat in BO3 Standard and this is also the same case in BO1 as the deck is ideal for this game mode. It is aggressive, linear, its big Green creatures line up well against other aggro decks, as well as having the ability to go for longer games due to Edgewall Innkeeper. Only weakness to note is the mana base, which has been true for Standard aggro decks over the past year as the Pathway has merely replaced Stomping Grounds. It may leave you in some troubling spots from time to time, so the slight edge is given to Mono Red Aggro in this regard.

3. MONO WHITE AGGRO

BO1 Mono White Aggro – Untapped.gg 57.4% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

Mono White Aggro, despite not being as viable in competitive BO3, is still pulling the numbers. The major edge is given because of its strong linear gameplan and consistency with mana.

TIER TWO

4. DIMIR ROGUES

BO1 Dimir Rogues – Untapped.gg 52.9% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

This deck may find itself in a more rough spot in BO1 as its creatures are easily outclassed by Mono Red or Gruul and overrun by Embercleave, though the weaker matchups that come from midrange decks such as Golgari and Rakdos are being forced out of the metagame. Rogues are still definitely strong, but you may want to tailor your build to suit the aggro metagame better. For example, the range of removal, counterspells and inclusion of cards such as Ruin Crab or Shark Typhoon.

5. MONO GREEN FOOD

BO1 Mono Green Food – Untapped.gg 51.9% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

This deck has catapulted up into the metagame as control decks are less prevalent in the meta. Big creatures and lifegain from Food tokens makes it a great against opposing creature-based aggro decks. MVP goes to Wicked Wolf, as it is very difficult to deal with especially in BO1. Should the game go longer, cards like Feasting Troll King ad The Great Henge can be very strong at grinding out slower opponents. With decks like this, there is always the possibility that you draw the wrong side of your deck since it relies on particular synergies.

6. ESPER DOOM

BO1 Esper Doom – Untapped.gg 64% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

Esper has become the control deck of choice for Standard and does a decent job at controlling the aggro infested BO1 metagame. It has all the removal and disruption spells, and especially Doom Foretold is a decent enough card to build around. Any Blue White control deck variation should be just fine and should be tailored to your needs depending on the anticipated current metagame. It does have a rough matchup against Rogues and may even have a hard time grinding out the Food decks (The Great Henge especially a big threat).

On a side note, Yorion as a Companion in BO1 is a bit more of a riskier business because 80 card decks are naturally a bit more inconsistent and finding the right answers for your opponents would be difficult. This is true especially without a sideboard to redeem for it, and your result would be heavily impacted by the initial coinflip.

7. MONO BLACK AURAS

BO1 Mono Black Auras – Untapped.gg 59.4% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

Since making its BO1 debut in the previous tier list ranking, the latest version of the deck has become more expensive in terms of Wildcards and mana cost. The deck is being tailored for a slower meta to grind out slower opponents and having better win conditions.

8. CYCLING

BO1 Boros Cycling – Untapped.gg 56% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

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Sorcery (12)
1
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Enchantment (4)
Land (15)
4
Brightclimb Pathway/Grimclimb Pathway
4
Needleverge Pathway/Pillarverge Pathway
4
Riverglide Pathway/Lavaglide Pathway
Cards 60

Cycling is another great option for BO1 because of its linearity, simplicity and is very budget friendly for new players. When players cannot prepare for your gameplan in BO1 with a sideboard, it’s hard to do anything about a huge Zenith Flare or a turn 1 Flourishing Fox. As DoggertQBones said in his BO3 analysis, you can certainly do worse than Cycling but you can certainly do a lot better as well.

9. TEMUR ADVENTURES

BO1 Temur Adventures – Untapped.gg 49.1% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

This deck is a combination of Temur Adventures and the previous iteration of Temur Ramp. The deck is very good at drawing cards, ramping and going over the top and even has a combo finish that involves Obosh, the Preypiercer. While the deck is strong overall especially in BO3, it can be slightly too slow to get going for the BO1 metagame.

TIER THREE

10. DIMIR CONTROL

BO1 Dimir Control – Untapped.gg 48.9% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

A more traditional control deck with counterspells and boardwipes, compared to the tap-out control style of Esper Doom. The archetype is still evolving, but a draw-go style deck can have a better matchup against Esper, Rogues and Food decks.

11. BIG UGIN DECKS

BO1 Mono Red Ramp – Untapped.gg 51% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

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There are a variety of Ugin decks out there and no doubt it is a strong card. The aim is simple, stall out the game until you can cast an Ugin. Due to its linearity the deck made a splash at the most recent Arena Open but relying on one card on its own may prove to be a bit too difficult.

12. RAKDOS MIDRANGE

BO1 Rakdos Midrange – Untapped.gg 61% Win Rate – Nov 17 – Nov 24

Rakdos Midrange is a versatile deck that is a jack-of-all trades and master of none. It offers a decent matchup against Rogues since they fuel your graveyard for your Kroxa, but the hungry titan is outclassed by many other cards at this moment.

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Terence

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4 Responses

  1. Sobert Sobert says:

    All this BO1 stuff is very much appreciated.

  2. GiantDwarf GiantDwarf says:

    Mono Black Auras link is broken

  3. Hr_Waschbaer Hr_Waschbaer says:

    Thank you for the nice overview! Just one question: why is Dimir (Lurrus) Mill not included in the tier list? Strictly speaking Dimir Mill and Dimir Rogues are two different archetypes and performing slightly different in BO1 (i’m no premium user; maybe the last seven day’s data differ – that’s why im asking).

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