Arena Standard (BO1) Metagame Tier List and Rankings: September 2021
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.
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.
- 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 4: Off-meta or decks that are not in the rankings, but we have coverage on.
Tier List and Rankings
September 30, 2021
It’s been almost two weeks with Innistrad out and the meta is finally starting to stabilize. It’s been a bit more static then the Bo3 meta as Bo1 players have already functionally had a few months to practice the format, but there are new decks constantly being seen and established decks changing in their ranking.
September 19, 2021
It’s day 3 of a brand new Standard and a lot has obviously changed from the days of Ikoria or Eldraine. However, if you were a fan of Standard 2022, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to see that a lot of what’s seeing play in the Best of One queues is the same as what you saw in the 2022 queues!
This is still a preliminary tier list so there’s a lot of time for things to change and plenty of decks that will likely be added in the future, but if you want a base line to work off of, here’s where you can start.
Standard Best of One (BO1)
|1||Mono White Aggro||1||Guide|
|2||Mono Green Aggro||1||Guide|
|3||Mono Black Control||1|
|12||Mono Red Goblins||3|
Standard Metagame Matrix
TIER ONE DECK ARCHETYPES
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 60.2% (110,000 matches)
- Change: 2 -> 1
Mono White continues it’s trend as the best deck with the highest win rate in the format and the best starts. Bo1 is a format that revolves around creature decks (whether you’re playing one or not) and this one is the fastest with solid interaction to boot.
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 59.8% (70,000 matches)
- Change: 1 -> 2
Although it got very little from Innistrad, Monogreen is still alive and well. The deck leverages the Best of One environment well by just bombarding the opponent with large creatures and not having to worry about going into Game 2 with a bad sideboard. What the deck slightly lost in speed it more than makes up for in power level and brutal efficiency.
- Win Rate: 58.4% (15,000 matches)
- Change: Unranked -> 3
The evolution of Orzhov Midrange. Created by Grzegorz Kowalski, Monoblack decided to drop White and just streamline the plan of value creatures into Planeswalkers and Blood on the Snow. In a creature dominated metagame, playing these sorts of strategies seems like a great foil.
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 57.4% (17,000 matches)
- Change: 4 -> 4
Just a derivation of Monoblack, Orzhov has a slightly worse mana base but access to powerful cards like Elite Spellbinder and Vanishing Verse that seem worth the tradeoff. It’ll be interesting to see if one completely overtakes the other, but currently they’re played at nearly equal rates and ahve nearly equal win rates.
5. BANT PARTY
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 58.0% (7,800 matches)
- Change: 6 -> 5
One of the best decks of 2022 continues to perform reasonably well in the Bo1 qeuues. It’s become less popular than monocolored options due to more inconsistency in the mana, but it’s the most punishing deck in the format if it does it’s thing uninterrupted.
- Win Rate: 57.9% (27,000 matches)
- Change: Unranked -> 6
The final derivation of the Blood on the Snow shell for this list. Rakdos is a blend of the midrange deck that was struggling to gain a foothold in Bo1 and mostly just changed its mana base to support Blood on the Snow. I didn’t expect that this is the direction Rakdos wanted to take, but it seems to be working for the deck as the win rate has skyrocketed since that change.
- Win Rate: 57.2% (27,000 matches)
- Change: 8 -> 7
In a somewhat similar vein to Orzhov Midrange, Angels looks to play large creatures and removal spells to stymie the creature decks rather than Planeswalkers and Wraths. This plan is very solid against the creature decks, likely moreso than the Control decks, but really struggles against the control decks which makes the matchups very polarizing.
8. TEMUR RAMP
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 55.9% (4,400 matches)
- Change: Unranked -> 8
There’s plenty of Ramp shells to try out in Bo1, but currently Temur seems to be the most popular. Although I expected it to look very different from the 2022 version (and there are iterations that certainly do), the highest win rate version is currently what seems to be my old version which focused on getting to 7-8 mana for the biggest bombs in the format.
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 53.3%
- Change: 5 -> 9
I thought that a new metagame and Smoldering Egg may be enough for Izzet to finally grow it’s wings, but it still seems to be just a fine strategy, nothing special. The deck still suffers from too many awkward starts to contend with the hyper efficient nature of Bo1, but it will be a great counter to the various other Control decks of the format.
10. GRUUL AGGRO
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 55.8% (5,900 matches)
- Change: Unranked -> 1
There are a few different iterations of Gruul, but I’ll keep it to the classic Aggro for the purpose of the article. I thought Gruul was going to be one of the best options, but it seems to be overtaken by it’s monocolored counterparts. My best guess is that the mana base makes for too many awkward games and having access to Faceless Haven is really important for aggro to contend with Control. Nevertheless, it’s still a solid strategy with some of the best cards in the format.
TIER THREE DECK ARCHETYPES
11. AZORIUS CONTROL
- Win Rate: 55.3% (25,000 matches)
- Change: Unranked -> 11
Coming from (I believe) CovertGoBlue, Azorius looks to bore the opponent to death with only a few sparse win cons and a whole lot of Control elements in the meantime. This deck is definitely funny and reasonably solid, but currently isn’t as strong as the more proactive control decks of the format.
12. MONO RED GOBLINS
- Win Rate: 53.9% (8,000 matches)
- Change: Unranked -> 12
I was surprised to see Goblins back on the map, but a reasonably efficient aggro deck with some tribal payoffs can only be so bad. Goblins suffers from lack of card quality as it’s other aggro counterparts simply have access to strogner cards and better synergies, but this is a decent deck regardless.
13. DIMIR CONTROL
- Win Rate: 51.2% (32,000 matches)
- Change: 9 -> 13
Similar to Izzet, even a new set isn’t enough to make Dimir Control a great choice it seems. I think there is a good build of Dimir that will make it a better option, but it’s hard to say if it’s ever going to be a great option.
Thank you for reading! Have a great day!