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 Three (Bo3) 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||Azorius Soldiers 🔼|
|Tier 1||Grixis Midrange|
|Tier 1||Mono White Midrange|
|Tier 1||Izzet Artifacts|
|Tier 1||Esper Midrange|
|Tier 1||Mardu Midrange 🔽|
|Tier 2||Mono Blue Tempo 🔼|
|Tier 2||Mono Black Aggro|
|Tier 2||Rakdos Midrange|
|Tier 2||Esper Legends|
|Tier 2||Mono Red Aggro|
|Tier 3||Grixis Anvil|
|Tier 3||Boros Reanimator|
|Tier 3||Jund Midrange|
|Tier 3||Jund Reanimator|
|Tier 3||Five Color Jodah|
Tier 1 Decks
The newest and best aggro deck in Standard, Azorius Soldiers leverages all the Soldier payoffs from The Brothers' Warto have a powerful and synergistic deck. Between the powerful payoffs like Valiant Veteran, Harbin, Vanguard Aviator, and Skystrike Officer with generically powerful Soldiers like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Brutal Cathar, you have a deck that’s fast, disruptive, and can easily steal games before the opponent can find their footing..
Weaknesses: Like any aggressive deck, facing an opponent with copious interaction and/or wraths is going to be a bad time.
When is it good to play? This is a generally powerful aggressive deck, so as long as the metagame isn’t super hostile to aggro, this seems like a solid choice.
The current king of Black midrange decks, Grixis aims to grind the opponent out over the course of a long game with its many powerful threats that replace themselves. Between the aforementioned threats, a bevy of interaction, and a top end of Invoke Despair, Grixis is a brutally efficient deck that will almost always win out on card quality compared to other options.
Weaknesses: Grixis’s only inherent weakness are decks that can go way over it. Even then, you have enough varied interaction that you can have a good chance in any matchup, but in recent times, decks like Mono White Midrange and Grixis Artifacts have been somewhat effective counters to it.
When is it good to play? Grixis will always likely be a reasonable option to play, but it performs at it’s best when people are playing lower to the ground midrange decks like Rakdos or Esper.
Mono White Midrange
Mono White is a traditional midrange deck with solid pieces of interaction and powerful late game threats. You have a solid early curve of creatures that draw cards like Spirited Companion, Ambitious Farmhand, and Reckoner Bankbuster. Then you can follow that up with either interaction like Lay Down Arms, The Wandering Emperor, or Depopulate, then grind them out from there.
While none of your cards are particularly powerful, in combination, they create an incredibly consistent strategy that’s hard to disrupt and out grind.
Weaknesses: Since the card quality of this deck is going to be lower on average compared to other options, you may be able to get grinded out by decks with stronger cards.
When is it good to play? When the metagame is filled with grindy decks, none of which looking to go too big, this is the perfect option.
Half control/half ramp, Izzet Artifacts looks to go way over the competition with cheap interaction into humongous threats. Ending the curve with Cityscape Leveler and Skitterbeam Battalion, this deck is capable of turning games around extremely quickly and to easily overpower any deck in the format.
Weaknesses: While you do have early game interaction, aggressive decks can still be quite problematic for this. Unless you have a Brotherhood's End, you are likely to get run over.
When is it good to play? When midrange is good, this deck is good. Since you go so much bigger than your opponents, it’s pretty easy to overpower them when given enough time
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 Kaito Shizuki, Dennick, Pious Apprentice, Obscura Interceptor, 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 Flash game plan keeps the opponent off balance long enough for you to beat them.
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.
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.
Tier 2 Decks
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, you will have a difficult time winning.
When is it good to play? The slower the metagame, the better Mono Blue is. If people are trying to resolve 4+ mana spells, they’re going to have an exceedingly difficult time doing so.
Mono Black Aggro
While named Mono Black Aggro, this deck is really a blend between the old Mono Black Aggro deck and Mono Black Midrange to have a powerful and fast deck. Best utilizing the new Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor as a powerful card advantage engine, you get to play a lean curve, plenty of great threats, excellent removal, which culminates into a fast and powerful option.
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.
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 newer derivation of Esper Midrange, this deck functions more like an aggro deck with a nearly all creature curve that looks to end games quickly. Between a powerful curve, many disruptive creatures, and excellent threats like Raffine, Scheming Seer and Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, this deck makes excellent use of all the pressure Esper Midrange could put on and make it the sole win condition.
Furthermore, this deck mitigates the largest downside of playing so many Legendary creatures by having access to four Plaza of Heroes, the Channel lands, and all the Connive cards this deck naturally plays. Best yet, you have a flexible sideboard that can give you equity in any matchup you’ll come across.
Weaknesses: You are completely reliant on your threats being better than theirs, so in games that you’re behind, it can be difficult to catch back up. Furthermore, while you have some interaction main deck, you don’t have too much which can stop you from dealing with problem cards.
When is it good to play? Since you are just a solid and proactive deck, there are few metagames that this deck wouldn’t perform reasonably well in.
Mono Red Aggro
Looking to play relatively quick games of Magic, Mono Red has a fantastic curve with twelve one drops, eight two drops, six three drops, and three four drops, 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.
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.
Tier 3 Decks
The newest breed of the old Rakdos Anvil shell, Grixis Anvil gains a significant amount of power coming out of The Brothers' War With both Third Path Iconoclast and Saheeli, Filigree Master to increase power and consistency, Anvil is now stronger than ever. Beyond those two excellent additions, Grixis also got Research Desk”] as another, and potentially better Experimental Synthesizer to further improve the consistency of the deck.
In conjunction to the new elements added to the deck, Anvil finally has the power and consistency it’s been sorely lacking for most of it’s Standard life cycle. Now that you’ll always something powerful to do, Anvil can leverage what it does best in dragging out games as it whittles away at the opponent’s life total.
Weaknesses: While the deck has become substantially more consistent, you still are an engine deck so not finding your Oni-Cult Anvil in a reasonable time frame is still a huge detriment. On top of that, cards like Brotherhood's End, Temporary Lockdown, and Farewell are all excellent against you giving other decks a safety valve if they’re looking to beat Anvil.
When is it good to play? When the metagame is relatively grindy and there isn’t too much hate, this seems like a very powerful option.
Looking to attack the metagame at a different angle, Boros Reanimator, like Jund Reanimator, is half midrange/half combo. You can play a normal game of Magic between your early drops, powerful mid game cards like Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Wedding Announcement, then start slamming your top end like Ao, the Dawn Sky and Sanctuary Warden.
This is a fine strategy in its own right, but the deck also has a combo plan where you can ditch a large creature into your graveyard and bring it back with Invoke Justice! This gives the deck a lot of resilience as you have two different means of winning on top of a way to bring back your best threats.
Weaknesses: While the deck has two distinct game plans, you can run into the issue of neither plan being better than the opponent’s if they can interact. Generally, other decks will struggle with one of your plans, but if they can interrupt you enough, you’ll have a difficult time winning.
When is it good to play? This is a generally strong deck which can be played in most metagames, however, you want to avoid playing this in metagames where there is a lot of counterspells as you can be quite clunky or when there are strategies that can go even bigger than you like Five Color Domain.
The most notable part of the deck is the removal suite as having access to Riveteers Charm and Unleash the Inferno puts you way ahead of other midrange strategies in terms of interaction. Furthermore, your threats also all produce value on their own or are difficult to kill making this a very solid deck with very few holes to exploit. Since you have such powerful and varied interaction, as long as decks aren’t looking to go too over the top, you have a sizable leg up on the competition.
Weaknesses: Like other midrange decks that don’t have counterspells, the risk of decks going over you is always an issue. Strategies like Jund Reanimator or Five Color Domain can outmuscle you while something like Mono Blue Tempo could still sneak under you.
When is it good to play? Considering the base power level of the deck, there’s hardly a time it wouldn’t be good to play. The deck is simply very powerful and could excel in the vast majority of metagames.
A mix between a midrange deck and a combo deck, Jund Midrange looks to go over the rest of the metagame with powerful threats like The Cruelty of Gix and Titan of Industry. You still have your standard midrange fare with Bloodtithe Harvester, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, and interaction, but are looking to go later into the game so you can cast the aforementioned The Cruelty of Gix and Titan of Industry, as well as Workshop Warchief.
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 is predominately midrange mirrors, going over the top of them would definitely be the way to go. Titan of Industry is an extremely powerful card and most midrange decks aren’t equipped to handle the value produced by it in conjunction with the other powerful cards you play.
Five Color Jodah
One of the coolest decks in Standard, Five Color Jodah is an aggressive deck that plays all Legends for the extremely powerful payoff of Jodah, the Unifier. While you are giving up a lot of consistency to play both five colors and all Legendary creatures, both Secluded Courtyard and Plaza of Heroes help make the mana base tenable, and then if you can keep a Jodah on board for a turn cycle, you can easily propel that into a victory. While the deck may look wildly inconsistent, between the surprisingly good mana and the solid curve, you have a powerful aggressive deck with insane top end.
Weaknesses: While the deck is more consistent than it looks, it’s still not the most consistent deck in the world. Furthermore, it is a bit overly reliant on Jodah, the Unifier as you’re prone to fall behind in the early game due to all the tap lands you have to play.
When is it good to play? If the metagame isn’t hostile to aggro, then you won’t be starting at a disadvantage, however, it doesn’t particularly excel in any metagame due to consistency and speed issues.