Traditional Standard (BO3) 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 Traditional (BO3) 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 Arena Standard (BO1).
- 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 29, 2021
Innistrad has been out for almost two weeks and the metagame is evolving at a rapid pace! We’re finally getting to the point we’re seeing the top decks starting to gain momentum, and right now, it very much looks like a Esika’s Chariot vs Alrund’s Epiphany battle of supremacy. It’ll be interesting to see if any new strategy can contest these two titans as it seems that one of these cards (if not both) is the best thing you can be doing.
September 17, 2021
The most exciting time of a Magic player is here, full Standard rotation! Innistrad has been out for a day and the internet has been abuzz with new deck ideas, strategies performing well, hot takes, and much more! With that, we want to give those interested in diving into Standard a bit of a preliminary hot take ourselves.
Since we had a lot of data from the Standard 2022 metagame, we believe that we can more accurately predict where certain decks fall in terms of rankings until the metagame starts to stabilize. Remember this isn’t going to be super concrete, doubly so with the exact positional rankings within the tiers, but it’s something that can get you started and see where we believe the powerful decks lie. Right now it’s only going to be the decks we’ve seen most often, but we’ll be sure to add decks as they get more popular.
Standard Best of Three (BO3)
|1||Mono Green Aggro||1||Guide|
|4||Mono Black Control||1|
|6||Mono White Aggro||2||Guide|
Standard Metagame Matrix
TIER ONE DECKS
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 65.5% (8900 matches)
- Change: 5 -> 1
The Green machine is back on top and has never looked so good. Sporting the best win rate and an inordinate amount of top 8 finishes in early tournaments, the deck is extremely fast and absolutely brutal when it has a strong curve.
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 55.0% (10,000 matches)
- Change: 2 -> 2
Although it has a much lower ladder win rate, Izzet is definitely the other deck to beat as the core of Goldspan Dragon and Alrund’s Epiphany is still excellent. Furthermore, Smoldering Egg has been giving every creature deck an absolute headache as a great roadblock into win condition in the late game.
3. GRUUL AGGRO
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 59.2% (5700 matches)
- Change: 1 -> 3
I would personally say that Gruul and Monogreen are about the same power level, but Gruul does have a 6% lower win rate via untapped. Nevertheless, both strategies are excellent at putting the pressure on and killing the opponents before they have a chance to recover.
- Win Rate: 60.3% (2900 matches)
- Change: Unlisted -> 4
The new kid on the block, built by the illustrious Grzegorz Kowalski, the deck plays very similarly to the Orzhov Midrange deck with creatures that accrue value into planeswalkers and board wipes. It’s not the best against the Blue decks, but will be a huge pain for any creature strategy to fight through.
- Win Rate: 60.2% (8300 matches)
- Change: Unlisted -> 5
The premiere midrange deck of the format. Instead of going an aggressive route, Selesnya looks to play towards the mid game then go over the top of other strategies with Storm the Festival. There’s a lot of different ways to take the list, but they all use the same shell of ramp creatures into great payoffs.
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 59.8% (3100 matches)
- Change: 3 -> 6
Although Monowhite doesn’t fall under an Esika’s Chariot nor Alrund’s Epiphany deck, it’s still a very powerful and punishing strategy. Utilizing an extremely quick curve into disruptive creatures, Monowhite can have game against any strategy in the format with a win rate that shows.
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 55.0% (2100 matches)
- Change: 4 -> 7
The less popular of the midrange black decks, I personally still prefer Orzhov as you get access to a lot of excellent white cards that Monoblack obviously doesn’t. Realistically, the decks are so similar it doesn’t make a tremendous difference, but it is interesting to see that they have a pretty stark contrast in win rates despite being so similar.
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 59.0% (2400 matches)
- Change: Unlisted -> 8
Utilizing the best midrange tools Gruul has to offer alongside Black interaction, Jund is taking full advantage of the new Innistrad lands to have a powerful and varied game plan.
- Win Rate: 57.1% (7500 matches)
- Change: 7 -> 9
The least powerful of the aggressive options, Werewolves has some great synergies and power, but it does require more work to get going than the other options. That being said, the deck is still very strong, it’s just marginally worse than the other options.
10. SIMIC(X) RAMP
- Deck Guide
- Win Rate: 55.4% (1900 matches)
- Change: 11 -> 10
I wanted to go more general here as there’s every color combination under the sun encompassing this archetype. Whether you’re going right for Simic for the cleanest mana or looking to spice it up with Bant, Temur, or Sultai splashes, this deck is looking to go over the top of everything else in the metagame.
TIER THREE DECK ARCHETYPES
11. BOROS AGGRO
- Win Rate: 56.7% (7300 matches)
- Change: Unlisted -> 11
A new take on aggro, Boros looks to excel in the creature mirrors with a plethora of removal and interactive creatures. Boros does suffer from a mediocre mana base and doesn’t have as many tools to fight decks not centered around creatures, but it’s still a reasonable option with a fine win rate.
12. RAKDOS MIDRANGE
- Win Rate: 56.1% (1200 matches)
- Change: 11 -> 12
Rakdos continues to struggle to make a foothold in the metagame despite having relatively high card quality. Not being able to use either of the format’s best cards, it relies on the Dragons package mostly to get it’s value. Weirdly enough, Immersturm Predator seems absurdly well positioned right now which makes me question why this deck isn’t doing well, but maybe it just needs more refining.
Thank you for reading! Have a great day!