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Standard Metagame Challenge Event Guide and Decklists – Theros Beyond Death Standard


Standard Metagame Challenge is a short competitive event held over this weekend, where players test their mettle for one of the biggest reward payouts in MTG Arena. It has now been just over a week since the release of Theros Beyond Death, which has reinvigorated the Standard format with the addition of more than 250 new cards. In this guide, we will give you a overview of the current metagame, sample decklists you can try and how you can tackle it, as well as the details and expected value (EV) of this event. Updated for Theros Beyond Death Standard.

Event Information

  • Duration: January 24, 2020 @ 8:00 AM PST – January 27, 2020 @ 8:00 AM PST
  • Format: Theros Beyond Death Standard
  • Entry Fee: 2000 Gold or 400 Gems
  • Ends After: 7 wins or 1 losses (whichever comes first)
  • Match Structure: Best-of-three matches (BO3)

Event Rewards

  • 0 Wins: 500 Gold
  • 1 Win: 1000 Gold
  • 2 Wins: 1500 Gold , 1 Theros Beyond Death Pack
  • 3 Wins: 2000 Gold , 3 Theros Beyond Death Packs
  • 4 Wins: 2500 Gold , 5 Theros Beyond Death Packs
  • 5 Wins: 3000 Gold , 10 Theros Beyond Death Packs
  • 6 Wins: 4000 Gold , 20 Theros Beyond Death Packs
  • 7 Wins: 5000 Gold, 30 Theros Beyond Death Packs

What is Standard Metagame Challenge?

Bring your Standard deck and play best-of-three matches! You’ll receive rewards based on how many matches you win.

Standard Metagame Challenge is a special event that gives players the opportunity to win huge rewards in a relatively new metagame where the new cards from the latest set are being tested, and decklists are being refined. Key things to note for this event are:

  • Best-of-three matches: Unlike many MTG Arena events which are BO1, this event requires you to bring a sideboard.
  • Changing decks: You cannot change cards in your deck or change your deck in between matches once you have paid the entry fee and registered your deck.
  • High variance: After just one match loss, the event is over and you will have pay the entry fee again should you wish to participate again.

Of course, the best way to reap the rewards is to play one of the the best decks possible – read on as we will help you choose what deck to play this weekend, how the Standard metagame is developing and what to expect from your opponents.

Expected Value (EV)

As you can see by the reward structure above, the event has a very high variance because it ends as soon as you get your first loss. Most of the value of the event comes after your fifth win, though getting to three wins will at least guarantee your entry fee returned.

Source: Frank Karsten Twitter

Your overall win rate is clearly a big factor in succeeding this event, and it gets more difficult as you progress because you are matched against better quality players of the same or similar record. Refer to the chart above by Frank Karsten, which shows this in more mathematical detail. That all being said, this event is a great opportunity for players to boost their collection significantly early on in the expansion, where you can test your luck but also be rewarded for your skill and knowledge of the deck you have chosen for the metagame.

The Current Standard Metagame

How is the Standard metagame shaping up so far? It is still enjoying a relatively unsolved metagame where there is a nice mixture of pre-existing and new deck archetypes enabled by the new set. Let’s take a look at a few public reference points. Remember you can go straight to our entire Theros Beyond Death Standard deck collection here and have your pick!

Recent MTG Online Events

MTG Online enjoyed the same Theros Beyond Death release date as MTG Arena (since technically the official tabletop release date is today). There has been some Standard events since then, and we got to take a peek at some tentative decklists. The Standard League decks are not necessarily representative of their strength in the metagame but curated to showcase the different deck archetypes. They are useful as a starting point and to check how the deck archetypes are being improved over time.

Mythic Ranked Ladder Decks

We’re into the third week of the January ranked season, and the new set has a lot of people excited to share their new decks. The decks that are being shared on social media and streaming are now becoming a great reference point for players, where hundreds of ideas are being thrown around each day. Below are the collection of Mythic level decks during the first week of Theros Beyond Death Standard

Standard Metagame Tier List

Yesterday, we updated our Standard metagame tier list for best-of-one (BO1). While the metagame is still early, we felt that there are some clearly popular decks showing their dominance. Using personal experience and few data points, we came to the conclusion that the following deck archetypes were tier one in BO1 at the moment (click on the links to access the decklists):

Please check out the main article if you want a bit more explanation on these deck archetypes. However, this is a BO3 event and we have yet to update the BO3 tier list, which is coming soon that we will go into much more detail. Instead, we will be highlighting some signpost decklists from each top tier deck archetype below, that we feel will be the ones to beat for this event to get you started. Later on down the track, we will be posting the 7 win decklists that you can use also.

Untapped.gg Metagame Data

Untapped.gg published some data on the top five decks with the best win rates over the past week (about 130000 matches):

Standard Metagame Challenge Sample Decklists

Standard feels like it can be in a nice balance again with Control decks (Azorius, Esper), Aggro (Mono Red, Mono White, Gruul) and Midrange/Combo (Simic Ramp, Mono Black Devotion, Temur Reclamation) decks. We do like how the enchantment/Aura decks built around Setessan Champion are shaping up, and will be interesting to see its performance in tournaments.

Standard Metagame Challenge 7 Win Decklists

Wrapping Up

Standard feels great at the moment, and it still feels wide open. Almost any deck can succeed in this event in the right hands and a bit of luck! If you are not interested in risking your resources for this event, we have a few things coming up in the next few days:

  • Theros Beyond Death Draft Guide by Compulsion will be up in preparation for the ranked draft on January 31.
  • After this event we will be updating the Standard Metagame BO3 Tier List so keep your eyes out for that in the next few days.
  • A refresher on our Brawl content for Theros Beyond Death.

Finally, let us know how you go in this event in the comments below! Remember, you can always engage in our growing MTG Arena Zone community:

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  • Leave a comment below if you have any feedback or just want to let us know how the decks went!


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