MTG Arena Zone Premium
MTG Arena Zone Premium
Soaring Thought-Thief Art by Lie Setiawan

Zendikar Rising Standard Meta Snapshot #2

Hello everybody! This is an extremely exciting time to be a Standard player right now with: the format feeling super fun and fresh from bannings, the MCQW coming up this weekend, and the MPL splits happening this weekend as well! Not only that, I think I can say that this is the best Standard format that I have ever played in, and I have been playing Standard since 2013! Despite all the fun and games, with all the competition happening this weekend, we need a competitive metagame breakdown, and I’m here to give it. First, let’s define the Tiers.

  • Tier One: The best of the best. The most consistent decks that sport the highest win rates and generally, the highest play rates.
  • Tier Two: 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 Three: 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.

With that out of the way, let’s take a brief look at the Tier list before diving into each deck.

Standard Metagame Tier List – October 22, 2020


[sd_deck deck=”b1Aq9M6Xr”]

Now here is something nice that I get to say, UW Yorion is the best deck, but not by an overwhelming amount. Man, what a change from the past year of Standard where the best deck seemed unbeatable. Nevertheless, the combination of ways to stymie early aggression and an extremely powerful late game makes this deck versatile against most of the metagame. Use your ETB creatures to stall and gain value, then do it all again! If you want a guide on how to play this, you can check it out here!

[sd_deck deck=”aDuzSwwna”]

The second best deck in the format, and one of UW Yorion’s few troublesome matchups. Although the mill plan isn’t the most effective against Yorion, a plethora of small flash threats and card draw is an extremely annoying plan for the slower UW to deal with. Furthermore, Rogues can mill you out insanely quickly if you’re a measly 60 card deck and also has a good amount of anti-aggro tools. You better be packing Escape cards this weekend if you plan on winning this weekend! That being said, it’s much easier to attack Rogues compared to Yorion. If you play enough Escape threats, Rogues will have a very hard time keeping up. If you want to see a guide on UB Mill, you can check it out here! The list is slightly different from the article’s, but a lot of the points should still stand.



[sd_deck deck=”q2q1pMJ1e”]

The second best of the Yorion strategies. This deck trades a stronger late game and counterspells for significantly better creature matchups, which is not a bad tradeoff to make. However, without the counterspells, it’s susceptible to large haymakers like Dream Trawler and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon to come by and make this deck sad. That being said, this deck still grinds extremely well, interacts reasonably well, and can sometimes present a quick clock as well.


[sd_deck deck=”NS0-ahwHJ”]

A deck I considered completely unplayable last week has risen from the ashes! Gruul struggles against GB and had a near impossible matchup against Rakdos, but both of those decks are struggling right now due to Yorion’s presence. What Gruul lacks in staying power, it makes up for in speed. Winning turn 4 is actually quite common if you can curve 1, 2, 3, into Embercleave. Yorion decks don’t have many great ways to deal with Embercleave so you can catch them by surprise if the lists start getting too greedy, assuming they haven’t already.


[sd_deck deck=”h4LaguirT”]

GB Adventure looked like the best deck last week, but has been struggling to regain a foothold with all the Yorion around. That being said, it’s matchups against the non-Yorion decks are very promising, sporting a positive matchup against functionally every other archetype. I don’t love playing decks that struggle against the best deck, but this deck still does powerful things and can beat up on Yorion with the right draws. If you want a guide on GB, you can take a look here!

[sd_deck deck=”J_sBre2y3″]

As per usual, I have to pay my Rumti tax. Rumti hit #1 last night with Mono Green aggro, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Admittedly, I think that has way more to do with the pilot than the deck as I think the lower power level of Monogreen compared to GB or Gruul hurts it more than the consistency of it’s mana. However, Rumti says with his newest changes, he still has yet to lose to Yorion. Can’t argue with those results.

[sd_deck deck=”PpomBU10X”]

The last of the popular iterations of Yorion. Esper has an obscenely powerful late game with Treacherous Blessing, Doom Foretold, Dance of the Manse, Shark Typhoon, and Yorion loops! The issue with it, however, is the consistency and the UW Yorion matchup. With a 3 color manabase, being color screwed is more realistic and the UW matchup can be difficult as your Doom Foretolds look pretty poor. That being said, Esper does the strongest things out of the Yorion variants, but certainly at a price. The biggest appeal to this version is likely it has the best Rogues matchup of all the variants since it plays the most removal. This particular list is from the nicest man on Twitch, MythicMatt. Give him a look if you’re unfamiliar with him!


[sd_deck deck=”8_y8gcPM0″]

The biggest top end deck around, Temur Ramp eats all flavors of Yorion for breakfast and still has room for lunch. That being said, Temur tends to struggle in, well, every other matchup. The go over the top plan works when your opponent is operating on a similar axis, but not when they’re trying to go under you or play counterspells. If you are seeing an egregious amount of Yorion, this can be a great choice, but I tend to avoid decks with matchups that are so polarizing.

[sd_deck deck=”uj0NnS_F0″]

Well, I’m pretty happy with how accurate my meta prediction was about RB Midrange. RB also seemed like one of the best decks in the format, it eats creature decks and Rogues like nobody’s business, but it looks very bad when facing a Yorion deck. RB is somewhat similar to GB as it’s pretty well positioned against the non-Yorion decks, but I think you’re better off playing GB at that point. However, this deck sports a nearly unloseable Rogues matchup if that’s what you’re looking for.

[sd_deck deck=”dq2Amgjbe”]

The quick rise and fall of Monogreen Food is so interesting to me as I’ve never seen a deck come and go so quickly. Monogreen Food had powerful grindy elements with Trail of Crumbs and Feasting Troll King making decks looking to 1 for 1 you look pretty bad. Furthermore, the Rogues matchup is supposed to be quite good for you as well with Feasting Troll King’s self reanimate ability. That being said, Monogreen mostly does everything worse than GW Yorion. You’re grindy game plan is meaningless against Yorion’s which has functionally pushed this deck thoroughly out of the meta. However, if you like playing big idiots and smashing face, you know where to go.

That’s my Meta Snapshot for this week! It’s so exciting as this snapshot could be completely different by next week depending on how the MPL splits and MCQW pan out! Remember to keep reading the metagame trends and choose your deck wisely! It can mean the difference between not day 2ing and taking down the event, like my good friend and fellow mtgazone writer Sorquixe did last month.

If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out on Twitch! Best of luck to everyone this weekend and have a great day!

Enjoy our content? Wish to support our work? Join our Premium community, get access to exclusive content, remove all advertisements, and more!

MTG Arena Zone Premium

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

Articles: 610

Leave a Reply