Magic the Gathering Arena

April 2021 | BO1 & BO3 Tier List | Strixhaven | Standard | 10+ Decks

Hi there Planeswalkers, and happy end of April!

I wanted to get you a tier list to help you navigate the early parts of Strixhaven.  Last week I did provide some of the recent changes in my weekly META analysis, however I wanted to equip you with an additional view point, to enhance your gaming as well as competitive experience as we begin to close out the month.

This month I have once again combined both the BO1 & BO3 tier lists into one post.  Generally, I break these out and would be happy to hear your feedback below on the new format.  I felt once again for this month it was best to combine them so let me know what you think.

Two other quick call outs from the tier list earlier this month.  First, I would like to thank Charizard_James for the continued friendship, collaboration, and partnership to be on his streamcast this past week! If you like to see multiple creators in action together for joint MTG causes as well as some good banter like Vegan Cheese! Additionally, if you enjoy the streaming as well can follow me here.  Also, in lieu of those conversations we had a chance to chat with, and catch up on Rumti’s Mono Green Deck the day before he took down the Extra Life Tournament.  It was a blast chatting with him, and a call out to our discord group partnering with Monster Jeff in his #3 finish!

April’s Tier Lists (Final from Kaldheim with great playable decks still) & Weekly Meta Updates.  This will help you understand some of the observations & trends over time, and provide additional context as well as shuffling of decks.

Tier Lists

April Standard BO1 & BO3 Article / Video

March Standard Articles: BO1 & BO3

March Standard Videos: BO1 & BO3

April Historic BO1 & BO3 Article / Video

Friday Night Meta – Weekly Series

April Week 4 (Article, Youtube)

April Week 3 (Article, Youtube)

April Week 2 (Article, Youtube)

April Week 1 (Article, Youtube)

I pull these lists together to help give us an alternative competitive angle, as well as trends, with a nice little timestamp as I believe being competitive there is a long term knowledge angle we need to take as well 🙂

Additionally, I like to provide a competitive MTGA Landscape, those who like a visual or just to discuss! You can find the observations along with the tier list below.  Please share your thoughts as always, and feel free to comment on the new format or decks I should consider that I missed.

TLDR: Strixhaven is alive and well! Very healthy Meta with some new impactful mechanics across limited, BO!, and BO3.  Boros Winota is the deck to play or beat.  We are at the beginning of a new cycle of early game to late game deck styles!

What it is, current meta observations, and deck overviews!  Additionally I love sharing the observations and recent changes we have faced in an ever evolving fast paced format.

Items of Interest & Considerations:

  • Initial impressions Personally, I have really enjoyed this set.  On just a few different notes here I’ve liked the infusion of mystical archives for limited matches taking on a very unique experience in terms of trying to anticipate decks to a different level.  Additionally, I’ve enjoyed the learn/lesson synergy along with that of magecraft.  I do see both the value and potential of both these new mechanics sticking around.

    I have just started diving into Historic again as well for top decks, and looking forward to more coverage here as well.  What I like most is how it does currently still feel open, and just the sheer amount of brewing going on is a great thing. 
  • Strixhaven Mechanics Alive & Well – As mentioned above we have seen some pretty interesting new archetypes starting to pop up, out, or which ways.  In particular both Magecraft and the Learn mechanics have been pretty impactful.  Magecraft finding homes in sacrifice and pump decks.  Learn a part of both sacrifice as well as winota decks as well. 

    The other thing I’ve enjoyed about these mechanics is a slight focus on reconstructing how we play with the bo3 sideboard, and I bring this up because I feel like these mechanics in particular have brought a completely new angle to BO1.  I think this is pretty interesting and we will need to continue to watch this as things evolve here.
  • Winohta, Winotta, or Winona Ryder If you haven’t played or played against this deck, you probably should either consider yourself lucky, or maybe unlucky depending on how your view it.  This deck became so hot, and immediately was a powerhouse out of the gate.  Personally, I went some 13-3, and then another 7-0 with a version I changed up for BO1 on the fly… or as Stroman in the discord called it ULTRA TURBO KILL!  It was pretty awesome, and getting really nice runs in BO1 like this, always makes my day.

    Anyway I digress, and what we have found like most new sets since Winota we found some early decks that just exploded.  Personally, I do believe this is one of the better ones.  Kenrith + Blademaster = Board worthy Embercleave.  Now, you do trade for misses, it does happen, and you may never get Winota.  However, the deck stand alone is pretty strong to hold its own.  One last point on this is are there are a few different versions floating around I believe Paulo has one with counters, and was one of the first.  There definitely are tradeoffs between the types so keep that in mind, in your assessment of what to play, and a lot of times it will come down to your style!
  • Early Game Cycle Right now in both BO1 & BO3 we are seeing a pretty heavy aggro impact.  Generally this makes sense with new sets, at least what I have seen over time, and in a more balanced environment.  I would say we are in an early cycle right now, and beginning to see some stronger midrange type decks.  Could queue Winota here, however a call out to Rumti piloting his Mono Green Stompy deck to the #1 spot as mentioned above in the Extra Life Tournament.

    I think BO1 naturally goes this way as we all want fast matches.  In terms of BO3 I believe its mainly due to a bulk majority of players taking on and playing with the lovely Sultai Ultimatum decks.

    You can stay tuned for my weekly meta analysis to get more details, and watch as the cycle unfolds.
  • What once was, still isI will continue to harp on things like this as I always find it relevant as both a competitive player, brewer, and someone that just wants to have fun.  The main point here and why I wanted to get this list together and do two of them this month was to continue to build off the recommendations that a lot of decks carry over, and are still competitive as well as playable.

    I outlined some 50+ decks in Kaldheim, and what you find from that transition to Strixhaven is a lot of the top META & T1 as well as upper T2 continued to maintain those top spots.  This is a case study to take note of as a Spike when you want to take advantage of upward movements in the ladder or even your Local Game Shop if you have an opportunity to play in person.

    Stay safe my friends!

What goes into this list?

For returners or those that are new I have been asked before on how I pull these together as well.  BO1 is a slightly different beast vs. BO3.  Here I rely heavier on win rate stats at very competitive levels starting at Mythic then work my way backwards through the tiers if needed for additional POVs.  It is also based on gameplay – and I myself favor BO1 until I hit Top 1500 usually 🙂 – I take into consideration untapped.ggs companion app stats as they tend to have a great amount of data, and a good ability to slice and dice decks.  One additional call out  again is due to the vastness of decks or newest additions not all data is readily available so for the gaps I try to expand where I can via experience, tournaments, and other data driven sites available.

BO3 has much broader impacts when it comes to data.  You can find all the sources, experiences, and information I take into consideration in the Additional info spot.

THANK YOU & Additional Info

I have produced this list from a culmination of a few things. I have reached this point by pulling together research data from multiple sources like untapped, MTGAzone, Aetherhub, twitter, personal gameplay, tournament matches, this reddit as well as others, personal stats, and consistently hitting Mythic over the last year and participation in the last Mythic Qualifier.

Again, Happy to discuss or talk about decks not included! Feel free to hop in the Multiverse Discord Server.  Tier list below plus deck lists (shells – tweak to your heart’s content) if you are looking for some options most all top 1500 at some point many at the #1 Rank, and multiple top end tournament results!

One last thought I would like to share: If you have a competitive deck (different than one featured) I am always happy to do a piece on it time permitting. I have several folks that ask, and have done several player featured decks. I rather enjoy this so please don’t hesitate to reach out or ask. I always try to prioritize with the following and timing or relevance – MTGA Rank (1500s)/Top Tournaments down to Plat2Mythic Decks.

If you would like to do a collaboration feel free to reach out as well.

MTGA Standard BO1 April 2021 Tier List (10+ decks!)

Tier 1 (2)

Mono White Lifegain (KHM Deck Link) (Old YT Deck Link)

Boros Winota (Deck Link)

Tier 2 (7)

Mono Red Snow Aggro (Deck Link)

4C Jeskai Cycle (Deck Link)

Mono Green Stompy (KHM Deck Link)

Mono Black Auras (KHM Deck Link)

Jund Magecraft (Deck Link)

Magda Gruul (Deck Link)

Orzhov Magecraft (Deck Link)

Tier 3 (3)

Jeskai Transmogrify (Deck Link)

Temur Adventures (Deck Link)

Sultai Ultimatum (Deck Link)

MTGA Standard BO3 April 2021 Tier List (10+ decks!)

Tier 1 (2)

Mono Red Snow Aggro

Boros Winota

Tier 2 (7)

Mono White Aggro (KHM Deck Link) (Old YT Deck Link)

4C Cycle

Temur Adventures

Sultai Ultimatum

Mono Green Stompy

Magda Gruul

Naya Adventures (KHM Deck Link)

Tier 3 (3)

Jund Magecraft

Jeskai Transmogrify

Orzhov Magecraft

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this slice of competitive Magic the Gathering on Arena or if you are lucky right now in paper. Thank you for your time, and feedback is always welcome! As previously mentioned happy to discuss deck choices, decks, and lists as always!