I have curated a list of roughly 20 decks from post Kaladesh Remastered for BO1 today. After my BO3 Tier List many asked for a BO1, and as I like to do historic tier lists around new set drops, and changes it was time for a refresher here as well. As I was pulling this list together I noticed some BO1 decks that I had not seen yet, similar with BO3. If you have something you would like to share please let me know, and I am happy to take a look, craft pending of course 😉
One thing to call out as 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 🙂
Previous Informative Tiers for Reference on Zendikar’s Rising Seasons
Note: I certainly try not to double up on my observations as all these are original pieces – If you would like some other thoughts regarding Kaladesh and some fun TCG Pop Culture look at the other post.TLDR: Kaladesh brought some things, but nothing overwhelming to the format. Lots of potential still, some constraints with Historic, but we see some new decks inching in. A healthy impact from ZNR Championship, and move in the meta!
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 longer standing format.
Items of Interest, Observations, & Considerations:
Historic Rush – One of the biggest takeaways for me this December was the massive amounts of Top Decks coming out of the first week. There were an overwhelming number of players who quickly made it through the ranks to Mythic on this particular path. Personally, I can attest to this as a long time UW auras, and Mono red aggro/burn player I have found some paths to Mythic paved faster down the Historic pathway. I also think that potentially two things could be occurring. The first, Standard fatigue which for this time of the year is common. The second I would preface is actually a lower entry point for players into historic. I’m not saying this in actual relative dollar cost but rather a time variable. I think there are just straight up more players, and accounts that have now had more time in the Arena economy, and many like myself essentially forced to play Historic.
A Natural Path– Citing above my personal experience of hitting a Mythic Qualifier and then having to play historic competitively really changed my view and approach this year to Arena. Mind you my first real GP was Modern, but that was because I was a mill guy before all this standard Rogue Nonsense. With this being noted we also have very high level tournaments like the Zendikars Rising Championship being a Historic event. I guess what I am saying is whether you like it or not you better learn the format, because either way you will end up playing it by hook or by crook 😛
One Combo to rule them all– In BO1 competitive Historic in my opinion unless you are a T3/4 combo you might as well go home. We have seen a few new ones with the release of kaladesh. The reality is the tried and true one is in all honesty Temur Neostorm. There are the dustings of some new flavors of this deck so keep your eyes peeled, but from my experience it’s quick, and easily repeatable vs some of the other combos that currently take a bit more to setup.
Tempered Speed – As we know particularly in BO1 it’s all about the clock. I won’t even say oddly that the biggest key decks chip away at this while still dealing much needed damage in a more methodical manner. You either have to be able to protect your creatures, or you are a glutton for the sacrifice punishment. Albeit the sacrifice archetype has been fairly consistent throughout the year, and one of the reasons in my opinion it continues to be strong is that not only is it a good archetype the counter ability to these decks tend to be more narrow. When you drop a 4x graf in a fast paced scene you may show up to the wrong party more often than not!
Linear Strategies – To build on the last observation in BO1 we tend to be more forced into a position of narrowness vs a broad range approach. Given the nature of the format and access to the diverse cards this becomes slightly problematic where you essentially are trading against deck matchup favorites, or that somehow your opponents don’t hit mana/curve well. The other end of the stick is if you show up with a control/late game deck before you can do much you lose. This to me is one of the major differences in BO1 vs. BO3. Yes, things like Sultai are T1 in BO3 but become T2/3 in BO1 because they get better with sideboarding. Somehow the sacrifice archetype has slightly slipped past and created a bit of an anomaly in my opinion between the two formats.
Never Forget– Remember though change is inevitable, and time is always a fleeting moment. Sacrifice was held in balance prior to Kaladesh with a 4C sultai deck with a lovely print called Yasharn – which blows in Standard at the moment and somehow fit the bill in Historic. Then we got a Fatal push among other things that set this back. We will see what this next year brings, personally I will be surprised if Sacrifice is still as strong next year at this point in time. However, I’m not an oracle but I do like to throw darts like a monkey once and a while.
Proof in the pudding – On a final note again like my BO3 list I probably should mention something around the actual BO1 Tier list. Generally speaking the top end of the curve holds a pretty nice winrate being 55-60%+ in a competitive nature is very strong. Even versus a standard environment the top decks out perform which is interesting to note. The real consideration here to close out the year is three things:
Most Sacrifice Archetypes are at the Top
Red/Green/Black Dominate the Tier List Upper half, and Red is the most prominent
Graveyard/Recursion are keys to most of the top 5 decks. The ability to see the board, and utilize everything at your disposal is very powerful
Until next Year – I truly wish you and your families a safe and happy new year. I look forward to a productive year of magic with you. Please don’t ever hesitate to drop me a note or a line of a deck, and I really appreciate the constructive feedback. A Big thank you to the community for helping me tune my mic 😛 Hopefully this tier list video is music to your ears and provides you with a better user experience.
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, twitter, personal gameplay, tournament matches, this reddit as well as others, personal stats, and consistently hitting Mythic over the last year and participation in Mythic Qualifiers.
Again, Happy to discuss or talk about decks not included! Tier list below plus deck lists (shells) if you are looking for some options most all top 1500 at some point many at the #1 Rank! Mainboard of decks can be played successfully in BO1 like I played, and can be optimized for BO1 or how you play as well.
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!