Magic the Gathering Arena

MTGA Standard BO1 | February 2021 Tier List | Kaldheim!

Hello Planeswalkers and Welcome to the Thunderdome!

We are about a month into the Viking Clad world, and rockstar themed set of Kaldheim.  There are definitely some key items to touch on today with the new set, and roughly 20+ decks for us to discuss in this month’s tier list.  I am also curious as to what you were pleasantly surprised about or are currently disappointed with so we can keep an eye out for the trends moving into next month.

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.

Last snapshots for Zendikar’s Rising Seasons (Reddit r/spikes articles).  This will help you understand some of the observations & trends.

January Standard: BO1

December Standard: BO3 & BO1

December Historic: BO3 & BO1

In case you ever need a feel good on your fellow mtga comrades: Faith in Community Sportsmanship – Forever Aroni’s Trickery

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: Major Surprises minus no release card screwups…no, unless Aggro not falling from grace is a surprise 🙂  The meta transitioned from healthy to healthy, however beware of some perceptive trickery! Alos, many trend predictions from last month, now a reality.

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:

  • Where’s Oko? Omnath? Did we launch without a hitch? Yes, my friends we did…well sort of? For standard I think we are in the clear, and no I don’t think it’s too early to tell.  Cheers WOTC well done.  Even more so the meta is still very very diverse! We could have another number of competitive/palyable decks on our hands before the next set.
  • What once was good is still good – Well for those of you that built Mono Red or Mono White decks, and stuck to it…good for you.  Those that also took advantage of the transition and stuck to either instincts or my own call outs to play what was good to shoot up the ranks – Good for you.  This was my final parting advaide last month.  For everyone else that wished there was some smashing expectation not named Tibalts Trickery…I’m sorry.  As I mentioned in my Kaldheim piece last month, and what has come to fruition the strongest BO1 decks have remained the strongest.  There’s been some pressure, and none that has really lasted yet to drive down some of the rankings.
  • Lands making an impact – A call out worth keeping an eye out for has been the lands.  Between getting a more competitive 3 color bo1 deck to snow.  Certainly, snow has been the winner so far here with somehow making Mono Red Snow or improving mono red aggro.  I have seen cases for statistics where this could be a perception vs reality…however, I was one to run a crawling barrens in my mono red aggro deck to clean up.  I do like our new 4/3 friend that can trigger a +1/0 fervent or rogue though.  I also think this is better in BO1, however open to a few more removal tricks that crawling is not.
  • Deck brewers dream? Certainly on the onset of the new set there is a lot of new discovery, and a how to crack the meta.  I think as stated above we will continue to see a healthy style of gameplay.  I also am chuckling as some of my call outs to a rakdos aggro  variant are certainly there.  Except, it’s a stronger sacrifice deck at the moment.  I even took a look at a top Jeskai fliers deck.  I think we can safely state it will continue to be a good meta to learn, discover, and cycle around decks that will dominate given short term meta trends as well as impacts.
  • The viking tide to crush the culture?Surprisingly, I did want to circle back on this with a hard no.  The health will persevere until the next set.
  • Jedi Mind tricks & buyer beware! – I slightly alluded to this above, and now want to be more direct.  Tibalt’s trickery and Emergent Ultimatum are not that good.  People think they are but the data doesn’t lie.  First, yes Tibalt can be considered not fun, however if you check out some of my videos you will watch me hang in, and win roughly 3 of 4 Tibalts that actually hit.  The other thing I don’t understand – no offense mtgazone.com and I like your stuff, is how the heck can you have Sultai Emergent #1 in BO3.  I will spend more time on this for my BO3 piece, and I do just want to call this out because even when I ran the deck I was like no way this thing got good.  I had it T4 in ZNR! It didn’t pick up that much better stuff?!?! I did get some bombs sure…but I mean even when I ran it I couldn’t make it hit well, and my style is raw gameplay.
  • Surprises – Unfortunately, in terms of BO1 at the moment I am slightly underwhelmed.  Personally, I was hoping for a little bit more impact, or deck archetype shift as we really didn’t get it.  Also, Mono Red Snow in my opinion didn’t add as much perceived value, yes its still good but I don’t consider it really a big impact, however I do consider it its own archetype.  However, it’s never too late! So stay tuned.

META Content Update

Generally, as I stated last month do not talk about my channel.  However, I have received many supporter requests, along with others for more continued Meta analysis.  I have rolled out more pre-emptive targets at the ends of my videos to discuss, and because of you (many in this sub) I have done so.  

Along with these have come other requests.  So, in response I plan to roll out a weekly trends META analysis (I have done a pilot and working through structure and the WIFM for you).  I have also had calls to do more Collaboration with others, and this is also on my list.  So stay tuned! If you have key considerations or input for me please let me know!

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! 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.

All Full Deck lists below:

MTGA Standard BO1 February 2021 Tier List (20+ Decks)

Tier 1 (3)

Mono White Aggro (Deck Link)

Mono White Lifegain (Deck Link)

Mono Red Snow (Deck Link)

Tier 2 (13)

Mono Red Boast (Deck Link)

Dimir Lurrus Rogues (Deck Link)

4C-Sultai Yorion Control (Deck Link)

Rakdos Sacrifice (Deck Link)

Jund Jegantha Sacrifice (Deck Link)

Sultai Emergent (Deck Link)

Temur Ultimatum (Deck Link)

Esper Yorion Doom (Deck Link)

Temur Aggro aka Wet Gruul (Deck Link)

Mono Green Aggro (Deck Link)

Boros Aggro (Deck Link)

Izzet Tempo (Deck Link)

Naya Aggro Adventures (Deck Link)

Tier 3 (5)

Grixis Control (Deck Link)

Abzan Adventures (Deck Link)

Mardu Jegantha Winota (Deck Link)

Jeskai Spells (Deck Link)

Jeskai Fliers (Deck Link)

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!

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