Happy Thanksgiving Day’s Eve from the US. Additionally, I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and joyous time despite these upending unprecedented times we all are sharing in together. I do want to say as Thanksgiving is generally a time for us to be thankful for what we have, where we are, and the paths we walk. I truly want those of you reading this to let you know I appreciate you. I will certainly say over this past year I didn’t imagine this personal evolution I have gone through with Magic being what it was when I decided to lean in a bit more. With that said, again I just want to say Thank you for helping me become a better version of myself, and for your continued support, constructive feedback, and inspiration.
The BO1 Standard Meta is certainly healthy. We have had an interesting two months so far with ZNR, and definitely something to reflect on in terms of the current state. Make sure to live in the now, and enjoy Standard for what it is worth! As in all things that are certain in life minus death & taxes I will tell you change is inevitable. So prepare yourselves for Kaldheim.
This is the most expansive, comprehensive, list I have pulled together to date! It features 40+ decks, and does differentiate itself (from BO3 not only with reshuffle of decks) with one deck in particular you will find below that as my special Turkey Day treat for you 🙂
Previous Informative Tiers for Reference Posts on the site
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.
NOTE (Fun match wanted to share separately): because you may get a smile/laugh: Throwing this out there because I did beat Frank Karsten with a 6+ Plat2Mythic Rakdos aggro deck (below) match here…sorry Frank if you read this but I did try to tweet/DM you GG 😛 PS I was caught off guard while not originally filming so no voiceover apologies…I wish! Still was a great match…and this was never meant to throw a great player like yourself under the bus….I digress back to the Tier List!
NOTE 2: As I get this question about this list. Mainboards are strong enough BO1 – yes I cover BO3 decks also. I get many questions about both formats and this is my happy medium to try to answer both with a broad brush stroke. Also, to reiterate what I say below these are shells. If you really really want something specific please feel free to ask and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.
TLDR: Top end of the Meta remains similar, but slightly different. Yorions fate has been sealed with Doom. Nothing like the present, and certainly a very very broad deck base!
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:
Top End remains intact – Not all that surprising that I would say the top 5 to 10 decks in BO1 primarily remain the same plus one new major influencer I will get to in a minute. What is interesting to see is two things, one the amount of movement within the decks, and I will say I did slightly struggle to put Rogues still in T1. Mainly due to the fact that in a broader match ups and most likely deck evolutions its matchup has become worse and its overall win rate has fallen. However, the deck certainly still packs a punch and why I put it in T1 is the broad board design having to take it into specific account.
Newcomer – So generally I do not specifically pull together a one off (or rush to market a deck), it was on my list, but this deck has definitely made an impact. Additionally, as a giving thanks re Thanksgiving I wanted to do something slightly different 🙂 Personally I was waiting for its return plus a ripe meta. It seems we have moved in that direction. Mono White Life Gain certainly has come full circle in the BO1 space, given my experience with the deck you can see, win rates, and meta position I certainly think this is the current deck to beat. Also, I recognize that Crokeyz was the original bo1 creator of this so kudos to him in a way to impact and shape the meta in a timely fashion.
Fate Foretold – We can most certainly agree that our Dooms have been sealed as the meta has begun to fall more into place. A yorion doom deck of pick your flavor poison has had a more meaningful impact recently in the space and definitely a competitive one of that nature more so I would argue then the past. Enough so that you absolutely need to have some form of an answer like the rogues above to this particular deck. Of all the Yorion decks this one has remained the most competitive in the BO1 space as it can hold off against the decks that prey against aggro and still have a decent match up against those fast decks. Your Fate is certainly sealed if you don’t T4/5 this deck to say the least.
Can we castle? – If you are a strat person at heart as well as a chess player you will understand where I am coming from. Additionally, I wanted to have a little fun with this view point. Lastly, as I am currently watching Queen’s Gambit – a big fan I thought this was very timely.
“Castling is a special move to protect your king and activate your rook. It’s the only time in chess you can move two pieces in one move. … “ (In Chess)
Why does this matter? Well if you certainly take a look at the top end of the decks, most of them are aggro focused. The survival of the mid to late game decks needs to have, like the rook, an ability to activate, and accelerate early game play counters. This space in BO1 to me still remains open to meta. The other challenge is generally speaking with the mana smoothing. We do have the modal lands which have certainly helped, yet given what we see today is there still an/or more effective late game deck that can castle?
Go Wide or Go Home – I certainly get asked this question a lot, and generally there are two sides to this coin. The first is personal choice, I just don’t like this, and the second being a one off variant answer to providing an out. I am referring to two things here. The first being the fact that given the health and atmosphere of standard, you will encounter a lot of different decks. I play a lot, but by no means more than a lot of other players. I read a lot, and follow quite a number of players as well as events. I will tell you I am certainly surprised as well as pleasantly to continue to find new and exciting decks. With that said the point here is that your deck in specific needs to be able to respond or you will most likely be pushed out of the match. To further exacerbate this point you can look at my point above on the rogues.
The second part to this story though isn’t that you create a one of approach deck etc, and the Go Home is by no way shape or form meant to be negative. It’s actually the latter in which as I stated its a personal choice as always within a strategy to stick to your approach of say all 4x cards, and recognize that you just may end up going home if you roll the dice and hit a deck you can’t respond well to. I can certainly tell you from my experience with the one offs, they do work, and you will hang on to the match, and you may hit you may not…but what I know is that it wasn’t a hope baked into my strategy play…as the saying goes Hope is not a strategy.
Competitive Brewers dream – My last and final parting observation for you in this month’s BO1 Tier list is this…Continue to be fruitful and build your competitive decks. This is THE BEST TIME to do it. I say this with certainty like myself of trying to maintain my rank or my win rate or mmr you name it. Right now you can actually find holes given all the above statements so why not add a little spice in prep of what’s to come, as well as enjoying the present.
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.
2 The Royal Scions (ELD) 199
2 Shark Typhoon (IKO) 67
4 Sprite Dragon (IKO) 211
3 Vadrok, Apex of Thunder (IKO) 214
4 Raugrin Triome (IKO) 251
4 Opt (M21) 59
3 See the Truth (M21) 69
4 Stormwing Entity (M21) 73
1 Jace, Mirror Mage (ZNR) 63
1 Sea Gate Restoration (ZNR) 76
2 Sea Gate Stormcaller (ZNR) 77
2 Magmatic Channeler (ZNR) 148
2 Shatterskull Smashing (ZNR) 161
3 Spikefield Hazard (ZNR) 166
4 Needleverge Pathway (ZNR) 263
4 Riverglide Pathway (ZNR) 264
4 Crash Through (AKR) 149
4 Shock (ANB) 84
7 Island (KLR) 290
2 Redcap Melee (ELD) 135
1 Ox of Agonas (THB) 147
1 Shark Typhoon (IKO) 67
2 Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor (IKO) 109
1 Mythos of Vadrok (IKO) 127
1 Teferi, Master of Time (M21) 75
2 Confounding Conundrum (ZNR) 53
1 Into the Roil (ZNR) 62
4 Thundering Rebuke (ZNR) 170
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!