Magic the Gathering Arena

MTGA Standard BO3 | February 2021 Tier List | Kaldheim!

Hey Spikes Happy Hump Day!

The Kaldheim ship has certainly sailed, and we are off to some smooth sailing here with the new set.  A lot of this I covered in the BO1 Tier list yesterday, and just to quickly touch on it here we have a nice healthy meta intact.  Now with that out of the way, we have seen some pretty interesting moves in the BO3 meta that I am excited to expand on a little more below for us.

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

February Standard: BO1

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: Pretty Big Shifts in BO3…It’s all about that Aggro right now.  Will we continue to see impacts of cycles or top played event decks changing the meta?  One would have thought the new modal lands enhanced the gameplay of the multi-colored decks more, and aggro not as pervasive. O & Mobile.

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:

  • Aggro at the forefront First and foremost all I can say is WOW.  I’m pleasantly surprised at how hard a shift there has been to Aggro in BO3 at the top end of the tier list.  The last I can recall was I think pre ZNR rotation when Mono Red put up some good BO3 fights.  This wasn’t something I was personally expecting.  It’s pretty interesting to see that both Top Decks from BO1 & BO3 do seemingly well across the format.  I even went as far back as I could which I think was middle of last year (that I have produced these lists) to see if this was just a set cycle release impact.  It wasn’t given all the trends analysis that I had.
  • Motion of the Ocean – Given the above, and some additional digging it will be interesting to see if the tides flip the scripts a little bit on the aggro strategy.  We did see some rather interesting cycles in ZNR, however BO3 wasn’t as pure aggro dominated minus everyones favorite Gruul Adventures.  Since I believe the set is still very healthy and we are not fully a month in, I think this will certainly be something for us to keep an eye on.  The aggro decks certainly command a high winrate right now…but a card that was certainly hyped a lot dare I say doomskar…hasn’t seen the light of day quite yet.
  • Three Color Drop – The new modals have made an impact, and what is more interesting was the fact that the top end of the tier list was dominated by multi colored decks until Kalhdehim.  I was as mentioned earlier pleasantly surprised to find that as things have unfolded here that these decks should have received a boost, and not actually displaced by aggro variants.
  • Carry Over Similar to BO1, and what I normally coach on as mentioned yesterday, decks that were good moving into the next release tend to remain good.  However, again I would note the interesting ramifications of the aggro decks becoming BO3 prominent.  Were we playing ZNR wrong or are well all sick of Rogue decks? I’m still a mill fan, and you guys will never change my opinion on that 😛
  • Event Implications?If there is anything yet to have a major impact on Kaldheim it is the presence of some key big events.  Yes, we have had a few…The SCG 5k flushed out some miss perceptions on Sultai Emergent/Ultimatum.  A huge percent of archetype that was sub 50% wins…you guys can check out my Jedi Mind Tricks bit from yesterday. Also, helping the drive of single handedly Mono Red Snow taking a large position of a played deck.  If there is anything I learned, keep an eye on key events.  I was certainly surprised on Cinabiandos win with Esper Yorion Doom in the Feb CFB Pro wasn’t as prominent as the good old Selesyna Yorion impact…or did we all just mature a bit?
  • Mobile Effect – Sooo…just some speculation here…maybe aggro is becoming heavily played due to low cost of entry on mobile, and from a UX perspective it’s easier to play…yes I’ve tried a few times!
  • Are we surprised? – To conclude today, Yes, Yes, I am surprised, and you probably should be too. It’s an aggro players dream right now, until it’s not. It’s feast or famine and maybe the aggro decks are going to get that much love from rakdos/jund sac that is certainly right around the corner.  In the end, I for one embraced change, and was happy to see what this list procured with the release of Kaldheim. Also, we have all been trained to fear some botch deck over the last few months, and it’s necessary I throw in the well done WOTC.  You have marinated a healthy set release on the back of a healthy meta. 

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.ggs companion app stats, 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 BO3 February 2021 Tier List (20+ Decks)

Tier 1 (3)

Mono White Aggro (Deck Link)

Mono Red Snow (Deck Link)

Naya Aggro Adventures (Deck Link)

Tier 2 (13)

Dimir Lurrus Rogues (Deck Link)

Izzet Tempo (Deck Link)

Temur Aggro aka Wet Gruul (Deck Link)

Mono Green Aggro (Deck Link)

Rakdos Sacrifice (Deck Link)

4C-Sultai Yorion Control (Deck Link)

Temur Ultimatum (Deck Link)

Sultai Emergent (Deck Link)

Esper Yorion Doom (Deck Link)

Jund Jegantha Sacrifice (Deck Link)

Grixis Control (Deck Link)

Mono White Lifegain (Deck Link)

Mono Red Boast (Deck Link)

Tier 3 (5)

Jeskai Spells (Deck Link)

Boros Aggro (Deck Link)

Abzan Adventures (Deck Link)

Mardu Jegantha Winota (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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