Magic the Gathering Arena

August 2021 | BO1 & BO3 Tier List | D&D AFR | Historic | 10+ Decks | Jumpstart

Well Hello Planeswalkers!

I was trying to get this out sooner, however I have been bogged down for all good reasons (we welcomed a new family member) minus the latest oopsies with the last patch.  I wanted to get everyone a nice clip of the Meta as we roll into Jumpstart!

Enjoy this month’s Tier List, and always feel free to let me know what you think!  Stay safe my friends. I cover: What it is, current meta observations, and deck overviews!  This month I have also added specific cards to keep an eye out for with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons! Last, I love sharing the observations and recent changes we have faced in an ever evolving format.

https://youtu.be/CxufrDcRyzQ

Past Tier Lists and Articles for additional context, trends, and observations below.

Last Historic Tier Lists

July Article: BO1 & BO3

July Video: BO1 & BO3

Last Standard Tier Lists

Standard August Article: BO1 & BO3

Standard August Video: BO1 & BO3

Last Standard 2022 Tier Lists

Standard July Article: BO1 & BO3

Standard July Video: BO1 & BO3

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.  For additional fun banter feel free to join the 250+ Discord army!

TLDR: The Historic Meta has seen some interesting shifts with the release of DnD AFR as well as some slight changes in recent bannings.  I will talk about some key cards from the new set to keep an eye on!

Meta Snapshot Highlights:

Unfortunately due to the Arena Update I couldn’t drill into the data as well – However I still want to provide some flavor text!

BO1

What I found very interesting as I was prepping for this piece was some pretty fast shifts in BO1.  It seemed over the last few weeks things were really spiking around, and oddly this was a pre-season reset which is slightly unusual at times.  The big one was shifts in Top 8 archetypes and win rates.  A lot of movement towards the end with 5C Dragonstorm that wasn’t there necessarily throughout the season, and one thing I did pivot to ensure capturing for BO1 this time around.  In the last few days it really took off again!  Other floaters that ebbed in BO1 were Esper Control a few weeks back, and then most certainly a re-rise in the auras decks!

BO3

Some of the biggest pieces to BO3 have certainly been a change in key T1 decks.  Additionally, Jund Food is really doing work this past month, and having some top performances.  The other thing creeping back in has been auras as well.  Izzet Phoenix was undoubtedly hurt the most by the Brainstorm banning, while Jeskai Control has remained a top force in the meta.

Items of Interest & Considerations:

  • Mono Green Stomping – This deck has been one of the largest pickups since Dungeons & Dragons Adventures into the Forgotten Realms.  The deck has been a house, and on top of that a great one to play as well as pilot.  Mono Green came out on top with this set across all formats!  Strengthening some of the weak spots has been key to go around with the two drop slots!
  • Post BanNot only did we see one but rather two bans to slowly break apart some of the key decks here.  The latest and greatest being Brainstorm taking down some key decks a notch or two.  Jeskai Control continues to be a contender, however Izzet Phoenix certainly received the brunt of the blow.  Removing smoothing, information, and potential future card advantage has really made a difference, and allowed some other decks to creep into the competitive scene.
  • Multi Colored – We have seen a big rise once again in multi-colored pinwheel decks.  Generally like Modern a very robust land base has now been well established allowing an ease of use in the space to capture some of the best across color distributions.  The solo power of colors at one point when it was things like goblins, elves, other tribals, as well as more streamlined color decks certainly has changed not only for BO3 and has hit BO1 as well.
  • Variety I continue to be a strong advocate of these things, and why I always like to double click into the archetypes available.  As vast a scene as can be for Historic, giving us access to the entire MTG Arena universe card set, sometimes the meta can get a little clouded and tunnel vision.  Generally, prompting something like bans.  One thing I really like is the flavor town that can be played right now across tiers to be competitive and allow you to flex a bit instead of being locked into one deck.  A key piece of this I call the trifecta when we look at the T1 decks really showing a nice balance in aggro to late game currently.
  • Faced Paced BO1Generally BO1 as we know continues to be a very quick match format.  This continues to hold true except for the lone Jeskai Control deck standing out there.  We saw a late re rise of the turn four combo 5C Dragonstorm, and something we will most likely continue to see.  Absence of control decks opens these opportunities, and I’m slightly surprised we have seen a slight non-emergence of others here like neostorm.  Something we will need to continue to watch.  Albeit we continue to see domination with things like Mono Green Elves, and other very very fast aggro decks.
  • JumpstartFirst Thoughts if it’s anything like Mystical Archives we will be in for a fun ride. We are getting 782 total new cards in Jumpstart: Historic Horizons. 372 new to MTG Arena. Three mechanics with the set. Seek, Perpetually, & Conjure.  A few cards worth keeping an eye on with some potential impacts:
    • Nettlecyst – Auras
    • Svyelun of Sea and Sky – Merfolk
    • Freyalise, Skyshroud Partisan – Elves
    • Archmage’s Charm – Control, Jeskai
    • Season Pyromancer – Every Deck
    • Goblin Dark Dwellers – Combo Control
    • Blade Splicer – Mono White Artifacts
    • Davriel’s Withering – NEW card – Auras
    • Restoration Angel – Coco
    • Ranger-Captain of Eos – Mono White
    • Thought Monitor – Affinity Decks
    • Dragon’s Rage Channeler – Mono Red / Burn
    • Esper Sentinel – Affinity, Mono White

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 usually hit Top 1500 🙂 – 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.

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.

If you would like to do a collaboration feel free to reach out as well. Feel free to reach out or hang in the Multiverse Discord Server.

August Historic Tier List BO1 & BO3

All Full Deck lists consolidated below:

MTGA Historic BO1 August 2021 Tier List 

Tier 1 (3)
Jeskai Control (Deck Link)

Mono Green Elves (Deck Link)

Selesnya Angels (Deck Link)

Tier 2 (8)

Mono Green Stompy (Deck Link)

5C Dragonstorm (Deck Link)

Rakdos Arcanist (Deck Link)

Rakdos Sacrifice (Deck Link)

Azorius Auras (Deck Link)

Azorius Prison (Deck Link)

Jund Food (Deck Link)

Mono Red Goblins (Deck Link)

Tier 3 (4)

Mono Red Burn (Deck Link)

Mono Black Aggro (Deck Link)

Izzet Phoenix (Deck Link)

Esper Control (Deck Link)

MTGA Historic BO3 August 2021 Tier List 10+

Tier 1 (3)

Jeskai Control

Mono Green Stompy

Jund Food

Tier 2 (7)

Selesnya Company

Rakdos Sacrifice

Azorius Auras

Selesnya Angels

Esper Control

Izzet Phoenix

Tier 3 (5)

Rakdos Arcanist

Mono Red Goblins
Mono Black Aggro

Mono Red Burn

5C Niv-Mizzet (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!