Magic the Gathering Arena

July 2021 | BO1 & BO3 Tier List | Anthology 5 | Historic | D&D Forgotten Realms Review

It’s that time again, Planeswalkers! Tier List time, and this go is for Historic.

Many of you have kindly been asking me when I was going to pull a fresh Historic Tier List together, well today is that day.  Additionally, I do want to prep you in advance as I also am expecting many comments on this list in particular, as I feel some of it may catch you a bit off guard potentially, or at a minimum I am slightly expecting that.

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 D&D Forgotten Realms! Last, I love sharing the observations and recent changes we have faced in an ever evolving format.

Today’s article can be found here. Past Tier Lists and Articles for additional context, trends, and observations below.

Last Historic Tier Lists

May Article: BO1 & BO3

May Video: BO1 & BO3

Last Standard Tier Lists

Standard June Article: BO1 & BO3

Standard June 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: Ban hammer & Anthology 5 have left their marks on the Historic Meta.  Those marks from my opinion are very healthy, and have put us in a good spot going into D&D Forgotten realms.  I will talk about some key cards from the new set to keep an eye on!

Meta Snapshot Highlights:

BO1

What is most interesting this time around is the fact that 5C Dragonstorm is dominating BO1.  Additionally, at this time we are seeing a ton of combo deck play.  This is probably due to less of the meta even in BO1 being Jeskai Turns with the banning fallout.  Our general mix of Aggro friends are still here, and we are seeing a healthy uptick in Gruul Aggro being played as well.  Last but not least we are seeing Auras making a comeback with Azorius!  We see roughly 40% of the meta being dominated right now by our top 8 decks.

BO3

For me one of the key call outs here has been the shift off late game decks to more aggro & midrange based ones.  Equally so, we now see elves with a high bo3 win rate and archetype percent played.  Niv-Mizzet is becoming more of a thing in BO3 as well.  Jund food is creeping back into the limelight slowly.  These top 8 archetypes dominate a bit more than BO1 with a 50%+ lionshare of the meta, so you definitely need to expect to be hitting these decks in your gameplay.

Items of Interest & Considerations:

  • Time Warping No More – The Stixhaven Championship ushered in a swift and fast ban early into the June Season.  I think many folks anticipated something much greater for the ban hammer, however it certainly does feel like the impact has been felt.  Jeskai Turns was in essence way too powerful.  It has still left behind the reminiscence of another Jeskai Control deck, still powerful, but not quite on the level that turns was.  This also opened the door, and shifted the META quite a bit.
  • Double Tap Anthology 5During this time we also saw the next MTGA Hisotric drop of Anthology 5.  Generally speaking most players take a wait and see approach with these drops.  What I have found though is several of the cards in this particular drop have made its way into the competitive formats.  A few key items were definitely the dragons, praetors, and token love.  We saw a huge uptick in reanimator decks, as well as combo decks with Anthology 5.  Personally, this has been one of the more impactful META shapers of these types of set drops for sure.
  • Raincheck on Combo Lookout – I definitely wanted to ensure we circle back on this from the last piece.  This was pretty on par with what to keep an eye on which is always nice! Jeskai got nefred, and Indomitable Creativity is still a thing.  The ones also of note are more on the bo1 scene with 5C Reanimator, and 5C Dragonstorm combo.  There are definitely a few other lurkers here like Neostorm, and to say more in the limelight 5C Niv-Mizzet in BO3,  I’m not even covering all of them!  I can say with certainty if you are a combo player, now is probably the right time in Historic, as it is probably one of the best times for this from my experience, and for as long as I have been doing these things over the past year and a half now.
  • A Deck for Everyone One thing that I have really enjoyed in particular this go around in Historic has been the diversity of decks not only in being able to play, but also to play against.  The META is not as dominated by the top 8 like it has or typically is with Standard.  Just outlining the last item on combo decks, and then a host of others across our aggro, midrange, and late game spectrum we are in a nice spot for those of us to experiment!  As a competitive player we have an opportunity to pivot to new things, or practice what is needed.  On the flip side as a brewer, we can have fun with a range of things, and know even if we go into the ranked queue we aren’t just hitting one deck!
  • Historic FunThis has been in my opinion one of my favorite Monthly tier lists to make, even though I have slightly stretched it out past a month this time around for historic.  The ban has led to some nice shifts that you will find in the list, and allowed me to play a whole host of new decks for you to take a look at.  I definitely invested a lot more in WC, and did pick up anthology 5 myself when I knew I was getting to a point of no return for the set in which I definitely had several decks in need of the cards.  Plus, who doesn’t want all the praetor bombs!

    In all seriousness, enjoy, and I look forward to what Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms has in store for us!
  • Forgotten RealmsI wanted to highlight some potential noteworthy cards for current Historic Staples.  This by no means is an exhaustive list, however something you could keep an eye out for or use in your own brewing schemes!
    • Book of Exalted Deeds – Angels & Coco
    • Dragons – Dragonstorm. 
    • Keen-Eared Sentry. 
    • Paladin Class – Mono White/Taxes. 
    • The Blackstaff of Waterdeep – Artifacts. 
    • Demilich – Mono Blue Control. 
    • Mordenkainen – jeskai Control/Azorius Control. 
    • Wizard Class – Control. 
    • The Book of Vile Darkness – Mono Black / Zombies. 
    • Sphere of Annihilation – Dimir Control.  
    • Battle Cry Goblin – Goblins.  
    • Inferno of the Star Mounts – Red decks. 
    • Minion of the Mighty – Combo decks. 
    • Circle of Dreams Druid – Mono Green Elves. 
    • Ranger Class – Elves.  
    • Werewolf Pack Leader – Gruul aggro or Stompy. 
    • Xanathar, Guild Kingpin – Dimir Control

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.

All Full Deck lists consolidated below!

MTGA Historic BO1 July 2021 Tier List

Tier 1 (5)
Boros Burn (Deck Link)

5C Dragonstorm (Deck Link)

Mono Green Elves (Deck Link)

Jeskai Control (Deck Link)

Selesnya Angels (Deck Link)

Tier 2 (8)

Azorius Auras (Deck Link)

Selesnya Company (Deck Link)

Izzet Phoenix (Deck Link)

Jund Sacrifice (Deck Link)

Simic Stompy (Deck Link)

Mono Red Goblins (Deck Link)

Gruul Aggro (Deck Link)

Mono Red Aggro (Deck Link)

Tier 3 (7)

Dimir Rogues (Deck Link)

Rakdos Arcanist (Deck Link)

Mono Red Burn (Deck Link)

Mono Black Snow Aggro (Deck Link)

5C Niv-Mizzet (Deck Link)

5C Reanimator (Deck Link)

Selesnya Ramp (Deck Link)

MTGA Historic BO3 July 2021 Tier List

Tier 1 (5)

Mono Green Elves

Dimir Rogues

Mono Red Aggro

Selesnya Company

Mono Black Snow Aggro

Tier 2 (8)

Gruul Aggro
Jeskai Control

Izzet Phoenix

Jund Sacrifice

Rakdos Arcanist

5C Niv-Mizzet

Simic Stompy

Azorius Auras

Tier 3 (7)

Goblins

Boros Burn

Selesnya Angels

Mono Red Burn

5C Dragonstorm

Selesnya Ramp

5C Reanimator

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!