Magic the Gathering Arena

May 2021 | BO1 & BO3 Tier List | Strixhaven | Standard | 30+ Decks

Happy Memorial Day Weekend (from the US) Planeswalkers!

This month we have a much larger sampling, and comprehensive list.  I look forward to discussing some of the key trends and changes in the Meta as well that have changed since the first Strixhaven Tier List.

I have once again combined both the BO1 & BO3 tier lists into one post.  I have found this to be very efficient and relevant, and haven’t heard any complaints in this style.

There has been a ton going on in my personal life, and I continue to be eternally grateful for this community.  This month I was able to see our baby, get my house listed, and got out of surgery yesterday on my meniscus.  All while transitioning into a new role at work! I am extraordinarily thankful for everyone’s support as always and wanted to provide a quick update.  

I have been able to keep pace with a daily video, the weekly Friday Night Meta series, and the tier lists.  I even doubled up with Historic this month, as many of you were asking, and I had set the expectations I would knock one down for the team.  I plan to get back to streaming ASAP and most likely tonight as it’s one of my favorite ways to interact.  Also, a huge shout out to our discord as there are about 200 members there. Many of which are now starting to coordinate community gaming events if you are interested and sharing their top deck ideas which I love!

You can find this month’s Tier List here along with the article.  As always the article is below, along with observations, trends, and the list! Enjoy!

Tier Lists

Strixhaven April Standard BO1 & BO3 Article / Video

Kaldheim April Standard BO1 & BO3 Article / Video

Mystical Archives May Historic BO1 & BO3 Article / Video

April Historic BO1 & BO3 Article / Video

Friday Night Meta – Weekly Series

May Week 3 (Article, Youtube)

May Week 2 (Article, Youtube)

May Week 1 (Article, Youtube)

April Week 5 (Article, Youtube)

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: Aggro still strong however seeing an uptick in more Midrange Domination.  More of a split in results with MTG Arena and tournament play.  The Strixhaven Mechanics are starting to hit the backburner a bit.

May Standard Strixhaven Tier List BO1 & BO3

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:

  • Tournaments vs Arena Honestly this has been one of the harder tier lists for me this month because of a few different reasons.  This is a good factor in which it helps show a very healthy META.  First, there is a bit of dichotomy between tournament play compared to Arena for BO3.  Decks that have performed well in tournaments recently minus one will seem more middle of the pack in this month’s list.  While those at the higher end tend to have had the better overall win rates of performance over the course of the season in Arena.

    This certainly isn’t always the case, however mono white aggro has had some short term tournament success, while everyone has been talking about Izzet Dragons flying high while in reality the win rate isn’t actually the best one out there.  It also received a nice boost from the Strixhaven league weekend.
  • Cooling Off Mechanics – There was a lot of fun craft right out of the Strixhaven gates, and a lot of that has been put on the back burner.  Both Golgari decks pests, and witherbloom have pretty much dissipated as a top archetype.  Additionally, there were a few good runs with the magecraft decks, however many of which have slowly fallen out of favor. 

    These newcomers to the field minus the Izzet Dragons of late haven’t been able to sustain very competitive win rates.  Yes, certainly fun, however not up to snuff when it comes to the top tier gameplay competitive factors.  Even BO1 we haven’t seen as many adaptations with the learn mechanic which I personally thought we would have seen a lot more of.  It’s certainly there in the winona decks, and a few less competitive ones.  Just again nothing that’s putting up insane numbers.
  • Midrange Cycle Certainly there has been a greater shift towards the middle of the pack of the line up.  Again, despite some of the tiering below I would contend that Izzet Dragons has left a mark for the time being which you can see in the last Friday Night Magic episode.  Equally, variants of Gruul adventures and other winona flavors have left a mark.  The aggro decks still command healthy win rates however haven’t certainly dominated tournament play.  The sultai ultimatum is still right around the corner and a very heavily played deck.

    We are still missing some more people going all in on control.  I definitely covered some unique ones this past month like azorius blink.  However, just nothing as of yet that fully has shifted the meta.
  • Continuation Most of this month’s top end has remained intact from last month’s tier list.  The biggest changes were around some of the newer up and coming decks as I mentioned we would keep an eye on.  Unfortunately, those decks as mentioned were a ton of fun like jund magecraft, and I really enjoyed Azorius Magecraft however they just couldn’t fit the true compete factor.  Now I am all one for just having fun, and certainly have taken my sweet time to Mythic this month.  As I like to do once and a while.  No need to always zoom, I say.  With that, one deck I’ve had an absolute blast with was BIG RED!
  • Kaldheim Pull ThroughI honestly have been quite amazed with many of the decks that continued on from Kaldheim without any or minute tweaks that remain competitive.  The biggest one being BO1 Mono Black Enchantments, and Rumti’s Mono Green Stompy.  The deck has remained consistently strong in a creature/aggro based line up.  It is one of the many reasons I kept the 50+ deck post available to you as many can still find fun, competitive, and relevant decks there!

    Stay safe my friends!

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.

BO3 has much broader impacts when it comes to data.  You can find all the sources, experiences, and information I take into consideration in the Additional info spot.

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! Feel free to hop in the Multiverse Discord Server.  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.

Note: Decklists same for both BO1 & BO3 – Mainboard is for Best of One

MTGA Standard BO1 May 2021 Tier List (30 decks!)

Tier 1 (6)

Mono White Lifegain (Deck Link)

Boros Winota (Deck Link)

Jeskai Cycle (Deck Link)

Mono Red Snow Aggro (Deck Link)

Mono White Snow Aggro (Deck Link)

Dimir Lurrus Rogues (Deck Link)

Tier 2 (15)

Mono Black Auras (KHM Deck Link)

Izzet Dragons (Deck Link)

Gruul Adventures (Deck Link)

Magda Gruul (Deck Link)

Temur Adventures (Deck Link)

Naya Winota (Deck Link)

Mono Green Stompy (Deck Link)

Sultai Ultimatum (Deck Link)

Esper Yorion Doom (Deck Link)

Naya Jegantha Tokens (Deck Link)

Sultai Yorion Control (Deck Link)

Sultai Titans Nest (Deck Link)

Dimir Yorion Control (Deck Link)

Temur Lukka (Deck Link)

Esper Control (Deck Link)

Tier 3 (9)

Azorius Magecraft (Deck Link)

Orzhov Magecraft (Deck Link)

Izzet Zirda Spells (Deck Link)

Jund Magecraft (Deck Link)

Big Red (Deck Link)

Mono White Enchantments (Deck Link)

Azorius Blink (Deck Link)

Jeskai Transmogrify (Deck Link)

Mono Black Lifegain (Deck Link)

MTGA Standard BO3 May 2021 Tier List (30 decks!)

Tier 1 (6)
Mono White Snow Aggro

Mono Red Snow Aggro

Dimir Lurrus Rogues

Jeskai Cycle

Naya Jegantha Tokens

Boros Winota

Tier 2 (15)

Gruul Adventures

Sultai Ultimatum

Izzet Dragons

Magda Gruul

Temur Adventures

Temur Lukka

Naya Winota

Sultai Yorion Control

Dimir Yorion Control

Esper Yorion Doom

Mono Green Stompy

Sultai Titans Nest

Mono White Lifegain

Azorius Blink

Big Red

Tier 3 (8)

Izzet Zirda Spells

Esper Control

Mono White Enchantments

Jeskai Transmogrify

Mono Black Auras

Azorius Magecraft

Orzhov Magecraft

Jund Magecraft

Mono Black Lifegain

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!