With Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths released, the meta has drastically changed on MTG Arena. Three of the biggest decks have vanished from the Tier One list and aggro/tempo strategies have overtaken control as the dominant archetype. Looking through statistics on MTGGoldfish for both the Standard format and MTG Arena format, four decks stand above others.
Remember, just because a deck is labeled as Tier One or Two doesn’t mean that’s all you should play. Some of the best matches come from wild, unorthodox decks. These are simply what a lot of people are playing and subsequently winning with.
Last updated on 6/18/2020 following card bans.
With the banning of Fires of Invention, Temur Reclamation has rocketed to the top of the tier list.
Morphed from its original interpretation, Temur Reclamation is no longer about taking extra turns, but always having mana open to control the board. Now a control deck, cards such as Negate, Scorching Dragonfire, Mystical Dispute, and Thassa’s Intervention keep the board empty. The new Fire Prophecy offers some card advantage and removal while Uro and Growth Spiral give us some much-needed ramp.
While you can beat your foe senseless with Wolf Tokens, the core finisher is casting a huge Expansion//Explosion after accruing a ton of mana via multiple Wilderness Reclamations. This makes it a solid option for those who aren’t a fan of traditional control decks but still want to cripple their foe’s field.
Making its return after dominating the Throne of Eldraine meta, Jund Sacrifice revolves around dealing either incremental damage or overwhelming your foe with a massive Korvold, Fae-Cursed King. Sporting Jegantha, the Wellspring as the companion card, Jund Sacrifice can accrue a lot of value thanks to cards like Priest of Forgotten Gods, Woe Strider, and Witch’s Oven. Claim the Firstborn gives you some light removal options since you can sacrifice whatever you steal and Mayhem Devil will serve as one of your main damage dealers. This is not a deck that wins fast, as it prefers to grind its opponents into dust. If you prefer playing slower then this is the deck for you.
A solid midrange deck, Simic Ramp can quickly get out of hand and take complete control of the board. With cards such as Growth Spiral, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, and Nissa, Who Shakes the World. Once you have all the mana you could possibly need, it’s time to start removing threats. Casualties of War and Extinction Event can clear a board of foes while Aether Gust acts as a great tempo card for the early game. All of this is building to you killing your opponent with a giant Hydroid Krasis or your lands via Nissa. We’ve seen variations of this list since Hyrdroid Krasis’ printing, but this is certainly one of its deadliest forms.
For those wanting to be more aggressive, the Rakdos Lurrus deck is about dropping cheap creatures and turning them sideways. Knight of the Ebon Legion, Serrated Scorpion, Cauldron Familiar, and Gutterbones fill out the one-drop slot, providing rapid early game pressure. Priest of Forgotten Gods and Witch’s Oven act as your sacrifice outlets, while Fiend Artisan lets you tutor up most of your deck.
Call of the Death-Dweller is another recursion spell and Heartless Act offers some nice flexibility in a meta full of counters. This deck is all about turning your creatures sideways, sacrificing them for value, and then bringing these angry monsters back from the graveyard. This makes Rakdos Lurrus difficult to deal with since it can consistently stabilize its board.
Absolutely my favorite deck in the Standard meta, Bant Ramp boasts a staggering 80 cards in the mainboard. This is because you’re using Yorion, Sky Nomad as a Companion, so you need to have 20 more cards to have easier access to it. A combination of a blink and control deck, Bant Ramp utilizes Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, Cavalier of Thorns, Omen of the Hunt, and Growth Spiral to quickly ramp past their opponents.
With all that mana you’ll use cards like Agent of Treachery, Narset, Parter of Veils, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Knight of Autumn to control the board. You’ll then blink those cards by playing Yorion, giving you insane value that can typically close out the game. Given the size of your deck, be prepared to play the long game, and focus on grinding your opponent out of resources.
Mono-Red, despite still being very strong, has fallen into the tier two category. This is mainly due to the large push for control/midrange strategies which make applying early game pressure exceptionally difficult. While you can certainly win with this deck, it’s not as consistent as other tier one decks. There’s an Obosh, the Punisher deck floating around that embraces the aristocrats theme.
Gruul Midrange is quickly gaining popularity thanks to the plethora of potent creatures that can batter their way through your foe’s defenses. Sultai Midrange has fallen from tier one, but that doesn’t mean you should discount this deck. Its focus on removal make it great for aggro match-ups, just be careful when playing against other value desks such as Temur Reclamation or Bant Ramp.