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Magic Arena Standard Meta Tier List December 2021

When it comes to Standard, players often times prefer a diverse meta with plenty of options in deck choices. Crimson Vow gave the format a healthy injection of interesting cards and new archetypes, but unfortunately for competitors, it wasn’t quite enough to shake up Standard. Some familiar decks still sit firmly on the top of the meta. Aggro decks and control decks have a strangle hold on the meta at the moment, leaving midrange options a bit in the dust. There is still plenty of experimenting left to be done in this Standard format, but whose to say if anyone can crack the Epiphany code.


Previous Tier List: October 2021


 

5. Orzhov Clerics

The lone midrange deck finds itself in fifth place to kick off the last month of 2021. Orzhov Clerics is an interesting deck as it takes a new avenue to generating advantages. The basic game plan of the deck is to create massive beaters with Cleric of Life’s Bond and Voice of the Blessed. These early game threats can take over a game if left unanswered, and generally players should keep hands that offer explosive starts.

The real strength of this deck is Pyre of Heroes. Pyre of Heroes allows this deck to adjust to any matchup on the fly. Being able to find the right card to handle a situation is key. Pyre can find necessary Elite Spellbinders or Skyclave Apparitions to swing the match back into a more favorable position. The deck does struggle against Izzet lists as it struggles to close out games quickly, but with an arsenal of relevant sideboard cards, the Cleric deck is a fine option to climb through the competitive ladder.

2. Mono Green Aggro

The once dominant deck in Standard has been knocked around a bit thanks to every other player being sick and tired of seeing Werewolf Packleader. Mono Green is the current victim of a meta that is jam-packed with creature removal spells. Cards like Path to Peril, Doomskar, Infernal Grasp and even Brutal Cathar make Mono Green’s life horribly difficult. And those are the cards that aren’t in Blue and Red decks.

The great thing about Mono Green is its ability to still be relevant in a meta that is built around defeating it. In a way, the basic Green aggro deck is a safety valve for Standard. It ensures that players are playing decks that can interact with the board, and keeps hard-core control decks out of the Standard landscape. Despite the new tools Mono-Green received in Crimson Vow, the deck is still a bit weaker than what it was mere weeks ago.

3. Mono Black Control

For players that are disappointed that Mono-Green isn’t as strong, feel free to blame this list. Mono-Black Snow Control is the anti-creature deck to beat any and all creatures strategies. This deck has one game plan and one game plan only – kill anything on the board. Shambling Ghast and Eyetwitch are center stage this time around as they work overtime serving as both early-game blockers and key “value” cards. Shambling Ghast is often times a ramp spell, but can easily pivot to a kill spell. Eyetwitch is vital to the deck, as it lets the player find their copy of Mascot Exhibition from the sideboard.

Mono Black severely struggles against any version of Izzet, as well as any other deck that isn’t reliant on creatures. In game one Mono Black finds itself holding onto a whole handful of removal spells without any targets. Sideboarding correctly is key for the black control deck. Finding the important discard cards will give the deck a fighting chance.

[Related: Magic: The Gathering Announces New Format “Alchemy” ]

2. Izzet Piles

Without a doubt, Izzet is the most popular color pair in the Standard format at the moment. It is insane what these blue/red decks can do in the current meta. The basic version of Izzet is the Izzetn Turns list, which focuses on the lethal combo of Galvanic Iteration and Alrund’s Epiphany. The concept of the deck is simple, survive until the combo is ready. But it’s the supporting cards that make the deck so incredibly reliable. Divide by Zero is just absurdly powerful in the meta, and Expressive Iteration proved to be a multi-format all-star.

Other versions of Izzet feature more dragons than the Turns variant. Goldspan Dragon and Smoldering Egg and powerful, singular threats that don’t need much around them in order to win a match. Some decks prefer to combine Hullbreaker Horror and Lier, Disciple of the Drowned to lock out the opponent with removal and bounce spells. Izzet is probably the strongest deck against other high-ranked players at the moment, thanks to its sheer flexibility and inevitably.

1. Mono White Aggro

The biggest winner from Crimson Vow is easily Mono White Aggro. Hopeful Initiate and Welcoming Vampire are two key cards that brought more strength to an already powerful deck. Mono White thrives in a matchup where it can slam its powerful early game threats on time. Luminarch Aspirant continues to be a staple in any aggro deck that features the color white. Usher of the Fallen and Clarion Spirit are cheap threats that can push a game over the edge with their ability to clog the board with tokens.

The most frustrating reason to play against this list is its ability to slow down opposing game plans with all of the taxing creatures. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben makes a return to Standard to just trip up any spell-based list. The trio of Thalia, Elite Spellbinder and Reidane, God of the Worthy can absolute demolish an opponent looking to cast big spells towards the mid-game.


 

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