What are the Best Decks in Standard MTG?

We’re in the heat of the Regional Championship season. Last weekend saw the China and Canada Regional Championships. Japan/Korea, Australia/New Zealand, Southeast Asia Europe/Middle East/Africa, West Canada, Brazil, Chinese Taipei and Mexico/Central America/Caribbean Regionals are already in the books. Still to go are South America and USA Regionals, and they all use Standard. Use these Power Rankings as your up-to-date overview of the format. 

Here are the resources I use to inform all Power Rankings, leaning more heavily on what applies best to the given format:

  • Magic Online results. This includes Preliminaries, Weekend Challenges, Super Qualifiers and MOCS Events.
  • MTGMelee results. I typically look at all of the events with at least 30 players.
  • Large tabletop events. When applicable.
  • Untapped.GG stats.
  • Previous rankings. Just because a deck didn’t make a top 8 over the weekend, doesn’t mean it’s suddenly a bad deck.
  • Public opinion. I discuss things with my teammates, and take a look at what’s getting a lot of attention on Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, podcasts and written content.
  • My own instincts and experiences.


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12. Jund Midrange

Once a major player in the format, Jund Midrange has had a bit of a bad run. I think the Rankings would be incomplete without it, as it’s definitely a decent deck. However, it hasn’t been a meaningful part of the competitive scene for the last three weeks. 

Still, don’t be surprised if Jund makes a comeback, since it’s both strong and customizable. New weapons from Phyrexia: All Will Be One include Glissa, Sunslayer, Migloz, Maze Crusher, Tyvar, Jubilant Brawler and Armored Scrapgorger. You can take this color combination in a lot of different directions including ramp, reanimation or a heavy black version with Invoke Despair. 

11. Rakdos Aggro

I really like Mono-Red in Standard. Its cards are fast and efficient, and as a deck it packs quite a punch. However, it’s wanting a little bit in flexibility, sideboard options and answers to larger creatures like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. 

Rakdos Aggro corrects these problems. It’s an alternative take on the red-based “curve out” strategy, and is proving itself as a major contender in Standard. In one version, a light black splash provides removal spells to answer Sheoldred and big blockers. Another version goes deeper into black, tapping into Bloodtithe Harvester, Graveyard Trespasser and even Sheoldreds of its own. 

10. Domain

Domain has stayed steady around the #10 position. This means you don’t necessarily need to gun for it, but you should take it seriously when you’re paired against it. and you shouldn’t be surprised to see it break through to some top finishes. 

This is a five-color control/ramp deck with tons of late-game power. Atraxa, Grand Unifier is one of the most impactful cards from the new set, and one great way to use this powerful Angel is to simply make seven land drops and cast it!

Domain decks already had a lot of sweet weapons like The Kami War and Leyline Binding, and it’s a perfect shell to support the demanding mana cost of Atraxa. 

9. Mono-Blue

Mono-Blue has been quiet lately. This archetype is fueled by Haughty Djinn and Tolarian Terror, and can succeed with or without Delver of Secrets. Either way, it’s heavy on card drawing and disruption, while using just a small handful of potent creatures to win the game. With so many game-ending threats out there, it’s appealing to sit back on counterspells and never leave yourself vulnerable. 

One major appeal of sticking to one color and lots of basic Islands is Thirst for Discovery, which gives you an influx of resources and helps you dig to your best cards. Flow of Knowledge is also a pet card of mine, which is a huge weapon for games that go long. 

8. Rakdos Midrange

Rakdos Midrange is back on the scene after four players punched Pro Tour tickets at the Canadian Regional Championship (plus two more Top 8’s in Magic Online Challenges). I’ve always liked Rakdos. It shares a lot of the strengths and premium cards with Grixis Midrange, but it gets to play more basic lands, which is good in a world where Field of Ruin and Demolition Field represent a key strategy. 

7. Toxic

Toxic falls from #5 to #7 for this installment. This was a great choice while it was still a little under the radar, and has now settled in as “just okay” when people are prepared for it. 

Toxic is the flagship mechanic in Phyrexia: All Will Be One, so it’s little surprise to see that it has some chops for Standard play. The best toxic decks are centered around the Selesnya colors for Venerated Rotpriest and Slaughter Singer, with additional splashes also possible (for example, red for Angelfire Ignition). From there, flexible card choices range from Bloated Contaminator to Homestead Courage to Annex Sentry to Valorous Stance. 

6. Reanimator

All forms of Reanimator continue to put up reasonable numbers. I considered giving Rakdos Reanimator and Grixis Reanimator two spots on the list, but in the end decided to lump them together at #6. There’s no doubt that this is an exciting archetype that’ll be a major player for the rest of the Standard season. 

Regardless of color combination, you’ll always see four copies each of The Cruelty of Gix, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Bloodtithe Harvester. Those cards are not only great parts of the reanimation plan, they’re also strong on their own, which allows the deck to play a normal game while setting up a way to cheat Atraxa onto the battlefield. 

5. Soldiers

It looked like the Soldiers archetype might have been petering out, but then a win at the Chinese Taipei Regional Championship put it right back in the conversation. Soldiers is fast, with the disruption of either Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Protect the Negotiators, plus a surprising ability to grind out long games. Spot removal alone often doesn’t get the job done, meaning that you’ll need access to board sweepers to compete with their best draws. 

Soldiers got all of its most important weapons from Brothers’ War. It wasn’t a relative winner from the new set because Soldiers aren’t a supported creature type in ONE. Still, this remains one of Standard’s premier aggressive decks. 

4. Mono-Red

Likewise, Mono-Red is one of the major players in Standard, and is my pick for the format’s top aggro deck. Red has never been the most popular archetype, but in the tournaments I’ve studied, it has a respectable metagame share and usually an above-50 percent win rate. 

Many versions of Mono-Red are possible. In my opinion, however, the secret is that you don’t need to be aggressive to a fault. You can pack in a lot of card quality and staying power when you take the mana curve up a little to play stuff like Thundering Raiju, Jaya, Fiery Negotiator and Koth, Fire of Resistance. You still maintain those nice curves with Kumano Faces Kakkazan and the intense damage output that makes Mono-Red so scary. 

3. Esper Legends

The biggest story for the month of March was the success of Esper Legends. It was a huge contender at the recent Canada Regionals, with three lists showing up in the Top 8. The archetype is strong, and seems to put up good numbers wherever it shows up.

Many of the best creatures in Standard happen to be legends. Thalia is great in a metagame defined by Fable of the Mirror-Breaker. Ao provides late-game resilience, and Raffine is as good as ever. Even Skrelv, Defector Mite has been a big addition to Esper Legends. 

Seachrome Coast, Darkslick Shores and Plaza of Heroes make the mana much smoother and more consistent than you might expect. This deck can curve out with the scariest creatures across multiple colors, making it something that you should definitely have a plan for. 

2. Mono-White Midrange

Even in a format where Mono-Red, Mono-Black and Mono-Blue are strong decks, Mono-White Midrange is the best monocolor strategy. It even overtakes Esper Legends and reclaims the #2 spot for this installment. This archetype has the perfect intersection of tried and true results, plus new weapons like Ossification and The Eternal Wanderer. It didn’t have a great performance at all of the Regional Championship tournaments, but it did win Western Canada Regionals, and has done well in the wake of that event. A major innovation is playing the full eight Field of Ruin and Demolition Field, which allows Mono-White to punish greedy three-color (not to mention four or more color!) mana bases. 

The color white has many powerful options right now. Ambitious Farmhand, The Restoration of Eiganjo and Reckoner Bankbuster power the deck and bridge you into game-winning Angels and planeswalkers. Lay Down Arms is an awesome removal spell, and a significant payoff for staying mono-white. 

1. Grixis Midrange

Still, Grixis Midrange retains the crown, and continues to put up excellent results. Despite a great run by Esper Legends, it was Grixis that wound up taking the trophy in Naples. While not necessarily a big winner from the Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Grixis remains strong, well-rounded and even packs permission spells for those pesky Atraxa players. Corpse Appraiser is likewise at its best in a world where many players are trying to reanimate big creatures from their graveyards. At the same time, Reckoner Bankbuster and Invoke Despair ensure that Grixis one of the best decks for fair, grindy games. Grixis gets all of the best removal and disruption across blue, red and black, and we should expect it to be a deck to beat for the duration of the Standard season. 

2 thoughts on “What are the Best Decks in Standard MTG?”

  1. Alexander Hayne had the best record for the Swiss portion, but it was Philippe Gareau piloting Mono White who took down the whole tournament.

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