MTGA Standard BO1 January 2021 Tier List | 100+ Decks!

Hello Planeswalkers and welcome to almost Kaldheim time!

We certainly have come A LONG WAY! As I mentioned last month I would do one more Zendikar’s Rising Tier List – and this one is certainly something else.  I have been able to stick to a daily top deck plan and provided a list of 100+ decks! Technically good old Omnath now lost in ban hammer memories was a thing 😛

The last thing I will also touch on in a separate note on some speculation in the interest & considerations sections of how to get a decent start out of the gate with Kaldheim.

A couple of items.  I broke today’s list into 4 Tiers this time just due to the sheer vastness of the amount of decks.  Another interesting learning was what I will call exhaustive top decks where despite the health of the meta in terms of playable deck diversity there still was a limitation at the top end.  A lot of the decks I covered last month were more from the Platinum to Mythic 6+ win list relative to other months in terms of decks and meta viability in top 1500.

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 hit Top 1500 usually 🙂 – 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 piece though again is due to the vastness of decks not all data is readily available sadly so this round there is a little more art baked in as well.

Previous Informative Tiers for Reference on Zendikar’s Rising Seasons:

December Standard: BO1 & BO3

December Historic: BO1 & BO3

November: BO1 & BO3

October Expanded: BO1 & BO3

October Short List: 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.

Note: I typically don’t talk too much here about this, but the channel just hit 1500+ Subs and I truly want to say “Thank You” as many of you have supported my content, contributed, and constructively enhanced what I bring each and every day. So again Thank You – I really appreciate everyone’s support.

TLDR: Not much shift in the top end – most likely well positioned for BO1 in Kaldheim as well early out of the gate. Crushed 100 unique top decks in ZNR and I am looking forward to KHM.  BIG THANK YOU as well!

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:

  • White & Red Match made in Heaven & Hell We continue to see the pure raw domination of both white and red in BO1.  Interestingly enough I will say playing my usual suspect Mono Red Mythras flavor – my deck last season had a 65%+ win rate and got me into the MQ (see here and vs Autumn Burchett match), has been a slightly different story this season.  It still has around a 55%+ win and I gather there is a huge diversity even more so than any other time in the competitive scene in BO1.  I get these comments a ton right now, and even so some more seemingly unusual suspects have suddenly become good?!?!! Mythras Mono Red Deck

Kaldheim Thoughts

Personally I have a strong conviction these two colors will certainly stay at the top of the BO1 rankings.  There are some rather powerful three drops that will give these archetypes some additional love with: Righteous Valkyrie & Arnie Brokenbrow to name a few…

  • Lands, Lands, & Snow – We still see some key archetypes with two/three colors being competitive.  Most notably I would say in this January final season of Zendikar’s rising has been almost every other control deck match. Certainly the last few days.  I think this is important to understand that while yet as mentioned above some of these mono white/red decks still have high win rates.  The control matchup, however, represents a pretty big shift in the meta skipping over some more of the successful midrange.  This could be an opening!

Kaldheim Thoughts

One impact to watch out for is going to be all the additional lands and modals coming into play.  They will certainly drive out some of the potential missteps in the three color trap, and lead to a better gameplay.  Plus, as many of you know my love for crawling barrens (yes I run this in my mono red aggro! It wins games against control) we will begin to see a nice cycle of lands that do a lot of things that will dynamically change our gameplay. I have a big affinity for the snow lands – This will lead to some key concepts to keep an eye on as well.  Something else worth keeping an eye on could be Gnottvold Slumbermound as well as the uncommon land cycle.  Personally, I think Gruul didn’t get the greatest love – not that it needed much – but mainly I love destroying target land and getting a 4/4 trampler.  Definitely expensive, but could see some interesting interactions.

  • Archetypes Inbound There have been some rather interesting decks that have popped up this month.  I do want to call out a few that I personally enjoyed: Athreos Prison, Boros Transmogrify, and a few flavors of Artifacts to name a few.  There really was a broad amount and for funsies before I started the month I listed out 35+ decks to create content on given the right level of competitiveness.  I ended up with 21 leftovers, and that shows you just how deep the deck pool really is.

Kaldheim Thoughts

The world tree certainly has the ability to continue on here as well in the face of creating more gameplay and interactive decks for us…similar to the next comment…With that said though, a few things I think we need to keep an eye on with the release tomorrow and into February when it comes to archetypes:  Generally a rule of thumb is that with the new mechanics, boast, foretell, and the likes there generally is an archetype that will pop up.  Definitely in the infancy of the meta, so keep an eye out.  I think there is also room for some new flavors, berserkers, angels, demons, and elves to list a few.  We may get a reversion to a more Rakdos Aggro variant, and potentially a UW or UB Fliers deck could be in the cards 😉

  • The viking tide to crush the culture?One of the most amazing things that I think will have gone under appreciated, and has caused some frustrations as well as fatigue is the legitimacy of the health as well as balance of standard.  As I have mentioned in my videos and will call compositions here is the pure unadulterated facts of the health, and meta diversity.  Obviously mentioned at the top of the post it didn’t come without its usual early release suspects, and that is most likely to be on the top of everyone’s mind now every release.  What I think will be most interesting is will the culture still allow us to play a wide range of diverse decks, that are competitive or will this standard cycle become a thing of a fleeting memory of the past to be lost in the abyss of the magic days of old?

Kaldheim Thoughts

I’m curious if the world tree will prevail in a continuation of the passing of the torch or will it be purely burned to the ground.  We will know shortly, and I for one and hopeful we get another nice cycle of competitive decks and smooth gameplay where we don’t run into another Omnath or Oko scenario…because I have a strong dislike for joining the only out!

  • Into the Snow we go! – I am certainly looking forward to the fresh new area of the multiverse we are visiting together. Additionally, I just want to continue to say thank you for everyone’s support, and feedback I get around these contributions.  Eagerly, I can’t wait for some fresh new meta top decks, and the nice change of pace we will see.  I will as mentioned before miss the current state as this has been an enjoyment not without some of its challenge as always, but a nice fresh of balanced fresh air.  Into the frost we venture!

Kaldheim Final Thoughts – Best of Luck

The best advice I can share for us competitive players, and what has worked time and time again for me out of the gate…Play what is currently best until it isn’t anymore, or make slight adjustments to current top decks.  I have provided a few above.  I have always tried to take advantage of new drops like this, to climb the ladder quickly and punish those unfortunately in the minor hiccups (but much needed contributions to the meta) early and often.  For those of us that are not as aggressive or care about consistency out of the gate, I implore you to brew, have fun, and most certainly above anything/one else let me know first when you crack that top 1500 so I can cover your deck 😛

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.

All Full Deck lists below:

MTGA Standard BO1 January 2021 Tier List (100 decks!)

Tier 1 (8)

Mono White Lifegain (Deck Link)

Mono White Aggro (Deck Link)

Mono Red Aggro (Deck Link)

Mono White Auras (Deck Link)

Boros Knights (Deck Link)

Boros-Yore Cycling (Deck Link)

Naya Winota (Deck Link)

Dimir Rogues (Deck Link) – Updated Link

Tier 2 (35)

Boros Winota Warriors (Deck Link)

Selesnya 4PWR Aggro (Deck Link)

Mardu Yorion Doom (Deck Link)

Mono Black Enchantments (Deck Link)

Esper Yorion Doom (Deck Link)

Esper Doom (Deck Link)

Mono Black Aggro/Enchantments (Deck Link)

Dimir Control (Deck Link)

Dimir Yorion Control (Deck Link)

Athreos Prison (Deck Link)

Orzhov Yorion Doom (Deck Link)

Azorius Yorion Blink (Deck Link)

Mono Green (Deck Link)

Gruul Food (Deck Link)

Gruul Adventures (Deck Link) – Updated Link

Rakdos Midrange (Deck Link)

Rakdos Escape (Deck Link)

Mono Black Control (Deck Link)

Mono Green Food (Deck Link)

Azorius Control (Deck Link)

Sultai Yorion Fae (Deck Link)

Selesnya Counters (Deck Link)

Orzhov Auras (Deck Link)

Mono Red Control (Deck Link)

Dimir Flash (Deck Link)

Izzet Draw Two (Deck Link)

Temur Obosh Adventures (Deck Link)

Temur Yorion (Deck Link)

Jeskai Yorion Control (Deck Link)

Selesnya Adventures (Deck Link)

Rakdos Ramp (Deck Link)

Orzhov Clerics (Deck Link)

Golgari Adventures (Deck Link)

Jund Sacrifice (Deck Link)

Temur Ramp (Deck Link)

Tier 3 (35)

Izzet Tempo (Deck Link)

Selesnya Yorion (Deck Link)

Esper Monument (Deck Link)

Golgari Control (Deck Link)

Azorius Auras (Deck Link)

Mono Black Devotion (Deck Link)

Mono Blue Flash (Deck Link)

Jeskai Control (Deck Link)

Jeskai Zirda Control (Deck Link)

Boros Transmogrify (Deck Link)

Abzan Midrange (Deck Link)

Azorius Party (Deck Link)

Abzan Doom (Deck Link)

Boros Aggro (Deck Link)

Mono Red Emancipation (Deck Link)

Sultai Midrange (Deck Link)

Boros Control (Deck Link)

Orzhov Lurrus Aggro (Deck Link)

Orzhov Aggro (Deck Link)

Orzhov Party (Deck Link)

Boros Warriors (Deck Link)

4C Enigmatic Incarnation (Deck Link)

Mardu Knights (Deck Link)

Naya Landfall (Deck Link)

Jund Mutate Landfall (Deck Link)

4C Winota Party (Deck Link)

Bant Fae Oracle (Deck Link)

Gruul Mutate (Deck Link)

Rakdos Aggro (Deck Link)

Boros Merriment (Deck Link)

Grixis Control (Deck Link)

5C Shrine (Deck Link)

Naya Kaheera Control (Deck Link)

Izzet Control (Deck Link)

Golgari Deathtouch (Deck Link)

Tier 4 (22)

Abzan Ultimatum (Deck Link)

Sultai Keruga Titans Nest (Deck Link)

Sultai Emergent (Deck Link)

Jund Midrange (Deck Link)

Selesnya Enchantments (Deck Link)

Abzan Mutate (Deck Link)

Simic Mutate (Deck Link)

Azorius Tempo (Deck Link)

No Color Artifact (Deck Link)

Mono White Midrange (Deck Link)

Bant Control (Deck Link)

Selesnya Landfall (Deck Link)

Naya Ramp (Deck Link)

Mono Blue Devotion (Deck Link)

Mono Blue Mill (Deck Link)

Azorius Midrange (Deck Link)

Sulati Gyruda Midrange (Deck Link)

Dimir Mill (Deck Link)

Jeskai Mill (Deck Link)

Mono Blue Control (Deck Link)

Simic Kicker (Deck Link)

Jeskai Spells (Deck Link)


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!