MTG Arena decks: the best MTGA standard decks

With the meta expanding to be the most inclusive it’s ever been, here are some of the best MTG Arena decks currently in play

Card art for the Magic the Gathering card Professor Onyx, from the Strixhaven set (she's really the Planeswalker Liliana Vess in disguise)

For anyone who’s suffered through the grind of Magic: The Gathering Arena’s ranked standard play, it’s easy to lose faith in your strategy and look for help to start stacking up the wins. The current meta has ensured that a truly massive number of decks are viable for standard play, and can be ridden all the way to mythic. I'll take you through some of the best MTG Arena decks available, as well as what makes them so strong to play with, and difficult to play against.

It doesn't matter whether you play these decks according to specific guides, or make personal tweaks to suit your own playstyle – it’s the overall synergy and strategies available that make these decks feel indestructible, and has seen them played at the highest level of the game.

There’s no shame in seeking out the best MTG Arena decks to use in ranked, in order to gain the competitive edge and climb the competitive ladder – so whether you’re looking to be a master of control, or an ultra-aggressive creature hoarder, one of these decks will help elevate your game.

I’m only going to cover decks with potential longevity, rather than temporarily overpowered decks that are merely this week’s new hotness – so no Dragon’s Approach or Boros Winota, both of which are heavily reliant on one card as a strategy.

A screenshot from MTG Arena showing a player conceding in the face of the popular Sultai Ultimatum deck

Best MTG Arena Decks – Sultai Ultimatum

Sultai Ultimatum is built around the use of green, blue, and black mana with Yorion, Sky Nomad as a companion, meaning it comes in at a minimum of eighty cards. The objective of Sultai is to have as much land in play as soon as possible, in order to play and resolve your biggest win condition card, Emergent Ultimatum.

I’ve lost count of the matches that ended when Emergent Ultimatum was played

This allows you to select any three permanents from your library, show them to your opponent and have them select one to go back into your library while you play the other two without paying their mana costs. Some of the big cards typically fleshing out this deck include Professor Onyx, Alrund’s Epiphany, Vorinclex Monstrous Raider and Kiora Bests the Sea God. I’ve lost count of how many matches I’ve seen end the moment Emergent Ultimatum is played, as the opponent knows they have no answer for what’s about to happen. Of course, there’s a delicate strategy involved, as, once your opponent has your deck identified, they’re aware of the threat that’s coming their way and will always try to have a response or counter to prevent the bigger spells from resolving.

Try as they may, however, it’s become an incredibly popular deck because of its alternative routes to victory outside of the Ultimatum card. If you have a steady stream of mana, you’ll play multiple cards every single turn, frustrating any opponent with the sheer amount of control you have – and the time it takes to work through your turns.

Card artwork for the Magic the Gathering card Goldspan Dragon

Best MTG Arena Decks – Mono-Red Snow Aggro

This is a deck I repeatedly pray not to be matched against. As the name suggests, this is a single-mana deck based around pure brute force. Leading with low-cost creatures, it swiftly ramps into higher cost-utility creatures like Goldspan Dragon, which has Haste, and can create treasure tokens worth two mana each, as long as it is on the battlefield.

With the added threat of transformable lands like Faceless Haven, and the Embercleave artifact, I’ve found myself conceding to this deck in as little as three turns, as it can be so intense to play against – and, if your opponent has a strong starting hand, it’s all just one big snowball from there.

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What makes this one of the best MTG Arena decks, for me, is its accessibility. Mono decks are by far the easiest to understand and play with, due to using just the single mana source – making this particular one a great way for new players to get accustomed to the game, that’s also incredibly viable at the highest levels of play.

Granted, the mono decks haven’t seen too much success in recent tournaments, but they are always a threat, and should never be underestimated.

A screenshot from MTG Arena showing the Dimir Rogues deck cards

Best MTG Arena Decks – Dimir Rogues

Time for the best of the bunch in this guide. I’m a big fan of Dimir Rogues, as it guided me to high mythic finishes these last few seasons. A beautifully balanced deck with multiple routes to victory, either through milling the opponent’s deck, or early aggression with low-mana cost creatures.

There are so many variations of Dimir Rogues that if you start with the default decklist, and then tweak it to cover your own personal weaknesses or vulnerabilities, it really can become a deck that only loses if you misplay it. In fact, Arne Huschenbeth recently claimed victory in the Kaldheim Championship using this deck, taking down Sultai Ultimatum convincingly in the finals.

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Much like Sultai, where the mere appearance of Emergent Ultimatum can cause the opponent to concede, I’ve had so many matches end in turn one, when playing a Ruin Crab into a Fabled Passage or Thieves’ Guild Enforcer.

Your opponent will have no trouble identifying your deck when these cards get played – but the relentless nature of the mill and aggro from your creatures can lead them to give in before they even try and compete.

A screenshot from MTG Arena showing card selections in the mono white aggro deck

Best MTG Arena Decks – Mono-White Aggro

It’s a double feature for the mono aggro decks! Like mono-red, this white build has a similar ethos, filling the battlefield with creatures to overwhelm the opponent (and the rest is easy).

Put to the test

Put to the test

Will any of these currently popular decks feature at the eagerly anticipated MTG World Championships, taking place October 8-10?

Unless the upcoming D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms or Innistrad: Midnight Hunt expansions, coming this July and September respectively, change the meta drastically, it certainly seems possible!

The big differences in white aggro come with the different range of creature types available to each mana colour. As opposed to low-cost haste creatures that may synergise to boost each other’s attack, white is all about lifelink and sacrificing. Selfless Savior and Alesid of Life’s Bounty both have the ability to protect other cards by sacrificing themselves, leaving any player feeling hopeless when trying to remove big threats from the battlefield.

Many white decks also utilise enchantments and artifacts, but the most popular and successful build currently, according to MTG Arena stats website, contains a massive thirty-one creatures, with just six enchantments and artifacts! Truly living up to the aggro title, it’s become a favourite among many standard players, and solidly earns its spot on this list of the best MTG Arena decks.

These, of course, are only four of the many viable decks in play, but these seem to have the most sustainability to help them endure the various additions and expansions we’ll see over the coming year. Try one of them out – your win rate will thank you for it.

Yet to dive into Magic’s expansive digital version? You can play Magic The Gathering: Arena for free right now. If you’re looking for more basic advice on building decks for different MTG formats, check out our beginner’s guide on how to build a Magic: The Gathering deck, or our specialist guide on building a commander deck.

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