Best MTG Arena Decks September 2023

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If you’re a competitive MTG Arena player, then you’re aware that metagames change all the time, especially when new sets come out. But often times, figuring out what the new top dog is can be a challenge. Well, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to take a look at the best MTG Arena Decks that you should be playing for each of Arena’s three competitive formats.

MTG Arena has three formats, Standard, Explorer and Historic each with a best of one and best of three mode that you can choose. We’ll note the top five decks of each, but we’ll go deeper into the best deck for each format so you can go out onto the ladder armed with the best climbing potential. With that, let’s get started.

Best MTG Arena Decks – Standard Best of 1

Art for Sheoldred the Apolcalyse in Magic the Gathering
  • Mono Black Aggro
  • Mono Red Aggro
  • Mono White Aggro
  • Azorius Soldiers
  • Dimir Midrange

As with most of the best of one formats in Magic, the best strategy is being as aggressive as you can, and finishing games out quickly. The top deck of this format is Mono Black Aggro, which got a couple potentially fun tools with Wilds of Eldraine.

Mono Black aggro is just as it sounds, play your creatures on curve, and utilize some of the removal spells that the deck has to clear a path to victory. There are a couple of very interesting cards that may be worth swapping around in this deck from Wilds of Eldraine, namely Tangled Colony, Spiteful Hexmage, and Rankle’s Prank.

Spiteful Hexmage gives us a great stat line for one mana, but it comes at the cost of making another one of our creatures base power 1/1. This will ideally never be a turn one play, but considering out other one mana play, Evolved Sleeper, already has a base power of 1/1, this may not necessarily be a bad way to go.

Tangled Colony is a two mana rat that can’t block, but makes a bunch of rat tokens when it dies, assuming it was dealt damage. This incentivizes you to attack with Tangled Colony, as it’ll either get in free damage, or be blocked and killed by a potentially bigger creature and end up spawning a bunch of rats to continue the assault.

Finally, Rankle’s Prank is a slightly beefed up version of Rankle, Master of Pranks‘ abilities. It’d have to replace Gix’s Command, and while this isn’t as versatile, it costs less, which does make sure that we can cast it.

Best MTG Arena Decks – Standard Best of 3

Art for Liliana of the Veil in Magic the Gathering
  • Dimir Midrange
  • Atraxa Ramp
  • Esper Control
  • Mono Red
  • Esper Legends

In best of three, we have a bit more variance in what kinds of decks we’re seeing at the top of the game. The top deck of best of three is Dimir Midrange. Dimir Midrange is similar to the Mono Black Aggro deck from best of one, but it takes out a lot of the less impactful low end creatures, and replaces them with powerful planeswalkers like Liliana of the Veil, a cheap counterspell, as well as some possible card draw in Faerie Mastermind. This deck comes alive on turns 3-5, gains an advantage and holds it throughout the game.

The deck also got a few new toys to mess around with as well from Wilds of Eldraine. I will say that the list is pretty darn tight on its slots, so more than likely, these won’t make the final cut but we’ll touch on them nonetheless.

First up, Asinine Antics is a spell that turns your opponent’s creatures into 1/1s, which could be a really great way to clear out a board and push the tempo in your favor. Next up, we have Lord Skitter, Sewer King, which is a decent creature that helps keep the graveyard under control, but also keeps some chip damage coming in with the rats that he makes. To go with Lord Skitter, we also have Lord Skitter’s Blessing. This enchantment pumps a creature a little bit, but also acts like a Phyrexian Arena, giving you extra cards. Lastly, we have Rankle’s Prank, which is good in this deck for the same reasons they would have been good in the mono black aggro deck in best of one.

Best MTG Arena Decks – Explorer Best of 1

Art for Mausoleum Wanderer in Magic the Gathering
  • Mono Blue Spirits
  • Mono White Humans
  • Selesnya Angels
  • Boros Heroic
  • Abzan Greasefang

Once again, the best of one format is full with aggro decks, and explorer is no different. The one notable difference is Abzan Greasefang, which is more of a combo deck, but still ends games just as quickly as some of the aggro decks. But that being said, the top deck is Mono Blue Spirits.

Mono Blue Spirits is a deck that wants to play fast and often times on your opponent’s turn. It spends the early game holding up cheap counterspells, and playing flash creatures. Eventually they have enough mana to start playing lords and more impactful spirits while keeping counterspells up. They also have a couple of enchantments like Curious Obsession to draw cards and keep the pressure up.

The deck didn’t gain anything meaningful from Wilds of Eldraine, except maybe the card Water Wings, which is a cheap way to protect your creatures against single target removal, while also buffing their stats a bit.

Best MTG Arena Decks – Explorer Best of 3

Art for Karn, the Great Creator in Magic the Gathering
  • Mono Green Devotion
  • Izzet Creativity
  • Azorius Control
  • Rakdos Sacrifice
  • Gruul Vehicles

When we get to best of three for Explorer, we have a good variety of decks here. Mono Green Devotion is a powerful ramp deck, Izzet Creativity is a combo deck, Azorius Control is a control deck, Rakdos Sacrifice is a grindy attrition deck that can go aggro, and Gruul Vehicles is your midrange deck. Most of these decks are very close but the two decks constantly pushing for the top spots are Mono Green Devotion and Izzet Creativity. We’ll talk about both of them briefly.

Mono Green Devotion is a deck that utilizes the devotion mechanic with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to generate a massive amount of mana. It uses that mana to overwhelm the board with some big creatures, and also has access to a toolbox sideboard thanks to Karn, the Great Creator. This list is generally pretty locked in, but the only cards that I could see this deck wanting is Gruff Triplets for more power across the board, or Eriette’s Tempting Apple in the sideboard for the mirror match and the rare occurrence that it doesn’t die to an Izzet Creativity comboing off.

The other top deck of Explorer right now is Izzet Creativity. The goal of this deck is simple, get two tokens in play and enough mana to cast Indomitable Creativity for two. This will put in the finishers of the deck, Xenagos, God of Revels and Worldspine Wurm to win the game on the spot. This combo can be assembled very quickly, but in the face of disruption, they can play a slower, more control style game until they can land their combo and win.

As for Wilds of Eldraine cards, there’s a world where this deck may want Sleight of Hand over Secrets of the Key, but Secrets is a cheap way to generate a token for Creativity, so my guess is that the list doesn’t change.

Best MTG Arena Decks – Historic Best of 1

Art for Collected Company in Magic the Gathering
  • Izzet Wizards
  • Dimir Mill
  • Azorius Affinity
  • Selesnya Heliod Combo
  • Mono Green Elves

Now we come to the wild west of Historic. Once again, best of one is all aggro and combo decks. The best deck that you could be playing in Historic best of one is going to be Mono Green Elves.

There are a couple variations of Elves that you can play. One of the most common ones is the version that plays Craterhoof Behemoth and possibly Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx as the way to finish the game. The version that we have here has Karn, the Great Creator. This gives the deck access to some toolbox cards depending on what you’re facing in your match. The goal of the deck is to play Elves, make a lot of mana, and attack.

Best MTG Arena Decks – Historic Best of 3

Art for The One Ring in Magic the Gathering
  • Jund / Rakdos Midrange
  • Affinity
  • Domain Atraxa
  • Rakdos Goblins
  • Kethis Combo

We’ve reached the end for best of three Historic. There’s a good variety of decks for us to look at but the top deck of the format is Jund Midrange. This deck is not cheap, so if you have a hole burning in your wallet, or a ton of Mythic Wildcards, then definitely consider this deck.

Jund Midrange is well, a midrange deck. It looks to control the early turns of the game with disruption and removal. Then it leverages Crucias, Titan of the Waves and Jarsyl, Dark Age Scion for a ton of value. It caps out its board with Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and The One Ring to put the game to bed.

The Rakdos version is very similar. It drops Jarsyl and Abundant Harvest for more early game creatures and removal. Some versions of Rakdos will play The One Ring, and others won’t, so if you don’t have the wildcards for it, then you still have a deck.

These decks have so many powerful cards in them already that there isn’t anything substantial from Wilds of Eldraine to change up the deck lists at all.

And that’s all there is to it folks! We’re early in the new metagame with Wilds of Eldraine, so some of these decks may change over time, so be sure to check back if anything changes. Speaking of Wilds of Eldraine, be sure to check out our guide for the best Wilds of Eldraine commanders!

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