With so many options to choose from, finding the best MTG Arena deck can be hard. Let me take away some of that stress and show you which decks are among the best in active play. This will be based on their current win rate according to untapped.gg. Also, other factors like complexity and likelihood of being restricted due to bans will be taken into account. Naturally, as good as these decks are, playing them right is just as important. Best to take any of these for a spin in unranked play to get used to them first!
No doubt you’ve likely come up against this deck when playing ranked. Its popularity has boomed over the last few months. Boros Winota is a red/white combo that looks to overwhelm an opponent using Winota, Joiner of Forces’ ability. Whenever a non-human creature attacks whilst Winota is on the battlefield, you can search the top six cards of your library. Of these, take a human creature and place them on the battlefield, attacking and indestructible until the end of turn. Any cards not used are placed on the bottom of your library.
Crucially, this means nothing can be lost when activating the card, a huge bonus. I honestly can not stand this deck as it’s such a pain to play against, but I understand the popularity surrounding it and why many have gravitated towards it.
This is one of the best MTG Arena decks you can use, not only because of its powerful legendary creature but its ability to protect it across multiple turns and leave plenty of power on the battlefield even when it’s removed. Most Boros Winota decks contain no instant or sorcery cards at all. Some cards like Bonecrusher Giant and Rimrock Knight are used, which contain adventure spells to offset this. At the time of writing, the deck has a 64.9% win rate in the platinum to mythic bracket.
Winota, along with Dragons Approach, often are widely being called on for bans. You can understand why when you play against them. Realistically, if you play any well-constructed deck with ample removal and counters, you should always have an answer for big hitters for either deck.
I will fight for Dimir Rogues until I’m blue in the face! I personally love this deck, and it’s earned its place as one of the best MTG Arena decks, having recently won the Kaldheim Championship back in March. It also currently holds a 61.3% win rate. It can offer a few routes to victory, depending on the deck you’re playing against. For standard decks, you can attempt to mill them to an empty library using the decks’ wonderful synergy and use of rogue abilities. If playing against a companion deck or any dense deck (more than sixty cards), milling is less effective. This is where Dimir’s aggression comes into play. The creatures are all low mana cost and can be buffed as the opponent graveyard hits eight cards or more.
It is also super simple to play. Some will consider it a ‘cheap’ deck as it uses milling, which isn’t a very popular action. This is mainly due to how frustrating it is to play against. I, however, think it’s the perfect deck to help you learn the finer details of the game and develop your overall game sense. It’s good at teaching you when is the best time to use counters, how to reserve manage for plays on the opponent turn and finally, how to utilise flash cards, so you get the most out of them.
Boros returns for this entry as the cycling deck currently holds a 59.5% win rate at platinum to mythic rank. The goal of any cycling deck is to be working your way through your deck, putting cards into your graveyard to activate a card called Zenith Flare. This deals damage to your opponent equal to the number of cycling cards in your graveyard whilst also healing you for that amount. The deck isn’t quite as singular as I’m giving it credit for, though, as there are other ways to win with cycling.
Cards like Flourishing Fox, Drannith Stinger and Valiant Rescuer all have abilities triggered by the act of cycling. The major frustration I have faced when playing against cycling is not having an answer for Zenith Flare. Played right, cycling can throw a lot at you in just a few turns. It’s easy to end up wasting removal or counterspells only to find your opponent was tapping you out of mana for a free Zenith Flare to win.
You can play cycling decks can be played in different ways depending on how your starting hand turns out. Usually, you want to try and buff creatures and activate their abilities early on while you wait for Zenith Flare to be a one-hit win. Having recently tried this deck out, having lost many matches to it. I see the appeal but think it’s quite a vulnerable deck if not played perfectly. Cycling does have one big weakness, which is a considerable downside. If you run into a mill deck, be it Mono-Blue or Dimir, losing cards to mill whilst also cycling can lead to a quick loss. Cycling is a brilliant mid-range deck mixing strategy and simplicity, earning its title as one of the best MTG Arena decks heading into the new season.
As simple as it gets. Mono-Red Aggro is all about flooding the battlefield with creatures and getting your opponents’ life total to zero as quickly as possible. Using multiple single mana haste creatures is key to this deck’s sustained aggro and pressure. Mix this in with higher-cost cards like Robber of the Rich, Anax Hardened in the Forge and Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and you can cause any opponent problems. Most mono decks are simple to play due to not having to worry about what mana sources you have available. Mono-Red, in particular, does use a colourless mana source in Faceless Haven, which can transform into a 4/3 creature. Just in case you didn’t have enough weapons at your disposal already.
Mono-Red Aggro currently holds a 63.7% win rate with an average game time of 4.9 minutes. Boros Winota is the only deck to hold a quicker game time. That will typically be down to games conceded when Winota resolves. It’s truly one of the best MTG Arena decks available at the moment, and given its simplicity, it’s a major victory for making the game more accessible to newer players. I still roll my eyes anytime I identify Mono-Red Aggro as my opponent’s deck. I know I need to have a near-perfect game to overcome it’s or hope my opponent will make mistakes.
From the simplest deck to one of the more complex, currently holding a 57.6% win rate. Sultai Ultimatum is a three-colour ramp deck. It looks to resolve its win condition card, Emergent Ultimatum, as soon as possible. Sultai is a deck for patient players who don’t crack under early pressure. You also have to know how to operate with a deck above the standard sixty cards. A deeper level of game knowledge is required to understand where you are in the game at all times. You could be on one life, your opponent on twenty, and still, be the favourite to win in the right conditions.
I have had a huge amount of fun playing and tweaking my personal Sultai deck. As someone who was stuck playing single or dual-mana decks, making the jump to Sultai seemed daunting. Actually, it ended up being a great decision. I’m also not the most patient player, so adjusting to suit the Sultai style has mellowed me out as a player overall. 2019 World Champion Paolo Vitor Damo da Rosa recently called Sultai Ultimatum the best MTG Arena deck available for Kaldheim in standard play. High praise from someone widely considered one of the best active MTG players and a hall of famer also. Sultai is holding steady against some other three mana decks like Temur Adventures and Jeskai Control.
(Video from PVDDR on YouTube.)