The Best MTG Arena Standard Decks for October 2021 (2023)

The Best MTG Arena Standard Decks for October 2021 (1)

by Jason Parker in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Oct, 18th 2021

Now that MTG Arena Worlds’ has concluded, it’s a great time to talk about the best decks in October 2021. In my recent interview, Seth Manfield, MTG Pro suggested Mono-Green Aggro is the best deck going right now. Now, you’ll get no argument from me, Mono-Green Aggro is powerful, but Izzet Dragons took Yuta Takahashi to a 10-0 win, going undefeated at Magic World Championship XXVII. Does that mean all of the decks used are necessarily the best? I mean, yeah, probably! We have another expansion coming in November, Innistrad: Crimson Vow. Most of these decks I feel will only get better in the coming month, but I want to look at strictly the best decks. I recently covered the fun decks, but what about the top-tier, game-winning monster decks?

That’s an excellent question, and one worth discussing. I’m going to start with the World Champs version of the deck because who better? It’s not too dissimilar from the other Izzet Dragon decks I’ve seen, but his spin is the one that took Yuta Takahashi to the top of the world.

Izzet Dragons Are The GOAT (Blue/Red Dragon Combo):

Goldspan Dragon is the best creature in the game right now. It’s a threat at any phase of the game. The longer you leave it untouched, the more mana it provides the user. In a deck filled with threat removal, it’s just amazing. We combine it with Smoldering Egg to deal lots of free damage. We want to eliminate threats and get lots of damage out. This is similar to the Izzet Epiphany deck that requires us to constantly be dropping Alrund’s Epiphany to take extra turns. Now, this deck uses it, but it wasn’t really a serious issue. It was a tool in Takahashi’s toolbox, but not one that was needed often. Heck, Goldspan Dragon/Smoldering Egg is in the sideboard for Izzet Epiphany! We’re just putting them in the mainboard because they’re incredible, value-producing cards.

How’s It Work?

Yuta Takahashi’s deck absolutely smashes faces. Since Izzet is an incredibly popular deck right now, leading with the dragons and more counter options, it’s pure brute force. This particular iteration of the deck only runs 21 lands, so that might be an issue for you. But you also have Shatterskull Smashing in the deck, and you can play it as a land instead. It’s also an amazing card for popping Smoldering Egg.

This deck also takes serious advantage of Dragon’s Fire because of the dragons. If we have a Goldspan Dragon in hand, this means we can spend 2 mana, reveal Goldspan Dragon, and deal 4 damage to a creature or planeswalker. Normally it’s 2 mana for 3 damage, but we can reveal a Dragon to deal its power in damage instead. It’s a threat removal for a great deal of the power Mono-Green possesses.

It’s so important to not miss any of your first five land drops. You need turn-5 Goldspan Dragon bad. We also badly want a turn-4 Smoldering Egg. Ideally, we can pop off with our Ashmouth Dragon on turn 6, but if we could manage earlier? That would be rad. We could turn-6 a Shatterskull Smashing and make sure our egg transforms. Before that, Shatterskull Smashing is a 2+X spell and deals X damage divided as you choose among up to two creatures or planeswalkers. If X is 6 or more, it deals double that damage. We could use this to make sure we use enough mana. Why? Smoldering Egg is a 0/4 Defender for 2 mana. Whenever we cast an Instant or Sorcery, we put a number of Ember Counters on it, equal to the mana spent on that spell. Then, if it has 7 or more Ember Counters, remove them, and transform them into Ashmouth Dragon. Now we have a 4/4 Flyer, that deals 2 damage to any target whenever we cast an Instant or Sorcery.

Suddenly, all our Instants and Sorceries are a clear and present danger. We’re also running two Divide by Zero cards to return a spell or permanent with a Mana Value of 1 or greater to its owner’s hand, and Learn. We’re only running two Learn spells in the sideboard, so 2 of this is all we need. Environmental Sciences is a great early game Lesson since you can search your library for basic land and put it into the hand (and gain 2 life). It’s a 2-colorless spell too. For the late game, we have Mascot Exhibition. It creates a 2/1 white/black Inkling with flying, a 3/2 Red/White Spirit, and a 4/4 Blue/Red Elemental token.

This is a powerful deck against Izzet Mirror Matches too, thanks to having the dragons already in the mainboard. We have mana generation in the Smoldering Dragon, and we use that with our spells to deal extra damage to our opponent. We also have Prismari Command as a way to deal damage, get more cards, make a Treasure token, and/or destroy an artifact. With Ashmouth, it’s 2 damage to a target no matter what (but could be four). No matter what we do at this point, we’re dealing damage. Even better if we can get a pair of Smoldering Eggs/two Goldspan Dragons in the late game. Thundering Rebuke hits a creature or planeswalker for 4 (for 2 mana), and then we can hit for 2 damage on the player, with Ashmouth.

Even cards like Expressive Iteration that let us put a card in hand, exile a card (we can play it this turn), and put a card on the bottom of our deck, now also deals damage! That’s what’s so great about this deck for me. We spiral out of control nice and quick. If we want to take extra turns, we can, no problem! We can also search the top of our deck for cards we need, thanks to the new and powerful Memory Deluge. This is a powerhouse deck, and some don’t agree with this particular design, I’m here for the bold plays.

Decklist

4 Smoldering Egg

4 Goldspan Dragon

1 Spikefield Hazard

1 Fading Hope

3 Jwari Disruption

4 Dragon’s Fire

1 Negate

2 Divide by Zero

1 Dissipate

1 Saw It Coming

1 Prismari Command

4 Memory Deluge

4 Shatterskull Smashing

4 Expressive Iteration

2 Thundering Rebuke

3 Alrund’s Epiphany

7 Island

4 Mountain

4 Riverglide Pathway

2 Hall of Storm Giants

3 Frostboil Snarl

Sideboard

4 Malevolent Hermit

1 Fading Hope

3 Burning Hands

2 Cinderclasm

1 Test of Talents

1 Heated Debate

1 Prismari Command

1 Environmental Sciences

1 Mascot Exhibition

Final Thoughts:

Yuta Takahashi is the best MTG Arena player in the world right now, and this is also one of the best decks in October 2021. He played excellently and definitely deserved worlds. There are other ways to adjust and build this deck for your own personal playstyle – not everyone likes all the spells picked. I can think of quite a few people that don’t want to run Dissipate for example. It’s got plenty of speed, and once it gets moving, it can be very hard to stop. It’s got a solid sideboard, too. Malevolent Hermit is a great card to sacrifice to counter a spell (unless the controller pays 3 colorless) and has a Disturbed Form. There are other useful spells in too, like Cinderclasm, Burning Hands, and Heated Debate. If you need more direct forms of creature damage, it’s got you covered. I love this deck, even though I think Alrund’s is probably cruising for a ban.

Mono-Green Aggro is a Powerful Monster (Green Aggro Deck):

Some of the most powerful cards for Green left us – Questing Beast, Gemrazer, and Stonecoil Serpent (even though it’s colorless, it was used), it’s not the end of Mono-Green. In fact, we’ve got some brand new, fun tech to use! Mono-Green has an infuriating win rate (if you’re against it), and has only a few weaknesses. Technically, its lack of ways to interrupt/remove threats is a downside, but it’s not something I did very often as a Mono-Green player anyway. That’s just how Mono-Green Aggro is, and most people who run it understand this going in. One of the great sides to a Mono-Colored deck, we don’t need a lot of fancy lands. Just a few Faceless Haven cards, because it allows us to also have an extra attacker. We have quite a few cards that can also come in as lands if we want – Tangled Florahedron, Kazandu Mammoth. They’re a wild double-threat.

How do we win though? Raw, unfiltered damage. Werewolf Pack Leader, Old-Growth Troll, Esika’s Chariot, and we can also make a ridiculous creature with Wrenn and Seven. Then we can make copies of it, with the Chariot! Ranger Class is also key to our success. It’s so good. Why is it so good?! Mono-Green Aggro is not at all short of ways to put the boots to our opponents.

How’s It Work?

The early game for this deck isn’t the best, to be frank. We don’t have a bunch of amazing one-drop bombs in the deck, but that’s not uncommon. We do have a turn-two card that’s useful, Tangled Florahedron. After all, it taps for one mana, or we can play it as a land that enters play tapped (so it’s a useful turn-one land if we’d like). Kazandu Mammoth can also be played as a land, but if we have an extra, we can also play it as an amazing damage card.

After all, it’s a 3/3 for 3 with Landfall – it gains +2/+2 for the turn each time a land gets put into play for you. With Wrenn and Seven, you could drop a ton of lands in one turn, and just smash someone if they aren’t prepared for it. We have so many great cards in the deck to deal damage with. One of my favorite Innistrad cards is Werewolf Pack Leader. It has card draw (thanks to Pack Tactics) and is a 3/3 for 2!

Then, if it goes unblocked, you can pay 4 mana to make it into a base Power/Toughness 5/3, isn’t a Human for the turn, and has Trample. You can also do this on block too, thanks to trample. Old-Growth Troll is so great, and one of the cards that synergize with Esika’s Chariot. A 4/4 for 3, it also has Trample. When it dies, it returns to play, as an Enchantment (Aura), and enchants a Forest. That Forest can now be tapped for 2 mana, and we can also sacrifice this land for 1 colorless. If we do, we create a 4/4 green Troll Warrior token with Trample.

Now, as to why I love this with Esika. Esika’s Chariot comes into play as a 4/4 Legendary Artifact – Vehicle, for 4 mana. It creates two 2/2 green Cat creature tokens too. It has a Crew cost of 4, so those cats will do the job nicely. Whenever this card attacks, create a token that’s a copy of target token you control. We can copy the Clue Tokens from Briarbridge Tracker, which helps us too. Or we can copy that 4/4 Troll token!

The Clue Tokens help us with the wildly overpowered Ranger Class. It also creates a creature token when cast, a 2/2 Wolf. Level 2 (two mana) gives you a +1/+1 counter on target attacking creature, whenever you attack. It’s at least one buff. Level 3 on the other hand (4 mana), lets you look at the top of your deck at any time, and cast creature spells from the top of your deck.

We can use those Clue Tokens we copy to pay 2 colorless, sacrifice the Clue Token to draw a card. That way, we get rid of non-creatures for the sake of spamming the board. We can do so much with Ranger Class, and it’s absolutely filthy.

We combine this with the overall nastiness of Wrenn and Seven. They just do so much! A 5-cost planeswalker, it can do a variety of things:

  • +1: Reveal the top four cards of your library. Put all lands this way into your hand, the rest into the grave.
  • +0: Put any number of lands from your hand into play tapped.
  • -3: Create a green treefolk token with Reach and “This has power and toughness equal to the number of lands you control.”
  • -8: Return all permanents from your graveyard to your hand. You have no maximum hand size for the rest of this game (Emblem).

That Treefolk is going to get massive, and since it has reach, it’s an effective stop versus Dragons. We pair it with Esika’s Chariot to copy the Treefolk over and over so that we never stop having aggressive solutions. We can constantly push our opponents around with our attacking options. We have a few spells to help us win too! Blizzard Brawl lets us pick a creature of ours and an opponent’s creature. If we control 3+ snow permanents (Our Snow Forests count), this creature of ours gains +1/+0 and is indestructible until the end of turn. Then the two fight!

An excellent way to stop a threat before we attack. Snakeskin Veil grants +1/+1, and hexproof for the turn as well. Then we have the ever-flexible Inscription of Abundance. This is a deck we’re just going to push people around in all phases of the game. The longer it goes on, the more copies we can make, and the more damage we’re going to crank out. It even has Lessons/Learn from Gnarled Professor!

We use Introduction to Annihilation (Exile target nonland permanent, its controller draws a card), as a solution for indestructible/unkillable targets. Containment Breach destroys a target artifact or enchantment, and if its Mana Value is 2 or less, you also get a 1/1 black/green Pest creature token. Mascot Exhibition is the last one, and it creates a host of creature tokens. Esika adores this card.

Decklist

4 Wrenn and Seven

4 Tangled Florahedron

4 Werewolf Pack Leader

4 Kazandu Mammoth

2 Briarbridge Tracker

4 Old-Growth Troll

2 Gnarled Professor

2 Snakeskin Veil

2 Inscription of Abundance

4 Blizzard Brawl

4 Esika’s Chariot

4 Ranger Class

18 Snow-Covered Forest

2 Faceless Haven

Sidebaord

2 Toski, Bearer of Secrets

4 Froghemoth

2 Snakeskin Veil

2 Inscription of Abundance

2 Tangletrap

1 Containment Breach

1 Introduction to Annihilation

1 Mascot Exhibition

Final Thoughts:

Love this deck so much. It’s one I wanted to put cards like Froghemoth and Toski, Bearer of Secrets in. Luckily, they fit into the sideboard! We have potential removal cards in the ‘board too, with Tangletrap. I didn’t expect to love this deck as much as I did going in, but it’s very powerful. It scales at all phases of the game. Its only real weakness to me is turn 1, but after that, we can start ramping. We can have land drops, creatures that give us mana, and once we get Ranger Class out, everything starts to go our way. It’s a deck that is not going to disappoint.

It’s more than likely though that our Modal Dual-Faced Cards (MDFC) is going to be our turn-1 land drops. Don’t be shy about it. We don’t need to worry, since we have no turn-one creatures. Remember as well, Esika’s Chariot can be crewed by creatures with Summoning Sickness. You don’t have to worry about that! It’s a great way to get cards on board, and still get use out of them.

Mono-Black Control Remains Relevant: (Black Control Deck):

Here, have a break from Goldspan Dragon, because it’s going to be back very soon. I love Mono-Black Control, and it’s a deck archetype I’ve gone back to time and again. As long as I’ve played Magic, it’s one of the decks I rely on when I have no other ideas on what to do. It’s not always good, but it’s incredibly solid right now. It has an incredible ability to clear the board, and put its own allies back into play for mana ramp and other offensive moves.

For the most part, it relies on Lolth, Spider Queen, and Professor Onyx to get wins, but Sedgemoor Witch also puts an incredible amount of work in. Though it’s not quite a superfriends deck, it also runs Valki, God of Lies. Since this isn’t a Red/Black deck, we can’t quite use Tibalt easily, but that’s okay! We have Treasure Tokens if that’s our want. So I will be talking about him too. Our other way of winning is through Pests! Sedgemoor Witch can create Pests, so the more of that Witch we have out, the better!

How’s It Work?

Our early game is pretty strong, between Eyetwitch and Shambling Ghast. The Ghast can create a Treasure Token, or give a creature -1/-1 for the turn. Depending on the situation, more times than not, I want the Token. I always want extra mana. Eyetwitch is another 1-drop, 1/1, but it also has Flying. When it dies, you Learn, so we’ll talk briefly about the Lessons we have.

Environmental Sciences we’ve seen, and you search your library for a basic land, reveal it, and put it in hand. You also gain 2 life. Amazing when we need more land (which is always). Containment Breach is a 3-cost Green Lesson and destroys an artifact or enchantment. Then if it cost 2 or less mana, you create a 1/1 Black/Green Pest creature token. When these pests die, you gain 1 life. We’re going to need a lot of these for something later.

Pest Summoning is a 3-cost Black/Green Lesson that creates 2 1/1 Black/Green Pest tokens. We also have Necrotic Fumes as a 3-cost Black Lesson and requires you to exile a creature you control, to also exile a target creature or planeswalker. Finally, there’s Mascot Exhibition for a late-game flood of creature tokens.

Sedgemoor Witch is a 3/2 with Menace and Ward (Pay 3 Life). So anytime an opponent targets this creature with a spell or ability, they have to pay 3 life to make it trigger. It also has Magecraft. Whenever we cast or copy an Instant or Sorcery, we receive a 1/1 Black/Green Pest creature token. So getting a few of these in play and bombarding our foe with control spells is amazing for this win con.

What does this all lead towards? The Meathook Massacre It’s a 2+X Legendary Enchantment, and when it enters play, all creatures get -X/-X for the turn. Whenever one of our creatures dies, each opponent loses 1 life, and whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, you gain 1 life. You flood the board with Pests and let Meathook Massacre put them in the ground. Ideally, we could win in one flood of Pests. Or at the very least, it gets us closer to winning with our Planeswalkers. So who do we have? They’re both high-cost, so mid-game unless we get Treasure Tokens – Shambling Ghast and Skullport Merchant help.

Lolth, Spider Queen is a 5-cost and whenever a creature of ours dies, she gains a Loyalty counter. Now you see another great reason for Pests. They help us hit her -8, which is amazing. Here’s her kit:

  • +0: You draw a card and you lose 1 life.
  • -3: Create two 2/1 black Spider creature tokens with Menace and Reach.
  • -8: You get an emblem with: Whenever an opponent is dealt combat damage by one or more creatures you control, if that player lost less than 8 life this turn, they lose life equal to the difference.

So we need allies to die, she has no uptick. The low-cost creatures we control now need to be very aggressive. Our opponent will have to balance blocking, versus building up Lolth. When she hits that -8, we pop it, and laugh. Now we just have to get combat damage in. Valki, God of Lies can help since it lets us exile a creature from our opponent’s hand, and turn Valki into it. We find a power card that can get through and use it.

That or we flood combat with Pests and stuff, and make sure something gets through. Or we can use Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor (7-cost MDFC of Valki). Tibalt comes in with an emblem that reads “You may play cards exiled with Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any color to do so.”

This will help us get cards to play and deal combat damage with:

  • +2: Exile the top card of each player’s library.
  • -3: Exile target artifact or creature.
  • -8: Exile all cards from all graveyards. Add 3 Red Mana.

Tibalt is amazing, and the ability to cast our opponent’s cards cannot be underestimated. If we can take away major threats, and put them on our side of the field? Suddenly the game is way more interesting. Professor Onyx, the 6-cost, “Completely Not Liliana, Honest” planeswalker is a wincon all on her own. She has Magecraft that makes each opponent lose 2 life and you gain 2 life, anytime you cast or copy an Instant or Sorcery spell.

With her Base Loyalty of 5, she’s easy to get to her -8 if you defend her. What can she do though?

  • +1: You lose 1 l ife. Look at the top three cards of your deck. Put one in hand, and the others in your graveyard.
  • -3: Each opponent sacrifices a creature with the greatest power among creatures that player controls.
  • -8: Each opponent may discard a card. If they don’t, they lose 3 life. Repeat this six more times.

The potential for high damage is real with Onyx. We can use our control spells to deal damage and finish up with the ultimate. Now, we don’t have any discard in this deck, but that’s fine. It just makes our opponent decide what matters most – their cards or life. Unless of course, they’re just out of cards. We get a lot of value out of our Instants and Sorceries in this deck. Deadly Dispute makes us sacrifice an artifact or creature and grants us a Treasure Token and two cards.

Infernal Grasp destroys a creature and costs us 2 life, and at 2 mana, that’s a steal. Soul Shatter makes each opponent sacrifice a creature or planeswalker with the highest Mana Value from among them. So the best thing? Gone! Hagra Mauling can also come in as a land, or we can cast it to destroy a creature. Hunt for Specimens is here to create a 1/1 Black/Green Pest, and also lets us Learn. So again, serious value. Blood on the Snow is our major board wipe other than Meathook. It lets you (for 6 mana) choose creatures or planeswalkers. All of that type are destroyed. Then you can return a creature or planeswalker with Mana Value X or less (amount of Snow Mana used on this card), and put it into play.

So, you can wipe the field, and trigger The Meathook Massacre life gain/life loss, and then put Sedgemoor Witch back into play or something. Or you can use it on planeswalkers against a superfriends deck, and get your Professor Onyx back! We have, as you see, so many ways to win!

Decklist

4 Lolth, Spider Queen

2 Professor Onyx

4 Eyetwitch

4 Shambling Ghast

2 Valki, God of Lies

3 Skullport Merchant

3 Sedgemoor Witch

3 Deadly Dispute

2 Infernal Grasp

1 Soul Shatter

1 Hagra Mauling

2 Hunt for Specimens

4 Blood on the Snow

2 The Meathook Massacre

15 Snow-Covered Swamp

2 Field of Ruin

2 Hive of the Eye Tyrant

4 Faceless Haven

Sideboard

2 Nighthawk Scavenger

1 Flunk

1 Infernal Grasp

3 Duress

2 Environmental Sciences

1 Containment Breach

1 Pest Summoning

1 Necrotic Fumes

1 Crippling Fear

1 Mascot Exhibition

1 The Meathook Massacre

Final Thoughts:

We can slow our opponents down pretty easily, and make the game into a double-edged sword. Your opponent will have to consider what’s more important – killing your creatures, or letting that damage through (and potentially get even more damage dealt). If we can get enough Pests in play, between Meathook Massacre and Professor Onyx, we can absolutely demolish someone’s life total in no time. What a wonderful deck!

Gruul Aggro is Back! In Pog Form (Green/Red Aggro Deck):

So, Mono-Green is pretty much the best deck in the format. That’s not really a debate at this point, I don’t think. Gruul hasn’t been in an especially good place in my opinion, but with the 2022 rotation, it’s somehow made its way back! According to Aetherhub, it’s got a 60% winrate and is in the top three of decks for MTG Arena being played right now in October 2021. That’s nothing to sneeze at! So why not take what makes Green work, and throw some red into it?

Everything is made better by Goldspan Dragon, and it’s here too! Told ya it wouldn’t be far away. This deck has a solid curve of cards, where we should have a potential drop on every turn. This deck however doesn’t come with Smoldering Egg, but we don’t need that kind of threat in the deck. We’ve already got access to tons of damage that requires way less effort to put down. For example, we’ve got a copy of Arlin, the Pack’s Hope in. The nighttime form, Arlinn, the Moon’s Fury is incredible for its ability to become a 5/5 Werewolf with Trample/Indestructible/Haste. It’s only part of what makes the deck work.

How’s It Work?

It’s not especially powerful in the early game, but we can turn-3 an Esika’s Chariot thanks to Tangled Florahedron. We can turn-1 Jaspera Sentinel, turn-2 Tangled Florahedron. Then on turn 3 use the Florahedron to add an extra bit of mana, and drop the Chariot. We can use the Chariot to copy the Treasure Tokens you receive from Magda, Brazen Outlaw. She gives other Dwarves you control +1/+0, and whenever a Dwarf of yours gets tapped, you create said Treasure Token.

We can sacrifice five of them to search our deck for a library for an Artifact or Dragon card and put it into play. Great way to get a mid/late-game Goldspan Dragon. If you decide to slot in Inferno of the Star Mounts from your side board, you can play it that way! We’re once again running Kazandu Mammoth as a great early game threat, and a solid threat from red, Reckless Stormseeker/Storm-Charged Slasher. A ⅔ (or ¾ at Night), it grants +1/+0 to a creature of yours and grants it haste until the end of turn. At night, this becomes +2/+0 and Trample/Haste.

We can also use Magda if we wish, to summon Moonveil Regent, a 4/4 Flyer. Whenever we cast a spell and this is in play, we can discard our hand. If we do, draw a card for each of that spell’s colors. Then when it dies, it deals X damage to any target, where X is the number of colors among permanents you control. So that number isn’t great. But it is a free potential 2 damage. I wouldn’t use its ability unless I’m out of cards in hand, to be honest.

Those Treasure Tokens and mana generator cards are going to come in hand for Primal Adversary though. A 4/3 Trample, when it enters play we can pay 2 mana (1 green) as many times as we wish. For each time we do, Primal Adversary gets that many +1/+1 counters, and that many lands we control become 3/3 Wolf creatures with Haste, that are still lands.

Then on Turn 5, we hopefully drop Goldspan Dragon, generate even more Treasure Tokens for mana ramp. It’s a deck filled with great cards. I love having Reckless Stormseeker when Goldspan is out since it gives us extra damage on our flying monster. We can also have extra attackers through Esika’s Chariot, and its Cat Tokens. It’s still a 4/4 that clones tokens, so it’s incredible in this deck. We’ve also got a mid-game threat in Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope/Arlinn, the Moon’s Fury. It has two sets of abilities, depending on if it’s day or night. In the daytime, it can do:

  • +1: Until your next turn, you may cast creature spells as though they had flash, and each creature you control enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it.
  • -3: Create two 2/2 green Wolf creature tokens.

Then at night, it changes:

  • +2: Add 1 Red, 1 Green Mana to your Mana Pool.
  • +0: Until the end of the turn, this becomes a 5/5 Werewolf creature with Trample, Indestructible, and Haste.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the Moonveil Regent, but it’s still a solid bit of damage. It’s just the ability that doesn’t impress me. We also run in this deck, Ranger Class, because it’s still OP. Since this deck runs a whopping four spells (Shatterskull Smashing, which is also a land), it’s going to be very easy to look at the top card and have things to cast. It also allows us to make our attackers stronger, at least, one of them. I will probably use that on Kazandu Mammoth, Goldspan Dragon, and Arlinn, in the late game.
We just mow people down with non-stop damage in this deck. Very similar to the Mono-Green deck, but it now has other colors and new threats. We can also use Lair of the Hydra, as an X/X creature (1G+X), and Den of the Bugbear to make a 3/2 Goblin. Whenever it attacks, it also creates a Re Goblin creature token that’s tapped and attacking. These are both still lands while in creature form.

Decklist

1 Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope

4 Jaspera Sentinel

4 Tangled Florahedron

4 Magda, Brazen Outlaw

2 Kazandu Mammoth

4 Reckless Stormseeker

1 Primal Adversary

2 Moonveil Regent

4 Goldspan Dragon

4 Shatterskull Smashing

4 Esika’s Chariot

4 Ranger Class

5 Forest

4 Mountain

4 Cragcrown Pathway

2 Den of the Bugbear

3 Lair of the Hydra

4 Rockfall Vale

Sideboard

2 Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope

1 Outland Liberator

1 Inferno of the Star Mounts

2 Snakeskin Veil

2 Tangletrap

4 Burning Hands

2 Heated Debate

1 Thundering Rebuke

Final Thoughts:

Big fan of this deck, but not as much as I am mono-Green! It’s good, though. It’s got a lot of damage, solid mana ramp, and threats at any phase of the game. We can attack pretty safely with an indestructible planeswalker, or just smash through people with flying dragons. The sideboard has more copies of Arlinn, a few spells if we need them (Thundering Rebuke, Heated Debate, Burning Hands, Snakeskin Veil), and Inferno of the Star Mounts as another great dragon. It’s frankly a solid deck, but it doesn’t have the same oomph previous Gruul decks have, as far as I’m concerned.

Boros Aggro Stands Tall (White/Red Aggro/Midrange Deck):

Boros is “Ol’ Reliable”. It’s a deck that is pretty much always decent. But here in Innistrad for my money, it’s one of the best decks you can play in Standard MTG Arena for October 2021. Most of our deck is pretty low-cost, and we pair that with a late-game Intrepid Adversary for a massive bomb. This deck in general has a bunch of ways to buff our allies, from Showdown of the Skalds, Luminarch Aspirant, and Intrepid Adversary. Oh, and Paladin Class. It’s so frustrating! Our low-cost, high-efficiency attackers just keep running the other player down until we win. It doesn’t require a whole lot of finesse, but it does feel good.

How’s It Work?

While this is a primarily aggro deck, we’ve got some fun control options. We have Portable Hole, which exiles a non-land permanent with Mana Value 2 or less until Portable Hole leaves play. So these are all excellent ways to slow people down. Burning Hands is a good, cheap option to deal 2 damage to a creature or planeswalker – unless that target is green. Then it deals 6 damage! With how frequently we see Green, it’s worth being in the mainboard. Skyclave Apparition is still useful as a 2/2 spirit for 3. We exile a non-land, nontoken permanent of our opponents, that costs 4 or less. Then when the Apparition leaves play, the card’s owner gets an X/X Blue Illusion, where X is the Mana Value of the exiled card.

Sure, they get a creature, we permanently exile their card. It doesn’t come back, unlike the new Brutal Cathar. It’s a transforming creature (Moonrage Brute) and when this enters play or transforms into Brutal Cathar, exile target creature an opponent controls until this creature leaves the battlefield. So it behooves well of you to keep things Daytime if you can. Each time it becomes daytime again we can exile a creature though, so we at least have that.

The Moonrage Brute is a 3/3 First Strike, with Ward – Pay 3 life, so it’s also very good. If we exile a token, then it’s not a big deal! Tokens get exiled permanently, no matter what. They can’t come back. We’d love to turn 1 a Paladin Class though. Its base form makes your opponent’s spells cost 1 more during your turn, and that’s rad. Level 2 takes 3 mana but grants your creatures +1/+1. Finally, the third level (5 mana) gives an attacking creature of yours +1/+1 for each other attacking creature and also gives them double strike.

It’s essentially a better version of Embercleave – it gives more than just +1/+1 while attacking, depending on how many attackers you’re using. If your opponent has no flyers, just slap it on Moonveil Regent, and pump it up! Early game we also want Luminarch Aspirant, because it gives a creature of yours a +1/+1 counter at the start of combat. Personally, I like to buff these, so they stick around longer. We’re also going to run Reckless Stormseeker as a buffing ally, and because it’s a quality ⅔ for 3. Given that it also gives that buffed ally Haste, it’s an incredible value.

Frankly, Moonveil Regent is the creature I would attack with the most since it has flight. Especially with Paladin Class. Showdown of the Skalds can also buff it, as a three-part Saga. Part 1 has you exile the top four cards of your deck, and until the end of your next turn, you can play them. Part 2 and 3 though, grant “Whenever you cast a spell this turn, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control” So you can cast those cheap Burning Hands, Shatterskull Smashing, or play creatures! Buff those attackers, and get ready to just bomb people. It’s quite easy to get Moonveil Regent into an 8/8, or even a 10/10. From there, we give it Double Strike via Paladin Class and laugh as we demolish someone’s life points.

But we’ve got one more late-game bomb. Intrepid Adversary is a new card and is a 3/1 Lifelink for 2. When it enters play, you can pay 2 mana any number of times. For each time you pay this cost, put that many Valor Counters on Intrepid Adversary. Creatures you control get +1/+1 for each Valor Counter on Intrepid Adversary. It’s worth playing early for a buff, and then doing it again in the later game. It’s such a powerful way to end the game. Suddenly, we’re very big and very mean.

Decklist

4 Brutal Cathar

1 Cathar Commando

4 Burning Hands

2 Reckless Stormseeker

4 Moonveil Regent

4 Intrepid Adversary

1 Cave of the Frost Dragon

2 Portable Hole

2 Paladin Class

4 Furycalm Snarl

4 Showdown of the Skalds

4 Needleverge Pathway

3 Shatterskull Smashing

4 Skyclave Apparition

4 Luminarch Aspirant

10 Plains

3 Den of the Bugbear

Sideboard

2 Portable Hole

2 Paladin Class

3 Reidane, God of the Worthy

2 Cathar Commando

4 Elite Spellbinder

1 Weathered Runestone

1 Zariel, Archduke of Avernus

Final Thoughts:

Just run people down with buffed creatures! We don’t have a huge army, but what we have is very good. This is also a sort of midrange deck because we take the time to make sure everyone is absolutely massive. Our sideboard features much of the same stuff in our deck, but also adds Elite Spellbinder, Reidane God of the Worthy, Weathered Runestone, and Zariel, Archduke of Avernus. Frankly, I’d run her in the mainboard for the +1 (Creatures you control get +1 and Haste for the turn). Her -6 also gives you an extra combat phase every turn (and you untap your creatures). Out of all the decks, this is probably one I’d play the least out of the best decks in MTG Arena for October 2021. But I do like it and feel like it’s possible to stomp with it. It’s towards the bottom of the best, but it’s still class.

Selesnya Continues the Scute Swarm (Green/White Combo Deck):

Okay, Scute Swarm is obnoxious. But what if we could somehow make it worse? What if we could repeat the proc it features, even when we don’t have lands to play? What if I told you that was not only possible, but it’s incredibly easy! Murasa Rootgrazer, for just two mana can come into play as a ⅔ with Vigilance. It can take a basic land of ours and put it back into its owner’s hand! So we tap a land for mana, tap Rootgrazer, and then play the land again! This gives us extra mana in a pinch and triggers Landfall procs.

This is definitely a Scute Swarm deck, and we’re going to use some familiar tech. Wrenn and Seven is back, and so is Storm the Festival! It’s a very simple, very annoying deck. Anyone who knows me knows this is my favorite style if I’m not playing control.

How’s It Work?

Scute Swarm is so obnoxious, and I’m amazed this card even got printed. We’ve already talked about this in the blog, but I’ll keep it brief. This 1/1 for 3 has Landfall, and whenever we put a land into play, we create a 1/1 green Insect token. If we control 6 or more lands, it becomes a Scute Swarm copy token instead. So we can use Esika’s Chariot to make yet another Scute Swarm. So if we’ve got 5 Scute Swarm tokens in play, and we play a land, we get 5 more Scute Swarm tokens! So next time, we double that, and again, and again.

That’s why when we get a Scute Swarm out, we want to hold the other real ones back. That way, if someone board wipes us, we’re back on track. Then we can use Murasa Rootgrazer lets us just keep putting lands in and out of play at will. Amazing when we’ve got 6 lands and aren’t hitting land drops. Wrenn and Seven adore the Scute Swarm too.

Sadly, we don’t have a lot of mana ramp going right now. Field Trip helps though, as a 3-cost Sorcery that lets you find a basic Forest, and put it into play tapped. Then you also Learn. That leads us to Environmental Sciences as a 2-cost Lesson. Now you can search for another Basic Land and put it in your hand. Prosperous Innkeeper also creates a Treasure Token, for temporary mana. It also gives you 1 life anytime a creature comes into play for you. Scute Swarm makes this into a money move. We drop 10 Scute Swarm tokens? Gain 10 life?

Murasa Rootgrazer is an incredible turn-2 drop. It’s again, a ⅔ Vigilance. You can tap it to either put a basic land from your hand into play or return a basic land of yours back into your hand. That way, if you miss a land drop, you can tap this basic for mana, return it to your hand, replay it for more mana, and also trigger Scute Swarm Landfall! On top of this, it’s an “extra” land a turn, essentially. It’s not a land that comes into play tapped, either. Rootgrazer lets us play two lands a turn and we can do it at our leisure. We can hold it off until our opponent’s turn, and drop a land, get some Scute Swarms, and have extra blockers!

Few things are so frustrating. We do have one other land grab, and that’s Yasharn, Implacable Earth. It lets you get a basic Forest and Plains and put them into your hand (and reveal them) when it enters play. What makes it so great is it prevents players from paying life, or sacrificing nonland permanents to cast spells or activate abilities. So no using Treasure Tokens! Use yours early.

We also want Storm the Festival again, so we can look at our top five, and put up to two permanent cards with Mana Value 5 or less into play. A great way to get important cards out, like Esika’s Chariot, Scute Swarm, or Wrenn and Seven. Wrenn and Seven get our lands going faster and faster, and put all of our permanents from the grave back into play. It’s ridiculous, and getting it on turn 5 is a serious game-changer. In theory, we could have a Scute Swarm out, use Wrenn’s +1, and drop four lands! That is a ton of Scute Swarm tokens potentially.

When we want to attack and put someone out of their misery, what do we do? We cast Emeria’s Call, which could also come out as a land. It creates two 4/4 white Angel Warrior creature tokens, with flying. Our Non-Angel creatures you control gain indestructible until your next turn. Sure, they’re all 1/1s, but when we’ve got 200 creature tokens that can’t be hurt. . . that’s game. Having that turn 3 Esika’s Chariot is such a banger move. Making extra Scute Swarms or Insect tokens is so powerful and so annoying. We’re just going to flood people’s brains with more Scute Swarms than they can possibly handle. Keep the original (and maybe some of the other ones) back unless there’s no way they can counter it.

Decklist

1 Cave of the Frost Dragon

4 Overgrown Farmland

4 Branchloft Pathway

1 Lair of the Hydra

6 Forest

5 Plains

4 Emeria’s Call

3 Storm the Festival

4 Wrenn and Seven

4 Yasharn, Implacable Earth

4 Esika’s Chariot

4 Scute Swarm

2 Field Trip

4 Skyclave Apparition

4 Murasa Rootgrazer

2 Tangled Florahedron

4 Prosperous Innkeeper

Sideboard

3 Reidane, God of the Worthy

2 Brutal Cathar

1 Environmental Sciences

3 Tangletrap

2 Mascot Exhibition

2 Portable Hole

1 Containment Breach

1 Reduce to Memory

Final Thoughts:

This might not be UR Dragons, but it’s one of the best decks for MTG Arena Standard going into October 2021. This is another deck that snowballs wildly out of control. Scute Swarm is not a creature that your opponent is going to want to let stick around. We aren’t going to attack with it until it’s time. When we’re getting Scute Swarm tokens, we can keep being aggressive. Another reason why having a few Murasa Rootgrazer cards in play. During attacks, we can put an extra land into play, and get more Scute Swarms! It’s such a frustrating overrun of obnoxious little 1/1 jerks.

Azorius Tempo is on the Rise (Blue/White Tempo Deck):

Similar to Mono-White, Azorius Tempo has a lot of potential power. But unlike Mono-White, adding Blue to the deck creates a lot of control over the board. We also get quite a few additional ways to win, like Spectral Adversary. Having a powerhouse with Flash/Flying, and can inflate on the cast? It’s a great way to seal the deal. We also slow our opponents down with Reidane, God of the Worthy, and can find additional creatures from our sideboard, thanks to Legion Angel.

Quite a bit of this deck is going to be familiar. It’s essentially Mono-White but with a splash of color to make things more frustrating. Isn’t that what’s best about MTG Arena, anyway?

How’s It Work?

With the combination of Spectral Adversary and Intrepid Adversary, we have a pair of possible late-game bombs to wrap up a game. That and an early-game Luminarch Aspirant can give us a serious advantage. That +1/+1 on a creature each combat phase is going to add up. The early game is going to be spent likely putting one or two creatures out, and slowing the game down as hard as possible.

Concerted Defense is an incredible early-game counter, for example. Or any time someone taps all the way out. It counters a noncreature spell unless they pay 1 colorless mana then an additional 1 for each member of your party (a Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard). We do have a Wizard (Malevolent Hermit), Warrior (Legion Angel), Clerics (Luminarch Aspirant), so we can make it potentially better. Malevolent Hermit is a quality any-time counter. He can be sacrificed for 1 blue mana to counter a noncreature spell unless that player pays 3 mana.

Jwari Disruption also counters a spell unless its opponent pays 1 colorless. So we’ve got a few counterspells for big plays, and Fading Hope is handy as well. It returns a creature to its owner’s hand, and if it cost 3 or less mana, we can Scry 1. We’ve also got a copy of Brutal Cathar to exile a creature whenever it comes into play or transforms into Brutal Cathar. This is best used on tokens, in my opinion, so we can keep exiling things. This 2/2 for 3 transforms to a 3/3 First Strike at Nighttime.

Elite Spellbinder’s here for a similar reason. A 3/1 Flyer, it has us exile a nonland card from our opponent’s hand, but they can still cast it if they’re willing to pay 2 mana more. So we use this to put away huge, game-winning cards, or to slow someone down until we can just bounce it back/counter it again.

But how do we do damage? Legion Angel is a 4-cost 4/3 Flying Angel, and when it hits the field, we can reveal a card we own named Legion Angel from outside of the game and put it into our hand. So we can just cast another, and another still. That early Luminarch Aspirant’s going to come into play here. We can buff it to keep it surviving as a defensive option, and when we start getting Spellbinders and Angels, we can start pushing people around with flyers.

Spectral Adversary is a Flash/Flyer for 2 (1 blue) for example. It’s a 2/1, and you can repeatedly pay 2 mana (1 blue) as many times as you want when it comes into play. For each time you do it, you can put that many +1/+1 counters on it, then up to that many other target artifacts, creatures, and/or enchantments you control. So you buff it, and then buff your other creatures too!

This is better than Intrepid Adversary for that reason, but we should play Intrepid first, for my money. It can also tap 2 mana (1 white) as many times as we want when it is cast. This grants it that many Valor Counters. Creatures we control gain that many +1/+1 counters, depending on our Valor Counters. So we get that, and then play the Spectral Adversary a turn or two later on our opponent’s turn. Now our creatures are huge. Intrepid Adversary has Lifelink, and Spectral has flight, so it is going to be massive, as well as our Legion Angels.

Reidane, God of the Worthy would suddenly be scary too. It’s a ⅔ Flying/Vigilance and makes your opponents’ Snow Lands come in tapped, and your opponent’s noncreature spells with Mana Value 4 or greater now also cost 2 more mana. So our early game is spent not missing land drops, and slowing our opponent down. Hopefully, we also play an early Paladin Class to get it to level 3. Granting an attacker +1/+1 per attacker, and Double Strike is nothing to sneeze at.

Decklist

3 Concerted Defense

1 Paladin Class

2 Malevolent Hermit

7 Island

5 Plains

4 Spectral Adversary

2 Jwari Disruption

4 Fading Hope

1 Hall of Storm Giants

2 Legion Angel

3 Reidane, God of the Worthy

4 Elite Spellbinder

1 Brutal Cathar

4 Luminarch Aspirant

1 Loyal Warhound

3 Intrepid Adversary

4 Deserted Beach

2 Fateful Absence

3 Cave of the Frost Dragon

4 Hengegate Pathway

Sideboard

2 Doomskar

2 Brutal Cathar

2 Malevolent Hermit

2 Portable Hole

1 Concerted Defense

2 Legion Angel

2 Cathar Commando

2 Loyal Warhound

Final Thoughts:

This is a deck that’s creeping up, getting more wins. I like it against non-aggro matchups, that’s for sure. If we can keep our opponent from overrunning us, we’re going to bomb them with huge repeated costs in our Adversaries. I really like the possibility of those cards to hit someone hard in the mid-game, even if we put one out for only a few repeat payments, then drop another one in the late game. Our sideboard’s got more control, like another Concerted Defense, a pair of Portable holes, and more Loyal Warhounds/Brutal Cathars. If we need boardwipe, we can throw in a Doomskar. Especially good if our opponent has a full board and we don’t.

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