Last updated on September 26, 2022
Start from Scratch | Illustration by Bayard Wu
Let’s face it, there’s nothing better than jumping right into a game of Magic. But with a card pool of over 20,000 unique cards to choose from, creating a playable deck can be a pretty difficult and lengthy process.
Enter starter decks, nifty pre-constructed products that forgo you having to run to the store on a dime to get your hands on new cards or worrying about tuning your deck. These products are designed for you and ready-to-play, right out of the gate!
The question, though, is this: which one of these decks is the best?
Best MTG Arena Starter Decks
Start Your Engines | Illustration by Darek Zabrocki
When you first sign up for MTGA, you follow a tutorial that shows you the ropes a bit and previews the mono-colored starter decks that you’ll unlock before anything else. After that, you complete “Color Challenges” to teach you the ropes of Magic and improve your mono-colored decks before fully unlocking them and being released into the wilds of Arena to earn the dual-colored decks.
There’s a total of 15 starter decks for you to collect. Best of all, they’re totally free and give you a great deck selection and card pool to start your Arena adventures with! These are the latest decks that we got with the release of Streets of New Capennaand we’ll have them until the next standard rotation occurs.
As a treat, we grabbed numbers from nearly 10,000 games worth of data in Arena Tutor in an exclusive data study to officially rank these decks.
Multicolored Starter Decks
Lier, Disciple of the Drowned | Illustration by Ekaterina Burmak
First up is Spellweaver, an Izzet spellslinger deck that likes playing many low-to-the-ground spells alongside a few potent threats. It sports a relatively low winrate of 37%, likely due to the inefficiencies of the instants. These kind of spells decks need cheap and effective spells in order to both contest its opponents and develop the board, and budget decks just don’t that all too well.
#9. Strength in Numbers
Wedding Announcement | Illustration by Caroline Gariba
Civil Servant x3
Venom Connoisseur x3
Park Heights Pegasus
Rumor Gatherer x3
Gathering Throng x3
Torens, Fist of the Angels
Adeline, Resplendent Cathar
Darling of the Masses x2
Celebrity Fencer x3
Strength in Numbers is a Selesnya citizens deck that wants to go wide and utilize as many buffs as possible. It sports a 41% win-rate, which is better than Spellweaver, but still leaves a little to be desired. It does include a few nice rares, notably Halo Fountain, Weddning Announcement, and Adeline, Resplendent Cathar.
#8. Grave Matters
Infernal Grasp | Illustration by Naomi Baker
Deathbonnet Sprout x3
Doomed Dissenter x2
Reclusive Taxidermist x2
Undead Butler x3
Shigeki, Jukai Visionary
Fell Stinger x3
Bloodsworn Squire x3
Moldgraf Millipede x2
Grave Matters is a Golgari deck that, well, cares about the graveyard. It seeks to utilize its recursion mechanics to get additional value out of sacrifice effects, furthering its lead and playing the long-game versus its opponent. It has a 42% win-rate overall.
#7. Ignite the Forge
Blood Fountain | Illustration by Evyn Fong
Virus Beetle x3
Sokenzan Smelter x3
Bloodtithe Harvester x2
Searchlight Companion x2
Circuit Mender x2
Twinshot Sniper x2
Atsushi, the Blazing Sky
Next up is Ignite the Forge, a red/black Anvil deck similar to the one currently in standard. It seeks to deploy Oni-Cult Anvil to repeatedly ping opponents and overwhelm them with value. It currently has a 43% win-rate, which is another nice jump.
#6. Storm of Blades
Thundering Raiju | Illustration by Xavier Ribeiro
Rabbit Battery x2
Reinforced Ronin x3
Usher of the Fallen x3
Selfless Samurai x2
Twinblade Geist x2
Eiganjo Exemplar x3
Risona, Asari Commander
Raiyuu, Storm’s Edge
Goro-Goro, Disciple of Ryusei
Asari Captain x3
In the 6th place spot is Storm of Blades, a red/white Samurai deck. It deploys classic Boros aggro to overwhelm opponents, even through removal, and even includes a few great rares to amp up the power such as The Wandering Emperor, Lion Sash, and Thundering Raiju. It’s just barely ahead of the competition with a win rate of 43%.
#5. Balancing Act
Dockside Chef | Illustration by Steven Belledin
Balancing Act brings your classic Orzhov midrange to the starter deck scene, and with a 44% win-rate no less. It has some of the best overall cards in Standard right now, like Spirited Companion and The Restoration of Eiganjo, but it still fails to reach that 50% win-rate.
#4. Stealthy Subterfuge
Hero’s Downfall | Illustration by Chris Rallis
Network Disruptor x3
Dokuchi Silencer x3
Inkrise Infiltrator x2
Silver-Fur Master x3
Moon-Circuit Hacker x2
Prosperous Thief x2
Nashi, Moon Sage’s Scion
Mukotai Ambusher x3
Moonsnare Specialist x2
Kotose, the Silent Spider
Dokuchi Shadow-Walker x2
Next up in 4th place is Stealthy Subterfuge, a Dimir ninjas deck that includes some banger staples like [cardKaito Shizuki[/card] and Hero’s Downfall. Although one of the more synergistic decks on the rankings thus far, it still only has a win-rate of 44.5%.
#3. Angelic Accountants
Elspeth Resplendent | Illustration by Anna Steinbauer
Angelic Accounts puts some sweet Azorius angels action at your disposal, and backs it up with powerful inclusions such as Elspeth Resplendent, Hopeful Initiate, Giada, Font of Hope, and Sigarda’s Summons. While it only has a win-rate of 45.6%, it has serious upgrade potential if you manage to cut some of the one-ofs and make the deck a bit more consistent.
#2. Blossoming Growth
Titan of Industry | Illustration by Lucas Staniec
Blossoming Growth is the Simic ramp/big mana deck, as you may have expected. It ramps out with cards like Jewel Thief and Prizefight to take board control and accelerate your threat deployment. Overall, it’s win-rate stands at 45.8%.
#1. On the Hunt
Tovolar, Dire Overlord | Illustration by Chris Rahn
Snarling Wolf x3
Outland Liberator x2
Kessig Naturalist x3
Packsong Pup x2
Hungry Ridgewolf x3
Weaver of Blossoms x3
Tovolar, Dire Overlord
Child of the Pack x3
Halana and Alena, Partners
We’ve finally reached first place, and that spot belongs to On the Hunt. This Gruul werewolves deck is fortunate to have some of the most powerful werewolves cards ever in Standard currently, like Arlinn, the Pack’s Hope and Tovolar, Dire Overlord. Despite this, it still fails to reach an even or positive win-rate, and sits at 49.4% overall.
Mono-Colored Starter Decks
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, due to the lack of data acquired for these decks—likely because they’re sort of underwhelming and less desirable to play—which means we have a much lower confidence level for their rankings. They likely have some accuracy, but take it with a heavy grain of salt in comparison to the multicolored decks.
#5. Large and in Charge
Jungle Delver | Illustration by Kieran Yanner
Jungle Delver x3
Ilysian Caryatid x4
Woodland Mystic x2
Wildwood Patrol x2
Baloth Packhunter x4
Rumbling Baloth x2
Sentinel Spider x2
Affectionate Indrik x2
Rampaging Brontodon x2
Rabid Bite x3
First up is the mono-green list Large and in Charge. It has a terrible win-rate of 22.22%, likely due to the poor ramp and absence of interaction. While it may be much stronger with some tuning, our limited data doesn’t favor this one too well.
#4. Keep the Peace
Bond of Discipline | Illustration by Zezhou Chen
Charmed Stray x4
Fencing Ace x2
Hallowed Priest x4
Impassioned Orator x3
Moorland Inquisitor x2
Angel of Vitality x2
Leonin Warleader x2
Inspiring Commander x2
Next up is Keep the Peace, a mono-white lifeline deck with a winrate of 31.5%. This is still pretty poor, but at least it’s nearly 10 points higher than the last one!
#3. Goblins Everywhere!
Goblin Gathering | Illustration by Svetlin Velinov
Goblins Everywhere sees a significant jump in winrate up to 44.5%. Like the Gruul werewolves deck, this one has a lot of synergistic cards available to it, like Raid Bombardment, which pads the data a fair bit.
#2. Aerial Domination
Wall of Runes | Illustration by Zezhou Chen
The runner-up for the mono-colored decks is the mono-blue deck Aerial Domination. With a relatively O.K. win-rate of 45%, this mono-blue tempo deck takes to the skies with a number of powerful flying creatures backed up by some efficient removal and interaction.
#1. Cold-Blooded Killers
Typhoid Rat | Illustration by Dave Kendall
In first place is the mono-black deck, Cold-Blooded Killers, which uniquely has a win-rate of 53%! This is the only starter deck with a positive win-rate. While there isn’t much data to solidify this fact, and my own intuition says that the Gruul werewolves deck would probably beat it in a larger sample size, it’s certainly still a contender.
Turning Your Preconstructed Decks into Tier 1 and Tier 2
There you have it, the 10 MTG Arena starter decks from best to worst. It is of note to add that all the suggestions of the rare and mythic rare improvements should carefully be considered. You only have so many wildcards and finding out what you want to invest them in is well worth the effort.
As a rule, lands are always a safe bet along with spells that are prominent in multiple decks, so keep a lookout for those. Maybe the most important reason not to invest too much in these pre-con decks is the fact that you can easily transform some of them into valid tier 1 and tier 2 decks. If you can’t find a good deck or decide what to stick with, we’ve got you covered.
Once you’ve collected all the starter decks, it’s simple to move to an actual semi-competitive Standard deck with just a little investment. This is a smart thing to do if you’re wanting to move up the MTG Arena ladder, as you’ll need a deck that can hang with the best of them. Here are our Standard meta deck picks that you can easily move into:
Unfortunately, there are currently no starter decks in Standard. With none released alongside Midnight Hunt, we’re left just a couple options.
While Zendikar Rising didn’t give us any new planeswalker decks like Theros: Beyond Death, it did come with new welcome boosters which were previously released in Core Set 2021. These replaced the welcome decks and offer a few unique cards as a free sample to new players. They don’t contain nearly enough cards to build a deck, but they do offer a taste of Magic to newer players.
Theme boosters are the closest things we have to starter decks in Standard. These packs contain 35 cards of a specific color or theme. The general idea is to pick one, add some lands, and you have a basic deck ready to go! They even contain a few rare/mythic cards as well as common showcase cards.
There are theme boosters available for each of the sets currently in Standard, including the newly released Midnight Hunt. The newest iterations include a theme booster for each color as well as one all all about werewolves.
Core Set 2021
There are five Core Set 2021 planeswalker decks to chose from, with each option being one of the five colors. Each deck contains your typical 60-card deck, a single M21 booster pack, an MTG Arena code card, a deck box, and a spindown life tracker.
- The Core 2021 set includes great new planeswalker cards like Teferi, as well as powerful reprints for both new and engaged players!
- This listing includes all 5 Planeswalker decks.
- Each deck has one 60-card deck, 1 Core 2021 booster pack, 1 MTG Arena code card, and more! This listing is for all 5 decks: 1 of each version.
- Release Date: July 03 2020
Throne of Eldraine
were released in 2019 to accompany Throne of Eldraine. They’re aimed at beginning players who want to get more familiar with the game. Each deck comes with a 60-card deck, two ELD boosters, a strategy guide, and one MTG Arena code.
Theros: Beyond Death
The Theros: Beyond Death planeswalker decks include exclusive cards made specifically for them as well as two Theros booster packs and an MTG Arena digital deck code. These are aimed at beginning players just like the other planeswalker decks.
- Theros is a mythical world filled with Gods and warriors and honor to be had!
- Inspired by the ancient-Greek legends on one hand and Magic the Gathering’s own underworld twist that finds Elspeth!
- This listing includes both planeswalker decks, each deck has 60 cards including a foil exclusive Planeswalker!
- There is also a chance to get new limited collectible version cards (borderless planeswalkers, extended art frames, and showcase frames) randomly inserted in some boxes.
- Release Date: Jan 24 2020
Theros: Beyond Death Deckbuilder’s Toolkit
The second product that was released with Theros: Beyond Death was the deckbuilder’s toolkit. The toolkit contains 125 cards, 100 lands, four booster packs, a deckbuilder’s guide, a “learn to play” guide, and a full-art card storage box. The product is aimed at beginning players who want to start creating their own decks as well as improving the Theros planeswalker decks.
- The Theros Beyond Death (THB) Magic: The Gathering (MTG) Deckbuilder’s Toolkit is perfect for building several decks—plus there’s deckbuilding guide full of expert advice.
- With boosters, land cards, and a selection of individual cards, you can build a deck that’s truly your own.
- Battle your way back from the underworld with legendary gods and destined heroes! Theros Beyond Death (THB) spins Greek mythology through the lens of Magic: The Gathering (MTG).
- The original strategy card game, Magic: The Gathering (MTG) has inspired more than 38 million fans over 25 years.
- Contents: four (4) booster packs from recent sets; one hundred (100) basic land cards; one hundred and twenty-five (125) individual Magic cards; one (1) deck builder’s guide; one (1) reusable storage box.
Core Set 2021 Starter Kit
The gift of giving continues for new players with the Core Set 2021 starter kit. This is a great product for really new players who are just starting after Zendikar Rising‘s rotation. It’s basically a rebranding of the Spellslinger kit for M20, with two ready-to-play decks that each contain five rares and a foil creature. The kit also includes an MTGA code for both decks if you wanna take it digital.
- THE BEST WAY TO START PLAYING MAGIC. Choose your deck, grab a friend, and jump into your first game of Magic: The Gathering (MTG). This kit has everything you need to get started.
- PICK A SIDE. Summon colossal monsters with the green deck or bone-chilling undead with the black deck—both starter decks have five rares, a foil creature card, and a strategy all their own.
- GAME NIGHT FOR TWO. Challenge a friend, teach a family member, or play a fun game on date night—these decks are the perfect go-to for two-player experience that’s never the same twice.
- PLAY AT HOME AND ONLINE. Play at home or online with a code to unlock both decks on MTG Arena for two players. Challenge a friend, share your code, and wage war from near or far.
- THE GAME THAT STARTED IT ALL. Magic: The Gathering is the deepest strategy card game there is, with endless challenges for new players and veterans alike.
2021 Challenger Decks
If you want to try your hand at more competitive play that also includes sideboarding, the 2021 Challenger decks are perfect for you. There are four individual decks that each come with a 60-card main deck and a 15-card sideboard. They’re aimed at Friday Night Magic players that are already familiar with the game. Each deck is designed to be competitive at a local level and geared towards being playable right off the bat.
There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to the 2021 Commander decks. Each deck contains the usual 100 cards, 10 tokens, a spindown, and a deck box, as well as a foil commander card! The tally of new decks comes up all the way to 13, which means we have a lot to look at.
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
Midnight Hunt brought two exciting Commander decks with two very different playstyles. Each deck also includes unique cards not seen in previous Commander precons.
First is the Selesnya () deck Coven Counters headed by Leinore, Autumn Sovereign, which works to build up a strong team of creatures and buff them with various coven triggers. Your other options is to focus on making a huge team of zombies that act as cannon fodder for other effects with the Dimir () Undead Unleashed led by Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver.
- Pre-constructed 100-card deck, ideal for new players.
- Cards that are unique to the Commander series.
- You will receive one deck, styler sent at random.
- Note:- Item sent is a single deck of “Innistrad Midnight Hunt Commander Deck” (style sent at random)
- English (Publication Language)
D&D: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms
Forgotten Realms brought players four new multicolor Commander precons, which each include two foil legendary creature cards as well as a foil-etched commander!
First up is the Bant () equipment deck Aura of Courage led by Galea, Kindler of Hope. Then there’s Draconic Rage, a Gruul () dragons deck with Vrondiss, Rage of Ancients, and Dungeons of Death, an Esper () reanimator deck helmed by Sefris of the Hidden Ways. Last but not least is Planar Portal, a Rakdos () Treasure deck led by Prosper, Tome-Bound.
- Bundle of 4 Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (AFR) Commander Decks
- All 4 ready-to-play MTG decks contain 100 Magic cards (2 traditional foil + 98 nonfoil)
- Each deck comes with 1 Display Commander, 10 double-sided tokens, 1 life tracker + 1 deck box
- Beloved Dungeons & Dragons heroes and monsters have ventured into Magic for the ultimate crossover!
- English (Publication Language)
Strixhaven: School of Mages
Strixhaven blew the last Commander precon release out of the water with five dual-color Commander decks. Lorehold Legacies is a Boros () artifact deck with elements of recursion led by Osgir, the Reconstructor. Witherbloom Witchcraft is your run of the mill Golgari () leech deck revolving around its commander, Willowdusk, Essence Seer.
If you’re like me and won’t play those decks since because don’t have blue then you may be more interested in Prismari Performance, a wonderful Izzet () spellslinger deck led by Zaffai, Thunder Conductor. You’ll be running with Felisa, Fang of Silverquill in Silverquill Statement, a politics deck that encourages your enemies to fight each other while building up your own pillow fort.
- Bundle of 5 Strixhaven Commander Decks—Silverquill Statement, Prismari Performance, Witherbloom Witchcraft, Lorehold Legacies, Quantum Quandrix
- Explore all 5 Strixhaven colleges, each with their own unique take on magic
- All 5 ready-to-play MTG decks contain 100 Magic cards, including 1 foil Commander card
- Each deck comes with 10 double-sided tokens, 1 life tracker, and 1 deck box
- Decks come in reduced-plastic packaging
Kaldheim released with two dual-color Commander decks. First up is Phantom Premonition, led by Ranar the Ever-Watchful, with the goal of overwhelming your opponents with flying spirits and generating value when cards are exiled.
But if spirits aren’t your thing, Elven Empire is your other option. Commanded by Lathril, Blade of the Elves, this precon looks to do what elves do best: generate lots of mana, have a lot of little elf guys, and then absolutely crush your opponent with overwhelming resources.
Another new Commander product was gifted to use with the release of Zendikar Rising. We got two unique decks, each headed by their own unique commander with a different strategy.
Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor heads the Naya () Land’s Wrath while Dimir’s () Sneak Attack is led by Anowon, the Ruin Thief. Each deck comes with 100 cards, 10 double-sided tokens, one life tracker, and a deck box.
- Join Jace, Nariri, Nissa and more in Zendikar; a dangerous world of lethal risks where brave adventurers in the Edlrazi aftermath delve into ancient ruins in search of priceless rewards!
- Return to Zendikar where the plane is Rising with danger and treasure.
- Each Commander deck has 100 cards (including 3 all-new cards), 10 double-side tokens, 1 insert, 1 life tracker, 1 deck box. This listing includes both decks.
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
Ikoria gave us some great new decks to play with.
First is Timeless Wisdom, a Raugrin () deck led by Gavi, Nest Warden. Then there’s the Zagoth deck, Enhanced Evolution, helmed by the legendary Otrimi, the Ever-Playful. Kalamax, the Stormsire commands the Ketria () Arcane Maelstrom while Kathril, Aspect Warper takes charge of Symbiotic Swarm‘s Indatha () deck. Last up is Ruthless Regiment, a Savai () deck helmed by Jirina Kudro.
Each of the four decks contains 100 cards, the 10 tokens represented in it, an oversized commander card, and a deck box to keep it all in. These decks are aimed at more experienced players who are already familiar with the game.
- Choose from 15 fierce Commanders from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths (IKO) to lead your decks to victory—10 legendary creatures and 5 Commander and monster pairs that share a magical bond.
- Commander is a Magic: The Gathering (MTG) multiplayer format where alliances are formed, friends are betrayed, and grudges are repaid with a vengeance.
- Dive right in to MTG Commander with these ready-to-play decks, desiged to be fun and powerful, with 71 cards printed here for the first time.
- Start a game night right out of the box. Grab your friends, try out the decks, then swap for round two—play them all to find your favorite!
- Collect all five Commander Decks from Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths (IKO) in this bundle—Arcane Maelstrom, Enhanced Evolution, Ruthless Regiment, Symbiotic Swarm, and TImeless Wisdom.
Last but certainly not least are the Throne of Eldraine brawl decks. If you’re not familiar, Brawl is a Commander variant that only uses Standard legal cards.
Each of the four decks features a tri-color planeswalker specifically designed for this product. First there’s Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, who leads Jund () in Savage Hunger. Syr Gwyn, Hero of Ashvale is the head of Jeskai’s () Knights’ Charge while the Esper () Faerie Schemes deck is helmed by Alela, Artful Provocateur. Finally, Bant () is led by Chulane, Teller of Tales in Wild Bounty.
This is a great product for experienced players that are already familiar with MTG and its different formats.
- The plane of Eldraine is a high-fantasy medieval world filled with knights and castles and fairy tales come alive!
- Inspired by the Arthurian legend of Camelot on one hand and Grimms’ Fairy Tales on the other, the set also covers a range of European fairy tales that come from a variety of sources.
- This listing includes all 4 brawl deck versions. Each deck has 60 cards, each randomly including: 1 foil face card, 7 new/unique cards, and 1 life wheel
- There is also a chance to get new limited collectible version cards (borderless planeswalkers, extended art frames, and showcase frames) randomly inserted in some boxes.
- Release Date: Oct 04 2019
Battlefield Promotion | Illustration by Scott Murphy
With that, we’ve come to the end of the line. I’ve covered everything from the MTG Arena starter decks ranked to all the fantastic paper products available to you.
Do you have any suggestions for products we missed? Let us know if the comments! And if you’re a new MTG Arena player, you absolutely need to try out our tracker and draft assistant, Arena Tutor.
See you again soon, but above all, enjoy playing Magic!
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