Magic: The Gathering Arena Competitive Metagame Challenge guide
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Magic: The Gathering continues its rotation of MTG Arena formats with the Competitive Metagame Challenge. This event is a best-of-three format, meaning sideboards will be used. Let’s break down the event and look at some of the decks that should perform well.

The Event

You can enter the Competitive Metagame Challenge with 400 gems or 2000 coins. This is not an event to test random builds, though, as one loss knocks you out. You’ll want to bring your finest deck to the event. Your rewards will scale up based on how many matches you go undefeated, with a maximum of seven.

  • 0 Wins: 500 Gold
  • 1 Win: 1000 Gold
  • 2 Wins: 1500 Gold and 1 War of the Spark booster
  • 3 Wins: 2000 Gold and 3 War of the Spark boosters
  • 4 Wins: 2500 Gold and 5 War of the Spark boosters
  • 5 Wins: 3000 Gold and 10 War of the Spark boosters
  • 6 Wins: 4000 Gold and 20 War of the Spark boosters
  • 7 Wins: 5000 Gold and 30 War of the Spark boosters

Getting a few wins is very possible, but even seasoned pros will have a hard time pulling the undefeated seven wins. With this event being best-of-three, Arena‘s banned list also doesn’t apply. That leads me to my next talking point.

The Decks

If you’re looking to do well in the Competitive Metagame Challenge, you’ll want to bring something with plenty of power and consistency. Aggro strategies, while able to close games out quickly, can be shut down with a few key sideboard cards. That’s why I would suggest something Midrange, Control, or Combo.

With this in mind, here’s a list I’ve seen tested that has managed some good results.


Nexus of Fate is about as degenerate as it gets, and it got a huge boost with War of the Spark. Since Nexus is only banned in best-of-one, it’s where I would start in this event. If something is banned, it must do something well, right? This build also takes advantage of God-Eternal Kefnet‘s built-in card advantage engine as well as stickiness to remove. Nexus can sometimes go a ton of turns without having any finishers, and Kefnet gives us an engine that’s hard to deal with. I think it will shine in the new standard.

After Nexus of Fate decks, your safest choice is probably a solid, well-tuned Esper Control list. Esper Control is still the top dog as far as control decks are concerned. While the new addition of Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God has helped bring Grixis Control to the forefront, Esper is the more proven and reliable deck. With that in mind, make sure your sideboard is ready for these various matchups.


The Competitive Metagame Challenge is not a format for beginners. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t hit seven wins. I’ve personally watched many professional Magic players not achieve this feat. However, if you feel you’re up for the challenge, who doesn’t want to win 30 packs for going 7-0?

Leave any questions, decklists, or other feedback in the comments, and stay tuned to Daily Esports for more Magic: The Gathering news. And, of course, may the odds be ever in your favor!