Welcome to the Explorer Power Rankings! Explorer doesn’t have quite as robust a tournament scene as some other formats, so for these Rankings, I leaned more heavily than usual on my own experiences and the chatter I hear from other players.
10. Fight Rigging
The G/B Fight Rigging deck looks a little goofy, but I’ve found it to be shockingly effective. The Great Henge singlehandedly wins most games that it hits the battlefield, and triggering the hideaway on Fight Rigging can power out some crazy cards, including Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor. Failing all of that, this is simply a deck full of massive creatures, which sometimes get the job done all on their own!
This deck was also a big winner from the recent Explorer Anthology, which brought Elvish Mystic to MTG Arena. Now Fight Rigging can access its most powerful starts with improved consistency.
Golgari Fight Rigging has a 54.9 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic on the Best-of-Three Arena ladder according to Untapped.GG.
Azorius Control is popular, and earned the #2 spot in the previous installment of the Power Rankings, written by Martin Juza.
While it’s a good deck, my experience has been that control is rather poorly positioned right now. The black and red midrange decks have so many good weapons against you after sideboarding, including annoying threats like Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Graveyard Trespasser, plus tons of planeswalkers, which Azorius has a difficult time answering.
Azorius Control has a 54.1 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic, which is pretty solid, but is also the lowest of any deck on the Rankings this week.
Greasefang is the deck I had the hardest time placing. It hasn’t particularly impressed me yet, but I know that it has a diehard following in both Explorer and Pioneer. It’s very possible that the #8 position is too low.
The goal is to use Greasefang, Okiba Boss to reanimate Parhelion II (sometimes other Vehicles as well). Whether it comes in Abzan, Esper or Mardu colors, the rest of the deck is built to fill the graveyard and support this combo.
Abzan Greasefang has a 56.7 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic.
7. Jeskai Fires
The Jeskai Fires deck has a lot going on, and a good amount of flexibility in how it’s built. Typically, it will use Fires of Invention to get ahead on mana, and cheat out big spells. It will also often have the combo of using tokens alongside Transmogrify or Indomitable Creativity (Transmogrify works better with Fires) to power out Agent of Treachery.
This archetype has the right mix of powerful combo elements, but also the ability to play a normal game with card drawing and removal spells.
Izzet/Jeskai Fires has a 61.7 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic, which is the highest of any deck on the Explorer ladder right now.
Mono-Blue Spirits is a disruptive creature deck that pairs cheap fliers with Curious Obsession, Slip Out the Back and lots of permission spells. It’s a stone-cold killer of slower decks, and anyone trying to do something fancy that can be disrupted by a well-placed counterspell.
Mono-Blue has a 61.6 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic, which is second only to Jeskai Fires.
Sacrifice is a top strategy in Explorer, and I know that Martin is a big fan of the Jund Food version in particular. In addition to all of the normal synergies, it gets to top off at Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, which is powerful enough to win any game where it goes unanswered.
Jund Sacrifice is resilient to graveyard hate, and has excellent sideboard options. It has a 58.1 percent win rate on Arena.
I’m extremely impressed by the card quality within the color red. Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Goblin Chainwhirler, Bonecrusher Giant and Chandra, Torch of Defiance are among the strongest cards in the format in an objective sense. Mono-Red additionally taps into Kumano Faces Kakkazan, Burning-Tree Emissary and Embercleave, which are amazing in the aggro shell, and make for some of the most busted draws available in the format.
Mono-Red Aggro has a 58.4 percent win rate from Silver to Mythic.
3. Mono-Green Stompy
Mono-Green is a consistent and punishing aggro deck. Part of the reason I’m ranking it so highly is that of any deck on the list, I believe it’s the biggest winner from the recent Explorer Anthology set. It now gains access to the full eight mana Elves, and cards like Old-Growth Troll and Steel Leaf Champion are absolutely deadly on the second turn of the game.
Mono-Green Stompy has an impressive 59.7 percent win rate on the ladder.
2. Rakdos Sacrifice
Rakdos Sacrifice is the deck I’ve personally liked the most in Explorer so far. It has all of the good qualities of Jund Food, but with a streamlined, consistent mana base. It maximizes strong curves into either Mayhem Devil or Ob Nixilis, the Adversary on the third turn of the game.
Rakdos Sacrifice has a 59.3 percent win rate on the ladder.
In the #1 position again for this installment, we have plain, simple Rakdos Midrange. It may lack the synergies of Rakdos and Jund Sacrifice, but this deck has the highest individual card quality in the format, with resilient threats, card advantage, removal and discard. It’s able to tailor itself perfectly for any matchup after sideboarding.
Rakdos Midrange even gained Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet from the recent Explorer Anthology, allowing it to shore up its matchup against Mono-Red and the various sacrifice decks. I haven’t yet found a major weakness for this deck.
Rakdos Midrange has a 56.0 percent win rate on the ladder – a number which I believe is slightly dragged down by the deck’s high volume of play.