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Post-Arena Qualifier Explorer Power Rankings – 6/20/22

We’ve just had our first big Explorer event with this past weekend’s Arena Qualifier. A ton of new decks emerged and there’s been some significant shakeups to the meta with it, so let’s take a look at the newly updated Explorer Power Rankings.

 

 

 

10. Selesnya Angels

With control decks getting popular, I don’t see Angels rising to the top any time soon. Sweepers are just too tough to beat. It does remain a relatively popular deck on the Arena ladder though. 

9. Jeskai Transmogrify Fires

Fires of InventionTransmogrifyAgent of Treachery

Montserrat Ayensa had a good run in the Qualifier Weekend, posting an excellent 12-3 finish. I can see this deck getting popular moving forward, as it does seem pretty good against Rakdos and should have enough must-counter threats to be very annoying for Azorius Control as well. As long as these kinds of slower decks make a large portion of the field, that’s exactly the right kind of metagame for Agent of Treachery. It’s not very good against super fast decks, but cards like Chandra, Torch of Defiance or Teferi, Hero of Dominaria are some of the juiciest targets to steal. 

8. Golgari Fight Rigging

Fight RiggingRotting RegisaurShakedown Heavy

According to Untapped.gg, Golgari Fight Rigging was actually the most popular deck on the Arena ladder last week, which definitely caused a bit of a shift in which removal spells the black decks decided to pack for the Qualifier Weekend. I, for example, ended up cutting two Abrades for two Heartless Acts main, just to make sure that I had more ways to deal with Rotting Regisaur, Shakedown Heavy and other big creatures from decks like Mono-Green Stompy. This deck is a bit too high variance for my own taste, but it should definitely be respected moving forward. Consider playing your removal spell on their big guy on your own turn (or in their upkeep, in Rotting Regisaur’s case) to prevent them from playing The Great Henge for free next turn. 

7. Mono-Blue Spirits

This deck is excellent against Azorius Control, but can struggle against Rakdos Midrange that always has a seemingly never-ending stream of removal spells. As long as Rakdos remains at the top of the format, I wouldn’t expect to run into Spirits too much, but if you suspect a heavy control metagame, it can be a great choice. 

6. Mono-Green Stompy

Llanowar ElvesOld-Growth TrollCollected Company

Mono-Green has been getting quite popular lately and I have to say it’s not fun being on the opposite end of their Llanowar Elves into Old-Growth Troll into Collected Company draws. Their three-drops are incredibly powerful, so make sure you don’t let them untap with that Llanowar Elves or you’ll be regretting that for the rest of the game. 

5. Mono-Red Aggro

Reckless RageSoul-Scar MageEmbercleave

Frank Karsten made a few changes to his Mono-Red list, notably adding Reckless Rage, which is a really nice tech if you expect a lot of bigger creatures. He ultimately fell a bit short of qualifying during Day 2, but his list looks like a great choice moving forward if you enjoy playing some fast-paced games.

4. Mardu/Esper Greasefang

Greasefang, Okiba BossParhelion IIFable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

From what I gathered, Greasefang was almost nowhere to be found during the qualifier weekend, which really blows my mind. I grouped both versions together for this week, because a lot of players seemed to have ended up running the Esper version during last week. 

I ultimately ended up playing Rakdos Midrange myself instead because I was too afraid of main deck hate cards like Unlicensed Hearse, Graveyard Trespasser and everyone making tweaks just like Frank did above with that Reckless Rage, making their decks slightly better for the Greasefang matchup. I suppose a lot of other people might have chickened out for similar reasons as well, but I wouldn’t expect this deck to disappear from the format all of the sudden. 

3. Jund Food

Korvold, Fae-Cursed KingMayhem DevilWitch's Oven

Food is very solid against everything outside of getting owned by the card Farewell. It was very popular this weekend and should remain one of the most popular decks moving forward, especially if you expect a lot of creature decks, which is where Mayhem Devil shines the most. 

2. Azorius Control

Control was quite popular in the Arena Qualifier and should rise in popularity on the Arena ladder as well in the upcoming weeks. Gabe Nassif made Day 2 with his list with tech like Dream Trawler for the Rakdos Midrange matchup, which was a great call. 

You can get easily overrun quickly by decks like Mono-Red and Mono-Green, but thanks to Farewell, it’s good against Food, and thanks to a lack of good removal targets, it is also good against Rakdos in Game 1, which are two of the most popular matchups at the moment. 

Should you run the 80-card version with Yorion, Sky Nomad or the more consistent 60-card one without some of the weaker cards like Omen of the Sea? Personally, I prefer the Yorion version because having it as a free extra card against Rakdos midrange makes quite a difference. They also don’t have that many ways to deal with a five-mana creature and having five toughness is the magical number against Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Keep an eye out for a Deck Guide from Arne this week.

1. Rakdos Midrange

Thoughtseize (Timeshifted)Chandra, Torch of DefianceFable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

Rakdos seemed like the most successful deck in the Arena Qualifier and it makes sense. While the games against Food and Azorius Control can be quite challenging, it has game against every deck in the format and it runs some of the absolute best cards like Thoughtseize. You also have quite a lot of room in the sideboard to fix both matchups. I fully expect Rakdos to stay on the top of the metagame moving forward, so if you’re thinking of crafting one safe deck for the format, this would be my recommendation. 

An updated Deck Guide with the most up to date list for Rakdos Midrange (and a bonus Grixis version as well for all you Bolas lovers) should be coming soon.

 

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