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Top 10 Best Decks in Explorer MTG: Post-Worlds Edition

Welcome to the Explorer Power Rankings! We’re fresh off the World Championship, which featured six rounds of Explorer. Since Explorer doesn’t have quite as robust a tournament scene as some other formats, being played at such a high level of competition was a big deal and heavily influenced this installment of the Rankings. 

 

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10. Humans

Thalia, Guardian of ThrabenElite SpellbinderAnointed Peacekeeper

Humans is a white-based, tribal creature deck that’s fast, disruptive, and highly punishing. It can come in the form of a streamlined white weenie deck, or it can tap into green (possibly even a third color!) for the extra power of Collected Company.

In any form, Humans is a powerful deck that can deliver quick wins while throwing the opponent off with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Elite Spellbinder and Anointed Peacekeeper. It makes for a good entry point into the format, but can succeed at any level of competition. 

Abzan Humans has a 58.0 percent win rate from Bronze to Mythic on the Best-of-Three Arena ladder according to Untapped.GG. 

9. Mono-Green Stompy

Elvish Mystic (Timeshifted)Old-Growth TrollSteel Leaf Champion

Mono-Green is a consistent and punishing aggro deck. With the Explorer Anthology set, it gained access to the full eight mana Elves and cards like Old-Growth Troll and Steel Leaf Champion are absolutely deadly when played on the second turn of the game. 

Mono-Green Stompy has a 58.2 percent win rate on the ladder. 

8. Mono-Red

Kumano Faces Kakkazan // Etching of KumanoBurning-Tree EmissaryEmbercleave

I’m extremely impressed by the card quality within the color red. I feel that Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Goblin Chainwhirler, Bonecrusher Giant, Chandra, Torch of Defiance and even Jaya, Fiery Negotiator 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 57.9 percent win rate from Bronze to Mythic. 

7. Azorius Control

Teferi, Hero of DominariaSupreme VerdictMarch of Otherworldly Light

Azorius Control is a classic and beloved strategy. Control aficionado Greg Orange was the only player to register this deck at the World Championship, but he put up a strong 4-2 record in the Explorer portion. 

Azorius Control has a 52.9 percent win rate from Bronze to Mythic on the MTG Arena ladder, which is solid, but is also the lowest of any deck on the Rankings this week. 

6. Enigmatic Incarnation

There was a period where it looked like my entire team of four players was going to register Enigmatic Incarnation for Worlds. Three of us ended up bailing, but Zhi Yimin still played it and went 3-3, despite the Worlds metagame being hostile to the strategy. 

I think this deck is great, and would almost certainly choose it for an open-field tournament, since it’s solidly favored against Rakdos Midrange. Its best draws use Enigmatic Incarnation to convert Leyline Binding into creatures as strong as Agent of Treachery, Titan of Industry, Koma, Cosmos Serpent or Hornet Queen

Enigmatic Incarnation has a 57.4 percent win rate on the ladder. 

5. Temur Transmogrify

TransmogrifyLukka, Coppercoat OutcastHornet Queen

Transmogrify and Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast allow you to convert your creature tokens into Titans of Industry and Hornet Queens. This was a breakout strategy at Worlds, and looks to be quite strong moving forward. 

Temur Transmogrify enjoys a good amount of flexibility in how it’s built. It has a good mix of powerful combo elements, but also the ability to play a normal game with card drawing and removal spells. 

Since it’s a newly-popular strategy, there isn’t yet enough data to offer a win rate, but I expect big things in the coming weeks. 

4. Greasefang

The goal is to use Greasefang, Okiba Boss to reanimate Parhelion II (although getting Skysovereign, Consul Flagship or Esika’s Chariot is plenty strong 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. Liliana of the Veil is a great card that allows the Greasefang combo deck to set up its graveyard, and also contributes to the midrange backup plan both before and after sideboarding. 

Abzan Greasefang was the most popular deck at Worlds, and has a 58.3 percent win rate from Bronze to Mythic.

3. Rakdos Midrange

Liliana of the VeilBloodtithe HarvesterFable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-Jiki

Once the dominant deck of the format, Rakdos Midrange has fallen to the #3 position after failing to be a major player at Worlds. It’s another good home for Liliana of the Veil, and notably is also one of the most successful decks in Pioneer. 

What Rakdos Midrange lacks in the synergies of sacrifice decks, it makes up for with the highest individual card quality in the format. It has resilient threats, card advantage, removal and discard. It’s able to tailor itself perfectly for any matchup after sideboarding.

Rakdos Midrange has a 57.1 percent win rate on the ladder – an impressive number which I believe is even slightly dragged down by the deck’s high volume of play.

2. Rakdos Sacrifice

Mayhem DevilFable of the Mirror-Breaker // Reflection of Kiki-JikiOb Nixilis, the Adversary

Rakdos Sacrifice was the second-most-played deck at Worlds, and was more successful than Greasefang. It maximizes strong curves into either Mayhem Devil, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker or Ob Nixilis, the Adversary on the third turn of the game.

Rakdos Sacrifice has a 59.6 percent win rate on the ladder, which is the highest of any archetype besides the #1 deck. 

1. Mono-Blue Spirits

Spirits are cheap, evasive, and pair well with Curious Obsession and permission spells to back them up. Mono-Blue was the third-most-played deck at Worlds, and was massively successful. Jim Davis, Jakub Toth and I put up 4-2 records, while Eli Kassis had a perfect 6-0. Eli’s team even used Leyline of Combustion to turn the otherwise bad matchup of Rakdos Sacrifice into something much more winnable. 

Mono-Blue Spirits has a 63.3 percent win rate on the ladder. When paired with a dominant performance at Worlds, all signs point to Spirits being a great choice right now.

 

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