There is an Explorer Qualifier for the Arena Championship coming up in June, so I’ll be bringing you Deck Guides and gameplay videos for all the top decks in the upcoming days and weeks. For now, let’s take a look at our first official Explorer Power Rankings of the format, which are heavily influenced by Untapped.gg data because there just simply haven’t been any official big tournaments yet.
10. Jeskai Fires
Cheating Agent of Treachery into play via Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast or Transmogrify can be fun, but I have personally not found the Fires of Invention strategy to be very effective in a format where I need to be able to interact with combo decks like Greasefang.
9. Selesnya Angels
Angels is always a very popular tribe, capable of easily racing the other creature decks in the format thanks to Bishop of Wings and Righteous Valkyrie gaining you a lot of life. With Giada, Font of Hope, you can also produce flyers that are big enough to block against Parhelion II. Another big upside is that Mono-Blue Spirits is a fairly popular deck at the moment on the Arena ladder and your flyers can easily block their small creatures with Curious Obsession.
8. Izzet Arcanist
The Izzet version of Arcanist is trying to be as proactive as possible and flash back cantrips like Consider and burn spells like Strangle and Play with Fire. You can play a more aggressive version with Kumano Faces Kakkazan, which can get your Arcanist to two power, and cards like Soul-Scar Mage and Ledger Shredder. I personally prefer the black version a bit more because it has access to Thoughtseize and Fatal Push.
7. Rakdos Midrange
Otherwise known as Rakdos “Good Cards”, this deck combines some of the most powerful cards in the Rakdos colors for a very solid midrange deck.
6. Mono-Blue Spirits
This mono-blue tempo deck is trying to play a cheap creature like Spectral Sailor or Ascendant Spirit, drop Curious Obsession on it and then hold up counters for the rest of the game and never let you resolve a spell. If something slips through, they usually bounce it with Brazen Borrower and continue attacking in the air. It is a very frustrating deck to play because if they win the die roll and get the right start, it feels like you are just never able to do anything while they are drawing two or three cards a turn.
5. Rakdos Arcanist
Rakdos Arcanist gets to play Thoughtseize and Fatal Push, which are two of the very best cards in the format. Thoughtseize is essential at disrupting the many combo decks of the format and Fatal Push stops the early aggression from decks like Mono-Red, Mono-Blue and all the other creature decks. You can choose whether you run the Kroxa version with more self-mill or have a slightly higher mana curve with cards like Kolaghan’s Command and planeswalkers.
4. Jeskai Indomitable Creativity
I believe this is a better version of Jeskai Fires. The idea is to use cards like Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, Shark Typhoon or Wedding Announcement to make tokens and then use Indomitable Creativity to turn them into Agents of Treachery. I like this more than Fires because you can actually interact with the opponent and maybe even have an alternative game plan in your sideboard where you could turn into a Jeskai Control deck with planeswalkers, counters and Shark Typhoons when your opponents bring in too many cards that try to answer your Game 1 combo.
3. Mono-Red Aggro
Proactive and linear strategies are always good in new formats, and Mono-Red is no different. Cards like Burning-Tree Emissary can give you some really busted opening draws, Anax, Hardened in the Forge is good against sweepers and if they try to block, you have Embercleave. Hall of Famer Frank Karsten will be bringing you a Deck Guide soon.
2. Izzet Phoenix
Phoenix is one of the most solid decks in the format that can have fast opening draws with Ledger Shredder and a bunch of Arclight Phoenixes on turn three, but it can also play a slow and grindy game with cards like Ox of Agonas. It’s particularly great at finding its sideboard cards thanks to all the card selection spells.
1. Mardu Greasefang
In my opinion, the Mardu Greasefang combo is the best deck in the format by a significant margin. It can go off on turn two if you get really lucky with your Stitcher’s Supplier trigger, but most importantly, it has Thoughtseize to protect the combo and other one-mana cheap interactive spells like Lightning Axe and Duress. If you’re just trying to win, play this deck.
2 thoughts on “First Ever Explorer Power Rankings! – 5/24/22”
Why is not Golgari/Jund Food here? Any cards in Historic from that deck that is not legal in Explorer?
golgari food loses too many cards in the transition – lurrus, squirrel, phyrexian tower, khalni garden, bone shards, cursebound witch and maelstorm pulse.
jund should still work for the most part, but i havent really seen that deck on ladder or be too popular in untapped data.
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