Explorer Tier List Update – August 18, 2022

An explanation of the movements and placements in this week’s Explorer tier list.

The Best-Of-Three Explorer Tier List

The Best-Of-One Explorer Tier List

Best-of-Three

Tier 0

Rakdos Midrange (Stable) – Rakdos remains in the S+/Tier 0 slot this week, as the deck’s playrate has increased heavily while maintaining a 61% winrate on the best-of-three side. Players who keep track of their matchups might notice, however, that they have been playing against a lot of Azorius Control this week, and my personal prediction is that Rakdos will join Control and Spirits in S Tier next week, as the three decks continue to duke it out for format dominance.

S Tier

Azorius Control (Stable) – Control is starting to gain on Rakdos in representation and winrate, though it still trails four percentage points behind Rakdos in the latter metric. As mentioned above, it seems likely to me that Control’s climb will eliminate Tier 0 and kick off a true rock/paper/scissors S Tier battle as early as next week.

Mono-Blue Spirits (Stable) – With the ability to go way under Azorius Control and maintain an even matchup with Rakdos Midrange, Spirits continues to represent the “scissors” deck of the format, with Mono-Red and Boros Heroic barely putting up any results to point to. A skilled Mono-Blue Spirits player can easily feel like this is the best deck in the format.

A Tier

Mono-Green Stompy (Up from B Tier) – Mono-Green had a strong week, representing the fourth most-played deck behind the three above it in the tier list. With a reasonable matchup against all three of the top-played decks in the format (depending on the build), we think it has found a home in A Tier for a while.

Jund Food (Up from C Tier) – Another deck with an excellent Rakdos Midrange matchup and a slightly favored Spirits and UW matchup (again, build-dependent), Jund Food launched itself up from C Tier this week, boasting a 64% winrate – the highest on the entire tier list.

Rakdos Sacrifice (Stable) – Coming in just under Jund as far as winrate and playrate goes, Rakdos Sac has a better Spirits matchup but a slightly worse UW Control matchup than its three-color counterpart, which may have contributed to its overtaking. Still, it remains in A Tier this week.

Abzan Humans (Stable) – Somehow persisting through the sea of removal, boardwipes and counterspells, CoCo Humans stuck it out in A Tier this week with a strong 63% winrate.

B Tier

Abzan Greasefang (Up from C Tier)

Mardu Greasefang (Stable)

Both Greasefang decks continue to perform rather well in best-of-three, with Abzan taking the lead this week in playrate and Mardu maintaining its lead in winrate, showing up with an impressive 63% to Abzan’s 61%.

Green Devotion (Up from C Tier) – Even without the Chain Veil or Nykthos, the Green Devotion deck currently menacing over the Pioneer format again moves up this week in the Explorer tier list, with its playrate jumping dramatically as players playtest some of the innovations that have been happening in Pioneer on the Arena format. With a 63% winrate as it stands today, it’s probably a good thing we didn’t get Nykthos in the first Explorer Anthology. 

C Tier

Selesnya Angels (Stable)

Golgari Fight Rigging (Down from A Tier) – The post-Anthology meta has not been kind to either Fight Rigging deck (Golgari or Sultai), but the tier list drop is largely due to a steep decline in playrate. It should be noted that Golgari maintains a strong winrate, but over the last two weeks, the Sultai build has tanked to 54% – too low for tier list consideration in the current field.

D Tier

Mono-Red Aggro (Down from C Tier) – The mighty truly have fallen. Mono-Red was the least-played deck by the metrics we track – below decks like Bant Lotus Field, Gruul Fable Twin and Izzet Keruga. Still, it maintained a decent winrate for the few games it was piloted. It’s very possible Mono-Red finally falls off the tier list next week.

Gruul Transmogrify (Stable) 

Four-Color Elementals (Stable)

Moved to Off-Meta

Vampires

Four-Color Adventures

Best-of-One

S Tier

Selesnya Angels (Stable)

Mono-Red Aggro (Stable)

A Tier

Azorius Control (Stable) – With the printing of Supreme Verdict, Azorius Control’s playrate has been gradually going up each week. While it has not yet hit the breaking point to put it into S tier, it is definitely possible in the near future if the trend continues. 

Rakdos Sacrifice (Stable)

Mono-Blue Spirits (Stable)

B Tier

Esper Greasefang (Stable)

Both Greasefang decks have continued to perform well on the best-of-one ladder, with Abzan claiming the higher playrate but Esper maintaining the higher winrate at a whopping 64%.

Fight Rigging (Stable)

Boros Heroic (Up from C Tier) – Heroic boasts one of the best winrates on the tier list at 64% and has saw an explosion of play in the post EA1 format with the printing of Favored Hoplite. It looks like the deck has nowhere to go but up at this point.

C Tier

Abzan Greasefang (Stable)

Ignus Combo (Tier List Debut) – This deck has slipped under the radar for a lot of the Explorer community with the addition of Elvish Mystic from EA1. It has a multitude of ways to win games out of nowhere and has a reasonable back up plan of churning value off of Risen Reef. 

Rakdos Midrange (Stable)

Dimir Rogues (Stable)

D Tier

Mono-Green Stompy (Stable)

Gruul Aggro (Down from C Tier) – Over the last week, Gruul has been largely absent, which can be likely attributed to an up tick of Azorius Control over the last week.

Mono-White Lifegain (Down from C Tier) – While Mono-White performed well for a period of time, it looks as if Angels has proven it’s the better version in the current meta. 

Moved to Off-Meta

Esper Control

Simic Flash

Grixis Creativity

  • Publisher

    rose-emoji started playing Magic: The Gathering during Battle for Zendikar, then took a break from the game until Throne of Eldraine. Pioneer got him back into Magic full-force, and the launch of Arena on mobile hooked him in forever. Now that his favorite format is working its way onto Arena, he can be found grinding the format to death, mostly in Grixis colors, mono-colors or tribal decks.

  • Publicist

    Tyrant has been playing Magic in events since his first prerelease in Ixalan. Most of the time, he can be found in the various Pioneer Discord channels talking about anything Pioneer, from various meta decks to whatever new combo deck he has brewed up. When not playing Magic, he is getting cards in his collection signed by their artists or producing the occasional video for his YouTube channel.

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