Explorer Tier List Update – May 19, 2022

A breakdown of the changes to this week's Explorer Bo3 and Bo1 tier lists

CLICK HERE FOR THE BEST-OF-THREE TIER LIST

CLICK HERE FOR THE BEST-OF-ONE TIER LIST

BEST-OF-THREE

S TIER

Mono-Red Aggro (Up from A): Mono-Red had an impressive showing this week, being the most-played deck in best-of-three and maintaining a winrate of 59%. The deck benefits from the Winota ban in a few ways – one of which being the decrease in the number of Redcap Melee in everyone else’s sideboards.

Rakdos Anvil (Stable): Another clear winner from the Winota ban, Rakdos Anvil has a fair matchup against most every deck in the format now and kept up a 61% winrate even while remaining the second most-played deck in Bo3. With Winota gone, the ban conversation has largely turned to Cauldron Familiar in the online Explorer community.

A TIER

Rakdos Midrange (Down from S): While having a fair matchup against the two S Tier decks, Rakdos Midrange is starting to get beat out by some of the slightly bigger midrange decks in the format; namely 4-Color Elementals, Jeskai Agent and Angels. Still, it is the third most popular deck in best-of-three, likely from Pioneer players who want to play an easily-ported deck on Arena.

Mono-Blue Tempo (Up from B): Mono-Blue Tempo’s game holds the second-highest winrate on the entire tier list at 64%, and the highest among decks with a reasonable play rate. We believe the deck has a strong chance of sticking around in A Tier for awhile, if not moving up to S Tier if playrates improve.

Jund Food (Stable): Jund kept up the same winrate as Anvil in Bo3, but had about half the playrate. The advantages of Jund over Rakdos were largely based on the Winota matchup (as most decisions were), so it is to be seen where Jund Food goes from here post-ban.

Mardu Greasefang (Up from C): Mardu has cemented its role as the better Greasefang deck in Explorer Bo3, pushing Esper out of the tier list entirely. While its winrate is not the strongest at 58%, the playrate is enough where you should expect to see this deck rather frequently on the Bo3 ladder.

B TIER

UW Control (Down from A): UW Control’s bigger selling points were its matchup against Winota, and as Mono-Red rises, so UW Control falls. With a 57% winrate and a decreasing rate of play, it is to be seen whether UW Control continues to tumble as it has been recently on the Pioneer tier list.

Izzet Phoenix (Up from C): The introduction of Ledger Shredder to the deck has largely replaced the hole that Thing in the Ice’s absence from Explorer left. As a swap also being made on the Pioneer side, Explorer Phoenix is starting to look more and more like its Pioneer counterpart – though, it has its struggles over there as well lately.

Jeskai Agent (Up from C): Switching up from the Yorion/Fires/Transmogrify version to an Indomitable Creativity strategy, Agent of Treachery is putting up a 62% winrate and is beginning to show higher rates of play in the Bo3 and Bo1 Mythic ladder. It remains in B Tier for now, but we imagine it has nowhere to go but up.

4-Color Elementals (Stable): Going over the top of other midrange strategies in the format and healing through Mono-Red’s rise in playrate, the Omnath, Locus of Creation decks remain in B Tier for now with a 59% winrate and a lower sample size than we are comfortable basing a tier jump on.

C TIER

GW Humans (New): New to the tier list, CoCo Humans entered the Bo3 meta with a 62% winrate and a fair number of games over the last week. While Streets of New Capenna didn’t give the archetype much, the shell of the deck has been available in Explorer the whole time.

GW Angels (New): Angels’ ability to heal through Mono-Red and get to an insurmountable life total against most decks has put it on the tier list this week despite a low playrate and an average winrate of 58%

BEST-OF-ONE

S TIER

Mono-Red Aggro (Stable): With a playrate three times higher than the next-most played deck in best-of-one, while maintaining a 64% winrate in the ranked ladder (Platinum and up), Mono-Red is a clear S Tier deck in Explorer Bo1. Just wait until they print Monastery Swiftspear into the format. 

A TIER

Mardu Greasefang (Stable): Mardu Greasefang remains in A Tier this week, boasting a 61% winrate and the second-highest playrate in Bo1. Besides having a game-winning combo that forces everyone else’s maindecks to run hate for it, the Mardu version runs a fairly good midrange plan as a backup and can still win games when the opponent is too focused on hating out the combo.

Esper Greasefang (Up from B): The Esper variant joins Mardu in A Tier on the Bo1 ladder this week, partly thanks to Ledger Shredder’s ability to filter the deck and provide a threat that isn’t killed by Ray of Enfeeblement or other Greasefang-specific removal spells.

B TIER

Rakdos Anvil (Stable): Anvil holds its spot by having answers to both a turn-three Greasefang and its ability to stall the board versus the top decks. Having a limited clock holds it back from the higher tiers.

Gruul Aggro (Up from C): Much like its Mono-Red counterpart, the idea of “gotta go fast” reigns highly in BO1 and this list continues to put up constantly good results, but is most held back by its medium play percentage.

Wx Angels (Up From C): In contrast to the last list, angels gives up a bit of the speed that Mono-Red and Gruul rely on as creature decks to focus a bit more on lifegain that turns the clock quickly while gumming up the board early but lacks a good way to answer early Greasefangs. 

Mono-Blue Tempo (Up from C): Tempo as an archetype is in an interesting spot as it spreads out each week between Dimir Rogues (that you will see below) and various forms of Mono-U that aim to cause the more all-in decks on this list to stumble. It suffers though in playrate to what we expect is due to the abundance of Mono-Red at the moment

C TIER

UW Control (Down from A): UW Control took a two-tier tumble this week on the best-of-one ladder, as its playrate diminished following the Winota ban. Still, it maintained a fairly strong winrate at 60%.

Dimir Rogues (Down from B): Rogues kept up its winrate from last week at 65%, but did not increase in playrate enough to justify it remaining in B Tier. If it can increase playrate while maintaining the high winrate it currently has, it could move back up.

Jeskai Agent (Down from B): Agent was looking like it was going to drop into D Tier, but the very recent shift in decklist from the Fires/Yorion/Transmogrify strategy to an Indomitable Creativity list has started taking over the Mythic ladder and kept it in C Tier for now with a 60% winrate.

D TIER

Jund Food (Up from off-meta): The increase play rate and reasonable winrate of BO3 has pushed into BO1 in order to try to take advantage of the current creature decks between, Mono-red, Gruul Aggro and the smaller decks like Mono-U Tempo.

Mono-Green Stompy (New): Pushed into the tier list singlehandedly by Skrub, a member of the PlayingExplorer Discord server, this list is exactly what you would expect from a mono-green stompy list in a format without Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx or Elvish Mystic. Skrub maintained a 60% winrate while pushing the deck into the playrate required for tier list consideration. Note: at the moment, we use the data provided by the MTGA Assistant program for the playrates and winrates on this tier list. If you also use this tracker and want to share your winrate with us, join our Discord server on Patreon!

  • 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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