Explorer Tier List Update – May 12, 2022

Explanation of placements and movements in the Explorer Bo1 and Bo3 tier lists for the week of May 12, 2022


Just a week into our tier list coverage of the format (and just when the data sample pool was getting large enough to make less subjective decisions on placement), WotC decided to shake up the format entirely by banning Winota, Joiner of Forces from Explorer. With this ban hitting last week’s S Tier deck in both Bo1 and Bo3 – a deck which largely defined the placement of others – our tier list this week is based largely on data from a format in which Winota dominated, with some input and placements by competitive Explorer players from our team that address a Winota-less format.





RB Anvil (Stable) – Anvil remains in the S Tier slot, and we expect it to thrive for awhile with its toughest matchup, Naya Winota, off the table. With Winota gone, Anvil is the top-played deck in the format and holds a winrate of 60%.

RB Midrange(Stable) – In Bo3, Rakdos Midrange has the tools available to it to have a favorable matchup against any deck in the format, while not having an “excellent” matchup against anything but aggressive creature-based decks. The second-most played deck in Explorer, its winrate is slightly lower than Anvil at 59%


UW Control (Stable) – UW Control thrived against the Winota matchup, but also holds its own against most other decks in the format, including the two S Tier decks. With a winrate of 58% and the fourth-highest playrate in Bo3, it remains in A Tier for now, but depending on how the meta evolves post-Winota, this could change rather quickly -up or down.

Mono Red (Stable) – Mono-Red boasts a 63% winrate – higher than both S Tier decks, but its low playrate keep it stable in A Tier. That being said, a meta shakeup this drastic basically constitutes a new format, and mono-red tends to be a good way to attack new formats while the pieces are falling.

Jund Food (up from C) – Jund Food was a big mover in Bo3, some of which might have to do with the favorable Winota matchup. A 62% winrate and being the third most-played deck in Bo3 brought it up two tiers this week.


4C Elementals (New) – 4C Elementals but up some impressive numbers for its debut week averaging at a 59% winrate and the seventh most-played overall. Players seem to love Omnath and it’s no wonder why. This deck just buries its opponent in card advantage, quickly ramping out lands and keeping hands full. With the loss of Winota in the format this is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Mono-Blue Tempo (New) – Mono-Blue Tempo exploded onto the tier list this week putting up a whopping 65% winrate against the field and being the sixth most-played deck overall. Pioneer players will be quick to recognize that these builds fluctuate between classic mono-blue tempo and mono-blue spirits, which has been recently racking up a string of high profile wins in recent weeks. Don’t be surprised to see this deck sticking around close to the top is the list, as it should still be able to prey on the midrange strategies hanging around following the loss of Winota.


Mono-Black Devotion (New) – Debuting on the tier list in C Tier, Mono-Black Devotion holds a 57% winrate in Bo3, performing rather well even without Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx.

Jeskai/4C Agent (down from B) – Jeskai/4C Agent drops down to C Tier this week, despite boasting the highest winrate on the list at a whopping 69%. The sample rate being as low as it is keeps the deck from the upper tiers, but if it is able to maintain a similar winrate while increasing playrate, Agent could end up topping this tier list in due time.

Mardu Greasefang (Down from A) – Similar to Agent, Mardu Greasefang has a high winrate at 65%, but is held back from higher tiers by a low playrate and sample size.



Mono-Red (Stable) – on the Bo1 side, where Winota was even more dominant, Mono-Red remains as the only S Tier deck this week, with a vastly disproportionate playrate (more than double) to the next-highest deck. A winrate of 63% doesn’t put it near the 69% winrate that apparently is enough to trigger a ban, but it is firmly in S Tier this week. 


UW Control (Up from B) – Jumping up to the second-most played deck, UW Control maintained a 61% winrate in the process, boosting it up to A Tier. Again, this could change rather quickly depending on how the meta reacts to the Winota ban.

Mardu Greasefang (Stable) – Holding the highest winrate on the Bo1 list at 65%, Mardu Greasefang remains in A Tier, despite having a lower playrate than its counterpart, Esper Greasefang, which recently got a few more tools to experiment with.

Dimir Rogues (New) – Dimir Rogues jumped into the format with an impressive showing both in playrate and winrate, at 64%. Debuting on the tier list in A Tier is a rare occasion, but the data warrants it in this case.


Esper Greasefang (Down from A) – The Esper variant increased in playrate this week, but lost some significant winrate points, dropping to 55%.

4C/Jeskai Agent (Up from C) – With a 63% winrate and a much larger sample size in Bo1 versus Bo3, Agent moves up from C Tier largely based on the data alone.

RB Anvil (Down from A) – Anvil thrives in Bo3, where games can be grindier and sideboards can swing games two and three. In Bo1, it’s just not fast enough or tuned to hate out other decks in the format the way it is currently built. With a winrate of 62% and a fairly high sample size, it doesn’t drop any further than B Tier this week.


Gruul Aggro (New) – Despite jumping onto the tierlist as the sixth most-played deck in the Bo1 ranked ladder and holding a 60% winrate, Gruul Aggro will debut in C Tier, as the numbers aren’t strong enough to judge whether it is a flash in the pan.

GW Angels (New) – Angels also debuts in C Tier, with the same winrate as Gruul Aggro at 60% and a lower playrate.

Mono-Blue Tempo (Down from B) – Alternating between spirits and Tempest tempo versions, Mono-Blue put up numbers close to its Bo3 counterpart, at a 62% winrate, but a much lower playrate than the deck on the Bo3 side, where sideboards can turn a match on its head.

  • rose-emoji

    Network Administrator/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. Only ever Grixis colors, but sometimes he can have a little Jund as a treat.

  • TyrantofTales

    Distribution Manager

    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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