Jadelight Ranger Art by Jason Rainville

Explorer Beginner’s Guide: Format Details and Starter Decks

Hello everyone! Streets of New Capenna release is upon us which is easily one of the most exciting times to be a Magic player, but on top of that, we get another gift early! A brand new supported format is coming to Arena called Explorer which will be Arena’s bridge to Pioneer. I’ll break down the article here, but if you want to read the announcement yourself, check out the link below.


What Is Explorer?

Explorer is a “true-to-tabletop” format where every Pioneer legal card on Arena is usable here! That is, every Standard set from Return to Ravnica onwards without all the supplemental products. This will feature the same events and constructed (ranked and unranked) queues that other formats like Standard and Historic have.

The banned card list, at the beginning, will mirror Pioneer but it may diverge based on the metagame. Despite this currently being a digital format, cards will not be readjusted like in Alchemy or Historic, but banned like they would be in tabletop formats and players will be granted Wildcard compensations as per normal procedure.

Now, on to the ban list. We plan to adhere to the Pioneer ban list, though there may be a times where a card becomes problematic in Explorer because of the current differences in card pools. If that happens, we will not rebalance or suspend the card; we will ban it.

Rebalancing and suspending cards are tools we use for our digital-first formats like Historic and Alchemy. Explorer is meant to mirror a tabletop format, so a card will either be playable, or it will be banned. If a card is banned in Explorer, it will follow the same policy we have whenever we ban a card in Standard, Historic, or Alchemy: players will receive wildcards equivalent to the number of cards in their collection that they haven’t already received a wildcard reimbursement for (i.e., cards banned in multiple formats at different times).

Eventually, as we move closer to Pioneer, we anticipate cards banned specifically in Explorer will become playable again as we realign the ban list to match tabletop, however, this does not affect our wildcard reimbursement policy. With the launch of Explorer, we currently do not have any additional cards we plan to ban.

Banned Cards


When Will This Truly Be Pioneer?

Cards will be slowly added starting with Historic Anthology 6 later this summer. Wizards wanted to stress that this transition is going to take a few years as they add “every card that matters”.

Similar to how Vintage was implemented on Magic Online, they aren’t looking to add in random commons from Pioneer legal sets, but rather every card that has an application in Pioneer.

There are also a lot of cards in Pioneer-legal sets that were intended for Limited or multiplayer formats that aren’t relevant to Constructed play or have become obsolete as better versions of the card have become available. Cards like that, as well as cards that have a high development cost with little or no play in the Pioneer format, are low on our priority list. Never say never, but our priority on card implementation will be driven by what we see in the Pioneer Constructed meta.


How Close is MTG Arena to Pioneer?

Currently, MTG Arena has 5,649/8,934 (63%) of the cards in Pioneer available. While many decks that exist in Pioneer are closely portable to Historic, some key cards are still missing for them to be competitive archetypes. Some cards missing in MTG Arena include:


When Will This Be Available to Play?

Starting from the MTG Arena update on April 21, 2022, players can start building Explorer decks!

Players can start playing Explorer in their dedicated events and queues starting April 28, 2022 with the release of Streets of New Capenna (direct challenges work).


What Are the Best Explorer Decks to Play?

Check out our Explorer metagame section, where we will be updating you with the latest information as soon as the data is available.


Starter Explorer Decks To Try (April 2022)

Thankfully Wizards has been kind enough to prepare us for this format for the past month! The What Was Written Midweek Magic Event is literally Explorer so these decks can be immediately used for Explorer play! Let me break down the archetypes as no matter what you’re privy to play, we have something for you!

BUDGET DECKS

AGGRO DECKS

(E) Mono White Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
4 mythic
22 rare
15 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (1)
Enchantments (7)
Lands (22)
2
Faceless Haven
$1.98
60 Cards
$41.62
(E) Mono Black Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 3
6 mythic
37 rare
2 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (6)
4
Fatal Push
$9.96
2
Power Word Kill
$0.50
Sorceries (4)
4
Thoughtseize
$83.96
60 Cards
$209.46
Sideboard
2
Power Word Kill
$0.50
1
Legion’s End
$0.69
4
Go Blank
$9.96
15 Cards
$24.07
(E) Mono Black Vampires
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
4 mythic
31 rare
6 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Instants (6)
4
Fatal Push
$9.96
2
Heartless Act
$0.70
Sorceries (4)
4
Thoughtseize
$83.96
Lands (24)
15
Snow-Covered Swamp
$11.85
3
Castle Locthwain
$17.97
3
Faceless Haven
$2.97
60 Cards
$284.06
(E) Mono Red Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
6 mythic
23 rare
16 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Instants (8)
4
Play with Fire
$7.96
Enchantments (4)
Lands (24)
15
Mountain
$3.75
4
Ramunap Ruins
$2.36
60 Cards
$143.18
(E) Mono Green Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
3 mythic
31 rare
2 uncommon
24 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (27)
4
Llanowar Elves
$1.00
4
Scavenging Ooze
$1.40
3
Kazandu Mammoth
$0.75
Instants (4)
Sorceries (6)
2
Blizzard Brawl
$0.50
4
Primal Might
$1.40
Artifacts (3)
3
The Great Henge
$209.97
Lands (20)
60 Cards
$350.06
(E) Gruul Aggro
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
5 mythic
32 rare
12 uncommon
11 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (32)
4
Llanowar Elves
$1.00
4
Pelt Collector
$3.16
4
Voltaic Brawler
$1.00
2
Scavenging Ooze
$0.70
2
Questing Beast
$23.98
Instants (2)
Artifacts (3)
3
Embercleave
$29.97
Lands (23)
5
Forest
$1.25
2
Mountain
$0.50
2
Ramunap Ruins
$1.18
2
Hashep Oasis
$0.50
4
Stomping Ground
$63.96
60 Cards
$260.54
(E) Naya WInota
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
5 mythic
43 rare
8 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Artifacts (4)
Lands (24)
4
Temple Garden
$67.96
4
Stomping Ground
$59.96
4
Sacred Foundry
$95.96
60 Cards
$502.58

TEMPO DECKS

(E) Mono Blue Tempo
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
4 mythic
8 rare
26 uncommon
22 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (20)
4
Pteramander
$1.00
4
Spectral Sailor
$1.40
4
Brazen Borrower
$63.96
Instants (16)
2
Spell Pierce
$0.50
4
Fading Hope
$5.16
2
Essence Capture
$0.50
4
Lofty Denial
$1.00
Enchantments (4)
Lands (20)
18
Island
$4.50
60 Cards
$128.88
(E) Dimir Rogues
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
2 mythic
25 rare
26 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (16)
4
Ruin Crab
$3.16
Instants (14)
3
Heartless Act
$1.05
1
Eliminate
$0.25
4
Into the Story
$1.00
Sorceries (6)
4
Thoughtseize
$83.96
Lands (24)
5
Island
$1.25
2
Swamp
$0.50
4
Fabled Passage
$23.96
2
Shipwreck Marsh
$6.98
4
Watery Grave
$79.96
60 Cards
$314.82
(E) Izzet Phoenix
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
7 mythic
21 rare
15 uncommon
17 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (12)
2
Sprite Dragon
$1.98
2
Crackling Drake
$0.50
4
Arclight Phoenix
$55.96
2
Ox of Agonas
$3.58
Instants (18)
4
Opt
$1.00
4
Lightning Axe
$1.00
4
Consider
$13.96
1
Play with Fire
$1.99
2
Kazuul’s Fury
$1.58
Sorceries (9)
4
Chart a Course
$1.96
Lands (21)
2
Island
$0.50
1
Mountain
$0.25
3
Sulfur Falls
$17.97
3
Spirebluff Canal
$71.97
4
Steam Vents
$87.96
60 Cards
$385.5
(E) Simic Flash
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
4 mythic
26 rare
15 uncommon
15 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (12)
4
Brazen Borrower
$63.96
4
Frilled Mystic
$1.00
Instants (20)
4
Fading Hope
$5.16
1
Essence Scatter
$0.25
4
Quench
$1.00
4
Growth Spiral
$1.96
2
Saw It Coming
$0.50
1
Rewind
$0.29
Enchantments (3)
3
Shark Typhoon
$62.97
Lands (25)
2
Forest
$0.50
4
Island
$1.00
4
Breeding Pool
$111.96
2
Ketria Triome
$43.98
60 Cards
$421.32

MIDRANGE DECKS

(E) Rakdos Arcanist
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
8 mythic
41 rare
4 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (4)
Instants (10)
4
Fatal Push
$9.96
1
Cling to Dust
$0.25
1
Bedevil
$0.69
1
Hagra Mauling
$0.99
Sorceries (9)
3
Duress
$0.75
4
Thoughtseize
$83.96
60 Cards
$486.82
(E) Rakdos Midrange
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
8 mythic
43 rare
6 uncommon
3 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (5)
Instants (6)
4
Fatal Push
$9.96
2
Bedevil
$1.38
Sorceries (6)
4
Thoughtseize
$83.96
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$533.04
(E) Jeskai Fires
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
8 mythic
41 rare
5 uncommon
6 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (16)
1
Brazen Borrower
$15.99
Instants (5)
4
Justice Strike
$1.00
Sorceries (4)
Enchantments (6)
Lands (29)
3
Island
$0.75
2
Mountain
$0.50
1
Plains
$0.25
4
Clifftop Retreat
$33.96
4
Sulfur Falls
$23.96
4
Steam Vents
$87.96
4
Raugrin Triome
$87.96
3
Sacred Foundry
$71.97
60 Cards
$442.74
(E) 4C Omnath
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
8 mythic
26 rare
10 uncommon
16 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (5)
4
Mystical Dispute
$17.96
Sorceries (11)
2
Cultivate
$0.98
Lands (28)
5
Forest
$1.25
4
Island
$1.00
2
Mountain
$0.50
1
Plains
$0.25
4
Evolving Wilds
$1.00
1
Rootbound Crag
$6.49
1
Sulfur Falls
$5.99
4
Fabled Passage
$23.96
1
Ketria Triome
$21.99
4
Raugrin Triome
$79.96
1
Savai Triome
$21.99
60 Cards
$328.16

CONTROL DECKS

(E) Azorius Control
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
8 mythic
31 rare
12 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (8)
Instants (8)
4
Censor
$1.16
4
Absorb
$9.96
Sorceries (4)
4
Doomskar
$9.96
Enchantments (14)
4
Baffling End
$1.00
4
Cast Out
$1.00
4
Shark Typhoon
$83.96
60 Cards
$564.12
(E) Jeskai Yorion
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
0 mythic
59 rare
13 uncommon
8 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Companion
Planeswalkers (4)
Creatures (2)
Instants (4)
Sorceries (8)
4
Transmogrify
$1.00
Artifacts (1)
1
Portable Hole
$2.79
80 Cards
$602.12
Sideboard
1 Cards
$3.99

COMBO DECKS

(E) Sultai Ultimatum
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
5 mythic
33 rare
16 uncommon
6 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (1)
Creatures (5)
1
Paradise Druid
$0.25
3
Elder Gargaroth
$53.97
Instants (4)
4
Silundi Vision
$1.40
Sorceries (16)
3
Cultivate
$1.77
3
Migration Path
$1.77
Enchantments (9)
Lands (25)
3
Forest
$0.75
2
Island
$0.50
1
Swamp
$0.25
1
The World Tree
$3.49
2
Deathcap Glade
$19.98
4
Breeding Pool
$111.96
3
Watery Grave
$59.97
4
Overgrown Tomb
$71.96
4
Zagoth Triome
$75.96
60 Cards
$472.46
(E) Jund Citadel
by DoggertQBones
Explorer
best of 1
0 mythic
45 rare
8 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (30)
4
Gilded Goose
$15.96
4
Llanowar Elves
$1.00
2
Shambling Ghast
$1.18
4
Mayhem Devil
$19.96
4
Woe Strider
$1.56
Instants (4)
Artifacts (4)
Lands (22)
1
Swamp
$0.25
4
Darkbore Pathway
$35.96
3
Deathcap Glade
$29.97
2
Stomping Ground
$29.98
4
Overgrown Tomb
$71.96
2
Blood Crypt
$47.98
60 Cards
$426.54

Decklists in this Article

Default image
DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

Articles: 399