Decklists
Building Around in Explorer

Building Around in Explorer

Fight Rigging is Worth Building Around in Explorer

With the Qualifier Weekend on MTG Arena coming up featuring the Explorer format, the card I want to highlight is Fight Rigging. Fight Rigging is a New Capenna card that I think most players overlooked in terms of its Constructed applications, but it turns out getting to cast free spells for a three mana investment is pretty good.

There are a few different directions that you can go in when building around Fight Rigging, though clearly you want to be playing inexpensive high-power creatures. That way you can actually cast something off your Fight Rigging the turn it comes into play. While there is no “stock” Fight Rigging deck because of how new this strategy is, we do see some versions that pair green with black, which actually allows the deck run Obosh, the Preypiercer as a companion.

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/4843139#paper

Companion: (1)
Obosh, the Preypiercer

Creatures: (23)
Rotting Regisaur
Elder Gargaroth
Rhonas the Indomitable
Llanowar Elves
Gilded Goose
Shakedown Heavy
Titan of Industry

Spells: (13)
The Great Henge
Thoughtseize
Fatal Push
Fight Rigging
Lands: (24)
Overgrown Tomb
Castle Garenbrig
Castle Locthwain
Forest
Darkbore Pathway
Hive of the Eye Tyrant
Lair of the Hydra
Deathcap Glade
Boseiju, Who Endures
Swamp

Sideboard: (14)
Thoughtseize
Bloodchief’s Thirst
Duress
Go Blank
Vivien Reid
Lolth, Spider Queen
Massacre Girl
Toxrill, the Corrosive
Reclamation Sage
Grafdigger’s Cage

This deck plays a ton of high quality creatures, alongside mana dorks, and that works nicely to help enable The Great Henge. The Great Henge is still an extremely powerful card and works similarly to Fight Rigging in that you just need one big creature on the battlefield in order to make it a great play. Rotting Regisaur and Shakedown Heavy are two creatures that work really nicely alongside Fight Rigging and The Great Henge, while also being able to kill the opponent pretty quickly.

The deck does play all odd converted mana costs in order to include Obosh. Fortunately, there are multiple one mana creatures that can accelerate you into a three mana card getting cast on turn two. Gilded Goose and Llanowar Elves allow the deck to get away with playing Obosh. Black also offers strong interaction in both Thoughtseize and Fatal Push, which are both generically strong one mana plays in the Explorer format.

Decks that play Fight Rigging also generally want something expensive and high impact to be able to cheat into play off it. That’s where Titan of Industry comes in. Titan of Industry makes a ton of sense as a card you can cast naturally but is going to be amazing when it does come down on turn three thanks to a Fight Rigging.

Sultai Rigging

The Jund and Golgari Fight Rigging lists are definitely the more straightforward way to play with Fight Rigging, but this Sultai list should illustrate there is a lot more you can do with this card. Emergent Ultimatum is still a very powerful card and casting it off a Fight Rigging feels amazing!
https://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/explorer-jund-fight-rigging#paper

Creatures: (22)
Rotting Regisaur
Lovestruck Beast
Rhonas the Indomitable
Ilysian Caryatid
Llanowar Elves
Valki, God of Lies
Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
Reservoir Kraken

Planeswalkers: (1)
Liliana, Dreadhorde General

Spells: (13)
The Great Henge
Emergent Ultimatum
Alrund’s Epiphany
Baleful Mastery
Fight Rigging
Lands: (24)
Overgrown Tomb
Breeding Pool
Castle Locthwain
Zagoth Triome
Clearwater Pathway
Blooming Marsh
Barkchannel Pathway
Shipwreck Marsh
Island

Sideboard: (15)
Blast Zone
Thought Distortion
Carnage Tyrant
Unlicensed Hearse
Baleful Mastery
Thoughtseize
Finale of Eternity

The expensive one-ofs here are important as bullets you can go and find with Emergent Ultimatum, while also being powerful plays themselves if you end up casting one off a Fight Rigging. We do see Reservoir Kraken in this list as a different threat that can help trigger Fight Rigging. With that being said I’m not sure Lovestruck Beats is better than Shakedown Heavy, as the deck ideally wants to get a creature to seven power the same turn Fight Rigging comes into play.

Combining Emergent Ultimatum and Fight Rigging isn’t something I would have thought of, but it does work surprisingly well. If you get paired against a deck in Explorer playing creatures like Shakedown Heavy and Rotting Regisaur, please be aware it is extremely likely you are up against a Fight Rigging based deck. Fight Rigging decks can make some incredible plays, but the best way to combat the strategy is trying to kill off the creatures, so the Fight Rigging deck can’t get a seven-power creature in play.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield

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