Pirates aren’t quite as cool as dinosaurs (fight me!), but they are still pretty decent. Now, the idea of pirates fighting dinosaurs, that’s something I can get behind. Anyway, first up for the pirates in an okay legendary “lord.”
I like the +1/+1 to other pirates on Admiral Becket Brass, but the other ability that requires you to deal damage with at least three pirates I’m less keen on. If you’re able to pull it off it could be good, but if you’re dealing damage with that many creatures, you’re most likely either ahead in the game or your opponent doesn’t have much you want to steal anyway.
These other two captain I like a little more. They each give you incentive for attacking with your pirates. I’m not sure how good it will actually be, but Fathom Fleet Captain is a card I like quite a bit. Menace is a strong ability especially on a two-drop creature. I’d imagine in most matches you’ll probably be able to create at least one token with it before your opponent can do anything about it.
Speaking of attacking for sweet bonuses, a number of pirates make use of the returning Raid mechanic. Whether they are triggered by entering the battlefield once or at each of your end steps, the Raid mechanic turns on if you attacked with a creature and can offer up some advantageous benefits. Ruin Raider in particular channels one of the most powerful cards in Magic, Dark Confidant, so we’ll see if it’s able to feel those huge shows.
You know what pirates enjoy more than fighting though? Treasure, obviously!
There are a ton of cards in Ixalan that create Treasure tokens, which allow you to not only ramp, but also fix your mana. Revel in Riches is probably my favorite card that revolves around the Treasure mechanic. I’m pretty sure it won’t be very good in practice, but that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to build a deck around it. I will always be a fan of winning games in new, unique ways and I always be willing to try these kinds of cards out.
There’s even a legendary pirate captain that is focused on treasure. It seems like an okay card, but it’s not one I’m that excited about. I’m not even sure it would make it into my Revel in Riches deck.
Here are a handful of other pirates that I’m digging in Ixalan. Oh and one thing worth noting is the new Explore mechanic that can be found on Deadeye Tracker.
And here are some other spells that could certainly be useful in your pirate decks.
Oh, and look, we even get pirate ships. That’s pretty sweet, right?