Hey Commander players! It’s been a while since I posted anything. Life has been busy, and we’ve been doing some long-overdue housekeeping stuff here at the homestead. We did manage to open up a couple of boxes of Commander Legends, and my roommate and I have been slowly building some decks. There are some partners and some not, but they’re all quirky fun. This is an idea I had when reviewing the set, which made it all the way to a 100 card list. D’yarggh It’s a pirate deck!
The amazing duo of Breeches, Brazen Plunderer and Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator are united by the lack of the word combat in front of the word damage. Yes, these two trigger on any damage done to a player by any pirate, which means Pirate Ship, your day has finally come!
If it’s not obvious, the plan is to deal damage to our opponents with pirates in any way we can, then make treasures and steal their topdecks. Ideally we then use the treasures to cast their spells. Terrific!
I mentioned the long-ignored Pirate Ship, which is a tap trigger for our Commanders’ plan, but I’ll also point out the other big time trigger makers in the crew. Lightning-Rig Crew is our best gunner by far, and is even tough to kill with 5 toughness. Untapping on pirate spells is amazing. Glint-Horn Buccaneer is a top-gunner, and great all-around pirate with haste, high toughness, and rummage. Great with cycling cards.
New powerhouse Emberwilde Captain is going to be a big player here. The Monarch is tremendous, and we get our precious trigger on every attack against us while we have it. The Captain itself deals the damage, and that’s serious damage potential. Similarly, Fathom Fleet Swordjack dishes out the big pain for opposing artifacts. I chose it because it’s a trigger for us on attack, and potentially another if the Swordjack connects. Almost guaranteed to connect, Storm Fleet Sprinter is a terrific single-shot trigger on demand. While not a pirate, Tandem Lookout is on theme, and like our Commanders, triggers on any damage.
The crew has other evasive pirates, like Daring Saboteur, Slippery Scoundrel, and Warkite Marauder, all with some other upside. Azure Fleet Admiral isn’t always evasive, but when it isn’t, you’re the Monarch. Coastline Marauders isn’t really so evasive, but may be big enough to eat through any blockers for a trigger. Helping them all get by are Rogue’s Passage and Open into Wonder.
For those pirates that can’t get through are some artifacts and such. My new favourite toy Blazing Sunsteel makes sure my pirates are doing the retributive damage, not the blade. Same with Sorcerer’s Wand and Viridian Longbow, which are as close as we’re going to get to pistols. For cannons, we’ve got Mask of Immolation and Mortarpod, which demand a sacrifice, but are great in response to boardwipes, or with tokens that will expire at end of turn. Like from our Encore pirates. Warstorm Surge is expensive, but lets us use all our incoming pirates as cannon shots. Strionic Resonator doubles those triggers up.
Since we’re already planning to take our opponents’ best loot, several of our crew are pirates who specialize in that. At the top of the plunder roster is Zara, Renegade Recruiter which I think would draw too much hate as a Commander herself. She’s perfect here. Captivating Crew is an obvious choice, as is new card Coercive Recruiter. Dire Fleet Daredevil could be good, but I’m a little skeptical. Cheap at least. We’re also packing Stolen Strategy and Chaos Wand for classic fun, and I’ve included a theft-counterspell trio of Desertion, Spell Swindle and the Mana Drain I opened. We’re fairly light on answers, so I’m okay playing some more powerful ones. Feel free to include Cyclonic Rift but I’ll pass.
Something I try to fit in a number decks are cards that make copies of creatures that are entering the battlefield. I love new option Molten Echoes, and am also including favourites like Mirror March, Flameshadow Conjuring and Blade of Selves. Minion Reflector does this too, but mine’s in another deck, and we have enough already. Hasty pirate tokens are the perfect thing to try and get triggers with, either by attacking or with some of our equipment.
For the non-pirate members of the crew, and those we recruit/capture/seduce, we’ve got Amoeboid Changeling, Arcane Adaptation and Captain’s Hook. The Hook is a handy (haha) way to dispose of temporary crew, as well as make them evasive. It also has a solid power boost for the equip cost, which is a bonus feature of Heirloom Blade also. The blade and Herald’s Horn are cards I’d try to pack into any tribal deck.
I have high hopes for Amphin Mutineer, and I’m pretty sure my other ‘utility pirates’ Protean Raider and Siren Stormtamer will rise to the occasion. While Voracious Greatshark, Nadir Kraken and Shark Typhoon are more pirate occupational hazards than pirate friends, they’re too fun not to play with. Thassa, God of the Sea is there to keep the waters calm.
Among the lands, I have some nods to buried treasure with Soldevi Excavations, some underplayed utility in Moonring Island, some sacrifice outlets in High Market and City of Shadows, and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle because many islands got their start with an eruption.
Finally, I’d like to touch on a couple of cards that play well with treasure. Storm the Vault looks to do everything we want in this deck, and should be easy to flip into a crazy mana generator. Criminally underrated card Inspiring Statuary allows us to tap our treasures for colourless when casting non-artifact spells, making them into reusable mana rocks if we’re clever about it. We are.
You can check out the list on Archidekt for what specific editions of cards I’m playing with, plus values, etc. The Maybeboard has some interesting directions to go in. Brudiclad, Telchor Engineer just missed the cut, because I feel like it might just become the focal point of the deck. If I had an Ominous Seas, it’d be in there.
This is just the beginning of decks from Commander Legends. Watch out for plenty more. Thanks for reading! Your life matters. Black Lives Matter!