Over the past couple weeks, tons of spoilers have been coming out of the woodworks. From a first look at MTG Fallout to a multitude of Lost Caverns of Ixalan previews, we’ve been blessed with a ton of new content to look forward to. Well, these previews are not slowing down, as now we’ve got a glimpse at the first full Commander deck reveal for the Lost Caverns of Ixalan. We had already seen Admiral Brass, Unsinkable in all its glory, but we now have full context of all the goodies that are coming along with release of this Precon.
Fortunately, there’s a lot to enjoy with the Ahoy Mateys Commander deck. Not only are we getting some exciting new Pirate cards and payoffs, but there are multiple reprints that are certainly welcome additions. Let’s dive into all that the Ahoy Mateys Commander deck has to offer.
The Pirate-themed Commander deck comes equipped with three solid options to be your general. Admiral Brass, Unsinkable is the primary Commander, and has been revealed for a little while. The card is quite strong, allowing you to return Pirate Creatures from your graveyard to the battlefield as Hasty 4/4s. Being able to bring back cards like Dockside Extortionist with excellent enters-the-battlefield abilities on each of your turns can be quite strong.
The secondary Commander is Don Andres, the Renegade, and it is a very flavorful card. The goal with Don Andres is quite simple: steal your opponents’ cards and use them for your benefit. Whenever you manage to cast non-Creature spells you don’t own, you get rewarded with Treasure tokens. This won’t always be easy, but cards like Word of Command can help in this regard. It’s definitely easier to steal opposing Creatures, and Don Andres provides a nice bonus there too. Cards like Empress Galina threaten to take over the game in conjunction with Don Andres.
We also have a reprint that also works exceptionally well with Don Andres. Admiral Beckett Brass lets you steal opposing non-Land permanents so long as you can connect in combat with three or more Pirates. Admiral Beckett Brass is a solid Commander option, and almost certainly makes the cut whether it is used as your general or simply among your other 99 cards.
Finally, we have a new Pirate Legend with Partner. This isn’t a Grixis card, so it doesn’t necessarily work well as a Commander in this Precon. However, you could always utilize the Partner ability with an Izzet Commander like Ludevic, Necro-Alchemist as a unique way to upgrade this Precon. Francisco isn’t absurdly strong, but as an evasive Pirate that grows and generates value whenever you deal combat damage with any Pirates, it’s a solid card to have early in your curve.
A Reanimation Subtheme
Next up, we have a handful of cards that help support Admiral Brass, Unsinkable. Likely the best of the bunch is The Indomitable. This card is a four-mana Vehicle, but its true power lies with the effect it provides just for being on the battlefield. Any time you connect with a Creature in combat, you get to draw a card. This, notably, does not say one OR MORE Creatures, so if you connect with multiple Creatures in combat, you can draw multiple cards.
If that weren’t enough, you can cast it from your graveyard if you control at least three tapped Pirates and/or Vehicles. This works well if you happen to mill over The Indomitable with Admiral Brass’s enters-the-battlefield effect, or if an opponent has Artifact removal.
Speaking of casting cards from your graveyard, The Grim Captain’s Locker allows you to Escape Creatures from your graveyard for four mana. This isn’t restricted to just Pirates, either, so if you happen to mill over any enormous threat, The Grim Captain’s Locker makes it easy to cast it for cheap.
Skeleton Crew is a unique Pirate Lord that benefits you whenever Creature cards leave your graveyard. This, of course, includes Admiral Brass’s reanimation ability. The synergy these new cards provide for the new Pirate Commanders is super cool.
An Artifact Subtheme
Beyond just the reanimator subtheme that Admiral Brass, Unsinkable provides, this Pirate-focused Commander deck also has a small Artifact theme to go along with the natural usage of Treasure tokens by Pirates. Storm Fleet Navigator, for example, can make a decent number of Map tokens whenever it attacks. These Map tokens allow Creatures you control to Explore. Not only does this help pump your Creatures or draw you necessary Lands, but it can also let you put big Creatures into your graveyard from your library to bring back to the battlefield later.
Gemcutter Buccaneer is an excellent Treasure maker, giving you tapped tokens whenever any Pirate enters the battlefield under your control. In addition, your Treasures are also Equipment that can give your Pirates a nice buff when necessary.
Speaking of Equipment, Arm-Mounted Anchor is a solid piece of Equipment that both makes one of your Pirates bigger and harder to block in combat, then lets you draw cards and pitch a Pirate from your hand into your graveyard. As we can see, there are plenty of new ways to reliably fuel Admiral Brass, Unsinkable within the Precon.
There are also ways to maximize token production within the Precon. Broadside Bombardiers, for example, is a Hasty Pirate that lets you sacrifice an Artifact or Creature to deal damage to something when it attacks. This is a great way to utilize excess Treasure and Map tokens. This Precon is definitely quite synergistic, which is great to see.
Beyond cool, synergistic new cards, the Ahoy Mateys Commander deck also comes ready with some great reprints. Most notably, Black Market Connections is getting a much-needed reprint. The card currently sits at roughly $27 according to TCGplayer market price, which alone showcases some excellent reprint value for the Precon. Black Market Connections is an excellent card for the deck, too. Providing card advantage, Treasure tokens, or Changeling Creatures at will every turn cycle depending on what you need is very strong, especially in a deck with typal synergies to maximize the Changeling aspect.
Beyond Black Market Connections, there are a few more solid reprints to go over. Pitiless Plunderer, despite being an uncommon from Rivals of Ixalan, still has a hefty price tag of nearly $11 and is an excellent inclusion in any Pirate deck. Port Razer is another nice inclusion in the Precon, sitting at roughly $6. The fact that Port Razer provides extra combat steps makes it amazing alongside Admiral Brass, which lets you bring back Pirates specifically at the beginning of combat on your turn. What’s better than reanimating one Pirate? Reanimating Two!
The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander decks seem like solid Precons for lovers of typal strategies. The Ahoy Mateys deck offers some neat Pirate goodies, good reprints, and a reasonably powerful shell all in one. For anyone interested in the deck, take a look at the full decklist here.