2, Sep, 23

MTG Commander: The 10 Best Pirate Cards

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Get your hands on the best Pirate Commander cards before they get their hands on you. Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
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Wilds of Eldraine has a lot to offer as a set. One of the areas of focus within the set was clearly to feature some underrepresented Creature types, such as Rats and Faeries. With that in mind, we thought we’d talk about one of MTG’s most intriguing Creature types that hasn’t always gotten the best support: Pirates. Even though Pirates aren’t one of the Creature types showcased in Wilds of Eldraine, their appearance as a focal point in Commander Legends coupled with the recent surge in support for underappreciated Creature types makes this a great chance to talk about the best of Magic: The Gathering’s Pirate Commander cards. We’re looking at Pirates as a whole here, with the focus being on the ones you absolutely need in your deck if you’re looking to sail the high seas, get into trouble, seek out some treasure, and probably steal some stuff. Without further ado, here are the 10 Best MTG Pirate Cards for Commander.

Honorable Mention – Emberwilde Captain

Emberwilde Captain is a strong, aggressive threat stapled with card advantage. When it enters the battlefield, you become the Monarch, which provides you with a steady stream of cards as long as you can prevent yourself from getting attacked. For a go-wide Pirate deck, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Further, if an opponent attacks you while you are the Monarch, they may get dealt a bunch of damage. This creates further incentive for your opponents to not attack you, helping to keep the cards flowing in your direction.

Honorable Mention – Siren Stormtamer

Siren Stormtamer is our shoutout for today because, for a mere one mana, the card does an awful lot of work. It’s a Blue flying 1/1 with an ability to die for. Well, it’ll die, but it’ll be worth it.

You see, you can pay one Blue mana and sacrifice it to counter a spell or ability that targets you or a creature you control. While this is a solid way to protect your Commander from removal, that’s still not quite enough to make it onto the proper list of best Pirate Commander cards.

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10 – Crafty Cutpurse

First up, we have Crafty Cutpurse. This is a four mana Blue 2/2 with Flash. Now, we love Flash, but that combination of abilities and strength is hardly worth writing home, or anywhere else, about.

Thankfully, they also make it so that when they enter the battlefield, each token that would be created under an opponent’s control this turn is created under your control instead. The only real downside here is that not everyone is making tokens, so sometimes it’s just an expensive 2/2.

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9 – Direfleet Daredevil

Dire Fleet Daredevil is a two mana Red 2/1 with first strike. That makes them pretty good in a fight in the early stages of a game, but you’ll usually want to drop them into play a lot later thanks to their chunk of text.

“When Dire Fleet Daredevil enters the battlefield, exile target instant or sorcery card from an opponent’s graveyard. You may cast it this turn, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any type to cast that spell. If that spell would be put into a graveyard this turn, exile it instead.” Basically, it’s a Snapcaster Mage but for someone else’s spells, and that’s great.

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8 – Timestream Navigator

Timestream Navigator is one of those cards that’s very obviously powerful, but still somehow rather underused. For two mana, you get a 1/1 with ascend, which means you get the city’s blessing as long as you control ten or more permanents, and that blessing lasts for the rest of the game.

You can pay four mana, tap it, and put it onto the bottom of its owner’s library to take an extra turn after the current one. If you can fetch it up from your library and make this a consistent thing, then you can literally take over a game.

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7 – Angrath’s Marauders

What if you just want to deal extra damage though? Well, Angrath’s Marauders have you covered. For seven mana, they’re a Red 4/4.

They make it so that if a source you control would deal damage to a permanent or a player, it deals double that damage instead. It’s an easy to understand ability, and an easy to use one too. How can you say no to killing off your friends at double speed?

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6 – Hostage Taker

Hostage Taker is a four mana Blue and Black 2/3 that saw a lot of play when it was Standard-legal because of its ridiculous ability.

“When Hostage Taker enters the battlefield, exile another target creature or artifact until Hostage Taker leaves the battlefield. You may cast that card for as long as it remains exiled, and you may spend mana as though it were mana of any type to cast that spell.” Basically, you can pick the best thing someone else owns and then cast it yourself.

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5 – Admiral Becket Brass

This’ll probably be the card you use as your Commande for a Pirate deck; it just makes sense. Admiral Becket Brass is a four mana Blue, Black, and Red 3/3 that gives other Pirates you control +1/+1.

Not only that, but it reads, “At the beginning of your end step, gain control of target nonland permanent controlled by a player who was dealt combat damage by three or more Pirates this turn.” It can be tricky to get that many hits in, but if you’re playing with cards that make your creatures tricky to block, then you should be able to keep adding more things to your collection.

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4 – Dockside Extortionist

Despite the price tag on Dockside Extortionist, they don’t belong at the top of the list of the best Pirate Commander cards, but they are pretty close. For two mana, you get a Red 1/2 Goblin Pirate.

When they enter the battlefield, you get to create Treasure tokens equal to the number of artifacts and enchantments your opponents control. In the right matches, this is going to allow you to play your entire hand on that turn, and that’s very hard to argue with.

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3 – Coercive Recruiter

Coercive Recruiter is a relatively new Pirate, but one that should be in any and every Pirate tribal deck you ever make. For five mana, you get a Red 4/3 with the ability to really mess up everyone’s creature-based game plans.

They read, “Whenever Coercive Recruiter or another Pirate enters the battlefield under your control, gain control of target creature until end of turn. Untap that creature. Until end of turn, it gains haste and becomes a Pirate in addition to its other types.” Stealing stuff is fun; turning them into Pirates is also fun, and you have to love the flavor of it all.

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2 – Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer

Look, this is certainlyexpensive, but it is quite good. There’s a reason the card is banned in Legacy and a powerhouse in Modern. For one mana, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer is a one mana Red 2/1 with a dash cost of two.

Whenever they deal combat damage to a player, not only do you get to create a Treasure token, you also get to exile the top card of their library and then you can cast it until the end of the turn. This is an absolute bargain at only one mana. Treasures and card advantage stapled to cheaply-costed Pirate. What more could you want?

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1 – Zara, Renegade Recruiter

Finally, we have Zara, Renegade Recruiter. They’re a five mana Blue and Red 4/3 with flying, which is really useful given their ability.

“Whenever Zara, Renegade Recruiter attacks, look at defending player’s hand. You may put a creature card from it onto the battlefield under your control tapped and attacking that player or a planeswalker they control. Return that creature to its owner’s hand at the beginning of the next end step.” Being able to pluck the best thing out of an opponent’s hand and then throw it back at them is a joy, and we thoroughly recommend everyone try it at least once.

This card works exceptionally well with opposing Creatures with great enters-the-battlefield effects. Getting to nab something like Terastodon can alter the game dramatically. Steal an opponent’s Craterhoof Behemoth, and you may just be able to win the game on the spot! This card has very high upside and is a very cool Pirate Commander to build around.

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