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MTG: Watch Your Booty – Top Five Pirate Commanders

4 Minute Read
Mar 5 2024

Hoist the colors, set sail, and make your opponents walk the plank with these five Pirate Commanders.

Welcome Planeswalkers and Praetors to our ongoing series about the best casual experience in Magic: Commander. For the uninitiated, Commander is a semi-casual format for Magic: the Gathering. You use a deck of 100 cards led by a legendary creature, aka, your Commander.

Aside from basic lands, you are only allowed one copy of each card in the deck. Moreover, you can only include cards in your Commander’s “color identity” or artifacts. Each color and color combo has a unique playstyle and a wealth of mighty generals to lead your deck to victory. is an excellent source for Commander info and can give you ideas to build your next Commander deck or tune an existing one.

Pirates are a new addition to the MTG typal team. They rose to prominence in Ixalan, and on the revisit, they got even stronger. While they aren’t the most aggressive or powerful Commanders out there, they can still pack a surprising punch. Their unique combination of evasion, treasure generation, and card theft helps them stand out from other similar decks in their colors.

Admiral Beckett Brass

The original captain of the MTG Pirate crew, Admiral Beckett Brass is a powerhouse of a Commander. She not only buffs all your other Pirates but if you happen to slip three of them past your opponent’s defenses, you can steal one of their nonland permanents. This is a great way to shift a Rhystic Study or Smothering Tithe back against your enemy and make THEM pay the 1 for once. She’s also a bargain at four mana for a 3/3, and in Grixis she has access to all the best evasion.

Admiral Brass, Unsinkable

Not content with the gold medal, Admiral Brass has to snag the silver as well. She is a bit more expensive, which isn’t ideal, but her new ability makes up for it. When she hits the field, you mill the top four cards of your deck. That’s a bit of a hefty price, but she’s worth it. At the beginning of combat on your turn, you get to bring one of your dead pirates back with a finality counter, a power boost, and haste. Admiral Brass is happy to prove that while dead men tell no tales, they do come back for one more score.

Breeches, Brazen Plunderer/Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator

Sporting two different forms of evasion, this duo gives you access to theft and the mana to capitalize. Breeches lets you steal the top card of your opponents’ libraries so long as a Pirate dealt damage to them, and Malcolm gives you Treasure tokens to cast them with. Why play your own deck when it’s so much more fun to play someone else’s?

Don Andres, the Renegade

While Don Andres doesn’t do any of the theft himself, he makes all the things you steal MUCH nastier. Any creature that you steal gets a +2/+2 buff, menace, deathtouch, and becomes a Pirate. But press-ganging isn’t all this undead Spaniard does; whenever you cast a noncreature spell you don’t own, you get two Treasure tokens to use later. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

Ramirez DePietro, Pillager

Closing out this dastardly crew is Ramirez DePietro, another Treasure thief who’s after your opponent’s spells. When he hits the battlefield, you get two Treasure tokens for the low price of two life. Then, once a Pirate hits an opponent, you steal the top of their library and can cast it at any time. He’s a little less effective than Breeches since he has no evasion, but he’s still a solid source of card theft.

What do you think of these Commanders?


Author: Clint Lienau
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