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  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    FNM didn’t go too well this week @ 1-3. While I’m not upset over this (the way I see it is I’ve got a sweet job and an awesome girlfriend, doing bad at a game isn’t sad) in any kinda emotional way, but

    Going into this week I was feeling fairly confident; I wasn’t expecting a 4-0 but 3-1 seemed likely and 2-2 seemed like the worst case scenario going in. The Pirates performed pretty well for me so far and I felt like this build had kinda stripped away all the goofy stuff for a more balls-to-the-wall aggressive approach. The funny thing here is, at the start I would say things like “no, it’s totally not an aggro deck” because guys like Kitesail Freebooter, Direfleet Daredevil just didn’t feel very aggro too me. Still, I’m hard pressed to say what it was if it wasn’t aggro so I kinda gave in a bit and opted in cards that were more aggressive than what I had been doing, messed with things a bit to give me a more aggro curve. In a world of goldfish, things were looking a great deal more efficient for me to take my opponent from 20 to 0 quicker, in theory. That’s not how it played out. Once more my losses were close, but still not in my favor. While changes I had made over the past several weeks had given the deck a “better” (but is it better if it doesn’t win as much?) curve which I hit more consistently and could theoretically do more damage quicker it had sacrificed a level of responsiveness that set it apart in order to get there.

    Due to circumstances entirely unconnected to MTG I’ll be missing FNM for the next week, possibly two… and this week I may or may not have a playtest night either. I’ll be conducting a massive overhaul on these buccaneers. More to come...

    As for if this should be a specifically Rakdos or general Pirates thread, it doesn’t matter to me too much (I sometimes splash in Brass so I guess I’m kinda Grixis sometimes…) I mostly stick to Rakdos because while there are good blue / blue-combo pirates , the R & B ones seem the most to the point to me and it’s more efficient not to get too fancy with color stuff… But I totally am willing if something pops out.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Fraying Sanity post Rivals
    (Yeah, I totally just copied / pasted this but at least I added card links and I just typed it up...)A pile o' jank I'm working on for fun. After building this I goldfished it a few times and realized it probably wasn't going to work the way I hoped it would but during my playtest night it was still in sleeves so I gave it a spin. It didn't do amazing but it didn't do as bad as I thought it would either so I'm putting it up to play with a bit.

    The general idea is to mill your opponent with Fraying Sanity + Minister of Inquiries , Fleet Sallower, Ipnu Rivulet, Compelling Argument (+Flood of Recollection). With a bit of graveyard hate built into the Scavenger Grounds.

    This can take a while, so it's helpful to have a small handful of chump blockers (burnt out ministers & Legion Conquistador), some life gaining ability (Sanguine Sacrament & Azor, the Lawbringer ) and a little bit of disruption ( Spires of Orazca, Settle the Wreckage) to help you stay in the game.

    Sanguine Sacrament is bonus because it keeps returning to your library. Evolving Wilds, Legion Conquistador & Thaumatic Compass, all offer opportunities to search your library for specific cards (mostly land) you will need, thinning out your deck and to shuffle those Sanguine Sacraments (and any Opt-ed over scrys) back into the mix (from the bottom of your library). This'll all make opt a little better too as you're pulling out cards (for the most part, lands) that you need to do stuff and leaving in your library more stuff to do, opt things things out with your scry if you don't like it then draw. If and when you get Azor out, you've likely sifted through your deck a bit and have at least 6 lands on board, an attack with him and the cost paid you get to draw more cards to do stuff and get some life.

    Anyhow, it's a work in progress. Let's see how it goes...
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    I actually more or less agree with Forerunner. The two things that makes it really fit for me is manna cost. Sure, 2/2 for 3 can make you feel kinda like you're wasting your time and that one point of damage payoff per pirate can seem trite when for that amount of manna you could do something like bust out a Dire Fleet Captain AND a Rigging Runner...

    But even with treasure Neckbreaker (which will be Forerunner's target most of the time) can't really come out in either of our decks until turn 4 (maybe turn 3 if you pull something like a turn 2 fatal push to an opponents Wanted Scoundrels or something along those lines but that's not something we can accomplish on our own) it doesn't matter too much that we have to wait a turn to get to cast it because we wouldn't be able to any way. If, in the case that you have a Neckbreaker to come out but not enough manna to cast it, Captain Lannery could be a good way to go. Yeah... it's kinda round about and this is the slower of the two options but it's kinda a you take what you can get situation there and you can still get Neckbreaker out (albeit on turn 5). In an ideal world, our opponents will crumble at the sight of a Neckbreaker but they're also gonna have some tools at their disposal and the game can go on. Those extra points of damage can really help too, when playing against a deck like Approach you may find your pirates kinda in stasis, unable to cause any damage with our attacks (Or maybe you're at a point where your opponent is low on life but you've got to reserve your creatures for blocking), but we can still power our way through such situations with the help of cheap pirates (and especially Fathom Fleet Captain). It also helps counter some of the effects of an opponent's potential Authority of the Consuls.

    While all these things are pretty great, it still comes back to a 2/2 for 3 just isn't a very good deal. In most situations, it's ideal to be able to play a Neckbreaker on turn 4 and this can help make the dream real. Sure, it can sometimes feel like an extra step but it only costs 3 and is way more flexible (but not nearly as good) as Neckbreaker (I'd much rather have one of each than two Neckbreakers in my opening hand). This is why I run 2 (and 3 Neckbreakers), it gives you a really good chance to curve into a T4 Neckbreaker.

    At any rate, good luck with the SPD!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    All in all looks good. SPD can be a good card with pirates. Two other cards that I loved with my Pirates but found their way out of my deck at this point are Crash Through and Buccaneer's Bravado. Sure, it sucks that Crash Through is a sorcery but it's also 1 and gives you a card draw and trample can win you the game a lot of times with cards like the Dire Fleet's Captains & Neckbreakers (and first strikers+Neckbreakers) at the very least it can force them to use blockers which can sometimes put you in a great position to use Poisoner. Buccaneer's Bravadocan be outright sick if you throw it on a Dire Fleet Captain at the right time (even at the "worst" time it turns the Cap into a 3/3 double strike which is pretty mean but with a couple crew-mates swinging in with it and possibly a neck breaker this guy can get huge, if you already cast a crash through it can be pretty mean way to rip through a bunch of blockers like a school's worth of teachers would rip up a free doughnut buffet... I work at a school, some times we'll set theses up at work... if you can't imagine it... I assure you, they're gonna tear through a lot of (metaphorical for your cards, literally for the teachers) doughnuts). While these spells work well, I'm not currently running them because my deck tends to run better with more creatures than spells.

    One creature I might suggest slipping in (and I'm kinda a late convert to this one as well) is Forerunner of the Coalition it seems kinda slow and weak (and in some ways it is)but it works well with other pirates for a few reasons: It's a pirate so while it may only be a 2/2 if you've got to swing with her Neckbreaker will help her out and she'll help out the Dire Fleet Captain, admittedly there are a lot of other great pirates so this isn't the strongest point but it's something... It'll help you curve into your lords by either tutoring for them or for Captain Lannery Storm which can help give you the manna that you need to cast a neck breaker (or whatever). Finally, that point of damage per pirate can really matter; you've got a ton of cheap pirates and it works particularly well with Fathom Fleet Captain.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Casual Magic in Pittsburgh
    Well, that's a bit complicated... Where about town do you live? I live in the mid Mon Valley region and there's a few places I'll go.

    Mr. Nice Guy Games: Monroeville

    Been here a couple times. They've got a very nice selection of cards that are priced a bit on the high end. If you need to pick up some things last minute it's a really good spot but I wouldn't go with a very long shopping list. They run a lot of events on most nights but they also have a bit of a reputation for having a bunch of Spikes and a very competitive tone to the place. Of course, if that's what you're looking for it's a fine place to go.

    Nethervoid games: Munhall

    It seems a bit out of the way until you actually find the place. It's a bit smaller than the other shops listed here but fits in the middle when it comes to card selection, it's also a good place to find Minis for things like Warhammer and what not. It's got a pretty friendly vibe and runs events regularly. Not too far from the Homestead waterfront so if you are in a part of the city near to there it's a fine spot.

    NDC: Century III mall.
    Yes, that Century III mall. This NDC is a great place to play games and buy comics of all kinds. Their selection of singles is pretty lacking but they make up for it in all kindsa ways. People are friendly and helpful, FNM events are full of regulars, several of which will bring several (many top tier) decks for others (like new folks or anyone really) to play.

    The thing is with "casual" is it's only as "casual" as the kitchen table you're playing at. "Casual" for a group of friends in 8th grade might mean a bunch of assorted jank from the last couple years while "casual" games among others could be like Legacy without the ban-list. It takes a bit of care to get together a good kitchen table style group that fits your needs. If you're in the area I'd suggest checking out Century 3 NDC FNM. Even if you don't have a standard deck that you can use, someone will have one that you can play with so it won't eat up your budget and you can take it from there.

    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    Went 2-2 this week at FNM but it was a 2-2 much closer to a 4-0 than a 0-4 but at the end of the day still a 2-2.

    Round 1: (2-0) Win Vs. Rakdos Pirates

    Both games went pretty much the same, we both came out cannons a’ blazing. His guys were a little faster to come out but my guys weren’t far behind and they got much bigger much quicker.

    Round 2: (1-2)Loss Vs. G/W Dinosaurs

    Game 1 was close but he came out ahead. Game 2 was close but I came out ahead. Game 3 I only got the two lands I started with and while I had a good start they didn’t have any kinda mana problems and they powered through my slow stream of pirates.

    Round 3: (1-2) Loss Vs. Grixis Pirates

    My opponent in round 3 had a pretty interesting Grixis pirate deck. While I don’t have the list, it was a toolbox deck based around Forerunner of the Coalition. Of the three games, my victory was pretty well decided while both of theirs were squeaked out (but earned none the less). Game 3 was incredibly close (I was a fatal push away from a killing attack, but he managed to squeak by with one life and top decked what he needed to kill me). I take the loss for what it was but it could have went either way, at the end of the day I’d take my pirates over his but for folks looking to go more grixis Toolbox Pirates could be the way to go. Still, while he wasn’t running arcane adaptation, that could be a thing that allows you to toolbox any creatures you can cast as pirates and possibly take this idea to a next level of nasty (then again, maybe not).
    Round 4: (2-0) Win Vs. Merfolk

    It seemed like a solid Merfolk build in theory. Hexproof stuff, stuff that can’t be blocked, counters and the normal the G/U staples. His creatures wound up dieing as blockers before they could get big enough or numerous enough to pose any kind of threat to me at any point.

    While I can’t speak for every shop, this week showed me a few things.

    First of all, there were a lot more people pirates than there was when I started. I wouldn’t be shocked to see some flavor of pirates on the meta list sooner rather than later.

    Secondly, at least on local level, the meta is as good in most ways as it reasonably can be. There currently are a lot of creative, competitive deck builds going, none of which dominate every match up but many of them have the potential to win any, if not most, match ups depending on how the games go.

    There are things this deck does worse against some decks than others ( solid midrange, lots of white stuff, and any typical thing that generally mauls folks like Scarab God) but given a good line of play the pirates are one of the many deck types that consistently have a good chance to win against anything (in standard, right now).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    Thanks, there's more coming too (want to touch on my manna base, sideboard and some random bits) but while I have a lot of love for Glory Bringer I wouldn't use him in this build. It's a very good card but he's a 5 drop and most of my curve is way below that, and he's not a Pirate so he's not gonna help Dire Fleet Captain get bigger, the Pirate lords won't help him get bigger and the Vanquisher's Banner won't affect him, also Unclaimed Territory won't help you get a red for him (though you probably wouldn't be lacking red mana). I could see him being incredibly pretty nasty with some pirates if you're playing around with blue a bit more than I am and using Arcane Adaptation.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    After a month of evolution which is still continuing there’s a lot to be said about Pirates in general and R/B pirates in specific. Though technically I’ve got a single (currently two-of), blue manna cost at this point I still think of this deck as a R/B affair and while I’m not particularly committed to this ratio there probably won’t be much blue in this deck in the future but I’ll touch on that more in bit.

    While constant changes to the deck makes these numbers a bit blurry since no week has been played with the same exact look. Out of four weeks, I have gone 10-6 in total rounds and 21-14 in individual games, reduced I’m at 5-3 (60%) rounds won vs. loss and just a little better 3-2 (about 67%) in individual games . None of these numbers are terribly amazing but three out of four weeks I’ve gone 3-1 and that’s at least pretty good.

    Getting to the meat and potatoes, there are a lot of really great Pirates, support cards for Pirates and a lot of different ways to play pirates (and I’m thinking I’m not even seeing all of them at this point). I’m not even going to attempt to cover them all. I would say that at their core, Pirates in general are a pretty aggressive group with highly cost efficient creatures. If you want to play a straight forward aggro with Pirates I would probably suggest mono red. It’s been said before, there are enough good red pirates to go that route. But then again… the same can probably be said in general (that one can make pretty fierce mono blue or black) pirates as well. While Raid is super common trigger amongst pirate-y things suggesting, a level of aggression across the board. Pirates also come equipped with a wide range of really useful abilities at great value. Ok, so maybe that came off as a bit vague and hype-y but there’s a bit of a warning here too. There are so many (mostly cheap,) useful pirates that it creates a bit of a dilemma at first (especially at 3 colors), figuring out what to do with such a swiss-army tribe as pirates. Since we’re brewing standard we can only reasonably fit so many pirates into our decks.

    I’m having a bit of a hard time identifying this build with an archtype (other than “tribal”) which isn’t a big deal but presents a bit of an issue here when describing the hows and whys of playing it.

    The heart of this deck is an aggro philosphy; the curve is pretty low to the ground for the most part, while the highest cmc card in here comes in pretty high at six, most of the cards can come out at two. While deck works under a fundamentally aggressive creature concept (use cheap, efficient creatures to smash your opponent’s life down to 0) there’s a number of rogue elements in this deck (that’s a joke… since pirates are rogueish… which really begs the question if there was a human pirate wizard why not a goblin pirate rogue… oh, the Breeches, card that should have been, I lament thee, in my heart of hearts you’ll always be a legendary goblin pirate rogue that works like legion loyalist but only affects pirates or something along those lines… I digress...) and it’s constructed with an eye a bit more towards responsiveness and some other stuff slightly less straight forward than just straight ahead face bashing. That said, there’s still a good bit of face-bashing to be had.

    Without anymore preambling, here’s the card breakdown for my current build.


    1 Mana

    4 Daring Buccaneers might be a little vanilla but a 2/2 for 1 is pretty good value. This might be the worst creature in the deck but it’s the best thing to put down on turn one. There are tons of Pirates in this deck so revealing the next one you’re about to put out is not too hard to make happen.

    4 Rigging Runners can pass for a round one drop down (especially if you’re pretty certain you’re going to get a Neckbreaker or you’ve got a Poisoner up your sleeve), a 1/1 first striker for 1 isn’t bad (it beats Bomat Currier and most creatures with */1) , but generally speaking you want it to come out with its raid trigger activated because a 2/2 first striker for 1 is great (once again, especially if you’re pretty certain you’re going to get a Neckbreaker or you’ve got a Poisoner up your sleeve... the good Admiral doesn’t hurt either).

    2 Mana

    4 Dire Fleet Captain , this card is an all star here for a pretty uncomplicated reason; all your creatures are pirates so it’s going to get +1/1 for every other body swinging with it. Most of the time, when you swing the DFC will be your biggest guy and he only costs 2 mana.

    3 Dire Fleet Poisoner , a deathtouch grizzly bear with flash that if you flash in during an attack you can also use as a combat trick is hard to beat. If I could sneak in four of these I would, and I might at some point. Obviously, you get the most mileage off of this card if you flash (especially if someone tries to block one of your first strikers with a big body) it in but it’s not bad on its own.

    3 Kitesail Freebooter , this card isn’t quite as aggressive as the rest of the deck but there are lots of great reasons to play it on turn two or whenever. A 1 /2 flier isn’t bad, especially if your opponent has no fliers but being able to see what they have in their hand and possibly keeping them from holding something that can be very useful against this deck.

    3 Fathom Fleet Captain , this is another card I would run more of if I had the room. This card is pretty straight forward 2/1 menace will either eat up some of their removal or allow you to start pumping out pirates. If they decide to double block, that’s a great time to flash out a Poisoner if you’ve got one. This guy might not be the one who does the big hits but he and the crew he helps summon will help those big hits get through. It’s also great to have on the board later as a place to spend mana if you’re low on cards or holding back because you know your opponent has board-wipes.

    3 Mana

    3 Captain Lannery Storm, I’ve sometimes questioned if 3 is the right number for a legendary creature in this deck but in this case, I think it is. She’s a very useful lady. Obviously, haste is nice, there’s not a lot of haste in this deck. If she comes out on turn 3 you could feasibly (Daring Buccaneer, Dire Fleet Capitan, Captain Lannery Storm) be swinging for 8 and getting a treasure which can be applied well in a number of ways (only 3 land and a neckbreaker? Neckbreaker comes out next turn, you can maybe swing for 15. Got another land and a Vanquisher’s Banner? You’re swinging for 12 next turn and setting yourself up for a lot of card draw. Got a Rigging Runner? Pop it in post-combat and next turn you’re swinging for 11… the point is, treasure is handy). Sure, at 3 you’re likely to get more than one of her sometimes so if you do, just keep swinging with her as is reasonable because only one can be out at a time and if you have a second, she becomes a body you don’t need to bring back with March of the Drowned or a problem for your opponent. Her +1 for spending treasure can also be important at times.

    2 Forerunner of the Coalition, this lady is a new addition so I’m not sure how she’s gonna work with the rest of my crew. She’s not an amazing body for attacking or blocking but she’s got a few features which help you leap from the bulk of your crew to some of your more fancy tricks. While there are reasons to tutor for most pirates in this deck. depending on what your hand looks like your best bet is either Capitan Lannery Storm, Dire Fleet Neckbreaker or Admiral Becket Brass. This is her primary reason for being here, (like Lannery) she’s a 3 drop that helps you bring out your guys that’ll make your little guys a bit bigger. Her point of damage for each pirate cast is undoubtedly useful on some level at any point but this gets super crazy with your artifacts in play.

    4 Mana

    2 Dire Fleet Neckbreaker, this guy is a force of nature, generally speaking you don’t even have to attack with him. That he gives +2/0 to all of your attacking creatures is pretty great but this is doubly true for all of your first strikers. While it can be a pretty nasty attacker too it’s probably best not to use him as such unless you are pretty sure that there is no way your opponent can kill him (blockers, combat tricks, Settle The Wreckage) when you do so because his bonus to all other attackers will do you a lot more good in the long run. As is also the case with Brass, the reason there’s only two of these guys in the deck is trying to keep the curve low but with two Forerunners they’re both effectively four ofs if you want them to be, which take up half the number of slots.

    2 Admiral Beckett Brass, Brass was a bit of an experiment that went well. By the time you can cast her, chances are you’ll have come across an unclaimed territory or Capitan Lannery Storm, so that blue mana should be no problem. Generally speaking, the Neckbreaker will help you win faster but in some situations you may find yourself better served stealing their stuff or making your other bodies a little tougher.


    1 Mana

    2 Fatal Push, it’s pretty good at killing things. There’s only 2, if you get one use it wisely.

    2 Mana

    2 Lightning Strike, is decent at killing things and a swell way to dish out a final blow to an opponent. Once again, there’s only 2, use them wisely.


    3 March of the Drowned , this card has the potential to be a real back breaker in this deck. Clearly, it’s always good to be able to bring back guys from the dead but all of these creatures can come back from the dead at a rate of 2 creatures for 1 mana with this card. That’s a better value than many, if not most removal out there. Most of your pirates are pretty cheap so it’s not unreasonable to have them back on the battlefield pretty soon after getting them out of your graveyard.


    5 Mana & 6 Mana

    1 Vanquisher's Banner / 1 the Immortal Sun.

    I have these two gems together on this list for a reason. They weren’t in my earliest drafts and when I show off my deck these two cards cause the most head scratching. While earlier versions seemed to work pretty well, there seemed to come a point pretty early (in test games) where, if I didn’t win by my Pirates would be getting outclassed (they might be really efficient one and two drops but most of my creatures are still one and two drops). Obviously, they’re a bit heavy on the casting cost. While I love what it looks like when they can get out there I’m not feeling brave enough to put more than one of either one in more than once (not only because you don’t want to get stuck with two cards like this early game but because there’s not much room in the deck but still, getting these two out together feels good enough to make me want to run them both as two-ofs) but I do tend to think of them as a two of rather than two one ofs.

    The idea is this, the deck is pretty efficient. There’s very little haste but it’s pretty easy to fill up the board and your “worst” Pirate is a 2/2. Unfortunately, by the time you could play a card with 5-6 cmc you’ll probably find yourself with a mostly (if not entirely) empty hand and that your creatures are starting to get outclassed by midrange decks or getting the clampdown put on you by control. Both of these cards help out by making your guys a bit bigger and helping out with card advantage and they both do so in slightly different ways which in combination (which, admittedly involves a great deal of luck but I’ve had it happen more than a few times) makes this deck into a machine that’s probably going to win you the game provided you can live long enough to reap the benefits. In both cases, +1/1 is useful to all but exceptionally useful to all your first strikers.

    The Immortal Sun is situationally very useful against all walkers which factors differently game to game but it’s never a bad thing for you.

    If you get both of these cards out your “worst” Pirate is 4/4 (and if you have a neck breaker too your worst is a 6/4, add a Brass and you’re at 7/5…. which costs 1 mana and gives you a draw). Your creature curve becomes even lower, and you can cast most of your deck for 1 manna. You draw twice on your draw step and once per pirate you drop down (and most of the deck is pirates). If you have a Forerunner of the Coalition on board, each pirate entering the battlefield does a point of damage to your opponent. Even without trample (though early versions of this deck utilized Crash Through (and Fell Flagship) , I sacrificed the slots to more creatures, which it needed but they were both situationally very useful and may be good sideboard options). These cards work great here because they help the deck do what it does (being cheap and efficient) better (cheaper and more efficient) with more draws and so more chances to play cards that are super cheap and crazy efficient but they’re only both one ofs. They’re not something useful to have in an opening hand but in an ideal world, by the time you can cast either one you’ll have drawn one of the two and either one can help you get to the other a bit faster (but you probably won’t need it).

    That was more than I thought it would be… This report will come in installments. That’s part I…. Next I’ll delve into my sideboard.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    Went 3-1 at FNM again. I’m pretty happy with the results in general and I really dig how this deck plays. I still think of it as a work in progress but it’s functioning pretty well along the way. Through every iteration of the deck so far I’ve found this much to be true, this crew can win against pretty much anything thrown against it but also has the potential to loose to pretty much any legitimate deck.

    Round 1: (2-0) Vs. W/U Auras
    It was a solid deck and a good pilot but killing off his creatures with Fatal Push & Dire Fleet Poisoner made all his fancy enchantment work go away. This played out the same both games.

    Round 2: (2-0) Vs. R/B Pirates

    My opponent had a slightly more straight forward aggro R/B Pirates list than I was running. They went on to go 3-1 for the night as well but this just wasn’t their game round.

    Game one started out pretty close, with them on the offensive with some small fast pirates but my pirates got big and I wound up catching up on his numbers with the help of some tokens so that was game.

    Game two, my opponentfelt they needed to keep a bad hand after mulligans. It was like goldfishing a win.

    Round 3: (0-2) Vs. W/U Approach

    Same player and deck I played a few weeks ago. This time results were a bit different. Round 1 wound up the same. I came out fast, he neutralized my guys and then proceeded to Approach his way to a win.

    Game two I boarded in the right cards against approach and wound up with a two land hand which looked pretty good but I proceeded to draw nothing but lands… (in a game against a control deck) … this is not hyperbole... A Fumigate came and was my turn to get goldfished by a Gideon of the Trials. It was not the golden age of piracy.

    Round 4:(2-0) Vs. R/G Aggro

    In short, I won. My guys came out fast, got big and ran him over. While I think this deck has the tools to deal with me it wasn’t able to come up with them this night.

    These games were both pretty short and straight forward.

    The Admiral worked out better than I thought she would. Captian Lannery Storm and Fathom Fleet Capitan both work well with her helping get out more cheap Pirates on the fly and menace tokens help your pirates get through to do damage. Between Unclaimed Territory and Captian Lannery Storm that blue mana isn’t hard to come by though I’m pondering running a single island just in case of a situation where the good Capitan is unavailable and your opponent is making you trade your Unclaimed Territories for basic lands and you’re stuck with an Admiral Becket Brass (or two…) in your hand, three may be the wrong number for this card, I’ll likely bring back the Immortal Sun but it depends on how my play-testing night goes this week but it can be very handy with the other pirates in this deck.

    Anyway, I’ll be working on my month one report on this deck soon.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    Maybe it’s a little cutesy but I’m pondering putting in some unclaimed territories in my land-base, go slightly Grixis by slipping in a little Admiral Beckett Brass. My thought is here that so far it seems as if this deck can win against most decks but can also loose against any vaguely legit deck and my biggest problems have come from running hot and cold with my lands (at a pretty even rate… and just dealing with quantity… fixing isn’t an issue so much). Those things are pretty much true about any deck though. Currently, I feel like I’m doing slightly better against control decks, aggro decks are a mixed bag and I tend to do my worst against solid midrange. Besides being another thing that makes my guys bigger and that being a generally good thing, I think her ability would help a good deal with most midrange decks at the point where I still have more guys and they begin to bring out their big guns. I playtested this idea out a bit last night and it seemed to work better than I thought it would. I’m gonna give it a shot on Friday. Has anyone else experiment with Brass splashed in a (mostly) Rakdos build? Does it seem like a particularly good or bad idea to anyone?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    This Friday night went a bit different with my pirates. Whereas the last two weeks I went 3-1, this week I went 1-3. While I did tinker a little (replaced a mountain with a Canyon and a Daredevil with a Fathom Fleet Capitan) but this didn’t really factor in negatively at all.

    Game 1: loss 1-2
    Mono red aggro

    This game could have went either way (and has). Played against my friend / Magic “teammate” (no, we’re not on an actual team but we’ve been playing with each other throughout most of Magic’s history, we playtest against each other once a week and go to events / fnm together). He won but it was close, both of the decks we were playing tend to go 50-50 against each other.

    Game 2: loss 1-2
    GW Cats

    A rematch against the Cats I played last week. Even though I crushed it the week before I knew the Cats had it going on. Partially bad draws, I can blame a big part of my game 1 loss to keeping a hand I shouldn’t have (this was probably the only teachable moment I took away from the night) when I kept a one land hand (1 Daring Buccaneer, 2 Rigging Runner, 1 Kitesail Freebooter, 2 Dire Fleet Captains and a Canyon Slough… I was on the draw and the potential for that hand is obvious but I didn’t get that second land until it was too late). Game two, I won pretty straight forward and game 3 went down to the line but his life-gains turned it around for him.

    Game 3: Loss 1-2
    G/W Dinosaurs

    Game one I got flooded. Game two my deck did what it was supposed to and I won. Game three was more of a game and his Kinjalli’s Sunwings disrupted my usage of post-combat Rigging Runners and Poisoners as flashed in blockers and he took the win.

    Game 4: Won 2-0
    Grixis Pirates

    I won these games pretty handedly. My pirates came in fast and mean both games while his came out looking like he had no game plain at all. I attribute this just as much to good / bad draws as anything.

    After this Friday's results I will be working on an extended report of my first month with Pirates.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    Went 3-1(-ish) again this week with my Pirates.

    Round one: (win-ish) Bye.

    It’s hard to loose when you just win.

    Round two: Win

    Round two I went up against a pretty solid G/W Cats deck. I would feel pretty bad about saying I went 3-1 again if this match up didn’t follow up my bye. The the player and his were both pretty solid, my pirates just did exactly what they were made to do.

    Game one: I curved beautifully, (Daring Buccaneer, Dire Fleet Capitan, Captain Lannery Storm & Rigging Runner, (a minor setback, my captains die from blockers but come back post-combat via March of the drowned), Neck Breaker – win).

    Game two: This game was a little more of a grind. Both of our decks were going off pretty good but the Magic gods were on my side and I was able to pull and cast both Vanquisher’s Banner and Immortal Sun. Either of these cards are pretty darn good to get out but if you’ve got both out things get real crazy, most of your pirates cast for 1 at this point, you’re drawing for 2 and 1 for each pirate you play and the “worst” Pirate that could even be cast at this comes out as a 4/4 vanilla. I’m pretty amazed I was able to pull this off two weeks in a row since they’re both one-offs in the deck but I did and it’s pretty sweet when it happens. The turn after I got these out I started with an empty hand but after my double draw, quickly started transforming the board state, as I did so he did his math and coincided before I swung.

    Round three: Loss

    Round three I went up against a pretty solid B/W Vampire deck. I have kinda mixed feelings about this loss. As a note, I’m transitioning from using dice to keep score to an electronic device. The guy seemed nice enough and I’ve seen him around a couple times but I don’t know him as well as many of the regulars.

    Game one was really close (got him down to 1 life), several times throughout the game he would call out his life total and it wasn’t quite as low as I had it. None of these times were the very dramatically different and I attributed it to me missing one of his various methods of lifegain and / or not being used to my new Mojo. It really was a pretty solid (not the very best I’ve seen but pretty darn good) Vampire deck.

    Game two wasn’t very close, I wound up getting flooded hard. I noticed a few times during this game that the guy had made some illegal / wrong plays (attacking with creatures that had summoning sickness, trying to play multiple copies of legendary creatures, giving himself multiple vampire tokens when attacking via M.F.-Dusk.) that he gladly corrected after I pointed them out. Regardless, I had a good chunk of mana in my opening hand and drew nothing but lands. It makes it hard to win when you don’t have anything to play.

    I’m not really sure how to take this loss. Game one was close, game two was a bit of bad luck that’s bound to happen. The guy seemed nice enough and I don’t have any reason to say he was cheating but I would have certainly won game one if my life totals were accurate even just one of the few times they diverged and I wasn’t really off during any of my other rounds. I wouldn’t really question that at all if he didn’t screw up several times in game two (which I didn’t have a shot in due to all those lands). As of now I’m going with innocent until proven guilty but this is a guy who I’m going to be paying close attention to if I play him again.

    Round four: Win

    A pretty solid Esper Approach deck. Pretty straight forward wins. Game one, I just curved in for the win before he could do much.

    Game two was a lot more grindy, Kitesail grabbed a Push but told me he also had two Settle the Wreckage which he would soon have enough mana to play so I had to hold back my attacks a bit. Eventually, he’d settle to Settle two creatures at a time while I built up my boardstate. Scarab God came out to play, and brought back a Rigging Runner to help his cause but I got him down to 2. He played approach but couldn’t compete with my board state and I swung in for lethal.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates
    Swapped out Varaska’s Contempt for a Mountian. Went 3-1 at my local fnm.

    Brief rundown of rounds:

    Round 1: Win
    Round one saw me sweep against an ok w/b Vampire deck. I had everything going for me during this round. The player was (is) a very nice guy, a player of moderate skill who typically goes 1-2 or 2-2 (I’ve seen him go 3-1 once). His deck was solid enough to be competitive but probably not the most premium list. I was also helped here by very good draws (game two ended with three Dire Fleet Captains, two Rigging Runners and a Neck Breaker on deck).

    Round 2: Win
    Round two I found myself matched up with a w/u Approach deck.

    Game one I came out swinging, did a bit of damage but then my deck got turned off by all kindsa control. Approach, Approach, I loose.

    For game two I swapped out my Fatal Push’s and Lightning Strikes for 3 Wanted Scoundrels and a Vraska’s Contempt. Game two went pretty much how I wanted, I was able to dish out enough damage to win before I got locked down.

    Game three, I went in with the same look and he swapped in some Regal Caracal’s. I came in, did a bit of damage but the lock started to come down with two Settle the Wreckage’s (I knew he had them so I never swung all in but still wound up getting four lands against the two of them), a Caracal came out and they had blockers. I was able to play an Immortal sun but was getting locked solidly in place, the Vanquisher’s Banner came out and a March of the Drowned turned my empty hand into a scary chain-reaction of “draw two cards, cast cheap pirate, draw a card, cast cheap pirate, draw a card..”.

    Round 3: Loss

    A good player with what I can best describe as a slightly unconventional but amazingly effective Sultai Midrange / Constrictor hybrid deck. I came out swinging game one and it looked good for me until he did a chunk’ o life gain and made my board look really sad next to his. Game two I side-boarded in some stuff that never saw the light of day, it was a fast forward version of game one.

    Round 4: Win

    Faced off against some pretty fierce R/G Dinosaurs. Pretty straight forward. Lost game one after a long, drawn out game (I was ahead, he got some life and was able to fill the board with big Dinos and eat up my dead Pirates). Won game two in four rounds with little resistance, curved out really nice with a turn one Daring Buccaneer, turn two Dire Fleet Capitan, turn three Dire Fleet Capitan and a Rigging Runner with +1/1, turn 4 Dire Fleet Neckbreaker (which didn’t need to attack but helped give +2/0's). Game three was much closer but Dire Fleet poisoner helped save the day from a Carnage Tyrant and I swept in for the win.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Aggro Pirates

    An early draft, any feedback is appreciated.

    Bienvenu! Per Standard Deck Creation Forum Rules, "If you want to post a new thread in this forum, please check and make sure there isn't already a thread on the same topic." Hence I am merging this with the existing Rakdos Aggro Pirates thread. - hoser2
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
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