Blue-Black Tempo Pirates Deck Tech (Personal Blog Post), by Thomas Davis


Time for the second deck of the season, and it is a lot more Ixalan themed: Pirates!

This is a tempo build.  This is not to be confused with mid-range.  Rather than being pure, brutal power this deck uses tricks, value and clever piloting to win the game.  This is certainly not a list for a beginner.

The Creatures

So moving into the creatures we will start off with the four copies of Siren Stormtamer.  This is an obvious include.  It’s a 1/1 flyer for 1 with upside.  What’s not to like.  To ensure we hit a one drop every game we also have two copies of Deadeye Tracker.  This is one of the few cards in the deck without some form of evasion.  It does however progress with the game and allow us to trigger raid on turn two.  Oh and it’s a pirate- which helps.

Moving onto the two drop creatures now, this is where most of the power of the deck lies.  In this slot is our only “lord”: three copies of Fathom Fleet Captain.  We are not at the full four since having multiples is not very useful.  However a two drop with evasion and the ability to replace itself proves top be very strong.  Another powerful creature at two mana is the three copies of Kitesail Freebooter.  This is essentially a counter spell or redirect.  It will either get rid of the opponents removal spell, or you can use it to force the removal spell to hit it over something more important.  This versatility is what makes the card so good.

Our final two drops work very well together: four copies of Storm Fleet Aerialist, and two copies of Skyship Plunderer.  The raid is almost always online and the addition of our friend from Aether Revolt makes the Aerialist n incredible card.  It can often hit four or even five power in a game.  Our final creature is a full set of Dreamcaller Siren.  Now this has been chosen over Hostage Taker for a whole host of reasons.  The main bonuses of the Siren however are its immediate impact, ridiculous tempo, instant speed, evasion.  Its lack of blocking isn’t a problem, as I thought it would be, since you tend to want to take advantage of the tempo it creates. And don’t worry Hostage Taker does have a place in the board… please test it before you take your judgments.

The Spells

Next we will discuss the spells. We have a total of 10 mainboard instants.  This is made of four of both Fatal Push and Lookout’s Dispersal and a pair of Unsummon.  The first two are obvious, both almost always finding a target.  The dispersal is a hard counter for all but the very, very late stages of the game after all.  The one that probably surprises you is the pair of Unsummon.  This card surprised me too.  I tested it near the end of development… And loved it.  If an opponent spends their turn casting a Herald of Anguish or a Hazoret, the Fervent then you can pretty much negate their entire turn.  Oh and it straight kills tokens, which I’ve used it for a surprising amount.

To complete the spells package we have two copies of March of the Drowned.  We may not run much card draw but this is so much better.  This always returns two guys.  This is only improved by its low CMC of one: allowing us to fit it in over other spells or cast the Pirates we return.

Now the reason we have prioritised Flying so much: Favourable Winds.  So we have a two mana anthem for almost all of our guys.  It either pushes cards which have an effect but re behind on P/T to be on curve, or puts those on it miles above it.  The power of this was made evident to me when I out-raced a Ramunap Red deck… on the draw.  I also had a Grixis Aggro Pirates and a very focussed Tempo Pirates ready to show you guys, but Favourable Winds makes this one so much better than each of them.  This is the tempo deck to beat.


Siren Stormtamer
Deadeye Tracker
Fathom Fleet Captain
Kitesail Freebooter
Storm Fleet Aerialist
Skyship Plunderer
Dreamcaller Siren
Fatal Push
Lookout's Dispersal
March of the Drowned
Favourable Winds
Drowned Catacomb
Unclaimed Territory


Hostage Taker
Essence Scatter
Bontu's Last Reckoning
Chart a Course
Walk the Plank
Lost Legacy

So as with my previous deck tech the sideboard is pretty self-explanitory, with the exception of Lost Legacy.  This is in here to stop Carnage Tyrant.  We hate this card.  We hate it so much.  We can use this or Bontu’s Last Reckoning to stop it.  Legacy has the added advantage of stopping single card based decks should anything stupid like Sahelli Combo or Marvel decks pop up.  Say Champion of Rhonas.  Whilst this is unlikely it’s nice to have an answer to combo decks built in by chance.

Anyway as usual if you have any questions ask in the comments here, or message me on Facebook.  Feel free to build and edit the list yourself and be sure to post any adjustments in the comments.  If you enjoyed the article share it on whatever social media you’re feeling like.  And for more updates on Decks and all things MTG related follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for reading,

Thomas Davis


Twitter: @MtgDavis

Blue-Black Tempo Pirates Deck Tech (Personal Blog Post), by Thomas Davis
In this deck tech we will have a look into the face of tempo in the new Standard: Pirates. With aggressive creatures and powerful control could this be the deck to beat?

Please let us know what you think below...

Visit our Manaleak online store for the latest Magic: the Gathering singles, spoilers, exclusive reader offers, sales, freebies and more!

Magic The Gatherig Freebies Giveaways