It’s Tuesday O’Clock! Time to do a deck tech!
Spoiler season for Ixalan has finally finished, giving us a lot of fun new toys to play around with in the upcoming standard season. Out of the 4 tribes in the set (Vampires, Pirates, Merfolk, and Dinosaurs), one stood out from the others for me and that was Tempo Pirates. Tempo is one of my favorite styles of play, originating from my first standard deck in Spirits and with Spirits rotating, I feel that Pirates is the closest substitute. And boy does it look good! Ixalan knew that Pirates were going to be a very tempo heavy tribe and gave it a ton of support in the tempo department. The deck looks like it may become a powerhouse in Ixalan Standard, and I am excited to present to you my take on the deck!
First, we have to talk about the all-star cards of the deck in Siren Stormtamer, Fathom Fleet Captain, and
Ruin Raider. These 3 cards are what allow the deck to function and give it so much power. I’ll go over each one and explain why they are so good for the deck.
Siren Stormtamer is probably one of the best creatures in the deck and can be compared to Mausoleum Wanderer in terms of how it protects the team. The ability to sacrifice itself to protect other creatures is really powerful and an important part of what makes tempo decks good. The way to beat tempo decks is to remove their threat and this Siren protects them from all sorts of things. Fatal Push’s, Abrades, Cast Out’s, Harnessed Lightning, and even Glorybringer can’t target your creatures as long as you have 1 blue mana available! Countering not only spells but also abilities is what puts this over the top. This little bird also is also really efficient as a 1/1 flyer which is important for a deck that wants to trigger raid as much as we do.
Fathom Fleet Captain is one of our most powerful threats and can quickly close games if left unchecked. As a 2/1 Menace, it is really difficult to block enabling our raid triggers much more easily. His second ability is why we play him, however, as the ability to churn out 2/2’s is incredibly strong and makes dealing with this deck much more of a nightmare. Another great thing about his ability is it allows us to develop the board without having to play cards, keeping our card advantage up as much as possible. Fathom Fleet Captain is a must answer threat, and can easily swing games in our favor.
Ruin Raider is very similar to another card that I am sure you have heard of called Dark Confidant. The ability to draw cards every single turn at the expense of life is extremely powerful and is the reason why Jund was such a dominant deck in modern for so many years. The drawback of losing life isn’t even that bad of a drawback because in many cases you’ll find yourself drawing lands at the cost of no life at all. Overall a very powerful card and a very important card advantage engine in our deck.
As a tempo deck, our goal is to land one of the above creatures and protect it with our slew of counterspells and removal, while also generating enough card advantage that our opponents will be left in the sea spray. Disruption is the name of the game and cards such as Hostage Taker, and Kitesail Freebooter are essential to this plan. I anticipate this deck to make a splash at the upcoming pro tour, and I know that I’ll be jamming this deck for a long time. If you have any questions or suggestions for this deck I would be happy to hear. Until next time, have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!
Link to the decklist.