Welcome to another edition of A Seat at the Table! Let’s talk about another recently spoiled commander for Dominaria United – Ramirez DePietro, Pillager! Last time we saw Ramirez, it was as Ghost of Ramirez DePietro, a partner commander from Commander Legends. The first Ramirez DePietro was a six mana 4/3 with First Strike. Now, we get a 4/3 for four mana and a whole lot more text. Let’s check out the text box:

“When Ramirez DePietro, Pillager enters the battlefield, you lose 2 life and create two Treasure tokens.  

Whenever one of more Pirates you control deal combat damage to a player, exile the top card of that player’s library. You may cast that card for as long as it remains exiled.”  

That’s a whole bunch of value for four mana. This pirate lord that turns your whole ship of pirates into spectres and saboteurs. Remember, you may cast the cards exiled with Ramirez – not play. You can’t play lands. Remember that!

Let’s talk about cards to include in your RDP decks.

1. Conjurer’s Closet / Thassa, Deep-Dwelling

These are two of my favourite cards to see hit the battlefield. Enters the battlefield effects are so much fun and having a deck full of Sailor of Means, Shipwreck Looter, and Rishadan Footpad means you’re going to want to double dip on these effects a bunch. Conjurer’s Closet and Thassa, Deep-Dwelling allow you to blink your creatures, which at a baseline means that if your commander is out, you’re making two treasures a turn.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the creatures that blink with these two cards must be ones you control BUT they return under YOUR control! So if you play a creature with Ramirez’s second ability – let’s say an Eternal Witness – blink with Thassa or the Closet, you get EWit again. Easy peasy inclusions!

2. Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator

Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator is another pirate from Commander Legends that wants you to play pirates. In fact, Ramirez and Malcolm share the oracle text “Whenever one of more Pirates you control deal”! Notice how it doesn’t go on to say combat damage, so if something comes up that allows you to ping with your pirates, that will be relevant. But a Scryfall search reveals  there aren’t really noncombat ways of dealing damage to your opponents that change the source to the creatures. Either way, Malcolm allows you to swing at three opponents and make three treasures. With Ramirez out, that means for each pirate that  connects, you’re getting a card from that player’s library and a Treasure to mana fix and ramp.

Remember: Ramirez doesn’t say that you can pay mana of any colour to play the exiled cards.

3. Arcane Adaptation / ConspiracyMaskwood Nexus

Let’s face it – there aren’t a ton of pirates that are worth your time, and in Dimir there are so many more fun options for attackers. Plenty of unblockable creatures. Hell, Maskwood Nexus and Black Market Connections can make Captain N’ghathrod a part of the 99 and make that work.

Turn a bunch of creature tokens into pirates, turn Invisible Stalker into an extra card from an opponent’s deck, make Thief of Sanity your NEW! FAVOURITE! CARD!

I’m looking forward to building this deck and playing with everybody else’s deck.

4. Amphin Mutineer / Merchant Raiders / Trove Tracker

What do these Commander Legends creatures have in common? They’re amazing blue pirates that only get better with ol’ RDP!

Amphin Mutineer is like a Reality Shift on the stick with triple flashback. Encore this bad boy out and exile problematic creatures. If they block, they’re just trading their 4/3 tokens for your 3/3 tokens. That’s not a bad trade for getting rid of an opponent’s Delina, Wild Mage or Oracle of Mul Daya. If the Mutineer tokens get through, that’s another three exiled cards from your  opponents’ libraries.

Trove Tracker is great early and great late. Just keep swinging Double T into opponents and you’ll get value. Drop this turn three, then turn four you get your commander out, swing at someone and get a card! If this dies, you get a card! Late game, you get to encore Trove Tracker and the floor is three cards. The ceiling? Six cards! Tell me this bad boy isn’t going to shine.

Merchant Raiders taps down creatures for as long as they remain on board. Play out a pirate and help your other pirates get through to pillage your opponents’ libraries. I feel like this card is damn all star.

5. Cover of Darkness / Vela the Night-Clad / Wonder / Filth

You need to do yourself a kindness and get some mass evasion in your Ramirez decks. Wonder in the yard gives your board flying, and Filth gives them swampwalk and basically unblockable if you’ve got an Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth out. With Vela the Night-Clad out, you get some incidental chip damage on your opponents when your pirates bounce or hit the yard, but most importantly she makes them only blockable by creatures that share their colours or artifact creatures.

The priciest of these effects is Cover of Darkness – for two mana, you select a creature type (oh, I don’t know, Pirates?) and those creatures get fear. That does mean that ALL pirates get fear, not just yours. Slam this down and only black and artifact creatures can block pirates.

6. Fathom Fleet Captain

This is the only way in Dimir colours to create pirate tokens. When this guy attacks and you control a nontoken pirate (like your commander), you can pay 2 to make a 2/2 token pirate with menace – Hey! More evasion! You need more pirates to keep the value train going so include this sick dude with amazing facial hair in your RDP list.

(Here’s an extra flavourful inclusion – Coastal Piracy. Bonus! Fun!)

Honorable Mention: Araumi of the Dead Tide

One of my favourite Dimir commanders ever, Araumi of the Dead Tide is an incredible creature. Encore is a fantastic mechanic and while there’s so much recursion in the colours, giving pirates encore means that you can probably nab three cards from your opponents. Turn your Burdened Aerialist, Corsair Captain, and Sailor of Means into potential draw threes for three cards in your graveyard. Encore out Hostage Taker in the late game with enough mana to cast things, or just use the Hostage Takers as a means to clear a path to hit your opponents and get the tops of their libraries with Ramirez.

I really hope you enjoyed this article. Ramirez DePietro, Pillager and Tor Wauki the Younger got me really pumped for this new set!

If there’s a commander you want me to write up, give me a shout on twitter: @mikecarrozza! Thanks for reading.

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com