Long before Ixalan had Pirates wrangle Dinosaurs, even years before Mercadian Masques and Portal first printed the word on a type line, there was Ramirez DePietro. As you'd expect from a teenager, this Pirate was hard to summon and not particularly helpful. Fortunately his older self, again as expected, has learned a few tricks and is far more useful. Ramirez DePietro, Pillager is the tribal commander we did not know we wanted. The newest version of Ramirez allows us to steal other player's cards just by dealing damage with our Pirates.
Settling in blue and black give us the best evasive Pirates. Either they have flying like Siren Stormtamer, Spectral Sailor, and Warkite Marauder, or they have an unblockable ability like Daring Saboteur and Departed Deckhand. Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator flies itself and also generates Treasure. We can even give our Pirates evasion with Archetype of Imagination, Cover of Darkness, or Vela the Night-Clad. To complete our crew, we hire a few "fake" Pirates such as Changeling Outcast and clones such as Phantasmal Image, Sakashima of a Thousand Faces, and Sakashima the Impostor.
To stay on theme, we can equip our Pirates with some weapons that help them get in and trigger Ramirez. Sword of Feast and Famine and Sword of Hearth and Home help us ramp by either untapping our lands or searching for a basic. Sword of Hearth and Home can also help us flicker our commander to get more Treasure. Captain's Hook turns any equipped creature into a menacing Pirate, meaning we can make a creature we stole from our opponents join our crew synergize with our overall strategy. Since our Pirates will likely hit our opponents, we might as well generate more value for us with cards like Coastal Piracy, Reconnaissance Mission, and Bident of Thassa.
To help us cast the cards we steal, our commander gives us two Treasure tokens each time it enters the battlefield. Ramirez does not have the "you can use mana of any color to cast exiled spells" effect like Brainstealer Dragon does. So we need to make sure we save our Treasure for the cards we steal. This can be abused by flickering Ramirez, which is also a subtle form of ramp in Dimir. We can do this with cards like Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, Conjurer's Closet, Essence Flux, and Siren's Ruse. Alternatively, we have to run mana producers that can produce all colors such as Chromatic Lantern, Honored Heirloom, Network Terminal, Patriar's Seal, Lotus Field, and Mana Confluence.
|Master and Commander Ramirez|
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