Commander Focus: A Pirate’s Life for me, Part II: Admiral Becket Brass

Avast matey! Welcome to part two of our series on building around Pirates (you can find part 1 here). Lemme ask: Do you seek to set sail on the stormy seas with a deck with flair and a nautical bent? Do you seek… booty?

No not that kind of booty, mind you – I mean treasure. Ducats, doubloons, pieces of eight, call them what you will. Find them. Win. Revel in your riches. If you belay the game through an alternate win condition it’s an effective way to smartly end the game without having to exchange creature broadsides and send each opponent down to Davy Jones Locker.

As Captain (admiral) Becket Brass calls for for you to quickly go on account. Most of your crew will let you hornswoggle your opponents, filling your coffers with loot , such as stolen permanents from Becket, Malcom Keen-Eyed Navigator‘s treasure generating, and Breeches, Brazen Plunderer‘s ability to steal the top, Hostage Taker, Hullbreacher, and Notion Thief will let you plunder your opponents. But as pirates we’d be landlubbers if we didn’t have a trick or two up our sleeves; and this is a deck for an old salt.

Stealing cards and generating treasures might as well be a letter of marque, because we can make a sweet trade with those for the win. Revel in riches and Hellkite Tyrant let us run a rig, winning by having so much pillage piled up in the bilge.  Winning during the upkeep is often difficult, and your opponents may try to scuttle your ship, especially if you look a bit squiffy. Obeka, Brute Chronologist and Sundial of the Infinite give us a quick way to generate value midgame off cards like Final Fortune and Last Chance.  But once we arrange our victory condition, we can use these cards for a fast tack into the wind and you won’t have to dance with Jack Ketch for taking a cheap extra turn.  If one of your opponents gives no quarter manages to turn your Revel in Riches or Hellkite Tyrant into shark bait, you yourself won’t have to walk the plank, as you can end the turn and batten down the hatches for another heave ho.

While devils, dragons, and chronologists may not be the usual powder monkeys to serve as hands aboard a Man-O-War, we’d be three sheets to the wind not to include such obvious synergies as “whenever you sacrifice a permanent, deal 1 damage to any target” and Impulsive Pilferer‘s ability to sacrifice for treasures, as well as Gadrak, the Crown-Scourge ability to generate treasures off creatures dying.

I’ll tell you bucko, no true pirate is likely to adhere to some tribal code when they can weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen with dragons and demons on board, and a bucaneer is a master of subterfuge.

There are a number of ways to rescue the damned from Davy Jones Locker, so feel free to Swab the deck entirely with cards like Pyrohemia and Pestilence, especially if doing so can net you a lot of treasure.  If you’re about to feed the fish anyway then bring a spring upon’er and try to recover, and if the deck is fully swabbed, that may well serve you as a cackle fruit that hatches into a win.

The deck boasts a number accelerants so you’ll be no mere cog, but more of a clipper out there, accelerating either with rocks or via treasure drops.  Don’t hesitate to spend those treasures to weigh anchor run a shot across the bow of one of the other captains, everything is shipshape.  You’ll be a son of a biscuit eater if you just try to hoard your treasures early, in truth it’s better the splice the mainbrace and cry out thar she blows, you’re better off being a true scourge of the seven seas, stealing treasure, cards and permanents off your hapless opponents rather than a mere privateer.


If you have no idea how to play the deck, and find all the jargon annoying, imagine reciting Yo Ho Ho! and driving your opponents to distraction with Admiral Becket Brass.


Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at