Ahoy, mateys! Welcome to another Commander article here on Cardsphere. Today we’re planting our feet firmly on dry land so we can take a peek at one of the new legends from Modern Horizons 2. It’s the only uncommon legend in the set, and it’s helmed by a pirate! That’s right, it’s a deck tech for
Captain Ripley Vance. It’s time to direct some damage off the starboard bow! ...That’s nautical-sounding, right?
I literally did no research.
Captain Ripley Vance is a 3/2 human pirate for 2 and a red, and whenever we cast our third spell on any turn, we put a +1/+1 counter on her. Then she deals damage equal to her power to any target. All right, so we’re not looking at some totally busted, groan-when-it-hits-the-table, card draw value engine commander. But we’re gonna have a ton of fun anyway. Promise.
So our goal is to use the Captain to deal a lot of damage to our opponents, or their creatures and planeswalkers if necessary. Now casting three spells per turn is not an easy thing to accomplish, especially in a mono-red deck where most of our card draw requires discarding something or exiling something that becomes unavailable at the end of the turn. But we have our ways to make it happen.
Among them are
Etali, Primal Storm. When Etali swings, you’re likely to get at least two free spells off of it. Your opponents aren’t gonna like that, so there’s some protection in the deck, with
Mask of Avacyn, and a few others. These cards are important for protecting your commander as well.
We’ve also got
Sunbird’s Invocation, which can get us a free spell whenever we cast something from our hand, and
Apex of Power, which gives us 7 cards, 10 mana, and tells us to “go nuts, kid.”
Jeska’s Will runs along the same lines as Apex, but a lot cheaper. And while it doesn’t give us any extra mana,
Stolen Strategy provides opportunities steal fun things from our opponents, hopefully with some cheap options.
Make it a Double
Captain Ripley isn’t exactly a big creature, and we’re not going to be able to hit 3 spells every turn in most games. This means we’re gonna need a bit of a push to make sure we’re dealing extra damage when that third spell hits. And we’ve got that in the form of
Dictate of the Twin Gods,
Furnace of Rath, and
Gratuitous Violence, all of which double, or triple, the damage dealt. And to make the Captain bigger, we’ve got some equipment with
Blackblade Reforged and
Strata Scythe, as well as the aura
Ghitu Firebreathing to pump her up temporarily. Or if all else fails, we can just attack for the commander damage kill. And for that we’ve got
Rogue’s Passage, as well as
Volcanic Strength for taking out the other red players.
For even more damage, we’ve got
Brash Taunter (mah boi).
Pyromancer’s Assault is just a much less powerful version of our commander, but easier to trigger and worth the inclusion with all the damage doublers we’re running.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell is here for dealing an extra 2 (or more), and
Guttersnipe hits our opponents whenever we cast an instant or sorcery.
It Worked the First Time
We’ll have a lot of stuff going to the graveyard with this deck, so it’s important to have ways of getting to re-cast some of them.
Mizzix’s Mastery is a sure-fire way to trigger the Captain in the late-game.
Finale of Promise can accomplish that as well, and does some pretty powerful stuff when we pump a lot of mana into it. And don’t forget the recursion powerhouse
Underworld Breach and the 2-for-1
Surreal Memoir. The Rebound effect on that one will help out a lot with hitting the three spells trigger when we do the second cast on our next upkeep.
Last but not least, we should talk about the ramp suite for this deck, because it’s really important if we’re hoping to hit three spells in a turn. The best ramp spells are going to be ritual effects, since they involve casting a spell to get more mana to cast more spells. So we’ve got
Pyretic Ritual, and
Rousing Refrain is great here, because it gets cast for “free” on the third upkeep. And
Birgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty is also a fantastic include here since Birgi provides a free red mana whenever we cast a spell.
The full decklist is below. You can also take the deck for a playtest on Archidekt here.
1 Apex of Power 1 Birgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty 1 Blackblade Reforged 1 Blasphemous Act 1 Brash Taunter 1 Caged Sun 1 Captain Ripley Vance 1 Champion's Helm 1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance 1 Chaos Warp 1 Deflecting Swat 1 Dictate of the Twin Gods 1 Emergence Zone 1 Etali, Primal Storm 1 Faithless Looting 1 Fiery Emancipation 1 Finale of Promise 1 Fire Diamond 1 Furious Rise 1 Furnace of Rath 1 Ghitu Firebreathing 1 Gratuitous Violence 1 Guttersnipe 1 Ignite the Future 1 Jeska's Will 1 Lightning Bolt 1 Mana Geyser 1 Mask of Avacyn 1 Mind Stone 1 Mind's Eye 1 Mirror Shield 1 Mizzix's Mastery 30 Mountain 1 Myriad Landscape 1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx 1 Outpost Siege 1 Plunder 1 Price of Progress 1 Pyretic Ritual 1 Pyromancer's Assault 1 Quest for Pure Flame 1 Red Elemental Blast 1 Reforge the Soul 1 Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh 1 Rogue's Passage 1 Rousing Refrain 1 Ruby Medallion 1 Runaway Steam-Kin 1 Seething Song 1 Shiny Impetus 1 Sol Ring 1 Stolen Strategy 1 Strata Scythe 1 Sunbird's Invocation 1 Surreal Memoir 1 Swiftfoot Boots 1 Tectonic Reformation 1 Thrill of Possibility 1 Tibalt's Trickery 1 Toralf, God of Fury // Toralf's Hammer 1 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell 1 Tyrite Sanctum 1 Underworld Breach 1 Valakut Awakening // Valakut Stoneforge 1 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle 1 Vessel of Volatility 1 Volcanic Strength 1 War Room 1 Wayfarer's Bauble 1 Wheel of Fate 1 Wheel of Misfortune
All right landlubbers, that is my deck tech for Captain Ripley Vance. We're gonna ramp like crazy, drop our commander early and protect her, and keep digging through the deck so we can fire off the Captain as often as possible with damage enhancers on the board. While it’s not going to take down any high-powered pods and will probably struggle against super strong value engine decks, I think this deck will be a ton of fun to pilot. Especially if you’re looking to sit down and just start blasting (insert Danny DeVito gif).
The End Step
What do you think of the deck? Hit me up on Twitter at @AndyZupke and let me know. You can also catch me streaming budget EDH with Scrap Trawlers every Sunday at 7:30 Central at twitch.tv/scraptrawlers. Don’t forget to check back here every two weeks for more Commander fun. Until next time, take care. And play lots of games!