If you read my last article series on this big rotation coming with Ixalan, you know that the largest impact on Standard has to do with the cards that are leaving. But now that we’ve done our homework, we can have a look at the fun stuff: Ixalan spoilers!
There are a few that immediately caught my eye. The first of which is Captain Lannery Storm!
This Pirate is a beast. It does a lot of the things that I look for in all-star creatures.
- It has a direct impact on the board since it has haste.
- Even if it’s killed the next turn, it creates card advantage in the Treasure token it leaves behind.
- It snowballs. If you don’t kill it immediately, it will create a ton of Treasure tokens.
So let’s talk about point #2, because some of you might say that a simple Lotus Petal isn’t card advantage. Technically yes, you’re right, but when you accelerate your mana, to cast, say, a Glorybringer a turn earlier, it lets you commit to the board more quickly. When you’re able to do that, it puts your opponent in a pressured situation that means they will have less time. With less time, there’s less time to make optimal plays—playing the right reactive cards to the right targets.
Say that you are playing a slow, grindy matchup in Limited where you know that nobody can win until almost all of the cards in your library are drawn. In that situation, you can map out what cards should answer what and how to sequence your threats to give you the best chance of winning, almost perfectly. But when you have less time and are under more pressure, you have to stem the bleeding where you can and with what you have. As a less complicated example, if you’re pressuring a control player in Constructed more than usual, there’s a chance they wont have time to cast that Glimmer of Genius that would have given them card advantage, which indirectly lets you win on card advantage because of the tempo game you’re playing.
So, Where Can I Use this Card?
Without any thought given to the synergy the card can provide, let’s see how it looks in Ramunap Red.
It actually fits right into Ramunap Red for a few reasons.
The first and maybe the most important reason is that it helps you empty your hand for Hazoret the Fervent. Being able to double spell with Lannery is exactly where you want to be, especially if it’s an instant like Shock to knock out their blocker to get that extra advantage of the Lannery triggered ability for another power. That’s also why I decided to include a Built to Smash to increase the number of times that happens. Additionally, Lightning Strike slides right into the deck replacing Incendiary Flow, which lets you do this on turn 4.
Another reason is that Lannery makes your sideboard plan a lot better. Especially in the mirror, you’re trying to go bigger, and Lannery helps you do that. The curve with Lannery, get a Treasure token, and then next turn cast Glorybringer is no joke! I mean no joke at all—it will happen all the time. Another sweet interaction with Lannery coming out of the sideboard is with Pia Nalaar. Together, you can attack with Lannery every turn and use the Treasure token as fodder for Pia Nalaar’s can’t block ability, making them lethal together. Remember that even if you sacrifice the Treasure token through Pia, Lannery still gets the additional power trigger.
Besides sliding right into Ramunap Red, you can harness the power of Captain Lannery Storm even more, taking advantage of colorless artifact tokens to sacrifice.
The Treasure tokens by themselves are a perfect way to to trigger revolt. There are not a lot of good revolt cards floating around that don’t require a fetchland to be good, but the best one, Fatal Push, definitely meets the standard. Fatal Push especially helps with getting Lannery through against the other creature decks with larger creatures, whether it’s Longtusk Cub or Dinosaurs, which is a great tool for the sideboard.
If you want to compare the two decks, Ramunap Red and R/B Aggro, there are a few things to keep in mind. Ramunap Red, as the name declares, has the upside of having more reach in its lands with Sunscorched Desert and Ramunap Ruins. The mana is also better, but Spire of Industry definitely helps for the R/B deck.
The upside for R/B Aggro is being able to go longer with Scrapheap Scrounger, and having more powerful cards like Unlicensed Disintegration. The sideboard cards like Fatal Push, Cut // Ribbons, and the recently spoiled reprint of Duress are a big draw toward R/B Aggro, giving it more options.
Whatever shell you decide to put Captain Lannery Storm in, I believe you’ll see a lot of her in the new Standard format. There are even more options to go bigger by pushing her ramp ability further than I did here. Either way, I’m excited to get to try her!