"Now and then, we hoped that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates"--Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi
Recently, the last set of the 'Ixalan' block came out, and with it, the proof I feared, Ramirez wasn't being re-released in the expansion.
A set, that could partially be called a meme set, features Aztec Merfolk, Dinosaur riding Inca's, Vampiric Conquistadors, and multi-racial pirates. It's an ok set, with inorganic art, vampires that are weaker then a Benalish Hero, and memes, I'll admit there is a few cards I honestly like in the set. Partially because I like Pirates, and always felt pirates never got their due.
Ramirez is one such Pirate, a bold, important pirate captain, who is eccentric and charming. He's also extremely metro. Don't believe me? Just look at this art.
|If you can get a better image for me, I'll love you.|
This is a pirate of class and distinction! He's the type of man who sits with you at the bar, and then robs the Baron, then woo's his wife and daughter, and lets you have first pick. This guy, is a legend among legends.
So you might be saying 'but Axelrod, you retard, the time of Legends was thousands of years ago, and he's not a planeswalker, why would he be in Ixalan anyway?'. I believe Ramirez was one of the original D&D characters that made it into a card. So there is literally nothing written about the guy except his flavor text.
In fact his flavor text reads: "Ramirez DePietro is a most flamboyant pirate. Be careful not to believe his tall tales, especially when you ask his age." It's obvious Ramirez (much like Jodah) found the fountain of youth. He's ageless, which could be a good excuse to why he could be on Ixalan.
Hell since they are from the same expansion, you could even make a reference to him talking about Bolas. "Yeah I saw him once, was going to kill him myself... but something came up... lucky for Bolas I tell you... what now... no I don't need to."
Art: As I said, the best part of the card is the art itself. It's easily some of the best Foglio has ever done, and I wish he did more in this style. It hints at his trademark style, but is realistic enough w/ exaggerated features that it feels like a work of it's own. He even got the atmosphere right, with the crashing seawaves, and the ship he's recklessly standing on, basically Ramirez is posing, for the fucking Planeswalker. I give this a 5/5.
Play Ability: While Ramirez is cool, he's not cheap. A 4/3 for 6 spread across two colors. Now it should be noted, he has first strike (either due to his skill with the saber, or his ship has a cannon). 4 damage with first strike is enough to kill some of the biggest threats in the game. Juggernaut, Su-Chi, various elementals, Craw Wurm and Giant, even a blocking Serra and a Hungry Vampire. Even many of his contemporaries can't possibly survive him (including the fearful Lady Orca). However, his three toughness is problematic, given him over into Trisk/Bolt range. However, play a bad moon (or if you like a Sunken City) a turn before, and watch him shrug off the wrath of Zues like it is no ones business.
For Play ability I'm given him a 3/5. He'll turn some heads when you cast him, but unless you love him, he's not needed.
|(In replacement of a photo of my signed one).|
Flavor: I'm not convinced Ramirez is evil. No honestly, they made him black because he's fearless (can't be terror'd now can he?). He's blue because he's a pirate, duh.
|He once formed an adventuring party with Dakkon Blackblade, Nebuchadnezzar, and Hunding Gjornersen. Uncle Istvan stayed home and watched the fort just in case.|
Now I'm getting back into why he deserved a reprint. He's just stubborn. He'd be really fucking old, and his skills have served him well so far, why does he need to adabt. He tells tales of killing Craw Wurms, surviving Hellfire. It's served him well this long, he doesn't need any tricks, because he knows them all, at least in his mind. As this card, it show his first strike means he's skilled, but the three toughness shows he's reckless. Similar to a certain pit fighter with one toughness.
I'm giving his flavor also a 5.
Making this cards average 4.3, which rounds down to a 4.
Really, I do like the card.
|I also really like Pirate Rambo.|