Ever since Beta, Pirates were a forgotten tribe. Always referred to as the joke tribe. Even Blizzard completely ignored Pirates as there were hardly any Pirate cards. But then came Year of the Kraken, which introduced a lot of Pirate cards, all of them really good.
Say what you will about the pirate meta, but these cards, Patches especially, made Pirates finally viable. So good that non-weapon classes could finally run pirates. However, with the new year and the Patches nerf, these cards are rotating out in April, and leaving Pirates in the dust since there was only one new Pirate added in Year of the Mammoth.
So, what's next for the tribe? With the nerf of Patches will we get more Pirates again? Will we get pirates that aren't cancer? Or will the tribe just suffer the same fate at Mechs?
Pirates and especially patches will always be relevant in wild as a package due to Ship's Cannon. it is the main reason why decks like pirate warrior are still tier 2 in wild and are more than enough to climb to legend.
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the thing is that Pirates are really weapon based, and really centered around growing weapons or benefiting from weapons and weapons are a very delicate mechanic to say the least, for example upgrading a weapon basically counts as a Damaging spell with the new attack of the weapon, so for example using Upgrade! on an Arcanite Reaper is basically a 1 mana fireball, we could see more pirates in the style of Phantom Freebooter or Bloodsail Raider or maybe even Dread Corsair, but it's probably wiser to have this particular tribe contained and controlled, Blizzard might actually have figured this ouy back in beta tbh and that's why there wasn't that much support to pirates over the years.
Honestly, the only decent thing I'd like to be done with pirates is like my take on a Pirate class. Rather than being Aggro, using tribal synergy to be control or midrange.
The problem is that unless new tribal cards of any type being more midrange or control focused, instead of aggro focused, is that if they can't beat stronger value power houses such as priest, lock, and mage then they may as well be aggro centered. This is even more of the case in wild as well. If new pirates, or mechs, or murlocs, etc still can't at outlast things like Kazakus, Dragonfire Potion, Psychic Scream, Twisting, Anduin, Gul'Dan, Defile, then I don't see what other choice those tribes have than to go the smorc design route.
Amm, I'm going to start with the typical sentence eveyone repeats over and over again - we should wait and see what the next expansion has to offer.
Yes, the strong pirate package will be gone and there will be only Phantom Freebooter and Golakka Crawler left, which will remind us of it. But I think we will see more of it in next hs year. And the reason for me thinking this way is because Patches the Pirate 1) is rotating out, 2) is getting nerfed. I remember how people discussed this long ago, that the devs were in a double bind because of his presence, that they couldn't introduce new strong pirates in the Year of the Mammoth, because they would risk increasing his power and dominace even more. Now that this card is gone, now that wild is going to breathe a bit freely from the change to a busted card, this will give the devs the goahead to implement new pirates in the next expansions. I'm not saying this will happen as quickly as in the upcoming one, but this will occur eventually and I'm more than sure about it.
i’m optimistic about the future of pirates in wild if not in standard. of any of the other tribes had a free 1/1 it would be insane (except mechs in standard guess). pirates were already a fringe playable ladder deck before patches, and with patches rotating out of standard blizzard can finally print strong pirate support cards again without fear.