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Budget Magic: 10-Rare Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor (Historic Brawl)


Hey there, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! We're doing something a bit different this week: playing some Historic Brawl on a 10-rare budget! Historic Brawl is already considered to be one of the best budget formats on Arena since the Commander-light format is singleton, so you only need one copy of each card. But if half of the cards in your deck are rares or mythics (which is pretty common for Historic Brawl decks, especially multicolor decks thanks to all the rare lands in the mana base), then a Historic Brawl deck can cost just as many wildcards as a top-tier Standard deck does. So today, we're going to play what I think is the perfect budget Historic Brawl Commander—Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor—on just a 10-rare budget, to see what crazy things we can do and if a 10-rare deck can actually keep up in the Historic Brawl format! Which 10 rares made it into our deck? How fun is Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor on a super-tight budget? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Budget Magic: 10-Rare Gix

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The Deck

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There are three big reasons why I think Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor is the perfect ultra-budget Historic Brawl commander. First, it's monocolored, which means we can build a solid mana base without spending any rares at all. Second, because Gix really wants a bunch of cheap, evasive creatures on the battlefield to turn into card draw with its static ability, many of the best cards in a Gix deck are random common or uncommon one-drops with flying, deathtouch, or unblockable. Cards like Eye Collector, Gingerbrute, Hired Poisoner, Typhoid Rats, and Vampire of the Dire Moon would be horrible in most Historic Brawl decks, but in Gix, these dorky creatures are legit all-stars because the best thing our deck can do is play an evasive one-drop on Turn 1 into two more on Turn 2 into Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor on Turn 3 to draw three cards when we attack with our motley crew of creatures. 

Finally, the third reason that Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor is the perfect budget Historic Brawl commander is its last ability, which lets us discard a bunch of cards (which we usually have thanks to Gix's card-draw ability) to play that many cards for free from our opponent's deck. That means there's a good chance we will end up with a bunch of rares and mythics on the battlefield, even though they couldn't fit in our deck because of the budget, since we can steal them from our opponent! (See: the game where we stole our opponent's Bolas's Citadel, which is one of the last rares I cut from our deck and really wanted to play but just couldn't fit under the budget.)

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The game plan of Gix is pretty straightforward. We want to spend the early turns flooding the board with evasive creatures, then play Gix, draw a ton of cards, and eventually work our way up to seven mana so we can discard our hand (which will mostly be full of random, cheap, underpowered evasive creatures) to steal a bunch of cards from our opponent's deck, hoping that our opponent's theoretically powerful cards will win us the game.

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Being able to protect Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor itself is essential for this plan to work. Our deck will be super underpowered if our opponent can kill Gix a couple of times because all those one-mana 1/1 fliers we're playing just aren't very good unless they are drawing us a card each turn with Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor's ability. Thankfully, black offers a couple of good options for protecting Gix. One is cheap discard like Duress, Drill Bit, and Pilfer, which we can use to take a removal spell or, even better, a sweeper from our opponent's hand. We also get a bunch of cards like Malakir Rebirth and Feign Death that can return Gix (or something else) to the battlefield if it dies. 

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Outside of some removal and ramp, the rest of our deck is mostly cards that work as backup plans if we can't win with Gix. For example, Ninjas work really well with our evasive one-drops by allowing us to ninjutsu things like Nashi, Moon Sage's Scion and Dokuchi Silencer into play on the cheap.

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Actually, most of the 10 rares and mythics in our deck are dedicated to helping our deck win if we can't keep a Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor on the battlefield. This includes Vorpal Sword (which is a hilarious one-shot kill on an evasive creature if we get up to eight mana), Strixhaven Stadium (which quickly gains counters as we attack with our evasive one-drops until it eventually makes our opponent lose the game), and Drana, Liberator of Malakir to grow our team of 1/1 fliers into bigger threats. 

Overall, 10-Rare Gix felt really solid as far as win rate does, although win rate isn't really that important in Historic Brawl. The format isn't ranked, so the most important thing is that your deck is fun to play and can do cool things, and I think Gix is great here as well. Being able to draw a ton of cards means we always have something to do, and Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor's ability to steal a bunch of the opponent's deck (which we activated super often) is a really big, splashy, fun moment. While it sometimes wins us the game, there are also times when it mostly fizzles and gives us a bunch of lands and mana rocks. While this makes it worse from a competitive perspective, the fact that it can whiff makes it even more fun and exciting to play because it's not a guaranteed win.

If you've been thinking about getting into Historic Brawl, or if you already play the format and are looking for a new, cheap deck to put together, I think 10-Rare Gix is a great option. It's competitive and fun to play. Of course, you should feel free to update the deck with your favorite black cards, and there are some sweet upgrade possibilities if you want to spend a few more wildcards. Some of the rares and mythics that just missed the cut included Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, Bolas's Citadel, various rare wraths, Peer into the Abyss, Castle Locthwain, Black Market, and Font of Agonies. While none of these cards are essential, they all seem fun and powerful in the deck. Or just throw in whatever sweet black cards you already have in your Magic Arena collection!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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