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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Budget Magic: 15 Rares of Bears | Ayula, Queen Among Bears | Historic Brawl

Budget Magic: 15 Rares of Bears | Ayula, Queen Among Bears | Historic Brawl


Hey there, Budget Magic lovers, it's that time once again! It's been a while since we've played some budget-friendly Historic Brawl, so today, we're taking one of my favorite budget-friendly commanders out for a spin: Ayula, Queen Among Bears! The idea is simple: play Ayula and then play random janky Bears, which will become super-powered thanks to Ayula, Queen Among Bears' ability to put counters on our Bears or let them fight as they enter the battlefield. Eventually, our board will become unbearable for our opponent, which should let us sneak in with combat damage for the win after bear-fighting down our opponent's board! What is the best way to build Ayula on a 15-rare budget? How strong of a commander is Ayula in Historic Brawl? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck! 

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Budget Magic: 15 Rares of Bears

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Since we're playing a 100-card singleton deck today, I'm not going to try to break down every card individually—there's simply too much to talk about. But I did want to cover a few major points. First, the idea of the deck is pretty straightforward: Ayula, Queen Among Bears is a pretty busted commander, coming down for just two mana and then making every janky Bear we play incredibly powerful thanks to its +1/+1 counters or fight ability. Just think of Magic's most classic Bear, Grizzly Bears. A two-mana 2/2 isn't much, but with Ayula on the battlefield, it's a two-mana 4/4 (which is great) or a two-mana 2/2 that can let us fight an opposing creature, which I guess sort of makes it a two-mana Ravenous Chupacabra. Both options are super powerful. 

And this is what makes Ayula the perfect budget Historic Brawl commander: the cards that work best with Ayula are random Bears, nearly all of which are commons and uncommons. This lets us spend very little of our budget on tribe members, which frees us up to spend our rares and mythics on important support cards.

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Our rare and mythic support cards mostly fall into two categories. The first is card draw. We want as many Bears as possible because the more we play, the more times we can trigger Ayula, Queen Among Bears' abilities and the more likely we are to win the game. As such, a big chunk of our 15-rare budget goes toward cards like Rishkar's Expertise, The Great Henge, and Guardian Project that reward us with extra cards for playing our Bears.

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The other group of cards we spend our rares and mythics on is finishers. If you watch the video, you'll see that most of the time, we don't actually need these cards to win the game—having Ayula, Queen Among Bears and a bunch of janky tribe members is often enough. But it is really nice to have the option to close out the game immediately with the help of Craterhoof Behemoth, planeswalker Hoof Nissa, Ascended Animist, or Return of the Wildspeaker to pump our team into game-ending threats. 

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While they are mostly commons and uncommons, the one other group of cards I wanted to highlight is protection. Our deck really, really, really needs to keep Ayula, Queen Among Bears on the battlefield. With Ayula, all of our Bear creatures are absurdly powerful. Without Ayula, our deck is full of Grizzly Bears, which isn't likely to win many games of Historic Brawl. As such, we are overloaded with cards that can give Ayula hexproof and indestructible, like Blossoming Defense, Tyvar's Stand, Tamiyo's Safekeeping, and Swiftfoot Boots. We pretty much only spend these cards to protect Ayula, and if we have one in our opening hand, it is sometimes worth waiting an extra turn to cast Ayula so we can also leave up a protection spell. Remember: our deck is pretty underpowered without Ayula, Queen Among Bears on the battlefield, so it's super important to focus on keeping it alive.

And that is basically the deck. Play Ayula, Queen Among Bears, protect Ayula, play janky Bears, and win the game. It's as simple as that! While I don't put a ton of weight into records with Historic Brawl because the format is more about having fun than being competitive, it is worth mentioning that we only lost once across our seven matches with Ayula. The deck looks pretty janky, but it's actually super strong. Against creature decks, Ayula's repeatable fighting is a nightmare for opponents since we can easily kill anything they play. Against control, Ayula's ability to grow massive threats with +1/+1 counters lets us force through a lot of damage to hopefully win before our opponent can find a Farewell or something similar to ruin our plans. If you like janky tribal decks, I'd recommend giving Ayula Bears a shot in Historic Brawl. The deck is unique, fun, and, most importantly, cheap!

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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