$50 Budget Yarok March of the Machine Tribal - BathroomBrews

Yarok, the Desecrated | Illustrated by Daarken
Yarok, the Desecrated | Illustrated by Jessica Rossiern

Hello, everyone! Welcome to BathroomBrews, the budget deck tech series proving Magic isn't pay-to-win. Each deck will have a budget of $50 excluding the cost of the commander. So without further ado, let's get into it!

If you couldn't guess from the title of this article, I'll be brewing with Yarok, the Desecrated but with a twist. I limited myself to only cards from March of the Machine and March of the Machine Commander. The inspiration for this list came from the amazing Pre-release weekend I had, where I built a deck around Yarok and went 3-0. Their synergy with the new card type battles along some of the new mechanics such as Backup and Incubate inspired me. I am including any cards reprinted in the commander decks, such as Sol Ring and Arcane Signet.

The Invasion

One of the most exciting parts of March of the Machine is the introduction of a new card type, battles. I'm not going to explain all of the new rules that battles bring, but the TL:DR is they are a permanent that have an enter-the-battlefield trigger and have defense counters on them. You can remove these counters by attacking with creatures, dealing damage to them, or using cards such as Render Inert to just remove the counters. The thing we care about here is the enter-the-battlefield trigger, since Yarok will let us double up on their effects.

Of the 17 battles in Sultai, I only included 13 in my final list. The four I decided to exclude were:

A key consideration to building a Yarok deck is you want cards that can function without your commander out, and these battles didn't bring enough to the table by themselves. Remember, when building a deck, you can't just look at the ceiling of a card, but the floor too.

Let's Backup!

Backup is this great new mechanic that triggers when a creature with Backup enters the battlefield, and it turns out that doubling up on those triggers takes it from a great mechanic to an incredible one. I could have just taken all of the cards with Backup in my colors and tossed them into a deck and moved on, but I want to showcase how good the mechanic is, so I was a bit more selective. I only ended up with six Backup creatures in the deck, but I think they are the best for this particular deck.

My favorite of the bunch has to be Conclave Sledge-Captain. This Elephant will let us Backup 1 a total of six times with our commander out. What's great about this is that each instant of Backup will trigger separately, so if we put all six triggers on Yarok, whenever they deal damage, they will put that many +1/+1 counters on themself six times. Not to mention the fun synergy with deathtouch and trample.

And then there is Saiba Cryptomancer. This draft all-star wasn't included until I played a few drafts on Arena. This is everything Yarok wants and more! It's a creature, has an ETB and gives something hexproof, like our commander.

Don't Count Your Phyrexians Before They Hatch

The final mechanic I wanted to include was Incubate. While Yarok might not double the counters on the eggs when they enter, they will double the trigger of making the eggs. Okay, technically you make an "Incubator" token, but can we be real? It's an egg. And the best part is don't need to hatch them until you're good and ready. Someone wipes all of your creatures? Now you can rebuild right away by hatching all of your eggs. My favorite Incubate card has to be Tangled Skyline. I know I'm biased towards this card because of how well it did at pre-release, but gaining ten life and making two 5/5s is a great value.

Some of the best Incubate creatures are Elvish Vatkeeper, which will also let us double the counters on our tokens, and Blight Titan, letting us make progressively larger tokens. Random note, Blight Titan is a compleated Sun Titan, not Grave Titan.

Make sure to to pick up all of the different Incubator tokens for your deck!

Okay... Now What?

We've got all of the cool new mechanics loaded into the deck, but now what do we do? I was tempted to go with a usual Yarok shell and call it a day, but that didn't feel right. Everyone and their mother has seen Yarok do Yarok things. After doing a quick look at the reprints from the new Commander Precons, I decided to only stick with reprints or new cards from them. After all, we did get some stellar reprints such as Tireless Tracker and Tireless Provisioner. But then it hit me: two of the three new mechanics involve +1/+1 counters. Both Backup and Incubate put counters on permanents, so let's add a little counter synergy. We already have the aforementioned Tireless Tracker, but we can include Kami of Whispered Hopes as a creature Hardened Scales, which also becomes a massive source of mana for us. Speaking of massive amounts of mana, Gyre Sage was reprinted, so we can include them in the deck.

Some other reprints I included were Renata, Called to the Hunt, which will put a counter on each creature that enters, and Rishkar, Peema Renegade, who both puts counters on things and turns creatures with counters into dorks. We even get some great card draw with Armorcraft Judge, and don't forget staples such as Forgotten Ancient and Fertilid.

Eat your vegetables

Removal was the next thing I needed to focus on, and by sticking with this restriction it helped keep the price of the deck down and forced me to go outside of my comfort zone. I did include some noncreature-based removal, such as Reality Shift, Go for the Throat, and the new Deadly Derision. However, I also have to play Meteor Golem, Bone Shredder, Noxious Gearhulk, Murderous Rider, and Duplicant. I tend to be very picky with my removal, as I want it to be efficient and diverse, but building this deck has shown me that you don't always need to have the most efficient answer. Sometimes you just need to kill something, or two things if we happen to have Yarok out.

Despite being such a permanent-heavy deck, we have some great board wipes thanks to the reprint of Massacre Wurm and the new battle Invasion of Fiora. Granted I'm not sure how often you need to use the Invasion's ETB twice, but it might happen.

The next ingredient in our lovely vegetable medley is card draw. Aside from the cards mentioned earlier, we have Phyrexian Gargantua, Phyrexian Rager, Oracle of Tragedy, First-Sphere Gargantua, Corruption of Towashi, Invasion of Vryn, and Invasion of Amonkhet. Most of these aren't repeatable unless we use Invasion of Shandalar to recur them later in the game. And Invasion of Ixalan is pseudo card draw for only two mana.

To round out this section, let's talk tutors. There are only two cards I'd really consider tutors in this deck: Invasion of Ikoria, which is one of the most expensive cards in this entire deck, and Hoarding Broodlord. Whenever you cast Hoarding Broodlord, I'd highly suggest you tutor for Invasion of Ikoria. I know, you're thinking why would you want to tutor for another tutor? Since Hoarding Broodlord gives the card you tutor for Convoke, it will make it easier to get some of the higher-mana-value creatures from your deck.

Winning with this deck will be mostly done via combat damage, given the limited card pool we have to work with, but that shouldn't be too difficult of a task to accomplish given the amount of +1/+1 counter synergy in the deck.

This list can also be found on Archidekt.

$50 Yarok March of the Machine Tribal - BathroomBrews - Ep16

View on Archidekt

Commander (1)
Enchantments (4)
Creatures (36)
battles (13)
Sorceries (2)
Lands (36)
Instants (5)
Artifacts (3)

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View this decklist on Archidekt

This has been another installment of BathroomBrews; make sure to check out my YouTube channel, BathroomBrewsMTG, for weekly MTG content and the accompanying video. Also make sure to check out my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/BathroomBrewsMTG if you want to take your support further.

This has been Ben, from BathroomBrewsMTG, and remember, always wash your hands.

Ben has been playing Magic since 2012 and started creating Magic the Gathering content in October of 2022 on YouTube under the name BathroomBrewsMTG (YouTube.com/@BRBMTG). Primarily focusing on budget EDH content. When he isn't thinking or talking about MTG, he is usually playing video games, spending time with his wife or playing with his two cats. You can find him on Twitter @BathroomMTG.