Always Be Brewing is back this week with a budget-friendly Commander decklist. I've realized that a lot of my lists are a bit pricey and may be difficult to pick up if you're a newer Magic player. For this week's list, I've decided to make a deck that's friendly in both ability and cost. But who's the Commander that will lead such a deck?

Let's talk about Ruxa, Patient Professor. When I saw this card I yelped for two reasons. Reason 1: he's a bear. Reason 2: he's a vanilla tribal commander. This is incredibly exciting because Ruxa gives value to cards that otherwise seem useless: vanilla creatures.

If you're unfamiliar with this term, vanilla creatures are creatures without any abilities. No tap abilities, no keywords, just blank. Cards like these are usually okay in draft and sealed situations, however, very rarely do we see them in Commander. Since they're hardly ever played, the price of these cards is extremely low, making them perfect for a budget decklist. Let's get to brewin'!

Non-Vanilla Creatures

This is a creature-heavy deck. Ruxa, Patient Professor focuses specifically on buffing our vanilla creatures and returning them back to our hand after all. In fact, we run 35 creatures (minus our commander). However, we do run some creatures with abilities… four to be exact! I wanted to run as few non-vanilla creatures as possible for this particular list not only because it's off-theme (Ruxa doesn't help them at all) but because I wanted to keep our deck price nice and low. Each of these non-vanilla creatures were carefully chosen based on their abilities and how they could help amplify the raw power of our green stompiness!

Let's start off with a card that my chat was begging me to play: Ulvenwald Tracker (or as they called it, "Bear Punch Man"). Not only did chat recommend this card to me because of the art (we were on a bear theme to start) but because we wanted some decent forms of removal in this list. We run a few "creature fights creature" cards, but this little guy is repeatable removal for us. While Ruxa, Patient Professor combat damage ability does not trigger during these interactions, all of our buffs will surely make these interactions lethal for our opponent's creatures.

Our remaining three creatures all center around card draw. If you're new to Magic, drawing extra cards is one of the most powerful things you can do in the game. The more cards in your hand, the more options you have to play, and the more things you can do on your turn. Some of the best forms of card draw in green were vastly over budget, so chat and I had to get a bit creative.

Starting out we have the infamous Beast Whisperer. This guy flourishes in creature-centric decks, providing us with consistent card draw whenever we cast a creature spell. Next we have Keeper of Fables. I love this card not only for the art, but the fact that we strictly run non-Human creatures. The big cat triggers card draw for us whenever our non-Human creatures deal combat damage to an opponent. Lastly we have Skullmulcher. This card is a bit of a gamble in this deck, but why not risk it for the biscuit? We can sacrifice as many creatures as we want to buff the Skullmulcher and get some major card draw. If we have Ruxa, Patient Professor out, we can just slowly get out creatures back through attacks! The sacrifice will have been worth it in the end (plus, making contact with a huge Skullmulcher paired with a Rogue's Passage seems kinda funny).

youtube:RplFmmIICZw

Buffers

When building this deck, I tried to make sure that our creatures had at least an even ratio of converted mana cost to power/toughness (e.g. three mana for 3 power and toughness). I wanted to get the most bang for our buck—however, we need our creatures to be even bigger. Bigger makes our combat tricks much more threatening (after all, our creatures can assign combat damage as though they weren't blocked). Ruxa does indeed buff them by +1/+1, but what other buffs do we run?

Let's start with one of the coolest spells in this dech: Muraganda Petroglyphs. This enchantment was made for this deck, buffing our vanilla creatures by +2/+2. I just love that. Our next way to buff our creatures is through Gaea's Anthem and Beastmaster Ascension. Gaea's Anthem is a simplistic enchantment that buffs all of our creatures by +1/+1. Beastmaster Ascension is another story altogether, buffing our creatures by +5/+5! That's a lot. While this enchantment does require counters on it, this threshold is very low for us since we are so creature focused. I felt this was a must-include for our list.

Lastly, we have single-target buffs. I very rarely like to run spells that open us up to two-for-ones. However, we run two such spells in this list. The first spell is Colossification.

This aura is so incredibly fun. I definitely slotted this in to attach it to Ruxa, Patient Professor, making him lethal (chat also seemed to enjoy this idea). Just target him with Rogue's Passage and we are good to go!

Our final buff is Primal Might. I enjoy this spell because it targets only our creatures and does not give them an ability. We can dump an obscene amount of mana into this and make Ruxa, Patient Professor incredibly big as well. Either way, someone is taking a lot of commander damage to the face.

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Bear Necessities by Chase Carroll

'Bear Necessities' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Chase Carroll

Event:

Rank:

Commander

Market Price: $42.73

Cards

Beast Within

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.88

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248599_200w.jpg

Destroy target permanent. Its controller creates a 3/3 green Beast creature token.

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Ulvenwald Tracker

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $2.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128954_200w.jpg

{1}{G}, {T}: Target creature you control fights another target creature.

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Keeper of Fables

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222678_200w.jpg

Whenever one or more non-Human creatures you control deal combat damage to a player, draw a card.

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Elvish Warrior

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93632_200w.jpg

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Willow Elf

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/37814_200w.jpg

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Grizzled Outrider

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230897_200w.jpg

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Return of the Wildspeaker

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243866_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Draw cards equal to the greatest power among non-Human creatures you control.
• Non-Human creatures you control get +3/+3 until end of turn.

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Cowl Prowler

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/167927_200w.jpg

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Cylian Elf

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/27645_200w.jpg

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Kodama's Reach

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236314_200w.jpg

Search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal those cards, put one onto the battlefield tapped and the other into your hand, then shuffle.

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Ferocious Zheng

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/168317_200w.jpg

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Desert of the Indomitable

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/134865_200w.jpg

Desert of the Indomitable enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {G}.
Cycling {1}{G} ({1}{G}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Swordwise Centaur

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/79180_200w.jpg

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Hunter's Insight

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226661_200w.jpg

Choose target creature you control. Whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker this turn, draw that many cards.

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Colossification

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212049_200w.jpg

Enchant creature
When Colossification enters the battlefield, tap enchanted creature.
Enchanted creature gets +20/+20.

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Garruk's Gorehorn

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215615_200w.jpg

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Skullmulcher

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/219535_200w.jpg

Devour 1 (As this enters the battlefield, you may sacrifice any number of creatures. This creature enters the battlefield with that many +1/+1 counters on it.)
When Skullmulcher enters the battlefield, draw a card for each creature it devoured.

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Leatherback Baloth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/34396_200w.jpg

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Ancient Brontodon

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145670_200w.jpg

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Runeclaw Bear

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/90949_200w.jpg

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Sol Ring

Market Price: $1.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254201_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}{C}.

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Slippery Karst

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/132165_200w.jpg

Slippery Karst enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {G}.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Bonders' Enclave

Market Price: $1.90

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212685_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{3}, {T}: Draw a card. Activate only if you control a creature with power 4 or greater.

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Ruxa, Patient Professor

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236282_200w.jpg

Whenever Ruxa, Patient Professor enters the battlefield or attacks, return target creature card with no abilities from your graveyard to your hand.
Creatures you control with no abilities get +1/+1.
You may have creatures you control with no abilities assign their combat damage as though they weren't blocked.

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Barbary Apes

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.60

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/3807_200w.jpg

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Heraldic Banner

Market Price: $0.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198414_200w.jpg

As Heraldic Banner enters the battlefield, choose a color.
Creatures you control of the chosen color get +1/+0.
{T}: Add one mana of the chosen color.

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Creeping Corrosion

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.42

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/39103_200w.jpg

Destroy all artifacts.

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Ram Through

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212717_200w.jpg

Target creature you control deals damage equal to its power to target creature you don't control. If the creature you control has trample, excess damage is dealt to that creature's controller instead.

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Kindercatch

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/56317_200w.jpg

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Tranquil Thicket

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236346_200w.jpg

Tranquil Thicket enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {G}.
Cycling {G} ({G}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Centaur Courser

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192901_200w.jpg

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Gaea's Anthem

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234304_200w.jpg

Creatures you control get +1/+1.

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Tranquil Path

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/8041_200w.jpg

Destroy all enchantments.
Draw a card.

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Beast Whisperer

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $2.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/231197_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a creature spell, draw a card.

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Ambuscade

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/136668_200w.jpg

Target creature you control gets +1/+0 until end of turn. It deals damage equal to its power to target creature an opponent controls.

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Beastmaster Ascension

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $8.91

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/131979_200w.jpg

Whenever a creature you control attacks, you may put a quest counter on Beastmaster Ascension.
As long as Beastmaster Ascension has seven or more quest counters on it, creatures you control get +5/+5.

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Quilled Slagwurm

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/39182_200w.jpg

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Alpine Grizzly

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93189_200w.jpg

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Evolutionary Leap

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.69

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/100335_200w.jpg

{G}, Sacrifice a creature: Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a creature card. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Kalonian Tusker

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/69165_200w.jpg

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Myriad Landscape

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/254246_200w.jpg

Myriad Landscape enters the battlefield tapped.
{T}: Add {C}.
{2}, {T}, Sacrifice Myriad Landscape: Search your library for up to two basic land cards that share a land type, put them onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Slice in Twain

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212534_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
Draw a card.

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Enormous Baloth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/32605_200w.jpg

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Nyxborn Colossus

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206206_200w.jpg

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Woodland Druid

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/9559_200w.jpg

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Grizzly Bears

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/15153_200w.jpg

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Shamanic Revelation

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248649_200w.jpg

Draw a card for each creature you control.
Ferocious — You gain 4 life for each creature you control with power 4 or greater.

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Path of Discovery

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/155640_200w.jpg

Whenever a creature enters the battlefield under your control, it explores. (Reveal the top card of your library. Put that card into your hand if it's a land. Otherwise, put a +1/+1 counter on the creature, then put the card back or put it into your graveyard.)

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Harmonize

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234057_200w.jpg

Draw three cards.

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Norwood Ranger

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12751_200w.jpg

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Lifecrafter's Bestiary

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248626_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, scry 1.
Whenever you cast a creature spell, you may pay {G}. If you do, draw a card.

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Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/125584_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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War Room

Market Price: $4.93

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226829_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{3}, {T}, Pay life equal to the number of colors in your commanders' color identity: Draw a card.

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Rogue's Passage

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/248656_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{4}, {T}: Target creature can't be blocked this turn.

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Cultivate

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.44

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243854_200w.jpg

Search your library for up to two basic land cards, reveal those cards, put one onto the battlefield tapped and the other into your hand, then shuffle.

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Colossapede

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129818_200w.jpg

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Hall of Triumph

Market Price: $0.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/81983_200w.jpg

As Hall of Triumph enters the battlefield, choose a color.
Creatures you control of the chosen color get +1/+1.

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Gnarled Mass

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/12268_200w.jpg

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Rabid Bite

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.02

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221943_200w.jpg

Target creature you control deals damage equal to its power to target creature you don't control.

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Krosan Grip

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236316_200w.jpg

Split second (As long as this spell is on the stack, players can't cast spells or activate abilities that aren't mana abilities.)
Destroy target artifact or enchantment.

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Rumbling Baloth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215980_200w.jpg

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Muraganda Petroglyphs

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.39

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/234301_200w.jpg

Creatures with no abilities get +2/+2.

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Primal Might

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215456_200w.jpg

Target creature you control gets +X/+X until end of turn. Then it fights up to one target creature you don't control.

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Nessian Courser

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/71199_200w.jpg

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Silverback Ape

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/11300_200w.jpg

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Hollowhenge Beast

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/57846_200w.jpg

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Gigantosaurus

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/168484_200w.jpg

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Vorstclaw

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192824_200w.jpg

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Triumph of Ferocity

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/58365_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, draw a card if you control the creature with the greatest power or tied for the greatest power.

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Savage Punch

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/93159_200w.jpg

Target creature you control fights target creature you don't control.
Ferocious — The creature you control gets +2/+2 until end of turn before it fights if you control a creature with power 4 or greater.

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Balduvian Bears

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/4595_200w.jpg

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Card Draw and Removal

Now, we've already covered a few bits of card draw and removal in the section on creatures. However, we still need other ways to protect ourselves and get the upper hand. This is where our noncreature spells come into play.

Let's start off strong with card draw. Of course we run Harmonize and Shamanic Revelation. These are typical green card draw spells that do exactly what we need them to do. Another fun card draw spell is Return of the Wildspeaker. The focus on non-Human spells seems incredibly fitting for our list and also allows us the possibility of buffing our creatures if we would prefer.

Now, let's move on to removal. Alongside Ulvenwald Tracker we run a large amount of fight spells. From Hunter's Insight to Ambuscade to Savage Punch, we have it all! While this isn't strictly removal, it can be if we've buffed our creatures up enough.

For artifact and enchantment removal, we run Krosan Grip, Slice in Twain, Creeping Corrosion, and Tranquil Path. I ought to mention that we also run Beast Within which can serve as creature or noncreature removal as well. These are key abilities that are integral for a commander deck to function and thrive.

* * *

I was so excited to build Ruxa, Patient Professor, and I must say that I am incredibly proud of this list. I wanted to make something both budget and player-friendly. In my opinion, Strixhaven is such a great introductory set for players just dipping their toes into Magic. From the rebranding of the Guilds to the easy to grasp abilities, I was pleasantly surprised by all that the plane had to offer.

Brewing this deck was such an exciting challenge. The majority of my lists are quite expensive, and it was a fun challenge to try and hit a budget as low as $50. It's because of Ruxa, Patient Professor and this list that I want to attempt to brew more budget lists in the future. If you are new to Magic or new to Commander, I hope this list serves you well. Happy brewing!