Building on a Budget: Modern Yawgmoth

Ben Fraley
February 08, 2023


In my last few articles, I have been discussing the modern deck Golgari Yawgmoth at length. This deck is one of the best in the modern metagame and rewards intricate and thought-out play. I mean it won 3rd, 4th, and 5th place in the Modern Challenge on Saturday on MTGO. However, this deck is often over 900 dollars, a steep price for a pile of cardboard. A nice part of this is that with the printing of Dominaria Remastered the price of Yawgmoth, Thran Physician has been cut in half. Not only that, but much of the price of the deck is in the lands and sideboard. In this article, I will be going over my recommendation for a budget list for Yawgmoth, the card choices, side boarding, and how I'd upgrade it over time. If you want a deep explanation of how the deck works I would refer to my previous article deep diving how the deck works and how to play it. So without further ado, the list at the time of writing is just under 300 dollars on MTGoldfish at $299.05.

What are the changes made to conform to the budget:

As many cards as possible are the same, however to keep it below 300 some hard choices are made.


2 Birds of Paradise and 2 Goose (As opposed to 4 Birds of Paradise)

Very notably there are 2 Birds and 2 Gilded Goose. Gilded Goose is significantly worse than BoP but it is not without upside, it very notably does not die to Wrenn and Six pings and it can win a Burn matchup singlehandedly. When playing this deck, Chording for 1 to grab a Gilded Goose can gain you 6 life as both the enters the battlefield trigger and activation can get you a food. Though it is a tempo loss, gaining 6 life is like 2 counterspells against a deck whose whole goal is to play a pile of Lightning Bolts.


1 Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, and 0 Geralf's Messenger

This is both a meta call and a budget concern. Without a mana base of fetch lands Geralf's Messenger can be very dead in hand without perfect mana. Additionally in the meta right now it is often too slow and clunky making it not the best choice for the deck. Instead, you are running a one-of Hapatra. Hapatra is much easier to cast with your mana, it is only 2 mana and it combos with Yawg by itself. It is a fantastic card and one that I personally didn't run for way too long. 


1 Scavenging Ooze and 0 Endurance

Endurance (MH2)

Endurance is 40 dollars and Scavenging Ooze is 40 cents. Ooze is often worse but can grow much larger than Endurance. Preferably you have both but in the meantime, it is fine as tutorable, main deck graveyard hate. There is not much to it other than that Endurance is literally 100 times more expensive.


The Manabase: A Warning

Without fetches and many of the premium sources of consistent mana, this is very much scraping the bottom of the barrel. The first thing to upgrade in this deck is by far the mana. It is an unfortunate truth but because life is so important in this deck Llanowar Wastes will just lose you games that you would otherwise win. I could absolutely lie to you and say that this deck will work perfectly and that the mana is just fine but it is simply not the case. This deck will do well but the mana will cost you. Now with that in mind I still absolutely recommend this deck as it is very, very powerful, if you don't own another budget aggro deck and want to flex your intellectual muscles this deck will perform very well. I will quickly explain each land with some advice.


4 Twilight Mire: This land is awesome and you will love it until you draw 3 in your opening hand and can't produce any colored mana.

4 Forest: A Basic is just a basic not much to it, a Boseiju, Who Endures or two would be better but that is 25 bucks a piece.

Boseiju, Who Endures (NEO)

4 Darkbore Pathway: This one has surprised me with how good it is, it isn't optimal but they are relatively nice to have.

4 Llanowar Wastes: it produces both colors which is good but the damage is terrible. Avoid tapping for damage if at all possible. Life is especially important in Yawgmoth.

1 Overgrown Tomb: This is just fine try not to shock it in if possible but it will always be good and is nice to have for upgrading.

1 Khalni Garden: A very cool piece of tech from Control4Daze, it comes in tapped but is very nice as it creates extra bodies for both Yawgmoth and Chord of Calling!

1 Swamp: A basic Swamp. Not a great card to see but a necessary evil.

Swamp (ONE)

1 Nurturing Peatland: The damage isn't great but the utility to sac for another card is absolutely amazing.

1 Dryad Arbor: A terrible card to draw but an amazing card to Chord of Calling for or once the deck has been upgraded with fetches a great card to fetch for.


The Sideboard:

This is by far the most changed. Most of the sideboard pieces in Yawgmoth are very expensive, Playsets of Endurance, Thoughtsieze, or Force of Vigor. This sideboard is filled with all of the secondary interruption cards. For every 4 Thoughtsieze, there is also a couple of Necromentia to interrupt the combo as well. There are no Thoughtsieze but there are certainly Necromentia and Duress!

Due to the diversity of the Modern Meta and the length of my articles, it isn't realistic for me to provide a full sideboard guide but I will go through each card in the sideboard and in what types of games it is most beneficial.


1 Bloodchief's Thirst

Bloodchief's Thirst is a perfect answer to Wrenn and Six, a good piece of interruption for aggro decks and even decks like Murktide. This deck doesn't play much removal due to the importance of assembling the combo but Bloodchief's Thirst is very cheap (both in money and mana!) and it certainly feels great to kill a big Ledger Shredder!


1 Go for the Throat

1 Shapers' Sanctuary

This is a tech against Rakdos Scam and Fury decks in general. Fury is an absolute beating against us but with Shaper's Sanctuary athough we lost creatures we now draw 4 cards. If you think a deck is going to be playing a lot of removal or Fury this card is very good.


1 Veil of Summer

Veil of Summer is a one-mana Cryptic Command. If your opponent is on counterspells this card is atrocious against them. Chording and holding up a mana for this as protection is amazing. If you are especially smart you can tap all your lands and creatures and leave up a Wall of Roots activation to make it look like you don't have any mana at all even though you do.


2 Leyline of the Void

Leyline of the Void is free graveyard hate. Decks that care especially about their graveyard can just auto-lose to this. Dredge, which seems to be making a come-back in MTGO challenges, almost dies on the spot. Against Murktide it turns off their Unholy Heats, Dragon's Rage Channelers and Murktides. It shuts down an opposing Yawgmoth deck. If you pay attention to what your opponent is doing then you'll know when to bring this in.


2 Duress

This is an important piece interruption to the decks running non-creature combos. Great against Creativity and Tron. Thoughtsieze is a much better option but you can only do so much with 300 dollars.


2 Necromentia

This is absolutely amazing combo interruption. You need to be careful of opposing Veil of Summer's but with the number of one mana dorks in this deck, you can really just drop this turn 2 to just turn off an opposing combo deck. Creativity has no more Archon of Crueltys, Scapeshift has no more Scapeshifts, and Amulet Titan doesn't have any more Titans. If you want to play some of the most unfun magic of your life a Yawgmoth Mirror match in which neither of you have Yawgs is like an inescapable nightmare realm of 2 midrange decks that just are made of bad cards.


1 Haywire Mite, 1 Outland Liberator, 1 Tear Asunder

Each of these serves the purpose of removing problematic Artifacts and Enchantments. Depending on how much you can Chord of Calling for then you obviously get whichever one is possible but the differences between the 3 cards allow a lot of strong versatility. In long, grindy games, Outland Liberator is an absolute beast as the flipside's attack trigger can just singlehandedly take out an opponent's board. Haywire Mite and Tear Asunder each exile which is very relevant for Kaldra Compleat. Tear Asunder also has kicker to just remove whatever which can come in very clutch, though you might have brought it in to kill a Dryad of the Ilysian Grove or Amulet of Vigor it can also just kill a Primeval Titan.


2 Scavenging Ooze

As described earlier, this is just a replacement for Endurance. It will absolutely win games but it is just worse in most case scenarios. As for when to run this card if you are bringing in Leyline you are usually going to bring in at least one of these. When activating it growing it is strong but also keep in mind the ability to precisely turn off delirium at instant speed.



This section is going to be relatively short as the deck is often evolving as to what cards it runs. As such I am going to be brief and broad rather than specific cards and when to get them.

First off, you want to upgrade the mana base. Getting fetch lands will drastically increase the quality of your mana and getting rid of Llanowar Wastes will be one of the greatest feelings possible.

Endurance (MH2)

Second, buy at least one Endurance. It is expensive but having such premium graveyard hate in game one will win you matches against Living End, Murktide, Dredge and so many other decks. It also can allow you to Chord of Calling for an extra one mana which is extremely relevant. 

Third, I'd grab whatever sideboard pieces you need based on your local meta. If you need your Endurance 2-4 then get those or if you need Thoughtsiezes to improve your Murktide or Control matchups then buy those. With this deck having such a high portion of the price being in the sideboard it really is close to impossible to say what is needed to be bought first as depending on what is played at your local store it very much fluctuates. Good luck in your games and have fun!