Introduction + Stats
Hey all, Raphterra here again, back with another off-meta deck guide! In my last article, I showcased Baalkux Varus Fizz, the deck that I used to rank up my smurf account from Platinum to Diamond. Today, I’ll be featuring Braum Galio, the deck I used to climb from Diamond to Masters at 73% Winrate (19 Wins, 7 Losses).
This deck well-positioned for a Masters climb due to having an extremely favored matchup against a popular meta deck: Aatrox Kayn / Aatrox Vayne. I have a personal 100% winrate against Aatrox decks during my climb. Most of my losses were games against fast aggro / combo decks like Zed Hecarim, Miss Fortune Twisted Fate, and Jinx aggro.
If you want to see this deck in action after reading this article, check out my full video guide!
Braum Galio Deck Build
What Type Of Deck Is Braum Galio?
The Formidable Foundation
Petricite Hound and Petricite Broadwing are the deck’s early Formidable units. These are the cards that I usually look for in the mulligan. Attaching an early The Darkin Spear to Petricite Hound or Petricite Broadwing will make it very hard for your opponent to trade into them. The Darkin Spear‘s buff effect can snowball into a strong mid-game if it hits the right units. Furthermore, The Darkin Spear turns into an alternate win condition in the late game if you play it as Anaakca.
Braum is the deck’s second champion and he’s a very reliable win condition against combat-centric midrange decks. His Regeneration allows him to chump block endlessly against smaller foes, and granting him permanent buffs will make him impossible to remove for some matchups. Level 2 Braum can also outgrind long games; his level up is fairly easy to achieve due to strong protection spells from Freljord and Demacia.
The Formidable Finishers
Braum and early Formidables can dominate the early turns, but every deck still needs reliable win conditions! Galio is perfect for this job, especially for a deck that aims to maintain a wide board of high-health units. Getting to Level 2 Galio will win you games most of the time. A wide board of Formidable midrange units with Galio‘s Rally effect will be very difficult to stop.
Aside from Galio, playing Anaakca from The Darkin Spear is another decent option for the late game. Yordle Ranger is another late-game unit that has great synergy with Formidable units. While it doesn’t win games immediately when it comes down, it strengthens the rest of your board and potentially sets you up for stronger attacks. Equipping The Darkin Spear on Yordle Ranger means you get double buffs for units at the top of your deck.
Some experimental unit deck slots are currently taken by Petricite Charger and Mountain Drake. Petricite Charger can become a win condition of its own if you buff it up against decks that can’t deal with it e.g. Seraphine Twisted Fate. Mountain Drake feels like a very solid mid-game unit that warrants removal, but I could see myself replacing it if better Formidable units are released in the future.
The Formidable Buffs
Formidable units thrive when they have high health; granting them permanent buffs can help them secure board dominance. Vulpine Wanderer‘s Stance Swap is one of our main ways to grow our units. Boar Stance‘s Regeneration works well with Formidable units, and Bear Stance can make Braum nearly unkillable. Ram Stance has the utility of clearing boards against swarm decks, but you can also use it to trigger Level 2 Galio‘s Rally effect.
Double-Effective Combat Tricks
Using Durand Architect with Challenger units is a reliable way to remove threats, but it won’t hurt to have more removals that we can play at fast speed. Single Combat and Concerted Strike are strike spells from Demacia that fit this role well. I’m running a 1-of of Judgment as a surprise factor; the best unit to use it on is Galio because of his Spellshield. I wasn’t able to use Judgment at all during my climb, so I would consider swapping it out for more copies of Concerted Strike.
General Mulligan from Braum Galio
As I mentioned earlier, you generally want to mulligan for Petricite Hound, Petricite Broadwing, and The Darkin Spear. The rest of the mulligan is dependent on what you’re facing or what other cards you already have in your hand:
- Braum is good to keep against non-aggro decks and if attacking on evens.
- Durand Architect is always good to keep as a pair with challengers: Petricite Broadwing, Braum, and Laurent Protege.
- Vulpine Wanderer and Laurent Protege are must-keep cards against aggro.
- Petricite Charger is great to keep against spell-based matchups e.g. Seraphine Bar.
- If you already have units to play on curve, you can afford to keep some combat tricks e.g. Troll Chant and Shield of Durand.
Let’s proceed with some sample mulligan exercises!
Mulligan Exercise: Game vs Aatrox Kayn
In this game, I was attacking on evens against Aatrox Kayn. Given that we don’t have early Formidable units, Galio and Single Combat are easy cards to mulligan away. In this game, I kept only The Darkin Spear and mulliganed away everything else. Laurent Protege is usually decent to keep, but in this matchup it doesn’t do much. We don’t have the attack token on odds, and Laurent Protege would likely lose trades to opposing Cultists with equipped Darkin weapons.
Mulligan Exercise: Game vs Ezreal Seraphine
Next, we’re going to look at an easy mulligan against Ezreal Seraphine. We always keep Petricite Hound and The Darkin Spear. These two cards will set up a strong early game; we want to look for mid-game units to keep up the aggression after the first two turns. As I mentioned in the deck build section of this guide, one of the preferred units to get in this matchup would be Petricite Charger.
Mulligan Exercise: Game vs Seraphine Twisted Fate
For the final mulligan exercise, let’s look at a game I played against Seraphine Twisted Fate. In this game, I kept only Petricite Hound and mulliganed away everything else. Braum might be tempting to keep, but we have the attack token on odds so Braum on his own won’t have immediate impact. Vulpine Wanderer‘s Ram Stance is a useful tool to get rid of 1-health Elusive units, but I wanted to look for cards that will help me apply pressure after playing Petricite Hound.
Meta Matchup Tips for Braum Galio
- Aatrox Kayn – Aatrox midrange is our best meta matchup. Braum is a key unit for the matchup; you want to keep him even if you’re not attacking on evens. Giving him a permanent buff with Bear Stance or Take Heart will allow him to stall out against Aatrox and Kayn. They will likely need Furious Wielder to kill Braum, but you can always counter with your combat tricks. Try to end the game with multiple attacks from Level 2 Galio.
- Gwen Katarina – Aggressive combo decks are our worst matchups. Gwen Katarina in particular is rough because they have access to Quietus. Quietus kills almost every significant we have, and we will have a tough time blocking against the Fearsome Phantom Butler. You can’t really play around a one-mana removal spell, so just follow your usual gameplan and hope for the best.
- Jinx Lulu – Jinx Lulu is an unfavored matchup for Braum Galio. We’re not running any healing in the deck, and Jinx‘s burn damage can usually kill us before we can pop off in the mid game. Keep Vulpine Wanderer in the mulligan. Using Ram Stance to clear the swarm might be enough to stabilize the early game. Remove Jinx as soon as possible with Concerted Strike, Single Combat or Durand Architect + challengers.
- Trundle Tryndamere – This is an even matchup. Follow your usual gameplan and apply as much pressure as you can. Use The Darkin Spear to put your units out of range of early board wipes. They may have Quietus and Buried in Ice to slow you down, but you just need to keep pressuring and apply the “if they have it, they have it” mentality.
- Gangplank Sejuani – This is a favored matchup. Gangplank Sejuani usually thrives against midrange decks, but Formidable units don’t really care about Sejuani‘s Frostbite effect. A buffed up Braum will be very difficult for them to deal with, and they don’t have enough aggression to kill us before we stabilize.
That’s it for the guide! This will likely be my last deck guide for the rest of the season. In the next days, I’ll be focusing on my final preparations for the upcoming seasonal tournament. Hopefully this guide helps you out in the last days of the World Ender ranked season.