The deformation behavior of the extruded magnesium alloys Mg2Nd and Mg2Yb was investigated at room temperature. By using in situ energy-dispersive synchrotron X-ray diffraction compression and tensile tests, accompanied by Elasto-Plastic Self-Consistent (EPSC) modeling, the differences in the active deformation systems were analyzed. Both alloying elements change and weaken the extrusion texture and form precipitates during extrusion and subsequent heat treatments relative to common Mg alloys. By varying the extrusion parameters and subsequent heat treatment, the strengths and ductility can be adjusted over a wide range while still maintaining a strength differential effect (SDE) of close to zero. Remarkably, the compressive and tensile yield strengths are similar and there is no mechanical anisotropy when comparing tensile and compressive deformation, which is desirable for industrial applications. Uncommon for Mg alloys, Mg2Nd shows a low tensile twinning activity during compression tests. We show that heat treatments promote the nucleation and growth of precipitates and increase the yield strengths isotopically up to 200 MPa. The anisotropy of the yield strength is reduced to a minimum and elongations to failure of about 0.2 are still achieved. At lower strengths, elongations to failure of up to 0.41 are reached. In the Mg2Yb alloy, adjusting the extrusion parameters enhances the rare-earth texture and reduces the grain size. Excessive deformation twinning is, however, observed, but despite this the SDE is still minimized.