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Fallout: Science! Review


In March of 2023 Wizards of the Coast released a series of 4 Universes Beyond decks based on the video game franchise Fallout. Having been a massive fan of the video game series, my interest in these decks was piqued as soon as I read about them, and my play group came to an agreement that we would each get one of the decks upon release. I ended up with the Science! deck which is what I am going to look at in detail in this article. Moving forward I will take a look at the Mutant Menace deck next, and if there is enough interest, I will also look at the other 2 decks too.

What’s included in the box

This deck, like all Commander preconstructed decks, includes a 100-card deck, along with a thick card foil copy of the main commander, a cardboard life tracker, 10 double sided tokens, and a cardboard deck box that is finally big enough to comfortably hold a 100-card deck sleeved (though not its accompanying tokens). This is a big step up compared to the included boxes in old decks. You also get a 2-card sample Collector’s pack which can contain Collector’s pack exclusives. These components are generally on par with other preconstructed Commander decks, but the box is an improvement so gets a 4/5.

Best news cards

The Fallout Science! deck brings 38 new cards to Magic the Gathering, and whilst some of these new cards aren’t going to be overly impactful, there are some real stand out cards in this deck:

· Dr Madison Li

The face commander for the new deck, and the first Energy legendary creature for Magic. This card is interested in casting artifacts to generate Energy, and then making use of this Energy for various effects. It opens up a brand-new archetype in Jeskai (red/white/blue colours) and so for that alone it would get its ranking as one of the best new cards, but along with that she also helps draw into more cards and acts as a reanimator in a colour combination where this is less common.

· Liberty Prime, Recharged

The alternate commander in the deck looks deceptively simple, looking like it will be just a big beater. However, with its need to spend Energy or be sacrificed, combined with its ability to sacrifice an artifact for 2 Energy and draw a card. In the right build, with plenty of sacrificial artifacts, or enough Energy, this thing becomes at utter house, quickly able to close out games unless your opponent has a massive creature with which to block. Having Haste means that Liberty Prime can start hitting straight away and so removes the “just you wait until I untap” feeling big beaters often have. This is a powerful card, and plays a great role in this deck as a finisher, as well as offering an interesting alternative commander for the deck.

· Nuka-Cola Vending Machine

This card has produced quite the buzz about it, with its ability to create a Treasure token whenever a Food token is sacrificed, and its ability to create that Food token itself for 1 mana. This means that in the preconstructed deck this can make ample artifacts for Liberty Prime, Recharged to make use of, as well as provide a stream of life and mana. However outside of this deck this thing is incredibly powerful in a Food deck, a Treasure deck, or any deck that makes artifact tokens.

· Intelligence Bobblehead

These set of decks have seven Bobbleheads between them, and in this particular deck there is the Intelligence and the Endurance Bobblehead. All of these cards work the same way, being 3 mana artifacts that tap for one mana of any colour, and have a second ability based on the number of Bobbleheads you have in play. The Intelligence Bobblehead requires a payment of 5 mana and tapping, and in return it draws X cards where X is the number of bobbleheads you have in play. In this deck you will only get 2 cards at most, which isn’t a fantastic rate. However, if you built a deck around more of these, and ways to get them into play, this could become a really good way of getting card advantage even if it requires a lot of set up.

· James, Wandering Dad

This mono blue Human Scientist has an Adventure side to it, and comes down as a 2/4 for 3 mana which isn’t terrible on its creature side. The Adventure side is a good mana sink, a great source of card draw and a source of artifacts that Liberty Prime, Recharged can make use of too. Once you cast him as a creature, he then taps for 2 colourless mana which can only be used to activate abilities, meaning he can then be used to crack the Clue tokens he previously made amongst his other uses. In this deck he proves to be a useful roleplayer, but in his own right be could be a great mono-blue commander, or a great card in Clue focused decks (helpful as Murder at Karlov Manor has a ton of Clue support in it and only came out in February 2024).

Best reprints

Along with the new cards, each of the Fallout decks has reprints of some note. It is worth saying that the Fallout Science! deck’s reprints are probably the weakest of all 4 of the Fallout products, however there are still some reprints of note to go along with the expected cards like Sol Ring, Arcane Signet etc.

· Mechanized Production

Though this enchantment has been reprinted a few times in recent years (most recently in Murders at Karlov Manor Commander in February of 2024) this card is still worth taking note of, enabling you to copy an artifact that you attach it to at the beginning of your upkeep, and if it sticks around then it becomes an inevitable win condition. Not particularly resilient but it is splashy and fun, so in a deck lacking in outstanding reprints, Mechanized Production earns its place.

· Wake the Past

Getting its first reprint after its initial release in Commander 2021, this 7-mana reanimation spell is a splashy spell that can win the game in the right conditions, and provides some resilience against board wipes, as long as they don’t exile your cards rather than destroy them. In this deck, it really can be a huge swing, and so it is a reprint worth noting.

· Lighting Greaves

Not a reprint that is overly exciting, but as previously mentioned reprints are not this deck’s forte! This is an important card and one that is always in demand, and provides your commander or an important creature in your deck both Haste and Shroud. This is a card I am never sad to see reprinted.

How this deck plays

Despite this being advertised as an Energy deck, it is much more about artifacts in reality. The game plan is to get Dr Madison Li out quickly and then cast as many artifacts as possible to generate Energy. This can then be spent to draw cards and boost your artifacts in attack. The most obvious way to win is to get Liberty Prime, Recharged onto the table and attack, but with other cards like Sentinel Sarah Lyons and Brotherhood Vertibird making good attackers you can find other ways to deal damage. If you get Shaun, Father of Synths on the battlefield and protect him, he can produce copies of your other legendary creatures and open up a whole bunch of shenanigans for you. Ultimately though, this is a beat down deck at heart and works best when played that way, despite its pretensions otherwise. Compared to the other Fallout decks, this is probably the weakest of the decks, with a fragile strategy that can easily stall out if you do not build up enough Energy. 3/5


All Commander decks have a lot of moving parts and interactions, and this deck is no different. Lots of the cards appear on their surface to have little reason to be in the deck (such as the aforementioned James, Wandering Dad) but they feed into the deck’s play style in different ways. For a deck that is at it’s heart an aggressive beatdown deck, there is quite a bit of complexity to understand to really get the best out of the deck. There are also several cards that would be better in a different deck, which means they are easy cuts, but it takes time to learn which cards these are. 4/5

How this deck looks

Obviously, art is a very subjective thing, and with this being a Magic the Gathering: Universes Beyond product its art style is a big departure from the art seen in normal Magic releases. With that said, I really love the art style in this deck! The basic lands depict recognisable scenes from the Fallout Universe, the legendary creatures are good representations of their characters and there are lots of nods to the various games littered throughout the art of cards both new and reprinted. In fact, the reprints with new artwork really do a great job of selling this as a Fallout: Magic the Gathering set, and get a massive seal of approval from me. Along with that, the foil commander and alternative commander really pop in this deck, being an eye-catching lead for the deck. For me the art is 5/5


There are a few very obvious cards relating to Energy that stand out for this deck, with it not containing any of the Energy -matters cards from the Kaladesh block. This means that cards such as Aetherworks Marvel, Decoction Module, Electrostatic Pummeler and Gonti’s Aether Heart are obvious cards to include as upgrades. Along with that, the mana base could easily be improved by the addition of better dual lands. Less obviously, including a suite of low-cost artifacts (especially those with enter the battlefield effects) will boost your commander’s ability to produce Energy and provide fodder for Liberty Prime, Recharged. Once past this though, the path for upgrades becomes less clear, and as a player you would need to decide what you wanted to focus on for this deck. In this respect it leaves plenty of scope to make the deck your own, which is not a bad thing necessarily. Wizards of the Coast are returning to Energy later in 2024 with another Jeskai Energy preconstructed deck slated for release with Modern Horizons 3 in the summer, meaning that there may be more upgrades coming for this deck. For that reason, I’d currently rate this deck as a 3/5


I really wanted to love this deck, and for it to be an exciting new style of deck. Unfortunately, in reality, despite its pretensions of being an Energy deck, it is much more an artifact beatdown deck with some Energy support. It is fun to play out of the box, though definitely weaker than the other Fallout decks and can struggle to get going against them. Currently upgrades are somewhat limited in the Energy design space, but this is due to change later in 2024 so this may get much better. Overall I am glad I added this Fallout deck to my collection, but it isn’t my go to deck. I’d give this deck a solid 70/100