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Magic: The Gathering – Fallout Commander Decks Preview


Welcome weary vault dwellers to Magic: The Gathering’s latest offering as part of their Universes Beyond product line. It’s time to leave the comforts of our dreary vaults and enter the chaos and uncertainty of the wasteland, to see what goodies we can scavenge up as part of MTG’s latest crossover with Bethesda’s classic, post-apocalyptic video game - Fallout!

Rad New Mechanics

Before we venture out into the wasteland to retrieve intel on the four, new Commander decks which are being released as part of the new Universes Beyond Fallout set, let’s take a look at some new (and returning) mechanics that have been incorporated into this latest release!

• Junk tokens - scattered throughout the Commonwealth is an endless amount of junk. However junk is definitely a new mechanic to us Magic players! The old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is fine, but what if we could turn our own trash into our own treasures? Enter the junk token! Once sacrificed, junk tokens let players exile the top card of their library and play that card on the same turn, which is just incredible value. This means having a stash of junk tokens which you can sacrifice (for free might I add, just by tapping them), allows players to dig deeper into their libraries for those all important, game-changing answers! Personally, I think junk tokens are a new mechanic that this normie is really going to enjoy!

• Radiation counters - The landscape left behind after The Great War has been affected by radiation in more ways than one, so it makes sense that this contamination would spill over into this new Universes Beyond set. Radiation counters (or rad counters as us non brain-eaters would say) are cumulative, leading to more serious consequences the more of them that you have. At the beginning of your pre-combat main phase, you mill cards equal to the number of rad counters that you have. For each non-land card you mill, you lose one life, but also one rad counter. This is a really interesting mechanic and I could see it getting a lot of love from decks that care about self-mill, cards in graveyards and also draining opponents of life! But be warned… all that exposure to radiation could have lasting consequences for a Smoothskin…

• Energy Counters - a returning counter type, so I’ll not dwell on it too long… (awful pun, I know!) Energy counters allow you to pay for the cost of certain triggered or activated abilities. No point in setting out to fight off the walking dead without juice for your weapons!

• Proliferate - I read this word, and an evil laugh sounds in my head… Another returning mechanic, allowing you to add another counter of a type already owned by you or a permanent you control. Extra counters? Gimme, gimme, gimme!

• Squad - Returning from the Warhammer 40K set, the squad keyword allows players to pay an additional cost as may times as they want on casting the card, to have that many token copies ETB at the same time as the original spell- all aboard the Fallout value train! Choo Choo!

The New Commander Intel!

Universes Beyond sets have brought MTG players some incredible new commander cards, synergies and artwork from outside of the Magic universe, and this Fallout set is no different. Let’s take a look at the 4 new Commander decks and what we know about them so far:

• Hail, Caesar - “Do whatever Caesar tells you to do. And whenever the opportunity presents, strike at the Profligates. Pile body upon body.” - Vulpes Inculta

Caesar, Legion’s Emperor is a Mardu commander who rewards an aggressive play style. A 4 CMC, 4/4 commander, Caesar, Legion’s Emperor wants you to attack with your commander,

sacrificing another creature as you do, in return for your choice of reward - extra attacking soldiers, card draw or additional damage to an opponent of your choice. And what’s more, you can pick two of the three options each time!

• Scrappy Survivors - "Oh he ain't my dog. No sir. Dogmeat, he's what you'd call his own man. You can't own a free spirit like that. But he chooses his friends, and sticks with ‘em.” - Mama Murphy

Dogmeat, Ever Loyal - The goodest of good boys! This Naya, 3/3 commander wants to do all the hard work for you by digging through your deck and returning the best auras and equipments from your scrap pile (graveyard) to your hand. Then once you send your equipped and enchanted creatures into battle, he lets you make junk tokens for each one, continuing that fantastic value train all the way to victory town! What a good boy!

• Science! - “You'd think being surrounded by cutting edge laboratory equipment and some of the greatest minds the world's ever known would be enough.” - Dr Madison Li

The legendary human scientist, Dr Madison Li, is a 2/3, Jeskai commander who pays you in energy counters every time you cast an artifact spell. Not only that, she lets you trade in that energy for some big pay-offs, like card draw, giving creatures buffs and returning artifact cards from your graveyard. All that’s left for you to do now is power up your robot, artifact army, because with the genius Dr Madison Li at the helm, you’re bound to stomp over any opposition you come across in the wastelands!

• Mutant Menace - “We feel his breath and hear the beat of his wings, and know that he is more alike to us than not…” - Catechism of Hilary

The Wise Mothman is a 4 CMC, 3/3 commander, at the helm of the mutant charge. Infecting you opponents with rad counters, this Sultai commander grows the strength of the mutants on your team by milling your opponents, and giving your creatures +1/+1 counters every time a non-land card is milled… Did somebody say proliferate is in this set?!

Reflections from the Wasteland

They say “War Never Changes”, but is a game of commander really war? After crawling through the fallout and looking at the new commander decks coming out in this Magic: The Gathering Fallout set, I am delighted to see some really interesting new mechanics (that I think would fit in well to decks I already own), some incredible new commander cards, but more importantly, a true homage to an incredible video game franchise. While I don’t want to set the world on fire, after previewing this set, I think we should all be racing to strap on our Pip-boy 3000’s and dive head first into this post-apocalyptic set!