Fallout Reprint Review

Nick Wolf • March 8, 2024

Ravages of War by AKQA

White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Artifacts & Lands | Allied & Shards | Enemy & Wedges | cEDH | Reprints

There's a Lot You Can Learn from Old Cards

The Fallout franchise has been kicking around in some form or another for nearly as long as Magic: The Gathering. 

The first game in the series released on Oct. 10, 1997, and Magic at the time was still a toddler, entering its fifth year. The weekend when Interplay unleashed Fallout unto the world, Magic players were watching the first-ever televised Pro Tour on ESPN, held in Chicago, won by Randy Buehler. They probably weren't alt-tabbing between the two. 

A few days later, on Oct. 13, Tempest was released. If only we could go back in time to tell people (or our younger selves, if we are a certain age) to tear themselves away from Fallout on their Gateways and IBMs for a minute and buy up every Ancient Tomb, Intuition and Earthcraft they could get their hands on. 

Now that the worlds of Fallout and Magic have merged, the two halves of my nerddom have coalesced into a maelstrom of hype, and I could type forever about how happy I am to see the Mechanist's helmet on Skullclamp, or that Ian, a character who has accidentally murdered me dozens of times, actually has a card now. I could also talk about how much of a missed opportunity it is to have not a single reference to Tragic the Garnering™. 

Tragic the Garnering™ isn't just a game, it's a way of life--and it sure can be addicting. But take heart, you need to have only one deck of Tragic the Garnering™ cards in inventory to stave off the effects of withdrawal. Isn't it time to build a new deck?


I should probably mention that this is a Reprint Review of the cards contained within the Fallout Commander decks. There are a lot of them. 

Like always, we're going to look at a selection of said reprints through the dual lenses of whether we needed a reprint of the card, and whether we wanted one. All deck stats to follow are courtesy of EDHREC, and all prices quoted are in USD and of the time of this writing. 

All told, there are 182 reprints within the Fallout decks, so don't leave a snide comment if we don't talk about all of them. Do we really need to talk about Sol Ring, Command Tower, Arcane Signet, Exotic Orchard, Swords to Plowshares, Swiftfoot Boots, Lightning Greaves, Cultivate, Evolving Wilds, Myriad Landscape, Path of Ancestry, Path to Exile, Mind Stone, Rogue's Passage, Rampant Growth, Blasphemous Act, Terramorphic Expanse, Chaos Warp, Farseek, Thought Vessel, and Solemn Simulacrum again?

Or, I guess technically I just did. Anyway.

Ravages of War

Did we need it?

From a strictly numbers standpoint, we definitely needed a reprint of Ravages of War, only because there just aren't that many out there in the wild. 

Before now, the only way to get a copy was to shell out $250 for the Portal Three Kingdoms version, or $120 for the judge promo released in 2015. Those are some big numbers for a card that is functionally identical to Armageddon, which can be had as cheaply as $11.

However, there's a major caveat to that. Ravages of War is not in a Fallout Commander deck. It's a Collectors Booster exclusive. If you didn't know, along with the four Commander decks, there will also be a run of Collector Booster printings that contain showcase frames, borderless Vault Boy cards like Ravages of War up there, and whatever other bells and whistles they opt to include. 

The exclusivity of Ravages of War won't make it cheaper for sadists who want to lean into mass land destruction. The P3K version will still be expensive, and this new version will also carry a hefty pricetag. Currently, it's preordering for around $75. 

Did we want it?

The popularity of a three-digit priced card is hard to gauge from EDHREC numbers alone. 

At a glance, the card is only played in 2,983 decks. Is that because of its function, or its price? And while many other cards have multiple articles written about them either on EDHREC or right here at Commander's Herald, Ravages only has one, courtesy of Dana Roach. I'll let Dana discuss the merits/faults of mass land destruction in Commander, because I don't want to type that much.

For comparison, here are the numbers for Armageddon, which, again, is the same damn card: 19,790 decks. 

Both cards see play in the same lists, led by Numot, the Devastator, Hokori, Dust Drinker or Avacyn, Angel of Hope.

As mentioned, Ravages will become more affordable, but only slightly so. Will we see it played more often as a result? Probably not.


Did we need it?

We first met Vigor in Lorwyn as part of a cycle of Elemental Incarnations that at the time broke Magic in half. The effects on each card of the cycle massively swung the game in the favor of its caster, and Vigor is arguably the best of the bunch.

Since then, we've seen it reprinted a few times, including the fantastically translated Vitalidad from Spanish-language exclusive Salvat 2011None of them are cheaper than $13. 

You may be hoping that its inclusion here will lower that price, but don't hold your breath. Instead of a standard reprint, we're getting a showcase version (as well as a showcase foil, and a showcase surge foil, which are three distinct printings, RIP singles sellers). 

So if you needed Vigor to instead be a fog crawler, which first appeared in Fallout 4's DLC Far Harbor, then you're in luck. If you wanted the giant turtle yak with bird friends as seen in Lorwyn's art, too bad, so sad.

Did we want it?

Vigor has always been a very popular card in green. That popularity has probably fallen off a bit in recent years, with the glut of new cards pushing out older favorites, but it's still well represented in decks on EDHREC. 

Currently, the card is played in 52,851 decks, good for around 3% of all decks playing green. Not eye-popping numbers by any means, but respectable. Most frequently, we see it in decks led by Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider (59% of all Vorinclex decks, or 2,347 lists total), Skullbriar, the Walking Grave (30%, 1,624 decks), and Neyith of the Dire Hunt (56%, 1,359 decks). 

So it's nice that Vigor is getting a reprint, but it's tough to say whether this particular reprint will do anything to move the needle. 

Crucible of Worlds

Did we need it?

Here's another one of those pesky "Collector Booster exclusives" we're going to hear so much about this year. This time, we see Vault Boy wielding the Garden of Eden Creation Kit, or G.E.C.K., a miracle device that serves as the MacGuffin for Fallout 2 and plays an integral role in Fallout 3 and Fallout 76 as well. 

Unlike Ravages of War, however, Crucible of Worlds has been reprinted plenty. It first debuted in Fifth Dawn, and since then appeared in Tenth Edition, Core Set 2019, and Double Masters 2022, and as a judge promo, a world champ pormo, and a Kaladesh Invention. In other words, we've been playing lands from the graveyard for awhile now.

Nearly all of those versions hover around $25, so at a glance we'd be forgiven to think a reprint here is a good thing. However, as of this writing, the Fallout version of the card is preordering for twice that. 

Did we want it?

According to EDHREC, Crucible of Worlds appears in 101,456 decks. It's safe to say at least some of those decks are playing it with Strip Mine

Fiddling with lands is one of a Commander player's favorite pastimes, and Crucible has been a stalwart piece of that strategy for many years, so much so that its effect is starting to appear on other cards just to give us that sweet, sweet redundancy we crave

A reprint of Crucible has become less necessary because of that redundancy, but it's still nice to see it again. It won't be any more affordable, but at least it looks neat, if you're into Fallout. 

And if you're curious, Crucible of Worlds is most played in Titania, Protector of Argoth decks (69%) and Lord Windgrace decks (66%). No telling why.


Did we need it?

Speaking of targeted land removal, the last Collector Booster exclusive we're going to talk about today is Wasteland. It's fitting that a card that debuted only three days after Fallout itself would appear here. 

Back when it released in Tempest it was an uncommon, whereas its most recent reprint, as Valley of Gorgoroth from Tales of Middle-earth Commander, is a mythic. It's also not available for cheaper than around $20 for any version, unless you're okay with gold borders.

Again, the Fallout reprint won't do much to lower the overall price of the card, as preorders are going for upwards of $60. For that price, you might as well spring for the extra ten bucks and grab a Zendikar Expedition version.

Did we want it?

While you probably have your own opinions about mass land destruction, you can't really argue about the value of targeted land destruction. As in, you should be playing more of it.

Think of that player with the Cabal Coffers, or Dark Depths, or Gaea's Cradle; don't you just want to take that away from them? Only 2% of all decks on EDHREC are playing Wasteland, or 57,640. And don't listen to Mike Carrozza tell you you're a Bolas for Wasting a greedy opponent. Just play the card, and use it freely. 

If you want to feel nicer, play Field of Ruin, I guess. I guess. 

Black Market

Did we need it?

It's great to see Black Market still lurking in the shadow of Revel in Riches. While they're certainly different cards, they often occupy the same slot in decks that like this effect, and players tend to opt for Revel in Riches to synergize with the ubiquity of Treasure Tokens. But not me, your resident Mercadian Masques enjoyer.

Despite now seeing its seventh reprint, it's tough to find a copy for under $5. That's not a huge number, but $5 can also buy you most of a large coffee, so. Also, it's worth noting that while the regular version of the MMQ Black Market is around $7, the foil is $102. Until now, the only other foil version of the card that existed was the Secret Lair version, which might not be everyone's cup of $5 coffee.

Did we want it?

According to EDHREC, Black Market is in a hair under 90,000 decks, good for 5% of all decks playing black. That's actually a touch more than Revel in Riches, which is found in 75,000 lists. I guess I should look things up first before I type an entire paragraph about people's tendencies. 

There are more factors in this, however. As said, Black Market is $5, while Revel in Riches is around double that. Revel in Riches has also only been reprinted once, in Mystery Boosters. It's more expensive and harder to find, which is reflected in those numbers above. 

This is all a long way to say that maybe Revel in Riches would have been the better reprint here in Fallout, but I adore Black Market, so I don't care.

Guardian Project

Did we need it?

There have been jokes about the sudden influx of cards called The Master in Magic lately, so I won't rehash them here. Since October of 2023, there have been more than a dozen cards printed with the word "master" in the name. 

That isn't counting flavor text or art, and with the new version of Guardian Project, we're still under the sway of our various masters, and the Fallout Master is a gnarly one, indeed. All he wants to do is dip you into a vat of green goo and mutate you into a supersoldier. Is The Master from Fallout and Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles the same...uh...person? You'll have to ask Tim Cain.

Even with the gross little guy known as The Master on the art, it's nice to see another reprint of Guardian Project so soon. Essentially a one-sided Howling Mine in green, Guardian Project debuted in Ravnica Allegiance in early 2019, and quickly became a staple in Commander. It's also been reprinted a few times over the intervening five years, most notably in Ravnica Remastered where it received the always welcome old-bordered treatment. Still, there are no versions under $10, but it's a good sign that the Fallout version is already the cheapest. 

Did we want it?

In those five years since Guardian Project was created, it's certainly found a home in Commander. Currently, we see the card in 146,175 decks, or almost one in ten decks playing green. It's a bonus that we can just straight up ignore the words between the commas in most cases.

Even with the higher than preferred price tag, it's become an integral part of green strategies alongside the legged version in Beast Whisperer. That might be why it's the 37th most played green card in the format. The answer to both whether we needed a reprint and wanted a reprint is a resounding yes.

Heroic Intervention

Did we need it?

Sometimes, it takes a ton of reprints to move the needle on a card's price, and with Heroic Intervention, maybe its inclusion in Fallout will be the one to do it? 

We've seen it reprinted several times just in the last year and change, with Tales of Middle-earth Commander giving us one version, Commander Masters giving us two, four with Doctor Who, and now four more with Fallout. That's pretty good for a random green instant that debuted in Aether Revolt. 

Despite all these versions, you can't really get a copy for under $10. Hopefully this time we see the price fall, since it really is a very useful card in Commander. 

Did we want it?

I'm not the only one that thinks the card is good in our format. Far from it, actually; it's the seventh-most played green card in Commander for a reason, found in nearly a half-million decks and 29% of all decks playing green. 

Those numbers also coincidentally make it the seventh-most popular instant across all colors, nestled snugly between Cyclonic Rift and Assassin's Trophy. Decks that play it run the gamut between Bant aura/equipment strategies led by Galea, Kindler of Hope (69%, 4,210 decks) to elf ball behind Lathril, Blade of the Elves (50%, 10,091 decks), and everything in between, provided there's a Forest or two in the list.

So a universally loved card that is a bit more expensive than it should be is the perfect candidate for a reprint. Of course, we said that a few times over the past year when it comes to Heroic Intervention.

Bastion of Remembrance

Did we need it?

Fans of Fallout: New Vegas are all too familiar with that big ol' handshake statue (also known as the Unification Monument) depicted in the reprint of Bastion of Remembrance. Many of them have probably used one of the NCR ranger's legs as cover as they flee from cazadors on the border of Nevada and California. It truly is a bastion of remembrance, but it's also propaganda, as most 20+ foot tall statues are. 

Despite being an uncommon, Bastion of Remembrance is never cheaper than $2. We first met the card in Ikoria, and until Fallout it was only reprinted once since then, in last year's Commander Masters. Hopefully this reprint will lower that price below a buck.

Did we want it?

There's a reason that a random uncommon from a four-year-old set is over the $2 mark. It's really good, and really popular. 

According to EDHREC, we see the card played in 118,902 decks, or 6% of all decks playing black. That makes it the 33rd-most popular card in the color. We see it most often in Teysa Karlov builds, where it's included in 71% of those decks, or 8,867 total. Unsurprisingly, it usually shares the 99 with Zulaport Cutthroat, where 74% of decks playing Bastion of Remembrance also play Cutthroat. We love redundancy, if you recall.

With such a popular enchantment, it's great to see a new version, especially in a preconstructed deck where players can guarantee themselves a copy if they want one.

Ruinous Ultimatum

Did we need it?

Speaking of Ikoria, here's another card that debuted in the set seeing a reprint in Fallout. This time, however, the new version is the first reprint.

Ruinous Ultimatum is a difficult card to play in Commander, what with its three colors and very specific casting cost, but that hasn't impacted the price much. The cheapest version hovers around $7, but it's likely that its reprint here will knock that number down a bit. 

That'll all depend on how you feel about a new version featuring Caesar, a character that leads a faction in Fallout: New Vegas that, despite their clear villainy, still drives many players to have to Google "Are Caesar's Legion the Bad Guys?"

Yes, yes they are.  

Did we want it?

Even with the clear restrictions for Ruinous Ultimatum, we still see it in more than 70,000 decks. Perhaps that's because it's a good card (it is), or perhaps it's because if you're playing Mardu, you're going to play it only because you never usually get the chance. 

Nearly 20% of Mardu decks play the card, a number that will go up thanks to two new Mardu commanders brought to us by Fallout in Caesar, Legion's Emperor and Mr. House, President and CEO. Of existing Mardu+ legends, no deck behind them sees Ruinous Ultimatum played less than 30% of the time.

It's a hard-to-cast card, but it was certainly due for a reprint.

Fervent Charge

Did we need it?

We'll stick with Mardu cards to discuss Fervent Charge, simply because it's such a surprise to see it pop up here. This is the first reprint of the card since it first appeared in Apocalypse, a 22-and-a-half year gap. 

This time, instead of seeing a Phyrexianized Crovax murder a bunch of Kavu, we get an NCR ranger in the undebatably badass outfit emblematic of the rank. 

Despite the multi-decade wait between first printing and first reprint, Fervent Charge is only around $5, and the Fallout version is already preordering for half that. This wasn't so much a case of needing the reprint for price reasons, but needing it for the sake of reminding players that it exists.

Did we want it?

In my mind I put Fervent Charge in the same category of other three-color enchantments from the first decade of Magic that people might not be aware of, like Destructive Flow, Overgrown Estate, Wild Research, or even Winter's Night.

It's an obscure card, is what I'm saying, and the EDHREC numbers reflect that. It's only in 9,400 decks, which is still good for 2% of all decks that can play it, albeit with much more restricted pool. Obviously decks that like to attack also like Fervent Charge, like Isshin, Two Heavens as One, a legend that is far and away the one who likes Fervent Charge the most.

It's very likely that the reprint of Fervent Charge here will introduce many players to the card for the first time, and we'll see its usage rise.

Gotta Keep Your Eyes Peeled for the Good Stuff

As is tradition around these parts, we'll do a lightning round of reprints that are worth mentioning, but not necessarily worth writing 250 words on. Let's get into it.

Mechanized Production: Time to make a bunch of Nuka-Cola bottle caps (or Thopters, or Golems, or whatever). This is the third reprint of this particular alternate win condition, and first since, well, about a month ago.

Anguished Unmaking: Poor Liam Neeson, first he gets gassed in Fallout 4, and now he gets tasked with trying to shoulder a reboot of Naked Gun. His version of the Orzhov removal spell isn't even the coolest one, as long as this one still exists.

Assemble the Legion: There was a seven-year gap between the original printing in 2013's Gatecrash and its appearance on The List in 2020, but since then it's been reprinted thrice more. Still as fun of a card as ever.

Basilisk Collar: From dog to lizard to dog again.

Biomass Mutation: Originally also from Gatecrash, we've seen Biomass Mutation reprinted in Commanders 2019 and 2021, as well as a spot briefly on The List, but never with an entire flavor text paragraph about Fallout lore.

Branching Evolution: One of those cards that annoyingly appeared first in Jumpstart and thus continues to have an inflated price, Fallout's version marks the second reprint, and third new art overall. This time, instead of slightly misshapen animals, we get an extremely misshapen animal.

Captain of the Watch: We've seen the Captain in M10, M13, Duel Decks release, and a Game Nights box set, all with the same Greg Staples art. With Fallout, we get a new look for the old Soldier favorite.

Champion's Helm: We went five years between Champion's Helm's debut in Commander 2011 and its spot as one of the Kaladesh Inventions, then another seven years between then and Commander Masters. This time, we only had to wait about six months. New this time, at least, is the Equipment's depiction as a diver's lid, as seen from Fallout 4's Far Harbor DLC.

Farewell: Jason Alt's favorite card gets another reprint, just for him.

Panharmonicon: A veritable coup for that one guy at the LGS who thinks saying "Panharmonica" is as funny the 100th time as it was the first.

Single Combat: A forgotten bulk rare from War of the Spark gets a reprint here, mostly for lore applications.

Behemoth Sledge: Some cards just have to be reprinted, since they were basically made for Fallout years before Universes Beyond was a twinkle in Mark Rosewater's eye. 

Glimmer of Genius: This is the first reprint of Glimmer of Genius since its debut in Kaladesh, but 2024 seems to be the year of energy counters, so get used to reading that.

Morbid Opportunist: I don't care if you reprint this card for the first time since Innistrad: Midnight Hunt/Double Feature, I still prefer my Deathreap Ritual, despite it being an objectively worse card. See if I care. 

Pitiless Plunderer: Speaking of really good black creatures that love seeing death happen, this is the fourth reprint of Pitiless Plunderer since it showed up in Rivals of Ixalan, but it's still around $5 for any copy. 

Squirrel Nest: What, no Earthcraft reprint to go along with it? Cowards. (Yes, I know it's on the Reserved List, but ignore that for the purposes of this entry.)

Sooner or Later, the House Always Wins

As a fan of Fallout since the beginning (I even have a vertibird tattoo to prove it), it's been a surreal experience watching two franchises I've loved for decades intermingle, like seeing Jake "The Snake" Roberts pop up in WCW in 1992. 

It'll be interesting to play games moving forward with bits and pieces of Fallout lore intermingled with the Wizards and Homarids of Magic, and with all these reprints, you bet I'll be swapping out some old favorites with post-apocalyptic updates. 

Any reprints you're particularly excited for? Any Magic cards you can think of that would have made perfect Fallout cards that we didn't see?