Fallout Set Review - Allied & Shards

Travis Stanley • March 7, 2024

Preston Garvey, Minuteman by Leonardo Borazio

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

Allies, Companions, and a Best Furry Friend

Another Universes Beyond Commander set is at our feet. This time we're hopping into the Fallout universe and exploring all of the nuggets of lore and story that the Wasteland has to offer. Let's not waste any time and check out these rad cards!


Dogmeat, Ever Loyal

Starting off this review strong with one of my favorite cards from the set. Dogmeat, Ever Loyal is the face commander of the Scrappy Survivors deck, and it's a flavor home run. Its ability to grab Auras and Equipment from your graveyard after you've milled them is reminiscent of Dogmeat grabbing you different items while you are out in the wasteland. The second ability allows you to gain more value in the form of Junk tokens whenever you attack, showing how in battle Dogmeat can be of assistance to you. Building Dogmeat, you can take the deck in a few different directions. If you decide to go Auras, Dogmeat plays in a similar space to Uril, the Miststalker and Mazzy, Truesword Paladin, meaning there are a plethora of cards that synergize with Auras/enchantments that could go really well with Dogmeat. Ethereal Armor, Ancestral Mask, and Sage's Reverie, among many, many others, are surefire picks for any and all Aura-based decks.

On the flipside you could go the route of being Equipment-focused. As of this article, there aren't any commanders that are specifically Naya that care about Equipment, though there are a number of Boros and Gruul cards, like Nahiri, Forged in Fury and Chishiro, the Shattered Blade, that could now share home here. Even if you decide on one path over the other, there are a few cards that care about Equipment and Auras, like Sigarda's Aid, All That Glitters/Nettlecyst, Silkguard, Ardenn, Intrepid Archaeologist, and Heavenly Blademaster. No matter which direction you take Dogmeat in, he'll always be by your side bringing you Junk every step of the way.

Preston Garvey, Minuteman

Moving on to the secondary commander of the same deck, we have Preston Garvey, Minuteman. His first ability to put Settlement Auras on your lands not only helps fix your mana, but it's full of flavor as well. The Minutemen helped folks throughout the post-apocalyptic wasteland and helped defend and create settlements all over the area. Preston Garvey, Minuteman second ability allows you to untap all enchanted permanents you control when he attacks, which is very similar to another enchantment commander, Estrid, the Masked, so even though he creates an Aura for your lands every turn, redundancy never hurts, so make sure to throw in cards like Bigger on the Inside, Fertile Ground, and Overgrowth to get as much value as possible from each turn you attack with him.

In addition to your lands, your enchanted creatures you control will get a pseudo-vigilance when they go into combat with Preston. Speaking of those creatures, you'll be wanting those with Constellation, like Setessan Champion, Calix, Guided by Fate, and Ajani's Chosen, because they're quite good when you reliably have enchantments entering the battlefield every turn. There aren't many decks that Preston can slot in, but the commanders mentioned earlier, Uril and Mazzy, would love ways to fix their mana and produce a constant stream of enchantments.


Arcade Gannon

Arcade Gannon on the surface is a 2/3 for four mana that loots and gains quest counters, and he's content with just doing that for a few turns. Once he builds up enough counters, though, he lets you cast an Human or artifact card during each of your turns from your graveyard as long as it costs less than or equal to his quest counters. Feels like a weird Azorius combination of Meren of Clan Nel Toth and Muldrotha, the Gravetide. Immediately, cards with proliferate effects jump to mind, like Inexorable Tide, Tezzeret's Gambit, and Norn's Choirmaster, as a way to help increase those counters faster.

Like with Dogmeat above, there are two very obvious directions you could take this deck in: Human kindred or artifacts. Or you could always do both, like Boromir, Gondor's Hope does. For the Human route, Myrel, Shield of Argive, Greymond, Avacyn's Stalwart, and Adeline, Resplendent Cathar are all great staples for Humans. Alongside them you can run Herald's Horn, Vanquisher's Banner, and Door of Destinies, knowing that if they get destroyed, good ol' Arcade Gannon can get them back in no time.

As for the pure artifact pipeline, cards with good repeatable enter-to-battlefield effects, like Solemn Simulacrum, Thought Monitor, Meteor Golem, or Spine of Ish Sah, would be great fits. A few legends that would synergize well with Arcade Gannon would be Unctus, Grand Metatect, Emry, Lurker of the Loch, and Sai, Master Thopterist, especially because you can also cast Sai and/or Unctus out of the graveyard if they die.

Rex, Cyber-Hound

On the heels of one Azorius commander, we have another one in the form of a cyber-enhanced canine, Rex, Cyber-Hound. On the surface, this card is very unique for its color pairing: an Azorius commander that mills your opponents and can "steal" creatures' abilities. In order for this ability to trigger, Rex has to get in there for some combat damage, or you have to have other reliable ways of generating energy and mill. For protection and the ability to get through blockers, as Rex is only a 2/2, Spirit Mantle, Unquestioned Authority, or Whispersilk Cloak should do the trick. We have to go all the way back to the Kaladesh block for reliable and constant energy-producers; Aethersquall Ancient, Aetherstorm Roc, and Aetherworks Marvel are the best ones that can give a steady stream of energy. Of course, blue has many, many mill cards to make sure those graveyards are full and ripe for the picking: Court of Cunning, [elSphinx's Tutelage[/el], and Memory Erosion are stand out mill enchantments. Other cards that would work with Rex would be Sword of Body and Mind, Thopter Spy Network, and a new card from the Fallout decks, Automated Assembly Line. As for decks that Rex could go in, artifact decks, like Ayesha Tanaka, Armorer, Urza, Chief Artificer, and, of course, the commander of the precon it comes in, Dr. Madison Li, would be his best fit.

Kellogg, Dangerous Mind

If you want aggression, intimidation, and value for just attacking Kellogg, Dangerous Mind is your best friend. Not only is he a 3/2 with first strike and haste, but he only costs three mana, and you get one of it right back with the Treasure that he makes. In-game, Kellogg is a mercenary who's tasked with stealing a baby, so that's why he has the permanent steal effect and why it costs five Treasures, because he has to get paid somehow. We've seen Rakdos commanders before that care about Treasures, like Prosper, Tome-Bound, Kalain, Reclusive Painter,  and Mahadi, Emporium Master, and Kellogg would definitely benefit from running those three in the 99.

Kellogg wants to produce a massive amount of Treasures in order to take control and use any and all other creatures. Big Score/Unexpected Windfall, Brass's Bounty, Strike It Rich, or Inspired Tinkering, coupled with Storm-Kiln Artist, will definitely generate a bunch of Treasures. Sacrificing your own creatures is what Rakdos does best. Throw in Deadly Dispute, coupled with cards like Impulsive Pilferer and Greedy Freebooter, add on top of that a Pitiless Plunderer, and now you're cooking with gas.

You want to make every swing count with Kellogg, Dangerous Mind; the Equipment Diamond Pick-Axe and The Reaver Cleaver will help produce an absurd amount of Treasures for whatever you need them for. Inside Ognis, the Dragon's Lash decks, you'll get double the Treasure attacking with Kellogg, Dangerous Mind. Inside another powerful Jund commander, Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, means sacrificing all of those Treasures will draw you a bunch of cards as well as growing Korvold. The newly printed Don Andres, the Renegade would love to have Kellogg, Dangerous Mind join his crew, as the two of them together seems like a really bad time for your opponents.

Cait, Cage Brawler

The story of Cait, Cage Brawler is a pretty sad one, so you can look it up if you'd like, but that doesn't mean the card is! A two-mana 1/1 creature may not seem great, but only until you read that she's indestructible on your turn, meaning that she can attack with relatively no fear. The more and more she attacks, the more and more she can potentially grow. In order for her ability to reliably trigger, though, you'll have to have a large portion of your deck have higher than average mana values, which make this ability feel like a weird form of the clash mechanic. Heavy hitters, like Ox of Agonas and Creeping Renaissance, have higher mana costs, but they can also be cast from the graveyard, so they fit here. She would synergize well with cards that want to see you discard, like Brallin, Skyshark Rider and Surly Badgersaur, so when you do discard you'll get some additional value out of it.

It wouldn't hurt to put in a Bag of Holding, Conspiracy Theorist, or a Containment Construct in for a way to play the spells you discard. Brawn and Anger would love to hit the graveyard. Hardened Scales, Kami of Whispered Hopes, and Ozolith, the Shattered Spire will all help increase the counters when you do win those "discard clash" moments. An aggressive way to filter through your deck, Cait, Cage Brawler feels right at home in a Wulfgar of Icewind Dale to double up that card draw, or a Shalai and Hallar deck to get more value off of those counters.

Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect makes a creature a 9/10, get it? 9/10? Almost perfect? Comedy gold.

Anyways, this Aura is incredibly strong, making any creature it attaches to a 9/10 with indestructible and the immediate threat at any table. The regular suspect Aura commanders, like Sythis, Harvest's Hand, Calix, Guided by Fate, Yenna, Redtooth Regent, Galea, Kindler of Hope, and so many more would absolutely love this Aura in their arsenal. It is six mana, but, with the majority of enchantress decks that have Jukai Naturalist, Danitha Capashen, Paragon, and Transcendent Envoy in them, that six mana cost doesn't look so big anymore. Outside of those decks, a scary 9/10 indestructible Gishath, Sun's Avatar, Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor, or Rafiq of the Many all seem equally terrifying for very different reasons.

The Nipton Lottery

A four-mana board wipe in black and red that doesn't really have a downside? Sign me up! For the card, not the lottery that this card is referring to, no thank you. Now, if it so happens that the creature that was left behind was not one of yours, that player gains a huge advantage when it gets back to their turn, so pair this with a sacrifice outlet, like Ashnod's Altar, Altar of Dementia, or a simple High Market, so you're good to go. In a Mahadi, Emporium Master deck, playing your commander after casting this spell could result in a lottery win of your own. Ziatora, the Incinerator makes it so if the last survivor is not yours, you can trade it in for Treasures and damage. For the one extra mana, this card compares to and exceeds Last One Standing, which will probably be you if you follow this spell up with a Thrilling Encore.

Boomer Scrapper

Temporary card advantage is still card advantage, and this three-mana 1/1 gives it and keeps on delivering. Producing a Junk token when entering the battlefield and on attack is quite good in terms of maintaining value. On top of that, whenever any token you control (Goblins, Treasures, Junk, Food even!) leaves the battlefield Boomer Scrapper grows larger and larger, making those attacks less and less risky every time. The partner pairing of Nadier, Agent of the Duskenel and Dargo, the Shipwrecker would welcome Boomer Scrapper with open arms. Jan Jansen, Chaos Crafter has a need for more token-producers, and when you activate Jan ability, Boomer Scrapper also gains benefit. A commander that makes sacrificing your own stuff his whole thing is Juri, Master of the Revue, and in that deck, Boomer Scrapper will put in work.

Uncommons & Commons

Elder Owyn Lyons

A leader of the East Coast Steel Brotherhood, Elder Owyn Lyons fits an artifact strategy since Magic's version of folks who work with steel are artificers. Giving all of your artifacts ward 1 makes everything that much harder to get rid of; throw in a Bronze Guardian and all of your artifacts will be nigh impossible to get rid of. Of course, Padeem, Consul of Innovation and Leonin Abunas take it to the next level with granting them hexproof. Elder Owyn Lyons's second ability is doing its best Sharuum the Hegemon impression: upon entering the battlefield and leaving you get an artifact back to hand, with means that even if opponents do get rid of them they are coming right back.

Since Elder Owyn Lyons isn't an artifact himself, looping him is a bit trickier, though throw in a Mycosynth Lattice and things can change pretty quickly. Throw in a Displacer Kitten and you'll enable a whole bunch of combos with really anything, but especially Elder Owyn Lyons. This card would definitely be a good addition to Sharuum the Hegemon and Urza, Lord Protector decks, as his recursion ability is tremendously helpful.

Raul, Trouble Shooter

This former gunslinger, now ghoul mechanic, can find a slot in many decks due to his multiple typings. Starting with Zombie, Varina, Lich Queen puts cards in the graveyard for you to cast with Raul, and Gisa and Geralf can benefit from an extra card per turn from the graveyard as well as from the second mill ability. Not just Zombie kindred, but Sedris, the Traitor King would love more ways to fill up the graveyard and be given another option to cast things out of it. Raul's Rogue typing means he could see play in Rogue kindred decks, as his mill ability lines up with what Rogue commanders like Anowon, the Ruin Thief and Krydle of Baldur's Gate want to do.

Commanders that would love to play this card just for value's sake would be Muldrotha, the Gravetide, Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, and The Ancient One. As a commander, Raul, Trouble Shooter will want cards like Syr Konrad, the Grim, Lazav, Dimir Mastermind, and Zellix, Sanity Flayer to really take advantage of that second ability. Reminder, the text says spell, so it doesn't have to be a creature, so you can mill freely without having to worry about what pops into your graveyard.

Legate Lanius, Caesar's Ace

Have you ever wanted to do oddly specific math when a creature enters the battlefield? No? Well, here's your chance. When Legate Lanius, Caesar's Ace enters, opponents will sacrifice a tenth of their creatures, which means at least one creature each. If they had 20 creatures they would sacrifice two, and then three for thirty and so on and so on. This flavor-driven ability gives Legate Lanius, Caesar's Ace potentially three or more counters when he enters, which makes him a three-mana 5/5, which is the best possible scenario.

In this deck, edict effects go a long way in making your commander big and strong like Diabolic Edict, Fleshbag Marauder and all of its friends. Mayhem Devil is a shoe-in for Legate Lanius, Caesar's Ace as not only will you grow your commander but you'll be pinging your opponents as well. Tergrid, God of Fright, would be mighty potent in this style of deck, but definitely won't win you any friends or even get you invited back to the table if all goes well. Looking at commanders that like making your opponents sacrifice their creatures, we got commanders like Lord Xander, the Collector and Malik, Grim Manipulator. A commander that this would fit into that deserves a little more love (and has some of the cutest tokens in Magic) is Wasitora, Nekoru Queen.

Contaminated Drink

This is the first X draw spell in Dimir, and it has almost zero conquences for what those colors want to do. Sure, rad counters mill you each upkeep, but with a deck like Sidisi, Brood Tyrant, Muldrotha, the Gravetide, or The Scarab God you'll want your graveyard to get nice and full. This card comes in the deck led by The Wise Mothman with the alternate commander, The Master, Transcendent, and it was definitely designed with them in mind. If you are looking to mill yourself and draw a bunch of cards while you're at it, then you should drink some of the Contaminated Drink*. *Please do not actually drink contaminated water/any liquid, it will harm you, and I am just a little writer trying to write a little funny pun, please do not harm yourself over puns.

Nightkin Ambusher

This comes down as a 4/4 that may be unblockable if your opponent can't quite get rid of the rad during their turn(s). Other than that, it's a 4/4 with ward 2, meaning that if you build around giving opponents rad counters, this is an annoying threat that will be difficult to get rid of without a board wipe. As for decks that want this, flavourly, The Master, Transcendent would work well with Nightkin Ambusher as you can reliably put rad counters on opponents, in the games The Master was the one responsible for the Nightkin. In that same vein, the commander of the deck that this card comes in, Mutant Menace, The Wise Mothman, means that this Nightkin can more often get in there unperturbed. Other than that, Nightkin Ambusher needs your opponents to have rad counters in order to reach its full potential.

Oozing with flavor, this Fallout set was a such a joy to review and really get in depth with some of these cards. I can't wait to crack these decks open and play them with my playgroup and share stories of times in-game with some of these characters/moments, while at the same time playing them and killing my opponents. Which cards are you looking forward to playing with from the Fallout decks? Make sure you check out the other Set Reviews here and on EDHREC. Until next time!