Magic: The Gathering Review – Fallout

Magic: The Gathering Review - Fallout

Undoubtedly timed to coincide with the hype campaign for the upcoming Amazon TV show, the eagerly anticipated Magic: the Gathering – Fallout is now with us.

Unlike the recent Murders at Karlov Manor which featured the full gamut of Magic product, the Fallout release comprises just four Commander format decks and a series of, (particularly pricey), collector boosters. 

To peel back the curtain a tiny bit, with Commander-focused releases like this it’s typical for reviewers to only be provided with one of the decks in the series. As a massive New Vegas fan I eagerly requested the Hail, Caesar deck upon arrival at the launch event, and I was also provided with a trio of the aforementioned fancy boosters. I generally play dual-colour decks in Commander just for simplicity’s sake, so diving into the red, white, and black of Hail, Caesar made me a bit nervous. I quickly found that the deck features a whole variety of split-colour and special ability land cards that make managing mana types pretty much a triviality though, which was nice!

MtG Fallout SS4

Render unto

As one would expect, the Hail, Caesar deck features Caesar himself as its default commander. He’s not particularly strong in his own right at only 4/4, but he’s relatively easy to summon, and his passive ability is both incredibly powerful and delightfully on-theme. 

While Caesar is in the field, any time the player attacks, they may sacrifice another creature. They then get to choose two of three options; create two 1/1 soldier tokens with haste, draw a card and lose one life, or have Caesar deal damage equal to the number of creature tokens you control to a target opponent. 

Having Caesar assemble a horde of lowly fanatics willing to die in his name for the flimsiest of reasons is just delightful in how it embodies the legion’s indoctrination and cruelty. Minor spoilers for New Vegas I suppose; the option to take one point of damage in order to draw a card is a cleverly subtle way of representing the brain tumour that’s slowly killing him also.

The alternate commander option the deck presents is Mr. House. He has no attack ability whatsoever, which will make absolute sense for anyone who met him in the video game world. Being the head of the Lucky 38 casino, he has the luck-themed power to summon 3/3 robot token creatures as well as treasure tokens upon the roll of a D6. It’s conceptually interesting and also quite on-theme for the character, but given that neither summon will happen unless a 4 or a 6 are rolled, he’s just too unreliable for my taste.

The rest of the deck comprises classic Magic cards reworked with new Fallout art and flavour text, along with a whole host of cards representing characters, plot beats, and powers from the entire game series. There’s even a V.A.T.S. card that allows the player to just instantly kill as many creatures of a chosen toughness value as they wish when used. It’s wonderful stuff! 

MtG Fallout SS1

Of plunderers and plutonium

I haven’t been able to have direct hands-on time with the other three decks in the series personally, but I did get to play against two colleagues using Scrappy Survivors and one with Mutant Menace during the event. 

Scrappy Survivors cleverly embodies the character building side of the Fallout video games, and centers heavily on equipment, buffs, and food tokens to kit-out and customise your creatures with. 

Mutant Menace leans more on the horror aspects of the franchise, and focuses heavily on the new radiation mechanic that the set introduces to Magic as a whole.

Becoming irradiated forces the player at the start of their turn to mill one card from their deck for each rad counter they have. For each non-land card milled, they lose one life and one rad counter. The amount of cards featured in Mutant Menace that drop rad counters upon players, including the deck-wielder themselves, means that Mutant Menace is going to be a riot for anyone who likes playing Commander in the most trolling and chaotic way possible.

MtG Fallout SS2

I had an absolute blast playing Magic in the world of Fallout. So much so that I’m keen to pick up at least one of the other decks in fact. It’s clear that the team behind it held an intense amount of love and passion for the license, and I’m hugely curious about how they’ll handle the much more conceptually weird Assassin’s Creed when its crossover set lands in July.

I’m still a Magic newbie and quite terrible at Commander in particular. Maybe it’s just a quirk of my ADHD, but I’m finding that having a license that I understand attached to a deck is massively helping me to learn and improve. I understand from my years of replaying New Vegas what a Caesar’s Legion deck should do, just as the years I spent as a teen playing a Chaos Space Marine army in tabletop Warhammer 40,000 massively helped me learn the fundamentals of how Commander works to begin with when I dove into this hobby 18 months ago.


I know some older Magic fans have been grumbling about the near Fortnite-level of licensed I.P. that’s being plugged into their universe, but if those license drops keep being as impeccably well realized as Fallout then I will gleefully welcome it. It’s not just cool and fun to see, it’s also a powerful tool for welcoming new players.

Magic: the Gathering – Fallout was reviewed using products kindly provided by Wizards of the Coast.

MtG Fallout SS3

Have you seen our Merch Store?

Get 5% off these great Arcade Machines and help support Player 2

Check out our Most Recent Video

Find us on Metacritic

Check out our Most Recent Posts