15, Mar, 24

MTG Fallout Commander Science! Deck Review and Upgrade Guide

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Article at a Glance

Rounding out the new Fallout decks is Science! which brings back the Energy Reserve resource. Out of the four decks this one offers the most complex game plan and has quite a few moving parts. However, complexity does not necessarily mean it’s hard to play. The deck offers two distinct choices for how you can upgrade it. Let’s take a look at both commanders, review some of the best cards and how they play, then finally make some recommendations moving forward.

The Good Doctor

The face commander for Science! does pretty much everything. An easy Energy generator, a Haste enabler, card draw and recursion are all welcome here. That’s a surface level read of the card. When you play the deck, though, you see it is a little lacking. Science! has plenty of cards that make energy but it has far fewer ways to use that energy to end the game. Paying five energy to return an artifact from your graveyard might be your best play but it almost never will be. The deck features a lot of recursion on top of that which costs no energy. Giving a single creature Haste can be helpful but is never game ending. Drawing an extra card, at three energy, might be necessary but is not a bargain.

That being said, your best energy based win condition that isn’t a commander option boils down to Brotherhood Scribe and Automated Assembly Line. These two cards work on their own and do not care about Dr. Li at all. In fact, one of the only cards in the deck that burns off excessive energy is Assaultron Dominator which also works well with the Scribe and Assembly Line. In terms of non-energy based win-cons, Mechanized Production only cares about energy in relation to Automated Assembly Line. This combo naturally happening is simply too rare to realistically value. Meanwhile Sentinel Sarah Lyons cares about how wide your board is which, from an energy perspective, only relates to Assembly Line.

Not Worth it, Stock

After playing with the Dr. in charge, getting a little more energy did not make much of a difference. It was a “win more” proposition. Even though it did have some ability to loop cards like Behemoth of Vault 0 to deal with any problem, it simply did not have enough gas to close out games. There is an alternate idea included though.

Truth, Justice, Liberty

Now, this is an easy win-con! Attack someone three times – it already has Haste and Trample! For two energy and an artifact, it draws a card. That’s less than three energy. The deck is full of things you can feed to Liberty Prime, Recharged. Solemn Simulacrum, Follow Him and Nuka-Cola Vending Machine give you plenty of fuel that comes with extra bonuses. Nerd Rage and Shaun, Father of Synths can generate a lethal amount of damage extremely quickly. Curie, Emergent Intelligence gives you the ability to “save” Liberty Prime via the exile mechanic and then attack and draw eight cards!

I felt significantly more empowered having a monstrous 8/8. Attacking players was easier than trying to construct a value engine that won. Using Liberty Prime also makes many of the cards in the deck significantly more powerful. For example One with the Machine becomes an easy draw five instead of a draw three or four simply because you have easy access to your commander.

If your commander dies, you should not be afraid to put it into the graveyard thanks to all the recursion. In particular, Elder Owyn Lyons gets Liberty back and gives it just a bit of protection with Ward One. Electrosiphon is a catch all counter spell, but here it protects Liberty from anything. Paladin Danse, Steel Maverick can save Liberty as well. No plan is completely fool proof. You’ll lose your Commander to something. That said, you can easily get it back in Science! With Haste and Trample you are right back to finishing off a player every other turn.

The Verdict

Many players look at a deck like Science! and see the Energy mechanic. They then want to go all in on that idea. Furthermore, there are many go wide and infinite strategies that can be assembled as you upgrade the deck. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But if you look at a card like Vault 112: Sadistic Simulation, you see there are two parts to it.

First, you can tap down something and get two energy. You get to do that twice. Twice is two safe Liberty Prime attacks, Energy paid for in advance. That’s enough to probably finish out one player. The final chapter ability can dig for an answer or another way to win like an extra combat step card. I like the synergy of this card in each chapter, not just as an energy accumulator into a combo piece. Other players will see it differently. Big energy cards like Aetherworks Marvel and Gonti’s Aether Heart are sure to be included there. Tomayto, tomahto as they say. I am building a killer robot deck with a side plan of going wide and my upgrades reflect that.

What Comes Out

Cards that only focus on energy generation, don’t go wide, or are a bit too costly are probably coming out. Brotherhood Vertibird, The Motherlode, Excavator, Nick Valentine, Synth Eradicator, C.A.M.P., Endurance Bobblehead and The Prydwen, Steel Flashship are all safe removes for what I’m doing while keeping the deck mostly stock. From this point, how much of the original deck you want to keep impacts further decisions.

All the Free Spells

Because you’re in red, white and blue, you have the perfect colors for some excellent free spells. Flawless Maneuver can easily protect both your entire board and Liberty Prime and for no mana at all. On top of that the card is not very expensive. Now, if your budget allows it, you can also consider the ultra powerful Deflecting Swat and Fierce Guardianship. All of these cards give you outs that might normally stop your plan cold. They are simply the best cards this deck can run for this kind of strategy.

Double Damage

Next up, Double Strike cards. Pick your poison here, there is a lot to choose from.

Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion is a relatively free include as a land. Lizard Blades, Two-Handed Axe and Embercleave are easy includes as they are all multi-purpose and artifacts. Onward // Victory is the best single use spell because it gives you a six mana, one card combo to delete a player.

After that, you have a lot of options with plusses and minuses. Assault Strobe is simply the lowest amount of mana to get Double Strike for one turn and sometimes it’s the right card for the job. Other times you would rather have the flexibility of a card like Spectacular Showdown which really can do a lot if you have the mana.

Quad Damage

The next best way to end games is extra attack steps. If Liberty already has Double Strike, you can easily get rid of two players on the same turn. Lightning Runner is probably the most thematic and on-point card to get this done, perfectly using up all of your stored energy to end the game. Next is Seize the Day which is another one card combo provided you have the mana.

A Few Good Options

There are a couple of cards that just seem good here being thematic and also highly synergistic. Bronze Guardian is a back up way to win, can quickly deal huge damage, and has synergy with Dr. Li for Trample and Whirler Rogue to make it unblockable. On top of all that, you get ward two on virtually everything. Cyberdrive Awakener gives you a go even wider strategy while also giving Liberty flying and seems like a decent singular addition.

Additionally, Aether Hub is a beyond automatic include. I had to check the deck multiple times to make sure it was not already there. What is up with Wizards not including Sliver lands in Sliver decks and Energy lands in Energy decks?

Wrapping Up

Science! offered a unique game play experience and delivered on a pre-con using Energy. With the face commander Dr. Li, though, the deck struggles a little with winning unless it hits a few, key cards. One solution? Use the alternate commander instead to deliver excessive amounts of freedom, and damage, Robot style. Pivoting the deck to one centered around combat instead of combos is not something everyone else is doing, and I highly value unique takes on Magic, so that is what works for me. But if you are going to build an Energy based combo deck, Dr. Li is clearly the best Commander made to date for that concept and many of the cards in Science! are excellent includes. Overall Science! delivers excellent value no matter how you’re going to play it and features cards that have big potential in many archetypes.

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