In an unexpected move, the MTG community has been blessed with a very early first look at the upcoming MTG Fallout crossover. Happening so soon after the release of the Doctor Who Commander decks is rather intriguing, but now we have a bunch of new spoilers to look forward to. Among these spoilers, one card in particular caught my eye.
This card is none other than the Nuka-Cola Vending Machine. It’s not much of a surprise that a Vending Machine-style card is capable of creating Food tokens. However, you also get the added bonus of getting tapped Treasure tokens for your troubles whenever you sacrifice a Food token. This is a cool and flavorful interaction, but it is also extremely powerful in the right shell.
Notably, these MTG Fallout cards will not be Modern legal. Therefore, while there is a unique Academy Manufactor Modern deck that revolves around Food token generation, players will have to look elsewhere to incorporate the Nuka-Cola Vending Machine. Luckily, the card has a ton of Commander potential, opening the door for interesting synergies and power infinite combos.
Academy Manufactor Nonsense
For only three mana, you get a strong Artifact that allows you to pay one mana and tap it to create a Food token. This helps get the engine started. Where the real combo potential lies, however, is with the next ability, which converts sacrificed Food tokens into tapped Treasure tokens. The most important aspect of this ability is that it doesn’t matter how the Food tokens are sacrificed. This brings us to one of the simplest and most effective infinite combos available.
If you have Krark-Clan Ironworks, Academy Manufactor, and Nuka-Cola Vending Machine in play, you can net infinite colorless mana and draw your whole deck! First, create a Food token with the Vending Machine. This will, in turn, also net you a Clue and Treasure token. Then, sacrifice the Food token to Ironworks, adding two mana to your mana pool. This will trigger the Vending Machine, netting you a tapped Treasure token. Again, though, this will come with a Food token and Clue token thanks to Manufactor.
Now, you have two Clues, a Food, and two Treasures. Every time you sacrifice a Food to Ironworks to get a Treasure from the Vending Machine, you will get a Food and Clue back from Manufactor, allowing you to continue sacrificing Food tokens to get infinite colorless mana and infinite Clues. Notably, these tokens will enter tapped as a result of replacement effects and the fact that the Treasure token from the Vending Machine enters tapped.
Fortunately, Clue tokens do not require tapping to sacrifice. So, you can use your infinite colorless mana to sacrifice your Clues one by one. From there, using a colorless infinite-mana payoff such as Walking Ballista can get the job done.
Other Food Payoffs
While utilizing Academy Manufactor and Krark-Clan Ironworks is one of the simplest combos available, it isn’t the only combo out there. Let’s say you have a free Food sacrifice outlet that doesn’t net you mana, such as Mushroom Watchdogs or Arcbound Ravager instead of Ironworks. With Manufactor, you can execute the same combo, except instead of generating infinite colorless mana, you end up with an infinitely large copy of Mushroom Watchdogs or Arcbound Ravager. Throw in a effect, and this can be good enough.
If you are missing Manufactor, Peregrine Took can fill a similar role. When you sacrifice a Food token to Mushroom Watchdogs or Arcbound Ravager, Nuka-Cola Vending Machine will still net you a Treasure. Thanks to Peregrin Took, the Treasure token will come with a Food token, which can then be sacrificed to Watchdogs or Ravager once again. In this way, you still get an infinitely large Creature out of the deal, but you do not get infinite Clue tokens. With a card like [tooltips]Mirkwood Bats in the mix, winning becomes trivial. In the case of Ravager specifically, if you already have Walking Ballista in play, you can move counters from the Ravager to the Ballista and win the game that way.
Additionally, Peregrin Took is a sacrifice outlet that works exceptionally well if you have three Food tokens already at your disposal. By sacrificing three Food tokens to draw a card, Nuka-Cola Vending Machine will trigger three times to net three tapped Treasure tokens. Each Treasure being created also causes a Food token to be created thanks to Peregrin Took’s triggered ability, leaving you with three Food tokens and three tapped Treasure tokens.
You can therefore keep sacrifice three Food tokens over and over to draw your deck and make a ton of tapped Treasure tokens. If you have something like Amulet of Vigor in play that would untap your Treasure tokens, you end up with a boatload of mana and cards to work with.
In each of the combos mentioned above, you need to utilize free sacrifice outlets for Artifacts. However, if you have a way to make sure that each of your Food tokens and Treasure tokens are Creatures as well, that opens the door for cards like Ashnod’s Alter and Phyrexian Alter to give you tons of mana, too. The new Doctor Who card Displaced Dinosaurs fills this role quite nicely.
Now, when you make a Food token with Nuka-Cola Vending Machine, it will be a 7/7 Creature as well as a Food. If you sacrifice this 7/7 Food to either Alter, you still get a tapped Treasure token, which is also a 7/7. With Manufactor or Peregrin Took in play, you can go infinite like normal, but thanks to the Alter, you are netting infinite mana just like you would with Krark-Clan Ironworks.
Displaced Dinosaurs also opens up the door for cards like Zulaport Cutthroat to act as win conditions. It’s worth noting that because Displaced Dinosaurs makes these tokens Creatures, they will be affected by summoning sickness, which affects your ability to sacrifice Treasures like normal. That’s nothing that a Haste enabler like Concordant Crossroads can’t fix, though. Even without going infinite, using Concordant Crossroads alongside the Vending Machine and Displaced Dinosaurs puts a ton of pressure on the opponent.
What’s nice about the Vending Machine is that, when built around, it’s great for infinite combos and basic synergies. This looks like a staple for Chatterfang, Squirrel General and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King Commander decks regardless. It should be fun seeing all the ways in which players incorporate Nuka-Cola Vending Machine into their arsenal.