Dogmeat, Ever Loyal | Fallout Commander Decks
22, Feb, 24

MTG Fallout Deck May be the Best Voltron Precon Ever!?

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Article at a Glance

Travel with me to the distant past of 1997 when a somewhat obscure game called Fallout hit the shelves. One of the most impactful events in that game was befriending a loyal dog that followed you around and was surprisingly powerful in combat. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to keep “Dogmeat” alive through an entire playthrough of the game.

Thankfully, fast forward over 25 years, and Dogmeat has been revived time and time again for almost every Fallout game. Through these repeat appearances and certified good boy status, Dogmeat is undeniably iconic. As if this legacy wasn’t enough, now Dogmeat lives on in the new Scrappy Survivors Fallout pre-con deck.

Not only does this deck have an adorable face Commander, but it also appears to boast high replay value and a massive variety of build choices!

Two Interesting, But Different Commanders

Dogmeat, Ever Loyal

While Dogmeat, Ever Loyal is just one card, they can easily pilot two completely different decks. If you want to, you can pick between an Aura-based strategy, or an Equipment-focused one. On top of this, Dogmeat even creates the new Junk Tokens which provide impulse draw. Since all these abilities work together, Dogmeat, Ever Loyal is a three-in-one!

The fact that Dogmeat triggers the same with either Auras or Equipment means you can include many different cards with no risk of missing the “right” types of cards. In Commander, this utility is invaluable, as cards like Sram, Senior Edificer and Jukai Naturalist prove. While both are effective, Jukai Naturalist only really works in one deck, while activating Sram’s ability is a total breeze.

Ultimately, a good card either has to be focused but low cost or have excellent utility and work in a wide variety of situations. Dogmeat crushes the latter and is also cheap to boot! This gives the Commander no end of options should you take them out of this flavorful deck.

In Commander, there are plenty of pre-existing and excellent Aura strategies that look good, but you are not forced into that route at all. Including a few Equipment won’t hurt your synergy, so this is a smart design choice.

But Wait There’s More!

Preston Garvey Minuteman

So while Dogmeat is the generalist, Preston Garvey, Minuteman is the focused specialist. Preston is all about Auras and even creates Aura tokens on your lands. At first glance, his ability indicates he’s sort of a mini Bear Umbra. But in a deck full of Auras, you’re also going to get to untap all your other enchanted permanents.

If you’re looking for easy acceleration, Bloom Tender and especially Sanctum Weaver will do incredibly well. Should you get infinite attack steps from Hellkite Charger or Aggravated Assault, these mana dorks can go infinite! While not as consistent, this strategy is already present in the deck thanks to Grim Reaper’s Sprint

Out of the box, it will be difficult to tell if Preston will be a better Commander than Dogmeat. Once you tune the deck for power Preston may be the more consistent game-ender.

On the Other Hand

Cass, Hand of Vengeance

As if two compelling Commanders weren’t enough already, this deck even has a third! Unfortunately, thanks to their color identity they don’t work right out of the box, but Cass, Hand of Vengeance is nonetheless busted. If anything you control dies you get back your Auras and Equipment from that creature onto another creature. That’s great!

To make the already stellar Cass even better, this deck includes a reprint of Mantle of the Ancients. This lets you continuously suit up one creature with every single Aura and Equipment, so you always have a monumental threat. Not only does this let you create a gigantic monster of epic proportions but it also gives you recursion.

Should you still not be satisfied, the new card Almost Perfect gives Indestructible. Thanks to this flavorful addition, getting rid of your new behemoth is going to be incredibly difficult. Unfortunately for your opponent, they have to keep finding answers again and again and again.

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It Goes Tall But What About Wide?

Three Dog, Galaxy News DJ

Within the Scrappy Survivors deck, one of your potential wincons is Three Dog, Galaxy News DJ. Out of the box, this deck features several Auras that grow for each Aura you have in play. Get an All That Glitters or Strong Back on Three Dog and watch as your board swells in power/toughness.

Before you get to this point, you’ll need to generate a wide board to buff with Three Dog. Thankfully, both Squirrel’s Nest and Preston, are great ways to generate a lot of tokens. Should you really want to lean into this strategy, however, a Doubling Season wouldn’t be amiss.

At only three mana, you can quite easily get Three Dog out with protection backup to keep them safe. While this deck hardly revolves around this go-wide option, Three Dog is nonetheless capable of ending games.

But Does it Interact?

Inventory Management

Over recent years, the general quality of most pre-cons has steadily improved. Most recently and notably, there has been a massive jump in the reprint value of many preconstructed decks. Beyond this detail, the general contents of pre-con decks are simply a lot better than what they used to be.

Nowadays your deck should have board wipes, protection effects, good single-target removal, and a couple of catch-all cards. Scrappy Survivors has all that and some interesting new twists as well. Look at Inventory Management featuring the very rare Split Second keyword.

Using this new card, you can potentially give a creature Indestructible or Hexproof to beat otherwise inescapable removal. Alongside this, you can also toss double-strike and a pile of extra damage on an unblocked creature. Inventory Management is both versatile and uncounterable, it’s a very cool trick that is completely unique.

On top of this brand-new and unique combat trick, Scrappy Survivors also has plenty of staples. With the deck containing both tooltips]Heroic Intervention[/tooltips] and the versatile Valorous Stance you always have the potential for protection. While these effects are undeniably useful, Scrappy Survivors can also do a number on your opponent’s creatures.

Check out Overencumbered. For two mana, you generate a Food, Clue, and Junk token for your opponent, which seems terrible at first. Thankfully, after this, the enchanted opponent cannot attack unless they pay one mana for each Artifact they control. This is a very interesting and powerful take on Propaganda, Ghostly Prison, or Sphere of Safety style effects.

From the moment this enchantment lands, you prevent your opponent from attacking unless they pay at least three mana thanks to the tokens you gave them. Luckily, since every Commander deck loves mana rocks, it’s likely Overencumbered could cost five or six mana initially. Unless they’re using Treasures to crack the Clue and Food, this effect will linger for quite a while, making Overencumbered incredibly powerful.

Read More: MTG Fallout Cards Reveal The Price Of A Baby

Land Base, a Waste?

Sunscorched Divide

The Fallout pre-cons include brand new filter lands completing a cycle that was first started in Odyssey in 2001. Yes, Sunscorched Divide is part of a cycle that started over 20 years ago. The problem? The original filter lands are modest in power, at best.

Forcing you to tap one mana to then activate the land can make every play a bit awkward. The deck also includes Temple of the False God which is a relatively polarizing land. As usual for a Preconstructed Commander deck, there are quite a few lands that enter the battlefield tapped in Scrappy Survivors. Thankfully, it seems like they wanted to include more untapped two-color lands this time around, so Wizards completed the cycle.

Unfortunately, an opening hand with multiple filter lands and/or Temple of the False Gods does not work. You cannot make any mana. It seemed like the land formula for pre-cons was refined, but this seems like another small misstep. This is much like some of the land decisions in the Murders at Karlov Manor pre-cons.

For two-color decks, these filter lands are perfectly acceptable. In a three or more color deck? You can get into many poor situations as keeping one mana open can be impossible. Taking a forced mulligan with multiple lands in your opener, because not one tap for mana, feels pretty bad. That being said all the deck needs to do is be able to consistently turn three Dogmeat.

A Numbers Game

Pip-Boy 3000

A deck lives and dies by the numbers, except for when you have flexibility. Pip-Boy 3000 gives you something for all occasions. If you need to dig, it has got that. Want to buff a creature? The deck does that! Need a little more mana? Well, it does that too. What the Pip-Boy does not do, however, is increase your Aura count.

Surprisingly for a deck with Dogmeat, Ever Loyal as its Commander, Scrappy Survivors is a little light on Auras and Equipment. Thankfully, to get around this, Dogmeat can mill you for five. Ideally, this allows you to hit five Aura or Equipment cards and play them, but the odds of that aren’t great. With less than one in five odds, Dogmeat is hardly a guaranteed value engine.

Thanks to the flexibility that Dogmeat provides, the somewhat low count on buff effects is completely manageable. This is thanks to their ability to generate Junk for impulse draw which prevents you from stalling out. Ultimately, this just lets you focus on your gameplan of mill, recur, buff, smash.

At the end of the day, the stock Scrappy Survivors deck may need some tweaks. But the potential to engineer a new Naya Voltron deck with Dogmeat at the helm is very high. Within this archetype, building around two permanent types is significantly liberating. Furthermore, when they destroy in response you don’t auto-lose because you have multiple forms of built-in recursion.

Is this the best Voltron pre-con out of the box? It certainly looks like it. In just a couple of weeks when we get our hands on the deck we’ll try it out.

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