Fallout 4 Dogmeat | Bethesda
8, Mar, 24

Extremely Valuable MTG Fallout Deck Delivers Disappointing Gameplay

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Article at a Glance

Out of all the new Fallout decks, Scrappy Survivors looks like a new take on an old archetype. With plenty of card selection thanks to Dogmeat, Ever Loyal and a steady supply of Junk tokens, assembling “Voltron” should be easier than ever. On top of that, the deck features multiple recursion cards so removal doesn’t stop you cold. With backup from support cards and protection effects, you have even more insurance. Yup, turning Dogmeat into a huge creature and winning in a couple of swings sounds great, but is the deck effective? While many of the cards in our most expensive Fallout cards list appears in Scrappy Survivors, the value may be better than the gameplay. In short there are a few problems. Where did Scrappy Survivors go wrong and how can we fix it?

A Classic Dilemma

Try as it might, Scrappy Survivors is victim to what I call the one-third problem. Essentially, the deck must draw gas, payoffs and mana at a one in three ratio or it does not function well. The hope was that Dogmeat’s mill trigger alongside extra help from Junk tokens would fix this fundamental obstacle. Alas, while the deck does many things well, it cannot generate a consistent game plan. In one game, Dogmeat hit the field and the mill five trigger completely blanked. In another, Dogmeat got suited up with Swiftfoot Boots, Behemoth Sledge, Bloodforged Battle-Axe and Brass Knuckles with Mantle of the Ancients in hand as backup. Call it feast or famine, all or nothing. Sometimes the deck crushes and other times it flounders which is normal for many pre-cons.

Any Help From Preston?

Preston Garvey, Minuteman

The short answer is “no” and the longer answer is “it’s a completely different deck.” Preston Garvey, Minuteman could easily be removed from the deck, alongside Squirrel Nest, with zero issues. Five mana is so much more than three and he doesn’t really start to go off until turn six. Meanwhile, Dogmeat can generate value two or three turns sooner. Board reset? Dogmeat to the rescue! Preston, though, is back at square one. No, you’re absolutely playing Dogmeat and it’s a lot easier to fix moving forward as well.

Modern Commander pre-cons typically have an overwhelming presence if they are left alone to do their thing, and Scrappy Survivors is no exception.

One large problem with the deck is the amount of, essentially, do nothing, low impact, modest value creatures that get in the way of the plan.

Get rid of the Junk

Take a look at Duchess, Wayward Tavernkeep. For four mana, you get a creature that does nothing. That’s right, it’s a 4/3 for four mana. No enters the battlefield. If you deal combat damage to a player you get to put a quest counter on a creature. Then if you also pay mana and remove said counter, you can create a Junk token. So five mana and combat damage to get one Junk token? Unimpressive. Dogmeat also generates Junk provided a modified creature attacks. Why would you cast this creature instead of Dogmeat a turn earlier?

Crimson Caravaneer is much the same. A 1/2 body for three mana is steep. Sure it has Trample and Double-Strike and it makes Junk tokens. That said, a turn four attack and make two Junk tokens is medium at best. That’s if you skipped playing Dogmeat on turn three. Obviously, you can look at the Caravaneer as a body to suit up with equipment and auras but what if you have Fireshrieker and Brass Knuckles as your draws? Unfortunately, there are multiple poor synergy interactions like this in the deck and you have very little chance of fixing it, as is.

Veronica, Dissident Scribe is another almost good looking card until you actually play it. It has a filtering option which the deck drastically desires, but you get less value for discarding land. Why play this card? The same logic as above works here. If you cast Veronica on turn three, you missed casting Dogmeat, so you’re probably a turn behind. Furthermore, Dogmeat can generate Junk as well, so you’re neutral there. Casting this later in the game is extremely slow and likely not worth it.

Even more Junk

Consider Ian the Reckless. It’s another card that says “I’m a body for buffing” but then you do so and simply lose tempo when it dies. Plus it deals damage to you. It’s not the biggest drawback ever created but a crafty opponent can buff your creature to give you options which hurt you badly. With all the forced combat decks out there and the ever increasing number of Goad cards, Ian seems far from great.

Commander Sofia Daguerre is four mana for a highly restrictive destruction effect with a downside. Four mana kill someone’s Commander isn’t useless, but it’s far from efficient. Giving them a Junk token is not a huge drawback, but why? All it can do is help them a little and you’ve already done that by playing a four mana 1/3. Does this card interact with your graveyard, auras, or enchantments? No? Why is it here?

I wanted to love Mister Gutsy. At two mana, you can sneak him in on turn two so he’s ready to accrue value for the entire game. The problem is the amount of value is extremely low and it’s a pretty bad top deck the longer the game goes. There are better cards for this slot.

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A Different Deck

Now, that being said, all of the above poor performing cards belong in a different deck. Imagine an Akiri, Line-Slinger deck dripping with Junk generators. Here, all the artifact generation you can get works and with a Commander that is only two mana. It does not mess with your tempo at all. Very few cards in Magic are purely good or bad, they rely on other cards. For Scrappy Survivors, the entire Junk angle is minimal to the deck’s strategy at best. For a different deck, though, you are sure to have some cool new includes!

The Single Best Addition

In all its banned in Modern glory, Faithless Looting is an auto include if you’re building for Dogmeat. It’s priced perfectly at one mana, does not care if it gets milled, and it helps you get rid of those excess lands this deck loves to draw. Furthermore, the deck has a critical issue with Junk tokens. If you end up using your Junk to dig for answers, it’s totally possible to dig into something and then not be able to cast it. Junking into Looting ensures you won’t be forced to exile a key card. Both Cathartic Reunion and Thrill of Possibility are additional copies and there are many similar cards to consider.

On much the same note, Ephemerate is a high impact, high value one cost spell that the deck enjoys. You can both save Dogmeat and your best buff card when Dogmeat ETBs and you can do so twice if necessary. For a second copy, Galadriel’s Dismissal is another excellent effect with a multitude of uses. Although it’s a little worse if you hit it while Junking, the upside is that it protects Dogmeat or any other suited up creature without making them lose all their buffs.

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Everybody Loves Kellan

Now we’re talking! Kellan does everything this deck wants to do. First, it gets your best aura or equipment, and can do so on turn two without interrupting your game plan. Then, he waits on an adventure as a backup plan if you need one.

Kellan, Daring Traveler also works well for the deck because it gives you another effective mill trigger, and if you made Map tokens off of Journey On, you have a way to modify him which synergizes with Dogmeat. Again, at either one or two mana, this Kellan won’t interfere with your turn three Dogmeat and is cheap enough to play off of Junking.

It goes without saying that Rhythm of the Wild is an excellent card for every green and red deck. Here, it’s no less amazing. It makes every creature either hasted or modified so it has tremendous synergy and also gives you can’t be countered. Rhythm of the Wild is way better than all the cards recommended for removing and it’s not expensive to include.

Additionally, if you’re building Dogmeat as the usual target for all your auras and equipment, it’s important to have a game plan if he does get removed multiple times. For those reasons you should consider both Campfire and Command Beacon. Both of these cards essentially let you recast for only three mana and thus are adding four or more mana when you use them so think of them like better versions of Jeweled Lotus.

Close, but no Cigar

Scrappy Survivors does not have a bad game plan, simply an inconsistent one. To solve that, issue you can add tutoring, draw power and additional redundancy. That said, there’s a problem with simply adding more redundancy in the form of cards like Ethereal Armor. It does not fix your draws, filter bad cards or offer additional synergy, it just makes one extra big target the entire table will fight.

Since you’re playing red and you utilize the graveyard, looting is one of the best ways to solve this. Once you hit the perfect mixture of cards, you can start beating down for the win. When they interrupt you, it’s fine because you have exactly enough protection and recursion to keep going.

If you enjoyed playing Virtue and Valor from the Wilds of Eldraine, you’re going to love Scrappy Survivors because it gives you an additional element of depth to explore while doing mostly the same thing; making a huge creature and turning it sideways for big damage. If you’re looking for a more interactive game play experience, you may be better off choosing another Fallout deck that has higher complexity and better consistency.

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