The Mana Math of Universes Beyond: Fallout

Every set, we’re given a breakdown of how likely you are to open the cards you want. Sometimes we get detailed percentages, sometimes we get generalized information. Either way, I’m happy to break down the numbers and tell you how likely you are to get the card you want. 

Fallout occupies an interesting space, in that there’s four Commander decks filled with sweet cards and interactions, and then Collector Boosters default to having lots of shiny, premium cards. There’s nothing in between, and as such, each slot in the Collector Booster has its own appeal.

First off, here’s the list for reprints in the regular frame in this set. When some slots talk about ‘new to Magic’ they don’t mean these cards. 

Uncommon reprints (57)Rare Reprints (82)Mythic Reprints (1)
Arcane Signet
Bastion of Remembrance
Behemoth Sledge
Brass Knuckles
Buried Ruin
Contagion Clasp
Corpsejack Menace
Crush Contraband
Everflowing Chalice
General’s Enforcer
Glimmer of Genius
Heroic Reinforcements
Inspiring Call
Intangible Virtue
Jungle Shrine
Lightning Greaves
Loyal Apprentice
Memorial to Glory
Mind Stone
Morbid Opportunist
Myriad Landscape
Mystic Monastery
Nomad Outpost
Opulent Palace
Path to Exile
Pitiless Plunderer
Roadside Reliquary
Rogue’s Passage
Sol Ring
Squirrel Nest
Swiftfoot Boots
Swords to Plowshares
Tainted Field
Tainted Isle
Tainted Peak
Tainted Wood
Talisman of Conviction
Talisman of Creativity
Talisman of Curiosity
Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of Hierarchy
Talisman of Indulgence
Talisman of Progress
Talisman of Resilience
Temple of the False God
Thirst for Knowledge
Valorous Stance
Wear // Tear
Whirler Rogue
Winding Constrictor
Anguished Unmaking
Assemble the Legion
Austere Command
Basilisk Collar
Biomass Mutation
Black Market
Blasphemous Act
Bloodforged Battle-Axe
Branching Evolution
Canopy Vista
Canyon Slough
Captain of the Watch
Casualties of War
Champion’s Helm
Chaos Warp
Cinder Glade
Clifftop Retreat
Darkwater Catacombs
Dragonskull Summit
Drowned Catacomb
Entrapment Maneuver
Exotic Orchard
Fervent Charge
Fetid Pools
Find // Finality
Fraying Sanity
Glacial Fortress
Guardian Project
Hardened Scales
Heroic Intervention
Hinterland Harbor
Hour of Reckoning
Inexorable Tide
Irrigated Farmland
Isolated Chapel
Keeper of the Accord
Lethal Scheme
Mantle of the Ancients
Marshal’s Anthem
Martial Coup
Masterwork of Ingenuity
Mossfire Valley
Mystic Forge
Nesting Grounds
One with the Machine
Open the Vaults
Prairie Stream
Puresteel Paladin
Rootbound Crag
Ruinous Ultimatum
Scattered Groves
Scavenger Grounds
Secure the Wastes
Shadowblood Ridge
Sheltered Thicket
Single Combat
Skycloud Expanse
Smoldering Marsh
Solemn Simulacrum
Spire of Industry
Steel Overseer
Stolen Strategy
Sulfur Falls
Sungrass Prairie
Sunken Hollow
Sunpetal Grove
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Deceit
Temple of Enlightenment
Temple of Epiphany
Temple of Malady
Temple of Malice
Temple of Mystery
Temple of Plenty
Temple of Silence
Temple of Triumph
Tireless Tracker
Treasure Vault
Wake the Past
Windbrisk Heights
Woodland Cemetery
Mechanized Production

In the Collector Booster, the first slot is basic lands, with a 33% chance of that land being Surge Foil. After that, we start getting interesting. It’ll be any nonland from the deck, and each deck has a slightly different number of non-basic-lands to choose from. 

Each deck has the following number of cards that aren’t basic lands: 

Scrappy Survivors – 88 cards

Hail, Caesar! – 86 cards

Mutant Menace – 85 cards

Science! – 87 cards

This arrangement of slots calls for its own table:

# of CBs needed for a specific card in Traditional Foil# of CBs needed for a specific card in Surge Foil
Any card3463460
Hail, Caesar86860
Scrappy Survivors88880
Mutant Menace85850

On average, you’ve got about a one in 86.5 chance for a Traditional Foil, and 865 for a Surge Foil regular frame from the four slots. The slot before that could be from any deck, which boosts your overall odds per pack. One more slot is going to increase our Surge Foil Regular Frame options overall, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

After the Surge Foils, we’ve got some Extended Art options:

Options in the slot# of cards (and therefore how many packs to get a specific card)
1 Non-foil extended-art new-to-Magic card85
1 Non-foil extended-art reprint Magic card82
1 Traditional foil extended-art new-to-Magic card85
1 Traditional foil extended-art reprint Magic card82
1 Surge foil extended-art new-to-Magic card85
1 Surge foil extended-art reprint Magic card82

The Extended Art cards are not going to be super-difficult pulls, needing about seven boxes to get one specific card in the treatment you want. Dividing it up this way helps.

After that, we get a Surge Foil wildcard spot, which is regular frame or Extended Art. From the earlier slots, we know that there’s 346 regular frame cards plus 167 EA options. Adding it all up, we get the following numbers:

Regular Frame Surge Foils:
1/3460 plus 1/865 plus 1/513 gives us a roughly 1 in 294.6 chance of getting a certain card in Regular Frame Surge Foil per pack. 
Extended Art Surge Foils:
1/167 plus 1/513 gives us roughly 126 packs to get the specific Extended Art Surge Foil we want.

The next-to-last card in the slot is for nonfoil special frames, and there’s 35 potential drops, all appearing equally even if they are labeled as uncommons, rares, and mythics.

Finally, the last slot. Foil Showcase, Pip-Boy, and serialized all mixed together. Traditional foil is 90% of the pulls here, and a 10% chance of the card being Surge Foil. Any regular foil is about 1/39, and that makes the Surge Foils about 1/390.

The Amazon product page tells us that serialized is less than 1% of boosters, and that’s a percentage we can break down. 

Our estimate is that there’s about a 0.8% chance per booster, but it could flex either way. It’s unlikely to be as rare as 0.5%, but even if that’s the max, we know that there’s less Fallout out there than the last two Universes Beyond sets that had Collector Boosters. Between the two LOTR editions, there was about 400,000 CB boxes, there was at max 100,000 of those for Dr. Who, and now we’re at maybe 60,000. This stuff is going to be hard to find!

Early indicators back this up, too, with CB boxes preselling on TCGplayer and other sites above $400. Interestingly, the serialized cards are about two to four times rarer than Surge Foil Showcase/Vault-Boy cards, depending on which estimate you use. Imagine if the Surge Foils came with a xxxx/1500 on them, and you get an idea of the rarity involved.

Let’s make a table to summarize example rarities.

Type of Frame and Foil (all rarities)Percent chance for any card of that categoryPercent chance for a specific card of that category# of CBs to open one specific card from that category
Traditional Foil Regular Frame guaranteed1.4%69.2
Surge Foil Regular Frame guaranteed0.34%294.6
Extended-Art nonfoilguaranteed0.6%167
Extended-Art Regular Foilguaranteed0.6%167
Extended-Art Surge Foilguaranteed0.8%126
Nonfoil Showcase or Vault Boyguaranteed2.85%35
Traditional Foil Showcase or Vault Boy90%2.57%39
Surge Foil Showcase or Vault Boy10%0.257%390

Looking at this table, it’s pretty impressive how they manipulate the slots and additional chances at the same card to move your overall chances, and the total amount of premium cards printed. Extended-Art Surge Foils will be the most common premium drop, and ought to carry a lower price than the surprisingly difficult pull for the Regular Frame Surge Foils.

The other number that jumps out at me is the non-Surge numbers for the Showcase and Vault Boy options, both the nonfoils and the Traditional Foils. Right now, those cards appear to be super overpriced, and hopefully those prices drop once release weekend hits. 

There’s some psychology at play here. Will the market really let the Regular Frame Surge Foil version of Nuka-Cola Vending Machine be more than twice the price of the EA version, as these drop rates suggest? We will have to see. 

I hope these numbers help inform your buying decisions, both for the overall rarity of Fallout CBs and for individual cards. As always, if you have questions about the methods or results, please feel free to reach out in the ProTrader Discord, in the comments, or on Twitter. 

Cliff (@WordOfCommander) has been writing for MTGPrice since 2013, and is an eager Commander player, Draft enthusiast, and Cube fanatic. A high school science teacher by day, he’s also the official substitute teacher of the MTG Fast Finance podcast. If you’re ever at a GP and you see a giant flashing ‘CUBE DRAFT’ sign, go over, say hi, and be ready to draft.