Commander MTG Deep Dive: Agent Frank Horrigan

Bennie Smith loves his Magic heavyweights! His latest Deep Dive explores how to build around Fallout Commander’s Agent Frank Horrigan.

Agent Frank Horrigan
Agent Frank Horrigan, illustrated by Wisnu Tan

I don’t know much about the Fallout video games, but I do know huge, high-mana-cost commanders and I love Golgari, so when I saw Fallout Commander‘s Agent Frank Horrigan, I instantly knew I wanted to brew something around him. I’m not entirely sure what direction I’m going to go with him, but I wanted to share with you all the various angles you might want to consider when building a deck around him.

Agent Frank Horrigan

I know a lot of folks these days advocate for lean, efficient commanders in their command zone, but I really like high-impact commanders that can really swing a game, even if they cost more mana than you’ll see in a lot of Commander gameplay videos. Since green is in Horrigan’s color identity, seven mana isn’t really that much of a hindrance. Also, because it’s just a two-color deck, you don’t really need to worry much about color-fixing and can instead just lean into the heavier land ramp that green has available.

Since Horrigan costs seven mana, it’s nice that you get his triggered ability both when he enters the battlefield and when he attacks. Proliferate twice can vary quite a bit on the power scale, depending on what you’re doing with it, so I dig into some of the options that spring to mind below.  Let’s dig in!


Lightning Greaves Surrak, the Hunt Caller Surrak and Goreclaw Swiftfoot Boots Crashing Drawbridge Akroma's Memorial Haunted Cloak Sting, the Glinting Dagger Runadi, Behemoth Caller

It’s awesome that Horrigan gets a trigger when he enters the battlefield, but let’s double that up and try to ensure he gets haste the same turn you cast him! Lightning Greaves is the best of the Equipment here to help with that; it doesn’t cost any mana to equip it, and it’ll be expensive to cast Horrigan to begin with. The various incarnations of Surrak are awesome for this too.

If you’re leaning into a +1/+1 counter theme for your proliferate to work with, Runadi, Behemoth Caller is a spicy inclusion. It can tap for a mana to help cast Horrigan, and it will have Horrigan enter with three +1/+1 counters and have haste, and since it proliferates twice when it enters and then attacks, that will be seven +1/+1 counters on Horrigan for a whopping fifteen trampling commander damage!


Basilisk Collar Ohran Frostfang Saryth, the Viper's Fang Bow of Nylea Vorpal Sword Gift of the Deity

Whenever a commander has trample, I always keep an eye out for ways to give it deathtouch as well. Since one point of damage is considered lethal with deathtouch, all the remaining damage can trample over to the defending player. Ohran Frostfang is a sweet way to do this, since it helps you draw extra cards. I also like Saryth, the Viper’s Fang because it gives your other untapped creatures hexproof to help protect Horrigan from pinpoint removal until you’re ready to attack with him.

Gift of the Deity provides a Lure effect; combined with Horrigan’s indestructible ability when he attacks, you can pretty easily wipe out at least eight creatures that an opponent may have out there when they’re forced to block.

High Power Matters

Mandate of Abaddon Rishkar's Expertise Return of the Wildspeaker The Skullspore Nexus Selvala, Heart of the Wilds Bighorner Rancher Contest of Claws Greater Good Blackblade Reforged Tempting Licid Nemesis Mask

Horrigan has a whopping eight power, so we might want to pepper in some cards that care about high-power creatures. Mandate of Abaddon is a battlefield sweeper card I keep forgetting about, but when your commander is likely the biggest baddie on the battlefield, this is the perfect place for it. Rishkar’s Expertise or Return of the Wildspeaker will let you draw a whopping eight cards with Horrigan on the battlefield! And if Horrigan must leave the battlefield, might as well sacrifice him to Greater Good.

Selvala, Heart of the Wilds and Bighorner Rancher can turn Horrigan’s large power into a bunch of green mana and let you double- or even triple-spell in a turn.

Black provides plenty of excellent creature removal options, but I might consider Contest of Claws since Horrigan is so large, and the discover mechanic is so powerful.

With Horrigan having such high power and gaining indestructible when he attacks, I’d be tempted to run a few more Lure effects, like Tempting Licid or Nemesis Mask. Even without deathtouch, you’re sure to take out quite a few blockers by smashing in. And I definitely would find space for Blackblade Reforged; since Horrigan has trample, killing with commander damage becomes a real possibility.

Mana Ramp

Kodama's Reach Cultivate Wayward Swordtooth Expand the Sphere Skyshroud Claim Culling Ritual Case of the Locked Hothouse Hour of Promise Reshape the Earth Titania's Command Open the Way Netherborn Altar Marshland Bloodcaster

With a commander this expensive, I would basically just play land ramp spells that fetch at least two lands like Cultivate and Skyshroud Claim. Expand the Sphere ramps for two lands early on, but later, if you want to proliferate twice, you can do that instead or split the difference.

With the card draw available to both black and green, I really want ways to play extra lands in a turn, so I’d likely find room for Wayward Swordtooth and Case of the Locked Hothouse.

Access to black gives us Marshland Bloodcaster, which can cheat the cost of casting Horrigan by paying life instead. Netherborn Altar is an option to circumvent commander tax if you find your commander group is killing Horrigan quite often. Just don’t accidentally proliferate the soul counters on it!


Karn's Bastion Atomize Evolution Sage Bloated Contaminator Plaguemaw Beast Drown in Ichor Cankerbloom Unnatural Restoration Scheming Aspirant Winding Constrictor Recon Craft Theta Sword of Truth and Justice

There are a lot of other ways you can get your proliferate action beyond your gigantic commander, including another new Fallout Commander card Atomize, which can destroy any nonland permanent at instant speed. I also really like Bloated Contaminator, even if you’re not leaning hard on winning with poison counters; it’s cheap to cast and has a sizeable body with trample. How fun that Scheming Aspirant can actually win you the game by proliferating, even if the things you’re adding counters to isn’t doing the trick.

Unnatural Restoration is an excellent proliferate card if you’re playing planeswalkers, which will often be destroyed by your opponents as often as they can.


Carth the Lion The Chain Veil Command the Dreadhorde Garruk Wildspeaker Garruk, Primal Hunter Garruk, Cursed Huntsman Vraska, Relic Seeker Nissa, Voice of Zendikar Liliana, Dreadhorde General Vraska, Golgari Queen Nissa, Ascended Animist Tevesh Szat, Doom of Fools Garruk, Apex Predator Vivien Reid Lolth, Spider Queen Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury Wrenn and Seven Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider The Elderspell

Speaking of planeswalkers, they’re probably the most powerful thing you can do with the proliferate mechanic if you want your Agent Frank Horrigan deck to pack a punch outside of combat.

Since we’re in Golgari, Carth the Lion is an excellent planeswalker support card I’d definitely put in, alongside The Chain Veil. Command the Dreadhorde is a great way to bring several planeswalkers back from the graveyard if you have enough life to spare.

There are tons of great planeswalkers across green and black that you can fill out your deck with, and many of them provide removal options or card draw. Nissa, Voice of Zendikar is particularly awesome with proliferating since you can add +1/+1 counters to all your creatures. Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider makes just about any planeswalker you cast able to ultimate immediately, and also boosts any +1/+1 synergies you might have going in the deck.

Rad Counters

Feral Ghoul Nuclear Fallout Screeching Scorchbeast Glowing One Infesting Radroach Tato Farmer Mariposa Military Base Strong, the Brutish Thespian Bloatfly Swarm Vault 12: The Necropolis Nuka-Nuke Launcher Harold and Bob, First Numens

If you don’t want to go full power with planeswalkers, you can instead lean into the Fallout mechanics with rad counters. There are quite a few cards to support this strategy in Golgari, and I particularly like Tato Farmer here, since it can help you ramp your lands. Harold and Bob, First Numens can help with that as well. If you’re going the rad counter route, don’t leave home without some reanimation spells to take advantage of you and your opponents milling some sweet creatures into the graveyard!

Poison Counters

Infectious Inquiry Vraska's Fall Infectious Bite Ichor Rats Phyresis Outbreak Contaminant Grafter Phyrexian Swarmlord Glissa's Retriever Triumph of the Hordes Tainted Strike

Even if you don’t go full infect with the poison theme, you can still sprinkle in some spells that give your opponents poison counters to give you some inevitability with proliferate. Ones that give each of your opponents or each player a poison counter are excellent, like Infectious Inquiry or Ichor Rats. If you get an opponent up to three poison counters, you get to unlock some of the corrupted triggers, like Contaminant Grafter, which helps you ramp, or Glissa’s Retriever, which can get you back cards from the graveyard when it dies.

Charge Counters

Everflowing Chalice Astral Cornucopia Magistrate's Scepter Black Market Druids' Repository Lux Cannon Umezawa's Jitte Power Conduit Transmogrifying Wand

Charge counters are also interesting to proliferate; Everflowing Chalice and Astral Cornucopia can eventually produce a lot of mana for you, and so will Druids’ Repository and Black Market. Magistrate’s Scepter and Lux Cannon get pretty bonkers if you can skip the normal amount of time it takes to recharge. Power Conduit is a cool way to pull off charge counters to put a +1/+1 counter on a creature if that’s what you need at the time, which can then be proliferated.

+1/+1 Counters

The Ozolith Ozolith, the Shattered Spire Hardened Scales Biophagus Cathedral Acolyte Corpsejack Menace Defiler of Vigor Gyre Sage Pip-Boy 3000 Anduril, Narsil Reforged Agatha's Soul Cauldron Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter

There are literally more +1/+1 counters support cards in Magic than you could ever hope to put in a Commander deck, and Wizards of the Coast (WotC) seems to add more with every Magic set, but if that floats your boat, Horrigan can help keep your team growing. Fallout even gets in on the action with Pip-Boy 3000, an excellent new Equipment card that gives you options when you attack with it.


Deathspore Thallid Sporoloth Ancient Thallid Germinator Utopia Mycon Thallid Sporesower Thallid Thallid Shell-Dweller Sporecrown Thallid Savage Thallid Vitaspore Thallid Mycoloth Psychotrope Thallid Thelon of Havenwood Elvish Farmer Spore Flower Mold Folk

If you want to use your proliferate to boost a fringe strategy, I suggest the spore counters that many Fungus cards use to make Saprolings and other effects. Ticking up spore counters is super-slow, but if you’re proliferating a lot – and Agent Frank Horrigan does – then you can really charge up those Funguses in a hurry. There’s something fitting about a Mutant Warrior hanging out with Fungus, you know?

What cards would you like to boost with Agent Frank Horrigan that I might have overlooked?  Which new legend from Fallout do you find the coolest?

Talk to Me

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And lastly, I just want to say: let us love each other and stay healthy and happy. 

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