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Is it worth it to buy a Shadows Over Innistrad Gift Box? A Magic: The Gathering Review

Many Magic: The Gathering Players ask the question….is it worth it to buy a Shadows Over Innistrad Gift Box?

Past Gift Boxes have had severe problems in terms of quality and overall value, but Wizards of the Coast has promised this holiday gift box will see an increase in quality.  But they’ve made that promise before, most notably with the outright fail that was the Battle For Zendikar Gift Box.

So has Wizards of the Coast finally fixed their formula for a Windfall, or have they just muddle the mixture again and fizzled out? Let’s take a look.

A Holiday Gift Box contains the following:

5 booster packs of Shadows Over Innistrad, 6 plastic dividers, a collection of sticker labels, a alternate art Ravenous Bloodseeker, and 20 basic land.

Looking at this from a financial perspective, 5 booster packs over the counter would cost you about $20.00.  The Gift Box has an MSRP of 24.95, meaning that you are essentially paying 4.95 for the remaining contents.

What is immediately noticeable about the redesigned gift box is that the cardboard stock is a higher quality than the previous two years.  Instead of being loose, comically flexible, and all around unsturdy, this gift box has a solid, firm stock of board.

The dividers are also folded into the base instead of just glued poorly on top the bottom.  It’s actually a really great job as far as the solidity of each column is concerned.  Applying reasonable pressure to the sides and base does not dislodge it or bend it away revealing cheap glue.  All around this is a very good construction.

Best of all is the lid rests properly on the top of the box.  Previous boxes were inclined to rip with any pressure atop them, several were even torn brand new, but the redesign here means that reasonable pressure in no problem for these redesigned gift boxes.

That’s great, because the first thing I’d want to do with these is stack stuff on top of them, namely other boxes. That’s the way boxes work, you stack things on them.

The boxes hold over 800 sleeved cards, or just over 1500 unsleeved cards which is really impressive. For most of us that mean you can store a cube in here, or multiple commander decks or just your ever growing collection of cards.

I’m a fan of the plastic dividers. They are a firm plastic with lovely full art depictions of the lands of innistrad.

I’m less a fan of the stickers, but since the gift box itself is a great item, that just makes things like the stickers fun little throw ins, and I am sure many magic the gathering players will find them useful.

The choice of alternate art promo is more than a bit puzzling.  I’d love to just hear from whoever at wizards had the job of deciding which card should be included as an alternate art foil, and how out of this entire set they came up with Ravenous Bloodseeker.  I’d have much more preferred leaving out the land and getting instead a random foil of any rare or mythic such as prerelease kits have.

Final Conclusion:  The Shadows Over Innistrad Gift Box is a major improvement, offering a sturdy box that holds a large collection of cards, several fun throw ins, and all at a reasonable price.

The box can still be improved upon by finding a more secure system of closure, as the thin paper sleeve that holds it together is far from ideal, and a sixth booster pack would transform this from a nice stack of boosters to crack to having the basis for building and playing with an actual sealed constructed magic deck.

Nonetheless, this makes a great gift, and even experienced Magic the gathering players can find the gift box itself to be a worthwhile addition to their storage needs.
Grade: B+