SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Shadows Over Innistrad Holiday Gift Box


It was bound to happen…the SpartanNerd has run out of media file space on WordPress…Should I upgrade?  Let me know in the comments.

You’ll have to take my word for what I say in the meantime, readers.

Above are the final pictures I could upload.

I have reviewed a few of these MTG gift boxes?  Is this one any better, or any worse?  Keep reading!

(Links to past reviews of similar products.)

Kahn’s of Tarkir Holiday Gift Box

Battle for Zendikar Gift Box

So this box is roughly the equivalent of those two.  But there are a few key differences.

First of all, the Wizards made a good move when they decided to change the name of the product from Holiday Gift Box to just Gift Box.  Holiday Gift Box is off-putting if you buy it in October.  Or in March.  It seems you are Christmas shopping early, or buying something that should have been marked down.  The BFZ one was just called Gift Box.  And this is great, because you can feel OK giving it as a wedding present.  Anniversary present.  To your boss on boss’s day.  As a birthday present.  And so on and so forth.

It is still a great gift for a MTG player, from a non-MTG player.  Say, what if my mom walked into a store looking for new Magic cards for me…she wouldn’t know where to start.

But with THE GIFT BOX written across the front, she has a clue what might be a good present.

This time we get one more pack.  However, I believe the price was slightly higher this time, an increase of almost four dollars.  So, that’s where that value comes in.

We get the stickers and dividers as before.

But this time the box has been made sturdier!

Remember those two reviews from earlier, when the SpartanNerd gave them 5/5?  I would have to downgrade that now.  (Perhaps I will add a footnote to my previous posts?)  Why?  Those boxes have NOT withstood the test of time.  The Kahns box is “busting out.”  It’s not even full!  Of course, I have stacked deck boxes, my little catch-all basket, and other things on top of it, and the corners of the lid are tearing up.  I saw this around the time I started to fill up the Battle for Zendikar box.  So I have been careful to be less careless with that box.

But with the Shadows Over Innistrad Gift Box, the Wizards have doubled up the cardboard on the sides.  Now the lid rests properly, and CAN’T buck under reasonable weight.  It seems to be like, maybe a centimeter taller as well when I compare it to the other two.  (My sense might be skewed, considering the shape of the KTK box.)

So the box is better.  And there is an extra pack of cards.  This warrants the price increase.

The box also came with a pack of lands, and a special foil Ravenous Bloodseeker.  This is a pretty good card in the barely sub-par Black and Red Vampires deck.  (I’ve been playing that deck.  It is so fun.  But just can’t beat Black-Green Cryptolith Collected Company Aristocrats.)

So what did my packs have?  I would show you, but the conundrum of not having any more media space.

In short, this was one of the best Gift box openings as far as packs are concerned.  Shadows Over Innistrad is different than other sets because you COULD get three rares in a pack.  (One regular, one double faced, and one foil.)

I didn’t get all that, but I DID get Westvale Abbey, an incredible land that transforms into a big demon.  That same pack came with Duskwatch Recruiter, an uncommon double faced card that is an integral part of the above mentioned Collected Company deck.

I also got Olivia, Mobilized for War.  This makes my third copy of Olivia…she’s good in the vampire deck, also described above, though I kind of prefer Drana from BFZ.  And I got Avacyn’s Judgement, which is also good in the vampire deck.

The other three packs had Drownyard Temple (land), Nepali Moonndrakes, and Second Harvest, none of which do I know what do do with.

So how am I going to use this more sturdy box?  I intend to take it on vacation, and pack all of my dual decks inside.  Last year, I took the Dual Deck Anthology box, but I feel kind of creepy taking such a nice box out.  I don’t feel as bad about the gift box, because it is sturdy, and more replaceable if damaged.  This time, I am keeping the paper sleeve that it comes with to help it stay together during transport.

How could the box be improved?  Instead of a singular foil and a copy of each basic land, why not give us another pack.  Then a person gifted with the box could make a sealed deck and play right away!  (provided they also had lands….)

Still, I am going to rate this 5/5.  This box is an improvement over the past boxes, and I feel comfortable storing and transporting my cards in it.