I have been trying to get some YouTube videos up about recent MTG things. I recorded one but keep getting an error message on the attempt to upload. ;(
Regardless, I have my duty to you, Hub City Geeks, to unbox and review sealed products.
The Challenger Decks are the supposed replacements for many consumer intro products to Magic the Gathering. These products are meant to help a new player be successful during a Friday Night Magic tournament. The Wizards of the Coast tried this before with Event Decks, many of which you can see a review of right here on the SpartanNerd Blog. But they discontinued those a few years ago, they had proven to be lackluster and probably weren’t selling..I remember some sitting at comic book stores seemingly indefinitely. This left a big hole for new players, however. Intro Decks never have been good enough to get some FNM wins, and the Planeswalker Decks aren’t really much better. I think the Wizards must have also figured that people trying to get into the game might also be confused about Duel Decks, and so they have also discontinued that, beloved of a product as they have been.
The Challenger Decks promise wins. They have the deck lists that any regular player has seen…four copies of MYTHIC RARES, in at least one case. Each one contains more monetary value than their $30.00 price tag. And reportedly professional competitive players have been on the design team for these decks. And after playing them, I believe it.
I am giving you a basic rundown of what’s in each deck. I hope to have a video up soon to talk about each one.
Anyone who has been playing competitive Standard will know what these are immediately. Counter Surge is the Winding Constrictor deck. Hazzoret Aggro is mono-red, what used to be called Rumanap Red before the banning of that card. Vehicle Rush is Mardu Vehicles. And Second Sun Control is an Approach of the Second Sun deck.
All of these are viable strategies to play competitively at an FNM.
You get a description on the back of the decks.
Each deck comes in a deckbox that is suitable for storage…you can store the cards in sleeves. There is a sleeve over the box that I am going to throw away…this is more to sell the product than serve a functional purpose.
Here is an unboxing shot of each.They all have the same items. A divider. A spin down counter of a random color (it seems.) The infamously underwhelming Quick Reference guide. A promo piece of paper, which is too boring for me to show you more of. And the deck. The maindeck and sideboard are separated.
These boxes are pretty sturdy…they have the same sturdy flap from some of the more recent sealed products. I suspect it will hold up for awhile for a person who plays FNM occasionally. But a serious player will want to upgrade to something nicer and sturdier. The only complaint I have about this box is that divider doesn’t “stick up” or give you any way to see a distinct separation between the maindeck and sideboard. That is nit picking, but it might be important. What if a person accidentally has a maindeck card get put in the sideboard when they load into the box? It could happen.
You can get a few dice in with the life counter, especially the smaller type.
I am going to review each deck separately. But here is my unboxing experience. I like that they advertise the cards that people want. Fatal Push, Heart of Kiran, Hazoret, Fumigate…these are all cards that people want. It is puzzling that Chandra isn’t on the Hazoret Red box…but they might be trying to contain a mass buyout of Hazoret Red.
Ok. One more thing. Why no decklist? I know, you are supposed to tweak these decks to your taste. But for crying out loud. Does it hurt to include a paper decklist? That little promotional thing is worthless. Include a decklist, please Wizards of the Coast! Please…for the SpartanNerd?
I rate the unboxing experience 4/5. Mostly because of the missing decklist.
Stay tuned to SpartanNerd.com for more details about each deck…and I hope to get that YouTube thing going.