Back when I was a more serious Magic: The Gathering player, I'd built what I called my "Chaos Stack." It was a giant collection of seemingly random cards from the history of MTG that we played in a casual format called "Stack", and I'd lug my Chaos Stack around in a ratty old cardboard longbox. One fateful evening, heading to my friendly local game store, I reached into my backpack to grab my metrocard, and the box, and all its contents, went spilling out onto the streets of Brooklyn. I'm not the only one with a tale of terror like this, but looking back... what I would have given for a sturdier box. It was with that story looming in the back of my mind that I set out to test and review a new set of deluxe game and deck boxes from Gamegenic.
For the purposes of this review, Gamegenic sent along four of their more premium products -- the Sidekick 100+, the Watchtower 100+, the Cards' Lair 400+, and the Games Lair 600+. Let's check them out in more detail below:
Gamegenic Sidekick 100+ Convertible
Designed to hold 100 double-sleeved cards, the Sidekick 100+ Convertible measures 104 x 87 x 78 mm and sports a Nexofyber surface and a microfiber inner lining (as do all the deck boxes reviewed below). Nexofyber seems to be a patented material unique to Gamegenic, but it feels like a polyurethane leather that's super-sleek without feeling shiny or waxy. Like all of the premium Gamegenic boxes we'll look at today, it has a removable lid that secures with strong magnets. The interesting thing about this deckbox is that, unlike traditional deckboxes, it's a side-loader, meaning cards are stored horizontally instead of vertically.
Because of the removable lid, there's room to position this deck box so that it's tilted, offering easy access if you're using this for a game where you're drawing cards from a pile. Deep indentations on each side of the box also means placing and removing your deck from the box is hassle-free. The Sidekick has a MSRP of USD $17.99.
Gamegenic Watchtower 100+ Convertible
The Watchtower 100+ Convertible also holds 100 double-sleeved cards, but this box also adds an additional compartment for storing dice or other small gaming accessories. With a "lid" comprised of two different magnetized pieces, this is one of the more fiddly boxes of the group, but with that comes a high level of customization to suit your gaming needs. Cards are presented facing out, and the element of the box that actually holds the cards can be removed to serves as an easy-to-grab card holder on the table, which is something I've never actually seen done before in the deck box space. The Watchtower has an MSRP of USD $29.99.
Gamegenic Cards' Lair 400+ Convertible
The Cards' Lair 400+ Convertible takes the iconic long cardboard magic card box and gives it a complete overhaul. Designed to fit 400 double-sleeved cards or, if using for MTG or board game cards that don't require double sleeves, up to 540 regularly sleeved cards. Along with space for all those cards and a removable magnetized lid, the Lair also features two pull-out drawers for storing dice, gaming tokens, and more.
The aspect that I find most ingenious in this Gamegenic box is the inclusion of two extra slots at the front of the box. These can hold oversized cards (perfect for oversized MTG Commander cards) and a writing pad to track your life totals. The Cards' Lair has an MSRP of USD $49.99.
Gamegenic Games' Lair 600+ Convertible
Finally, take a look at the Games' Lair 600+ Convertible. This is really a showstopper, featuring space enough to hold 600 double-sleeved or 800 single-sleeved cards, the Gamegenic Games' Lair features an acrylic divider, four horizontal removable drawers, and a large compartment to hold pads of paper, pens, and more. This is, hands down, the go-to box for people who regularly draft a 360 card MTG cube (especially if you also bring along lands), or a 540 card cube.
Best of all, the removable lid is designed to convert - via magnets placed throughout - into an on-the-go dice tray as pictured above. The Gamegenic Games' Lair has an MSRP of USD $79.99.
These boxes are truly premium gaming accessories. The level of detail and thought that's been put into the design of even the simple Sidekick is pretty astounding, and this feels like the big leap we've needed in this accessory space. My first order of business upon receiving these was to transfer my cube from its old home -- a ratty old MTG holiday gift box -- to the Gamegenic Games' Lair 600+ Convertible. No more fear of my cards raining down on the streets of New York! The only true barrier to entry with these Gamegenic boxes is, of course, the price point. As noted throughout, these are certainly more expensive than cardboard boxes, or even simple, plastic deck boxes (which Gamegenic also sells). But if you're looking for a sturdy, premium investment to keep your cards safe and easier to access than ever before, you should seriously give Gamegenic's new line of premium boxes a try.
Get This Accessory If...
- You're looking for a stylish, customizable way to store your gaming cards
- You regularly play either Commander or Cube in Magic: The Gathering
- You're looking for a premium gift for the Magic: The Gathering lover in your life
Avoid This Accessory If...
- You're just looking for a quick and dirty way to store your cards
- You don't feel comfortable spending $80 on a deck box
Head over to Gamegenic to learn more and browse their entire catalogue of gaming accessories.
The Gamegenic Deck Boxes used in this review were provided by Gamegenic.