Last night (Friday the 13th) at our local gaming store, OMG! Games here in Barrie, Ontario was a blast. About 40 players came out to Friday Night Magic to answer the Shadows Over Innistrad Triskaidekaphobia Challenge. Quite specifically, about eight or so players were using the flavour-rich Triskaidekaphobia enchantment to be the one to accumulate the most Triskaidekaphobia kills (to opponent or self) to win 13 packs of Shadows Over Innistrad. In addition to this MTG Realm provided some awesome Ultra PRO prizes (deck box, sleeves and playmat).
Anywhoos, moving on - we also picked up the recently-released Shadows Over Innistrad Gift Box, formerly known as the Holiday Gift Box. We had not picked up the the previous year's Gift Box (Battle for Zendikar), because of the wide-spread complaints of the quality of the box itself. When Wizards of the Coast WPN Community Manager, Michael Yichao and Global Brand Manager, Brian Trunk promised big changes last month, we listened and picked ours up - Here are our notes . . .
• The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the Shadows Over Innistrad Gift Box is $24.99 (USD).
• Here in Canada-Land, with the exchange rate, one could expect to pay about $32.30 (CDN).
• One should expect to pay a little more above this converted currency cost for various mysterious reasons including the application of Canadian Federal tariffs, transportation / supplier costs, and other reasons.
• In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), a number of stores are retailing the Gift Box for exactly the MRSP.
• Here in Central Ontario, we were able to pick up our box for $30, which in our opinion is still reasonable.
• 5 Shadows over Innistrad booster packs - The BFZ Box had 5 while previous ones had 4 packs
• Storage Box with capacity for over 2,000 Magic cards
• 20 Shadows over Innistrad basic lands
• 6 illustrated plastic dividers
• Sticker sheet for customizing the dividers
• 1 Alternate art Ravenous Bloodseeker (Shadows over Innistrad)
• The construction of the Box is solid ! We would go so far as to suggest that this robust box may even stop a rampaging Thoctar.
• The disposable inside supporting brace did its job well.
• Boxboard outer shell, inner stiffener and inner divider secured well very.
• Plastic card dividers as good as previous ones with six great cryptolith illustrations
• Sticker sheet with black sticker page looks good with crisp graphics
• Ravenous Bloodseeker art is great but we feel that the foil detracts from it.
• Pretty much any other uncommon in the set would have been a better choice for a promo here.
• SIX rates pulled from five packs (WotC has 'auto-included' one double-faced card of any rarity.
• Our pulls - Hanweir Militia Captain // Westvale Cult Leader, Ever After, Markov Dreadkinght, Diregraf Colossus, Falkenrath Gorger, Inexorable Blob.
Greatly improved box quality, five Shadows Over Innistrad packs, and the other goodies make this a good purchase. We would recommend.
For reference, here are the previous gift box details and its promo card -
2012 Return to Ravnica, Dreg Mangler
2013 Theros, Karametra's Acolyte
2014 Khans of Tarkir, Sultai Charm
2015 Battle for Zendikar, Scythe Leopard
2016 Shadows over Innistrad, Ravenous Bloodseeker