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Deck Box Reviews (Extra Large Boxes)


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Ultra Pro Pro Tower
  3. Ultra Pro Dual Mana Flip Box
  4. Ultimate Guard Twin Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin 160+
  5. Max Protection Double Ion Deck Armor
  6. Dex Protection (Medium)
  7. Dex Protection (Large)
  8. Meta-Discussion
  9. Awards

Introduction

Deck boxes might be the most important Magic accessory. If we are going to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on a Magic deck, we want to make sure this investment is going to last. We want to be able to play with the cards for years, or make sure they stay in good enough condition that we can sell or trade them to get other cards we want. Having a deck box is a crucial part of this process.

Apart from buying an actual, honest-to-god deck box, our options are limited. The classic "rubber band around your deck" technique will damage your cards over time and no one wants to be the guy who shows up to a Legacy Grand Prix with his deck in a Ziploc bag. As a result, if you are a serious Magic player, sooner or later you are going to have to invest in some deck boxes.

The problem is, how do you know which deck box to buy? Many of these boxes look the same. What separates one brand from another? Well, we got our hands on extra large premium deck boxes, or in other words, premium deck boxes that hold two or more decks. We ran them through various tests. How many card fit single sleeved? What about double sleeved? How comfortably do the cards fit? Is the box durable? How many art options are there and how durable is the artwork itself? What happens if you drop it, shake it, or scratch it? Can you easily get the cards into (and out of) the box?

After testing, we ranked several characteristics of each box on a scale of one to ten and handed an overall grade. Finally, we wrap things up with a meta-discussion of the group as a whole. Today you are going to learn everything you could possibly want to know about extra large deck boxes.

If you're looking for a deck box that's not here, be sure to check our other reviews: Deck Box Review ($5 and Under Category)Deck Box Review ($5 - $10 Dual / Twin / Double Edition) and Deck Box Review: ($10 - $20 Premium).

Ultra Pro Pro Tower

Cost: $17.99

Fit: Single Sleeved - 130 (each tray, comfortably). Double Sleeved - 115 (each tray, comfortably). 

Special Features: Removable tray, place for oversized cards. 

Styles: One color (black). 

Aesthetics: 5/10. This deck box is huge, to the point where I wouldn't really want to carry it around for a day in my backpack. The outside has a fiber look, with minimal, barely visible branding on the front and sides. It will naturally hide small scratches thanks to its design, although a major scratch will dig right though the fiber and leave a lasting mark. All in all, the deck box looks fine, but it doesn't really stand out in any way.   

Durability: 4/10. Here, the boxes "largeness" is a curse. Because of the weight of the box — which is considerably more than any other box in the class — being dropped from table height has the potential to damage the box. The fiber material isn't very strong, so it ends up getting mashed in. While the Ultra Pro Pro Tower is thick enough that the cards inside do not get damaged, it does make the box look bad. 

Ease of Access: 8/10. Getting cards in and out of either tray is quite easy. Both have a cut away on the front, making the trays easy to grip. Since they hold such a large number of cards, you rarely need to pack the box full. The same holds true for the oversized card holder along the front. It has an every bigger cut away, so again, getting cards in or out is a breeze.

Drop Test: 2/10. As I mentioned while talking about durability, the weight of the box, combined with the soft outer material, leaves the box vulnerable to being damaged when dropped directly on a corner. Furthermore, the clasp holding the box shut opens almost every time the box is dropped. It doesn't do a particularly great job of keeping cards safe during a worst-case scenario.   

Shake Test: 9/10. While the clasp might not be good at holding cards in when dropped, it does a great job of keeping the box closed when shaken upside down. I couldn't get it to open, no matter how hard I tried. 

Weight Test: 8/10. No trouble holding 100 pounds. While I still think it's too big for typical backpack use, if you do choose to carry it around in a backpack it should survive without a problem.

Summary: The Ultra Pro Pro Tour is a very interesting box. While I don't imagine it being the right box for many players (being too big, heavy, and not particularly durable), if you are a Commander player this box might be exactly what you need. 

If you are looking for a box that holds two decks, there are better options on the market. If you are looking for a box that holds one deck and some dice or other accessories, there are still better options on the market. If you are looking for a box that will hold a deck, some accessories, and some oversized cards / Vanguards, the Ultra Pro Pro Tower is the perfect box for you (and the only box capable).

Overall Rating: 5/10.

Cost Aesthetics Durability Ease of Access Drop Test Shake Test Weight Test Overall
$17.99 5 4 8 2 9 8 5

Ultra Pro Dual Mana Flip Box

Cost: $21.99

Fit: Single Sleeved - 115 (each side). Single Sleeved - 100 (each side).

Special Features: Collapsible inner card holders allow for the storage of two 100 card decks or two 80 card decks plus 20 oversized cards. 

Styles: Ten. Regular colors: white, blue, black, red, green, and Matte colors: white, blue, black, red, green.

Aesthetics: 7/10. Not flashy, but a nice looking box. Basically a larger version of the Mana Flip Box, the Mana Dual Flip Box has embossed mana symbols on each side and the Magic: the Gathering logo on the front. Solid color, with the mana symbol and text a couple shades darker. While it might not stand out, it's classy. 

Durability: 9/10. Doesn't really show fingerprints or get scratched very easily, although after a while wear and tear can give the outer finish a dulled look. Passed all the tests with flying colors and came out the other end looking as good as new. 

Ease of Access: 8/10. The top opens nice and wide, making it easy to get cards in and out of the box. Plus the Mana Dual Flip Box comes with dual cut aways, a trademark of Ultra Pro, which makes getting cards out of the box a pleasure. 

Drop Test: 2/10. The magnetic closure isn't strong enough to keep the box closed when dropped from a table. The cards are apt to come spilling out all over the place.  

Shake Test: 2/10. It doesn't take much to send the cards flying out — the magnet is simply too weak. 

Weight Test: 8/10. No trouble holding 100 pounds, should survive quite well in a backpack under normal conditions, assuming it stays closed. 

Summary: Another box that I really like, and would love if it had a stronger magnet. Having the collapsible inner card holders sets the box apart from its competition by offering a flexibility that should appeal to a wide range of players. Making a box specifically to hold oversized cards seems like such a fringe market it's probably not worthwhile. Having a box that can be used for oversized cards, but doubles as a functional dual deck box is a great solution to this problem. Overall, a solid product, minus the lackluster magnet. 

Overall Rating: 7/10.

Cost Aesthetics Durability Ease of Access Drop Test Shake Test Weight Test Overall
$21.99 7 9 8 2 2 8 7

Ultimate Guard Twin Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin 160+

Cost: $29.99

Fit: Singe Sleeved - 115  in horizontal box, 100 in vertical box. Double Sleeved - 100 in horizontal box, 80 in vertical box.

Special Features: Two removable trays, XenoSkin material, microfiber inner layer, three magnet closure. 

Styles: Six colors: Black, White, Blue, Red, Green, Grey.  

Aesthetics: 5/10. A solid color, textured design with the Ultimate Guard logo on the front and left hand side. "Twin Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin Deck Case 160+" is printed on the right. The inner, removable dice tray matches the outside of the box, and the microfiber inner lining looks sharp. On the other hand, there really isn't anything that makes the outside of the box pop. It's sort of plain looking. While it doesn't look bad, it's not a box you buy because it's fashionable.  

Durability: 7/10. The XenoSkin material is scratch resistant, but it will damage if you scratch it hard enough, leaving the box looking ratty and marred. Structurally the box is extremely solid and is likely to hold up well for the long haul. 

Ease of Access: 7/10. The Flip'n'Tray design makes it easy to get cards from either deck box. However, the removable box for the dice tray block the cut away on the horizontal deck box, so if you overfill it you'll probably have to turn the whole thing upside down and shake it to get your cards out. 

Drop Test: 8/10. Like Ultimate Guard's other boxes, the Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin Deck Case 160+ has the strongest magnetic closure system of any box in its class. While it still opens when it lands just the right way, this doesn't happen frequently.   

Shake Test: 9/10. Even when shaken as hard as possible, the box stays shut. Ultimate Guard knows how to make a strong magnet, and I wouldn't worry a bit about the box coming open when jostled around in a backpack.  

Weight Test: 8/10. No trouble holding 100 pounds, the Ultimate Guard Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin should survive quite well in a backpack under normal conditions. 

Summary: Basically a double version of the Ultimate Guard Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin, the Filp'n'Tray Deck Case XenoSkin 160+ holds up amazingly well in every test. While it is a little bit odd that one deck box holds fewer cards than the other, being able to fit a Commander deck in one side and a constructed deck in the other is pretty cool, as is the fact that you get a tray to hold your dice. All in all another solid product from Ultimate Guard. High praise for their ability to make a magnetic closure system that actually keeps the box close, regardless of the circumstances. The only drawback is that it's the most expensive in its class at $29.99. 

Overall Rating: 9/10.

Cost Aesthetics Durability Ease of Access Drop Test Shake Test Weight Test Overall
$29.99 5 8 7 8 9 8 9

Max Protection Double Ion Deck Armor

Cost: $15.99

Fit: Single Sleeved - 90 (each side, tightly) Double Sleeved - 80 (each side, tightly). 

Special Features: Nylon exterior, magnetic closure. 

Styles: One color (black). 

Aesthetics: 5/10. Straight black with minimal branding (consisting of a small black Max Protection logo on the front). Personally I'm not a big fan of nylon, but this is probably more a matter of taste than anything. Even compared to the other minimalist boxes in this category, the Max Protection Double Ion comes across as plain.   

Durability: 5/10. The nylon exterior doesn't scratch easily, but the fibers will break down sooner or later. If you happen to catch it on the edge of something sharp, it feels like it would rip. While it should stand up to normal wear and tear, it's more likely to get destroyed by a worst case scenario than most of the other boxes. 

Ease of Access: 3/10. Two problems here. First the top doesn't open all that far. It's sometimes difficult to get cards in and out of the box, especially when it's packed full. Second, there are no cut aways. You pretty much have to hold the box upside down and shake it to set your deck free.  

Drop Test: 3/10. Frequently opens when dropped from table height because the magnetic closure isn't very strong. While the top helps keep the cards in when it comes unlatched, they still spill out from time to time when it lands the wrong way.   

Shake Test: 3/10. It can stand up to very light shaking, but much more than that and the magnet loses its grip and the cards come flying out all over the place.   

Weight Test: 8/10. Held 100 pounds without much difficulty.

Summary: The Max Protection Double Ion should score points for being on the cheaper end of the "nice" double boxes, theoretically coming in about $5 cheaper than the similar (and superior) Ultra Pro Double Mana Flip Box. However, since the Double Ion is so rare and the Ultra Pro Double Mana Flip Box is so common, it's probably more likely that you'll find the Ultra Pro Double Mana Flip Box cheaper. Overall, the Double Ion is one of my least favorite boxes in the category. I question the nylon exterior and ease of access is an issue. While it's certainly functional, if you are going to spend $15+ dollars to get a nice deck box, you might as well spend an extra $5 or $10 to get a really nice deck box.  

Overall Rating: 5/10.

Cost Aesthetics Durability Ease of Access Drop Test Shake Test Weight Test Overall
$15.99 5 5 3 3 3 8 5

Dex Protection (Medium) Creation

Cost: Medium $14.99

Fit: Medium: In large compartment 150 doubled sleeved  (comfortably), 175 single sleeved (comfortably). Plus another 60 double sleeved (or accessories/dice) in small compartment.

Special Features: Velvet interior, magnetic closure. 

Styles: Eight total. Six Creation series: Galaxy (Black), Ocean (Blue), Urth (Brown), Aurora (Purple), Carte Blanche (White), Life (Pink), Two Safari: Crocodile and Python.

Aesthetics: 8/10. Solid colored with a velvet interior forming an attractive trim around the top and sides. The Dex Protection Creation boxes boast a nice textured finish and generally look good. One thing that makes them stand out in the crowd is a complete and total lack of branding. You won't find any words at all on the outside of the box. Maybe the best looking box of the bunch.    

Durability: 5/10. The outer material is really solid. The Creation is perhaps the most scratch resistant box in the class, which means it's likely to continue looking good even after months of use. The one downside is that the corners are damaged easily in falls. While this makes the box look worse, the damage is cosmetic and the cards inside are not damaged. 

Ease of Access: 8/10. All the compartments have nice large cut aways, making it super easy to get at your cards. The tops open nice and wide so getting decks in and out of the box is a breeze.  

Drop Test: 5/10. When dropped from table height these boxes stay closed more often than not, although if they land the wrong way they will open and spill cards everywhere. Also, if the box is dropped directly on a corner while full of cards, the corner will get smashed in. This fall makes the box look beat up and less attractive.  

Shake Test: 3/10. It can stand up to very light shaking, but any much more than that and the magnet loses its grip and the cards come flying out all over the place.   

Weight Test: 8/10. No problem holding 100 pounds, the Dex Protection Creation should hold up to normal backpack use without difficulty.

Summary: Probably the best aspect of the Dex Protection Creation line is just how many cards they can hold. Having one compartment fit 150 double sleeved cards is unheard of. While I'm not exactly sure why you would need this much space, it's nice to have the option available. I also really like the look of these boxes. While they are plain, the lining really makes them stand out. There are three issues with the Dex Protection (Medium) Creation. First, the corners are easy to damage if dropped. Second, This box is huge — so large that it found its way into the "Extra Large" deck box review. As such, I wouldn't really want to carry the Dex Protection Creations around in my backpack. Third, there is no tray for the accessories/dice slot, which means you'll have to dig hard to get your dice out, or flip the box upside-down and pour them out.

Overall Rating: 7/10.

Cost Aesthetics Durability Ease of Access Drop Test Shake Test Weight Test Overall
$14.99 8 5 8 5 3 8 7

Dex Protection (Large) Creation

Cost: Large $19.99. 

Fit: In large compartment 150 double sleeved or 175 single sleeved. In medium compartment 100 doubled sleeved or 115 single sleeved. In small compartment 60 double sleeved, 70 single sleeved, or dice/accessories.  

Special Features: Velvet interior, magnetic closure. 

Styles: Eight total. Six Creation series: Galaxy (Black), Ocean (Blue), Urth (Brown), Aurora (Purple), Carte Blanche (White), Life (Pink), Two Safari: Crocodile and Python.

Aesthetics: 8/10. Solid colored with a velvet interior forming an attractive trim around the top and sides. The Dex Protection Creation boxes boast a nice textured finish and generally look good. One thing that makes them stand out in the crowd is a complete and total lack of branding. You won't find any words at all on the outside of the box. Maybe the best looking box of the bunch.    

Durability: 5/10. The outer material is really solid. The Creation is perhaps the most scratch resistant box in the class, which means it's likely to continue looking good even after months of use. The one downside is that the corners are damaged easily in falls. While this makes the box look worse, the damage is cosmetic and the cards inside are not damaged. 

Ease of Access: 8/10. All the compartments have nice large cut aways, making it super easy to get at your cards. The tops open nice and wide so getting decks in and out of the box is a breeze.  

Drop Test: 5/10. When dropped from table height these boxes stay closed more often than not, although if they land the wrong way they will open and spill cards everywhere. Also, if the box is dropped directly on a corner while full of cards, the corner will get smashed in. This fall makes the box look beat up and less attractive.  

Shake Test: 3/10. It can stand up to very light shaking, but any much more than that and the magnet loses its grip and the cards come flying out all over the place.   

Weight Test: 8/10. No problem holding 100 pounds, the Dex Protection Creation should hold up to normal backpack use without difficulty.

Summary:  Overall similar characteristics to the Dex Protection Medium, except it has a flip design to holds more cards. Weak magnets plague this otherwise handsome deck box. It is certainly quite large so I'm not sure I want to carry my FNM deck around in this, but if you are looking for a box to bring a bunch of cards from home to a tournament and back, Dex Protection Creation is a solid option.

Overall Rating: 7/10.

Cost Aesthetics Durability Ease of Access Drop Test Shake Test Weight Test Overall
$19.99 8 5 8 5 3 8 7

Meta-Discussion

  • Unlike less expensive deck boxes, the thing that stands out most about these larger higher end boxes is that none of them are truly bad. The lowest overall grade of the bunch is a five (5), which is a perfectly average score. As such, it isn't so much about what boxes to avoid as it is about how to maximize your value and get the best box possible. 
  • Again we have magnet troubles. It's insane to me that manufacturers can make very nice, high end deck boxes but still use horrible magnets that don't keep the boxes closed. Ultimate Guard is the one company that has no magnet issues. 
  • To be honest, there isn't a lot separating most of these boxes. There are a couple that are very good, many that are good, and a couple that are average. As such, what box you buy really depends on what you intend to use the box for. Some are better for holding accessories and dice. Some are designed to hold oversized cards. It's important to consider the purpose for your deck box before making your purchase. 
  • As far as durability, there isn't a single box in the bunch that I wouldn't trust with my cards. One of the biggest reasons to spend $15 or $20 on a deck box instead of $5 is that the more expensive boxes are much more durable. With the low-end deck boxes, I wouldn't even attempt the 100 pound weight test. Each of the higher tier boxes can hold that weight without a problem.

Awards

Best in Class: Ultimate Guard Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin XenoSkin 160+. As I mentioned before, there is very little separating most of these deck boxes. As a result Ultimate Guard once again takes the cake thanks to its superior magnets. If the magnets in all of these boxes were equal in strength, we would have six or seven different boxes fighting for the top slot. But since Ultimate Guard is currently the only manufacturer with good magnets, their boxes come in slightly above the rest of the pack. 

Best Looking: Dex Protection Creation (Medium) and Dex Protection Creation (Large). Completely uncluttered by unsightly branding and boasting a stunning velvet trim, Dex Protection clearly knows how to make a good looking box. While they aren't great for carrying in a backpack because they are so big and their corners are a bit fragile, if attractiveness is your main concern, this is the box for you. 

Best Value: Dex Protection Creation (Medium). This was a hard pick because all the boxes were pretty similar in scores and prices, but the Dex Protection Creation (Medium) performed well and came in as one of the cheapest boxes at $15.

Best for Commander. Ultra Pro Dual Mana Flip. Not only does the Dual Mana Flip fit two 100 card, double sleeved decks, but the fact that the inner deck holders are collapsible allows it to hold a single 100 card deck and a bunch of oversized cards. Considering oversized cards are a Commander thing, it's a great box for those players. 

Worst in Class: Ultra Pro Pro Tower and Max Protection Double Ion. The Pro Tower finds itself at the bottom because it's so heavy that it's likely to be damaged when dropped — the opposite of what you are hoping for in a $15 deck box. If you really need to hold two decks, dice and oversized cards, you actually have no other choice. But if you can do without one of the above, then there are better options. Meanwhile the Double Ion suffers from being difficult to access and having an easy-to-rip nylon exterior. While neither of these boxes are bad, they do come in at the bottom of our rankings. 

Tiers:

Tier One: Ultimate Guard Flip'n'Tray XenoSkin 160+

Tier Two: Ultra Pro Dual Mana Flip Box, Dex Protection (Medium) Creation, Dex Protection (Large) Creation.

Tier Three: Ultra Pro Pro Tower, Max Protection Double Ion

 


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