Wizardry Foundry Grimoire Deck Box Review
by SaffronOlive // May 05, 2016
The Grimoire Deck Box from Wizardry Foundry is one of the most interesting and unique Magic accessories I've come across in a long time. While it has a massive price tag of $75 for the Grimoire and $45 for the Grimoire Pro Tour (which is the same thing, except smaller), it has quality, durability, and first-class looks.
The first thing that jumps out about the Grimoire is that it's huge — more like a binder than a traditional deck box. As such it can hold a truly massive amount of cards: 1,000 single sleeved or 800 double sleeved or 10 "normal size" (i.e. 75 cards) deck boxes full of cards. Obviously, the Grimoire isn't a product you'd use to carry a single Standard deck to FNM. Meanwhile the smaller Pro Tour Grimoire holds three deck boxes (with extra space in the back for accessories) or about 400 single sleeved cards.
One of the things that really sets the Grimoire apart is the fact that it is designed to hold other deck boxes and individual cards. The boxes themselves fit nicely, tight enough that things aren't going to shake around too much and damage the cards, but loose enough that it is easy to get them in and out of the Grimoire, even when it is full. In fact, the Grimoire holds deck boxes much better than it holds individual cards.
One of the weaknesses of the Grimoire is the way it holds individual cards. Since the Grimoire needs to be big enough to fit entire deck boxes (which themselves are design to fit individual cards), individual cards fit extremely loosely, even when double sleeved. There's more than a half inch of space above the cards. If you stack them vertically, you can fit them tightly, but you can't fit three rows in each half of the box, so you are still left with dead space. While this gap isn't a deal breaker, just be warned that individual cards are likely to move around a lot in transit thanks to the extra space. The Grimoire is clearly design to hold deck boxes (a deck box box, I guess?) rather than single cards.
Aesthetically, the Grimoire is beautiful. It looks like an ancient tome, with a textured green finish and yellow trim. The company touts the design as "mystical," and I have to agree. It really looks like an old book you'd find in a castle in Ireland. One of the things I really like about the box is that it doesn't look overtly Magic related, and while it is built with Magic cards in mind, it is possible to use it for other purposes. It looks nice enough that I could imagine someone with no interest in Magic: the Gathering buying one as a nice storage box.
Physically, one of my concerns with the box was the corners. As you can see in the pictures, they overhang the edges of the box, and I was worried that dropping the box would damage the corners. Well, Wizardry Foundry thought of everything and built the corners of the box with rustic looking metal reinforcements specifically for this problem. The box is solid; I dropped it a few times from table height and didn't see any signs of wear.
The one downside of the box is that it will get scratched if you brush it against something jagged or sharp. Under normal circumstances the box seems to hold up well, and the textured finish hides small dings and scratches.
Maybe the most exciting aspect of the Grimoire is the clasp. One of the problems with other deck boxes is that they open too easily because their magnetic closure system is weak. The Grimoire does away with magnets altogether, and instead uses a metal clasp to keep the box closed. The clasp does its job extremely well, essentially locking the box shut.
I really love the Grimoire. It seems to be a really well made product that's unique in the marketplace, and holds up to normal wear and tear. Plus, it looks amazing. I'd highly recommend it. However, I do have two questions which need to be answered.
As I mentioned before, the Grimoire is super expensive — $45 for the smaller three deck Pro Tour model and $75 for the full size 10 deck model. As a result, the Grimoire will likely price some players out of the market. I mean, if you're someone who is skimping and saving to build a deck, is it really worth it to buy a $75 deck box instead of cards you could use in the deck? Probably not.
Personally, I view deck boxes as a necessity for anyone who is going to play Magic away from home, even at the FNM level. For the sake of your cards and your investment, you really don't want to be the guy or gal running around with your deck in a Ziplock bag or held together by a rubber band. On the other hand, the Grimoire is not a necessity. It's a luxury item. You could play Magic for decades and you'd never "need" the Grimoire. So if you are just starting off or on a tight budget, I'd suggest you steer clear of the Grimoire. While it's a great product, it's simply not designed for you. Instead, Wizardry Foundry is targeting a market that has been relatively underserved.
Who is it For?
Since the Grimoire isn't for your average FNM player, kitchen table casual, or spike, who is the Grimoire for?
- Cubers. The Grimoire is the perfect size to fit a double-sleeved 720 card cube, or a smaller cube with room for tokens and other small accessories. If you are building a cube, the Grimoire is a great storage option. While I don't know much about the custom deck box market, I assume that the Grimoire is cheaper than having someone build you a custom box to hold your cube. It's strong enough to hold thousands of dollars of cards without a worry and looks sharp. Even better, as I mentioned earlier, the Grimoire doesn't look like a normal card binder or deck box. If someone is breaking car windows at a Grand Prix to steal some cards, there is a good chance they won't even realize the Grimoire is holding anything of interest and leave your cards alone.
- The "deck guy/gal." A while ago someone messaged me and said they had built eight Budget Magic decks so they could bring them to their local game store and have Budget Magic tournaments. Awesome, right? If this person is you, the Grimoire is amazing. It fits 10 full decks inside of deck boxes.
- People with disposable income. If you are someone who has enough money, there's little downside to buying a Grimoire. I have no clue what I'm going to do with my Grimoire, but I'll find something. It could hold the cube I'll eventually build, or I could store long term specs. Better yet, it'll always be a sweet looking box to hold random stuff sitting around my desk. Unlike inexpensive deck boxes which sometimes look cheesy, the Grimoire looks nice enough that I would use it for non-Magic related activities.
All in all, the Grimoire Deck Box from Wizardry Foundry is a really well made and attractive product, but it's clearly not for everyone. If you are someone who can put it to use or doesn't mind the expense, I can't recommend it enough. It will last forever, never fall open, and protect your cards and decks with ease. On the other hand, if you're a new player, I'd look into some of the less-expensive options from our deck box reviews and save the money for cards.
As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive.