Hello, again, it is me Jesus Garcia. Sorry it has taken so long to release another review, but as products roll in I want to be thorough in testing and ensuring I can provide as much critical feedback and thorough analysis of product as possible.
Today, I have the new Tower deck box design by Mana Moon, a company that I have previously discussed as a premium brand that handles orders via Group Buy for those who are deeply into TCG Accessory collecting. Their previous deck box design, covered in my mass deck box review, was known as the Dicewinder, and I very much loved the compact design and the eye-catching art that has become a mainstay for Mana Moon as a brand. This Tower I have on hand is a Battle Dolls design in collaboration with Kai E., another notable artist within Mana Moon, using his original characters.
The Tower is an iteration of the Dicewinder with minimal, yet notable changes for the same price as their Dicewinder counterparts ($35-$45 USD + shipping). The first is the size. The difference in dimensions between this and Dicewinder seems to be between 3-10 mm depending on direction, so still very compact, yet large enough to allow an internal pull-out tray for the deck, instead of directly seating the deck in the box. This also means a slightly larger dice tray that can actually fit nine 20 mm Mana Moon dice, compared to the Dicewinder that can only fit six, perfect for those who secured Mana Moon’s recent release of the Digimon Crest Dice.
For those who want to use standard 16mm 7-piece dice sets, this can roughly fit two of them and a small coin.
While facing either direction, the box can fit 100 double Sleeved cards, but only when facing sideways can you fit oversleeves. Notable due to Mana Moon selling oversleeves within their ecosystem, but no inner-sleeves for standard sized cards. This can be overcome by simply using Japanese sized oversleeves as inner sleeves for your standard sized cards, but this will be tackled in more detail in my mass sleeve review, once it goes live.
If you are like me and use thick inner sleeves, like Dragon Shield Sealable Perfect Fits, then the box can only fit 99 cards facing forward. Not the worst for EDH players (like myself), because the commander can fit sideways. Despite this, I do not recommend doing this if you have desirable art sleeves, like Mana Moon or Dragon Shield art sleeves, unless you have an oversleeve for the card being placed sideways.
I believe this increase in size is a step in the right direction, as those with premium decks in the premium product want maximum protection. Again, much like the Dicewinders, this is only a few millimeters away from perfection, in my opinion.
The production quality of this box seems to be slightly higher as well, but it seems to be a matter of variance from box to box, and within tolerances when I compare it to my previous Dicewinders. Either way, if this slight increase in quality becomes a norm, it is welcome, especially considering how responsive Mana Moon as a brand has been to feedback.
By pushing the box into a vertical design, the box does not open as wide as a Dicewinder, but instead uses the full exterior to show off wonderful art, alongside the interior 2-section fold. I believe this to be preferred as I am partial to creative use of line art and then using the inner fold to bring it forward and realizing that line art.
While I do praise the improvements on design over the Dicewinder, there are some notable faults worth addressing which have started to develop on my Dicewinders box as well, but in a much less notable sense. The main one involves durability. Due to the dice tray not having any magnets to hold the opening flap closed, the notably strong magnets hold the deck box closed via the center and bottom of the flap may cause uneven tension. While this may not mean much to keeping the box closed, it does cause an aesthetic hinderance once the box starts to get worn in if you pull from the top corner.
Amanda Lapalme, owner of Mana Moon, has already been made aware of this issue and has been taking input from members of her community, including myself, to address this in future generations of their product line.
The only other issue here, to be quite frank, is the very tight constraints on the inner tray. I touched on this briefly, both earlier in this article and in my mass review article in the section on the Dicewinder. While this can be considered an edge case due to the thick sleeves I use to protect my deck, I still find it to be a notable concern for Magic: the Gathering’s biggest following, Commander players, who like to use additional deck box space to hold tokens or just to support thicker sleeves.
I hope to see future iterations of both the Dicewinder and the Tower where a minor increase in deck box depth would allow even as little as an additional 5-6 more cards. This would give clearance for the use of tokens in single and double sleeved decks, with the use of the included card dividers, or the use of thick protective sleeves for people like me who want to protect their foiled out decks. Remember: foil cards are ever-so-slightly thicker than non-foil cards for this context as well.
This is my new favorite design by Mana Moon, and would easily outclass boxes from other brands (GEM, Ultimate Guard, Ultra Pro, etc.) for most people. While this box does have its drawbacks like any product might, it is a generally beautiful design that would catch the eyes of other players who come to sit down to play with you.
With the included card dividers and dice tray, I believe this box would be wonderfully geared for competitive players with sideboards and extra decks (in the context of YGO and Digimon TCGs) as well as Commander/EDH players who want to flaunt their premium decks in a premium product.
While I don’t like rating product on a 1-10 scale, as everyone looks for different things when evaluating product, this will become a daily driver of mine.
The main downfalls of Mana Moon as a brand are accessibility to their product drops and turnaround time of group buys, but as a smaller brand, this should be expected, and their product is much more accessible than other brands of similar sizes and flashiness like GEM, even if turnaround time is similarly long. I will discuss this in more detail when I write a full review on Mana Moon as a brand and their product lineup.
Despite this case, at the time of writing this article, there are still some Angel of Duality (Mastemon) deck boxes still available and in-stock, although if Amanda Lapalme is to be believed (and I do believe her), the remaining stock is low, and the drop is in limited quantities, like all their other drops. (Full disclaimer: I bought the whole Angel of Duality collection for personal use.) Otherwise, if you are patient, I do believe these Tower boxes are worth the wait.
Jesus Garcia is the co-founder of Conviction Gaming and co-host of the Brewin’ With Conviction podcast. He has been playing MTG since 2016 and is an avid EDH player with a crippling addiction to pretty things.
You can find more of Jesus’s content by following on Twitter @Hispanic!attheD5.