4 minute read
The budget deck box market is quickly becoming one of the most contested spaces in trading card game accessories. Each brand has their own contender and the Double Shell is Dragon Shield’s champion. Distinguished from the rest of the pack with a unique dragon’s head design, what lies beneath this layered beast?
Table of Contents
Double the shell, double the strength?
The first thing you may notice about the Dragon Shield Double Shell is that it looks nothing like its rivals: the Ultra Pro Eclipse PRO, Gamegenic Deck Holder, and Ultimate Guard Deck Case. Whereas other manufacturers have stuck with the simple ‘box and lid from a single sheet of plastic’ design, the Double Shell uses 2 sheets of plastic resulting in a unique double layered deck box. The inner layer acts as the storage compartment, secured to the outer layer through a series of heat pressed joints. The outer shell then wraps snugly around the entirety of the card compartment, shielding it from outside danger.
The second layer does a lot to reinforce the Double Shell, making it slightly tougher than the others. Not only does the outer layer bolster the strength of the Double Shell, the clever design of the lid also adds some security to the deck box, an attribute sorely lacking in other entry level boxes.
The dragon's head design of the lid, the joints holding the 2 halves together, and the Double Shell sitting open neatly.
The wrap-around lid of the Double Shell is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it prevents quick accessibility when closed, but on the other hand, the cards are completely accessible when opened. This is due to the clever design, once again, allowing the lid to sit neatly beside the storage compartment when unravelled.
Overall, it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the Double Shell and we love that Dragon Shield were able to make something unique and evolve an age old design. Despite this progress, the Double Shell is still limited by the thin plastic used in these types of boxes and we can only give a modest (but improved) 6/10 for build quality and toughness.
How many cards does the Dragon Shield Double Shell hold?
As with most 100+ deck boxes, this deck box will have no issue fitting 100 single-sleeved cards, however, the real challenge is 100+ double-sleeved cards. We know that Ultra Pro's Eclipse nails this with a large 76mm compartment, so the competition is strong. Not only this, but Dragon Shield claims the Double Shell can fit 120 double-sleeved cards, or 100 if in their own Sealable Inner Sleeves.
We put this to the test by first measuring the space of the storage compartment and, at a whopping 90mm, things are looking good. In fact, this space puts the Double Shell in the number 1 spot for storage capacity of any single compartment 100+ deck box! Unsurprisingly, this means the Double Shell can indeed fit 100+ double-sleeved cards and has no issue fitting Dragon Shield Sealables or Gamegenic Closables either. Superb stuff.
If you are interested to see how the Double Shell compares to other deck boxes, you can - over at our detailed Deck Box Comparison Tool.
How secure is the Deck Box?
Historically speaking, thin plastic deck boxes are notoriously bad at keeping your cards secure, with no locking mechanism to speak of, and the lids giving way to even small amounts of turbulence. But this is where things get interesting!
We tested the security of the Double Shell by filling it with 100 double-sleeved cards and proceeded to shake upside down with increasing degrees of force. It’s during this test that we found we were well past the point where other budget deck boxes had spilled their contents onto the floor, yet the Double Shell was still holding strong. Through pure ingenuity of the design, the box is nigh on impossible to shake open from 2 directions, with the two vulnerable side requiring moderate force to overcome.
The wrap-around lid of the Double Shell, and the orientation of the cards inside making them incredibly hard to dislodge when force is applied from 2 directions.
We can give this a firm 6/10 for security in relation to all other deck boxes. This may not seem high, but it is seriously impressive and head and shoulders above similar boxes. Even with no physical locking mechanism, the closure is up there with some of the best magnetic deck boxes on the market.
Does the Double Shell have space for Accessories?
There is no accessories compartment in the Dragon Shield Double Shell but with 90mm of storage and a complimentary card divider, you could fashion some room for dice if you do not need the entire space for cards.
For a Dragon Shield deck box with an accessories compartment, you might consider the Nest+ which we reviewed here.
How much does this Dragon Shield deck box cost?
The Double Shell has an RRP of £3.99, identical to the Ultra Pro Eclipse and slightly more than the Ultimate Guard Deck Case and Gamegenic Deck Holder. We sell the Double Shell in our store here!
The deep, mythical colours of the Dragon Shield Double Shell.
In the Double Shell, Dragon Shield have managed to breathe fire into the barely lit embers of a stifled sub section of deck boxes. The unique design along with the structural and security benefits it offers is truly remarkable. Coupled with a price that is competitive with the Ultra Pro Eclipse, we have a clear frontrunner in terms of utility and value for money.
|Build Quality and Toughness||6/10|
|Storage||90mm - the most of any single compartment deck box!|
Where the Double Shell lacks is in the limited range of colour options compared to the other big brands. Despite the writable field on the roof of the Double Shell, players looking for a no frills storage solution may prefer the basic box and lid design of its rivals.
With that minor drawback aside, the Double Shell excels in all other areas. While alternatives are ill equipped to be used as a day to day deck box due to their weak and unruly lids, we would have no concerns using this Dragon Shield deck box to transport our cards to and from game nights. The Double Shell is a fantastic achievement and an effective, practical deck box for those on a budget.