5 minute read
The Bastion XL 100+ is the latest in Gamegenic’s impressive and ever growing deck box range. Touted by many as the ‘Boulder beater’, this apparently improved design threatens to render Ultimate Guard’s classic, compact cube redundant. However, is this latest contender to the Commander deck box throne all it’s cracked up to be, or will we find it lacking? Read on for our detailed thoughts.
Table of Contents
What is the Gamegenic Bastion XL?
The Bastion XL is made with a clear, acid-free, no PVC plastic, and is designed to store 100+ double-sleeved cards in Thick Inner Sleeves whilst still fitting neatly into Gamegenic’s Dungeon storage box. The Bastion XL also features an ‘innovative secure click-lock mechanism’ that keeps your cards secure while still allowing easy access, and comes with a handy write-on sticker for personalisation or organisation.
There’s no avoiding the fact that the Bastion is largely a derivative of Ultimate Guard’s much loved Boulder deck box - they even share the same designer! As such, we’ll be comparing the Bastion and Boulder frequently throughout this review, and commenting on which of them excel in which areas.
Build Quality and Toughness
The 2 halves that make up the Bastion XL are made from a thick, sturdy plastic that is difficult to bend. When assembled, the Bastion is indeed ‘solid as a rock’ as the tagline suggests, and there can be no doubt here that the Bastion is a near impenetrable barrier for your precious cardboard cargo.
The Bastion is currently available in 10 different colours and the halves can be mixed and matched together!
Similar to the Boulder and Satin Cube, the Bastion uses a series of ‘nubs and divots’ to secure itself. What’s different from the others is the ‘secure click-lock mechanism’ designed for easy opening of the box - which works magnificently. The lid of the Bastions click open effortlessly once you figure out how the mechanism works; no more having to carefully pry the box open so your cards don’t spill out, as with the Boulders and Satins.
As such, the Bastion is at least equal to its peers in this department, and we can award the full 10 marks out of 10 for build quality and toughness.
What can we actually fit in the Bastion XL 100+?
The depth of the Bastion XL measures an impressive 81mm, similar to the other XL deck boxes in Gamegenic’s arsenal. In comparison, the Boulder 100+ offers a measly 68mm of storage space, and the Satin Cubes a more reasonable 76mm. The size chart below shows exactly how each combination of sleeves will fare within the Bastion:
As you can see, the generous space means that almost every combination of inner and outer sleeve you could dream of will have no issues fitting inside. It is obvious that the Bastion was made with MTG’s 100-card Commander format in mind, and the dimensions of the Bastion also accommodate Gamegenic’s very handy Slide Card Cases which can be used to further protect and show off your Commander.
Is the Bastion secure?
One of the main differences between the Bastion and Boulder is the innovative click-lock mechanism mentioned earlier. This mechanism is designed for secure closure, as well as allowing easy access to the cards inside; the best of both worlds. To test this locking mechanism, we treat the Bastion to a precise shake-test.
Much like you would see in a Tolarian Community College video, we fill the Bastion up with a 100 card, double-sleeved deck and then proceed to give it a good shake. While shaking, we are very careful to hold only one half of the deck box to as not inadvertently grip the deck box closed ourselves and defeating the purpose of the exercise.
Much to our surprise, we found the securing mechanism to be exceptionally strong when we shook the Bastion the right way up (lid on top), but disappointingly feeble when shaken upside down (lid on bottom). Never before have we seen this disparity in a deck box depending on its orientation, and we can only attribute it to the way the click-lock mechanism is designed; it unlocks by applying pressure to the bottom half.
An unfortunate turn of events, but we can only give the Bastion a 6/10 for security due to the vulnerability when upside down or when any pressure is applied to the bottom half.
A closeup of the click-lock mechanism, open and closed.
Does the Satin Tower have space for Accessories?
Whilst there is no dedicated compartment for accessories, the internal space is large enough for 100 single sleeved, or even double-sleeved cards with a sideboard and/or tokens. We wouldn’t recommend putting dice in the same section necessarily but, if you have a divider, then this could also be a reasonable option.
How much does the Ultra Pro Satin Tower cost?
Our final thoughts
So, is the Bastion XL the Boulder killer many would have you believe it to be? Well, as with most things, it depends on what you’re looking for. For us, it comes down to how much space you require in your deck box along with your aesthetic preferences.
If you are a Commander player who needs space for 100 double-sleeved cards in your preferred sleeves, no questions asked, then the Bastion is the clear winner. At 81mm vs the Boulder’s 68mm, the difference is night and day.
Appearance wise, the frosted outer of the Boulder looks as good now as it did a decade ago. If you like this aesthetic and don’t require 81mm of space, then this may be reason enough to go with the Boulder. On the other hand, the transparent outers of the Bastions allow for more practicality in seeing which cards are inside without having to physically open the box. Again, the choice here is yours.
The main drawback of the Bastion lies in the double-edged sword that is its innovative click-lock mechanism. While fantastic for allowing easy access to your cards, it comes with the unfortunate side effect of being extremely weak when the box is held upside down. This is not the same ultra secure locking you will find in the Boulder or Satin Cube. Not quite the best of both worlds update Gamegenic was hoping for, but more of a different world entirely.
|Build Quality and Toughness||10/10|
All in all, the Gamegenic Bastion XL is still a fantastic deck box and the Gamegenic XL range in general remains the best Commander-centric deck boxes on the market. The bottom line really is: if you need a bigger Boulder, buy a Bastion.
You can compare the Bastion side-by-side with other deck boxes we have reviewed in our Deck Box Comparison Tool.