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June 25, 2011


Inside the Ertai’s Lament Precon Library

by Dredd77

From time to time, readers of Ertai’s Lament have asked us to post some pictures of our precon collection. Knee-deep in spring cleaning today, it seemed the perfect time. For the curious, here is our collection and how it’s stored. We like to think of it as a library of precons. Here’s a brief tour.

Deck maintenance

Each deck is sleeved in the UltraPro 5-mana sleeves and stored in the corresponding UltraPro deck box for each particular set. Here you see a Rise of the Eldrazi deck. Additionally, a laminated card is inserted into each box denoting the deck’s name, colours, and a verbatim transcript of the blurb found on the back of the box. For sets where no such deck box was released, we use a flat black UltraPro box instead.

Storing a set

Each set of intro decks is then housed in the card boxes that come with a Fat Pack. For those sets preceding the advent of these boxes, we have extra boxes we’ll be repainting… a mythical future project when we actually have more free time to devote than at present.

The Wall

The intro-pack-filled card boxes are then stored in a simple, easy-to-reference manner.

Duel Decks and related

Duel Decks are stored in their UltraPro official deck boxes. Note that Elves vs Goblins never had one released for it, thus the flat-black box in the lower left of the image. I haven’t bothered picking up the box for Knights vs Dragons, but  it’s on the list.

Event Decks

Event Decks are stored in their original packaging, but sleeved in the same standard sleeves- the boxes thoughtfully came with enough interior room for the deck to be fully sleeved.


Odds and ends get stacked to the side. From bottom to top: Deckmasters, Beatdown, Anthologies, the MBS promo box, FTV: Relics (whiteboxed)

Waiting for adoption

A number of decks haven’t been given the loving treatment yet- it’s still a work in progress. Here’s a gaggle of them stored on a shelf in the office, waiting for the day they are chosen for review, and given a good home.

Loose cards

For the curious, we’re similarly fastidious about our stock of loose cards. Here’s one of the boxes, M-S. All cards regardless of set are alphabetised together, and all of them are penny sleeved in playset bundles.

And there you have it! I feel like I’m channelling Monty Ashley’s Magic Arcana today, but it’s something to tide us over until tomorrow’s next Commander review. See you then!

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Icehawk
    Jun 25 2011


    So I guess 5 Ultra Pro deck boxes fit per fat pack?

    Might plan to get a few to help store me decks. I’m currently using the Duel Deck big boxes for oversized card storage. Really need to stick those in something else. Would really cut down the space required to store my decks by almost half.

  2. Jun 25 2011

    So many cards…wow. Definitely appreciate the level of patience required for the sorting of that volume of cards, speaking from personal experience of only collecting cards from Scourge on. Cheers mate!

  3. Jun 25 2011

    great entry! cheers jay.

  4. Tony
    Jun 25 2011

    I love how you use the laminated card for the deck description.
    I also like using the fat pack boxes of the set to put your decks in.

    I love having my original boxes for the older pre-cons though and I couldn’t see myself moving all those decks into the ultra pro boxes.

    Im currently using those long boxes that hold 12 decks. They’re great for putting a block of precons in (the older ones anyway) and long boxes that hold 10 decks for Lorwynn and Shadowmoore. Of course I dont have many blocks worth of precons (Only Masques and Invasion currently)

    That being said I would really like to have my decks in sleeves. For the longest time I didn’t really care because they were “just precons” but after I really started to collect them I wanted to protect them

    I wanted other people to experience these decks as well. From my experience the people that seem to want to try these decks are newer players. When your letting them use your decks you never know how they’ll treat your cards, so yeah what Im trying to say is that sleeves are good.

  5. Rottcodd
    Jun 26 2011

    Wow, I wish I had that much awesome space. Normally I just pull them out and stick them in binders. That looks way better though. Too bad the Commander decks are too small in their boxes, and too big with sleeves…

  6. sebastian
    Jun 26 2011

    wow. i thought i had issues 😛 just kidding I see you take good care of yore cards.

  7. Rdn
    Jun 26 2011

    Ravnica decks *o*

  8. Varo
    Jun 26 2011

    So… Much…Precons… o O

    Also: Ravnica decks!!!!!

  9. MiniLuv
    Jun 27 2011

    Glad to see that I’m not the only one who is particular when it comes to storing my decks!

    Like the above posters, when can we expect to see reviews of the Ravnica Block precons? I always looked forward to Izzet Gizometry and Golgari Deathcreep being reviewed since those two were the ones we played the most =]

    • Jul 5 2011

      Ravnica is definitely coming, and not too far ahead. We already hit DIssension, which we did prior to our informal policy now of reviewing sets in order within a block. They were definitely fun to do, and we’re really looking forward to a few of the others.

  10. Robert
    Jun 28 2011

    I really like your system, and it has inspired me. I think starting with M12 I will similarly keep the decks sleeved and sitting in the fat pack boxes.

    Beseiged was the first set I purchased all of the decks, and for New Phyrexia I simply assembled them out of singles; I have been storing them in the deck boxes that come in the fat packs, but I much prefer sleeves. That said, I will be using different colored sleeves for different decks.

    I commend your organization. It’s lovely. I am not anal.


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