Unlike previous years, the 2016 AEG Black Box has only one game and it is marketed towards advanced gamers only. Interesting. Well I have my hands on the Black Box now and the game is Phase!
It includes 306 cards (6 reference cards, 6 preconstructed decks and loose cards to build and upgrade decks with), a bunch of tokens, 150 sleeves and a rule book.
Phase is a CCG/ TCG (maybe LCG?) years in the making. It was announced way back in 2010 and it wasn’t released until now. I haven’t played the game yet but it has an intriguing mechanic where each card is double sided, one good and one evil. A big emphasis on this game seems to be deck building and finding game breaking combos. For me, deck building is my favorite part of most card games (including Magic: The Gathering) and I also just happen to love finding wonky combos and intricate synergies. In fact, AEG has a prize for those who can find these game breaking combos in Phase. The art on the cards is outstanding and the cards are tarot card size which is unusual. Another interesting thing about this game is instead of buying packs like in a CCG/ TCG to get the cards you want, you can make your own combination of cards (the good side and the evil side) and print it with Drive Thru Cards.
The game is for 2-5 players. I skimmed through the rulebook and watch this youtube video so I think I get the game. With four different modes on each card, the game could be complicated to keep track of. But the game in a nutshell is just recruiting strong warriors and playing pump spells or removal spells in combat to win influence tokens/ victory points. Combat is like Magic. Warriors have an attack and defense value and they trade blows. One twist is that only good warriors can block evil warriors and vice versa. You pay for most cards by phasing aka flipping between the two sides of cards in your resource pool.
I haven’t been this excited about a board game or card game in a long time so I have high hopes for Phase. I just have to convince some of my MTG friends to try a new card game.
2015 Panini Black Friday is probably my favorite set of the year nowadays (surpassing Allen & Ginter) and this is just a quick post on my pulls. This year I have 8 packs (it wasn’t cheap).
This year’s Black Friday cards are a lot like last year’s cards and I kind of wish they continued to innovate with this set but they still managed to fit in some quirky cards that feel special and perhaps exclusive to this set (eg both football hits). Also the Jung-Ho Kang 364/599 parallel is a nice addition to my PC and I think the JJ Watt card is a cracked ice, 12/25.
Still a thumbs up for me.
2014 Panini Black Friday has quickly become my favorite set, surpassing Topps Allen & Ginter (which I think has been getting a bit stale lately). Panini does a good job year after year to make these packs feel special. They have sort of an aura of exclusivity about them (since you can only get them on Black Friday) while still being obtainable (sort of an oxymoron I know). This year I have twelve 2014 Panini Black Friday packs. Here are all the cards I pulled.
I think I have a very strong haul this year. No autographs but I have 4 hits, a Aaron Gordon memorabilia card, Le’Veon Bell and Carlos Hyde Christmas themed memorabilia cards and my favorite by far, the Doug McDermott towel card. The Jadeveon Clowney card is 16/499, Arismendy Alcantara is 57/499 and Gregory Polanco is 178/499. As for the base cards, I was hoping to pull a Masahiro Tanaka card but in the end I did pull an interesting mix of players. The Yasiel Puig card by the way serve as sort of a filler card as it was an thick as a memorabilia card. Is this a parallel?
I picked up this box of 2013- 14 Panini NBA Hoops on Black Friday. Of course I got a couple of Panini Black Friday packs and did OK with them. Anyways if I am not mistaken, NBA Hoops is Panini’s basketball flagship set and there are a ton of cards per box so it is perfect for team collectors looking to add cards to their PC. Here is a small sample of cards I pulled.
As expected there are a ton of base cards with a bunch of parallels and inserts sprinkled in. I am probably most excited about pulling three different Tim Hardaway Jr rookie cards between this box and the Black Friday packs. It goes without saying the Knicks are one of the worst team in the NBA this year and Tim Hardaway Jr is one of the few bright spots. Of course he gets almost no playing time…
Oh I did some research and the Kobe’s All- Rookie Team inserts are appartently one of the chases of the set. If someone pulled a Tim Hardaway Jr Kobe’s All- Rookie Team insert I would be defintely interested in a trade. I also don’t think I pulled the one per box Artist’s Proof parallel. I went through the cards a couple times and didn’t see it but since all the parallels look alike it is remotely possible I keep missing it.
Each box has 3 hits, 2 autographs and 1 memorabilia card. I took a look at the autograph checklist and there are 200 signers in this set but if you take a closer look, there is actually a lot of filler for the lack of a better term. Here are my pulls.
A John Lucas III auto. To be honest, I actually had to google who he was and wow I can’t imagine too many John Lucas III fans out there looking for an auto of his.
My other auto is of Rory Sparrow. The name sounds familar but I had to Google who he was too. Needless to say Rory Sparrow had a much more accomplished career compared to John Lucas III (so far to give the benefit of the doubt). He is picture on the card as a Knick so he is going to my PC.
The last hit is Manu Ginobili jersey card which to be honest doesn’t really excite me too much. Actually overall my pulls have been lackluster for this box break other than the Anthony Bennett Kobe’s All- Rookie Team insert. Oh wells, you can’t win them all.
So my laptop decided to brick last week. The good news? It was Black Friday and I got a great deal on my new laptop. The bad news? I didn’t have as much to spend on three C’s, cards, comics and collectibles. : ( But I did pick up a couple of things on my want list while doing some Christmas shopping.
First off I picked up The X-COM Collection for only $9.99. I have watched several streamers on Twitch.tv play it and it seems to be a lot of fun. It was very high on my want list and when I saw the deal it was a no brainer. As I write this, The XCOM Collection is still only $9.99 on Amazon.
I was like might as well pick up this signed 8×10 photo of AJ Lee too.
A lot of the comic book stores in New York City had Black Friday sales and honestly that is where I spent most of my Black Friday. I have SOOO many comics on my to be read pile but I couldn’t resist to add a few more. One of those comics is Rocket Girl #1 signed by Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare. I haven’t gotten around to read it yet but I hear only good things about the it.
I am also a bit closer to completing my Heroclix Kick Ass 2 set.
Finally I did pick up a box of 2013-14 Panini NBA Hoops for four Panini Black Friday packs. This was actually my priority. I need to organize a couple of things and I will have a little box break and maybe a review of Panini NBA Hoops hopefully in a day or two.
I picked up a box of 2013-14 Panini NBA Hoops during Black Friday and I will have a box break of that probably next week. I really only got it so I can get my hands on some 2013 Panini Black Friday packs and I did managed to get four of them. Here are the cards I pulled.
I didn’t get any hits but I am very excited about the Tim Hardaway Jr, Matt Harvey, Notorious BIG, Snoop Dogg cards. The rappers card have QR codes on the back for exclusive videos. I haven’t check them out but I always thought it was a neat idea and I like to see it utilized more in future products.
2013 Panini Black Friday packs are always fun breaks and I look forward to them every year.
This year I was able to get three Panini Black Friday packs. I picked up a Panini Signature Series Baseball box to get them and I hope to have that box break in the next day or so.
Anyways to be honest, I haven’t been that excited about most of the collectible card products out the last few years (especially from Panini) but in my opinion Panini Black Friday packs has everything for a fun pack break. Monotony has been a problem for me in box breaks but that is not the case for these packs. It has a diverse base set from various sports, a number of inserts and a bunch exciting hits to crossed your fingers for. There are only 2 cards per pack but each card I pulled had a different design.
The Mike Trout rookie card is numbered 76/599. I would have been pretty happy with just that but that is only five or six cards. The last card is this.
That is a Robert Griffin III NFL Draft jersey card. Not bad I say.
All in all, Panini really succeeded in making these packs feel special and I think getting a couple of Panini Black Friday packs is going to be a Black Friday tradition for me.