The Good: Interesting premiums, Decent way to get the old set, Usually inexpensive enough
The Bad: Impossible to make a maser set from, Very little that is actually new
The Basics: For those who are just now getting into Young Jedi, start your collection with "Enhanced" "Menace Of Darth Maul," if you can find it cheap!
Young Jedi, one of Decipher's Star Wars CCG games - designed to promote The Phantom Menace - was barely around long enough for it to degenerate into repackaging itself to sell off the old stock. As a result, there were very few releases in the game that were re-released with minor incentives to try to help clear out Decipher's warehouses of the extra stock. No, "Young Jedi" flopped fast and hard.
One of the few products from Young Jedi that was recycled was "Menace Of Darth Maul," the very first set of Young Jedi cards. In addition to appearing initially in three different forms (Starter decks, Booster boxes, and collector's boxes), the product was part of a pathetically simple repack, called "Enhanced" "Menace Of Darth Maul" and later the packs would be stripped and the cards would be used in "Reflections." But as for "Enhanced" "Menace Of Darth Maul," this was a pretty weak repack and very few fans actually bought into it. But for those coming late to the game, this can offer some real value if it is found cheap!
The Enhanced set is comprised of only six cards. Yes, when Decipher repackages, it goes for cheap and easy. Indeed, the Enhanced "Menace Of Darth Maul" is a set made up of only six cards. It is all about the packaging, though. The six exclusive cards were found in what has come to be known as draft decks. This listing is for a box of the draft decks.
A draft deck of Enhanced "Menace Of Darth Maul" consisted of four booster packs of "Menace Of Darth Maul" (reviewed here!) and one of the six premium cards unique to the "Enhanced" set. The front of each draft deck clearly shows the premium card in the box and there are no surprises as a result. The box of draft decks comes with two of each draft deck, so each box has two complete Enhanced sets as well as forty-eight (not thirty, despite what the listing here says - and this product was ONLY released the one way!) factory-sealed "Menace Of Darth Maul" packs.
The Enhanced set is not playable right out of the box. Sadly enough, one would need to buy a starter deck (from any set) just to play the game. This is because the location cards were only in starter decks for the first three sets. As a result, no combination of booster packs or the six enhanced cards will net players the right cards needed to play the Young Jedi game.
Basically, though, "Menace Of Darth Maul" is a trading card game, so one assembles a deck and combats other players who have built decks to take control of a planet in the Star Wars universe. This is the happy medium between role playing and card games. Young Jedi, though, operated on a new mechanic unique to itself, one that was terrifically unpopular at the time and has become no more popular since. The result is that finding people to play with is virtually impossible, making the enduring playability of the game quite low.
As for the Enhanced set, the six cards alone are characters and as a result are not enough to play the game.
There are no rule changes in "Enhanced" "Menace Of Darth Maul." As well, there are no rulebooks. Again, one needs a starter deck to play this game and that does have a rulebook and it is quite clear. The six premium cards in this set are not subject to any different rules than they were when the game was first released.
The set of six Enhanced cards is remarkably simple, with three light side characters and three dark side characters. Fans of the series will be happy to see Qui-Gon Jinn, Amidala and Mace Windu are given premium status and those who like trying to defeat them will find it easier with the new Sebulba or Trade Federation Tank.
The highlight of the enhanced set has to be Darth Maul himself. P4 Darth Maul, Sith Assassin, can travel to any planet, has a power of 6 (which makes him rival to the most powerful Jedi) and a damage of 5. As well, he has a damage modifier when playing this particular Maul with "Darth Maul's Lightsaber." This makes the card especially wicked and well worth the effort of finding it! As well, the image of Maul with his double-sided lightsaber ignited is just a very cool shot!
Collectibility in this case is a real mixed bag. The six premium cards are easy enough to find, but there are so few collectors who are still collecting them that it makes it a pretty tough call to advise people to buy. This is another case where serious collectors end up with a lot of stuff they already have (from the packs of cards) just in order to get the new premiums.
That said, the new cards are of popular characters and items that make collectors want to keep getting them. The ideal here is actually people who are getting into the game now. I've found boxes of the Enhanced "Menace Of Darth Maul" for $7.00. At that price, it is hard not to get into buying them and sell off one of the Enhanced sets and the unopened packs for more than I paid initially! Despite the lack of popularity of the game, the Enhanced singles alone still sell and bring in decent amounts. This can be a good investment set.
Enhanced "Menace Of Darth Maul" is a real crapshoot, but there is enough value and the premium cards are powerful enough to recommend the boxes to those just getting into the game, if not those who already have the original release.
This set utilizes images from Star Wars The Phantom Menace reviewed here!
"Enhanced Menace Of Darth Maul" was squeezed in between "Battle Of Naboo" (reviewed here!) and "Duel Of The Fates" (reviewed here!).
For other card reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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