Unless you need a lot of commons I'd suggest none of the above. You can spend your money on singles and get what you need/want a lot more effectively. If you're just into gambling I'd go with Dragon's Maze based on the card odds of pulling Voice or Ral, plus in general all of those cards are going to be in higher trade demand right now. Good luck.
I would go for the Return to Ravnica booster box as you get valuable cards like:
Also, cards that see quite a bit of standard play that are in RtR:
Yeah, its not so much that I need anything, I more enjoy the thrill. I was leaning towards RtR for planeswalkers, but I don't know. When RtR goes out of standard, does Dragon's Maze go as well?
actiontech is right on the money. It really depends on what you're trying to do and how much money you have. You're not guaranteed any of the cards you really want unless you order them specifically. But if you're just trying to break in to a set and build a collection of often times useless jank, then a box would be appropriate. Also, keep in mind that there is a minute chance of getting some super valuable foil in a box that might be difficult to come by otherwise. If the cards you want add up to less than the cost of a booster box, I'd just order them. Thats my take anyway.
Depends on what you're looking for. RTR has a lot of solid utility cards as ShimmerVoid has already mentioned that fall in that $3-5 range and a few high value cards as well. But if you want to play the guilds represented in Gatecrash, then that's the way to go. If you want more high value cards that are hot right now but a fair amount of redundancy, then the smaller Gatecrash set is for you. I've always loved getting boxes, both now and way back in the day when I was a poor student (and the internet was in it's infancy). If you are looking for a specific card, boxes are a bad way to go. Traditionally, unopened booster packs have higher value then the cards inside (on average this means that once you open the pack, what you have is now less valuable then what you started with). If you are looking to build a collection that allows more diversity or play styles and you have the cash then boxes are a great resource. I typically buy 2-3 boxes for each expansion, trade for specific builds, sell a little on eBay to recoup some $, and play as much as I can at a local shop to try to win extra packs. I highly recommend shopping around on eBay. I've found that's where the best deals are and look for a seller with a great reputation (feedback). Anyway, good luck. I love opening boxes, it's a nice treat.
I bought a Gatecrash and Dragon's Maze box. Both got me a few things I needed, but also things that I could trade with people. The Dragon's Maze box was awesome, I got a foil Voice of Resurgence and a regular one, but most boxes aren't nearly as good. I get them more for the commons/uncommons and for trades with people. Plus for the thrill.
And yes, RTR and DMG go out together, but not until Fall 2014. They'll be standard legal for more than a year yet.
P.S. If you're going to buy boxes on a regular basis, I highly recommend that you establish a relationship with a shop that sells boxes for a discounted price through eBay. Find a shop that sells through eBay and win an auction or "buy it now", then see whether that shop owner will sell to you direct at a similar price on a more continual basis. It's nice to have an established relationship and can help a lot in getting boxes for more limited releases.
I get mine through my local game store. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have them, but mine does a great deal on them. Usually I pay $110 total with tax for mine.
We have a shop here, but he's an idiot who screws people over all the time. For example, wanted to buy a couple of Cathedral of Wars, he was selling them for $5.50, WELL over the actual price. And I checked, it wasn't a promo. He will end up giving out cards to random people, or even better, last week FNM was supposed to start at 8. He and his new gf went to the back and didn't come out for an hour, making everyone pissed off.
As for the boxes. I found a mixed box on ebay with all three expansion in the block for $80 bucks. And some booster boxes of Dragon's Maze for only $90.
I know the kind of place you're talking about. The owner isn't very well organized and doesn't have a head for business. Its not long before people realize what a bad store it is and he goes out of business. I bet he and his gf were organizing boxes in the back. LOL.
if you are looking for money cards,
rtr and gatecrash are best for lands, which will retain their value the best over time. both have a handful of nice money cards
if you looking for short term investment money cards, dragons maze. voice and ral seem to be falling out of booster boxes like no tomorrow, in 6 booster boxes i have hit 6 voice's two of which are foil and 4 ral's, thankfully i have only hit one mazes end, the shock lands seem to be about one in 8 packs, based on the fact across the 6 boosters i have pulled 17 of them.
after seeing the pro tour stuff that i have seen, voice is going to spike in the next little while, being called the best card in the RTR block, by more than one person.
I only have seen two shock lands from about 80-90 packs in Dragon's Maze.
Is Maze's End bad? I've not even looked at that card yet.
It just forces you to play 5 colors and be pretty slow generally speaking. There are some cards that take advantage of gates, but generally speaking it's not very good or optimal.
I saw on coolstuffinc that they were having a sale on DM booster box for $84.99. Is it a good deal, or could I even find it cheaper than that?
best i can get them for is about 94+ shipping so, depending on their shipping cost, that is a great price.
Dragon's Maze is definitely the least expensive of the 3 and with a little patience you should be able to get them for $95 or less (including the shipping) on eBay. Also, be sure to buy factory sealed booster boxes.