Best sleeves to use?

General forum

Posted on Jan. 14, 2012, 9:30 a.m. by RockerRyan

I've seen some people have slightly larger clear sleeves over their normal sleeves. Does anyone know what those are called? Secondly, does anyone know of a high quality sleeve that tends not to split or bend improperly at the corners?

RockerRyan says... #2

Oh and I'm talking about Magic cards, not shirts. lol

January 14, 2012 9:33 a.m.

KorApprentice says... #3

Oh, so there isn't a shirt with slightly larger clear sleeves? I was going to buy it...

January 14, 2012 11:28 a.m.

Spoofed says... #4

I recently got myself some Dragon Shield sleeves and they are amazing. Another one I hear people talk about it the Japanese Brand.

The larger clear sleeves you see people use are probably just penny sleeves.

January 14, 2012 11:38 a.m.

aloehart199 says... #5

yeah penny sleeves are the clear ones. $1 for 100 at any walmart.

The best sleeves (in my opinion) are ultra pro solid color opaque sleeves. The back side (and front depending on the kind you choose) have a sort of rough feel to them which greatly reduces the friction between cards. It makes it incredibly easy to shuffle quickly and draw without cards sticking together.

The downside is they have the worst new sleeve feel of any I've tried. Breathe wrong the first few games you play with them and your deck will fly across the room (exaggeration of course but it doesn't take much to knock a deck over).

They are also pretty cheap. depending on where you buy them you can find them between $2.50-$4 per pack of 50.

I haven't had the opportunity to try dragon sleeves though. I've heard good things but most of the good things are followed by something about the price lol.

January 14, 2012 1:03 p.m.

bman5604 says... #6

dragon shields last forever

January 14, 2012 1:35 p.m.

mafteechr says... #7

KMC perfect size sleeves are like penny sleeves, but are higher quality and are usually used inside other sleeves.

As for general sleeves, I use KMC matte sleeves. Either those or Ultra Pro matte.

January 14, 2012 2:06 p.m.

713K_4_13055 says... #8

I got Dragon Shield sleeves for my first deck (about 2 years ago) and a few months back I started noticing that the front (clear) face was starting to peel away from the colored back. I've used the deck a lot, so it might be over-use, but they most certainly do not last forever. By contrast, I have some UltraPro sleeves that I got a bit after the Dragon Shield, and they're still fine. I'd go with UltraPro if you intend on not wanting to replace sleeves after a year or so of use.

January 14, 2012 2:11 p.m.

Tian says... #9

yeah dragon shields are awesome

January 14, 2012 2:13 p.m.

bman5604 says... #10

excuse me last longer then all the other ones.

January 14, 2012 2:20 p.m.

Tian says... #11

Yeah, my first sleeves were Ultra Pro, and after only about a week like 5 of them had the clear front peeling away from the back. Dragon Shields ftw man

January 14, 2012 2:42 p.m.

aloehart199 says... #12

Best depends on what your looking for really.

I like ultrapro because they feel the best for the price. I pick my sleeves based on look and how easy they are to shuffle. The japanese sleeves people are talking about are smooth on both sides and stick together when trying to shuffle or draw which can lead to problems.

Ultra pro sleeves slide smoothly along each otherwith little to no friction. Meaning they shuffle easily.The opaque sleeves look just as good as any other with a slew of colors to choose from.

Now if you are talking about sleeves with designs on them, ultra pro has the best licensed designs. Max protection has the best sleeve with the largest design variety.

If your looking for lifespan (im not concerned with it since sleeves are gonna last a few months at least and an average of $3 a month is cheap in my opinion if you replace sleeves frequently.) then you'd wanna go with japanese sleeves. They are extremely strong and long lasting.

January 14, 2012 2:58 p.m.

Tian says... #13

Oh yeah, and my Ultra Pro sleeves weren't completely opaque, so I had to use the flip-card proxies instead of the actual ones. :/

January 14, 2012 3:18 p.m.

RockerRyan says... #14

Ultra Pro has two types of sleeves. The 'rougher' sleeves have the holographic more to the right, where as the "better" Ultra Pros have the logo on the left hand side of the sleeve. The latter shuffle much easier and bend at the corners less often. I just wish I knew the name of this classification of sleeve. It's a bit glossier than the majority of Ultra Pro sleeves I've found.

January 14, 2012 3:28 p.m.

I use four different brands:

Dragon Shields - These things are indestructible. I use them on one of my EDH decks and they used to be on one of my 60-card decks and they've survived all the shuffling with no threat of failure. Where I live, you can buy a 100-sleeve box (which actually includes a few extra, so around 104-105) for $10. However, they are a bit heavier/thicker than other sleeves (for good reason). This may make it more difficult to shuffle.

UltraPro - I use UP sleeves on most of my 60-card decks, and so far I haven't had a problem with them. They're light and flexible enough to survive some heavy play, but I know that some people have had them break after some hard riffle-shuffles and mash-shuffles. Near me, 50-packs of these are around $3-$5 depending on the store. UltraPro was also licensed by WotC to produce official Magic sleeves, deck boxes, binders, and other materials. These branded sleeves are sold in 80-packs, and are of decent quality. I've never particularly cared for them, since they seem to be difficult to shuffle (they feel sticky due to the interaction between the backing and clear front when sliding past each other).

KMC - A Japanese brand sleeve that I used to use on my Standard deck. KMCs are high-quality and available in a number of different finish styles including Metallic, Super, and Mat. They fit and shuffle well. Be warned, they slide like water when you first use them; I remember half of my deck slipping onto the table the first time I shuffled these. After that, though, they're fine. KMC also makes a series called Metal Rose, which I've never tried. I can get $80-packs of these for $8ish.

Fantasy Flight - I really like these sleeves. They have a matte finish and shuffle well. I use a set of these on my Terrageddon deck, which sometimes needs to shuffle multiple times per turn with the land-fetching, and they have held up. The only problem I've noticed is that they fray on the edges, but this hasn't endangered the structural qualities of the sleeve. It's mostly the edges of the two halves coming apart outside of the bond line. I find these for $3-4 per 50-pack.

Additionally, there are the cheap, clear "penny sleeves," named for their $1 per 100-pack price. I don't use these to sleeve decks, since they're prone to sliding around on the card and don't offer much protection. However, I see a lot of people double-sleeve their cards. They put a penny sleeve on the card upside-down, then sleeve that as they would a normal card. I would only advise the UltraPro penny sleeves (they cost the same), since they are of better quality. Knock-off brands tend to stick more and squeak while shuffling, making it difficult to use them fluidly.

January 14, 2012 3:51 p.m.

The bending at the corners is something you'll have to accept with sleeves. It's going to happen with any sleeve you use.

As for splitting, I have had a few UltraPro sleeves split, but that was mostly due to the shuffling method I used.

January 14, 2012 4:36 p.m.

zandl says... #17

I've been using the same silver Dragon Shield sleeves on my various FNM decks for a year and a half and, aside from the occasional crud that accumulates on the back-sides, they're like-new. Of course, it's really easy to keep your sleeves clean by using a play-mat. I'm just lazy and don't feel like dropping $18 on a giant mouse-pad.

I've never had any of my Dragon Shields split. The guy who said all of his did must've purchased a bad batch.

I've had to throw away a few simply due to the corners being too bent for tournament play, but that's just something you can't avoid with any brand or type of sleeve.

January 14, 2012 5:49 p.m.

rckclimber777 says... #18

I use mainly ultra pro sleeves. They also recently released new card sized sleeves which are little smaller and fit the cards better. Keeps the cards in place and easier to shuffle, they run between $7-8 though. I personally like the mtg official sleeves also released by Ultra pro and I haven't found too much difficulty in shuffling though that may be due to my form of bridge shuffling. The normal ultra pro sleeves I have TONS of and normally do ok with them, but they do occasionally have slightly varying sizes so if you use a brand new pack of sleeves with an older pack of sleeves its possible that a few or your cards will be in noticeably smaller sleeves. That gets annoying.

January 14, 2012 8:20 p.m.

shamanicgreen says... #19

I've had KMC "Super" sleeves for awhile now, and I've been very satisfied with them. I've also heard good things about Dragonshield sleeves. I would not reccomend Ultra Pro sleeves I bought them at first, and they seem to split, tear and break constantly.

January 15, 2012 2:47 a.m.

Cole00007 says... #20

i use ultra pro pro matte and am interested to see if dragon shield is betterone thing that i don't like about the pro mattes is it seems in the green and the orange you can see through them...the blue is my favorite and i cant see through those but still..plan to try dragon shield

January 5, 2013 2:26 p.m.

Valentine35 says... #21

i also use dragon shields but don't buy the white ones lol they get dirty, then people at tournaments yell at you for having a black dirt spot on the back of your cards and say that your playing with marked cards...ah such fond memories.

January 7, 2013 5:34 a.m.

richlaw84 says... #22

so im in the same situation. im looking to get some zombie design sleeves for my zombie control deck which consist of mostly rares and mystic rares with some uncommons. the only commons are lands. im looking for sleeves that shuffle nicely,dont wear easily,and of course protect my cards for a good while. Im on ebay now and they have a wide selection but the zombie one i wanted originally is sold. where some good sites to get them at a reasonable price and are the pro fit better than regular?

March 31, 2013 3:08 a.m.

zandl says... #23

The company that made Dragon Shields went out of business (or into limbo, or something of that nature). They began making them again, but they just aren't the same. I've purchased multiple boxes of different colors, and I've had multiple sleeves from each box split within 24 hours of use. With the old Dragon Shields, I've maybe had 2 sleeves split ever.

April 1, 2013 2:58 a.m.

Kazazz says... #24

My personal favorite are Ultra Pro with the opaque back. As long as you don't try to rip them apart, they're good. I think they coat them in butter at the factory, but after a few games they stop sliding around.

April 1, 2013 12:42 p.m.

I use legion sleeves they work well for me they shuffle enough and have nice art too

April 5, 2013 5:36 p.m.

the3rdH0kage says... #26

I have some of the MtG sleeves that Ultrapro made on my Standard 60 card deck. They are pretty good the sides are wearing a bit but they find use almost daily. Then I have regular Ultrapro sleeves on my EDH, they work pretty well but 2 or 3 have split down the sides. and my Yugioh deck is double sleeved in ultrapro sleeves. Where yugioh cards are smaller you can put them in the small sized sleeves then put those in regular sleeves. Same with my Vanguard deck.

April 5, 2013 9:19 p.m.

chipotle69 says... #27

i used an offbrand sleeve, they were the artist series or somthing and they were my favorite. they shuffled well and lasted a decent year

August 7, 2013 10:51 p.m.

yungxak says... #28

I adore rounded corner sleeves by Remove From Game.

August 8, 2013 12:03 a.m.

Cyber Locc says... #29

I like ultra pros dragon shields are stronger but I don't like sleeves that are stick i like the matte ones. I also have never had an ultra pro break guess it depends how rough you are

August 8, 2013 2:33 p.m.

Barandis says... #30

My biggest problem with sleeves is just the general dirtiness they gather over time, just from being handled (I shuffle my decks a lot) and unfortunately I've not yet come up with a self-cleaning sleeve. So the indestructibility of Dragon Shields isn't as appealing to me as it might otherwise be. This is also the reason I got away from using full-art sleeves, since the cost wasn't worth it given I'd be replacing them soon anyway.

I prefer using Ultra Pros, but only the matte kind. aloehart199 talked about how slippery UP's are when they're new, but this doesn't seem to be a problem with the matte sleeves. They also seem to last longer without a degradation in shuffling ability. Maybe it's just because they're not as slick to start off with.

I modified my shuffling to make sure that the open corners never ran into each other, and this solved the problems that I would occasionally have with splitting. I carry extra sleeves in my deck box, but I haven't had to use them in a while.

August 8, 2013 3:08 p.m.

LeaPlath says... #31

I double sleeve all my eternal format decks.

Dragon Sleeves last forever and ever, but they do tend to show, slight bending or marks, so I use them for EDH, no constructed.

Ultra Pro Matt are brilliant when double sleeved. You can get a few tournaments out of a deck that is double sleeved like that before having to replace them and they shuffle great.

But really, if you do FNM you wanna be replacing Ultra Pro sleeves every few months or for more competitive, every other tournament.

August 8, 2013 3:59 p.m.

rwobsession says... #32

I've never used Dragon Shields, but I have used a variety of Ultra Pros and always had a sleeve split from every use. Ultra Pro sleeves are ok for an EDH deck that won't be together for long or for draft, but for a deck that will be together for a long time I wouldn't use them.

I personally love the KMC Japanese brand because of the positive experience that I had. Never had one split on me and I love the metallic shimmer of the red sleeves that I had. They are crazy slippery when you first use them and you may or may not lose your deck to the floor on your first game, but after a while they stay together pretty well. Otherwise, the only drawback is the price, but I guess you get what you pay for.

November 5, 2013 11:01 a.m.

t321livewire says... #33

dragon shield are my favorites. i have tried ultra pro and it just feels gross once your used to dragon sleeves. also i have noticed if you get ones with cool art on the back they end up sticking together more and make it harder to shuffle.

November 5, 2013 11:30 a.m.

zandl says... #34

I bought a box of brown Dragon Shield sleeves a couple months ago and they're still like-new. I would recommend that brand over any other.

The price is $10 for 100 sleeves, but they last forever and you don't have to worry about splitting or buying more anytime soon.

November 5, 2013 12:13 p.m.

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