Card Sleeves and Protectors Discussion

  • #1
    I normally use KMC card sleeves (the Japanese ones), the primary reason being that they are longer than most other sleeves, which mean the top edges of my cards don't get damaged as easily.

    Getting KMC sleeves in England has proved to be impossible, and I am not desperate enough to pay $8.00 to ship a couple of packs into the country. And so I find myself forced to switch to a different brand.

    I'm currently looking at Dragonshield, Rook and Ultra-Pro.

    I've heard that Dragonshield sleeves are longer than regular cards as well. Is this true? What colours are available? How easily do they damage?

    Rook claims to have the toughest card sleeves on the market. This is attractive, but the fact that they package sleeves in packs of 30 (!) is not. How are the sleeves for length?

    Ultra-Pro has gotten better in terms of selection, I would have to say. I remember way back when red sleeves were their latest release. (Yes, I've been playing for a long time). Has sleeve quality also gone up? My biggest complaint is that they split far too easily, and sleeve length tends to be inconsistent.

    EDIT: Corrected multiple spelling and grammatical errors. Need more sleep.
    Last edited by Hvirfilvindr: 5/13/2005 11:22:19 AM
  • #2
    http://www.pojo.com/magic/Featured%20Writers/DragonsDen/012902.html
    Pretty good review of sleeves IMO. And I agree with him that Ultra-Pro sucks and Dragon Shields rock Smile
  • #3
    i've been using ultraPro for a little over a year now. I have everything from their basic black to the metallics and the brand new artist designs.

    In my experiences the basic 'non-metallic' seem to hold up WAY better than the metallic. (also for the record the metallic are hardly worth the milk jugs they were recycled from). The new Artist ones also hold up REALLY well (the seams are seriously deisel) but for some reason the corners seem to bend. But at least they all bend equally so you aren't marking your cards...

    Hope this helps...


    EDIT - reading that posted article Ultra Pro boxes will hold a 65 card deck and 15 card sideboard atleast. I know i've gotten 81 sleeved cards in their boxes with a little room to spare...
    The article says the boxes won't hold a SB, but then this article is from 2001 and lot can happen in 5 years...
    Lastly i've never ever had a problem with UP 'dimpling' as he calls it...
    Last edited by Onikani: 5/13/2005 11:35:06 AM
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  • #4
    I am a big fan of Dragon Shields. I shuffle cards very heavily and break lesser sleeves. Dragon Shields don't break when I or someone else shuffles them at PTQs and GPs. They come is boxes of 100 and cost around $8-$11 a box (US Dollars.)

    They are longer than cards, enough so that the card should never stick out. They take hard shuffling well, the only damage they frequently get is some splitting down the seams on the sides. Only large splits are even noticeable, though. Also, especially on the lighter colors, pieces of dirt that accumulate can start to stand out, but I'm sure this is true of every kind of sleeve on the market.

    I like Purple and Fusion personally. You'll probably want to avoid Clear because the backs of cards could be marked, and Whites because dirt will catch and stick to them more visibly than any other color.

    The only thing I know about Rook is that nobody buys thier sleeves because they come in bags of 30 and are expensive. On a positive note, they make yellow sleeves.

    I break Ultra-Pros and KMCs every time I use them. And if I don't break them, opponents at high level events do.

    I hope my ramblings have helped. Good luck.
  • #5
    From the articles I've read, it seems that Ultra-Pro is definitely a no-go. That leaves me with either Dragonshield, which has received favourable ratings so far, and Rook, which are expensive.

    Has anyone actually used Rook sleeves before? Are they longer than regular cards? The strongest selling point right now is this. I only wish they sold 100 ct. packs instead.

    EDIT: Another entry! Max Protection sleeves look like they might be an acceptable compromise. Anyone use those?
    Last edited by Hvirfilvindr: 5/13/2005 11:54:49 AM
  • #6
    Along the same lines, I've just been informed that ultra-pro picture sleeves are not allowed in competitive play???

    could anybody confirm or refute that . . .

    thanks
  • #7
    This would be the first time I've heard of sleeves with artwork on the reverse being banned from tournament play. The only two types of sleeves I know that are discouraged from being used in tournament play are Ultra-Pro's metallic sleeves (specifically gold and silver) and those with holographic images on the entire front of the card sleeve, like these.
  • #8
    Odd...I've been using Ultra-Pro thin clear sleeves and haven't had any problems with breaking or different sizes. Although I could see how they could be considered marked after some wear. I've been using some Ultra-Pro silver backed sleeves, and the only real problem with them is that they're fairly annoying/hard to shuffle.
  • #9
    Quote from Hvirfilvindr »
    This would be the first time I've heard of sleeves with artwork on the reverse being banned from tournament play. The only two types of sleeves I know that are discouraged from being used in tournament play are Ultra-Pro's metallic sleeves (specifically gold and silver) and those with holographic images on the entire front of the card sleeve, like these.
    I've heard about it before from several places. From what I understand it's because with all the intricate design on the back it's easier to mark them.

    Also, I've been using UltraPro sleeves since they debuted on the market 10 or so years ago and I've never had too much problem with them. Sure they may rip every now and then but that's usually from rough shuffling and getting the corner of one sleeve inserted inside another and then rifled back together.
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  • #10
    Dragon Shields are the best. Ultra Pro's matte sleeves are fine, but the metallic ones should be avoided for their high reflectiveness. They are forbidden in tournaments almost universally. The art-backed sleeves are forbidden by some judges and TOs and allowed by others. We don't allow them here, since they're way too easy to mark or have marked out of the box. Events in your area may allow them, but my advice would be to avoid them and stick to Dragon Shields.

    I tried Max Protection sleeves and was not impressed.

    My TO told me yesterday that Rook is no longer in the sleeve business. Considering they made the monumentally stupid decision to sell sleeves in packs of 30, this is not surprising.
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  • #11
    I can't say I've tried tons of different sleeves, but of the ones I have tried I too say Dragon Shields are by far the most durable.

    One other selling point DS's is that they sit flat: If you sleeve your deck with them, you can actually set the deck on a table without the top cards sliding off - that's embarrassing :slant:
  • #12
    Quote from Azerbaijan »
    One other selling point DS's is that they sit flat: If you sleeve your deck with them, you can actually set the deck on a table without the top cards sliding off - that's embarrassing :slant:


    That's HUGE! Another one of my pet peeves is when new sleeves cause the cards to slide all over the place.

    It looks like I'm going to be getting Dragon Shields, then. It's a shame that RED Dragon Shields aren't available in England, though.
  • #13
    I've had my Ultra-Pro sleeves for a good two or three years now. Sometimes the top corner of the sleeve will split up I've never noticed damage to the tops of my cards.
  • #14
    I use the KMC sleeves, to be specific, the purple, orange and white ones. They dont break for me and dont damage my cards. I love them lol. I want to try some ultrapro though.
    :guns: :badger: :rocket:
  • #15
    My opinion also leads towards Dragon Shields if you cannot use most of the Japanese-brand sleeves. Personally, I avoid Blue, Silver, and White (I've heard or had issues with them breaking easily) and go for Gold, Black, and Purple (heard more good things about)
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  • #16
    I'd have to strongly recommend AGAINST rook sleeves, they're a thick plastic that doesnt tear, but they're flimsy and get dents and bends that will mark them much too easily. They're also hard to shuffle because they're slippery and sticky at the same time like rubber.

    I usually use dragonshield and while no sleeve is perfect (i've opened packs with dents and scratches) since they come in packs of 100 you can usually just throw out the 3 or 4 bad sleeves. Dragonshields do slide at first but they "break in" so to speak and become great after about 10 or so games.

    I've never really understood the problem with the picture sleeves, the judge at states (where i was told not to buy said sleeves) said its cuz you could flip your lands upside down and tell them that way which is silly cuz normal magic cards have assymetrical back art.
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  • #17
    So... what you guys are essentially saying is to go for either European or Asian sleeves, and to avoid American-made ones? Gotcha! Smileup

    Wink
  • #18
    but one brand of sleeves that I have yet to hear mentioned in the Player's Choice sleeves. I believe they're an American company, but they claim to use the finest plastic from Japan to make their sleeves. These sleeves leave sufficient room at the top so that dust doesn't get in, and even if it does, it's easy to remove. Also, the sleeves are very tight, so the cards won't be able to slip out, like with other sleeves. I personally have had the silver and green ones for about 2 years now, and they're holding up great. Another advantage is that they come in packs of 60, so even if you have a sideboard, you just have to replace the card in the sleeve. They cost about $6 Canadian, and you can look up a list of retailers on their website at www.aplayerschoice.com.

    My 2 cents

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  • #19
    How are Player's Choice sleeves, lengthwise? How much space is there between the top edge of the card, and the top edge of the sleeve? Do you have photos?
  • #20
    but my scanner is down right now...i'll try to get them up by tommorow at the latest...looking right now, it's about 2-3mm
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  • #24
    I've been looking around for a while, and I just can't find good card sleeves anywhere. Ultra Pro suck after 1 tournament. Dragon Shields sometimes come warped. And some of these japanese brands are incredibly unreliable. I was thinking of trying out Safe-t-guard. Do you guys have any reccommendations?

    Thanks
  • #25
    well dragon sheilds are in my opion the best if u are looking for quality brand plastics, like i have had some plastics for like 2 years and still playable and have never broke a singel packet.
    but i am also a fan of ultra pro even though i hardly play with them as we pretty much only have dragon shields in town, there is of course those art bakced plastics but i hate them.
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  • #26
    You found the right forum. Props.

    Anyway there is already a thread on sleeves, actully multiple, but the latest to my knowledge is:

    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=10050
  • #27
    hi, can someone tell me what the best brands of sleeves are.

    Thanks

    ps. I want some really strong ones
  • #28
    the one with the dragon at the back i think is the far better sleeves (stay away from chromes)
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