Playing Magic is most of the fun. However, a lot of players also have a sizeable financial investment in their cards. Playing with them unprotected can lead to damage and decrease their value over time.
Those who want the option of selling their collection down the road or even just trading cards they don’t want anymore should consider investing in sleeves.
Essentially all serious Magic players sleeve up their decks prior to playing to keep their cards safe.
However, sleeves can also be a fun way to express your personality and bling out your deck. There are tons of options out there to choose from.
Not all sleeves are created equally, though.
It can be challenging to sort out which sleeves are the best and which ones you should trust to protect your cards. Fortunately, here at Bolt the Bird, we know a thing or two about Magic. We’ve also tried out most of the sleeves on the market and know what goes into a good product.
That said, here are our top picks for the best MTG sleeves you can get today.
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Best All-Around MTG Sleeves: Dragon Shield Matte
When it comes to trading card sleeves, few brands have the name recognition of Dragon Shield. It has been producing top-notch sleeves for decades and continues to do so today.
Dragon Shield’s “Matte” lineup offers everything you could want in a card sleeve. They are extremely durable and will last years even with continuous use. You can also choose from a wide range of colors to match your deck or your personality.
Meanwhile, the matte sleeve back creates a tactile, non-slippery shuffle that most players prefer.
The only downside is that some of the lighter colors are a bit transparent if you’re playing double-faced cards.
Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with a pack of Dragon Shield Matte sleeves.
Best Inner Sleeves for MTG: KMC Card Barrier Perfect Size
When you’re playing with cards that each cost hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars, one sleeve might not be enough to put your mind at ease. That’s where double sleeving comes in.
By securing your card in a tight, clear sleeve and then putting it into a larger sleeve like the Dragon Shield Matte, you get twice the protection. Many people also like this strategy for cards they’ll need to mess with a lot, such as double-faced cards that need to be flipped.
KMC has been making perfect inner card sleeves for a while now. They fit snugly around your card, meaning you can still use any type of outer sleeve. The KMC Card Barrier also won’t slide around inside another sleeve.
They aren’t the cheapest inner sleeves on the market, but they are well worth the extra cost.
Best Budget Sleeves for MTG: TitanShield
TitanShield sleeves are ideal for players that don’t want to spend a lot of money to protect their cards. Buying cheap sleeves can be risky as most of them will split or wear easily.
TitanShield sleeves are unique in that they are both very durable and very affordable.
They come in packs of 150 and are still cheaper than packs from other brands. This gives you plenty of sleeves for protecting multiple 60-card decks or three full Commander decks if you buy two packs.
You’re probably wondering what the downside is.
TitanShield sleeves are quite durable, but don’t have the luxurious shuffle feel of something like a Dragon Shield Matte or Ultimate Guard Katana. They are also a bit bigger than other sleeves, meaning they can get dusty faster.
That said, if you’re on a budget and don’t care about how it feels to shuffle your deck, you can’t go wrong with these sleeves.
Best Custom Sleeves for MTG: Dragon Shield Custom Sleeves
There’s no better way to personalize your deck than with a custom set of sleeves. Dragon Shield recently opened its Sleeve Crafter program to everyone, allowing you to create fully customized sleeves.
You can upload your own images, text, and designs and they will be printed on the back of the sleeve.
If you don’t mind spending a few dollars extra, this is well worth it to get exactly what you want on your sleeves. It’s also a perfect gift for the MTG fan in your life.
Best for Shuffling Enthusiasts: Ultimate Guard Katana Sleeves
Back in the day, Ultimate Guard sleeves used to be a joke. A lot has changed over the years, mostly thanks to the new Katana line of sleeves.
Players now swear by this product as one of the best MTG card sleeves on the market. Like Dragon Shields, there are plenty of colors to choose from to match your deck. Meanwhile, they offer a fantastic shuffle feel and are durable enough to stand the test of time.
If Dragon Shield isn’t your style, you should definitely try out Ultimate Guard’s Katana sleeves as a great top-end pick.
Bolt the Bird’s Top Pick: Dragon Shield Matte Dual Sleeves
At the end of the day, we all have our favorite sleeves. Here at Bolt the Bird, that means Dragon Shield’s new Matte Dual sleeves. These are an upgrade over their already top-notch Matte sleeves.
These sleeves feature a colored, matte textured back as well as a black interior. This makes them completely opaque, which is perfect for sleeving up those dual-faced cards. Meanwhile, the black interior frames your black-bordered cards and makes the art pop.
Everything about these sleeves feels premium and you won’t regret picking them to protect your favorite decks.
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