One of the consistently most popular formats in Magic: the Gathering is commander (also known as EDH).
It’s a much more slow-paced style that you can enjoy with your friends. Hours of fun can be had when you sit around the table and flaunt your fine-tuned decks and over-powered commanders.
But unless you don’t care about the condition of your cards, you can’t just play without sleeves. Shuffling and handling bare cards can mar them, hugely dropping their resale value.
That’s why having good sleeves for your commander deck is critical. If you’re not sure what to get, we’ll show you what we feel are the best MTG sleeves for commander/EDH.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Various features to pay attention to
- Our selections for the best commander and EDH sleeves
- The up and downsides to each of the sleeves on our list
Let’s get started.
Features to Look Out For
Before we discuss features, it’s important to mention that Commander is a particular way of playing Magic: the Gathering. Generally speaking, sleeves that you could use in Commander could also be used for virtually any other format.
The features we’ll be discussing are therefore desirable for MTG cards overall. With that in mind, some qualities to pay attention to in sleeves are:
There are some strategies in Commander that will require you to shuffle your deck. A lot.
Frequent shuffling can really put strain on your average sleeve. Sides will split, corners will bend, edges will get crimped – the list goes on.
To counteract all these risks, you’ll want sleeves that are tough. The more reliable your sleeve, the more it can withstand intense handling and shuffling.
If you’re the kind of player that draws out their turns making long and crafty combos, it’s important to be able to quickly read what each card says.
Even if you take short turns, it’s crucial to be able to understand the text so you can respond to your opponents accordingly. So if the front of your sleeve is cloudy, you won’t necessarily be able to use each card appropriately.
Clarity is the solution to this issue. Sleeves with a high level of clarity make skimming the text of each card a breeze.
Commander decks are massive.
With 100 total cards per deck, getting sleeves for multiple commander decks can get pricey fast. Fans of this format therefore often look for sleeves that are especially reasonable in cost.
Our recommendation, however, is to not let price alone blind you. Although it’s important that you don’t break the bank sleeving every deck you have, it’s unwise to settle for less simply because it was cheaper.
In other words, make sure you balance price and other qualities when you choose your sleeves.
Chances are, you’re going to have to shuffle your deck when you’re playing a lot of EDH.
And one of the most irritating things about shuffling a deck is when the cards are too slick. When you try to shuffle with slippery sleeves, your cards often go flying everywhere.
What’s the answer to this dilemma? Sleeves with non-slip texture.
Many high-end sleeves are designed so their material is easy to grip. This means shuffling is a dream rather than a major inconvenience.
Best MTG Sleeves for Commander/EDH
Pretty much any list of quality sleeves would be incomplete without mentioning Dragon Shield. These sleeves are amazingly strong and they won’t slip when you shuffle them, even if they’re fresh out of the box.
- Long-lasting, so you won’t need to buy new ones too often.
- The box has a label on top and you can use it to store approximately 75 sleeved cards
- Won’t slide around when you shuffle them.
- Available in a huge array of color options to suit any preference.
- More costly than most other options
- The thick material makes the deck a bit thicker, so you might need a deck box with more room.
Perhaps the greatest thing about Ultra Pro sleeves is how cost-efficient they are. But even though they’re cheap, you can expect them to have a higher level of clarity and to last you for awhile.
- Very affordable, so even if you need to replace them, it won’t cost you much.
- Super clear faces makes reading cards quick and painless.
- Seams are prone to splitting with vigorous shuffling
- They can be a little slick, so you might need to handle them with care to avoid dropping cards.
If you’re a fan of Ultra Pro and want something a little more heavy-duty, these Pro-Matte Eclipse sleeves could be just the ticket for you. They’re specifically designed for professional-level playing and effortless shuffling.
- Their non-slip texture results in an easy shuffle every time.
- Glare-reducing fronts mean bright lights won’t make it hard for you to read each card.
- Highly affordable
- The backs of the sleeves aren’t see-through, so they’re suitable for play in a tournament.
- Fitted enough to be suitable for double-sleeving when you want to provide extra protection for your cards
- The glare reduction on the front of the sleeves can limit the shine of your foil cards.
TitanShield proudly states that these sleeves are great for tournament-level use. Because they’re 40% thicker than the average sleeve, they don’t bend or split easily even after frequent shuffling.
- Since they’re 40% thicker, you can expect these sleeves not to bend or rip soon.
- PVC/Acid-free to keep cards stored in them long-term in tip-top shape
- The fronts are crystal-clear so you can easily read all text.
- Non-slip surface to keep you from dropping your cards every time you need to shuffle.
- The increased thickness makes your decks bigger, and you may need to use wider deck boxes as a result.
On top of helping make shuffling simpler, Apollo’s sleeves strive to ensure each card stays gorgeous and vivid for as long possible. Their card sleeves work to help reduce the buildup of oils that would otherwise damage your cards over time.
- Scratch and bend resistant to reduce folds that would interfere with a smooth shuffle.
- Acid/PVC-free so that you won’t need to worry about oils and acids lowering the quality of your cards.
- Cards won’t slip out of these sleeves because of their precise size.
- Bulk packaging allows you cheaply protect multiple decks at a time.
- The edges can catch on each other occasionally during shuffling.
- Not necessarily recommended for rough shufflers, as they can split after extended heavy-duty use.
We chose the sleeves on this list because we believe their quality. Typically, when it comes to picking sleeves that are really the cream of the drop, however, Dragon Shield is the go-to brand for most Magic aficionados.
Dragon Shield sleeves tend to run on the expensive side, though, and Commander is a format that requires you to buy many sleeves. Consequently, when you combine affordability and durability, you’ll get the best deal with the TitanShield sleeves for EDH.
For starters, they’re budget-friendly, so you could bulk up on them to cover multiple decks. Beyond that, they’re long-lasting and amazingly clear on the front.