Perhaps one of the best ways to ensure everyone at the table is on an even playing field in Magic: the Gathering is to play a cube.
The randomness of having to put together a deck on the fly can lead to crazy results. It can be a real blast with the right cube put together.
But if you’re the person who made the cube, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone handling your cards. Putting sleeves on the cards in a cube will give you the peace of mind to play without worrying about damage to your personal collection.
We’ve written this guide to help you find the best MTG sleeves for cubes.
We’ll be discussing:
- Features to consider for sleeves used in a cube
- Our picks for the best MTG sleeves for cubes
- What makes these picks worth your consideration
Let’s dive right in.
Features to Consider
With cubes, you’ll need to sleeve a lot of cards and multiple people will be handling those cards.
That being said, some factors worth consideration for cubes are:
Since you’ll have to purchase a lot of sleeves, it’s more practical if the sleeves you use aren’t too expensive.
Normally, it’s a wise idea to not make price your top priority so you don’t lose sight of your other needs. However, with cubes, it makes perfect sense to put price higher up on your list.
Basically, you’ll have to buy sleeves in bulk. You wouldn’t want this to cost you an arm and a leg.
You’ll likely have several different people shuffling, sifting through, and handling your cards when you draft a cube.
Unless you know that they’ll all shuffle your cards with the utmost care, it’s good to plan for rougher handling by using especially durable sleeves. That way, as cards get passed around the table, you won’t have to worry about sides tearing or corners bending.
Some sleeves are murkier than others.
Of course, if you’re just putting a card in a sleeve to store it, that doesn’t really matter. On the contrary, if you have your cards sleeved and are actively playing them, it’s imperative that you can read them.
No one wants to sit around and wait while someone squints at a card on their turn. Sleeves with high-clarity faces eliminate this issue entirely.
Best MTG Sleeves for Cubes
With these TitanShield sleeves, you’re getting a pretty good deal. On top of getting 150 of them in each pack, they can maintain their quality after heavy use.
- Affordability: 150 cards per pack for a modest price means you can stock up on these sleeves even if you’re on a tight budget.
- High-level Clarity: You’ll never have to struggle to read the text on your cards.
- Reinforced Edges: The edges can withstand long hours of play without ripping.
- PVC/Acid-Free: Since these sleeves aren’t made with PVC or acid, you won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals lowering the resale value of your cards.
- Thicker Construction: TitanShield sleeves are 40% thicker than competitor sleeves, which helps protect your cards from scratches and spills.
- Increased Card Bulk: While a thicker sleeve is better at deflecting scratches and dirt, they also make your cards bulkier. You will need more storage room for your cards.
Apollo’s sleeves are a dream for frugal players. You’ll get 300 card sleeves in this bundle, with each one designed to safeguard the value of your cards in the long run.
- Inexpensive: Getting 300 sleeves in one box is a steal. These practically already come in bulk, so you won’t need to order too many of these bundles.
- Acid/PVC-Free: You safely use these sleeves for long-term storage, as they’re not made from chemicals harmful to card integrity.
- Precise Fit: With a snug fit, your cards will safely stay inside the sleeve as they’re passed around the table. It also keeps the size of the draft deck slim, so players won’t have a difficult time shuffling.
- High Transparency: The fronts of the sleeves are extremely transparent, so each card is clearly legible.
- Transparent Backs: If the backs of your cards are different from each other, these sleeves may not be the best choice. Because the back sides are clear, you will also see the back of your card and any variations on it.
- Catching Edges: The edges of the sleeves can get caught on each other while shuffling, so you may need to shuffle more carefully.
As one of the biggest names in budget sleeves, it makes sense that Ultra Pro would appear on this list. Those looking to stock up on hundreds of sleeves should look no further – you can get tons of Ultra Pro sleeves with super clear fronts.
- Low Cost: Like other Ultra Pro sleeves, these are incredibly affordable. You won’t need to spend much to buy them in bulk.
- Super Clear: With exceedingly clear fronts, no one will have difficulty reading the cards.
- Acid/PVC-Free: Keeps the cards from being yellowed gradually by acids.
- Slippery Handling: When you first take these sleeves out of the package, they’re pretty slick. You’ll have to shuffle carefully.
- Lower Durability: Rough shuffling can cause the sides to split.
Just like with Ultra Pro’s offerings, these BCW sleeves are amazingly inexpensive. They also already come in bulk, so you’ll have hundreds of sleeves with extra-strong seams from the get-go.
- Bulk Packaging: With this deal, you get a 1,000 sleeves at once. You won’t need to order multiple times to get enough.
- Acid-free: There are no harmful acids that could damage your cards in these sleeves, so you can safely store your cards indefinitely in them.
- Strong Seams: Designed with stronger seams so your cards won’t be exposed after just a few uses.
- Slick Backs: With a slippery texture, shuffling may be a little more difficult at first using these sleeves.
- Lower Durability: These may not stand up to rough use as well as other options, and you may need to replace them.
- Color Variety: You’ll get 1,000 sleeves in 10 different colors. While these colors are nice for multiple decks, you may want a uniform color for a cube, unless you’re playing really casually.
What Ryker excels at is making extremely tough sleeves without sacrificing affordability. You can expect these to stand up to the roughest card handlers at your table.
- Five Times More Durable: The edges are designed to be tear resistant, so your cards will be protected from rough mash shuffling.
- Completely Opaque Back: With the backs being perfectly opaque, players won’t see any markings on the backs of the cards.
- Budget-Friendly: With 150 sleeves per pack, you get 50% more than the standard pack. You won’t need to break the bank stocking up on these.
- PVC/Acid-Free: Without damaging acids, your cards will be safe for long-term storage with these sleeves.
- Slippery Handling: Many customers have reported that these sleeves are little slippery, which may make shuffling with them difficult the first few times.
Since cubes require a mass amount of cards to be sleeved, it’s a format that needs sleeves which give you the most bang for your buck. Although the sleeves on this list were picked specifically because they were affordable, we’d recommend giving the TitanShield Sleeves a try.
This is because they’re tough and their high level of clarity renders each card perfectly legible. You’d also be getting 150 of these high-quality sleeves in each pack rather than the usual 100.