Many of the most valuable Magic: the Gathering cards are foils. And even if they’re not so valuable, foils usually look gorgeous enough to want to show off to your friends.
Because they’re rarer, you probably want to make sure they’re kept in the best condition. This is especially the case if you plan on displaying or selling them.
Which sleeves are best for protecting them? Read on, and we’ll uncover the best MTG sleeves for foils.
We’ll go over:
- Which qualities you should be on the lookout for
- Our selections for the best sleeves for foils
- The benefits and drawbacks to each sleeve on our list
Table of Contents
Features to Consider
Foils are particularly prized cards, but their holographic faces make them extra vulnerable. Worse yet, if you accidentally scratch one, the mark is much more visible than on a regular card.
Therefore, you’ll want sleeves that combine durability and clarity so you can safely play with or show off the card.
These are some features you should keep in mind as you search:
- Glare reduction
Foils are unmistakably beautiful. There’s nothing quite like pulling a shining foil out of a brand-new booster pack.
For that reason, you’ll obviously want to be able to see it clearly. Not only to read the text on the card itself, but also to admire the way the holographic artwork looks.
That’s where the clarity of the sleeve comes into play. The higher the level of clarity on the front of the sleeve, the easier it is for you to see the card inside.
As you look for a sleeve for your foils, make sure to check for any mention of clarity in the description or even reviews.
Generally speaking, foil versions of a card are rarer than the regular version. Due to this rarity, they also tend to be worth more on the whole.
This value is one of the reasons why you want to be sure you’re storing them in dependable sleeves. If you’re going to use the card in a deck, this becomes absolutely essential.
Bent corners or split seams put your card at risk of exposure to damage. With durable sleeves, this isn’t much of a concern, even after frequent shuffling.
Just like anything else we buy, price can be a factor to add to your list of priorities for sleeves.
When you’re buying sleeves for tons of decks, the cost can add up fast. For this reason, it’s never a bad idea to think about how much you’re able to spend and how many cards you’ll need to sleeve.
However, don’t let price be your only focal point. When you prioritize price without weighing it against other benefits or drawbacks, you increase your chances of ending up with something that doesn’t meet your requirements.
By definition, foils are shiny. Compounded with the shine of glossy sleeves, they can be downright hard to look at in a well-lit room.
The good news is, there are sleeves that help reduce glare. This makes it effortless to read all the text on even the brightest foils.
Some have said the downside to glare reduction is that it can also hinder the shine of your foil. But if you’re using the foil in a game, whether competitively or casually, it’s more important to be able to read the text quickly.
Best MTG Sleeves for Foils
TitanShield Trading Card Sleeves
These TitanShield sleeves are amazingly durable and clear. They’re perfect for players who use their foils in decks, because they stand up to the rigors of constant shuffling.
- High level of clarity for easy reading and to enhance the shine of foils
- Reinforced edges to increase the lifespan of the sleeves
- Non-slip material to take the hassle out of shuffling
- PVC/acid-free to prevent damage to cards over time
- Increased thickness may require you to use a wider deck box
Dragon Shield Protective Card Sleeves
Dragon Shield has a well-earned reputation for quality in the world of card games. These enduring card sleeves proudly uphold that reputation – as an added bonus, you can even use the box to store a deck after.
- The box with a label on its lid can be used to store 75+ cards with sleeves – which is great for most decks
- PVC-free so cards aren’t harmed by acids during storage
- These sleeves are long-lasting, and won’t need to be frequently replaced.
- Available in a wide variety of colors, which allows you to color code different decks
- On the expensive side
While they’re not as well-known as the other brands on this list, Ryker’s sleeves deserve a mention. These are heavy-duty sleeves that won’t split easily, and the beautifully transparent fronts will give you a clear look at your foil cards.
- Five times sturdier than the average sleeve, which keeps you from having to worry about the sides splitting open anytime soon.
- The front of each one is ultra-clear, so your foils can shine through for all to see.
- Textured backs means you won’t drop your cards every time you need to shuffle.
- PVC/Acid-free to protect your cards from harmful chemicals that can gradually yellow them.
- The fronts and backs of the sleeves are susceptible to scratches.
Ultra Pro Deck Protector Sleeves
In the home of just about any Magic player, you’ll find Ultra Pro sleeves. That’s because these sleeves are some of the best bang for your buck – they’re economical, the fronts are perfectly clear, and they resist bending from constant shuffling.
- Because they’re inexpensive, these sleeves are fantastic for buying in bulk.
- Super transparent fronts for effortless viewing and reading.
- The corners are resistant to bends, so you won’t need to worry about creasing the edges of your cards during shuffling.
- These sleeves are a bit slippery, which makes shuffling a little trickier.
- The seams are not as strong as some options, and they may split after extended intense handling.
BCW Double Matte Deck Guard Sleeves
If you’re looking for great value, you can’t do much better than BCW’s double matte deck guard sleeves. For one thing, you can cheaply buy them in bulk, and for another, their seams will hold up to frequent play or handling.
- Extremely affordable, so it isn’t too expensive to sleeve every deck you build.
- Dependable seams will keep your cards in place even after rigorous handling and shuffling.
- Acid-free to keep the integrity of the cart intact.
- Matte finish helps minimize the glare so each card front is clearly visible.
- The backs of these sleeves are a little slippery, so you may need to shuffle with care.
The sleeves on this list were selected because they’re overall great options. However, if you’re looking for the true best of the best, you can’t go wrong with picking Dragon Shield.
Once you’ve sleeved your cards, the fact that you can use the box for storage is a nice touch. The label on top even lets you mark each box for different decks.