It’s no surprise that trading card games have evolved into something different compared to when they first started. In the early days of trading card games, cards were prone to wear and tear. Before custom card sleeves were a thing, most people would just replace their cards after they suffered heavy damage.
Trading card games obviously rely on the cards themselves to be able to play. If you constantly find yourself replacing your cards, that will take away the fun experience out of the game. Imagine replacing the main tool required for the game after just weeks of use. Apart from being exhausting, that can also be very costly.
Not just the card in of itself- but HOW one takes care of it and utilizes this to be a better tool before games even begin. Sleeving your cards might not be the first thing on your mind when you think of the games you play. Primarily, we think of conquering the said game, but sleeving your cards can lead to victory in the small steps you take in the time ahead of a game. For starters, a good sleeve will preserve the life of the cards in your hand.
Here are 10 reasons why you should use custom card sleeves to protect your cards:
To Protect Your Rare Cards
While there are those who are more passionate than others, we can all agree that rare cards deserve the spotlight. They are considered top-tier cards that not many players have. Handling these one-of-a-kind cards requires extra care and it would be smart to have some sort of protection for it.
If you are not familiar with card collection, there are cards that would cost thousands of dollars. What makes it special other than the rarity of the card itself, would be the condition. There are even ratings that were set for it. So now you can see how the card sleeves play a big role in this.
At first glance, this might seem like an easy decision to make. But you would be surprised as to how many people don’t think to sleeve the rare ones. They just put the card straight into either a display case or shelf and leave it vulnerable. Even if it is inside a display case, it is still subject to environmental damage. Custom card sleeves are a great way to prevent that from happening.
How extensive or expensive the cards one owns depends from person to person. Regardless, sleeving can be incredibly beneficial, and with the advantages outlined it is undeniable that card sleeving would benefit all holders either way.
Save on Wear and Tear
No chef wants a dull knife, just as a player should not settle for flimsy cards. Damaged edges, small bends, and cracks along the surfaces can have a subtle yet negative effect on the card-holders psyche. Good cards give power to the player, building up that confidence while they are in-game. Good cards deserve good sleeves, and good sleeves must have thick, durable material with a snug fit allowing your cards to remain as pristine and in mint-condition as they were when first bought.
Almost anything used on a daily basis will eventually get worn out. A shirt that you use every day will not look the same as when you first bought it. It’s just a plain fact that nothing lasts forever. The same applies to the cards you use.
Make your valued cards last through wear and tear. Go get them sleeved! If you are the type of player who has heavy hands, custom card sleeves will help preserve its condition. Imagine playing with cards every day shuffling, restacking, and just laying them on the battlefield. This can be very damaging to your precious cards and cause fading.
This may come as a shock, but some players have sly hands and might pull a fast one on you! The slippery nature of the cards makes it somewhat easy to slide them around. Much like how magicians would use sleight of hand to misdirect their audience, cheaters can do the same to you.
This gives card sleeving another benefit- it lessens the possibility of cheats in the game. In a perfect game, no tricks would be pulled and the players would rely on their skill and knowledge to win fairly. However, it cannot be avoided that there are some who take advantage of the indirect hint presented in front of them, such as memorizing a "marked" or “damaged" card and its equivalent.
Remembering such detail might not be conscious but a player can take precautions in order to avoid that entirely. It’s not likely that someone would go through all the trouble of memorizing certain marks just to win a game. In any case, these sleeves certainly rule out that possibility. That way the game remains fair and no friendships would be in jeopardy!
Differentiate Your Cards
Aside from protecting and keeping your cards in good condition, custom card sleeves also have another valuable purpose. They can help differentiate your cards. It is a simple but effective method to keep your deck as organized as possible. Designating certain designs to a specific type of deck is a popular method among players.
If you happen to have watched tournaments you would see that decks are neatly organized and custom card sleeves are a must. Apart from accessibility, professional players actually have trademarks on the back of their sleeves to advertise whoever is sponsoring them.
Remember, this function is not exclusive to professional players only. Even regular players deserve to play the game as efficiently as possible.
This might be the simplest yet most important use of custom card sleeves. Protection against dirt and stains. Much like how a phone case will save your phone from contact with dirt surfaces, sleeves work the same way. They are your first layer of protection against anything that can potentially harm whatever is inside.
Combined with playmats, one can play this game virtually anywhere at all. Not saying you can play it on the beach or at a waterpark, but it gives you more options in terms of location. For example, you can play in the park for a change of scenery. When you want to get some precious sunlight but at the same time play an exciting game of Magic Cards.
These cards can sometimes be difficult to read once faded or dirt has stained the surface. Once there are scratches or dirt on them, they can just be plain unsightly. Save yourself the trouble of having to replace cards just because you got a little dirt on them.
Customize your Deck
A custom deck definitely looks better than bareback cards that are flimsy and prone to damage. Looking at a deck without custom card sleeves just doesn’t look right. If you ever had the chance to watch a professional game, no player would be caught dead without any sort of sleeve on each of their cards.
Some players shared their experiences from being in quite a few card tournaments. Aside from the aspects mentioned above, it certainly adds to the flair of the deck you have. “Deck” is the term for the set of cards that you have.
The decks mentioned have types and some examples are, but are not limited to, the common elements. A water-type deck with blue sleeves, a fire type would have a red theme for the sleeves. And since this is a tournament, there are people who do this professionally and would have customized sleeves with their name or the team they are representing.
Sleeves offer a personal touch of the owner and for the professional players, it can serve as an advertisement.
As time goes by, your cards won't look beaten or bruised but rather they would have aged gracefully. This is important since, in games where shuffling is a part of the mechanics, the sleeved cards would almost "glide" against another. With almost no force used, the game progresses smoothly and there are fewer chances of mishaps happening. One can never be too careful with their precious cards as people handle cards in games differently.
Shuffling is a key part of the game. There are games where multiple shuffles are needed before a match can even start. If you ever see a player holding his deck, chances are they are also shuffling unconsciously.
To Protect The Cards You Love
To win, to lose- it's all in the odds of the player playing the game, but what factors affect these chances? One can point the obvious: first, there is skill; it's the technicality of the player maneuvering the game. It is also worth mentioning how important a strategic mind or how quick-witted the player is.
Sure, these are all important factors that may determine the outcome of a game, but there is a lesser-known tool that players may not give too much thought of until it is too late. What tool is this you may wonder? It is the very cards you use to play the game.
If you truly care for your cards, you will not hesitate to get them custom card sleeves. The benefit far outweighs the cost.
To Protect Them From Environmental Factors
Concentrating on the playing card aspect, it would experience a lot of wear and tear as you would be constantly holding it, shuffling it, placing it on a table or a board, or even trading it to other people. Hence, the use of the sleeves would be the best way to protect the cards you love.
The cards constantly rubbing on different surfaces are a sure way to damage them and make them lose value. Getting them wet or moist also ruins the card’s form. One single drop of water can be enough to soften the card and make it lose its shape.
People Love Them
Do you remember the first deck you ever bought? Friends gather in one spot to share and brag about their most recent purchase. Arguing whose deck is stronger or who is a better player. Now, do you still have those cards?
Imagine if you had sleeves to protect those cards and the memories that came with them. It would have been definitely something to share with your kids or the future generation of players. Keeping the physical card alive is also keeping the spirit of the game alive.
People who have played the game for decades have the same view. They wished they were able to keep their first cards ever as souvenirs. As long as people still show care for the cards then the future generation will continue to appreciate the game itself.
Are they worth it?
Honestly, you don’t need anyone to tell how important card sleeves are. It’s something that you just know to be true. The only people who don’t sleeve their card are those who don’t know that it is a thing. Getting custom card sleeves has never been easier especially in this digital age. There are many places that offer them that it would be surprising if you didn’t already have them.
May it be for collecting or even as a possible business venture, these card sleeves are a must. Taking all these into account, the condition of your cards would be the most important aspect of it. Even if it is a collectible card and with a lot of value, it would mean nothing if it is in poor condition and would definitely depreciate its value.
Custom card sleeves are now a part of the trading card culture, one does not exist without the other. Although you do not need it to play a game you certainly need it if you want to maintain the quality of the cards you are playing with.