It’s time to don the mantle of Planeswalker and protect your precious spell deck from harm as we check out the best Magic The Gathering Sleeves of 2022!
Though trading cards themselves have been around since their origins in packs of cigarettes in the 1800s, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that they saw a huge boost as collectors items – spawning a huge secondary market that still exists today.
Trading card games – which originated with the invention of Magic The Gathering in 1995 – also fuelled the desire for collectors to pursue certain cards and sets.
With collectable card games such as Magic The Gathering, it’s incredibly important that cards remain in good condition.
Not only can cards hold significant value depending on their condition, but just from a gameplay point of view in Magic The Gathering, ensuring that no card is marked is extremely important too.
No one wants to be accused of deliberately marking cards in order to cheat!
So a huge and often overwhelming number and types of card sleeves are available to protect your Magic: The Gathering cards.
Which ones are the best though? Let’s find out, as we check out the best Magic: The Gathering sleeves!
1. Dragon Shield Standard Sleeves – Matte/Clear
Though we’ve gone for the standard-sized, universal, clear sleeve option here, Dragon Shield Standard Sleeves – Matte/Clear card sleeves are available in a bewildering range of colours and styles.
These ones are of course perfect for Magic The Gathering and will protect them well. If your preference is for coloured card backs, however, Dragon Shield have you covered!
In a neat touch, each colour corresponds to a different dragon; there’s even lore attached to these chromatic creatures too!
Thankfully, Dragon Shield cards are more than just cards with beautiful presentation and the – admittedly, potentially gimmicky – dragon angle.
They’re solid, reliable and – though not the cheapest sleeves on the market – pretty good value too.
Dragon Shield also offer a range of licensed card sleeves – just check out these gorgeous Street Fighter sleeves, featuring stunning Ryu artwork!
Most impressively, Dragon Shield’s website also offers the option to craft sleeves, featuring your own art or photos.
Which does make us think that perhaps we should upload our own art – we have a sudden need to play a game of Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon – with our very own Retro Dodo logo on the card sleeves!
2. TitanShield Standard Sized Premium Sleeves
These TitanShield Standard Sized Premium Sleeves boast a slick design and come at a reasonable price, offering a great deal of protection for trading cards and games such as Magic The Gathering (and, of course, Pokemon).
We’ve highlighted the clear card sleeves, but just as with most other products on this list, a range of coloured variations are available.
TitanShield card sleeves have a number of useful elements that may go unnoticed by all but the most eagle-eyed or dedicated collectors and gamers.
The sleeves themselves are dual layered for non-slip grip, their thickness puts them alongside more premium card sleeve types and the reinforced seams protect the precious corners of your trading cards really well.
What’s more is that they are packaged in larger volumes than many other brands, but the price per sleeve does work out to a very reasonable cost.
They’re not quite our number one choice, but if you can’t quite stretch to the cost of the sleeves that made it to the top of our list, these TitanShield sleeves are an excellent alternative!
3. Ultra Pro Standard Soft Sleeves
We’re covering the absolute best quality card sleeves here – so it’s a given that we’re going to see Ultra Pro Standard Soft Sleeves appear on this list.
Yet this particular sleeve isn’t the best quality or even particularly protective of cards if you’re serious about your Magic The Gathering card collection.
So why is it here?
Well, sometimes you may not need the absolute best, top of the line card sleeves. Sometimes you just want to give your Magic The Gathering cards a little extra protection.
That’s where these Ultra Pro Standard Soft Sleeves come in. They’re thin, sure – but they do provide just enough protection that cards which will be seeing quite a bit of use won’t get damaged or marked through play.
Not all Magic The Gathering cards are Uncommon, Rare or Mythic Rare of course. Those Common cards still need protecting too!
The biggest reason we’ve ensured that these appear on the list is the cost, however. If you do have a huge collection of Magic The Gathering cards that you want to sleeve, but you don’t want to break the bank, these are the absolute best option for doing that.
You can buy these Ultra Pro Soft Card Sleeves in packs of hundreds – or even thousands – for much, much cheaper than any other sleeve on this list.
4. Vault X Rigid Toploaders
Going from one extreme to the other, these Vault X Rigid Toploaders are incredibly solid sleeves, that are most useful for collectors or traders of Magic The Gathering’s most valuable cards.
That’s one of the only reasons they appear so low on this list. Their rigidity doesn’t make them very practical for handling multiple cards, let alone decks for playing Magic The Gathering. It isn’t easy to remove cards from them if needed either.
They’re expensive too. But with the high standard these card sleeves achieve, that’s to be expected.
So, for anyone looking to display or otherwise guarantee near enough pack fresh cards, Vault X Rigid Toploaders remain your best bet.
Especially if you have any of the most rare Magic The Gathering cards (or even the most valuable McDonalds Pokemon cards) for example – those definitely need an extra layer of protection!
If you’re looking for slightly more flexible options in order to actually play games with your cards, the next few entries on the best Magic The Gathering sleeves list should be exactly what you need!
5. Mayday Premium Card Game Sleeves
With a huge range of sleeves that come in all shapes and sizes, Mayday seem to have cornered the card sleeve market when it comes to coping with just about any game you want to protect the cards for.
These Mayday Premium Card Game Sleeves are the ideal choice to use with the standard, Magic The Gathering size cards – which are the same size, roughly, as normal trading cards and Pokemon cards too.
They’ll cope with most standard sized cards. And these Premium sleeves are 125% thicker than the Standard Mayday card sleeves.
Though not as thick as the Vault X Rigid Toploader sleeves, these are solid and dependable sleeves that fit cards well. And, despite being slightly reflective, they do a great job of keeping your Magic The Gathering cards safe.
On a related note, why not check out our list of the best trading card displays and our thoughts on the best trading card storage boxes?
If Yu-Gi-Oh is more your thing, you can also take a look at the rare Yu-Gi-Oh cards list that we compiled too!
This article may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase an item we may earn a commission. Thank you for your support.
Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.