You could spend hundreds of dollars on getting the right Magic: The Gathering singles for your deck. When you are willing to spend that kind of money to boost your playing power, you better be willing to spend a couple bucks more on protecting those cards. There are a number of reasons you should protect the singles that you buy:
- It preserves your investment. If you ever decide that you want to sell your MTG cards, you’ll want to make sure they stay in as close to perfect condition as possible. The better their condition, they more they are going to be worth on the market. Some cards could even make you money as compared to what you paid for them originally!
- It protects your game play. Cards that have creases, dents, or bends in them can provide your opponent with a powerful advantage over you, as they’ll be able to identify that card in your hand and know when you are going to play it. You want your cards to be exactly the same on the back so there are no distinguishable marks.
Protecting your cards doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Here are some tips to help you keep all of your cards in mint condition.
How to Protect Your MTG Cards
Sleeve Your Cards
The best way to protect your MTG cards is to keep them in sleeves. You can pick up packs of sleeves very inexpensively, sometimes for less than a penny a sleeve. But if you plan on handling the cards a lot (for actual game play or trading) then you might want to invest in some higher-quality card sleeves. Finding a card sleeve that you like can take some trial and error, as there are a lot of options out there for thickness, texture, and design. Make sure that you purchase the right size sleeve, too; there are many many especially for Magic: The Gathering cards. When you find something that you like, sleeve any card that you are going to be handling. Because those sleeves are inexpensive, there is no excuse not to use them on virtually all of your cards. They’ll guard against damage, keep cards from getting bent, and prevent oils and dirt from your hands transferring to the surface.
Purchase a Deck Box
A deck box is a great thing to use to transport your cards around. A deck box will be big enough to hold your sleeved cards, giving you an easy way to carry around your collection to tournaments and trading events. You’ll find deck boxes made with everything from paper to wood, so you can choose how much of an investment you want to make and what level of protection you want to get. When you have a deck box, take care when taking your cards in and out of the box. You don’t want to simply cram the deck in there, because it could cause creasing and bending to the cards even if they are sleeved. If you have a lot of extra room in your deck box, you might want to take up any extra space with a piece of foam or blank sleeves. This can help keep the cards flat and prevent them from moving around while being stored.
Invest in Storage Binders
Cards binders are a great way to display your collection while keeping the individual cards very safe. Card binders look like regular three-ring binders but have pages of clear pockets inside, usually nine pockets to a page. You can use these pockets to store your cards, sleeved or unsleeved. This is a great storage method for duplicates or cards that you aren’t currently using in your deck but want to hang onto. Storage binders can be easily added to by purchasing additional card sleeve pages, so you can keep up with your expanding collection.
What to Avoid With Your MTG Cards
- Moisture. Obviously, moisture is an enemy when it comes to your cards because they are made (primarily) of paper. Any moisture is going to cause the cards so warp, which can be a real nightmare to correct. Some people recommend keeping silicone packets (the ones that say “do not eat” that you might find in shoe boxes or new backpack) in your deck box to absorb excess moisture.
- Rubber bands. Never, ever hold your deck together with a rubber band, whether it is sleeved or not. The pressure of the rubber band on the edge of the card can bend it at best and tear it at worst. Use a deck box to keep your decks together, or if you are on a tight budget, a shoe box or even a plastic zip lock bag.
Purchase Card-Protecting Supplies from The Dragon’s Lair
You can pick up all of the supplies you need in order to protect your MTG singles and decks at The Dragon’s Lair. Shop our selection of card-saving supplies online or stop into our shop in Wallingford. Our friendly staff is always happy to talk to you about starting or supplementing your MTG collection or giving you advice on how to protect what you’ve got. Our online store is always open but you’ll find us in the store Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. until at least 11 p.m, Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you soon!