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Subject: When to sleeve your cards rss

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Zac Jensen
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Sedro Woolley
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I want to know if sleeving cards is really necessary or if people just do it because they want their game in mint condition for possible resale later or whatever. I have a good sized Legendary: Marvel collection and that is the card game i chose to always be current on the expansions with. So, do I need to sleeve my cards? I am gentle with them and I want to have them for a long time, but do i sleeve? $50 to sleeve 500 cards is going to be really hard to pull the trigger on for me. The sleeves better be near mandatory for me to want to spend money like that. Thanks for the help

Zac
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Alexandre P.
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zjensen3 wrote:
Thanks for the help


Well ... we can't really help you as there is no universal good answer to this question: you can sleeve everything, or nothing, or only what is frequently shuffled, or what is OOP, or what is held in hand ....
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Udo Schwalenberg
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50$ for 500 cards?
What sleeves are you buying?

I'm using sleeves from docsmagic and Mayday, and the prices for normal sleeves are 2-4$ per 100 sleeves.

And yes nowadays i sleeve nearly all my games.
Because i hate it (happened twice lately) that i'm buying a second hand "very good condition" game and cards are sticky/have speckles/etc. (some even had some kind of glue on them).
I don't want that to happen to my games, and even if i sell them someday, i want the new owner to be pleased by the condition and not repelled.
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Aaron Brogdon
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Never.

It makes them annoying to shuffle and causes them to either stick to each other or repel each other and slide around.

I actively refuse to play a game that has sleeved cards. So much headache.
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Karl
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I only sleeve cards from deckbuilders as those are handeled very unevenly, or cards from games that are under really really hard handling or very flimsy quality, or very rare/oop stuff. So maybe 5% of my games are sleeved.

Also your sleeves are way too expensive for what you plan to do.
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NoFunAtAll
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If the card stock isn't up to snuff and I need to shuffle the cards often I'll probably sleeve, I did for:

Forbidden stars
Legendary encounters Alien and Predator
Millennium Blades
Runebound 3rd edition
Dead of Winter
Mage Knight
Smash up
Blood Rage
Evolution
Xia
Food Chain Magnate
King Of New York
Spyfall
Discoveries
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brog5108 wrote:
Never.

It makes them annoying to shuffle and causes them to either stick to each other or repel each other and slide around.

I actively refuse to play a game that has sleeved cards. So much headache.


Seems pretty extreme.

The answer to me is: straight out of the box. A mere shuffle, and the game is no longer near mint. Upon close inspection, you can easily tell.
Depending on how you shuffle, you can also damage corners and the sides of the cards, especially when trying to grab them if you're not playing with a mat and don't have nails (which is a real pain, and sliding cards across the table also damages them).

Should someone eat or drink at the table, your cards will also get damaged.

As a former M:tG player, I sleeve everything, have a hard time shuffling unsleeved cards and don't like the way it feels in my hands. But $50 for 500 cards? It depends on what sleeves you're buying. Sounds to me you're going for higher quality sleeves. Is that really needed?

For deckbuilders, I use medium-quality sleeves such as ultra pro or mayday. They're thick enough to do the job. Dragon Shields and KMC are not really necessary. But penny sleeves are useless and shouldn't be considered. They're a no-go for a heavy shuffler such as Onirim as well.

I've bought penny sleeves for my entire collection of Sentinels of the Multiverse, because 3.000+ cards! And not enough shuffling to warrant a higher quality. But as the cards are said not to be of the highest quality, and because I'll get every promo, there's no way I do not sleeve them.

It all depends on what you're after. Not sleeving cheap games is ok, some games just can't be sleeved because their formats are too bizarre (please, designers, don't do that.) Some games are of good enough quality not to be sleeved. Some games have cheap cardboard and need to be sleeved (Seasons for instance). Other games require a lot of shuffling and should be sleeved if you want to preserve them. Especially deck-builders, since you're not the one shuffling each players deck.

In the case of Legendary: as soon as possible. Expensive, lots of shuffling, lots of cards... Go for ultra-pro or mayday (packs of 50)
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Zac Jensen
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I got the $50 for 500 from the Upper Deck store, which I know, isn't the best place to look. This is all good info tho so thanks for that. Gives me reasons on both sides to think about. I guess the one consensus is that I don't need world class quality sleeves, which is what Upper Deck sells apparently.
 
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Gianluca Casu
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Krazuul wrote:


And yes nowadays i sleeve nearly all my games.
Because i hate it (happened twice lately) that i'm buying a second hand "very good condition" game and cards are sticky/have speckles/etc. (some even had some kind of glue on them).
I don't want that to happen to my games, and even if i sell them someday, i want the new owner to be pleased by the condition and not repelled.


N This. N

Plus I like the idea that I'm somehow stopping time to the exact moment I took the cards out of the cellophane.
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Michael Drog
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The answer is never sleeve.

Games are meant to be played, not protected.
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capricorn_tm wrote:
Krazuul wrote:


And yes nowadays i sleeve nearly all my games.
Because i hate it (happened twice lately) that i'm buying a second hand "very good condition" game and cards are sticky/have speckles/etc. (some even had some kind of glue on them).
I don't want that to happen to my games, and even if i sell them someday, i want the new owner to be pleased by the condition and not repelled.


N This. N

Plus I like the idea that I'm somehow stopping time to the exact moment I took the cards out of the cellophane.


I just played GOSU 2: Tactics with my coworker, which has been sleeved two years ago (the game, not the coworker robot ). And boy, were his cards sticky after he handled them.

Makes me freaking glad I sleeved them, aside from the fact that I would damage the glossy foil had I not. I don't know what they would look like right if I didn't. Especially since I had to give them a torough shuffle to get rid of the stickiness.

mdrog2 wrote:
Games are meant to be played, not protected.


I guess the world is black and white with no grey in-between?
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Iain
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As you can tell there is no universal answer, its a personal preference. A summary of the arguments I have heard from both sides:

Pro-Sleeve:
1. It keeps the game in the best possible condition from repeat plays
2. It can mitigate any severe accidental damage (e.g. spills - it may not be 100% but much less damage than if they were open)
3. 'Easier' to shuffle (for some, others disagree)
4. If the game goes out of print you could never replace your worn copy
5. If you add in an expansion later, it stops you being able to differentiate between worn and new cards
6. It can be useful at hiding minor differences between cards - e.g. some game expansions have colour problems.

Anti-Sleeve:
1. The cost can be more than the price of the game (so is it worth it, or just buy the game again if its that bad - but see point 4 above)
2. Games are meant to be played
3. They feel different to playing with cards
4. They take up more room, and often mean the standard insert no longer works
5. The sheer effort - sleeving a full dominion or sentinels set is a significant undertaking...

There are also topics of resale value - but you have to make up your own mind on that. Finally, on when to sleeve cards, IMO either do it straight away or don't bother - otherwise I can imagine always feeling regret that you didn't do it sooner and already have some wear to your cards.

For the record I do not sleeve games, with one exception - Mage Knight. When i bought it, it was between print runs and is my most expensive game by far, plus there are not that many cards. I must admit I'm not a big fan of the feel of them though, especially when its warm/humid they seem to stick together.
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Zac Jensen
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Gribbon wrote:
As you can tell there is no universal answer, its a personal preference. A summary of the arguments I have heard from both sides:

Pro-Sleeve:
1. It keeps the game in the best possible condition from repeat plays
2. It can mitigate any severe accidental damage (e.g. spills - it may not be 100% but much less damage than if they were open)
3. 'Easier' to shuffle (for some, others disagree)
4. If the game goes out of print you could never replace your worn copy
5. If you add in an expansion later, it stops you being able to differentiate between worn and new cards
6. It can be useful at hiding minor differences between cards - e.g. some game expansions have colour problems.

Anti-Sleeve:
1. The cost can be more than the price of the game (so is it worth it, or just buy the game again if its that bad - but see point 4 above)
2. Games are meant to be played
3. They feel different to playing with cards
4. They take up more room, and often mean the standard insert no longer works
5. The sheer effort - sleeving a full dominion or sentinels set is a significant undertaking...

There are also topics of resale value - but you have to make up your own mind on that. Finally, on when to sleeve cards, IMO either do it straight away or don't bother - otherwise I can imagine always feeling regret that you didn't do it sooner and already have some wear to your cards.

For the record I do not sleeve games, with one exception - Mage Knight. When i bought it, it was between print runs and is my most expensive game by far, plus there are not that many cards. I must admit I'm not a big fan of the feel of them though, especially when its warm/humid they seem to stick together.




Thanks for this. That is probably the best answer that I could get. Just a pro's and con's list and let the individual decide for themselves. I think you are right about doing it right away or not at all. My game has probably been used enough to make sleeving not worth it. Thanks again, spot on.
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Craig Southworth
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I can't riffle shuffle to save my life The cards explode out of my hands all over the table, or just clash together and don't interleave so at the risk of damaging i have sleaved some of my games.

Whilst this makes them easier to shuffle, as i just cut the deck and splice them together, it does present another problem.

When they are laid out on the table, they slide. Often times we go to draw a card from the deck only to have the top third of the deck slip away and onto the board or across the table. I sleaved Champions of Midgard in Fantasy Flight sleaves and these slide all over the place. My Star Realms cards were sleaved in Star Realms sleaves and these seem to be a lot better at not slipping all over the place. Ive got some UlraPro sleaves but haven't used these properly yet as i messed up and got the wrong sizes so waiting to find a game that they will eventually fit.
 
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Sandy Wilson
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I've battled with this for a few years. I've come to a solution that works for me. I do not sleeve stand alone games unless I need to (for example if the card quality is flimsy like Lewis & Clark). I sleeve games that I am likely to buy expansions for that are likely to have extra cards. For example, I bought my first copy of Dominion in 2013, and despite many plays, the cards are in as good nick as the Empires expansion I've just picked up. Now, it's cost me a fortune to sleeve every single one of those 3500+ cards with fantasy flight sleeves, and including postage, it cost me £16 for 6 packets of FFG green sleeves to sleeve Empires, but my Dominion collection (to me) is a thing of beauty.

I've just bought Cosmic Encounter, and have been swithering whether or not to sleeve it. The conclusion I've come to is I will, as I am likely to pick up the expansions over time, and with a new expansion just being announced, I know that by the time it comes around for me to get Cosmic Eons, I'll have a good few uses out of the original cards, and I want all the cards to look the same, and I do not want the latest expansion to stick out like a sore thumb because the cards look new and the others look weathered.

I previously owned first edition copies of both Lords of Waterdeep and Scoundrels of Skullport, and the cards were slightly different sizes. Rather than coming on the 'Geek and moaning about it, and demanding that WotC executives should be burned at the stake, I sleeved them. Problem solved.
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Dan Licata
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I sleeve all my mini cards because it makes them easier to shuffle. I have a hard time riffle shuffling mini cards however after sleeving them I just push the bottom corners in and then the sleeves make it easy to mesh the two different stacks together.

It saves me a lot of hassle.
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zaphoduk wrote:
I can't riffle shuffle to save my life The cards explode out of my hands all over the table, or just clash together and don't interleave so at the risk of damaging i have sleaved some of my games.

Whilst this makes them easier to shuffle, as i just cut the deck and splice them together, it does present another problem.

When they are laid out on the table, they slide. Often times we go to draw a card from the deck only to have the top third of the deck slip away and onto the board or across the table. I sleaved Champions of Midgard in Fantasy Flight sleaves and these slide all over the place. My Star Realms cards were sleaved in Star Realms sleaves and these seem to be a lot better at not slipping all over the place. Ive got some UlraPro sleaves but haven't used these properly yet as i messed up and got the wrong sizes so waiting to find a game that they will eventually fit.


Don't worry, the sliding will wear off as the cards get shuffled and played
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Rauli Kettunen
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For me, the order of things goes, remove shrink-wrap, open box, count components, sleeve cards. Sleeve before playing or even much handling of the cards.

For deck-builders like Legendary, if you're not adding every expansion you'll ever get for it at the same time, sleeves prevent the "uneven wear" tell between old cards and new cards, not to mention alleviate (or negate completely if you use opaque-backed sleeves) the color variations on the card backs (there's like 4-5 different shades of blue among the sets I have). Basic/starter cards used in every game also wear out a lot more than cards that might see action every six or so plays.

As a non-riffle shuffler, sleeves make shuffling easier, since they cards slide between one another smoother and since I don't have to worry about the card edges getting ripped, torn, split, etc., can also shuffle quicker.

As for sliding or stacks tipping over, rebuttal exhibit A:



(that stack has actually increased in size with the addition of another expansion, tip-over count is still 0)
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Chris Willett
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I only sleeve certain games. Usually the main thing is to sleeve the cards if they get unevenly worn. For example, in Legendary games, your starting deck cards are used each game, and so they will be more worn than the set of cards for a certain hero. I found this to affect games when I could tell what my next card in my deck was (starter, or not). So I sleeved my Legendary games. This has been an expensive undertaking though.

Beyond that I usually don't sleeve. With games like Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, I have done a different new thing, for the character cards (the ones in peoples hands the entire game) I sleeve the cards. The location decks and such I do not sleeve. This means that when I find a new sword or something, I just slide it into a sleeve each time. A little bit of work, but worth it. After a few missions, there were a few cards that had obvious wear on them because they were so good.
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Martin Larouche
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I very rarely sleeve.

The only time i'll sleeve is when i play a game a lot and wear and tear makes it that i start recognizing the cards by looking at their back (or when expansion ships with card backs that are not 100% the same colour as those from the base set).

Then i use opaque sleeves to solve the issue.
 
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William Korner
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I sleeve most new games I get, if game is not to my groups liking I can trade a game in great shape, if I decide to keep game the cards will not get wear and tear from multiple playings/shufflings etc. I tend to add sleeves to my Cool Stuff orders to reach the free shipping mark so I usually have a good amount of sizes in stock.
 
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Tomello Visello
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zjensen3 wrote:
I want to know if sleeving cards is really necessary or ...

If it was truly necessary then the question would not keep re-appearing as often as it does.


Here's just one I remember more vividly, out the dozens that could be found.

Anyone not a sleever ?

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John
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kilrah wrote:
I only sleeve cards from deckbuilders as those are handeled very unevenly, or cards from games that are under really really hard handling or very flimsy quality, or very rare/oop stuff.

Similar - I've sleeved Race for the Galaxy + expansions as the base game cards would have show far more wear than expansion cards after 350 plays (one expansion I've only placed 50 times and there are two I don't have yet). Citadels I sleeved for the same reason (some cards aren't used every game), Star Realms as it's a deck builder, The Resistance as marking a card would ruin the game and that' about it. I prefer shuffling sleeved cards as I can riffle shuffle so I push two piles of sleeved cards together instead.

Oh, really cheap sleeves aren't worth buying, they stick to each other and make it really hard to deal or draw the correct number of cards.
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G.Daddy.Slim
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mdrog2 wrote:
The answer is never sleeve.

Games are meant to be played, not protected.


I didn't think the two were mutually exclusive?
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Kevin C.
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Quote:
Oh, really cheap sleeves aren't worth buying, they stick to each other and make it really hard to deal or draw the correct number of cards.


My standard answer to this view for someone considering sleeves is to give them a shot for a buck and see if they work for you.

I've got 550+ games and everything with a card (even player aid cards) are sleeved. 90% is probably Ultra-Pro penny sleeves. (Unless they are smaller or odd-size cards...then I buy the proper size for it. Mayday or FFG are the ones I get.)

The only time I don't use penny sleeves is when I want a bit of color and want the game to look a little better.

Stickiness can be an issue if the game hasn't been played in a while, but I pile shuffle them out and they don't stick anymore. (Until they have been sitting for a long time again.)

Penny sleeves certainly aren't to everyone's liking for various reasons, but for $1 at Wal-Mart, to my mind, it's worth it to give them a shot. You could save a ton over time if you decided to sleeve a lot of your collection.

Kevin

 
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