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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Good card sleeves vs. Frugal spending rss

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David Troutman
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As this is my first ever LCG/CCG, when I first looked into organizing I went to the local card shop to ask about card sleeves. They sold me Ultra-Pro Pro-Fit sleeves.

I'm not sure I like them. The edge of some sleeves comes right up to the edge of the card, and sometimes when I shuffle I accidentally poke a card into the sleeve of another card. After looking online some people seem to say the Ultra-Pro Premium sleeves are good. Others say that the Pro-Fit are designed primarily for double sleeving.

Here's the thing: I'm not sure I want to spend buckets of money on superultramegaomghaxx sleeves. On the other hand, replacing the cards were they to be damaged would be annoying.

Do many of you actually double sleeve? Doesn't it make the decks more bulky to play with?

What sleeves are the best for the money? I did see from a video that the FFG sleeves are actually slightly too long for the cards... But maybe that's because they're intended as single-sleeved.

What do you all think?
 
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Addison Fox
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I use exclusively FFG clear sleeves for my LotR cards, and I have no problems with them. They shuffle well, they look fine, and cards fit inside them. They're a little big, but they're also very sturdy.
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In addition to the FFG ones, the Mayday Premium sleeves fit well and you can find them on sale every once in a while. I used to sleeve all my cards with them, and they worked well. While I was happy with the sleeves, I have since decided that sleeving is not worth it to me, and play with the bare cards.
 
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Nate Parkes
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I single-sleeve all my cards with FFG sleeves, and sleep soundly.
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Jason Nopa
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I've used Ultra Pro clears.
Pro: fit is nice, somewhat uniform, not too expensive
Con: after a while, they pick up oils from your fingers and tend to "stick" [and i use the term loosely as it's not actually sticking, but humidity that makes them 'stick'], the little holofoil mark can be annoying to some

Ultra Pro Colored sleeves (opaque color on one side)
Pro: same fit, doesn't stick as much after a while
Cons: are slightly more fragile (although still sturdy), but may start to break here and there after a lot of play (1 or 2 in every 40 games?), the little holofoil mark appears on the clear side, so it can potentially block some text/art

Ultra Pro Art sleeves (glossy art on one side)
Pro: same fit
Cons: starts to stick, like the ultra pro clears, holofoil mark on the inside of the card. After a while, the glossy side will start to peal away, and it's not a good look. A bit more expensive at about $5 per 50. (vs $3 per 50 for the others)

Alternative: Dragonshield sleeves
Pro: sturdiest sleeves I've seen, no holofoil mark
Cons: most expensive sleeves I've seen at $10 for 100 (vs $6 per 100 for ultra pros)

FFG Sleeves:
Pro: FFG, same price as Ultra Pro
Con: sleeves are slightly longer than the cards

I haven't had any experience with other brands...

Also, I've never double sleeved. The cards aren't worth any actual money, so I'd rather just rebuy a pack if I needed to instead of spending the cost of buying enough sleeves to doublesleeve my cards...

Single sleeves are more than enough to protect your cards from all but the worst of accidents (submersion in liquid or brute force bending)
 
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Scourn1
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I use ultra pro clear, and have never had them stick even when its hot. Though I don't play out in the sun or have them sitting in a warm car, just a bad idea.

I'll never buy FFG sleeves. They are the same as ultra pro clear and twice the cost. I get 100 Ultra pro for the same cost as 50 FFG.

Love their games, but not the sleeves

Also as a note, I only sleeve the player decks. I own every card to date for the game and its way to much to sleeve it all.
 
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Jason Nopa
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scourn1 wrote:
I'll never buy FFG sleeves. They are the same as ultra pro clear and twice the cost. I get 100 Ultra pro for the same cost as 50 FFG.


Just curious, where are you buying your sleeves where the FFG sleeves cost more than the Ultra Pros? In my experience, clear versions of both are the same (although i still prefer Ultra Pros)
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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For my card games, i've used mayday's penny sleeves. They shuffle well, are very cheap and only rarely break (and when they do, so cheap that who cares).

I asked someone at a SW:LCG tournament which sleeves he prefers and he immediately recommended FFG. Since they are slightly larger than the card (I.e. a looser fit), they don't buckle and 'bacon' at the top of the sleeve. They stay firmly together and are the best for shuffling.

-shnar
 
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Jeff Kayati
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To save on costs, and storage space, I only sleeve the decks I'm using. 200 sleeves are plenty, so the cost is minimal.
 
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Andrew
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I use penny sleeves (ultra pro brand). They work fine for me, but they are not always uniform in length. This is not a big deal to me though. Additionally, I usually pile shuffle and then do a couple of slide shuffles.

I have not found a need for a heavier quality set of sleeves, but they are nice.
 
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Jan Probst
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I use KMC perfect size instead of Ultra Pro, but using inner double sleeves as sole sleeves it totes my thing, I approve.

Obligatory repost of ye olde image:

Dat wasted space. shake

In fact, the main difference imo is the amount of work/time it takes (what with spending time under stack of books), not so much the cost. It's certainly not more expensive than any other decently "good" sleeve like FFG grey or something, and shoody sleeves noticeably cheaper than either one might as well go without the constant irritation of.

Edit: As a bonus, this stuff fits into unsleeved storage like the Ultra Pro plexi boxen, so saves some headaches other sleeves may cause.
 
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secoAce -
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I use the Ultra Pro Pro-Fits for most of the LotR cards. I know what you mean about the inner sleeve sized just for the card size means the top of the sleeve is flush to the top of the card and exposes it. Dust does make its way in over time.

But I absolutely love the feel of the skin-tight sleeved card and the super glossy sleeve makes the card look more brilliant although it almost makes them super slippery. I handle and shuffle cards carefully and since I only play it solo, I don't have to worry about anyone else man-handling the cards. I haven't had any problems with the shuffling. Weave shuffling is really the best way to shuffle sleeved cards.

For my Hero cards, I use FFG sleeves with the color backs so that it matches the Sphere color and makes it easier to identify during play.

Sleeve costs can add up especially if you buy more and more expansions, which is another reason I chose inner sleeves instead of standard "premium" sleeves. Penny thin sleeves like MayDay and especially UP penny sleeves are too big and the extra sleeve bulk makes the sleeve flimsy with the card sliding around. They are good only if the sleeve just barely fits the card so there is no extra bulk on the sides.

If you decide to go with the pricer standard "premium" sleeves, they will be larger in size too, but because they are thicker and firmer, the extra bulk usually isn't an issue. I like the Ultra Pro Deck Protectors for this, but the clear Deck Protectors are slightly cloudy and not super clear. They also have a stupid small hologram logo at the bottom but if you get the clear ones, you can sleeve the hologram on the back of the card.

FFG's sleeves seem thinner than the UP Deck Protectors, but they are better than penny sleeves.

I haven't tried the Mayday Premium.

As for double-sleeving, it's a neat idea as you can completely protect all 4 sides of the card. Some people have even water-tested it to show that double-sleeving makes them waterproof, although I wouldn't recommended trying that.

But it's really overkill for most card games. They are really only done by Magic tournament players whose decks easily run into the hundreds of dollars--yes, that's for a 60-card deck, and maybe an additional 15 card sideboard. Winning decks can be up upwards of $700-800 dollars. I hear reports of Magic players who play the older formats having decks easily costing several thousands of dollars. Yeah, they can afford to spend a few extra bucks in sleeve protection.
 
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Jan Probst
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Yeah, I wouldn't actually double sleeve, I just appropriate its material for my needs. Although I thought about double sleeving heroes for emphasis/bulk.

That said, yeah, they're not water-tight with that flush top border, but if you bring liquid to my table I cast you into the outer darkness anyway, so no problem. arrrh

Edit:
secoAce wrote:
But I absolutely love the feel of the skin-tight sleeved card and the super glossy sleeve makes the card look more brilliant although it almost makes them super slippery.

Yeah, the like-laminated feel is great. For regular (thinner) boardgame card format, Arcane Tinmen had similar results, but any and all non-inner Magic Card sized sleeves seem to be obsessed with having a kilometer of extra border space. (Never actually got to try/find Arcane Tinmen magic sized ones though, maybe they'd be a good alternative if they exist)

The slipperiness is an issue but does go away with a few uses in my experiences.
 
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Thanee
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As for shuffling... make sure, that all the cards are oriented in the same direction (that really helps).

Bye
Thanee
 
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David Williams
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I sleeved Pandemic in standard MayDay sleeves - I was not impressed. They really flimsy, cheap feeling, and were about 1mm too short so the cards stuck out of the top of the sleeve.

I got a refund from the store though, and stuck my unsleeved GoT cards in them as that wasn't sleeved at all and only gets played occasionally - better than nothing.

Since then I have stuck with FFG Standard 63.5 x 88 mm (Grey bag) and they do the job just great. A little bigger than the card but I think that helps protect them. I did not find them any more expensive than MayDay premiums, which I have heard lots of bad reports of anyway. (though do use MayDay premium for Coup, and they seem fine)

The Ultra-Pro ones seem a bit harder/more expensive to get hold of here in the UK. The store I order online from do FFG at the best price I have seen so I will stick with those from now on.
 
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Gonzalo Herreros
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I disagree with the people that recommend FFG sleeves, at least for this game.
Those sleeves are too thick and slippery, also the cost is prohibitive if you buy all the expansions. Plus they have a big extra flap on the top.

I strongly advice you to consider the Mayday almost a penny ultra fit:
http://maydaygames.com/almost-a-penny-card-sleeves.html

They are cheap but do the job, very easy to shuffle and barely increase the volume and size of your deck (only a lit of extra room at the top which I think is nice). So you can put then back into the box inset of the deluxe expansions, for instance.
 
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Martin Smith
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I use the FFG clear sleeves - they are amazingly sturdy and strong and the best quality sleeves. They stop being slippery after a few plays.

Just steer well clear of (EDIT) Mayday - as documented in numerous other places their quality control is atrocious.

EDIT - Gawd, I meant Mayday, KMC are fine.

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David Williams
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gherreros wrote:
I disagree with the people that recommend FFG sleeves, at least for this game.
Those sleeves are too thick and slippery, also the cost is prohibitive if you buy all the expansions. Plus they have a big extra flap on the top.

I strongly advice you to consider the Mayday almost a penny ultra fit:
http://maydaygames.com/almost-a-penny-card-sleeves.html

They are cheap but do the job, very easy to shuffle and barely increase the volume and size of your deck (only a lit of extra room at the top which I think is nice). So you can put then back into the box inset of the deluxe expansions, for instance.


To each their own... but I disagree. Yes the FFG sleeves are slippery when new but I quite like that feel as it makes them easy to shuffle, and it disappears pretty fast regardless.

Not sure what you mean by a 'big extra flap'. Yes they are a bit taller than the cards, but this has the advantage of protecting them better. The disadvantage is they take up a bit more space, but since the basic box has loads of room once you ditch the insert that's irrelevant for me.

The advantage they have is that they actually protect the card not just from general shuffling wear but also being dropped, trodden on, etc. Since I play with my (somewhat clumsy!) wife & kids this is a nice backup. Even the standard MayDay sleeves were incredibly flimsy in comparison, I can't even imagine how flimsy their cheaper version was. Since they also didn't even fit the whole card for which they were designed, I probably won't try MayDay again.
 
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Dominic B
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FFG sleeves are really nice but they are a bit too expensive for my taste. I just want to add a brand here that I see barely recommended. I use Max Protection Neo Alpha clear sleeves and am very satisfied with them. They are almost as sturdy as the FFG sleeves and (i guess depending on your country) a little harder to get but cheaper. I use them only for the player cards. Encounter cards I do sleeve in Max Protection Soft clear sleeves, which are in my opinion the best "penny sleeves" you can get.
 
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David Millette
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honeyralmond wrote:
In addition to the FFG ones, the Mayday Premium sleeves fit well and you can find them on sale every once in a while. I used to sleeve all my cards with them, and they worked well. While I was happy with the sleeves, I have since decided that sleeving is not worth it to me, and play with the bare cards.


I have completely converted to Mayday Games premium sleeves for everything. They are thick and feel great when shuffling and/or playing. They are sometimes just a tad bit on the short end, but for $2.50 or so for 100 (buy them when they're on sale), I can live with it...
 
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Nick Bolton
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gherreros wrote:
I disagree with the people that recommend FFG sleeves, at least for this game.
Those sleeves are too thick and slippery, also the cost is prohibitive if you buy all the expansions. Plus they have a big extra flap on the top.

I strongly advice you to consider the Mayday almost a penny ultra fit:
http://maydaygames.com/almost-a-penny-card-sleeves.html

They are cheap but do the job, very easy to shuffle and barely increase the volume and size of your deck (only a lit of extra room at the top which I think is nice). So you can put then back into the box inset of the deluxe expansions, for instance.


I only use FFG now, having tried Ultra Pro and Mayday in the past. Ultra pro were the best 20 years ago, but not now.

The cost of FFG is worth it, the slipperiness soon goes after a bit of use.
The extra space at the top provides protection you won't get with closer fitting sleeves - otherwise the top of the card can pop up and get damaged, particularly if you are sorting through cards in a box. I think this a good point about the FFG sleeves.
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Jon Ben
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I'm surprised more people aren't touting Dragon Shields. Are they just not well known? Have people had bad experiences with them?
 
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Thanee
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Guess it's the higher price.

I am happy with my UltraPro Deck Protector sleeves.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Joel Carr
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I use ultrapro clear for all the hero event etc cards as they see mroe play, and penny sleeves for the enemy deckcards to save $$$ as they come out when I play a scenario but not as much say Gandalf.
 
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Michael S
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Triple sleeve for life
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