Trading Card Sleeves and Protectors: Getting Organized

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Trading Card Sleeves and Protectors: Getting Organized

Hey everyone! For those newer to Trading Card Games, I wanted to take a quick look at the various types of trading card sleeves available to you, to protect your decks.

Let's start from the inside and work our way out:

Inner Sleeves
Inner sleeves are typically thinner and more transparent than outer sleeves. They are designed to directly cover the trading card itself, providing a protective barrier against scratches, fingerprints, and other minor damages. Inner sleeves are often used in conjunction with outer sleeves for added protection. In our humid Canadian climate, they are also your best chance at avoiding cards from curving, when placed inside an out sleeve.


Dragon Shield Inner Sleeves



Outer Sleeves

Outer sleeves, also known as card sleeves, are thicker and more rigid than inner sleeves. They provide additional protection by encasing the trading card and its inner sleeve, acting as a shield against more significant damage such as bending or liquid spills. Outer sleeves often have a sealed opening at the top to insert the card easily and securely. Additionally, outer sleeves can sometimes have additional features like resealable closures or UV protection to further safeguard the cards.

As a gamer, these are the most customizable part of your collection outside of the actual cards. Usually you want to pair the outer sleeves to match your deck, be it through color or imagery. There are lots of cool options for this, with Matte being the most current preferred finish to the sleeves. Dragon Shield has also developed their "Dual" line to create an opaque finish that is most suited for tournament play.

Dragon Shield Outer Sleeves
Gamegenic Outer Sleeves




Top loaders are rigid plastic holders designed to encase a single trading card. They offer excellent protection against bending, creasing, and other forms of physical damage. Top loaders are commonly used for displaying valuable or special cards, as they provide a clear and sturdy presentation. These are probably best for some of your more valued cards, or if you want to protect them while showing them off to friends.




Screwdown or Magnetic Holders:

Screwdown holders are rigid cases that securely sandwich a trading card between two pieces of plastic. They are typically used for displaying highly valuable cards or for long-term storage of prized possessions. Screwdown holders provide maximum protection against physical damage and are often used for collectible or investment-grade cards.


Deck Boxes:

Deck boxes are compact containers designed to hold a deck of trading cards, usually around 60 to 100 cards. They come in various styles and materials, including plastic, metal, and leather. Deck boxes provide protection against bending, crushing, and moisture for cards used in gameplay or decks in progress.

There are a ton of options when it comes to deck boxes, and it all depends on how elaborate you want to get. You can go with a simple Side Holder like show below:


Or you can go with someone that is a full package, like this:


Which, as described by Gamegenic, can afford you a lot of gaming comfort:

"Made to fit 100 double-sleeved cards in particularly thick Inner Sleeves*.

This extra large version of the Watchtower 100+ can be used to store 100 regular double-sleeved cards with extra space for additional tokens, or use it as the perfect fit for a Commander** deck in thicker inner sleeves.

INNOVATION: The convertible Watchtower combines deck box, accessories drawer, and card holder in one elegant box. An innovative card stack holder keeps even a large deck in perfect shape at the gaming table. No more tipping over your card stack when drawing cards. Additionally, the accessories drawer is perfect to house dice, counters, and other small items."






  • Card Binders and Storage Boxes: Card binders are albums specifically designed to store and organize trading cards. These binders typically have plastic sleeves or pockets where cards can be inserted. They offer a convenient way to browse and showcase a collection while providing protection against dust, moisture, and light exposure.

  • Storage boxes come in various sizes and are ideal for storing larger quantities of trading cards. They are typically made of sturdy materials like cardboard or plastic and often feature dividers or compartments to keep cards organized. Storage boxes offer protection against dust, moisture, and physical damage, and they are commonly used for long-term storage of card collections.

  • These are kind of the last stop for cards, more of a container thing rather than for actual gaming or travelling.
  • I hope that helps! At Wandering Adventures you can find a lot of the stuff mentioned in this blog, and you can use code: ProtectMyDeck for an extra 5% off Dragon Shield and Gamegenic products!



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