It’s no secret that we love Marvel Champions, and we buy pretty much everything that comes out for it. But there’s some extra stuff we buy beyond official products that makes life so much easier when we’re playing. In this article, we’re going to talk all about sleeves for Marvel Champions specifically, including how many sleeves you need to buy, but first – an important disclaimer.
Card Sleeves for Marvel Champions
Any TCG fan knows that card sleeves are absolutely invaluable, and will make your life easier. Shuffling is a breeze, even for those with clumsy hands, your cards get protected from damage, and they’re easier to pick up. Playing with sleeves is just better.
Regular TCG sleeves that fit cards for games like Magic: The Gathering will fit Marvel Champions cards. There’s a small amount of extra space on the slide so it’s not a perfect fit, but it’s small enough to be relatively unnoticeable. Some cards don’t really need sleeves, such as villains and main schemes that are never shuffled into the deck. For those, we actually use Perfect Fit Sideloader Sleeves. Those are intended as “inner” sleeves for people who double-sleeve cards (we don’t recommend this for Marvel Champions, you’ll use too many sleeves), but will work fine to just give those cards a little extra protection if you think it’s necessary. It’s not as important as the outer sleeves we’re mostly going to talk about here, but cats and drinks sometimes happen, and they’ll help limit the damage.
Dragon Shield Sleeves
Our sleeve of choice for Marvel Champions is box upon box of Dragon Shield Matte Clear Sleevess. It doesn’t have to be the Matte sleeves, you could also try the regular Dragon Shield Clear sleeves or the Non-Glare Matte.
We strongly recommend getting a clear-backed sleeve for Marvel Champions, as decks and modular sets have irregular deck sizes. So you’ll use 15 sleeves here, 20 sleeves there, 7 sleeves somewhere else… if the backs are clear, it doesn’t matter if you use those sleeves for hero cards or villain cards, and you minimize your risk of shuffling villain cards into your hero deck and vice-versa.
An added bonus for these is that you can actually use the boxes the sleeves come in for storage! Check out how we store a bunch of our heroes in one of the campaign boxes:
Each Dragon Shield box will comfortably hold ~60 cards sleeved (that’s three heroes, their hero cards, and their nemesis, or a fully built deck with some extra space), and as the box isn’t much larger than the cards, they fit snugly into the campaign boxes. We’re going to talk about storage solutions in another article, but this is definitely an easy way to do it and reuse all those boxes!
Gamegenic make some cheap but also very high quality sleeves, such as Gamegenic’s Standard Matte Clear sleeves, and these will also work just fine, and they even do Marvel Champions-specific art sleeves for things like Generic Hero Decks, the Encounter Deck and Villain Cards. We’re not a huge fan of art sleeves, as our collection is too huge to keep buying them and they’re sometimes harder to get hold of in bulk, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them if you want to go that route or you’re not planning on buying literally everything like us weirdos.
How Many Sleeves Does Marvel Champions Need?
Short answer: A lot. But it’s obviously going to depend on your collection. Here’s some quick stats.
- The Marvel Champions Core Set contains 336 playable cards (and a few reference cards we don’t care about). That’s 194 hero deck and aspect cards, and 122 encounter cards, plus 20 cards you don’t really need to sleeve (villains and main schemes). This means you’ll need 4 boxes of 100 to sleeve everything in the core set simultaneously, as unfortunately that’s 316 cards.
- Every Hero Pack has contained 60 cards including the identity, with the exception of Doctor Strange who has a few extra, and every Scenario Pack released to date has contained 60-80 cards. This means a 100 pack will give you more than enough to sleeve all those cards, with some change.
- Every Expansion Box, such as The Rise of Red Skull has unfortunately contained just over 100 cards that require sleeves (excluding villains and double-sided cards).
Essentially, if you just buy the core set, you can probably get away with 3 boxes of 100 sleeves, or 4 if you want to be thorough. If you get an expansion and a hero pack together, you’ll be able to use two boxes of 100 sleeves to sleeve them both without many sleeves left over. If you don’t sleeve all of your aspect cards at all times (we don’t!), you can get away with far fewer sleeves, and the bare minimum you can go with is 2 boxes of 100 sleeves, which is enough to sleeve 2-3 (possibly 4, depending on the size of the encounter deck) hero decks and an encounter deck with some change. You’ll just need to do a lot of re-sleeving between different setups.
At the end of the day, if you splash out on one extra accessory for Marvel Champions, we strongly recommend that one thing be sleeves for your cards. It helps to protect them, makes the game easier to play for people who aren’t great at shuffling, and generally makes them easier to manipulate. Any standard western TCG sleeve will work (avoid any that list them as being suitable for Japanese sizes!), but we recommend Dragon Shield and Gamegenic sleeves simply because they’re a good middleweight option. You can go much cheaper with so-called “penny” sleeves, but they’re just not good enough, and you can go much more expensive with luxury sleeves like Ultimate Guard Katana sleeves. Those sleeves in particular feel nicer to shuffle, and I love them for my Magic decks, but with the quantity of sleeves used by Marvel Champions, those can really start to hit your wallet for not a significant benefit.
Whatever you choose, we recommend buying a few boxes of sleeves at once, simply because there is nothing worse than finding the sleeves you like are not available later, and it can save you on the shipping. Getting more sleeves than you need will save you in the long-run if you’re planning on buying more cards, as you won’t be stuck in the annoying position of trying to deal with a collection that’s half in one type of sleeve and half in another.