Card Sleeves – The Late Update

By now, most of you have probably heard the news about the update to Konami’s policy regarding card sleeves and the Extra Deck. If you have not, you can find all relevant Tournament Policy documents here:  You’ll find them in the section labeled “Duelist Resources”.  These documents can be viewed in your browser, but can also be downloaded for free if you like.

The rule that card sleeves had to match for all three of your decks- Main, Extra, and Side- has been in place pretty much forever.  It only recently came to light when a lot of people were complaining about their Extra Deck cards getting mixed up with their Main Deck.  While I can certainly understand the frustration, anybody running 15 cards in their Side and Extra Decks should not have this problem.  Have I done made the mistake of shuffling a Synchro Monster into my Main Deck?  Of course.  It still happens to this day.  But as I said in my previous article talking about sleeves, anyone who can count to 15 shouldn’t have this problem very often.  In a tournament, this can also be a bad thing.  If you happen to draw an Extra Deck card from your Main Deck, you must reveal that card to your opponent and call a judge.  In most cases, the card is placed in the Extra Deck, you get a warning, and you draw a new card.  If you suspect that more than one card is in there, you should count your Extra Deck and ask the judge to sort through your Main Deck for any other stragglers.

Well, the Powers That Be have decided that the practicality of different sleeves for the Extra Deck outweigh any other significant reason for uniform sleeves.  Are they wrong?  I don’t think it’s my place to say.  A judge I may be, but I don’t write the tournament policy.  I barely have a grasp of how big a tournament can get; I can’t even imagine being in charge of the tournament scene for an entire country or continent.

Let’s be clear about this rule, however: This rule only allows players to use different sleeves for their EXTRA DECK.  Your sleeves for the Main and Side Decks must still match.  Even if you have Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz Monsters in your Side Deck, they must still have sleeves that match the rest of your Main and Side Deck cards.  Furthermore, if you DO use different sleeves for your Extra Deck, they must all match.  So you can’t use ten black sleeves for your Xyz Monsters and five white sleeves for your Synchros.  It’s either fifteen of the same black sleeves, or fifteen of the same white sleeves- or no sleeves at all, if you prefer.

So what does this mean for you as a Duelist?  Well, for newer players, this is a godsend and I won’t argue with anyone who says that this helps them.  Young or old, newer players have a lot of things in the game to get used to- three different decks with their own set of rules is one of them.  More experienced players might also find this to be a great convenience to them given the time constraints of tournaments.

However, there are some players who might still prefer to have uniform sleeves all around, and for any number of reasons.  It could be that they want their Extra and Side Deck sleeves to match because they have Extra Deck monsters in their Side Deck; having the same sleeves means you don’t have to take cards out of sleeves and switch them, saving precious seconds (no, that’s not sarcasm; every second counts in the tournament scene).  There might also be strategic reasons for this, such as concealing the number of Extra Deck monsters that are actually in the Side Deck.  That is, hiding this information from your opponent.  To a certain extent, this IS legal; and you don’t want to give away too much information.  You never know what they might use it for.

I mentioned in the last article a little card called Magical Hats.  This card wasn’t seeing much tournament play, even in Geartown decks.  However, it IS seeing tournament play in Harpie decks thanks to their favorite new Spell Card: Hysteric Sign.  In most cases, you won’t be hiding an Extra Deck monster anyway, and if you do, it’ll be an Xyz Monster, so the Xyz Materials will be placed underneath the monster once you’re done mixing up the hats.  Yeah, I know, it sucks.  But this is still a good strategic reason to use uniform sleeves, at least in the event that you happen to summon a non-Xyz Monster from the Extra Deck, or you hit an Xyz that has no more Xyz Materials attached to it.

This is only advice and opinion.  If you don’t want your Extra Deck to match your Main and Side Deck card sleeves, you no longer have to (just so long as the Extra Deck sleeves you use are all the same).  This might make your tournament experience much easier for you.  In all honesty, I hope it does.

Until next time, folks, keep dueling!