10 Ways to Keep Your MTG Foils Straight

Hello all! I’m Thomas Enevoldsen, Winner of World Magic Cup 2014 and today I am guest-writing this article in collaboration with ManaLeak.com on the proper handling of foil cards for your entertainment and general profit.

Don’t you love it, when you wake up for the upcoming tournament and all your foils looks like a Boomerang and you ask yourself: How can I flatten my foil?

© Karn__liberated // reddit.com

You might wonder what makes me such an authority on the extremely sophisticated and entirely firstest-of-world-problems issue of avoiding creases on your beloved foils, but I once firstpicked a foil Windswept Heath on a GP day 2 draft and that would be a fair point.

But in any case, here I am to provide you with the insight necessary to keep your foil collection crisp and straight, so they do not go bendy into that good night. And I mean that in the literal sense, foils are like gremlins in the sense that once you are past midnight, they tend to go a bit crazy and start creasing up for no good reason, and if you are not careful, the next time you wake up you might find your foils looking less like Magic cards and more like tiny breakfast bowls.

To avoid this, I give you my top 10 suggestions for keeping foils straight in the particular order that they are listed, with 1. being the most preferred method.

1. The Old School way.

Devote your interest in Magic formats entirely to the “93/94” format. Having a format without foils and thus not owning foils will ensure that you will have no issues with keeping creases off your collection. I also hear it is a real easy format to get into, so that’s 2 birds for one stone/Catalog.

2. The Grizzly Bear aka. the Showstopper

Put your foils in your favourite deck and then stop playing with that deck again. And I mean ever. Don’t even think about shuffling those foils. Shuffling is the number one danger to foil cards, besides water and the sun and throwing them in the trash and I guess a number of other natural disasters.

3. The Pressurizer

Purchase a Hydraulic Press as seen on this youtube video to straight out any creases.

4. The foiled attempt


This one I am actually not that big of a fan of, as I don’t particularly like the card disadvantage of this card, but having the only foil in your collection be the card Foil will ensure that you can still keep up with your local community foil gossip while remaining keeping your forehead free of any signs of worrying about bent foils (also known as “crease wrinkles”).

5. The Narcissist

If you are a foil-lover like me, you are probably a very superficial person too, so you will guaranteed have lots of mirrors lying around. All you have to do for this one is line up your foils against your mirrors. Foil cards have a personality of their own, and having them constantly looking at themselves in the mirror will prevent them from getting any bendy ideas.

I will just interrupt the list with a brief intermezzo to state that I believe the above 5 methods should be enough to fit most of your needs, and the article is therefore done however I was told it was supposed to be a top 10, so I’ve come up with a few more just to keep it fresh and new (just like your foils will be, if you adhere to the above and below advice).

6. The Laminator

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Laminate your foils. The method comes with a bonus in that you will have to quintuple-sleeve your deck in order to ensure proper protection of your foils for your next tournament, thus 2-upping the recent Guinness book of records attempt at GP Vegas, which I think we can all agree was just not enough to get the job done.

7. The Ice Cauldron

If you are an ignorant foil-lover like me, who cares more about the top tiers of foil management rather than the top tiers of the metagame, align the room temperature in which you store your foils to your win percentage. Keeping the room below zero degrees will ensure minimal crease to your beloved foils. And if you happen to sleep in the same room as your Preciouses (which you already should be doing to ensure that a bond is created between you and your foils), a nice and cool bedroom has been proven to provide a better sleep experience. Profit!

8. The Flat-Iron

Buy a flat-iron, start ironing your foils. Disclaimer: I do not know if this damages your foils. If so, it is probably for the best and you can stop collecting foils, it is useless anyway.

9. High Pressure makes Diamonds

If you’re like Anders Gotfredsen, who just qualified for his first Pro Tour, arrange your foils under the immense amount of pressure from your far too high expectations, and they will surely stay straight as an arrow.

10. Stop the Riffle: Mana Weaving to Prevent Bends

This may seem similar to number 2, however there is a slight twist, so bear with me. When you bring your foil deck to a tournament, stick to pile shuffling only with the veeeeeeery occasional riffle just to keep up with appearances. Now this method may seem strange to you, but much like the last Divination I cast, it is a 2-for-1 deal. It

(1) not only prevents your foils from creasing up through regular shuffle and usage, it also

(2) should increase your chances of winning (exponentially, if you are a foil-lover like me and thus sh*t at the game).

You see, if you arrange your deck a certain way before a game, pile shuffling will only move the pieces around while the general arrangement will stay the same, thus ensuring that perfect land-spell ratio we all live for. This can be critical for that one 1-8 performance at your next Grand Prix, at which point you can move straight to the trading tables with your head held high. Keep in mind that this method is illegal and you shouldn’t to anything written in this article at home.

If you want to read something serious about the topic, head over to our friends at Manaleak: Foil MTG Cards: How to Cure Curling (“Bending”), and Tournament Tips, by Kerry Meyerhoff

Until next time,

Happy shuffling!