(Maybe) How to Literally Flatten a Heavenly Inferno - Part Two
When we last left Kaalia and her vast warped brigade, they were languishing in my garage under a 30 pound box of audio cables, hopefully attaining a more planar characteristic from the rising temperatures and humidity of the Pacific Northwest.
Well, it didn't work. These guys are tough.
There isn't enough focused heat to cause the cards to warp back, and just applying pressure is not going to cut it. My spouse once worked in a frame shop and mentioned they had a device that can apply both heat and pressure to quickly flatten out just about any paper material. However, I don't think a frame shop would let me just walk in and borrow it, and I don't want to pay someone to do it.
If I really want these cards to be flat, the best option is to use the same principle at home with a clothes iron. This is also a riskier option, because I could really mess up the cards if I'm not extremely careful.
She suggested I use materials that will both protect the cards but easily transfer heat. Place the card between two sheets of parchment paper and cover it with felt material. Then, iron on super low heat until it's nice and hot; transferring the card under some books to cool. It's important to not do this with foil cards, though. They may get ruined with iron-level heat as foil and paper substrates expand and contract at different rates. I haven't done this yet, and can't fully endorse this method, so try at your own risk.
I decided that I didn't want to attempt this, considering the amount of expensive cards in this deck, but I want to test it on other cards. More on that later. In the meantime, here's the alternate solution I came up with...
Many a Magic player has told me that Dragon Shield is the crème de la crème brand of card sleeves. These sleeves are solid and built to last. They mash nicely when shuffling and don't get all wrinkly and nasty like penny sleeves or thin standard clear sleeves. Pair them with an additional inner sleeve, and you can't get much better protection for any card - with the added benefit of keeping the cards flat and rigid under all those layers of sweet polypropylene. As you probably know, I'm an avid card sleever for pricer board games and collectable cards, but even the thought of double-sleeving cards seems excessive to me. However, it seemed like a good (and not risky) solution to try, so I got a pack of Dragon Shields Gold Mattes for the outer sleeve, and clear Dragon Shield Perfect Fit sideloaders for the inner sleeve.
After I sleeved ten cards, I could see an improvement. It's not perfect; there is still a bit of bend, but much of the annoying warp is gone. A colleague suggested that I could've used a thicker inner sleeve like the KMC Perfect Hard (sounding like a male enhancement supplement), which could flatten them out even more. At $8 for a pack of 50, though, I decided to pass on that. It was a little tight getting the Perfect Fit-ted cards into the Dragon Shields, and I don't want to unsleeve them at this point.
All in all, it's good enough for me. Kaalia and her forces are once again battle-ready!
I am still curious about the ironing method. I have another (less expensive) deck that could use the treatment. I don't want to end this on an anti-climatic note, so let's give it a shot! I'll report back here in part three.