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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » The Gnostic Deck (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RonanK
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Quick Stats:

- Designed by Hong Kong based Mentalist and Magician: Stuart Palm
- Printed by the Legends Playing Card Company (LPCC)
- Available in Lapis Blue and Rose Gold & Black from www.StuartPalm.com
- Also available from the Conjuring Arts Research Centre
o Exclusive Red & Gold deck available at CARC
- Printed with the LPCC’s “Diamond Finish”
- 2mm thick white borders. The thinnest borders I’ve EVER seen on a deck
- Priced at US $13.75 a deck. Multiple deck discount packs available
- Only 1000 of each colour printed, PERIOD.
- Invisible, Forcing, and Tossed Out Decks available from www.StuartPalm.com (LIMITED)

Blurb

The new and elaborate Gnostic deck features an elegant motif designed with the mystery performer in mind. The design is both classical and mystical and features many built in secrets.
Featuring one of the most elaborate boxes of all time with an extravagant display of foil throughout the inside of the box, in addition to the creative and eye opening use of metallic inks.

Review
Ok, I’m not really one for using or collecting the newest custom decks that pop up what seems like each week for a few reasons. First, I don’t do a tonne card stuff nowadays; Second, I abuse my decks, so a nice custom deck will get trashed pretty quick; and Third, I’m honestly happy with a deck of Bikes or Aladdins (the common deck here in Singapore) for all of my magic.
All that being said, the Gnostic Deck (designed by my good friend and Hong Kong based Mentalist/Magician, Stuart Palm) has quickly become my deck of choice for practicing, performing, and just wandering about keeping my hands busy with something. I might be a bit biased in this instance as Stuart is a good friend of mine, but I was honestly quite sceptical when he showed me the designs of this deck. I like simple back designs (e.g. Jerry’s, Wynns, or something with intricate but not terribly complicated artwork like Tally’s, Bikes, Arrcos, or Aladdins), so when Stuart showed me the designs on the computer, I was honestly not that interested. It has a lot of illustrations with symbolic images and some other bits and pieces that didn’t pique my interest at the time. The one thing I remembered was the ridiculously thin white border on these things (2mm!). However, my curmudgeonty indifference about this deck changed the minute I saw the finished product. WOW, these things are amazing!

The cards were printed by fellow Hong Kong based magician, Lawrence Sullivan, and the Legends Playing Card Company. Lawrence is a genius when it comes to playing cards. Toying around with how the amount of ink on the card affects the handling (I never knew it did), and creating stunning decks in the process (e.g. the Legends Deck, also available from the CARC). The Gnostics have a buttery smooth feel straight out of the box, and the borders really work with the intricate, Persian carpet-like design. The Red & Gold and the Rose Gold & Black decks have been printed with this amazing coppery coloured (Rose Gold) metallic ink that is like nothing I’ve seen before on a card.
Personally, I am not a big fan of the two gold decks as I feel that the design gets lost, as opposed to the Blue deck which has the artwork printed in white ink. The back design itself is really amazing. Stuart was working on this for a very, very long time and the effort that has been put into the design really shows. The back design is reminiscent of the Tally Ho Fan Back, with circles being connected by straight bars.

The box was the next thing that struck me. This thing is as tough as a tuck case gets. Stuart wanted a tuck case that would hopefully avoid the common problem in Hong Kong of disintegrating in your pocket. So, the Gnostic tuck case is extra thick, and it is lined with gold foil that glimmers *cough* HINT *cough* when exposed to light. The card stock on which they are printed is exclusive to the LPCC. It has been chosen to withstand the heat and humidity of Hong Kong, and they do hold up very well! I recently moved to Singapore from Hong Kong, so I need cards that can hold their own against the warm and moist conditions of outside. The Gnostics actually hold up better in Singapore than the Aladdins , which were printed by the USPCC specifically for Singapore’s climate. The faces are fairly standard as card faces go, with the exception of the court cards (of which there are a couple of custom faces of Stuart and Lawrence) which have the Rose Gold ink printed in place of the more traditional yellow. This gives the court cards in the Gnostic deck a more elegant and subtle look to them than is seen in other decks.
Within the back design and the box of the Gnostics, Stuart has placed a few little hidden images that can be used to great effect during a performance. As this deck has been tailored to the “Mystery Performer”, some of these hidden images may be familiar, and some may be completely new to you. All the details of the cards are pointed out and explained along with a handful of very good routines in The Gnostic Deck Guide, which is available in The Mystery Shop area of www.StuartPalm.com (the Mystery Shop is password protected). Stuart is also selling Forcing, Invisible, and Tossed Out versions of the Gnostic Deck; with the latter two each coming with an e-book that includes performance/handling tips for the respective deck.

I am going to try and stop waxing lyrical about the Gnostics as much as possible and just say this. The Gnostics are never going to replace my Bikes and Aladdins for every day usage, mainly because I have gaffs that don’t match the Gnostics, and the Gnostics being a little bit too elaborate and/or (for the lack of a better term) “fancy” for my performance style. But they are my go to practice deck, and if I do a show from here on out that is a little bit more refined (e.g. a dinner club or upscale restaurant) I will definitely be using the Gnostics. Also, the price is a little high for me for a normal deck of cards that I would use regularly (i.e. would need to buy many of them), but it is definitely justified given the amount of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears (well, maybe not the last two) that have gone into making this deck a reality.

In short, if you have a refined, elegant performing style: the Gnostics will suit you. If you are a mystery performer: you’ll love the “hidden elements” to the design. If you are a hardcore card guy with a pet move monkey: you’ll love the feel and finish of these cards. If you like to collect decks of cards like ornamental scarab beetles: you’ll love the design of the cards and the box (you won’t be needing a Lucite case to protect these). If you are a person (like me) who does more spontaneous magic, i.e. street style, the Gnostics might not be the deck for you as a performer, but you should pick up a deck anyway to practice with because they feel awesome and will last for ages! Only 1000 of each colour have been printed, so if any of what I said made you even vaguely interested, I highly suggest you go and pick up a deck before they go.

Apologies for the lack of quotation marks and apostrophes. First post, and I'm not sure how this BBcode thingie works
DrTodd
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Thanks for a great review.

I have the Gold and Blue decks, and love them. The box design is clever and provides great flexibility for correspondences and a set of routines and effects that play to the metaphysical side of things. The quality of the cards and tuck case are simply top notch. The back design is cool, and will provoke lots of discussion. For those with a lot of arcane knowledge, these decks will become your favourite.
wilko7
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A great review. Many thanks. I ordered these a few days ago from LPCC. There stuck in customs at the minute but I should have them within the next week.
I can't wait to see how they look. I think the LPCC are doing a really good job and are offering some real nice options for the custom card designer to think about.
Competition is healthy and I think is just what the USPCC needed.
Matt Pulsar
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Thanks for the AMAZING reviews folks! Let me know when you get yours Wilko7! I have a book for sale in the mystery shop page on my site that gives routines and all the secrets hidden in the deck. PM me if you need the password for the mystery shop.
Belief Manifests Reality.
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Palm Star Zodiac Divination System: https://palmstarzodiac.blogspot.com/
Sean Macfarlane
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I got a Gnostic deck just recently and wanted to chime in and say how beautiful this deck is! Very beautiful design and some built in features that are so well thought out. I really like the Legends Card Stock that it's printed on. The quality is definitely a step up from Bicycle, they handle so beautifully.

I highly reccomend this deck to Magicians and Mentalists alike even though mentalists will probably find this deck more suitable for them. Nice job Stuart.

Sean
DavidKenney
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Got the gold and lapis today and I have to repeat what's been mentioned above - amazing cards. The KS is Lawrence Sullivan and the QS is... his wife? But the only other custom court is the JH and that doesn't look anything like you Stuart! Is that supposed to be you? Longer video review coming soon
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Matt Pulsar
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Ha, :-( so sad. Yes the JH is me...I have had people who I don't know look at the cards and say, wait, this one looks like you! So it must look enough like me for that... My beard and tache used to be more as in the image, but if you knew me personally you would see it. Harder to get from photos. The QS is a friend of Lawrence's, Lawrence is not married, ladies? Wait, I'm on the magic Café... The QS was an unintentional add in actually, Lawrence had set that in for the Egyptian deck and accidentally got put in the Gnostic file also, which is alright, kind of a weird easter egg I guess.
Belief Manifests Reality.
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Jeremie Leroi
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Hi Stuart !

That is indeed an absolutely... intoxicating deck of cards.
I found the Ebook on your site. But can you confirm that it is indeed available (it says "Coming soon") and, please, give us a bit more details/informations about what's in it ?

Thanks !

J.
Matt Pulsar
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Sure Jeremie,

The Gnostic Deck guide is around a fifty page book that explains the secrets and symbolism contained in the design. There are many "forces" to work with, and each is described in detail. There are two scripts for using the deck to create a reverse psychometry experience. There is an alchemical selection effect you can do with just the box. There are a few routines and variations on standard routines that can be done with systems designed into the deck. There is also a full routine you can do with just the jokers. The Gnostic Deck guidebook also contains a beginner guide on doing readings with the deck. The book ends with a basic description of the Gnostic Mythos.

It is available, but I'm still doing a final proofread. All the content and design of the book is complete, I'm just having the text gone through one more time to get rid of any possible mistakes and to make the flow better. Currently if you purchase the book I send the prelaunch copy, and then I will send the final draft once the proofing is complete. (If you purchase after the proofing is complete, it will be integrated into my site like ICON is so that you get the download link as soon as you purchase.)


Thanks for your interest.

Stuart
Belief Manifests Reality.
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Palm Star Zodiac Divination System: https://palmstarzodiac.blogspot.com/
Jeremie Leroi
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Thanks a lot for your answer. Sounds promising !

I'm ordering my copy right now...

J.
DavidKenney
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Got mine! Here's my review:

link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqiB83kA......e=active

A deck of playing cards designed specifically for the 'mystery performer.'

Mnftr: http://www.legendsplayingcards.com

purchase: http://www.stuartpalm.com/shop2

purchase all 3 colors: http://conjuringarts.org/2014/07/coming-......ic-trio/
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Matt Pulsar
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Free Cards! One offer already taken...

http://www.stuartpalm.com/blog/free-playing-cards
Belief Manifests Reality.
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Palm Star Zodiac Divination System: https://palmstarzodiac.blogspot.com/
LesL
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Received my gold and black deck yesterday from Conjuring Arts. Just gorgeous. It was a bit warped when it arrived - it has been rainy here the last few days. The deck is sitting in a Porper card clip and I'll take a look at it in a couple of days. My deck when in NDO shows an effect that I have never seen before - the deck shows 5 breaks that perfectly divide the deck into six equal parts. Is this a feature or a defect? It has nice thin borders but that accentuates the slight misregistration on my deck. Can't really check out the handling until the warping is corrected.
Matt Pulsar
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Hi LesL, I'm glad you like the deck. Sorry yours is warped, I haven't seen this happen yet, and the registration on these decks is usually very good. I have only found occasional decks with slight misregistration, but nothing people would notice. Also, I haven't noticed the breaks you are talking about. That said, if you send me a photo of what your talking about at my website: http://www.stuartpalm.com , so I can confirm the misregistration and warping I can send you a new deck. And if you want I'll open it and check the registration as well. Send me an message from my contact page on the site. Best, Stuart
Belief Manifests Reality.
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Palm Star Zodiac Divination System: https://palmstarzodiac.blogspot.com/
LesL
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Thanks Stuart. You are a 1st class act. Sent you pictures to stuart@stuartpalm.com.
DavidKenney
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My review for the red deck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmC6Bt1QGM4
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