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Reviewer EndersGame
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With new decks constantly appearing, it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest. So to showcase some of the hot new offerings that are hitting the market, here are some brand new custom decks that I've been enjoying recently.


Proj. Subtle deck

The Versa deck already has the cardist in mind, but at the same time it still shows a close connection with tradition. With the Proj. Subtle deck, however, we no longer have any need to be tied to any expectations, because this deck has been created by cardist Ethan King from the ground up specifically for cardistry. Small print on the front of the tuck box tells us all the details and dates of the project.

Ethan says he values versatility and unique, modern design, and so these are the characteristics he has tried to encapsulate with his first release from his publishing company, Project Shuffle. In other words, we aren't concerned with trying to satisfy the magician or card gamer, but the whole point is to create designs that look appealing in cardistry moves like fans, cuts, and pirouettes.


The card backs utilize an isometric style of pattern that uses lines to focus on being streamlined and balanced. The overall look is one of a complex design, and yet the use of gray ensures that it still feels simple and practical. I especially love the fact that selected lines have been given a pink or blue gradient colour, which amplifies their visual impact when in motion during cardistry moves. You can tell that this deck has been made by an experienced cardisty, because a pink and blue border ensures that the card edges are distinct, and don't get lost when doing moves involving spreads or cuts.

Instead of black and red faces, this deck opts for a more a consistent colour scheme relying on grey, along with a pink and blue gradient. Just as with the card backs, selected pips have been coloured with a blue and pink gradient to help them stand out from the surrounding grey. The entirety of the faces has been subject to Ethan's redesign, and he's made a deliberate effort to eliminate some of the usual negative space. I especially appreciate the icon on the opposite indices, which enhances reverse spreads and fans, as does the well-placed coloured line below the indices. The index font, suit symbols, and the orientation of the pips have all been created from scratch.


Besides two custom Jokers, we also get two extra ad cards, one of which comes with instructions for "How to Pendiddle" - a fun fiddle move using a pen.

It's clear that a huge amount of thought has gone into every single aspect of this deck's design. Every design decision has been percolated through the mind of an experienced cardist, with cardistry in mind, and I'm very impressed with the attention to detail, and the overall result. I also really like the choice to go with a lightly coloured almost pastel-like design, that uses grey along with a combination of pink and blue.

The end result looks fantastic. And because it's printed on Cartamundi's True Linen B9 stock, the cards feel very soft straight from the box. This is a finish that has been very popular with cardists do to the soft cards, and makes a good choice for this deck.



So where can you get the beautiful decks and accessories featured here? Any reputable online retailer that sells custom playing cards should have these available (e.g. Rare Playing Cards). If your favourite retailer don't stock these particular decks, send them to Murphy's Magic, which is a magic wholesaler. They have an enormous range of products that they sell in bulk quantities to dealers and retailers around the world. Given their extensive contacts in the industry, all of these decks should be available from any retailer that sources their decks from Murphy's Magic.

I've seen a lot of decks of custom playing cards, but I never cease to be surprised by the level of innovation and creativity that is on display, as designers and creators continue to experiment with new ideas and concepts. Today's market is witnessing an unprecedented amount of quality playing cards that handle beautifully and also look great. The decks featured here are all fine examples of the type of quality and style that is available to consumers today. Artistic and original decks like these are great for card gamers, cardists, magicians, collectors, or for anyone looking to customize their playing card experience with some refreshing and custom elements.

Direct links:
- For the alter-ego of you: B-Roll deck, Six Strings deck
- For the traditionalist in you: Black Widow deck, Versa deck
- For the cardist in you: Proj. Subtle deck
- For the magician in you: DMC Elites deck (Forest Green), Polyantha deck
- For the exhibitionist in you: Carat XDS card display & deck stand, Carat XCB brick box

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