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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: DMC Elites deck (Forest Green), Polyantha deck (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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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.


DMC Elites deck (Forest Green)

DMC represents the initials of English magician and card shark, Drummond Money-Coutts, who has been the subject of several TV magic specials. One of the more noteworthy ones was entitled Beyond Magic with DMC, and featured Drummond performing street magic around the world. Money-Coutts has teamed up with magic creator Phil Smith to produce a series of decks called DMC Elites, and the DMC Elites deck (Forest Green edition) is considered version 4. The tuck box is a matt finish in forest green, and is finished with gold foil touches for a classy look.


These decks aren't intended for your weekly poker night, but specifically have the professional magician and mentalist in mind, due to the specialized secret that is built into the card backs. In the world of magic, it's known as a "marked deck". But what makes the DMC Elites so highly regarded is that these cards don't require you to squint in order to try to make out the semi-hidden markings. Instead, the marking system on these decks works best when viewed from a distance, and yet unless you know the key, it's completely undetectable. Many in the world of magic consider these innovative decks to be the best in the business for exactly this reason. Even pros will struggle to find the markings unless they've been let in on the secret.


So how does this deck compare with its ancestors? First of all, there's the colour, and the Forest Green ensures there's no confusing version 4 with previous editions of the DMC Elites deck. The formula that made previous DMC Elites decks so successful is continued, but for the first time the markings are now on all four corners, not just two. Finally, there's been a change in card stock, with USPCC now being the publisher of choice with their high grade Bee stock. For the rest everything is relatively standard, besides a custom Ace of Spades and the stylish silhouette Jokers, one of which has a card reveal. The two ad cards cover a short introduction to the Elites decks, and instructions about the marking system.

There's frequent debate about which marked decks on market are best, but if you're looking for cards that can be easily read from a distance, then the DMC Elites are a clear winner. The deck includes an instruction card that tells you all you need to know to read the markings, but there's also a terrific companion book available. Entitled Passport to Marked Decks, and by the creators of the deck, DMC and Phil Smith, this 32 page book explains the deck along with instructions for nine different effects you can do with it.


Polyantha deck

The Polyantha deck is from Daniel Schneider, and holds a similar secret to the DMC Elites. Being a marked deck means that it's also targeted specifically to magicians, and hence also the design choice to make this deck in a classic casino style.

The tuck box introduces us to the special pattern that will return on the card backs. The cards have a borderless back design that produces an eye-catching pattern in fans and spread. A closer look reveals a tiled pattern consisting of tiny black roses, and studying these closely will prove to be the key that unlocks this deck's secret markings, which will not easily be detected by the unenlightened.


The word polyantha is taken from a species of rose that was popular around the turn of the 20th century, and is simply a name that appealed to the deck's designer.

Daniel had previously created his first deck, Black Roses Playing Cards, in 2014. For this next deck he employed similar artwork for the card faces, but removed every colour for an exclusively all-black look. Looking at the faces will reveal that despite the traditional look, customization has been applied here too.


If you look carefully there are some other fun details, such as the two black roses below the giant Ace of Spades pip, which indicates that this is Daniel's second deck design. Besides two ad cards, the two extra cards included are a jet black casino cut card, and a 50/50 gaff consisting of a 2 of Diamonds and a 8 of Spades.

Production is by USPCC with their usual air cushion finish, but the deck has a traditional cut as preferred by magicians. Given the sleek jet black look, these are the kind of playing cards perfect for low light situations where the colours are hard to distinguish anyway, and is precisely the kind of sleek deck that you'd expect to find in the hands of James Bond types in a casino setting. It won't be for everyone, but there will be some magicians for whom this deck will make the perfect look given their style.



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


BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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