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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Breather vs Reverse Breather? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Nikodemus
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I have recently learnt a stack (Joyal), and now starting to explore ways people put "work" into their stacked decks.
The obvious example is using a Breather Crimp to be able to always cut to particular locations. I understand that a Breather will be cut to the bottom, and a Reverse Breather to the top (unless I have got that the wrong way round). I am trying to understand if there is any practical difference between (1) crimping card 52 so it cuts to the bottom (2) crimping card 1 to cut to the top. The end result is the same - you are in stack order. But I get the impression there might be something I am missing? Are there other factors to consider?
landmark
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Reverse Breather cuts to the bottom, Breather to the top.

Reverse Breather the work is put in face down, thumbs on top, and Breather, face up, thumbs on top.

The way I understand it, the extra bonus of a Breather is that you can verify that you cut to it because you see the back of the top card that you cut to, pop up a little in the middle--hence the name, breather.

On the other hand the advantage of a reverse breather is that you can sneak a look at the face card of the portion in your hand and verify that you cut correctly.

Some folks crimp both cards. Makes it even more likely to hit the cut.

Tip: lift the whole deck off the table or off your hand a bit, then let the bottom portion of the deck fall. You're more likely to hit the crimp. A Charlier cut is good for hitting the crimp too.
MC Mirak
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I prefer using the "top cutting breather" and "bottom cutting breather" nomenclature to avoid any of the confusion around what is a reverse breather.

I prefer to put a top cutting breather in card 1 and a bottom cutting breather in some other card (often card 26 or 27). A bottom cutting breather in card 27 works perfectly for "Banned For Life" from Buena Vista Shuffle Club for example.

Patrick Redford's Super Card approach is really good as well as you can avoid using a breather at all for card 1.

Finally, corner shorts are like the nuclear option and very effective. You could still give away cards with breathers but corner shorts put the deck in gimmicked territory.
dclxvinyc
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The big difference between the two types of breathers is when you get away from your stack.

When in stack, either breather will serve to cut 1 back to the top or 52 back to the bottom.

In a shuffled deck, a bottom-cutting breather crimp can help control slugs of cards to the top for cutting routines and forces. It can also be used as a key card.
I always have a bottom cutting breather worked into my nine-of-diamonds, which in my stack, is 52.

If I get away from stack work but I'm using the same cards, I can use it as an indiscriminate breather to control a slug of aces.

A top cutting breather is helpful if you want the spectator to cut to a forced card. In which case, the forced card will be the breather itself and not the card following it.

There are some applications where, for example, you'd replace every seven in the deck with a seven of hearts with a top cutting breather. The deck can be looked through and withstand casual observation, but the spectator can shuffle the cards himself and cut to a force card almost every time.

Hope this is helpful,
-a
MC Mirak
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Dclxvinyc brings up good points about the actual utility of breathers. One of the strongest is that the spectator can do the cutting, especially if you have a mark on a top cutting breather. Corner shorts are spectacular for magicians but have limited utility when having a spectator do the handling of the deck.

The Redford Super Card is sort of a combination of both (spectator can cut to it as can the magician but there isn't any breather work required). It does result in the card being "gimmicked" though.

I put a top cutting breather in the 4C, a bottom cutting in some other card, corner short the QH, and then corner short another card in the opposite corners. That lets me dribble force the QH or the other card at will, let the spectator cut the 4C to the top and/or cut to the other breather (let's say bottom cutting breather in the 2C).

I also mark the deck.

I sometimes also edge mark specific cards.

But breathers are great because you can use Nash's (?) Infinity Crimp with borrowed cards and then return them after doing a few pressure or Lepaul spread fans. You don't even have to do those either.
MC Mirak
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I should add the biggest problem I have with really strong breathers is they sometimes make faros a bit more challenging due to the natural breaks they create. Not insurmountable by any means but, depending on the state of the deck, it can be challenging for me to do multiple faros in a row with multiple strong breathers in the deck.
dclxvinyc
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Bottom cutting breather crimps are my go-to for performing impossible magic with a shuffled deck.
There is "better" magic out there, for sure. But nothing else in magic besides stack/mem work allows me to be so hands off. And at the end of the day, that means more to me than any kicker ending or impossible color change.

As far as Swiss-Army decking, I've had breathers and short cards. Good work though on corner shorting the opposite corners. I'd honestly not ever thought of it. I had belly strippers and negative strippers throughout. Peg marking for r/b. Eventually I just settled on a fast way to set up mnemonica from a borrowed deck and crimp the 9D.

Would love to learn the Martin Nash crimp, but I can't seem to find the source. Anyone able to point me in the right direction?

Best,
-a
landmark
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MC Mirak
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Quote:
On Aug 8, 2020, dclxvinyc wrote:
...Good work though on corner shorting the opposite corners. I'd honestly not ever thought of it...

Would love to learn the Martin Nash crimp, but I can't seem to find the source. Anyone able to point me in the right direction?

Best,
-a


I use the opposing corner shorts quite a bit. Being able to easily and quickly dribble or riffle force multiple cards is valuable. A riffle force actually forces the card below the short card versus the dribble force which forces the short card. I'll PM you a link to a video of an effect I'm working on that uses it.

Matt Baker briefly goes over the Infinity Crimp in his At The Table link
Nikodemus
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Thank you all for such comprehensive answers!

I like the terms Top Breather & Bottom Breather - much clearer.
So - to create a Top breather, you look at the face as you crimp. For a Bottom breather, you look at the back as you crimp)
Poof-Daddy
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You can go much deeper into “sure-fire” locators In several positions by using breathers, corner shorts, scalloped ends or sides... there is a very informative chapter called “The Tuned Deck” in “Greater Magic”. With some simple work, I have a Bee Back Deck that I can make 4 cuts and flip a Royal Flush from the 5 packets being turned over (just as one simple example). I have different work put into my memdeck at a few different places that can be found even after cutting the deck a few times because each area has its work in a different location on the cut card.
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