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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Incantation Playing Cards (Mike Hoffman) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reviewer EndersGame
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From creator Mike Hoffman comes the Incantation deck (Midnight Edition), also available in a limited Ritual Limited Edition. The tag line on the tuck box reflects Mike's own interest in playing card games like Poker, and one of his family member's interest in card magic: "Made for Sleight of Hand and Games of Chance".

I'm never fond of direct references to card magic on a tuck box, because it can make spectators suspect that a deck is a "trick deck", even when it's really basically a normal deck - which this is. But the style of the art and graphic design is intentionally modelled from 19th century spiritualism and vintage magic ads.


This style is maintained throughout all aspects of the playing cards, which are fully custom. The card backs feature some ornate decorative lines surrounding a circular design on which two skulls are set, to evoke somewhat of a darker and mystical feel. This won't suit everyone, but is in keeping with the overall theme of the deck. It's a two-way design that isn't marked, making them suitable for card games or card magic.

I'm particularly fond of the court cards, which have artwork that embraces the traditional French designs. The number cards have pips with slight adjustments to standard ones to give them a unique feel, which is enhanced by a custom layout. But what really helps set this deck apart is the decision to have include the name of each card printed on opposite indices, which adds to the overall aesthetic and vibe.


Other custom touches include an Ace of Spades inspired by something used in early spiritualist seances. Jokers inspired by a famous advertising poster featuring pioneer magician Howard Thurston are ideal for an amusing colour change. Gaff cards include a duplicate Ace of Spades and blank card.

The Ritual Edition changes up the black card backs to a soft blue, which is also used for small touches on some details on faces of the Ace of Spades and Jokers. Printing is by Cartamundi in their soft Slimline B9 finish for smooth handling. Those who appreciate the vintage feel will enjoy using this custom deck for playing card games, and particularly for card magic that lends itself to storylines along spiritualist lines.

The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Incantation Playing Cards (Mike Hoffman) (0 Likes)
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