(Cardistry) Are the Smoke & Mirrors deck worth it?

Discussion in 'Product Questions and Reviews' started by Mr. Hollowed Skull, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. I was thinking about getting the Denim, Rouge, and Eco for a while now. Only problem I have with it is... well the price is ridiculous. $15 for a deck of cards is just, wow. But I've heard so much about them and I think they look very nice (Especially since I heard they look better in person). I truly want a deck but they're just so pricey. Please tell me, is it worth $31 to buy all three (Not gonna buy them separately, cheaper to get them altogether since I'll eventually get them all. Plus, they might be out of stock by then) for XCM or flourishes in general? I'm probably not going to use them for magic.
  2. No sir they are not worth the price. If you want functionally identical cards at a fraction of the price that look much classier, you have all of the vintage series Bicycle back designs to choose from (and the "first print" batches are some of the best cards ever produced).

    The price IS ridiculous. The cards are not special and you could buy some RJRTC watermelon Bees for that price if you wanted a truly unusual deck of cards, and the plus is that RJRTCs don't have two giant Ds on them. Cards do not make the cardist - you should be able to do every flourish you could possibly conceive with a deck of regular Bikes.
  3. I actually really like the two big D's (God, that sounds so bad) and I'm not a huge fans of the RJRTC bees. But anyways, I'm looking more for a deck that feels good rather a deck that will help me as a cardist, which I doubt it actually will. But thank you for the response and I'm a little more driven away.
  4. But I still really want these cards so if any flourishers are out there, please answer :(
  5. If you like the backs and the price is worth it to you then don't let me stop you. They're good cards, with highly customized everything. The problem is they're no better than other USPC cards like the vintage series, which are about $3 a deck on eBay right now depending on design. Just buy five of those for the price of one Smoke and Mirrors or get a brick for $30 or something man.
  6. I haven't had the chance to play with the box set colored cards, but the original colored series don't feel that great imo. They feel thin and a little flimsy. It makes for great springs, but can make a cut like madonna3 a little more challenging. I also found they don't last very long. They are comparable to Cincinnati bikes, if you know what those feel like.
  7. The only deck i've ever handled that feels similar to original smoke and mirrors are the rare occasions when I get a pack of aristocrats with perfectly cut edges. Whether it is placebo or not, I firmly believe smoke and mirrors are one of the finest packs i've handled and both my cardistry and magic would agree with that.

    Also, @TheMagicalSock, as to your comment on doing anything with a pack of bikes, have you ever seen Pred Cipi? Normally I would fully agree with you, bikes should be more than good enough for anybody, but Cipi truly needs his hand-treated decks in order to do a lot of his crazier fanning techniques.
  8. I am a big card collector, and I've handled just about every deck out there. There are a couple decks that I put at the top of my list as the best quality decks ever made. For various reasons, these are decks that use the highest quality stock, finish, and of course grain on the stock for that particular run.

    Here are a couple decks I would put up at some of the best decks ever made based purely on feel.

    -Split Spades Lions - 1st Edition
    -Fulton's Clip Joint
    -Smoke & Mirrors Rouge (V5)
    -Madison Rounders

  9. The thing you have to keep in mind too is that we all have different tastes in cards. I like mine to have some grip, not be super silky. I also like thinner more responsive cards. These things make Smoke and Mirrors Perfect for me.
  10. Over the last decade of doing cardistry, I've tried virtually everything there is, both on and off the market. Decks costing upwards of $1,000 (courtesy of Chris Kenner), I can honestly say if you want your cardistry to be better, get as many decks as possible with different stocks, different conditions, etc., and use them all.

    We print on Q1 quality paper with pretty damn amazing stocks, I don't think I've handled a particular deck that I felt made my cardistry any better than one of equal quality. At the end of the day, use what design and style you like best, and your cardistry will grow just as fast. Unless you're a collector, there is no "quality" justification that can be made that's going to make your technique better. There is no magical shortcut. Hope that helps!
  11. Just to echo what Andrei said - playing cards are not and will never be a make or break factor in your skill development. As a case study of this, see Dimitri Arleri: the deck of cards he uses is about 5 years old, and it probably has alien lifeforms growing on it.

    The one technical advantage to a quality deck of cards: durability (it will last a long time) and a smooth coating that allows for effortless fanning. Many cheaper decks won't last long, and some won't fan at all.

    Our decks are printed on the web press at the United States Playing Card Company - the same press that prints cards for the world's largest casinos. As a result, our cards and our printing specifications are unrivaled. But, no matter what we do - nothing can enhance your cardistry more than simple practice!
  12. OH

    Did Andrei Jikh and the CEO of theory11 really just commented on my trivial thread? o.o I'm new here so I don't know if that is common...

    Anyhow, I never planned on getting any cards to improve my skills. But I do know that some decks just overall feel nicer than others. I ended up buying the smoke and mirrors anyways and I don't regret it at all. I have no idea what some of you are talking about with the handling, they're the best I've ever had :D

    Thank you, everyone. You all helped me, really.
  13. Good move! SMoke and mirrors really are some of the best cards available today. I wish I had more of the originals.

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