Sentinels versus Ellusionist Arcane Playing Cards

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jahsp, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. They're both awesome but which one is better. The gold arcanes are displayed in a glass case which is beautiful but the sentinels are in an art museum and sentinels in a bottle which are eyeshockingly flawless. They should have gaffed sentinels.

    So Which is better for manipulation/flourishing?
    Which is better for tricks?
  2. Which ones looks "cooler" to you?...They are both just pieces of cardboard with different designs....
    btw I dislike the Sentinels "look"...Just two circles and a pyramid inside of them....
  3. There seems to be a bit of a trend with you kids and teens when it comes to your selection for playing cards, and insane loyalties to X brand, be it Ellusionist, or Theory11. The notion that one brand of cards is superior to another is idiotic. The minimal differences between different magician produced brands of cards is moot. The fact that they handle better than over the counter decks such as the common rider bike backs is non-disputed, but comparing decks like Arcanes to Sentinels is about as productive as watching paint dry.

    I say that these arguments are flawed only because it will come down to only a difference in opinion that will set brand X apart from brand Y, and in the grander scheme of things most magicians still prefer tried and proven decks like Tally's or classic rider back Bikes over any new trend deck. There's no factorial evidence that can provide conclusive data that any one deck handles better than another at any given time. I don't understand why young magicians are obsessed with the one "true way" to perform magic. The one "true" deck of cards to use, the one "true" list of tricks to perform, the one "true" type of street magic, etc. There is no "best". Different tricks, decks, and props present with them different options for performance, but nothing trumps anything else overall. There really is only what works for you, and what is right for you.

    I myself prefer to use Sentinels, IF I use a custom deck, but for me the choice to use them is purely aesthetic. I can do the exact same things with a deck of riders that I can with a deck of Sentinels. Or Arcanes for that matter.
  4. If you discount the six months of research and ten pages of documentation that explains the meaning behind each symbol within the deck, then yes, it's just two circles with a pyramid inside of them. Sentinels have been referred to by many as the world's finest deck of cards (not by those inside of the magic community - but outside, where it matters most). They've been displayed in art museums and magazines for a level of design that has never been matched, embossed in 20+ locations and with metallic accents in 7.

    But yes, you are correct that it comes down to each his own. We went to great lengths to ensure that Sentinels were printed on the web press at USPCC in Q1 quality, a fact I do not believe is shared with the Gold Arcanes to my knowledge. At the end of the day, use the deck you like the most, that best represents your style and performance vibe. Like a nice jacket, your cards should accent your performance, not distract from it, and in order to do so, you have to love the look. It's personal.
  5. Speaking of which, JB, when do we see those released research papers behind the Sentinels design? I remember you said you'd release them one day, quite interested in looking at them since I don't happen to own any yet.
  6. What I said was

    That means I don't like the design because it is just 2 circles and a pyramid to me...

    cool...Now that I know that the 2 big Circles and the pyramids inside them have have some meaning I still dislike the design....
    I was merely answering a question that was asked by the original poster...
  7. There's more to it then that. The faces? The artwork around said two pyramids? Bet you didn't even notice the new t11 logo above the pyramids, and that's one of the most obvious things there.
  8. Maybe he is just one of those types of people that aren't into using custom cards.

    Much like these people :

    Tony Chang (The Man)

    Juan Tamariz (El Hombre)

    Helder Guimaraes (O Homem)
  9. #9 notsoltd, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2010
    Wow, JB I am really interested in knowing the meanings behind all the symbols on the Sentinels

    EDIT: Oh and to contribute to the original post - Sentinels, plain and simple, I think are SWEET. I'm not sure why, but I HIGHLY dislike the Arcanes. In fact, since I got my first deck of Guardians roughly 2 to 3 years ago, I haven't liked ANY cards that E has put out. Just personal preference.

    Actually, IMHO, I wouldn't consider ANY cards that Ellusionist has put out "custom" besides the Arcanes. In my eyes, all their other cards are Bikes with different color schemes.

    Theory 11 puts out (again MY opinion) the most creative, sweet looking, and TRULY custom cards.

    Performance wise, however, is a totally different story - My PERFORMANCE cards of choice are standard Bikes or the new 125s
  10. Jahsp-Buy a deck of each and decide for yourself. The real question at hand is which deck works best for you and you are the only one that can answer that.
  11. back in the day there was no such thing as "custom cards"....Like the more mature :magicians: I know that any deck of cards is just 52 pieces of cardboard and they should never cost more than 3$ USD....whoever buys custom cards does not use them to perform...

    protip- The cards don't make you flourish any better....they don't make you look cooler either...just suspicious
  12. Well to be fair... cards can complement or finish off a characters look and feel. I run a very gothic character while performing and usually do bizarre magic. Sure I can use a normal bike deck, and frequently do for casual performances, but when I'm on stage as the self styled Master of the Macabre, I prefer to use Sentinels, or Ghosts. They just look right in my hands. I'm sure Arcanes would too, but I've yet to see one of those decks. My point is, it's not about the cards, it's about the total package, character and all.
  13. Let's avoid making blanket generalizations off the top of your head. Steve Cohen utilizes only a specific type of Vintage Fans in his performances at the Waldorf Astoria to match his character (and he paid a pretty penny to secure an ample supply for three shows a day). Homer Liwag and many others prefer traditionally cut cards versus standard Bicycle; Homer's deck of choice is Propaganda. And four of the greatest card technicians working today - Chris Kenner, Steve Forte, Jason England, and Bill Kalush - have extensive playing card collections of all types of back designs. As far as I'm aware, Jason doesn't have a particular preference of back design, but he likes using Tally's and vintage decks and new art that fits his particular image. Kalush himself just released three decks designed by Guy Hollingworth in the past 90 days.

    In the first 40 years of USPCC (1885 to 1927), about 80 new back designs were introduced. The Bicycle Rider Back wasn't introduced until 1887, and it was originally available in red, blue, brown, and green until 1927. The point is that playing cards ARE just 52 pieces of paper. Rich, elegant artwork on the back of those pieces of papers is as much a part of it's history as it is a part of it's present status. There's nothing wrong with that. If you prefer the design of standard Bicycle, awesome. To each his own. No worries.

    No one in this thread suggested or implied that to be the case. Sentinels, Guardians, Vintage Fan Backs, or other cards have absolutely nothing to do with increasing your skill any more than a cool looking guitar helps Van Halen play better. But the last time I checked, most guitarists have a very clear personal preference of what kind of guitar they like to use. They prefer a certain brand, a certain style, or in the very least, a certain color. I went to a Jay-Z concert last month here in New York, and his guitarists certainly didn't use pretty pink guitars. Their guitars matched their image - sleek, modern, cool. Why shouldn't the same apply to magicians?

    Draven's post is spot on. If your character is dark and mysterious, why not use a deck that reflects that image? It would be very strange for Steve Cohen to come out playing with a deck of Guardians at the Waldorf Astoria, wouldn't it? It wouldn't match his image. So he uses a deck that does match his image (these). Steve is a tried and true professional and every element of his act supports his image and his brand. Every trick, every moment, his wardrobe, and especially his playing cards. He gives them away at the end of each performance.
  14. Maybe soon. For now, we've only shared the explanation among our crew and artists that visit our HQ. Perhaps in the near future we could release the explanation document, but for now I sort of like having it left a mystery!
  15. To the original poster: Do not rely on other people's information for your sake, try them out and find out for yourself.

    As for the whole "custom decks don't make you flourish better" I agree with that statement. However, they can accentuate and put some extra touches to your performances. i.e. Color-changing card fans use interesting cards producing visual effects to Card Manipulation acts.
  16. Thanks, I just wanted to know peoples opinion because I look at the cards sort of like a rival. Personally I prefer Bicycles and Tally ho. I might buy both and test them out. I heard the arcane air cushion finish wasn't so great and the cards were hard to fan.
  17. I have both the (white & black) Arcane decks. Even though they "LOOK" very nice (to me) they do feel "bulky". I will stick with my "Guardians" thank you very much!
  18. Design aside, there is a difference between the feel of Sentinels and Arcane's. Like all artists, the way our tools handle makes a big difference. As a graphic designer, I would much rather use Creative suite 5 then CS3 or 4 because it has more options. The same goes with a deck of cards. If a deck feels and handles better, then I will want to use that deck. And since the move to kentucky, Bicycle's and Tally-Ho's just don't feel the same. That is one of the main reasons I look into custom decks. I much prefer Sentinels to Arcane's. purely on feel. They last longer, much longer, and they are thinner.

    Hope that clears things up

  19. #19 ChrisWiens, Nov 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2010
    After using the Sentinels some people asked me if I´m a member of the Illuminati cult. No kidding!
  20. wow. just wow.

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