Top 3 Cards you use for magic (besides bicycle standards)

Nov 6, 2017
Hi all,

I've uploaded a video to my YouTube channel today about the top 3 decks i use for magic and why I like to use them (doesn't included bikes as 90% of magicians use them)

Just intrigued to see what top 3 you all like to use

Lyle Borders

Elite Member
Aug 5, 2008
Seattle, WA
Monarchs Deck, Black Scorpion Deck, Archangels Deck
Monarchs, Black Cherry Casino, Steam punk

These guys know what is up. Monarchs have been, since I helped with their release, my all time favorite deck, hands down. There have been a few really close challengers (the High Victorian deck is a recent one), but Monarchs still reign supreme IMO.

Archangels are pretty dope. Love that deck, especially the textured tuck case. Just started seeing those at Walgreens recently.

Steampunk are pretty sick too - Also at Walgreens? A secret Steampunk color. We sell Bronze and Silver, there is a non-metallic Bronze out there too, but I just saw for my first time ever the other version of this deck... (it is SHINY).

As far as my three favorites for magic? Whatever deck I have on hand. So long as you are using a high quality deck, the design rarely matters in term of technique. It is all about the looks, and I have lots of decks I rotate through.

// L
Jul 26, 2016
I would agree with the super high rating other members have given the Monarchs. When I buy Bicycles (which I use most often in my performances), I order Bicycle Rider Back, not Bicycle Standards. I find the Rider Backs to be superior to the Standards. I own a lot of beautiful custom decks, but in my opinion, Bicycle Rider Backs spread and fan best of all. The primary reasons I like to use Bicycle cards for my performances is (1) most people recognize and/or have used them for card games and (2) my Invisible Decks are Bicycle and I want the cards I'm using for the Invisible Deck and those I'm using for my other my card routines to look identical.
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Nov 4, 2017
Artisan, monarch, & archangels. In that order. Artisans have always just felt perfect in my hand, barely edging the monarchs.

Steam Punk is the only Theory 11 deck I don’t like in terms of handling. Played with them for a week or two and never picked them up again. It’s funny how they are in the top three for some and how specific our preferences can be.
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Elite Member
Jul 28, 2016
Well, screw it...I like Bikes.

Crimson Luxe
Shadow Masters

I like Bikes because they are what most lay-people expect in a deck of cards. These cards are all substantially different from standard bikes so they are both comfortable with lay audiences and yet stand out as special.

Hesslers are flat out amazing on both sides: multicolor maiden backs and a four color deck...what's not to like?

Crimson Luxe are both elegant and flashy.

And Shadow Masters... a reversed black deck is just plain cool...there are still a lot of people who have never seen a black deck.

There are a hundreds (okay, many dozens of hundreds) of very nice non-Bicycle cards out there but there is a lot to be said for classy variations on the traditional bike designs.
Dec 1, 2017
I have become a huge fan of the NOC cards. They are cheap enough that I don't mind buying multiple decks and beating them up. They look plain enough while still being "original" and are super nice to match to your outfit... and the marking system is a cute bonus.

Other than the noc, I really like the classic, clean look of the madison rounders and I also love the Madison Dealers. The marking system on those, once used to it, is super easy to read quickly and can help you in a pinch.
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