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Top 12: Playing Cards of 2015



It's been another busy year for playing cards. From big magic companies to independent designers, 2015 has been filled with excellent new releases, and to celebrate we've compiled 12 of our favourite decks right here. Compiling the list has been a lot fun but really challenging as there are just so many amazing decks this year. If you think we left your favorite deck out, let us know in the comment section below. :)

Note that the selection expressed in this top 12 are solely those of the author and the list is in no particular order.

Avernum



Produced by Passiones Playing Cards and designed by Stefano Protino, Avernum is inspired by Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri's eerie vision of the afterlife seven centuries ago. His vision has been included into one of the masterpieces of the Italian culture: the Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia). Fully custom, each court card is a work of art by itself and weaves metaphor into an intriguing visual that captures the imagination.


Draconian



Designed by Randy Butterfield, this mesmerizing deck of playing cards are inspired by a time of legendary dragons and features beautiful dragon scales, gorgeous colours and borderless back design. Also, the Faces incorporate a clean design that keeps them very functional and provides the highest level of playability. Draconians are available in 2 different edition, the Lightning (blue) and Spitfire (red) decks.


Omnia Suprema



From Thirdway Industries the Omnia Suprema Playing Cards are meticulously designed by Italian graphic artist, Giovanni Meroni. This stunning deck represents the dimensional plane where Gods live in the Omnia Universe. The gorgeous courts in Suprema depict the ascendency to the divine and show their power with elaborate armors, jewel and wings. Also, the tuck features an elegant red foil plus embossing giving it a very luxurious look and feel.


Heretic



Another incredible deck masterfully created by Stockholm17. Heretic Playing Cards features intricate design and artwork based on alchemy and the hermetic world. The deck is fully custom, from the pips, backs to the court cards. The back design is bright and embellished with intricate sphere's and ribbons in the negative space, making the back very eye-catching. The tuck has a subtle embossing on it with a unique long flap design that tucks into a lip on the tuck. A nice elongated Red seal wraps itself around the bottom of the tuck to secure the flap and features sequential serial numbers.


Scarlett Tally-Ho



Kings Wild Projects has brought us some of the most beautiful, collectible decks in the industry in the last few years. The Scarlett Tally-Ho does not disappoint! Inspired by the iconic brand as well as Jackson Robinson’s daughter (Scarlett), the deck is a beautiful reworking of the classic Tally Ho’s. The Tuck is a deep red with Gold Foil accents and embossing as well as a “Lattice” like pattern that embellishes the interior of the tuck to complete the custom case. The cards themselves have completely custom courts with 2 gold metallic ink accents on the face cards as well as 1 gold metallic ink accent on the back design presented in the bold, intricate design style that we’ve come to expect from KWP. The Ace of Spades as well as the Jokers design, are an homage to the original key card design and concept.


Contraband



A beautifully crafted deck by Theory11 and designed in the United Kingdom by Joe White, Contraband Playing Cards were inspired by secret societies, conspiracy theories, and everything unknown. Each card within the Contraband deck are custom, from the Aces, Jokers, to the court cards and the backs. The Contraband tuck case features gold and black foil and the interior, an elegant black foil design.


Hive Limited Edition



Stunning! The Limited Edition Hive 2 Playing Card is designed and illustrated by Brendan Hong. Hive 2 does a wonderful job in picking up where the original Hive decks left off. The style and design connects them without being the same. This gorgeous deck features all new custom courts in Brendan’s signature style as well as custom pips, Jokers and Ace of Spades. The tuck is fully embossed with Gold Foil accents and the interior features a gold foil, repeating, “Honeycomb” design that is very striking.


Arcana



One of the most funded deck of the year, Arcana Playing cards blend the traditions of standard playing cards with the secrets of the Tarot. This stunning deck is intricately illustrated by Chris Ovdiyenko. Each royal is illustrated with an unprecedented amount of detail in an engraved style. Elements in the deck includes 12 uniquely crafted Royals and Aces, 4 Major Arcana cards (The Fool, The Lovers, Death, and The Tower), and standard pip number cards. Also, Arcana features a natural pearlized tuck, with embossing and a luxurious blue foil on the tuck interior.


Superior Brand Classic Reserve



Recently available as a limited offering few weeks ago from the Expert Playing Card Co,  the Superior Brand features EPCC's new Robusto Finish and tucks designed by Jackson Robinson. What truly made this deck impressive is the full foil, shimmering back design. Truly eye-catching! Also, the tuck was stamped with a very expensive matte red foil followed by gold foil on top of that.


Tendril Ascendant Special Edition



From the mind of Paul Carpenter, the elegant Tendril: Ascendant playing cards incorporate all the refinements over the years and mixes those with the organic symmetry first seen in the original Tendril. The colors are bold, the borders are intense, the faces are dark and the level of detail has been increased. The Special Edition tucks are individually hand made with personalized die cut on a soft-touch black paper with gold foil.


Joker & the Thief



The Joker and the Thief playing cards is an impressive deck! The design invites attention while striking a balance between style and functionality. The tuck is peppered with lavish touches, and adorned with incredible silver foil. It is embossed on all sides and has a foil stamped interior. The back design is not only intricately beautiful but aesthetically and sentimentally appealing. The themes and connotation from back design continue throughout. The court cards are all fully custom and the Ace of Spades is unique, bold and iconic of this design.


LUXX Palme



From JP Playing Cards and designed by Rick Davidson, creator of the beautiful Origins Cards, Palme is a deck inspired by the beautiful Paisley pattern, which has roots and heritage across the globe. The Palme backs features full-bleed, borderless design, giving this deck a unique look and style which is carried through the deck and onto the tuck. The eye-catching tuck box features a wrap-around design and embossing complete with matte foiled LUXX logo.

Honorable mention: SEASONS by Alex Chin, Classic by UUSI, Antler by Dan & Dave, Kings of India by Humble Raja, Golden Spike Black Ink by Black Ink Playing Cards and Fuego! by Cellar Window.
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