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Top 12: Playing Cards of 2017



What an amazing year for playing cards! To celebrate we've compiled 12 of our favorite decks right here. This IS the most challenging list we've ever had to put together to-date. So, if you think we've missed your favorite deck, 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.

Tally Ho Pearl Gilded



The Pearl Tally Ho is the final deck in a four deck series by Kings Wild Project. This beautiful deck includes an embossed, pearlescent paper stock, hot foil stamped tuck case and numbered seals. The cards themselves have completely custom courts with metallic ink accents on the face cards presented in a gorgeous pearl-pale off-white colorway and subtle metallic ink on the bold back design. The deck is gilded with a stunning Pearlescent foil.


Pantheon



Pantheon Playing Cards feature greek mythology focused on the Olympian Gods. Fully custom, from the Aces, Pips, Tuck Box and the card backs, which features the 6-pointed impossible star that is the main symbol of Pantheon. Also, the gold foil card backs are STUNNING! The Pantheon tuck is embossed, double foil on the exterior and red foil interior on premium soft-touch dark blue paper. Meticulously designed by Thirdway Industries and printed by Expert Playing Card Co with Classic Finish.


Exquisite Bolder



Three years in the making, Expert Playing Card Co's Exquisite Bolder Playing Cards is an eye-catching deck using Expert's brand new Perfecta Foil on the card backs and the tuck and 3d embossing on the side-way tuck. This amazing process creates foil with the illusion of depth built in. Also, the deck features standard courts, face cards, and incredibly thin (1mm) borders on the card back!


Cardistry Touch Origin



Crafted from scratch specifically for cardistry, the deck features a unique geometric design that accentuates spins, flourishes and large, multi-card displays. Also, a single design is repeated on each card for an enhanced cardistry experience. Printed by Cartamundi on a premium quality paper with a softer stock and coated in brand new "cardistry finish", which feels broken in right out of the box. All 51 cards are housed in a very unique swivel box. The team at Cardistry Touch won the Cardistry deck of the year at Cardistry-Con 2017 in Los Angeles.


Apothecary



This gorgeous deck is exactly what you come to expect from Seasons Playing Cards. Stunning foil, exquisite artwork, and entrancing design! Apothecary is an homage to old world illustrations. Reveling in the realm of true artisan craftsmanship, these cards embrace the engraving style intricacies and the custom illustrated courts elevate the experience with entrancing details.


Radia



A bold new vision in playing cards. Encarded's RADIA is the first modern deck to combine the finest traditional paper stock with a complete coating of metallic foil and the highest quality printed details. By printing an intricate design inspired by a 19th-century Spanish gold engraving right on the foil, RADIA has unparalleled shine and visual dimension, but with its high-performance coating it also handles like any modern playing card should, fanning and shuffling beautifully. The deck is housed in a beautiful tuck with pearlescent paper, purple ink, gold foil, embossing and a custom die-cut, RADIA is the perfect combination of simplicity and complexity.


Origins Shadow of History



The Origins Shadows of History deck by Rick Davidson is inspired by the elegance and charm of playing card history. The deck is beautifully crafted and features an ornate premium quality tuck case, embossed and hot stamped with stunning metallic foil. The face cards are entirely custom with vibrant gorgeous courts, diptych jokers and a bold Ace of Spades, printed with ornate metallic ink backs.


Winterberry



Beautifully designed by Estonian graphic designer Toomas Pintson and produced by Got Magic?. The enchanting deck is fully custom, and meticulously hand-illustrated from the ground up. The deck features a distinctive style of illustrations making it truly a unique piece of art inspired by the beautiful and cold Nordic winters. The goal was to create an elegant and beautiful deck of cards that card collectors would appreciate. The cards are housed in a gorgeous tuck case crafted by Clove St. Press on a deep-black soft-touch paper with silver foiling. Sealed by a tax-stamp style seal.


Golden Oath



This year, Lotrek's Golden Oath Playing Cards won Joker Plus 52's 'Deck of the Year' award for his painstaking work on this stunning deck. All the artwork are foiled including 2 foils (gold and red) on the card back and 3 foils (gold, silver and red) on the face cards. A tremendous technical challenge!


Dystopia



Dystopia Playing Cards by Joker and the Thief is a disturbed tribute to cult movie Mad Max, Muscle Car Culture, the Australian Film Industry and Outback. This blood and fuel injected deck features 100% custom illustrations by Pedro Oyarbide - a symbolic back design, a striking ace of spades, tyrannical court cards, insane jokers, and of course, a stunning tuck box from professional letterpress studio Clove St. Press, capped with a custom shaped seal.


Drifters



From Dan and Dave, Drifters Playing Cards is a gorgeous deck designed by Curtis Jenkins, illustrator of Monarchs playing cards. Born from the wilderness, a sense of adventure and the wonders of the unknown, the Drifters Playing Cards showcase the majestic beauty of the great outdoors. The deck features fully custom courts, jokers, beautifully illustrated aces, and gorgeous back with incredible line work. Every shuffle and cut of the cards is a reminder to never settle, to chase a life of freedom. The cards are housed in an eye-catching custom letter-pressed tuck case featuring intricate detail and incredible line work.


Gemini



Two years in the making, Gemini is a fascinating deck of playing cards designed by Lorenzo Gaggiotti of Stockholm17. The Gemini Playing Cards has been meticulously crafted to give it a classic medieval feel. The deck features aces that are depicted as axes and the royals of the court cards interact with their own pip, becoming part of the illustration. The number pips are bold and BIG. The striking Gemini tucks are adorned in gorgeous foil on thick black paper and feature beautiful calligraphic text.

Honorable mention: Butterfly Playing Cards by Ondrej Psenicka, Papilio by Kiran Kuruvithadam, Titans by Jody Eklund, RAVN Purple Haze by Stockholm17, Bharata by Sunish Chabba, The Confessions Series by Ellusionist, National Playing Cards by Harold Apples, Hocus Pocus 40th Anniversary deck by Edo Huang, Pearl Playing Cards by Hanson Chien Production Co, and Regalia deck by Shin Lim.


The selection expressed in this top12 are solely those of the author. 
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