Top 12: Playing Cards of 2016

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Top 12: Playing Cards of 2016

What an incredible year for playing cards! From big magic companies to independent designers, 2016 has been filled with amazing new talents and incredible innovations. To celebrate we've compiled 12 of our favorite decks right here. Compiling the list has been especially challenging with all the amazing decks released this year. If you think we missed 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.

Silver Arrows

The Silver Arrows Playing Cards are a sleek and polished playing cards meticulously designed by Jackson Robinson. The deck features an industry first full bleed foil back design and showcases signature Kings Wild court cards as well as two custom jokers and custom Ace of Spades. Printed by the Expert Playing Card Co.

Le Chat Rouge

No.17 "Le Chat Rouge" is a custom-designed deck of playing cards by Stockholm17. It is the third and final version of the elegant "No.17" series. The card backs feature black cats with accents of red foil creating a striking effect on the rich black backs. The card faces are white with a unique thick black border, adding a modern touch to a classic playing deck. The playing cards are beautifully housed in a die-cut tuck case that has been intricately cut out, and sealed with a limited edition number.


Chancellor Playing Cards are inspired by a small detail on a century-old Bicycle card back and grew into an incredibly detailed artwork! Designed by Encarded and printed by Expert Playing Card Co, Chancellor showcases FOUR metallic inks that intertwine into a detailed, "shadow bordered" back with subtle edge details and dimension. The faces are fully custom, with a dramatic court featuring beautiful detail and unique colorations. The stunning tuck features thick matte black paper, two foils and incredibly detailed blind embossing. The deck is sealed with a beautiful metallic foil seal, individually numbered and carefully designed to integrate with the tuck design.


Inspired by culture and heritage, Brendan Hong brings his unique style to this gorgeous deck of playing cards. Various Chinese elements are reimagined in Brendan’s own delightful style. The decks feature fully custom cards with unique Jokers, Courts and Ace of Spaces and Matte stock tuck featuring foil and interior printing. Printed by the Expert Playing Card Co. on their Classic Finish card stock.


The ICONS SACRED Edition playing cards is a limited edition deck design by Lotrek of Halfmoon Productions. Crafted with love, devotion and... risk, ICONS SACRED is a developmental deck, used to fine-tune Lotrek's new printer and various production aspects from cutting methods and metallic inks’ behavior to playing card finish. The end result as you can see is nothing short of stunning! ICON SACRED features gold metallic ink on the faces, gold and silver metallic on the back and an intricate tuck case that was amazingly stamped on 2-sided color "metallic" stock.

Odd Bods

The Odd Bods Playing Cards is a brilliant deck illustrated by Jonathan Burton. Produced by Art of Play, the Odd Bods Playing Cards feature amusing characters, quirky illustrations, and playful imagery. The deck has been hand illustrated in a beautifully nostalgic style and designed to have the look of ‘aged’ Victorian lithographs. Every image proves its own quirk and oddity, but is never ostentatious-- Odd Bods are the epitome of refined indulgence. Packaged in a gorgeous gold-foil embossed tuck box.

Magna Carta

Magna Carta by Seasons Playing Cards is a stunning set of limited edition playing cards that commemorates the foundation of liberty. Symbolism and story are thoughtfully located throughout this luxurious black and white deck set. The deck features luxurious foiled etchings on each suit, intricate linework on custom courts, and subtle embossing on the tuck, creating beautiful pleated patterns across the face of the premium linen stock. The tuck interior reveals an interior replica of the actual 1215 Magna Carta itself. Together, the side of the decks display a beautifully illustrated mural!

Black Diamond

The third edition is the hugely popular Tally-Ho series by Jackson Robinson of Kings Wild Projects. The Black Diamond Playing Cards incorporate USPCC's new MetalLuxe Foiling process on the card backs, making the Black Diamonds not only the first fully custom deck to utilize the process, but also the very first all black deck by Kings Wild. Only 1000 produced and features a premium soft-touch black tuck with Black foil accents.

Anubis and Osiris

Inspired by the luxurious reverence of Egyptian Gods and Kings of the past, The Anubis and Osiris Playing cards is an original set of American playing cards designed by Steve Minty. Elements from classical Egyptian era and the Egyptian Revival along with modern design are incorporated into this stunning custom deck!

Gold Gator

David Blaine released the new colorway of the popular Gatorbacks playing cards as a part of his Black Friday line-up this year. The Gold Foil Gatorbacks feature a stunning Gold-on-White custom tuck and like it's predecessor, beautifully embossed and finely detailed, on both the inside and the outside. The deck features the USPCC's eye-catching Metaluxe back.

MINT Limited Edition

Designed for the workers by 52Kards, the stunning Mint Limited Edition playing cards features elegant borderless back with beautiful tri-color design, gold line accents and masks an incredibly intuitive marking system for the clever magician to take advantage of. The deck showcases gorgeous semi-custom courts, custom pips and indices, custom Ace of Spades and a minimalistic custom tuck box with embossed gold foil and interior printing. Printed by the United States Playing Card Company and coated with the legendary Air Cushion Finish.

Wicked Kingdom

Hand-painted by fantasy illustrator Wylie Beckert, Wicked Kingdom is an art-rich deck of playing cards set in a dark fantasy world and populated by a cast of strange and complex characters.This gorgeous deck features insanely detailed, hand-drawn artwork with a dark fantasy flair. Custom-designed subtle one-way card backs, hand-drawn pips, elegantly watermarked number cards, and dual-identity face cards make for an art-rich playing card deck for cardists, collectors, and fans of the fantasy genre.

Honorable mention: ALLOY by Gambler's Warehouse, NPH by Theory11, OMNIA by Thirdway Industries, Royal Bee, Flying Machine by Bicycle Playing Cards, GRILLE by JP Games, Private Reserve 2 by Dan & Dave, Inception by Jody Eklund, White Gold by Joker & the Thief, VIRIDIAN by Trikard and Skull & Bones Phantom Edition by EPCC.

The selection expressed in this top12 are solely those of the author. Images for Silver Arrows, Le Chat Rouge, Chancellor, Dynasty, Magna Carta, Black Diamond, Anubis & Osiris, Gold Gator and Wicked Kingdom are taken
 by Anthony Ingrassia. Odd Bods and Mint Limited Edition by Ivan Choe. ICON SACRED from
Top 12: Playing Cards of 2016 Reviewed by Ivan on 12/27/2016 Rating: 5

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