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 Post subject: Smoke&Mirror v.5 (Blue) Deck Review
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:58 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Smoke and Mirror v.5 (Blue) Deck Review

Attachment:
v5-1.jpg
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Where to buy:
Secondary market only
Price:
Fluctuating to fast to predict…

For more information about my reviewing methods and a list of other reviews: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156760&p=1224367#p1224367
If you are interested in my Buyers guide
check out this link: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=159568 http://forums.theory11.com/showthread.p ... yers-Guide




Initial Impressions:
There is not too much to say about this deck that I haven’t already in my review of the Smoke and Mirror v.4 review. I remember making the comment that I didn’t want the Bucks to change a thing for future S&M cards. Well it feels as if they didn’t change much except for the color(follow a link to my buyers guide to find the full review on the v.4s.) There were a few minor differences in how the cards handled but they were all so slight that it could easily be chalked up to the differences that we all expect from one run of cards to another. Overall I love this deck without the need of a full review because I can feel the similarities between this deck and the v.4s, a deck that in my opinion does as much for a soft smooth decks as the Fournier 605s do for the stiff snappy decks. It is quite simply, “Best in Class.”

Attachment:
v5-2.jpg
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The Look:
These have the same back design as the v.4s except for the color, a metallic blue. The Smoke and Mirror jokers are an image of a faceless magician with top hat and cane. It is a classic imagae as well as a mysterious one. The Ace of Spades is a beautifully intricate design that is better seen than described. The court cards are similar to similar to standard USPCC court cards yet the detailing has been paired down to match the theme of the deck. The three colors used in the court cards are black, maroon, and the same metallic blue that is used on the backs of the cards.

Attachment:
v5-4.jpg
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Card Construction:
My understanding is that these cards have been printed on the same recycled stock as the v.4s. They were about 14.8 mm thick making them about 2 or three cards thinner than a Bike 808 and about the same size as the v.4s. The box was made on imported paper and it has raised lettering on the front of the box where the “Player Cards” is scrolled. The cutting work feels smooth and looks even leading me to assume that v.5s were printed with Q1 quality controls.

Handling:

Fanning: OOB: 9.5
1st Week: TBD
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

Soft stock, smooth finish…doesn’t get much better

Spring Energy: OOB: 7.5
1st Week: TBD
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

Don’t let the OOB score fool you. For some reason the recycled stock(for me at least) feels very stiff OOB. Indeed I originally rated the v.4s 8.5 OOB. But this stock softens up very fast…I mean usually with in an hour or two of use. So My OOB scores are very suspect on this deck as they were on the v.4s. I would expect these cards to soften up to about the same stiffness of a Bee aristocrat stock after short use.
Dribble: OOB: 9.5
1st Week: TBD
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

Q1 processing, excellent finish, and super smooth stock all combine to make a very smooth dribbling deck. Perfect for long dribble flourishes.

Crimp Hold/Recovery: OOB: 8
1st Week: TBD
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

Some how the recycled stock seems to hold up well to the initial crimp tests. If I recall right as the v.4 aged it did have some crimp recovery issues but it wasn’t enough to really effect the performance of the deck.
Single Card Glides: OOB: 7
1st Week: TBD
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

This one glides about the same as a bike 808.

2+ Card Obfuscations: OOB: 6.5
1st Week: TBD
2nd Week: TBD
3rd Week: TBD
4th Week: TBD

This deck is so smooth that I sometimes have trouble grabbing a secure DL and holding them together for display. I will add that I had the same trouble with the v.4 but after about a half a week the v.4s broke in managed to hold doubles well and still fan beautifully at the same time.

Gaff construction and availability: One blank faced card is included with the v.5s/ Other than that all Gaffs will need to be homemade.
XCM Flourishing: This should be a perfect flourishing deck for people doing long spreads and fans but it might be a little cagey in complicated packet cuts.

Who Should Buy?:[/size ]Collectors, Dan and Dave fans, and anyone with a soft elegant style of card magic or flourishing.

[size=150]Who should not buy:
If you like stiffer stocks and you have a powerful stile of card magic this deck probably won’t bring you the performance you are looking for.

Final thoughts:
If you missed the initial printing of these I don’t know what to tell you. These jump in value so quickly that it their price quickly out paces their value as a working card. If a re-release is made these come highly recommended, in fact, buy a brick! After doing the OOB review I went back to the numbers on my v.4 and I pulled out my control deck for the v.4s. The v.5s felt a tad looser(I’ve already discussed how quickly the v.4s loosened up so this is a hard stat to guage either deck OOB) and they performed slightly worse on one card glides and 2+Os(and I mean by a .5!) Because everything felt so similar I presume they are basically the same card other than the color choice and the extra work put in on the box of the v.5. For these reasons I think it is fair to refer you to the v.4 review for an in-depth evaluation of their performance over time. That doesn’t mean that I won’t get back to these at some point(I want to play with them sooner or later!) but with the large scope of my current review project they are the lowest priority. Nevertheless, I think it is safe to say that these will be an excellent performing card. After all, I elevated its brother, the v.4s, to “Immortal” status once inventory disappeared and it was relegated to the secondary market. This is yet another excellent card in the Smoke and Mirror series!


P.S. For those who can't wait for the longevity review may I suggest checking out the original v.4 review. I'm pretty sure that the two decks are close enough in construction that this should give you a rough idea of how they will age.: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=157477


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