These cards are great! The box has a sturdy, high-quality feel. I like that all of the seals are
The back design is stellar. The detail and depth are really amazing.
custom faces are fun. The hearts and diamonds use a dark red, while the clubs and spades are blue
instead of black, which fits the water theme. The courts have a pretty classic style but the
characters are tigers instead of humans.
The feel on them is so good. They fan and shuffle
really nicely and the edges are super smooth.
I think these are tied with the Oaknut set
for my favorite of all the UltraLux decks so far.
5 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
The Water Tiger Cards are a very beautiful and artistic collectors deck but don't reach USPCC deck
standards for magic or cardistry. (NOTE: I did not buy these outright; I received these as an extra
with an order from Penguin.)
THE GOOD NEWS:
The tiger theme of the deck is in honor of
2022 which is the Year of the Tiger. The artwork by Panji Putra Prima Aji is really quite
incredible. The card backs show a striking, somewhat angry tiger surrounded by ocean waves. There
is a standard, white border around the tigers.
The faces of the cards are also unique.
Rather than black and red, the cards are blue and red. Indices are standard, but smaller than
Bicycle card standard. The number cards feature highly stylized pips. The hearts and diamonds
feature a scalloped pattern within the pips and the clubs and diamonds a more circular/target like
pattern. Pips are slightly smaller and more widely spaced than you might be used to but are in
The royals are all unique and kings, queens, and jacks are now all
stylized tigers. (Tiger kings?) The royal cards are in full color with the hearts and diamonds clad
in red and the spades and clubs in blue. Apparently, tigers have no more of a sense of self
preservation--the king of hearts is still the suicide king. Aces all have an intricately decorated,
enlarged central pip. All feature renderings of tigers. The jokers are completely different and
both are blue. One features the word 'JOKER' in large caps and below this a tiger running towards
the viewer. The other has standard 'JOKER' indices and a tiger in mirror image, similar to what you
see on the royal cards but just in blue.
Extras include a single double backer and a single
blank card. There are no ad cards. Also included was a beautiful sticker featuring a red tiger on a
white background. The seal for each deck is unique and will give you the exact number of your
pack--only 2500 will be made.
The box is premium quality and made of a stiffer cardboard
than standard. The box is blue and the details are in white foil which gives it a really nice look.
The front of the box features a tiger that is staring you down and the back are two tigers in a
circle chasing each other. The box has a scalloped pattern on the outside and even on the inside.
The box flaps were also emblazoned with tigers.
THE BAD NEWS--CARD HANDLING
the cards, I noted a very acrid, chemical smell. I have only noticed this on cards from Home Run
Games (HRG), such as the Magnificent deck (short review: Magnificent is not magnificent). These
cards are made in China and were very similar to the present deck in using a 'European card stock'
which had a round feeling to the edge and a similar odor when opening. If Penguin did use this
company, however, they did help them improve their coating and handling. Sadly, this isn't quite up
to the usual standard.
The bad news is that these cards do not handle like USPCC cards or
Copag 310s. They do have a linen-type finish (Ultralux with AquaFlow Coating) but the cards tend to
clump rather than flow.
The added friction is not all that bad. You should be able to do
most major sleight, but waterfalls--and any move that requires the cards to flow one over the
other--will be much harder as the cards tend to clump.
The cards are traditionally cut but
are harder to faro than USPCC or Copag 310s. The edges of the cards feel somewhat rounded compared
to other brands, which you would think might facilitate the faro but, sadly, it does not. Sure, you
can faro these with a little practice. However, first you are going to have to work the cards in a
bit and get the knack of it. Still, standard Bikes are much easier. In spite of working the cards,
though, I still have trouble with a one handed shuffle.
The cards are stiffer than Bicycle
standard cards, but not excessively so. They do spring quite well but will take a little more
effort than you are used to. They also get back their shape well.
a really nice, designer deck if you are a collector. If you are heavy into cardistry, I don't think
this would make the cut. As to magic, different magicians like different kinds of cards. It's
possible that these would suffice, depending on the kind of magic that you do.
was and I think most magicians will be disappointed in how these handle. As noted above, you will
find a better pack of cards for magic--Bicycle Standard--for under $5 at your local drug store.
When a confused Dr. McCoy asked Mr.Spock why he didn't like tribbles--after all tribbles are
soft, furry, and make a pleasant sound. Spock quipped, "So would an ermine violin, doctor, but I
see no advantage in having one." These cards concentrate on the ermine rather than the violin. We
need cards that are both pretty and practical.
I am confused as to why Penguin would go
with this card manufacturer. The cards are great for collectors--and I'm sure plenty collectors shop
here. That said, most of us who who shop at Penguin are interested in cards for magic purposes.
There's no reason, though, why you can't have your cake and eat it to.
3 of 5 magicians found this helpful.
I haven't opened these as I am collecting them, but I really want to. Really cool back design, ace
design, interesting courts and even the pips are custom. It represents this year, 2022, the Chinese
year of the water tiger. The design has a Japanese influence, I think, but that's why I like it. I
am very glad to have these in my collection. Thanks, Penguin!