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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Koi V2 Playing Cards (Byron Leung) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reviewer EndersGame
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Koi V2 deck

The Koi V2 deck comes from Byron Leung, who is an artist, consultant, and magician. He's also the creator of "Cap", a sleight of hand effect with a chapstick cap. As you can guess, the Koi V2 deck follows a first version.

Version 2 is a more luxurious version of the original deck, while retaining its artwork style on the cards . The more classy look begins with a very simple white tuck box, adorned only with the word Koi in a raised and gold font. The design on the card-backs is clearly inherited from the first version of the deck, but instead of a white design on a red background we now have a metallic gold design on a white background, for a much more sophisticated look.


Byron's original vision was to create an Oriental deck that - in his words - actually looked and felt Asian. He wasn't satisfied by many existing decks that attempted to do this merely by incorporating Asian words. So he decided to create an entirely new design of his own.

His initial idea to incorporate a yin yang design eventually morphed into Koi fish, which are important symbols of good fortune in some Asian cultures. To personalize the design even further, he included some coiled up snakes in the center, to reflect the fact that he was born in the Chinese Year of the Snake, and some water waves on the outside to reflect his calm and patient personality. Simple red and white colours on the card backs created a very bold and sharp design. The Jokers said the word "koi" in an oriental characters, while the minimalist design of the tuck box was inspired by Chinese takeout.

Like the version 1 deck, the face cards in the version 2 deck all have a traditional appearance, except that the court cards rely on a colour palette that is limited to black, red, and grey. This combination of colours worked very well with the original version of the deck, given the colour of those card backs, and I would have liked to have seen at least some of the grey replaced with the metallic gold used on the V2 card backs, for a more consistent and impressive look.


Fortunately this gold colour does appear on the Ace of Spades and Jokers for the word "koi", and these touches of customization add some feel of luxury. The rest of the deck looks quite standard, albeit without the garish colours of a standard Bicycle deck. Two gaff cards complete the package, with a blank face card and a double backer. The printing is by USPCC, so we are assured of quality handling and performance.

This is certainly a deck that would be at home in the hands of magician, given that it immediately looks familiar and functional, and will also work well for card games. I only wish they'd made a few more changes to the court card colours, with a more liberal use of the metallic gold colour, for an even more lavish look. Even so, it's a solid standard deck, and if you appreciate the glittering and swirling fish on the card backs, you'll find a lot to like here.


So where can you get decks like the one featured here? Any reputable online retailer that sells custom playing cards should have them available. If they don't, send them to magic wholesaler Murphy's Magic, which sells in bulk quantities to dealers and retailers around the world. To learn more, check out their product page for this deck here: Koi V2 deck
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Koi V2 Playing Cards (Byron Leung) (0 Likes)
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