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Cipher Deck Review

Official Review

August 4th, 2022 6:09am
Rating:
Reviewed by Stephan Sloan
Overview:
Cipher Deck by James Anthony and Magicworld UK is a marked deck of cards with numbers 1 - 52 printed on them. Along with the cards you will get PDF instructions as well as a video to teach the routines.

What you get:
The box of cards comes wrapped with a simple paper wrapper which has the link to the video instructions and PDF instructions on the inside. As stated before, you get a deck of number cards in a tuck box printed to look like a pack of flash cards. These are not Bicycle quality type cards but are of a good enough quality to last you a long time and appear to be able to withstand a fair amount of use. In addition to the numbered cards you also get a double backer, a double facer and a card with an additional high number to be used for additional routines.

Instructions:
What you receive as far as instructions is a 1 hour 42-minute video and a 36-page PDF in large type. The PDF enhances portions of the video where the tricks are not thoroughly explained. Seven routines are on the PDF (not 8 as in the ad copy) and there are two bonus routines (not 3 as in the ad copy) that are on the video but not on the PDF. The video is not one that cannot be downloaded so you will have to log on to their website to watch it. The routines are the types of routines that can be performed in other ways but the use of the numbered deck may help obscure some of the methods since math is not most peoples' forte. As a side note, only one trick is explained using one of the gaff cards. You will have to figure out how to utilize the other two.

The Quality of the video is adequate. It is a mix of some live performance in a bar and video of them sitting at a table running through the routines. Although not a glitzy production, the video is clear and the sound is very good. The PDF enhanced the video and all crediting was done in the PDF with resources.

Pros:
The deck looks and feels like a flash cards which is something I like. I think when ESP cards, number cards and other “non-playing card” cards are printed with the all too common Bicycle back it sends a subliminal message that a trick deck is being used. The tricks are adequate, and although some can be done without the deck but by using the number deck slightly obscures the methodology.

Cons:
Although it will likely not be an issue, the marking system is incredibly obvious. However, I think anyone who suspects a marked deck will easily see the markings if they take a look. It took me about 3 seconds to notice the differences in the cards and 5 seconds to figure it out without watching the video. In addition, there will be some memory work required for a couple of the performances, it is not as easy as it appears on the trailer.

At a glance:
• This is for an intermediate performer
• No special audience management required
• Can be performed almost surrounded
• Reset time needed for some tricks
• Nothing to construct or build

Suggestions from the Reviewer

The Cipher Deck is nice if one wants to use the deck for other routines such as Peter Turner’s Isabella Star. Anyone who has been performing for a while has come across a time when they needed numbers 1 - 9 as in a well known force (which is taught in some version on the video and PDF) or 1 - 12 and in some clock style routines. This deck would be a nice addition to any mentalists arsenal and with a little imagination can probably be well expanded upon than what is taught on the video.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Cipher Deck

Author: James Anthony
Publisher: MagicWorld.co.uk
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $34.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

"EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, SOMETHING SMALL COMES ALONG THAT PACKS A MUCH BIGGER PUNCH THAN YOU'D EVER EXPECT - I WAS HONESTLY SURPRISED BY THIS."
- ATLAS BROOKINGS


The Cipher Deck is a utility device like no other... It's simplicity is astonishing and yet delivers such powerful reactions that everyone whether magicians or mentalists should own one and master the routines.

There is truly something for everyone with this deck.

Package Includes: 8 ROUTINES BY MARK ELSDON PDF 3 OR MORE BONUS ROUTINES 100 MINUTES OF VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS GREAT ROUTINES QUALITY MARKED NUMBER DECK SECRET AREA TO SHARE EVERYTHING CIPHERThe marking system is SUPER EASY and you will be picking it up in a FEW MINUTES!

We performed a whole night with just these number cards and the reactions we received were even greater than we had expected... "this is a super powerful and practical utility device"
- Mark Elsdon


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