• Alex Hui

TRICK REVIEW - Wosek Deck by Julio Wosek



Here is my in-depth review of Wosek Deck by Julio Wosek.


REVIEW PHILOSOPHY


The philosophy is simple: to give you the truth.


When I review a product, I’d like to judge the product per se, but not putting past record or creator’s name/reputation into consideration. I will provide what is not said on the advertisement and details beyond the product itself.


I have no affiliation with any magicians or dealers. I paid the full price for this. I am not here to help creators and dealers to make sales, thus you will have everything good and bad about the product. Almost nothing is left out.


I believe by giving you the most transparent information, you will have better insight beyond the product description.


This is the goal of my reviews, and I hope you will agree that in-depth and unbiased reviews are good for you and the community.


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YOUTUBE REVIEW


If you want to watch the review, here is the YouTube version.


WHAT YOU GET?


You will receive:

  • 50 image cards with distinct hand-drawn pictures. 

  • 1 Blue/Blue double backer

  • 1 Red/Blue double backer

  • 1 duplicate card (The Sun)

  • 1 red back card (The Moon)

  • 1 double facer (The Egg/The Raven)

  • 1 Zodiac Card


An URL for English/Spanish instruction in PDF, downloadable.


QUALITY OF THE CARDS


The cards come in the exact playing card size. 


The cards are manufactured in Europe. The card stock quality is very good, comparable to USPCC quality. Simply by touch, it may feel better than standard Bicycle deck in hands. I found no problem at manipulating the cards. 


One surprising aspect of the cards is, it’s ready to faro out of the box. The cards just slide perfectly into position on my first trial without any resistance. In other words, you don’t have to train the deck to faro well. It’s ready to perform anytime you open the deck.

The pictures on the cards are professionally printed with nice colour. A good thing about the illustration is that they don’t look like cartoon art, or too serious. This means the deck is quite suitable to many different styles of performance. If you are into reading, it’s a good fit; if you like casual magic, it works too. The images have both ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ elements, thus it is quite versatile. 


As for the back design, it’s printed with a custom back. Personally, I would love a more vibrant colour back with a more distinct design. But this design and colour choice may work better for this deck because they look more subtle. 

All in all, the card quality of Wosek Deck is very good. It handles like playing cards but doesn’t look like normal deck of cards. I am very satisfied with its quality. 


THE SYSTEM

There are quite a number of system in Wosek Deck. 


As you already know, instead of what you normally find on playing cards, the cards come with illustrations. On each card, you will find illustrations, name (in both English and Spanish), a number and a small Sun/Moon symbol. 

Some illustrations are synonymous or antonymous in nature, meaning they are in the same categories but with ’similar’ or ‘opposite’ meaning. For example, Moon/Sun, Dove/Ravel, Angel/Devil, Heart/Brain etc. These are perfect for coincidence effect or predictions. For some illustrations, you will find 4 set of object in the same category like Fruits and Animals. These are good for 4 of a kind revelation. 

The names provide a good mean to remember the card order mnemonically. Due to the natural of the cards, you can in fact make your own memorised order with some interesting results. However, I would prefer removing ’THE’ in all the cards, because article before noun is redundant, and it will only make the card look busy with too many elements. 

As for the number, they offer  some very interesting ways to create new routines. In the PDF manuscript, you will find a couple of intriguing ideas to explore further. For example, you can easily perform magic square routine with this deck. And the number on the cards provide some subtle ways to divine the position of certain cards. 

In addition, the deck is a one-way deck. 


To conclude, the system provided by Wosek Deck is overwhelming. You don’t need to use all the systems, but there are more than enough elements for you to experiment with. If you have strong repertoire in magic, this will be a super powerful tool to translate some great ideas into stunning routines. 


QUALITY OF THE EFFECTS


The PDF comes with this deck is 97-page long! Taking consideration that the font is small (but readable), the content of this manuscript is enough to make a book. That’s a lot for a gimmick deck. 

There are more than 50 tricks and ideas among the pages (I lost my count…). Many are good, and some are excellent, while there are a few underwhelming effects. What I found interesting is, some effects are built on some other effects with strong foundation. If you know enough card magic, you will see the value of these effects. However, almost all effects are single-phase. Which mean you need to put some efforts in routining. 

There are 143 black & white photos in the manuscript. They are clear and helpful in aiding learning. However, in the section about Numbers effects, the pictures are too small and readers may find it difficult to read the numbers on the card. Readers may need to zoom in to view the pictures.


The manuscripts are divided into 5 main sections: 

  1. PREDICTIONS, DIVINATIONS AND COINCIDENCES

  2. RITUAL DECK

  3. VISUAL EFFECTS

  4. MNEMONIC ORDINATION

  5. NUMBERING OF THE CARDS AND EFFECTS WITH THE NUMBERS

I will try to summarise each sections briefly. 

PREDICTIONS, DIVINATIONS AND COINCIDENCES


Number of items: 15


A great variety of ‘finding the selection’ effects are included in this section. Some are based on principle; while a few are sleight-oriented. Some effects depend on the illustrations to divine the selection. They are easy-to-do and effective. 

The effect I particularly like about is ‘Prediction Drawn with a Mixed Deck’. It’s a fun idea where you can easily force a card from a mixed deck. The idea is originated from Max Maven. The application here is a perfect use with Wosek deck. Reader will also find a principle based on decision tree. Utilising the unique properties of each illustration, magician can divine a thought-of-card as if real mind-reading exists.

All in all, the effects in this section are good starters to experience the uniqueness of this deck.

RITUAL DECK


Number of items: 5


The effects here mostly involved theme of ‘ritual'. It’s not for everyone but there are definitely some interesting ideas for readers. For instance, ‘Ritual Divination’ is a 4-of-a-kind revelation with a prediction. The combination with the illustrations makes this effect a unique piece of magic. 

VISUAL EFFECTS


Number of items: 6

This section is the shortest among all. It’s only 3-page. It contains mainly ideas about visual tricks but not full routines. While some ideas are quite common, ‘Predictions with a Chop Cup’ is a surprise. It’s a neat idea with many possibilities. Close-up workers may love this idea because it can inspire some never-seen-before presentation with chop cup. 

MNEMONIC ORDINATION


Number of items: 10

This section deals with memorised deck. The first half explains the setup and memorisation technique for the order. 


The mnemonic makes sense and it will be rather easy to memorise a portion of deck in no time. However, other parts of order may need time to commit to mind. I would recommend taking the easy part and rearrange the other parts of deck if it makes memorisation easier. After all, not all effects in this section requires strict order of deck. 

As for the effects, they are mainly card divination and coincidence effects. ‘Mirror Shuffle’ is an amazing coincidence effect based on Ed Marlo’s idea. ‘Mcarti’s Sucker’ is a 4-of-a-kind revelation with a kicker. Most effects are practical and almost semi-automatic. However, some effects like ‘Desire Max Maven Wosek deck adaptation’ and 'Triple Mind Reading With Mnemonics’ require thorough understanding of the stack to succeed. 

As a matter of fact, if you are into memorised deck works, you can adapt your repertoire with Wosek deck. The deck will surely expand your repertoire in a surprising way. 


NUMBERING OF THE CARDS AND EFFECTS WITH THE NUMBERS


Number of items: 12


This is an intriguing section. It mainly deals with effects utilising the numbering system of the cards. Many effects require some sorts of setup. But they are interesting to play with. Same as effects in ‘Ritual Deck’ section, not all the effects are for everyone, because some require a larger performing surface to lay out the cards.

Short Verdict:


With almost 100 pages, readers will find a lot of ideas to explore with this manuscript. Some ideas can form a solid foundation for bigger routines. 


While I appreciate the overall quality of the ideas, the translation of the text has some issues. On some occasion, I need to decipher the explanation as it’s not too smooth to read. For instance, ‘key card’ is written as ‘guide card’; ‘Gilbreath Principle’ as 'Gilbret's principle’. But overall, if you pay enough attention, you should have no issue in understanding the explanation. 

To conclude, this manuscript will deepen your understanding of the deck, and provide you more than enough materials to start your journey. For beginners, you may learn a lot of new principles to use in other routines. For advanced learners, there are some hidden gems which you may smile upon. Readers will need time to comprehend all the material in this manuscripts, but it will be rewarding for sure. 



DIFFICULTY


Most of the effects are easy. There is no sleight-of-hand which is beyond reach for even beginners. 


EXAMINABLE?


The cards are examinable, but not for the gimmick cards (double facer etc). 

KEY POINTS OF THE PRODUCT


  • High quality cards

  • Nice illustrations

  • Multiple systems of the deck

  • Decent amount of gimmick cards

  • A 97-page manuscript with many ideas

  • Some text may be hard to understand

  • A unique product which is rare on market

FINAL VERDICT

I always love versatile tool for card magic. While I mainly perform with normal playing cards, I find performing with image decks is very refreshing often with surprising result. For instance, SNAPS by David Jonathan & Dan Harlan, Mentalist Symbol Pack by Anton James, both gave me much joy with experiment with new ideas. 

How about Wosek Deck? 


I found Wosek Deck possess some unique features which are absent in previous products. For instance, category and numbering are handy to develop tricks which are distinct from other similar decks. It’s also a perfect tool for mentalism because the retro style of illustration is just perfect. If you are sometimes bored by the same ESP symbols or similar styles of card, Wosek Deck will offer a nice alternative. 


At current price at US35, Wosek Deck is a nice addition to anyone’s collection if you want to perform card magic with some twists. The cost performance of the deck is very high in terms of what you get and the possibilities with this deck. In my opinion, this deck is perfect for experienced card workers. Many card trick ideas can be translated to this deck seamlessly. And with the combination of stack and numbering, there are simply too many interesting ways of creating impactful magic. It’s really up to your imagination of how to make the best use of Wosek Deck. 

It’s an one-of-a-kind product on the market. And I will highly recommend to any card workers who want to try something new with their card repertoire. 

  • Manuscript Quality: 8/10

  • Effectiveness of Tricks: 8/10

  • Practical: 9/10

  • Creativity: 9/10

  • Cost Performance: 10/10

  • Final Score: 9/10


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