Hudsons, Wheel and Hellions Playing Card Deck Reviews

In this episode we take a good look at part
of my Black Friday Playing Cards haul, including looks at a couple of decks specifically released
for the post-thanksgiving sale rush. We also announce the winner of the voyager
playing cards. All that, coming up next… [Music] Legend has is it that the term ‘black friday’
got its name because it marked the day most retailers yearly sales quotas went from a
deficit, or in the red, to being profitable, or in the black. Now a days we just know it as a crazy day
where people line up outside stores in the middle of the night and trample each other
over TVs. I prefer to participate from home whenever
possible–which is easy enough to say when you’re shopping for playing cards and not
TVs. Anway, that’s brings us to right now. Several playing card retailers and manufacturers
announced several new releases in the lead up to Black Friday and well, I couldn’t
resist. (Hey babe, you mind going in the other room
for a second?) So let’s see, I managed to snag the David
Blaine’s Gold Split Spades, and the Dan & Dave/Anyone Worldwide Smoke collaboration. Both of those will be getting the longer review
treatment soon. But in this episode we are going to look at
three decks that on the surface fit the all in black vibe quite well; the Black Hudsons
from Theory 11, the black Wheel deck from DKNG and Art of Play, and the latest black-boxed
Red Hellions from ellusionist. Welcome back to the go-to channel for the
playing cards enthusiasts, I’m the Gentleman Wake. If you are new here we hope the episode we
have in store for you will compel you to like and subscribe. If you are already a subscriber then make
sure to hit that notification bell be alerted every time I post a new video. Before we get into it, you definitely want
to stick around to the end of the video for your chance to win a black wheel deck directly
from me. Details for that giveaway later. One more thing, comment below and let me know
what product, playing cards related or not, you’d love to see get the gentleman wake
review treatment. First up, these are the black Hudsons from
theory 11. This black colorway version of the deck, the
second iteration of the Hudsons, was specifically created for the Black Friday event release. The deck comes in an attractive charcoal gray
tuck box with gold foil and glossy black accents. The design of the tuck box is a stand out
feature of most Theory 11 releases and this one is no different. I reviewed the original green version of the
Hudson deck in detail on this channel a few months ago and a lot of what I said in that
review applies here. Just astonishing detail when it comes to tuck
case and back design. It’s one of my more recent favorites from
Theory 11 but if you’ve ever watched a Theory 11 deck review from yours truly you know there’s
one area where I just wish they’d go a bit further. The back design of the black hudsons again
features some really nice architecturally inspired artwork this time in thin black linework
rather than the mint green of the previous edition. Truth be told, never was there a more perfect
time to make a deck duo-tone than this. A black field with gold metallic ink against
a white poker border was the way to go here. And AGAIN it’s a missed opportunity. We know they’ve done it before–as evidence
with the citizens deck–it’s just an odd non-choice. The faces are standard, with recolored metallic
ink standard bicycle courts. The ace is of course nicely embellished. The deck handles great as expected from the
USPCC. It’s modern cut, air-cushioned finish. This version has slightly thicker stock than
the green version did which could help durability. Great for gameplay and magic, but a bit non-descript
in the monochromatic black and white motiff for cardistry. The black hudson deck is still available at Coming up a look at the DKNG black wheel deck,
don’t go anywhere. Welcome back, let’s take a look at another
black friday recolored release, this time from Art of play. I previously reviewed the entire line of Wheel
playing cards, red, blue and green, on this channel and it’s safe to say that I really
liked the DKNG designed modernized interpretation of the standard bicycle deck. So I was quickly intrigued by the black on
black treatment of the tuck case of this new version. The black wheel playing cards come in a matte
black premium quality paper stock tuck case embossed with black glossy ink. The design is identical to previous Wheel
decks down to the sugar skulls and shared-wheel bicycle back design. The black on black is a sleek combination
that is definitely subtle, almost stealthy, from a distance looking like a plain black
box. The only spot of color comes from the red
and gold foil seal that holds the tuck flap in place. Pulling the deck from the box reveals the
black colorway back design, again identical to previous versions with exception of color. The backs are subtly one-way thanks in part
to the four pips in each corner. These are completely custom cards. Pips, indices, placement and courts are all
magnificently done. This black version also uses the two shades
of gold metallic ink found in the blue and red editions. The pips are two toned and uniquely shaped
and placed. The same brilliantly designed borderless court
cards of previous versions can be found here as well, They are all reminiscent of bicycle
standard courts down to poses and implements but obviously stylistically modernized. This deck feels amazing. Thin crushed stock, traditionally cut, air-cushioned
finish. The high contrast thick black lines make for
unique fans and flourishes in a way that the Hudson decks faint thin linework did not. Included in the deck are a pair of metallic
skull jokers, a art of play/dkng ad card, and an additional card meant to act as a replacement
for another should a card in the deck be lost or damaged. All in all a great deck for just about any
purpose with a fantastically sleek looking tuck case. All four colorways of the Wheel deck, including
the black one, are still available for purchase at But, if you want a chance to win a black wheel
deck directly from me be sure to stay tuned for details. Coming up my first look at a deck by Daniel
Madison, the relatively new red Hellions by Ellusionist. Stay right here. Daniel Madison has amassed quite a following,
both online and in real life. With his brash and bold sensibilities and
his bad boy flair, there’s a lot of fertile ground to choose from when it comes to playing
card deck design. Perhaps some of Daniel’s most well known
decks, designed in collaboration with Oban Jones, when Daniel was still working at ellusionist,
was his confessions series. The Martyrs, Sinners, Saints and Hellions
decks. The Hellions has proven to be the most popular,
and this red version represents the fourth iteration of the deck. The tuck box for the Hellions deck include
several atypical choices. For one thing the box is printed with the
tuck flap seemingly upside down, on the bottom of the deck. Additionally what is traditionally considered
the front of the tuck is in this case the back. The tuck case is primarily black with the
title in red embossed lettering. There’s a blind embossed serpent’s or
devil’s tail that makes up the principle design element on the tuck case. The sides are white and feature embossed type
that reads “Don’t play cards with the devil.” The card back design is represented on the
back with some minor variations for instance the bottom reads “Open to forfeit all”
and there are a couple of symbols that read Daniel Madison and another that says Oban
Jones on it. The entire design here on the tuck box is
embossed. The card backs feature a slew of intricate
details. For one thing there are devils in each of
the four corners. They hold tridents at a downward 45 degree
angle, stabbing through the Madison logo. Which here takes on an iron wrought appearance. There are flames spewing up behind the logo. Several arcane symbols adorn the center of
the card backs promising a connection to the occult. There is of course the double x’s in the
center. To each side, there are small circles depicting
pyramids and triangles with the copy “As above so below” on one symbol and Madison’s
personal mantra ‘Magic is dead’ on another. The back design is rife with complex detail
and Madison himself goes into the inspirations for some of the choices–citing inspiration
from David Blaine’s gatorbacks. You can watch the video linked above to hear
it from the horses mouth so-to-speak. He also talks about the inclusion of some
of his friends on the deck’s court cards, we’ll see those in a second. Included with the deck are two jokers. One features a faustian contract for relinquishing
one’s soul to a ‘soul taker’. Madison’s autograph below identifies him
as the soul taker which leaves a blank space for his victim. The second joker, a black crow’s feather
sitting in an ink well filled with a red liquid–that from context we imagine to be blood–cause
after all how else would you sign a contact to sell your soul? There are two gaff cards included as well,
a double backer which features the unmodified back design on one side and on the other an
image of the devil’s clawed hand on the other. Incidentally the hand is covered in tattoos
that make it look very much like Madison’s hand. Also included is a ace of clubs three of hearts
split card designed specifically for a Tony Chung effect. The pips are relatively standard although
the pips for the diamonds and hearts are outlined in black. The size of the spot cards pips and their
placement is also slightly shrunken from what we’ve come to know as standard. The power ace in this deck is the Ace of Diamonds,
which includes a nicely illustrated image of another devil and echoes the copy found
on the sides of the tuck box. The court cards are unique. Most appear strongly rooted in bicycle standard
courts which some modifications. For one thing roughly half of the court cards
feature standard figures with closed eyes–as if dead or dying. The other half feature some friends and colleagues
of Madison’s. Mark Carl Bruce is the King of Clubs. The Deck’s designer, Oban Jones, is the
King of Spades–there’s also a hidden 9 of spades reveal on the rain guard of the
sword. Oban Jones’ wife is the queen of spades. Rapper Sage Francis appears on the king of
hearts–it’s also a one way design, featuring the typical sword in one orientation and a
microphone and red devil horns in the other. Madison himself is immortalized on the king
of diamonds. Also one way, he has a card reveal–the 9
of clubs–on one outstretched hand. The deck is printed by Cartamundi on the touted
b9 true linen finish. The same stock and finish as seen on the Copag310’s
I previously reviewed in depth on this channel. That means this deck is a little thicker than
your standard bicycle deck but it handles nicely regardless. The deck is modern cut but faros well in both
directions. The cards flourish and fan nicely and are
perfect for gameplay and magic of course. The red Hellions deck is still available at, as are the other decks in Madison’s confessions series. Before we go, congrats to orangemoney52 for
winning the voyager playing cards giveaway, contact me via instagram to claim your prize. For a chance to win a black wheel deck here’s
what you have to do. 1. Like this video. 2. Be a subscriber to this channel. And 3. In a comment below tell me which is your favorite
black-themed deck in your collection. Also don’t forget to comment below as to
which product–deck related or not–you’d like to see me review. Special thanks to my Patreon producers for
their contributions. And thank you for watching! Please be sure to click subscribe if you haven’t
already and click down here to watch another video. Coming next time, the National Playing Card
Collection Day decks. I’ve been the Gentleman Wake, see you again

Posts created 5600

100 thoughts on “Hudsons, Wheel and Hellions Playing Card Deck Reviews

  1. The best black deck in my collection is “Cartomancer” by require team
    I know that it’s relatively a new deck but I truly in love with that deck
    I do have other great black decks like:
    Carp noctem, killer bee, aurilan, Mechanic v-2, devastation, black mint (launch Ed) and quite more others
    But as I sad before the “Cartomancer” bets all and more then that!
    @Stockholm17 Thank you so much for that deck!!

  2. I’d gotta say that my favorite deck that I own that is black is probably the black artisans by theory 11. Next time I’d love if you’d review a Fontaine deck! My Instagram is @sherrill_cardistry

  3. I go with the Superior Silver Arrows Poker Back by EPCC and Jackson Robinson, not only does the card feel a lot different from USPCC and Cartamundi (and it feels great and trippy at the same time), its full-bleed borderless back design makes the deck look sexy as hell when fanned and handled. And by Jackson Robinson's standard of aesthetics, the recoloring of the court cards is just vibrant and popping. You're a fan of his, I trust you get what I mean LOL!

    Concerning what to review, like I've said previously, a review of a whole series is always an "eyescream," so what do you think if there's a chance to review the full series of the Playing Art decks (Edition 0, 1, 2, 3, and Special)?


  4. Just saying, the ink holder has a nine of spades reveal. My favorite deck is the Diva V2 deck, but my favorite black deck is the David Blaine skull and Bones Private Reserve Deck.

  5. I have these black on black playing cards made by vat19 which are the most useless and impractical things I own, yet I still love them if only because someone was dumb enough to make them

  6. My favorite black deck in my collection is my Jack Daniels No. 7 "Gentleman's Playing Cards" complete with the tin case. The tin actually included two 53 card decks (the spare for lost/damaged cards) with black/red and black/green backs. They were my father's for at least a decade before they were given to me, and it's just a gorgeous custom deck. They're a little bit larger than standard playing cards, but they feel good in the hand and are a great conversation piece.

  7. Not sure if exactly black but I really REALLY love my National deck by theory11. The back design is super cool with the outline of all four pips over one another. And of course the aces which are bigger and each is customized differently.

  8. only recently started collecting so i dont really have a black deck but my fave deck from my collection is probably the teal summer nocs

  9. I think my current favourite black deck has to be the Agenda Black Playing Cards! Not hugely known or popular to most, but a beautiful fully custom deck none the less! Keep up the great videos, love your content.

  10. I grabbed the Black Hudson and Black Wheel on black friday…both amazing additions to my collection, and the Black Wheel cards really handle like butter!!

  11. my favorite are black cherry casinos. Not only for their simplistic color and design throughout the deck but for their durability as well

  12. You should do some reviews on Victorian-style stuff, been really into that recently. As for black decks…don't have many…but I guess I'll go with Ellusionist's Arcane deck?

  13. Genuinely couldn't say what my favourite black deck is as it changes constantly. Having said that, if they made Visas in black with gold I would be all over them. The Green visas are amazing.

  14. My all time favorite black deck is the classic Black Ghost deck because it was the first ever custom deck I've held in my hands.
    Suggestion: Can you review the bicycle Dragon Back, any deck by Anyone World Wide or more Daniel Madison deck of cards for example the Mauruder Deck?
    Thank you

  15. My favorite black themed deck is the orbit v4. Also, I'd like to see the Noc Colorgrades by Art of Play and Alex Pandrea. Btw love your videos, keep it up!

  16. well, i just bought a artisans deck, it hasnt arrived yet, so I cant be sure how they feel for me personaly, but man I love the design and tuck box. They are the black artisans I am really really excited for them !!
    For a new review idea… maybe some decks that are from less known companies would be interesting, something other than Elusionist, Theory11, or names like that. 🙂

  17. I managed to cop the black Fontaine x Ripndip collab deck so I would say that is my favourite black themed deck now!

  18. I dont have black cards i only have blue and red bicycle because unfortunately in philippines US playing cards are expensive which i cant afford because im a kid. 🙂

  19. The Areaware minimalist playing cards are my favourite deck as their simple design and minimalist faces make the deck lovley to look at and play with

  20. AMAZING VIDEO MAN!!! umm my favorite black deck in my collection? Haha well i dont have a collection so would love to win the giveaway!!!!!

  21. Although I don't have any in my collection, my favorite black themed deck is definitely the DKNG Black wheels, hope I win one, I really need a black themed deck in my collection.
    And I would really like to see you review the Dan and Dave Smoke and Mirrors, if there are still some in existence…haha

  22. Hey, great review! I love the Helions, I will get some. I’d love to see a review of the ultimate deck by stranger and stranger. My collection is still pretty small, but my favorite deck is probably the monarchs deck. I have the green one tho, not the original

  23. This may sound stupid but I am being serious when I say it. Why not review the standard bikes and explain to people why they're actually really good? Standard blue and red bikes are awesome.

  24. My favourite black decks is probably David Blaine’s black lions deck which is so nice and is actually marked. Although I still have a Hudson deck which is pretty nice. Maybe you could review some David Blaine cards. It would be awesome. Keep up the amazing videos as usual

  25. My faves: David Blaine's Black Lion Seconds, $5 for an incredible deck that's great all round. House of the Rising Spades, Cartomancer. Amazing deck and 1 of the best deck I've seen. Besides my usual request for the Virts FW17, perhaps decks not printed by the usual USPCC, Cartamunid, EPCC/LPCC such as those printed by NPCC and/or MPC. Would like your take on those printers with their latest stock and finish.

  26. My favorite "black" themed deck would be Venexiana Dark by Lotrek. I do like the idea of you reviewing licensed decks based on TV and movies.

  27. Ooooo can't wait to see the Blain Spilt Spades ♤! Great vid as usual! I think card clips would be about the best thing to add in from time to time. Maybe just like a little addition to the end of playing card review. Your the top dog when it comes to playing card reviews! Love that black wheel deck! And of course DM always delivers! I would have to say that my fave black deck is the Double Black. Love the all black of both sides with just an hint of red here and there! Thanks for another great review!

  28. Great content man! You deserve more views.
    Anyway, I'd say my favourite black themed deck is my deck of black NOC Out's by HOPC, it's so minimalistic!

  29. Its no longer in print but my favorite black deck is theory11's black Centurions. Shame theyre not longer in print, they were awesome cards.

  30. great video, I've recently started collecting cards.
    I have the Red Hellions… they are simply amazing, the detail on the back is next level. Jokers and gaff card are one of the best I've seen. I am thinking of getting the Red hellions.

    p.s. I didn't notice the mic on the K-H until this video… thank you.

  31. bicycle guardians by theory 11. awesome deck. also can u review 1st playing cards v2 when they come out(they are black too)

  32. I feel like a fanboy now, but my favorite black deck is currently Chris Ramsay's 1st V2's. They may soon be replaced by the 666 deck by Riffle Shuffle.

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