This is the second piece to my review for Sentinels by Theory11. The point of the second part of my reviews is to talk about how the deck is once it’s broken in and used in live performances. I’ve been working, using, and performing with these playing cards since Theory 11 released them, so if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask.
The Sentinels break in quickly and then have a nice, soft feel to them. Springs and shuffles are great after the deck has been worked with. But, at the same time, the cards still have a little pop to them. They’re not too flimsy, but just soft enough. Being durable, soft and great for all kinds of spreads and cascades are what make this deck a great investment. However, if handled for extended periods of time they tend to clump up. This issue increases the more often they are used. If you let them sit & breathe over night they feel much better. This clumping issue isn’t any better or worse than any other used deck though.
Sentinels have a great back and face design, but in performances I’ve noticed that these interesting shapes can distract the spectator. Some laymen have accused them of being “trick cards” while others have focused more on the cards then the actual performance. This may not be a problem for you guys, depending on how you present your magic. Incorporating the shapes and symbols of the design creatively in a performance could greatly enhance the effect, so it’s up to you how to use them.
Overall: The Sentinels held up great. Both the box and the cards are in surprisingly good condition after months of frequent use and handling. If you still haven’t tried them yourself or don’t buy custom cards often, they’re a good investment. After performing with them I’ve found they don’t really suit my style but I can definitely see the potential to make use of the symbolism in the deck. It’d be interesting to see a performance with this. So, Sentinels are a high-quality deck with staying power.