⚔Children of Litha: Trimmed, painted, and made the sides a dark, faded gold color after trimming. This deck reads really well. I love all the animals, hybrids, and the variety of human cultures shown. I don't have anything against the common European medieval themed decks. I mean, the cards were originally made up 15th century Italy, so, you know. But I like seeing someone add something new too. This doesn't come across as performative as it does in some of the other "diverse" decks out there. I was a bit hesitant to get this deck at first because there are some pretty brutal cards in the lot, but I decided to give it a go anyway. Adding some paint to the gruesome cards has really helped change their "feel" to me. I initially considered using paint to disguise or hide the gore, but instead I chose to use the paint to draw more attention to that aspect, making the "reds" stand out even more. This deck, like the Nameless One, has a really high quality finish, but that actually makes it harder to shuffle. After a trimming, that's it's only major negative to me. The LWB is okay, more detailed than most, but eh, I don't really use it. It's a LWB.
⚔The Nameless One Tarot+Oracle: I like this deck a lot. I liked it when it was my wife's. It's biggest downsides are it's size and courts. The courts are difficult to tell apart, both in from Knight to King and across the suits themselves. They're the weakest designs in the deck. The art of the card themselves makes them not really a candidate for trimming either, so I can't bring the size down any. This is the biggest deck in the house. I really hate that over the years what a "standard" tarot deck size is keeps getting larger and larger under the guise of "showing off the art" and it's like...if I just wanted the art, I'd buy a print. I need these cards to actually be shuffleable. It's like some artists completely forget that people will actually use
the deck. Fortunately, Xia didn't give Children of Litha this ridiculous size range either, but I still have to trim that one down to be more manageable. Same with the finishes that are on a lot of indie decks these days. It's pretty, it's nice to touch, but often it makes the already too big sized decks even harder
to shuffle. Really does feel like I've got a set of small prints rather than a deck of cards at time. I hope this kind of trend eventually goes the way of fairy and angel decks of the 00s and the "divine feminine" goddess bullshit from the 90s. Still, despite it's problems, it's a pretty good deck to read with. I really like the oracles as well. I haven't bought the large guidebook. The previews on the website don't look like it has all that much research put into it beyond what a beginner would be interested in. Great that it exists, but not useful for me.
⚔Midnight City Tarot pocket edition: I may get this in the larger size at some point too. I got this because I wanted a city themed deck that actually reminded me of living in the city. I never lived in NYC like the creator. For me, the city in my mind is always Atlanta. But looking through the deck's art, though there are obviously NYC specific images, it made me realize there's just some things that are really universal to living in the city. The figures are largely gender neutral, outside of a handful of cards (primarily the aces). I'm pretty over the putting long, flashy nails on hands art that Zoomers seem to love. For everything else being largely neutral, the long nails is a weird choice, but I personally just envision them as the artist herself's hands. Going by her accounts online, she seems to really like nail art. So to me, all fancy nails in the deck are on her hands. If it was a different deck and I didn't already like most of the rest, I'd have given this a pass for that alone though. I see it a lot
on indie decks and it always feels like a lazy way to say "we made this explicitly feminine!" when it was...just a hand to start with. There was no gender. Drives me up the wall the same way those "empowering" art images of a hand with long ass, fancy nails and jewelry on it used as short hand for "woman". I dunno, I think it's weird. It feels empty. But it doesn't really bother me here, as like I said, it's clear the artist just really likes that stuff and the whole thing is based on her journey in NYC, so it has a different context to me. They aren't random "woman" hands. They're hers. The pocket size is nice, very easy to shuffle. I like that the card stock for once actually feels like proper cards intended for someone to actually use! The art looks fine in the sized down amount. I don't think anything's really lost by that. The digital LWB was pretty useless, but I mean all LWB are.
⚔Mystical Manga physical+digital copies: I really love this deck and it was my main deck for a long time. I use the digital version a lot too, and sometimes get surprised when the cards look different than mine. This one has been trimmed, painted, and the edges painted as well, made to match the main color of the backs. At the trimmed down size, they're really great to shuffle. The card stock isn't my preference, but it's not an issue either. I'm glad I have both versions of this. I've been enjoying messing around with other decks lately, but for a while this and the Smith-Waite were the only decks I owned because I was so satisfied with this one I didn't feel like bothering to look around much anymore. The guidebook, which is basically just an oversized LWB in terms of content, however, definitely has some questionable interpretations. You can tell the author's own personal issues with certain things in life leaked out into their interpretation. You see this a lot in more modern decks as authors feel the need to "lecture" or "fix" what they think shouldn't be as it is traditionally. The Hierophant is typically the card that suffers from these sorts of things, along with the Lovers, the courts, and the Empress. But I don't use these books anyway. They never offer much these days, not like proper, extensive companion books back in the day.
⚔Traditional Manga: I was always on the fence about this one, but got it anyway. I haven't really read much with this one. I may end up getting rid of this one at some point. It's been trimmed and painted. A lot of the art is nice, but something doesn't feel right. Can't seem to connect with this one.
⚔White Numen: I really liked a lot of the cards in this one, but any time I've tried to do a reading with this one, it's always come out bullshit. Almost like exact opposite of the situation level bullshit. I stopped trying to read with this one after a certain point. I may try again eventually, but this may be another that gets donated.
⚔Smith-Waite: I largely keep this one for historical reference, but do occasionally use it for readings.
⚔Adorabyssmal Oracle: A cute deck of mythical, folklore, and urban legend creatures. I really like the cute art and I couldn't resist the Jersey Devil, an old favorite, being in there. The deck shuffles well, and reads very well. It's clear and to the point. Colors and art looks great. LWB is garbage though. I knew it would be, but I knew I wouldn't need the book anyway. But you know me, I hate fakelore. The LWB classifies the creatures are "mythology" (as it defines it, creators that are not "real", but exist for lessons in fables), "supernatural" (fairies and ghosts...which has fucking nothing to do with each other) because they're "possibly real, but not animals or whatever, and "cryptids", which is defined as "having real sightings, and may exist as real animals". I shouldn't need to explain the mythology category alone is stupid, since real people did
and may even still believe in some of those things. The fairies classed with ghosts is just, what?! And the cryptid section is downright insulting, much like anything cryptid/cryptozoology related. What's a cryptid and what's like just a "myth"? Whatever the fandom latches onto as such. And much of their "research" is just made up between themselves. Research into whatever culture they're taking those creatures from doesn't matter. The sources in the book are like literally wikipedia and another wiki. That's a sin in and of itself. Imagine like, actually reading a real
book on a subject instead of some content c+p'ed from a bot written article into Wikipedia posted by one of the like 500 rotating, non-experts dudes that typically edit Wikipedia. Wikipedia is straight up trash. I'm having to collect up all these old ass LA folklore books just to make my point about how bad the article about a specific tale is on Spanish Wikipedia because some Scrappy Doo incest RP furry obsessed with La LLorona made up a whole entirely new fake origin for La Silampa on Wikipedia and the person before that copied most of the rest of the text from an Angelfire site while giving its source as a random cluster of Folklore journals that have nothing to do with the text actually put on the page. Since then, this fakelore has spread all over the internet as the primary "backstory" of La Silampa, with most of her actual lore nowhere online whatsoever. It's frustrating. I really had "cryptid" and "creepypasta" fandom for pushing so much bad fakelore crap all over the place. (And as I can tell from side research on La LLorona, overinflating how important some legends actually where to the people in those areas, and likewise pretending legends stayed put and didn't spread out across neighboring areas). This was a rant. I hate the LWB in this. The deck's great though. I love it. It's cute, family friendly. It would be good to use to explain a lot of these legends to kids with, but uh, do your own research. The LWB belongs in the trash.