RickDavidson wrote:Foiled backs seem to be the in thing at the moment - out of interest, what's the general feeling on their handling?
The technology of foiling the backs of cards have definitely come a long way. Handling for the purposes of magic or card games (such as poker) is just fine for either EPCC/LPCC or USPCC decks. In terms of cardistry, there definitely is a difference between EPCC foil and MetaLuxe from USPCC.
When an EPCC deck is foiled, they appear to utilize a stamping technique, so you can actually see and feel the pattern of the foiling through to the front side of the card. EPCC does a good job with the finish over the foil on the cards, so the negative impact on fans and spreads is minimized, but it's still there. Foiled EPCC decks will fan/spread slightly worse than non-foiled decks. Perhaps the physical irregularity caused by the stamping also contributes to the slight fanning/spreading degradation. But this is camouflaged to a degree by the fact that some of the various types of EPCC finishes tend not to fan super smoothly or evenly in the first place.
As for the USPCC, there is virtually no difference in performance between MetaLuxe foiled deck and a non-foiled deck. I don't know how the foil is applied to USPCC decks, but there is no stamping or textural effect from the application of the MetalLuxe foil, the cards are smooth and retain the free and even slip that the Air Cushion/Magic finish is known for.
MPC also makes a foiled back deck, but they intentionally texture the cards with raised UV printing over the foil (perhaps to mask the foil stamping). They look good, but the handling is sub-par and I wish they would come out with a foiled deck without the raised UV printing to see if the handling improves.