Deck Review: Oracle of Mages

I make no secret of the fact that in almost every RPG I start as a spellcaster. I love mages. Warriors are kind of boring and the Rogue’s quick and dirty tactics just aren’t my style, but raining fiery death from above? Hell yes. So when I saw a few cards from the Oracle of Mages on tumblr, I knew I had to have it.

The Oracle of Mages is a 24 card deck from Nezu Sotir at DarkandNerdyTarot on etsy. All of the cards are done in an 8 bit art style reminiscent of the NES era. The deck also includes a title card, four “cheat sheet” cards with keywords, and a blank card which just shows the card backs (an 8 bit crystal ball against a purple background). The cards measure about 2.5 x 4.5 inches, cardstock is glossy, thin, and bendy.Each card has an image, a title (in large letters) and a black border.

The mages in this deck run the gamut from typical black. white, and elemental mages, to dragon and fairy mages, to quantum mages. They range in skin tone from white as a sheet to dark as the night, and there are mages that are clearly, unambiguously mages of colour. The characters are front and centre in this deck, with little to no background imagery. The cards are meant to be read intuitively, but as I said, keywords are provided if you need an idea of where to start.

I’ve been offering readings with this deck for a few days now, and so far it’s been one of the most (if not the most) popular decks ever since I started offering readings on tumblr. The characters have clear personalities, from the lightning mage who enters your life with a bang to the air mage who is always on the move. I’ve dubbed them the “mage friends” and treated them as if they are allies that assist the querent with their issues.

I do have two criticisms of this deck. One is that I wish there were more cards! The art style is so cute but there are so many more mage archetypes that didn’t make the cut, and 24 cards is a bit short of my usual ideal number of cards for an oracle deck (30 cards), that said, I would absolutely support the creator if they decided to make an expansion pack of sorts. My other issue is that some of the more negative cards (nightmare and poison mages) in the deck are dark-skinned mages, although even these cards have positive meanings, and, interestingly, the white mage is associated with blandness.

Overall, this is a fun oracle deck and if you like pixel art and mage archetypes you can’t go wrong with this deck. The shop owner (as of this writing) is currently taking a break and I don’t know if/when they’re planning on offering the deck for sale. This is one deck I would highly recommend!

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