The Wild Unknown Tarot 2nd edition: What’s the difference?

Wild Unknown Tarot

As you probably know, artist Kim Krans has released a second edition of her much-loved tarot deck, The Wild Unknown Tarot.

First editions of this cult classic deck sold out within a week of her announcement, and the second edition is now available in a hand-picked selection of boutique tarot stores, (including mine!)


I’ve had a bunch of people contact me to ask ‘what’s the difference?’

So, in my ongoing quest to be the most helpful tarot person on the interwebs, here’s a quick tour of what’s changed in your number one favourite deck!


The Wild Unknown Tarot comes in a trademark sturdy, well-made box, and luckily that hasn’t changed. The new box sets the scene for the revamped style of the deck: a darker and more mysterious vibe, with swirling, intense watercolours, rather than the cuter hand-drawn star design of the original.


Inside, you have the same handy ribbon to lift your cards from the box, plus a folded sheet with keywords about the cards. The back of the sheet is now a card image – it’s pot-luck which one you’ll get, where previously it was a beautifully laid out guide to the suits and arcana.


The feel of the cards is slightly different – they feel even more sturdy, smooth and matte in my hands (though the originals were super high quality to begin with). The print quality is slightly different to, with deeper, more intense colours.

Here’s the important bit. The following cards have all been reworked for the second edition: The Hierophant, The Lovers, Temperance, Seven of Cups, Four of Swords, Nine of Wands:

The Hierophant
The Hierophant
The Lovers
The Lovers
Seven of Cups
Seven of Cups


Nine of Wands
Nine of Wands

The backs of the cards are different too:


Has the book changed?

Nope! The Wild Unknown Tarot Guidebook is exactly as before, there has been no second edition. And the original book still works in harmony with the new deck.

In a nutshell, the changes to the deck are fairly minor, though overall it has a more vibrant feel and the updated cards are far more colourful which I know will appeal to some of you. It feels very much like the same deck to me – still gorgeous, still powerful, still my number one – but with a new richness that makes it all the more captivating.

Buy the deck here

Over to you guys! Wild Unknown lovers, what do you make of the changes? Are you gonna upgrade your deck? Which edition do you prefer?


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  1. I actually prefer the added colours. It makes me want this deck more. I found the first edition rather lacklustre but I might need to think about getting this one.

    • Beth says:

      I know what you mean about ‘lacklustre’…although personally I love the very reserved use of colour in the original deck.

      In the new version I especially love the colours added to the Lovers, they seem to add to the feeling of completion and fulfilment that is at the heart of this card (for me at least).

  2. Danielle says:

    i like the added bit of color on the nine of wands, but otherwise…meh. the first edition will always be my tarot-true-love.

    (plus, i actually really dislike the new seven of cups. i feel like it obscures the meaning of the card further.)

  3. Eli says:

    I much prefer the new drawing of the lamb in 4 of swords… the hierophant looks even more ominous than before… the updated Temperance perhaps helps to push the reading towards a more optimistic, full-hearted understanding… I’m torn about the Lovers. On one hand, the radiating spectrum does fit with her imagery for completeness and joy, which fits nicely… but I’ve grown quite attached to the serene harmony of the original blue: that this is a love which needs no external fireworks; it has its own sense of shared purpose and a joy in that… I’m sure if I were new to the cards, I’d be into the update, though.

    I’m amazed that she’s managed to make the cards feel even better! The originals have the nicest hand-feel ever. I’d love to know where she gets them printed, because the printers are beautiful geniuses.

    I’m eyeing up this deck as a potential gift to someone, and I definitely wouldn’t have any qualms about giving her this new edition.

  4. When I first acquired my Wild Unknown First Edition deck I wasn’t sure initially about the sparse, stark imagery with only a few splashes of colour. However this is what I have grown to love about the deck. I’m really not sure that the Second Edition improves on the first, but I’ll have to reserve judgement until I receive my copy which will hopefully be with me soon. I have a feeling though that I’ll be reverting back to my first edition love!

  5. Sabrina says:

    Thanks so much, Beth!
    I really like the new Nine of Wands, and the new Hierophant. Not so sure about the others.
    I read that the card back is different, too. Could you post a picture of these, too, please?!

  6. (Ms.) Kyle McKenzie says:

    Thanks for the excellent information Beth! I was actually hoping that the companion book would be revised as well when I heard about the 2nd edition. I’ve been following the Happy Fish interpretations of the cards on Pinterest (they’re now complete!)and I found that they added a lot of depth to the card meanings. So I wished for additions to the book like the symbology of the animals and other elements, journaling prompts, etc. I will not be going for the 2nd edition right now as I still love the originals best (and have an extra deck because I can’t imagine being without one!). I use the Wild Unknown with the Gaian Tarot quite often, and a new edition of that deck is going to be published in March 2016, looking forward to that too!

    • Beth says:

      Oooh, Carrie’s finished her series? I must check it out, I’ve been following intermittently.

      Yeah, the book is more of a ‘general’ guide to tarot card meanings and I personally find it quite limited in its outlook – which is strange as the deck has so much depth. I tend to recommend the book as a really basic intro to some standard card meanings but stress that there is so much more to tarot than what’s in there. I agree it would be lovely to see it re-written to explore the symbology of the cards themselves. But hey – that’s for us to do ourselves.

  7. David says:

    Thanks, Beth, this is really helpful.

    One question: You don’t mention The World in your list of which cards have been changed, but in the first edition, the World card is the same as the cover of the box. Since the box cover is new for the second edition, did the card change, too, to match the new cover?

  8. Lola says:

    Thank you for this review. From these photos, I have to say that the first edition speaks more clearly to me… The Wild Unknown has been on my list of decks to welcome into my life, and hearing that first editions are selling out motivated me to find a deck last night. Thanks for the head’s up!

  9. Michael says:

    I got my second edition a few days ago, and I prefer the first edition. I like what Kim did with the updated cards, but the originals for me are better. Also, the cardstock is slightly lower quality on the second edition and the crop is not as clean. When you run a finger along the stacked first edition, the cards are beautifully SMOOTH and FLUSH. The second edition is not so smooth. I wonder if it was the same print house or not.

    If the card quality was exactly the same as the first edition, I’d be more excited about the second. It’s still good quality, of course, but the first edition had spectacular cardstock!

    For collectors, it’s still worth getting the 2nd edition, and for people new to TWU obviously it’s worth getting since it’s still a wonderful deck. BUT, my two cents is this: if you can get a 1st edition (or two…) get them now!

  10. How is the hand feel on the first edition? I know I’m in the minority for this, but I’m not a huge fan of the 2nd edition matte material. I sort of find it difficult to shuffle.

    • Beth says:

      They both have the same quality – that thick, matte laminate you have in the 2nd edition is the same in the 1st. Personally I really like it (it’s aged really nicely in my 1st edition deck, which I use daily.)

  11. Share says:

    I think you the one your showing is the THIRD edition? I have the 2nd (she made 3 runs, and if at this late date you got the “2nd” edition,,,,yea it’s the 3rd. Im soooooo happy I got my 2nd edition in 2012!
    I don’t think she expeqncted the massive response lol So her first ed was small…….2nd ed was bigger deck run …still it sold out with weeks I think …wowza! Then this 3rd ed then the mass market which is the same.
    I hated how she changed the card on the box….all the gorgeous exquisite line drawing within the deck is what makes it so amazing & mysterious. It shocked me so many were crowing about the changes, when the changes like the card you showed….just changed it into another typical boring ass card. Cute yea, blah. Before it was so unique and captivating ….now so much of what made it so impactful & powerful was wiped of just to make it more typical. But anyhow I’m estatic I got my copy when I did….o & the backs…..ICK! LOL scales? Nasty. Much prefer the totoally awesome optical illusion art on her original backs.. once again she changed it to….something done before and yawn inducing.

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