Hi ! today I’d like to talk to you about the proxy controversy in Magic the gathering and I’m sure many other trading card games cards can be expensive it’s not uncommon for a single card to cost 20 50 100 or more if it’s powerful in many formats but even if you fork out the cash to get that card well you still need 59 or 99 more cards to finish your deck.
Which makes it easy for a single deck to cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Fortunately there’s a simple way to play with the cards you desire without spending the cash proxies… But you didn’t know I was gonna say that it’s not like it’s the title of the article or anything a proxy is anything that stands in place of a card.
For example : you can write on the backs Of your cards what card they’re proxying insert a piece of paper that says that card’s name print out an image of that card or even buy a quality MTG proxy one.
Sometimes my proxies aren’t even physical they’re verbal if i pull out my deck to play and decide i want to see how a new card will play in the deck i might just say out loud hey the bane Slayer angel in this deck is actually going to be a healing cell for this game. I’m trying it out I guess!
Of course i would only do this in a fairly casual environment where I’m familiar with the players and only if there was no other viable way to make a proxy at that moment i would never do this with people I don’t know.
Unfortunately many magic the gathering players don’t appreciate proxies to the point where some people Refuse to play against decks that use them.
Here are some of the reasons people don’t believe proxies are good for the game: Many players make the argument that proxies are bad for lgs’s because it doesn’t support those businesses. They think if you have ten dollars why would you spend it at your lgs on a ten dollar card When you can buy a proxy of that card for a dollar .
In their mind if you remove the possibility to play with proxies the lgs will receive those ten dollars as they were supposed to.
But say timmy has ten dollars to spend on magic but he needs a twenty dollar card to complete his deck so he doesn’t get the card and doesn’t spend money at his lgs either…
Now say timmy learns about proxying he Proxies that 20 card has a fun afternoon playing magic at his lgs and decides to spend that 10 on drinks and booster packs proxying doesn’t mean not supporting your lgs sometimes it just means supporting them in a different more affordable way.
I personally go to my LGS every week and spend 15-25$ in boosters and drinks while playing my proxy decks. Consistently. Every week. I bring my friends, they spend their money there too. We all come with proxy, we all buy cards, we all buy drinks.
THIS is what casual play and LGS should look like. Weather you have the original card, or not.
Another argument against proxies is that some people will take it to the extreme and proxy very powerful decks Forcing other players to buy expensive cards or proxy cards in order to keep up.
This is a faulty argument because:
- 1) you are not forced to play with a player you don’t want to
- 2) Just because your deck is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s less powerful. Especially when it comes to a multiplayer game like commander.
- 3) If your opponent is playing a deck Clearly out of the league of other decks at the table, they should probably find a table with more similar quality decks. If they bring a c-e-d-h deck to your casual table it doesn’t matter whether the deck contains proxies or not, it’s not going to be a fair fight.
That’s not an issue with proxies, just an issue with deck compatibility.
Commander is a format of unique deck building. Therefore you shouldn’t need to proxy the best cards all the time. A lot of the fun comes from finding replacement cards until you can acquire the cards you want. Or maybe you want the card right now and get a proxy of it.
Every card needs to be tested, I repeat for the one in the back : EVERY CARD NEEDS TO BE TESTER !
If I’m going to make a new deck to “attempt” a new strategy, I will not spend 100’s of dollars just to end up realizing that it doesn’t work as good as I hoped.
I can proxy a card that I later decide Isn’t right for the deck based on the meta. Its interaction with my other cards or a handful of other reasons.
Also expensive cards aren’t always played in lots of decks.
Every Argument I’ve heard against proxies has some issues.
Sometimes there are reasons people don’t like proxies but no good reasons why people shouldn’t be allowed to use them.
Now let’s look at the benefits of proxying. The biggest benefit for proxying is lowering the barrier of entry for players.
While constructing a commander deck recently I decided I was going to proxy cards. My first time doing so. Other than you know quick paper inserts I proxied roughly 40 cards and it cost me just a few dollars to get high quality ones.
If I had purchased real versions of those same cards from a reseller, it would have cost over three hundred and fifty dollars. And I can tell you with a hundred percent certainty if I hadn’t proxied those cards, I wouldn’t have spent three hundred and Fifty dollars on a reseller or at my lgs. I just wouldn’t have built the deck and me not building the deck, doesn’t benefit my lgs.
It just means I’m less likely to come in to play magic the gathering.
Another reason to use proxies is to try out a card or a strategy involving multiple cards or yes even a whole deck to see if you enjoy it before spending hundreds of dollars to find that it’s not fun or that a card doesn’t work.
If I Spend $40 on a cyclonic riff because I want to try it in a deck and I don’t like it there and take it out… Then that’s $20 I could have put towards a card i actually will end up keeping in that deck.
A third benefit to proxying is it can just save you money period. If you’re willing to spend however much it costs to build a deck, then spending twenty dollars instead of 350 leaves you with 330 dollars to spend on whatever else other magic cards or other hobbies. YES there are other hobbies that magic the gathering or maybe it’ll allow you to be responsible pay your bills, pay down your credit card, while still being able to buy the magic cards you want to play with.
There’s also a group of players in between full acceptance of proxies And full rejection these players are generally okay with proxies as long as you own a copy of that card already.
For example if you have one tropical island but two civic decks they find it acceptable to proxy the dual land for the second deck so that I don’t have to switch it back and forth again and again.
This idea of having to own the card helps people with multiple decks but does nothing for people with a single Deck or only a few decks of different colors.
The problem with this argument is are these people saying you must own all the cards in your deck. What if you’re borrowing a card from a friend. Is that unacceptable ? if it is acceptable can i also proxy a card that my friend would be willing to lend me ? See ? This argument just doesn’t work.
There’s no good reason why you should have to own the card in order to proxy it.
And it’s pretty easy to work around that rule if you really wanted to.
The bottom line is : most players who use proxies aren’t doing it to stiff their lgs.
They’re doing it because they can’t afford the expensive cards and they love the game. It’s a GAME before being a secondary market value of exchange.
Allowing Mtg Proxies can actually grant more players access to the decks and formats they want to play, increasing the number of people showing up at their local game store.
Restricting or stigmatizing proxies won’t make players spend money They don’t have a real versions of that card. It’ll Only serve to shut them out of the type of magic they want to play altogether.
Thank you very much for reading this.
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