The MTG Proxy Argument | Why You Should Use Proxies

Like many trading card games, magic can be very expensive. A single card can cost as much as $20, $50, $100 or more depending on its power in different formats. Even if you spend the money to purchase that card, you will still need 60 to 100 cards to complete your deck. It is easy to spend hundreds of thousands on a single deck. There is an easy way to get the cards you want without spending any money.


Bet you didn’t know that I would say this. It’s not the title of the article.

What is a Proxy card?

A proxy can be anything that replaces a card. You can, for example, write on the backs of your cards using a pencil. You can write ” Black Lotus” on basic land. You can also insert a piece of paper with the card’s name on it, and print an image or a card stock version from

Sometimes, a proxy does not need to be physically present. It could be verbal. It can be verbal. You might think, “Hey, the Baneslayer Angel will be an Avacyn, Angel of Hope. It’s something I am trying out.
However, this would only be possible in casual settings where I am familiar with the players. This is something I wouldn’t do with anyone. I’m not sure. Proxies are not appreciated by many MTG players.
Some people won’t play against decks using them.

Arguments against proxies in Magic

These are just a few reasons why people don’t believe proxies are appropriate for the game.

Slippery Slope Argument

Another reason to oppose Mtg Proxy is that some people may take it too far. This is because people believe that proxy decks will be more powerful than real ones, causing other players to purchase proxy cards or expensive cards to keep up.

This argument is flawed because:

  1. It’s all about synergies, you don’t have to combo off in every deck
  2. Your opponent should not be playing a deck that is clearly out of the standard of the other decks at the table. They should instead find a table with decks of similar quality.

It doesn’t matter if they bring a cEDH card deck to your casual table. It won’t be fair.
This is not an issue for proxies, it’s an issue regarding deck compatibility.

It takes away the fun 

You can have a lot more fun finding replacement cards until your cards are available. This is a common argument that I hear a lot: The journey matters more than the destination.
Proxy cards are available to prevent this. You might be closer to a complete deck by using proxy cards.I can proxy a card I decide is right for my deck based on its meta, interaction with other cards or a few other reasons. You may also find that expensive cards always work in all decks. City in a Bottle, for example, is only a little over $400. It’s trash.
It might be good for your meta. You want to proxy it. Every argument against proxy is flawed. Proxies can be used for a variety of reasons. However, there are no compelling reasons to ban them.

MTG Proxy Card Benefits

Let’s now look at the advantages of proxy.

The Barrier to Entry for New Players is Reduced

Proxy cards have the greatest advantage: they lower the entry barrier for players. Recently, I decided to use proxy cards for my first deck build. I bought roughly 40 proxy cards. This saved me about half the cost of creating the same deck with original real cards. offers a cheap way to proxy a complete set of Shock Lands. You also get super-high-quality proxy cards made from card stock. It would have cost hundreds to buy the same cards in real life from the card kingdom.


Proxies can also be used to test out cards or entire decks. Before you spend only 1 or 2 dollars, you want to test it out and see if it is something that you like. It’s a shame to spend a lot on a card that doesn’t suit you or isn’t fun. If I spend $42 on Cyonic Rift to test it in a deck, and it doesn’t work out, I can take it out and put $2 towards a card that I’ll keep in the deck.

Proxies save money

Proxy can also save you money.
You can spend as much as you want to build a deck but spend $2 on dual lands instead $0.75 – $. This leaves you with $330 to spend elsewhere or on other Magic cards. It might allow you to be more responsible and pay your bills or reduce your credit card debt while still being able to buy the magic cards that you want.
A third group includes players who accept proxies but reject them. These players will accept proxy cards as long as they are already a copy.  If you have two Tropical Island and two civic decks, the dual-land proxy will be acceptable for the second deck. This allows you to not have to swap it back and forth.
Again, though having to have the card can help people with multiple decks, it does not help people with just one deck, or a few different themes or colors. This argument has a problem. These people are implying that you have to own all of the cards in your deck.

What happens if you borrow a card from someone else? Is this unacceptable? If that is okay, could I proxy a card that my friend would lend me if it wasn’t in his deck? If I must own it, may I give my friend a dollar and then sell it to them? Does it really matter if I have the money to buy the proxy card? What if I don’t have a duplicate of the card but could show an equivalent card to prove that I could have purchased it?

What is the point of allowing only one piece of cardboard to be used in a game? Also, is the first deck not playable while I proxy the card from my second deck? My friend, I can’t begin a game with this deck until my match is over.

Why should your ability to buy a card determine the outcome? It is true that the game is “pay to win.” You can even pay to have fun.
It’s all random. there is no reason to have the card in order to proxy it. It’s easy to get around this rule, if you want.


Proxies help their LGS, so most players use them and try to get rich. Proxies are used by players who  afford expensive cards and sometimes have to play certain formats. Proxies are a way to give more people access to decks and other formats. They are eager to play, which increases the number of people who visit their local game shop. Proxies that are restricted or stigmatized won’t encourage players to spend their money. They don’t own real cardboard, so they won’t be able to play the Magic they love.