Proxies: How to handle them with a new group

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Aug. 23, 2017, 4:43 p.m. by Podma101

I wanted to get other's opinions on the use of proxies. The majority of my playgroup has graduated from college, leaving myself and one other to find a new group. In our old group, proxies were okay so long as you owned a copy of it, and we were all great friends so we never really cared.

With a new group though, I understand that the stance on proxies ranges from people playing with full proxy decks to treating them like a sin.

Therefore, I pose the scenario: if you had new people joining your already established group, what is your opinion on the use of proxies, and if you are against them, how would you want the person to address it? Would you tell them to buy the copies they lack, desleeve the originals between each game, or just accept the proxies if they show the originals for the sake of playing? Or any other option I didn't mention! Thanks!

clayperce says... #2

My group always used to allow a couple for when we were testing out new cards. This was especially useful when we were testing cards that looked like they'd be really good, but were right on the edge budget-wise. Nobody wanted to lay out money for an expensive (to us, I mean ... probably cheap to most people) card and then find out it was kind of meh.

There were also times where we'd put a proxy in that we'd ordered from somewhere and it just wasn't in yet.

Proxying the whole deck though or proxying any super-expensive cards that we would never ever be able to put in the deck for real? No way.

August 23, 2017 5:06 p.m.

My play group was fine with proxies as long as you owned the card. Even the lcs I went to in college was fine with it. You would just have to go in a little early to the event and go over your list with the owner and your binder so he could verify. No need to grunge up or put expensive cards at risk if you don't have to.

August 23, 2017 5:11 p.m.

Profet93 says... #4

I spent over 4k on my decks. I hate it when people proxy but I completely understand why they do so. I think proxies are fair as long as no more than 50% of the deck is proxied. That being said, I wouldn't mind playing against a deck that is 100% proxied AS LONG AS they attempt to slowly but surely acquire some of the proxied cards over time.

My best friend is going to proxy a gae's cradle + 40%-60% of the deck is not more. Now does it bother me, yeah. But money is tight for a lot of people and I completely understand why people don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on pieces of cardboard.

If I proxy (which I WILL NEVER DO, too lazy and against it), then I would tell people prior to starting a game. If someone proxies, I hope they should ask me beforehand and I will say yes because again, money for cardboard is not meant for everyone.

August 23, 2017 5:15 p.m.

Redace878 says... #5

Being a pretty casual player, I'm fine with proxies as long as they're not ridiculous cards that cost hundreds of dollars. If it's just a card that costs a lot that is just used to optimize a deck, it's completely fine, especially with lands. Nobody likes spending hundreds of dollars on the cards that just let you play the game.

August 23, 2017 5:43 p.m.

dbpunk says... #6

It depends, if it's like half their deck is proxies and all the proxies are insanely expensive (like $50+) and powerful and they're not planning on ever getting a copy of these cards, then it's a maybe. If it's something cheap they just don't bother ordering or it's in their collection or they're waiting for more money to come in before ordering it, hell yeah.

If it's cards that had just been spoiled, then it's definitely fine by me, because how could they get those cards yet?

I'm speaking from experience of my friend making a monoblack deck that was almost all proxies except for a Doom Blade and his commander. It really sucked playing against when others don't do proxies.

August 23, 2017 6:21 p.m.

AlexoBn says... #7

If you get to cEDH most people will not have a problem with proxie, because it is not the spirit of the format to play weaker cards because of budget (somehow...although there is budget decks and a budget deck series) so proxies will make people play the most broken powerlevel and you have a fair competition. Personally I play with proxies for cards that I own that are expensive (definitely not going to buy a second cradle , bayou, imperial seal ). Nonetheless I really try to get multiple copies of cheap cards so that I do not have to proxy dramatic reversal for example (proxies always look shit even with colour printing).Due to the fact that I mostly carry all my competitive decks plus some casual decks with me I could always play a non proxy list but that would take a whole. Really don't see why I should limit the amount of decks I have available (makes it better when playing a whole evening) when I am only missing a couple of expensive cards that unfortunately overlap (mana crypt, lions eye diamond or imperial seal for black )

August 23, 2017 6:30 p.m.

Podma101 says... #8

Okay, everyone seems to be on relatively the same page with it. For my own situation, every card I proxy I own, the original is in another deck. For instance, I got lucky and pulled Scalding Tarn during the recent MM draft. This was traded for a Damnation and other cards. Black is my favorite color, so most of my decks use black, and you better be sure that Damnation went into all of them. I think my deck with the most proxies has about 20 proxies, but some of those cards are literally ones I'm way too lazy to buy again like Trinket Mage. Very few cards are actually worth something

August 23, 2017 6:31 p.m.

TheAnnihilator says... #9

I may be in the minority, but I allow any number of proxies, any card. I tend to be a spike, and I want to play against the most optimized version of basically any deck. I also happen to be from a low-budget family, and I never wanted to buy cards if I didn't have to. I now have 2 full competitive Modern decks from getting the cards over time starting with a mostly-proxied deck. I fully support proxies.

August 23, 2017 7:08 p.m.

miampizza says... #10

I'm alright with it as long as the proxy is a card that is crucial to holding his deck togheter but he just can't afford it for now, or if he's just trying a card to be sure it's worth buying.

I won't accept someone who proxies Bayous for example.

August 23, 2017 7:11 p.m.

Redace878 says... #11

miampizza I would probably make an excepion for something like Bayou; it doesn't provide a very big advantage and it isn't much different from a Overgrown Tomb.

August 23, 2017 7:23 p.m.

RedUndead40 says... #12

If you own a copy of the card and just want to save time from swapping it between every deck, I dont have a problem with it.

When it gets to the point where you're just essentially printing money I start to have issues with it

August 23, 2017 10:07 p.m.

BestBuds says... #13

i should throw my hat into this, i have a 2k cEDH teferi deck that i have no proxy cards in and it is very fast and consistent, so my one friend just made a yedris deck to deal with it but my other freind made a melek and the whole thing is proxyed, we play at my house usualy 4-5 people and while i dont like the fact that i went through and aquired my cards and he didnt, i do like having anohter deck that can interact and not just get steam rolled every time he plays agenst me, also him having a proxy deck means he is formulating how to make it better every game wich in turn helps me make my real deck better. i on one hand dont like it, but on the other i feel that it makes my deck better and allows people who cannot thow 1.5k at a deck.

August 23, 2017 10:35 p.m.

BestBuds says... #14

to be able to play in our group and keep up with people who have the card base to play cEDH

August 23, 2017 10:37 p.m.

Steelspike says... #15

I only proxy cards that I physically own, and normally won't allow a proxy in a game unless the player owns at least one physical copy of the card.

Some players will build a $3,000.00+ deck that never loses using nothing but proxies if you let them.

Playing against a deck like that doesn't sound fun to me. Commander is supposed to be fun. If I'm not having fun, I don't want to play.

August 24, 2017 2:03 a.m.

Rzepkanut says... #16

Personally I have absolutely no moral problem with playing vs. proxy cards whatsoever long as its legible...and preferably a color printout of the real card in the sleeve. Hand written proxy cards are the worst. That said I only have one EDH deck with any proxy cards in it currently and like 20 without because I love the look and feel of real Magic cards so much. If you are going somewhere new I would just make sure to have deck options with and without proxy cards in them so you can play no matter what. When it comes to these kinds of things its worth it to talk about your preferences before the game begins if you want to make a good impression with a new group.

August 24, 2017 2:17 a.m.

DudelRok says... #17

I don't proxy and I don't like them. I've slowly acquired stuff over time, and I've learned to deal with a lot of super fast obnoxious EDH stuff with low tech answers people were not expecting.

For a long time I was running Boil, and Tsunami as my response to control heavy metas, and eventually didn't have to cast it anymore because people were simply afraid to mess with my stuff at the cost of having their mana base nuked.

When dealing with super fast mana rock nonsense, I started running 3 drop artifact removal like the Manglehorn and Reclamation Sage. Naturalize before their printing.

If I can't keep up with you, slowing you down works just as well.

August 27, 2017 12:12 p.m.

Moot0009 says... #18

I agree with the majority here. Being brand new to EDH (and new-ish to MTG in general), it's sometimes difficult for me to get a copy of a card right that moment if the LGS I play at doesn't have one. That being said, I would not proxy a card unless I owned at least one copy (I don't think playing with proxies other than my own/ anyone's weird tokens is completely fair since they wouldn't "feel" the same in the deck unless they were hand written- and I agree with AlexoBn that hand-written ones are terrible to read/play with).

Related question (if I should repost please let me know)- Since I'm quite literally just putting together my first EDH deck (I did purchase the 2017's as well), how common is proxying in the format? While I definitely understand the immensely high cost for some cards, with the limitation (and freedom!) of only being able to run one of each card, is this something more prevalent in competitive play? Or just when folks are blessed enough to have several decks? Please forgive my ignorance.

August 30, 2017 10:17 a.m.

Podma101 says... #19

I actually find (from my personal experience) that more competitive players and games have no proxies, and will buy duplicates of every card as needed, or use a system that allows them to quickly sleeve up the cards that are shared between decks.

For actual tournament play or sanctioned events, you cannot have proxies of any kind, so take that into consideration.

For yourself personally, if you own the card, most people in a more casual setting will allow it, though depending on the card they may ask for proof. If you don't own it, they might say no, especially of its something ridiculous like Nether Void.

No matter what, always run it by the people your playing with if it isn't a dedicated group that already knows and accepts it

August 30, 2017 2:29 p.m.

AlexoBn says... #20

Podma101 to me being competitive is not only building and playing competitive decks. It is also a mindset. In cEDH you really do not want to have that money barrier so you allow proxys to make sure you play against (as above mentioned) perfectly optimised decks. You will likely see that using proxys is therefore encouraged when playing via discord and webcam (see labmaniacs ie). Of course it will be a problem when you want to participate at a tournament but that does not mean you have to use a complex and time consuming binder system (if you are interested in such a system check the edh subreddit). In casual I think it is a dickmove to proxy a complete 100% deck against your friends if they do not play on such a powerlevel. Tournaments are even planned a bit in advance so you will most likely be able to acquire missing cards or borrow them. Nonetheless I really enjoy my competitive karador list which is without proxys but I don't mind if I will therefore have other decks with proxys so that there is at least one deck without them . If I wasn't a student my cardpool would look better though

August 30, 2017 2:51 p.m.

Podma101 says... #21

Okay, thank you for the insight there AlexoBn! My experience is quite limited. I have only ever played with very close friends, and last weekend was the first time I actually played with total strangers (eight person game, too much fun). My belief was that the competitive nature of cEDH led those who frequent it to only build what they could afford and upgrade when they could. Almost a sort of pride kind of deal.

August 30, 2017 4:50 p.m.

Rabid_Wombat says... #22

I own a 5k edh deck and have no problems playing against 100 percent proxied decks as long as you can tell what the cards actually are- those photocopied jank decks have got to go.

September 11, 2017 6:55 a.m.

Brightest_Day says... #23

As someone who has 3 decks that use Kokusho, the Evening Star (At the time of writing), Im totally fine with proxies as long as the owner of the deck has proved he actually owns one copy of the real card, or a majory of the group can speak on his behalf. Its one of the reason I want to get into making proxies. I own a Doubling Season in my Rhys the Redeemed deck, double sleeved and all. But I REALLY want to proxy it due to the fact it may get stolen easily, something spilled on it and the liquid seeps into the sleeve, or it gets destroyed by some salty player. Id rather just prove I have it and keep it locked away in a box back at home than hauling pricey cards around.

I also only buy one copy of a pricy card and swap them around and being able to proxy three Kokushos saves me from searching one duck, pulling the dragon and other cards, making sure i have them all, leafing the new deck I want to play, and then the shuffling and mulligans. As opposed to just shuffle/mulligan and go.

Plus I would feel a lot more comfortable letting others people play my decks if I knew that if something could get unplayable if it was a proxied .10 cent foil as opposed to a $50 card or something that has sentimental value.

November 13, 2017 3:14 p.m.

Kaleo42 says... #24

I am completely for proxies for the sake of testing. I expect though that if the card is important enough to include in your list and you've confirmed you're not going to cut it then you should be making an active effort to obtain the card.

As for too few copies, if the card is in multiple decks it's probably work having multiple copies of it. I do however understand only have one Tropical Island and moving it as needed.

Your group, your LGS, and this game as a whole are all depending on us to support them financially. Proxying instead of acquiring cards lessens the trade value in your group, deprives shops of funding to stay around and invest into making events and undermines the overall longevity of this game. Proxying to make smart purchases/trades is just good business.

Basically if you like it you should put a Sol Ring on it.

November 13, 2017 11:01 p.m.

Rabid_Wombat says... #25

Kaleo42 what kills a scene even more is no players due to the high cost of edh decks vs basic living expenses - for a lot of people rent, gas and food take priority.

That's why I'm cool with playing against proxies...even though I don't run them myself.

November 14, 2017 3:45 a.m.

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