This is a guide for working with proxies in a tournament environment. This guide is not about the artistic and aesthetic aspects of custom proxies but about the most effective and simplest solution to make cards available to players and thus increase participation in tournaments. The goal of this guide is to combat the limited availability of cards – be it because of limited printing, speculation, or other reasons – while ensuring a competitive and fair environment. However, we do not support the usage of counterfeits and we strongly recommend against buying them!

Which cards should be represented by proxies?

While the monetary value of a card is often the limiting factor why a player cannot obtain a card, there shouldn’t be a minimum value for a card to be allowed to be proxied. Whether or not a card is out of the reach of the financial capabilities of a player is highly dependent on that player. On top of that, the fluctuation of card prices would have to be taken into account when setting a minimum value. Finally, enforcing such a limitation would require more work from tournament organizers. Similar arguments can be made with other limitations to proxies, such as limiting proxies to reserved list cards, certain staples in a format, or personal preference. Therefore, we believe that there should be no limit on which cards players should be allowed to proxy.

How should cards be represented by proxies?

We believe that the best way is to use a Double-Faced Substitute Card (DFSC) with the English name of the represented card written on it. In addition, players should also have high resolution, coloured prints of their proxied cards so that they can take the place of DFSCs as soon as the card becomes known to both players during a game. That means that proxied cards should be handled in the same way as any real card that is replaced by a DFSC. This ensures that the proxy is not identifiable within the deck at any given time, while also keeping the board state as clear as possible at all times. To these ends, we propose using these rules:

  1. A proxy card is a game supplement that can be used to represent any card. A proxy card has a normal Magic card back.
  2. Each proxy card must clearly indicate the name of at least the front face of the card that it represents. Other Information from the printed card (e.g. card type, manacost, and power and toughness) may also be written on the proxy card. Only information printed on the original card can be written on a proxy.
  3. If a proxy card is used in a deck, the card it represents must be printed and set aside prior to the beginning of the game and must remain available throughout the game.
  4. For all game purposes, the proxy card is considered to be the card it’s representing.
  5. If the proxy card is face up in a public zone, it should be set aside and the printed card that it represents should be used instead.

How many proxies should be allowed per deck?

From experience, the use of up to 15 proxies has appeared to be the sweet spot for most formats. We recommend this as well.