Monday, November 17, 2014

Proxy Magic

First of all, proxies are illegal when playing Magic unless you have a badly damaged card, such as a Power 9 in a tournament and a tournament judge makes a proxy for you. Please do not buy fake cards or proxies for use in official/sanctioned tournaments. However, if you're getting proxies for a cube with different art, card frames, and the like I'm all for.

I make very low end, cheap proxies for my own use in deck testing. The first time I made them was for my first legacy deck because most of the cards are way too expensive to buy and I wanted the feel of the deck. Of course, that was my High Tide deck, which I'll be continuing soon.

With today's article, I want to show you how I make my proxies purely for deck testing. It's simple, easy, and it doesn't require printers, or computers (well no, you need a computer to look up card text and such).

Step 1: Sleeves

I personally have four tiers of sleeves. One tier is completely unused, those are Commander's Arsenal, Modern Event Deck, and 15th Anniversary Black Lotus sleeves. They look too good or are sealed and never opened so I won't. The tier of sleeves above that are the first sleeves I ever purchased and are the ones I use for proxying. I have seven sets of sleeves, one of each mana color (from the Mana 3 collection), one with all five symbols, and then Planeswalker sleeves. They're not in great shape which makes them perfect for deck tests.

First picture shows some damaged sleeves, and the second shows some in better condition. Whatever you want to use is fine.

Oh, and for the sake of completeness, the next higher tier of my sleeves are Ultra Pros used in EDH decks, multiplayer decks, and Theros Block challenge decks. The highest tier are Dragon Shields used in Standard and Modern decks frequently used in tournaments. Enough about me again, let's move on.

Step 2: Filling the Sleeves

You know the "non-tokens" as I like to call them? The advertisement cards that come in booster packs when a token doesn't are perfect. Or, you know, you could use actual cards like lands, or if you want to, you could use planeswalkers or a Revised Underground Sea like Wizards uses...

Lord of Mu

Step 3: Building the Proxies

So, We've stuffed the sleeves with cards, but what about the proxies? I'm not a fan of writing on basic lands or the back of cards like some people do because it's too busy, or the ink doesn't show up on the art or background, so I do something a little differently.

Go buy a pack of index cards. You can get 100 for a dollar or two. It's simple and easy. 3x5 or 4x6 are good. Each 3x5 card makes three proxies, 4x6 can make four. We'll deal with the 4x6.

It's long and tedious work, but measure the sides, and draw lines to cut. A 4x6 card easily makes four 2x3 proxies. The particular deck I'm building I have very few cards from and it has zero basic lands. Basics don't need proxies because I have too many anyway, so proxies don't need to be made for them. In this case I actually need 60 proxies for the whole deck. That's 15 index cards.

Cards cut.

At this point in the process, I just write in pencil names and rules text. I know what City of Brass does off the top of my head, I just wrote it out for everyone else's benefit. I also like to use markers for some color with lands. Orange is multicolored/any color, yellow is for white, and the rest are all their own colors (blue, black, red, green). City of Brass gets an orange swipe. If I make a proxy of a dual land, I'll make a squiggle with each color.

If I want to make things fancy, I write the mana costs in the correct marker color and use dots for mana symbols. I went less fancy this time. The deck in question is Leylines. Since everything is pretty much the Leylines, which all cost 2 plus double of their colors, I just marked them with their color and left it at that.

All you have to do once you write everything out is slide them into the cards. Then you can shuffle and test.

It might take an hour to do, but for a deck costing several thousand dollars, I'd rather test it first before buying everything, just make sure I like what I want to play.

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