Vintage Proxy Guidelines


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    Again, there are no formal guidelines so it ALWAYS varies by TO. I know a few TO's who don't allow the fake/counterfeit cards ... not because of any concern of cheating, but to discourage people from funding counterfeiters.

    Typically speaking, tournaments that allow a lot of proxies (especially 100% proxy events) tend to be more casual, more player run, and with mostly players who know each other and look out for each other - cheating is less of a concern here than readability. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to ask the TO.

    I do know that when the SCG P9 events had an official set of proxy rules, a lot of TOs would just say "We're using the same rules as SCG" to keep things simple, which made a sort of de facto standards, even if there were no de jure standards. As far as I know, this practice doesn't really exist anymore.



  • In the majority of events I've played, proxies that have been printed out and inserted in front of an actual Magic card are frowned upon, as your proxies are now thicker than the rest of your deck. Still probably less noticeable than, say, an FTV foil, but when we're talking about the thickness of 10-15 of probably the most powerful cards in your deck being different than your basic lands and Preordains, I err on the side of caution.



  • Public Service Announcements:

    The proper terms in this conversation are:

    (1) Proxy - An official replacement for a card damaged during a tournament.
    (2) Playtest Card - An unofficial card being used in place of a real one that would not pass as real even under the most casual of inspections.
    (3) Counterfeit - An unofficial card being used in place of a real one that can pass as real under a casual inspection in some relevant circumstance.

    Cite: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/proxies-policy-and-communication-2016-01-14

    A playtest card is most commonly a basic land with the name of a different card written on it with a marker. Playtest cards aren't trying to be reproductions of real Magic cards; they don't have official art and they wouldn't pass even as the real thing under the most cursory glance. Fans use playtest cards to test out new deck ideas before building out a deck for real and bringing it to a sanctioned tournament. And that's perfectly fine with us. Wizards of the Coast has no desire to police playtest cards made for personal, non-commercial use, even if that usage takes place in a store.



  • @thecravenone "Don't be a dick.""



  • @diophan said in Vintage Proxy Guidelines:

    @Islandswamp If you are not playing with black sleeves, in all likelihood they are not 100% opaque. In that case the back of the delvers are distinguishable and they are marked. At Champs in 2014 when delver was a common deck many people received game losses for having marked cards because of this. (Snarky comments omitted.)

    There are a number of other sleeves that are not black that are completely opaque that I've seen and/or used before. It just depends on the brand, thickness, and texture. I've seen sparkly blue, purple, brand sleeves, etc that aren't black, but are completely opaque.

    Regarding the original question, to my knowledge Zherbus was the first person to permit "proxy" Vintage tournaments, and the guidelines weren't very strict. The only rule was, at first, just 5 proxies.

    In Columbus Meandeck Opens, we opened it up to unlimited proxies, but with common sense rules that, 1) if you used print outs, that all of your deck had to be proxied in the same manner so as not to have some cards of different thickness), and 2) to have all of the key text on cards.

    In the early days of the SCG event, when they first started permitting proxies, there weren't specific rules (so text on magic card backs were permitted), but later Matt V issued more specific guidelines.

    Although I've always preferred black sharpie on a magic BACK (not front) because I think it is much easier to read than trying to read sharpie on the front of a card (where other text and chiaroscuro make it harder to read), SCG eventually required all proxies on basic lands (and on the front), and I think they did so for, as others said, readability at a distance.

    Because it was simply easier, I think most groups just would link to the SCG rules, and ask their player base to follow that format, so the SCG rules became a default among groups that permitted proxies. But not because it was better - just because it was codified from a reputable source.

    That said, I TO'd a ton of tournaments in the mid-oughts, and don't recall anyone ever raising the concern that sharpie on the back of a card is a problem - but that may be because all of the sleeves I remember from that period (roughly 2003-2007) were virtually all completely opaque on the back. The question about curvature I don't think matters because most pack fresh cards aren't curved (which are the most likely proxy targets), and the sleeves of proxied cards and the proxied cards themselves will acquire the same curvature of the rest of the deck, to the extent that this is even an issue (and I've never heard it raised before now).

    The only time I've ever heard anyone complain about curvature or warping is for foil cards (Rich Shay used to complain about this alot) or cards that have been riffle-shuffled to hell. About ten years ago I sold off nearly all of my foils because I began to be persuaded that they were more likely to be warped than regular cards. That's the only time I've ever heard anyone complain about curvature.

    Of course, subsequent to that period, Magic printed both double sided cards and textless cards, so alot of the debates about card backs and the text requirement looks silly in retrospect. The simple rule of thumb should be that if a proxy is in any way identifiable from behind that the card is "marked." YMMV



  • @Smmenen said in Vintage Proxy Guidelines:

    Regarding the original question, to my knowledge Zherbus was the first person to permit "proxy" Vintage tournaments, and the guidelines weren't very strict. The only rule was, at first, just 5 proxies.

    Actually, it was 'proxy any of the power 10'. I don't think this ever came up in the interview we did a few years back, but where I was from had a lot of Type 1.5 players. Most players who had been around had access to dual lands (they were like $15 for good ones at the time in 2001/2002), revised restricted cards, and newer stuff. Even Mishra's Workshop was like $20 at the time.

    The part that did come up in the interview, which you can find in Smmenen's series, was that at the time Vintage games in general were difficult to find, nevermind any sort of tournament. The complaint was always about 'well you have power, and I don't so I will lose'. It was a valid complaint, but I wanted to show people that Vintage was deeper than the perceived turn 1 kills.

    Last anecdote: I remember the event having Redman and Cooberp coming up from NG:NY, bringing Zoo and Enchantress respectfully. An Academy deck was at the top tables, a few Mono-Blue FoF decks, a JPMeyer Stacker 2 deck, a bunch of homebrews, and me with Keeper.



  • Wow @Zherbus is alive! Good to see you!



  • Sure am. Haven't spoken to most of you since I wrote the CS primer on the deck Shay and I worked on 2.5 years ago. Some of you not for much longer (I think we talked on the phone last in 2011 Soly) I'm alive!

    Also to add, the Hadley and Waterbury tournaments that followed mine started playing with different rules. 5 of anything proxies, 10 of anything proxies, x number of free proxies - pay extra entry for more proxies, and who can forget the 'we're going to make a batch of less than authentic power cards to beef up the circulation, give them out as prizes, and have them not count towards the proxy limit' proxies. Somewhere in a box, I still have a Black Lotus and an Mox Emerald from those ill-fated events.

    Another thing to remember was the guidelines that eventually took shape. Specifically, at the first Hadley tournament in the top 8, a dude played a land with a tiny strip of paper on it that was a Mox. There was a glare on the sleeve from the lights, I never saw that this was Mox-Monkey food, and almost lost a game because of it. That's when common sense rules started to apply. You had to make it clear what card it was, you had to include card text, and it couldn't be slips of paper (full sized or otherwise) because you could feel that thickness difference.



  • One more thing that makes "proxy" events even harder is Wizards changed/updated/clarified their policy on what a "proxy" is.

    The definitions now are (short hand):

    Proxy: Card given out by TO to replace a card damaged or unplayable in the middle of an event.

    Counterfeit: Any reproduction of WotC IP (including printed out slips of paper for "old term proxy")

    Playtest: A real magic card with writing on it to signify it is a different card.

    As is, a WPN Store can not hold an event that allows "counterfeit" cards. We can only hold events that allow playtest cards. This essentially killed the eternal events at my store. because people were comfortable looking at a card and saying "yep, that's a Mox Ruby" instead of trying to decipher scribble on a card.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Zherbus said in Vintage Proxy Guidelines:

    Sure am. Haven't spoken to most of you since I wrote the CS primer on the deck Shay and I worked on 2.5 years ago. Some of you not for much longer (I think we talked on the phone last in 2011 Soly) I'm alive!

    Also to add, the Hadley and Waterbury tournaments that followed mine started playing with different rules. 5 of anything proxies, 10 of anything proxies, x number of free proxies - pay extra entry for more proxies, and who can forget the 'we're going to make a batch of less than authentic power cards to beef up the circulation, give them out as prizes, and have them not count towards the proxy limit' proxies. Somewhere in a box, I still have a Black Lotus and an Mox Emerald from those ill-fated events.

    Another thing to remember was the guidelines that eventually took shape. Specifically, at the first Hadley tournament in the top 8, a dude played a land with a tiny strip of paper on it that was a Mox. There was a glare on the sleeve from the lights, I never saw that this was Mox-Monkey food, and almost lost a game because of it. That's when common sense rules started to apply. You had to make it clear what card it was, you had to include card text, and it couldn't be slips of paper (full sized or otherwise) because you could feel that thickness difference.

    What's this? I'd love to hear more about these proxies.



  • Are Collector Edition good enough for been considered Playtest or people don't allowed it? . I was thinking on buying Power9 CE. What about "Blanked" World championship cards? With a Sharpie is ok?


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    That's very much up to the judge/TO ... I wouldn't care if I were running an event, but I don't run events :D I would guess most judges have a problem with the sharp corners on CE, but championship cards with very opaque sleeves feel fine to me. If you want to use those, I would definitely bring a set of "regular" playtest cards, too, and ask the judge before the event.



  • When I use my CE duals or power I always triple sleeve and run it past the judge. In my experience the triple sleeve eliminates concerns about the corners on the CE cards and any impropriety related to rando foils. Of course triple sleeving is not for everyone and does make your deck a tad harder to shuffle, unless you play EDH regularly and are used to shuffling a huge stack of cards :)



  • For proxies I've been writing in pen on the back of bulk Commons but keep screenshots of all cards proxied on my phone so there isn't any issue with wording. And announcing every proxy on the board when an opponent asks about one is good practice so you opponent dosnt target the wrong card.



  • @xXHazardXx said in Vintage Proxy Guidelines:

    Playtest: A real magic card with writing on it to signify it is a different card.

    I have a minor quibble!

    As I mentioned in my post above, this is only one example of a playtest card. The article from Wizards suggests that a playtest card is any non-official card standing in for a real one that would not pass as real under a casual inspection. In other words, the following are playtest cards:

    (1) Cards blanked in acetone and hand-drawn or printed on with something other than the official art.
    (2) Blank World Championship Cards that you've doodled your card on (what I prefer, but they're getting scarcer)
    (3) Cards in sleeves with printed inserts showing the card they are standing in for.
    (4) A counterfeit with the words "PLAYTEST CARD ONLY" sharpied on it's face, probably?

    And so on. If it obviously isn't real, then it's probably a playtest card.


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