Magic: The Gathering Proxies – Unraveling Wizards of the Coast’s Official Guidelines


Wizards of the Coast, the creators of “Magic: The Gathering” (MTG), have established clear rules about using proxies in official game play. Here’s an overview of their position as of my last update in April 2023:

  1. No Proxies in Official Tournaments: In officially sanctioned MTG events, including tournaments and Friday Night Magic, the use of proxies or counterfeit cards is strictly prohibited. These events are regulated by the DCI (Duelists’ Convocation International).
  2. What Constitutes a Proxy: A proxy card is typically a stand-in for another card a player owns but is not currently using in their deck. This might be due to the original card’s high value or delicate condition.
  3. Limited Exceptions by Judges: In rare circumstances, such as damage to a card during a tournament, a head judge might permit a temporary proxy. This is an exception and is up to the judge’s discretion.
  4. Casual Games and Proxy Use: In informal, non-sanctioned games, the acceptance of proxies is often up to the consensus of the players involved. Wizards of the Coast doesn’t regulate these casual games, so players usually set their own rules about proxies.
  5. Rationale Behind the Policy: The no-proxy rule in sanctioned events is there to uphold the game’s integrity, ensure fair play, and protect the cards’ collectible value. It also helps in combating the use of illegal counterfeit cards.
  6. Digital Formats and Proxies: In digital versions of MTG, like MTG Arena, the issue of physical proxies doesn’t arise, as all cards are digital and accessed through the game’s platform.

It’s important to note that these policies may evolve over time.

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.

Wizards of the Coast

For the latest information, checking Wizards of the Coast’s official website or contacting them directly is advisable. Furthermore, specific tournament rules can vary, so always consult with the event organizer or official guidelines about proxy use in those contexts.

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