Proxies in Commander

Do you like proxies in commander?

Yes
23
28%
No
21
26%
Depends if they are used reasonably or not
37
46%
 
Total votes: 81

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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

cryogen wrote:
9 months ago
pokken wrote:
9 months ago
Not every manabase has to have duals. I only play the duals I own and its definitely made me more creative with mana. Sometimes i just play shocks and sometimes i play weird stuff.

Feeling like you need to have dual lands in every deck is part of the arms race problem. People didnt used to feel like that when I started playing.
Interesting. I started playing in 2011 and I've ALWAYS felt like I needed them. I don't think it's so much that players feel like they don't need them, it's that they're realistic and know that they aren't worth the expense most of the time. But strictly speaking, every deck "needs" them as they are hands down the best dual lands in the format.
Being optimal and fast its true that its always going to help. Some more reactive strategies though its not as big of a deal though but generally speaking those strategies don't work in cEDH. I have been experimenting more with non optimized landbases when it comes to 5c decks because I just cant justify putting 5+K into a landbase and feeling comfortable transporting that around.

It would be hard to play a competative deck and not use an optimized landbase. I think a lot of people aren't playing to that level though and probably could in some situations scale back. My solution in a lot of cases is just to play more mono colored decks and two color decks.
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Post by Airi » 9 months ago

It feels not great to try to run decks in like Jeskai or Grixis without duals. I've taken more than a few decks apart because I wasn't willing to shell out for duals, but didn't love how the deck played without them, where it felt awkward and clunky in a lot of places.

Can I make a deck work without that kind of thing? Technically, yes. Do I like how it feels when it's slowed down because of it? Absolutely not. And there's not really a good answer to things like that while the reserve list exists. Can I make do with Fauna Shaman? Sure. Is it soooooo much worse feeling than Survival of the Fittest? It's not even a question.
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Post by pokken » 9 months ago

cryogen wrote:
9 months ago
pokken wrote:
9 months ago
Not every manabase has to have duals. I only play the duals I own and its definitely made me more creative with mana. Sometimes i just play shocks and sometimes i play weird stuff.

Feeling like you need to have dual lands in every deck is part of the arms race problem. People didnt used to feel like that when I started playing.
Interesting. I started playing in 2011 and I've ALWAYS felt like I needed them. I don't think it's so much that players feel like they don't need them, it's that they're realistic and know that they aren't worth the expense most of the time. But strictly speaking, every deck "needs" them as they are hands down the best dual lands in the format.
Running out of fetchlands is more the bottleneck for me. I'm out of scalding tarns and verdant catacombs now and I'm not interested in getting more :P

But when my group started playing no one ran more than one or two fetchlands except our one guy who had played since revised, and he only ran on color fetches. And no one really cared. We ran tainted lands, nimbus maze, all the crazy duals, and everyone's mana was fine.

I think we have different definition of needs. Like all decks "need" a mox diamond but I make do with it only in a couple decks, and there's nothing horribly wrong with the deck. If your goal is to be optimized sure. But need is a different thing in commander. I'd agree that all decks *want* duals. Because they're great. But you can make fine, solid decks without them.
Airi wrote:
9 months ago
It feels not great to try to run decks in like Jeskai or Grixis without duals. I've taken more than a few decks apart because I wasn't willing to shell out for duals, but didn't love how the deck played without them, where it felt awkward and clunky in a lot of places.
Jeskai and Grixis have such great filtering I find with a little discipline you can just play lots of fetches and then add a the ally color cycling dual and/or the tango, and you're fine. They also want to run a lot of artifacts most of the time. I'd always rather run 6 fetches and 3 shocks than 3 fetches and 6 shocks/duals in those decks anyway (obviously not that this is an either or situation, just, budgetary speaking it's a lot cheaper).

I think we're not super far away from being able to build some very reasonable manabases without them; the completed set of tangos would basically be good enough for me most of the time.
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Post by cryogen » 9 months ago

Lol, yeah. I need more enemy fetches but sheesh.
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Post by Airi » 9 months ago

pokken wrote:
9 months ago
Airi wrote:
9 months ago
It feels not great to try to run decks in like Jeskai or Grixis without duals. I've taken more than a few decks apart because I wasn't willing to shell out for duals, but didn't love how the deck played without them, where it felt awkward and clunky in a lot of places.
Jeskai and Grixis have such great filtering I find with a little discipline you can just play lots of fetches and then add a the ally color cycling dual and/or the tango, and you're fine. They also want to run a lot of artifacts most of the time. I'd always rather run 6 fetches and 3 shocks than 3 fetches and 6 shocks/duals in those decks anyway (obviously not that this is an either or situation, just, budgetary speaking it's a lot cheaper).

I think we're not super far away from being able to build some very reasonable manabases without them; the completed set of tangos would basically be good enough for me most of the time.
I think it's great that it's something that works for you. But to me, I actively did not enjoy the budget versions of the decks I've built in R/U/x because those tend to be my most limited mana bases. I proxied up the "fixed" versions to test if it was something I'd like to invest in, and then ultimately the price spikes killed the decks. I don't enjoy playing like that, to me a lot of budget options feel slow and clunky, and I'm not okay with it. So my compromise is to not run them. Despite my pro-proxy stance, I actually hate using them personally because of aesthetics so I don't tend to keep them for longer than is needed to save up for whatever portion of the deck I need to order, past testing stuff. And that's just mana bases. That doesn't even get in to cards like Gaea's Cradle, Survival of the Fittest, Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, Wheel of Fortunate that don't have similar power versions available.

My point though, ultimately, is that "Well, budget is basically the same thing". It's not, and if you don't agree with proxies, that's perfectly fine. But as a general argument, it's one I hate seeing, because to me at least, it feels very dishonest, because a lot of times those RL cards to make the difference to how it feels to play the deck.
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Post by pokken » 9 months ago

Airi wrote:
9 months ago
My point though, ultimately, is that "Well, budget is basically the same thing". It's not, and if you don't agree with proxies, that's perfectly fine. But as a general argument, it's one I hate seeing, because to me at least, it feels very dishonest, because a lot of times those RL cards to make the difference to how it feels to play the deck.
I don't understand that really; gaea's cradle drastically increases the power of a green deck, volcanic island is a tiny incremental advantage.

I am getting a mishra's workshop for my Tymna and Ludevic affinity deck that has a fairly budget manabase (only on-color fetches, no duals) because it's going to seriously impact the power level. But a little better fixing? I don't think that makes a huge difference. It's really a modest power level difference.

I played Miracles in legacy with no tundras (just a hallowed fountain and 2x prairie stream) and it was perfectly fine. The percentage points lost for not having those be tundras was tiny. In EDH the difference is even smaller because we get to run stupid mana fixing like signets. I wasn't going to take it to any GPs but for casual playing around it was barely noticeable.

I can get on board with someone proxying Bazaar of Baghdad in their Gitrog deck, but proxying Bayou just seems weird to me. It is such a tiny power level difference. It doesn't make a significant difference in how the deck plays.

Even in non-green decks you can almost always get by with just shocks and rainbow lands and maybe a smattering of nimbus maze and luxury suite or whatever.
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Post by Airi » 9 months ago

Like I said, I think it's awesome that it's something that you don't notice in your deck building. I personally have noticed a drastic different when I've upgraded my mana base (even in green decks), and budget dual typed lands work. They do. They are also significantly worse than ABUR duals, and I don't think it's fair to pretend otherwise. And for certain color types, I just don't enjoy how the deck plays using the slower lands when it comes to color fixing. Especially since a lot of dual typed lands don't have full cycles outside of shocks and ABUR duals. Straight up, it's not something I enjoy playing.

Now, I am fortunate that outside of U/R or U/G, I have as many of the ABUR duals as I need, so it's not a compromise I need to make often outside of my two 5c decks (which doesn't matter for Golos/Kenrith, but does actually hurt Najeela quite a bit). I simply tend to avoid Grixis and Jeskai. I'm not going to get something I enjoy out of those colors with what I currently have, and I'm not going to be able to fill the gaps in my collection any time soon. That being said, I want other people to be able to build something like my Marath deck, that plays exactly as smoothly as they want it, and I don't really feel like someone should have to shell out a fortune to get there in a casual game. That just kind of makes me feel bad. And, while I know you keep directing my post back to dual lands, it's not just about dual lands. There are a lot of cards people get priced out of that to me, they shouldn't really have to compromise on.

If other people are against proxying, that's their prerogative. But I'm never going to ask someone to actively pursue a worse deck simply because I inherited a bunch of old, expensive cards, and they didn't. And to me personally, playing with budget alternatives often straight up feels worse, and I'm not going to put that on the people I play with.
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Post by pokken » 9 months ago

Yeah, I was confining my comments very specifically to dual lands. I can't argue with your feelings -- if you feel it you feel it. But objectively, adding abur duals to a deck is an absolute minuscule power level increase if you're running all the fetches already.

I'm much more receptive to people proxying things that are required for the deck to function (e.g. survival of the fittest) than cards that make your manabase a tiny bit more consistent.

If not having a card locks you out of playing the deck, sure, but I've played with dozens of decks that don't have ABUR duals and still whomp on people.

Why do I draw the line there? I dunno really. Just feels like a slippery slope to me to draw it to the right of "Do you need this expensive card for the deck to function." If you aren't going to draw the line at duals, why draw them at shocks or fetches? Then just proxy everything if you want, and we're not playing a collectible card game anymore. Let's just bust out our tablets and play xmage.
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Post by tstorm823 » 9 months ago

cryogen wrote:
9 months ago
Interesting. I started playing in 2011 and I've ALWAYS felt like I needed them. I don't think it's so much that players feel like they don't need them, it's that they're realistic and know that they aren't worth the expense most of the time. But strictly speaking, every deck "needs" them as they are hands down the best dual lands in the format.
I don't know, I give them a "doesn't scry 1" out of 10
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Post by Cow31337Killer » 9 months ago

cryogen wrote:
9 months ago
pokken wrote:
9 months ago
Not every manabase has to have duals. I only play the duals I own and its definitely made me more creative with mana. Sometimes i just play shocks and sometimes i play weird stuff.

Feeling like you need to have dual lands in every deck is part of the arms race problem. People didnt used to feel like that when I started playing.
Interesting. I started playing in 2011 and I've ALWAYS felt like I needed them. I don't think it's so much that players feel like they don't need them, it's that they're realistic and know that they aren't worth the expense most of the time. But strictly speaking, every deck "needs" them as they are hands down the best dual lands in the format.
This is why monocolor decks are the best :grin: I'll take 35 Forests over expensive dual lands any day.

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Post by Morganelefay » 9 months ago

I don't mind temp proxies, like testing out cards that are pricey but you don't know if they're actually worth it, like a Selvala, Heart of the Wilds in a deck with fatties. However, if you keep the proxy in for several months, that's a no go as far as I'm concerned. I feel overuse of proxies is unfair to those who do actually obtain the actual cards.
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Post by BeneTleilax » 9 months ago

Although I only use proxies to represent cards I already own in other decks, to spare myself the hassle of swapping cards out between games, I'm decidedly in favor of them. To that end, I'll give my answer to a few of the most common arguments against them. I'm not trying to paraphrase any particular posts, just to get at the what seem to be the shared objections.

[*]They invalidate people who buy the cards.

I just don't think this is true. What someone else does with their deck doesn't invalidate your choices. If I run flicker-Feather, that doesn't take anything from your heroic-tribal Feather deck. On the contrary, telling someone how they can and cannot build their deck does take away from their experience. If seeing someone else running the same card as you without paying for it makes you question your purchase, you may need to reevaluate your MtG budget.

[*]It prevents pub-stomping.

If budget is your only check against pub-stomping, you are going to run into issues as soon as the first That Guy at your table gets a bonus. While quality of cards owned does correlate with time invested in the game, which in turn correlates with respect for table norms, the chain is loose. Moreso, it correlates with personal wealth and gaming budget, neither of which correspond to good table etiquette. Just the other day, I ran across a high-schooler playing with his dad's collection, who Cradle'd out a Craterhoof turn 4-or-so in my casual group.

One thing I have noticed is that suddenly allowing proxies often creates a disruptive boom in power-level. However, this forces the power-level discussion, as opposed to the slow and often unspoken arms-race that normally occurs as people build their collections. And hey, if it turns out y'all don't want to play with Cradle or whatever, no-one wasted several hundred dollars to find out. If anything, proxies allow your group to determine the power-level they want independent of budgets and sunk costs. Anyone who decides to break the norms of such an agreement with proxies was going to do so anyway the next time they decide to splurge.

[*]It hurts WotC
WotC is a multi-million dollar IP, owned by one of the biggest toy brands in the world. I do not fear for their ability to put food on the table. Also, they overwhelmingly invest their R&D in Standard and Limited, I don't see this changing, and I'm not interested in subsidizing those. Furthermore, and this may be getting into unrelated hot-take territory, I don't much like their arrangement with the secondary market. Thus even if the miraculous sea-change in player spending some are discussing came to pass, and made them re-evaluate their focus on singles resellers over players and LGS's, I would hardly weep.

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Post by cryogen » 9 months ago

tstorm823 wrote:
9 months ago
cryogen wrote:
9 months ago
Interesting. I started playing in 2011 and I've ALWAYS felt like I needed them. I don't think it's so much that players feel like they don't need them, it's that they're realistic and know that they aren't worth the expense most of the time. But strictly speaking, every deck "needs" them as they are hands down the best dual lands in the format.
I don't know, I give them a "doesn't scry 1" out of 10
Nice to see someone else here who likes the Temple lands. Everyone seems to dunk on them most times.
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Post by pokken » 9 months ago

Something I've been thinking about in reference to why I hate seeing a deck full of proxies, especially bad ones, but period--

So I used to play a lot of warhammer back in the day and the price of the official models was always a huge point of contention. We had guys wanting to use knockoffs or even using just round bases with stickers on them at some points. We also had lots of unpainted models, or models that didn't have the right bitz on them, or even just hideous lazy paint jobs. It always impacted the fun at least some, to a varying degree.

Magic is a game where part of the contract is that we're all playing with the same pieces. Not just the rules of the card but the card. The aesthetic side of the game is meaningful. Every so often I'll run into someone with Russian foils altered with boobs all over them or whatever ridiculous thing. I can't read it, I can't identify it by the picture, and having to ask is disconcerting for card after card.

Proxies kinda slide into similar space for me. When they are completely indistinguishable or at least have the full rules text and recognizable art not horrid. But low quality or even just obvious proxies kinda is frustrating.

Part of the enjoyment of the game is in the fact that we're all playing with these cards we've collected and sharing the same experience. A bunch of photocopies are not the same thing. And if we're mandating high quality proxies its pretty flirty with condoning counterfeiting.

Paper magic is more than the rules of the cards at least on some level.

Anyway I definitely feel the conflict there so I'm not ever going to come down on someone for proxies. But it does hit my enjoyment a bit when I see a big kinkos pile. And I don't think it's right to say that (as I've heard said particularly on reddit) its basically unreasonable to be discomfited by proxies.

I wish wizards would take seriously making the game more accessible but I really am hesitant to completely toss out the collectible and aesthetic side this hobby and reduce it purely to numbers and a ruleset.
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Post by gilrad » 9 months ago

I'd like to know peoples' thoughts on proxying cards as a way to reduce the overall value of the cards you bring with you.

It's something I've been considering ever since the Theft and Protection thread came about, which in turn came about because of my comment on being unwilling to run timetwister due to the practicality of carrying around thousands of dollars with you.

I already have a few cards in my collection that I ended up pulling out of my decks because the value of the cards went well beyond the threshold of what I would be comfortable carrying with me in the street. I still want to play the cards, but the thought of carrying around all that money just doesn't feel right.

I'm honestly amazed at how many people in this thread casually mention bringing decks with Tabernacles or Workshops or Bazaars in them. Would you feel the same about going to the bar with friends while carrying $2,000 in your wallet?

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Post by pokken » 9 months ago

gilrad wrote:
9 months ago
I'd like to know peoples' thoughts on proxying cards as a way to reduce the overall value of the cards you bring with you.

It's something I've been considering ever since the Theft and Protection thread came about, which in turn came about because of my comment on being unwilling to run timetwister due to the practicality of carrying around thousands of dollars with you.

I already have a few cards in my collection that I ended up pulling out of my decks because the value of the cards went well beyond the threshold of what I would be comfortable carrying with me in the street. I still want to play the cards, but the thought of carrying around all that money just doesn't feel right.

I'm honestly amazed at how many people in this thread casually mention bringing decks with Tabernacles or Workshops or Bazaars in them. Would you feel the same about going to the bar with friends while carrying $2,000 in your wallet?
I'm probably a special case because I specifically have insurance to cover me for this because I want to play my cards.

For me the issue is that the number of cards I would need to take out of decks to be comfortable carrying them without coverage is basically all the cards. I have two decks worth 5000+ dollars at this point. So we're talking defoil Ephara and proxy half the cards, proxy half of the cards in Gitrog, and etc etc.

I prefer not to carry over a hundred or so in cash though, I certainly wouldn't walk around with $500 in 20s stuffed in my wallet.

I don't see that reducing your loss from 3000 to 1500 would be worth proxying. It's still horrendous. I would feel absolutely horrible if I lost my Ludevic+Tymna deck even without the workshop.
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Post by ISBPathfinder » 9 months ago

gilrad wrote:
9 months ago
I'd like to know peoples' thoughts on proxying cards as a way to reduce the overall value of the cards you bring with you.

It's something I've been considering ever since the Theft and Protection thread came about, which in turn came about because of my comment on being unwilling to run timetwister due to the practicality of carrying around thousands of dollars with you.

I already have a few cards in my collection that I ended up pulling out of my decks because the value of the cards went well beyond the threshold of what I would be comfortable carrying with me in the street. I still want to play the cards, but the thought of carrying around all that money just doesn't feel right.

I'm honestly amazed at how many people in this thread casually mention bringing decks with Tabernacles or Workshops or Bazaars in them. Would you feel the same about going to the bar with friends while carrying $2,000 in your wallet?
So, I guess I will also speak from the standpoint of someone who did own (I sold it recently to pay off debt in preparation for a child) a tabernacle. I played it all the time and I even lent out said deck now and then (primarily people I knew well). I still own a number of very expensive cards like Bazaar and Moat and I love playing those cards.

I have considered proxying them before but primarily I don't because I love playing with the real cards. Its not that I trust everyone around me or anything and to be honest I do try to keep all of my cards I am not immediately playing with in my bag which I keep zipped up next to me at all times. I tend to not go to the bathroom during games and between games if I use the restroom I tend to pack them all up and carry my bag with me. People ask me all the time if I am heading out but really I just don't leave my things unattended.

All this said, I am fine with people proxying cards of that level as long as they can prove that they own them. Its just a lot more fun to play with and against the real cards that I personally don't like doing it if I can avoid it. I should get insurance on my collection but I have been paying down my debts very aggressively. I payed for a mortgage for most of the last 2 years for a house nobody was living in and then sold said house at a big loss and my focus was more to pay off that before getting insurance on my things. It is in fact a risk to go out in public with these things, but I just love getting to see and play with the real thing. I will be honest though that I often shy away from 5c decks because of the landbases and feeling uncomfortable having so much money in one place.
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Post by schweinefett » 9 months ago

I dont think i really mind either way. I personally use those championship deck cards as standins, but thats about it. i only have 2 cataclysms, and i use one extra i took from the mono white weenie campion deck. i also have 2 championship gaeas cradles, since ive only 1 from urzas saga.

but i dont hold others to my standard (not that its particularly high). I have a mate who prints out his deck down to the commons even. I dont really care, unless it's badly cut paper pieces so then it becoems obvious what cards are what even in a sleeve.

I will say though, I've got a 360 card fully powered cube at home that i doubt i'd ever bring anywhere. all those ABU duals, fetches, lotus, moxen, time vault, and whatnot isn't really worth risking for. That's probably why i run such janky low-powered decks in EDH.

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Post by BOVINE » 6 months ago

If you love playing Magic and a table is at similar power, proxies allow all to have a good time as close to their desires as possible.

Proxyung all fetchlands, all duals, and other lands that are financially too expensive for you? Fine. If the table has optimized decks why shouldn't proxy guy have the same go?

Not a tournament? Then what valid arguments exist to not allow proxies outside of the case of unequally powered decks? None IMO
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Carthain
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Post by Carthain » 6 months ago

I dislike proxies in general (there's some exceptions -- and this is just for casual EDH/Commander ... proxies in cubes are a different beast).

For me the biggest issue with proxies is that relying on them tends to lower the effective size of the cardpool available. When someone feels that it's okay (or that they're entitled) to proxy a card that they don't have or can't get, then that's one other card that doesn't see play. I like seeing more variation (the singleton aspect is definitely a draw for me) and general use proxies works against that.

When I sit down to play EDH, I want people to have fun. Sure there's a general goal of "Win" -- but it shouldn't be "Win at all costs" IMO (if you feel it is, then I probably am not going to like playing against you.)

One of the best moments in playing EDH is when a friend of my brothers was playing with us and he played a card that he threw in just for kicks (and because he has a more limited cardpool that most of the rest of us in the group) -- Aura Barbs. He played it and it kicked my brother's deck in the teeth (an aura-focused G/W deck) and it was just so unexpected. But had he been in the mindset that he can just proxy any card to use, we never would have seen that play.

I also don't subscribe to the belief that you need to have the 'perfect' or 'most optimal' deck. I have a couple of 3-colour decks and (years ago now) I took out all my ABUR duals and only used Shocks at best. I've never put them back in because I never really noticed the difference in the cards. Objectively? Sure using the ABUR duals would be better all around. But how it feels when playing them -- if the 2 life to make it come into play untapped matters at any point, I'm probably already losing and not having to pay it isn't likely going to be the difference between winning & losing that game.

Another person in my group is new to the game, and he's playing a few of the "ETB Tapped" dual lands -- as that's what he can afford (or we're willing to just give him to help) -- and he can still be quite the threat in the game. He's not necessarily the threat right at the beginning of the game ... but come turns 6-7, he certainly can be. So we play where we don't get overly aggressive on him until he's pretty much set up (ie, threat assessment says he's a bit behind on mana, so not the current threat.) And I'd like to note that he's having a blast playing the format even with this speed bump on his ability to keep up while we play.

That said -- I do support people using proxies to try a card out in their deck before they buy the card. I *do* recognize that this can be a very expensive hobby and spending money on something that you wouldn't have done "had you known" is a bad feeling that I think is worse than my bad feelings of seeing someone use a proxy for a while. Just don't keep the proxy in your deck for ever saying "I'm just testing it"

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Post by pokken » 6 months ago

The last year of playing in with people in a far different income bracket than my traditional crowd has changed my perspective quite a bit on this. Tons of the guys in my shop are just out of college in a lower income area of the country, and they definitely feel the pinch buying cards at the absolutely absurd prices they are these days. Even for some of the more established guys playing a CEDH deck without proxies basically means not having any other decks ever and still making budget concessions for that.

Hell, for me, keeping my CEDH deck together would require me to take apart 2 other decks, and I've got plenty of cardboard. My CEDH deck TCG's at like 10 grand. It's worth more than my car's worth. It's nonsense.

So I've transitioned to 1) keeping my CEDH deck proxied, and 2) wholeheartedly supporting the young guys proxying their CEDH decks at the very least so they can use their cards to keep casual decks together as well. And 3) not caring at all if people use the binder method.

I'd prefer people still be on the road to collecting the stuff for their deck, but I don't see why people need to get more than one copy of a card. I think in the end the good outweighs the bad. I prefer not to do the binder method myself because I think the restriction breeds creativity for me, but I'm not going to try to tell other people how to have fun.
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schweinefett
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Post by schweinefett » 6 months ago

sorry; double-posted.
Last edited by schweinefett 6 months ago, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by schweinefett » 6 months ago

To be honest, i think proxying leads to some pretty unhealthy things (that i've seen).
Sure, it's unfair that I'm the only one in my meta who's been playing since before alara or something (i started with revised-ish era), so i happen to also have some old bonkers cards. I get that.
But when we (my playgroup) said it was fine to proxy stuff, the meta suddenly shifted to a cutthroat, hardcore meta where everything is as efficient as possible, and a good 50-60% of each deck were proxies. That is not healthy. I liked it when we were forced to stay within our cardpools, using really weird, corner case cards to its full effect. We dont all need to have the most efficient manabases around to be competitive.
In my playgroup, i'm the only one who ever has cards that people have to ask what they do. Not necessarily 'cuz they're old, but 'cuz they're pretty niche. Giving these cards the time of day is great! Or at least it is preferable to having 30-40% ish of all the decks composed of the exact same cards. It's pretty boring. I mean, im not demanding that everyone i play with to not play sol ring or UG, but when everyone has these ultra-tuned Ux or UGx goodstuff decks that are almost identical to one another, it gets REALLY boring, fast.

As a comparison, i play legacy too. In 1 night, i played against a mono white stompy, a UW control, UWg control, 2x storm, GB combo, dredge, and i had a Rw painter list. it's a pretty varied meta, with all sorts of interesting interactions and some number of cards that i had to look up what they did. And right now, legacy is supposedly in a bad place, where there's a strong contender for being a 'best of the meta'. But hey... its still a heck of a lot more varied than most EDH metas ive seen (local group and game shop group).

I think proxies tend to lead playgroups down the path of 'who can proxy the most efficient/best list', which basically means you don't get the more relaxed nature of the format. It's probably a mistake for those who are considering it. I get that it feels unfair that I happen to have a tabernacle, for example, but it's really not worth skewing your playgroup to allow everyone to proxy one up.

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Post by motleyslayer » 6 months ago

I voted depends if they're used reasonably or not.

For example I'm not fine with someone proxying an entire deck off and never finishing or even starting the deck.

I have a buddy that proxied a few cards in one of his decks off and would eventually replaced the proxies with the real cards, which is reasonable.

However, I feel there probably should be some kind of rules around that. I wouldn't think it's reasonable to just proxy really expensive cards just to have them in a deck

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Post by Kavu Enthusiast » 4 months ago

I've played this game a lot for a long time and I have a lot of feelings on this. I'm about to write an essay just to get it all out in one post; an essay that you can read or not, but please don't respond to it if you aren't going to read it.

Right now people without a *ton* of disposable income do not get to experience the whole game of magic. They get to experience far less of the game than those who can spend thousands of dollars per deck. This goes for plenty of cards that are newer and just not printed anyway close to demand like enemy color fetches, but it goes for many more cards than that. The RL is honestly the worst offender here, because it changes the calculus from 'you just need to invest a bit in your hobby for a while and then you can play with these cards too' into 'you will never be able to play these cards unless you have large sums of disposable income or spend many years managing to trade up into even a few of them'. It's changed the dynamic between players of means and those with little to no means from a difference in the rate of acquisition of full access to the game to a binary state of who does and doesn't get to have access at all. It's the difference between Tundras being $20-40, or even $80 and being $300-600. The first situation is still hypothetically obtainable for someone on a limited budget to eventually obtain, the latter is strictly not possible on any rational time scale for anyone with a small budget for their hobbies and more pressing necessary bills to pay.

I've been playing for a long time; since I was about 11, so coming up on 22 years. It was easier to be a franchised player as a teen working a part-time garbage minimum wage job then than it is now as a full time working professional with a STEM graduate degree working in my field, which already makes me far luckier than most when it comes to finances. The only way I would be able to have the sort of collection I had back then was if I hadn't gotten almost my entire collection stolen, because it was maybe $1000 dollars at the time it was stolen and today I could easily get $1k for a single playset of one of the blue OG duals and I'd be given that buyer a really good deal. That $1000 stolen from me then would cost me 10 times that or more to buy today and that's %$#% criminal. It's leading to am *extreme* level of socio-economic stratification of our %$#% hobby, one of the greatest games out there that you should *want* other people to play and to be feasibly accessible through a rational level of financial investment. You shouldn't want your game to turn into yet another gated community where only those with significant wealth or legacy connections get to have full access. The lines between what the haves and have nots get access to in Magic are far clearer in the past 5 years than they have been in the game's life and honestly, a zero-tolerance for proxies from anyone on the haves side of game access is classist as *%$#%* and comes across as someone who feels they should be entitled to the higher win rate they have *purchased*.

I've been on both sides of the enfranchisement fence so believe me when I say I can see and feel the difference in its height from then to now. It's the reason I went from a 'you should proxy stuff while you test it and then try to own all the cards you play in all the decks you play them as soon as possible after you know it's staying in the deck' alllllllll the way to the other side of 'just %$#% proxy whatever you want and *especially* proxy anything on the RL, I want to play against you and your ideas, not your wallet'.

Like, look, if your entire group doesn't have the kind of money to access the larger game and just one person is trying to force you to let them proxy a significant number of cards in all their decks when the rest of you aren't...then yeah it's a bit of a dick move that's often going to result in most of their decks suddenly being above the group. If the group wants to *all* play with limited access to the game then you have at least agreed on a power level, kinda. There are going to be strategies and synergies that just aren't as affected by cost gating and it's always going to be a feel-bad moment when you go to brainstorm on a deck and then find out that super cool interaction unique to the deck you're building isn't possible because some random, maybe not even a universally good card, is financially unobtainable because it's a RL card and so some speculator jacked the price up.

But...but, if your group has an uneven distribution of wealth and/or player game age that seriously skews collection size and access to the game then enforcing strict proxy bans or even 'as long as you own just one' is, again, classist as *%$#%* and is going to entitle those with significant free sums of money or a long unbroken chain of collection building to get to experience more of the game and likely to entitle them to high power and more wins. If you wanted more equal game access and more equal table power you'd be open to proxies and bring the hammer down on people abusing that generosity instead of locking people out of the same experience of the game you get to have.

Now, several people have talked about the problem of power-creep or people bringing inappropriate power levels of decks to tables as soon as they are allowed to proxy. Honestly, the counter-argument has been given already in the thread so I will just agree: if people do that when you allow them to proxy, it's the player that is the problem, not proxying as a tool; proxies as an amoral device, they do not make people do things they don't already want to do. That player is just telling you who they are and what they wanted to do all along, what they would do if they had unlimited funds for magic cards... and all you are doing by saying it's the proxies that are bad in that situation is that it's ok for players to do toxic %$#%$#% and be giant pub stomping assholes so long as they *pay for the right to do it*.

When you consider whether or not you disliked a card that was played against you, who printed the cardboard shouldn't be part of your emotional response. Your entire emotional response should be based on how you feel about the effects the card being played has on the game and whether or not you feel that card is too good or just doesn't belong in your group and your power level you want to play at. If someone plays a Gaea's Cradle and destroys your table through the sheer power that card brings to the strategy of their deck and you shouldn't think it's not ok to play at your table if it's a proxy but perfectly ok to play it if they spent hundreds of dollars for the right to. Imagine of the entire banned list of EDH had a clause that said *but you can ignore this if you pay $1000 for each card you want to play on this list*, would that suddenly make those cards more or less fun or more or less brokenly good? No, it would just entitle those with significant money for hobbies to significant advantages over you and others. The situation with proxies is basically no different. What the card does and how the player is using it in their deck should be the sole determining factors for how you feel about that card being played against you; if you are suddenly ok with players buying their wins over you and playing toxic decks because they paid for the right to do so then honestly you have some seriously internalized classist worldview tenants woven into your morality and emotional and logical headspace.

On the flip side of that if you are suddenly mad about someone playing a proxy of a RL card that isn't even all that broken and doesn't overpower the table/game, but just expensive as %$#% because of RL shenanigans (like, idk Drop of Honey)... then its the same deal. If someone proxied some ABUR duals to smooth out the mana base on their 5 color Ladies Looking Left or Chair Tribal deck so they could play their deck at the exact same speed as with basics, but just more smoothly and consistently play their games out each game they played and you lose you get angry or annoyed or upset than honestly, you are the problem in that equation. You are getting upset about something that *does not matter* and does not harm you or anyone else, even collectors. You're going to have to not immediately flip out and humor me as I walk through this analogy, but If that is you, you make about as much sense as someone arguing that their straight marriage is intrinsically harmed by the existence of gay marriage and that it is somehow more pure or valuable so long as their way of marriage is the only legitimate one. I mean, to be fair the arguments exist on entirely different planets in terms of the moral/immoral implications and the rights/privileges are stake, don't get me wrong; but the strain of logic used to support both is the same, an argument that the existence of something that does not implicitly cause harm to something of value you currently have will somehow magically cause harm or loss of value to you and others even though it clearly won't.

Now I'm going to end this Russian Epic by clarifying that Proxies aren't Counterfeits and that Counterfeits that are being created and passed off as real cards *are*, in fact, very harmful to just about everyone involved in magic from players to collectors to vendors. People who create counterfeits for the purpose of selling them to others are *thieves* and %$#% garbage human beings. If you make proxies they should be in some way obvious as proxies, of which is easily achievable; you should not be trying to fool anyone with you proxies, ever.

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