Essential Magic Articles

Vintage: Proxy Wars

by Anomander

I’ve been playing Type 1, Vintage, for a number of years now and I’ve run in to some interesting attitudes around Type 1 play and, in particular, around proxies.  For those who aren’t aware of this term a proxy is a picture (scan, printout, scribbled rules) that has been stuck to a real card, and when placed in deck protectors becomes usable in a deck.

I won’t get into the issue of legality or copyrighting around this technique, but it should be obvious that you shouldn’t sell or make money off of these cards.  And covertly passing them off for real cards (with a high-res printer) is just unethical and tarnishes the reputation of the game.

That said, the point of this article is to open for discussion the impact of proxies on the Fun Factor of the game, and the community acceptance of playing Type 1 this way.

Topic #1 – Power

Ok, it’s obvious that being able to run the Power 9, or 4 Bazaar of Baghdads in a Type 1 deck is extremely powerful.  I’ve found that as long as you are clear when playing with new players, and let them know the level at which you’re playing, everything will be fine.  But don’t be surprised if players will grumble at you when you drop a Black Lotus, a Mox or 2, and then Timetwister first turn.  You can seriously get an advantage, or mess up the other player’s hand first turn when dealing with such raw Power.

Of course, you must respect the current Banned and Restricted list, and if you’re going to be silly and break all the rules it’s courteous to let your opponent know that too.  If I saw 2 Black Lotus’s and they didn’t tell me, I’d shuffle my deck and walk away.  Shame on them.

In conclusion, be straight up.

Topic #2 – Cost

Now, this one I find to be a sensitive topic because, let’s face it: playing with REAL type 1 cards can be expensive, and people are generally touchy around money.  I feel that there is a certain type of guilt associated with spending a load of money on a game (even though it’s VERY fun and I love it) and when you show up with your 15 cent photocopy of a 500 dollar card, some bitterness can arise.

If you were to actually hunt down and build some of my decks (when I used the Power 9 in my metagame) the total costs could reach 2000-3000 dollars.  But hey!  I want to know what it was like when those cards could be revealed in a booster pack.  “Oh great, another Mox Pearl.  I don’t even play white…why would I want this card??” – can you imagine!?

Personally, if someone cannot appreciate that I’m having FUN playing with costly cards then they can find another opponent.  I play for fun.  It’s also fun to win.

Last edited 1/3/2007 10:14:46 AM Page 1 of 2  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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