Vault Games Proxy Policy for Magic: the Gathering Events
From Monday 10 July 2023, anyone using inauthentic MTG cards or non-Judge-issued proxies at a paid event will be removed from the event and not refunded.
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People are starting to play it fast and loose with proxies at our events so the time has come to go full WOTC policy.
The first thing to know is this... whatever you play with during your non-event games (including non-event games at the stores), that's up to you. We don't really care about that. If you want to playtest you're whole deck, go for it.
But this is in reference to sanctioned prize-rounds, that is ANY MAGIC EVENT WHERE PARTICIPANTS HAVE PAID MONEY AND THERE ARE PRIZES AVAILABLE AND/OR RUN THROUGH EVENTLINK.
This so you understand the actual terminology VS the colloquial terminology.
An AUTHENTIC card is any white-bordered, black-bordered, or silver-bordered card pulled from a Magic sealed product. They have official Magic art on the front and the official Magic: the Gathering brown card back.
A PROXY card is used during sanctioned MTG events to represent an otherwise legal Magic card or checklist card that can no longer be included in a deck without the deck being marked. For a proxy to be issued, the card it is replacing must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- The card has been accidentally damaged or excessively worn in the current tournament, including damaged or misprinted Limited product. Proxies are not allowed as substitutes for cards that their owner has damaged intentionally or through negligence.
- The card is a foil card for which no non-foil printing exists.
Players may not create their own proxies; they may only be created by the Head Judge (this is the judge running the event or the Vault Games team member acting as tournament organiser) who has sole discretion as to whether the creation of a proxy is appropriate.
When a judge creates a proxy, it is included in the player’s deck and must be denoted as a proxy in a clear and conspicuous manner (likely marker or a slip of paper in a sleeve on a basic land or chaff card from the store's communal chaff box). The original card is kept nearby during the match and replaces the proxy while in a public zone as long as it is recognizable. A proxy is valid only for the duration of the tournament in which it was originally issued.
Note: A proxy can not be made of a card that you do not have an authentic version of in your deck.
A PLAYTEST card is a basic land with the name of a different card written on it with a marker or a slip of paper. 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. Players generally use playtest cards to test out new deck ideas before building out a deck for real and bringing it to a sanctioned event.
A COUNTERFEIT card is any card that is not an AUTHENTIC Magic: the Gathering card and doesn't fit the other descriptions above.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
As per Wizards of the Coast policy, only AUTHENTIC Magic: the Gathering cards can be used during sanctioned (read: paid) Magic: the Gathering events.
IF YOU ARE FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THIS POLICY, YOU WILL BE ASKED TO REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE GAME AND ANY PRIZES AND ENTRY FEES WILL BE FORFEIT.
Remember, Magic: The Gathering is a Trading Card Game. If you don't have the cards necessary to fill out the deck, you should be trading for them, not printing them from the internet.
Please know this isn't about stamping out anyone from having fun playing the game. If anything, it's more to keep everything fun and fair. What's to stop someone from proxying power nine cards or a tier one Pioneer deck?
Now, let's run through a few scenarios that I'm sure we'll be asked...
"I just have it in another deck but I don't own multiple copies"
Seeing as you only play with one deck during a constructed prize event put the card in the deck you're using for prizes. You already own the card. Don't be lazy.
"But it is a judge-issued proxy, I got it last week at another event when my card was damaged."
No, just no. Someone has actually used this one before. Judge-issued proxies are valid for the event at which they are issued only.
"Oh it's in my binder at home"
There is no way for me to verify you actually own this card now.
"How am I meant to afford a Gaea's Cradle?"
Save, trade, or find an alternative card. Growing Rites of Itlimoc does a similar thing. EDHRec is a great source of alternative card options and some members of the Vault Games team are regular MTG players that can offer some advice.
"Where am I going to get the real cards?!"
The community at both Vault Games stores is large and diverse, with players playing across the long history of the game. There's also the #trading-post channel on the discord server (https://discord.gg/vaultgames) or, if you find no one to trade with, check out the myriad of singles sellers online (like TCG Singles: Powered by Vault Games).