What are proxy cards at MTG

This week, a discussion erupted across the internet - especially on Reddit and Twitter - about Wizards of the Coast's policies on proxy cards and in-store gaming. Obviously, there is some confusion about exactly what our guidelines are, how we feel about some of the more specific issues, and why we are trying to kill legacy and vintage - which is by no means our intention.

That happened: We became aware of a store that was hosting a tournament with an unusually high prize pool and that apparently allowed proxies. Since the word “proxy” is used colloquially for a whole range of things - from marked test playing cards to forgeries - the high prize money made us curious about the event, so we wanted to make sure that everything was going well. So we contacted the store to find out more. Our intention was to let them know about counterfeit cards and proxies and to make sure they were aware of our policies about them. We stressed that no sanctions were imposed on the store and we were just trying to find out what was going on. So far so good.

The hard part was that the details of the policy that had been discussed with the store were both unclear and inconsistent with what we otherwise communicate. When we tried to find out exactly what was being said, it turned out that we had different employees in different offices around the world making different statements, which of course made things even more complicated. So that is entirely our failure.

So to be clear:

Our current policy specifically applies to DCI-sanctioned events. Tickets to DCI-sanctioned events must be original MagicCards. The only exception is: If a card is damaged in the course of the game at a certain event - for example if it is bent while mixing or a drink is spilled on it - a judge can issue a proxy, which is only valid for the duration of that event so that the player can continue playing.

Our position on counterfeiting is just as clear: Wizards is still doing everything possible to ensure that Magic-Community to protect against counterfeiters. We are keeping a very close eye out for illegal activity and will continue to work promptly and decisively with law enforcement agencies around the world to stop the manufacture and trade in counterfeit ones Magic- Prevent cards. Furthermore, we would like to emphasize with all clarity that every individual who knowingly brings counterfeits into circulation is acting against the interests of the community. This will continue to be punished with exclusion from the DCI and the WPN.

What got lost in the confusion was test play cards that are used outside of DCI-sanctioned events. That's because we never really talked about these. So let's do that:

A test game card is usually a standard map with the name of another card written on it with a felt-tip pen. Test playing cards do not aim to be real Magic-Create maps. They have no official illustration and would not pass as real even if just glanced at them. Fans use test play cards to test out new deck ideas before actually building the deck and bringing it to a sanctioned tournament. And we think that's perfectly fine. Wizards of the Coast has no intention of banning test playing cards for personal, non-commercial use, even when played in a store.

It is only important to us that only real ones at the DCI-sanctioned events MagicCards are used and no counterfeits are in circulation.

I am aware that various statements have been made in the past few days that contradict what was said above (and to each other), and I apologize for the confusion we have created through our own internal clutter. Please consider this post as an official Wizards position on the subject. If you have to vent your frustration, then focus it on me instead of the individuals who tried to help by tidying up the chaotic communication. You can still be sure that many of our employees are reading your feedback and comments on this and other hotly debated topics in the community, so please keep writing!

I would like to close with a promise for 2016: I will speak for everyone at Wizards when I say that we will continue to react transparently and quickly to topics that are important to you. We always strive for openness and good relationships with our community, and communicate with the belief that everyone is acting with the best of intentions for the game we love so much and its players.

Have fun on the Prerelease too Oath of the Guardians this weekend!