As both novice and experienced Magic: The Gathering players know all too well, there are over 20,000 unique cards, and hundreds more are added with each passing year. While some of these cards are incredibly affordable, others tend to be the exact opposite, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single card.

Players who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would like to purchase one individual card may be willing to spend the money on an original; however, there are many reasons that you may want to consider a proxy as an alternative to use during casual play. In this article, we’ll go over why you should use proxy cards along with what makes a great proxy card.

Removes Cost as A Barrier to Entry

Unless you’ve inherited a collection of MtG cards from a friend or family member, it can be expensive to get started, especially if you’re aiming to build a competitive deck. The cost-prohibitive barrier to entry can be alienating and discouraging for casual players without the means to invest in their decks. If Magic: The Gathering is simply too expensive for newcomers to play, the result, sadly, is far fewer players. However, MtG proxy cards pose a viable solution. If players can use MtG proxies in casual play, the cost of entry is dramatically reduced.

Some argue that using proxy cards redirects business away from local game stores, but the opposite is true. Those who could not afford to play without proxies would not be patrons of local game stores in the first place, but players who can take up the game at a lower price point are more likely to spend the funds they do have at their local game store on more inexpensive original cards or admission to casual play events. Making Magic: The Gathering available to more players is a win-win situation for everyone.

Try Before You Buy

For some players, the cost may not necessarily be a barrier to entry, but the price of individual cards means that you’d better be sure you want to add a card to your deck before buying it or risk spending a small fortune on a card that doesn’t work for you and your deck. The option to use a MtG proxy card before buying the original can save players a significant amount of time, money, and possibly frustration. Imagine spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a single card only to find out that it’s not what you needed. Proxies eliminate that scenario altogether.

Once you’ve tried a card in your deck with a proxy and you are sure it’s the right card for you, you can head to your local game store or online retailer to purchase the original for continued casual play or competitive tournament play. You can invest in your deck with peace of mind because you are confident that the card you’re buying is the card you want.

Save Money

It is unavoidable that Magic: The Gathering is a costly hobby, even for those with more significant financial means. To build even a mediocre deck from only original cards can easily cost hundreds of dollars. By incorporating MtG proxies into your deck, you can continue to play the game while simultaneously saving money. The money you are not spending on costly original cards can go to other uses, like paying bills, traveling, or saving for a large purchase like a car or home. You don’t have to play with original cards to enjoy casual play to the fullest; proxy cards will get the job done and save you quite a bit of cash at the same time.

Remember, Magic: The Gathering is a game meant to be played for fun and enjoyed with your friends. The communal nature of the game is where the real magic lies, and the more people that can participate, the better the game and the stronger the community. Incorporating proxy cards into casual gameplay can draw new players into the game and save existing players a great deal of money. Proxy cards allow players to try an MtG card before buying it, making it a little bit more attainable and affordable to build the Magic: The Gathering deck or decks of your dreams.