Go Blank | Illustration by Wylie Beckert
Magic is a marvelously complex game with a ton of cards you can play with. Some of those cards cost quite a bit of money, which can be hard on the wallet. Especially if you’re trying to brew a deck and constantly changing cards around to find the optimal configuration.
Blank MTG cards can come help with this. While cards made from blank cards won’t be legal for tournament play, there are still plenty of uses for them and several online retailers you can buy them from. Of course, you can also make your own!
What Is A Blank MTG Card? Why Would You Need One?
One with Nothing | Illustration by Jim Nelson
Blank MTG cards are just blank playing cards you can write and draw on. They’ll usually have the same dimensions as a Magic card, though a slight size discrepancy won’t usually matter as long as it still fits in a sleeve.
One of the biggest reasons to use blank MTG cards is for playtesting. Playing Magic can be expensive, so you could accidentally waste a lot of money buying cards only to discover they don’t do what you wanted if you’re trying to brew a new Commander or Modern deck. With blank cards you can test out expensive cards like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Snapcaster Mage to see if they work in your deck before committing to buying them.
Another use for blank cards is to express your artistic side. They’re perfect if you want to make custom tokens or a personalized version of your commander, your basic lands, and so on. They’re a great way to make your deck a little more unique and personal.
What Is a Substitute Card? What About a Helper Card?
Substitute cards are a specific type of card you can use in your Magic decks to indicate a double-faced card. They’re typically printed in sets like Shadows Over Innistrad with a strong theme of transforming cards.
To play substitute cards in a tournament they must have an official Magic card back, clearly indicate the name of the card you’re substituting, and you need to own the actual card. Substitute cards are especially useful if you can’t play with sleeves and don’t want your opponent to know you have Huntmaster of the Fells in hand.
Helper cards are cards you don’t play with that help the game state. For example, creature tokens and The Monarch tokens are cards you can’t play in the deck but provide clarity and help keep board states legible.
Print & Play
Print & Play offers blank playing cards in a variety of sizes. The best size for blank MTG cards is the Poker option, which ships in quantities of 52 cards per order. These are great blank cards to make your tokens and such. The batch is a pretty manageable number if you don’t want too many cards around.
Amazon is a great option if you want access to a lot of cards: 500 blank cards for less than 10! These are slightly smaller than normal playing cards. The dimensions of a Magic card are 2.5”x3.5” while these are 2.25”x3.5”.
That said, these still fit just fine in a sleeve for playtesting and it won’t be super noticeable or relevant if you use them as tokens.
Apostrophe Games offers a fine middle ground between the other two options. It’s got 180 cards in the set, which is more than triple Print and Play’s while being a more reasonable number for a hobbyist than Amazon’s 500.
These cards are Poker-sized and printed on a firm cardstock with an excellent feel. They’re a bit pricier per card than the others, but it’s a great option for making solid tokens and alters.
- Put Your Creativity to Good Use: Apostrophe Games’ blank playing cards are a great way to show off your fun side and design your own game to enjoy with family and friends! Personalize each card and create a unique game that will bring tons of laughter and joy to the next game night.
- Jumbo Pack: The set includes 180 blank playing cards that you can use any way you want. Use them with pens or permanent markers, even acrylic paint to design any type of game you can think of.
- Premium Materials: Made from premium playing card stock (not just heavy paper like our competitors), these cards have a core in the center so they 'pop' back into shape when bent. Just like standard playing cards.
- Multipurpose Design: Our blank poker sized cards (2.5" x 3.5") can be used for board games, blank flash cards, and index cards. You can draw virtually any design and use them to develop your artwork or create your own matching game.
- Great Gift: Get our flash card set for yourself or as a practical and fun gift for any artsy person in your life who would like to experiment more with color, shape, and designs. They can also be used as flashcards for studying.
Alternatives to Buying Blank Cards
Proxy cards are cards that replicate Magic cards but aren’t the real thing. Unlike blank cards that you write on, these often have all the art and formatting of a normal Magic card. You can order proxies from places like Printing Proxies.
This is a classic way to get in the playtesting you want. All you need is a permanent marker and a Magic card you don’t mind defacing. You can write on the back of the card, which works if you’re just putting the name and cost of a card. Basic lands also work well for this since they have minimal text and lots of open space.
Printing your own proxies is one of the easiest and cheapest methods, provided you have access to a printer. Plenty of sites allow you to format cards for printing, like MTGGoldfish and MTG Print. These sites let you enter your decklist and produce a PDF file with the cards you can then print and cut.
You’ll need to put an actual card in the sleeve behind these proxies so your deck shuffles properly unless you’re using cardstock.
How Do You Make Your Own Blank Cards?
Making your own blank MTG cards is as simple as taking a piece of paper and cutting it into 2.5”x3.5” portions. You usually get 9 out of a standard 8.5”x11” sheet of letter paper. You can go online and download a template like this one that lets you print lines across the paper for easier cutting.
Note that tracing the outline of a Magic card doesn’t work. The resulting cards will be a bit bigger than an average Magic card and won’t always fit in a sleeve properly, which can damage the sleeve or any cards beneath them.
Door to Nothingness | Illustration by Svetlin Velinov
Blank MTG cards are an incredibly useful tool that help playtest cards without spending tons of money and let you make individualized, expressive tokens and alters of your favorite Magic cards. They’re a convenient tool that helps you play the game you love.
They’re also pretty easy to buy online or even just make yourself with some paper and scissor. What are you going to use your blank cards for? Let me know in the comments below or over in the Draftsim Discord.
Thanks for reading, and stay safe!
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