Last updated on February 16, 2024

Arcane Proxy - Illustration by Kekai Kotaki

Arcane Proxy | Illustration by Kekai Kotaki

Commander has quickly grown to be Magic’s most played format. There's tons of content, cards get printed for the format, and tons of people jam EDH at their local game stores. Since it’s a casual format, it’s brought all kinds of people to the table.

Something else that’s risen in popularity alongside Commander is proxied Magic cards. These are fake game pieces that look like Magic cards. You can’t play them in sanctioned tournaments, but nobody stops you from jamming casual games with proxies, and they help make the game far more accessible. There are plenty of websites to purchase proxies from, including Printing Proxies.

Let’s see what we’ve got!

What Is Printing Proxies?

Printing Proxies Storefront storefront

Printing Proxies is a website dedicated to, well, printing proxies. They print proxied playing cards on cardstock similar to actual Magic cards that are much closer to the real thing than most players can print at home. In addition to Magic, they also offer proxies for other card games, including Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and the One Piece TCG.

Why Buy from Printing Proxies?

The main reason to buy from Printing Proxies is to save money compared to regular Magic cards. Of course, proxies aren’t legal for sanctioned tournament play, so this site can’t help any grinders trying to pick up a cheap Legacy deck. It’s ideal for Commander players who want to proxy either a few pricy cards, like Gaea's Cradle, or duals to supplement their collection or who want to buy entire decks of proxied cards rather than cutting slips of paper and sticking them into sleeves.

Printing Proxies Review: Is Ordering Worth It?

Printing Proxies has a simple site to navigate, and I got some pretty good proxies at a reasonable rate. It took about a week to get my cards shipped to a US address, and they arrived in excellent condition. Overall, I’m quite happy with my purchase.

Navigating the Site

Import Custom Cards page for Printing Proxies

Printing Proxies import custom card page

Printing Proxies has a wonderfully simple site. They’re clear upfront about pricing and how it scales with cards: the more cards you order, the cheaper the price per card becomes. When you’re ready to order, the site makes it easy to import a deck then go over each card and select the arts you want. Note that when importing your decklist, the site only accepts the card’s name and quantity. If you add set codes or editions, the site doesn’t recognize the card and makes you enter it again.

Custom Cards

It’s really easy to print a custom card, as long as your custom art meets the guidelines. There’s a box right next to the import decklist option. You can upload custom art or even custom cards. I ordered a custom Lord Windgrace proxy using my kitten Minna as the art, and it came out quite good! The wonky proportions aren’t the result of the printer but my graphic design skills, or lack thereof.

Lord Windgrace proxy from Printing Proxies

Lord Windgrace close-up proxy from Printing Proxies

Ordering Cards

Card image selection from Printing Proxies

Card image selection from Printing Proxies

Once you’ve imported your decklist and submitted any custom art you want to get, you get to pick your card editions. You select the art with a simple dropdown box. Most cards have all their official printed art alongside a couple of custom arts uploaded by users. Not every card has a wide selection of custom art. Some only have official art. The editions marked with a warning sign are art that only have low-resolution or blurry images.

Card back selection screen from Printing Proxies

Card back selection screen from Printing Proxies

Once you’ve picked all the art you want, you need to select a card back. You can use one of their card backs or upload your own. Printing Proxies cancels any order that tries to use a traditional Magic card background to distinguish their products from counterfeits. The closest you can get is the pixelated back.

Once you’ve selected the front and back sides of your cards, you need to enter shipping and payment information, and the order is off to the printers!

Card Delivery

Example cards from Printing Proxies

Example cards from Printing Proxies

The cards took very little time to get here, and I’m really happy with the quality. They feel slightly different from regular Magic cards, just a bit slicker. There’s no noticeable difference once they’re in the sleeves. These proxies sleeve up like a standard card for single- or double-sleeves.

For this Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, I specifically chose an art tagged with a blurry warning to see how blurry it was. Comparing to this Imperial Recruiter without that tag, and a Rashmi and Ragavan that’s genuine, I don’t see a discernable difference. The text is legible, and there’s no mistaking this for anything but a Kiki-Jiki.

Additional example cards from Printing Proxies

From left to right: No tag proxy, low-res tag proxy, real Magic card

The slight textural difference and the card backs make it clear that these are proxies and aren’t counterfeit cards. That said, they shuffle up just the same, and you can use a few of these mixed into a deck with regular cards without worrying about marking your deck.

Is Printing Proxies Worth It?

My only complaint is the price. The site is more expensive than others, such as Make Playing Cards. A full EDH deck of 100 cards sets you back $100. That’s not a terrible price, especially if you’re already playing without budget constraints, but you can find cheaper options. That said, Printing Proxy’s site is wonderfully easy to navigate, so paying a little extra for a convenient UI might be worth it.

Overall, I’m happy with my purchase from Printing Proxies. They’re clearly proxies, but they feel enough like Magic cards you can bring them to Commander Night mixed with regular cards. It’s a great option for somebody looking to get an entire deck or just proxies of a few cards off the Reserved List that would be too expensive.

Wrap Up

Aesthetic Consultation | Illustration by David Martin

Aesthetic Consultation | Illustration by David Martin

There are plenty of sites to get proxied Magic cards these days. You can even print them at home if you don’t mind double-sleeving your deck by putting the paper over regular Magic cards. These proxies are especially useful for Commander players.

Printing Proxies is a fine site to order from. They’re a little expensive, but the website is easy to navigate, and the pricing isn’t outrageous unless you’re already playing budget decks. It’s also good for getting some proxies of pricier cards to help keep your deck-building costs low.

Do you proxy your Commander decks? Where’s your favorite site to order cards from? Let me know in the comments or on the Draftsim Discord!

Stay safe, and keep healthy!

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