Last updated on March 28, 2024

Phantasmal Image - Illustration by Nils Hamm

Phantasmal Image | Illustration by Nils Hamm

Magic’s an expensive hobby. I mean, not collecting yachts and bidding in antique car auctions expensive, but still, it’s a game that can be tough on the average player’s wallet. Thankfully, many Commander players have embraced the casual nature of the format and turned to proxies as an alternative to shilling out for expensive cards.

In fact, proxies being as prevalent as ever means there are now entire sites dedicated to providing players with the best-quality proxies they can get. Definitely beats writing card names on a sticky note with a poorly drawn version of the original art. Today I’m showing you an easy way to buy a fully proxied Commander deck, all 100 cards included.

Disclaimer: Remember that proxies are technically fake cards, in a sense. Buy them with the understanding that they’re not tournament legal, and don’t attempt to sell or trade those cards elsewhere.

What Are Proxy Commander Decks?

Mirror March - Illustration by Johannes Voss

Mirror March | Illustration by Johannes Voss

A proxy Commander deck is a 100-card deck composed entirely of proxies, which are essentially stand-ins for actual Magic cards. For today’s purposes, we’re looking at the process for buying entire Commander decks, not individual pieces of a deck.

Draftsim has plenty of tutorials about how to order custom proxies, so I won't cover the topic here; I’m assuming you’re just buying a stack of 100 cards with the standard arts for each one.

How to Buy a Proxied Commander Deck?

Find a Trusted Website

There are quite a few options out there for making and ordering proxies online. I’ll focus on MTG Proxy and Printing Proxies, though I’ll be mainly using screenshots from MTG Proxy since the process for both sites is nearly identical.

Add Your Decklist

MTG Proxy Import

First thing’s first, find the decklist field on whatever proxy site you’re using. MTG Proxy has theirs on the front page, whereas Printing Proxies has theirs under the “Order Now” tab on their front page.

MTGProxy Import 2

You can manually type in the card names and quantities, though note you have the spell the card names exactly right. Both sites feature an import button that can grab decklists from popular sites like Moxfield, Archidekt, or TappedOut. This is preferable to typing in the card names manually, if for no other reason than they’ll already be spelled correctly.

Adjust Your Card Images

MTG Proxy Card Version Selection

After selecting your individual cards, you have the option to comb through and choose specific arts for individual cards. Again, I’m not going over custom card imaging here, but it’s an option. For the most part, you’re just matching the arts to the versions you prefer. You also have a button for toggling foiling on any card, though note that doing so adds a premium to the cost of that card.

Review Your Order

MTG Proxy makes it very easy to see your order total at the bottom of the same page where you’re adjusting your cards and images. They display their standard pricing for foils and non-foils clearly. You can make adjustments to your cards before clicking the Place Order button, though the only way to decrease your total per card from here is to either remove foiling from cards or add additional bulk quantities.

How Much Does a Proxied Commander Deck Cost?

MTG Proxy Cost

MTG Proxy’s model rewards you for buying in bulk. You can buy individual cards for $2 each, but they’re essentially $1 each if you buy at least 50 at a time. You can expect to pay $1 per non-foil if you’re purchasing a 100-card deck, or $100 total. The cheapest you can get your cards is $0.75 each, but that requires buying at least 200 cards in one order.

MTGProxy Cart

There’s a $4.99 flat rate on any order, which means a 100-card proxied Commander deck runs a grand total of $104.99 with no alterations.

MTG Proxy Pricing

I’ve been focusing on MTG Proxy, but just to cross-compare with Printing Proxies, you can see the pricing model is basically the exact same thing. However, this site didn’t appear to have a flat rate, so the total price was a clean $100.

This all adds up to tell me I should expect to buy proxies at a 1:$1 ratio, or $100 for a 100-card proxied Commander deck. It’s essentially double that price for a completely foiled out proxy deck.

Proxying a Commander Deck vs. Only the Expensive Cards

Let’s chat about the pros and cons of proxying all 100 cards in a Commander deck vs. simply proxying the high-ticket cards. The immediate downside to the former is the fact that you’re likely proxying extremely cheap cards, and probably paying more for the proxies than you would for the real thing. That’s especially true of basic lands, which aren’t typically worth proxying in the first place.

Second, it’s significantly harder to make individual swaps in situations where proxies might not be allowed. For example, if you had a normal 100-card Commander deck you wanted to register for a sanctioned event, you’d have to remove any proxies before entering that tournament. That’s easy to do in a deck that’s only running two or three proxied cards, but basically impossible for a fully proxied deck. To be fair, if you’re buying a deck of nothing but proxies you’re probably aware that you’re invalidating that deck’s tournament eligibility from the start.

Wrap Up

Arcane Proxy - Illustration by Kekai Kotaki

Arcane Proxy | Illustration by Kekai Kotaki

That’s the scoop on buying an entire proxy Commander deck, perhaps the easiest way to get playing with the 100 cards you want as soon as possible. All the usual proxy caveats apply: Don’t attempt to play proxies in a sanctioned event, and discuss with unknown players whether they’re fine with proxies or not at the start of a Commander game. Some players won’t be, and that’s fine, but it’s best to have that conversation upfront.

If you have any tips on proxying for Commander, whether that’s a single card or an entire deck, let me know in the comments below or over in the Draftsim Discord.

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