Strategy Porting, part 3: Playing by Proxy

As part 1 and part 2 of this gaming strategy series will attest, I’ve been trying to “port” in a strategy from the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game to Magic: the Gathering. This has not been an easy process, but I’m continuing to work on finding matching cards and strategies that will work within M:TG’s color wheel of White, Blue, Red, Black, and Green.

If you’re following this process, you inevitably reach a point where you know generally what you want in the deck and you’re ready for a test run. But before you start buying or trading for actual physical cards, you need to make sure the items you’re getting will actually end up in the deck. That’s why I suggest the following practice of proxying your deck-in-progress.

Testing Your Strategies with Proxies

Okay, okay, I know, “proxy” is a bad word to most “serious” (read: competitive) Magic players. But for those of us who don’t win Standard tournaments (and/or buy lots of cards) on a regular basis, using proxies can be remarkably effective at building and testing new decks. It lets you test the strategies first to see if they even work for your deck!

Paper Proxies

hedroncrab_proxy At their most low-tech, proxies can be as simple as cutting up a sheet of paper to make small slips that you can write the card name and effect on, like my craptastic Hedron Crab proxy at left. Paper-proxied decks (decks with paper copies of cards, whether it’s printed out or written out by hand) are generally not allowed in tournaments, but they are great for testing out your new deck in a casual setting.

(WARNING: don’t ever print high-quality proxies and try to sell them as the real card–you will definitely end up with mad customers, and possibly the game designers could sue you! I use proxies strictly for deck testing, and trust me, nobody wants my quick-made, scrawled-handwriting paper proxies. XD)

Virtual Proxies

If you don’t want to go the paper-and-pen route with your proxies, you can also build a virtual deck on a service like LackeyCCG, which is a free program you can use to build decks and test against a “dummy player,” or even a real online player if you wish. (Be warned, it’s a jungle of occasionally mean competitive players out there!)

This kind of service is pretty good, but I still prefer to test my decks in real life against another player. If you like to speed-test your decks more and prefer not to use a deck until you’ve thoroughly tested it, however, LackeyCCG and its ilk could be just right for you.


Proxying is a great way to try out cards without having to invest the money in them just yet, which is key for porting in an old strategy to a new game. Give it a try, and see how this can help you create your new-old deck!

One thought on “Strategy Porting, part 3: Playing by Proxy”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.