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Author Topic: Proxies: Yet another re-evaluation of a touchy subject  (Read 23254 times)
Komatteru
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« on: December 22, 2005, 01:00:09 am »

I had a long conversation with Ben Perry the other day about proxies.  As someone who owns practically no cards any more, Ben believes strongly that 10 proxies is not as enough.  As someone who owns everything, I'm inclined to disagree.  The top tier decks are:
Grim Long - All 9 power cards, Imperial Seal, 3 Grim Tutor
Stax - 4 Shops, 7 power cards, Imperial Seal
Uba Stax - 4 Shops, 4 Bazaar, 6 power cards
Control Slaver - 4 Mana Drain, 8 power cards
Gifts - 4 Mana Drain, 8 power cards
Oath - 6 power cards, (Imperial Seal)
Belcher - 6 power cards, Imperial Seal
Dragon - 4 Bazaar, 7 power cards

Grim Tutors are about $70 these days on ebay, so building Grim Long is now just as about as expensive as building a Mana Drain deck, except that you get out of Force of Wills and Dual lands, but have to acquire cards that don't see much use outside of combo.  Dragon requires not only 11 power cards but a host of cards that will never get played in any other deck: Squees, Dragons, Animate spells, Intuitions, etc.

To build any of the top tier decks except for Belcher and Oath, you need to own/borrow at least 2 expensive cards.  Mana Drain decks require a slew of $20 cards, and Stax is essentially a deck of $5-10 rares.

Is 10 proxies enough these days?  If not, how many do we go to?  12? 13? 15?  Points to consider:

1) The "My format" vs. "Your format" mentality.  Clearly, there's a fair amount of this that goes on between Vintage players and other players.  I know I've heard "But you play Vintage" from people I've tried to give advice to.  Since I play Vintage, I must suck at "Magic," obviously, since Vintage must not be real Magic.  Anyway, people complain that getting into Vintage requires them to purchase all these expensive cards.  I'm not going to pretend that Vintage is cheaper, but let's look at this way.  Extended and Type 2 right now are very expensive.  Any deck that plays Dual lands requires a play set of $20 cards, and some decks require more than just 1 set of these.  As the other Ravnica sets come out, it's only going to get worse.  When I saw the announcement of Temple Garden on wizards.com, I knew that I was going to be out of Type 2 for the next two years, since I wasn't willing to shell out for multiple playsets of $20 cards that don't even make a deck for me.  The important thing to note about Vintage is the sticking value of these cards.  Once you have them, you know that down the road you'll be able to play them in the same deck you've been playing.  Realistically, decks in Vintage never really die.  With Extended and Type 2, the formats can change so drastically with the release of a new set that the decks you've been playing cease to exist.  Metagaming is more important in the other formats, since bad matchups can't be solved with a simple "Tinker for DSK" or whatever.  It is more important to success to be able to play and build all the decks if you want to be successful on the PTQ circuit.  One deck might cost less than the non-power components for a Vintage deck, but a lot of decks gets expensive quickly.

Back to the original point of "my format" vs. "your format."  If I want to go play in some PTQ, I don't get any help from the format for that.  If I want to play a deck, I need to buy or borrow all the cards for it.  As we all know, borrowing can sometimes be difficult (esp. if your source of cards wants to play the same deck you do), and buying cards gets expensive.  As Vintage players, we don't proxies for the other formats.  As such, we'll often be limited to playing what we have.  Should the same thing be expected of people coming into "our" format as expected of us going into "their" format?  However, because we don't get big official support from Wizards, we have to be more receptive to new players.

2) The cost of all the format staples is down/stabilized.  Duals, power, Mana Drains, etc. aren't currently going up every month.  Back in April or so, all that stuff had a huge spike in price.  Some of it might have had to do with the announcement and beginning development of Legacy as a real format (at least for stuff like duals and Forces), but I suspect a big factor in the price increase was the increased demand in the move to 10 proxies.  As you might recall, April Chicago was the first SCG event that allowed 10 proxies instead of the 5 of the first several events.  As such, there was more incentive for people to get into the format, and the increased demand likely drove up the prices.  So where are we now?  That rush is long gone, so the demand and price is less.  Right now, we don't have that rush of new people getting into the format.  People who are in are picking up the things they're missing so they can play more decks (I'm completing my set of Shops, for example).  What this ultimately means is that new people can pick stuff a little slower because they don't have to worry that the set of Force of Wills they were a little short on at $70 this week isn't going to be $80 next week.

More important things to consider are these:

3) Attendance is down.  Why?  Some people blame Legacy, and others the high cost of entry.  Still others, the high skill requirement needed for success (since people don't like to pay to scrub out every week).  I think that there's no one thing we can really blame.  The lower attendence is a lot more widespread across Magic as well.  Last extended season, I remember going to PTQs and expecting there to be 8 rounds for sure, with 130 being a little on the small size.  Right now, I see that PTQs rarely pull 8 rounds and that 100 is considered a big PTQ.  There's numerous things to blame for this: the holidays (money spent on family and friends is money that cannot be spent on Magical cards), changing interests and obligations of the player base (new college life for many), the popularity of MMORPGs (which are attractive because they offer one hell of a lot of bang for the buck), the economy in general, etc.  So the question is this: Are people not playing Vintage right now because they can't, or are they just doing other things?  That is, will increasing the number of proxies again create a spike of interest in the format like the last shift did?

4) There has to be a point where the number of proxies starts to infringe on the purpose of owning cards.  What I mean by this is is there a number of proxies such that the point of owning anything is worthless?  Such a point is disasterous for the format.  If no one wants to own Mox Ruby, what's the point of playing for it?  You don't really need to win a piece of power because you don't need to own any power to play any deck in the format, and if that's true, who would want to buy it?  Played power has no value to collectors, so selling power you've won at events would be a pain if it weren't in nice shape.  Sure, the sanctioned Vintage metagame over in Europe offers an outlet, but I don't know about you, but when I sell power cards, I sigh a little each time another piece of power leaves North America.  I don't mean anything against our European friends, but it is conceivable that if power cards become irrelevant here, more of them could end up in Europe than in America.  Then there's the non-power cards.  What's the point of owning a set of dual lands if I can play with 25 proxies?  I could just proxy everything in the deck worth more than $10.  It might be nice to own the cards for Legacy, but if you have no interest in that, there's no point once again.

Personally, I like seeing real cards.  I've gotten used to seeing Sharpied cards and don't have issues picturing the real cards in place, but I personally do not play with proxies.  I've got all my Asian foil stuff and am pretty well known as a card pimp.  It's not so much to protect my investment that I think there needs to be a hard-up proxy limit (as in, point where no more should ever be allowed) as we just make a mockery out of the whole "collectible card game" aspect of the game.  Say what you want, but that is a fundamental part of the game.  It was designed as such, and to say "in a perfect world, everyone would have every card" takes away that aspect of the game.  Proxies are designed to help, not give complete access.  I do think that people who think that acquiring cards is hassle or waste of time should really find another game to play.

So, what are the thoughts?  Discuss.
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 02:17:31 am »

15 proxy events surely make Vintage decks look silly.  Every 4th card is a Plains with "TIME WALK" or "IMPERIAL SEAL" or some other restricted card written on it.  It's reasonable to have a 10 proxy event, because there's 10 really good, really expensive cards in every deck.  You gotta put in some money to play Vintage, right?  I like your comparison to T2/extended, because as a all-around player, I have to note that Limited is actually among the most expensive formats, because you put up cash for packs every week, and usually open junk rares that you'll never get anyone to trade for.  After that is T2 because the cards rotate quickly and decks are very quickly made obsolete.  Legacy/Extended are less swingy because of the slower turnover rate, but a powered deck such as No-Stick or UGW legacy threshold can easily be $300-400.  It's not cheaper to play constructed of any format that in it is to play 10-proxy Vintage. 

As such, I think 10 or 12 is the correct range.  It allows one to put up 6 jewels, a recall, 4 drains, and maybe Imp seal and something else, or something of that caliber.  Ubastax is still out of range due to 4 shops, 4 zaars, 6 jewels, but not unattainable.  Just trade in all those Ravnica duals and Wrath of Gods.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2005, 03:38:03 am »

Let me start by saying that I am pro-proxy even though I own a set of power and most other relevant cards to every format. Yes, I play in every format.

I’m pro-proxy because I feel it gives people who don’t earn huge sums a chance to play competitive Vintage. Which isn’t just good for them, it is good for the whole scene. I personally like it if my opponent has power because I know I will be playing against an optimal deck (or at least something close to it) and the game will be more fun for both of us. I played my Vintage deck against somebody’s T2 deck last week because he wanted to see why it was so good… believe me, it isn’t even fun if your opponent doesn’t have FoW and you get at least seven unimpeded turns. Which brings us to the point we are discussing. What is the ‘right number’ of proxies?

Even though you can’t proxy FoW (or rather, you don’t want to) I don’t think it is right to increase the number of proxies beyond 10. Like I mentioned, I have come to possess a set of power and while I don’t mind seeing basic lands with ‘Black Lotus’ scribbled on them, the aim should still be to own a real one.

If you don’t have any money, you can’t buy food, drinks, gas, etc. So if you don’t have any money to spare, maybe you shouldn’t be playing Magic (a pretty expensive hobby). Not having to spend $4.000+ on power seems reasonable enough. Or when you go to a tournament and you don’t happen to have ‘Obscure rare X’, I have no problem with proxies. But if you are going to play ‘Obscure rare X’ frequently, I would like you to own one or at least try (P9 is a little different due to the price of the card, but I would still like it if you own a set of power). I like playing against real cards because it looks better.

In regard to the other formats Vintage isn’t more expensive. Well… it is in the short term, but you can sell your power for more than you bought it for in the long run. Try doing that with your Glare of Subdual. Long-term costs are the same. And even short term costs don’t matter that much. Buying Duals, FoWs, Welders, etc. isn’t that different from buying Shockduals, Needles, Hierarchs, Kokushos, Jittes, etc. If you can proxy the $100+ cards the money issue should be solved. (Like I said, if you can’t afford this, maybe you should consider the fact competitive magic isn’t something for you.)

There are only a few cards that are $100+ and so 10 proxies seems right. It gives the people who own power a little bit of an advantage since they don't have to choose between the expensive cards (like JDizzle has shown, most decks need a little over 10 expensive cards) but in all I don't think this is hopelessly unfair.

Attendance is down. I guess it is true but the reason has never really been established. The economy is likely to be playing a part in this. I also think that the number of tournaments is wrong. There are too many of them. As an example here is a short list of upcoming tournaments in the Netherlands (a very small country where you can get to every tournament if you want to) next month;

Sneek, Vintage, January 14th 2006
Eindhoven, Vintage, January 15th 2006
Leiden, Vintage, January 22nd 2006

If Leiden was the only Vintage tournament, everybody would go there… now we have to make a choice. There is no chance in hell that I will be attending all three. I’ll go to Leiden and I’ll consider Eindhoven but that is it. This is on top of the PTQs that are being held in the next few weeks, the pre-release events, regular tournaments, GPTs for Hasselt, ect. ect. Surely I’m not the only person who plays more than one format. We are absolutely flooded with tournaments and although I like having a choice, it does mean attendance will be down overall.

Just my two cents...
« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 04:09:31 am by UR » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2005, 04:06:21 am »

Quote
I've gotten used to seeing Sharpied cards and don't have issues picturing the real cards in place, but I personally do not play with proxies.

Well, that is probably because you HAVE all the cards you need.  I know you aren't trying to ban or even lessen the use of proxies, just trying to discuss at least a limit, whatever that limit may be.  I think 5 proxies in the past, and 10 proxies presently were a great start.  But I feel that 15 proxies are probably the right number.

For entry into T1, you need experience with the format (and proxies make this possible).  One of the local kids (age 15) has a kick ass Oath deck with 10 proxies, but can only get it to that level of competition because Oath is relatively easy to play/assemple (On color moxen only, Lotus, Ancestral, some duals/fetchlands for proxies).  This kid has been trained to play Control Slaver, various Shop decks and so forth, but no deck will be "his" except his build of Oath due to even "ten proxy" limits. He has few dual lands beyond 2-3 Tropical Islands, possibly an Underground Sea or two (or none.  They may be proxies).  He will never be able to innovate a Shop Deck (assuming 6 Mox/Lotus and 4 Shops) because he will never ever ever have Bazaar of Baghdad's or Illusionary Masks or Chains of Mesphistopheles or other expensive Old School cards.  That is one less person trying to build decks to beat the best decks.

With 15 proxies he, (or anyone who loves vintage) can begin to assemble the cards to make decent T1 decks. (side note: his deck got a 2nd place Library of Alexandria so he now has 1/2 a piece of power!). He will still seek out Dual Lands and cool cards like Goblin Welder and Force of Will because he is addicted to the format.  And he will begin to innovate and the format will continue to grow.

Without 15 proxies, he will have hope he has a good buddy like me to let him play with a few pieces of my power so he can get his deck down to 10 proxies.


Quote
Even though you can’t proxy FoW (or rather, you don’t want to) I don’t think it is right to increase the number of proxies beyond 10. Like I mentioned, I have come to possess a set of power and while I don’t mind seeing basic lands with ‘Black Lotus’ scribbled on them, but the aim should still be to own a real one.

Fact: Many people will never ever own a Black Lotus unless they win one because: A: they are very rare B: they are very expensive C: not all Magic players have even 100 dollars of their own to casually spend on 1/10th of a card (or a playset of Forces, or 1 Drain).  Yet, they want to play.  They have skills.  Each person who has a "Black Lotus, Plains edition" still WANT a Black Lotus really really bad (and not just to sell, but to have, to hold and to tap.).  Each person who have Proxy Goblin Welders want real ones.

These people, in time, will get their Goblin Welders, but never ever will they get a Black Lotus, Moxen, Ancestral, Time Walk, Bazaar, Drain, Chains, Mask, etc.  In the mean time, they wanna play, they wanna innovate, and they don't want to suck.


Last point:  Even with 15 proxies, I couldn't make Food Chains Goblins. or any Goblins. or even a decent Fish build.  Wierd.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 04:15:55 am by LotusHead » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2005, 05:30:40 am »

Do you want to play magic, or own magic cards? I play magic because it's a fun game. If my top priority was investment, my money would not be in cardboard.

Proxies = type 1. Without them, we would not have tournaments, basically. The best solution to the proxy dilemma is to set a lower limit (around 7) and make players pay for additional ones, up to some maximum (around 15). Other players using proxies increases attendance, improves prizes, and attracts more players. The TOs are the ones who give us a game to play, and we should defer our opinions about what is best for the format to them, and their concerns. Before SCG, it wasn't a fact that proxies were good. Now it is. I have no problem with a Vintage player never owning a black lotus. I do have a problem with that player not playing in tournaments because the proxy limit is too low.

There are many sanctioned tournaments, and there are thousands of Vintage players. Why do people pay thousands of dollars to play this game? Type 1 is a really interesting and complex format, and it is going to continue to attract newer players from other formats. Many of the well-known Vintage players have acknowledged how difficult it has become to enter the format due to the secondary market. We need new players, and we need to hold on to the ones we have. Proxies and unsanctioned events have provided us with a way to keep Vintage alive despite many of the factors which adversely affect the carrying capacity of Type 1. It would be very difficult for me to deny a higher proxy limit to newer players when the benefits to our community have been so enormous.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2005, 05:47:09 am »

I'll be honest. In my part of the world, it is not necessary to own any power. Not that I couldn't if I so chose, but there is simply no incentive. I can build any competitive deck with a little help from my friends, ranging from Fish to UbaStax, while still falling within the 10 proxy limit. Many, many of these decks we can have multiple copies of down to just a few proxies a piece. In fact, GenCon this year was the first time that we'd reached a limiting factor when it came to cards, and that was simply because we were putting 4 fully powered decks into the tournament. The point is, with 10 proxies, there is absolutely no reason for me to seek out power. 10 proxies will give me Dragon, CS (along with 2 Mana Drain), Oath, UbaStax (with a playset of either Bazaars or Workshops), FCG, Fish, Belcher, anything really. When there were only 5 proxies, you just had to borrow a few pieces of power, and now, you just have to own or borrow some Mana Drains or Workshops or something. Adding more proxies simply so that you won't have to own any cards over $50 would be ludicrous. Having proxies does not belay your responsibility to own cards.

Bottom line: Magic costs money. Vintage costs a little more now, and a lot less later. The fact is that we've been spoiled with proxies. Just try having this discussion in Europe...oh, wait, they've never heard of a proxy. I don't hear them clamoring for more than their 0.

When we have 50 proxies, there will be outcries for more. Proxies beget proxies.
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2005, 06:33:59 am »

I don't feel that this issue can really ever be resolved (and that of course, is obvious.)  In the format's current position, you basically have two distinct sides of the argument:  those who have powercards that lean towards less/no proxies, and those without who wish for more (newer players).  When you take a look at different tournaments, you're always going to see those with powercards performing far superior to those without them (in most cases).

Quote
Fact: Many people will never ever own a Black Lotus unless they win one because: A: they are very rare B: they are very expensive C: not all Magic players have even 100 dollars of their own to casually spend on 1/10th of a card (or a playset of Forces, or 1 Drain).  Yet, they want to play.  They have skills.  Each person who has a "Black Lotus, Plains edition" still WANT a Black Lotus really really bad (and not just to sell, but to have, to hold and to tap.).  Each person who have Proxy Goblin Welders want real ones.

This hits the issue right on the head.  Yes, people with power, we on the other side want to be like you.  We want to draw an opening hand with a real Recall and real Moxen.  We want to play Castle and Titania's Song and double Giant Growth a real Sapphire and attack for six.  But if we don't have them, does that mean we can't play with you and your real Moxen?

I think I can speak for a number of regular vintagers (and I don't want to turn this thread into another relay of personal situations) but I'll share mine, just to put it into context.  Out of every paycheck I receive, half goes to the bank.  (This is mandatory, for further savings/car insurance)  The rest goes for gas, meals away from home, school functions, etc.  Often times, I'm borrowing spending money because I won't have enough left over to make it to my next paycheck.  Yet, I'm still drawn into the format.  I absolutely love being able to do things that decks in other formats only wish they could do as quickly.  And that's really what needs to be addressed here.  Is the picture on the card, real or sharpied, going to affect the essence of the format?  What do you remember as you walk away from that game?  For me, it's what happened in that game and my performance, not whether or not that Mox Emerald was just a cute-looking Forest.

Back to the point:  what is the correct number of proxies needed?  I don't know.  I've thought about it, and twelve seems like the nicest number (as it lets you build a large amount of tried and true decks while leaving room for "obscure rare X" here and there.)  I know that it will be a long time before I can justify the investment for the big stuff, so I'm inclined to look at adding more.  Perhaps it's because we're just so spoiled over here to get proxies in the first place (again, this shouldn't be a my-location-versus-your-location argument either), but here's a naive-yet-true example:  How many budget aggro decks consistantly win tournaments?  The more powerful, expensive cards that are in my deck, the better chance I probably have of winning.

In the end, isn't that what we're shooting for?

(I realise this response was kind of all over the place, but I feel there's just too much to be said about the subject)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 06:37:00 am by RThomas » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2005, 07:15:05 am »

Just try having this discussion in Europe...

Vot is zis "proksy" thing zat you speak off?

In Germany, the few proxy tournaments that exist typically set a price barrier. The best example is Hannover, where the TO publishes the list of cards that may be proxied. Basically, they set italian Mana Drain as the price baseline, and every card of that value or higher can be proxied. (Right now, they have inclued Chains of Mephistopheles as well at the player's request). Proxy limit is still ten, though.

Other tournaments, like Berlin and Iserlohn, remain sanctioned. For unpowered players, they set up seperate prizes. As tournaments in Germany rarely offer P9 or similar for prizes, this doesn't bother anyone. (Although if there is a Mox event or similar, of course the winner takes the prize even if he is unpowered.) This system gives an additional incentive for players to come and play regardless if they are powered or not, and unpowered players have the same shot for prices as the powered players. That system is fair and so far, nobody is clamouring for proxies anymore. We just don't feel the need for proxies.

You might ask: Don't your tournaments become more "random", then? I answer: They certainly are more diverse, and you see decks that we wouldn't call competitive. But you just have to adjust your own deck. Everybody who has ever lost to randomness like burn decks with a full powered deck knows this. It's a different environment to play in for sure, but not "worse" or "better" -- just different. And fun, too... when have you last seen a Juzam Djinn in action?

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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2005, 07:16:50 am »

Quote
Last point:  Even with 15 proxies, I couldn't make Food Chains Goblins. or any Goblins. or even a decent Fish build.  Wierd.

Okay, so 15 doesn’t allow you to play every deck. That isn’t the right number then. How about we allow everybody to play with 59 proxies then? How about 61? That would even allow us Europeans to build a deck we like. Ridiculous you say? That is where we are headed if we continue along that path.

Here are the cards I need to proxy/borrow to build Vroman’s Stax deck as presented in another thread on this forum;

4 Workshop
4 Barbarian Ring
1 Crucible of Worlds
4 Smokestack
4 Uba Mask
3 Duplicant
3 Maze of Ith
3 Viashino Heretic

So that is 26 proxies if I want to netdeck it (assuming I’m unable to borrow/trade anything from my friends). That isn’t a reason to raise the proxy limit, that is a reason not to play the deck and look for something else to play.

Quote
We want to play Castle and Titania's Song and double Giant Growth a real Sapphire and attack for six.

I can honestly say that my deck isn’t metagamed to handle that…
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2005, 07:40:59 am »

Opinion of proxies all depends on what you are in magic for... I believe that proxies are good to have sometimes but that major tournaments (scg, waterbury...) should be forcing players to use cards they own. As said above this is what separates type 1 from all the other formats, owning of these "vintage" cards. My opinion however is a little biased, even through I don't own a full set of power, I am 1/2 in magic for the economic aspect and half in it for type 1. For the magic market proxies are not good because they deflate the price of power, less demand = lower price to try to raise demand. I feel that proxies are good for people to get int othe format.
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2005, 09:14:29 am »

Its really quite simple: is our goal to have competitive flexible environments?  If so, we need more proxies.

There is no GOOD  reason not to have more proxies

10 proxies is not enough.  I think 12 would be good and 15 ideal. 
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2005, 09:56:36 am »

Hello everybody.

I am a Danish Vintage player with a full p9 set. Nevertheless am I a strong advocate of it. We have quite good players here and they are mostly quite young and therefore unable to buy a full p9 set.

Because so few people own power here, Maximally 50 people, we see a decline in competitors. 
Around 35 people were present during the Vintage Nationals for gods sake!

I would prefer to look at a plains with time walk written on it than a kird ape.

However there should be a limit on proxies in that I dont want to see that owning cards is superflous.

Good discussion, see you   





 We dont use proxies here  although I am a strong advocate of it.


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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2005, 10:38:03 am »

I think that 10 proxies plus $1 for each extra proxy up to 15 is perfect. It allows people to play competitive decks and also gives some incentive to purchase cards rather then just proxy them.

The point of proxies is not to allow everyone to play every competitive deck they want, the point is to allow everyone to play a competitive deck.

There is no good reason not to have more proxies, however there is a biased towards T1 and the proxies that go along with them. I have difficulty getting new players into T1 because they assume proxies=cheating. Even after I explain to them that everyone uses them and it benefits them, they would much rather go off and play T2 with no proxies. People would rather play with real cards then fake ones. An excessive amount of proxies will turn people off to T1 and less new players will come in and play.

We need a system that allows players to play with enough proxies to play a competitive deck and also give some incentive to purchase cards and finally improve T1 image and expand our player base. 10 proxies with $1 for each extra proxies, up to 15 is the answer.
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2005, 10:53:10 am »

I've always liked 12 proxies. This can be 8 power + 4 Drain/Bazaars/Shops. You should be able to build every deck that you like (except Uba Stxx maybe) with this. Proxies are not meant to proxy cards like Uba Mask or Smokestacks. If you don't even want to spend 4 bucks to buy a playset of Uba Masks if you need them you don't even deserve to play with the deck. Proxies are meant to make tourneys more competitive, by giving (unpowered) players the chance to put power into their decks or play one of the top tier decks. They are not meant to proxy complete decks. infinite proxies isn't magic anymore!

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Last point:  Even with 15 proxies, I couldn't make Food Chains Goblins. or any Goblins. or even a decent Fish build.  Weird.

Goblins play 1 Lotus and 1 Mox. If you can't even afford to buy 13 Goblins / Fetch you should play some other format. What do people expect, that they can play decks for free simply by proxing everything??
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2005, 10:55:04 am »

Here's my problem with the continual increase in the amount of proxies.  On some level it is harder to play when you look over and see land cards, but I can cope.  My problem is that there will eventually be no point to own the cards.  If people no longer desire to own the cards, then why even play for a card prize, just play for cash.  At the very least I think players should strive for owning welders, forces, oaths, and some duals.  There may be a need to up the proxy level to 12.  If people use the arguement of competitiveness, then we should make it unlimited proxy.  That would allow everyone to use the same card pool.  Better yet, just require laptops and use MWS or Apprentice...wait that again defeats the purpose.  I just feel on some level you should stride to own some of the cards, even if its a handful of 15-20 rares.  If people can push for a bunch of 10-20 dollar rares in every other format they can hold onto a few for vintage.  But thats just my opinion.  I dont know, i say unlimited proxy and I ll sell all my cards and just use playing cards.
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2005, 10:59:54 am »

The point of proxies is to reduce the entry barrier of the format to something more commensurate to that of other formats like Extended, where most decks cost somewhere between $300 and $400.  If we allow people enough proxies to take care of power and some other 4-of, whether it be drains, shops, or bazaars, then that should be plenty.  Steve once suggested 13 proxies for this reason, and that's probably more than sufficient given that most decks don't even use full power.  The other Steve once suggested a set cut-off for proxies, such as at Legends, where people could proxy stuff printed only in or before that set, but nothing that was printed later.  I think that's also a good solution.

Regardless, 10 is a good number.  I'm not sure we really need to be increasing it at all.
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2005, 11:00:32 am »

First of all, let me tell you that I love to play in high powered environments. Which implicates that I endorse the use of proxies. 15 should be more than adequate. This will certainly allow people playing Legacy (and thus probably owning duals, maybe FOWs) to enter the format with no additional cost. Which is the biggest point I think. It's easier to attract Legacy and Extended players than Standard or Sealed.

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Just try having this discussion in Europe...
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I have difficulty getting new players into T1 because they assume proxies=cheating

That's the biggest problem we have in Europe when starting with proxies. All current players have the cards. This results in people writing "Island" on a forest, just to confuse opponents.

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Last point:  Even with 15 proxies, I couldn't make Food Chains Goblins. or any Goblins. or even a decent Fish build.  Weird.

Goblins play 1 Lotus and 1 Mox. If you can't even afford to buy 13 Goblins / Fetch you should play some other format. What do people expect, that they can play decks for free simply by proxing everything??

If that's the case, then there is probably no format suitable for him. But I think what he meant is that his current card pool is specialised to powered decks. Not that he doesn't want to buy the cards if he wanted to play the deck. I don't own any goblins that don't weld either.
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2005, 11:33:03 am »

I'm from germany, so no proxys over here. In my eyes there shoudn't be more than max. 10 Proxys allowed. And even 10 is a bit too high if you ask me.
I can see the benefits of proxys like a more competive enviroment and this is a good point! But there always has to be a reason to buy power. Otherwise it whould lose it's value excluding the collectors market. One way to go is the "prices for top 3 unpowered" decks for example. This gives every player a goal they can reach.

So the basic idea should be"A competiv turnament enviroment AND finding a way to bring people still spending money for magic".
So unlimit proxys can't be the way.
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2005, 11:43:50 am »

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Steve once suggested a set cut-off for proxies, such as at Legends, where people could proxy stuff printed only in or before that set, but nothing that was printed later.  I think that's also a good solution.

The idea is sound, but I think there's one problem with this, and otherwise limiting proxies to $50-75+ cards (or whatever number you pick).  What about players like me that own everything expensive? If I don't have, say, Maze of Ith, I wouldn't be able to proxy that.  It seems only fair to me that if I'm letting my opponents play with $3000-4000 of cards they doesn't have but I do, I should be able to proxy a $10 card I didn't want to buy or maybe couldn't find.

However, one thing we want to prevent is people from proxying everything in the format worth $20 or more and never having to make any investment.  But how do we adjust and make things fair for the people who have already made a huge investment?

Related point I forgot to put in the original discussion: does increasing the number of proxies necessarily increase the average player quality at an event?  It does make the decks better, but we all know that giving someone a better deck does not make him a better player.  It gives him a more even playing field, as it will be less likely that he loses because his cards are just inferior to his opponents'.  One thing about budget constraints is that it makes people understand their decks a little better.  For example, someone might not be able to put the Mana Drains he thinks should go in there in Oath because he doesn't have all the required proxy slots.  As a result, he discovers that Mana Drain really doesn't belong in Oath.  It does force people to learn what cards are essential to what decks, which is a good learning experience.  However, people shouldn't be stuck in that position, obviously.
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2005, 01:01:21 pm »

Here in the Northwest, we have found another solution to help the proxy dilema: CE.  All of the Vintage tournaments in our area allow the use of Collectors Edition cards in addition to 10-12 proxies.  This cuts the price of power by about 75%.  As long as the CE is played in the right sleeves you cannot tell them apart from regular cards.  It's not an end all solution, but it would help with the financial burden...and lets face it, the less sharpy marked plains you have to stare at the better.

I also second the notion that the TOs interests must be taken into account as they are the ones organizing events and putting up prizes.  Allowing a smaller amount of proxies for free and then charging for additionals seems like the way to go.  If the proxy limit distorts an enviorment to the point that whole archetypes are not played it should be changed.  Stax is a great example of this, containing at least 11-12 100$ plus cards. 

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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2005, 01:09:46 pm »

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Steve once suggested a set cut-off for proxies, such as at Legends, where people could proxy stuff printed only in or before that set, but nothing that was printed later.  I think that's also a good solution.

The idea is sound, but I think there's one problem with this, and otherwise limiting proxies to $50-75+ cards (or whatever number you pick).  What about players like me that own everything expensive? If I don't have, say, Maze of Ith, I wouldn't be able to proxy that.  It seems only fair to me that if I'm letting my opponents play with $3000-4000 of cards they doesn't have but I do, I should be able to proxy a $10 card I didn't want to buy or maybe couldn't find.

Part of the reason that I dislike price/set restrictions on proxies is for this reason.  If you're looking to buy cards, you can always find power, Drains, etc.  But what about if you need something like Seeds of Innocence or Sky Weaver?  OOPs that aren't in demand are really hard to find regardless of cost so if you come up with some obscure tech a few days before the tourney, good luck trying to find the cards.
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2005, 01:17:40 pm »

Its really quite simple: is our goal to have competitive flexible environments?  If so, we need more proxies.

There is no GOOD  reason not to have more proxies

10 proxies is not enough.  I think 12 would be good and 15 ideal. 

I agree with this IN PRINCIPLE, but only if people were allowed to print something out and put it in the front of the sleeve.  Trying to read people's handwriting and recognizing/reading the board full of 15 plains with shit scribbled on it is at best highly annoying and at worst impossible to keep track of the game state without constantly looking over at a board full of cards that you can't read, because their handwriting is chicken scratch.  Forget about it if it's a card with more than 4 lines of text (and then they've got the oracle text printed out separately off to the side, even more annoying/disruptive).

I cannot stand not picking up the card and seeing the proper picture (how many players recognize cards) and text.  As someone who owns full power, I fully recognize the need of proxies to keep our format alive and have a reasonable barrier to entry (as well as the positive effect that has on the value of my own power), but if 1/4 of someone's deck is a scribbled mess, that's not fun to play against...

We do this (small printed text/graphics in the sleeve) for virtual cards for SW:CCG and have never had a problem with marked cards or cheating..

Bill

Edit - the problem with CE is that while the cards don't look different, they certainly feel different and you can feel the difference shuffling.
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2005, 01:23:59 pm »

There are a bunch of solutions:

Price Limit.  (You're able to proxy everything above 100 bucks.)

This doesn't work because it would really screw over people who own all the power.  I.E., JDizzle.  JDizzle owns everything expensive.  He doesn't own Seeds of Innocence.  He wouldn't be able to proxy Seeds of Innocence.  Doing a hybrid price limit/number limit (I.E., you could proxy FOUR cards under 100 dollars) would be detrimental because it would allow not only cheap players to proxy Drains as well as everything expensive in Ubastax, but it would essentially allow for decks to become EXTREMELY cheap and more broken-seeking than needed.  (Players would throw in 4 Bazaar of Baghdad or 4 Workshop, just so they didn't have to buy Goblin Welders).  Decks would actually become worse.

Set Limit.  (You're allowed to proxy everything from Alpha-Legends, including Legends [for mana drain.])

Doesn't work because of many of the same reasons as the Price Limit.  Actually, all the same reasons.  We'd have tournaments where almost EVERY card is from Legends and back.

Number Limit.  (10 proxies, anything you want, THAT'S IT.)

This seems to be the best so far, and although there are still issues with proxies, this is not only the best, but also the most simple to explain.

Number Limit with additional, costed limit.  (10 proxies, with 5 additional proxies at a buck or two each.)

This has my vote.  With additonal proxies up to 15 people can build Ubastax at 200 bucks, and instead paying 40 dollars every SCG event, instead of 30.

That seems fine to me.

The other dispute is this:  I DON'T LIKE THE WAY SCRIBBLY CARDS LOOK.

There are a good amount of options to this as well:

Allow CE.  No.  Let's get that out of the way.  Corners make them way too identifiable.

World-Tournament cards.  No.  They're identifiable in all but a few sleeves.  The complete black back is far too different.

Sliips of Paper.  Better, but what if the paper slips out?  Game loss?

There's really no great solution to this yet.  Just, write neat, and those of us who don't like it (me included, me included), will have to deal.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 01:31:24 pm by Buttons » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2005, 03:01:44 pm »

If you can't build a competitive deck with 10 proxies, 5 more aren't going to help you.
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« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2005, 03:07:28 pm »

You can argue anything you want, but I think it is pretty simple.

If you want more people to play Type I, you have to lower the entry cost. Chess boards don't cost 5k, and neither does a deck of playing cards and poker chips.

I'll come out and say it right now. You guys that "invested" in Type I cards made a poor decision if you are in it for the long haul. The value of jap foil welders, or beta power, is Marjory dependant on the popularity of type I, and minorly dependant on the popularity of magic. If type I isn't popular, neither is are beta underground sea;s (look at their prices 4 years ago compared to now). If magic isn't popular, your cards are worth squat.

Because there are no rotations in Type I, we are pretty much screwed. Rotations are the reason why normal arguments comparing Type I to any other magic (besides legacy) break down. Why is Type 2 so cheap compared to Eternal Formats? Because every two years, the format rotates, and cards never have a chance to become super rare. No rotation puts player and collectors in type I in a no win situation.

Our cards will never be reset, and neither will our prices. Therefore, as the player base grows, so does the cost of entry. Eventually, if nothing is done about availability, the market will either crash, or stagnate THEN crash.

More proxies hold off the crash for a longer amount of time. Thats how the game works, and thats why collectors are screwed. There is no way for a beta underground sea to continuously increase in value. Either you proxy it's value out of existence, or you set yourself up for an eventual market crash.

The only way a collector can protect their value is to find an equilibrium point. This is what I believe SCG is trying to do, but you can only push the limit so far.

You can't have it both ways. You can not expect the format to grow, AND expect to limit the number of proxies.  




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There is no GOOD  reason not to have more proxies

agreed

« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 03:12:46 pm by nataz » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2005, 03:09:12 pm »

wizards should just reprint every card that retails over $50. The surge in interest for vintage will make sure demand keeps up w supply and the old cards will maintain value, while the new ones will make the format accessible and popular. then eliminate proxies.
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« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2005, 03:11:51 pm »

If you can't build a competitive deck with 10 proxies, 5 more aren't going to help you.

It's not just the fact of building a competitive deck, but a deck that you want to play.

If I want to play Belcher, 10 proxies is A.O.Kay.  (which is funny, as JD has all these pimped out cards, and his deck can be used by any random scrub willing to pitch in, like, 100 bucks).  Irony.

Uba Stax - 4 Shops, 4 Bazaar, 6 power cards
ALOT required. (4 over, of which are BAZAARS)

Grim Long - All 9 power cards, Imperial Seal, 3 Grim Tutor (4 in some builds)
13-14 required. (3-4 over)

Stax - 4 Shops, 7 power cards, Imperial Seal
12 required.  (2 over)

Control Slaver - 4 Mana Drain, 8 power cards
12 required.  (2 over)

Gifts - 4 Mana Drain, 8 power cards
12 required.  (2 over)

Dragon - 4 Bazaar, 7 power cards
11 required.  (1 over.)

Belcher - 6 power cards, Imperial Seal.
7 required.  Nothing needed.  3 under.

Oath - 6 power cards, (Imperial Seal)
6-7 required.  Nothing needed.  3-4 under.

For someone wanting to play Ubastax, with Bazaars at 150 a piece (which is a rough estimate) that's SIX HUNDRED BUCKS, on top of the regular 200 to make the deck.
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« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2005, 03:15:12 pm »

wizards should just reprint every card that retails over $50. The surge in interest for vintage will make sure demand keeps up w supply and the old cards will maintain value, while the new ones will make the format accessible and popular. then eliminate proxies.

This is good in theory, but probably won't happen.  If everyone eliminated proxies, and the right number was distributed, it would be fine, but tournaments that played with proxies will ALWAYS get better turnout than ones that don't, and proxies will always be played with.

I don't know what's up with Europe, that they can get THAT MANY PEOPLE without proxies on sanctioned tournaments, but that's not how it is in the states.

Wizards will also never reprint power, even if it's ugly.
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2005, 03:15:17 pm »

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Trying to read people's handwriting and recognizing/reading the board full of 15 plains with shit scribbled on it is at best highly annoying and at worst impossible to keep track of the game state without constantly looking over at a board full of cards that you can't read, because their handwriting is chicken scratch.

I might as well repeat again something that I have suggested on such threads before:

Increase the proxy count past 10, but only allow proxies which consist of peeled foils with the cardface printed directly on the peeled card. The proxy doesn't have to look amazing or anything, and the print can be black/white. So long as the card is easily recognizable, then the proxy is acceptable. If a player cannot afford to buy the proxied cards, at least he has to *work* a little to play his deck. If players don't know how to create such proxies, we can provide protocols on web sites such as this one or via word of mouth.

I also feel that its a little to hasty to dismiss higher proxy counts because of the fear that it will lower the value of the more expensive cards (and possibly harm the dealers/TOs in the process). As of now, I see newer players purchase high dollar cards, even though they can get by with proxying them. Such is the appeal of T1 - it goes beyond just playing the game. Furthermore, card values are linked to attendance and popularity of T1 events. If we increase both through increasing the proxy count, then card values should not diminish.
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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2005, 03:18:14 pm »

The proxy count should stay at 10, with an additional cost count going up to 15 -

And no TO in their right mind for a major tournament would EVER go above that.

15 is the max for everything, period.  That's 25% of a deck.

I was hesitant to even do the additional cost, but at TWO BUCKS an additional proxy, not only will it make money for the tournament organizers, but we'll have more people.

It could even be as high as 2.50 per additional proxy, but don't expect ANYONE to pay 5 bucks.

As for the peeled foils, it's a great idea, but people just don't know how to do it or don't have access to a printer that's capable of doing such.  I know I don't, even though I know how to do the procedure.

There would have to be equipment capable of doing such at every major tournament, which would cost more money for the TO's, probably more if they even charged 5 bucks per proxy printed.
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