How To Make MTG Proxies the Right Way

Screenshot 2024 02 22 at 2.24.00 PM

Trading card games are expensive, and for many the pricing locks them out of updating their decks and collections with the latest cards. Our article will guide you through creating proxy cards and discussing alternatives to them, making it easy for you to continually update your TCG card collections.

Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, and Magic: The Gathering cards are celebrated for their exceptional design and color schemes. This is part of the draw of collecting. Players are constantly refining their decks and improving their skills as these games become popular. Of course, part of getting better at a game of skill such as MTG is experimenting with new mechanics and cards.

However, for many players, the best cards can be prohibitively expensive when updating a collection, significantly impacting your budget.

So, is there a solution to this dilemma? Spoiler alert – Yes! And we’re here to guide you!

The solution is Magic: The Gathering proxy cards. Proxies are typically custom-created cards compatible with official cards but use unique designs and artwork.

Our article will provide detailed instructions on creating proxy cards. We will also explore alternative options for proxy cards so you can keep your collection up-to-date.

Gather Your Materials and Find the Card Artwork

To make high-quality MTG proxies, you will need the following:

  • A high-quality printer, or a printing service.
  • Cardstock paper (preferably with a silk or semi-gloss finish).
  • A paper cutter or a straight edge and a sharp blade.
  • An actual Magic card template (to ensure accurate size and placement of artwork and text);
  • Optionally, a clear spray sealer or laminating sheets for an authentic feel.
  • Optionally, foil cardstock or a foil transfer sheet for a foil backing.

To source card artwork for your proxies, consider these methods:

  • Use the Scryfall MTG Card Archive Image Gallery, which features high-resolution images of all Magic cards in English.
  • Use a website such as PrintMTGwith high-quality templates that are easy to edit.
  • Search online for fan-made scans or recreations of Magic cards, though be mindful of varying quality and accuracy.
  • If you cannot find a suitable image, consider creating your artwork using software like Photoshop.

Screenshot 2024 02 22 at 2.24.05 PM

Create a Printable Proxy Template

To make a Magic: The Gathering proxy template:

  1. Choose an actual Magic card to use as a template, ensuring it matches the standard card size (2.5 inches by 3.5 inches).
  2. Scan or photograph the card, ensuring high resolution and accurate placement of artwork and text.
  3. Adjust contrast and brightness for clarity using a photo editor.
  4. Use image editing software like Photoshop to create a blank card template by overlaying a new layer on the image and using the Paint Bucket tool to define areas for artwork and text.
  5. Save the template as a high-resolution file for printing and use as a guide.

Alternatively, if you don’t have the card, use:

  • The official Magic: The Gatheringwebsite’s Card Image Gallery for template images.
  • Online ready-made templates or recreations of Magic cards.

Add The Card Artwork and Information to The Template

To incorporate artwork and information:

  1. Open the template in image editing software like Photoshop.
  2. Import the chosen card artwork.
  3. Use the text tool for the card’s name, type, and text box, ensuring correct font and formatting.
  4. Add other details like mana cost and power/toughness using tools like the clone or brush tool.
  5. Save the completed high-resolution image file for printing.

Print and Cut the Proxies

Some websites will also print MTG proxy cards for you. This is the best option if you want your cards to match actual MTG cards in size, weight, and thickness.

For printing and cutting proxies at home:

  1. Print the templates onto cardstock paper, ensuring accurate size and text placement.
  2. Carefully cut the cards using a paper cutter, straight edge, and sharp blade.
  3. Optionally, apply a clear spray sealer or use laminating sheets for a glossy finish.
  4. Optionally, print the back of the card on foil cardstock or use a foil transfer sheet for foil backing.

You should now have a set of quality Magic: The Gathering proxies, perfect for casual games. Remember, these are not for use in official tournaments or events.

Consider the Rules of Making and Using MTG Proxies

Be mindful of legalities when creating and using MTG proxies. Reproducing copyrighted material without permission is illegal, and proxies are typically not allowed in official tournaments. However, they are generally acceptable in casual games among friends, provided everyone understands they are not original Magic cards.

Screenshot 2024 02 22 at 2.24.09 PM

Tips For Making High-Quality MTG Proxies

  • Use a high-quality printer and cardstock for vibrant colors and durability.
  • Use a real Magic card as a template for accuracy.
  • Apply a glossy finish using a clear spray sealer or laminating for an authentic feel.
  • Consider a foil backing using foil cardstock or a foil transfer sheet.
  • Cut the cards precisely for the best results.
  • Experiment with holographic or rainbow foil for added authenticity.

Alternatives To Making Your Own MTG Proxies

  • Purchase pre-made proxies from companies or individuals.
  • Utilize services like PrintMTG to create customized trading cards.
  • Use online card-making tools for custom magic proxies.
  • Employ placeholder cards in decks as an alternative to proxies.
  • Opt for digital versions on platforms like Magic: The Gathering Arena.

Note: Proxies are not legal in most organized play. However, many kitchen table play groups are okay with custom-printed cards.

Pros and Cons of Using MTG Proxies In-Play


  • Cost-effective compared to rare or hard-to-find cards.
  • Increases accessibility to desired cards.
  • Allows for customization and uniqueness in decks.


  • Not legal in organized play, like tournaments.
  • Viewed by some as unfair.
  • It may not match the quality of actual cards.
  • It can confuse gameplay due to difficulty in differentiation.

How do you keep your MTG Proxy Cards safe?

  • Use card sleeves for protection, with clear sleeves for proxies.
  • Consider double-sleeving for extra protection.
  • Store cards in deck boxes for organization and safety.
  • Handle cards gently to avoid damage.
  • Store in a cool, dry place to prevent damage from temperature and humidity.
  • Keep away from food and drinks to avoid spills.

Bottom Line

Creating proxy cards for Magic: The Gathering requires some skill but is relatively straightforward. Before you start, ensure you have all the necessary materials. It is also essential to confirm with other players that they are okay with using proxy cards, as they can affect the game’s fairness and rules.

Make sure you check out our article on the Best MTG Cards for Commander.


  1. Is It Expensive to Make an MTG Proxy Card? The cost varies based on methods and materials. Some print at home with cardstock, while others buy from third parties. Typically, you’d use more expensive proxy cards.
  2. Where Can I Buy MTG Proxy Cards? Various online sources, such as Proxy King, offer proxy cards for sale.
  3. Is There a Tool For Making MTG Proxy Cards? Services and tools for creating proxy cards are available online, allowing easy customization.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.