Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Few Stats!

Inspired by a recent discussion on the MTGSalvation thread (, here are a few interesting stats about Cube Tutor.  We’ve been live for a little over three weeks now.

519 Registered Users
573 Cubes

178,830 Cards in those cubes including 11,901 foil cards, 2477 promo foil cards, 743 Altered and 1 Miscut!

5,493 Cube Updates (individual blog posts)

386 Decks Built (in 5 days that deck building has been live)
357,764 Cards drafted

Typically between 600-800 unique daily users and 40 to 100 concurrent active users at any one time.

57% of users are from the US
8% from Canada
7% from the UK (inc me!)
28% from the rest of Europe
1 Person is from New Zealand!

Top 10 most drafted cubes (note that picks are only saved when a whole pack is drafted)

1. Bens Cube – 31,356 Picks
2. ChampBlankman’s Cube – 24,113 Picks
3. Piccio’s Cube – 12,488 Picks
4. ZachSellsMagic Cube – 11,442 Picks
5. Couture Cube – 9,023 Picks
6. wtwlf123’s Cube – 8,355 Picks
7. Dudebro cube – 7,740 Picks
8. David’s Cube – 7,666 Picks
9. Fun_Titan’s Cube – 6,703 Picks
10. The Cuban – 6,692 Picks

Lots of cross cube Analysis coming soon!


Released: Harmonize 2.1

Time for a bugfix update.

Bug Fixes

–  Added a bunch of missing sets including Champs, Super Series, WPN and many others.

– If the card set was changed after modifying the colour profile on the Edit List page, the colour profile was reverted.

– ‘Land Creature’ super type now saves properly on the Edit List page.  Previously this was saving as Artifact Creature.

– Improved ordering of the multi colour section on Visual Spoiler page.  This now orders in a similar fashion to the View Cube page.

– Coloured Artifact Creatures weren’t appearing in the correct place on the View Cube page.

– Fixed a bug where draft pick order data was being reset after changing the set of the card.  In order to mitigate the loss of data I have modified the pick ordering algorithm a little so that it uses the ratio of pickCount to passCount meaning new cards that have been picked once or twice but not passed will shoot up the pick order.  This has the added benefit that new cards which are only passed (not picked very often) do not rank as highly as they used to.

Coming Soon…

Firstly, I’d like to say a big thank you for all of the awesome comments and feedback that I’ve received in the last few days.  It’s a real credit to the Magic community that you guys are so engaged and passionate about the development of a tool like this.  All I can say is that I will do my very best to prioritise and build the things that you guys want the most.  Sometimes I’ll put three releases out in a week, sometimes one in a month, but I will always be thinking about and working on making Cube Tutor as awesome as possible! 🙂

With that in mind I just wanted to take some time to talk about some of the most frequently requested features that I will be implementing soon.

Card Images – As someone who takes pride in making my cube as unique as possible, I really understand that personalisation is a key part to the cubing hobby.  Having to live with an M12 Birds of Paradise image for your cube is just not on!  Unfortunately, Gatherer makes it very difficult to reliably find images for all card versions.  Promos are particularly difficult.  I’m currently looking for an alternative source of card images that will tolerate thousands of additional requests per hour coming from users of Cube Tutor so watch this space!

A lot of people have noticed that my cube contains custom card images (altered, signed cards etc) and are asking when this feature will become available to everyone.  It’s something I’m thinking about a lot but I need to work out how to elegantly provide upload functionality for a large number of images, and also how to prevent users from hammering my bandwidth by uploading large files.  Both of these problems are very solvable and I will roll this feature out to everyone soon.

Drafting Pack Size – Some people like to draft 9, 10, 14 or 15 cards in their packs or even draft with less or more than 8 people.  Given how many people have asked for it, I will definitely build this in to Cube Tutor.  However, I do want to make sure that drafting is as accessible as possible.  This means not having to fill in a page of configuration before loading up a draft.  I’ve got an idea about how to solve this.

‘Average Cube’ Lists – I will be setting up 3 or 4 new cubes on my account, 360 Cube, 450 Cube, 540 Cube and 720 Cube maybe.  These lists will be populated by the most popular cards in all other cubes on Cube Tutor, hence creating ‘Average Cubes’.  They will create blog posts in the same way as any other cube user when changes are made to their lists.  It will also be completely automated, and the lists will be re-evaluated once per day.

Forgotten Username/Password – This is just standard functionality that comes with having a moderately large user base and I will definitely be implementing it.

Analysis – There is a lot of scope for improvement to the Analysis page.  People frequenltly talk about being able to check out the curve per Colour and or Card Type.  Following the theme of naming my releases after cards, there will be a Deep Analysis release coming soon where I will look at all of the suggestions I’ve been given for the Analysis page.

Goldfishing – A natural progression to deck building is goldfishing, i.e. drawing a sample hand and perhaps even being able to place cards on a table to see how the deck might play out.

Missing Card Versions – Following on from the point about card images, it’s very important that you should be able to reflect your EXACT cube list on Cube Tutor.  I know that many promo sets (JSS, WPN, Champs etc) are still missing from the site and will be adding these very soon.

Edit/Delete Blog Posts – It would be nice to get to a point where your blog would reflect the real changes that you make to your cube.  That means when you correct Bulk Upload errors, or make minor changes you’d have the option of not posting to your blog.  At the same time it would be great to be able to remove or edit existing blog posts.

Summary Tags – The summary tags (Peasant, Pauper, Eternal…) are calculated by Cube Tutor based on the cards in your list.  If your cube is summarised as Budget when you think it should be Peasant it’s probably because you’ve added a card that is only uncommon on MTGO (Savannah Lions) or is only arguably uncommon (Triskelion).  I’m considering allowing users to set these summary items themselves if they don’t like what Cube Tutor has figured out.

Custom Categorisation – I’ve had a few requests to add new Super Types such as ‘Spell’ or ‘Fetch Land’ so that cards appear under these sections on the View Cube page.  This will have a bit of an impact on the way that the list is sorted, so I’m currently working out the best way to imeplement it.  Either way, it is an important feature to be able to sort your cube as you like.

X-Mana Cost – Currently X defaults to 5 which throws off curve charts, and the cards position on the View List page and Visual Spoiler.  I will change this so that X doesn’t relate to a numerical value.  These cards will be excluded from CMC charts on the Analysis page and will appear at the end of their section on View List and Visual Spoiler.

I could’ve talked about the ideas that I have for hours, but hopefully this will give you enough of a taster of where things are going in the next few releases.  As ever please keep your comments and feedback coming in:

Happy Cubing!

Harmonize 2.0 – Deck Building!

So here it is, one of the most requested features that I’ve had for Cube Tutor, deck building!  This was probably the largest undertaking in terms of development effort that I have completed on the site since launch.  As ever I’ve only had time for limited testing so I would appreciate quick feedback of any issues that you encounter.  To summarise

– If you are logged in you will now be redirected to a Deck Building page once your draft is complete.

– You can move cards from your sideboard to your deck, sort them by colour and converted mana cost and add some basic lands.

– Once you are happy with the deck you can give it a title and description then save it.

– You, or anyone else can share the deck using the link or via Twitter. Facebook coming soon.

– You can see your decks under ‘My Drafts’ in My Account.

– Here is the first deck to be built!

Bug Fixes & Minor Updates

– Fixed an ordering bug on the View Cube page and Visual Spoiler page (as reported by wtwlf123) where some cards were not in the right place.

– Fixed card images for all of the remaining cards with non standard characters (Dandan, Juzam Djinn…)

– Session Expiry now redirects you to the home page rather than my cube blog.

– Improved detection of Pauper and Peasant Cubes.  Still some issues with cards like Triskelion and Savannah Lions to address.

Harmonized Home

So here it is, Harmonize 1.0!  Cube Tutor finally has a dedicated home page for news, activity and dev blog updates.

New Features

– The activity feed updates in near real time, although to ensure performance there is a small amount of caching in place so you may have to wait a minute or two minutes to see your updates appear on the home page.  It currently shows cube updates, blog post comments and forum posts.  Once I’ve done more work on the drafting feature this will appear in the activity feed too.

– Dev Blog updates are linked to my WordPress blog so you can still check them out there if you prefer.

– Commander’s Arsenal added.

– Several new pimp types: Proxy, Classic, FBB and Miscut.

– Added a subtle line break between converted mana costs on the View Cube page.

Bug Fixes

– Fixed a bug where the browser would scroll to the top of the list after each update on the Edit List page.

– Any issues encountered when logging in (incorrect username or password) are now displayed properly on the login page.

As ever please let me know what you think on Twitter, via email and in the forums.  There will be several more Harmonize Releases in the near future.

Next Feature Release: ‘Harmonize’

The past few days have seen several minor bugfix releases and Cube Tutor is now in a fantastic position with only a small number of errors (the ‘Something Went Wrong’ page) recorded each day.  Of course there are still many optimisations and improvements to be made and I really appreciate the response and support that the community has given.  Please continue to send in your ideas so that together we can shape Cube Tutor and make it as awesome as it can be.

Now that Upheaval is complete it’s time to define the scope of my next feature release, the ‘Harmonize’ Release.

1. Dedicated Home Page.  I want to make the home page (and the site generally) feel more alive.  This means aggregated news, on site activity and dev updates in one place.  This will also free up some space on the Blog page for more cube specific content.

2. Deck Building.  The ‘end of draft’ experience requires much improvement.  At a minimum I will be introducing deck building and perhaps also the ability to export and share the draft in various formats.

At the same time I will be continuing to listen to your feedback, making small improvements and optimisations where ever I can so please keep your tweets and emails coming in.

Upheaval 2.2

Time for another small update.  Since the Upheaval 2 release I’ve had a lot of feedback on the View Cube page so here are some more changes:

– Split Cards now honour their colour profile and don’t always go in the multi colour column.
– Lands are sorted alphabetically.
– Multi colour column is split on colour profile (Rakdos, Naya..) rather than card type.
– When there are no cards in a particular section, the header is no longer shown.

Upheaval 2.1

A quick bugfix update:

– Orzhov appears correctly as BW in the Colour Profile drop down.

– Green lands now show up properly on View Cube (previously white lands were showing in this space).

– Colourless Instants, Sorceries, Planeswalkers and Enchantments now appear in the correct coloumn on View Cube.

Released: Upheaval 2.0

Before reading anything else, please clear your browser cache!  There were a lot of CSS changes in this release and things won’t look right if you have the old version:

New Features

– Advanced Search/Filtering feature on the edit cube page.  You can combine any number of search criteria to filter your cube list.

– Custom overrides of colour profile, super type and converted mana cost.  So you can tell Cube Tutor that Tundra is an Azorius card and it will be treated as such on the View Cube page, when draft bots pick it, on the analysis page, filtering on the edit cube page and ordering of suggested replacement cards.

– All sections are now numbered on the View Cube Page.

– View List and Edit List pages are separated when logged in.

Bug Fixes

– Should get less “something went wrong errors” on the draft page.

– Fixed an edge case where it was possible for two threads to share a DB connection under high load.

Released: Upheaval 1.0

After a not-so-smooth release, it’s here! (at least for the most part)

I’m calling this release Upheaval 1.0 because it delivers everything except custom categorisation.  I felt that I’d made a significant number of changes and wanted to get them out there in the wild and tested before adding anything else.

New Features:

– Rewrote the Edit Cube from the ground up.  It now has paging, sorting and onChange submission (with a nice little ‘Saving..’ popup whenever you make a change).  So no more clicking that OK button.  I’ve had to remove the tag list for the time being.  I’m thinking of reworking the concept of tagging a little bit.  Filtering coming soon…

– Multiple copies of cards are now properly supported.  This means no more disappearing cards on the Edit Cube page, full draft functionality and draft analysis.

– You can now add additional cubes to your account through My Account.  When you have multiple cubes you’ll see a drop down under the ‘My Cube’ menu item.

Bug Fixes:

– Pacts, Suspend Cards and Split cards are now properly categorised into the correct colour & CMC sections.

– Bulk Upload button is now visible for re-uploading.

Technical Changes:

– Fixed broken YUICompressor that was causing a lot of unecessary exceptions.

– Upgraded Tapestry to 5.3.6