Monthly Archives: July 2015

New Release: ‘Top Cards’ page

I was thinking about holding this feature back for a larger release but it has been requested SO MANY times and was also voted for by the Champion community recently ( so I decided it would just be best to release it straight away.

You can now see the ‘Top Cards’ on Cube Tutor here:

Sorting the grid by Cube Count will show you the most popular cards based on how many cubes that they appear in (please ignore ‘Ow’ which only features so frequently because it is often picked up from mis-spellings through the Bulk Uploader). You can also sort the grid by Pick Percentage which gives you the Global Pick Order (i.e. highest picked cards in Draft) that is used by Castle AI bots.

We also have a new Featured Cube – KingNeb’s Altered Art cube which really showcases what you can do with the new ‘Upload Card Scans’ feature of a Cube Tutor Champion account.

If you enjoy using Cube Tutor and would like to get a bit more out of your account, or just want to support the site then please do consider becoming a Champion: I’m tantalizingly close to my Part Time Milestone now!

Happy Cubing!

– Ben


Added: Origins, Champion Features, Removed: Spammers (hopefully!)

We’ve been having a big problem with spammers the last couple of days. I’ve put in a few measures to reduce their impact on the site, and also to help me detect and prevent them from using it in the future… In order to get these changes out I’m also putting live a few features that I’ve been working on over the last few days. I haven’t had as much time to test these as I’d like so please let me know if you come across any problems!

We also have Origins! I’m sorry that it’s taken so long for this update, and i’ll look to speed things up for the next set release.. please bear with me!

Here is the complete list of changes:

  • Added Origins
  • Users may now only post one forum thread per day. This is hopefully an interim solution until I find a better way to deal with these spammers.
  • Champion Feature Request 6 – Working ‘Remember Me’ function. The ‘Remember Me’ box on the login page should now work properly and you should no longer have to log in multiple times per day. It should also work across multiple devices. There was a lot of work involved in this change, so do let me know if you find a bug.
  • Champion Feature Request 55 – Collector’s Edition Prices. TCGPlayer list these in a rather bizarre, non-standard way. I finally found out how to get hold of these prices through the API so you can now see them on your price page.
  • Marking individual cards as Owned or Not Owned on the Price page no longer causes the page to scroll back to the top.
  • When filtering the View Curve page, the number of cards in the resulting set is now properly updated.
  • It is no longer possible to attempt to load the prices for an empty cube, which would previously load indefinitely.
  • Added a few new user-requested pimp types: Stamped, Crimped, Full Art, Artist Altered.

Reviewing Castle AI Pick Reports and Champion Feature Requests

I’ve decided to open up the Castle AI Pick Report pages and the Feature Voting pages for everyone to view. It will still only be possible for Champions to comment and vote on these items but I see no reason why everyone shouldn’t be able to see what is going on.

Today I’d like to take a bit of a look at what people have been writing on those pages and provide my own thoughts. So to start off with let’s address a few common themes in Castle AI Pick Reports. You can view these here:

Next up I’d like to provide some feedback on some of the more popular Feature Requests. You can view these here.

One thing I would like to say here is please don’t be afraid to downvote/disagree. Votes are completely anonymous and it really helps me to gauge the popularity of a particular feature request.

  • See Picks after Saving Deck – I would love to be able to do this, the only problem is the quantity of data. For each draft we’d need to store all of the cards that each bot picked and passed along with how each of those cards very evaluated by the AI and the detected Strategy for each pick. It’s fine to keep all of this “in memory” to show it during the draft but making it available later would require saving a lot of information. It’s possible that I could solve this using a different storage system, like a NoSQL data store. Like every feature request it’s a cost-benefit thing and I really need to gauge how important this would be for the community before committing to it.
  • Working “Remember Me” function It was my view that the Remember Me check box worked perfectly as long as you only used it on one device (this isn’t ideal I know). However you guys are telling me that it’s not always working for you even on one device so I totally intend to go back to this feature and make it work properly. For anyone in the Champion community, I’d really appreciate hearing about your experience using the feature in the comments on that page.
  • Group Rotisserie Draft – The difficulty I have is that (for the time being at least) I must avoid anything that could be considered Multi Player. It’s a delicate situation but suffice to say anything that could theoretically compete with Magic Online is something that I will be avoiding. Now I’m completely aware that MTGO does not offer a Rotisserie draft function (heck you can’t even draft a personal cube on there yet) but if they were to turn around tomorrow and decide that’s what they wanted to do then I don’t want to be in a position where Cube Tutor could be taking away business from them. I’m also completely aware that other sites out there may offer things like this (either now or in the near future) but I can’t speak for them, all I can do is tell you guys where I’m coming from.
  • Simulated Drafts This is a nice idea and I could totally see it working. I’d have to figure out the best way of representing a simulated draft visually during the drafting process itself which may take some time to complete.
  • Solitaire Mode – This comes back to the same principle that I must avoid features which may be considered to compete with Magic Online. I know that a solitaire system may not seem like much but it is a feature that could take us down a path of simulating the process of playing a game of Magic the Gathering. Cube Tutor is all about management and testing, not playing. Whilst I can totally see how Solitaire mode could help you test your cube I’m afraid it’s just a step too far, for now at least. However I do believe that a Sample Hand Generator is a reasonable request. I’m completely aware that other sites out there may offer things like this (either now or in the near future) but I can’t speak for them, all I can do is tell you guys where I’m coming from.
  • Most Drafted Cards This is a feature that has been requested a lot so I will look at it for a release very soon!
  • Card Quality should be Editable for AI purposes The AI builds a per cube Pick Order based on the global Cube Tutor pick order. A few people have mentioned that the AI seems to rank strong cards quite low for Quality. Whilst the measure of quality is cube-specific I can still understand that players may wish to configure this quality scoring for particular cards. I’ve marked this one as Pending Fix and will look to complete it in an upcoming release.
  • Mass Edits to Lists – This one could be a little tricky from a User Interface perspective but I can completely understand why people want it. The Edit List page could do with a small overhaul to improve performance so, based on the popularity of this request I will probably tackle this piece of work when I get on to that.
  • Mobile Friendliness I’m very aware of how difficult it can be to use parts of Cube Tutor on a mobile device. It’s a big piece of work but if I am afforded the time to do so by the community and the Patreon Campaign, it’s certainly something that is high on my personal To Do list for Cube Tutor.
  • Sort/Filtering by Artist This is a nice idea. Currently the Cube Tutor database does not contain Artist information for each card, and it is relatively non-trivial for me to add it. However, like anything I will judge this request on it’s popularity in the Champion community.

Obviously there are a lot more feature requests to go through and I am looking at them all so if your item hasn’t been mentioned here then it may well come up in a future blog post.

Thanks for reading and remember even if you don’t have a feature to propose, please do check out what other people are suggesting and weigh in with your own opinions. Votes are anonymous and it really helps me out to know what you guys are thinking!

Until next time,

– Ben

The First Three Days

THANK YOU so much for getting me beyond the level where Cube Tutor’s server costs are covered!! It’s such a great feeling to know that the future of the site is secured, and that this has been achieved by the collective effort of the Cube Tutor community! You guys are amazing!

We’ve had a couple of minor bug fix releases since launch but for the most part the site has held together which is a testament to the hard work of the team involved in the Beta Program. Thanks guys! We will undoubtedly be holding another Beta session some time in the near future so if you’d like to apply for that then just drop me an email.

I’ve been reading through all of your Bug Reports, Castle AI pick decision reports and New Feature requests and will start to tackle some of these in anger from about mid next week once the dust has settled. In the mean time, please keep that feedback coming in so that I can prioritise accordingly.

Everyone who has signed up to the Patreon should now have their account upgraded. Let me know if you’ve somehow slipped through the net!

That’s about it for now… Long Live Cube Tutor.. Thanks to YOU 🙂

– Ben