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The End Step

Today is a sad day but undoubtedly an inevitable one.  I must announce that Cube Tutor will be going permanently offline on Monday 1st November at 10:00 AM GMT.  There are many reasons for this but I’ll start with the most obvious and pressing; Cube Tutor hasn’t been able to cover its costs for several years.  For a while I was able to run it on the financial buffer that I had built up in the years previous, but for the best part of the past year I have personally been spending hundreds of pounds a month just to keep the site live.  I would like to say how incredibly thankful I am to anyone who supported me on Patreon at any point over the last 6 years and particular thanks go to those people, who still to this day send me some of their hard earned dollars month-on-month.  It all goes on server costs and you have been directly responsible for keeping Cube Tutor live for as long as it has been.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  

Further to this, the work required to keep the site updated with the latest set releases has increased significantly over the last couple of years.  With the advent of Collector, Draft and Set boosters plus supplementary products like Commander, Secret Lair and Universes Beyond there are now a myriad of different card versions, alternate art, etched foil and promo cards.  Previously I could comfortably get several sets added to Cube Tutor in one morning, it can now take me a day or more to add just one of these bigger sets.  That’s time that I just don’t have and the site is suffering as a result.

Cube Tutor was launched at a time when browsing the internet on a phone just wasn’t as big as it is today, a time when sitting in front of a screen with a keyboard and mouse was a much more typical way to interact with the internet. Cube Tutor is a homage to a simpler, more naive time in web development and in 2021 it just doesn’t really stand up. Whilst many of its novel features are still useful, it really needs to be completely rewritten from the ground up to be a viable product in the medium to long term. Thankfully the community now has an excellent alternative in Cube Cobra.  The guys behind that project have done a great job in producing a modern, elegant alternative to Cube Tutor with many of the same features and more.  They have made it easy to import your cube from Cube Tutor.  All you have to do is provide your cube id (found in the URL) and Cube Cobra will grab your card list and import it.  One of the great aspects of Cube Cobra is that it is Open Source and there is a large community of contributors who are constantly working to improve it.  This is something that I could never quite manage to do with Cube Tutor and is arguably one of its greatest failings.  I wish Cube Cobra all the best and hope that everyone who has enjoyed Cube Tutor over the years can find a new home there.

I wanted to give a good amount of notice so that anyone who may not see this announcement straight away has a chance to migrate their cubes to Cube Cobra or somewhere else.  However on Monday 1st November the site will go offline and all data will be deleted.  After that date it will not be possible to recover your cubes so please make your arrangements in plenty of time.  I fully understand that many of my remaining Patreon supporters will decide to terminate their support at this announcement.  To anyone who is able to hold out for one last month to help me pay my final bills I would appreciate that greatly.  Whatever you decide I am incredibly grateful for the support you have given.  Thank you.

Despite the significant financial burden, this hasn’t been an easy decision to come to.  Cube Tutor was a big part of my world for many years and it’s with a heavy heart that this announcement had to be made today.  My best work on Cube Tutor happened around 2013-2015 when I had just left a full time job and had all the time in the world to dedicate to it.  It was a really exciting time and I couldn’t wait to get to my keyboard each morning and thrash out a new feature.  There are many ways that I hope Cube Tutor innovated and helped to change the way we manage our card collections.  I’m most proud of the changelog / blog feature which felt like something essential that you really couldn’t achieve in a spreadsheet.  I’m glad to see that this along with aspects of the Analysis, Tagging, List layout, Tokens page, Grid Draft features and many others have made it on to other sites and so even if Cube Tutor isn’t out in the world any more, it’s influence is evident.  Life has changed a lot for me since those early days and now at a time in life when I am no longer able to give Cube Tutor the time it deserves I’m happy to see that others have taken the torch and forged forward.


So that’s it.  If anyone would like to get in touch you can find me on Twitter @cubetutor or email ben@cubetutor.com 

For one last time.. Happy Cubing!

– Ben

New Release: Meditate 1.0

It’s been a while since I named a release after a Magic card and I want to get back into the habit of doing this again. This is the first official release on my Part Time milestone (www.patreon.com/cubetutor) and I couldn’t be happier that you guys helped me to get here!

As promised I have focussed on steering the ship in the direction that the Champion community have requested through the Feature Voting system (Feature Votes). This time around I’ve focussed mostly on some improvements to the Edit List page so without further adieu I present the content of Meditate 1.0:

  • Feature Request 14 – Mass Edit Functionality. I’ve had a few requests to implement a faster way to edit sections of your list in bulk. For example, “I’d like to set all of my Origins additions to foil in one go”. Well now you can! I’ve added a ‘Mass Edit’ section to the Edit List page where you can:

    • Select a group of cards either by filtering them or selecting them individually.

    • Set a change to any of the following: Colour Profile, CMC, Rarity, Super Type, Pimp or Tags.

    • Save that change for all of the cards in the selected group.

    Note that Mass Edits cannot be undone so please ensure that you have defined them correctly before hitting ‘Save’.

  • Feature Request 69 – ‘Suggest Replacements’ Improvements. This one small section of the site produces probably the most confusion! It is the first thing that I ever built for Cube Tutor and as such it’s been long overdue an update. I’ve completely overhauled the way that you add, remove and replace cards in your cube. For people who are wondering how to get the little blue ‘replace’ icon to appear in your blog posts hopefully this should make it clearer.

    • To Add a card – Just type it in to the ‘Add Card’ box, select it and hit ‘Just Add’.

    • To Remove a card – Type it in to the new ‘Remove Card’ box and hit ‘Remove/Replace’. Note that you can still remove cards through the main grid.

    • To Replace a card – Type a card into both the ‘Add Card’ and ‘Remove Card’ boxes and hit Remove/Replace.

    • Suggest Replacements has been renamed to Suggest Removals to make the intent of this function clearer. To use it type a card into ‘Add Card’ and press ‘Suggest Removals’.

    • You will see a list of cards that are already in your list that are similar to the new card that you could remove. Hitting ‘Remove’ will save the update to your Change Set. The popup dialog has been removed to improve performance.

    • The algorithm that ranks these cards has been improved to weight cards of the same colour profile a lot higher.

  • Feature Request 40Improvements to Deck Commenting. Your ‘Decks’ page now shows the number of comments for each deck to make it clearer which decks are being discussed. In addition deck comments now properly display line breaks when these are used.

  • Feature Request 30 – Increase the maximum Pack Size when drafting. This has been increased from 22 to 30 cards.

  • The styling of the Filter and other functions on the Edit List page have been unified.

  • Average Cubes have been updated.

I hope that you guys like the improvements in this release. If you want to help to shape the future of the site and get some cool new toys for your account then please consider becoming a Cube Tutor Champion:

www.cubetutor.com/champion

As ever please keep your feedback coming in through Facebook, Twitter and Email.

Twitter: @cubetutor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cubetutor

Email: ben@cubetutor.com

Happy Cubing!

  • Ben

November Competition

To celebrate the successful move to our new servers we will be running a little competition in November.  The winner will receive:

1) Cube ID number 13!  Now that we are up to the 20,000 mark with Cube IDs, help distinguish your list with a nice low cube number!  Lucky number 13 has been long since removed but the winner will have their cube moved to this desirable number.

2) Cube number 13 will be featured.  Show off your list to the community and get some valuable draft feedback.

3) A day of my development time to build something that YOU want to see on Cube Tutor.  I have a long list (currently over 300) feature requests that I am slowly working through.  The winner will see their idea shoot to the top of the list to be realised in the next release.  Of course I will retain the final say on what will and won’t be permitted for this so don’t go crazy, and it must be something that I can reasonably complete in a day of development.  If you need some inspiration, I’m hoping to see a few ideas on this Reddit thread!

So how do I enter?

Simple!  Just take to Twitter and tell your followers why you think that Cube Tutor Rocks.  Eligible tweets must mention @cubetutor and use the hashtag #CubeTutorRocks.  Other than that you can write what you like.  You can make up to one entry every day for the whole of November, and the winner will be drawn randomly from all of the available entries on December 1st.

Good Luck!