Last updated on October 29, 2022

cryptic command card art

Cryptic Command

As you might know, WotC officially launched Arena at the end of September in 2019. With monthly game updates and fairly consistent hotfixes, the game sees changes at a pretty rapid pace. In general, this is supposed to lead to a more balanced game and a better game experience.

Some changes, though, aren’t so clear and might leave you scratching your head. One of the more noticeable changes we saw a while ago was the sudden disappearance of the Vault. But sometimes it magically and inexplicably reappears.

MTG Arena Vault Icon

Remember this little guy? That little treasure chest is your MTG Arena Vault and it means that it’s ready to be opened!

What Happens When You Have More Than Four Copies?

When you open packs on Arena, it’s inevitable that you open a card that you already have four copies of at some point. These copies aren’t wasted, they are placed in the Vault, which converts all those cards into a percentage towards “opening the Vault.” This measure is your Vault Progress.

Once you hit 100%, you can open the Vault and be rewarded for all those redundant copies in the form of Wildcards. These Wildcards can then be used to craft new cards of the same rarity from any set available on Arena.  

mtg arena vault with 6 wildcards showing

You get one mythic, two rare, and three uncommon wildcards when you open the vault

When you get your fifth copy of a common or uncommon from opening packs, in an event, or via rewards, you get what are called Vault Progress Points that are awarded at the following rate:

  • If you open a card you don’t have four copies of, you get the card.
  • If you open the fifth copy of a card, one of two things will happen:
    • If it’s a rare or mythic rare card, it’ll be replaced by another random rare or mythic rare card from the same set.
    • If it’s a common or uncommon card, the card will be put in a super secret place you can’t see it — the Vault — and you will earn progress points.

Once you have 1,000 progress points, ie 100% vault progress, the Vault can be opened and you get the rewards shown above.

What About Rares and Mythics?

If you would receive a redundant rare or mythic rare, say during a draft, you’ll get gems instead. 20 for rares and 40 for mythic rares. These will be automatically added to the gems you already have and you can then spend them at your leisure.

Rares and mythic rares do not contribute to your vault progress.

Should I Open the Vault or Wait?

When you reach 100% Vault progress you’ll get a notification asking if you’d like to open the Vault. If you do so, you’ll receive those six wildcards: three uncommons, two rares, and one mythic rare. 

There’s also a second option: You can decline to open the Vault. You’ll continue to save up until you reach 200% Vault progress, at which point you’ll be prompted to open it again. If you decide to cash in on your prizes, you’ll receive two sets of the same Wildcards we mentioned above.

So, don’t sweat it. There’s no risk of losing what you’ve built up, or of not receiving the Wildcards you’ve saved up for. But there’s also no special incentive to build up Vault progress, so it’s up to you on this one.

Treasure | Illustration by Alayna Danner

Now that we’ve solved that mystery, the next question arises: Can you still see your Vault progress? The short answer to that is: yes, you can! Getting to that information, however, can be a little bit tricky. We’ll guide you through how to get to that info, so don’t worry!

Checking Your Vault Progress, a Step-by-Step Guide

While players were originally forced to dig through the game files of MTGA to see their vault progress, WotC finally gave us the option to see it in-game by hovering over the wildcard symbol next to your currencies.

Vault Progress

Simply hover over the wildcard symbol and your vault progress will be displayed directly under your wild card totals in prominent yellow text!

A Way Easier Method: Use Arena Tutor

If you don’t want to deal with the rigmarole of having to inspect obscure text files anytime you want to see your vault progress, I have good news for you: Our MTG Arena tracker, Arena Tutor just does it for you.

It’s automatically updated on your profile page any time you open a pack or do a draft. So just download Arena Tutor and then you won’t need to worry about this issue anymore.

Be Sure to Enable Detailed Logging

If you aren’t seeing your Vault progress in the logs, this is due to the September 2019 MTGA update that defaulted user settings to use minimal logging. Check out our article on how to enable full/detailed logging to re-enable that in Arena so that you can check your Vault progress.

Ultimately, you don’t need to concern yourself with doing this every day: Arena still tracks your progress for you and will let you know once you’ve reached 100% Vault capacity. This way you’re sure to get those Wildcards and, in the meantime, you can continue to play Arena to your heart’s content. And, let’s be honest, isn’t that what you really want to do anyway?

Play of the Game MTG card art by Jung Park

Play of the Game | Illustration by Jung Park

It does seem a little convoluted to get to this information, though, we’ll be honest. You could ask yourself, “Why would Wizards go through all this trouble to hide something that is still in place?” We’ll probably never know the answer to that.

All we can do is trust WotC to continue to make adjustments that they feel are better for the game experience and for players…

What Was the Old System? Why Did it Change?

Vault of Whispers - Illustration by Rob Alexander

Vault of Whispers | Illustration by Rob Alexander

The Vault system provided a solution for the excess cards, but there was a problem: Vault progress was really, really slow for players who didn’t open all that many packs. In the old Vault system, every pack you opened counted towards your Vault progress, along with excess copies of cards.

This meant that players who had the money to buy all the packs they could dream of (commonly referred to as whales) and thus opened a lot—and by a lot we mean a lot—of packs had a huge advantage. This caused an uproar among the general player base, as it meant that Arena would eventually become dominated by players who could spend crazy amounts of money to get the best cards and decks with just about no effort. Basically, this was a nightmare for free-to-play players.

Appeasing the F2P Player Base

This was a valid concern. Any collectible card game, digital or not, is bound to offer more advantages to players who are willing to spend more money. But there still needs to be a balance. There’s no company in the world that would refuse money, but no one wants to spend money on a game without a solid player base.

So, in order to satisfy the players who were demanding game balance, Wizards decided to remove the extra Vault progress from opening packs and hide the Vault from the interface.

But they didn’t warn us.

The Sudden Disappearance of the Vault

So, one day, the Vault icon was gone. All of a sudden, players were faced with an empty slot where the trusty Vault used to be. What did it mean? Why was it gone? Where did it go?

There were a lot of questions at a time when Arena was still in beta, which meant that changes were abound while answers were sometimes harder to find.

Captive Audience | Illustration by Dmitry Burmak

Is The Vault Going to Go Away?

Well, no. Not anytime soon at least.

In February 2020, Wizards stated “We don’t have any plans to get rid of The Vault,” citing that it’s still the best system they can come up with to give you long term value for your duplicate commons and uncommons. And you may actually see it reappear in the Arena user interface eventually, too.

Concluding the Vault

Tidy Conclusion - Illustration by Bastien L. Deharme

Tidy Conclusion | Illustration by Bastien L. Deharme

I hope this article helped you figure out how to prioritize your play on Arena. If you’re new to Draftsim, welcome!

Did you know you can practice for Arena drafts against bots for free using our draft simulator? And if you want more free stuff—including packs!—in Arena, check out our ultimate list of MTGA codes.

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  • Avatar
    DM September 7, 2019 4:48 pm

    This doesn’t work anymore, as there is no “vault” anywhere in the log (at least when I do it).

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha September 9, 2019 2:11 pm

      DM – I just updated this article with a link to a new article here — They just changed it!

      • Avatar
        Brandon September 27, 2019 5:52 pm

        Still doesn’t work after doing what was in both articles.

        • Avatar
          Dan Troha October 1, 2019 11:16 am

          You may need to restart Arena/your computer to get it to show. Start playing again after that and you’ll see vault information. I can still see it in my log files today.

          • Avatar
            Charlie August 19, 2020 9:20 am

            Sorry to bug you dan, but I tried both those things and it still didn’t show up. Do you know what’s wrong?

          • Avatar
            Dan Troha August 19, 2020 11:14 am

            Other than enabling detailed logging and restarting, I’m not aware of anything. Are you an Arena Tutor user? Does it show your vault progress?

  • Avatar
    David A Mason September 23, 2019 4:29 pm

    Really helpful and clear. Well done, again. Keeping us informed about these changes has to be a burden for you. Thanks loads!

  • Avatar
    av October 10, 2019 7:32 am

    Thanks. This was helpful, I can see my vault size again.

    Wish WotC would just make it show automatically.

  • Avatar
    Nigel October 17, 2019 4:14 am

    I am still missing 60 rares from Eldraine and I keep getting gems with the Congratulations youve collected every card in this set message, what gives

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha October 17, 2019 7:58 am

      Nigel I’m not familiar with that message – can you link to a screenshot?

      • Avatar
        Nigel October 18, 2019 5:57 am

        Will do,what happens is, you open a pack(in this case Eldraine), a gem appears in the rare slot and if you hover your mouse over the gem card image it gives you that message. I have 4 of all the rares in Eldraine exept for 15 of which I have none, which means 60 rares I dont have to complete 4 of playsets of all Eldraine rares.
        I most certainly have NOT collected all the cards in this set, unless its referring to the “4 of” each card that I already have

        • Avatar
          Dan Troha October 18, 2019 11:39 am

          Either it’s a bug and it says that you have 4 of everything when you don’t; or the cards you’re missing are not available in boosters. I know there’s all kinds of promos/collector cards/Brawl cards that you might need to get in other ways.

          • Avatar
            Nigel October 18, 2019 12:41 pm

            No,Theyre all the standard Eldraine rares

  • Avatar
    Anton November 27, 2019 2:55 am

    i also have the same problem as NIGEL mention here, not have any copy of 16 Rare ELD cards, but booster opening provide me 20 Gems and message ” Congratulations you have collected every card in this set “, reported to WoTC, i guess that bug?

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha November 27, 2019 9:18 am

      Yeah that definitely sounds like a bug. Let us know if they give you any kind of response/answer, I’m curious.

      • Avatar
        Anton November 28, 2019 11:33 pm

        these cards belong to:

        planeswalkers Eldraine decks, and related support answer:
        “For example, the cards that are exclusive to Planeswalker Decks as well as Buy-a-Box promos are not available in booster packs, so if these are the only cards that you are still missing, you will just get ‘Duplicate Protection’ gems from booster packs.”

        • Avatar
          Nigel March 25, 2020 1:45 pm

          The cards Im missing ARE available in booster packs

  • Avatar
    Unterhosengnom January 6, 2020 3:05 am

    Apparently the vault only works for older accounts. New accounts seem to be missing it.

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha January 6, 2020 12:49 pm

      Do you have detailed logging turned on in your settings? Is anyone else experiencing that — let me know?

    • Avatar
      Anon May 9, 2020 4:14 pm

      This has not been my experience. I created my Arena account in March 2015, and while I cannot track my vault progress through that method, I did open the vault recently and get my wildcards.

      • Avatar
        Dan Troha May 10, 2020 1:26 pm

        This process absolutely still works, even after all the Wizards log updates. Maybe you haven’t enabled detailed logging? Regardless I just followed the steps and confirmed my vault progress is still in the file.

        For what it’s worth, the next version of Arena Tutor also shows your vault progress, so you could just download that.

  • Avatar
    Golbez May 23, 2020 8:10 am

    yeah, it works with detailed logging on from the account settings

  • Avatar
    Alberto November 3, 2021 8:16 am

    Complimenti for this article.

  • Avatar
    LexLuthor801 January 2, 2022 10:49 pm

    Works for me, found the info I wanted in the log. Errors seem to be user side related. Vault progress stopped showing in the MTGA assistant.

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha January 3, 2022 8:08 am

      Nope, vault progress is still working in Arena Tutor! I just confirmed that it is reading from the logs. You can find it on the “Profile” tab of the app, front and center.

  • Avatar
    Brady January 16, 2022 11:54 pm

    This was well written and helpful. Thank you!

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