Last updated on December 22, 2020
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.
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.
You get one mythic, two rare, and three uncommon wildcards when you open the vault
- 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.
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
1. Open the “Adjust Options” menu on the top right
2. Click “Report a Bug” at the bottom of the Options menu that appears
3. Click “Capture Log” at the bottom of the Report a Bug menu that appears
4. You’ll be brought to the Issue Reports folder outside Arena where the client’s log files are stored—right-click on the log file that was just generated (it will have today’s date in the file name and the “Date modified” column) and then click “Open with…”
Quick note: While you can navigate to this file path on your own, completing these previous steps generates a new log file which will show your current Vault progress
5. Select “Notepad” from the list that appears and then click “OK”
6. Press “Ctrl” and “F” to open the search bar and then search for “vaultProgress”—you’ll be brought to the spot in the document that shows your current Vault progress
Quick note: The progress will show just a number, but this is your Vault progress percentage. Just image a “%” after the number. Taking our image here as an example, your Vault would be 18.6% full.
Currently, this is the second easiest way to view your Vault progress. It’s pretty simple as long as you know where you’re going, even though it’s not an obvious process.
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?
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?
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.
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
I hope this article helped you figure out how to prioritize your play on Arena. If you’re new to Draftsim, welcome!