Cryptic Command

As you might know, Wizards of the Coast launched the open beta for Arena last year. Many aspects of the game are still being tested as a beta, so changes are happening at a fairly rapid pace. In general, this is supposed to lead to a more balanced game and a better game experience.

Some changes, though, are not so clear and might leave you scratching your head. One of the more noticeable changes was the sudden disappearance of the Vault.

Remember this? Source

The Vault: A History

How “The Vault” used to work

When you opened packs on Arena it was inevitable that at a certain point you would have more than four copies of a specific card. These copies wouldn’t just go to waste, they would be “placed in the Vault.” The Vault converted all these cards into a percentage towards “opening the vault.”

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

You receive one mythic, two rare, and three uncommon wildcards when you open the vault. Source

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 very many packs. In the old vault system, every pack a player opened counted towards their vault progress, in addition to fifth copies of cards.

This meant that any player who was opening a lot of packs – commonly referred to as whales – had a huge advantage. This caused an uproar amongst the player base because it would mean that the game was eventually going to quickly become dominated by players who could spend lots of money. Basically, this was a nightmare for free to play players.

Mollifying 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, however there still needs to be a balance. There is 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 they hid 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?

Well, Arena is still in beta, and changes are still happening, whether we like them or not.  

Card art for Captive Audience

Captive Audience

There are, however, two good questions to ask: Is there a replacement for the Vault, and what’s going to happen to the redundant copies of cards you’re bound to receive?

Mana Vault

What “The Vault” is Today

How it works in 2019

When the Vault disappeared, a somewhat new system was put in place to make sure that you’re still rewarded for the redundant cards you open. Currently, the system looks like this:

  • 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 card, the card will be replaced by another random rare or mythic card from the same set.
    • If it’s a common or uncommon card, the card will be put in a place you currently can’t see called, wait for it… the Vault.

I hear what you’re thinking: “What? That’s crazy! Why is it still there if I can’t see it?” Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a little bit. 

Storm the Vault

First, let’s talk about what happens if you have collected four copies of all rares and mythic rares in a set. When you’ve achieved this feat, first of all, congratulations, you’re awesome! Secondly, if you would receive a redundant rare or mythic, 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.

Now let’s get to the weird part: the “hidden stash” of the redundant copies of commons and uncommons.

Should I open “The Vault” or wait?

As I mentioned before, these cards get placed in the Vault. That’s right: it is still there, you just can’t see it. Basically, the rules for the vault haven’t changed: upon reaching 100% vault progress you will get a notification asking if you’d like to open The Vault. If you do so you will receive the same amount of wildcards you got before: three uncommons, two rares, and one mythic rare. 

There’s also a second option: You can decline to open the Vault. You will continue to save up until you reach 200% vault progress, where you’ll be prompted once again. If you decide to cash in on your prizes, you will now receive two sets of wild cards.

So don’t sweat; 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

Now that we have 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. Don’t worry, though, we’ll guide you through how to get to that info.

How to See your Vault Progress at Any Time

To see your vault progress, click on the options menu in MTG Arena. This is the gear symbol in the upper right corner of your screen.  

The settings button is found at the top right corner in MTGA

Once there, click on ‘Report Bug’. You can find it third from right beneath the ‘Log Out’ link.

See “Report a Bug” in the bottom right-hand corner?

When you’ve clicked it a pop-up will appear that asks you to report the problem. Don’t do this. Instead, click the “Capture Log” button.   

This will lead you to a folder where Issue Reports are stored. You’ll see the log of your latest entry there, which is the one you just generated.

Where to find the log file

Right click on the log and open with Notepad. Now press “ctrl+F” and search for “vaultProgress”. This will bring you straight to the spot that will show your current progress, measured as a number instead of a percentage. To find your percentage, just imagine a “%” after the number.

“vaultProgress”: 6.7 means your vault is only 6.7% filled, so get pack-crackin’!

Currently, this is the easiest way to view your Vault progress. It takes a few steps, but it’s doable.

September 2019 Update – Enable Detailed Logging

If you are not seeing your vault progress in the logs, it’s likely that you were affected by the Sep 4 MTGA update that defaulted your user settings to use minimal logging. We just created an article here that will help you re-enable detailed logging in Arena.

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 are 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. You could ask yourself, “Why would Wizards of the Coast go through all this trouble to hide something that is still in place?” We’ll probably never know the answer to that.

It all comes back to the fact that the software is still in beta and some things are bound to change until it becomes available in its final form. All we can do is trust Wizards of the Coast to continue to make adjustments that they feel are better for the game experience and for players…

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 MTGA drafts against bots for free using our draft simulator?

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