MTG Arena Beginner's Guide

Advanced Search

Advanced Search Terms

General Notes

In addition to common filters at the top and advanced filters that open via the last “three sliders” icon, there the search field — a fairly powerful tool even if it falls behind the one at Scryfall. Hovering the field you get a decent overview that you can see on the screenshot above, but it is in no way complete.

If you just enter a word e.g. draw, the game searches for it in card names, type lines and the rule text. Otherwise, a search term has three parts, where to look, matching criterion and what to look for, e.g. name=shock: search names (where) exactly (criterion) for the word “shock” (what). There is also a set of special keywords to search for some more unique card categories like ?dualfaced for two-sided cards.

See details in the following sections, and also consider that:

  • Several search terms are implicitly joined by logical and, i.e. all conditions have to be met, order doesn’t matter.
    • Logical or and parentheses are also supported, but you have to join a pair parentheses by or or and explicitly.
    • Logical negation is supported, just use before the term — this is the most important omission from the ingame tooltip.
  • Non-snow basic lands are excluded unless you click the land filter icon.

Where to Look

Keys for area of search are the following (highlighted in bold + code font):

  • Listed in the game:
    • name, type line, cmc — converted mana cost (presumably changed to or supplied with mv for mana value with Strixhaven);
    • e or s for expansion/set code;
    • color and color identity;
    • power; toughness;
    • oracle text (full card rule text, doesn’t include the reminder text);
    • rarity, quantity collected.
  • Not listed in the game:
    • mana — the mana cost printed in the top right corner; loyalty;
    • flavor text, artist.
      • There are cases (bugs?) when flavor text is searched with no key, but not found when searching with f.

Matching Criteria

  • : or = — exact value for numbers, rarity and colors; “must contain” for text.
  • <, >, <=, >=, != — work literally for numbers and rarities (as an ordered sequence), and for colors as a set.
    • I.e. c<=r finds red and colorless cards, c>=r finds cards that are at least red, and c>r finds cards that are red and some other color.
    • != is “not equals” just in case.
    • It looks like either of these works just like = for other keys like sets or types.

What to Look For

  • Plain text or numbers, whether with a search key like name, t, o, or with no keys.
    • This finds parts of the word, so mage will find all instances of damage.
    • This doesn’t like special characters like , :, / or (the “choice” character), so enclose search terms with these in quotes: “2/2”.
    • If you need two or more consecutive words, also enclose them in quotes: “from your hand”, not from your hand.
  • Specific sets via the three-letter set codes.
    • In order of appearance: XLN, RIX, DAR (not DOM), M19, GRN, RNA, WAR, M20, ELD, THB, IKO, M21, AKR, ZNR, KLR, KHM, STX.
    • Historic Anthologies are not searchable unlike on Scryfall (where you can use HA1 through HA5 set codes).
    • ANA and ANB are the codes for Arena-specific sets.
  • Specific mana in mana costs, just use the letters w u b r g in the required amount, e.g. m:ggg.
    • For multicolor cards, order matters: m:gu, not m:ug.
  • Graphical symbols like mana icons or “tap” in the text. Use the symbol code or a part of it in quotes, as follows.
    • Symbol codes are enclosed in curly braces {} and for encircled symbols codes start with the letter o.
      • Colored and colorless mana: “{ow”, “{ou”, “{ob”, “{or”, “{og”, “{oc”.
      • Generic mana amount: “{o0” through “{o9” and “{ox”.
        • No need for the closing } — even more, to find several in a row, you just chain them, e.g. owou.
        • Technically, you don’t need the opening { either, just the search will find real words like snow if you just search for “ow”.
      • Hybrid mana symbols: “(w/u)”, “(w/b)”, “(r/w)”, “(g/w)”, “(u/b)”, “(u/r)”, “(g/u)”, “(b/r)”, “(b/g)”, “(r/g)”.
        • Also “(2/w)” through “(2/g)”, though no cards with (2/w) on Arena yet 🙂
        • Interestingly, the order of colors in the hybrid mana symbol doesn’t matter when looking for card mana costs with m, but does matter in the oracle text; the order of normal mana symbols matters everywhere.
      • Tap symbol: “{ot”. Untap would probably be “{oq”, but no such cards on Arena yet.
      • Energy: “{e” (two or more — “{ee”, etc.); snow: “{os”.
    • For energy, tap, untap and snow just words also work: o:energy, o:tap, o:untap, o:snow. But that looks in the whole text, not just for symbols.
      • So, obviously, o:tap also will find all instances of untap or untapped, so use the logical negation: o:tap -untap.

Special Keywords

  • ?booster finds cards that can be opened in boosters. Thus, -?booster finds cards that can’t.
  • ?dualfaced finds cards with two sides. ?transform narrows that down to transformable dual-faced cards.
  • ?split finds spilt-cards (from Ravnica sets and Amonkhet Remastered).
  • ?adventure finds cards with adventures, same as t:adventure.
  • ?party finds creatures of all relevant four types. Doesn’t find Changelings.
  • ?spell finds anything but lands, ?permanent finds permanents.
  • ?commander and ?companion find cards that can be used in these slots.
  • ?styled finds cards that have styles.
  • ?basicland finds basic lands. Pretty useless because it finds nothing unless you’re already filtering for basic lands.