Deck Advisor

What is Daily Arena Deck Advisor, and what does it do?

Daily Arena Deck Advisor is a companion tool for Magic Arena that suggests decks to build using cards from your collection, in addition to suggesting cards from your collection that can substitute in top decks for cards you do not currently own.

It currently supports multiple formats, including Standard (best-of-three, or “Traditional”), Arena Standard (best-of-one), Brawl, and Historic (Bo1 and Bo3).

Where do you get it?

You can download the installer from the following links:

How do you use it?

Enable detailed logging in Arena

Daily Arena Deck Advisor, like other Arena trackers and plugins, relies in details about the player’s inventory being written to Arena‘s real-time log files. An Arena update on 2019-09-04 turned off the detailed logging by default, so the first requirement for using Daily Arena Deck Advisor is to turn detailed logging on.

To do that, you need to go to Settings->View Account and check “Detailed Logs(Plugin Support)”.

Arena Detailed Log Setting

After enabling the Detailed Logs setting, restart Arena for it to take effect.

Get inventory details into the Arena log

In order to get the necessary details in the Arena real-time log file, you need to browse to the Collection screen (under Decks).

Collection Screen

The best practice is to log into Arena and do this first any time you want to fire up Daily Arena Deck Advisor.

Run Daily Arena Deck Advisor

After enabling detailed logging, restarting Arena, and opening the Collection view, you are ready to run Daily Arena Deck Advisor using the icon or Start menu item created by the installer.

When the program starts up, it will check for updates and automatically install any updates it finds, then it will load the card database and the player inventory, crunch through some data, and present a “Meta Report” for whatever format was last selected (Standard, by default).

Main Screen

Displays and Features

Meta Report

The first display that you see when starting the application is the “Meta Report” tab.

Meta Report

The Meta Report shows a few pieces of information:

  • Top Cards to Collect/Craft – The top cards (up to 98), based on how popular those cards are in the overall metagame. These are the cards you want to craft if you are interested in most easily building any popular metagame deck. The cards are shown in a format like 4x Hinterland Harbor (27%, 2.9). In this example, Daily Arena Deck Advisor is suggesting that you craft four (4x) copies of the card Hinterland Harbor, and is giving you some statistics, namely that Hinterland Harbor is played in about 27% of popular metagame decks, and that the average number of copies of it played across those decks is about 2.9. The number of copies that the application suggests you craft is based on the maximum number of copies, played, but the cards presented here are based on 1) the number of copies you have left to craft to reach the average; and 2) the percentage of decks that play the card. This means that as you craft copies of a given card it will be sorted lower on the list, keeping you on track for “building toward the meta”.
  • Next Booster Set to Purchase – This is the set that opening a booster of will give you the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to potentially opening cards you need to build top meta decks.
  • Top Decks to Build for Meta – The top decks (up to 10) that building toward will incidentally unlock cards played across multiple decks. Clicking on one of these links will open the tab for the detailed view for that deck. These suggestions give you deck-building goals that coincide with an overall goal of “building toward the meta”.

Deck Details

The main display shows a list of tabs on the left side with deck names in them. These comprise a list of the top meta decks of the selected format, sorted first by the decks popularity/win record, then by the expected number of boosters you would need to open to collect the cards needed for the deck (after spending wildcards to craft the deck), then finally by the expected number of boosters you would need to open to collect the cards for the deck without spending any wildcards.

On the deck tabs, decks that you already own all of the cards for will show up as italic bold green, and decks that you could craft simply by spending wildcards will show up as bold blue. Decks that you have imported into Arena but are missing cards for show up highlighted in yellow.

As of Version 1.0.5.6, there are also headings that explain what each section of the deck tab strip is that show up as long as you are using the Default sort options.

Tab Headings

Clicking on a deck name link in the Meta Report, or clicking on a deck name tab on the left side of the application, will open up the Deck Details view for the selected deck.

Deck Details

Here are the sections shown in the Deck Details view:

  • Main Deck – The Main Deck list for the deck. Cards that you own are shown in bold italic green, and cards that you don’t own are shown in bold underlined red. The same statistics as are shown on the Meta Report are shown here for each card (in parentheses, the percentage of meta decks that play the card, and the average number of copies of the card played across those decks). The “Nx” before the card shows how many of the copies of the card are required for the deck that you own (in the case of green) or would need to collect/craft (in the case of red).
  • Sideboard – The Sideboard list for the deck. Cards are shown here in the same way that they are shown in the Main Deck section. If the selected deck doesn’t have a sideboard, this section will be hidden.
  • Win/Loss Record – If win/loss data is available for the selected deck, it is shown here. It shows the number of wins, the number of losses, the total number of games tracked, the win percentage, and an overall deck score that takes the total number of reported games into account (information on how the score is calculated caen be found here: #79). If win/loss data is not available for the selected deck, this section will be hidden. Note: For the Arena Standard (best-of-one) format, this reflects actual game play data tracked by mtgarena.pro; in the case of Standard (“Traditional” best-of-three), this reflects tournament data from mtggoldfish, and reflects top-performing tournament match results (not individual game results) by the best players playing the best versions of decks, and will skew toward higher win rates than will be shown for Arena Standard. No win/loss data is yet available for Brawl decks.
  • Expected Booster Cost – This is the expected number of boosters you’d need to open to finish building the deck. The first number is the expected number of boosters you’d need to open to collect all of the cards in the deck without spending any of the wildcards you currently own. The second number (in parentheses) is the expected number of boosters you’d need to open to collect the cards or wildcards to craft them, assuming you spent wildcards in your collection to craft all the cards you could. If you already own all of the cards for the deck, this section will be hidden.
  • Wildcards Needed – This shows you the number of wildcards of each rarity you would need to craft the cards you don’t yet own for the selected deck. The number in parentheses after the rarity indicates how many wildcards of that rarity you do own. If you already own all of the cards for the deck, this section will be hidden.
  • Next Booster Set to Purchase – This is the set that opening a booster of will give you the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to potentially opening cards you need to build the selected deck. If you already own all of the cards for the deck, this section will be hidden.
  • Export Deck – This button copies the selected deck to your clipboard in Arena deck format so you can easily import it to Arena.
  • Suggested Replacements – Suggestions that the application came up with to replace cards for the deck that you don’t own with ones that you do own. This is in the format 3x Fry => Scorchmark, which means the application suggests you replace 3 copies of the card Fry with the card Scorchmark. Cards from the main deck and sideboard are shown together here (but ordered such that main deck cards are shown first in the list). If the application is not able to find a suitable suggestion, it will not make one, so it’s possible that a deck can have “missing” cards with no suggested replacements. If you already own all of the cards for the deck, this section will be hidden.
  • Export w/Replacements – This button copies the selected deck with all suggested card replacements to your clipboard in Arena deck format so you can easily import it to Arena. If you already own all of the cards for the deck, this button will be hidden. Note that if some “missing” cards do not have replacements, it’s possible for this button to export a partial (and likely not legal/playable) deck list.
  • Commander – For Brawl decks there is a section that calls out the deck’s Commander, and also shows its color identity.
  • Alternate Configurations – When alternate deck configurations are available, they will show up as a list of links under the Alternate Configurations heading on the main deck details screen. Each version shows its expected booster cost with and without using wildcards from your collection. Clicking one of these links loads the alternate configuration into the deck details section and replaces the Alternate Configurations list with a “Back to Main Deck” link, which (as it says) brings you back to the main deck configuration.

Settings

The Settings (cog) button opens a dialog window where you can change the font size used in the application GUI. It also contains buttons that link out to various pages on the project Github site, and to the Daily Arena Patreon site.

Settings

Filters/Refresh

At the upper-right side of the application GUI, there is a small collection of filters and buttons, as described below.

  • Format – Use this drop-down to select which format to view. The available formats are Standard (“Traditional” best-of-three), Arena Standard (best-of-one), and Brawl.
  • Rotation – This toggle has two modes: Rotation Agnostic (default) and Rotation Proof. If Rotation Agnostic is selected, the application will show all decks for the format, and show all cards from the player inventory. If Rotation Proof is selected, the application will only show decks that do not contain cards that will rotate out of Standard within the next 80 days, and will ignore cards in your collection that will rotate out of Standard within that time frame, as well.
  • Filters – The Filters button brings up a dialog containing deck filtering options.
    • Hide decks from my collection
    • Hide decks I don’t have wildcards to complete
    • Hide decks I don’t have cards to complete
    • Hide decks with incomplete replacement suggestions
    • Hide decks with Score lower than Score
    • Hide decks with fewer than N games recorded
    • Hide decks with more than N Mythic Rare cards
    • Hide decks with more than N Rare cards
    • Hide decks with more than N Uncommon cards
    • Hide decks with more than N Common cards
    Filters
  • Card Name Text – Just to the right of the “Filters” button, there is a text box to filter on card names. Putting text in this field will make it so you only see decks that contain a card with a name that contains that text (not case-sensitive). This field also supports regular expressions: If the entered text starts and ends with “/”, the text between the forward slashes will be treated as a regular expression, and you will see decks that contain a card with a name that matches it. Card Name Filter
  • Sort Decks – There are two Sort Decks combo boxes: one to choose an attribute to sort decks on, and another to choose whether to sort on that attribute in ascending or descending order (or whether to just use the default for that attribute). There are currently eight attributes available for sorting.
    • Booster Cost
    • Booster Cost (Ignoring Wildcards)
    • Booster Cost (Ignoring Collection)
    • Deck Score
    • Win/Loss Record
    • Mythic Rare Count
    • Rare Count
    • Uncommon Count
    • Common Count
    Sort Decks
  • Refresh – There are two refresh buttons. The first one updates the player inventory information from the Arena real-time log file, then re-computes and re-loads the results. The second one (with the exclamation point) re-loads card database and deck archetype information from the server, then updates the player inventory information from the Arena real-time log file, then re-computes and re-loads the results (it basically simulates exiting and re-running the application).

Localization

Localization support has been added in the main application (there is still work to be done for the installer/updater/launcher), as well as translations for Russian.

If your system culture is set to ru-RU, you should get the changes automatically after the 1.0.4.0 update. You can also override the system culture by setting the UICulture key in DailyArenaDeckAdvisor.exe.config, in the application’s install folder (currently “en” and “ru-RU” are supported).

Config File
Russian Localization

Tutorials

Building Toward a Target Deck

Due to questions on Discord, I’ve decided to include a short tutorial here showing how to use Daily Arena Deck Advisor to build toward a target deck, while handling updated suggestions as the collection builds.

Say I’m a “free-to-play” player that is working toward a Mono-Blue Mill deck. I don’t have the cards for it right now, but I’m fine (for now) playing a Mono-Blue deck that relies less directly on Mill and substituting in cards while I work on my collection.

In order to keep track of my target deck while playing with an “unfinished” version of the deck, the first thing I do is import or create the “final” or target version of the deck in Arena, and then fire up Daily Arena Deck Advisor. DADA shows the target deck in the “Player Decks” section of the deck tabs on the left side of the application, and gives me a list of Suggested Replacements for cards I don’t yet own.

Suggested Replacements

I can then click the “Export w/Replacements” button to get a version of the deck with those suggested replacements on my clipboard and import that deck into Arena to play with and continue building my collection.

Now assume I’ve played for a while and opened a Throne of Eldraine booster containing a copy of Overwhelmed Apprentice, a Vantress Gargoyle, and a Didn’t Say Please (lucky!). I got a Shimmer of Possibility as an Individual Card Reward, and I’ve also opened a Guilds of Ravnica pack (it was a Mastery reward) that contained a Sinister Sabotage and a Wall of Mist, also my Rare Wildcard track just filled up, so I have an additional Rare Wildcard at my disposal (Nice!).

After browsing to my collection in Arena again (to update the log) and opening (or refreshing) Daily Arena Deck Advisor, I can see that the progress on my Mill deck has been updated, and the Suggested Replacements have changed slightly, reflecting better replacement choices I have from my newly-expanded card pool.

Updated Progress

I can now “Export w/Replacements” again, and import my updated deck, or just manually make the updates, and then keep working this way until I can finish the deck off using Wildcards, making incremental steps toward my target as I go.

Troubleshooting

Log Files

Daily Arena Deck Advisor keeps a small number of log files, usually located at C:\Users\{Your User}\AppData\LocalLow\DailyArena\DailyArenaDeckAdvisor\logs (your drive letter may be different).

Log Files

If you find that the application crashes or hangs, and you’ve verified that your issue isn’t one of the common issues listed below, your best chance of getting your problem solved will be to create an issue at the issues section of the Daily Arena Deck Advisor Github page describing the issue you are having with as much detail as possible, and attaching, embedding, or linking to the latest two or three log files from this folder.

Common Issues

There are two common issues that users have. Both of these manifest at first as Daily Arena Deck Advisor “hanging” at the Computing deck suggestions… step. For the first one, if you attempt to interact with the application at all once it’s stuck, it will crash. For the other, you will either get a popup showing exception information, or it will just hang indefinitely, but allow you to interact with the application window otherwise. Both of these, along with workarounds, are described below.

No Player Inventory Information

The most common issue reported by far turns out to be due to no player inventory information being found in the Arena real-time log file.

You can verify whether this is your issue by opening the output_log.txt that Arena creates at C:\Users\{Your User}\AppData\LocalLow\Wizards of the Coast\MTGA, and searching for the string “PlayerInventory.GetPlayerCardsV3”. If your inventory details have been successfully written to the log, you will see this string followed by a list of key/value pairs matching Arena card Ids to quantities in your inventory.

If this is section does not appear anywhere in the log file, open Arena, verify that the “Detailed Logs(Plugin Support)” setting is checked. Re-start Arena if it wasn’t, then open your Collection display. Hopefully that will fix your issue. If it doesn’t, then check the next common issue below, and/or create a new issue at the issues section of the Daily Arena Deck Advisor Github page.

MTGA Log
Arena Log

Video Card/Driver Issue

Another issue that has come up fairly commonly is a problem with the machine’s video card/driver that causes the graphics thread to crash when attempting to resize an image using high-quality bitmap scaling.

To work around this issue, you need to open or create a file named DailyArenaDeckAdvisor.exe.config in Daily Arena Deck Advisor‘s installation folder (usually C:\Program Files\DailyArena\DailyArenaDeckAdvisor). And change the BitmapScalingMode setting to Linear.

Note: You will need a text editor running in Administrator mode in order to modify this file. If you can’t, you might have to copy the modified file from a different file.

When in doubt, make the file look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration>
	<startup>
		<supportedRuntime version="v4.0" sku=".NETFramework,Version=v4.6.2" />
	</startup>

	<appSettings>
		<add key="BitmapScalingMode" value="Linear" />
	</appSettings>
</configuration>
App Config

None of the Above

If the above workarounds don’t solve your issue, you can try to get a “clean slate” by manually deleting the application’s cache files to force it to download everthing and re-build the cache from scratch. To do this, delete all of the JSON files from the C:\Users\{Your User}\AppData\LocalLow\DailyArena\DailyArenaDeckAdvisor directory, and then re-run the application.

Clear Cache