Introducing… The New And Improved Deck Database!

We’ve been working on it for the past three months. And now it’s time to reveal the new and completely revamped deck database in all of its glory!

Step in. Take a look around. Don’t be scared.

We’ve been working on it for the past three months. And at long last, I’m proud to introduce the new and completely revamped deck database in all of its glory!

Let me introduce you to some of its features (but not all of them — we’ll be premiering one additional big feature tomorrow) so you can take a look around.

Well, first off, you’ll notice the new and much-improved search form. This is a bit clunkier than the old form — frankly, it’s difficult to design a comprehensive search form without making it at least a little harder to use — but it gives you the ability to flip through our database in any number of ways. You have the old favorites of by deck name, date, event type, location, and finish…

…but now you can also search by player, color composition, and the cards contained within a deck. Yes, at long last you can look for all Standard decks that contain Kodama’s Reach! (Which, if the latest Philadelphia results are to be believed, will be all of them once Mirrodin Block rotates out.)

Regular visitors to StarCityGames.com are restricted to looking only for decks that contain any copies of the card, but Premium members can search for specific cards (as in, “One to two copies of Kodama’s Reach in the maindeck” or “Three copies or less of Circle of Protection: Red in the side”) and for decks that don’t contain specific cards (such as, “All Psychatog decks that don’t run Upheaval”). That should meet most of your searching needs right there.

(Incidentally, the reason those searches are restricted to Premium members is because that they take significantly more time to run than the “normal” searches*, and we’re trying to stop our server from getting bogged. Eventually, our web server host will put upgrades in place that may make it quicker to run these queries, at which point we’ll make them available to everyone.)

You may also note that the new deck database features both Vintage and Legacy decks, which has been something that people have been clamoring for for a very long time.

But if it all I gave you was new ways to search for old decks, I probably wouldn’t be as excited. Let’s take a look at a specific deck — say, Ben Kowal winning deck from the StarCityGames.com Power 9 Chicago tournament.

The first and flashiest thing you may notice is the cool pie charts that show you each deck’s color makeup and mana curve. They’re generated for each deck, and show you what a deck looks like at a glance.

But look above the pretty colors, and you’ll notice that you can now download each deck in one of three common formats: Apprentice, Magic Workstation and Magic Online text format. Been itchin’ to play someone’s deck? Just download it and open it up!

Off to the left, you may notice that the cards are now neatly sorted by type (Artifact, Enchantment, and so forth) and they have a little warning if they’re banned or restricted in the format. That’s right; the new deck database checks for format legality. Furthermore, you can check a deck’s legality in any other Constructed format, showing you that there is absolutely no chance of porting this deck to Kamigawa Block Constructed.

But wait — there’s more! At the bottom of the deck, you may also note that you can compare Ben’s deck to other Gifts Ungiven Belcher decks, showing you (f’r instance) the card-by-card differences between Ben’s winning deck and William L Dick’s 31st-place deck.**

And lastly… well, okay. That’s it for today. But isn’t it enough?

It’s not?

All righty, then, I guess we can give you more. But you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow to find out what we have in store for you.

But hey! As long as I have your attention, let me bring up the potential down sides of the new deck database:

The Importing Process Is Still Being Worked Out.
We had about 5,500 decks to be brought over from the old deck database, and the import wasn’t perfect. The locations were much more random in the old system, so you may see old decks with nonexistent (or incomplete) cities, states, or countries. In addition, there are some duplicate entries, which I am weeding out as soon as possible.

One of the nice features about the new deck database is that it’s not possible to enter a misspelled card. Unfortunately, that means that I am now discovering every one of the several thousand misspellings entered into our database over the past three years. I’m going back and cleaning them up, but in the meantime you may see decks with notable exceptions. Drop me a line if it’s too grievous.

Few Vintage Decks, No Legacy.
We’ll probably be backfilling the Vintage decks in the future (if you’re holding a Vintage tournament, be sure to send us the results), but at this point I don’t have the results of any major Legacy tournaments. If you know of any, send them to Dan — our fearless and very good deck entry master — at [email protected].

Incomplete Testing On The Downloads.
The downloadable decks should be fine for Apprentice and Magic Online, since they’re pretty simple, but I’m still not totally sure about the Magic Workstation decks, since Magic Workstation likes to crash an awful lot.*** If you encounter a problem with one of the downloaded decks, email me at Mail us at https://sales.starcitygames.com/contactus/contactform.php?emailid=14 and tell me which deck it is — or, preferably, send me the deck that causes it to choke as an attachment. (The same goes for any weirdo Apprentice decks, of course.)

If you notice anything else hinky, let me know. I’m here for you.

Signing off,

The Ferrett
The Here Edits This Here Site Here Guy
[email protected]

* – Okay, like four hundredths of a second as opposed to four thousandths of a second. But those searches add up quick.

** – We only give you a maximum of three deck options at the bottom of every page, but here’s a power tip: You can compare any two decks by just rewriting the URL to insert the deck number of another deck. For example, to compare Ben’s winning deck to Gabriel Szleifer’s winning deck, just enter in http://sales.starcitygames.com/deckdatabase/comparedeck.php?deck1=2496&deck2=8243. No, really, it’s that simple. Though if you enter in a wrong or nonexistent number, be prepared for a curt error message.

*** – At least on my computer, okay?