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I'm looking for a tool/website that would aid in deck building, specifically by providing alternatives to a specific card, say Fog. It should respond with traditional data plus suggestions of similar cards like Haze of Pollen or Commencement of Festivities.

I've looked on Google's Play Store, and also tried many of the leading websites (TappedOut, ChannelFireball, etc.) While TCGPlayer and Amazon will recommend cards based on other buyers purchases, those suggestions may not be similar in nature to the first card.

Gatherer does have comments on many cards, but it's too time consuming to scroll page after page.

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    There's a good chance that what you're looking for simply doesn't exist (yet). Evaluating similarities between cards is a fairly complex problem, and it may simply be that nobody has automated it or manually done it for every card. – murgatroid99 Jul 25 '17 at 3:57
  • Have you tried the deck builder on Tappedout? there are suggestions that others in the community can drop on to your deck as well as auto suggestions. you can always ask for alternatives to cards you have put in you deck in the description. I believe that similar cards are decided better through human interaction than automation. there should be a way you can prompt other users on tapped out to give you more effective cards in you decks. There are plenty of examples if you search through tappedout. – ThunderToes Jul 25 '17 at 8:19
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    also what would you define as "Traditional Data"? – ThunderToes Jul 25 '17 at 8:21
  • Traditional data - I meant simply basic card stats one could get anywhere - CMC, set, legality, etc. – Octomjbber Jul 28 '17 at 19:48
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I use scryfall and search for some of the unique terms, and take out some terms that might lead to false positives.

https://scryfall.com/search?q=o%3A%22Prevent%22+o%3A%22all%22+o%3A%22damage%22+-o%3Atarget+-o%3Achoice&order=cmc

Here, I decided to search for "prevent", "all", "damage", and the filtered out "target" and "choice" because they were giving a lot of spells that prevented damage from one creature, and that's not really what a Fog is. They have a syntax guide on the website that will help you build complex searches like this. the most basic syntax is using o: to search for words in the text box and -o: to exclude terms.

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MythicSpoiler provides something they call "Thesaurus" (usually used for finding word synonyms).

Although not the site's primary functionality, you can search for specific cards and it will yield you similar cards in nature and functionality, and excluding any other factors, which has its own pitfalls - for example, it wouldn't give you just any other green card, but it might give you a non-green alternative with the same function. The range is limited to three cards at a time, though.
Searching for Fog, for example, you will get suggestions for Druid's Deliverance, Moment's Peace, and Moonmist.

This is an exclusively manual process, as stated by its creator. You can choose to partake in this process by submitting your own card suggestions.


There are attempts to solve this issue procedurally as well, such as this attempt to solve it via NLP (Natural Language Processing). They link to a GitHub repository, but unfortunately there seems to be no existing implementation to try it out yourself quickly.


That said, for the multitude of cards available as alternatives to Fog, you're better off doing a specific Gatherer search (or search the database tool of your choice in a similar manner), for example for all green spells with the phrase "Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn". This is the only process I can think of that will guarantee that you're not missing the card you're looking for, as long as you choose your search parameters sensibly - for example, the above search won't yield Terrifying Presence as a result.

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  • Thank you all! Between Scryfall, MythicSpoiler and I found EDHREC, I should be fine. Happy FNM! – Octomjbber Jul 28 '17 at 19:50
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MTGAssist.com was built specifically for this. Here's an example for Fog: https://www.mtgassist.com/search.php?similar_to=fog

You can even combine it with other search options to find exactly what you're looking for.

Hope this helps, Adam

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Your question inspired me to add Search similar cards feature to my program Mtgdb.Gui. See screenshot below to estimate the quality of search result.

search example

See also feature description in application wiki.


Wiki to get more information and screenshots

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  • I'm curious, how do you measure similarity between cards? – murgatroid99 Apr 6 '18 at 17:45
  • By comparing Text and GeneratedMana fields. The hardwork is done on the side of Lucene fulltext index, which executes a so-called MoreLikeThis query – Nikolay Hidalgo Diaz Apr 6 '18 at 17:58
  • I myself was surprised about good quality of output given that the comparison is done by pure textual analysis. GeneratedMana comparison however, is based on a large amount of work I do to recognize mana generating patterns in card text. – Nikolay Hidalgo Diaz Apr 6 '18 at 18:04
  • I use a combination of Magic Assistant (stand alone program) and MTGCollectionbuilder.com. Both have cool features I like, plus in case one crashes I have a backup... but wouldn't mind going to one if I could find a comparable application. I'll give yours a try this weekend – Octomjbber Apr 7 '18 at 17:30
  • @Octomjbber, in case you find some great features missing in my program, feel free to request it. My personal limited scope of knowledge and ideas is not enough to make a great application, ideas from other people is what mostly made Mtgdb.Gui what it is now. – Nikolay Hidalgo Diaz Apr 10 '18 at 18:14
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Metamox.com is exactly what your looking for. Enter a card name and it will give you every card that functions like or similar to it. I use it when building my decks for strong synergy.

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