For avid players and collectors of TCGs, it sometimes tends to be all about the holos. The rares, super rares, ultra rares, and Super Mega Rare 3: Turbo Edition cards. Magic: The Gathering is rewriting all those rules, though, and warns that you’d better stop sleeping on Commons.
Do you favor a digital CCG like Hearthstone? You’re certainly not alone if you do. Last November, the game hit 100 million players. It took four years to get there, granted, but that’s a monumental achievement for what began as a humble little World of Warcraft offshoot.
Maybe the physical likes of Yu-Gi-Oh! suits you better. Whichever title you prefer, and whether you play digitally or physically, there’s one thing we can all agree on: when it comes to pulls from packs, you’re hoping to see something really special. If you remember the height of late-nineties Pokémania and the fabled shiny Charizard, you’ll know that feeling of getting a valuable card.
Every game calls them something different. In the Final Fantasy TCG, rarer cards are the Hero and Legend ones. In Hearthstone, there are Epic and Legendary cards. Magic: The Gathering dubs them Rare and Mythic, and so on. Naturally, there are promo cards, shiny or foil variants, and all sorts of other versions on top of that. The upshot of all of this is that these cards tend to be stronger, in terms of their effects or sheer power, and will also often have a higher cost to play.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are the Commons. These cards are often the most basic, the weakest, but it’s not always as simple as that. In Magic: The Gathering, as with other games, Commons have historically been the bedrock of a lot of different decks (Dark Ritual, Brainstorm, and so on).
They’re just not very interesting to pull, sadly, but Magic’s creators have promised to make Commons much more exciting going forward. Just check out this tweet from Andrew Brown, balance designer at Wizards of the Coast:
WAR twitter stories pt.1— Andrew Brown (@Murk_Lurker) April 2, 2019
Do not adjust your tv screens. Ob Nixilis’s Cruelty is a common. Starting with War of the Spark we are making an effort to have more exciting cards at common. #WOTCstaff pic.twitter.com/plex2kwEVg
Over on Reddit, fans are (predictably) feeling a little conflicted about this. What will it mean for the game, in terms of card value, accessibility, and the meta? It’s much too early to say, but one thing’s for sure: War of the Spark and everything that follows is going to be another interesting period of Magic’s history. Just hang on and enjoy the ride as usual, long-time fans.