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The Common Denominator - John Bonnell (8/31/2007)

Where have all the commons gone? Do you have problems finding what you need? It seems easier to find rare cards than it is to find commons. Even the “junk rare” cards are more accessible. You check your local store’s common box and what do you get: some commons, not much in the way of old commons, a different card from another game, or you are paying $0.15 or more. What happened to commons being cheap or cheaper than penny candy? That must be a thing of the past.

It is easier to buy packs and hope you can get the commons you want, but with the popularity of the net it gets even better. You can get any common you want or need from the net and at a cheaper cost, but you want it now instead of waiting for it to be shipped.

I like to trade. Don’t you? Everyone is packing rares, but not commons or many uncommons. When I went to my first ever PTQ it was Urza
Urza
UrzaSet: Vanguard
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Character
Rarity:
X
Number:
7
Artist:
Mark Tedin
Power:
-1
Toughness:
+10
Text:
3: Urza deals one damage to target creature or player.
’s Block Constructed. I brought with me a binder with commons and such for trade, but no one seemed interested at all. Everyone wants rares or such, but if I were to do it now I know there are some that would need them for those that build decks at the last minute or add to them. I have done it and have seen it done.

I was reading Aaron Forsythe today and would like to quote him “but rather the simple yet innovative common”. That is a good line for my topic today of commons. Commons to you might be filler, but they can be the backbone of a deck. For example Dragonstorm
Dragonstorm
DragonstormSet: Scourge
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Text:
Search your library for a Dragon card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
Storm
wouldn’t be Dragonstorm
Dragonstorm
DragonstormSet: Scourge
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Text:
Search your library for a Dragon card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
Storm
with out the commons. [Editor's note: He's right. Now that Seething Song
Seething Song
Seething SongSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
Add RRRRR to your mana pool.
, a common, has rotated out of Standard, Dragonstorm
Dragonstorm
DragonstormSet: Scourge
Cost:
9
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
90
Text:
Search your library for a Dragon card and put it into play. Then shuffle your library.
Storm
deck are all but a memory. All because it lost a single common card.]

To acknowledge the lowly common, some of the counterspells and Seething Song
Seething Song
Seething SongSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
104
Artist:
Martina Pilcerova
Text:
Add RRRRR to your mana pool.
and others are common. Commons are considered too underrated and recently with the core sets, some commons that are being promoted to the minor leagues of uncommon are Soul Warden
Soul Warden
Soul WardenSet: Exodus
Cost:
1
Color:
White
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Cleric
Rarity:
C
Number:
21
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Whenever any other creature comes into play, gain 1 life.
and my favorite “Sparky” aka Spark Elemental
Spark Elemental
Spark ElementalSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
79
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample. At the end of turn, sacrifice Spark Elemental.
. Also in the past, if you were starting out people would buy packs and take out what they wanted and throw the rest on the table for people to fight over. Now I personally hoard what I get because I am on a budget and play other colors than red and white and any useful artifact otherwise I would do the same.

Now for a deck if you want one or not.

2 Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Lightning BoltSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Lightning Bolt does 3 damage to one target.
(this one I would like to see reprinted)
4 Lotus Petal
Lotus Petal
Lotus PetalSet: Tempest
Cost:
0
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact
Rarity:
C
Artist:
April Lee
Text:
tap, Sacrifice Lotus Petal: Add one mana of any color to your mana pool. Play this ability as a mana source.
(this one too)
3 Ghitu Slinger
Ghitu Slinger
Ghitu SlingerSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Nomad
Rarity:
C
Number:
77
Artist:
Melissa A. Benson
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Echo (During your next upkeep after this permanent comes under your control, pay its casting cost or sacrifice it.) When Ghitu Slinger comes into play, it deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

1 Incinerate
Incinerate
IncinerateSet: Fifth Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Text:
Incinerate deals 3 damage to target creature or player. Creatures damaged by Incinerate cannot regenerate this turn.
(yay – reprinted in Tenth)
3 Spark Elemental
Spark Elemental
Spark ElementalSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Sub Type:
Elemental
Rarity:
C
Number:
79
Artist:
John Avon
Power:
3
Toughness:
1
Text:
Trample. At the end of turn, sacrifice Spark Elemental.
(yay – reprinted in Tenth)
2 Viashino Sandscout
Viashino Sandscout
Viashino SandscoutSet: Urza's Legacy
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Viashino
Rarity:
C
Number:
96
Artist:
Scott M. Fischer
Power:
2
Toughness:
1
Text:
Viashino Sandscout is unaffected by summoning sickness.At end of turn, return Viashino Sandscout to owner's hand.
(yay – reprinted in Tenth)
2 Mogg Fanatic
Mogg Fanatic
Mogg FanaticSet: Tempest
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Brom
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Sacrifice Mogg Fanatic: Mogg Fanatic deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
(yay – reprinted in Tenth)
2 Myr Servitor
Myr Servitor
Myr ServitorSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
1
Color:
Colorless
Type:
Artifact Creature
Sub Type:
Myr
Rarity:
C
Number:
139
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, if Myr Servitor is in play, each player returns all cards named Myr Servitor from his or her graveyard to play.

2 Battle-Mad Ronin
1 Screaming Fury
Screaming Fury
Screaming FurySet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
78
Text:
Target creature gets +5/+0 and gains haste until end of turn.

1 Drooling Ogre
Drooling Ogre
Drooling OgreSet: Darksteel
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre
Rarity:
C
Number:
58
Artist:
Snoddy
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever a player plays an artifact that player gains control of Drooling Ogre.

2 Shock
Shock
ShockSet: Classic Sixth Edition
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
206
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Text:
Shock deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

1 Furious Assault
Furious Assault
Furious AssaultSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
191
Artist:
Greg Staples
Text:
Whenever you play a creature spell, Furious Assault deals 1 damage to target player.

1 Ogre Leadfoot
Ogre Leadfoot
Ogre LeadfootSet: Mirrodin
Cost:
5
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Ogre
Rarity:
C
Number:
102
Artist:
Heather Hudson
Power:
3
Toughness:
3
Text:
Whenever Ogre Leadfoot becomes blocked by an artifact creature, destroy that creature.

3 Ember-fist Zubera
2 Seal of Fire
Seal of Fire
Seal of FireSet: Nemesis
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
C
Number:
98
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Sacrifice Seal of Fire: Seal of Fire deals 2 damage to target creature or player.

2 Frostwielder
Frostwielder
FrostwielderSet: Champions of Kamigawa
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
167
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
T: Frostwielder deals 1 damage to target creature or player. If a creature dealt damage by Frostwielder this turn would be put into a graveyard, remove it from the game instead.

3 Vulshok Sorcerer
Vulshok Sorcerer
Vulshok SorcererSet: Fifth Dawn
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Shaman
Rarity:
C
Number:
80
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Haste. Tap: Vulshok Sorcerer deals 1 damage to target creature or player.

1 Goblin Grenade
Goblin Grenade
Goblin GrenadeSet: Fallen Empires
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
114
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Sacrifice a Goblin to have Goblin Grenade deal 5 damage to one target.

1 Scent of Cinder
Scent of Cinder
Scent of CinderSet: Urza's Destiny
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
C
Number:
96
Artist:
Marc Fishman
Text:
Reveal any number of red cards in your hand. Scent of Cinder deals X damage to target creature or player, where X is the number of cards revealed this way.

1 Goretusk Firebeast
Goretusk Firebeast
Goretusk FirebeastSet: Judgment
Cost:
6
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Beast
Rarity:
C
Number:
91
Artist:
Keith Garletts

Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
When Goretusk Firebeast comes into play, it deals 4 damage to target player.

4 Kyren Sniper
Kyren Sniper
Kyren SniperSet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Goblin
Rarity:
C
Number:
199
Artist:
Carl Critchlow
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of your upkeep, you may have Kyren Sniper deal 1 damage to target player.

16 Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.


[Editor's note: I'm going to assume that this was a Peasant Magic tournament that his store ran, or at least something similar to that. Personally, as far as all-common decks go, I realy like this one.]

At the store I played, they allowed any common allowed as long it wasn’t reprinted into an uncommon such as the Circles of Protection. So as you can see I had a theme of sorts with burn or comes into play effects. I had fun that day and would like to see it happen again. Maybe you can have a common tourney at your local game store or even with your play group. Amongst those cards above is the first common to be banned. It made two rares shine and they had to pick on this inconsequential, lowly common (it also made a first turn kill happen).

Commons can be very good and useful to all of us. I like commons and recently I've been buying what I need to make my deck shine. I buy from this site and only this site so far. [Editor's note: Why thank you, we appreciate your business.] So buy cards. Any cards. It makes people happy to get rid of stuff they don’t want. I am also working on another deck that will be Vintage or Legacy type that really relies on commons and has only four or less rares. Commons are awesome.


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