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View From the Commons Bin
By Anthony Scott
Common Cards. We all have them, some of us by the truckload. I have boxes of Commons from as far back as Fallen Empires sitting in my room at home right now. Usually they just stay there gathering dust, but the other day I went back for a weekend visit and my little brother (he's fourteen) had gotten into them. Usually I'd be upset, but he'd made a few decks with Commons and some of the acres of basic land I left at home. I felt a little nostalgic and decided to play him.

We used just the Commons decks and played for hours. We smacked each other around with Chub Toads and Gray Ogres, Drudge Skeletons and Benthic Explorers. Occasionally, a Fireball or Drain Life would rear its ugly head and be a gamebreaker. I haven't had that much fun in a long time.

Anyway, when we were done and my brother had long since gone to bed, I broke out my boxes of old Commons and started looking through them. I hadn't touched a lot of this stuff in a couple of years and it was amazing to me some of the things I had left behind. I found Lightning Bolts and Dark Rituals, Hymn to Tourachs, Pump Knights and Incinerates. I left that Sunday night with a lot of good cards tucked away in my backpack.

This got me thinking: Casual Players are a lot like Common Cards. There are a truckload of us out there. We tend to be overlooked or under-appreciated just because we are Commons. But if you look at it, there are a lot of great Commons out there. Lightning Bolt is a Common. Rukh Egg is a Common. Disenchant and the almighty Counterspell are Commons. Dark Ritual, Simian Grunts, Yavimaya Elder ... I could go on for days.

Sure, there are some Gray Ogres in the Commons bin. There always will be. But even the Gray Ogres have uses. You haven't lived until you've played an Ogre theme deck. Watch the look on your opponent's face when you deliver the killing blow with your Gray. Sometimes those cards that everyone thinks are crap can be the ones that save your behind.

And, it takes a lot more ingenuity to play with some of those cards. I'd be more impressed to see a 'pro' player win a tourney with a deck full of Ogres than to see another Hatred or Living Death clone take the top spot. That would be skill. My eternal respect and admiration goes to the person that creates a tourney-viable Ogre deck. You are truly a Magic master.

Besides, Rares have their share of crap too. Laces, anyone? Can I interest you in a Thought Lash? I'd rather have a Common like Soul Warden or Skittering Skirge than a Rare like Carnival of Souls any day.

We are a lot like Commons. We may not all be the best players in the world but there are some Rancors and Lightning Bolts among us. And if you get enough Commons together, you can have a pretty impressive deck. Sometimes the cards you discount altogether come from the back and blindside you. Who knows? One of us could be the next High Tide.

Just remember: Every card, even a Common, is a card waiting to be broken. And there are a lot more Commons than Rares. Food for thought, my fellow Commons.

I remain
Anthony Scott

Trying desperately to break Charging Paladin

Read More Articles by Anthony Scott!

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