Common is one of the four rarities of Magic cards. Cards that are of the common rarity are often referred to as "commons." Commons are the most abundant cards and are considered to have the highest card impact in Limited play as a result. They have been identified by a black-filled expansion symbol since the Exodus expansion, except in the Coldsnap and Dominaria expansions where it was denoted by a white symbol. In sets printed before Exodus rarity was not denoted on cards.
Appearance in boosters
15-card booster packs usually contain 11 commons. Some of the earliest expansions; including Arabian Nights, Antiquities, The Dark, Fallen Empires, and Homelands; were packaged in 8-card booster packs that contained six commons. The Alliances and Chronicles expansions were sold in 12-card booster packs that contained 9 commons.
Different kinds of commons
Expansions through Alliances, excluding Ice Age, had some common and uncommon cards that were actually more prevalent than others. This was the result of some cards appearing more often than others on the printer's sheet of uncut cards. For example, Headless Horseman is a "C1" common, and Ghosts of the Damned is a "C2" common. This code represents the number of times the card appears on the common printer's sheet of uncut cards, making "C2" commons twice as abundant as "C1" commons.
New World Order
New World Order refers towards R&D's movement towards putting less complexity in the common rarity slot. The concept was introduced in 2008.
- Common cards from Fallen Empires and Alliances featured variations with alternate art.
- Mark Rosewater used to say that “If your theme’s not at common, it’s not your theme”. This came from a time where rarity was the only tool to control as-fan. With modern collating technology to do things like a guaranteed card per booster pack, there are now other ways to guarantee the theme is recognizable with just a few packs opened.
- Mark Rosewater (May 14, 2018). "Odss & Ends: Dominaria". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (March 30, 2018). "Wish commons would keep a black set symbol!". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (March 10, 2019). "You've stated repeatedly that if it isn't your theme at common, it isn't your theme.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (June 10, 2002). "Common Courtesy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (April 18, 2011). "Common Knowledge". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Tom LaPille (April 22, 2011). "Common Comparisons". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (December 05, 2011). "New World Order". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Sam Stoddard (October 3, 2014). "Developing Commons". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Sam Stoddard (March 4, 2016). "Balancing the Top Commons". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (March 12, 2018). "Quite the Rarity". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.