We’re in the midst of an embarrassment of riches:  Journey into Nyx came out in May, Conspiracy and Vintage Masters landed this month, and Magic 2015 is only a few weeks away, with spoiler season officially begun. We’ve been in a continual spoiler season since April! How awesome is that?! Granted, I’m (always) hungry for more. While we’ve seen a whole bunch of cards from M15, we’ve yet to officially see the most important cards to any Limited player: commons.

Common Cause

Commons (unlike Common Cause, which, funnily enough, is rare) are the backbone of all Limited formats. Sure, a bomb like Pack Rat, Inferno Titan or Bloodline Keeper can make a champion of even the worst Limited deck, but rares are… well, rare. You’re only going to open three rares each draft, you’re only going to see more if people pass their rares, and even if the whole table passes their rares to you, you’ll only see twenty-four rares.

With commons, you’ll open ten in each pack. Each draft, you’ll be the first person to see thirty commons. You’re also guaranteed to be passed plenty of commons each draft. In short, you’re going to see and have your choice of a whole load of commons each draft. The majority of your deck will almost always consist of commons. The majority of the creatures, combat tricks, and removal spells you’ll play with and against are commons. In short, Limited formats and decks are full of, and I argue, defined by their commons.


Hence my burning wish to see more commons. I’m full of questions that the commons will answer.

  • What are the best commons for each color? (In Theros, we had Wingsteed RiderVoyage’s End, Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Lightning Strike, and Nessian Asp/Voyaging Satyr.)
  • What is the best common? (Mist Raven in Avacyn Restored, Divination in M14, Golden Hind in Journey into Nyx.)
  • Which colors are strong? (In Journey into Nyx, blue was full of top quality commons, as was green in Theros.)
  • Which colors are decent? (In Born of the Gods, black had strong commons like Asphyxiate but their quality diminished quickly.)
  • Which colors are just plain thin? (In Theros and Innistrad, red was just the worst color, owing mostly to its poor creature quality at common.)
  • What will an average draft is going to look like?

Will M15 be full of control decks and combo decks, like M14? Will it be as aggressive as M12? Will it be defined by its returning mechanic, like M13? I don’t know and I really, really want to.

Goblin Piker

I’m always excited to see cards return in the core set (particularly if they are or recently were in Standard) to see how their power shifts over time. In super-slow M11, Goblin Piker was nearly unplayable, since it was blanked by creatures like Azure Drake. In hyper-aggressive M12, Goblin Piker was a great turn two play, since it enabled bloodthirst creatures like Blood Ogre.

If the rumors are correct and we’ll be cracking Selfless Cathar in M15, will it be as strong as it was in Innistrad? Token producers like Raise the Alarm and Triplicate Spirits make Selfless Cathar strong, but there’s no morbid in M15 (and few graveyard/human shenanigans like Winged Skaab and Butcher’s Cleaver), which make it lose utility it had in Innistrad.

If Peel from Reality is returning, will it be a solid removal spell/card advantage engine as it was in Ravnica: City of Guilds? Will it be a decent tempo play, as it was in tempo-oriented Avacyn Restored? Will M15 have enough creatures with enters-the-battlefield effects to make Peel from Reality strong? Will M15 support swarm strategies that make Peel from Reality weak? Only time… and spoilers, will tell.

Wizard Mentor

As always, thank you for reading. Here’s looking forward to yet another spoiler season.

—Zachary Barash

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Zachary Barash has been playing Magic on and off since 1994. He loves Limited and drafts every available format (including several that aren’t entirely meant to be drafted). He’s a proud Cube owner and performer, improvising entire musicals every week with his team, Petting Zoo. Zach has an obsession with Indian food that borders on being unhealthy.

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