(Un)Common Card Help

Heya everybody!

I've been working on a mega-set lately that I want to hold probably around some 450-500 cards. However, I'm having quite a difficult time with the commons and uncommons, so I have some questions for you all:

1. Do any of you have resources that you go to that discuss common and uncommon balancing?

2. How do you determine if something should be an uncommon or a common? Cause some cards, like say, Growth Spiral I would have pegged as an uncommon rarity as opposed to common.

3. How do you convince yourself to take really cool art and not just turn it all into really cool rares and mythics??????



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    Was I summoned? Hello! =D

    1. To discuss common and uncommon balancing, I think the Custom Cards Sets section of this forum is probably the best place to go. Theoretically, you can find other custom MTG communities on other websites if you look around, but I don't know which ones are really active or not unfortunately.

    2. To determine the rarity of a card, I would start by reading this article: "QUITE THE RARITY". It's essentially about power level and complexity. Checking the rarity of similar existing cards is the most helpful tip I can give you here. Then, you need to take into consideration that some cards can be common or uncommon depending on the set.


    Basically, to make your set more interesting, you only want a certain proportion of A+ commons, those are usually playing with the red line between commons and uncommons power wise. You can find more detailed explanations in this article: "BALANCING THE TOP COMMONS.

    3. You don't! If you really think an illustration is super badass, save it for a cool rare or Mythic! That being said, commons are the cards you'll see in the largest quantity so if you think an illustration is the perfect fit for the feel of your set, consider making it the lowest rarity possible to make sure it shows up as often as possible.

    I hope this helped a bit. If you have any question about what the most fitting rarity for any specific card is, don't hesitate to ask for help ^^


  • edited January 2020
    I don't know other people's logistics, but this is how I've always measured acceptable power creep in my head

    You take the cost of a card and apply a numeral value to it

    Colorless mana is 0.5
    Hybrid mana is 1 (because it's more diverse than colored but less so than colorless)
    Colored mana is 1.5

    Then after you've tallied the total number value of your card, you also add half rounded up (rounded down if common) to its converted mana cost. So let's say something costed 2G. That's a total number value of 3.5 or lower if common, 4 if uncommon or higher.

    This works on the vanilla level because it's easy to calculate something like a 4/3 creature for 2G. Clearly each digit of power or toughness costs 0.5 each. This gets a bit more abstract with keywords and abilities, but that's where rarity comes in because a 3/3 with Reach would probably be seen as worse than a flat 4/3, but a 3/3 with Scavenge would be seen as better. Some abilities have diminishing returns in cost as well. Like say Deathtouch. Chump blockers it's great because it's cheap, for bigger creatures it becomes a redundancy. Albeit I have seen common one drops with Deathtouch which I don't agree with on paper, but in practice I haven't seen it be worthy of at all being compared to a targeting destruction because it relies on combat. But in my mind "destroy target creature" would cost 3pts but given its never that simple and usually ends up as deathtouch or "destroy target non-black creature" always ends up being like 1.5 because conditions are bad.

    I don't know if anything I just said made any sense to you lol. But that's basically how I go about everything. Just assigning abstract values and priority. Ironically it works well in reading people and finishing their sentences. It's why I've deeply considered going into a magician act to avoid wagie life.

    I should probably also note this standardized numeral value is even harder to pin down artifacts with because artifact creatures essentially have two means of removal now. So I always just assumed give an artifact creature a 0.5 free point. Which would mean a vanilla 1/1 for one colorless mana artifact creature is the model cost to practice ratio. Noone would play that though.
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