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Rarity in TCGs

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I'm been playing TCGs for awhile and something that has always bugged me is rarity. Sometimes I feel its just a way for companies to earn more, from creating these very "important" cards that most people spend alot of cash "booster-hunting" or buying singles. Another thing is that sometimes commons seem especially useless; not even worth a slot.

What's your take on this?

Rarity does have something to do with making money, but its more complicated than that. Rarity's importance varies with format. In magic, for example, rarity is very important in sealed. Any format where you get X packs and make a deck with them, rarity is very important.

CCGs is an incredibly competitive field and magic recently decided to add a fourth level of rarity. You know that they did it with serious market research telling them it would increase sales. So yes, when they make Awakening Zone and Eldrazi Temple both rare, it's done with deliberate knowledge that these cards are extremely useful for certain deck builds (green eldrazi decks and 1-2 color eldrazi decks that feature colorless eldrazi).

There is an argument for sealed where commons are simpler than rares, but it doesn't explain all of the difference in why certain powerhouse spells are rare. Eldrazi temple is simple enough to be a common. Awakening zone is simple enough to be an uncommon. Planeswalkers are simple enough to be rare instead of mythic.

Fundamentally I'm against rarity. The only reason I would think rarity made sense was if the rare cards were actually in less demand than the commons.

Well I agree with the point on sealed but otherwise rarity really doesn't achieve much. Like for mtg a card being mythic rare doesn't mean that there's significantly less floating around; it just means you're going to have to spend more to get it.

I think the times rarity is useful is perhaps when you're testing out a new mechanic, or making a card you know only a small group will "get".

A looong time ago, Rarity was a way to add collectability value to a card, regardless of that card was "good" or "bad".

CCG producing companies quickly found out that rarity could also increase sales as well, so they more and more created "good" cards in the Rare slot. this went very well, and some companies even added ultra mega foil rarities to even further increase sales.

Only since a few years, companies started listening a little bit to complaining customer, and they added "good" cards to common and uncommon slots as well.

next to this, Rarity is a good way to enable Drafting, without skewing the power. Drafting a "good" Rare cards does not happen so much as drafting a "so-so" common card.

Even though I like CCG's in general, I hate the need for rarity in a game. I prefer a game in which I can beat a player with SKILL, not with MONEY...


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