I've been reflecting on this concept and trying to come up with a concise answer: Why do different levels of card rarity exist in MtG? In order for this concept of different numbers of different cards existing to be beneficial to MtG, it has to do one of a few things:
- Make it easier to build decks.
- Make the game more strategic.
- Make the game more replayable.
Here's what I've come up with so far:
- The first one is probably most relevant. If a Llanowar Elf was just as common as a Shpinx of Uthuun, and both were just as common as everything else, it wouldn't make any sense because the number of decks that need Llanowars and the amount of Llanowars in each deck that uses them is much greater.
- To some degree, it makes the game more replayable, in that it takes longer to see all of the cards because some of them aren't as common, but I don't really consider this a good reason in itself.
- Rares tend to be more powerful than other cards, and this seems to work exactly backwards from how it should. If tons of people want a Thrun, the last troll in their decks because it's really powerful, shouldn't it be common so the people with rares don't have an advantage over the people who don't? If you're going to make some cards weaker than others, why not make more of the good ones and not the bad ones? Making powerful cards more expensive does not improve the overall game.
Are these points somewhat valid? How does some cards being produced in smaller number make Magic a better game? How would the game change for the better or worse if all cards were equally rare?
NOTE: Saying that having certain cards be rarer than others makes the game better because of the 'ooooh shiny!' factor when you do get one does nothing to make deck building and playing the game more interesting or fun. I also know that it makes Wizards and card shops tons of money, but I do not want to focus on money in the creator's pockets being the reason for their existence. :D