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Com Mons

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"Although weak and helpless, this Pokémon is incredibly fertile. They exist in such multitudes, you'll soon grow tired of seeing them."
— Pokédex Entry for Magikarp, Pokemon Sun

The Mon/card for beginners. Common, that is. In Video Games, they show up early in large quantities, but quickly grow useless - unless some Magikarp Power is applied. Then with time and care, you can make some pretty powerful fighters out of them. In trading cards, the cards that are only good for tinder. They're basically the Mons equivalent of The Goomba.

Contrast Olympus Mons, which are very rare and very powerful. See also The Goomba and Vanilla Unit.


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    Augmented Reality Games 
  • Pikmin Bloom: Roadside Pikmin are by far the most common decor types most players will find, being found by anywhere else that the game doesnt recognize as one of the other establishments, usually meaning streets and rural areas.

    Eastern RPGS 
  • Pokémon:
    • Rattata, Pidgey and Spearow are so common that a lot of Pokémon in future generations are based on them. This includes the likes of Hoothoot, Sentret, Poochyena, Taillow, Zigzagoon, Starly, Bidoof, Patrat, Purrloin, Lillipup, Pidove, Bunnelby, Fletchling, Pikipek, Yungoos, Skwovet, Rookidee, Lechonk, Squawkabilly and Wattrel. As the generations went on, some of these Pokémon have appeared at the same time as others, like (Alolan) Rattata and Yungoos both being the Com Mons of Alola, (Galarian) Zigzagoon and Skwovet both being the Com Mons of Galar or having regular Rattata appear in Black 2 and White 2 alongside the Unova region's native Com Mon, Patrat. In general, most of these Com Mons end up being useful for a bit but fall off quickly, and some of them can be helpful for using HMs in games that have them. Some of them are capable of being helpful throughout the entire game though like Staraptor, Stoutland, Talonflame, Corviknight, Obstagoon and Kilowattrel.
    • In caves, chances are, you'll be running into Zubat and Geodude, which can be caught early on in almost all generations (excluding Pokémon Black and White, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet) and continue to show up in every single cave you enter throughout the game. At least they have fairly strong evolved forms in Crobat and Golem to look forward to. In Black and White, their equivalents are Woobat and Roggenrola.
    • In the early game forests, you're likely going to run into the various Bug types throughout the series, Pokémon like Caterpie, Weedle, and the various Pokémon based on them as well, like Wurmple, Grubbin, and Blipbug. They usually evolve very quickly, but like the various early game Normal, Flying, and Dark-types, they'll fall off just as quickly as well. There are some exceptions though, such as Beedrill acquiring a Mega Evolution in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, or Vikavolt, which evolves from Charjabug pretty late but has formidable Special Attack.
    • Tentacool and Wingull run rampant in the water when you Surf around, but they have tough evolved forms to look forward to - if given the right moves.
    • Magikarp is also found in nearly every body of water, and is completely weak, but evolves into the powerhouse Gyarados. Despite this, early on, if you run into any Fisherman trainers, there's a good chance they'll use a Magikarp. Maybe even six of them. They seemed to have been aware of this, as in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald has a Fisherman with one Magikarp and five Gyarados.
    • Audino are found nearly everywhere in Black and White, serving the same role as Chansey and Blissey, being a more supportive Pokémon, but unlike them, Audino is found in rustling grass anywhere throughout Unova. It's not the best attacker however, and it gives out a ton of EXP, making it very good for grinding.
    • Wiglett is found on just about every beach in Paldea in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. It evolves into Wugtrio, which has a high speed stat, an above average attack stat, and an absolutely pitiful everything else. Its movepool isn't much better, with its primary STAB until the mid-50s being Triple Divenote .
  • Mocchi in Monster Rancher 2, however Monster Rancher is built on Magikarp Power, so it can become quite badass. The first few games would even hand you a couple monster types for free; you probably weren't getting the top rank with any of them, but they could be useful for cross-breeding.
    • In Monster Rancher 2 each monster has a card attached complete with a ranking from E to A. As you might have guessed, any monster ranked E qualifies for the trope.
    • Hares. At least in Evo. It seems like you get one every couple of disks or so. That doesn't mean they're any weaker than, say, a Phoenix however.
  • Romby and Ramby from Robopon. Even in high-level dungeons, you'll still find them. And because the game is Nintendo Hard, they'll still kick your ass.
  • Slimes in the Dragon Quest Monsters series. A basic slime will always follow you into every world or island you visit, no matter how tough the natives are. However, thanks to Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action, you could use some REAL Magikarp Power.
    • Slimes do have a few things going for them — First, in every Dragon Quest Monsters game, you can breed a King Slime using basic Slimes and a lot of patience; King Slimes tend to be pretty powerful (they are basically given skills similar to the main series' heroes — lightning, healing, revive, etc). Slimes themselves make good mates for other monsters — in the original two games, Slime + anything meant a special kind of Slime, like Wingslime, Rockslime, Drakslime, all of which tended to be somewhat useful. But the thing Slimes really had going for them is that, if you leveled them up enough, they learn Mandante (named Megamagic in the US version), a spell that uses up all your Mana at once to hit the enemy with a huge blast.
    • In Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2, each of the seven monster families had a designated ComMon (Slime, Green Dragon, Chimaera, Conklave, Teeny Sanguini, Skeleton, and Goodybag) that could benefit from a special system, named "Stronger/Strongest" in Japan and "X/XY" in English. Breeding two Slimes, for example, of a certain level will result in a Stronger Slime/Slime X, while breeding together two Stronger Slimes/Slime Xes of a certain level will result in a Strongest Slime/Slime XY. (The Professional Updated Re-release, though, would expand this system beyond the ComMons to every Mon.)
  • Wumps in dungeon-crawler Azure Dreams. In the Playstation version, they are called Pulunpas.
    • Trolls also count, appearing throughout the entire experience and being moderately tough enemies, either causing trouble on the first floor or attack with bows on higher floors.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network, the Mettaurs appear in every game, and in every single one they drop a Guard/Reflect chip. While they serve a purpose as an early defensive chip, they get obsoleted very quickly as the shockwave they release is too slow to deal consistent damage. Since Mettaurs appear nearly everywhere, you're bound to have an abundance of Guard chips. Lampshaded at least twice - in the second game, when in a foreign country, a kid asks you to get him a Guard * , because they're super rare there. However, all your spare chips have been stolen; if you don't have one in your folder, you can talk to a tourist from your country, who gives you 30 Guard * chips! If you talk to her again, she says: "No need to thank me, I still have over 1000 'Guard *' chips".
    • The sixth game breaks the trend as its version of the Reflect chip hits harder and triggers almost instantly, making it consistently practical and perfect for setting up a Counter Hit.
    • Battlechips obtained from Mystery Data in the early-game also fall squarely into this trope. The likes of PanelGrab, CrackOut and MiniBomb are quickly tossed aside once the player begins developing a good chip collection.
  • AkaSeka: Any Man of Tsukuyomi whose rarity is 2 stars or lower. They are offered as standard rewards after completing dungeons and pop up a lot during summoning, but many players discard them in favor of higher quality men with fancier skills and looks.
  • Disgaea provides Prinnies (dood!), which are significantly weaker than most other playable units. They do have their uses, though — they make excellent low-maintenance grenades in a pinch, rack up combos with their rapid-fire attacks, level up faster than most other units, and can transmigrate into any other unit type. Just don't expect them to outshine your actual heavy-hitter units.
    • Almost any lower tier of a character class could be considered this Trope, considering how cheap they are to create compared to the higher tiers and how much weaker they are, especially without any reincarnations.
  • Early in The World Ends with You, you're given an assortment of weak pins describing a wide swath of the game's gestures and damage types. If you try to sell one, you're told it's "more valuable than all the yen in the world". (The real reason, of course, is that having no pins makes it almost impossible to win battles to get more.)
  • Pixies in Shin Megami Tensei, particularly the MMO Imagine. You usually get them fairly early on, they're easy to negotiate with, and you'd never use one in a fight unless you want to die a horrible death. They are fairly useful in fusion though, as many powerful demons have a pixie somewhere in their ancestry. Nocturne is unique in the main series in that they give you a single pixie who, if you hold onto it until near the end of the game, will evolve into an Infinity Plus One... Pixie.
  • Onmyōji (2016): Any shikigami whose rarity is R or N. Ns can only be summoned using low-quality talismans specifically meant for them, but Rs can be summoned by all types of talismans, so expect Rs to pop up very frequently, disappointing a lot of fans who pay real money to buy high-quality talismans. That said, many of the Rs become very popular due to their useful skills despite their low rarity.
  • Your starter demon in almost any Shin Megami Tensei, along with any easily-recruited rabble you come across in the first few levels, fall squarely into this trope once you access fusion and are encouraged to fuse them off. There are a few exceptions, though:
    • In some games, your demons can evolve if kept to a certain level. For instance, the Pixie that joins you in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne can evolve into a High Pixie at level 10, and once that High Pixie is kept around long enough she can break out of her obsolescence and transform into Queen Mab. You'll also need that Pixie, or at least one of her evolutions or fusion results, to open a door in the Fifth Kalpa to receive a uber-Pixie.
    • The Pixie in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is one of the few early demons that knows fire and healing skills, while possessing no weaknesses. It's not unusual to keep this Pixie all through the first sector due to the abundance of fire-wielding enemies. (Past that, though, and you'll need to consider fusing her off.)
  • In Gotcha Force, the lowest-level basic types all behave like this - the Normal Ninja, the Revolver Gunman, the Battle Girl, the Wing Soldier, the Normal Tank, the Normal Knight, and the Normal Samurai will clog your collection before you know it.
  • Lil' Monster has numerous ones, available from the start. They're spawned from the "basic attack" gems, like Punch, Kick, Needle, Catcher, and Heal. They can be fought in lots of different ways, their attack is unremarkable, and you'll have a million of their gems in no time.
  • Applies to Final Fantasy Tactics, in the form of Invited enemies and soldiers. The only human enemies you can invite are ones with Squire as their base class (as opposed to certain characters having Holy Swordsman, etc). Likewise, unless you're lucky with random battles, the most common monster types are the least useful.
    • Although this is averted when you reach hell. All the characters you can invite are actually useful and have a decent amount of good skills. Of course, by that point in the game, who cares?
  • The Meow Wow, Hebby Repp, and Komory Bat Dream Eaters fill this role in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance], being very easy to create and showing up all over the first four worlds of the game. They're not too much weaker statistically then the tougher varieties of dream eater you can create, however, and their abilities can still prove useful in certain situations.
  • Most of the 1*, 2* and 3* mons in Summoners War: Sky Arena are food, meaning they're only worth using as power-up or evolution material (basically, feed em to other, more worthy mons). However, some 2* are actually viable all the way to the very late game, like Water Garuda, Wind Pixie, and Wind Warbear (the latter being so powerful it's nicknamed 'Ramagod').
  • The Mochi species monsters in Moco Moco Friends. There's three of them per element and just about every dungeon will have one or more of them roaming around.
  • In Yo Kai Watch, Cadin, Buhu, Dulluma, and Dimmy are very numerous in the first area Uptown Springdale.

    Western RPGS 
  • If you're playing Geneforge as a Shaper, the cute little lizards known as Fyoras will be your first Monster Allies, and will almost inevitably be replaced with Drakons or the like by game's end. This is averted if you're a more physical class, though—either you'll do a Solo-Character Run, or you'll get a Fyora and level it until it can nibble a Drakon to death.
  • In World of Warcraft the battle pet system allows players to capture wild critters as additional pets. Many such critters can appear in multiple zones around the world or appear as a different sub-species, which is often functionally identical. Roaches for example appear in nearly every demon-, undead-, or bug-infested region; while rabbits appear in any pleasant zone, with arctic versions for snowy areas.
  • A number of the creatures in ARK: Survival Evolved qualify, but none more so than the Dodo, which has no real purpose in combat and is really only suitable as a pet or a source of food. While its lack of fighting power makes it a good first creature to tame, players will quickly move on to ones that are more powerful.
  • In Plantasia, pansies are the first flower the player encounters and a common sight throughout the game. They grow the fastest, but yield the least mana of all the flowers.

    Other Games 
  • The Battle Cats:
    • The first 9 Normal Cats are given out for free when you're playing Empire of Cats for the first time, and duplicates can be obtained through rolling the gacha with common silver Cat Tickets. They're quite weak when compared to most other units at their level, so in later stages, they'll need to take advantage of their Absurdly High Level Cap to stay competitive. Some of them, like Axe Cat and Titan Cat, are useful for a bit, but fall off later in the game.
    • Rare Cats are the most common result of rolling the gacha with Rare Tickets or Cat Food. Unlike the Normal Cats, they're competitive with other units at the same level, making up for their lower stats with lower prices and cooldowns. They also have an Absurdly High Level Cap, though it's more difficult to reach it.
  • Gundam Expanded Universe games such as Gundam Breaker or Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2 with a gacha/rank system will often put Mook Mobile units (usually called "grunt suits") in the common or one-star drop pool. This makes them very easy for new players to get early and train on, but also means they're often fairly weak as well and Can't Catch Up to more powerful units, even when modified. Common sufferers include the GM and the Zaku, though occasionally variants in their family tree can become worthy contenders (and are always moved out of the common tier and into a rarer tier to compensate for this). Battle Operation 2 allows them to remain relevant by permitting users to launch custom matches featuring low cost units. Worst comes to worst, players can always sell any low-tier duplicates they own for in-game resources, and a certain subset of Challenge Gamer deliberately pilot underpowered units to become "grunt aces," skillfully using low tier units to bully and destroy unwary players who wrongly assume their high tier units are invincible.
  • Palworld: Lamball, Chikipi and Cattiva are the Pals who greet you in the game's opening cutscene, and they're fittingly among the first and most common Pals who can be encountered in the wild. The Paldex entries for the former two Pals Lampshade the trope by mentioning how they're at the bottom of the food chain, with Chikipi's in particular remarking more of them keep showing up despite dying in droves all the time.

    Collectible Card Games 
  • Played straight in the Final Fantasy VIII card game, where you start with a crappy collection of cards and then have to play other people and sift through their hoard of bad cards to get one of the few worth having. That said, the cards can also be refined into items, so every card has at least some sort of use.
    • This is brought back in Final Fantasy XIV, where players begin with a one-star and two-star set of cards, and have to build their way up from there. This usually involves acquiring a host of 3* or higher cards, from NPCs who are all too happy to simply drop 1* and 2* variants... and a player cannot put more than one 3* or higher card into a deck before they have enough total cards. This is now a Downplayed Trope, however, as acquisition of most of those cards has been made much easier than it used to be. On the other and gripping hands, the number of players with a Cloud Strife or Lightning card is pretty low, and unlike in FFVIII, players can't lose cards, so Com Mons are frequently accumulated and immediately sold for dosh.
  • About a third of the iconically bad cards in Magic: The Gathering are common. Almost all of them are creatures that would have been fair at half their mana cost.
    • In Time Spiral's bonus Timeshifted set, the old Squire card, legendary common of badness, was treated by players as a curse at worst, a booby prize at best.
    • The designers of Magic are rather diligent at making sure rarity doesn't equal usefulness, for several reasons. To put in perspective, when players complained about the quirky rare Steamflogger Boss being total junk, demanding it should have been downgraded to uncommon, one response from Wizards was "you hate this card so much, you want more of them to show up in your packs?"
    • Also, many tournaments are booster drafts, where much of your deck is going to be commons anyway. If the majority were useless, those would be some damned unfun tournaments.
    • Casual players often forget/don't realize that much of a set is designed to have fair and fun "limited" tournaments (the varieties of play in which you open new packs and build decks out of those cards only). Tournament players, in turn, often forget that much of a set is designed for casual play. Thus, a lot of cards get accused of being "useless" that really aren't, they're just for a different audience. Of course, there is still the occasional complete trash - but usually it's no more than 1 or 2 cards in a 200-card set, and like good and evil, good cards cannot exist without bad cards to compare them against.
    • Magic R&D has admitted that they printed deliberately terrible cards up through 2006's Dissension set in order to create more tension in drafts (artificially shrinking the already tight card pools). This was thought to increase the skill emphasis in drafting (a process of repeatedly selecting one card from a pack and then passing it to create a Limited deck) a deck as much as playing one. For the next set, they tried not printing anything patently useless—as players had been calling for for years—and found that casual players liked it and Limited players didn't notice. While the occasional stinker still seeps through, deliberately awful cards have by and large stopped being produced.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! provides reams of monsters which even type specialists won't go near. One wonders why they bother wasting the paper. In particular, Normal Monsters are generally ignored unless they have notable stats (which keep creeping upward), and tribute monsters usually require some kind of great effect to be worth it.
    • While it was always like this from the start (licensed merchandising trumping game balance, one assumes), it got especially bad once the US game caught up with the Japanese. Suddenly in each seventy-odd card set, only a half-dozen were remotely more useful than what was already available, and most of those were terribly unbalanced ultra rares that were guaranteed to be banned within the year.
    • In all fairness, though, recent sets have been somewhat dutiful to making these kinds of cards at least somewhat useful; for instance, there are plenty of support for Normal Monsters to make a viable and powerful deck out of them, whether it be a sheer beatdown or weenie rush. That's not to say that they don't still give out crap, on occasion.
    • This goes back to the very first set, since the only cards then were Normal monsters. Hitotsu-Me Giant, Silver Fang, and Mammoth Graveyard were the most powerful low-level cards by far, with 1200 ATK, and everything else had 800 at most. The only reason to ever use the 800s was that Trap Hole could kill monsters with more than 1000 ATK, and the only reason to ever use anything weaker than them was... well, nonexistent. As implied above, though, Power Creep also had some major effects on making even those cards viable—Celtic Guardian came out just a month later with 1400 ATK, rendering all the other cards strictly worse, and a month later, it was followed by Uraby with 1500 ATK and Mystical Elf with 2000 DEF, rendering the above cards also worthless. Six months in, the benchmark was set by Gemini Elf with 1900 ATK and would stay that way for a while; consequently, every beatdown deck would be just "Gemini Elf, plus a bunch of cards that are almost as good as Gemini Elf because I can't just run fifteen copies of it."
  • The tantou and wakizashi class characters of Touken Ranbu. They are very easy to find in the first maps of the game but have low HP and limited damage so they are not very useful in higher-level maps. Until the staffs make a map specifically meant for them.

Alternative Title(s): Com Mon