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Biting
Mechanic
Introduced Mirage
Last used Evergreen
Text Target creature deals damage equal to its power to another target creature.
Storm Scale 1[1]
Statistics
106 cards
{C} 1.9% {W} 3.8% {B} 0.9% {R} 32.1% {G} 43.4% {B/R} 3.8% {R/G} 7.5% {R/W} 0.9% {G/U} 1.9% {M} 1.9% {artifact symbol} 1.9%
Scryfall Search
fulloracle:"deals damage equal to its power to" -keyword:"fight"

Biting, also called one-sided fight or punch (from sucker punch), is the slang name for a creature mechanic functionally defined as "Target creature deals damage equal to its power to another target creature".[2][3][4]

Description[ | ]

A target creature you control deals damage equal to its power to target creature you don't control. Biting is similar to fight but the removal comes with less risk.[5][6] As a general rule, either one or the other will be printed at common in green as its typical removal spell, but fighting has a wider design space due to its downsides.

Red, with direct damage being its forte, can deal its damage to any target or have an opponent's creature deal damage to another creature. It also has a large swath of sacrifice and dies effects for damage, but these Fling effects are considered another category.

History[ | ]

Early uses of the mechanic were in the Laccolith mechanic, which was closer to a super-first strike ability than a removal effect. It also turned up in white through Sinstriker's Will and Spirit Flare as an extension of white's ability to affect combat. A later use of the mechanic resulted in Fling without sacrificing (Soul's Fire), before being limited to creatures in Fall of the Hammer and Tail Slash. Green's access to this was initially limited to anti-flying effects like Jagged-Scar Archers or Wing Puncture. During Oath of the Gatewatch design, R&D experimented with one-sided fighting in green,[7] especially seeing as red "with all its direct damage, doesn't really need one-sided fight".[8] The first instance of the color change was Nissa's Judgment, but the most elegant form was Rabid Bite printed in Shadows over Innistrad, which gave the mechanic its semi-official name.

A variant was printed in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths with Charge of the Forever-Beast, which deals damage equal to a revealed card’s power.[9] It also could target planeswalkers - while previously done with red cards (Domri's Ambush) and the Mythic Vivien, Arkbow Ranger, Master's Rebuke shows that it can be accessed at common. With the introduction of the new damageable card type battles in March of the Machine, the two bite spells printed also could target them.

Monstrous Onslaught, Bouncer's Beatdown and Charge of the Forever-Beast are notable in that the spell deals the damage, each due to different conditions: greatest power controlled upon cast, greatest power controlled upon resolution, and power of creature revealed from hand. None of these target the caster's creatures, further limiting exposure to counter-removal. Lukka, Bound to Ruin follows the template of Monstrous Onslaught, but with a permanent dealing damage off an ability activating.

List of Bite effects[ | ]

White {W}[ | ]

Black {B}[ | ]

Red {R}[ | ]

Green {G}[ | ]

Multicolored {M}[ | ]

Colorless {C}[ | ]

References[ | ]

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