Description[edit | edit source]
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. 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.
History[edit | edit source]
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, especially seeing as red "with all its direct damage, doesn't really need one-sided fight". 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 colloquial 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. It also could target planeswalkers - while previous done with red cards (Domri's Ambush) and the Mythic Vivien, Arkbow Ranger, Devouring Tendrils shows that access to this at uncommon will continue.
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater (June 24, 2019). "Does R+D have a name for the ability where your creature deals damage to another creature but the other creature doesn't deal damage back?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (July 2, 2019). "Does R&D have a preference for Fighting vs Biting?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (January 29, 2016). "Is one-sided fight (tail slash, nissa's judgment, etc.) going to become the norm?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (June 5, 2017). "Mechanical Color Pie 2017". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (January 08, 2016). "Nissa's Judgment is green, but it doesn't let the targeted creature fight back?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (January 11, 2016). "Gatewatch Me Work, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (April 06, 2020). "Does green really need it's mechanical space expanded?". Blogatog. Tumblr.