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Pojo's Magic The Gathering
Card of the Day

Daily Since November 2001!

Gut Shot
Image from Wizards.com

Gut Shot
New Phyrexia

Reviewed March 23, 2012

Constructed: 3.40
Casual: 3.20
Limited: 3.40
Multiplayer: 2.20

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

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Card of the Day Reviews 


Gut Shot

Paying two life to deal one damage looks like a bad trade on paper, especially in a color that can't gain life. Yes, you could use it to kill a creature that could, over several turns, deal far more than the two life you're paying to be rid of it. But that's not really the issue here. The issue is that Gut Shot, in practice, ISN'T in a color that can't gain life, because you're not actually expected to be playing red for it.

Mana costs exist as a regulating factor in Magic, to seperate the strong cards from the minor effects. A vanilla 3/3 is core set padding at four mana, a decent draft pick at three mana, and a top-tier aggro card at two mana. How much mana you're paying determines how much effect you can expect to get. Each converted mana cost is effectively its own echelon of expected payoff, its own tier. Gut Shot costs your choice of one or zero mana. And the thing about these power tiers is that the jump from one to zero mana is the biggest jump. For one mana, Red can get 2 or 3 damage at instant speed. But for zero mana, ANY color is getting 1 damage at instant speed, and that's an important distinction. For much the same reason that mono-red decks play Dismember to evade protection from red, Gut Shot allows any deck of any color to ping a creature at its discretion. While not as widely used as Dismember, most likely due to the fact that most creatures with protection have two colors, it is still highly sought after for its ability to kill, among other things, Delver of Secrets, Mayor of Avabruck, Stromkirk Noble, and the like before their abilities can put their toughness any higher... even when the caster is otherwise tapped out. There lies another reason why zero is such a significant mana cost. With most cards, the mana cost is, well, just that, a cost. It's the price you pay to get what you want. At zero mana, it actually becomes another incentive. One wonders what sort of effect a card would have to have to be too weak for it to see play.

Constructed- 4
Casual- 4
Limited- 4.5
Multiplayer- 2

David Fanany

Player since 1995

Gut Shot
I would like to believe that this card is the reason the awesome Windreaver has its fourth activated ability, but I suspect it actually isn't. It is, however, a very good way for nonred decks to deal damage - paying 2 life is much more versatile than six mana for something like Flame Javelin - and you'd be surprised how many things it can take out, from Monday and Tuesday's cards of the day through Birds of Paradise and Azure Mage to surprising a Delver of Secrets with its trigger on the stack. There's little need to include it in a red deck, unless you're on a singleton deck that absolutely must deal damage with every card for some reason, but it definitely adds a strong element of surprise to other colors.
Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5


Welcome back readers todays card of the day is Gut Shot a powerful burn spell that shuts down all those annoying one power creatures. In standard this card has seen a wide variety of play in decks running red and those without red making it an answer to the popular creatures with one toughness of which many are played Birds of Paradise, Grim Lavamancer just to name a few. In extended and modern this card still holds its weight as it can stop a wider variety of creatures but is more of a sideboard card. In legacy and vintage it can kill unflipped Delver of Secret’s and Dark Confidants making it a versatile and sometimes no mana cost kill spell. In casual it is outclassed by lots of other cheap burn and efficient creatures and in multiplayer this card is laughably bad. In limited its removal of a sort and splashable so I rank it highly. Overall a powerful niche spell that sees a fair amount of play in maindecks and sideboards in various formats.
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 3.0
Multiplayer: 1.0

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Gut Shot which is a one Red mana or two life instant that deals one damage to target creature or player.  For a non-Red deck this is a mana-free source of low end removal or possibly direct damage which makes it a potentially useful card if a bit self destructive.  Red technically has better options, but playing this without paying mana allows for a more aggressive opening which can make a big difference.  Overall this is a card that can be valuable in a very aggressive build or in a deck that for whatever reason has no other removal options.
For Limited this is a playable source of burn for any deck, particularly Red, as it is low to no mana cost and little else is available in most pools.  Despite only being one damage it still should be drafted in Booster as removal and most Sealed builds can benefit from including it, even without Red mana as two life points is better than multiple strikes from any creature.
Constructed: 3.0
Casual: 3.0
Limited: 3.5
Multiplayer: 3.0


      Welcome to this weeks final installment of Card of the Day. The week closes out taking a look at Gut Shot from New Phyrexia. Gut Shot is a common red instant that costs one red phyrexian mana. Gut Shot deals one damage to target creature or player.

      Gut Shot was one of those really unsuspected cards that quickly ‘Shot’ up the scene. This card is now featured in several Tournament decks and Sideboards alike. The reason of course is free damage, and free spells. Consider being matched up against a player running a Werewolf deck. Even if you have no mana on their turn, you can still play the spell, preventing them from turning. And honestly, what would you rather have, lose two life to cast it, or face a horde of transformed Werewolves.

     Now in a broader spectrum, Gut Shot is still amazing. Pick off some low blocker to ensure things get through, and for one mana. Although, if paying mana counts, Shock/Lightning Bolt still pack the better punch. But of course, adding in a Gut Shot to one of those surely makes the life traded off worth it.
Limited: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Constructed: 3/5
Multiplayer: 2/5

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