Card of the Day: Insult // Injury

When Turbo Fog found its way into the limelight thanks to a stellar performance at the team Pro Tour, it wasn’t long before Magic Twitter pointed out that red decks may already have the weapon to combat Standard’s newest menace.

Insult makes any Fog effect look silly. By making it so that damage can’t be prevented, it’s just a straight-up counterspell. Turbo Fog survives by using these effects as virtual Time Walks, since the deck relies on a 5-mana planeswalker and a 7-mana instant to win the game. By spending 2 mana to prevent all damage done to yourself by creatures in the turn, you take away an entire turn of attacks from the opponent. You don’t really care if they add more creatures to the board afterward since you’ll just Fog again, and you don’t care if they draw extra removal spells since you aren’t playing any creatures.

Insult does even more than that! Not only can you spend 3 mana to prevent the Fog from having an effect this turn, but you also get to double your damage! Your attack for 7 they were planning on preventing is now an attack for 14 that ignores any Haze of Pollen or Root Snare. Talk about a big game!

Now, let me preface this next part by saying that I will not be playing in any more Standard tournaments before the rotation as it’s no secret that I love the Turbo Fog deck. It’s exactly what I enjoy playing and I piloted it to a Top 4 finish at Grand Prix Los Angeles last month. Now, that said, I don’t think that this is a card that you should have in your sideboard and I’ll tell you why.

This card is narrow. Extremely narrow. You’re not going to board in Insult // Injury in any other matchup except for Turbo Fog. There’s a reason this card saw no play before the Fog deck, and it probably should remain unplayed.

Against aggro decks, it might sound nice to double your damage in a turn, but that’s just not how the games play out. Creatures trade constantly. This is where Injury can be more valuable as a way to deal 2 damage to both a creature and the opponent, but that’s not an effect you want to pay 3 mana for even if you could reliably discard Insult. In these matchups, you’re looking for haymakers and cheap interaction. Cards like Glorybringer to win the game or Chandra’s Defeat and Magma Spray to keep your life total high can be very valuable. Insult // Injury is not.

This is even more dramatic versus midrange. Their creatures are bigger and their game plan is to keep your board under control. Insult is basically a dead card.

It might seem that Insult // Injury can be good versus control decks, just like it is versus Turbo Fog, but that’s pretty far from the case. Control’s game plan is to keep the board clear. They’re killing your creatures and casting sweepers. The last thing you want to draw after a Fumigate is an Insult // Injury, and casting it into a Settle the Wreckage is a nightmare. If the board is out of control where you’re successfully attacking for large chunks of damage to the point where Insult would be good, you are probably already winning.

So that leaves you Turbo Fog, and the card is definitely good versus those effects, but sideboard space is precious. You only have 15 cards and, let’s face it, Turbo Fog isn’t a huge part of the metagame. While cards like Duress and Doomfall aren’t nearly as effective as Insult in this matchup, they’re still potent. Sorcerous Spyglass is also great versus Turbo Fog while being quite strong against all of the other decks utilizing Teferi.

If Turbo Fog is a huge part of your metagame—first of all, where do you live?! And second, maybe you shouldn’t be playing R/B. But most importantly, there are better cards you can put into your sideboard to add more win percentage across the board, so Insult // Injury doesn’t make the cut.




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