Laziest Peon #1 – Serpent Sting

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many weekly/fortnightly articles mashing together the WoW MMO and WoW TCG. The goal is to take a common or uncommon card from the TCG and look at how it fits the flavour of the source MMO. This week we’re starting with a class that is close to my heart – Hunters! Lets dig a little deeper into today’s card.

Serpent Sting is a 2-cost, instant marksmanship ability from the March of the Legion core set. Its cheap and fast – two things I love about an ability. It can sit on both Heroes and allies, making it nicely flexible. It suits any type of Hunter deck as it can do a default 1-point per turn of damage, or 2 if the Hero has a ranged weapon. Like many of the Damge-Over-Time cards coming out, it needs to be instant else it may be dispelled before it has a chance to even work (Deadly Poison, Corruption, etc) – the smart play is to leave 2-resources untapped and play it during your opponent’s End-Of-Turn phase.

One (or 2) damage doesnt seem like a lot, but its on par with the other DoT abilities in the game, so its consistent from that regard. Hunters do lose out when compared to Warlocks and Mages as they dont have access to other cards like Chromatic Cloak and Sapphiron Drape. And you may think that it could stack with Aspect of the Hawk, but that only applies to ranged damage, and Serpent Sting deals nature damage. However Alliance Hunters do have access to Tomadae the Magnificent, which could push through just enough damage for the win late in the game.

How you play it is up to you and your individual style of play. Against decks with little ability removal, play it early – even if you dont have a Ranged Weapon. Its resilient like that, if your bow is destroyed, the ability still stays in play to ping your opponent, then once you get out another ranged weapon it effectively recasts itself. One thing to watch out for though is for sneaky Scryers who can attack the abililty directly (Arcanist Avelena and Magistrix Tibrana for example). If DoT is part of your core strategy, it may be worth packing some Krenig Soulguards.

I think Serpent Sting could see play in Limited TCG environments – as access to removal to sporadic and doubtful and constant damage straight up annoys players and puts them on a timer they may not be able to handle. Even without a Ranged weapon, its still useful. I’m not sure on the Constructed environment – DoTs seem a little slow for me. Warlocks have a lot of them and Rogues have Deadly Brew – Hunters dont have access to card that can stack stings – so a card like Serpent Sting may be a late game play rather than an early one – breaking a stalemate rather than being a win condition.

So how does Serpent Sting compare to the MMO ability of the same name?

Stings the target, causing [$RAP*0.1+X] Nature damage over 15 seconds. Only one Sting per Hunter can be active on any one target.

Nature – check. DoT – check. Marksmanship – check. Instant – check. Looking good on the basics. RAP = Ranged Attack Power – this is nice, as the bonus damage the ability deals could be explained by having a higher RAP which is typically due to having a powerful ranged weapon. About the only point of difference is that in the MMO you can only have 1 sting active at a time. I think to apply that to the TCG would be too restrictive – its hard enough for DoT to work, and limiting the number of times it can be applied would hurt the long term viability of DoT. I dont think it affects the card for not having it, and only helps it see play.

So thats it for the first installment of Laziest Peon. Hope you got something out of it, if not – leave me some feedback and I’ll work on improving the articles.

Laziest Peon #1 – Serpent Sting

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