Why do we not have a review for this card yet? It feels like the elevator pitch writes itself.
- Don't you wish you could fit more copies of Breached Dome and Snare! for the Runner to impale themselves on in R&D or Archives?
- Do you want more copies of Ronin, Show of Force, and Neural EMP for more proactive flatlines?
- Don't you wish the pesky subtext "Limit 1 Philotic Entanglement per deck" didn't exist?
- Get Sting! today.
Commercials aside, the interesting comparison to make is against House of Knives, the original 3/1 agenda that has made its way into many a Jinteki deck:
Knives does a total of 9 damage when all 3 are scored, spread out over several turns. Runs are more dangerous to do while there are still valuable cards in-hand, against ICE like Komainu, or when stealing that final Obokata Protocol, perfect for grinding down the Runner's stack and options over a long game. Best scored early, to slow the Runner down and get those pings in.
Sting does a total of 3 to 5 damage (best case 1, 1, 3 or 1, 2, 2) in larger chunks. This is perfect for setting up proactive flatlines since this burst damage can be done clickless for a future turn, similar to Ronin. And if enough copies of Sting are scored, this turns into a Gene Splicer where you got a good chance of giving the Runner no good options to steal it, threatening flatlines on follow-ups.
So which agenda do you put in your suite? That mostly depends on what the deck is trying to accomplish.
You can't go wrong with either, but I feel decks aiming for a flatline will want Sting! for more chances at landing that killing blow. Decks that want to slow the game down early while seeing an empty stack late game will want House of Knives. Of course, you can always take both since they are doing different jobs.
And of course, you can't talk about Sting! without talking about the ID this sits most at home with, Personal Evolution. It's a bit scary how good this agenda is in there, making both defensive and offensive uses of the scorpion all that much more lethal.
Long live the scorpion.