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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day

Image from Wizards.com

Lightning Serpent
Cold Snap

Reviewed July 31, 2006

Constructed: 2.06
Casual: 2.3
Limited: 2.7

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 

Jordan Kronick

Lightning Serpent

In many ways, this is not a creature. The best times to play this are those times when it will act like a slightly larger than usual Blaze to the head. Unfortunately, those times are not as frequent as you might hope. Lightning Serpent can be completely neutralized by a small instant-speed burn spell or a creature with first strike. I'm not suggesting that this creature isn't potentially devastating, simply that it is not as simple to use as the Blaze might be. Fortunately, while you're waiting for the right time to cast this guy, you're probably getting more mana which means he'll be more effective when he does show up.

Constructed Rating - 2.2
Casual Rating - 2.5
Limited Rating - 2.6


Lightning Serpent

A decent card perhaps for fast red builds. It's pretty evil in particular cases (I've had it hit me in limited games).

Constructed - 2.5
Casual - 3
Limited - 2.5

Aburame Shino

Lightning Serpent

This card is an unique twist on the Fireball family. Lightning Serpent is basically a blaze that is one-point stronger than what you'd pay for something like a Blaze but has to attack in order to get the damage through. Flavor-wise this card is cool, but I can't see this being played in the same format that also has Demonfire and Blaze.

You could, in theory, run it in one of the many U/R Urzatron variants, but yet again I'd rather use Demonfire or Blaze, for the simple fact that the Serpent has the clause of being a creature. That means a Rend Flesh, Seal of Doom, or even a Darkblast make this card a worthless mana investment. Lightning Serpent is best left for limited as a last-minute win condition.

Constructed: 1.5 - There's no reason to run this over Demonfire.
Casual: 1.5 - It's a fun card, but still strictly worse than Blaze and Fireball.
Limited: 3 - Throw this out and hit the opponent for a huge amount in the late game.


* Game Store Owner

Lightning Serpent

This card appears to be both overlooked and underrated at this point. It's a great late game finisher. It might even start showing up as a finisher for control decks. The only real problem is that it's not that much better than an 'X' spell like a Fireball. So, it will remain to be seen where it eventually fits in.

Constructed: 2.5

Casual: 2

Limited: 3


Lightning Serpent

Ball Lightning meets Fireball. At one mana, it's basically a Shock that your opponent chooses the target of. Two mana and it's a Volcanic Hammer. Three mana, a Char without the 2-damage kickback. Four mana and it's a Lava Axe for one less mana, but your opponent can still block it. Maybe not all of it thanks to trample damage, though. Five mana and we're off the scale of any known burn spell except maybe Fireball, but since the Serpent does two base damage, the Serpent will always be more damaging than a Fireball of equal X-value. And the Serpent is a creature, so you can put damage on the stack and sacrifice it to a Scorched Rusalka or whatnot.

I opened one of these at the Coldsnap prerelease, so take my word for it when I tell you that it really swings a late-game, and it's even splashable. In Constructed, it's a more flexible Ball Lightning or Spark Elemental, and both of those saw play when they were Standard legal, but then Lightning Serpent doesn't do as much damage as either of those do for the same amount of mana. The Serpent does stack up favorably to Giant Solifuge though, so maybe it'll get played.

Constructed- 3
Casual- 3
Limited- 3.5
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