The Wand of Striking is one of the more useful basic magic items in Nethack. It can be used as a weapon, as a tool, and as a key of sorts. One must be careful zapping it, lest it bounce back and smite one. The wand will ordinarily hit the first monster in the direction you aim it.
One of the most useful properties of the wand of striking is that when you hit a statue with it, the statue is destroyed, and often becomes a spellbook.
It will also destroy doors, including the portcullis to get into the castle on the castle level. If you do this, however, you will need to levitate (or walk on water) to cross the moat.
If you attempt to engrave something with the wand of striking, you will be informed that "The wand unsuccessfully fights your attempt to write."