Well-Maintained is a card multiplier, it's power is strictly dependent on the card you apply it to so evaluating Well-Maintained in vacuum is HARD. Even so, here are some notes to keep in mind:
- It returns the cards to your hand when discarded, this means that cards that do not self-discard are not returned till manually or unintentionally discarded. The card is missing a clause that let's it discard the attached asset, in my mind.
- There are several treacheries that discard assets, such as Crypt Chill, that Well-Maintained helps you defend against.
- Costs are not refunded so you still must be able to pay for the asset again, an issue mostly for the big guns.
- Custom Ammunition and Reliable are the only/most important Upgrades to be released so far.
The most immediate way to read Well-Maintained is to assume it's meant for a big gun, but there are lots of cards that operate far more smoothly within the bounds of the wording. For example:
- Mk 1 Grenades self discard, thus you regain them without any extra actions or costs.
- Disc of Itzamna and Police Badge discard as part of their mechanics, the immediate re-occurrence is fantastic. This is also true for all items that grant health or horror, for example Bulletproof Vest, Elder Sign Amulet, Key of Ys.
- Some more notable self-discarding items: Backpack, Baseball Bat, Colt Vest Pocket, Gravedigger's Shovel, Grotesque Statue, Kerosene, Knife, Lantern, Lockpicks.
There are lots of items that don't discard but still work good with Well-Maintained, it just requires an extra step to execute on, to recurse an empty gun you need to play something else over it in the slot, for example a Flashlight or another copy of the gun, this is still a rather slow process so I wouldn't pick Well-Maintained for this purpose exclusively, Extra Ammunition is a much better option for reloading guns! But, when you have some of the other cards mentioned above, and/or one or both of the upgrade cards, Well-Maintained becomes a much more impressive addition.
Finally there's a couple more combos that are absolutely worth your attention:
- Any large gun + Well-Maintained + Act of Desperation. Recurse the cost and the gun you just sacrificed, ready to be played once more.
- Lupara + Well-Maintained, this combo is a bit slower but it's pretty robust, a good fit in a deck that's investigating with a full set of Lockpicks and Flashlights.
- .45 Thompson + Well-Maintained. The gun pays for itself, ready to do it again once you're able to discard it. A very natural combo.