- Q: Custom Modifications's upgrade, "Extended Magazine", mentions when ammo is "placed" on attached asset by another event. One in the Chamber states "add" 1 ammo. Is that discrepancy meaningful or will Extended Magazine work with One in the Chamber? A: The discrepancy is not meaningful—One in the Chamber should have said “place” instead of “add” to be more consistent with other cards. Custom Modification’s “Extended Magazine” will work with One in the Chamber.
Attach to a Firearm asset you control. Limit 1 per asset.
When you reveal a non- chaos token attacking with attached asset, exhaust Custom Modifications: Cancel that chaos token, return it to the chaos bag, and reveal a new one.
□ Notched Sight. If you perform an attack with attached asset against an enemy engaged with another investigator and fail, you deal no damage.
□□ Extended Stock. You get +2 while attacking with attached asset.
□□ Counterbalance. After you attach an Upgrade card other than Custom Modifications to attached asset, draw 1 card.
□□□ Leather Grip. Custom Modifications gets -1 cost and gains: "Fast. Play only during your turn."
□□□ Extended Magazine. After ammo is spent from or placed on attached asset by another event, place 1 ammo on attached asset.
□□□□ Quicksilver Bullets. If you succeed by 3 or more while attacking with attached asset, this attack deals +1 damage.
Time for another round of, "Which Cards Work with This!" This list is up to date based on the most recent update to ArkhamDB (as of 10/11/22).
For Counterbalance, you want to look at Upgrade cards that can be attached to appropriate firearms. That list currently consists of:
- Guardian Cards
- Off-Class Cards
Running Counterbalance seems like it's going to need a good amount of both XP and Resources. Jury-Rig is the only 0-XP or 0-Cost option, and if you're running Well-Maintained, you're probably planning on playing all of your upgrades again, which is only going to multiply the cost.
For Event cards that either place or spend Ammo, the list consists of:
- Guardian Cards
- Off-Class Cards
The good news is that these are all Supply and Tactic effects, so Stick to the Plan will work with all of them. The bad news is that these are all events that rely on already having a gun out, so they may not be what you need at any given moment. And if you're already throwing cards (and even potentially XP) on reloads, 3 XP for a couple more bullets might be overkill.
How playable are all of these? Honestly, I have no idea. I suspect the build needs enough moving pieces that it's rather unwieldy right now. Still, it will be interesting to see if an investigator can pull all of the components together.
Custom modifications is a total shot in the arm for firearm based decks with guardian access, dramatically increasing the scope of what they can choose to do. While it is unlikely to dethrone melee supremacy, it accomplishes the vital goal of making firearms have an attractive draw compared to swords, knives, and hammers.
The base effect of custom modifications is fairly strong. While being unable to ignore the autofail stings, especially because guardians can easily reach ‘autofail only’ failures, it allows you to play a bit more fast and loose with your expected success rate: if you have a 60% hit rate before custom modifications for example, you actually can expect any given attack to actually hit 84% of the time, which is fairly up there in terms of consistency. This alone is a huge deal, as it means firearms are now inherently much easier to hit with than melee as long as you can get custom modifications out consistently, which reduces the burden of skills and passive skill boosts in your deck overall.
The two upgrades that really push this card though are Extended Stock and Quicksilver Ammunition, which when combined with the base effect allow you to turn any firearm into a viable late campaign weapon, trading play actions and resources for some XP efficiency, and slot efficiency.
These effects are usable on existing ‘premium weapons,’ but the effects of both these upgrades scale better based on how weak the base weapon is, due to breakpoints on damage making 4 damage less of an upgrade on 3 than 3 is for 2, and the re-roll and hit rate increases not mattering as much for big beefy guns. It certainly works with them, but the impact of custom modifications on your lightning gun isn’t showcasing its true power.
Custom modifications really shows its promise when used with more humble weapons, turning them into late game powerhouses. If you run extended stock and quicksilver ammunition upgrades in concert on a ..45 Automatic (2), you get a +4 to hit weapon that does 2 base damage, comes with a re-roll, and can be treated as a +1 to hit, 3 damage weapon with 4 shots on what is effectively a 9 XP package. That is fairly comparable to something like Cyclopean Hammer in terms of its actual table output in many scenarios, as, on most guardians, you are effectively up +1 to hit on the hammer in terms of trying to get the highly desirable 3 damage hit even before getting the re-draw effect. It isn’t actually on par with the hammer of course (this eats up a STTP slot, requires a second play action, and most critically is ammo limited), but the fact you can even make that comparison via squinting really hard with a 1 handed 2 XP weapon is a huge deal.
This is pretty transformative in terms of what decks guardians can get away with now and how you can run a gun focused guardian compared to a melee basher, as currently most guardian 1 handers are locked to 2 damage and tend to have fairly significant limitations to their use. Even the ‘meta’ ones like Survival Knife (2) have limitations that make them non-ideal to depend on as a primary weapon rather than a backup and supportive tool to achieve more reach damage. By being a 1 handed primary, it is now much easier to make guardian flex decks utilizing cross class or neutral tools. These decks were always possible (machete is strong enough to clear a campaign with it alone and bandoleer exists even if it can be clunky) but now you give up way less in order to take a flashlight, magnifying glass, keyring, fingerprint kit or maybe even a saucy multitool if you are looking to try out blue flex, and the actual outcome is quite potent, as spamming 3 damage attacks while consistently finding clues is a very good way to win scenarios.
Other useful guns to use this with are the .32 (You end up slightly ‘behind’ the hammer, but it's good if you already are running combat boosts or are someone like Mark), the .35 Winchester (this makes it very competitive with the Holy Spear in Gun Nun and Holy Warrior Tommy decks, and the redraw effect is especially potent when digging for blesses), the Mauser if you have access to it, and the .45 Thompson, with special mention going to the rogue’s .45 Thompson if you can use it to do some pretty intense AOE damage.
There are some character specific synergies too. Build-A-Becky already was a very good deck, and now Becky is able to 100% emulate a pre-taboo cyclopean hammer regardless of target type or how many swings she needs to make, in addition to sniping, running custom ammo, being enchanted, ect. Tony can use custom modifications with his long colts to make fishing for that bounty refresh easier, though by being a ‘pseudo-dual wielded’ gun there is some anti-synergy both with the concept of running a 1 handed primary and only being able to upgrade one gun with one play, and I suspect you would more run this for its synergy with Mauser and Lucky Cig case than anything else. As a bonus, both of these characters are intellect 3 with strong clue/flex tech in their class, and thus can make good use of the freed hand if they so wish, though Tommy easily wins out more here.
The two biggest winners at the end of the day, and the two decks I had the most success with, are the two classic gumshoes of Joe and Roland, who really were getting tired of running around with glowing hammers and magical Macuahuitl..
Joe has to make a hard choice between the +2 to hit and the +1 damage potential but being able to run detective’s 1911’s as a primary damage dealing tool ends up being fairly potent. As it turns out, seeker has a lot of ways to make up a shortfall of +2 to hit, so you probably want to lean towards quicksilver bullets over the extended stock, but it depends on what your plan is overall, as Joe has access to a lot of damage extension as well via Ice Pick. Michael Leigh, and Ancient Stones, so it really comes down to what your team needs. Combat focused Joe always was possible, but it now feels REALLY good to be a gun focused Joe who uses their wits (and skills and maybe a magic book or two) and their trusty gats to take on the Mythos.
As for our Fed, Roland’s .38 special essentially becomes a better Lightning Gun when on a clue location, which is now very easy to do with the suite of clue dropping cards that Roland has complete access too (and which benefits from deciding to go with 1 handed weapons to utilize research notes) which, combined with his great access to 1 handed tools, makes him a pretty beastly ‘flexy guardian.’ I have found Parallel Front, standard back to be especially effective with this build, as you can utilize consult experts to help support both your economy, ‘reach damage,’ and test taking ability all at once using cards like bugman beatcop and michael to lay down smackdowns and finding far more clues than is reasonable for someone easily able to deal 9 damage in a turn despite only attacking twice, and fairly trivially keeping your guns topped off due to your access to strong card draw even without making extra ammunition stuck to the plan.
As for the other upgrades, they tend to be good, though not the primary reason you are taking custom modifications. Notched sight is a very nice use for throw away XP to save some actions on engages if you are the engaging type, and your friend’s health and (out of game) sanity if you aren’t, and leather grip being a way to offset the action cost of this card into a 1.5 XP cost (assuming you run 2 custom modifications), but there are some considerations to make about counterbalance and extended magazines you will want to consider before buying them, mainly that you need to spend a lot of cards on upgrading or gaining/spending ammo to actually see any reasonable rate of return for XP. Counterweight will definitely be a good upgrade on Build-A-Beast Becky, but we are going to need a few more ‘gunslinger’ events for extended mags to really kick into high gear.
There’s an interesting synergy with the Old Hunting Rifle here. Normally, fighters don’t plan on taking too many shots that have a chance to miss due to the value of ammo tokens on weapons, making the ability to reroll base tokens relatively redundant short of canceling the worst non auto fail token.
With the Old Hunting Rifle though, firing it normally can be quite a crapshoot due to skulls jamming the weapon and screwing you out of a shot at the worst possible time. The ability to reroll said skulls is a godsend in this situation, making it a lot more reliable.
As of right now, there’s two classes that can have level 2 guardian access that also have access to the Rifle: William Yorick and Lola Hayes. Lola is effectively out due to not being able to use the rifle and trigger the reaction on custom modifications together, which leaves our favorite gravedigger. Said gravedigger is normally somewhat at a loss for high damage firearms, but there’s a second synergy available to him: Quicksilver bullets and Will to Survive.
The 3 or more condition on Quicksilver Bullets is usually a bit of an ask. But what if, say, you had a turn in which you didn’t need to pull any tokens? Preload the rifle with some Extra Ammunition, throw a Police Badge at the nearest boss enemy, and you’ll be able to dish out 20 health worth of damage in a single turn, and that’s discounting recursion shenanigans with the Badge.
The biggest downside to this is that Yorick is a bit short on reloading events, and as custom modifications is an event, it doesn’t mesh well with his usual play style of plucking a freshly loaded gun off the nearest warm corpse; apparently servants of the mythos only buy mass produced gear. It’s still worth considering to load up for a big boss kill though.
This is definitely one of my favorite custom cards from SK. It actually does something that I didn't think would be possible because of the likes of melee weapons. It makes playing firearms not only fun, but effective.
Let me ask, do you guys play with the shotgun(4)?
It's a tough card to play with. It gives you +3, and you have the chance to deal round 5 damage per attack. Which kills bosses quick. But you do have to work for this number, and especially on hard and/or expert. You will find that you may forgo using this weapon because it just is not reliable.
-What if you pulled a -6 but the card says "try again"
-What if this card said "+5" instead of "+3"?
-What if you did at least 3 damage, you actually do 4 instead?
-What if using extra ammunition gives you a Chance at 20 damage instead of 15?
-What if you were fighting a big monster off a friend, and pulled that damn auto fail. You DONT murder your friend?!
That's the power of this card WITH 1 WEAPON!!!! It's insane what combos you can pull off, Tony attaching this to saw-off shotgun(5), with +2 fight and the usually over success mechs makes it more reliable to over succeed 6. Makes small side-arms like colt .32 or .45 pack a real punch with quick silver.makes cards like the Mauser c96 and even the Beretta M1918 more reliable. I made an insane deck with Becky being my main damage dealer and custom mod was a cornerstone in that deck, always stick it to "stick to the plan(3)" to always see it in your opening hand.
The only downside is that,you can't negate the autofail. You MUST play weapons. It does require a ton of resources, not just in playing weapons, but it's attachment as well.
But to be real, in guardian, what else is new?
So for 4XP I can now have everlasting ammo thus totally breaking the balancing of firearms vs melee.
Good job FFG ;)
But seriously in those gimmicky sniper builds this is an auto include, the single biggest issue I had playing my Mark Harrigan sniper deck was running out of ammo. For 4 XP I can now never run out of ammo OR have to worry about shooting enemies off teammates.
After creating a killer intricate synergy deck for Daisy, where I upgraded for 36xp (factoring in Raven Quill, Refine and Delve Too Deep) imagine my disappointment when my promising bare bones Roland Banks deck ran up against the Xp limitations inherent in Custom Modifications and its associated synergy cards. What a disappointment; what a buzz kill.
Guardians really are the phlegmatic sick men (and women) of Arkham right now. Some serious xp boosting and extra synergies are desperately needed if they're to keep pace with the other classes, particularly Seeker. It wouldn't take much imagination to boldly redefine this class with a new suite of cards that injected more dynamism and excitement into the stogy cast of characters which are supposedly the intended action men (and women) of the game. More than any other class Guardians just don't have any headline shticks that the other classes do (though Mystics arguably suffer somewhat in this regard too), they just don't tick.
Before Custom Modification, melee weapons such as Cyclopean Hammer or Butterfly Swords was preferred due to Enchant Weapon, but now, firearm weapons are another good choices. In this review, I only handle guardian weapon because I have no idea about 4xp version of Custom Modification.
Notched Sight is cost-effective upgrade, which reduces the risk of the non-engaged attack. Yes, we do not need to ask our friend before attacking the enemy engaged with them. I always recommend except you plan to attach Custome Modification to Flamethrower. In fact, Custom Modification is not 0xp card, but 1xp card :)
Quicksilver Bullets is amazing upgrade, which gives additional damage. One problem is the way to success by 3 or more.
Extended Stock increases the stat; it increases not only the stability of the test success but also additional damage using Quicksilver Bullets.
Leather Grip makes Custom Modification "Fast with 2 resources" card. If our deck is "playing a firearm and swaping another one after out-of-ammo", Leather Grip is great candidate.
Extended Magazine provides one ammo with ammo event. If our deck is "playing one strong firearm, attaching several upgrades, and continually supplying ammos", Extended Magazine is great candidate.
Counterbalance.... has no space to spend xp. sorry
My upgrade recommendation
Notched Sight(1xp) + Extended Stock(2xp) + Quicksilver Bullets(4xp) + Leather Grip or Extended Magazine(3xp) = 10xp
- Leather Grip: with one-handed gun like .32 Colt...
- Extended Magazine: with two-handed gun like Shotgun, .45 Thompson...
It is noted that the reaction ability of Becky and Extended Magazine does not interact. Thus, Leather Grip is a good candidate for Becky deck.