Shotgun do what Lightning Gundon't - 14exp

Card draw simulator
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LaRoix · 90

Most people default for the almighty Lightning Gun, but frankly, that card is too plain Jane for my tastes. What's more is the Shotgun has an advantage that isn't just saving an exp and a resource. And that advantage is ultimate devastation... or, in less enthusiastic terms, action compression. In my Dunwich campaign, I had an Emergent Monstrosity spawn in the first round. I'd drawn the shotgun in my opening hand so I figured, now's as good a time as any. I put that thing down and tinkered for a bit, figuring I'll get the monster start of next turn in case I need the extra action from a missed shot. Then the second one spawned... Two, on one location. But did that stop Zoey? No, sir. I walked in and took two shots for 5 damage a pop, played an Evidence! and was on my way.

Now if I had had the oh-so-powerful Lightning Gun, it would have taken two shots and two actions just to kill 1 of the monsters. What the shotgun did that lightning gun don't is saved me 2 damage and 2 horror, as well as the extra action + however many more actions I would have needed to spend finishing off the second monstrosity since I'd have been out of ammo at that point. The lack of an extra shot from the shotgun is easily made up for by the added damage. Now you do need to put in the extra work to make sure you get that up, but I've found this to be a more effective build overall. Consolidating those actions can be a godsend. Plus it's just flat out more fun.

So what are the essentials? Well, not much really. In terms of upgrades, all you need are the Shotgun, two copies of Well Prepared, and one Physical Training lvl 2. I also want to stress upgrading both Emergency Cache into their lvl 2 variant for the added card draw. If you really want to go ham, you can get the lvl 3 variant and restock Venturer to then restock ammo, but I prefer the card draw myself.


To compare, the LG gives +5 while the Shotgun gives +3. That means we only need to make up 2 to rival it, which isn't hard. My preferred way of doing this is to use Well Prepared to target the Shotgun. Easy stuff. But better than that, you can target Zoey's Cross and be 1 up the old LG. Doing all that is definitely more exp and resources, but in the long run, you can absolutely obliterate anything in your path and that's what this deck is all about. Even if you don't have those, you've got plenty of skills to make up the difference. Every boost you gain doubles as a damage, capping off at 5. Overpower matches the LG but with +2 damage potential, Daring does the same, while Vicious Blow can also serve as a +2 since it deals the extra damage just for succeeding. But the best part of that skill is that it opens up the threshold to a total of 6 damage which makes it great to combo with all your other skills.

I especially like to throw in Opportunist. Between just a few skills and Well Prepared, you can easily get up to 13 (21 in the most glamorously unnecessary fashion - and that's just including 1 skill pitch of every kind, along with 2 Well Prepareds on Zoey's Cross). Even if you get a -5, you can ensure you're getting maximum damage output with Daring Maneuver as it can mitigate the damage loss since you are still succeeding, and best of all, you can decide if you need to play it after you see the test results.

These skills can rack up the , but they're likely to see play even beforehand because they can help you deal with enemies if you need a turn or two to get set up, and they also get you that sweet card draw in most cases. My point is simply this: it's not hard to get an effective Shotgun build going and the benefits are far and above worth it.


As for our other splashes, I like Stunning Blow. You won't use it with the Shotgun too often (though it's hilarious if you do), but since this deck is very low on weapons, Stunning Blow can get you out of a pinch (similar to Vicious Blow). You don't always have to have a weapon up to deal with an enemy; and I'd rather save the resources for the really good stuff.

But we do want a couple other weapons, especially when we're hunting for exp. I prefer .32 Colt's since you can pull off the same Well Prepared combo to give yourself that missing boost. Being cheaper also helps. This is where Physical Training at lvl 2 can be really handy. You can target the Colt's themselves once they're at lvl 2, but it's a little cheaper to just get PT down, especially because you might want to target it later for checks. In fact, if you want to mold this deck for solo, you can replace Stunning Blow with Rite of Seeking and use Well Prepared to make sure you're succeeding.

As for allies, take Venturer. Beat Cop lvl 2 can replace one of them later if you want (and then pick up Charisma), but lvl 0 Beat Cop is kinda meh. Better to have the extra ammo that can be spent through "Eat lead!" or just in case you are in a party of 4. Bandolier let's you put down a backup weapon to help alleviate the ammo expenditure. Try to get Backpack in your opening hand. You've got about 10 cards to find, with Zoey's Cross, Bandolier and Emergency Cache being the optimal targets. You play the second two, and then play Bandolier that then overrides the Backpack. You can also play it later if you want to get Extra Ammos instead of Venturer. You can pack a weapon in the bag but that's why we have two copies of Prepared for the Worst.

Finally, we cap off the deck with a good ol' "see you in hell!" for theme.


Obviously this is a mid campaign (2ish scenario's in) deck so let's go over the upgrade path and possible replacements. The list is in order of priority starting with the first upgrade and descending.

.35 Winchester Shotgun - Think of this like stretching those muscles. It gets you used to spending a lot of resources and taking up two hand slots.

Knife x2 (or anything really) Well Prepared x2 - Beyond the Shotgun combo (which is the intended purpose of these), they are also useful for targeting Physical Training.

Physical Training Physical Training - It might seem redundant to include upgraded physical training just for it's , but the deck is starved for icons, and if you don't have shotgun up, you can use the physical training to improve your lvl 0 .32 Colt's or Survival Knife as needed. Sometimes I even pack two of these. It helps ensure it hits the table and +2 to commit is not anything to sneeze at.

Emergency Cache x2 Emergency Cache x2. Card draw is a huge help. Cannot recommend enough.


So after you've got those set up, here is a quick recap on what I think you might be interested to upgrade going past the first couple of scenario's in a campaign.

.32 Colt x2 .32 Colt x2. Saves you a resource, and you can quickly retrieve it if you have your Shotgun and no Bandolier.

"Eat lead!" x2 "Eat lead!" x2. Useful for the .32 Colt's. The basic version can help the Shotgun bypass the as well. [EDIT: You're definitely going to want Extra Ammo if you intend to fire multiple shots off the shotgun. In fact, you may want this to replace a Venturer at your earliest convenience - thanks to atilak for pointing this out.]

Vicious Blow x2 Vicious Blow x2.

Survival Knife Shotgun. You might want this as a higher priority, but I'm content to use .32 Colt's and wait if needed. Like I said, pretty much everything combos with them as well.

Bandolier Bandolier. This is mostly for the +1 since the Shotgun is intended to be in play all the time. Largely a defensive tactic (though it is of higher priority in solo with Rite of Seeking).


If you want to pilot this solo, you're going to have to part with hilarious and cards in favor of and cluing and card drawing advantages. You'll also want to make room for Evidence! I would think. On the Hunt is a good starting addition as well, especially for digging up those VP enemies. This deck has gone through a lot of refinement, but I have yet to test it in it's complete form that you see here. I've tried various versions of it, and I think this is the best I can recommend.

As for multiplayer, you're basically set as you see it, though you may want to make room for cards like First Watch, "Let me handle this!", and especially Heroic Rescue.

If you want to become the ultimate boss slayer, Zoey is your girl! This deck is an absolute blast to play. Comments welcome. Enjoy!


Jul 21, 2020 atilak · 2

I like some of your ideas how to make Shotgun more useful. I just want to put some input how to maybe improve it. Change Stunning blow for Act of Desperation. You can then throw away your one shotgun for another for free attack. Even consider well-maintained to get shotgun back in hand with AoD.

Also you NEED to have additional ammo. Extra ammunition. Way more than upgraded emergency cache.

Daring maneuver is awesome idea that I did not think about and its awesome for shotgun.

Jul 21, 2020 LaRoix · 90

Hey thanks for the feedback! So the only reason for not including Act of Desperation and Well-Maintained is that I have yet to actually play through the Circle Undone. I looked those cards up though and they're good additions for this deck to be sure.

And yes, I made an edit for Extra Ammo, especially where Eat Lead is concerned. The reason I prioritize the card draw from Emergency Cache is that I typically just use the .32 Colt's (especially their lvl 2 variant) for most enemies (along with the Cross and Vicious Blow). The shotgun is a boss slayer, not to be used on anything that doesn't have 5+ health (and in this way, every shotgun blast is being used to its full potential). However, you can use it on weaker foes (and it's hilarious overkill if you do!). Venturer should keep you stocked enough if you savor the ammo for big targets, but the bigger the party size then the stronger the case for that extra ammo. It's a target for Backpack as well which is nice, so yea, it's basically a shoe in at some point.

And yea, Daring Maneuver is awesome! Definitely good for the Sawed-Off Shotgun too if you're looking to try that out at some point.