Slot Lightning Zap — Game Review
Slot Lightning Zap — Game Review
The more I play Guardian, the more I find myself turning to Lightning Gun as the best upgrade path for multiplayer Guardians. It is so good against the Expert chaos bag that if I don’t build for it, I end up wishing I did. The +5 bonus means that with only modest further boosting you can crack the -8 token on every shot. The +2 damage means that you have to spend fewer fight actions to kill things, which means fewer pulls from the chaos bag and more actions left over to do whatever you need to do.
Of course, Lightning Gun very much demands to be built around. You must have ways to reload it in your deck—Extra Ammunition and Custom Ammunition are your best in-faction options here, and both are worth it. I think Venturer is fine, and I might run one or two. But my first choice would be to play the ammo events and use my ally slot elsewhere.
I recommend supplementing Lightning Gun with extra-damage effects—Beat Cop II and Vicious Blow are the most important. These save you ammo, skill tests, and actions by letting you kill 4-health (sometimes even 5-health) enemies in one action. Beat Cop II will also spare you from having to use Lightning Gun on something dinky like an Acolyte or Whippoorwill.
Beyond that, Prepared for the Worst to tutor Lightning Gun is very helpful, as is Stick to the Plan so you can start every game with that and other support cards available.
You were probably running Emergency Cache in most of your Guardian builds anyway, but it’s as necessary here as anywhere else.
One support item I generally omit is Bandolier. I don’t think there’s a huge advantage to having the third hand slot, and Bandolier + Lightning Gun + another hand item is needlessly expensive. That said, you do always want additional assets in play to go with Lightning Gun. Otherwise you’ll risk losing your Lightning Gun to stuff like Crypt Chill and Pushed into the Beyond, and that would just be disastrous. Just use assets that don’t take up hand slots.
I would skip «Eat lead!» most of the time—the guaranteed hit is nice, but spending extra ammo and 2 XP isn’t. Maybe if someone is packing Double or Nothing this becomes better, but it’s probably still a low priority.
Make no mistake, this is a very greedy card. Most of your resources and much of your deck space will have to be devoted to it. It will take up a ton of XP, in a faction that is entirely devoid of XP acceleration. Attractive XP options like Stand Together will have to be significantly delayed, if you ever get to them at all.
But the upside is that a properly supported Lightning Gun will be outstanding at your primary task of blowing up enemies. You will do that far more efficiently and reliably than you otherwise could. Plus, when it comes time for a boss fight, you’ll be ready.
CaiusDrewart · 2863
I’m with you on lightning gun! Zoey wants her blessed lightning gun to hunt monsters! The combo with venturer can work with Leo though and he can have the XP boost with Charon’s obol! — mogwen · 250 9/19/18
@mogwin: Yep! I’m not a huge Charon’s Obol fan but Leo is at least tanky enough that he could seriously consider it. If I were pursuing this build as Zoey, I would definitely take Delve Too Deep. — CaiusDrewart · 2863 9/19/18
Yes, good idea! And Father Matteo could give her dustom munitions, I like the idea of the religious party! — mogwen · 250 9/19/18
Note that e.cache 3 can recharge venturer for more ammo. Other players can use it on your venturer as well. — Django · 4547 9/19/18
Venturer does a lot for low ammo, high damage output weapons like this. Especially with other reload options. Lightening Gun is definitely the gold standard for big guns. — Myriad · 1175 9/28/18
Updating this review: while my opinion of Lightning Gun is more or less unchanged, I almost never buy this card nowadays. Flamethrower is just better. — CaiusDrewart · 2863 9/9/19
Big shiny guns, big scary price tags. Lightning Gun is for the discerning Guardian who wants to never worry about enemies ever again. Well, at least until it’s ammunition runs dry.
Upsides: +5 allows you to ignore nearly any token for most fights, and for high enemies even half of the bag usually is success. An easily overlooked upside of this is that LG shots almost never miss, making them more efficient than other ammo weapons.
3 damage will kill most enemies, eat up bosses and allow you to save your vicious blows to kill 4 health enemies. No other weapon can do that. The Shotgun can do more total damage, but you can’t tailor it to a specific number which means risk.
Downsides: 3 ammo is sparing, making Extra Ammunition a good investment.
6 money is a tempo hit. Not, mind you, that much worse than .45 Automatic or Machete, but it is a hit.
5 exp is expensive, not much else to really say about this.
2 hands means you either need to ditch your other items or fish for a Bandolier. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, as the bandolier only has to be in play before you play LG and your Flashlight but it’s still a deck slot and some actions to put that together.
Personally I think it’s effective. The ability to know enemies are almost certainly dead in one action is wonderful peace of mind. Still, you can’t just purchase this on a whim, a number of support cards are required to make it particularly effective. It’s also just plain fun.
Difrakt · 1203
Good review. I like Lightning Gun, but I’ve yet to try it in a solo deck. I went for the Shotgun in my Zoey Dunwich campaign because it is ultimately cheaper (1 exp or 1 resource can sometimes be the difference between a free action and not), and the ability to immediately kill anything regardless of HP saves me so much time in the end. Lightning Gun is good, but if it’s not enough to take down some of the heftier enemies, thus with VP typically, then it really hurts to have to spend yet another action and another ammo to finish it off. At that point, you definitely will be packing Bandolier anyways. To each their own. — LaRoix · 1615 4/27/20
Not much beats this weapon for dominating as a combat character. The steady +2 damage and a modifier that all but guarantees successes makes this expensive killing tool unusually flexible.
Here’s a comparison: You’re Roland, with your .45 Automatic you aim to kill a Ravenous Ghoul, you’re 2 above the required skill check, you lay down a Vicious Blow to net you a clean kill and spend 1 on Physical Training to hit that sweet spot of +4 over the skill check, and even then on higher difficulties you might throw on another just in case you get that -5. And boom, the Ghoul is gone. That there cost you: 4 for the gun, 2 for Physical Training, 2 and an action to play Physical Training in the first place, and a Vicious Blow as well, end cost: 3 cards, 8 resources and the extra action. You will be able to fire the gun 3 more times, but you wont kill any 3 hp enemies in one shot.
Now the lightning gun. One shot, aaaaand DONE. That set you back 6 resources but you’re geared to do this two more times without having to pay for any boosts or playing extra cards!
Of course it wont be that simple, with a gun that big in your deck you will want to bring Prepared for the Worst to search for it and Extra Ammunition to keep it firing. You still want to draw into Vicious Blow to deal with those 4 HP enemies and the initial cost will inevitably slow you down in the earlygame.
This card does exactly what it should do and has all the drawbacks that it looks like it’s got, it’s a big unwieldy boomstick that will never disappoint you, but setting this up mean’s you wont be doing much else.
Other cards that aren’t immediately obviously good with this card: In class: 1) Dodge and Prepared for the Worst are a big help against bosses, they essentially let you set a trap for a hunting enemy where you get a full round of emptying this gun at the foe, useful in some specific missions. 2) Stand Together, this is effectively a second set of Emergency Cache, the key benefit here is that you usually only go for Lightning Gun when you have someone else doing the clue gathering, in which case you can give them a big buff while you set yourself up. A perfect first turn would be playing this into the lightning gun and immediately playing it. 3) Beat Cop, Lightning Gun is wasted on 1 and 2 HP enemies, Beat Cop helps you mitigate these enemies.
Out of class: 1) Quick Thinking is often all but a guaranteed action. Good if you need to wade into a big fight or need to accomplish something after it. 2) Drawn to the Flame and Scrying. You don’t do much when you’re totally focused on fighting and there are no enemies to zap, these cards let you guide encounters onto yourself. 3) Pathfinder and Shortcut. Entering a fight quickly can be key, perhaps you need to spend an action engaging a foe or perhaps you need to fire all three shots to down a foe in one round.
Tsuruki23 · 2376
I agree with most of this, but I don’t think Quick Thinking is a good combo — spending one card to get one action is only marginally useful, and at Combat +5 it’s pretty unlikely that you want it for its ? symbol. Double-or-nothing is a vastly better Rogue combo for Lightning Gun. — sfarmstrong · 262 6/26/18
When this card appeared, it was the first real big gun, with Shotgun being a little bit in a weird spot.
Unfortunately, by now it has been overpassed by a range of other weapons in every aspect:
- High value: Of course the Cyclopean Hammer which is slightly cheaper, same XP and offers the chance to go higher with Reliable x2 and a potentially unlimited amount of 3-damage hits.
- Big damage per round: Flamethrower does 4 damage per attack, comes with more Ammo and is cheaper. It has been tabooed to 8xp 6xp now though, yet if you get 1 and refill it with Ammo, you’re still in a better spot.
- 3 damage, 3 times: Brand of Cthugha (4) is significantly cheaper, uses a vastly unused slot for , and offers the flexibility to not spend an ammo for 1hp left. It is a bit the M1918 BAR, with just a little less peak damage but also much cheaper and leaving your hands free. The only advantage of the Lightning Gun is in case you plan on refilling the ammos with Extra Ammunition or Venturer as doing so is useless on the Brand of Cthugha/M1918 BAR.
- Honorific mention to the Holy Spear that can deal 3 damages also more times if you can generate enough tokens find a way to unseal the tokens on it.
So unfortunately, no matter how cool and thematic this gun is, the +5 makes it a complete overkill that is now obsolete in the vast majority of the cases. This could still find play in Expert mode where shooting at 10+ can still be a strategy but it still requires a lot of build around to maintain a constant flow of ammo.
Valentin1331 · 33754
Compared with the above weapons the lightning gun has much advantages over the other weapon (except the Ammo): you have no succeed by condition for the third point of damage compared with the hammer; you don’t need to be engaged with the enemy compared with the flamethrower; it doesn’t need as much ammo as the bar; you can use upgrades like custom ammunition which doesn’t work on the brand and you don’t need bless tokens like the spear. So technically this weapon is the best, but sadly in practice other weapons are good enough to handle your problem without much preparation. — Tharzax · 1 5/3/22
Flamethrower was taboo’d to 6xp (not 8xp). — Death by Chocolate · 1263 5/3/22
with the introduction of black market lightning gun does become a lot more powerful, handing it to non guardians and letting them fight at a minimum of 6 is pretty wild. — Zerogrim · 266 5/3/22
You could do this more reliable with teamwork and even then it’s an expensive option for a problem you can usually solve with events — Tharzax · 1 5/4/22
Fighting with a base of 6 is not enough, even on standard, when the enemies you want to take care of have a fight value of 4 or 5, which is often the case on the enemies worthy to hit for 3 damage. 4 can be feasible, if the special tokens don’t punish going just 2 above, 5 is never a good idea. Besides that, it’s a question, if the group really needs an offclass Lighning Gun wielder, or if these causes goons to do nothing, while the group falls behind on clues. And what would be the advantage of that vs. a Mystic with Shrivelling (5) or the like? — Susumu · 299 5/4/22
In addition to that: if you go this route, you are asking the Guardian to spend 10 XP to basically improve the deck of somebody else. These XP will be missed in the Guardian deck itself to fuction properly in later scenarios. — Susumu · 299 5/4/22
Thanks Death by Chocolate, I corrected. And for all your points, of course there are advantages certain restrictions to the other weapons, the lightning gun being the reference. Is it «the best» though? I personally think that it makes it actually the worst as it could fit anywhere, but with a little bit or work, any other weapon could be better. Reliable for the Hammer, Riot Whistle/Taunt for the Flamethrower, bless for the spear. What I was trying to show here is that if you like this weapon for 1 aspect in particular, then another weapon is probably doing it better. — Valentin1331 · 33754 5/4/22
Lightning Gun has the advantage of not taking the body slot so that you can use it in combination with an other weapon thanks to Bandolier (and so save you ammo), or in combination with Backpack to «store» your Extra ammunition. So I think I would still play Lighting gun (in combination with an other weapon, ideally without ammo) in a 3+ investigator games. — AlexP · 235 5/7/22
Combos very nicely with Venturer cards. Venturer is not only a sanity/hp soako but allows you to distribute his 3 supplies/ammo between different assets. Basically, if you have venturer and lightning gun, he pretty much doubles the amount of bullets.
Another great card is Extra Ammunition — straight up + 3 ammo to a Firearm card like this. 2x Venturer + 2x Extra Ammunition, and you have lots and lots of +5 Strength +2 damage attacks. OUCH!
Arcader slot review (Thunderkick)
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