Holy Shotgun Mary|20k Series|Deck Guide

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Carson Sinclair: 20k Mary, do you need anything more? AN 22' 4 2 1 1.0
Jim with a Shotgun (?) (0XP) 10 6 2 1.0
Guns and Rosaries 0 0 0 1.0

Valentin1331 · 52851

Mary turns the Fireplace Ornament into an infinite Shotgun.


Credit: Romana Kendelic


As I just reached 20k points on ArkhamDB, I would like to thank the community for all the ♥ with a little celebration. I will release a new standalone-ready deck concept every week on Friday for the following months, so stay tuned and keep pressing the ♥ button if you want to see more!

This series will come with more concise explanations and are geared towards more experienced players that would like to revisit an investigator in the light of the newer cards.

As Sister Mary received the most votes on Reddit, she's the first of the series.

Please let me know in the comment which investigators you would like to see next!

Table of Contents:

  • Overview

  • Main Strategy

  • From 1 to 3 damage

  • From 3 to 5 damage

  • Other Cards

  • Upgrade Path


Difficulty: ★★★★☆
Enemy Management: ★★★★★
Clue-getting: ★☆☆☆☆
Encounter protection: ★★☆☆☆
Survivability: ★★★☆☆
Economy: ★★★★☆
Card Drawing: ★★★☆☆

Main Strategy:

What makes the Shot-guns different from any other weapon in the game?
Its capacity to deal 5 damage in one single shot.

It is enough to deal with almost every non-elite enemy in a campaign in one single attack, but it has a major downside: only 2 ammo.

What if we could reliably reach 5 damage per bullet without taking the risk of ever getting out of ammo?

From 1 to 3 damage:

To go from 1 to 3 damage per turn, you need to reliably feed the .35 Winchester with .

  • The obvious Olive McBride who makes you pull 3 times more tokens once per round.

  • Custom Modifications gives you another chance, making you pull 4 tokens per test. I will let the mathematicians among us tell us the probabilities of success based on the number of in the bag.

  • The 2 Favor of the Suns secure 6 shots per game..

  • Dark Prophecy as a backup solution in case you haven't found your Favor of the Sun. Of course, it can whiff if you have only a couple in the bag.

How to use these tutors at best?

Here is the detailed sequence with an example using random tokens:

  1. Use Olive McBride to pull 3 tokens instead of 1
    - - .
  2. Ignore one of the 3 tokens as part of Olive's ability
    - | .
  3. Of the 2 tokens remaining, you can use the of Custom Modifications to cancel one, reveal a new one, which triggers Favor of the Sun's to replace that new token with a .
    - | .
  4. Resolve chaos symbol effect(s): instructs you to reveal an another chaos token.
  5. Determine investigator's modified skill value :
    - - (-2)
  6. Determine success/failure of skill test.

As Custom Modifications lets you use Olive McBride before having to release a token from Favor of the Sun, you increase its range of use across your scenario tremendously.

From 3 to 5 damage:

Now that we can find quickly, we need to find a way to deal 2 more damage per bullet.

  • Enchant Weapon gives +1 damage once per turn and a massive boost in skill value.

    • Counting the pull of 1 , you will be testing at 3, +2 from the .35 Winchester, +4 from Enchant Weapon, +2 from the + 4 from Reliable x2 = 15 .

    • You will resolve 2 tokens, though, so the negative modifier will tend to be bigger than usual.

  • Custom Modifications - Quicksilver Bullet will turn this big value into the 5th damage as we are very likely to succeed by 3 or more.

Other Cards:

Upgrade Path:

Link to the 0xp deck

 Cost  Total
Core Upgrades 0 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  Favor of the Sun 1 XP 1 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  Favor of the Sun 1 XP 2 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  ☑ Notched Sight 1 XP 3 XP
    →  Sacred Covenant •• 2 XP 5 XP
   Guts  →  Enchant Weapon ••• 3 XP 8 XP
   Guts  →  Enchant Weapon ••• 3 XP 11 XP
   Overpower  →  Ghastly Possession 1 XP 12 XP
   Overpower  →  Ghastly Possession 1 XP 13 XP
   Custom Modifications    ☑☑ Counterbalance 2 XP 15 XP
   Daring  →  Reliable 1 XP 16 XP
   Daring  →  Reliable 1 XP 17 XP
   Custom Modifications    ☑☑☑☑ Quicksilver Bullets 4 XP 21 XP
Optional Upgrades 21 XP
More Consistency 21 XP
    →  Stick to the Plan ••• 6 XP 27 XP
   Prepared for the Worst  →  Fang of Tyr'thrha •••• 4 XP 31 XP
   Custom Modifications  →  Telescopic Sight ••• 3 XP 34 XP
More Ammo 34 XP
   One in the Chamber  →  Extra Ammunition 1 XP 35 XP
   One in the Chamber  →  Custom Ammunition ••• 3 XP 38 XP
More Bless 38 XP
   Voice of Ra  →  Nkosi Mabati ••• 3 XP 41 XP
    →  Charisma ••• 3 XP 44 XP

(View at arkham-starter.com)

Link to the full xp deck

Other concepts for Mary:

  • A Runic Axe focused Mary that recharges for more uses. I love the fact that this deck runs only 1 Asset.
    Deck Link

  • A Mary that uses Mind's Eye on the Shotgun for better skill values. That's not her best build, in my opinion, but still a fun thought.
    Deck Link

  • A deck that uses the newly tabooed Ritual Candles to turn into +4 for the Shotgun.
    Deck Link

    • This deck is not the best for me because even if you one-shot each enemy you cross, ammo is still an issue if you are the primary enemy manager.

To create your own guides, find the template I have created here


Dec 25, 2022 Adny · 1

the token replacement in your "detailed sequence" doesn't work that way. you should go back an read the clarification in the FAQ (in whichever order you stack olive & the favor, you'll never draw three tokens from the bag for olive).

Dec 25, 2022 Valentin1331 · 52851

Thanks for the comment :)

The most important part here is Custom Modifications and the fact that it lets you "reveal a new one".

The FAQ says that you must declare your intentions to use multiple effects that replace a token pull in advance:

  1. Declare that you will use Olive McBride to replace the initial token pull with 3 and ignore 1.
  2. Use Custom Modifications's once Olive is fully resolved, letting you cancel one token and "reveal a new one".
  3. Declare that you will use Favor of the Sun to replace the new token that Custom Modifications would reveal and replace it with a .

As Favor of the Sun is used to replace the token from Custom Modifications and not from the initial pull, it doesn't collide with Olive McBride.

Dec 29, 2022 nateparkes · 1

Mind blowing. Thanks!

Jan 03, 2023 acotgreave · 776

Took this deck through the fan-made Constellations standalone last night. Holy cow, that weapon is AMAZINGLY powerful. I got the gun, along with Customisations, and Relentless down in turn one, and from there was overkilling everything, generating huge resources in order to refill it. Incredible fun. Thank you!

Feb 01, 2023 arkhamproxy · 1

  1. Use Custom Modifications's once Olive is fully resolved, letting you cancel one token and "reveal a new one".

I think if you want to use Custom Modifications on a "single" token you must declare ahead of time which one of Olive's 3 you are using it on (this would be useless for our purposes).

If you choose to fully resolve and reveal Olive's 2 tokens, then they count as one token. So if you choose to replace "a" token, then you have to put back both and redraw. This ever-so-slightly reduces the chances of pulling a bless (with the added token back in the bag), but on the other hand you'll only have one not two which IMO is better overall.

See the first FAQ on Olive McBride's page:

"All of these tokens are considered to be revealed simultaneously, so you are not allowed to reveal the first 2 tokens with Olive, and then decide whether or not to use the statue" (you are not allowed to reveal the first 2 tokens with Olive, and then decide whether or not to use the Custom Modifications) My read is if you're fully resolving Olive, then the 2 tokens count as 1 and must both be replaced - you can't midway decide to use Custom Modifications and partially choose which of the two to replace)

"for the purposes of resolving these types of effects, the 3 tokens revealed from Olive’s ability should be treated as 1 revealed token." FAQ, v.1.3, May 2018

Feb 02, 2023 Valentin1331 · 52851

Thanks @arkhamproxy for the comment!

I think (and I've double-checked in the Rules Question of the Mythos Busters' discord) that the main difference with the combo Grotesque Statue + Olive McBride (which caused the FAQ) and the Custom Modifications is the timing.

The former is considering triggers that happen at the same moment: "When you would reveal a chaos token".

Custom Modifications, on the other hand, is "When you reveal". The difference is subtle but IMO crucial: Olive McBride and Grotesque Statue both happen before you reveal the token, and Custom Modifications is after you reveal the token, before resolving any effect.

How I read the FAQ is that the act of pulling 3 tokens is like the act of pulling one. You cannot interrupt this act in the middle and trigger another effect (like the Statue) after pulling 1 or 2 tokens. You have to pull the 3 of them no matter what.
In our case, we reveal the 3 tokens, move on with Olive's ability to ignore and end up with 2 tokens.
And here opens the window for Custom Modifications on "a" chaos token.

At the end of the day, as you also say, replacing both tokens would also be great as it's probably even more chances to pull a . You will often use the Custom Modifications to trigger the Favor of the Sun anyways.

Feb 03, 2023 arkhamproxy · 1

Thank you for taking the time to give a detailed explanation. Yeah, that does make sense about the (subtle but crucial) difference between: "When you would reveal" (before) and "When you reveal" (after).

I read the ruling "the 3 tokens revealed from Olive’s ability should be treated as 1 revealed token"... but I guess the part I misunderstood is the qualifier "for the purposes of resolving these types of effects" - It seems "these types of effects" only refer to when you "would reveal" (it's only treated as 1 token before the reveal)?

But then after the reveal (i.e. "when" revealed) if they're no longer considered 1 token, when you trigger Custom Modifications and target "a" token, then you would pick only one of any multiple revealed tokens.

At any rate, you're right - either way you play that, it's a pretty small difference. Nice idea about combining Olive McBride with Custom Modifications to be able to trigger the Favor of the Sun. Thanks for going into detail with me on this and thank you for your deck guides. They've been fun to read and think about.

Mar 31, 2023 Jose CM · 8

Hola, jugando a dos manos, que podríamos cambiar para ayudar un poco investigando al buscador?

May 28, 2023 RanulfIK · 1

Hello Valentin, and thank you for your helpful guides,

I would be interested in knowing what is your take on how Sacred Covenant works with blessed tokens. If you send back a bless token to the bag using Sacred Covenant for a skill check, would you reveal another chaos token?

I've read 2 ways to answer this on the net.

One, and it is my take, says that the bless token is returned to the bag after revealing the token from the bag (step 3), but before resolving it's effect. Therefore there is no token anymore to apply the effect on step 4, so you dont draw another token from the returned-to-bag bless token effect. And as you dont count the modifier either (instruction written on the sacred covenant card itself), therefore you get a 0 modifier skill check result. Which is awesome, let's be honnest.

But I have read a less joyous way of understanding this, saying that even if the bless token is returned to the bag, you have to resolve its effect of drawing another chaos token from the bag. People saying this claim that it is written on Sacred Covenant that you ignore the modifier, and not written to ignore the effect as well. But here again, I dont see why it matters, since you resolve the effect on the next step, when the bless token is back to the bag, and therfore not drawn, and not in play anymore. But there, again, I read people saying that "not in play" status is not applicable to tokens, so you have to resolve the effect even if the bless token is returned to the bag.

What is your take on this, and how do you play Sacred Covenant with bless token? Thank you.

Jun 11, 2023 ottoo · 1

Gun focused Mary felt bad and lacked a lot of versatility, strength, reliability, and required more to setup vs using pivoting and using a Timeworn Brand + Enchant weapon and replacing gun focused cards in the deck for other uses.

Jun 19, 2023 Earth · 1

@RanulfIK To answer your question about Sacred Covenant, check the FAQ under Sacred Covenant on this website. I will not quote the full response, but to summarize you would fully reveal tokens until all additional reveals are complete. Then, decide if you would like to activate Sacred Covenant to put the blesses back in the chaos bag or allow them to contribute their +2 and be removed from the bag.