Even two years after release, Gloomhaven remains one of the most popular tabletop board games in the world. The complex and moody dungeon-delver blends strategy, hand management, and legacy storytelling, with players taking on the roles of mercenaries in a branching storyline with permanent consequences. When players first open Gloomhaven, they choose from one of six starting characters, each with their own unique abilities and skills. Players will stick with these characters for some time, so it's important to know which class best matches up with their playstyle. Whether you prefer to stick to tanking with the Brute, or like to stay back and cast spells with the Spellweaver, there's a Starting Class that's perfect for you.
Keep reading for a breakdown of all six of Gloomhaven's Starting Classes:
The Brute is the closest thing Gloomhaven has to a traditional tank, at least out of the Starter classes. The Brute has high HP and a variety of cards that can deal out a lot of damage to opponents, or at least soften them up for your allies. This is why the Brute is perfect for the front line, killing and disabling foes before they can attack the squishier classes. Must have cards for your starting deck include Provoking Roar, which Disarms an opponent (thus robbing them of their attack) and Spare Dagger, which gives you a ranged attack that also provides players with XP every time they use it.
If you want to focus on killing enemies and dictating the flow of battle, the Brute is your character.
The Tinkerer can be used either a healer, a support class, or a damage dealer, depending on the needs of the rest of the party. She's much more versatile than the other classes, although that versatility isn't as handy when playing with two players. Another perk to the Tinkerer is that she can summon helpful robots that can absorb damage, distract enemies, and even dish out a bit of damage. As you level the Tinkerer up, keep in mind whether you want to turn her into a healer or a damage dealer, as it will radically alter which cards you choose.
If you're playing in a large group and want to fill in your party's weaknesses, give the Tinkerer a shot.
The Spellweaver is the magic user of the starting classes, a traditional low HP class with the ability to do a lot of damage from distance. One important thing to note about the Spellweaver is that, while other classes slowly lose their powerful abilities once played, the Spellweaver has the "Reviving Ether" card that restores these cards to your hand. So - while the Spellweaver only has eight cards in her hand, she can use most of them twice, which makes her a lot more powerful. Once the Spellweaver reaches Level 9, she gains access to the Inferno card, which is insanely powerful and turns the Spellweaver into an AoE god.
If you like playing magic casters in RPGs, the Spellweaver is the class for you.
The Scoundrel is the "rogue" of Gloomhaven, a class built primarily around hitting a single enemy very hard. Playing as the Scoundrel can be a bit of challenge, though, especially in smaller parties. The Scoundrel can only bring 9 cards into any scenario, and she relies on enemies either being alone or being next to one of her allies to maximize her damage. On the plus side, she's going to be the primary loot-getter in early scenarios, which is great if you like hoarding treasure. Make sure you pair the Scoundrel up with a character that can take some damage, or your party will be in for a world of hurt.
If you enjoy stabbing enemies in the back and collecting treasure, the Scoundrel is the class for you.
The Cragheart is probably the most unique of the starting Gloomhaven classes, as it doesn't really correspond to any traditional RPG role. The Cragheart is a primarily ranged attacker that specializes in knocking out shielded enemies due to splash damage. One thing to remember is that the Cragheart's splash damage affects both allies and enemies, so you'll want to focus your attacks on enemies that aren't engaged in battle. This is one of the most unique classes in the early game and is perfect for players who enjoy picking off enemies and occasionally using abilities to lockdown the battlefield.
The Mindthief is another class that doesn't conform to traditional RPG motifs. A bipedal rat with psychic powers, the Mindthief is both the weakest class and probably the most potent attacker among the starting classes. The Mindthief is built around the ability to Augment her abilities with one of several buffs, which are permanently activated when played. Depending on which Augment you use, the Mindthief can consistently dole out a lot of damage...which would be great if she didn't have the lowest HP among the starting classes. You'll want to think like the rat when using the Mindthief - scurry out of danger and striking opportunistically. This is another fun class, although you'll need to work very hard to take as little damage as possible.