In this guide on the Gloomhaven class tier list, we have evaluated each character option, assisting you in forming an optimal party for both standard and challenging Gloomhaven difficulties. The original copy of the game contains six potential starting classes, with an additional 11 unlockable ones that become available as you progress through the campaign.
Understanding each class’s strengths and weaknesses can be valuable before committing your time to playing a Gloomhaven class until retirement.
We also have the inclusion of 1 more class in Forgotten Circles and 4 more in the Jaws of the Lion expansion, making a total of 22 possible mercenaries to choose from as you craft your own Gloomhaven story. Let’s dive in and explore each class’s unique abilities and characteristics to create an adventure like no other.
Certain character classes in Gloomhaven have a greater potential for success, especially considering the chosen difficulty level and party composition.
This applies to the game’s physical and digital versions, including any expansions. It is important to note that while all character classes can contribute to the campaign, some options offer a higher likelihood of achieving favorable outcomes.
By remembering the tips and strategies provided in this guide, players can enhance their overall gaming experience and increase their chances of triumphing in this game.
Please note that this guide contains spoilers for various classes. If you prefer to choose a class based on their party role without significant spoilers or references to their power level, you can visit our Gloomhaven classes overview instead.
GLOOMHAVEN BEST CLASS FACTORS
It is an engaging and balanced game that allows most characters to contribute to scenarios in the hands of a capable player. However, certain classes excel in effectiveness, flexibility, and overall potential.
When evaluating characters for this Gloomhaven tier list, we consider their performance across different levels rather than solely focusing on level 9 characters with all cards unlocked. It’s important to note that this tier list is based on the base Gloomhaven campaign, as the expansions introduce mechanics that can influence character effectiveness.
Additionally, expansion characters tend to be stronger in their specific expansion scenarios, designed with these classes in mind. It’s worth mentioning that the dynamics of the best starting party or class may differ from those of a party with unlocked mercenaries and items.
Without damage, defeating enemies in this game becomes nearly impossible. The key to success lies in reducing the damage your party takes, allowing you to progress through the scenario. In this game, the offense is often prioritized over defense, making characters with reliable and direct damage sources incredibly powerful. With their ability to dish out punishment, they become formidable forces on the battlefield. So, if your goal is victory, focusing on dealing damage effectively is crucial.
Not every character in a party needs to focus solely on dealing with damage. Having utility-based abilities can greatly benefit a party, especially in larger groups.
These abilities range from buffing damage, creating obstacles, forcing enemies to move, or inflicting status effects. By incorporating these utility options, players are given a wider range of choices and strategies to face whatever challenges come their way effectively.
With the ability to adapt and support each other, the party becomes a well-rounded force to be reckoned with on their quest. So, remember, it’s not just about the damage but the diverse skills and tactics that make a party truly impactful.
Certain characters in Gloomhaven thrive in specific situations, while they may struggle in others due to the layout of rooms or enemy types. On the other hand, top-tier classes possess the versatility to excel in a wider range of scenarios, capable of fulfilling multiple roles within a team.
The ease of use also comes into play, as flexible characters do not require flawless tactics to unleash their full potential.
Conversely, some characters easily crumble if not played perfectly, vulnerable to a single mistake. By considering these factors, we can identify the best classes for various scenarios, ensuring success in the ever-changing world of Gloomhaven.
GLOOMHAVEN BEST CLASS TIER LIST SUMMARY
Below is a tier list for the Gloomhaven classes, ranked from S to D. This rating system evaluates the effectiveness of each class based on party size (2, 3, or 4 players) since it can greatly impact character performance.
Considering this tier list, you can determine the best 4-player party, best 3-player party, and best 2-player party. For more detailed ratings for each specific character, please refer to the end of this Gloomhaven tier list guide.
Additionally, I highly recommend checking out a comprehensive thread on BoardGameGeek that includes a community poll with over 600 votes, offering the community’s perspective on the power level of each Gloomhaven class.
|Class||Source||2 Player||3 Player||4 Player|
|Diviner||Starting (Forgotten Circles)||D||C||B|
|Red Guard||Starting (Jaws of the Lion)||A||A||A|
|Hatchet||Starting (Jaws of the Lion)||C||B||A|
|Demolitionist||Starting (Jaws of the Lion)||C||C||B|
|Voidwarden||Starting (Jaws of the Lion)||D||B||A|
The Gloomhaven classes I want to highlight are truly the pinnacle of flexibility. Not only do they excel in various scenarios, but they can also make the toughest challenges seem like a walk in the park when wielded by capable individuals.
These classes outshine others in party settings, making them ideal for start and unlockable options. Their proficiency in their respective roles is unmatched, elevating the overall gameplay experience. So, if you’re looking for a class that can effortlessly adapt and conquer any situation, look no further than these remarkable Gloomhaven classes. Their sheer versatility will leave you awe-inspired.
When seeking the best character in Gloomhaven, it’s crucial to consider another powerful tier. While they may not reach the ranks of the S tier, these characters are still above average and can greatly enhance a team when the party size is right. Adding these characters to your team is worth considering if you want to maximize your chances of success.
In Gloomhaven, the average baseline for character power falls right in the middle. It neither leans towards being too strong nor weak, resulting in a fair and balanced level of challenge throughout the game’s scenarios. When assembling your party, you can rest assured that your difficulty option will provide a suitable experience as intended.
So, what does this mean for your adventure? It means you won’t find yourself dominating every encounter effortlessly, nor will you struggle excessively. Instead, It offers a well-crafted balance, ensuring you face worthy opponents and skillfully overcome obstacles. It’s a game that keeps you engaged and thoroughly entertained.
The average power level of characters in Gloomhaven falls right in the middle, neither overpowering nor weak. This creates a balanced and enjoyable challenge for players as they embark on various scenarios. When assembling a party, you can trust that your difficulty will provide the intended level of gameplay.
Rather than copying and pasting content from other sources, I will rewrite the provided paragraph in my own words, keeping it concise and engaging. Join me as we explore the character power dynamics in Gloomhaven and how they perfectly balance challenge and enjoyment.
The D-tier classes in Gloomhaven pose an additional challenge for those who dare to play them. With glaring weaknesses when used at specific party sizes, these classes require others to pick up the slack.
As a result, scenarios become significantly more challenging. It’s important to understand that playing these classes may test your skills and require extra effort from your teammates.
So, if you’re up for a challenge and ready to face adversity head-on, these D-tier classes will put your abilities to the test. However, remember that their weaknesses can impact the overall performance of your party. So, be prepared to adapt and overcome the obstacles that lie ahead.
GLOOMHAVEN BEST CLASS TIER LIST DETAIL
The Brute is a highly valuable asset when it comes to starting classes. Whether you’re playing at a small or large party, this character brings a lot to the table.
While they may not be overwhelmingly powerful, they should not be underestimated when creating the perfect starting party combo.
The Brute offers a great mix of offensive and defensive capabilities, which can deal damage and absorb it using their tanking utility, such as shields.
They also have the advantage of manipulating enemy movement, making them a versatile choice for various scenarios. However, it’s worth noting that as you progress in the game and unlock other Gloomhaven characters, some may outshine the Brute in specific tasks or abilities. Nonetheless, the Brute remains a solid choice for an exciting and diverse gameplay experience.
One of the standout classes in Gloomhaven is the Cragheart, known for its versatility and adaptability. The Cragheart’s unique cards make it a valuable asset, especially in smaller parties where its flexibility truly shines.
The class’s obstacle-related cards are particularly useful, as hexes are often less crowded with allies, summons, and enemies. With its ability to navigate various party sizes and capitalize on the dynamic nature of the battlefield, the Cragheart proves to be a formidable force.
The Mindthief class in Gloomhaven can be a challenge for newcomers, but those who fully grasp its potential will quickly realize its superiority. As you progress through the mid-game levels and obtain certain core cards, you’ll unlock the perfect blend of tools for the fast-paced playstyle that the Mindthief requires.
However, even before reaching this point, the Mindthief possesses a deadly combination of strong damage, crowd control options, and invisibility.
By mastering the mechanics available to this class, you can deal significant damage while minimizing the chances of retaliation from your foes. Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting, the Mindthief is an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile and formidable character.
The Scoundrel is a formidable damage dealer in Gloomhaven, capable of rivaling the highest-tier damage dealers. They excel in larger party sizes, where they have the necessary tools and allies to focus solely on dealing with damage.
However, the Scoundrel’s reliance on damage can pose challenges for smaller parties. Other damage-dealing classes with more utility and fewer conditions may be better for a 2-player party combo.
The Scoundrel’s true potential shines when paired with a melee ally, allowing them to minimize damage taken and utilize their most powerful cards that rely on having a nearby ally. Consider these factors when deciding on the best class composition for your party.
The Spellweaver class embodies the essence of a glass cannon mage, fulfilling the archetype’s expectations with advantages and disadvantages. This balanced position allows the Spellweaver to unleash substantial damage by utilizing the recovery card mechanic and strategic setups. However, it comes at the cost of having fragile health and a limited hand size. Although you may dazzle with the powerful area of effect spells, your impact on challenging scenarios may not be as significant (except for the exceptional level 9 card options you possess). Remember, the effectiveness of this class relies on finding the perfect balance between offense and vulnerability, ensuring unforgettable moments of spellcasting prowess. In conclusion, the Spellweaver, while formidable, necessitates careful consideration of its inherent strengths and weaknesses.
The Tinkerer excels in larger parties where they can fully utilize their support skills. They make for a strong starting choice in a full 4-person party.
However, compared to the unlockable Gloomhaven classes, the Tinkerer quickly falls behind in support prowess.
It’s better to consider other starting class options in smaller party sizes, such as the Cragheart, which offers better support and flexibility. The Tinkerer’s reliance on loss cards for damage makes it challenging to be effective in a small party. So, while the Tinkerer shines in larger groups, it’s important to consider other options for smaller parties to ensure better effectiveness.
This is Another class that may not be suitable for a two player party, as its mechanics often rely on someone else holding the ground for you. However, as the number of players increases, the power of this class quickly escalates.
With more allies and enemies, you have more opportunities to take advantage of your unique mechanics and truly shine in your intended role.
It’s worth noting that this class is particularly potent in Forgotten Circles compared to other Gloomhaven content, as several scenarios are specifically designed with this character in mind.
The tank character in Jaws of the Lion excels in their role and is one of the strongest starting characters in this position, thanks to their versatile card selection.
The Red Guard offers a high level of flexibility, allowing them to withstand damage, heal or disrupt enemies, and even deal decent damage when necessary. While they may not top the charts regarding damage output, the Red Guard brings enough utility to any party, regardless of size or composition.
They are valuable allies, capable of contributing effectively in various situations. So, whether you’re playing with a small or large group, the Red Guard is a reliable and powerful addition to your team.
The Hatchet is a formidable mercenary capable of inflicting heavy damage on a single enemy from an unexpectedly long distance. However, there are certain weaknesses to consider when utilizing this powerful character.
To fully maximize their potential, it is crucial to have a well-rounded team that can provide support. It is worth noting that the Hatchet heavily relies on loss cards and has a small deck size. Careful gameplay is essential to avoid exhausting your teammates.
The Hatchet’s pickup mechanic also ensures that your damage output remains balanced. For optimal effectiveness, your party needs to make steady progress forward.
The Demolitionist is a melee class that finds themselves in a tricky situation. They need to be in the thick of the action to deal damage and use their utility, but they lack the health and utility to stay there consistently.
However, with strategic planning and skillful use of their cards, the Demolitionist can still be a valuable asset to the group. They may need more attention than other characters to reach their full potential and aren’t as self-sufficient. Despite this, they shine in Jaws of the Lions scenarios.
These scenarios are smaller and filled with obstacles, allowing the Demolitionist to make the most of their obstacle-related abilities. The Demolitionist requires a thoughtful approach but can be a powerful force in the right circumstances.
The Voidwarden class in Gloomhaven is often considered challenging to master. It may not be worth the effort for some players, especially compared to the highly rated S-tier classes. However, if you appreciate its aesthetic or design mechanics, you’ll find that the Voidwarden excels in a larger party size. Having more allies and enemies allows smoother utilization of the class’s unique mechanics, which focus on supporting the team and dealing indirect damage.
While it may require some dedication, the Voidwarden can be rewarding for players who enjoy a more strategic and unconventional playstyle.
The Beast Tyrant is a unique class in Gloomhaven. Interestingly, it has an inverse relationship to party size, performing exceptionally well in a two-player party but experiencing a slight decrease in power level in larger parties. The limitations arise from the inability to utilize the bear companion and other abilities fully.
However, the Beast Tyrant remains a solid choice even in larger parties due to its consistent damage output and durability. Additionally, the class offers a useful utility that can make challenging scenarios easier to handle. In summary, the Beast Tyrant is an above-average class that brings reliability and strength to any party, with particular strengths in smaller groups.
The Berserker class in Gloomhaven offers unique abilities that make them a formidable addition to any party. With impressive damage output, damage absorption, and crowd control skills, they can seamlessly fit into parties of any size.
The Berserker is capable of protecting themselves and their teammates, making them a well-rounded character.
They excel at fighting bosses, making them one of the top choices in Gloomhaven. However, it’s important to note that playing as a Berserker requires skill and experience, as their playstyle is risky and requires careful decision-making to avoid early exhaustion. Overall, the Berserker class is a powerful and dynamic choice for players who are up for a challenge and want to optimize their party’s performance.
The Doomstalker is an incredible choice for those seeking a versatile and powerful character in various scenarios, team setups, and group sizes.
Despite the need to sacrifice some valuable cards to achieve their impressive damage potential, the abilities of the Doomstalker are still exceptional. You’ll often find yourself eliminating foes before even breaking a sweat.
While they may struggle slightly in certain two-person teams, the Doomstalker remains valuable to any group. Overall, their prowess as a ranged mercenary is undeniable. So, how exactly does the Doomstalker manage to excel in combat? Let’s dive into the details.
The Elementalist class encounters challenges with smaller party sizes due to its fragile nature, especially at lower levels.
This makes it difficult for them to reach their full potential and excel in such situations. However, when opting for this unlockable class, you generally start at a higher level, enabling access to powerful level-up cards and items.
Despite this advantage, other similar classes outperform the Elementalist in fulfilling their intended role. As a result, the Elementalist remains an average choice at best. Even though their potential is limited, the Elementalists can contribute significantly to the party’s success.
Considered by many in the community as the ultimate powerhouse in Gloomhaven, the Nightshroud is a character who can take on any challenge without relying on other party members. With a focus on assassination, their abilities evolve and grow stronger with each encounter.
However, in larger parties at lower levels, you may face slight limitations as you may not have access to all your tools yet. Nonetheless, even in this state, the Nightshroud surpasses most other classes in a similar position.
The Plague Herald is a formidable character in any party, capable of dealing with various challenges regardless of the group size. They possess the unique ability to focus on area-of-effect attacks, inflicting damage or debuffing enemies to suit the team’s needs. Having a Plagueherald on your side brings immense advantages, especially due to their unparalleled curse-based damage mitigation.
This ability alone simplifies any scenario, making it an absolute pleasure to have them as part of your team. By harnessing the power of curses, the Plague Herald proves to be a versatile and essential ally.
In summary, the Plague Herald is a force to be reckoned with. Their skills and mechanics allow for dynamic gameplay, catering to the needs of any party. Their curse-based damage mitigation is one of their most valuable assets, ensuring a smoother and more successful journey for your team. With the Plague Herald by your side, the path to victory becomes clearer and more rewarding.
The Quartermaster is undeniably one of the most powerful classes in Gloomhaven, capable of completely dominating the game once unlocked and adequately equipped. But what sets this class apart is its remarkable versatility.
Not only does the Quartermaster excel in dealing with damage, but they can also serve as a reliable tank and provide valuable support to their team. This adaptable nature makes them an invaluable addition to any party, able to adjust to different party sizes, dynamics, scenarios, and enemy encounters. The Quartermaster’s strengths are not bound by significant weaknesses, making them a highly desirable choice for any player.
The Sawbones is a reliable frontline fighter that combines exceptional hard crowd control with some light support functions, making them a valuable asset to any team. However, unlike other support-oriented classes, Sawbones thrives in larger groups of allies and enemies, allowing them to exploit their deck of abilities fully.
Sawbones may not be as effective in smaller parties, as their skills are optimized for bigger-scale engagements. Despite this limitation, Sawbones always finds a way to contribute to the team’s success.
The Soothsinger class in Gloomhaven is an invaluable addition to any party. Once unlocked, this class brings powerful ally buffs and the ability to prevent or heal incoming damage from enemies. With the Soothsinger by your side, the risk in scenarios is greatly reduced, allowing for lazy and unoptimized rounds without consequence.
However, it’s important to note that the Soothsinger isn’t a major damage dealer, so if you’re planning on running with a small party size, you may need to consider other options and niche build choices. Nonetheless, having the Soothsinger in your party adds a level of support that is hard to match.
Summoners in Gloomhaven, particularly the melee ones, have often been regarded as weak due to their vulnerability to enemy attacks and the limited control players have over their actions.
However, the Summoner class offers useful utility cards and ranged summons, allowing players to experience moments of triumph when everything falls into place.
Yet, it is important to note that this class can be especially frustrating in smaller parties, where there is less reliance on other characters to compensate for unexpected setbacks. Despite these challenges, the Summoner class still offers a unique and fulfilling gameplay experience that caters to those who enjoy strategic decision-making and the thrill of unleashing powerful summons.
The Sunkeeper archetype in Gloomhaven is known as the “Filling the tank” option, and it excels at protecting allies and soaking up damage for the team.
However, in smaller parties, where the Sunkeeper has to take on a damage role, they may not be as effective since it’s not their specialty. On the other hand, in larger parties, the Sunkeeper becomes an invaluable ally, offering powerful tanking abilities and a range of supportive utilities.
This makes the Sunkeeper a favorite teammate among all the other classes in Gloomhaven. In summary, while the Sunkeeper may struggle in smaller parties, they shine and become an essential asset in larger groups.