Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant Guide – Cards, Builds, Perks, Enhancements & Items

Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Samuel Franklin

Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant Guide – Cards, Builds, Perks, Enhancements & Items

In this Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant guide we delve into the detail on how to build this unique Gloomhaven character that has not one but two miniatures to command across scenarios. With optimisation the Beast Tyrant is a durable and high damage dealing party member that provides some of the most unique utility along the way while also exploring some alternative mechanics to other unlockable Gloomhaven classes. In this guide I provide my recommendations on playing the Beast Tyrant at an optimal level of play with information on the individual card choices from level 1 to 9 and the underlying reasons behind why these decisions are effective ways to play. I also provide a template for perks, card enhancements and notable item purchases for a full rounded guide with all the information necessary for success.

The Beast Tyrant (Two Minis) is a Vermling who fights on the parties behalf as opposed to its usual role as a common enemy type. Known for their scavenging nature and weak wills they often work in larger packs to use their primitive weapons to secure food with only a small handful find their ways to the cities where they are shunned into the shadows. Utilising the Vermlings natural talents for communicating with animals the Beast Tyrant is one of the masters at this ability and has pushed it to take command over all manner of beasts in combat. This creates a unique mechanic where the player starts with the strongest summon in the game (a bear) that can easily be controlled in addition to summoning other traditional summons with animal themes.

For information and build guides on other Gloomhaven character options visit our Gloomhaven classes overview and the related Gloomhaven class tier list. Note that from this point onwards this guide contains full card spoilers for this class and minor item spoilers (general themes only and not specific non starting items).

Table of Contents:
Beast Tyrant Cards, Perks, Enhancements and Items Overview
Beast Tyrant Cards Detailed
Beast Tyrant Perks Detailed
Beast Tyrant Enhancements Detailed
Beast Tyrant Items Detailed

Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant Guide Overview

In this quick section to my Beast Tyrant guide I’ll list out the decisions that players will make during the journey of playing this unlockable character in the digital or board game versions. While it doesn’t provide the detail behind these actions like the detailed section further down on this page it is designed to be that quick reference while playing or for beginner Gloomhaven players that simply want to follow a reference guide to the letter.

Starting with your card choices before detailing perks, enhancements and equipment options players will build a Beast Tyrant that maximises the use of your bear summon to tank damage for the team, heal the bear and deal large amounts of damage as this is by far my recommended method to play as the Beast Tyrant. This means we always want to have the persistent Concentrated Rage bottom action activated and that we won’t be focusing on our other summons given these are weak uses of our 10 card hand size while we  slowly remove cards that offer our Vermling character actions as we will often find ourselves not moving a single hex in a scenario while the bear charges forward on our behalf. Given this build it is critical that players and any team mates protect the bear summon at all costs as it cannot be resummoned and leaves the Beast Tyrant severely crippled in power output. Similarly the Beast Tyrant should always be opting for the safer play and keep your bear health pool high at all times.

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Beast Tyrant Cards Overview

  • Level 1: Remove Soaring Ally, Disorienting Roar and Relentless Ally to create your starting deck of cards
  • Level 2: Energizing Strike replaces Focused Aggression
  • Level 3: Vicious Ally replaces Venomous Ally
  • Level 4: Punch Through replaces Spirit Swap
  • Level 5: Rampage replaces Howling Bolts
  • Level 6: Blood Hunger replaces Borrowed Essence
  • Level 7: Storm Sigil replaces Disappearing Wounds
  • Level 8: Lash Out replaces Forceful Swipe
  • Level 9: Jaws of Death replaces Punch Through

Beast Tyrant Perks Priority Overview

  • Remove two -1 cards
  • Replace one -1 card with one +1 card (take three times)
  • Add two rolling heal +1 cards (take three times)
  • Replace one +0 with one +2 card (take twice)
  • Add one +1 wound card (take twice)
  • Add one +1 immobolise card (take twice)
  • Ignore negative scenario effects

Beast Tyrant Enhancements Priority Overview

  • Add attack to the bottom of our core bear attack cards (Vicious Ally, Blood Hunger and Storm Sigil)
  • Add heal/strengthen/bless to the bottom of Patch Fur and Blood Hunger

Beast Tyrant Items Priority Overview

  • Minor Stamina Potion
  • Minor Healing Potion
  • Cloak of Invisibility

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Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant Guide Detailed

In the detailed portion of this Gloomhaven guide to the Beast Tyrant I’ll expand on the overview section decisions so that players can make small deviations where they consider them necessary for their specific party combination. For the Beast Tyrant though these alternatives are few and predominately found in the choice of card that you replace as you level up given we have a number of core bear cards we simply don’t want to play without. The reliance on bear also means your enhancements, perks and even items are fairly straight forward choices as there is only a small pool of available options.

Beast Tyrant Cards Detailed

The Beast Tyrant cards decisions are detailed in below in level order along with discussion of cards to remove at each level up to optimise your bear focused playstyle that maximises our command card selections.

  • Starting Cards: For starting cards we want to take away our weaker melee summons that simply aren’t useful in the Gloomhaven meta as they will quickly fall to enemies with the low health pools and also lack meaningful damage output. This means Soaring Ally and Relentless Ally are first on the chopping block as neither of their bottom actions is particularly notable while you can keep Venomous Ally around for now given the decent bottom attack action. For the third removal card Disorientating Roar is a good choice given both the top and bottom actions only have niche uses.
  • Level 2 Cards: Level 2 for the Beast Tyrant is an easy choice with Energizing Strike quickly becoming a core card for us with the strong bear attack on top with the benefit of strengthen. This card also has a nice utility heal all allies with no range that makes it ideal to cure the small status effects your team accumulates in the scenario. The alternative in Earthen Spikes is simply not even a comparison choice with weak top attack we will never use (as we will be sending the bear forward and often not moving our Vermling miniature for an entire scenario) and a bottom burn that lacks value as well.
  • Level 3 Cards: Level 3 can be a bit of a trap to the new Beast Tyrant player and you may see Unstoppable Beast as the card of choice with its area of effect attack and bottom move but you’ll actually want to grab Vicious Ally instead to maximise your bear damage output. This is because the bottom attack is a potential attack 5 target 2 when paired with the effects if Concentrated Rage which is simply stronger and more flexible than the top of Unstoppable Beast. Given the Beast Tyrant also doesn’t need non-command move cards we don’t mind losing the potential move 5 either unlike other heroes.
  • Level 4 Cards: Optimising for bear play level 4 is once again an easy choice with only one of the card choices at this level focused on the bear playstyle and so we take Punch Through which gives the bear one of the best pierce attacks in Gloomhaven. This is a flexible card and one that you can freely swap in and out of your hand as necessary for the scenario as you start to unlock better attack cards but I generally find myself holding onto it for a while. Like level 3 our alternative in Ancient Ward is actually a beautiful card at first glance and had this been any other Gloomhaven character we would be jumping at the large bottom heal and multi target disarm but with the bear playstyle we’ll constantly be out of range of enemies and allies beyond the first room.
  • Level 5 Cards: Level 5 is the first level that is a little disappointing as the Beast Tyrant with two fairly average cards and no particularly powerful ones from past levels that we want to go back for. Given this we take Rampage as the top burn can sometimes be useful and the bottom action gives us some specific control over the bear when required. In practice this means you probably won’t use either of these actions often but you’ll appreciate having it around when the time is right and up until that point you can just forgo it’s actions through Concentrated Rage. For card removal this is a good chance to replace the large bottom move of howling bolts as the bottom of Rampage can serve a similar purpose albeit not quite as powerful.
  • Level 6 Cards: Level 6 is all about healing with Blood Hunger offering the better card with the deadly command attack and self heal (for the bear) that is an incredible combination to have on a single attack, particularly a bottom for the Concentrated Rage empowerment available. This also makes it a good time to drop the Borrowed Essence as we now have an additional bear heal to ensure the bear stays healthy without drawing from our own health pool. Primal Blessing isn’t worth consideration as once again we won’t be in the front lines and while the bottom is designed to keep us forward it’s simply extra work and unfortunately sends our bear backwards. Had the bottom of this card been teleporting to an adjacent hex to our bear that would be something we might have been interested in but unfortunately that isn’t the case.
  • Level 7 Cards: By taking Storm Sigil we have a potential attack 7 bottom action for the bear when combined with our favourite card of Concentrated Rage and can even push this up to attack 9 with enhancements which is just an incredible amount of burst damage output. This power is enough to beat out the alternative card despite it offering a stun for the reasons already noted above for other levels. With the upgrade to the bottom attack this is also a great candidate to replace Disappearing Wounds since we removed Borrowed Essence last level we also have less usage of the heal self for the Vermling character.
  • Level 8 Cards: Once again we have a clear split between a Vermling focused and bear focused build which means we’ll be taking Lash Out that offers two great command actions from an attack all adjacent enemies and a push to capitalise on traps or other hazards. If these combinations of actions looks familiar it’s because this card is a clear upgrade to Forceful Swipe that makes it an obvious replacement choice.
  • Level 9 Cards: For level 9 we have the choice of another sigil themed card in Tribal Sigil which are quite difficult to use effectively in Gloomhaven given they have no movement values so you need to pick your summoning point carefully or utilise them only in single room scenarios which are rare. Thankfully our other level 9 card in Jaws of Death offers great command value to our deck of cards with a reasonable execute card top and flexible bottom attack/move combo. With the top performing a similar role to Punch Through as many shielded enemies have lower health pools this is a good replacement choice by default. For scenarios you want the additional pierce for your team I’d add Punch Through back in for Maul given the similarity of these cards.

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Beast Tyrant Perks Detailed

With our bear having our same modifier deck perks are still critical for the Beast Tyrant and follows a mostly similar flow to other Gloomhaven characters. One notable choice though is the rolling heal cards that are fantastic at ensuring we clear the poison and wound effects from the bear with some regularity that are critical to its survival and helps fill the void until we get some of the larger command heal cards with progress.

With this in mind our priority list is still to remove our negative values first to improve consistency of attacks and then grab these rolling healing values before moving into our positive value options to push our attacks beyond our expected value. This includes adding wound and immobilise in that order based on their usefulness when randomly drawn and we can grab ignore negative scenario effects near the end or last unless we have a number of difficult scenarios due to scenario effects in our future.

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Beast Tyrant Enhancements Detailed

Enhancements are some of the simplest in Gloomhaven for the Beast Tyrant with our decisions focused on buffing our command cards to get more value from our bear summon. This should focus on the bottom attack cards we bring (Vicious Ally, Blood Hunger and Storm Sigil) given they are our go to source for damage output when empowered by Concentrated Rage.

Second to this we can look towards buffing some of the heals with additional heal value or benefits like bless and strengthen although we do already have a built in strengthen with Energizing Strike so not a major priority compared to the raw attack values.

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Beast Tyrant Items Detailed

Given the reliance on the bear our item choices as the Beast Tyrant are fairly limited as there are only a few equipment pieces in the games that benefit our bear playstyle given our Gloomhaven bear lacks the hands to utilise items. For starting items things that improve our card efficiency with Minor Stamina Potion is a good start while the Minor Healing Potion can help us heal the bear early through the use of Borrowed Essence until we obtain some of the command healing cards. A lower priority choice is also the Cloak of Invisibility to just help us in those early scenario rooms but is more of a luxury than a core item.

Beyond starting items anything that allows the player to take additional turns, regain cards or provides healing (while using Borrowed Essence to turn our healing into bear healing) will be a priority and it’s likely you won’t fill up all of your equipment slots when playing as the Beast Tyrant bear build.

Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Gloomhaven is one of Sam’s favourite board games and he finds himself regularly playing the convenient digital version alone and with friends. He enjoys the tactical turn based combat and unique characters that Gloomhaven offers with his favourite being the Spellweaver.

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