Gloomhaven Doomstalker Guide – Cards, Builds, Perks, Enhancements & Items

Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Samuel Franklin

Gloomhaven Doomstalker Guide – Cards, Builds, Perks, Enhancements & Items

Explore how to optimise the Gloomhaven version of a ranger with this Doomstalker guide to the champion of ranged damage dealing with a bow who can access the unique doom mechanic for various buffs. Covering your card options from starting cards to each individual level up players will will also gain insight into the best perks, card enhancements and equipment from the merchant to support your Doomstalker playstyle.

The Doomstalker (Angry Face) is one of the traditional archetypes that Gloomhaven explores in an unlockable class and is presented as a ranger armed with their trusty bow and arrow while belonging to the Orchird Gloomhaven race. This ancient race that are known to often live for thousands of years provides them a unique perspective of the world that they often meditate on and leads to their formula crystallised look. As a Doomstalker you are tasked with keeping settlements safe with a large bow and countless years of experience that mean you’ll never miss a potential shot. With this theme in mind the Doomstalker often stands behind other mercenaries with many available attacks at 4 and even 5 range which is above the average 3 that most ranged characters have access to and a minor summoning theme. Combined with these is your ability to doom enemies with bottom actions that can help your own damage output or that of allies through various effects which are also central to each of your potential build paths that have plenty of flex with your large 12 hand size.

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:
Doomstalker Cards, Perks, Enhancements and Items Overview
Doomstalker Cards Detailed
Doomstalker Perks Detailed
Doomstalker Enhancements Detailed
Doomstalker Items Detailed

Gloomhaven Doomstalker Guide Overview

The Doomstalker overview section is your quick reference guide to building the Orchid Doomstalker from level 1 and up to level 9 across card selection, perks, enhancements and equipment to maximise your role in the team. For detail on the specific reasons behind each of these decision points you’ll want to visit the detailed game guide further down the page which explores the alternative decision points players can make of which there are several as you develop your perfect hand of 12.

The overview choices below is ideal for smaller Gloomhaven party sizes (2-3 mercenaries) as it does not take two key cards that allow players to have their doom jump between enemies upon death and instead focuses on quick raw damage and the manual activation of bottom doom actions. This doom jumping pathway is not weak by any means although performs best at 4 players where there are many enemies for your doom to move between passively and you have a strong party to support the number of rounds required to activate your tools and is explored in the detailed section of this Doomstalker guide. Overall with this non doom jumping variant below you’ll walk away with reliable damage sources, a blend of useful dooms for the vast majority of situations and the appropriate movement cards to stay at the back of a battle.

gloomhaven-doomstalker-character-card-story

Doomstalker Cards Overview

  • Level 1: Remove Frightening Curse, The Hunt Begins and Crippling Noose to create your starting deck of cards
  • Level 2: Relentless Offensive replaces Sap Life
  • Level 3: Press the Attack replaces Vital Charge
  • Level 4: Flight of Flame replaces Foot Snare
  • Level 5: Wild Command replaces Felling Swoop
  • Level 6: Camouflage replaces Multi-Pronged Assault
  • Level 7: Impending End replaces Detonation
  • Level 8: Feral Instincts replaces A Moment’s Peace
  • Level 9: Predator and Prey replaces Fresh Kill

Doomstalker Perks Priority Overview

  • Remove two -1 cards (take twice)
  • Replace two +0 card with two +1 card (take three times)
  • Add one +0 stun card
  • Add one +1 wound card
  • Add one + 1 poison card
  • Add one +2 muddle card
  • Add rolling +1 cards (take twice)

Doomstalker Enhancements Priority Overview

  • Add attack to the top of Swift Trickery, Press the Attack and Solid Bow
  • Add target and/or attack to the top Relentless Offensive
  • Add attack to the bottom of Wild Command
  • Add Strengthen or Bless to the bottom of Feral Instincts

Doomstalker Items Priority Overview

  • Minor Stamina Potion
  • Eagle-Eye Goggles
  • Cloak of Invisibility
  • Piercing Bow

gloomhaven-doomstalker-character-card

Gloomhaven Doomstalker Guide Detailed

Diving into the details this section of the Doomstalker guide explores the decision points that you have as this Gloomhaven character that can alter your pathway to damage dealing for your team. With particular choices as the Doomstalker players can lean into the doom jumping mechanic noted already which focuses on automatically moving dooms between enemies to remove the need to recast them. This section also gives further information on why some of the overview choices have been made and allows you to make the larger hand size options work for you.

Doomstalker Cards Detailed

The Doomstalker detailed cards information is presented in level unlock order with information on decisions at all levels including replacement card option considerations.

  • Starting Cards: The Doomstalker has no shortage of really average cards at level 1 but this means they can only get better from here. As a result the decisions for removal to create your starting hand are all quite close with some choices becoming slightly better or worse depending on party specific factors. Of these my top picks for the worst options are Frightening Curse, The Hunt Begins and Crippling Noose as none offer even a single useful action to our cause.
  • Level 2 Cards: Level 2 quickly puts the Doomstalker down two separate paths which are commonly referred to the in Gloomhaven community as Expose and non-Expose options although if you don’t take Expose at this level you might be able to come back later and grab it as well. While the bottom of Expose provides some nice utility in certain scenarios it’s really the top you’ll be taking this for with the persistent loss allowing us to bring advantaged attacks against doomed enemies. It is for this reason I recommend Expose for those interested in the doom jumping build while players without doom jumping will find it hard to justify Expose. Thus as noted in the overview section I’m taking Relentless Offensive as this solves one of our biggest issues so far which is simply a lack of good attacks and this one comes with the bonus of multiple enemies.
  • Level 3 Cards: At this point the Doomstalker can take the Darkened Skies route with the doom sounding quite attractive on paper with a potential 6 damage when an enemy dies but potentially more deadly is the top attack that might create dreams of destroying an entire room in a scenario. Realistically though both of these dream outcomes are likely only possible in 4 player party sizes and even in those times are few and far between once you add all the scenario factors into play. It’s for this reason I take the consistent Press the Attack guide which once again gives us a strong top attack that is repeatable and starts to give the Doomstalker something that resembles a reasonable hand now.
  • Level 4 Cards: Our easiest choice yet as the Doomstalker as it allows us to address another issue we have had to manage so far with consistent movement cards few and far between. Fight of the Flame solves this perfectly and even comes with a jump while adding to our mid to late initiative options that help to balance our speed options. As if that wasn’t reason enough the alternative level 4 card in Singular Focus is incredibly poor with a burn loot action on top and the ability to grant advantage which is not particularly more powerful than our other dooms.
  • Level 5 Cards: Level 5 provides another key card for those that want to explore the doom jumping Doomstalker build which is in Inescapable Fate as it enables the entire build by allowing to stack the jumping doom (Rising Momentum at level 8) and your choice of doom which players can take either now or at a later level given you won’t be using it until level 8. For non doom jumpers the other level 5 card is a clear choice with the bottom action being a nice little damage boost while helping us reposition as necessary. Note that given we don’t have access to useful ranged summons yet the we won’t be using the top of Wild Command.
  • Level 6 Cards: No ranger character is complete without the ability to go invisible and this incredible card allows you to either go invisible with a bottom move action or a top attack action that makes it a staple option particularly when the other option is a melee summon which are not strong card options in Gloomhaven.
  • Level 7 Cards: Level 7 is your last opportunity to commit to the doom jumping playstyle by taking Inescapable Fate if you have not yet, if this is your intention and you already have this card then Crashing Wave is quite an attractive choice if your party has utilises lots of smaller attacks in combat as you can quickly stack up curses and keep it bouncing between enemies until you reach the maximum of 10 in the enemy deck. Non doom jumpers will want to grab Impending End with a strong top attack and an equally strong buff for a hard hitting attack against any doomed enemy in range that means we can’t go wrong when playing either side of this card.
  • Level 8 Cards: The time has finally come for the doom jumping build with the bottom action of Rising Momentum enabling this playstyle by jumping any active dooms to another enemy within 2 range. If you’ve committed to the non jumping variant that I recommend in the overview section Feral Instincts provides a clear upgrade to a Moment’s Peace that make it an easy choice. That being said given we don’t usually take much damage or are close enough for a melee attack it’s equally viable to return to previous levels to grab a card like Crashing Wave or even Expose if preferred.
  • Level 9 Cards: The ultimate Gloomhaven level once again diverges into the two paths discussed so far with the doom jumper finding a welcomed sight with Lead to Slaughter that brings significant quality of life between rooms to throw our dooms onto another target within 4 range of our character. While the top of this card still provides some value for the non doom jumper I prefer the value of Predator and Prey given we have the large hand size to support a consistent summon and we finally have a ranged summon that even adds poison for some team utility.

gloomhaven-doomstalker-perks

Doomstalker Perks Detailed

With damage being our primary objective it is no surprise that you’ll find a lean perk sheet that is focused on adding damage which creates a familiar path to other Gloomhaven classes. Your focus is accordingly to remove your negative cards and buff some of our zero cards to turn them into positive outcomes that all help to improve our consistency and shift our expectations to nearly a +1 on average. From here we can start to obtain some of the utility perks where I suggest players start with stun as this is generally a good outcome before adding wound and poison and then taking muddle. While the muddle is a stronger perk at +2 compared to the +1 of wound and poison I think that over time you’ll get more damage from the wound and poison once you factor in the extra damage they provide and potential healing counter even if they can’t be controlled.

gloomhaven-enhancements

Doomstalker Enhancements Detailed

The Doomstalker does not rely on enhancements to achieve our goals and if your party is struggling to accumulate gold you can confidentially opt out of purchasing enhancements with no real harm to your damage output. That being said if gold is available our best value will be adding an extra attack to our core attacks that we cycle through with options like Swift Trickery, Press the Attack and Solid Bow. Relentless Offensive is similar to these but in the larger party sizes may be the perfect candidate for an additional target instead although this comes at greater expense. Another option in this category is the bottom of Wild Command given the bottom is a staple pick in our hand cycle as we won’t be using the top action ever.

Other options that similarly help damage is the bottom of Feral Instincts (or the cheaper lower level variant A Moment’s Peace) for a Strength or Bless. With our solid movement values on the cards we do use for this purpose and the dooms being absent of enhancement circles there really aren’t many other options worth considering in terms of cost effectiveness but if gold were not an issue buffing Predator and Pray in range, damage and/or movement is definitely an option in that order.

gloomhaven-items-eagle-eye-goggles

Doomstalker Items Detailed

For non spoiler item choices the Doomstalker will want to look at the useful Piercing Bow and Eagle-Eye Googles that help us deal with a shielded enemy for the team and ensure we hit our expected damage by providing an advantage attack. Minor stamina potion is also a good staple although our large hand size does make short rests before we consume all of our cards a strategy that can have similar outcomes if they are all taken. Cloak of Invisibility is another nice to have that item that reduces damage and allows for some aggressive plays although not a priority given we can rely on our range primarily.

Progressing beyond these items the Doomstalker wants to find items that increase the range of our attacks, turn ranged attacks into multi target attacks, add debuffs to our attacks and even take additional turns that plays nicely into our doom mechanics particularly or start our doom jumping if playing that Doomstalker build variant.

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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