Gloomhaven’s Mindthief: An Ultimate Strategy and Builds Guide

| |

Spread the love

The Vermling Mindthief is the Gloomhaven starting class that focuses on melee single-target damage. However, she has a low health pool which makes this a particularly tricky class to play as (in RPG’s this character is usually called a “glass cannon”). You’ll be focusing on maneuvering her in and out of battle to do damage and get out of the way. Fortunately, there is also some crowd-control built into this class which will help us stay alive.

This guide will cover a possible build for the Mindthief. The “Psychic Warlord” build will focus on single-target melee damage output. We will also cover all of the cards in detail at the end.

So settle in for a complete guide to the Vermling Mindthief.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Mindthief Build Variants

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The Psychic Warlord

This build focuses on tons of single-target melee damage output early on. Later, you’ll have some ranged options. To top it off we’ll make sure we pile on some crowd-control effects. 

Unfortunately with this and other builds. The Mind’s Weakness is such a strong card that you’ll end up using it most of the time which causes most of these builds to be pretty similar.

Level 1 CardsCard SelectionCore ItemsPerk Order
Into the NightLevel 2
Hostile Takeover replaces Into the Night
1. Minor Healing Potion1. Remove two -1 cards
Feedback LoopLevel 3
Brain Leech replaces Submissive Affliction
2. Boots of Striding2. Remove two -1 cards
Fearsome BladeLevel 4
Cranium Overload replaces Gnawing Horde
3. Invisibility Cloak3. Replace one -2 card with one +0 card
Frigid ApparitionLevel 5
Mass Hysteria replaces Fearsome Blade
4. Stamina Potion4. Add two rolling +1 cards
Empathetic AssaultLevel 6
Corrupting Embrace replaces Feedback Loop
5. Eagle-Eye Goggles5. Add two rolling +1 cards
ScurryLevel 7
Dark Frenzy replaces Scurry
6. Remove four +0 cards
Gnawing HordeLevel 8
Shared Nightmare replaces Hostile Takeover
The Mind's WeaknessLevel 9
Phantasmal Killer replaces Empathetic Assault
Parasitic Influence
Submissive Affliction

Mindthief Perks

We want to remove negative modifiers as quickly as possible. This will give us the best chance of drawing a solid attack modifier, or at least one that won’t hurt us.

Those are essentially the best value perks mindthief has. Afterwards we go for reducing deck size. Once we’ve got all that done we’ll grab the last card replacement and the modifier cards afterwards.

Here’s a rundown of the highest value upgrades:

  1. Remove two -1 cards (two uses)
  2. Replace one -2 card with one +0 card
  3. Remove four +0 cards
  4. Add two rolling +1 cards (two uses)
  5. Replace two +1 cards with two +2 cards
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Mindthief Cards

Level 1 Cards


  • The Minds Weakness
  • Feedback Loop
  • Frigid Apparition
  • Perverse Edge
  • Scurry
  • Empathetic Assault


  • Submissive Affliction
  • Into the Night
  • Fearsome Blade
  • Withering Claw


  • Gnawing Horde
  • Possession
  • Parasitic Influence

The Minds Weakness

This is probably going to be your bread and butter. The top action adds 2 damage to any attack.

Coupling it with a move bottom action from another card and darting into or out of battle before the enemy has a chance to hit you is a great strategy for the Mindthief.

Most augment cards will be useless because you won’t want to opt to discard this card for it.

Usually we won’t use the bottom action but it’s not a terrible thing to have in the deck.

Feedback Loop

The top action is okay. The shields stack so that you can get shield 2 on the second melee attack if given the opportunity.

The bottom move 4 is very useful with the addition of jump. You’ll keep this card around until you find another way to jump.

Frigid Apparition

The top action is a basic attack that we will want to combine with The Minds Weakness.

The movement on bottom is useful if we have a big gap to cover, usually you will want to short rest.

Perverse Edge

This is another staple Mindthief card.

The top action will play well off of negative conditions on the enemy. Usually we will be able to get at least 2 conditions so this card scales well. You’ll want to be picky using this action because the bottom action here will pull a lot of weight.

The bottom range with a stun is great to have in pretty much any deck. With the addition of a frost for another stun later, a go-to in the middle of battle.


This cards distinction is the move on top. Combined with The Minds Weakness, we end up with a move 3 plus attack 3 which is valuable. Movement is always useful for the Mindthief.

The bottom is useful as all other Loot cards are, right at the end of the scenerio.

Empathetic Assault

The top action is great to have in a tight spot. Unfortunately, since it is discarded and we want the bottom action, you only want to use the top action if you have to.

Using the bottom action will give your move good initiative, a move (which is always useful for the Mindthief), and a heal which will add some longevity to the character.

Submissive Affliction

The top action is great in teams which stack negative conditions. Otherwise, it’s pretty sub-par.

The bottom action doesn’t add much more usefulness unless you find yourself in the position where you can spread conditions or use retaliate to your advantage.

Into the Night

The top loot action is straight forward. It is useful when you can’t get into the action or after the round is over.

The bottom invisibility makes this card a contender for going into your deck. Played with scurry or waiting for a ranged enemy to walk your way while invisible is a solid strategy.

Fearsome Blade

The top action of attack 2 and push 3 will usually grab a good deal of damage. You’ll want to put this in when you have enemies with retaliate.

The bottom action shouldn’t be used unless absolutely necessary since it will remove the card. It is useful to get out of tight spots, though.

Withering Claw

The top action pulls a good deal of weight. It can reduce damage taken by 1 in addition to attacking for 1. Unfortunately, The Minds Weakness makes this pretty useless since Augments naturally compete with each other.

The immobilize and move on the bottom is straight-forward and useful if you decide to go with this card. 

Parasitic Influence

The top action, being an Augment, competes directly with The Minds Weakness. Which we know by now is a losing battle. However, the top action isn’t bad. It can be a easy way to keep your HP up in tight spots.

The bottom action and initiative make this card bad. Moving an opponent by 1 usually won’t lead to any better position than you start out in. Stack the terrible initiative on this and this one gets left out.

Gnawing Horde

The top action is a summon, which isn’t super common. With lots of HP and a decent attack with poison, this card can carry some weight. Although, it has terrible speed, making it much less useful. You could play this card as a meat shield against enemies that will send out some damage.

The move 4 on bottom advantageous for any deck. This will be why it makes it into most starting hands.


The top action is situational but can occasionally be used to put out a large amount of damage. Keeping a meat shield character nearby raises the usefulness of this action.

The bottom action is most useful when a Brute is in the team. Although, you’ll have to couple it with a card with better initiative to make it useful.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Level 2 Cards

This can be a toss up but hostile takeover will generally be more useful in most builds.

Hostile Takeover

The top action is useful to put out some damage and immobilize specific enemies. In addition, the low initiative adds value to your hand.

The bottom appears good on paper but doesn’t work out well in the game. Usually, there won’t be a situation when the card loss makes this worth it.

Wretched Creature

The top action can be useful mainly due to the 3 movement. Learning to use summons efficiently can make this card a solid choice.

The move on bottom is as useful as any. However, don’t expect to get much out of the darkness effect.

Level 3 Cards

Brain Leech will usually be your best choice here. For no other reason than to keep out of the way of The Minds Weakness.

However, an augment that heals on top makes Silent Scream viable.

Silent Scream

Healing on every melee attack provides a huge sustainability boost. If you make smart moves, this card will keep you alive consistently.

The move and push are straightforward. If there are lots of traps in the scenerio it can deal some damage as well as get you out of battle.

Brain Leech

Now this card has a lot going for it on the top action. Attacking for 4 with range and a heal makes this extremely useful in a tight spot. Also generating darkness can be useful occasionally. For a loss, this gives enough back to make it worth it.

The bottom has basic utility. Some attack with a strengthen. The main use of this will be its low initiative.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Level 4 Cards

Go with Cranium Overload. Pilfer just isn’t efficient enough to make it worth taking.

Cranium Overload

The top action of this card can quickly off one enemy while putting some damage on others. Great for crowd control. Of course, this is a loss card so you will have to play this sparingly to keep longevity up.

The bottom action gives some great movement and is a great candidate to be improved with a jump later on.


The top on this card is useful, as all loots are useful, at the end of a round and in situations where loot is away from all the enemies. Not super useful.

The bottom action is an attack-move-attack for a loss. So, we will have to rely on the top action to fill the gaps (which won’t be often).

Leave this one aside.

Level 5 Cards

Go with Mass Hysteria. Frozen Mind isn’t a bad card but requires Mass Hysteria to be useful anyway.

Mass Hysteria

The top action isn’t extremely helpful. A total of 4 damage (across 4 targets) doesn’t exactly lay waste to enemies. However, with The Minds Weakness in play this is 12 damage, which is why we have The Minds Weakness still. Fantastic.

The bottom action is supremely useful if you took an augment earlier. Playing something along with The Minds Weakness adds a ton of value but will reduce your longevity since your deck size will not only decrease from the augment use but also the card loss.

Very useful card. 

Frozen Mind

The top action is an augment which, of course, loses out to The Minds Weakness. The other level 5 card makes it a viable pickup, which means we need to grab the other level 5 card.

The bottom action  doesn’t add much. Essentially a push 2 from 5 spaces away. The low initiative doesn’t help here either.

Level 6 Cards

Either of these cards are good. Go with whatever is most effective in your deck.

Corrupting Embrace

If you need some darkness generation at this point, go for this card. The poisons on both sides are helpful and the jump on bottom make this a solid card all around.

Dark Frenzy

The top action requires some setup from darkness or frost but can routinely put out 6-8 damage with no loss. Solid.

The bottom action gives us a move and attack which is great. Also, we generate frost to set up the top. Can’t ask for much more here.

Level 7 Cards

I would probably go back and pick up another level card before either of these. If you must grab one of these, Vicious Blood would be it.

Vicious Blood

The top action lets you bulk up on retaliate, which isn’t super useful unless you’re near a lot of melee enemies. This will cost some health.

The bottom action gives some move and attack but Corrupting Embrace (from level 6) gives better utility.

Psychic Projection

The top action just isn’t useful. The heal is nice but the initiative makes it slow enough that the shield won’t be useful. The stun also needs some better initiative card paired with it to be useful.

The bottom is slightly more useful. It can be used to make a Mass Hysteria attack with The Minds Weakness on top. This ultimately will net you 12 damage across 4 enemies. Useful but a little behind the curve for a loss at this point.

Level 8 Cards

Neither are bad choices. 90% of the time Shared Nightmare will be more useful.


The top action gives 4 attack with one of the allies using your augments. Good for the Brute in the party that could put out some damage and maybe get a heal from an augment.

The bottom action can put out a good amount of damage to one enemy. Usually you can kill the enemy but for a card loss, it’s not the most efficient card.

Shared Nightmare

The top action has solid range with a 2 target attack. Additionally, some darkness will add poison and curse. Throw in the frost generation and this top is almost a go-to.

The bottom action gives us a nice move and some shield if we can’t find anything else to do with the frost we generated.

Sprinkle the excellent initiative on top and you’ve got a very nice card for your deck.

Level 9 Cards

Go with Phantasmal Killer.

Phantasmal Killer

This top action can easily turn into multiple free kills per round. At higher levels, kill effects become more useful which makes this action worth its weight in gold.

The bottom action is straightforward. It gives some movement and looting which is nice. Most importantly, it provides darkness for the top action.

Many as One

The top action gives a summon that, by this level, is eliminated pretty quickly. Add in that it is pretty slow and we can pass on the top action as being viable.

The bottom action is useful in large parties. Otherwise, you won’t get a card loss worth of damage from it.


Gloomhaven’s Brute: An Ultimate Strategy and Builds Guide

Chaotic Trading Card Game: A Complete Guide