Gloomhaven’s Spellweaver: An Ultimate Strategy and Builds Guide

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The Orchid Spellweaver was designed for the traditional mage role in pretty much every RPG. If you really enjoy playing the mage class in DnD this class will be a great fit for you.

She relies pretty heavily on AoE damage but gets some cards later that allows you to expand your play-style. The element board is used pretty often as well with fire, ice, and light being useful to this class. However, there are some downsides to the class:

  • Low hp pool
  • Lowest card hand size in the game

Fortunately, she has a card recovery mechanic that alleviates having a low hand size. Essentially, this will allow her to play each loss card twice every scenerio. Although the hp pool is much harder to fix. Later in the game it becomes easier to manage but early on you’ll need someone to hide behind that can take some damage.

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Spellweaver Build Variants

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Battle Sorcerer

Level 1 CardsCard SelectionCore ItemsPerk Order
Mana BoltLevel 2
Flashing Burst replaces Ride the Wind
1. Eagle-Eye Goggles1. Replace one -1 card with one +1 card (twice)
Aid from the EtherLevel 3
Cold Fire replaces Flame Strike
2. Minor Power Potion2. Add one +2 Fire card (twice)
Ride the WindLevel 4
Forked Beam replaces Frost Armor
3. Invisibility Cloak3. Add one +2 Ice card (twice)
Frost ArmorLevel 5
Engulfed in Flames replaces Impaling Eruption
4. Piercing Bow4. Add one +1 Wound
Impaling EruptionLevel 6
Chromatic Explosion replaces Fire Orbs
5. Add one +1 Curse
Flame StrikeLevel 7
Living Torch replaces Aid from the Ether
Fire OrbsLevel 8
Players Choice
Reviving EtherLevel 9
Inferno replaces Forked Beam

Spellweaver Perks

The Spellweavers perks choices aren’t bad but are not much different than most of the other classes. Some of the perk choices give us elements (which are extremely useful to the spellweaver) and a positive attack modifier so we’ll be taking those early on. 

We want to focus on increasing our odds of getting a positive or neutral attack modifier before  worrying about modifiers. With that in mind, here is the most efficient order to take these perks:

  1. Replace one -1 card with one +1 card (take twice)
  2. Add one +2 Fire/Ice cards (alternate these choices)
  3. Remove four +0 cards
  4. Add one +1 Wound
  5. Add one +1 Curse
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Spellweaver Cards

Level 1 Cards

Good

  • Reviving Ether
  • Mana Bolt
  • Fire Orbs
  • Aid from the Ether

Okay

  • Flame Strike
  • Ride the Wind
  • Crackling Air
  • Impaling Eruption

Bad

  • Hardened Spike
  • Frost Armor
  • Freezing Nova

Aid from the Ether

The top action gives you a good healing ability which this class doesn’t have many of. This is especially good when pairing the Spellweaver with the Brute for a 2 player group. We would almost always choose doing damage over healing but it’s nice to have the option for those few specific situations when we need healing.

Melee summons in this game are not very good since they march to their death. However, this ranged summon on bottom doesn’t have the same issue. The 3 attack per round can make this the most attack damage per card loss in your level 1 deck.


Crackling Air

The top of this card is a loss card which isn’t great but it also doesn’t add enough value to make up for it. You can get a total of 4 attack without wind. You can’t produce air, which makes it difficult to get the 8 attack possible with the element used. Again, it’s helpful to be teamed up with the Brute since he can produce air.

The bottom action adds even less value. Since you’re a low hp ranged character, the retaliate is almost useless. The move 3 is nice, and the 25 initiative is good but it’s not worth taking this card unless you have an ally that can produce air.


Fire Orbs

This is a staple of the level 1 cards for this class. The top loss is going to give you the strongest attack that you have at level 1. You can essentially get 9 attack every time you use it.

The bottom move 3 gives us something great to work with until we decide to use the top card loss.

The initiative isn’t great but this card is good enough to make up for it. We will have plenty of cards to pair this with.


Flame Strike

Both of the actions on this card are pretty good. The top action is the most damage you can do with a non-loss card at level 1. You can create fire pretty easily, so you can often add wound to this top action as well.

The bottom action has an attack which is different than most of our other non-loss bottom actions.

The only downside is the 36. You’ll need to be faster to pull off the range 2 attack on bottom. So pairing this with a faster initiative card is worthwhile.


Freezing Nova

The top action on this card is a melee attack which really doesn’t work with this character. A small hand size and low hp make it extremely rare to be in a scenerio when a melee attack is useful.

The bottom action is a heal 4 with great range and light generation. However, this is pretty bad for a card loss. It’s definitely not worth taking this card for the bottom action either.


Frost Armor

This isn’t a bad card. The top action later in the game can often be an attack 3 with range 3 which generates 1 xp. Which is pretty decent for a non-loss card.

The bottom action is much less useful. Trading damage for xp for a card loss is pretty terrible and the ice generation is nice but doesn’t make up for the negatives.

This card is worth using for the top action and the 20 initiative.


Hardened Spikes

This is a really bad card. The top action is really bad since we never want to be in melee range.

Unfortunately, the bottom action doesn’t add any value either. The shield isn’t useful since you can’t consistently create ice at this level. By the time you can, the shield will be useless against the amount of damage the enemies put out.

The move 3 would be useful if we didn’t have better bottom movement cards.


Impaling Eruption

This is a pretty good card. The top action can be an attack 12 if you can line up all the enemies. Realistically, this will probably be an attack 6 most of the time.

The bottom is a plain move 4 which is great to have. 

A huge negative to this card is the 70 initiative. Luckily, we have plenty of fast initiative cards to pair this with.


Mana Bolt

Another great card. On top we get a solid attack 2 with 3 range which we can often upgrade to an attack 3 with an xp to boot.

On bottom we have a less exciting heal 3 with 1 range. However, there is an improvement dot on both the top and bottom. We also get one of the best initiatives in the game with this card.

Definitely worth taking along for the top action and that great initiative.


Reviving Ether

The top action here is a loss but an extremely powerful one. This is going to give you longevity since you have the smallest hand size in the game.

The bottom move 4 with jump is great for mobility.

Although it is one of the worst initiative cards we have, the top makes it an essential card for this class.


Ride the Wind

Both the top and bottom would be solid on this card if they weren’t both situational. The top loot is great since we have no other loot card but it isn’t a necessity.

The top move 8 with jump and wind generation is fantastic! If only it wasn’t a card loss…

On top of that we have bad initiative. Which makes this just an okay card.


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Level 2 Cards

Flashing Burst is usually the best choice here. The losses on Icy Blast make it a liability with this class.


Icy Blast

Since this is a double loss and we have an extremely small hand size, this is a huge liability to start with. The top AoE attack can be excellent if the situation arises to use it effectively. However, we are relying on the top to be useful since the bottom pretty much wont be.

The bottom action is a loss for a big heal. Naturally, we don’t want to heal in the first place since we should be trying to do damage instead. On top of that, we have some other bottom actions with heals for no loss that we would use before this one.

The initiative also makes this a tough card to decide to go with.


Flashing Burst

This is a great card. The top action gives us a good attack with distance and creates light for us. We can use it with the top of Mana Bolt or Frost Armor.

The bottom move 4 gives us more mobility, although we already have plenty of it on other bottom actions. It does let us drop some of the other bottom moves later though.

The initiative is also much better on this card.


Level 3 Cards

Cold Fire will generally be the better choice at this level. If you can use fire with this it provides a great amount of damage for a non-loss card.


Cold Fire

This cards top action provides a great amount of power if you can consistently create fire. Otherwise, it is just an okay top action. Using this 3 times in a scenerio can really be fantastic.

The bottom action is great since we haven’t ran across a loot card that is really useful yet. 


Elemental Aid

This card is just okay. The top heal is alright for us if we are gearing ourselves up as a healer but most of the builds won’t be going that route. Healing also tends to reduce in effectiveness as the enemies get stronger as well.

the bottom action is a little better with the ability to shield an ally. Great if you are teamed up with the Brute or Cragheart classes. Effecting all allies can be great in certain situations but those situations are pretty rare.

The worst part of this is the extremely slow initiative.


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Level 4 Cards

Forked Beam is usually what I would go for at this level. Although, this isn’t a  great level for card choices.


Forked Beam

This card is good mostly for the initiative it provides. The top action is alright at this level but will probably become under-powered pretty soon.

The bottom action is yet another movement. It’s nice that its a move 4 but these are a dime a dozen at this point.


Spirit of Doom

There’s a lot going on in this card but it’s not good at all. Of course, we start off negative on this card since it is a double loss. We just can’t take many losses with a small hand size and having one on top and bottom is rough.

The top action isn’t great since we can’t create darkness for ourselves. The curse isn’t great alone, so this top action is pretty bad.

On bottom we have a heal X which is cool and light can enhance it which we can produce. Unfortunately, unless we are building a support healing class it just doesn’t work well with the Spellweaver.

On top of that we have a super slow initiative. This card isn’t worth taking.


Level 5 Cards

Engulfed in Flames is the better choice here. It can be combined with Cold Fire. Later we can use it along with Reviving Ether. However, both of these cards are good choices.


Chromatic Explosion

The top action is provides us with a myriad of elements along with a pretty strong attack 9 if we can find 3 targets next to each other. Unfortunately, it’s not great as a loss action. We can only consistently use fire and ice. Sometimes making all of these elements can even be a negative since enemies can use them.

The bottom action is better since we have some mobility and the option to upgrade this card. Although, we shouldn’t be suffering for mobility at this point.

The initiative caps off the mediocre value of this card.


Engulfed in Flames

The top gives a good attack with range and the fire generation we can definitely use. Attack 4 at this level is just alright, but this is usually more useful than the top of Chromatic Explosion.

Unfortunately, the bottom action is far less useful. We never want to be in melee range so gaining retaliate and xp on melee attacks is pretty useless to us. Especially for a card loss.


Level 6 Cards

Living Torch is usually the better of the two options at this level. Neither of these are great though. Going back and grabbing Chromatic Explosion can be a good strategy as well.


Frozen Night

The top action of this card can be extremely powerful if we risk getting into melee range. Unfortunately, there won’t be many situations where we are going to be willing to do that. This class can’t take much damage before being in danger. Adding in the card loss, this card is just okay.

The bottom action is another mobility action. At this point we are kind of overwhelmed with these. This one adds invisibility which can be extremely useful but not enough to make this card worth it.


Living Torch

This is a pretty good card. The top action is great for a non-loss. The immobilize can be quite useful in a lot of situations. Using light with this often isn’t viable since you have to be in melee range but occasionally it comes in handy.

The bottom action is actually a really good ranged summon. This can put out a significant amount of damage before it dies and generate plenty of fire for us to use. Not bad for a card loss.

Unfortunately, the initiative is terrible. We’ll have to plan uses of this one with faster cards.


Level 7 Cards

These choices aren’t very good. Usually going back and taking a good card like Living Torch or Chromatic Explosion. If you absolutely have to choose one of these, go with Stone Fists.


Twin Restoration

This card is a really bad one. The top loss action is useless since we have Reviving Ether to recover cards. It would be more useful if we could recover this card but, alas, we can’t.

The bottom heal is also not great since we have plenty choices from them at this point with top actions that are actually useful.


Stone Fists

This cards top action isn’t terrible. It’s a pretty straightforward attack with a push (which we don’t have in any other card). The loss makes us rely on the bottom until we find a scenerio to use it and well….

The bottom action is prety bad, we don’t want shield since we don’t want to be in melee range. So this is essentially a move 2 with bad initiative. 


Level 8 Cards

Both of these cards are a good choice but Zephyr Wings is the better choice since it can provide more value in a fair amount of scenerios.


Cold Front

This card can put out a good amount of damage if you can find situations where enemies line up for you. Generally, you’ll get about 10-15 damage out of this one. The ice generation and xp is the cherry on top here.

The bottom action is not great. We don’t really want retaliate since we have to be in melee range. However, it can save some health which is nice.


Zephyr Wings

The top action on this card is a great non-loss loot card but unfortunately we can’t steal all the loot from our teammates. The cap on the amount of money or treasure we pick up is a reasonable limitation but reduces the value of the action a little bit. However, we can still pick up loot a lot quicker with this card.

On the bottom we have an extremely situational movement for a loss. Not a great card, and at this point we are drowning in bottom movements so this is just okay.

The bad initiative would normally be a killer but the card its competing with at this level also has bad initiative. We will take this one just for the loot action and the unlikely scenerio of using the bottom movement.


Level 9 Cards

Both of these are the great cards you would expect at this level. I lean towards grabbing inferno for the fantastic top action.


Black Hole

The top action of this card is pretty powerful, especially if your group is consistently producing dark. Even for a card loss, it’s hard to resist eliminating 3 normal enemies twice a scenerio.

The bottom of this action is much more unique. The pull can be used in really interesting ways, the most obvious is initiating traps but your allies can set up some really cool situations with this one.

The initiative is bad, which kind of sucks since we have stacked up some bad initiative cards at this point.


Inferno

The top action of this card is awesome! Blowing up an entire room is extremely fun and setting up situations where you aren’t blowing up allies is a little tricky but adds to the game. It’s a straightforward attack but really fun to use. All of that on a non-loss card too!

The bottom action isn’t particularly useful but we don’t really care since we will be using the top all the time.


Don’t forget to check out the Starting Class Guide

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