Yet one more of our characters retired and as it is customary to our Gloomhaven group, we would like to share our experiences connected to that adventurer. He was led in our campaign by Kuba G. – and after over 20 scenarios he retired. As always, comments welcome, and hope you will find some inspirations below!

Tinkerer play-mat


In most guides Tinkerer is described as purely support class. Well, yes, he can do a lot in that area and sometimes also attack in range, but this can be a very versatile character. Once our Brute retired , and we were playing with Spellweaver and Doomstalker, he took a role of more-or-less front-man / tank. Crazy you may think? Well, that is what I meant about that class – it is pretty flexible.

Other articled in the world of Gloomhaven:
Brute strategy guide
Spellweaver strategy guide
Tinkerer strategy guide
Doomstalker strategy guide
Our Gloomhaven Campaign in chronological order
Frosthaven – first look – starting classes (1/2)
Frosthaven – first look – starting classes (2/2)
(NEW!) Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion – Voidwarden and Demolitionist


  • Health – a moderate health – much less then our Brute, but still more than Mindthief / Spellweaver. When needed, he was able to be in front lien and take couple of bruises.
  • Stamina – very nice, with 12 cards plus as usually Stamina Potions (Major and Minor) he was easily able to survive till the end of scenarios.
  • Move – average – three 4-move cards, some 3 hex ones, nothing special but enough to catch up with the team.
  • Initiative – again, moderate – the fastest cards were in the range of 16-20 initiative, which allows usually to be early in turn, but not the first one.
  • Loot – poor, only a lost card with that ability; Kuba had to count on us to leave places with gold so he can loot them by finishing the turn in such spot.
  • Experience – almost exclusively on lost cards, so he can gain a lot of them but you have to time the usage of abilities at the end of scenario. Generally, a moderate stat.

As you can see above, except for Stamina, Tinkerer is not excelling in any category but also he is not weak in any. That allows him to be flexible and react to many situations.


As mainly a range damage-dealer, the initial items suggested by playbook are pretty fine: Googles to get advantage – with area attacks targeting up to 3 enemies this is pretty decent and (once you got additional 10 gold through initial scenarios) Stamina Potion – always a good choice:

Starting set for Tinkerer

With time further investments were possible and required. Kuba decided to invest in the following items – some of them were also acquired by our group due to scenario bounties:

  • Major Healing Potion – very useful always, but even more when there is nobody else to play the tank role (as I said, our Brute retired after 15 scenarios and Tinkerer  was with us for another 10 or so when Sun replaced him).
  • Minor Power Potion – good add-on to area attacks, as in essence it will provide 3 points of attack for Tinkerer. When combined with Googles, this is no-miss attack.
  • Minor Mana Potion – that was mainly bought to supplement / support our Spellweaver and his Inferno. That worked really well – great teams work together!
  • Clock of Pockets Skin – how do you think Tinkerer managed to keep all those strange potions in his hands? Thanks to that of course!
  • Piercing Bow – a key element of Tinkerer equipment (but Spellweaver too) – that weapon saved us a lot of time, troubles and ineffective attempts – all those Fire and Night Daemons with 3 Shield ability were not a problem with it. Add Googles and you will kill them almost for sure.
  • Curious Gear – I think we got this during one of our scenarios and as it thematically best fit our Tinkerer, he got it. Not very useful, only of couple of times when we really  needed it – we prefer to clean up the traps with bodies of our enemies or jump above them 🙂
  • Winged Shoes – a jump to the move can save your life; so Kuba figured and acquired that type of shoes.
Our fully equipped Tinkerer just before retirement


Now is time to discuss the heart of the Gloomhaven game – the cards. A disclaimer here – below presents what and how we played; under no circumstances this is the only and ultimate solution – for us, it was very useful and complementary to other characters in the group. I hope you will find some useful hints below!

Basic cards (level 1 choices)

What was chosen as core set of cards (part 1)
What was chosen as core set of cards (part 2)
What was left behind

Again, the initial choices of Level 1 cards are mainly dictated by what cards most probably will have the least usage by the character. Creation of damage traps was never a fun for any of us and our tinkerer was not using too much healing initially thus above 3 cards went off. Sometimes I wish that “recover 1 discarded card” was with us, but our strategy was rather to have maximum firepower to shorten the scenario by fast killing of opponents. And it worked.

Cards available during level-ups

Level 2 choices
  • Level 2 – Kuba decided to take Stamina Booster over Disorienting Flash; reason: recovery of lost card is a very powerful ability; it worked with my Brute multiple times to the great benefit of the team. The top is also nice – 4 HP heal comes handy whenever our tank gets too much beating.
Level 3 choices
  • Level 3 – Kuba decided to take Crank Bow over Tinkerer’s Tools; reason: Using traps and summons is very situational and takes time, during which we could deal direct damage in many other ways. Instead waiting for monsters to enter traps, we kill/disable them; on the other hand an Attack 6 for last room and earlier on Move 4 is very good addition to Tinkerer hand.
Level 4 choices
  • Level 4 – Kuba decided to take Dangerous Contraption over Micro Bots; reason: Well, while Level 2 and 3 brought definitely improvements to the deck, this is not so obvious here. Both cards are weak, but Move 4 is better than double-lost card.
Level 5 choices
  • Level 5 – Kuba decided to take Nexious Vials over Disintegrating Beam; reason: two great cards with Noxious Vials slight better; the cards were so good that instead of taking Level 8 card, Kuba decided to take Disintegrating Beam. Which proved to be a great decision!
Level 6 choices
  • Level 6 – Kuba decided to take Auto Turret over Gas Canister; reason: once again, we do not use cards to create traps thus that card goes away; surprisingly, Auto Turret was a pretty decent addition to normal attack of Tinkerer especially when under the Strengthen. With this many “almost-dead” monsters were killed.
Level 7 choices
  • Level 7 – Kuba decided to take Curative Aerosol over Murderous Contraption; reason: the chosen cards gives a lot of flexibility to Tinkerer; top move is rare thing, but a double one with healing is great. The bottom can be kept till last room and give 2 exp.
Level 8 choices
  • Level 8 – Kuba decided not to take Harsh Stimulants not Jet Propulsion; reason: There is so much better card on level 5 – Disintegration Beam. Still, if I had to choose one of the above, Attack 9 to finish boss or other large creature, or +2 attack to adjacent allies who, like Spellweaver with Inferno, may attack multiple targets, sounds like a good choice.
Level 9 choices
  • Level 9 – Kuba decided to take Chimerie Formula over Lethal Injection. Not so easy choice, but recovering the lost cards was more important then outright killing of enemy – we simply had so many good cards with Spellweaver and Doomstalker that for our group recovering those losts gave much more benefit. But I can imagine that if Tinkerer plays with poison-build Scoundrel, the Lethal Injection would be a better choice.

With that in hand our Tinkerer felt comfortable facing any type of enemy!

Full level 9 Tinkerer 12-cards hand with 3 cards (bottom) which can be exchanged with main set depending on the scenario (click to enlarge)



As far as perks are concerned, Kuba played Tinkerer so long that he got all but one! But there are some which should be done in the first order:

  • Remove two -1 cards – to enhance your battle-card deck and its expected value
  • Replace one -2 card with one +0 card – to further enhance your battle-card deck
  • Add two +1 / one +3 card – to make it even better and more predictable 🙂

After those four, the rest can be chosen based on the play style. Ignore negative scenario scenario effects was useful couple of times, Wound / Immobilize / Muddles can help but are pretty situational. The Heal one was pretty useful when Kuba started to play at the front line.


As with every character, when playing for extensive time you get used to combining some cards / abilities in powerful combinations. Some suggestions below:

  • Piercing bow + Eagle Eye Goggles with any multi-target ranged attack – basic combination but very powerful – in our game multiple times resulted in complete oblivion of shielded monsters.
  • Inter-team combo – creation of Fire element with Mana Potion, using the top of Restorative Mist (strengthen) and bottom of Enhancement Field (+1 Attack to adjacent Allies) – all three used to assist the Spellweavers Inferno in order to unleash a real carnage.
  • Using Disintegratin Beam on all those high shield enemies, with low (5 or less HP) health; of course, once at least two are in a row 🙂
  • Enabling allies to recover cards without resting, even lost ones – very useful, f.e. early scenarios when Brute could use his kill one normal enemy once again
  • And many more…


Tinkerer definitely is not the strongest character as far as Loot is concerned and this is also visible in number of enhancements he got in our game – two. Still, they were pretty useful and I would like to discuss them.

Kuba’s two enhancements visible above
  • Stun Shot – with added Wound – pretty cheap, on non-lost attack which also stuns a target
  • Restorative Mist – enhanced by Strengthen or Bless – very powerful, as each heal also provides Tinkerer with so needed enhancements to attack. Based on your play-style you can choose to have advantage on next turn (strengthen) or additional x2 damage in your deck (bless)

Other than that you can consider:

  • Reviving Shock – enhance attack strength and number of targets; you would have then increase from Attack 2  on 2 targets, to attack 3 on 3 targets.
  • Enhancement Field – another cheap, non-lost attack which can be easily upgraded.


The Tinkerer was a good buddy – great support, when needed excellent front-liner preventing our Spellweaver and Doomstalker from taking the beating. Kuba achieved level 9 with him and mastered play with that character – also possible due to great flexibility which statistics and cards allow here.

Gloomhaven allows us once your previous character retires, to change the game style. So did Jakub, whose next adventurer loves Sun, stands like rock in the middle of the map and can soak up enormous amounts of damage. Guess who is it?