This will be the fourth article in the Gloomhaven monster analysis series. We already had a closer look at Earth, Flame & Frost and then Night, Sun & Wind demons, we also verified strengths and weaknesses of the Inox-type opponents. Today the focus will be on a very common but problematic group of enemies – The Undead.

In the below article as always you will find detailed skills and abilities cards for the Gloomhaven opponents as well as some statistical analysis of what they can do plus how to deal with them. That format is very helpful to me and I hope Dear Readers will also find it useful.

Main actors of today’s article

A side note – I have decided to describe all three Living Dead creatures – Bones, Corps and Spirit – but also add a Cultist monster as this type usually support the first three and has some special abilities connected to them.

Other articled in the world of Gloomhaven:
Strategy guide - Brute
Strategy guide - Spellweaver
Strategy guide - Doomstalker
Strategy guide - Tinkerer
Strategy guide – Soothsinger
Most often errors and overlooked rules
Monsters analysis & strategies – Earth, Flame and Frost demons
Monsters analysis & strategies – Night, Sun and Wind demons
Monsters analysis & strategies – Inox

Living Bones

=> minimum12
=> maximum81
=> average~46 (medium fast)
=> varationFrom 12 to 81 = 69 (large)
Damage (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 1-3 Elite: 2-4
Hit points (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 5-13 Elite: 6-14
Weapon typeMelee
SpecialsTarget more than 1 enemy, Shield
Living Bones ability cards


One of the most common enemies through the game. You can meet him in each and every crypt related scenarios but also in many more adventures. A very uncomfortable opponent – good hit points with shield further extending its longevity. Decent reach – almost always 3 hexes to move – with 6 out of 8 Ability Cards allowing him to close on you. If you add to this two heal cards, one allowing also for an attack and remember they usually form groups, you see how problematic they can become.

But the most dangerous situation stems from its type of attack. First, it can hit 2-3 enemies due to this ability – Target 2 or 3 – which can be very painful. But something which you should really avoid is 74-initiative Ability Card – Target one enemy with all attacks. More than one adventurer from our group died after such a draw.

How to deal with them:

  • It is a melee monster and none of its cards allow him for a range attack so immobilizing it and attacking from range is always a great idea.
  • We also need to get under his shield – especially in case of elites where this protection reaches value of 2. There are many ways to do it – either offset by use of Wound and Poison (example: Tinkerer Toxic Bolt (Poison)) or by-pass it using pierce (like Brut’s card Trample or solo scenario Scoundrel item).
  • Do not ever allow it to attack you multiple times (card 74) – act in a way so it will be Stunned, Disarmed or Immobilized when such card is drawn. Or simply run away!

Living Corps

=> minimum21
=> maximum91
=> average~60 (very slow)
=> varationFrom 21 to 91 = 70 (large)
Damage (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 3-5 Elite: 3-6
Hit points (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 5-15 Elite: 10-25
Weapon typeMelee
Living Corps ability cards


A slowly moving bag of rotten meat with pretty short reach – but do not disregard it! Once it gets to you, it can poison, muddle or immobilize the enemy! And look how strong it is – hitting with strength of 4 (Regular) or 6 (Elites). Also, it is very durable, with high number of hit points.

How to deal with them:

  • First and foremost – avoid it. As written above, in majority of cases you can count to be earlier in the initiative order then this enemy and act accordingly.
  • Attack from range and keep distance – easy for long range damage dealers like The Angry Face.
  • Again, do not underestimate it – Living Corps can get to you, immobilize and have another turn of attacks. Still, it has no protection so all your powerful attacks should inflict a lot of damage on it.

Living Spirit

=> minimum22
=> maximum75
=> average~51 (medium fast)
=> varationFrom 22 to 75 = 53 (average)
Damage (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 2-4 Elite: 3-5
Hit points (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 2-6 Elite: 3-9
Weapon typeRange
SpecialsShield, Flying
Living Spirit ability cards


Did that monster remind you somebody? Yes! The Night Daemon! Thankfully, Living Spirit is definitely not as dangerous as that formidable enemy. Still, it can be annoying. First, very high shield. Then range attack. Flying on top so you cannot push it on a trap. If you add to this couple of abilities to attack / curse multiple enemies – while being hidden behind Living Corpse or Living Bones – you see how effective it can be!

How to deal with them:

  • One of my favorite combos will be useful here – a range attack using the Piercing Bow and possibly Eagle-Eye Goggles. That way you ignore shield and have advantage in the attack. Should you posses – like Spellweaver – multi-target distance attack, you can get rid of the whole group of such high-shield monsters in one round!
  • It is also good to get behind that shield – preferably with the Wound. It will be hard to pierce it or offset with poison, but in proper combination – like Scoundrel Crippling Poison ability – you can get through it.
  • A completely different and situational approach is to use your group composition – and utilize special skills of particular characters. Examples are Scoundrel and his card adding Shield value to attack (Trickster’s Reversal) or instant kill of normal enemy (Visage of the Inevitable). Another one is my favorite Angry Face and his <no card name to avoid spoilers> which works even behind the shield, gradually killing the enemy.


=> minimum10
=> maximum63
=> average~33 (very fast)
=> varationFrom 10 to 63 = 53 (average)
Damage (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 1-3 Elite: 2-4
Hit points (lvl1-lvl7)Regular: 4-15 Elite: 7-25
Weapon typeMelee
SpecialsCurse, Summon
Cultist ability cards


So I told you that Living Bones can be problematic, especially in larger groups? What would you say if you have a monster with 25% chance to summon such a creature? And what if there are many such opponents in the room? You risk being overwhelmed by the skeletons pretty quickly!

While it might not be clear at the first glance, Cultists are very formidable opponents. They can be pretty quickly – two cards with initiative 10, average of 33. They can occasionally deal damage even after death and with +2 modifier. They add curses to your deck. And as already mentioned, they can summon Living Bones!

We had very, very problematic sessions with those creatures. We attempted three times #28 Outer Ritual Chamber. We almost lost our third scenario #4 Crypt of the Damned. These were most vivid examples but believe me, we had many more.

When situation with Cultists goes out of hand…

How to deal with them:

  • Quickly. And I mean it – this should be ALWAYS your primary target in any room. Ability to summon Living Bones will not only make your scenario super difficult. It will cause your group to lose it entirely.
  • Really good idea is to Stun those enemies – even using the lost cards.
  • As you want to get rid of Cultists ASAP, accelerate their HP loss by adding Wounds (will work every turn) and Poison (to get enough attack strength to inflict damage).
  • In crowded rooms – and you really will have many such situations with undead – when time is of essence, the bets option would be an instant kill. You can use great Scoundrel card Visage of the Inevitable (only on normal enemies).


I hope that after reading this article you appreciated how difficult – especially when working together and using the synergies – the packs of un-dead can be. Learn their weaknesses and use to your advantage. And remember – if you see Cultist – get rid of him immediately!

Good luck!