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Subject: Cragheart Opinions? rss

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Jim Allard
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Hi,

I'm running a level 3 Cragheart and we have finished 8 scenarios. I'm about to level up to 4. I have the Goggles, Healing and Stamina potions.

I would like to get some opinions on my current 11 card selection.

Massive Boulder
Avalanche
Rumbling Advance
Backup Ammunition
Earthen Clod
Dirt Tornado
Crater
x-Forceful Storm
x-Heaving Swing
2-Sentient Growth
3-Clear the Way

I really like the bottom of Avalanche working with the top of Clear the Way. <G>

Any thoughts on mistakes I've made in my choices or other suggested combos to maximize my cards?

Thanks,

JimA

 
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Remember to use the bottom of avalanche in the turn BEFORE you use Clear the way, it provides both the obstacle and the leaf.
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Brian Slattery
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I don’t have the game in front of me, but you cannot create and consume an element on the same turn. So if you are trying to use an element created by the first half of your action with the second half of your action, that’s illegal.
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Gabriel Rockman
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You're going to love Rockslide at Level 4

Brian - he's using an obstacle that he created, not an element that he created.
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Scott M
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Your deck looks good. Solid choices for ranged damage. At four, you'll probably be dropping Avalanche
 
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Darren Nakamura
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JimA759 wrote:
Any thoughts on mistakes I've made in my choices or other suggested combos to maximize my cards?


First thought is that you can't really make "mistakes" in a build. It depends on what you want out of your character and what your teammates do. That said, you asked for opinions, so here are my opinions on your build.

Massive Boulder is a great card. It's probably the Cragheart's best ranged attack, and it can find a place in even a melee-focused build. It's not quite as good at lower character counts, because enemies tend to bunch up less.

Avalanche is underrated by the community, in my opinion. It's difficult to use well because it has such high initiative, but it's unique among the Cragheart cards in that it's the only card that can create obstacles using a bottom action. You already mentioned enjoying the Avalanche (bottom) + Clear the Way (top) combo. You could do something similar with the Level 2 card you didn't choose even more easily, since Explosive Punch has an initiative of 28, so you can go fairly early in the round, create an obstacle with Avalanche, and immediately explode it.

Rumbling Advance is another great card. Ever come on the situation where your main damage dealers put out just enough damage for something to need 1 hit left? Use this to guarantee its death without using your attack ability.

Backup Ammunition is a staple for ranged builds. I don't personally use this one, but I can recognize its utility. Best when paired with Massive Boulder on a big clump of enemies, Massive Boulder with Earth consumption, or Forceful Storm to bump its XP generation.

Heaving Swing is the first on this list I have some negative opinions of. Before that, I'll say that Heaving Swing is a fun card to have. When it works, it feels awesome. As a way to destroy obstacles, it's way more stylish than Rock Tunnel. But the problem with it is that it doesn't come up as frequently as I'd like. Since the Cragheart often goes late in the round (this one is initiative 57), the enemy might move away from the obstacle you want to smash it through before you can get to it. Worse (and this has happened to me twice in a single scenario) is when you get it set up and you are ready to throw an enemy into an obstacle, and then you get a good attack modifier deck draw and kill the thing before you can get the Push. Even worse if it's an obstacle your teammates were counting on you destroying so they don't have to walk over a trap. Yes, that also happened. So in conclusion, Heaving Swing, fun, but not practical. (All that said, still great for a ranged build, since it's an easy +1 on your attacks, as long as you're not moving.)

Dirt Tornado is another fun one that eventually made its way out of my hand. Its damage is just too low, and Muddle is the weakest of the Conditions in most cases. This is a great one to enhance with Curse, but without that, it's not as good as it initially looks.

Crater is fine as a ranged attack, but the Push on it isn't as useful as the Immobilize on Earthen Clod. The best reason to keep this around is for the Move 4 Jump on bottom, which Cragheart doesn't have many options to do early on.

Forceful Storm is awesome. I run a mostly melee Cragheart, but I still keep this in my pocket because it's a nice +2 to my attacks when I'm not moving, or when the opportunity arises the top loss is a great XP generator (and Disarm is nice too). Made even better by Backup Ammunition.

Earthen Clod (not an X card, by the way) is another decent ranged attack. The damage isn't great, but immobilizing something from far away is usually enough to shut it down. Don't ever use it without Earth consumption.

I'm not a fan of Sentient Growth, but I often play with a Tinkerer who heals plenty, so I don't need more healing abilities. The attack on top is too weak to matter a lot of the time, and it doesn't have any additional effects without enhancement. As a multi-heal, it can be enhanced with Bless to have the opportunity to multi-bless, but those opportunities will be much more difficult to come by than if you had just added Bless to Nature's Lift instead. Explosive Punch isn't a phenomenal card by any means, so it's not like you made the wrong choice (again, there are no wrong choices), but it's not the choice I would have made.

Clear the Way is fun, and with it added to the deck you won't run into situations where you need to destroy an obstacle but can't with Heaving Swing.

If I were to change your build, I'd switch out Sentient Growth or Heaving Swing for Unstable Upheaval. While the double-loss actions on Unstable Upheaval look unattractive, at Initiative 13 it's the earliest card a Cragheart can get. It will be used for the first 2-3 rest cycles as just a Move 2 when you really need to go early in the round, and then when the opportunity comes up you can use the top loss action to hit many enemies. OR, if the opportunity doesn't arise, the bottom loss action is a thing you can do at the end of a scenario, regardless of whether there are still enemies on the board to gain 2 XP for free.
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Sean McCarthy
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I think you're really underestimating Heaving Swing. Both the top and bottom are excellent, possibly good enough to justify bringing the card on their own. Even attack 3 push 1 is a good level 1 card, and this has the added benefit of allowing you to use an obstacle to make it attack 5 if there isn't a trap available. Avoiding retaliate is useful too.

If you're playing with a Brute, it's less exciting because the Brute has plenty of push abilities available. But in the absence of that, I think it's one of the Cragheart's best level 1 cards.

(By the way, hearing you talk about using it to clear away obstacles surprises me. That's never come up for me. I just see it as using the obstacle as a 2-damage trap.)
 
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Jim Allard
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BriBriSlat wrote:
I don’t have the game in front of me, but you cannot create and consume an element on the same turn. So if you are trying to use an element created by the first half of your action with the second half of your action, that’s illegal.


I don't use the earth (leaf) unless it had been created the turn before. It would be nice but usually it is not available. I wish some of the other characters generated earth. Play with a Scoundrel and Tinkerer.

JimA

 
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Darren Nakamura
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SevenSpirits wrote:
By the way, hearing you talk about using it to clear away obstacles surprises me. That's never come up for me. I just see it as using the obstacle as a 2-damage trap.)


When I was still low level (before I had Clear the Way), I brought it into a scenario and left Rock Tunnel out, so it was my only way to clear obstacles off the board. That scenario (#81) had an instance of a hallway with obstacles blocking all but one hex through and three Immobilize traps on the open path. Some of the team didn't have Jump movement at the time, so we either needed to waste six turns walking onto immobilize traps or we needed to destroy an obstacle. Immobile enemy in front of the obstacle provided a perfect opportunity, but the hit itself killed it.

I will agree that it often amounts to an Attack 3 Push 1, which is all it does consistently. I'd estimate I got the +2 from obstacles maybe 1/5 times I used it.

Comparing it to Opposing Strike and Crushing Grasp, it's on par, but not better in most cases.

Looking at their consistent effects,
Opposing Strike is Attack 3, 1 XP
Crushing Grasp is Attack 3, Infuse Earth
Heaving Swing is Attack 3, Push 1

Among those, I'll almost always take one of the other two, personally.

ALL THAT SAID, I don't think Heaving Swing is a bad card, I just know from experience (not from estimation) that it doesn't work in practice as well as it does in theory. I don't think it's a bad card, and like I said, I think it's a very fun card to use, but it's not a practical one.

And of course, the usual caveat that nobody should add/remove cards from their hands just because some dude on the Internet said so. If you like it, keep it.
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Jim Allard
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Dexter345 wrote:
JimA759 wrote:
Any thoughts on mistakes I've made in my choices or other suggested combos to maximize my cards?


You could do something similar with the Level 2 card you didn't choose even more easily, since Explosive Punch has an initiative of 28, so you can go fairly early in the round, create an obstacle with Avalanche, and immediately explode it.


I see the issue with Explosive Punch as everything needs to be adjacent to me - and I'm trying to keep everyone at arms length. And it is a loss card - Avalanche-Clear the Way is usable several times in a scenario. That was my thinking.

JimA
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Jim Allard
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Dexter345 wrote:
JimA759 wrote:
Any thoughts on mistakes I've made in my choices or other suggested combos to maximize my cards?


If I were to change your build, I'd switch out Sentient Growth or Heaving Swing for Unstable Upheaval. While the double-loss actions on Unstable Upheaval look unattractive, at Initiative 13 it's the earliest card a Cragheart can get. It will be used for the first 2-3 rest cycles as just a Move 2 when you really need to go early in the round, and then when the opportunity comes up you can use the top loss action to hit many enemies. OR, if the opportunity doesn't arise, the bottom loss action is a thing you can do at the end of a scenario, regardless of whether there are still enemies on the board to gain 2 XP for free.


And this is the kind of thing I was looking for when I started the thread. I hadn't considered that. Maybe I could actually beat the scoundrel to some loot. I may try this in our next scenario.

Thanks,

JimA
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Darren Nakamura
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It'd have to be two hexes away for Avalanche (bottom) + Explosive Punch (top), but I agree, it isn't often those opportunities present themselves.

Since Explosive Punch goes relatively early in the round, you can sequence into it with relative consistency, except against enemies that go early.

The idea is the field can look like this:

. . M M .
. . 2 M
. . 1 . .
. . . .
. C . . .


You could go late in the round (after the monsters M have already moved into these positions), move yourself to Hex 1, and hit them with a ranged attack (probably Massive Boulder on the middle one). Then the next round, you pull the Avalanche (bottom) + Explosive Punch (top) combo on initiative 28 to drop a rock in Hex 2 and then explode it right away.

It's not easy, but it's a rad combo when it works.
 
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Gabriel Rockman
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Dexter345 wrote:
SevenSpirits wrote:
By the way, hearing you talk about using it to clear away obstacles surprises me. That's never come up for me. I just see it as using the obstacle as a 2-damage trap.)


When I was still low level (before I had Clear the Way), I brought it into a scenario and left Rock Tunnel out, so it was my only way to clear obstacles off the board. That scenario (#81) had an instance of a hallway with obstacles blocking all but one hex through and three Immobilize traps on the open path. Some of the team didn't have Jump movement at the time, so we either needed to waste six turns walking onto immobilize traps or we needed to destroy an obstacle. Immobile enemy in front of the obstacle provided a perfect opportunity, but the hit itself killed it.

I will agree that it often amounts to an Attack 3 Push 1, which is all it does consistently. I'd estimate I got the +2 from obstacles maybe 1/5 times I used it.

Comparing it to Opposing Strike and Crushing Grasp, it's on par, but not better in most cases.

Looking at their consistent effects,
Opposing Strike is Attack 3, 1 XP
Crushing Grasp is Attack 3, Infuse Earth
Heaving Swing is Attack 3, Push 1

Among those, I'll almost always take one of the other two, personally.

ALL THAT SAID, I don't think Heaving Swing is a bad card, I just know from experience (not from estimation) that it doesn't work in practice as well as it does in theory. I don't think it's a bad card, and like I said, I think it's a very fun card to use, but it's not a practical one.

And of course, the usual caveat that nobody should add/remove cards from their hands just because some dude on the Internet said so. If you like it, keep it.


I remember doing scenario 81. My Mindthief was able to do a push 3 on an enemy to eliminate two of the traps. A push 3 is very useful. A push 1 is so much less useful.

A Cragheart has less movement than a Mindthief, so it is harder for them to position themselves properly to push an enemy in the direction that is most useful.

Sometimes (like in one part of scenario 81), the traps or obstacles will be directly behind the enemy, and the most direct movement to get into melee range is sufficient for putting yourself in position to properly use the push. But if the obstacles or traps are in front of or to the side of the enemy (like in another part of scenario 81), then you need to get to the side or behind the enemy in order to push them in the proper direction, and this takes more movement.

I'm not surprised about the estimate of 1/5th of the time being able to destroy an obstacle. If anything, that seems a bit high to me.

Attack 3 push 1 just isn't very useful, especially when you're not as likely to be able to maneuver yourself into position to push the target in the exact direction that you want. The ability to destroy an obstacle can be very useful, but that's all this card is really good for. And if the 1/5th estimate is correct, I don't think this card is useful often enough.

But if your group lets you look at the map before you start, you can figure out whether or not this card is likely to be useful for its ability to push enemies into obstacles.

I would put this card into the "situationally useful" bucket, but not make it a "I bring it every time" card.
 
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Dwight Sullivan
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SevenSpirits wrote:
I think you're really underestimating Heaving Swing. Both the top and bottom are excellent, possibly good enough to justify bringing the card on their own. Even attack 3 push 1 is a good level 1 card, and this has the added benefit of allowing you to use an obstacle to make it attack 5 if there isn't a trap available. Avoiding retaliate is useful too.

If you're playing with a Brute, it's less exciting because the Brute has plenty of push abilities available. But in the absence of that, I think it's one of the Cragheart's best level 1 cards.

(By the way, hearing you talk about using it to clear away obstacles surprises me. That's never come up for me. I just see it as using the obstacle as a 2-damage trap.)

Agreed.

Heaving Swing is my favorite card. Added wound to the attack. Its the heart of the most of the plans with my Cragheart. The push 1 is useful even if if there is no obstacle to push the monster into. Sometimes pushing into a trap is better anyway.

Now that I have rock slide its even better.

This card was very useful in scenario #81 to push the turret into the obstacle. That opened a new path and killed the turret.
 
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Daniel Eig
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Heaving Swing has been a goto card for me because its guaranteed damage ignores shields. +5 shields? Great - Rumbling Advance + Heaving Swing can kill a lot of heavily shielded enemies even without attack damage.

Its even more useful once Enchantment becomes available and you can add a +1 to the push to double the damage - which I just did yesterday on scenario 81! 3 times
 
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I'm a big fan of heaving swing...

The bottom +1 to ranged attacks is a nice default when I don't need to move and just want to do a ranged attack. Having an attack with just a bit of push is nice against enemies that retaliate. I use the push into obstacles for the damage, not to clear out the obstacles - and attack 3 + 2 damage is pretty nice for non-loss single-target damage.

I'm level 4 and am the lower-level of the two characters in my party, so it's pretty rare for an "attack 3" to be enough to one-shot a monster.
But that level 4 vs level 3 makes a big difference. Anything obstacle-focused gets SO much better when Rock Slide is available, because it makes it SO much easier to just set the obstacles where I want. Before level 4, I had so much trouble getting Heaving Swing and Clear the Way set up. Avalanche was just so situational - I couldn't use it on the turn I opened a door (since its obstacle generation is on the bottom) and by the time I was in the door, there's usually monsters around to fight and I couldn't take a turn not moving and just making some obstacles to throw. And they could never be directly placed two hexes away to combo with heaving swing. But with Rock Slide around, with a little bit of forethought, I can make sure that there's always an obstacle where I need it, either to push a monster into or to throw into a crowd. My favorite combo to ready when moving into a door is a move and rock slide, to be able to immediately do a bit of damage AND set up the room with some rocks.
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Dwight Sullivan
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dtolman wrote:
Heaving Swing has been a goto card for me because its guaranteed damage ignores shields. +5 shields? Great - Rumbling Advance + Heaving Swing can kill a lot of heavily shielded enemies even without attack damage.

Its even more useful once Enchantment becomes available and you can add a +1 to the push to double the damage - which I just did yesterday on scenario 81! 3 times

oooo plus one on the push! good idea
 
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Jeremy's
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Cragheart was my first character, retired at level 5. Played most of my games 2 player with my wife, with occasional 3 or 4 player sessions when friends could join us. Heaving Swing was always one of my favorite cards. I didn't count on it to clear obstacles so much as to give guaranteed damage. There may be better push options available to other classes, but I never had difficulty getting enemies to stand next to traps, or creating obstacles behind them. It killed a lot of high shield enemies for me, and knowing that even a null can't save the enemy is a great feeling. I greatly prefer heaving swing over a generic attack 3 push(2-3) the way I played my cragheart. If i hadn't retired i might have enhanced the range of the push too. Easy enough to throw 2 rocks behind the target you really need dead instead of 1.

As mercenaries in gloomhaven, living by the 70 maximums of maximally effective mercenaries is appropriate i think. http://schlockmercenary.wikia.com/wiki/The_Seventy_Maxims_of... My cragheart lived by maxim 20 in particular. "If you're not willing to shell your own position, you're not willing to win" I dropped a lot of rocks on my own head in order to trap foes where i wanted them, and often followed up by pushing them into the rocks with heaving swing. For craghearts that focus on melee, heaving swing is an mvp almost every scenario. Ranged specialized craighearts may want it occasionally, but as mentioned earlier in the thread, may find it difficult to position.
 
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Darren Nakamura
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I will concede I'm in the minority on Heaving Swing, I guess. It just failed me one too many times -- and in a devastating manner -- and it left a bad taste in my mouth. And I even run a melee Cragheart, too.
 
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I think that the Level 2 cards for the CH are both "not good". It took Sentient growth first and now with another CH I took Explosive Punch. Both cards are not good/interesting/useful...

Sentient growth is the first n>1 card of all my characters (6) I do not use any more.
 
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Gabriel Rockman
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horstderadler wrote:
I think that the Level 2 cards for the CH are both "not good". It took Sentient growth first and now with another CH I took Explosive Punch. Both cards are not good/interesting/useful...

Sentient growth is the first n>1 card of all my characters (6) I do not use any more.


Sentient Growth is one of the best ways to cure poison, especially on melee allies and/or tanking allies. It allows you to cure poison on multiple targets and do a small amount of damage to the enemy, either at range, or with movement and in melee range.

It's a situationally useful card, but it is useful when you're up against enemies that poison.
 
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Dwight Sullivan
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horstderadler wrote:
I think that the Level 2 cards for the CH are both "not good". It took Sentient growth first and now with another CH I took Explosive Punch. Both cards are not good/interesting/useful...

Sentient growth is the first n>1 card of all my characters (6) I do not use any more.

I thought this too about Sentient Growth. Sentient growth is a tool chest of good stuff. Many times its just the thing I need.

When I got to 2nd level I took Explosive Punch because I liked the visual of the theme of that card. Then I watch my son play his Cragheart with Sentient Growth and I started thinking. When I got to 4th or 5th level instead of taking a card from that level I took Sentient growth.

At 7th level I dont play Explosive Punch but often go to Sentient growth to get something done.
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IF you don't like CH.. and I know most people do like him, but IF you dont.. and you still like tanks. Sun Class.
 
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gabrielrockman1 wrote:
horstderadler wrote:
I think that the Level 2 cards for the CH are both "not good". It took Sentient growth first and now with another CH I took Explosive Punch. Both cards are not good/interesting/useful...

Sentient growth is the first n>1 card of all my characters (6) I do not use any more.


Sentient Growth is one of the best ways to cure poison, especially on melee allies and/or tanking allies. It allows you to cure poison on multiple targets and do a small amount of damage to the enemy, either at range, or with movement and in melee range.

It's a situationally useful card, but it is useful when you're up against enemies that poison.


That is a good use for it!
 
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Dwight Sullivan
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Prinnyjuice wrote:
IF you don't like CH.. and I know most people do like him, but IF you dont.. and you still like tanks. Sun Class.

Right. After opening Sun class I realized that Brute and Cragheart are only pretenders.
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