Gloomhaven Two Minis / Phoenix Guide – Build & Strategy – Locked Class

The Beast Tyrant (codename Two Minis) is one of the unlockable classes in Gloomhaven. He’s a squishy vermling character who can summon a menagerie of creatures like a bear, a falcon and a snake as well as an assortment of magical sigils. You can build the Beast Tyrant to focus on the summons, being an active ranged Beat Tyrant, or focus on just one summon – the bear. This Beast Tyrant guide focuses on the bear build and strategy, specifically a damage focused bear who can do some tanking.

Beast Tyrant Bear Damage Guide Structure

This article is a complete guide to playing a Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant who excels at dealing damage via his bear summon and keeping its health topped up so his bear can take plenty of hits on behalf of the party.


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The Beast Tyrant guide goes through all levels from 1-9, looks at each card and considers how well it fits with this build.

Here’s the structure of this guide:

  • Why a Beast Tyrant Bear Damage build?
  • Beat Tryant Rules
  • Beast Tyrant Bear Damage strategy
  • Level 1-9 cards and decks
  • Beast Tyrant Perks
  • Beast Tyrant Items
  • Beast Tyrant Enhancements
  • Beast Tyrant Experience
  • Beast Tyrant Combos
  • Beast Tyrant Names
  • Conclusion

This build guide doesn’t have any campaign spoilers or reveal any items beyond starting items.

Beast Tyrant class miniature and character board
Beast Tyrant class miniature and character board back

Why a Beast Tyrant Bear Damage build?

There are three main reasons why I opted for a bear damage build for my Beast Tyrant.

1. The cards led me that way!

There are clues in the design of the Beast Tyrant character. The cards, character board and capstone cards all feature the bear.

Heck, it’s the only class with two minis and one of them is your bear! I just had to see what was in store by playing it!

2. Boosted Commands do high damage

Used alongside the bottom of Concentrated Rage (which gives +3 to all your bear’s damage abilities this round) you can deal more damage per action than the Beast Tyrant can by themself.

It’s really crazy how much damage you can dish out! Even at level 1, you can use Concentrated Rage to deal 5 damage on the bear’s turn as standard and that’s before using a Command ability!

Follow up the bear’s standard ability with the bottom of Disappearing Wounds at damage 2 + the 3 again, and you’ve just done 10 damage in one turn at level 1!

3. My group needed it

In the four player group I played the Beast Tyrant in, we had a lot of squishy classes. They were great at dealing ranged damage (often to several monsters at a time), but there was no-one to hold the monsters at the front! The last thing we needed was a squishy vermling!

That’s where the bear came in! It was able to get upfront and pick off the monsters one by one and keep the Beast Tyrant well out of the way!

Healing wise, it didn’t take long for the party to see how important the bear was as our main tank and they used their heals on the bear. Their heals, along with the Beast Tyrant’s heals and damage redistribution tactics meant that the bear was an unstoppable beast!

I feel bad for the monsters that got in the way!

Beast Tyrant Rules

Beast Tyrant bear rules card
Beast Tyrant bear rules card

The Beast Tyrant class has special rules in Gloomhaven. They all relate to his bear. The main thing to remember is that when the bear takes its action, it’s working like the monster AI does. You can only control its movement and targets with Commands.

There are a few Beast Tyrant FAQs that are helpful to know the answers to before we dive into this build!

Can the bear use items?

No, the bear can’t use items. Because of that, there aren’t a whole lot of useful items as a bear build Beast Tyrant.

Can the bear open doors?

The bear counts as a summon and just like other summons, it can’t open doors.

Can the bear loot?

The bear can loot, but only if you use a Command action to do it. The bear cannot loot just by ending its turn on a hex with gold in.

Are the bear’s stats added to their damage?

No. The bear’s base damage stat of 2 isn’t added to every Command played on it. So if an ability says it does 3 damage, then it does 3 damage.

Concentrated Rage gives a +3 to damage though, which applies to all damage done by your bear on the turn you use it.

Are the Beast Tyrant’s modifiers applied to the bear?

Yes. Damage is drawn from the Beast Tyrant’s modifier deck for every damage dealing ability. Makes it even more important to improve your modifier deck!

Do the Command cards only work on the bear?

Yes. The Command cards only work on the bear. They won’t work on your other summons.

Does the bear have to be summoned into a starting space?

The bear doesn’t have to be summoned into a starting space. It just has to be summoned into an adjacent hex to the Beast Tyrant. Some scenarios only have four starting spaces so the bear has to be summoned into a non-starting space!

Are the heal modifier cards applied to the bear?

Heal modifiers are applied to the bear or any other summon that’s drawing from the modifier deck for their ability.

Beast Tyrant Strategy for Bear Damage

1. Hang back

Your bear will be up front and in the monsters’ faces for most of the scenario. You can just hang back and command your bear from afar. I’ve played in many scenarios where the Beast Tyrant hasn’t left the first room the entire time!

Abilities like the bottom of the Disorienting Roar which allows you to swap the position of any two figures, means that you can just swap places with your bear at the end of any escape scenario! Quick as a flash, you’re be outta there!

2. Heal your bear regularly

Your bear is summoned automatically at the start of the scenario, but if it’s health drops below 1 it’s gone and you can’t get it back for the rest of the scenario!

Luckily, there are several different ways you can make sure your bear’s health stays up!

  • Add heals to the modifier deck
  • Discard cards to negate damage to the bear
  • Use Borrowed Essence to redistribute damage between your Beast Tyrant and your bear
  • Keep healing your bear with Commands whenever you need to
  • Ask teammates to heal your bear if they can
  • Carry healing potions to top up your Beast Tyrant health and redistribute it

3. Forgo cards with care

It sounds obvious, but depending on what situation you’re in, some abilities are more useful than others.

When you’re forgoing abilities to boost Concentrated Rage, try to only forgo the less useful ones! And remember that it’s the entire card you’re passing up until you rest. So don’t just look at the top ability, look at both of them, you don’t want to accidentally discard a card with an amazing bottom action!

Beast Tyrant Bear Damage card analysis

The scenario, other classes in your party, and the build you go for all effect how valuable you perceive each card to be. I’m going to look at the Beast Tyrant cards with these factors in mind:

  • Commands that are damaged focused
  • Heals
  • Movement and positioning

With each card, I’ll also be thinking about how the synergies between the beast tyrant and the bear are working. For example, distributing damage and swapping positions.

Beast Tyrant cards

There are 29 cards in the Beast Tyrant deck for levels 1-9. The Beast Tyrant has a hand limit of 10 cards, which is a little on the low side so we really need to make sure each card is earning its place in our deck!

Level 1 Beast Tyrant cards

Like all Gloomhaven classes, the number of level one cards is the same as the character hand limit. This is perfect for trying out the class for the first time, getting a feel for it and figuring out how you want to play it.

But we’re all about the bear. So how do the level one cards fit with that build?

Concentrated Rage

Beast Tyrant card Concentrated Rage
Beast Tyrant card Concentrated Rage

Top ability

There’s a top ability here? I never noticed! This card is all about the bottom half for the bear build!

For an active Beast Tyrant, this top ability is pretty good you can use it to disarm the biggest damage dealer in a group and support your team mates.

Bottom ability

This ability puts the beast in Beast Tyrant! The bottom ability on Concentrated Rage is what this build is all about! The top in particular!

You’ll play Concentrated Rage on your first turn every scenario to create that link between you and your bear that is so powerful. It’s worth forgoing top action of your turn to get that bonus. It will more than make up for only taking one action!

Of course, we’ll need to be on the look out for bottom damage dealing Commands to make the most of it.

With the option to +3 to all damage-dealing abilities that your bear does in every round, you’ll feel epic! Even at level one, you can easily do 10 damage per turn!

It’s great that forgoing the top action is optional too. When you really want to use a top heal action you can, you don’t have to give up all your top actions for the entire scenario!

Overall Concentrated Rage card rating

Concentrated Rage is central to the bear build! It’s the single most important card in your entire deck!

Put it in your hand level one and leave it there!

Disappearing Wounds

Beast Tyrant cards Disappearing Wounds
Beast Tyrant cards Disappearing Wounds

Top ability

Although we’ll be well out of the way of any action on the front lines, we will still need some heals in our deck just in case! This would be more useful if it was a ranged heal or a Command heal, but it’s still helpful to have in our hand.

Bottom ability

This humble 2 damage ability really comes into its own when Concentrated Rage is active! You can read that 2 as a 5!

A 5 damage repeatable ability at level one it is amazing! You’ll use this again and again!

Overall Disappearing Wounds card rating

The 23 initiative is ok, but it’s not amazing if you really need to go before monsters, or you’re really desperate for a heal! You’ll need to pair it with something else if you need that.

The two non-loss abilities make for great versatility and stamina, so that’s very welcome too!

Disorienting Roar

Beast Tyrant card Disorienting Roar
Beast Tyrant card Disorienting Roar

Top ability

One of the more tanking and support focussed abilities in our deck, but it’s also incredibly useful!

Because our bear is often surrounded by monsters, it’s not uncommon for this ability to affect 6 or more monsters at a time.

That range of 2 is really helpful as well. Not only can you affect more monsters, but you can also to stop monsters heading towards your teammates if they’ve snuck around you! You can immobilise the monsters giving your teammates a chance to get away.

As its a top action, if you use it, it means that you won’t be using the +3 damage from Concentrated Rage on that turn.

Bottom ability

This ability is amazing! The ‘two figures’ it mentions can be you and your bear.

That means, you can be in the first room and your bear can be in the last right next to the exit and you can swap places and saunter through the door! So throughout the scenario, you’re safe out of harms way and you can just skitter to the end after all the monsters are out the way.

It applies to any 2 figures, so doesn’t always have to be you and your bear. It could be that one of your teammates has been surrounded and you want to get them out the way. You could choose to swap your teammate for another monster, or even another ally that can take the hits.

In one scenario I played, as a party we used this ability to swap the bear (who was surrounded by monsters) with the party’s cragheart so they were in the perfect position to use a boosted Dirt Tornado and take out multiple monsters at once. It was epic!

Overall Disorienting Roar card rating

Although it’s a support focussed ability at the top, it’s such a powerful one, that it’s worth keeping. The 17 initiative comes in really useful too. At level 1, it’s our second fastest card.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to use the bottom ability because you took the bonus damage from Concentrated Rage, you can always use the standard Move 2 if you’re not ready to use the swap positions ability and lose the card.

Forceful Swipe

Beast Tyrant card Forceful Swipe
Beast Tyrant card Forceful Swipe

Top ability

With any top ability, we’re looking for something that makes it worthwhile not using the +3 bonus damage from Concentrated Rage. The top of Forceful Swipe it is a perfect example!

Because it’s multi-target, we do 6 damage anyway before it potentially gets boosted by a positive modifier for each and every hex!

It’s a great ability to have around for when several monsters are on low health and just need a little nudge to take them out.

Bottom ability

Any time I see a Push ability, I can’t help but picture traps! It’s just too good an opportunity to move a monster out of the way and do some damage at the same time.

Of course, it is situational, and as a melee summon the bear needs to be adjacent to the monsters most of the time. But even so, you’ll be excited to use it when there’s a trap around that you can take advantage of!

It also quite useful if your bear is the main tank of the group and you are a little bit too swamped with monsters. Pushing one of them 2 hexes away can be just the breathing space you need.

Let’s not overlook that Moves 3 either. Sometimes you need your bear to charge forward with its base Move 3 combined with this Move 3 it can quickly cross a room! I would hate to be one of the monsters watching a huge bear charging towards me!

Overall Forceful Swipe card rating

A double non-loss card is always nice to see. That top area of effect ability can be worthwhile passing up Concentrated Rage for depending on the situation.

Howling Bolts

Beast Tyrant card Howling Bolts
Beast Tyrant card Howling Bolts

Top ability

This top ability isn’t a great fit for our build, but it does make for a good top action to forego!

Bottom ability

This Move 5 is a strange one. It’s a Command action so instead of your bear moving only on AI, you get to control where it moves to.

It also looks really appealing because having your bear Move 5 in one action is awesome. And with the Move 3 and the Move 5, you could potentially Move 8 in one turn.

However, because of Concentrated Rage you could choose to forego any bottom action to give your bear +3 to its standard Move 3 anyway so it would already be moving 6. You’d not be controlling where it moves though. In most rooms you can reach the monsters in 6 hexes.

Personally, the bear move AI didn’t cause me problems, I just planned for it and if I really needed to, I moved the bear using my Forceful Swipe Command.

You can always see how you get on and swap this card into your hand if you need it. It’s also really useful running scenarios where you just have to get to the exit as quickly as possible! Get your bear to the exit and then swap places with them! Ta-dah!

Overall Howling Bolts card rating

The top ability is great for an active Beat Tyrant build as it keeps you away from the monsters and does damage. The bottom ability is useful because you can Command your bear and override the AI, but after you’re already engaged with the monsters, it’s not really needed. The boosted Move from Concentrated Rage served me fine for most situations.

Maul

Beast Tyrant card Maul
Beast Tyrant card Maul

Top ability

A nice strong, single target ability. Reusable too. It’s a shame it isn’t on the bottom!

Bottom ability

This is a good supporting ability. It’s such a shame that it doesn’t apply to our bear though! It’s the one most likely standing alongside allies, not our Beast Tyrant.

Overall Maul card rating

At 14, Maul is the lowest initiative card we have so it’s a strong contender for our hand. With damage at the top and a support we can’t really use at the bottom, it’s just an ok card.

Patch Fur

Beast Tyrant card Patch Fur
Beast Tyrant card Patch Fur

Top ability

As we only have the bear summon, we’re only really going to see the benefit of one shield. It’s helpful if we’re going to have a round of heavy blows coming our way, though.

 

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Bottom ability

This is the ability we really want from this card!

We’re going to be taking a lot of hits and will definitely need this heal. You may find yourself looking forward to when it cycles back round after a rest. It’s that important.

Overall Patch Fur card rating

For that heal it’s a highly valuable card. 20 initiative is pretty quick too.

Relentless Ally

Beast Tyrant card Relentless Ally
Beast Tyrant card Relentless Ally

Top ability

Imagining a tattered wolf staring down the monsters and slinking up alongside your bear is really cool.

If you were going with the Beast Tyrant menagerie build this card would be great! But for us, this ability is no good.

Bottom ability

It’s just a Move 5. We can get that for our bear whenever we want by foregoing the bottom action thanks to Concentrated Rage.

Overall Relentless Ally card rating

this is not the card you are looking for, for a bear build.

Spirit Swap

Beast Tyrant card Spirit Swap
Beast Tyrant card Spirit Swap

Top ability

Really nice to see a Move action in the top slot! It means that you can comfortably forego it for bonus damage on a bottom action, or use it to sprint when you need to.

Bottom ability

This ability is surprisingly useful.

One of my favourite ways to use it is to bring forward a tricky monster, perhaps an elite with ranged abilities whose hiding at the back behind their melee accomplices. Or to send a slow-moving but tough monster to the back to allow everyone chance to get rid of the weaker monsters first and apply some negative status effects to the tough one.

Overall Spirit Swap card rating

A top move it gives us options, the 22 initiative helps us to go early and the position manipulation gives us tactical choices.

Venomous Ally

Beast Tyrant card Venomous Ally
Beast Tyrant card Venomous Ally

Top ability

Another summon that we don’t need. It’s also not a great summon in general.

With that Poison status effect you’d really want to move the adder around quickly and do little one off hits on as many monsters as possible. But with a move of 2 it’s gonna take a turn, maybe two, to get it close to the monsters in the first place. Then it doesn’t give it a huge amount of scope for getting around all the monsters.

At least it has 4 health so maybe at level 1 it can take more than one hit before it’s squished!

Bottom ability

This would be good for an active Beast Tyrant build. It keeps you well out of the way with a range of 4, and the poison status effect is cool.

For us, this ability won’t be useful beyond the first room because all the monsters will be out of range for the rest of the scenario!

Overall Venomous Ally card rating

This isn’t a great card for us because it focuses on the summoner and the active Beast Tyrant build.

Level X Beast Tyrant cards

As well as the level 1 cards, we also have the level X cards to choose from for our starting hand. Let’s see what we’ve got!

Beast Tyrant level X cards - Borrowed Essence, Focused Aggression and Soaring Ally
Beast Tyrant level X cards – Borrowed Essence, Focused Aggression and Soaring Ally

Borrowed Essence

Top ability

Woah! There’s a lot going on on Borrowed Essence!

The top is for you, not your bear, so its use is limited. The ranged damage dealing part isn’t much use beyond the first room, but the heal can be.

But why would you need to heal if you’re safely on your own in the first room? Well, that’s where the bottom half of this card comes in!

Bottom ability

This ability is absolutely amazing. It’s like your health and the health of your bear are linked.

At any time you can redistribute the damage between you and your bear. So if your bear is on low health, you can basically give it all your health points apart from one to heal it. Then you can use self heals and potions to get your health back up and then use the ability again.

Amazing, right?!

Overall Borrowed Essence card rating

This card is one of the reasons why the bear is able to tank. Using the bottom half several times per scenario will keep your bear’s health topped up. Just make sure you have some heels and health potions with you this?

Focused Aggression

Top ability

Not a bad top ability for an active Beast Tyrant and one we can easily forgo to Concentrated Rage as a bear build.

Bottom ability

This loss is actually pretty cool to use later on in a scenario. With the +3 bonus damage, we’ve got an 8 damage attack here. That’s worth the loss in the last room.

Overall Focused Aggression card rating

It’s an ok card. We’ll be using it mainly to forego that top action until the final room.

It would be better to have a more versatile card in our hand, though. But we’ll take what we can get at level 1.

Soaring Ally

Top ability

It’s a summon. Sounds cool, probably looks cool, but we don’t need it.

Bottom ability

This little Loot ability is the only way you will get your hands on any loot beyond the first room!

As a summon, your bear can’t loot unless you command it to. So although it will often end its turn on a hex with loot in, it can’t pick it up! With a Loot 1, you’ll easily scoop up a lot of gold from all those monsters your bear smashes down!

And with your Beast Tyrant way back at the beginning, he’s nowhere near the loot! Usually, I leave loot abilities out of my hand in favour of ones which work better with the build. However, without this card, you will have no gold!

Overall Soaring Ally card rating

You need it for that loot ability.

Level 1 Beast Tyrant build

Our hand at level 1 is actually pretty solid. We’ve got some core abilities in there that make the Beast Tyrant bear build what it is.

Concentrated Rage for damage, Borrowed Essence for bear health and Disorienting Roar for getting your Beast Tyrant out of the first room and next to the exit at the end when you need to!

Level 1 Beast Tyrant deck

Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant Bear Damage Build level 1
Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant Bear Damage Build level 1
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Disorienting Roar
  • Forceful Swipe
  • Maul
  • Patch Fur
  • Spirit Swap
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Focused Aggression
  • Soaring Ally

Level 2 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant level 2 cards - Earthen Spikes and Energizing Strike
Beast Tyrant level 2 cards – Earthen Spikes and Energizing Strike

Earthen Spikes

Top ability

This ability is great for an active Beast Tyrant! It will stop a tricky target from reaching you.

For our build, it’s not so great.

Bottom ability

This bottom ability is actually quite appealing if you were tanking with your bear. That shield of 2 will negate quite a lot of damage, especially if you are surrounded at the time, and then the retaliate can do a decent amount of damage back!

Even better, if you’re playing a menagerie Beast Tyrant with loads of summons surrounded by monsters, this ability could be amazing!

That’s probably why it’s a loss. Otherwise, it would be way OP for that build!

Overall Earthen Spikes card rating

As an active Beast Tyrant, this card is good. You’ve got a super low initiative of 11, a useful top reusable ability and a defensive loss on the bottom for when you or your summons are surrounded.

For us, there are no Commands here for our bear and the other card on offer at level 2 is a much better fit.

Energizing Strike

Top ability

A damage 4 reusable with Strengthen and an experience point is awesome! Granted, we won’t get the +3 bonus damage from Concentrated Rage. But a damage of four with Advantage on the rest of our actions for this turn and the next it is totally worth it!

Chances are, you’ll make up for that lost +3 by choosing the higher modifier each time in your following actions anway!

Bottom ability

At first glance, this heal 1 looks a bit pathetic. It’s actually incredibly powerful.

If you’re in a scenario with monsters that are dishing out Poison or Wound, you can easily remove them from all your allies in one action! And with no range limit, they can be anywhere in the scenario!

It can be quite tricky getting a negative status effect off your bear which causes all kinds of problems. It means that you have to use your heal four on Patch Fur just to remove Poison. And if your bear is the main tank to the group, that additional +1 Poison damage from each monster really adds up!

Overall Energizing Strike card rating

What a brilliant yet understated card! Two reusables, one damage and one heal, which you’ll be able to find a use for in every scenario.

Level 2 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Energising Strike. Easy choice.

What to drop

Even though we’re foregoing the top actions of cards a lot of the time to boost Concentrated Rage, we still want each ability top and bottom in our hand to be useful.

The top of Focused Aggression isn’t useful to us as anything other than a forgo action or a standard 2 damage. Because the bottom of this card is a loss too, it’s just not as versatile as we need it to be. Focussed Aggression goes.

Level 2 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 2 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 2 deck
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Disorienting Roar
  • Forceful Swipe
  • Maul
  • Patch Fur
  • Spirit Swap
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Soaring Ally

Level 3 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant cards level 3 - Unstoppable Beast and Vicious Ally
Beast Tyrant cards level 3 – Unstoppable Beast and Vicious Ally

Unstoppable Beast

Top ability

Wow! This is a direct upgrade to the top of Forceful Swipe. With that 3 damage across 3 hexes and the Earth +1 bonus, there’s the potential for 12 damage here. But we only have 4 cards that can create Earth in our entire deck, and none of them are in our build.

Plus, we’d need all the monsters to be just where we want them to make the most of it.

Bottom ability

A nice Move 5, but we have the +3 Move bonus always available to us anyway.

Overall Unstoppable Beast card rating

The top is great if you can line up the monsters in each hex, the bottom we’d only be using as a forgo action to boost the bear’s movement.

Vicious Ally

Top ability

An alligator? Hah! Very cool. But this card is all about the bottom really. See you later, alligator.

Bottom ability

A multi-target ability without any area of effect is really flexible. We’ll pretty much always have two monsters nearby to make use of it!

What makes this ability even more valuable is that it’s a bottom damage-dealing Command. They’re actually quite rare, and we need as many as possible to make the most of Concentrated Rage!

When we boost this with the +3 bonus damage, it becomes two 5 damage hits for a total of 10. That’s more output than the unboosted top of Unstoppable Beast can do, and with more flexibility too.

When you add on the +3 damage boost to the bear’s standard 2 for that turn, we’ve got a 15 damage turn.

Overall Vicious Ally card rating

At first glance, it’s easy to be put off by the summon on this card. But actually, that bottom ability is so helpful and we can always use the top as a forgo action if we want.

The initiative is high, but we can just pair it with a lower card.

Level 3 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Vicious Ally. It’s more flexible and does more damage without needing to be boosted by Earth.

What to drop

I dropped Spirit Swap for Vicious Ally. It’s still a valuable card, but it really shines in boss fights where you can move the boss with other monsters to get to them earlier or later. I suggest swapping it back in for boss fight scenarios if you want to.

Level 3 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 3 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 3 deck
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Disorienting Roar
  • Forceful Swipe
  • Maul
  • Patch Fur
  • Vicious Ally
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Soaring Ally

Level 4 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant level 4 cards - Ancient Ward and Punch Through
Beast Tyrant level 4 cards – Ancient Ward and Punch Through

Ancient Ward

Top ability

If you play an active Beast Tyrant, this is an awesome ability. It’s got a decent range, double target and disarms too. You’ll always find a use for it and enjoy the easy experience point too!

Bottom ability

This heal is useful for any build really. More useful for an active Beast Tyrant, but the heal can still be used and the health funnelled to your bear in our build.

Overall Ancient Ward card rating

More geared towards an active Beast Tyrant, but that heal would be handy.

Punch Through

Top ability

Finally, a way to deal with shields! It’s not some paltry 1 or 2 pierce either – it’s 4! That’s going to get through even the toughest armour!

Bottom ability

Because it’s not a Command, the Move 3 will only apply to your Beast Tyrant, so will mean you can move along slowly through all the rooms behind your team mates. The +1 to all Commands this round sounds good, but in reality, you’ll only get to use it on one Command because that’s all you’ve got left.

To make the most of it, you’ll want to pair it with Forceful Swipe to get the +1 to all the hits taking it from a 2 damage to a 3 damage per monster.

Overall Punch Through card rating

That top ability is much needed at level 4 when shields seem to be everywhere!

Level 4 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Punch Through. We need something in our hand to get through shields.

What to drop

Until now, I’ve kept Soaring Ally only for the Loot 1 and a top we can forgo for Concentrated Rage without missing it. But now we’re picking up Punch Through with a Move 3 on the bottom that we’ll sometimes use for the +1 bonus damage, we can scurry along behind our teammates scooping up any loot they left behind!

Level 4 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 4 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 4 deck
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Disorienting Roar
  • Forceful Swipe
  • Maul
  • Patch Fur
  • Vicious Ally
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Punch Through

Level 5 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant level 5 cards - Rampage and Stone Sigil
Beast Tyrant level 5 cards – Rampage and Stone Sigil

Rampage

Top ability

If you have three scattered monsters on low health, with no shields that just need picking off then this is useful. With the bottom of Punch Through, you can boost it to 9 overall damage instead of 6 too.

However, you’ll lose the card in the process. Not worth it.

Bottom ability

Hurray! Another damage ability at the bottom! Perfect!

This is like giving your bear another standard action but with one key difference. You get to control the actions.

With Concentrated Rage you’ve got another 5 damage action with a Move 2. We’ll take that thank you very much.

Overall Rampage card rating

The top ability looks alluring but it’s actually all about the damage dealing Command in disguise at the bottom.

Stone Sigil

Top ability

This is a pretty cool punching bag to summon into a group of monsters. With the 2 Shield too, it’ll last a decent amount of time and can always be topped up with heals!

Bottom ability

This is exactly the same as the bottom of Howling Bolts but without the experience point. If you’re getting along fine without additional Move commands beyond Forceful Strike and the top of Spirit Swap, then you don’t need this in your hand.

Overall Stone Sigil card rating

If you’re playing a menagerie Beast Tyrant, or even a more support focused build, then this is an excellent card.

Level 5 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Rampage. Mayhem disarray!

What to drop

Now that we’re at Level 5, what do we still have in our hand from level 1 that isn’t keeping pace?

Disorienting Roar is going to come out of our standard hand. The top Muddle and Immobilize is really useful but it’s not damage focused and that’s what this bear damage build is about.

Swap Disorienting Road in for those escape scenarios, but enjoy the additional damage output in the meantime!

Level 5 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 5 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 5 deck
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Rampage
  • Forceful Swipe
  • Maul
  • Patch Fur
  • Vicious Ally
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Punch Through

Level 6 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant level 6 cards - Blood Hunger and Primal Blessing
Beast Tyrant level 6 cards – Blood Hunger and Primal Blessing

Blood Hunger

Top ability

If you’re playing your bear as the party’s tank, this is a brilliant ability! Their health will stay nicely topped up when caught near a lot of monsters.

It’s also quite useful if you’re in a bit of a bind and can’t heal your Beast Tyrant up and then redistribute health using Borrowed Essence. Can even come in really useful if you’re up against monsters that keep putting Poison on your bear. It’ll just knock it right back off again!

Bottom ability

Awesome! It’s like the ability on the bottom of Patch Fur but one that works better for our damage focussed bear. With this, we can do a Concentrated Rage boosted damage of 6, and heal too. Lovely jubbly.

Overall Blood Hunger card rating

A reusable bottom ability that we will be taking advantage of at every opportunity, and a loss heal for if things get really bad! Solid card.

Primal Blessing

Top ability

A low heal with 3 targets is great for healing your summons as a menagerie Beast Tyrant! As a resuable ability you could use this every rest too.

Bottom ability

This little scoot, swap, scoot, move could get you across the board and out of the door in one move in an exit based scenario! It’s pretty situational though! For the rest of the time, you’d just be using this as a standard Move 2.

We don’t need it though, because we have the bottom half of Disorienting Roar to swap places with our bear that we can bring along for those scenarios. And it has a more useful top ability for us.

Overall Primal Blessing card rating

Not ideal for our build, but pretty cool for a summoner.

Level 6 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Blood Hunger.

What to drop

Patch Fur. The top of Blood Hunger can take the place of that top ability 1 Shield from Patch Fur if our bear is surrounded.

Level 6 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 6 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 6 deck
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Rampage
  • Forceful Swipe
  • Maul
  • Blood Hunger
  • Vicious Ally
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Punch Through

Level 7 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant level 7 cards - Storm Sigil and Tyrannical Force
Beast Tyrant level 7 cards – Storm Sigil and Tyrannical Force

Storm Sigil

Top ability

A neat little positioning totem. I love the visual it conjures up in my mind of a swirling, spinning totem blowing everything around it way! Because you’ll summon it in the hex next to your Beast Tyrant, it’s a pretty cool action to get all the monsters away from you!

However, we’ll not be using this totem, we’ll just be using the bottom ability on this card!

Bottom ability

Wahey! Now we’re cooking! Another lower damage ability for us to use Concentrated Rage on! Fabulous!

Overall Storm Sigil card rating

A cool totem at the top, but we’ll only be using the bottom ability. That 93 initiative is actually really helpful if there’s a round where we want to go last.

Tyrannical Force

Top ability

Not a huge damage value for a level 7 ability, but that Stun makes up for it. Pretty good for an active Beast Tyrant.

The Earth generation is interesting. We only have the top ability of Borrowed Essence that uses it to boost the heal, but we’re generally forgoing this ability to boost Concentrated Rage or the bottom for redistributing damage.

Bottom ability

If you’re an active or menagerie Beast Tyrant that sticks close to your summons, this is really helpful. You get to override the AI for all of your summons and position them exactly where you want them.

Overall Tyrannical Force card rating

Not suitable for our build, but would be really good for other builds.

Level 7 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Storm Sigil, another reusable lower damage ability is super helpful for our build.

What to drop

Ok, so we’ve got a bottom damage dealer that can take advantage of Concentrated Rage. What do we have left from level 1? Concentrated Rage, the heal from Disappearing Wounds and the damage redistribution from Borrowed Essence we use regularly. Which leaves Maul. A bottom 4 damage Command is better than a top 4 damage Command for us, and the Move 3 Shield 1 adjacent ally isn’t useful to an inactive Beast Tryant. So we drop Maul.

Level 7 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 7 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 7 deck
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Rampage
  • Forceful Swipe
  • Storm Sigil
  • Blood Hunger
  • Vicious Ally
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Punch Through

Level 8 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant level 8 cards - Lash Out and Natural Remedy
Beast Tyrant level 8 cards – Lash Out and Natural Remedy

Lash Out

Top ability

“RAWR!” growls the bear! Jaws snapping, it takes a chunk out of all the monsters around!

4 damage on all the monsters next to your bear is incredible. And it’s reusable too and gives you an experience point!

Absolutely worth using this top over Concentrated Rage. What’s not to love?

Bottom ability

Just like the bottom of Forceful Swipe but with a Push 2 to all adjacent enemies rather than just one.

Push can be a little unpredictable and pushing all the monsters around you away might just throw them into the path of your teammates instead! So just be careful with this one. But to be honest, you’ll use the top half most of the time anyway!

Overall Lash Out card rating

I love, love, love this card! It’s an upgraded Forceful Swipe with a more versatile and powerful top and a more powerful bottom. Oh, and have you seen that 18 initiative?

Natural Remedy

Top ability

Really nice heal for a summon Beast Tyrant. Wind can only be generated by the Falcon and the Storm Sigil Wind totem though and both are single use losses so you’ll maybe only get to boost it a couple of times per scenario.

Bottom ability

A decent high Move 4 will allow you to dash in and Strengthen one of your summons or an ally. But you’ll need to scoot away pretty quickly too to get out of the monster’s way!

Overall Natural Remedy card rating

Great for a different build. Decent 25 initiative too.

Level 8 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Lash Out.

What to drop

Forceful Swipe. We just got an upgrade!

Level 8 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 8 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 8 deck
  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Rampage
  • Lash Out
  • Storm Sigil
  • Blood Hunger
  • Vicious Ally
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Punch Through

Level 9 Beast Tyrant cards

Beast Tyrant level 9 cards - Jaws of Death and Tribal Sigil
Beast Tyrant level 9 cards – Jaws of Death and Tribal Sigil

Top ability

Nice. Another ability that can get through low health Shielded enemies. Although, you’ll still need to knock them down to 6 health before you can!

It’s amazing that it’s reusable too.

Bottom ability

This is like a more flexible version of the bottom of Vicious Ally. Now, we don’t need to be adjacent to 2 monsters to get the two hits in. We can hit one, (hopefully push them into a trap), and then slide over to another monster and hit them!

With a boost from Concentrated Rage on both hits we’re looking at two 5 damage hits too.

Overall Jaws of Death card rating

Two really useful reusable abilities. Great versatile card.

Tribal Sigil

Top ability

I really wish this were better for a summon build. Because it only boosts adjacent allies, and the banner can’t move its effectiveness is highly dependent on the positioning.

In the perfect world, it’d be in the middle of all your summons and allies. But that’d mean they’d be clustered together in a circle waiting for the monsters to surround them. That’s not always going to work out very well!

Bottom ability

This is much better than the top ability. As a menagerie build, you’re not hugely effective without your summons, so bringing a couple of them back is fantastic!

Overall Tribal Sigil card rating

The bottom is more useful than the top for a summoner build, unless all your summons are still around in the final room! In which case, why not throw that Spirit Banner out there?

Level 9 Beast Tyrant build

What to pick up

Jaws of Death. This is an easy decision because these two Beast Tyrant capstone cards really show the main two directions this class’s build can go in.

What to drop

Vicious Ally. Jaws of Death gives us a more flexible 2 damage on a couple of monsters, as well as a more useful top ability.

Level 9 Beast Tyrant deck

Beast Tyrant bear build level 9 deck
Beast Tyrant bear build level 9 deck

Here’s the final deck!

  • Concentrated Rage
  • Disappearing Wounds
  • Rampage
  • Lash Out
  • Storm Sigil
  • Blood Hunger
  • Jaws of Death
  • Borrowed Essence
  • Energizing Strike
  • Punch Through

You can see that we have 5 damage dealing Commands and summon controls in the lower card slot, all of which can be boosted by Concentrated Rage!

For those times when we don’t want to boost our lower ability with Concentrated Rage, we have some fantastic abilities in the top slots too.

We’ve also got abilities that will heal our bear and our Beast Tyrant so that we can keep the bear’s health topped up.

This deck isn’t great for moving your Beast Tryant to keep them up with the rest of your group, but it’s not designed to be. It was never an issue for me to have them trailing behind everyone else while the bear storms ahead.

While Spirit Swap (to swap the positions of two monsters) isn’t in our core deck, you may still want to swap it in for boss scenarios if you need to.

The same goes for Disorienting Roar (to swap the positions of two figures). Put it in your hand if you’re going into a scenario where you need to get to an exit so you can just swap places with your bear at the last minute.

The same goes for the Loot on the bottom of Soaring Ally. If you really need some gold for an Enhancement or an Item (less likely because they have limited use), then put it in for a scenario or two and make a point of using it to gather up the gold you need. Then take it back out again.

Beast Tyrant Perks

Beast Tyrant Perks Sheet
Beast Tyrant perks sheet

For all Glooomhaven classes, it’s important to increase the positive modifiers and reduce the negative. But it’s even more important for the Beast Tyrant because your bear also draws from this modifier deck and they’ll usually be drawing at least twice per turn. Improve those modifiers early on.

I’m a big fan of ‘Ignore negative scenario effects’ because it just feels so smug when you ignore them! So I take this perk early too. No more Curses for you!

Otherwise, we take Wound over Immobilize because it’s damage focused, and when our bear is engaged with a monster doesn’t really matter if it’s Immobilised or not, because the aggro is on us anyway.

After removing the -1 modifiers I added the Wound cards next before the ‘Replace one +0 with one +2’ perks, because adding the +1 Wound has the potential to do more damage over time than the one off +2 modifier does.

The rolling heals are super helpful at any time really because they are applied directly to your bear. If you find yourself needing more help with healing, then take these perks sooner.

The only perk that we not really bothered about is the rolling nurse generation cards because we don’t consume earth.

  1. Remove two -1 cards
  2. Ignore negative scenario effects
  3. Replace one -1 card with one +1 card
  4. Replace one -1 card with one +1 card
  5. Replace one -1 card with one +1 card
  6. Add one +1 Wound card
  7. Add one +1 Wound card
  8. Replace one +0 card with one +2 card
  9. Replace one +0 card with one +2 card
  10. Add two rolling Heal + 1 cards
  11. Add two rolling Heal + 1 cards
  12. Add two rolling Heal + 1 cards
  13. Add one +1 Immobilize card
  14. Add one +1 Immobilize card
  15. Add two rolling create Earth cards

Beast Tyrant Items

Beast Tyrant starting items - Minor Healing Potion, Minor Stamina Potion and Cloak of Invisibility
Beast Tyrant starting items – Minor Healing Potion, Minor Stamina Potion and Cloak of Invisibility

There aren’t really that many items that are useful for a bear build Beast Tyrant because your bear can’t wear them or use them themselves. Having said that, these are the starting items I recommend for this build.

There’s only starting items here so there are no spoilers!

Minor Healing Potion

10 gold

Thanks to Borrowed Essence, we’ll need to heal up after swapping damage with our bear.

Minor Stamina Potion

10 gold

Use this to get your most useful Commands back into your hand.

Clock of Invisibility

20 gold

This is optional, really. It’s nice to know you’ve got it just in case your Beast Tyrant needs to hide and your teammates are the other side of the board!

Beast Tyrant Enhancements

We’re looking for two main things when it comes to Enhancements.

  • Abilities that are reusable so we can get the benefits of the enhancement multiple times per scenario.
  • Abilities that are going to be with us for the long haul.

+1 on Disappearing Wounds top heal

30 gold

This is a super cheap enhancement for how useful it is! So helpful when you’ve just drained all your Beast Tyrant health healing your bear!

+1 on Disappearing Wounds bottom damage

50 gold

This 50 gold takes that bottom ability from a 5 with Concentrated Rage, to a 6. And it’s reusable too. Really powerful.

Another +1 on Disappearing Wounds bottom damage

125 gold

Why not? We can have a 7 damage reusable! Even if the monsters have some shields, you’ll still do some damage!

+1 on Energizing Strike top

75 gold

If you’ve got gold to spare because items are really that useful to you, then you may as well boost this top damage!

Another +1 on Energizing Strike top

150 gold

This one is probably too expensive to actually get. But if you can, you’ve got a nice damage 6 top ability with Strengthen. Pretty sweet.

Beast Tyrant Experience

Beast Tyrant character board showing health and levels
Beast Tyrant character board showing health and levels

Fortunately for us, a lot of the Command abilities are reusable and they have Experience points on. It means we’ll level reasonably quickly with a bear build. We’ll just see the experience points tick up gradually as we progress through a scenario.

Beast Tyrant Combos

Unsurprisingly, most of our combos focus on getting the bonus damage from Concentrated Rage.

Boosting with Concentrated Rage at level 1

In your opening turn, you will summon your bear and it will act before you get the opportunity to get any cards into play. In that turn, your bear will move closer to the monsters using AI.

Here’s what you do to dish out 10 bear damage when it’s your turn.

Turn 1

  1. Put Concentrated Rage into play
  2. Use Disorienting Roar Command top to Muddle and Immobilize all the monsters in range. Likely a few of them because your bear moved closer to them!

Turn 2

  1. Announce that you’ll forgo your top action this turn to add +3 to your bear’s damage actions.
  2. Bear acts and hits a monster for 5 damage.
  3. Play the bottom of Disappearing Wounds for another 5 damage bear hit.

Total unmodified damage = 10

Boosting with Concentrated Rage at Level 5

How does that same opening couple of turns look at level 5?

Your bear acts on their own, likely just moving closer to the monsters but out of range to hit them.

Turn 1

  1. Put Concentrated Rage into play.
  2. Use the top of Patch Fur to give your bear a 1 Shield if the monsters will get to it on their turn.

Turn 2

  1. Say you’ll forgo the top of your card to boost your bear.
  2. Bear takes a turn and hits for 5 damage.
  3. Use the bottom of Vicious Ally to do 2 x 5 damage hits.

Total unmodified damage = 15

Beast Tyrant Names

Our vermling is a rodent-like creature. He may be small and squishy, but he has magical powers over beasts that other classes envy. Here are some ideas I had for my Beast Tyrant name that I think capture the essence of the character.

  • Sklig Blot
  • Flik Notch
  • Tatternak Glib
  • Klack Flek
  • Thrug Dusk
  • Nog Lim
  • Krot Sig
  • Mak Krimi
  • Ash Ragnip
  • Skrit Rik

Conclusion – Gloomhaven Beast Tyrant Guide Bear Build

This Beast Tyrant bear build is really fun to play. It’s cool to send your bear off into the fray while you keep safely out of the way. The bear is a formidable character for any monster to face! Once it’s got a monster in its sights, it won’t be long before that monster isn’t around anymore!

So long as you keep and eye on the health of your bear and be careful over which abilities and cards you forgo to boost Concentrated Rage, you’ll have a great time!

I really hope you enjoy playing the Beast Tyrant bear build!

Do you want to know what all the Gloomhaven unlockable characters are? Don’t want any campaign spoilers? Then check out my Gloomhaven Locked Classes article!

I’m currently creating guides for the locked classes! If you enjoyed this Beast Tyrant guide, check them out! Listed here by their code names, I’ve completed: a Triforce class guide, a Lightning Bolt guide, an Eclipse / Moon guide, a Sun guide, a Three Spears guide and a Music Note guide.

I’ve created build guides for all the Gloomhaven starting characters – ranged build guide for the Cragheart, tank build Brute guide, Tinkerer crowd control build guide, Mindthief damage and stun guide, Spellweaver AoE guide and a Scoundrel single target poison build guide.

If you enjoy Gloomhaven as much as I do, it’s natural to want to upgrade it to improve your gaming experience. I especially like these cards sleeves and this organizer insert on Amazon, and this incredible 3D 108 piece custom Gloomhaven scenery set on Etsy! Seriously, go check it out!

For more upgrades, check out my article 15 Awesome Gloomhaven Accessories and Upgrades.

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Emily
Hi, I’m Emily, the tabletop gamer behind My Kind of Meeple. If this article helped you, I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.

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