Gloomhaven’s Quartermaster has versatile abilities, and with a planned methodology, he can undoubtedly surprise you with his masterful talents.
The Quartermaster is known as Three Spears, his class symbol name, and his abilities are within the realms of damage, supporting, and tanking. He can take on any mixture of the three roles or focus on specific aspects, but there is no true build path for the Quartermaster, so it is best to decide which functions you want him to focus on, depending on what you need from him.
Damage should always be a focal point in large groups and function as a tank, and if you don’t have one already, a second tank is always helpful. You could, however, do damage and support if you don’t need another tank, but damage over support is usually better, even in smaller groups. Your group size and configuration will also influence the best use for the Quartermaster.
This guide focuses on damage and tanking because it will be the most used practice for a Quartermaster. Support isn’t any less significant, and we will touch on the matter too, but the support aspect of the Quartermaster gets less utilized due to priorities. Note that there will be spoilers ahead!
Quartermaster Cards Overview
The Quartermaster can achieve ultimate harmony in Gloomhaven thanks to his vast array of abilities, and all he needs is the proper card layout. His chief abilities stand as item refreshing and recovering cards, allowing him to achieve some brilliant attacks. He also has the opportunity of taking infinite turns by using the Major Stamina Potion with his significant Scroll of Recall card, which you can even accomplish at level 1!
As the Quartermaster progresses through levels, his cards gain value, and the new cards that join the mix have unique abilities that will outweigh the value of the first-level card choices. You will need to decide on which to replace based on your individual experience with the game.
There are 12 starter cards; although most of them aren’t all that strong in Attack or Initiative, the right combination can still tank and attack surprisingly well.
Hastened Step allows you to reposition easily thanks to the move ability, which is excellent for staying away from monsters or even making a path for your teammates. This card can attack one monster or spread the Attack over two of them with its top Attack 4 ability, and the card is reclaimable at both the top and bottom. The bottom has a great Move 5 option. Hastened Step is versatile in usage for all three tank, damage, and support goals!
Sharpening Kit gets used for support, both top and bottom! The Heal 4 top ability can be helpful for yourself or your allies, and this card can also add 1 point of experience to your name. The bottom of the card can attack well, especially for a level 1 card. You can also buff your allies if they are close.
Crushing Hammer is a loss card, with an average Attack of 3 at the top, but it still helps to stun and hold monsters down when the Quartermaster has low health. The bottom ability enhances the ability to buff, thanks to the free shield. The other added benefit to using the top of the card is that you can gain 2XP at the end of the scenario.
Reserved Energy can be helpful, but other options might suit you better for damage and tanking. Reserved Energy is best used to attack when a monster is low in health but better when you need to refresh your items, especially if they’re good items. The Move 4 ability at the bottom of the card is also a great option to place the Quartermaster where he needs to be.
The Scroll of Recall card is famous for its infinite looping of turns when paired with Minor Stamina Potion, and with a 9-card limit, it compensates. It is preferable to an infinite loop when you have powerful items. Not everyone likes to use the endless loop, as it exhausts the game but still holds its merit. The bottom ability is less used but can control three monsters by moving or trapping them.
Proficiency is more advantageous at higher levels, but the top of it is a sound attack if you have a few valuable items. You can opt for the bottom of Move 3, but there are better cards for moving and attacking, too, we might add. This card is better to use at later levels.
Cleaving Axe has AoE ability. You can divide the top ability among three targets with a whopping 6 Damage, and it is beautifully enhanced if you have Power Potion. Your monsters need to be close to you for maximum effect, so being placed close to 3 monsters is risky. Don’t look for trouble, but the top still helps you if you get surrounded, especially if those monsters are on the brink of death. The Move 4 bottom ability is also nifty.
Oversized Pack may not be the best in beginning levels in terms of its strength, but it still has its uses. Oversized Pack may be weak for maximum damage, but a Loot 2 is something that contends. This card is incomparable, giving you a tremendous upper hand when you require loot. The bottom Refresh ability, a Quartermaster specialty, is also a focal point worth noting.
Restock is supportive and is more useful in bigger groups. More Prosperity improves the Restock card, but the card is not expensive, and the Attack 3 bottom is decent for creating some damage, which is also reusable.
Impaling Spear is one of the best cards in the Quartermaster deck, offering a top Attack 3 at a wide range of 2 and an additional 1 Experience at the end of the scenario. The cards sadly only have 48 Initiative, but the bottom. Move 4 is nothing to cause complaint. The game may not be quick with an Impaling Spear, but it is still a favorite.
Iron Bulwark, a great tanking card, has a 3 Attack top which is an excellent damage offering. The card also has a Muddle to reduce the impact of received damage. You can also place a shield up with the bottom half before the monsters attack you and share the security with allies.
Crippling Bow offers the upper value of an Attack 3 and a sparse Range 3, a card that you will use often. The bottom half has a less Attack of 1 but a broader Range of 4, which is suitable for crowd control. The card’s initiative leaves the Immobilize function a little flat but is still helpful in tanking the game.
Choosing cards can be tricky, especially since the Quartermaster can only have 9, and these are our suggestions, but in the end, it’s up to you to weigh the options based on your goals and group.
Sharpening Kit can be used often and is one of the best healing cards, thanks to the non-adjacent 2 Range. The bottom Attack isn’t fantastic but still contends well enough at level 1, and the top 1XP is welcome.
Crippling Bow is powerful at level 1, an asset to damage and tank, and works well with a Sharpening kit.
Hastened Step is a must, especially for movability, and is ideal to combo. It can finish off some monsters nicely too.
Cleaving Axe is valuable and is unforgiving to unshielded enemies, with a 1XP to add to your name at the top. The bottom Move 4 is handy too.
Impaling Spear is your best level 1 Quartermaster attack card, which you’ll need, combined with Sharpening Kit. It does have a bottom Move 4, but you’ll use the top Attack primarily.
Crushing Hammer’s top Attack 3 with Stun burns well, and the bottom shielding abilities with movability are a bonus. Crushing Hammer is a great tanking card.
Restock should also be a top consideration for its bottom Attack 3 and reusability of both spent and consumed items.
Iron Bulwark is an excellent addition to pack damage with Attack 3 at the top and a low-cost shield at the bottom, helping allies survive attacks and AoEs.
Scroll Of Recall helps you get used to the functionality of the Quartermaster. This card also allows you the never-ending loop option; even though many players aren’t fans, it’s an attractive option, especially if you have decent items you’d like to use more than once.
Reforge works mainly as a support card; you can pair the top half with a potent weapon. The bottom of Reforge functions similarly to the Scroll of Recall card, allowing the same loop ability with Stamina Potion, but the Scroll of Recall can still trump Reforge.
Bladed Boomerang has top Attack 2 which may not seem like much, but it has a range of 3 and 1XP! The Would element packs a punch too. You can move four times and attack once while you’re at it, which sounds like a great deal to us. This card is valuable and could overstep Reserved Energy if it works for you.
Scroll of Lightning is a card you’ll want to use until the end. A solid top 5 Attack at a Range of 3 makes the Scroll of Lighting a tempting option, especially with the Light ability, and can push your enemies to the edge. The bottom Move 3 isn’t half bad, either.
Continual Supply: You will need to decide what you want to make space for in the 9-card limit for Continual Supply as it can be powerful, but it focuses on recovery, which you can still get from other cards. This card may be for you if you’re a supporting group member.
Giant Club: You can replace Iron Bulwark with this card. The Giant Club has a 5 Attack at the top with 1XP and Attack 3 at the bottom with Muddle- a card worth keeping on your force! It might not be the most substantial level 4 card out there, and your other options may be better, but it works for damage and tanking.
Side Pouch is a loss card that gets better with more Prosperity. Refresh and 2XP from the top and looting and moving three times from the bottom can be helpful to you, but it still isn’t the best contender unless you need it for replenishing purposes.
Scroll of Judgement has 2XP and has 2 damage on enemies within 4 range, and the bottom is Move 2 with Stun. This card’s wide range of damage is noteworthy, especially since you only forfeit 2 health.
Reinforced Steel: One can rave about the Reinforced Steel card, allowing for extra shields whenever you’d like, healing abilities, movability, and so many options! You might prefer this card over other options because you can use it for any role you take. The diversity of this card makes it a top choice.
Quiver of Arrows supports all your adjacent allies performing ranged attacks by giving them a target while gaining a delectable 2XP. The bottom Move 6 allows you to maneuver around your enemies to escape or attack them.
Catastrophic Bomb hexes enemies like a dream using its 3 Range. Even the bottom half does some hefty damage to monsters, and adding Items to this card works swimmingly too. Catastrophic Bomb paired with Sharpening Kit is best.
Refreshment does just as it describes. Both sides have 2XP, the top helps you through long rests, and the bottom is unique in that your ally can retrieve all their discarded cards. This card is excellent for support but not much else.
Scroll Of Blizzards
Scroll of Blizzards is not anything special, and previous-level cards can do a lot more than Icing from the top and a low-range Immobilize function from the bottom. If you choose to put it in your deck, you can add a curse to this card to enhance its effects.
Fortified Position lets you heal adjacent allies from the top, but at this level of the game, you and your partners are well off enough to do this without this card. The bottom Move 3 and Shield 2 make up for the poor top half use, comparable to the value of Crushing Hammer, so if it benefits you enough, the card is only half terrible.
Portable Ballista will use the top Attack 4 most and damage well; the additional 1XP is fantastic. The ability to attack past your enemies’ shields is also a fun activity to get behind sometimes.
Scroll of Annihilation is mainly used from the bottom to disarm enemies, but to rid an enemy entirely in one fell swoop from the top is satisfying. The Scroll of Annihilation is a definite tank card and damage too.
Bag of Holding has a top of Loot 3, which isn’t bad at all, and the bottom ability is 2XP and replenishes all your and your allies’ consumed items which is a comfortable way to end the scenario.
As a Quartermaster, you can ignore negative item effects and then add two +1 cards, remove two -1 cards or four +0 cards, or replace one of the +0 cards with one +2. For additions, you can do the following: one +0 refresh item card, one rolling Stun card, two rolling +1 cards, one rolling Add Target card, three rolling Muddle cards, or two rolling Pierce 3 cards.
The Quartermaster doesn’t have many enhancements, but they are fortunately low in cost, and his refresh ability is a bonus to the game on its own.
The Quartermaster can Strengthen the Crushing Hammer Shield at the cost of 50g, add a plus one on Hastened Step Move for 30 gold, jump on Hastened Step Move for 50 gold, and add one heal on Sharpening Kit for 30 gold.
Items that get spent by the Quartermaster can be recovered and used again. We don’t want to give any item spoilers, so we’ve listed the starter items of the Quartermaster.
For 30 gold, you can obtain an advantage on your entire Attack.
Hide Armor worth 10 gold will buy the Quartermaster a shield on the two subsequent damage sources that target you.
You can add Poison to a single Melee Attack for 20 gold.
For 20 gold, you can add a shield when the current Attack damages you.
Boots of Striding
You can add another two moves for a single movement by paying 20 gold.
You can recover two discarded cards during your turn if you pay 10 gold.
Minor Power Potion
You can add +1 Attack on your entire Attack action for 10 gold.
The bold journey of a Quartermaster gets shaped by his ability to restore what is good and cause severe damage while he’s at it. This Three Spear master has diverse skills, and you can chop and change his role as he progresses through the levels of Gloomhaven. We hope this guide helps you become a leading Quartermaster!