Gloomhaven Sunkeeper Guide: Stand Strong In Battle

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The Sunkeeper uses its large health pool and a combination of defensive and offensive abilities to dominate scenarios. As the Sunkeeper, you can watch as enemies helplessly hack and slash to no avail. At the same time, your teammates can decimate them with your support. This guide explains everything you need to know about the Sunkeeper and how to stand firm and unwavering in battle.

Utilize the light to take the Sunkeeper’s defensive abilities to the next level! Check out our Gloomhaven Sunkeeper guide and tank your way through the game.

Sunkeeper Overview

The Sunkeeper is a class that deals with big numbers. It deals large amounts of damage and can also take a lot of damage. It relies on shield abilities and lots of health to tank enemy attacks before blasting them out of the way.

Supporting party members is a big part of the Sunkeeper’s design. It grants extra shields and boosts ally attacks to create the best possible synergy for clearing scenarios with the least damage possible.

You can build the Sunkeeper class differently and achieve various helpful end results. However, the common theme throughout every build is that The Sunkeeper should be tanking most of the damage the enemy is dishing out and keeping other party members safe.

Sunkeeper Cards Overview

30 cards, 14 level 1

The Sunkeeper has a decent card pool of 30 total cards, with 14 starting cards to choose from. A hand size of 11 means the Sunnkeeper doesn’t have to worry about running out of stamina, but it does have to worry about the high number of losses in the deck. Despite the high stamina, these losses can cause a serious problem if used too often.

Most of the Sunkeeper’s cards focus on increasing defense. Aside from a few heavy-hitting cards, this build somewhat reduces the Sunkeeper’s damage to increase its defensive capabilities. Many cards also lend support to allies, whether to heal or increase their damage output.

Starting Cards

Defensive Stance’s top deals four damage, but you can add one damage, Advantage, and an XP by using light mana. The bottom loss grants you one Shield and an XP but deducts one movement from all of your moves. It provides great damage on the top and a good loss on the bottom.

Protective Blessing’s top lets you apply BLESSING and STRENGTHEN to one ally within a range of three. The bottom loss makes you and your allies immune to damage for this round, generates light mana and grants two XP. As a tank, this bottom is extremely helpful.

Tactical Order’s top lets one ally within a range of three spaces move four. The bottom lets you move four spaces. The 29 initiative allows you to use this card well in tricky situations to help yourself or your party members. It’s a great support card for any party.

Purifying Aura’s top loss grants Retaliate 2 on your subsequent five melee attacks. The bottom applies STRENGTHEN to all adjacent allies or within a range of two if you use light mana. Another excellent support card grants Retaliate for dealing with enemies more quickly. The low initiative score of 21 makes this card helpful in many situations.

The bottom effect doesn’t suit this build, but the top heal makes it worthwhile to keep in your hand. Beacon of Light’s top lets you and your allies within a range of four heal for one point. The bottom loss lets you generate light mana at the end of your subsequent five turns if it’s not Strong.

The 23 initiative score, defense increase, movement, and mana generation make this

one of the most valuable cards at level 1. Cautious Advance’s top grants one Shield to your character and an XP. The bottom lets you move three spaces and generates light mana.

Hammer Blow’s top deal four damage, but you can use light mana to add one damage, gain Advantage, and one XP. The bottom lets you move four spaces. It deals excellent damage and has good movement without being a loss. It’s definitely worth keeping, as you’ll need the great damage.

Daybreak’s top deals three damage and applies MUDDLE. You can increase the damage by one, generate light mana and gain an XP using dark mana. The bottom lets you move two spaces and applies BLESS to one adjacent ally. Both effects are good, but the top’s dark mana requirement slightly drags it down.

Holy Strike’s top deals two damage and applies STUN, while the bottom loss deals five damage at a range of three while generating light mana and granting two XP. The top’s STUN ability increases its usefulness, but you should only use the bottom when you’re desperate. It’s a loss and it’s not good enough.

Glorious Bolt’s top loss heals five points at a range of three to one ally and grants an XP. If you use light mana, you can heal two allies and generate another XP. The bottom deals two damage at a range of three and applies MUDDLE, which is excellent, but the bottom lacks movement.

Brilliant Prayer’s top loss lets one adjacent ally recover one lost card and grants you two XP. The bottom loss heals an ally for five points at a range of three, generates light mana, and grants two XP. This card’s double loss status makes it almost useless to you because you want to keep losses down to a minimum.

Dazzling Charge’s top heals three points at a range of three and generates light mana. The bottom loss lets you move five spaces, STUNS an adjacent enemy, generates light mana, and grants an XP. Generally, you’re looking for some more damage-dealing cards, but healing is also alright since you’ll be tanking a lot of damage.

This card may be one of the worst cards for this build. Lay on Hands’ top loss lets you heal all damage on one adjacent ally while suffering three damage yourself. It generates light mana and grants an XP. The bottom lets you loot one. No movement and no damage-dealing again make this card almost useless to you.

Empowering Command’s top lets one adjacent ally recover two of their discarded cards. Using light mana lets them recover three instead and grants an XP. The bottom allows one adjacent ally to deal four damage. No movement again while supporting an ally drops this card’s value slightly, but the bottom effect can be helpful.

Level 2

Practical Plans’ top deals five damage, while the bottom lets you move five spaces. The initiative may be awful, but both effects are good, and neither is a loss. More damage is something you’ll be needing during the game, and the movement is excellent.

Unwavering Mandate’s top loss is another supporting effect that lets an adjacent ally perform another turn and play two cards from their hands. The bottom heals an ally within a range of two spaces for three points. You can add a target and gain an XP by using light mana.

Practical Plan is the clear winner for this round with decent damage and movement, making it a handy card in many situations. You can replace Beacon of Light unless there are likely status effects you will need to consider. If so, you can replace Holy Strike.

Level 3

Burning Flash’s top deals four damage to all adjacent enemies and grants an XP for each enemy targeted. It also generates light mana. The bottom heals three points within a range of three. It heals four points if you use mana of any element and generates light mana.

The top deals decent damage, while the bottom allows allies to position themselves ideally for their attacks. Mobilizing Axiom’s top deals four damage and generates light mana. The bottom loss lets all allies within a range of five spaces move four and grants an XP.

Mobilizing Axiom should replace Dazzling Charge at this point. Mobilizing Axiom allows you to deal damage and give your allies extra movement, which they can use to support you or deal extra damage. Burning Flash has the potential for a lot of damage but could only be worth four damage as a loss.

Level 4

Engulfing Radiance’s top loss heals three points of your and all your allies’ health, generates light mana, and grants two XP. The bottom applies Disadvantage to any attacks targeting you or your allies within four spaces of you and generates light mana. This card can be helpful, but it can also be unbalanced due to your party members suffering varying amounts of damage.

Righteous Strength’s top grants BLESS to all of your adjacent allies, and you gain an XP. The bottom allows you to move three spaces and grants your character one Shield, which is an amazing bottom for this character.

Righteous Strength is an amazing card for supporting your allies while being able to buff yourself in a fight. For this reason, Righteous Strength replaces Empowering Command for level 4 because it fits your character better, and the extra movement and Shield go a long way.

Level 5

Scales of Justice’s top loss grants Retaliate 2 to your character and gives you two XP, but it reduces all your damage by one. The bottom lets you move two spaces. Using light mana, you can move two more spaces, gain an XP and STUN one adjacent enemy.

Path of Glory’s top deals five damage, granting you one extra damage, Advantage, and an XP if you use light mana. The bottom would be helpful if it wasn’t a loss. It lets you move five, BLESS all allies you move through, and grants you an XP.

Scales of Justice wins the card pick for level 5. The continuous Retaliate 2, combined with other cards that give you Shield, will make you an undefeatable tank. Your damage may be reduced, but it will be very hard for enemies to do much damage to you, so you can tank damage while your allies deal the big damage. You can replace Protective Blessing, as you don’t need it anymore because of this card.

Level 6

Supportive Chant’s top lets all your allies gain one damage on their attacks this round and gives you an XP. The bottom lets all allies add two movements to their move effects this round. This card has an excellent initiative score of 11, which will allow your allies to get some great damage in and allow them to move into better positions before many other actions can be performed.

Illuminate the Target’s top effect deals five damage, adds STRENGTHEN to all adjacent allies, and grants an XP. The bottom action is not anything overly exciting, but it allows one adjacent ally to perform an attack with six damage. The top effect is what makes this card shine.

This round’s selection depends on your play style and the size of your party. For a party of four, you should choose Supportive Chant and replace Daybreak. If you are playing in a smaller party of two or three, Illuminate the Target would be the better choice.

Level 7

Bright Aegis’s top gives you two Shield and Retaliate and generates light mana. This effect fits perfectly with this Sunkeeper build and makes your character able to take even more hits. The bottom loss allows one adjacent ally to recover one of their lost cards and grants two XP. Using light mana, you can allow them to regain two lost cards, and you gain an additional XP.

Weapon of Purity’s top loss lets you use light mana to increase the damage of your attacks by two, gain Advantage, and receive an XP. The bottom lets you move three spaces and deal three damage. The top effect is excellent but doesn’t suit this Sunkeeper build well, and the bottom is lackluster.

Bright Aegis is the best option for level 7 and can replace Holy Strike. Instead of dealing minor damage with Holy Strike, Bright Aegis buffs your character even further. It definitely fits better with this damage-absorbing build.

Level 8

Cleansing Force’s top is a loss that deals six damage and applies STUN and WOUND while granting you two XP. The bottom allows you to move four spaces and generates light mana. While the top loss may not be an avenue for exploration, the bottom movement is very helpful to get the Sunkeeper into the thick of things early at this stage.

Inspiring Sanctity’s top loss allows one adjacent ally to deal eight damage and grant two XP. Using light mana will instead kill a normal or elite enemy and grant an extra XP. The bottom loss allows all allies within a range of three to deal four damage and gives you one XP for each attack.

Inspiring Sanctity is highly situational, and it’s a double-loss card, so you may want to steer clear of that one. Cleansing Force’s top loss does decent damage, but you should choose it because of the bottom’s movement. The initiative score of 25 also works well to get you into the fight early to tank damage for your party members. You can replace Mobilizing Axiom at level 8.

Level 9

Divine Intervention’s top loss lets you suffer the damage an ally would have taken after reducing it by one, and it also grants two XP. The bottom is pretty handy, granting you and all allies one Shield and generating light mana.

Angelic Ascension’s top loss gives you three extra damage, Advantage, and WOUND on your next four attacks. The bottom is pretty good, letting you move six spaces with JUMP. You won’t have many situations where you will be able to deal significant damage each turn, so this card’s top can be helpful.

Divine Intervention wins the level 9 option due to the initiative score of 9 and because both the top and bottom effects play directly in line with this build. Absorbing damage is what your character does. You can replace Purifying Aura or Cautious Advance because both are outclassed by Divine Intervention, and Purifying Aura’s loss means there may be too many losses in your deck.

Sunkeeper Perks

Perks are gained through leveling up and achieving battle goals. They can help you improve your odds of dealing better damage and minimizing negative modifiers. There are a few that should be taken as soon as possible. The rest can be chosen in any order you like:

  • Remove two -1 cards (take twice)
  • Replace one -2 card with one +0 card
  • Ignore negative item effects and add two +1 cards
  • Remove four +0 cards
  • Replace one +0 card with one +2 card
  • Add two +1 cards (available twice)

After choosing those perks, you can choose the rest as you want:

  • Add two Heal 1 cards (available twice)
  • Add one STUN card
  • Add two light mana cards
  • Add two Shield 1, Self cards
  • Ignore negative scenario effects

Sunkeeper Enhancements

Enhancements improve the effects of the cards you use as you continue through the game. Enhancing cards can make up for a lacking effect or improve an already incredible effect:

  • +1 Shield on Righteous Strength’s bottom
  • +1 move on Righteous Strength’s bottom
  • +1 Shield on Cautious Advance’s top
  • +1 Shield on Defensive Stance’s bottom

Sunkeeper Items

Items can be found throughout scenarios or bought in town, though they can be expensive, so choose wisely. Some items are pretty handy for this build:

  • Heater Shield
  • Minor Healing Potion
  • Hide Armor

Final Thoughts

The Sunkeeper is a versatile class that can tank an extreme amount of damage and still gets in some decent hits. It can support the party with healing or shield effects or battle on the front lines without worrying too much about how much damage it’s taking. In larger parties, the tank build for this class is incredible and can keep party members safe.