A Guide To Gloomhaven Enhancements | Everything You Must Know

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If you have been playing Gloomhaven and are wondering where the enhancements are, or even what are enhancements. Then this guide to Gloomhaven enhancements will reveal all.

Gloomhaven was released in 2017 with the ability to use enhancements but they are not available from the beginning of the game. They have to be unlocked.

This guide will explain how to unlock them and once you have what to do with them. You’ll learn how they work and how to get the most out of them.

Spoiler Warning: This guide has information that is not available until you get to a certain point in Gloomhaven. If you are new and don’t want to read spoilers then I would recommend you stop here and read Can you Play the Clank! Board Game Solo? instead. Then you can enjoy the discovery of the game as it unfolds.

Now we have the spoiler alert out of the way and you are still reading. Let’s take a look at exactly what Gloomhaven enhancements are.

A Guide To Gloomhaven Enhancements | Everything You Must Know

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Enhancements?
  2. How Do I Get Enhancements in Gloomhaven?
  3. How Many Enhancements Can You Have in Gloomhaven?
  4. Can You Sell Enhancements in Gloomhaven?
  5. Gloomhaven Enhancement Strategy
    1. Enhancing Level 1 Cards That You Will Continue to Use
    2. Wait to Enhance More Powerful Cards
    3. Heal or Strengthen Cards That Affects Multiple Allies
    4. Multiply Your Attacks by Enhancing Cards With AoE
    5. Don’t Enhance Loss Cards
    6. Balance Your Spending
  6. Good Enhancement Combinations
    1. Immobilize to Push
    2. Adding Jump to Strong Moves
    3. Use Strengthen on Bottom Actions
    4. Add Elemental to Move
    5. Add Curse to Area of Effect Attacks
    6. Enhance Range Attacks on Summons
  7. Conclusion

What Are Enhancements?

Enhancements are added to your ability cards. As you probably already know, ability cards are the cards that you use as actions. They have a top action and a bottom action. 

You choose to play two ability cards from your hand. You must then take the top action from one card and the bottom action from the other.

You can only have the level of ability card according to your characters level e.g. level 1. As you level up you gain more powerful cards.

When you visit Gloomhaven you can choose to buy an enhancement with your gold. Looking at your ability cards you will see little blue dots next to the ability like Attack, Pierce or Shield.

Enhancements come as little stickers that can be added to your ability card on the blue dots next to the ability.

Gloomhaven Sweeping Blow Ability Card

Certain enhancements can only go against certain abilities. An obvious example would be the jump enhancement. You could not put this against the Attack or Poison abilities as it would not make sense. Here is a table of the different enhancements against their possible abilities.

+1 EnhancementCan be placed on any ability or summon base stat line with a numerical value. It increases that value by 1.Increase baseline Ability
Target Enemies EnhancementsCan be placed on any main ability line that targets enemies. It applies to all enemies targeted by that ability.Targeting Enelies Ability
Allies EnhancementsCan be placed on any ability line that affects you or your allies. You cannot add these to the Move ability. The condition is applied to all targets of the ability.Allies Ability
Jump EnhancementCan be placed on any Move ability line and then enables jump.Move Ability
Create Element EnhancementCan be placed on any main ability line. When you use the ability the element is created. If you have the multicolored pie then you can also choose which element is created.Element Ability
Area of Attack EnhancementsCan be used to increase the area of attack. The new hex will become another target of the attack.Area Attack Ability

The cost of the enhancement increases depending on the level of the ability card you are buying it for and the number of previous enhancements. The higher the ability card the higher the cost and the more enhancements you have the higher the cost again. You can find out the details on page 47 of the rulebook. Or you can use an app to work it out for you like The Arcane Library’s version, the Enhancement Calculator.

How Do I Get Enhancements in Gloomhaven?

You have to work to get enhancements in Gloomhaven. So you will need to successfully complete several scenarios before this happens.

The global achievement you are looking for is called “Power of Enhancement.” This is locked in scenario 14 of Gloomhaven and you must successfully complete that scenario to unlock it.

The Power of Enhancement - Global Achievement

If you are having trouble finding scenario 14 then take a look at the diagram and table below which show the quickest path.

Gloomhaven path to scenario 14
Gloomhaven Scenario path to Scenario 14
Path 1 – ShortestPath 2Path 3Path 4 – Shortest
Scenario 1Scenario 1Scenario 1Scenario 1
Scenario 2Scenario 2Scenario 2Scenario 2
Scenario 3Scenario 3Scenario 3Scenario 4
Scenario 8Scenario 9Scenario 9Scenario 5
Scenario 14Scenario 11Scenario 12Scenario 14
Scenario 18Scenario 18
Scenario 14Scenario 14
Table – Path to Scenario 14

Once you have made it to 14 and completed it then you will unlock the “Power of Enchantment.”

As an aside I found this very useful tool that shows all the different paths you can take in Gloomhaven. It allows you to keep track of your progress, which scenarios you have completed and which you have attempted. You can access the Gloomhaven Scenario Tree here.

So, once you have unlocked this awesome achievement what’s next? Well, first I guess we should take a look at what they can do for your characters.

How Many Enhancements Can You Have in Gloomhaven?

There is not an exact figure to how many enhancements you can have in Gloomhaven. It will change over the course of the campaign.

The number of Enhancements you can have in Gloomhaven is linked to the prosperity level of Gloomhaven itself. You can have a total number of enhancements that equals or is less than the prosperity level of Gloomhaven.

As Gloomhavens prosperity increases so does the number of enhancements you can have. Considering that Gloomhavens maximum prosperity level is 9 then the maximum enhancement you will ever be able to have in your ability deck is therefore also 9.

Bearing in mind your enhancements are permanent and cannot be removed. They remain throughout classes and even when your characters retire.

You can see it is important to select your enhancements carefully and only add those that you want to keep. We’ll look at strategy in a bit.

Can You Sell Enhancements in Gloomhaven?

When you buy an enhancement in Gloomhaven you take the sticker and place it physically on your card. This can’t be taken off. Secondly enhancements are permanent and so you can’t sell your enhancement once it is on the card.

Gloomhaven Enhancement Strategy

Knowing which enhancement to get and where to put it is complex. This is mainly due to the fact that it depends on which class your character is. The first thing to realize is that you can’t really make a mistake. All enhancements will give you a buff and help. 

So relax and enjoy the game. As you play things will become more obvious and you will learn what works best for you.

There are some general tips that will help for all classes, so let’s take a look at those now.

Enhancing Level 1 Cards That You Will Continue to Use

There are a few level 1 cards that you will find really useful and stand out above the rest. You are likely to continue to use these even at level 9 as they are so useful. 

Enhancing these level 1 cards as early as possible maximizes the use of Gold. The enhancement you get will help throughout the campaign.

This does mean that you will have to look at all your ability cards from level 1 through 9 and work out which you are likely to keep using. This will also lead onto the next tip.

Wait to Enhance More Powerful Cards

This one will depend on if you choose to look at your higher level cards or not. There are cards that will naturally be replaced by higher level cards. An example of this would be the Brute’s level 1 Sweeping Blow card. 

Once you hit level 3 the Brute Force card will come into play and add Muddle and Experience to the Attack of 2. It is much more likely that you will continue to use the Brute Force over the Sweeping Blow top action. 

So waiting until this is unlocked and then enhancing that would be preferable.

Heal or Strengthen Cards That Affects Multiple Allies

Having an ability that will also affect your teammates is really useful. Enhancing this with a Bless or Strengthen multiplies the enhancement. If you think about it, enhancing this will then affect every ally.

Consider that if an ally also has a summon in progress then this is included and further increases the power of this type of enhancement.

Making sure this card is a discard card and not a lost card will mean that you will replicate this effect in every rest cycle. 

Multiply Your Attacks by Enhancing Cards With AoE

The flip side of this is to do the same for cards that have Area of Effect (AoE) on them. In the same way that you were multiplying a Bless or Strengthen by affecting multiple allies you can do the same for attack.

Gloomhaven Sweeping Blow Ability Card

Cards with AoE symbols on them like the one shown in the diagram on the left are perfect. They will cause an attack on each monster within the area of effect shown by the hexes. 

If you took the Brute level 1 ability card Sweeping Blow for example. Adding a +1 to this attack could mean that you are launching a +3 attack on every monster within the red hexes.

Don’t Enhance Loss Cards

Normally enhancing cards that are one time loss cards doesn’t make sense. Wasting the gold on enhancing these and then only using them once doesn’t make sense.

The exception may be with the spell weaver class that can pickup their loss cards but even then think carefully before enhancing.

Focus on the cards that you will use multiple times during a scenario. These will gain you more benefit over the course of the scenario and give you a better chance of completing it successfully.

Balance Your Spending

Your gold is a finite resource and you only have so much to spend. So think carefully about where you spend it. Would an item purchase be a better use of gold right now? The objective is to increase your power to help you complete the scenarios.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t enhance your cards. There are some really good options that will certainly make your life easier. However, if you are still working out which abilities are working best for you then maybe buying an item will be better.

Good Enhancement Combinations

Now you have some general tips to think about. Let’s look at some good combinations of enhancements and abilities.

Immobilize to Push

This is really useful against melee monsters. If you can push them back to a hex with no allies surrounding them. Then they are also immobilized and cannot move into range. 

Thus making their attack completely void.

Adding Jump to Strong Moves

Jump can really come in handy when there is an obstacle in the way. Adding it to abilities with long moves will ensure that you can always get to where you need to be. 

There are also Scenarios that will have a location as an objective. This card with jump could be the very thing you need to complete them.

Use Strengthen on Bottom Actions

Adding Strengthen to a bottom action puts it into effect for all attacks until the end of the next turn. This is awesome and adds Advantage to your attacks. This can lead to 2 or possibly even 3 actions being strengthened.

If you plan well you can use some high level ability cards after this and they will gain the Strengthen buff. This is at a much reduced cost than if you had enhanced them directly.

Add Elemental to Move

This can be a really useful trick. It will work best if you have actions that can augment the elements. By adding an elemental to your move you can set yourself to create the element within the room ready for your next action to consume it.

If you want to stump up the extra 50g to have the wildcard elemental enhancement then you will effectively be able to choose which element you summon into the room ready for augmentation.

Add Curse to Area of Effect Attacks

Adding Curse to multi target attacks will multiply the effect of the curse. As Curse is quite expensive this is a good use of that gold you spent.

If you can also begin to stack Curse then it will be even better.

Enhance Range Attacks on Summons

Whilst it is more expensive to enhance your summons. By adding range to summons it will be able to keep its distance from the monsters whilst still causing damage.

The longer you can keep your summons alive the more benefit you will get from it. Having extended range will give you options to keep it alive and knocking off health from your enemies.

Conclusion

Enhancements are a great part of Gloomhaven and the potential combinations are many. Now you know how to unlock “The Power of Enhancement” you will be able to begin enhancing your abilities. 

Try some of the strategies and combinations that I recommend above to see the great power that enhancements can bring. This should help you achieve some of those scenarios you’ve been struggling with and enrich your game.

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