"Though most orchids live a life of meditation, there is a sect who believes that enlightenment should be achieved through hard work and not getting lost in thought for years on end. Because of its beliefs, the sect fled Orchid society across the Misty Sea to build farms and raise livestock in the wilds around Gloomhaven. The wilds are still dangerous, however, and the Orchid class of Doomstalkers is tasked with keeping these modest settlements safe. The calm mind of the Orchid makes the Doomstalker and excellent bow hunter. He never misses a shot."
The Doomstalker is a bit of an oddity as far as mechanics go. His primary role is that of a single-target attacker, supported by his primary mechanic of "Dooms"; persistent effects that target a single enemy and debuff them or buff attacks targeting them, and he can only have one active Doom at a time. What makes the class an oddity is primarily the nature of cards with Dooms on them. Every Doom is a bottom half action, and the top half of every card with a bottom Doom action is a loss action. This means the Doomstalker has a plethora of top half loss actions which are generally pretty weak, as fitting for its 12 card stamina. Contrarily, he has no bottom half losses across the entire class!
But oddly enough, the Dooms themselves aren't as weak as you'd expect. In fact, the Doomstalker, as a 12 card class, has damage output rivaling Scoundrel, but at 4 times the range, without playing a single loss. But it gets ever weirder. The Doomstalker has the most bizarre assortment of level 1 cards, with 10 loss-doom pairings but only 3 non-loss attacks. Given most Dooms trigger on attacking the target or killing them, that means you are forced to take a minimum of 7 loss-doom pairing cards, but can only really use 3 non-loss attacks, often meaning low level Doomstalkers will just play early losses or rest early because they have nothing else to do with their turn. On top of that, having to take 7 loss tops means you have to play a basic attack or loss, even if you play all 7 dooms (and thus don't move). At high levels, this becomes less necessary, as the Doomstalker gains access to more attacks to replace the excess of Dooms, which starts to make the Doomstalker bizarrely disconnected from his stamina as his non-losses start to rival some of his losses.
Even his secondary abilities have a bizarre disconnect with his primary role. He is a summoner and trapper, but only capable of summoning or placing traps in adjacent hexes, and all his summons are melee only. But the Doomstalker operates at Range 4-5, with very little movement, almost always being the furthest back character in the game. Thus, the summons typically take 1-2 turns to get up to the fight and his traps almost always go unused. Thus you rarely see either build getting major use outside of a party with extreme summon synergy or absolutely no ability to take hits. Even in the latter it is often preferable to just lose cards to prevent damage rather than waste top half actions summoning melee summons which will die in a few short turns regardless.
Despite all that, the Doomstalker plays fine; his core gameplay loop of "Doom then hit; repeat every round if possible" is fun and interesting, and the abundant losses don't cause problems outside of very low levels. The average Doomstalker will probably not even notice all the above disconnects other than just a general feeling of "there are a lot of cards I don't feel like playing".
|Level||Name||Init||Top Effect Types||Bottom Effect Types|
|1||Rain of Arrows||33||Attack, Persistent Track, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Crippling Noose||57||Trap, Stun, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Felling Swoop||75||Summon, Flying, Loss||Doom, Teleport|
|Vital Charge||78||Summon, Loss||Doom, Heal|
|Race to the Grave||09||Ranged Attack, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Multi-pronged Assault||14||Multi-target Ranged Attack, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Detonation||54||Trap, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Frightening Curse||37||Special, Persistent Track, Loss||Doom, Forced Movement|
|Foot Snare||61||Trap, Immobilize||Immobilize, Move|
|Solid Bow||31||Ranged Attack||Move|
|A Moment's Peace||88||Loot||Move, Heal|
|Swift Trickery||11||Ranged Attack||Move|
|X||Sap Life||14||Retaliate, Loss||Doom, Heal|
|The Hunt Begins||71||Summon, Retaliate, Wound, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Fresh Kill||65||Ranged Attack||Move, Jump|
|2||Expose||13||Special, Persistent, Loss||Doom, Pierce|
|Relentless Offensive||52||Multi-target Ranged Attack||Special|
|3||Darkened Skies||25||Ranged Area Attack, Loss||Doom, Multi-target Area Attack|
|Press the Attack||10||Ranged Attack||Retaliate|
|4||Singular Focus||28||Loot, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Flight of Flame||53||Trap, Wound||Move, Jump|
|5||Inescapable Fate||97||Special, Persistent, Loss||Doom, Execute|
|Wild Command||46||Granted Move, Granted Attack||Move, Special Attack|
|6||Nature's Hunger||82||Summon, Stun, Loss||Doom, Heal|
|Camouflage||23||Ranged Attack, Invisible||Move, Invisible|
|7||Impending End||47||Ranged Attack, Execute||Special|
|Crashing Wave||22||Move, Melee Area Attack, Loss||Doom, Curse|
|8||Rising Momentum||12||Ranged Attack, Push, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Feral Instincts||35||Move, Melee Attack, Loot||Move, Heal|
|9||Predator and Prey||86||Summon, Poison, Loss||Doom, Special|
|Lead to Slaughter||40||Ranged Attack, Forced Movement||Move, Special|