Today our Frosthaven class spotlight will be the Inox Drifter. Inox frequently send their young warriors off on their own for a year to find themselves. Drifters are those who never return, instead preferring to live off of the land in a solitary fashion.
When asking what playstyle or role a Drifter fulfills, the answer is simply “yes.” The Drifter can be set up to be a melee damage-dealer, a ranged damage-dealer, a support, or a tank. How you decide to play your Drifter will largely just depend on your personal preference and the needs of your party.
The Drifter is also the lowest complexity class in Frosthaven. You do ultimately have a plethora of options for how you want to set up the class, but once you’ve made your decision on that front, playing the class during the scenario is straightforward.
The Drifter revolves around setting up persistent abilities with use slots that increase the Drifter’s effectiveness at performing specific tasks. They then have other abilities that allow them to increase the duration of these persistent abilities, meaning that with careful management of their character tokens on their active abilities, they can remain proficient in their chosen specialities for the entire scenario.
Setting up your first Drifter
While there are numerous ways to set up a Drifter, for someone’s first Drifter, a simple and effective setup is what we’ll call the “paladin” build: specializing in melee damage-dealing and healing. With your large health pool and effective heals, you’ll be able to tank some number of hits for your party while you’re on the front lines attacking enemies.
Crushing Weight and Continuous Health will be your core persistent abilities. You will activate both of them on the first turn of the scenario and try to keep both of them around until the end.
After those, you have three other types of core actions:
Your melee attacks.
Your heals. Additionally, note that Continuous Health increases your healing from Long Rests as well as from any items (like your recommended starting item Amulet of Life).
Your actions that you play specifically to extend the duration of your persistent abilities.
All of that combined, plus the versatile Deadly Shot, gives us our starting level 1 hand.
What are you looking for on level-up and what sort of build options will you have?
As you level up, your options open up enormously. You’ll have to decide whether you like the “paladin” playstyle, and whether it fits your party well, or whether you’d like to try out something else. If you stick to being a paladin, then you’ll mainly be looking for melee attacks, heals, defensive abilities, and fast initiatives. Otherwise, when you get to level 3, the effectiveness of a ranged Drifter really explodes, so you can consider making the switch there.
Amulet of Life is incredible for a Drifter who expects to take hits and has Continuous Health active - an on-demand Heal 3 that’s refreshed on Long Rests. Winged Shoes are also essential: you won’t get access to Jump until level 7, and as a melee combatant, the added mobility can make all the difference.
Crafting early items:
A Crude Spear will give you welcome flexibility on your melee attacks, while also letting you avoid Retaliate when necessary.
Once you have the perk to ignore item effects, a defensive armor like Crude Hide Armor goes a long way towards keeping you alive.
For potions, you can use almost anything your party brews effectively: offensive, defensive, or healing are all going to be good for you. As most other classes in your party are likely to have fewer good options, consider being flexible and letting them take any potions that are particularly effective for them, while you can use those that they can’t really use.
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