Tabletop Games Wanderers independently evaluate the recommended board games. If you click on the links we provide, we may receive compensation. See our Affiliate Disclosure

Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion Rat Monstrosity – Overview & Strategy Guide

This post was last updated on September 12th, 2022

Hey there and welcome to the 6th article of the Overview & Strategy series. For those of you that haven’t followed this from the beginning, it’s basically me talking about the enemies you can find in our beloved game.
In the last episode, I wrote about Black Sludges and today’s topic is all about Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion Rat Monstrosity.

If you hate rats – and these are BIG – or you don’t like monstrosities in general, well… this is not the place for you then! Vice versa keep reading and you might find some useful information.

There will be spoilers ahead, so if you arrived at this page by mistake I’d suggest you stop reading right now.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will get a commission at no extra cost to you. See our Affiliate Disclosure.

Rat Monstrosity

gloomhaven jaws of the lion rat monstrosity image over a background photo

I don’t personally have anything against rats, but these are huge, monstrous and evil. And repugnant. And did I already say huge?

If you would ever see anything like this in the real world just run away. It’ll eventually visit you in your worst nightmares, but let’s focus on one problem at a time.
I once saw a rat the size of a dog, no joking. Haven’t slept for 2 days.

Anyway, these enemies aren’t too difficult to deal with, in fact, I’d say fighting them is kind of fun due to one of their Specials.
This enemy, similar to the Black Sludge, has more than one special, even though the second one is kind of a malus probably, depending on how you exploit it.
I’ll give a deeper explanation in the following section.

Where you can find this monster? Scenario: 6, 16, 19, 20, 23.

Rat Monstrosity Stat Cards

gloomhaven jaws of the lion rat monstrosity stat cards
Monster Stat Cards

Normal enemy (average values)

  • Hit points: 8
  • Base movement: 2
  • Base attack: 3

Elite enemy (average values)

  • Hit points: 11
  • Base movement: 2
  • Base attack: 3

In the previous section, I quickly introduced how one of the Specials of these enemies could be a malus for them, and the ability I was referring to is the following:

On death, all adjacent figures suffer X damage.

ALL adjacent figures, this means THEM too. If you play well you can easily create damage and death chains.

Imagine this: force them to move next to each other -> aoe attacks to lower their hit points -> deadly strike 1 or 2 rats to create splash damage that will potentially kill other monsters.
This is FUN!

It’s unfortunate that these enemies aren’t common. Bit of a shame if you ask me!

The second special ability they have is “Advantage”. This ability let them choose the best card out of the 2 drawn from the attack modifier deck. Very useful.

Rat Monstrosity Ability Cards

gloomhaven jaws of the lion rat monstrosity ability cards
Monster Ability Cards

Average Initiative value: 39.

As expected the Rat Monstrosity is a very fast enemy. With 5 out of 8 cards below 50 Initiative, it could be a pain in the arse to deal with.
Mainly because it could mess up your strategic plan if it pulls a faster card than yours.

And what if that card would be Explosive Blisters?
The worst that could have happened. Will you attack the enemies anyway and take damage or will you let them live (for now) and potentially waste a turn?
Personally, I’d strike them if I’m somewhere near the end of the dungeon, otherwise, I’d try to set my character for a powerful attack on the following turn or maybe rest.

Swarm is an okay ability if there is more than one Rat alive and nearby where your characters are. Otherwise pretty weak.

Weakening Bite, Calculated Strike and Nothing Special are… nothing special really.

And for the end, two abilities that could also help you kill these enemies faster: Unstable Scratch and Unstable Frenzy.
They have a malus for which if they perform the action they suffer 1 damage. By playing around with this weakness + their innate Special, you could create pretty satisfying chains of death.

Strategy against Rat Monstrosity

  • At the cost of repeating myself, my favourite strategy is to force them into adjacent hexes and create chains of damage. This is both fun and deadly.
  • Voidwarden class will be the MVP against these monsters thanks to some of her crowd control abilities.
  • Try to hit them with aoe attacks to put an end to the fight in a faster way. Just be aware to not take splash damage yourself too when they explode.
  • Once you forced them to be adjacent to each other you could also immobilize them to keep them in place.

Gloomhaven Jaws of the Lion Rat Monstrosity is by far my favourite enemy to fight against.
I wish there were more enemies with similar mechanics and I would have loved to encounter these big beasts on more occasions during the story.

Be sure to enjoy the fight when you encounter them!

If you liked this post, you may also be interested in:

Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion Classes – Overview & Rank
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion – Monsters Overview