The Best Skills in Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest
Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest lets you pick a new ability every time one of your party members levels up. Across four members and a 10- to 20-hour campaign, that's a lot of choices for skills.
In this guide, we'll take you through some of the best skills that you can acquire, and explain their ideal use.
These recommendations are pretty universal, regardless of your chosen difficulty. As you would expect, some are better than others.
- Unlocked at: Level 1 (Acolyte), Level 2 (Scout)
- Effect: Your next spell is empowered
Probably my favorite skill in the whole game, Focus empowers the next spell that you use, and doesn't cost an action point.
This means you can heal three team members in one go as the Scout, or hit three enemies in one attack with the Acolyte. It's especially potent with Fire, too, turning that into a 3x3 grid attack.
Adding power gems to Focus gives you more usages, and is one of the best uses of gems in the entire game. Seriously, the ability to attack multiple times per turn is crucial to success, as you'll see from the rest of the list.
- Unlocked at: Level 4 (Scout)
- Effect: You can attack 2 targets in 1 action
In a similar vein, Volley allows the Scout to attack two targets at once. They both have to be in range at the same time, but this is incredibly useful.
Though it's unlocked at Level 4, you can also get it by buying the Hunter's Bow, which should probably be your first purchase anyway.
Additional power gems increase the number of times you can use Volley per mission, and can add piercing or poison modifiers to the attacks. Filling the ability completely isn't a good use of gems, honestly, but two or three to increase the number of uses is well worth it.
- Unlocked at: Level 2 (Warden), Level 3 (Scout/Nuala)
- Effect: Your next attack does 1 bonus damage
Attacking multiple times is great, but what if you can't kill things. Power Attack adds an additional point of damage to your next melee or ranged attack, so say goodbye to 1-HP enemies waltzing around.
Seriously, so many enemies have 3-HP at the start of Druidstone, and the Scout only doing 2 damage per attack can be a serious hindrance. Combine this with Volley and suddenly you're taking out two enemies at once!
It's also amazing on the Warden for dealing high damage to bosses, or in a circle with Whirlwind. Add power gems to add up to three additional uses per mission, and a fourth to add some lifesteal.
- Unlocked at: Level 4 (Warden)
- Effect: Deal 5 damage in a melee attack
Flurry is the heavy hitter of the Warden's toolbox, dealing 5 damage to whatever is unlucky enough to be on an adjacent tile.
Use it in conjunction with Power Attack and add a power gem to further increase the damage, and suddenly you're hitting a single target for a whopping 7 damage.
A second gem will add a Daze effect if the target somehow survived, leaving them with a 50% chance to miss their next attack. Extremely potent against bosses.
- Unlocked at: Level 3 (Acolyte)
- Effect: Deal 3 cold damage in an X, slowing enemies
The Acolyte's best abilities are available from the start. Nothing really beats a Focus-enhanced Forcebolt or Fire attack, but Ice is incredibly handy when the Focus party runs dry.
Incredibly useful on its own, Ice will hit five tiles in an "X" shape, slowing and damaging anyone hit. When enhanced, it can be used twice, though the damage doesn't double up on any tiles already covered.
Extra gems can increase the damage or uses, but this is a bit of a "no-gem wonder." There are better uses for gems in the other skills, and this functions suitably on its own.
- Unlocked at: Level 6 (Scout)
- Effect: Move up to 3 spaces and perform a free attack
Advance is another ability that, you guessed it, lets you attack more than one target. You move a short distance before getting a free attack, which is amazing for the Scout due to her large range.
There is a caveat, though: you have to attack after moving, so you're not allowed to use it to run behind cover if you won't have anything to aim at.
Up to three gems can be used to increase the number of uses per mission, which is heavily advised. This is a free attack and a repositioning tool, after all. Spending a gem to increase the movement isn't really necessary, though.
- Unlocked at: Level 7 (Warden)
- Effect: Gain 1 free action point
This skill speaks for itself. It's incredibly useful to have another attack, but this adds even more versatility by providing an additional action.
You can attack with it if you wish, but it's also handy to grab a chest or flip a switch after you've already attacked that turn.
The upgraded version also heals you back to full, turning it into a clutch tool if you're in a sticky situation.
Those are the most useful skills when leveling up your party. You can always change your power gem allocation for free, so don't take the upgrade recommendations as gospel; tinker with them to see what fits your playstyle.
Other skills can also be acquired from equipables, such as the ever-brilliant Aim ability. If you'd like some guidance on what to purchase at Steelface's, check out our Druidstone Buyer's Guide, here. To see what we thought of the game, head over to our review.