"If you don't have your health, you don't have anything" The Hopeful Healer knows this to be true, and she wants to maintain her health for the long game, so that her investments can pay off with a win.
On the Defense / Econ edge - precise position TBD
- Saving Grace +$1 and multiple drawing chips give her one of the strongest Economies in the game
- Combination of reactions and arrows lets her play a lot of chips.
- Combination of draws and pigs gives her a lot of control over cycling her own and opponent's deck
- Saving Grace reaction and Radiant Healing deck cleanup make her strong against attack chips
- Her chips also help her opponent
- Her chips offer a number of only subtly different decisions - making her difficult to play well.
Gloria's General Game Plan
Gloria's General Game Plan: Buy a 3-gem and a puzzle chip early. Survive the early and midgame by having reactions pigged or top-bagged to respond to whatever her opponent does. Trash s from her discard to thindeck. Get to high-end chips fast. Win the long game on economy and deck quality.
Gloria also has a rushdown plan, though not a particularly strong one. She buys a turn 1 combine, a turn 2 combine and hopefully a turn 3 combine. Then she picks up a 1 or 2 cost puzzle chip and uses her cycling and innate s to hold the crash for a :ps4: send while not caring how bad her economy is sunk and trashing any wounds she had to buy.
Chips Gloria Loves
- Blue Chips. Gloria's blue arrow and pigs mean that she plays blue chips well for both their mains and reactions. Thus she is happy to see Self Improvement, Improvisation, Ebb or Flow, Money for Nothing, Thinking Ahead, Blues are Good or Really Annoying in the bank.
Ebb or Flow adds a decent rush strategy to her options.
- Chips that give wounds. It may seem counter-intuitive that the healer wants to wound her opponent, but Gloria benefits if she can use Radiant Healing to slimdeck away her  gems while her opponent merely trashes wounds to maintain a stable deck. Thus Gloria can gain the advantage with Really Annoying (which can be played off of her blue arrow), Just a Scratch, and Ouch!
- High-cost chips. With her strong economy, Gloria can often afford expensive chips fast. With her mix of arrows and draws she can build a strong lategame engine, so premium engine chips like Roundhouse, Punch, Punch, Kick, Custom Combo, and It's Combo Time usually benefit her more than her opponent.
- Attack Chips that cause her to ante: (Sneak Attack, Repeated Jabs, Dashing Strike, Pick Your Poison. Gloria doesn't play these attacks well at all - but she really hopes you'll play them against her early and often, thereby allowing her to use Saving Grace as a reaction and getting an early height bonus.
Chips Gloria Fears
Risk to Riskonade: this risky rushdown chip can bring pressure to bear faster than Gloria can handle it.
Hundred Fist Frenzy: As strong as Gloria is against red chips, she's weak against rushdown, so being able to trigger HFF more than once a turn causes problems for her.
- Attack Chips that cause her to discard: Color Panic, Chip Damage, Knockdown and Ouch!: are actually of use against Gloria, since even if she uses Saving Grace's draw 2 reaction, she's still had to discard at least one chip and also play a chip - thereby meaning she spent two chips to draw two chips and all she has gained is faster cycling.
General Tips with Gloria
- Use Radiant Healing to trash -gems from your discard while minimizing the chances you give your opponent to do so. You can do this, by giving the opponent wounds to trash instead, or by playing Radiant Healing when the opponent has no -gems in discard, or by playing Radiant Healing when the opponent has no puzzle chips in hand, or by using Saving Grace first to make the opponent cycle their discard into their bag.
- Use Saving Grace when it is advantageous to make your opponent draw. Usually giving them extra chips is pretty bad, however there are times where it's not. Denying an opponent their discard isn't useful solely for Radiant Healing, it can also be useful against characters with play-from-discard abilities (Setsuki, Onimaru, Geiger, Quince) or as a setup before playing Stolen Purples.
- Use Healing Touch's reaction instead of a countercrash when doing so will deny the opponent a height bonus. Both Healing Touch and a -gem countercrash leave the same total numbers of gems in the game, but Healing Touch leaves one more gem in Gloria's pile and one fewer in her opponent's pile.
- Don't spam Saving Grace mindlessly, instead track what the draw might give you and what it might give your opponent. Many newer players play Saving Grace just because they can, and that can be unwise. It gives you +$1, a chip and a pig, but it also gives your opponent a chip. So if you draw a chip you can't use and the opponent draws any gem, then they have gained at least as much money as you have. If you draw a chip you can't use and the opponent draws something better than a  gem, then they've gained more than you, meaning that your play helped them more than it helped you.
Matchups Gloria Loves
vs Vendetta, vs Degrey, vs Menelker: Saving Grace's reaction is a decent counter to these characters' attack chips.
vs Valerie, vs Bal-Bas-Beta, vs Onimaru: Healing Touch's reaction is a decent counter to these characters' gem crashing chips.
Matchups Gloria Fears
vs Grave, vs Setsuki: These dedicated econ and engine-building characters often have stronger late games than Gloria and Gloria has zero rushdown. Frequently such matchups are a race to Master Puzzler or The Hammer.
vs Troq, vs Rook, vs Midori: These characters have rushdown threats that can be problematic for Gloria to deal with, and can also transition to enough Econ to keep pace with Gloria in the lategame.
This guide was written by rabid_schnauzer in 2012. It has been reproduced here by permission. It has been revised to take into account more recent strategy developments.