Gloin is a nice, low threat-cost hero with a pretty unique ability.
"Response: After Gloin suffers damage, add 1 resource to his resource pool for each point of damage he just suffered."
First, note that while every other hero with built-in, reusable resource acceleration is limited to once per round, his ability is unlimited, so Gloin can take on as many resources as he can withstand damage. This means he can be a great way to get extra resources throughout the course of the game, assuming you can keep the dwarf healed and or give him enough extra hit points through attachments that he can take on some hurt.
There are a few caveats, however:
- The resources go on him, so if you want to spread the wealth to other spheres, you need an Errand-rider, a song of your choice, or a leadership event card like Parting Gifts, which lets you transfer any number of resources over to another hero for a nice cost of zero.
- Damage can be hard to predict and control unless you are running a quest with archery or encounter cards that deal direct damage on a fairly regular basis.
- Healing all but demands some access to lore, especially if you want reusable healing like self preservation or warden of healing. This can limit deck building options if you want to make the most of his ability.
- As when trying building up damage on his son, Gimli, there is always a risk that an untimely encounter or shadow card effect will kill Gloin and take all those extra resources with him.
That being said, he definitely has his good points:
- Like I said, his ability is unlimited!!!!
- He has access to all sorts of leadership buffs to improve upon his low stats, including Heir of Mardil to take advantage of his Noble trait for some repeatable readying.
- He carries the Dwarf trait, which gives access to the incredible dwarven synergy, as well as any number of great cards that only work with dwarves, including those that raise hit points.
- He's got that awesome beard!!!
So yeah, there's many a good reason to use him. You just might want to get those coins off of him as fast as you can and include a Fortune or Fate just in case!