Expect the unexpected when the Gnoll Hunter shows up. They’ve got a powerful thirst for blood and a nose built for tracking sweaty apprentices.
Unlike other enemies, Gnoll Hunters will not attempt to escape through the rifts; they will immediately seek and attack the War Mage and his Guardians, distracting them from other enemy units. They also alert the War Mage to their presence by producing a loud howl when they enter any Rift Fortress .
The Gnoll Hunter attacks with a large sword (Wolverine-like claws in Orcs Must Die! 2), which appears to have been coated with a movement-slowing poison. His attack deals relatively high damage, he runs quite fast, making him hard to escape from, and he can take a fair amount of damage. It's important to kill him fast so you can resume slaying weaker parts of the mob. They are also unaffected by Barricades.
An easy way to deal with Gnoll Hunters is to freeze them with the Ice Amulet and finish them off with Crossbow headshots. In Orcs Must Die! 2, Gnolls are temporarily knocked to the ground by any attack made with the Blunderbuss, thus making it very effective at taking these tricky mobs out.
The make useful allies when charmed or converted by a Spore mushroom as they can catch up with and slay agile kobold runners and have a much higher aggro radius than other converted enemies. This does, however, mean that they tend to get themselves killed very quickly by being swarmed by charging enemies that they inevitably run into.