Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters TIER LIST

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This Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List will tell players which Darkest Dungeon 2 characters are the best so they can form the best teams.

If you’re playing Darkest Dungeon 2, you’re going to want to know which Darkest Dungeon 2 characters are the best, as well as which paths to choose, so you can form the best party and know which characters you should unlock first.

There are 9 Darkest Dungeon 2 characters to pick from at the time of writing this, and one additional temporary bonus character that appears rarely at inns.

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The 9 Darkest Dungeon 2 characters you can pick from are Highwayman, Man-at-Arms, Grave Robber, Plague Doctor, Hellion, Runaway, Jester, Leper, and Occultist. The bonus character is the Bounty Hunter.

For this guide, I’m going to leave out the Bounty Hunter. He’s a temporary character that rarely appears and is intentionally tuned to be stronger than other party members. He’s more like a temporary power-up than an additional hero.

Each of the available Darkest Dungeon 2 characters gets a selection of 3 different Hero Paths. I’m not going to do separate entries for each path, but I’m going to mention them in the rationale for the placement for each character.

As with all tier lists, there’s some subjectivity here, but I’ve played through this game multiple times since the first day of early access with tons of different party combinations, completed the altar of hope, and I’ve given every character and hero path a fair shake.

Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get right into the Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List.

S Tier – Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List

Highwayman

darkest dungeon 2 highwayman

I rank Highwayman as S Rank among the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters because he’s the best overall DPS character, especially when he’s rocking the Sharpshot or Rogue hero paths.

He can deal heavy damage to any rank and he also has the flexibility to be placed in any rank. If you’re using the Rogue hero path, he can decimate enemy frontlines. If he’s the Sharpshot hero path, he can deal sustained heavy damage to any rank.

Highwayman is a flexible, consistent damage dealer who can fit into any party. His main competitors, Occultist and Grave Robber, are much more finicky about their positioning and, for all the extra attention they require, usually don’t outdamage Highwayman anyway.

Highwayman is a mainstay DPS option that can fit into any Darkest Dungeon 2 party lineup and for that reason I think he deserves a spot in S Tier.

Plague Doctor

darkest dungeon 2 plague doctor

Plague Doctor, like Highwayman, is a character you’ll miss if you don’t bring her. At the time of writing this (I’m still holding out hope they’ll add the Vestal from DD1 at some point), Plague Doctor is the only viable main healer in the game.

Occultist and Runaway are both suitable as offhealers, but they don’t have nearly the same support potential that the Plague Doctor has. Frankly speaking, Plague Doctor is a must have in most party formations.

While Occultist has a single mediocre, unreliable heal and Runaway has a potent, but situational, healing skill, Plague Doctor has a straightforward heal that also purges damage over time effects, and a second healing spell that removes debuffs once upgraded.

On top of that, Plague Doctor also deals respectable damage, especially when she’s outfitted with trinkets that increase plague damage.

Because Plague Doctor is practically required in most parties, she definitely ranks in S Tier when it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters.

A Tier – Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List

Jester

darkest dungeon 2 jester

Jester is another mainstay when it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters, largely because he has the best stress heal in the game, which purges Horror effects and removes 3 stress.

In addition to bringing his powerful stress heal, he deals decent damage to the middle rows. His Harvest and Slice Off skills do a great job softening up any enemies in ranks 2 and 3.

He can also reliably inflict blind, which comes in handy on large enemies and bosses. Normally you can only do this every other round, but if you happen to find The General’s Dream trophy, which locks characters in place, he can inflict blind every round, which is extremely powerful.

Jester is a reliable damage dealer who can inflict powerful debuffs while also possessing the best stress heal skill in the game. Being able to heal stress is a big deal, and if you don’t bring Jester, you’ll wish you had when your characters start having repeated meltdowns.

For those reasons, Jester earns a spot among the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters in A Tier.

Man-at-Arms

darkest dungeon 2 man at arms

When it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters, Man-at-Arms is the best tank overall, especially when he’s got the Vanguard hero path.

Three skills make Man-at-Arms useful. Retribution which, when upgraded, adds two tokens each of Riposte, Block and Taunt. It’s everything you could ever want in a tanking skill, and its damage is increased 50% in the Vanguard path. Six tokens also sets him up perfectly to get a full heal from Plague Doctor’s debuff heal.

Next, he’s got the second best stress heal in the game, which heals 2 stress for himself and the target while also purging some negative statuses and giving himself a block token.

Finally, he’s got a skill that plants him in rank 1 with an immobilize token, which quickly repairs most of the damage caused by shuffle and knockback mechanics.

Man-at-Arms is everything you could ever want in a tank and he’s also the second best stress healer in the game. You can get by without Jester if you bring Man-at-Arms instead, and you pretty much need either one or the other on any given run.

For those reasons, I think Man-at-Arms ranks among the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters and belongs in A Tier.

B Tier – Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List

Hellion

darkest dungeon 2 hellion

Hellion has some tanking and debuff skills but I consider her a tanky DPS character more than anything else.

The main reason I consider Hellion to be among the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters in B Tier is because she’s the only rank 1 character who can hit the back row, which she can do with her Iron Swan skill.

In addition to that, she tends to outdamage the Leper on average. Her Howling End skill deals roughly as much damage as the Leper’s Chop skill and, while it has a cooldown, in between uses she tends to be attacking rather than wasting turns self-buffing to remove blindness.

What makes being able to hit the back row from rank 1 so important is that almost every boss requires you to be able to deal heavy damage to the back row. It also comes in handy for finishing off squishy back row enemies, especially the Altars that appear in Cultist encounters.

C Tier – Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List

Occultist

darkest dungeon 2 occultist

Occultist is a strong ranged damage dealer in the Warlock path and a pretty decent melee damage dealer in the Aspirant path.

Overall, I don’t think he’s as good as Highwayman, because he can either deal strong backrow damage as Warlock or decent front row damage as Aspirant, whereas Sharpshot Highwayman can deal strong damage to all ranks.

The main problem with Occultist is opportunity cost. It’s not really possible to fit Occultist into a party and still bring both Plague Doctor and Jester unless you have him in Rank 2 as an Aspirant, in which case your party is going to struggle to deal back row damage.

If you have him as a ranged damage dealer, you’re either putting him in Rank 3 or 4, which means you’re either not bringing Plague Doctor or Jester.

You could have him in Rank 4 and bring a Surgeon Plague Doctor, but that means you can’t put Jester in a position where he can use his stress heal and it also means Plague Doctor misses out on the best healing trinket, which gives +25% healing to the character in rank 4 and randomly heals your characters every round.

Occultist has a heal, which is nice, but it’s so random you can’t really rely on him as a main healer. If you’re not bringing Plague Doctor, you pretty much need both Occultist and Runaway, which actually works pretty well. Occultist’s heal adds bleed, so if you get a bad heal, Runaway can use her heal, which only works on bleeding characters.

If they buffed Occultist’s heal a bit so Plague Doctor wasn’t so necessary, he’d be a lot easier to fit into a party. Otherwise he’s pretty good, but doesn’t outshine Highwayman for DPS and isn’t able to function as the only healer in a party.

For those reasons I think Occultist is in the middle of the pack when it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters.

Runaway

darkest dungeon 2 runaway

When it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters, Runaway has a lot of utility and deals some decent damage. She’s a useful character, but isn’t able to pump out damage as well as the Highwayman in Rank 2, and despite all her utility, she’s not worth giving up the Rank 3 slot for Jester.

However, that doesn’t make her a bad character. Her smokescreen skill, which adds a combo token and two tokens of blindness, is fantastic. Her single target attack is decent. She’s able to dance around a little bit like Jester, which helps defend against shuffles and knockbacks.

She has a great heal skill. Unfortunately, it can only be used on bleeding characters. While bleeds are common and you tend to get a lot of use out of it, you can’t rely on it as your only healing ability.

She has a lot of gimmicky, useless and situational abilities, but she has more than enough good skills to make her a solid character.

Like Occultist, the main problem with her is that she tends to be in Rank 2 or 3 and usually bringing Highwayman in Rank 2 or Jester in Rank 3 is a better option.

For those reasons I think she belongs in the middle tiers when it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters.

D Tier – Best Darkest Dungeon 2 Characters Tier List

Grave Robber

darkest dungeon 2 grave robber

Grave Robber is sort of like a weaker Highwayman. Her skills deal lower damage than Highwayman’s skills but have higher crit.

A Nightsworn Grave Robber is actually pretty decent, but she gives up her main draw: she’s not able to do decent damage to the back row. Nightsworn Grave Robber can get big numbers on ranks 1-3, but so can Sharpshot Highwayman, and Sharpshot Highwayman can do it more reliably.

Deadeye Grave Robber deals about the same damage as Jester, but without any of the bleeds, debuffs or stress healing.

There’s nothing wrong with Grave Robber’s kit exactly, she probably just needs a little bit of a buff overall. Still, if you get some good trinkets for her she can deal some potent damage.

The main problem with Grave Robber is she competes directly with Highwayman for a spot and Highwayman is just better. She mostly exists for variety.

For those reasons I rank Grave Robber among the lower tiers when it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters.

Leper

darkest dungeon 2 leper

Leper hits hard and can take a lot of punishment. Two things hold him back, though. First, he can only hit ranks 1 and 2 with anything. That’s especially a problem for most boss fights. Second, he has to waste a lot of turns self-buffing.

He randomly inflicts blindness on himself by default, so you have to burn through Milk Soaked Linens to remove the blindness or waste roughly every other turn using his Reflection skill to remove it.

Then, when he does attack, his damage is still only roughly comparable with Hellion’s, who is able to deal sustained damage as well as big nukes.

As a tank, he’s pretty good, but he has no way to add Riposte, which makes him inferior to Man-at-Arms in the tanking role. Man-at-Arms mitigates more damage and also counterattacks, whereas Leper just mitigates damage.

As with most of the lower tier character, the main issue with Leper is he’s competing for a spot in Rank 1 or 2 and he’s competing mainly against Hellion and Man-at-Arms, who just have a lot more tools in their kit overall.

For those reasons I think Leper ranks among the lower tiers when it comes to the best Darkest Dungeon 2 characters.


RELATED POSTS:
Darkest Dungeon 2 Boss Guides
BEST Darkest Dungeon 2 Altar of Hope Upgrades
Top 5 Darkest Dungeon 2 BEST Trinkets for EVERY Character
BEST Darkest Dungeon 2 Hero Paths for Every Character RANKED

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