- Jester Overview
- Selected Skills
- Trinkets and Quirks
Positioning is supremely important in Darkest Dungeon 2, and nobody is better at adjusting the party's formation than the Jester. He can bob and weave around your lineup like no other and has something to offer no matter where he's standing. In melee, he is capable of delivering strong attacks but the Jester truly shines when he inspires the rest of the party with his lute.
Managing the Jester can be tricky since he requires a bit more forethought than the game's more stationary heroes. With our build, you can make the hard-rocking harlequin a cornerstone of your team.
The Jester is one of Darkest Dungeon 2's best support heroes. He's at his best when he is helping his teammates maximize their own output. The only thing he really can't do is heal, but the right combat items can even add that to his bag of tricks.
Our favorite Jester build alternates between Solo and Finale to deal large amounts of damage when the fight is going well. If things start to slip out of control, the Jester switches into his support role and buffs his allies to correct the flow of battle. If you haven't yet unlocked all of the skills listed here, take the Jester on a few runs to the Shrine of Reflection to complete his backstory and gain access to his full range of abilities.
An ideal skill for keeping frontline characters where they belong, Battle Ballad moves any ally who isn't in the front position forward one step. It also grants the target a stack of Strength, boosting the damage of their next attack. This skill is best used to set up powerful attacks like the Highwayman's Point-Blank Shot. If you have an extra Mastery Point while staying at an Inn, you can upgrade Battle Ballad so that it also has a chance of granting its target a guaranteed critical hit. This still isn't a guarantee, so prioritize other skills before giving Battle Ballad a Mastery Point.
Inspiring Tune is a powerful Stress-management skill. It can only target allies who currently have 5 or more Stress, removing 2 Stress from them and curing Horror if they have it. If the Jester is lurking in the back but isn't ready for his big Solo, use this skill to prevent Meltdowns – you'll be glad you did.
Encore is an exceptionally powerful skill if it's used correctly. It grants an ally other than the Jester an additional action in the current round. A free turn is always welcome – at the very least, a hero can make an extra attack. This can also be used to hasten a hero's execution of a setup; for example, a Hellion could use Bloodlust, receive an extra action from Encore, and attack a Bleeding enemy right away. A Plague Doctor or Occultist can heal twice, extra buffs and debuffs can be applied… the possibilities are really endless. The only drawback to Encore is that the Jester himself gains a stack of both Daze and Weakness, reducing his own effectiveness on his next turn. Also bear in mind that Encore has a cooldown, so it can't be used every turn.
If the Jester doesn't need to remove Stress or shuffle the party around, he can set himself up for a powerful attack with Solo. This skill propels him to the front of the party, giving him two stacks of Evasion and one stack of Speed. Evasion helps keep the Jester alive while he's up front, and Speed guarantees he will go first in the next round. If you upgrade Solo with a Mastery Point, it also puts a Combo Token on the enemy of your choice. There are plenty of attacks from other party members that grant Combo Tokens when upgraded but giving Solo your free starting Mastery Point gives the Jester a self-sufficient combo. If you use Solo to place the Combo Token, be sure to put it on the enemy you plan to hit with Finale (i.e., one you aren't planning to kill before the Jester's next turn).
As its name implies, Finale is the Jester's coup-de-grace. Its extremely high damage is doubled if it targets an enemy with a Combo Token. Giving the Jester a stack of Strength via skills like the Plague Doctor's Emboldening Vapors increases this damage even further. Finale is best used after setting up with Solo, either to take off a large chunk of a tough opponent's health bar or to send weaker enemies to Death's Door right away. Be sure to know your enemy when using Finale for early damage – Plague Eaters in particular have plenty of healing options that could render your epic attack null and void. After using Finale, the Jester moves to the rearmost position in the party and takes a stack of both Daze and Vulnerability.
Trinkets and Quirks
The Jester's buff abilities don't need a lot of help, so focus on finding him gear that will make his Finale as impactful as possible. Boosts to melee damage and critical hit rate are ideal, as are randomly-gained stacks of Strength. It's also a good idea to increase the Jester's Debuff resistance – he'll be taking plenty of Debuffs on his own without any additional help from outside!
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