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Darkest Dungeon 2: All heroes ranked

Who should get an invite to your party of four?

While the cast of Darkest Dungeon 2 are only “Heroes” in a loose sense of the word, if their various backstories are anything to go by, they are nevertheless the people you’ll come to rely on as you make your many, many attempts at summiting the Mountain. At the beginning of each run you’ll get to pick four of these characters to set off with, and that decision is probably the most important one you’ll make in the entire run, as it’s the synergy between your party members that will ultimately determine your fate in the regions to come. How can you make such a crucial decision? By reading our ranking of all the heroes in Darkest Dungeon 2, of course!

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Every hero in Darkest Dungeon 2, ranked

#12 – Vestal

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Vestal

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The Vestal is certainly one of the more interesting heroes in Darkest Dungeon 2, coming with a unique token in Conviction, and a series of paths that change how she acquires it along with her skills. Unfortunately, this novelty doesn’t translate into power, at least not the kind of power that will get you to the end of runs.

The Vestal packs a mix of skills, focused primarily on healing and buffing other party members, with a couple of low-damage attacks thrown in to round things out. A build centered around her rank-based over-time buffs, the Consecrations, can be effective at supporting your damage dealers to victory, but her lack of strong offensive options means that your support slot is better filled by a different hero.

#11 – Occultist

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Occultist

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The archetypal definition of a glass cannon, the Occultist has the highest damage ceiling of any hero in the game, as well as a range of drawbacks that make reaching said ceiling a risky proposition at best. His low base HP combined with his unique token, Unchecked Power, a necessity for his most powerful moves but also one that regularly inflicts burn damage, make him hard to keep alive even when monsters aren’t biting chunks out of his face.

He also has little to offer beyond his huge damage potential, largely defined by his Burning Stars skill. He can disrupt the enemy ranks a bit with Daemon’s Pull, and place combo tokens through various means, but ultimately you’re using the Occultist for his firepower, and most of the time the recoil isn’t worth it.

#10 – Runaway

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Runaway

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A hero relegated almost entirely to the realms of support, the Runaway struggles when it comes to dealing serious damage to enemies alone. She has a strong burn theme, with many of her skills capable of inflicting the status on your foes, and an extremely powerful setup move in Smokescreen, but beyond that she often feels underwhelming compared to her peers.

She is notable for her agility, with many skills allowing her to shift ranks at will to suit the needs of the party, but her lack of damage potential really becomes an issue later on, as enemies rack up buffs and you need to bring every ounce of power you can muster to every fight.

#9 – Grave Robber

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Grave Robber

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One of the more flexible heroes in the game, the Grave Robber can find something to do in any situation, no matter her rank. This versatility makes her very reliable, but is unfortunately balanced out by a lack of strength in any particular area. She can do a decent job at dealing damage, inflicting status ailments on enemies, and moving the rest of your party around, but there are better options for all of those roles available.

She does have a fairly unique niche as a Stealth-matters hero, provided you choose the Nightsworn path for her, but beyond that she’s just very middling overall. While you’ll rarely be disappointed by the Grave Robber, you’ll rarely be impressed by her either.

#8 – Hellion

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Hellion

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As Darkest Dungeon 2’s frontline damage-dealers go, the Hellion is one of the best. At least, on a surface-level. She’s one of the few heroes in the game that comes with a passive ability, gaining a 25% damage boost when below 50% health, and another when below 25%: a potential 50% damage boost just for taking a few hits in combat.

Unfortunately, beyond hitting hard at low health with a series of attacking moves, the Hellion doesn’t have much else going for her. Her Howling End and Raucous Revelry skills are both excellent, but when it comes to damage-dealers, you have better options to work with.

#7 – Flagellant

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Flagellant

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One of the most unique heroes in the game, the Flagellant specializes in self-damage, and taking on the damage and ailments of the party for himself, effectively serving as a kind of ‘woe sponge’ for your team. This is a valuable role to be able to play, and the Flagellant does so well, owing to his high base HP and unique interaction with the Stress system.

Rather than having a Meltdown or remaining Resolute, the Flagellant instead becomes Toxic, gaining a token that inflicts Blight on any enemy that attacks into him. Pair this with a host of powerful self-healing moves, including the incredible Sepsis, and you have one of the best tanks in the game, and a flexible hero that can play multiple roles across a run.

#6 – Bounty Hunter

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Bounty Hunter

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If the Bounty Hunter functioned the same way as the other heroes in Darkest Dungeon 2, he’d probably be at the top of this ranking list. He’s bulky in terms of HP and resistances, his attacking skills are powerful both up close and at range, and he can provide effective support via a range of buff and debuff moves. In short, he’s the perfect hero for nearly every scenario.

Unfortunately, you can’t add him to your party as a permanent fixture. Instead, he can only be hired at Inns, once per run, for a single region. This greatly limits his potential, and while you should probably pick him up whenever the opportunity arises, it’s hard to rank him above heroes that you can run consistently, and therefore master more effectively.

#5 – Leper

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Leper

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The Leper is a rare instance of a hero’s power being largely defined by their first skill, in this case Chop. It’s an attacking move with a very high damage ceiling, and it’s the main reason to run the Leper, letting you demolish the enemy front lines with ease. In addition, he also has access to some stellar self-heal and buff skills in Solemnity and Reflection, letting him brush off status ailments, including his self-inflicted Blind status, reduce stress, and restore HP.

This potent combination of skills allows the Leper to function as one of the best tanks in the game, soaking up damage in the first rank while dishing out plenty of his own in return. When paired with heroes who can apply combo tokens or the Vulnerable status, he can wipe out the majority of enemies you’ll encounter in a single hit.

#4 – Plague Doctor

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Plague Doctor

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The best support hero in the game by far, the Plague Doctor can provide healing, buffs, and damage over time via Blight, all in one neat package. Her two healing skills, Battlefield Medicine and Indiscriminate Science, are both excellent, providing ways to get rid of status ailments and negative tokens even if you don’t need the healing they also offer.

She also provides excellent Blight coverage with Noxious Blast and Plague Grenade, letting you set up damage over time on enemies regardless of rank, and whittle down those pesky back-row support units while the rest of your party deals with the big threats. With these four skills as a solid base, her final slot can be filled by a buff, rounding out a hero who can help you react to the problems enemies will throw at you, while simultaneously creating problems for them.

#3 – Highwayman

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Highwayman

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The Highwayman is probably the best, and most consistent, damage dealer in Darkest Dungeon 2’s roster. While he can be played as either a melee or ranged attacker according to your own preference, he performs much better in the latter role, leaning into his mix of ranged skills and the Sharpshot path to great effect. With a build like this, the Highwayman can reach any enemy rank with ease, letting you pick off troublesome foes before they ruin your day.

He also benefits from one of the best setup skills in the game, Take Aim. When mastered, this ensures that the Highwayman’s next two attacks will deal critical damage, working wonders when combined with the Strength token that Grapeshot Blast grants to Sharpshots. Throw in disruption in Tracking Shot and Highway Robbery, and you have an offensive juggernaut.

#2 – Man-at-Arms

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Man At Arms

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The leader of the game’s default party, and with good reason: if you’re facing a problem in Darkest Dungeon 2, chances are the Man-at-Arms will be able to solve it. Need to protect an ally on Death’s Door? Use Defender to guard them. Need to bring down the team’s Stress levels and remove debuffs? Use Bolster. Need to deal some decent damage and regain health in the process? Crush is a more than acceptable offensive skill.

This versatility combines with natural bulk to make the Man-at-Arms one of the hardest heroes to take down, especially considering how many of his best skills also grant Block tokens. As a frontline fighter, he can ensure that your main damage dealers in the back live long enough to do their thing, while also dealing out solid damage himself if need be. There’s no party he can’t make better, and no situation he can’t help you out of.

#1 – Jester

Darkest Dungeon 2 All Heroes Ranked Jester

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The Jester is an unconventional character at first, but as you progress his story and unlock his full skill set, you’ll come to realize that he has some of the most powerful individual skills in the game. Encore alone would likely get Jester into the top five on this list, since it allows you to break the rules of the game by doubling down on other skills that were never intended to do so, but he has plenty more to offer beyond that.

His offensive moves are all excellent, with Razor’s Wit being a great option for setting up the ever-useful Combo tokens, and his bleed skills providing solid damage over time and a means of clearing Block and Dodge en masse in Harvest. He can reduce Stress with Inspiring Tune, set up huge damage with Battle Ballad, and deal huge damage himself with Finale, a skill that even outpaces The Burning Stars when paired with Combo enablers. Throw in the natural mobility provided by many of his skills, and you have the best pound-for-pound hero in Darkest Dungeon 2.

So there you have it: All the heroes in Darkest Dungeon 2, ranked. Each hero is unique, and each has plenty of room for exploration and experimentation via the path system and different skill loadouts, but if you want to reach the Mountain consistently, then the heroes in the upper echelons of this list are the ones you’ll want to fill your ranks with.

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Nathan Ball
Nathan Ball is a freelance games writer with a deep love for the medium. Having studied Game Design at the University of Abertay, Dundee, he's always on the lookout for games that push the envelope and try out fresh and exciting design techniques. You can usually find him covering the latest indie gems, but he does dabble in the world of AAA from time to time as well. Nathan has written professionally for various outlets, including TheGamer and the Scottish Games Network. When not writing, he enjoys good books, good TV, and analysing both within an inch of their life.