The Definitive Darkest Dungeon Flagellant Strategy Guide

A blood-soaked frontline fanatic, the flagellant feeds off his pain and redirects it back towards the foe. Check out our Darkest Dungeon Flagellant guide to learn how you can use this frontliner effectively.

February 17, 2020

Scoffing at the damage inflicted upon him as he grows in strength, the Flagellant is a great self-sustaining frontline that has powerful bleed and damage potential and is especially useful for bleeding the backline dry. 

“The Flagellant belongs to an extremist faction within the church and is generally regarded with a toxic mixture of fear, awe and disgust. The power he draws from martyrdom is as effective as it is unsettling – in one moment he is a fountain of healing renewal, and the next, a conduit of terrible wrath. His full potential is realized only the brink of madness… or death.” – Guild

Let me start this Darkest Dungeon Flagellant guide with an anecdotal story; a while a go I went into a veteran difficulty dungeon with a woefully under levelled and unprepared team. I underestimated the challenge and it cost me some lives; by the time I reached my first campsite, I had lost my Helion and by the end I had also lost my Gravedigger.

Yet standing over bloodied corpses of veteran level enemies was my Flagellant. I watched in awe as he stacked up 15pts of bleed damage per round on large, two-position enemies, and they melted away before him. As they struck him with their heaviest hits, he was emboldened by the pain, turning it back on them, before healing himself at the edge of death.

The Flagellant grows in strength at lower health but is also an excellent self-sustaining character; unlike other tanks who have bottomless health, the flagellant soaks up damage by taking it to the edge before using one of his healing options.

The result is a character that invites the enemy’s attacks, while dealing out powerful bleed procs and healing himself when necessary. Yet such a risky play style has its strengths and weaknesses and can be a little counterintuitive for a front-line hero. To assist you in unleashing the power of flagellation, we have pushed the Flagellant to the edge of his capabilities to provide this guide.

Read other Darkest Dungeon Guides available on UnleashTheGamer:

Darkest Dungeon Flagellant Overview

“There is power in the Blood, for those with the fortitude to pay the price.” – The Ancestor

So, glancing at the base stats of the Flagellant, we don’t see anything too impressive; middling speed, low HP, low damage and no dodge:

Flagellant Stats in Darkest Dungeon

 

These get a little bit better at higher Resolve level (with his Speed ranking among the highest) but it is his second to none bleed abilities and unique attributes that make him stand out from the crowd. Most of these buffs come from keeping him at low health, which is why the Flagellant is quite often seen as a risk/reward hero.

Firstly, there is only one Affliction (there is no Virtue state for him) that the Flagellant can receive at full stress and that is ‘Rapturous’, a state which grants him +25% Damage, +3 SPD and -20 Dodge. On the downside the Flagellant can attack teammates as a random chance, but the boost to stats is pretty tasty, just offset that poor dodge with some clutch heals.

Rapturous affliction mechanic for Flagellant in Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon Flagellant Guide: Rapturous grants extra damage, speed, and dodge 

Under 40% the Flagellant receives a buff of +20% Damage and +7% Crit, as well as having access to his abilities Exsanguinate and Redeem (can’t be used above 40%). If he hits Death’s Door he will heal the party for 10% of their HP and the Flagellant gains a whopping set of buffs: +5 ACC, +20% DMG, +2 SPD, and +20% Stun, Bleed, Blight, and Debuff Resist.

If he does die, which is a possibility if you keep his health low and play risky, then he will stun all enemies and heal his team for another 10% HP.

Don’t fret! There are plenty of options to keep your Flagellant’s health bouncing up and down, and if used carefully he can be near immortal.

As in keeping with our previous character guides let us take a brief high level look at this ‘holy’ man’s strengths and weaknesses.

Bleed out Flagellant ability

Flagellant Strengths

  • Access to bleed
  • Bleed stacks well
  • Can target multiple backline targets
  • Great self-sustain potential
  • Grows stronger

Flagellant Weaknesses

  • Direct damage is low
  • Low health
  • Limited to Rank 1 or 2
  • Lacks manoeuvrability

As you can already tell the Darkest Dungeon Flagellant is both unique and counter-intuitive for a front-line hero, given he has low health and plays more like a utility DoT (damage over time) dealer than a straight up single target damage dealer. Yet his ability to deal bleed is unmatched, he can rack up quite the damage per turn, and target both back line positions with a bleed proc.

Rain of Sorrows Ability - Darkest Dungeon Flagellant guide
Additionally, the Flagellant’s tankiness stems not from a deep health pool or high defence but instead from self-sustain abilities, and a strong death’s door resistance (73%).

With that said, let us begin to pick apart this niche character by examining each of his abilities, and we’d highly suggest you read our Ultimate Darkest Dungeon Guide to learn more about combat and team positioning

Darkest Dungeon Flagellant Abilities

Punish

  • Melee
  • Can be used from Rank 1 or 2
  • Targets Rank 1 or 2
  • Damage Modifier 0%
  • Accuracy 95
  • Critical mod 5%
  • Bleed damage of 4pts per turn for 3 turns
  • -20% Bleed Resist

Should be the bread and butter of every Darkest Dungeon Flagellant build, as it offers your basic position one to one damage, as well as excellent bleed potential. Not only does it add a respectable 4 damage per turn (base bear in mind), but it also lowers the target’s bleed resist. This means you can snowball the same front row tank over 2-3 turns, stacking up double figures bleed damage.

Now that is cool.

Rain of Sorrows

  • Melee
  • Can be used from Rank 1 or 2
  • Targets Rank 3 AND 4
  • Damage Modifier -67%
  • Accuracy 95
  • Critical mod 2%
  • Bleed damage of 3pts per turn for 3 turns
  • -20% Bleed Resist

The multi-target, backline partner to Punish, which does less damage but hits both position 3 and 4 for 3pts of bleed damage per turn for 3 turns. This is an invaluable ability that allows you to burn down backline damage/stress dealers, while again lowering their bleed resist so that you can keep hitting them for extra melt damage.

Exsanguinate

  • Melee
  • Can be used from Rank 1 or 2
  • Targets Rank 1 or 2
  • Damage Modifier 0%
  • Accuracy 90
  • Critical mod 3%
  • Bleed damage of 5pts per turn for 3 turns
  • Heal self 35% max HP
  • -3 Speed (self)
  • -25% Healing Skills
  • -25% Healing Received
  • Can only be used below 40% health
  • 3 uses per battle

If you have ever wondered what retribution looks like, it looks like Exsanguinate (means to drain someone of blood!), an attack that not only deals respectable damage but heals and bleeds at the same time. Exsanguinate deals a whopping 5pts per round of bleed damage and heals the Flagellant for a good chunk of health.

Darkest Dungeon Flagellant exsanguination ability

Darkest Dungeon Flagellant Guide: Exsanguination ability showcase

This is a good offensive attack that can be used to sustain your Flagellant as his health pool begins to drop to a risky level. However, such a powerful attack doesn’t come without any drawback; you can only use it 3 times per battle and it lowers further healing potential…but it is 100% worth it.

Reclaim

  • Heal
  • Can be used in any position and target any position
  • 2pts per round for 2 rounds
  • Bleed-Self (120% base), 3pts per round for 3 rounds

Pretty basic, heal that is good if you like living on the edge and keep your flagellant as low on HP as possible. The small amount of healing per turn can continually keep him from Death’s Door, however there are some better clutch heal options that are easier and safer to rely upon.

Redeem

  • Heal
  • Can be used in any position and target any position
  • 33% max HP heal (Heal 35% self)
  • -25% Healing Skills
  • -25% Healing Received
  • -3 Speed
  • Can only be used below 40% health
  • 2 uses per battle

Redeem is a powerful clutch heal that in has similar heal stats to Exsanguinate…but with ability to heal your teammates for 33% and the Flagellant for 35% simultaneously. There is enough flexibility in the Flagellant’s toolbox that you can bring it to make him effectively immortal and still have access to his most powerful bleed abilities, as we do in the ‘Immortal Bloodletter’ build that we will showcase below.

An awesome heal option.

Redeem ability for Flagellant in Darkest Dungeon

Endure

  • Can be used in any position and target any other ally
  • -10 stress on target
  • +10 stress on Flagellant
  • +1 Speed

Endure is part of the Flagellant’s utility tool set, which can be used to support your team while inflicting stress upon the flagellant. This is good if you are concerned about a hero’s resolve being tested, as not all heroes thrive under stress as the Flagellant does. In addition, it helps boost his pretty poor base speed, which is always worthwhile.

Suffer

  • Can be used in any position and target any other ally
  • Clear Marked Target
  • Transfer Blight/Bleed
  • Mark Self (2 rds)
  • Receive Blight/Bleed
  • -20 Stress (4 rds)
  • +6% Death Blow Resist (4 rds)

Another team support ability, Suffer is useful in any build as it helps keep any effects off your allies whilst also making your flagellant more immune to death. A great tool for those who love to keep your Flagellant right at the edge and soaking the punishment from your allies.

Strategy and Synergy

“The Flagellant relishes the scars and abrasions that cover his body – drawing incomprehensible resilience from the tearing of his own flesh. His flail, a particularly cruel and merciless weapon, drips with his enemies’ blood… and his own.” – Blacksmith

Given that the Flagellant not only acts as a self-sustaining tank but also as a bleed damage utility, means that you can fill up the rest of your roster with single target damage dealers while he bleeds out the backline. I’ve found that Flagellant works well with an Arbalest/Cultist and Bounty Hunter, who can mark and damage your chosen target alternatively.

If you are wanting a really bleed heavy squad then you could have something like the following: 1-Flagellant, 2-Highwayman, 3-Houndmaster and 4-Vestal.

Darkest Dungeon Team Composition with Flagellant

This would balance nicely; the Flagellant could spread bleed in the back ranks and soak up damage, while the Highway man focuses on single target damage on the front ranks, leaving the Houndmaster to mop up with Hound’s Harry. In a nutshell bring a single target damage dealer, an emergency healer and anything else you feel your team/the situation needs.

The Flagellant is a hero that should be used to tank damage by taking it and healing when necessary. Bleed is the Flagellant’s greatest weapon and so flourishes in the Warren and the Weald but doesn’t thrive in the Cover or Ruins. In the former, he can be used to steam roll the opposing team which every growing bleed procs.

Now let’s dive into a sample build that showcases the utility and survivability of the Flagellant.

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Build: Immortal Bloodletter

The idea behind this build is pretty simple; a Flagellant who can take pain and self-sustain, whilst still having access to his most powerful bleed abilities.

The skills used for Immortal Bloodletter are; Punish, Rain of Sorrows, Exsanguinate and Redeem.

Suggested Trinkets: Punishment’s Hood (+20% Bleed Skill Chance, -20% Healing Skills & +15% DMG if HP below 40%) & Suffering’s Collar (+20% Bleed and Blight Resist if HP below 40% & +10% Max HP).

This Darkest Dungeon Flagellant build is applied simply; hit the backline with Rain of Sorrows, then the front with Punish, so that the bleed is applied across the enemy squad and the backline begins to bleed out. This Flagellant should also always enjoy the below 40% buffs, as Exsanguinate and Redeem give the Flagellant plenty of emergency heal options.

Because he feels so safe he can begin to stack his bleed effects on the back line with Rain of Sorrows or Punish for the front row (wherever the danger is), and before long your elite enemies will begin to tick 15 damage per turn.

Watch the video below to see an Immortal Bloodletter take on a Veteran Dungeon:

You’ll see that early on he uses an Exsanguinate to top up his health and add a 5pt per turn blood tick on the frontline, before wasting away the pesky backliners. His bleed DoT directly leads to the death of the two backliners, weakens the position one and he tanks damage by using Exsanguinate twice.

Conclusion

The Flagellant is an unusual hero but has become one of my personal favourites, because of his mastery of bleed and his unique way of soaking up punishment through a cycle of taking damage, hitting back and then healing. 

In a game that is already stressful, it may seem too much to use a hero who lives on the edge of death. Believe me I understand, I used to feel the exact same way about him. However, you will find that once you master his ability loop that for once it is your enemy who should be afraid as the Flagellant chuckles at stress and covers your enemies in waves of blood. I hope my short Darkest Dungeon Flagellant guide will help you master this character. 

Darkest Dungeon

RPG/Dungeon Crawler/Roguelike

Geoff SmoughTown

Geoff SmoughTown

Contributor

My grandfather was a man way ahead of his generation, owning his first PC in the early ’90s. When I and my sister came to visit he would fire up ‘Rabbit Reader 2’, and I was transported to the world of ‘Wordsville’. Since then my tastes have developed finding myself attached to Lore rich games; the Souls series, Dead Space and any RPG with a good story. For me, Games can be forms of art to be dissected, analyzed and appreciated.

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