Darkest Dungeon – Jester Guide
Join Smough as he teaches you everything you need to know about the Maniacal Ballad, in this Darkest Dungeon Jester Guide.
January 2, 2023

“Combat is a power ballad – a slow build up, and a grand finale! On the offense, the Jester leaps to and fro in a bloody cacophony, positioning himself for a glorious end in the front ranks! Alternatively, he can hang back, delivering chilling melodies and unsettling riffs that terrorize his foes, and give strength to his allies.” – Guild

A unique and powerful member of any team, the Jester is the master of bleed and buffs while also being able to seamlessly shift positions at will. The Jester can cause consistent bleed on the middle two ranks as well as buffing and destressing his team with his ballads. This tees him up for his big finisher ‘Finale’, which is capable of dealing massive damage.

The aim of this Darkest Dungeon Jester guide will be to show you how to use these advantages to the fullest.

The Jester plays a tune Darkest Dungeon

The Jester, the Darkest Dungeon’s answer to the ‘Joker’, is certainly an odd duck who mixes bleed abilities with team wide buffs. However he is often a hero who finds himself with a spot on my squad. Why? His ability to target and harass the middle ranks is super useful for ignoring and bypassing front row tanks and build up some seriously dangerous bleed damage.

There are lots of ways to use the Jester and while he is a bit trickier to categorise, this guide will aim to show you how to make him a valued member of your team.

Character Overview

Darkest Dungeon Jester Stats

As the Jester’s Resolve level rises these strengths only increase, with his DODGE reaching a whopping 35, his Speed going to a strong 9 but his HP only going up to a measly 35 so even less than the Plague Doctor. What this means is that the Jester is most comfortably embedded in the middle of your formation, relying on his Dodge to remain unscathed.

As in keeping with our previous character guides let us take a brief high-level look at the strengths and weaknesses, of the Jester in this Darkest Dungeon Guide.


• Access to bleed
• Can easily proc middle positions
• Hard to hit
• Decent mobility
• Can stress heal team
• Can buff the entire team.


• Low direct damage
• Low Health
• In some cases – lack of synergy between his abilities

The Jester easily makes up for his lack of direct damage with his ability to bleed proc multiple opponents and his two abilities that can assist his team. He is also fast and very difficult to hit, making a kind of artificial survivability in place of his lack of HP.

Darkest Dungeon Jester Dodges another attack

His biggest issue, in my opinion, is that his main strengths are Bleed procs and team Stress heals. Yet the location that stress healing is most needed, the Ruins, is the location that Bleed is the least effective, leading to a lack of synergy between these two aspects.

With that being a point of awareness let us dive into the Laughing Maniac’s abilities and examine how to get the best out of him. We would also highly suggest you read our Ultimate Darkest Dungeon Guide to learn more about combat and team positioning.


Dirk Stab

• Melee
• Can be used from any position
• Moves forward one position
• Bypasses Guard
• Gives Finale +30% Damage (8 rds)
• 100% Damage
• Accuracy 85%
• Critical Modifier 5%

While Dirk stab will not blow anyone away with its damage (but at least it does 100%), it’s actually quite useful in a couple of ways. It works well when used in conjunction with Finale because it allows the Jester to reposition and given that Finale can only be used in the front to positions, Dirk Stab means you will never be locked out from using it. It also gives Finale a decent 30% damage boost but if one is not taking Finale its usefulness is limited.


• Melee
• Used from rank 2 or 3
• Hits both ranks 2 and 3
• Gives Finale +30% Damage (8 rds)
• Damage -50%
• Accuracy 90
• Critical Modifier 0%
• Bleed 2pts/ for 3 rounds

A real solid base skill for any Jester, which allows him to quickly pile on the pressure on the middle slot damage dealers by reliably ticking up their bleed procs each turn. As an added bonus it once again boosts the strength of finale by 30% and you can probably see where I will be going with our example build…

Darkest Dungeon Jester Harvest


• Limited to one use per battle
• Damage boosted by other abilities
• Used from position one or two
• Can target any rank
• Damage +50%
• Accuracy 140
• Critical modifier 5%
• Moves back 3 positions (to position 4)
• -25 Dodge, -3 Speed, +100 Stress (1 Battle)

Finale is the highest damage dealing ability that Jester has in his kit but one that needs to be used carefully as it comes with significant draw backs and can only reach its full potential when prepared properly. We will tackle this more in our Grand Performance build below, but suffice it to say that if used wisely, Finale can easily change the course of a battle.


• Debuff
• Can be used from ranks 3 and 4
• Damage -100%
• Moves forward 3
• Mark Self (3 rds)
• +20 Dodge (4 rds)
• +3 SPD
• Finale: +75% DMG (8 rds)
• Finale: +8% Crit

Looking at the stats above it should be apparent that Solo should be used for one thing and one thing only; to tee up for a next turn Finale after having built it up with his other abilities already. Solo gives the Jester huge buffs to Finale damage and Crits but at the cost of moving him right in harms way and marking him to boot. Use it, the Use Finale to get him out of harms way.

Slice Off

• Melee
• Used from ranks 2 or 3
• Targets either rank 2 or 3
• -33% Damage
• Acc 95
• Crit Modifier 8%
• Bleed 3pts/3 rds
• Finale +30% Damage (8 rds)

Effectively a single target version of Harvest that does slightly more direct damage and 1 more point of bleed per turn at the cost of targeting a single enemy. Feel free to swap for Harvest, however I would suggest that taking both would be unnecessary as they essentially do the same job.

Darkest Dungeon Jester Slice Off

Battle Ballad

• Buff
• Used from rank 4 or 3
• Targets all allies
• +5 Acc, +2 Crit, +4 Speed for 4 rounds
• Finale +30% Damage (8 rds)
• Finale +8% Crit (8 rds)

A pretty strong team buff that is welcome in any composition and taking on any enemy, that also has the benefit of boosting the Jester’s Finale.

Inspiring Tune

• Stress Heal
• Targets one ally
• Stress -8
• -10% Stress
• Finale +30% Damage (8 rds)
• Finale +8% Crit (8 rds)

One of the best stress healing abilities in the game, Inspiring Tune can be near invaluable on longer Dungeon Runs, as a way of preventing stress states. Once again it helps buff Jester’s Finale, meaning it can fit into any build that includes finale.

Darkest Dungeon Jester Plays a Tune

Strategy and Synergy

“Combat is a power ballad – a slow build up, and a grand finale! On the offense, the Jester leaps to and fro in a bloody cacophony, positioning himself for a glorious end in the front ranks! Alternatively, he can hang back, delivering chilling melodies and unsettling riffs that terrorize his foes, and give strength to his allies.” – Guild

The Jester can be built in a couple of ways; either as a bleed and support class or a more aggressive bleed and Finale build up class. Either way Jester has some decent synergies with other heroes who can help protect him and buff his offensive capabilities.

I really like pairing him with a Man at Arms who can a) protect him and b) can buff his damage and crit.

A good sample team I have found him to fit in with is the following: 1. Man–at–Arms, 2. Highwayman, 3. Jester and 4. Vestal.

The Jester and Man at Arms Team up
The MAA will start off by Guarding the Jester, increasing his own Dodge while protecting Jester and then he will follow this up with Command which increases the Jester’s Accuracy, Crit and Damage while he is being guarded. Meanwhile the Highwayman will be dealing reliable damage while the Jester builds up Bleed and his Finale bonuses.

The useful thing about Finale is that it’s bonuses all stacks; even if you repeatedly use the same ability (i.e. using Harvest 3 times in a row will give you a finale Damage bonus of 90%). Tack this on to the bonuses granted by the MAA, the Jester will have the team bleeding to death before he hits the juiciest target on the enemy team with a mighty Finale.

To see how you can utilise this power for yourself, we have tested a build of the Jester which focuses on the build-up of his Finale Damage.



Build: Grand Performance

The final part of the Jester Darkest Dungeon Guide will lead you through an example build which we have tested extensively.

The Grand Performance build focuses on the mobility and aggression of the Jester before building up a crescendo in a massively overpowered Finale that will finish off his performance with a bang!

The abilities required for this build are the following: Dirk Stab, Harvest, Solo & Finale.

Suggested Trinkets: Bloody Dice (+30% Bleed Skill Chance, -10% Bleed Resist) and the Critical Dice (+7% Crit)

The Grand Finale
The idea behind this one is a simple one; firstly, use Harvest 2-3 times to bleed the enemy and build up the Finale Damage bonus. Then you would use Solo when ready to add that massive +75% Finale damage bonus and maybe one or two Dirk Stabs for good measure.

Then he would unleash his Finale on the Boss for massive damage, while shuffling to the back. Then Dirk Stab would be used to rotate him back to position 3 where he will spam Harvest again.


So, there we have it, the Jester Darkest Dungeon guide – a master of bleed and damage if used correctly and positioned well. We hope that this guide has inspired you to bring him along in your squads, if not just for the laughs and the music.
Darkest Dungeon Jester

Darkest Dungeon

RPG/Dungeon Crawler/Roguelike

Geoff SmoughTown

Geoff SmoughTown


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.



Read More

The 32 Best Games Like Skyrim (Kinda)

The 32 Best Games Like Skyrim (Kinda)

Saying that Skyrim is one of the most popular games of all time is an understatement. This is why we’ve comprised a list of games that are kinda similar to Skyrim, but different enough as to not feel samey.

The 62 Best Skyrim Mods to Download

The 62 Best Skyrim Mods to Download

Being almost a decade old, Skyrim can feel clunky in 2019, no matter how revolutionary it was at release. Check out our selection of mods if you’re looking to enhance this classic game, both visually and mechanically.

Pin It on Pinterest