Darkest Dungeon: Vestal - Skill Guide

Darkest Dungeon is a pretty tough game the first time you jump into it. Characters will die, you'll struggle to keep your party sane, and it can be overwhelming at first glance to choose who to take on your next quest.

These guides are designed to help with that. Each instalment focuses on a character class, discusses each of their skills, and gives you a general build or two to try out.

Note these aren't intended to be “perfect”, optimum guides but more of a roadmap for the newer player who wants some help getting their head around things. Please leave a comment if you feel anything has been left out so that we can all benefit from it.

It's also worth noting that Darkest Dungeon has undergone repeated alterations and tweaks to class skills as it has been developed. Therefore, whilst these guides will strive to be as accurate as possible, by the time you are reading them, all of the information may not be 100% correct, so always double check with your game in case skill properties have been altered in some way.


The Vestal is arguably the most important class in the game during those first few crucial hours. She has by far the most useful healing skills in the game, capable of keeping the party's health topped up with Divine Comfort, or healing one specific character with Divine Grace for an even greater amount of health.

The Vestal will never win any awards for her stats. Her damage output pales in comparison to dedicated combat units, and her health and dodge aren't high enough to keep her safe for long periods of time. Fortunately, her speed is at least reasonable at higher levels, meaning, excluding any items she's equipped with, she should get her turn quite early into a round.

Whilst her most important fact is that she can heal, the Vestal does possess plenty of other useful skills that hamper the enemy or allow her to attack from long range. The Vestal is the kind of character you want safely nestled in the bank ranks of your party, either hammering away with long range attacks, or, more likely, undoing all the damage your enemies have done with repeated bouts of healing.


Mace Bash
Position: 1st or 2nd rank
Target: 1st or 2nd rank

The Vestal's standard attack is, as you'd likely expect for a dedicated support unit, not all that impressive. The front two ranks are exactly where the Vestal does not want to spend her time, and so it's hard to imagine a scenario where you'd want her to be using this move regularly. Even if the Vestal finds herself at the front rank for whatever reason, either by being surprised or pulled forward, she's better off simply taking her time moving back into the safety of the back ranks.

Even upgraded the move fails to impress, with only the accuracy increasing and later upgrades introducing a slight critical hit modifier. The Vestal's damage output means that Mash Bash is simply never going to give you enough value when there are much better skills available.

Position: 3rd or 4th rank
Target: Any

Now here's a perfect offensive skill for a character like the Vestal. For starters, the move possesses surprisingly decent effects, with only a -20% damage modifier and a decent critical hit rate, which isn't bad, considering the move is capable of hitting any enemy regardless of the rank.

Better still, the move comes with a self-healing effect on the Vestal, enabling her to dish out some damage whilst still recovering herself to a certain degree. Judgement is the perfect kind of move to use to pick off a weak straggler before they get their next turn, allowing your combat units to use their attack skills more efficiently on stronger enemies.

Dazzling Light
Position: 3rd or 4th rank
Target: 1st, 2nd or 3rd rank

Another great long range support skill that fits perfectly with the Vestal's game plan. Whilst not doing a great deal of damage, Dazzling Light gives the character that all-important ability to stun an enemy, and, by hitting three of the four enemy ranks, it gives you greater control over what you want to knock out for a turn.

The ability also gives a slight boost to your torch gauge. This should never be a factor in itself over whether or not to use a skill, but, since it's tacked on to an already solid ability, it's a nice little addition.

Divine Grace
Position: 3rd or 4th rank
Target: Any

Arguably the Vestal's most important skill, Divine Grace allows you to keep units alive for longer, staving off “Death's Door” triggers and overall making your party function better for longer. It's vitally important that this skill is upgraded as soon as possible, as it directly results in more HP being recovered each time you use the ability.

Divine Comfort
Position: 2nd, 3rd or 4th rank
Target: All

Whilst Divine Grace provides a solid bout of healing to one party member, Divine Comfort is there for whenever everyone needs a little top up. This skill will never reach the same level of healing power that Divine Grace provides but it obviously makes up for that by hitting all your party simultaneously.

It's worth assessing each turn whether or not it's better to go for the group heal or the single target heal. As a general rule of thumb, stick with Divine Comfort until someone hits below half of there maximum HP or so. Then, it might be time to break out the single target healing on them.

As with Divine Grace, upgrading is a priority here, as it simply makes the skill better at what it does.

Positon: 1st, 2nd or 3rd rank
Target: Any

Another long range attack, Illumination is significantly less impressive than the likes of Judgement and Dazzling Light. In addition to a significant damage modifier (-50%) the skill's primary effect is a debuff to the enemy's dodge rating. Whilst helpful, it's significantly less impressive than Dazzling Light's stun, or Judgement's self-healing and greater damage output.

What's more, Illumination is not usable whilst in the fourth rank. The Vestal typically wants to be in the back rank, primarily because she can take advantage of it better than many other characters. Forcing her to have to be placed in the third rank instead for a mediocre skill just seems unnecessary.

Hand of Light
Position: 1st or 2nd rank
Target: 1st or 2nd rank

Hand of Light is a skill that pulls in all kind of directions. It gives a bonus to hitting Unholy units, much like the Crusader's Smite, but suffers from a hefty -50% damage modifier. What's more, it provides a pair of useful debuffs; lowering the enemy's damage rating and accuracy (much better effects that Illumination), but requires that the Vestal be upfront.

There's definitely more of a case to be made taking Hand of Light than there is Mace Bash, yet, it still pulls the Vestal in a direction that the rest of her skill set doesn't. If you're particularly worried that your Vestal is going to be stranded at the front of your party then this is definitely the superior close combat skill. Ideally however, she doesn't want to be there at all.

Sample Build

Here's a general, all-purpose build for the Vestal:

- Divine Grace
- Divine Comfort
- Dazzling Light
- Judgement

This sets up the Vestal for her role as the team's medic. Divine Grace and Divine Comfort are the most important skills here, but Dazzling Light and Judgement give her more versatility and make sure she has something to do when no one requires healing.

Always take the time to assess whether it's better to stun an enemy or take one out with Judgement rather than simply go for more healing. It's tempting to run on auto-pilot with this character, but, if you take the time to assess situations you'll find that it's sometimes better to try and take out an enemy rather than simply recoup a few hit points.

Overall, the Vestal remains a strong character throughout the entire game. Her role is clear, making her easy to use and her skills scale well with the challenges the game throws at you as you progress.

Just don't forget to upgrade those healing skills!

© 2016 LudoLogic

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