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"Darkest Dungeon": Jester Skill Guide

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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 installment 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 Jester is one of the more challenging characters to use effectively in Darkest Dungeon. Combat-wise, he's underwhelming, possessing relatively low damage and a very low HP rating. Furthermore, many of his skills move his position in ranks, meaning that it can be difficult to use his skills effectively since using them can lead to other party members being moved out of position and unable to attack effectively.

Therefore, the Jester is best used as a support unit. One of his major strengths is an incredibly high-speed skill along with the best stress-healing skill in the game. When coupled with his decent bleeding abilities, the Jester is a good alternative to the Plague Doctor; providing damage over time effects alongside useful party support abilities.

The Jester also possesses the highest move rating in the game, able to move up to three ranks in a single turn, meaning he can reposition anywhere, essentially.


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

The main aspect going for the Jester's standard attack is that it can be used anywhere, even the back rank, whilst also being able to hit three ranks deep. This gives the Jester amazing flexibility when choosing targets, allowing him to pick off weaker enemies that have been softened up, compensating for his fairly low damage output.

The most frustrating aspect of the skill is that it automatically moves the Jester forward one rank. Unlike the Crusader or Man-at-War, this is not something you particularly want all of the time, and it can be hard to factor this move in when it can also potentially push your other party members out of position.

Given that the Jester's primary role isn't combat, it's hard to justify taking this move most of the time and is simply too much trouble.

Position: 2nd or 3rd rank
Target: 2nd and 3rd rank

The Jester's multi-hitting bleed skill is one of his best options in combat and hits an unusual combination of the second and third ranks. There's not much more to say than to stress that this should be equipped all the time. The Jester makes for a solid dedicated bleeding unit, freeing up your other character slots for other options.

As always, upgrade this skill as soon as possible. Each upgrade improves the damage over time effect.

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Position: 1st
Target: 1st, 2nd or 3rd rank

The most flavourful and rather bizarre skill that the Jester has access to. Finale deals significant damage, with a +50% damage modifier and massive base critical hit rate of 15%. The problem is, that the Jester doesn't have the damage stat to take advantage of it, and the debuffs that it afflicts him with (damage, dodge and accuracy are all reduced afterwards by a significant amount), make it far more trouble than it's worth.

It's clear going by its name that the skill is intended to be used as a suicide attack, and that's likely what will happen using this ability. Even though it pushes the Jester to the back rank, the debuff to his dodge removes the one good defence he has for surviving enemy aggression.

Position: Any
Target: All

A largely pointless skill that does no damage, and inflicts all opponents with an accuracy debuff and gives the Jester a significant speed buff. On its own that wouldn't be a problem, except the speed buff is largely wasted on an already fast unit, and the fact that it moves him to the front rank simply means you'll be wasting turns having to get characters into position again.

The obvious trick is to use this ability to get the Jester into position for using Finale the following turn, but, as I've stressed above, that ability is simply not worth the trouble. Wasting a second skill slot just to include Solo simply makes the problem even worse.

Slice Off
Position: 2nd or 3rd rank
Target: 2nd or 3rd rank

The Jester's other bleed skill is very similar to Harvest that it almost seems like overkill to have two near-identical abilities. The major difference here is that Slice Off trades the multi-hit element of Harvest for better base damage (only a -33% damage modifier), has slightly better accuracy, and boasts a healthy critical hit rate.

Overall, this is best used as a complement to Harvest. Once the enemy has been successfully bled, switch to Slice Off for higher damage output and the higher chance to pull of a critical hit as well as potentially more bleed effects.

Battle Ballad
Position: 3rd or 4th rank
Target: All

A party-wide buff, Battle Ballad is similar to the Man-at-Arm's Bolster except it's better here on a dedicated support unit, than on a character that also wants to be hitting things. The fact that Battle Ballad also boosts accuracy and critical hit rate is nice, and makes it surprisingly good for longer, more protracted battles.

Upgrading simply improves the skills buffs, so make this a priority if you're using it regularly with your Jester.

Inspiring Tune
Position: 3rd or 4th rank
Target: Any

Definitely the highlight of the Jester's skill list, Inspiring Tune cures stress damage (something very few skills do) whilst also bestowing a stress damage resistance buff.

The skill only targets one unit at a time but the cumulative effect of this over multiple battles is that it will take much, much longer for your party to break when going through longer dungeons, meaning less time dealing with potentially frustrating moments.

Upgrading this skill should be the first thing you do with the Jester. As with many of the healing skills in Darkest Dungeon, upgrading the skill simply improves the healing, and in this case the buff as well.

Sample Build

Here's a build to get you started with the Jester:

  • Harvest
  • Slice Off
  • Battle Ballad
  • Inspiring Tune

Here you have a decent support set for the Jester where he can occupy the third rank of your party line-up and provide whatever it is you need that turn. There's bleed and damage from Harvest and Slice Off, a buff with Battle Ballad, and that all-important stress heal with Inspiring Tune.

Overall, the Jester is best taken on longer treks where that stress reduction skill is all the more important. In shorter scenarios, it's perhaps best to swap him for another support unit with more immediate impact. However, as far as bleeding skills go, the Jester's hold up, meaning he's never wasting a slot whenever you're delving into areas with high-protection enemies.

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