Darkest Dungeon 2: Best Team Comps For the Early and Late Game

You won't make it far in Darkest Dungeon 2 without the right team comp. Here are some of the best parties for each stage of the game.

Darkest Dungeon 2
Photo: Red Hook Studios

Darkest Dungeon 2 is all about making the most out of a bad situation. Defeat isn’t inevitable, but it’s certainly likely. The best heroes in the game can help you survive some otherwise impossible situations, but your foolish hopes of victory demand the best team comps.

Darkest Dungeon 2‘s versatile team-building system allows you to explore so many possibilities. Some parties have obvious synergies (and even special team names), but there are so many ways to make a viable team. As such, it’s nearly impossible to identify the absolute best team possibilities so early into the game’s lifespan. Of course, that is something that we’re at least going to try to do as more of the game is explored and “solved.”

For now, though, let’s take a look at some of the best available comps for the very start of the game, the mid-game, and the late-game. Just know that the last two comps are actually viable in both the mid-to-late game, though we will cover the reasons to choose one over the other in the descriptions below.

Darkest Dungeon 2: Best Starting Team Comp

Rank 1: Man-at-Arms

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Rank 2: Highwayman

Rank 3: Grave Robber

Rank 4: Plague Doctor

Not that you have much choice in the earliest parts of Darkest Dungeon 2, but this is the first comp you should run at the start of the game. 

This character order allows you to maximize your starting heroes’ initial abilities. You have a little wiggle room in this build with the Highwayman and Grave Robber spots, but there is very little reason to deviate from this basic strategy since Highwayman tends to do more DPS from the second position. Man-at-Arms is an exceptional frontline tank option, and Plague Doctor is an incredible healer. Just use them to keep everyone alive, and let your Grave Robber and Highwayman focus on damaging backline enemies. 

Honestly, you can go pretty far with this comp. You’ll likely want to replace Grave Robber first, but you can accomplish quite a lot with the other three heroes and their positions. I generally recommend moving to the next available comp once you have all the necessary heroes available, but that Man/Plague/Highwayman combo really is surprisingly effective.  

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Darkest Dungeon 2: Best Completion Team Comp For the Mid-Game

Rank 1: Ravager Hellion – Howling End, Iron Swan, Adrenaline Rush, Wicked Hack, Bloodlust

Rank 2: Vanguard Man-at-Arms – Crush, Retribution, Bolster, Rampart, Strategic Withdrawal

Rank 3: Surgeon Plague Doctor – Battlefield Medicine, Incision, Plague Grenade, Indiscriminate Science, Magnesium Rain

Rank 4: Virtuoso Jester – Battle Ballad, Encore, Solo, Inspiring Tune, Finale

If you’re looking for the “safest” team comp for the majority of the game, this is probably your best option. 

Ravager Hellion offers some of the best frontline melee damage in Darkest Dungeon 2 as well as some welcome survivability skills. While you occasionally have to manage her Bleed and Winded effects, her pure power and ability to withstand mighty blows make her an ideal Rank 1 choice. Adrenaline Rush is also one of the best team heals in the game and supports the “safe” nature of this comp.

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However, Man-at-Arms is the proper tank in this party. His buffs and defensive abilities will allow you to keep your party alive during some nasty situations. He can deal damage from time to time when you have the free turn needed to do so, but you’re really looking to buff, heal, and defend your party whenever possible. 

The incredible Surgeon Plague Doctor is an obvious addition to this team. This version of the Plague Doctor is arguably the best overall healer in the game, but don’t overlook their offensive capabilities. At the very least, they’re able to keep backline enemies in check and occasionally help buy you a little time with their status effect damage and debuffs. For the most part, though, you should focus on healing your team whenever possible and necessary. 

Finally, the Virtuoso Jester is an enabler, pure and simple. His ability to quickly change positions is nice in a pinch, but most of the Jester’s skills either set up combos or allow your other heroes to reduce (or ignore) their cooldowns and similar limitations. He can throw some damage out himself from time to time (and the Virtuoso path makes him much more durable), but most of your Jester turns should be spent figuring out what you can do to help enhance your subsequent turns. 

The beauty of this build is that it’s remarkably flexible. Man-at-Arms and Plague Doctor are hard to replace, but you can play with the DPS spots quite a bit. For instance, you can easily move Man-at-Arms to Rank 1 and slot a Highwayman into Rank 2. You can also replace the Jester with a Ravager if you’re looking for some more DoT potential. 

Once you start replacing Man-at-Arms and Plague Doctor, though, you’re going to start veering away from the simplicity that makes this comp such a powerful overall choice. You obviously have that option, but replacing either of those characters means reconsidering every other spot in order to support your new choices. 

Darkest Dungeon 2: Best Damage Team Comp For the Late Game

Rank 1: Tempest Leper – Chop, Hew, Break, Bash, Ruin

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Rank 2: Scourge Flagellant – Endure, Punish, Suffer, Acid Rain, Sepsis

Rank 3: Alchemist Plague Doctor – Noxious Blast, Plague Grenade, Cause of Death, Battlefield Medicine, Incision

Rank 4: Virtuoso Jester – Battle Ballad, Encore, Solo, Inspiring Tune, Finale

Finally, those looking to make their way through the later stages of Darkest Dungeon 2 may want to consider running a variation of this powerful team comp. 

The basic idea behind this comp is to maximize your damage without sacrificing too much in terms of survivability. It’s still more complicated and a tad more fragile than the previous comp we talked about, but the damage output does let you end some late-game flights before they start to turn nasty. If you’re looking for something a bit safer, though, you probably are better off sticking with something closer to the previous comp.

The Leper, Flagellant, and Plague Doctor are the cornerstones of this build. Plague Doctor and Flagellant’s synergetic skills allow them to push an incredible amount of Blight damage. If an enemy isn’t entirely resistant to Blight, they will fall at the hands of these powerful characters that also boast a ton of reach. They’re some of the best combo characters in the game. 

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Leper is our tank of choice over the usual Man-at-Arms recommendation. Leper is not the pure tank that Man-at-Arms is, but his damage potential basically makes him a DPS hybrid. You will have to navigate his annoying Blind status effect restrictions, but that’s not a huge issue with this build and the right tokens. Whenever Leper does miss, Plague Doctor and Flagellant will do most of the damage. When Leper does hit, fights end even quicker. Even when the Leper is missing blows, his high resistances and defensive abilities allow him to soak damage. 

Jester is kind of a flex spot. Again, his ability to enhance every other hero’s abilities (while occasionally removing annoying Stress points), makes him pretty hard to replace. If you wanted to, though, you could flex a Highwayman into his spot for even more damage. Just know that you will lose a little survivability and flexibility in the process. In that instance, it’s also best to convert Plague Doctor into the Surgeon build described above.