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Darkest Dungeon – Best Team Comps

Surviving the horrors of Darkest Dungeon is largely a matter of preparation. To give your team the best chance of survival, you’ll want to bring the best trinkets, supplies, and heroes for the job. In this guide, we’ll help you choose the best team comp for each dungeon/region, from the Ruins all the way through The Darkest Dungeon itself.

Your starting team in Darkest Dungeon - Reynauld and Dismas.
You’ll start out with just Reynauld and Dismas, but soon other heroes will join your cause. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Best Team Comp for Each Region in Darkest Dungeon

Due to the random nature of Darkest Dungeon, even the best team comp can fail if you’re just unlucky in combat. That being said, the following team comp suggestions are some of the best ones to tackle each region’s threats.

Just keep in mind that you’ll want more specific specialized team comps when going after a boss, due to their unique mechanics. You may also find yourself preferring a different team comp than the ones we recommend, that’s perfectly fine and to be expected.

There isn’t a single definitive perfect team, and you’ll be often forced to adapt on the fly in Darkest Dungeon when things start going horribly wrong. Learn, fail, and try again – that is the nature of the game.

Ruins

The Ruins is the first dungeon you’ll enter, and it’s crawling with the undead. Anyone who does well against Unholy enemies will be a good choice for this dungeon. This is also a good place to use Blight attacks, since most of the enemies have low Blight resistance and many of them have a high PROT, making direct attacks less effective.

Best Team Comp for the Ruins:

  • Crusader
  • Grave Robber
  • Vestal
  • Plague Doctor

The Crusader is a Ruins specialist through and through. His Smite and Holy Lance abilities both do extra damage to Unholy enemies. He can heal if needed, and Stunning Blow is useful against stress dealers like the Bone Courtier, Cultist Acolytes, and Madmen. The only thing better than having a Crusader in the Ruins is having two of them.

The Vestal is similarly equipped with Unholy-slaying abilities like Mace Bash and Hand of Light as well as a stun that reaches further into the back line. Her Illumination ability can be useful against dodgy back liners as well. You can also put her on full-time healing duty in the back if your team is lacking in other defensive abilities.

The Plague Doctor may not be an obvious choice at first glance. since she doesn’t have any abilities that specifically affect Unholy enemies. However, Blight is incredibly strong in the Ruins, and the Plague Doctor is the Blight master. Noxious Blast is useful against high PROT front liners like Bone Defenders, and Plague Grenade can help whittle down the back line where your Crusader or other melee hard hitters can’t reach. She can also cure Bleed, which is somewhat common in the Ruins.

The Grave Robber is particularly strong when used in conjunction with the Plague Doctor. Her Lunge and Thrown Dagger abilities both do extra damage to Blighted enemies, and Poison Darts reduces enemy Blight resistance. She also has Pick to the Face, which is good against enemies with high PROT.

Darkest Dungeon Party The Usual Suspects
Certain party combos have names, but they don’t really mean anything. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Weald

The Weald is the second dungeon you can enter, and its caverns contain both Human and Eldritch enemies. Heroes that do extra damage to either of those types are strong here, as are those with Bleed abilities – due to the low Bleed resistance of most of the enemies.

Best Team Comp for the Weald:

  • Man-at-Arms
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Occultist
  • Arbalest/Musketeer

The Man-at-Arms does not offer Bleed or a bonus against Eldritch, but he is an excellent tank, which is useful for dealing with some of the enemies that do big damage to your front line. Not to mention his sheer arsenal of buffs and utility is always appreciated.

The Bounty Hunter‘s Collect Bounty ability does extra damage to Human enemies. He also has a Bleed effect from his Caltrops ability which has the added benefit of reducing enemy speed and increasing their damage taken. He’s especially strong with other heroes that use Mark, like the Occultist and Arbalest.

The Occultist deals extra damage to Eldritch enemies with his Sacrificial Stab and Abyssal Artillery abilities. He can also Mark targets for your other heroes. When your health starts to drop, he has the (potentially) strongest single-target heal in the game in Wyrd Reconstruction. Just be careful with it, as it’s not always a guaranteed heal and can further bleed your heroes.

The Arbalest (or Musketeer, as they’re effectively the same class) rounds out the ideal Weald party in the back. She has good synergy with your other Mark heroes, the Bounty Hunter and Occultist, as Sniper Shot does extra damage to Marked enemies. Alternatively, she can use Sniper’s Mark to Mark enemies herself and set up the Bounty Hunter. She also has a solid healing ability in Battlefield Bandage to serve as a backup for the Occultist (or to further amplify his ridiculous healing potential).

Each character has different quirks that make or break their role in a team.
Consider a hero’s quirks as well as their class when deciding whether to bring them. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Warrens

The Warrens opens up next, and is home to Swine creatures that are a combination of Human and Beast. Heroes that can do extra damage to either will be strong here, as well as heroes with Bleed, as the enemies’ Bleed resistance is usually low.

Best Team Comp for the Warrens:

  • Hellion
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Houndmaster
  • Arbalest/Musketeer

The Hellion is always a strong front liner, and here she gets to take advantage of If It Bleeds and Bleed Out for inflicting damage on top of her hard hitting abilities (Wicked Hack and Iron Swan). Round out her skills with Adrenaline Rush if you’re short on heals, or Barbaric YAWP! for a double stun.

The Bounty Hunter is a good option here for the same reasons as in the Weald: he does extra damage to Humans and has a Bleed ability. He also has Scout Ahead, a camping skill that increases the party’s Scouting chance, which is especially useful in the Warrens.

The Houndmaster‘s Hound’s Rush ability does extra damage to Beasts, and he can also inflict Bleed on four targets at once with Hound’s Harry. He has good synergy with the Bounty Hunter’s Mark abilities as well. In fact, Houndmasters are so good here that you may even want to bring more than one. They can even keep themselves healed with their Lick Wounds ability if you’re lacking a dedicated healer.

The Arbalest or Musketeer makes a great fourth for this group, with her Mark synergy and her Battlefield Bandage ability. You could choose to bring a Vestal instead if you want to play it safe, but she doesn’t bring anything useful to the Warrens beyond some exceptional consistent healing.

A team exploring the Warrens in Darkest Dungeon.
The positioning of your heroes within the party is important. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Cove

The Cove is the last of the standard dungeons in the base game, before you get into any DLCs or the Darkest Dungeon itself. Most of the enemies here are Eldritch, so abilities that affect them are desirable. Like in the Ruins, a combination of low Blight resistance and high PROT enemies makes Blight extremely useful.

Best Team Comp for the Cove:

  • Man-at-Arms
  • Occultist
  • Plague Doctor
  • Grave Robber

The Man-at-Arms is once again an excellent choice due to his strength as a tank. Your front line is likely to take a lot of damage in the Cove, but there won’t be a lot of Blight or Bleed, so using Defender to Guard allies and buff the Man-at-Arms’ PROT makes sense. You can then use Command to buff your Guarded hero’s damage.

The Occultist is a Cove specialist, with Sacrificial Stab and Abyssal Artillery both doing extra damage to Eldritch enemies. Weakening Curse is great for high PROT enemies like Pelagic Guardians and Sea Maggots. The Occultist also brings a strong single-target heal in the form of Wyrd Reconstruction. You can even bring more than one Occultist. Have one specialize in debuffing and healing and use the other one to focus on dealing damage.

The Plague Doctor‘s Blight abilities work well here, with Noxious Blast helping to take down tanks like Pelagic Guardians, and Plague Grenade offering some solid damage to the back line. Blinding Gas will let you stun two enemies at once, which is helpful for limiting the damage you take from Pelagic Groupers or putting a pause on stress dealers like Pelagic Shamans and Drowned Thralls.

The Grave Robber again pairs well with the Plague Doctor, assuming you haven’t brought a second Occultist instead. Between her Blight abilities and Pick to the Face, she’ll help you focus down just about anything the dungeon throws at you. You could also choose to bring a Vestal if you want to let your lone Occultist focus on dealing damage.

Recruit new heroes often to fill your team roster in Darkest Dungeon.
Upgrade the Stage Coach to access more potential recruits and fill out your roster. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Courtyard (DLC)

The Courtyard was added with the Crimson Court DLC, and is different than the other dungeons. It is full of Bloodsucker enemies who will infect your heroes with the Crimson Curse, a particularly problematic disease that is difficult to cure. There is no Torchlight mechanic to worry about – instead you will be under Bloodlight, which increases your heroes’ Stress and reduces their Bleed resistance.

On the flip side, the enemies here are weak to Bleed effects, so heroes that have them are at an advantage. The quests here are longer than any of the other dungeon missions, so your party will need some extra endurance.

Best Team Comp for the Courtyard:

  • Flagellant
  • Hellion
  • Houndmaster
  • Jester

The Flagellant is well-suited to the Courtyard. He has a wealth of abilities that inflict Bleed. He can also heal and reduce Stress, all very useful abilities in the Courtyard. The tricky part is choosing only 4 of his skills to use. It may even be worth bringing more than one Flagellant so you can bring them all.

The Hellion is also an excellent front liner for the Courtyard if you don’t bring two Flagellants. Her attacks can do big damage or inflict Bleed, and she can stun both front line enemies at once with Barbaric YAWP! Her self-heal, Adrenaline Rush, can also cure any Bleed effect she incurs while substantially buffing her damage.

The Houndmaster shines here due to Hound’s Rush and Hound’s Harry, which can Bleed any and all enemies. Cry Havoc can help with the constant Stress inflicted by Bloodlight, and the Therapy Dog camping ability helps there as well. Lick Wounds makes him self-sufficient if you don’t have a dedicated healer.

The Jester rounds out the ideal Courtyard party with more Bleed damage through his Harvest and Slice off abilities. He’s also a specialist at dealing with Stress thanks to his Inspiring Tune, which is especially nice to have in the Bloodlight.

Camping Skills can go a long way to ensuring your team survives in longer dungeons.
Don’t neglect your party’s camping skills for longer dungeons. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Farmstead (DLC)

The Farmstead was added to the game with The Color of Madness DLC. It offers an endless dungeon experience in which you fight wave after wave of enemies without stopping. Heroes that “die” here will return within a few days (though without their trinkets), so while the dungeon is more combat-intensive, there is ultimately less risk involved.

Like in the Courtyard, there is no Torchlight here. Instead you’ll encounter a variety of Light types, each having different effects. The ideal party will be one that is strong in the broadest possible sense – no specializing here, because you never know what you’ll be facing next.

That being said, there a couple things you’ll want to note about the Farmstead. You want to avoid over relying on abilities that have limited usages, as they only refresh after defeating a boss (but any battle-long effects will last until the next checkpoint). As this is a gauntlet, you’ll need to bring both healing and stress reduction to make it very far. You’ll also want to clear out any corpses, as they’ll explode and deal massive damage and stress if not dealt with in time.

Best Team Comp for the Farmstead:

  • Shieldbreaker
  • Man-at-Arms / Plague Doctor
  • Vestal
  • Jester

The Shieldbreaker is a master of endurance situations with her unique stacking Block skill, Serpent Sway. Using two Shieldbreakers together is even better since they can alternate their Forward and Back abilities and not have to worry about their positioning afterward.

The Vestal is the best healer to bring, offering both Divine Grace for single targets and Divine Comfort for healing the whole party. She can also stun enemies with Dazzling Light and use Illumination to dispel enemy Stealth and lower their Dodge.

The Jester is a must for making the most of your Farmstead run. Over time, the Stress damage will slowly wreak havoc on your party, and the Jester’s Inspiring Tune is the best ability for handling that. Battle Ballad also makes your other heroes super-powered, helping you make quick work of each wave of enemies – just make sure to save it for when you really need it.

The Man-at-Arms is a safe bet for the final spot if you don’t bring a second Shieldbreaker, offering protection and buffs to your other heroes and debuffs for the enemy. Similarly, the Plague Doctor can buff your party with Emboldening Vapors and keep the back line in check with Blinding Gas and Plague Grenade.

Prioritize upgrading the skills you're frequently using.
As your heroes level up, you’ll want to upgrade their skills. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

The Darkest Dungeon

This is it – the final, deadliest dungeon. Beating the game requires completing four quests here. Everything is tougher in the Darkest Dungeon. Damage dealt is greater and Stress accrues more quickly. If you try to retreat, you’ll automatically lose a member of your party. In short, you really have to be prepared for this place – more so than any other location. You also can’t bring the same heroes into the Darkest Dungeon twice. That makes selecting your party even trickier.

Ultimately, by this point in the game, you’ll have your favorite heroes with quirks, trinkets, and setups all customized to your own preferences. You’ll know whether or not if they’re prepared for the Darkest Dungeon itself, so take these suggestions with a huge grain of salt.

Each of the four quests offers unique challenges.

The first quest, We Are The Flame, has you facing a Shuffling Horror. The big dangers here are Stress and Bleed, so heroes who can deal with those are preferable. This boss will also shuffle your party around, putting a premium on heroes that can be effective from multiple positions. The Hellion, Bounty Hunter, Highwayman, and Jester each fit the bill in their own way.

The second quest, Lighting the Way, has you fighting two Templar mini-bosses, Templar Impaler and Templar Warlord. They both hit really hard, but luckily you have three Talismans of Flame from the previous quest to reduce the damage your heroes take. There are only three of those, though, so one of your heroes will be vulnerable. For this reason, a tank who can Guard the fourth party member is ideal. A party made up of a Man-at-Arms, Houndmaster, Occultist, and an Arbalest will check all the boxes.

The third quest, Belly of the Beast, is a longer endurance-type mission with some Eldritch/Beast nuisances. The Hellion is a great front liner here, able to smash those nuisances before they can give you any trouble. The Houndmaster‘s extra damage against Beasts is useful, as is the Occultist‘s increased damage against Eldritch. Round out your party with a Plague Doctor to handle all the Blights and Bleeds in this place.

The fourth and final quest, Hell is in the Heart, is unique in that you don’t need any food or torches. You can’t change your Light level and there won’t be any hunger checks. You’ll be facing the Ancestor and his Eldritch/Human Perfect Reflections. You’ll also be forced to choose two heroes to die during the fight. That’s right, two of your party members won’t be coming back no matter what. If you bring your first two heroes, Reynauld (Crusader) and Dismas (Highwayman), you’ll get an achievement for it. Beyond that, the Leper or Hellion is great for quickly killing the Perfect Reflections.

Make sure to keep the armor and weapons of your team upgraded in Darkest Dungeon.
Upgrading your party members’ equipment can be the difference between success and failure. (Image: Red Hook Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

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Thanks for reading! Hopefully this guide has helped you choose the ideal team for each region in Darkest Dungeon. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and be sure to subscribe to High Ground for more useful guides!

Happy gaming!

 

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