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- Jan 28, 2011
Darkest Dungeon II - Hero Paths: The Jester
"Unchained melodies, played feverishly with lute and blade."
Virtuoso or Soloist?
The Virtuoso Path utilizes the Jester’s musical acumen to soothe the party and keep meltdowns at bay. The Virtuoso boasts improved stress healing and resistance, higher speed, and larger health pool. The price is a reduced Bleed, Blight, and Burn resistance, however.
Virtuoso Jesters have a chance to negate Stress damage to their allies, further amplifying their usual Stress control capabilities and occasionally sparing them a turn of maintenance work. The Path’s increased Speed is useful for first strike tactics but the HP buff, while helpful, is somewhat offset by the Jester’s extreme vulnerability to DOTs.
Since the Virtuoso Path penalizes neither Bleeds nor damage, this path can support any Jester playstyle you normally enjoy. Like Bleeding monsters dry? Grab a Corrupted Bile Gland. Prefer to dance through the lines while you deal damage? Try the Grim Mask to strengthen your blade. Prefer to use your Jester as support? Clenching Claws will keep him in his place while he buffs the party.
No amount of Trinketing is really going to offset the lost resistances across the board, so keeping Dodge up with Razor’s Wit or keeping enemies Taunted with a Hellion or Leper can go a long way towards keeping your Jester safe. If you’re lucky, you can offset the penalties on a Biome-by-Biome basis – e.g. using the Kitchen Knives in the Foetor – or rely on a Plague Doctor’s Ounce of prevention to counter the majority of the loss. A little luck with the Sneaker’s Standard can do as well.
The Jester is likely too fast for anybody to assist him with Combo in the first round of battle but Finale can still make for a solid first strike to remove low-health targets like Livestock. Less monsters on the field means less chance he’s eating DOTs!
The Soloist Path focuses on the Jester’s cutting performance to inflict damage on the enemies, giving him increased damage, bleed chance, and crit on bleed skills. Even though the Soloist’s Max HP and SPD is diminished, having a Jester with strong offensive power to take down enemies makes it worthwhile.
Soloist Jesters are glass cannons, capable of dealing out Bleeds and respectable direct damage at a severe cost to their already limited HP. Razor’s Wit and Fade to Black don’t gain much damage from the buffs but they still provide useful Dodge and Blind Tokens. Slice Off and Harvest shine for dishing out the DOTs and Finale’s damage output, particularly when Combo is involved, is staggeringly high.
The Speed debuff can actually work to the Jester’s advantage, giving a chance for a faster Hero – a Highwayman with Tracking Shot, for instance – to Combo mark a target before the Jester’s Finale.
The Soloist Path grants enough of a buff to Bleed that you can probably forgo Bleed Chance Trinkets unless you really want to hedge your bets, in which case the Corrupted Bile Gland can close the remaining distance.
The usual damager boosters – Gnarly Knuckles or Sharpness Charms – will serve well if Finale is your Jester’s focus. The Busker’s Haul gives you a great chance of following up with an additional action after Finale scores a kill but it’s less useful if you’re focusing on the DOT end of this Path as monsters slain by DOTs won’t trigger it.
Pairing the Jester with somebody who can tank, like the Man-at-Arms, will help keep him alive long enough to do his job if you don’t want to use Trinket slots to offset his HP penalty. Lean into that glass cannon life and Bleed all that stand before you!
The community’s preferred path was Virtuoso for both Twitter and Discord. On Twitter Virtuoso had 61.6% votes versus 38.4% for Soloist, and on Discord Virtuoso had 92 votes and Soloist had 33.
"Virtuoso leans into his unique abilities more, which I like especially after stress healing abilities became a little less accessible with plague doctor losing hers.
Virtuoso can allow me to prioritize other things besides stress healing with combat items and the like." - @crowboyo
"Virtuoso has saved me from many a meltdown.
Mostly because I'm terrible at managing stress.
But let's just ignore that and call it a planned event." - @Britishbrat
"Virtuoso, I have him in the 4th rank as full support
No attack capability but he's back there pulling the strings
I use Encore and Battle Ballad to give the heavy hitters more turns and damage, and I shuffle teammates around while giving stress healing if necessary
Loving paths." - @AcidSeth
"100% Stress Resist goes a long way in this game. Love when it proccs on multiple allies also, it's just beautiful seeing them resist crit stress, especially against bosses" - Koffee
"Virtuoso seems almost like bulwark in that it’s a complete upgrade to jesters base kit with minimal drawback for the amazing upsides. The stress resist buff is amazing, even more so for infernal players since stress gained from being crit is semi random. However, I can’t help but vote for soloist just because of how great having a slow jester with extra finale damage is, bleed skill crit is just a bonus. Virtuoso might be better but soloist has my heart." - Halltaker
"Virtuoso is the better of the 2 imo. The bonus HP really helps to mitigate the dot resist penalty, and jester still has all the build freedom of the stock set. It's a straight upgrade in every way, easier to use than soloist, and more flexible." - ShuffleFM
"Virtuoso's increase stat of Max HP and SPD is really great benefit.
While his penalty of 'dot resist' is really insignificant one when considering 'infectious' condition.
Soloist is worse than wanderer jester
33% damage increase is really trivial while bleeding skill crit 10% is 'somehow' adorable with using harvest.
However, main threat of soloist is 21 Health. In order to cope with the penalty, jester need to use solo for increasing his survaiality but -3 speed also interferes it.
Shortly) Virtuoso >> Wanderer >>>>> Soloist" - Karyuen
"Virtuoso Is just a lot of good stuff. It makes the Jester a solid support character. The extra speed makes it so you often act before other characters letting you set up combos. The extra HP means you can stay in position 1-2 a bit safer. The Stress resist adds up over the long game in better relationships." - kilerM
If you would like to vote on which hero we write about next, come over to our Discord server!
We would also love to hear your thoughts on the Leper’s paths, how it’s changed your playstyle, what trinkets you use, and any suggestions you may have. The best way of providing feedback is to join our Discord server where we have a dedicated feedback channel.
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Thank you everyone for being a part of the community and taking a part of this ride through the crumbling chaos of the world.