Barristan, the Man-at-Arms, is another returning character in Darkest Dungeon 2. He is one of the first characters you have access to at the very start. But if you really want to get the most out of this grizzled battlefield veteran, here is our Darkest Dungeon 2 Man-at-Arms guide to help you unlock his best skills and overcome his shrine battles.
Barristan the Man-at-Arms Skills | Darkest Dungeon 2
|Skill Name||Effect||Unlock Method|
|Crush||An attack that can be performed in the front rank. It can target enemies in the front rank as well as the centermost back rank. The damage is good (4-8) and the crit chance is poor (5%)||Available by Default|
|Rampart||An attack that can be performed from the front rank as well as the centermost back rank. It can target enemies in the front rank. The damage is decent (3-6), and the crit chance is poor (5%). Doing this attack will move you forward one rank, as well as have a chance to knock back the target one rank and inflict Daze.||Available by Default|
|Defender||A buff ability that can be performed in any rank. It grants two stacks of Block as well as give a party member two stacks of Guarded.||Available by Default|
|Bolster||A buff ability that can be performed in any rank. It grants the target a stack of Block as well as removing a stack of Vulnerability.||Available by Default|
|Hold The Line||An attack that can be performed from the back rank as well as the centermost front rank. It targets enemies in the front rank. The damage is decent (3-6), the crit chance is decent (10%). Doing this attack will move you forward three ranks as well as grant a stack of Block and a stack of Immobilize.||Available by Default|
|Bellow||A debuff ability that can be performed from anywhere and affects all enemies. It has a single turn cooldown. It reduces enemy speed by 3 as well as removes a stack of Riposte.||First visit to Shrine (narration) - A Premature Promotion|
|Stand Fast||A buff ability that can only be performed from the front rank. It has a two-turn cool down. It grants two stacks of Block as well as grants another stack of Block at the start of your next turn.||Second visit to Shrine (battle) - A Leader of Men|
|Retribution||A buff ability that can be performed anywhere. It grants two stacks of Riposte and two stacks of Taunt.||Third visit to Shrine (narration) - One Eye Open|
|Courageous Abandon||An attack that can only be performed at the very front and can only target an enemy at the very front. The damage is decent (3-6), and the crit chance is decent (10%). The attack is on a two-turn cool down and ignores all stacks of Block. In addition, the damage is increased by 100% if you have any stacks of Block or Block+. After this attack resolves, you lose all stacks of Block and gain a stack of Vulnerability.||Fourth Visit to Shrine (battle) - Ghosts of the Past|
|Command||A buff ability that can be cast anywhere. It has a one-turn cooldown. It grants the target a stack of Strength and removes a stack of Blindness.||Fifth visit to Shrine (narration) - In The Trenches|
|Strategic Withdrawal||An attack that can be performed from the front rank and can only target enemies in the front rank. The damage is decent (3-6), and the crit chance is poor (5%). It can also inflict a stack of Combo on the target. After this attack resolved, you are moved back one rank.||Fifth visit to Shrine (narration) - In the Trenches|
Shrine Battle: A Leader of Men - How To Win Your First Battle
You can't. A Leader of Men is a Shrine Battle that you cannot win. You have no combat abilities. Your men are outnumbered. Every single buff ability you can give your soldiers leads to them getting debuffed instead. Every time one of them dies, you take Stress damage. There is no victory here.
The battle is over once your Stress is maxed out. At least you'll unlock the Stand Fast ability no matter what.
Shrine Battle: Ghosts of the Past - How to Accept Your Failures
Bookending A Leader of Men is this follow-up Shrine battle, Ghosts of the Past. Here you confront the ghosts of the men you sent out to the battlefield to die. Every round, one of the ghosts will perform a buff ability, granting them a stack of Crit. Use Pour One Out to remove that stack and to stun them. Follow that up with Pay Your Respects on your next round. That should lead to a one-two punch of removing a single ghost. Repeat this process, tanking their hits along the way. If your Stress goes above a 5 for one reason or another, play Honor The Dead to heal. Keep this up and eventually all four ghosts will be buried and sanctified.
The Best Man-at-Arms Skills | Darkest Dungeon 2
Man-at-Arms is your dedicated Tank. Put him in the front rank and keep him there. He draws enemy attention and keeps your other party members alive. Also, he can debuff and disorient opponents with his attacks. If you're using Man-at-Arms as a straight damage dealer, something has gone horribly wrong.
To that end, these skills are absolute musts. If you need some damage, Rampart is a must. It shakes up enemy ranks and the right use of Daze can make all the difference in the initiative. Strategic Withdrawal couples really well with Defender as well. It can set up more dedicated damage characters like the Hellion for good attacks while still maintaining solid defense. Finally, Bellow and Retribution are great for slowing down enemy assaults, drawing attention and getting some good retaliation damage on the side. Remember, you're here to defend and demoralize the enemy, leave the assault to the rest of the team.