Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki

(in Repentance)

Tainted Magdalene is a character added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance. She is the alternate version of Character Magdalene iconMagdalene. Tainted Magdalene is unlocked by reaching HomeHome and using the Collectible Red Key iconRed Key, Cracked KeyCracked Key, or Soul of CainSoul of Cain to access a special room in one of the walls while playing as Magdalene.

Tainted Magdalene starts with 2 heart containers, 2 empty heart containers, and Collectible Yum Heart iconYum Heart in the consumable slot.

Notes[ | ]

  • When Tainted Magdalene's health is above 2 Red HeartRed Hearts, she will leave red creep on the floor and will lose health at the rate of half a heart per 10 seconds. This health loss affects all types of hearts, but prioritizes red heart health. Affected hearts on the health bar are faded and slowly pulsating.
    • Bone HeartBone Hearts are drained, although empty ones will not be broken by the drain effect.
    • All leaking hearts, including red ones, will protect against loss of Devil RoomDevil Room/Angel RoomAngel Room chances; only non-leaky red heart damage will impose a penalty.
    • Her first two Red Heart containers as well as Rotten HeartRotten Hearts and Eternal HeartEternal Hearts are the only hearts that do not leak. When Tainted Magdalene has only Soul HeartSoul Hearts, they will continuously leak until she has half a soul heart left.
  • She also receives double healing from all sources except heart pickups, and all enemies have a chance of dropping a Half Red HeartHalf Red Heart upon death which will flicker and disappear in 2 seconds.
  • Tainted Magdalene has a distinctive melee attack which is automatically performed on enemies who make contact with her. The "hug" is a swing that functions similarly to Character The Forgotten iconThe Forgotten's Bone Club, and can synergize with any held items. Melee hits deal 6x damage and all enemies killed by the melee attack have a 100% chance of dropping a half red heart.
  • The Ace cards will transform the half red hearts, which would normally flicker and disappear, into normal consumables. Using them after killing a lot of enemies with the melee ability can be a good way to get a large amount of consumables. Consumables rerolled into by Collectible D20 iconD20 or Collectible GB Bug iconGB Bug will still flicker and disappear.
  • One Rotten Heart will provide two Rotten hearts upon pickup.
  • Half red hearts affected by the Rune of JeraRune of Jera will not disappear. It is unknown whether this behavior is intentional or not.

Strategy[ | ]

Tainted Magdalene's strength comes from having very expendable health early game. Her ability to regenerate Red HeartRed Hearts from slain foes allows for simply charging into groups of enemies and killing them all with her lethal hugs. With the invincibility frames that come with taking damage, she can not only sustain but actually gain health from hugging enemies during the invincibility period. This can result in massive health gain from large groups of fragile, easily slain enemies.

These advantages come at the cost of her base damage, which is significantly lower than other characters at a permanent 0.75x multiplier. Items that increase damage should be high priority, so that she may remain effective later in the run.

As Soul HeartSoul Heart/ Black HeartBlack Hearts will drain just like Red Hearts do, they are generally less useful as Tainted Magdalene. This is compounded by the fact that her leaky red hearts already protect against the loss of a Devil RoomDevil Room/Angel RoomAngel Room chance.

Whilst she excels against groups of weak enemies, Tainted Magdalene suffers against high health enemies as well as bosses that don't summon many enemies, such as Boss Delirium ingameDelirium. Unless she can find a way to sustain her health pool for the fight, she will slowly lose health until she is down to her 2 permanent red hearts.

Curse of the UnknownCurse of the Unknown can cause more trouble for Tainted Magdalene than for other characters, as knowing how much health she has is important. She stops producing red creep when she runs out of leaky red hearts, which may be a helpful indicator.

Item Interactions[ | ]

  • Collectible Birthright iconBirthright: Provides another non-leaky red heart, for a total of three.
    • Note: This moves the threshold of what counts as true damage when accounting for Devil and Angel Room spawns as well.
  • Swallowed M80Swallowed M80: Explosions will kill enemies before Tainted Magdalene's “hug” attack, preventing heart drops from killing enemies on contact from being guaranteed.
  • Collectible Yuck Heart iconYuck Heart: Grants 2 rotten hearts.
  • Collectible Haemolacria iconHaemolacria:Bloody tears will pop when Magdalene hugs enemies.

Helpful items[ | ]

  • Items that grant invulnerability or shield: Melee attack can be used without taking contact damage.
  • Items that grant a damaging familiar such as Collectible Cube of Meat iconCube of Meat or Collectible Sacrificial Dagger iconSacrificial Dagger, as they can greatly increase melee damage output. Keep in mind however that enemies killed by the familiars do not have the guaranteed half-heart drop.
  • Items that triggers when getting hit, such as Collectible Bloody Lust iconBloody Lust, Collectible Bloody Gust iconBloody Gust, Collectible Fanny Pack iconFanny Pack or Collectible Piggy Bank iconPiggy Bank, are likely to trigger quite frequently due to Tainted Magdalene's playstyle, making her benefits from those items much more than other characters.
  • Collectible 4.5 Volt icon4.5 Volt: Greatly improves longevity in long boss fights by allowing repeated usage of Yum Heart.
  • Collectible Adrenaline iconAdrenaline: Gives more damage the more empty heart containers Tainted Magdalene has. Due to them draining naturally, this is an excellent item for bosses.
  • Collectible Aries iconAries: Running fast enough will allow the hug attack to be used without taking damage.
  • Blind RageBlind Rage: Increased length of invincibility frames allows getting in more melee attacks from a single hit.
  • Collectible Blood Oath iconBlood Oath: Can be used to gain huge amounts of damage and speed, while being able to heal back up quickly. Can be quite dangerous for the first few rooms however.
  • Collectible Bozo iconBozo: The rainbow poop that spawns will be destroyed by the melee attack, refilling all red heart containers. With many heart containers, this effect can be triggered often.
  • Collectible Cambion Conception iconCambion Conception: Spawns demonic familiars after taking a certain amount of damage. As Tainted Magdalene gets hurt very frequently it is very easy to quickly gain familiars from this item.
  • Collectible Candy Heart iconCandy Heart: Gives small stat boosts whenever red hearts are picked up, allowing a steady stream of stat increases while destroying enemies.
  • Collectible Dead Eye iconDead Eye: The damage increase is guaranteed because the melee attack does not miss.
  • Equality!Equality!: Doubled hearts do not vanish like the half-hearts they replace.
  • Collectible Giant Cell iconGiant Cell: Magdalene's tendency to receive damage keeps the Mini-Isaac count high.
  • Collectible Gimpy iconGimpy: Drops extra non-disappearing half red hearts when enemies are killed and grants a chance to receive soul hearts when hit.
  • Collectible Gnawed Leaf iconGnawed Leaf: The hug attack can be used without losing invincibility.
  • Collectible Habit iconHabit: Gives a Yum Heart charge while using the melee attack, for more sustainability.
    • With Habit and Collectible The Wafer iconThe Wafer, Tainted Magdalene is essentially immortal, as it takes two hearts to charge Yum Heart, the same amount it heals for.
    • Likewise, Habit and Collectible Car Battery iconCar Battery also provides a measure of immortality, as it takes up to four hearts to charge Yum Heart, the same amount it heals for. This strategy does require having a high enough maximum health cap, however.
  • Collectible Hemoptysis iconHemoptysis: Allows Tainted Magdalene to deal additional damage to enemies close to her, and push some away if they are in the way of health drops.
  • Collectible Hypercoagulation iconHypercoagulation: sometimes refunds the health lost on the melee attack.
  • Collectible Immaculate Conception iconImmaculate Conception: Spawns angelic familiars after picking up a certain amount of hearts. As Tainted Magdalene can both spawn hearts and drains them naturally it is very easy to quickly gain familiars from this item.
  • Collectible Isaac's Heart iconIsaac's Heart: Insanely powerful for Tainted Magdalene as it removes contact damage for her body, making it so she can constantly do her melee attack with no consequences.
  • Collectible It Hurts iconIt Hurts: Taking damage triggers a burst of tears and increases fire rate for the rest of the room.
  • Collectible IV Bag iconIV Bag: Allows Tainted Magdalene to trade her plentiful red health for coins. IV Bag can also be used for the invincibility frames from the it to run into enemies, allowing free money while fighting provided the player’s timing is good.
    • When combined with Collectible Habit iconHabit, allows Tainted Magdalene to farm infinite coins by refilling her Yum Heart.
  • Collectible The Jar iconThe Jar: The disappearing half red hearts can be stored in the Jar. When emptied out, the spawned hearts are permanent.
  • Collectible Kamikaze! iconKamikaze!: Can be used to create explosions during the melee attack at no additional health cost.
  • Collectible Larynx iconLarynx: A charge is granted every time the melee attack is used.
  • Lost CorkLost Cork: Significantly increases the size of the creep Tainted Magdalene frequently produces.
  • Collectible Maggy's Bow iconMaggy's Bow: Dropped half hearts heal for one full heart.
  • Collectible Magneto iconMagneto: Dropped half hearts are drawn to Tainted Magdalene, making them easier to retrieve.
  • Collectible Meat Cleaver iconMeat Cleaver: Multiplying enemies into weaker versions of themselves makes the melee ability more viable and generates more hearts to replenish HP.
  • Collectible Midas' Touch iconMidas' Touch: Petrifies and damages enemies on touch, and the coins spawned when they are killed further increase the touch damage.
  • Mom's LocketMom's Locket: Dropped half hearts will be converted to full hearts.
  • Collectible Old Bandage iconOld Bandage / Collectible Shard of Glass iconShard of Glass: Hearts have a chance to drop every time damage is taken from doing the melee attack, and they won't disappear shortly after spawning.
  • Collectible Pause iconPause: The lethal hug ability does not cancel the paused state unlike firing tears.
  • Collectible Proptosis iconProptosis: Increases melee attack damage greatly.
  • Collectible Razor Blade iconRazor Blade: Allows Tainted Magdalene to rack up high amounts of damage in rooms with lots of enemies. This can be especially useful in Greed Mode.
  • Collectible Serpent's Kiss iconSerpent's Kiss: Coming in contact with enemies will poison them. Poisoned enemies have a chance to drop black hearts.
  • Collectible Sharp Plug iconSharp Plug: Since it takes two hearts to charge and Yum Heart grants 2 full red hearts when used, it can be used infinitely without losing HP. Doing this will also prevent HP to decay while doing this infinite combo. Additionally, the Invincibility-frames from the damage taken last long enough to become permanently immune to any other damage source. Tears can't be fired while doing this, but it is still possible to kill enemies with Tainted Magdalene's melee ability, basically guaranteeing a win on the spot. Binding the "use pill" key to a more accessible key, or plugging in a controller, to move around easier is recommended. This also counts as taking damage, meaning items that cause an effect upon taking damage (such as Piggy Bank or Cracked Orb) or reaching a certain health threshold (such as The Negative and The Polaroid's half heart threshold) can be repeatedly activated to gain their benefits.
    • Collectible Sharp Plug iconSharp Plug + Collectible Car Battery iconCar Battery: Allows for infinite red health regeneration.
    • Collectible Sharp Plug iconSharp Plug + Collectible Virgo iconVirgo: Essentially allows an on-demand charge-free Collectible Book of Shadows iconBook of Shadows, which pairs greatly with Tainted Magdalene's hug attack.
    • Collectible Sharp Plug iconSharp Plug + Collectible Habit iconHabit: Repeatedly pressing the activation key will allow for infinite health, invincibility frames and charge for other activated items.
  • Collectible Spirit Sword iconSpirit Sword's swings can collect the red hearts dropped by enemies, making it significantly easier to heal. Additionally, it's effectively a strict upgrade to the hug attack, as it has similar damage output without the requirement to take damage to use it.
  • Collectible Sumptorium iconSumptorium Steady supply of red hearts can be converted into clots, which make it easier to kill enemies quickly and collect more hearts, making it much easier to amass an army as well as maintain health.
  • Collectible Taurus iconTaurus: Takes a while to charge, but provides invulnerability and lots of melee damage.
  • Collectible The Wafer iconThe Wafer: Tainted Magdalene will only take half-heart damage from champion enemies and from all damage in WombWomb/UteroUtero/Scarred WombScarred Womb and onward, allowing her to still gain her health back from hugging enemies which would normally deal a full heart and only give half back.
  • Collectible Unicorn Stump iconUnicorn Stump: Tainted Magdalene will still perform melee attacks while this is active.
  • Collectible Varicose Veins iconVaricose Veins: Taking damage triggers a burst of tears that deals very high damage.
  • Collectible Vengeful Spirit iconVengeful Spirit: Tainted Magdalene's tendency to receive damage keeps the amount of spirits high.

Unfavorable Items[ | ]

  • Collectible 2Spooky icon2Spooky will make it more difficult to hit enemies since they will become feared upon getting near them.
  • Collectible Abaddon iconAbaddon will remove all red heart containers, replacing them with black hearts. The black hearts will slowly deplete over time and are hard to replenish.
  • Collectible Brittle Bones iconBrittle Bones will remove all red heart containers, replacing them with six Bone HeartBone Hearts, causing Tainted Magdalene to have a lack of permanent health to fall back on.
  • Collectible Crown Of Light iconCrown Of Light is very rarely active, as red hearts are hard to keep full.
  • Collectible Dark Prince's Crown iconDark Prince's Crown is frequently inactive, as builds with only one red heart are difficult to keep up and survive.
  • Collectible Dark Bum iconDark Bum can pay out more often, but the black hearts he drops are much less useful. He will also take red hearts that may be needed for healing.
  • Collectible Dead Cat iconDead Cat is not recommended, as it reduces red hearts to one. Replacing them with soul hearts to compensate is also more difficult and harder to sustain.
  • Collectible E. Coli iconE. Coli will take priority over the hug attack, meaning it will make the enemy turn into a poop, without providing the half red heart.
  • Collectible Paschal Candle iconPaschal Candle is not active very often.
  • Collectible Mom's Heels iconMom's Heels will deal contact damage to enemies, occasionally killing enemies before the hug attack does, without providing the half red heart.
  • Collectible Pluto iconPluto is not recommended, because it will make taking hearts or any other pickup considerably more difficult.
  • Collectible Lost Soul iconLost Soul is essentially useless as it will almost always die moments into the floor because of how Tainted Magdalene plays.
  • Apple of SodomApple of Sodom will sometimes transform red hearts into blue spiders, limiting health regeneration.
  • Collectible Lil Dumpy iconLil Dumpy will often mitigate the first melee attack in the room.

Unlockable Items[ | ]

Gallery[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • The achievement for unlocking Tainted Magdalene is "The Dauntless", a possible title for the character.
    • "Dauntless" means "fearless", implying that Tainted Magdalene is not afraid of (lethally) hugging enemies.
  • Tainted Magdalene is the only tainted character to have a starting item in common with their normal variant.
  • Tainted Magdalene's starting health is listed as "IIII" on the character selection screen, the last two symbols being faded out compared to the first two. This is to represent her two empty/leaking heart containers.
  • Tainted Magdalene's abilities are similar to LustLust and Super LustSuper Lust, with a focus on rushing towards enemies to deal contact damage and trailing red creep behind.
  • In the game's files, the image file for Tainted Magdalene's hair is named 'maggiesnotsobeautifulgoldenlocks.png'.
    • This is a reference to the image file for regular Magdalene's hair, "maggiesbeautifulgoldenlocks.png".
  • Defeating Boss Ultra Greedier ingameUltra Greedier as Tainted Magdalene unlocks VI - The Lovers?VI - The Lovers?, a reversed Major Arcana card associated with failure and lack of love. This is a fitting unlock, due to Tainted Magdalene's ephemeral and hard to maintain health bar.
    • Lovers? is also associated with toxic relationships, as she is hit by most things she hugs and vice versa.

Bugs[ | ]

Bug Bug! Rotten hearts will not deplete when playing as Tainted Magdalene. Additionally, if you have more than 4 Rotten Hearts, Bone, Soul, and Black Hearts will not drain. If your pulsating heart containers are all filled with rotten hearts and and have more than one half a red heart in your permanent heart containers, your permanent red hearts will be drained.