Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki

Added in Repentance

Tainted Magdalene is a character added in The Binding of Isaac: Repentance. She is the alternate version of Magdalene Magdalene. Tainted Magdalene is unlocked by reaching Home Home and using the Red Key Red Key, Cracked Key Cracked Key, or Soul of Cain Soul 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 Yum Heart Yum Heart in the consumable slot.

When Tainted Magdalene's health is above 2 Red Heart Red 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 Heart Bone 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 Room Devil Room/Angel Room Angel Room chances; only non-leaky red heart damage will impose a penalty.
  • Her first two Red Heart containers as well as Rotten Heart Rotten Hearts are the only hearts that do not leak. When Tainted Magdalene has only Soul Heart Soul 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 Heart Half 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 The Forgotten The 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.

Unlockable Items[]


Tainted Magdalene's strength comes from having very expendable health early game. Her ability to regenerate Red Heart Red 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 Heart Soul Heart/ Black Heart Black 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 Room Devil Room/Angel Room Angel 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 Delirium. 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 Unknown.png Curse 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[]

  • Birthright Birthright: 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.
  • Book of Revelations Book of Revelations/Satanic Bible Satanic Bible/The Nail The Nail/etc.: Soul heart/black heart healing is not doubled.
  • Yuck Heart Yuck Heart: Grants 2 rotten hearts.

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 Cube of Meat Cube of Meat or Sacrificial Dagger Sacrificial 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 Bloody Lust Bloody Lust, Bloody Gust Bloody Gust, Fanny Pack Fanny Pack or Piggy Bank Piggy Bank, are likely to trigger quite frequently due to Tainted Magdalene's playstyle, making her benefits from those items much more than other characters.
  • 4.5 Volt 4.5 Volt: Greatly improves longevity in long boss fights by allowing repeated usage of Yum Heart.
  • Adrenaline Adrenaline: Gives more damage the more empty heart containers Tainted Magdalene has. Due to them draining naturally, this is an excellent item for bosses.
  • Athame Athame: Taking damage triggers a ring around Tainted Magdalene that deals rapid tear damage to everything it touches. Good for bosses.
  • Aries Aries: Running fast enough will allow the hug attack to be used without taking damage.
  • Blind Rage Blind Rage: Increased length of invincibility frames allows getting in more melee attacks from a single hit.
  • Blood Oath Blood 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.
  • Bozo Bozo: The rainbow poop that spawns will be destroyed by the melee attack, refilling all red heart containers. With many heart containers, this effect will trigger often.
  • Candy Heart Candy Heart: Gives small stat boosts whenever red hearts are picked up, allowing a steady stream of stat increases while destroying enemies.
  • Charm of the Vampire Charm of the Vampire / Leech Leech: Kills heal for double the amount.
  • Dead Eye Dead 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.
  • Giant Cell Giant Cell: Magdalene's tendency to receive damage keeps the Minisaac count high.
  • Gimpy Gimpy: Drops extra non-disappearing half red hearts when enemies are killed and grants a chance to receive soul hearts when hit.
  • Gnawed Leaf Gnawed Leaf: The hug attack can be used without losing invincibility.
  • Habit Habit: Gives a Yum Heart charge while using the melee attack, for more sustainability.
    • With Habit and The Wafer The Wafer, Tainted Magdalene is essentially immortal, as it takes two hearts to charge Yum Heart, the same amount it heals for.
    • Likewise, Habit and Car Battery Car 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.
  • Hemoptysis Hemoptysis: 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.
  • Hypercoagulation Hypercoagulation: sometimes refunds the health lost on the melee attack.
  • Immaculate Conception Immaculate 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.
  • Isaac's Heart Isaac'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.
  • It Hurts It Hurts: Taking damage triggers a burst of tears and increases fire rate for the rest of the room.
  • IV Bag IV Bag: Allows Tainted Magdalene to trade her plentiful red health for coins.
    • When combined with Habit Habit, allows Tainted Magdalene to farm infinite coins by refilling her Yum Heart.
  • The Jar The Jar: The disappearing half red hearts can be stored in the Jar. When emptied out, the spawned hearts are permanent.
  • Kamikaze! Kamikaze!: Can be used to create explosions during the melee attack at no additional health cost.
  • Larynx Larynx: A charge is granted every time the melee attack is used.
  • Lost Cork Lost Cork: Significantly increases the size of the creep Tainted Magdalene frequently produces.
  • Maggy's Bow Maggy's Bow: Dropped half hearts heal for one full heart.
  • Magneto Magneto: Dropped half hearts are drawn to Tainted Magdalene, making them easier to retrieve.
  • Meat Cleaver Meat Cleaver: Multiplying enemies into weaker versions of themselves makes the melee ability more viable and generates more hearts to replenish HP.
  • Midas' Touch Midas' Touch: Petrifies and damages enemies on touch, and the coins spawned when they are killed further increase the touch damage.
  • Mom's Locket Mom's Locket: Dropped half hearts will be converted to full hearts.
  • Old Bandage Old Bandage / Shard of Glass Shard 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.
  • Pause Pause: The lethal hug ability does not cancel the paused state unlike firing tears.
  • Proptosis Proptosis: Increases melee attack damage greatly.
  • Serpent's Kiss Serpent's Kiss: Coming in contact with enemies will poison them. Poisoned enemies have a chance to drop black hearts.
  • Sharp Plug Sharp 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.
    • Sharp Plug Sharp Plug + Car Battery Car Battery: Allows for infinite red health regeneration.
    • Sharp Plug Sharp Plug + Virgo Virgo: Essentially allows an on-demand charge-free Book of Shadows Book of Shadows, which pairs greatly with Tainted Magdalene's hug attack.
    • Sharp Plug Sharp Plug + 9 Volt 9 Volt: Repeatedly pressing the activation key will allow for infinite health, invincibility frames and charge for other activated items.
  • Spirit Sword Spirit 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.
  • Taurus Taurus: Takes a while to charge, but provides invulnerability and lots of melee damage.
  • The Wafer The Wafer: Tainted Magdalene will only take half-heart damage from champion enemies and from all damage in Womb Womb/Utero Utero/Scarred Womb Scarred 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.
  • Unicorn Stump Unicorn Stump: Tainted Magdalene will still perform melee attacks while this is active.
  • Varicose Veins Varicose Veins: Taking damage triggers a burst of tears that deals very high damage.
  • Vengeful Spirit Vengeful Spirit: Tainted Magdalene's tendency to receive damage keeps the amount of spirits high.

Unfavorable Items[]

  • 2Spooky 2Spooky will make it more difficult to hit enemies since they will become feared upon getting near them.
  • Abaddon Abaddon will remove all red heart containers, replacing them with black hearts. The black hearts will slowly deplete over time and are hard to replenish.
  • Crown of Light Crown of Light is very rarely active, as red hearts are hard to keep full.
  • Dark Prince's Crown Dark Prince's Crown is frequently inactive, as builds with only one red heart are difficult to keep up and survive.
  • Dark Bum Dark 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.
  • Dead Cat Dead 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.
  • E. Coli E. Coli will take priority over the hug attack, meaning it will make the enemy turn into a poop, without providing the half red heart.
  • Mine Crafter Mine Crafter will instantly be exploded by Tainted Magdalene's hug, doing an explosions worth of damage.
  • Paschal Candle Paschal Candle is not active very often.
  • Mom's Heels Mom's Heels will deal contact damage to enemies, occasionally killing enemies before the hug attack does, without providing the half red heart.
  • Pluto Pluto is not recommended, because it will make taking hearts or any other pickup considerably more difficult.
  • Lost Soul Lost Soul is essentially useless as it will almost always die moments into the floor because of how Tainted Maggie plays.
  • Apple of Sodom Apple of Sodom will sometimes transform red hearts into blue spiders, limiting health regeneration.


  • 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 D20 D20 or GB Bug GB Bug will still flicker and disappear.
  • Eternal hearts, Rotten Hearts, and Bone Hearts cannot be depleted.
  • Having three or more Rotten Hearts in the first most set of heart containers won't drain, but will still count for the production of creep.
  • One Rotten Heart will provide two Rotten hearts upon pickup.
  • Half red hearts affected by theRune of Jera Rune of Jera will not disappear. It is unknown whether this behavior is intentional or not.


  • 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 abilities are similar to Lust Lust and Super Lust Super 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 Ultra Greedier Ultra 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.



Bug Bug! PC Battery pickups will charge both the currently held active spacebar item and Yum Heart. Charged keys however will charge the currently held active item, but not Yum Heart.
Bug Bug! PC 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.