Astarion is one of the main companions in Baldur's Gate 3
Image via Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Astarion build in BG3

If you use him properly, you can dominate.

Astarion is one of the first couple of potential companions in Baldur’s Gate 3 that players get the chance to add to their party. As a rogue, the best BG3 Astarian build requires relatively low maintenance when it comes to rests, making him an easy character to bring along with you on your journey.

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You can keep track of your progress with him as a character through the questline “The Pale Elf,” and the Charlatan High Elf Rogue comes with a relatively cookie-cutter set of abilities scores that make it easy to know what to prioritize as far.

However, as you level him, you’ll have some decisions to make regarding feats and subclass that will play a major role in how smoothly your combat sequences go, so we’ve got you covered here with the best build options for Astarion in BG3.

All Astarion’s class features in BG3, explained

Man leaning towards sleeping woman in BG3
Astarion is a bit of an oddball. Image via Larian Studios

As a rogue that you approach very early on in the game, Astarion shouldn’t have a subclass by the time you get to him. He can be found around the Ravaged Beach after the Nautiloid crashes. You’ll probably stumble across him around the same time you find other companions like Shadowheart, Gale, and Lae’zel.

His primary ability is Dexterity, which starts at 17, and he’ll come equipped with 14 Constitution, 13 Intelligence, 13 Wisdom, 10 Charisma, and eight Strength. Don’t be fooled, though; despite his average Charisma score, he is proficient in Deception, Performance, and Persuasion.

With expertise in Sleight of Hand and Stealth, Astarion can be used to break away from the group at times and sneakily investigate enemies and their camps. He will also be your best tool for breaking into any locked chests you come across along your adventure.

In combat, Astarion uses Sneak Attack, a unique damaging mechanic that allows him to deal extra damage when he has advantage to attack an enemy—or as long as an ally is nearby. This once-per-turn ability lets him pump up the damage of Daggers or Rapiers by a significant amount. Once he reaches level two, he can hide or run as a bonus action, more easily setting up advantage on attacks.

Should you let Astarion drink your blood in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Astarion’s bloodsucking ways can be both a benefit and a drawback to your BG3 experience, but to put it simply, the choice is up to your character. Letting him bite you improves your reputation with him, but it also comes at a cost.

He’s not lying when he says that it will make him more powerful with plus-ones to most d20 rolls, but it also puts a debuff on your character. It can even lead to your death if you’re not careful. As far as how it affects his build, the buff is negligible enough that I don’t think it’s worthwhile, especially considering the fact that it debuffs your character in the process.

With care, and liberal use of Lay on Hands or Lesser Restoration, you can keep the debuff off of you. However, this does not prevent your eventual death and a wasted Revivify scroll. Watch that bloodwork.

Best subclass for Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3

I highly recommend running Astarion as a Thief if you include him in your group composition. The Subclass gives him an extra bonus action starting at level three with the feature Fast Hands and the much less impressive resistance to falling damage.

This allows you to use any combination of Disengage, Hide, popping down potions, or swinging an off-hand weapon during a turn. I find myself regularly sneaking up on enemies for a fat sneak attack and then running away to find stealth again. You can rinse and repeat that strategy to a lot of success.

I even managed to take out an entire room of 10 or more goblins by myself as an ungrouped Rogue by utilizing high ground and hiding effectively. This strategy is extraordinarily overpowered, and if used the right way, Astarion can solo entire packs of enemies while the rest of your team just hangs out in a safe space away from combat.

The other two subclasses of Arcane Trickster and Assassin each have very good potency. Arcane Trickster grants him some spell slots, though he doesn’t have quite enough levels to grow into a powerful Wizard. His spell list is also quite limited: He’s a one-third caster with this archetype, getting a handful of second-level spell slots by endgame.

Assassin plays much more into the hit-and-run playstyle described above. However, after the first turn, Assassin runs out of juice and basically loses all power. Thief’s extra bonus action is always strong, even during the first turn of combat.

Best Ability Scores for Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3

The vampire spawn Astarion stands reading a book in his red tent in BG3. He stands next to a training dummy and various goods that are scattered about his feet.
He has his heart in the right place, but maybe not his ability score points. Screenshot via Dot Esports.

Astarion begins play with passable ability scores, but many stats that he just doesn’t care about. The best ability score spread looks a bit like this.

  • Strength Eight
  • Dexterity 16
  • Constitution 16
  • Intelligence Eight
  • Wisdom 15
  • Charisma 10

Astarion cares the most about Dexterity and Constitution. Dexterity is for his ranged and melee attacks, which are his bread and butter. You want to maximize the chance that you hit and maximize the damage that you can deal.

Constitution is excellent for a middling health class like Rogue that can find itself in melee combat. You need health for all characters, of course. But, Astarion will be in dangerous situations—they’re part of his story, even—so granting him the health he needs to survive is important.

You will never need Strength for Astarion, but his three mental stats are build-dependent. Intelligence works if you want Astarion to be an Arcane Trickster or Wizard multiclass. Charisma is best if you are considering a Bard multiclass or want Astarion to be your primary talker.

If you have no magical plans for him, Wisdom is the strongest third ability score for Astarion. The game will hammer him with Hold Persons like nobody’s business. Maximize his chance for survival with a high Wisdom score.

Best feats for Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3

All characters earn a feat at levels four, eight, and 12, but Rogues get a bonus feat at level 10—assuming you don’t multiclass. There are a plethora of options, and it can be overwhelming to sift through. But the fact of the matter is that the decision is relatively simple: You want to boost your Ability Score.

Starting out by selecting Ability Improvement is the best course of action early on as you get Astarion’s Dexterity up to 20. After that, you can consider other options. I like Sharpshooter because it helps you execute powerful ranged attacks as you weave in and out of stealth during combat.

Mobile is another good option because it prevents you from provoking opportunity attacks. This makes it so you never have to use a bonus action to run out of line-of-sight and re-stealth during combat. This can be huge if you’re playing Assassin, but it’ll also be a boon for a Thief build as well.

Other alternatives, especially if you take our Ability Score setup above, are Tough and Resilient (Wisdom). Tough improves Astarion’s shaky durability by 24 hit points, which is basically a free Fireball he can tank. 123 HP is much more impressive than 99.

Resilient (Wisdom) is great for his ability to shake off mental effects so he’s constantly in the thick of combat. This also brings his Wisdom to a respectable 16, which can be nice for Ranger multiclasses.

  • Level four – Ability Improvement: Add both points to Dexterity.
  • Level eight – Ability Improvement: Make sure Dexterity is at 20 and add points to Constitution or Intelligence.
  • Level 10 – Sharpshooter, Mobile
  • Level 12 – Tough, Resilient

Best items for Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3

Like many Rogues, Astarion benefits most from high-powered Finesse weapons, strong bows, and armor that’ll keep him alive on the frontlines.

  • Bloodthirst: A legendary Dagger which improves Astarion’s critical hit rate and induce vulnerability to piercing damage on hit.
    • Found during Act Three on Orin’s corpse.
  • Crimson Mischief: Adds extra damage to off-hand attacks and helps to execute enemies more efficiently.
    • Also found by killing Orin. You’re going to be scrambling for dinky shortswords for a while, but this pair is killer on the Pale Elf.
  • The Dead Shot: Improves critical hit chance while doubling Astarion’s bonus on ranged attacks.
    • Fytz the Firecracker sells this for an egregious amount of money. But it’s still very much worth it.
  • Elegant Studded Leather: An impressive 14 base Armor Class with the ability to cast Shield and advantage for stealth. It also improves initiative, perfect for a Rogue.
    • This is a reward for opening the vault in the Counting House. Rakath Glitterbeard has it.
  • Mask of Soul Perception: A great helmet that gives a plus-two flat to attack rolls, initiative, and perception checks.
    • The Gilded Chest in Devil’s Fee has this.
  • Evasive Shoes: Something that everyone wants, but Astarion wants a lot. Boosts Acrobatics and AC.
    • Sold by Mattis in Last Light Inn.
  • Winkling Gloves: Just boosts Sleight of Hand and your attack rolls by one. Which is still quite great.
    • Loot it off of Zanner Toobin. You might want to make sure he dies during the “Disable the Steel Watch” quest.
  • Shade-Slayer Cloak: When hiding, reduces your Crit threshold by one. Again.
    • It’s sold by Sticky Dondo in the Guilds Hall.

Best Astarion build in Baldur’s Gate 3

The elf Astarion readies a ranged sneak attack on a tree-like being in BG3. Wyll, the Warlock, stands between them with a flaming greatsword while a magical weapon floats nearby.
Astarion can be a sneaky Rogue, but he can and should be just as effective in a straightforward brawl. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Here is what your Astarion will look like with his build all set up.

OneSneak Attack: 1d6
Expertise: Sleight of Hand, Stealth
TwoCunning Actions: Dash, Disengage, Hide
ThreeSubclass: Thief
Thief Feature: Fast Hands
Thief Feature: Second-Story Work
Sneak Attack: 2d6
FourFeat: Ability Score Improvement (18 Dexterity)
FiveSneak Attack: 3d6
Uncanny Dodge
SixExpertise: Deception, Persuasion
SevenSneak Attack: 4d6
EightFeat: Ability Score Improvement (20 Dexterity)
NineThief Feature: Supreme Sneak
Sneak Attack: 5d6
10Feat: Sharpshooter
11Reliable Talent
Sneak Attack: 6d6
12Feat: Tough

The Thief Astarion build utilizes the bonus action Hide to consistently be hidden from foes. Then, with the multiple critical hit bonuses he’s accumulated, he tries to critically hit foes using Sneak Attack for massive damage.

Be sure to not use the Sneak Attack action while in combat. Instead, use the Sneak Attack reaction so you can not waste your opportunities. The Sneak Attack actions are used out-of-combat to make sure enemies take all the damage at the same time.

With his multiple bonuses to attack rolls from his magical items and advantage on Sneak Attack, he’s fairly likely to hit. So, toggle Sharpshooter for a huge boost in individual damage. This strategy is especially effective if you decide to multiclass Astarion into Fighter or Ranger, classes with access to Extra Attack and Fighting Styles that do more beyond the first sneaky strike.

Astarion works well alone but works better with friends. A Hasted Astarion might not do as much individual damage as a Warlock or Paladin, but he makes up for it with consistency. The rare chance that he misses a Sneak Attack is a gigantic problem, so consider giving him Potions of Speed to catch turns where he’d otherwise miss out on huge damage.

You’ll want to set him up for success, so be sure he’s the proud owner of a handful of your Potions of Invisibility. Astarion can and will find himself outmatched if left alone, but even brief invisibility can quickly turn the tides.

A good Astarion is nothing without a party. He does great alongside a tanky frontliner like Karlach or Lae’zel, a healer like Shadowheart, and a magic problem-solver like Gale. Astarion is great damage and a fantastic Elven lockpick, but he still needs some magical support for late-game brawls and someone who can walk at enemies during longer encounters.

Have fun with the Pale Elf—His quick wit and sharp lines will make him a must-have, even while he tears entire encounters in half. That’s what a BG3 Astarion build does when optimized for mid and late game.

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Max Miceli
Senior Staff Writer. Max graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism and political science degree in 2015. He previously worked for The Esports Observer covering the streaming industry before joining Dot where he now helps with Overwatch 2 coverage.
Jason Toro-McCue
Contributing writer and member of the RPG beat. Professional writer of five years for sites and apps, including Nerds + Scoundrels and BigBrain. D&D and TTRPG fanatic, perpetual Fighter main in every game he plays.