The most enjoyable character builds in Baldur’s Gate 3

For when Faerûn needs a quick injection of chaos.
A female Paladin prepares to use Divine Smite to defeat a zombie in Baldur's Gate 3
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Baldur’s Gate 3 is full of optimizations and patterns that can completely break a character. Whether you enjoy gigantic damage numbers or random events occurring all around you, there are plenty of fun builds in this game.

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This list of fun BG3 builds is in no particular order but is more of a thought experiment since every build in the game is different.

The most fun character builds in Baldur’s Gate 3

Enjoyment of a character in BG3 comes from many different functions. But we’re going to avoid obvious choices. A level 12 Wizard can be plenty of fun, with a mixture of impressive spells, class abilities, and impact on fights. But anyone can make a level 12 wizard. We want to make something impactful on combats while being a bit out-of-the-blue at first glance. As such, here are eight builds that range from extremely useful out-of-combat, unkillable in-combat, and pure chaos.

Out-of-combat Assassin

This build is one of our favorite multiclass options. The goal of the build is to use a mix of the Assassin Rogue‘s starting-a-fight damage with the Gloom Stalker‘s additional first round utility to become a monster of the very first turn, and relatively lackluster afterward.

  • Important aspects of the build: Rogue Three (Assassin), Ranger Five (Gloom Stalker, Extra Attack)
  • Role in a party: Lockpicker, sneaky fella, lockdown
  • We only recommend this if your party has solid turn-by-turn combat, or enough burst damage to decimate a boss in one turn.
  • Is this build optimal? This is likely one of the stronger builds that the Rogue has to offer. But it’s arguable whether it is more important to have Thief’s extra bonus action for long-term combat encounters more than the high damage of a first round.
  • How late-game is it? Once you get to Assassin, you can pseudo-consistently one-shot basic enemies. The extra levels in Ranger are important for long-term combats.

The point of this build is to use a bow or other ranged attack to annihilate people before a fight even begins. With careful planning, you can easily pick off several weak enemies in combat while staying in stealth, out-of-sight. Then, you can dome someone tankier for critical damage to enter the fight and still get a first turn. With great game knowledge, this is an absurd build that abuses Larian’s system design beautifully.

Tip:

With this build you can try the highly ill-advised method of attempting to beat the game with nothing more than a single character. If you can annihilate your foes before actually engaging them in battle, who needs a party, right? You still might. Perhaps the better method is to send in your out-of-combat-assassin to see how many foes they can stealth kill while their party remains on standby to bail them out of if they’re spotted.

For boss fights, however, your damage and in-combat utility will be lower than a more dedicated Rogue build. You should lean on your party after you do your job.

Wild Magic chaos

The two symbols for Wild Magic Barbarian and Wild Magic Sorcerer in Baldur's Gate 3
You want chaos? We’ve got chaos. Screenshot by Dot Esports

A Barbarian tends to have the simple job of walking up and beating face. This Barbarian build will provide incredibly weird utility that makes them surprisingly useful.

  • Important aspects of the build: Wild Magic Barbarian Three/Wild Magic Sorcerer One
  • Role in a party: Cause complete and utter chaos during a fight, potentially making the fight significantly easier or devastatingly harder.
  • We only recommend this if you trust your party to be able to handle being lit on fire or slowed down during the first turn of combat. Or if you don’t mind loading a save every few fights.
  • Is this build optimal? Absolutely not. Not in any way, shape, or form.
  • How late-game is it? As soon as your Barbarian reaches level three, you’re online.

Wild Magic Barbarians and the Wild Magic Sorcerer share the feature that occasionally causes a Wild Magic event to occur. This event ranges from enhancing all nearby weapons with automatic critical hits to lighting everyone nearby on fire or even spawning an angry demon that fights everyone in range.

By adding the Wild Magic Barbarian to the Wild Magic Sorcerer, you have maximized your chance to cause utter chaos during a fight. Remember that the Sorcerer levels you put into your build will not be useful during a Rage. They are here to supplement your Barbarian through Surge of Chaos and when they aren’t raging through spells like Shield or Expeditious Retreat.

The Wild Magic Barbarian isn’t just their Wild Rage, though. Later on, they become an amazing support character for casters. They can resupply spell slots, give minor bonuses against spells, or even apply a guidance-like effect that also applies to attack rolls.

We recommend focusing more on your Barbarian half than your Sorcerer side since Rage is so all-consuming compared to your spellcasting. But investing more into Sorcerer can be helpful. If you get to level five, a non-raging Barbarian can Haste someone.

The S-Mighty Paladin

Have you ever wanted to Smite four times a turn? How about five? This build is a super late-game build that relies on little except for Charisma.

  • Important aspects of the build: Paladin Five (Oath of Vengeance/Oathbreaker) for smites and a feat, Warlock Five (The Fiend/Pact of the Blade) for Charisma to attack rolls and eldritch blast, Fighter Two for Action Surge, Polearm Master feat
  • Role in a party: Relatively high AC frontliner with okay health that deals a ton of damage in a single round if they are willing to spend resources.
  • We only recommend this if your party can support someone who shotguns all of their spells like it’s nothing. If the party likes to short rest, like a party with Monks or Warlocks, then it’s even better.
  • Is this build optimal? Likely not. We’ve invested a bit too much into once per Short Rest abilities. But the damage is hilarious.
  • How late-game is it? To get all five attacks in a round with full Charisma, you’ll actually need all 12 levels. You’ll also probably want the strong two-handed options that BG3 has at endgame to maximize your damage.

That being said, as of the current patch of Baldur’s Gate 3, it is possible that the Pact of the Blade is bugged and stacks with Extra Attack. That means your Paladin might be able to smite seven times in a turn via Action Surge unless Larian removes it in the large upcoming patch.

This build chews through spells like it’s nothing, but those spells translate directly into d8s of damage. If you like seeing huge radiant numbers fly out of your enemies, this is the build for you.

Lightning Charge Cleric

We think that the Tempest Cleric has a ton of value in the early and midgame, with the ability to instantly end encounters with max rolled Lightning and Thunder spells.

  • Important aspects of the build: Tempest Cleric Five (For Lightning Bolt), Lightning Charge gear
  • Role in a party: The Tempest Cleric performs well as a damage dealer with very easy access to pushing. By combining this with the Lightning Charge system, you can constantly have access to push.
  • We only recommend this if your party needs access to area of effect damage and doesn’t mind taking short rests every now and then.
  • Is this build optimal? There are likely better items for Cleric that are more useful in most situations. But if you want a damage-dealing cleric, you can’t do much better.
  • How late-game is it? Most Lightning Charge weapons, armor, and tools are accessible in act one and two.

The Tempest Cleric has some synergy with dealing consistent Lightning damage. Gear like the Protecty Sparkswall, Lifecharger, and the Jolty Vest provide utility by dealing Lightning damage on each attack.

If you are particularly devilish, a two-level dip into Fighter can provide Action Surge and a Fighting Style. Action Surging two max-rolled Destructive Waves (or even Shatter) can deal a massive amount of damage to many different targets in a single turn, without worrying about bad d6s or d8s ruining your turn.

Eldritch Blast crit-fishing Warlock

The icons for the Great Old One Warlock and Champion Fighter in Baldur's Gate 3.
17-20 Critical hit chance? Seems like someone’s looking for some truly heinous stuff. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Eldritch Blast is well-known for being an excellent source of damage for the Warlock. What if we can do much, much more with it? Like, make it the focus of our entire build?

  • Important aspects of the build: Fighter Three (Champion), Warlock Two (The Great Old One/Agonizing Blast), Potent Robe, Spell Sniper feat, Elixir of Viciousness
  • Role in a party: Devastate enemies with Eldritch Blast and Hex.
  • We only recommend this if you want your Warlock to lose access to utility spells through multiclassing and your party is in need of ranged damage.
  • Is this build optimal? It’s not far off. You certainly don’t need to dedicate a Warlock to critical hits to make them very, very strong. And because we’re digging for critical hits, we can trigger the Great Old One’s Mortal Reminder much more often.
  • How late-game is it? Getting critical hits online can take a little while. Since you need three levels in Fighter, two Levels in Warlock, and a Feat at minimum, you’ll be waiting for a bit. But you can get it okay by act two. And by act three, with the Potent Robe, your damage goes from neat and safe to quite high.

We recommend investing more into Warlock than Fighter. While Fighter can get you more feats and Extra Attack, our turns are almost entirely dedicated to Eldritch Blast, which needs no additional attack. Just cast Hex on targets and spam out Eldritch Blast with an 18-20 critical hit range, down to 17-20 with Elixir of Viciousness. You’re bound to land critical hits constantly. Which, with Hex active and an Action Surge in the tank, can turn into really big turns.

Flashing fists

The icons for the Baldur's Gate 3 Monk and the Thief subclass for Rogue.
Our fists will blot out the sun. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Monk is one of the few classes in the game to have too many bonus action options for the single one we get per turn. Thankfully, another class can help us out.

  • Important aspects of the build: Rogue Three (Thief) for the extra bonus action, Monk Eight (Any Subclass) for high unarmed damage and Flurry of Blows, Tavern Brawler
  • Role in a party: This Monk has decent stealth and out-of-combat utility thanks to Expertise, but its primary purpose is to do very high damage.
  • We only recommend this if you want a Monk that can swing their fists six times per turn, but loses some aspects of the rogue that is well-liked, like reliance on Dexterity. You will also want at least one other party member that can take a hit.
  • Is this build optimal? Unlikely, though it might be some of the highest damage a Monk can do. The loss of Ki points can mean that the Monk is even hungrier for short rests than before.
  • How late-game is it? This build really only turns on at level eight, where the Monk has extra attack and the Rogue has gotten to Thief. You’ll likely also want another feat or two for ability score progression: 20 Strength or additional Wisdom is nice.

With the help of Flurry of Blows or Martial Arts: Bonus Unarmed Strike, you can put a minimum of four and a maximum of six punches into a target. You can also Sneak Attack, though the sneak attack tends to be quite weak in comparison to a more dedicated Rogue build.

We’re more concerned with delivering those +10s to damage rolls from Tavern Brawler by boosting Strength as much as possible. If all six punches land, you’re getting around 6d8+60 damage per turn without the aid of unarmed damage gauntlets.

The world’s angriest Druid

Getting angry at those who defile nature is your duty. By combining Rages with the gigantic temporary hit point pools of the Druid, you can tank hits for an extremely long time.

  • Important aspects of the build: Barbarian Five (Wildheart) for Extra Attack and Bear Totem, Druid Seven (Circle of Spores or Circle of the Moon) for Temp HP while still wielding a weapon.
  • Role in a party: This is a frontliner character who utilizes Rage and Wild Shape to give themselves huge durability.
  • We only recommend this if you are okay with your druid losing late-game spell slots and spells known, as well as a Barbarian that loses many of its critical hit abilities.
  • Is this build optimal? While tanky, this Druid build loses so much utility in its neutered spell list that it can’t be readily called the best possible. You can also be caught in terrible situations where you are Raging and need to heal an ally, forcing you to consider canceling the rage early.
  • How late-game is it? While the Druid part of the build only really needs two levels to come alive, the Barbarian aspect of the build can take a while—three levels of Barbarian for the Circle of the Moon and five for Circle of Spores.

Both the Circle of Spores and Circle of the Moon specialize in spending a Short Rest resource to give you durability. Combine that with the Long Rest charges of Rage and you’ve got yourself a man of nature that’s can easily add 60 extra “health” that enemies have to chew through.

The Circle of the Moon requires less of the Barbarian to work well, though you definitely want Level Three. The Bear Totem build gives you resistance to everything except Psychic damage. So, you get the extra HP from your Wild Shape and the resistance from the Barbarian to make something difficult to pull out of hallways.

The Circle of Spores requires additional setup during the first turn of combat but allows the Barbarian to keep use of their weapons. A Druid with a Greatsword might not sound too scary on the surface, but one that is resistant to almost all damage, deals additional slashing and necrotic damage, and has a titanic temporary hit point pool? That’s not terrible.

Master of skills

The Bard hasn’t quite made it on the list, has it? Even as a support character, the Bard is still great fun. Let’s dominate the out-of-combat sector.

  • Important aspects of the build: Bard Six (College of Lore), Rogue Six (Thief), Actor Feat
  • Role in a party: If your party fails an ability check, this character has probably rolled a one. They can also provide passable buffs and healing to keep party members off the floor.
  • We only recommend this if your party can more or less handle combat on its own. You provide buffs and melee versatility but can handle almost any out-of-combat situation single-handedly.
  • Is this build optimal? Absolutely not. Your party should be able to work together to take on different skill challenges. This does, however, let your party completely disregard skills and go full-on murder-hobo. Your lackluster damage in combat can be compensated with the right mixture of buffs for allies.
  • How late-game is it? The Expertise part of this build is fully active by level nine.

The entire goal of this build is to be able to tackle most of the ability check challenges of BG3 by level nine. With Bard Three, Rogue Six, and Actor, you have a total of eight skills with Expertise—which doubles your proficiency modifier. Two of those skills must be Deception and Performance, but they both come up quite often. We suggest also getting Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Intimidation, Arcana, and Perception as Expertise skills. These skills are often rolled, so making sure you have a high rate of success on them tends to be a good idea.

If you want to go wild with this idea, Gnomes can get double proficiency in History. Just in case you didn’t have enough Expertise. The Lucky feat, one of our favorites, can help you dodge failed rolls a bit more easily.

Make sure to learn Enhance Ability if you really wanna make sure no ability check can escape your wrath. But, seriously, take some aggressive spells like Hold Person or Haste. You’re not doing that much damage to enemies with this build, so improve what others can do.

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Author
Jason Toro-McCue
Contributing writer. Perpetual Fighter main in every game that he is part of, Jason has written about video games and board games over several websites. From gathering trivia information about Street Fighter to deeply analyzing the differences between Lunar and Clockwork Soul Sorcerers, he strives to bring TTRPGs to the forefront through analysis and guides.