While I’ve never been heavily invested in TTRPGs, I found myself persuaded into giving DND 5e a go with a group of friends, and have played through a few campaigns and one-shot stories over the last couple of years. Along the way, I’ve found myself favoring stealthy melee classes, the Rogue and Fighter in particular – often multiclassing them together in my favorite melee-magic combination of Arcane Trickster + Eldritch Knight.
Because I’m set in my ways, this is the build I immediately decided to recreate with my Mephistopheles Tiefling girl in Baldur’s Gate 3, kicking off with Rogue levels, and later taking a dip into Fighter. Upon selecting my build, I was excited to reach Level 3 and pick my first Spells and Cantrips, as I tend to have a few favorites from 5e that I was already planning to use and was eager to see how they had been edited to work efficiently in BG3.
Yes, I’m talking about two Cantrips in particular – Booming Blade and Green Flame Blade. These Cantrips bring incredible value to an Arcane Trickster or Eldritch Knight build, allowing you to make a Melee Attack as part of your Action, as well as trigger a bonus effect.
When combined with the Rogue’s Sneak Attack, Booming Blade and/or Green Flame Blade can be incredibly efficient for stacking extra damage – especially as they’re Cantrip abilities, meaning you can cast them on every round of combat without the worry of expending your scarce Arcane Trickster Spell Slots. Take a look at them in more detail for yourself below:
|Cantrip Name||Description||Action Type|
|Booming Blade||You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects and then becomes sheathed in booming energy until the start of your next turn. If the target willingly moves 5 feet or more before then, the target takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends.
At Higher Levels. At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 thunder damage to the target on a hit, and the damage the target takes for moving increases to 2d8. Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level (2d8 and 3d8) and again at 17th level (3d8 and 4d8).
|Cantrip Name||Description||Action Type|
|Green Flame Blade||You brandish the weapon used in the spell’s casting and make a melee attack with it against one creature within 5 feet of you. On a hit, the target suffers the weapon attack’s normal effects, and you can cause green fire to leap from the target to a different creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of it. The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier.
At Higher Levels. At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 fire damage to the target on a hit, and the fire damage to the second creature increases to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level (2d8 and 2d8) and 17th level (3d8 and 3d8).
In previous experiences, I’ve had quite a bite of fun Casting Booming Blade, making my attack, and then Cunning Action Disengage to try and taunt the enemy into chasing me and taking that extra Thunder Damage on movement. Green Flame Blade, on the other hand, is great for hitting a target and dealing additional Fire Damage to another enemy within 5 feet, allowing me to strike for a chunk of damage on a healthier opponent, and use the Fire Damage to chip at or kill off low HP targets.
I was so excited to have fun with this all over again (and cause some absolute mayhem) through the actions of my Chaotic Evil Tiefling… Until I wasn’t. Upon hitting the third level, taking the Arcane Trickster Subclass, and opening the Spell and Cantrip selection menu, I immediately began scanning for my favorite options, only to discover that they were completely missing from the list.
Confused on whether they’d restricted access at Level 3, or perhaps restrained these Cantrips from the Arcane Trickster Spell Compatability for some bizarre reason, I took to a quick Google search and was quickly met with both the fact stating that my beloved melee Cantrips are absent from the game, as well as numerous complaint topics and forum posts from other players in the same situation.
I can understand that not every spell would make it into the game, but damn. I was very much looking forward to seeing the animations and Spellcasting voice lines for these two Cantrips. After all, they’re held in high regard as two of the best melee Cantrips in DND 5e, so it was disappointing to see them excluded. I’ve also seen some arguments that they’re unnecessary as they’re too overpowered in DND 5e, and I can somewhat understand these opinions. However, it would have been nice to see them included – even if it was a heavily altered version to benefit the overall balance of BG3.
Melee Cantrips such as Booming Blade and Green Flame Blade give melee magic users so much more versatility to their options in combat and enable these builds to shine and make the most of what they’re there to do – blast magic and stab people. Thankfully, for those of you who are desperate to run Booming Blade and/or Green Flame Blade on your character build in Baldur’s Gate 3, there is one way you can achieve this, which is through the download and installation of mods.
While I’ve decided to refrain from modding my game for my initial playthrough and just attempting to find some decent substitutes for strong Melee Magic damage, both Booming Blade, Green Flame Blade, and many others are available to download as mods. I think I’ll have to circle back around to this once I’m done with my playthrough and perhaps complete a modded run to follow. There are just too many cool additional features to explore through these add-ons.
If you’re on the fence about adding these files to your game, then you’ll also be glad to know that Larian Studios is perfectly fine with, and even encourage tinkering with mods in BG3. Arcane Tricksters and Eldritch Knights, unite! Thanks to these nifty little additions, we’re back in business.
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