Baldur’s Gate 3 has done a fantastic job of adapting the 12 classes from the Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition Player’s Handbook into the video game medium. Each one feels true to its origins, and with a whole host of subclasses, each playthrough can be completely unique. But with so much choice, which are the best subclasses for each class?
Each class in Baldur’s Gate 3 has at least three subclasses to choose from, with some, such as cleric and wizard, having far more. Every subclass offers something a little different with its own strengths and weaknesses. Of course, while all the choices available work well, some of the subclasses are better than others under the same class.
12 Evocation Wizard
Wizards are perhaps the class most synonymous with DnD, and Larian Studios has done a great job of bringing them to Baldur’s Gate 3. The best choice for a wizard is the Evocation subclass, as it is the more offensive option reducing the cost of learning new powerful spells from spell scrolls of that school. Potent Cantrip at level six and Empowered Evocation at level 10 mean that enemies still take half damage from cantrips even if they succeed on saving throws, and the damage rolls are boosted by the character’s Intelligence modifier. Wizards are fantastically versatile, but Evocation wizards get a little extra to turn them into walking powerhouses.
11 Beast Master Ranger
Rangers in DnD have always felt a little lackluster, and luckily Baldur’s Gate 3 seems to have fixed that. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Beast Master ranger, which allows animal companions to be summoned, adding a fifth party member, which can be changed to suit the situation. These beast companions each have their own abilities, and their health increases as the ranger levels up. While Hunter and Gloom Stalker rangers are able to deal out more damage, the versatility of the Beast Master is unmatched, and adding one extra party member in combat can shift the action economy in the party’s favor in many situations.
10 Way Of The Shadow Monk
Monks are more than a little broken in DnD, but Larian has reworked the class to create more utility than its tabletop counterpart. Anyone wanting to have the best monk build in Baldur’s Gate 3 should choose Way of the Shadow, which effectively turns the character into a ninja, leaping from the shadows to quickly and efficiently take down enemies. Way of the Shadow monks get the amazingly useful spells silence and pass without trace at level three, then later at level six, can teleport through shadow and dim light to control the battlefield with Shadow Step.
9 Battle Master Fighter
Fighters are the most versatile martial class in DnD, and the same applies to Baldur’s Gate 3. The ultimate expression of that versatility is the Battle Master subclass that allows multiple Battle Maneuvers to be chosen that can be used in either ranged or melee combat. At level three first, three can be chosen, but by level 11, Battle Master will have seven Battle Maneuvers at their disposal. From disarming enemies to tripping them to bolstering allies with hit points, Battle Masters are forces to be reckoned with.
8 Berserker Barbarian
Barbarians are the tanks of Baldur’s Gate 3 designed to not only deal out damage but take it too. The key to this is their Rage ability which not only gives them resistance to non-magical damage but also grants extra damage bonuses to the barbarian. Making the most out of Rage is the Berserker barbarian which has reworked and improved the Berserker Frenzy ability from DnD. With Frenzy, barbarians now have Frenzied Strike and Enraged Throw, which give an extra attack as a bonus action and allow creatures or items to be thrown at targets, respectively. All of this makes Berserkers not only incredibly effective in battle but tons of fun to play.
7 The Great Old One Warlock
Warlocks are an underrated class, as while they might not get as many spell slots as other spellcasters, they do get to replenish them on a short rest, making them much more useful. for subclasses, The Great Old One is the best choice as it grants two extra spells and the passive ability Mortal Reminder. Mortal Reminder makes nearby enemies frightened of the warlock whenever they land a critical hit on a target, meaning that they will have disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls and cannot move closer to the warlock. Later, at level six, The Great Old One warlock gets Entropic Ward that allows the warlock to impose disadvantage on attack rolls against them, letting this warlock subclass control combat in Baldur’s Gate 3.
6 Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer
Sorcerers in DnD and Baldur’s Gate 3 are those with innate magic. Unlike wizards who have to carefully study to get their powers or warlocks who have pacts with powerful entities, a sorcerer’s power comes from within. On that note, the best sorcerer subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the Draconic Bloodline. Here the character’s heritage from various dragons influences which elemental-based spell they are given and what resistances they have. Which Draconic Ancestry is chosen will also boost the damage of spells for that particular element, for example, a bronze dragon Draconic Bloodline sorcerer will do more damage with lightning based spells, whereas a red dragon is more effective with fire. Draconic Bloodline sorcerers also get a boost to hit points and AC, making them a little less squishy than their Wild Magic or Storm Sorcery counterparts.
5 Circle Of The Moon Druid
The defining feature of playing as a druid in DnD and Baldur’s Gate 3 is Wild Shape, so the most obvious choice for a druid subclass is Circle of the Moon. This subclass lets the character Wild Shape as a bonus action and also grants much better Wild Shape options. This lets Circle of the Moon druids act as both support and tanks for the party switching between Wild Shape to attack enemies and spell casting to support companions. Druids are able to Wild Shape twice per short rest, which makes the ability much more useful than its DnD version, and once the druid reaches level 10, elemental myrmidons are added, further expanding the damage that can be dealt.
4 Thief Rogue
Rogues are based in stealth, attacking from the shadows to do massive amounts of Sneak Attack damage. To make the most out of this, the best subclass for a rogue in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the Thief, as at level three, it grants the feature Fast Hands, giving the rogue an extra bonus action. This is great for an extra attack in combat, hiding, or disengaging from a powerful opponent. Supreme Sneak at level nine lets the rogue become invisible, further adding to the chance of getting Sneak Attack damage while staying out of harm’s way.
3 Life Domain Cleric
When thinking of clerics, most will probably imagine the traditional fantasy healer, but clerics offer a little more than that in Baldur’s Gate 3. With a number of subclasses rivaling the wizard, there is so much choice it’s almost overwhelming. However, for those looking to keep their party up during the challenging combat encounters of Baldur’s Gate 3, then the Life Domain cleric is the best choice. This subclass sacrifices damage output in favor of powerful buffs and extra healing options while also giving the cleric a little extra protection with heavy armor proficiency.
2 Oath Of Vengeance Paladin
The noble paladin is one of the strongest classes in Baldur’s Gate 3, with four subclasses currently available. Each subclass is called an Oath which acts as both a way of implementing different mechanics and also influencing roleplay, with the fourth subclass being if the paladin has broken their Oath. Of all the options available initially, Oath of Vengeance is far and away the most powerful paladin subclass. Inquisitor’s Might at level one lets weapons deal extra radiant damage, while Abjure Enemy frightens enemies, giving them disadvantage. Oath of Vengeance paladin also gets access to some really useful and powerful spells such as bane, misty step, and haste, letting the paladin control the battlefield while dealing out heavy amounts of damage.
1 College Of Lore Bard
Finally, bards are an often overlooked class, but in Baldur’s Gate 3, they have lots of gameplay versatility as their abilities are not only great in combat but super powerful out of combat too. There are currently three bard Colleges to choose from at level three, and of these, the College of Lore is the best all-round choice. With Cutting Words, the bard can impose a 1d6 penalty to a target’s attack rolls, ability checks, and even their damage. The College of Lore also gives three extra proficiencies, further increasing the bard’s ability scores, and since the main character is usually the one interacting with NPCs and performing skill checks in Baldur’s Gate 3, these really come in handy all throughout the game.
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