Best Gloomstalker Assassin Build - 6 Attacks per Turn

Best Gloomstalker Assassin Build - 6 Attacks per Turn - Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)

By zanuffas
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The Best Gloomstalker Assassin build for Baldur's Gate 3 is a multiclass of ranger and rogue. Use shadows to your advantage and surprise enemies in combat. Utilize this to eliminate important targets and disappear again into the shadows.

Gloomstalker Assassin Build

The ultimate assassin that merges two killer classes allowing for ultimate stealth gameplay. This is available thanks to multiclassing mechanic in Baldur's Gate 3. The main classes are Rogue and Ranger, which make up the bulk of stealth mechanics.

The third class is Fighter with 3 levels of investment. It gives access to the Battlemaster subclass and Action Surge icon action bg3Action Surge. It is by far the most popular action in the game that will give an action boost on the first turn when you want to deal as much damage as possible.

So your first turn will be where you can decide which enemies are removed with plenty of attacks. Once you eliminate key targets use Umbral Shroud icon action bg3Umbral Shroud​ from Gloom Stalker to disappear into shadows, leaving combat encounter and breaking enemy AI.

Here is what the build can do during one surprise round:

The build with Sleight of Hand proficiency can also be effective at Pickpocketing and leaving the merchants dry of their merchandise. This should be easy as we will have the highest proficiency in Sleight of Hand.

Build Disclaimer - Assassin vs Thief, and weapon types

This is a very powerful build if used correctly. Its main power comes from being able to get a Surprise round. However, this is a problem in disguise. This will lead to missed dialogues and some lost quests, as NPCs get attacked before initiating dialogue.

If you care about these things, or you are doing a first playthrough you can go for Thief instead of Assassin. I also recommend taking a look at Dual Crossbow Build, which is very similar but uses the Thief subclass.

Another aspect is Dual Wielding vs Ranged. The build will be more powerful when using ranged weapons, like Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow. However, I will leave some options for dual wielding, as personally, it is much cooler for me. Here are some of its capabilities:

So I leave the final decision for you!

Leveling Overview

Here is a concise table with all the main picks during your leveling progression. For more detailed reasoning, I go further in the article. Also, do not forget to check the recommended gear as it is crucial.

Level Class Selection
1 Ranger 1 STR - 10, DEX - 17, CON - 16, INT - 8, WIS - 14, CHA - 8
Skills: Stealth, Sleight of Hand, Perception, Survival, Athletics
Favoured Enemy: Keeper of the Veil icon passive feature bg3Keeper of the Veil​ or Bounty Hunter icon passive feature bg3Bounty Hunter
Natural Explorer: Urban Tracker icon passive feature bg3Urban Tracker
2 Ranger 2 Spells: Hunter's Mark icon action bg3Hunter's Mark, Longstrider icon action bg3Longstrider
Fighting Style: Two-Weapon Fighting icon passive feature bg3Two-Weapon Fighting​ or Archery icon passive feature bg3Archery
Prepared Spells: Create or Destroy Water icon action bg3Create or Destroy Water
3 Ranger 3 Spells: Ensnaring Strike (Ranged) icon action bg3Ensnaring Strike (Ranged)
Subclass: Gloom Stalker
4 Ranger 4 Feat: Sharpshooter: All In icon passive feature bg3Sharpshooter: All In​ or Dual Wielder icon passive feature bg3Dual Wielder​ or Ability Improvement +2 Dexterity
5 Ranger 5
Spells: Pass Without Trace icon action bg3Pass Without Trace
6 Rogue 1 Skills: Sleight of Hand, Stealth, any
7 Rogue 2 -
8 Rogue 3 Subclass: Assassin
9 Rogue 4 Feat: Ability Improvement +2 Dexterity
10 Fighter 1 Fighting Style: Defence icon passive feature bg3Defence
11 Fighter 2 -
12 Fighter 3 Subclass: Battle Master
Manoeuvre: Menacing Attack icon passive feature bg3Menacing Attack, Disarming Attack icon passive feature bg3Disarming Attack, Trip Attack icon passive feature bg3Trip Attack

Starting the Game - Level 1

Let's start with the early game. I would explore the best Races, Abilities, and Skills for the Assassin Gloomstalker build. Some of these choices are very impactful as you cannot respec them.

Races

Picking a race provides various benefits - abilities, dialogue options, looks, etc. For this build, I list below the best options in my opinion that allow you to maximize the effectiveness of the Assassin Gloomstalker.

If you are having difficulties making a choice, pick whatever you prefer in terms of looks or roleplay. "The perfect race pick" matters in extreme min-maxing cases.
Race Features Description
dwarf bg3Dwarf Duergar
  • Dwarven Combat Training icon passive feature bg3Dwarven Combat Training
  • Superior Darkvision icon passive feature bg3Superior Darkvision
  • Dwarven Resilience icon passive feature bg3Dwarven Resilience
  • Duergar Resilience icon passive feature bg3Duergar Resilience
I think this is the best choice. What makes it special is that at level 5 Duergar obtains Invisibility icon action bg3Invisibility, which allows you to enter combat, however, you want.
Halfling_Lightfoot Baldur's Gate 3Lightfoot Halfling This race option makes for the perfect Assassin build. You have bonuses to stealth and also can avoid rolls of 1 with Lucky. The only downside is slower movement speed, resulting in less distance traveled due to Halfling's size.
Githyanki Baldur's Gate 3Githyanki Githyanki is another great race as they get Misty Step at level 5. This helps in combat as you can reach the best positions and vantage points before combat engagement. Moreover, you get Astral Knowledge that allows increasing perception or dexterity for exploration and pickpocketing
Half-Elf_WoodHalf-Elf Baldur's Gate 3Wood Half-Elf A safe choice that has Dark Vision and better movement speed compared to others
Gnome_Deep Baldur's Gate 3Deep Gnome A good choice that gets bonuses to stealth checks. Keep in mind that they have shorter movement distances, but bonuses to saving throws are very valuable.

Class

The build relies on two classes - Rogue and Ranger. However, I would recommend starting with a Ranger followed by Rogue. The goal is to get access to Extra AttackExtra Attack​ as soon as possible as this in theory doubles the damage that the build can do.

Overview
ranger Baldur's Gate 3Ranger
Rangers are unrivaled scouts and trackers, honing a deep connection with nature in order to hunt their favoured prey.

Favoured Enemy

This is a set of abilities unique to the Ranger class. Based on your selection you can get new spells or unique effects against specific enemy types. Generally, anything works here based on your roleplaying choices. I would choose:

Passive Feature Description
Keeper of the VeilKeeper of the Veil You get a spell - Protection from Evil and Good. It does not use any spell slot. it is very useful in some encounters, just don't forget to activate it.
Bounty HunterBounty Hunter Useful if you plan on using the Ensnaring Strike spell. Once you hit enemies with it they get a Disadvantage on Saving Throw

Natural Explorer

You also get these nature-related boons for the Ranger. These are based on the class experience in nature and how it can survive in different conditions. None of these provide any game-breaking bonuses so pick what you prefer. Choose one of the below:

Styles Description
Urban TrackerUrban Tracker This will probably be your main "rogue" in the group that picks locks or pickpockets. Due to this, I recommend this option.
Wasteland Wanderer: Fire icon passive feature bg3Wasteland Wanderer: Fire Fire spells are abundant throughout the game. Getting resistance to them will give a big survivability boost.
Beast TamerBeast Tamer Allows summoning a Familiar. They take animal forms and have unique effects both in combat and outside. You can use them for scouting or debilitating effects like blindness.

Background

Backgrounds are mostly for role-playing and you can pick whatever you prefer. If you want to optimize, then it would be good to pick backgrounds that are based on your ability points of Dexterity and Wisdom.

Background Skills Description
Urchin Sleight of Hand
Stealth
The most optimal pick, as it gives 2 relevant skill proficiencies that the build will be using
Criminal Deception
Stealth
If you want access to some dialogue improvements, and be proficient at stealth.
Charlatan Deception
Sleight of Hand
Another option, giving Deception proficiency and Sleight of Hand for pickpocketing, disarming, and lockpicking.

Abilities

Now let's take a look at the abilities of the Gloom Stalker Assassin build. Correct allocation will allow you to maximize the early gameplay and get good modifier bonuses.

Ability Value Description
strengthStrength 10 It's not important for us, just enough to not get a penalty from Strength Saving Throws.
dexterityproficient_ability Baldur's Gate 3Dexterity 17 (15+2) This is your main ability that determines the damage, saving throw effectiveness, ability checks, and initiative. You will want to maximize it as early as you can. If you do not plan to use Aunt Ethiel Hair, this can be reduced to 16, and use two points for Strength, or Charisma.
constitution bg3Constitution 16 (15+1) This ability will determine your health pool and how effective you are at saving throws for the Constitution. Generally, this will improve your survivability.
intelligenceIntelligence 8 It's not important for the build.
wisdomWisdom 14 Wisdom will improve our Perception rolls and will be used for Spellcasting as a ranger (if you decide to use spells). Otherwise, it is good to have for Saving Throws against spells.
charismaCharisma 8 Charisma is being gimped, however, if you are playing the main character you may want to increase it to 10, so take a few points either from Wisdom or Constitution.

Skills and Expertise

Overall, the skills should be impacted by your roleplaying and background decisions. However, you would still want those that will give you the best benefits. My recommendations are to pick those at which you have a high ability modifier and these are Wisdom and Dexterity:

  • Acrobatics
  • Stealth
  • Sleight of Hand
  • Perception
  • Survival
  • Insight
  • Medicine

Leveling Progression - Level 2-12

Here is the detailed progression for the build to get you started. You can use it as a guideline because early games can be daunting and overwhelming. Later on, once you get the feel for the class you can start picking your options

Level 2

At level 2 Ranger we get some sweet bonuses. Probably the strangest one is Spells. That is right, our Assassin builds will have spells that can be used if the situation arises. They will not be super effective as we will not have high Wisdom ability.

Spells

You will have a choice of two spells to select from the list. Here are the best ones that you can pick, choose two:

Spell Description
Longstrider icon action bg3Longstrider Increases your movement speed allowing you to move longer distances each turn. It resets each Long Rest, so can be used on all encounters. I think it is especially relevant if you are going for Melee Dual Wielding.
Hunter's Mark icon action bg3Hunter's Mark Another good spell in the Ranger arsenal for Assassin. After the initial attack, you will lose a lot of damage bonuses. Hunter's Mark can be used to sustain the damage being done over longer combat encounters.
Fog Cloud icon action bg3Fog Cloud Can be situationally useful in some encounters or even pickpocketing. I recommend taking it if you do not need Longstrider icon action bg3Longstrider.

Fighting Style

You get also to select a preferred Fighting Style. This will give improvements to damage or attack rolls for your selected weapon types. Based on what I mentioned there are two choices:

Styles Description
ArcheryArchery Pick this one if you are going with the Ranged Weapons. It will ensure a better hit chance especially once you activate Sharpshooter: All In icon passive feature bg3Sharpshooter: All In.
Two-Weapon FightingTwo-Weapon Fighting With this, you will get the Dexterity ability modifier bonus to be added to offhand weapons. So with 16 dexterity, you will get a bonus of 3 damage in your offhand. Pick this for dual-wielding.

Level 3

We reach a big milestone and finally, can choose the Ranger subclass. For our theme, the main choice is Gloom Stalker. Similar to Assassins they ambush and attack their foes from shadows and gain very good features. This subclass will be a gamechanger where you can instantly take out at least one enemy at the start of the combat

Overview
gloom stalkerGloom Stalker
Features
Dread AmbusherDread Ambusher You specialize in taking out foes swiftly and ruthlessly
You gain a +3 bonus to initiative.
On the first turn of combat, your movement speed increases by 3m, and you can make an attack that deals an additional 1d8 damage.
Superior DarkvisionSuperior Darkvision This creature can see in the dark within 24m.
Dread Ambusher: Hide icon action bg3Dread Ambusher: Hide Hide from enemies by succeeding Stealth checks. Stick to the dark and avoid enemy sightlines. Attacking or casting a spell will reveal your location.
Umbral Shroud icon action bg3Umbral Shroud This is an extremely valuable action as you can make yourself invisible at will. This way you can avoid enemies and hide from them to escape combat.
Disguise Self icon action bg3Disguise Self You can turn in any race. Nothing special, but can open some dialogue and role-playing options.

Spells

Because we only still have level 1 spells, take anything that seems valuable or you did not take the previous level up. My choice would be:

Spell Description
Ensnaring Strike (Ranged) icon action bg3Ensnaring Strike (Ranged) A mandatory option if you have taken the Bounty Hunter feature from "Favoured Enemy" as otherwise the bonus is wasted. It can ensnare a target and then deal bonus damage each turn.
Enhance Leap icon action bg3Enhance Leap As this is a ritual spell it does not cost a spell slot outside of combat. You can use it to get behind enemy positions or reach difficult places.

Replace Spell

For replacing, I don't think it is worth it as level 2 spells are not yet ready

Level 4

We continue progressing with Ranger. This level is the first time we will obtain a Feat, which was quite delayed due to our multiclassing choice.

Replace Spell

Nothing to replace yet in my opinion, unless you are not using some action and want to try something else.

Feat

We finally got the first one. I see three main contenders for the Feats:

Feat Description
Sharpshooter: All InSharpshooter: All In This is a crazy feat, that gives a flat 10 damage increase for ranged attacks. As a downside, you lose 5 attack rolls. How to overcome this? You can attack from high ground, attack with an advantage on blinded enemies, receive Bless icon action bg3Bless, use Oil of Accuracy, etc.
Dual WielderDual Wielder In Act 1 or at least until you reach Crech Y'llek there are not many good choices for shortswords and daggers. For this reason, I recommend getting this feat at least until you buy Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King. Before that, with the feat, you can equip weapons like - Phalar Aluve icon bg3Phalar Aluve or Sword of Screams icon bg3Sword of Screams.
ico_features Baldur's Gate 3Ability Improvement This is a somewhat safe choice for the build if you have a hard time keeping a high hit chance with weapons, especially Sharpshooter: All In icon passive feature bg3Sharpshooter: All In​. However, I would recommend picking this up later, as the damage boost from other choices is just too good to pass up.

Level 5

And we finally reached our goal of Ranger Level 5. How is this important? Well, you unlocked a new class feature - Extra AttackExtra Attack. This almost doubles your damage output per single turn.

Feature Description
Extra AttackExtra Attack Can make an additional free attack after making an unarmed or weapon attack.

In addition, you also unlock a new Gloom Stalker spell:

Spell Description
Misty Step icon action bg3Misty Step Change position using bonus action. Great to get behind enemy lines or reach higher ground.

Spells

Ranger can also now pick level 2 spells:

Spell Description
Pass Without Trace icon action bg3Pass Without Trace I think this is a somewhat useful spell, specifically if you want to be avoided. Moreover, we need to have a spell with concentration, as some items give bonuses when this effect is active.

Replace Spells

If you stopped using or did not use any spells from the Level 1 spell list now is the perfect time to switch. I utilized them all, so decided not to take any replacements. I recommend checking these out:

Spell Description
Spike Growth icon action bg3Spike Growth Cover an area with spikes and if enemies move through it they get hit every 1.5 meters. This is perfect for controlling tight corridors.
Silence icon action bg3Silence Creates a sphere that silences enemies. Although they can move out from this, it will require them to waste their movement or even use Dash and skip the attack
Lesser Restoration icon action bg3Lesser Restoration This spell can come in handy in some situations, so I recommend that at least one party member has it. It can remove paralysis, disease, poison, and blindness

Level 6 - Rogue Lv 1

Once you get level 6 you can also do a respec. Take only level 1 Rogue and then multiclass to level 5 Ranger. This will give you an additional skill proficiency.

The first multiclass of Assassin Gloom Stalker build. It will allow to better empower stealth capabilities and drastically increase damage output.

Overview
rogue Baldur's Gate 3Rogue
Features
Sneak Attack (Melee) icon action bg3Sneak Attack (Melee) Exploit a foe's distraction to deal an additional 1d6 damage. Damage increases by 1d6 for every uneven Rogue Level gained.
Sneak Attack (Ranged) icon action bg3Sneak Attack (Ranged) Exploit a foe's distraction to deal an additional 1d6 damage. Damage increases by 1d6 for every uneven Rogue Level gained.

Abilities

Rogue multiclass allows choosing additional skills with expertise. I strongly recommend these:

  • Sleight of Hand - improves pickpocket and disarm trap chances.
  • Stealth - the second nature of this build, allowing avoid being detected.
  • Perception - better detection of traps

Level 7 - Rogue Lv 2

This level does not give any flashy moves, however, it unlocks cunning actions. These are similar to normal actions but instead of using Action Points, use Bonus actions. So in the same turn, you can attack and use them:

Action Description
Cunning Action: Hide icon action bg3Cunning Action: Hide Hide from enemies by succeeding Stealth checks. Stick to the dark and avoid enemy sightlines. Attacking or casting a spell will reveal your location. Probably the most important. Now you can start sneaking using Bonus action and then use Sneak Attack at the same turn
Cunning Action: Dash icon action bg3Cunning Action: Dash Cover more distance this turn: double your movement speed.
Cunning Action: Disengage icon action bg3Cunning Action: Disengage Retreat safely: moving won't provoke Opportunity Attacks.

Level 8 - Rogue Lv 3

Congratulations! You reached level 3 which allows you to get a subclass for rogue. I would like to cover the two best subclass options for this build. I think these are important and will impact your playstyle.

Subclass Description
rogue_assassin Baldur's Gate 3Assassin So the build idea revolves around this subclass. It is special in the sense that it can dish out crazy amounts of damage on the first turn, especially if you can surprise the enemy. The downside is that after this the damage output drastically falls off. This encourages you to start a fight with anything that "resembles" an enemy and forces you to miss some amazing dialogue options. For this reason, I recommend trying it out and if not respec to Thief.
thief bg3Thief This is a safe option subclass and also very powerful as it gains additional bonus action. At first, this may not seem much, but in reality, you can do additional offhand attacks, hide and attack on the same turn, etc. This greatly unlocks the combat potential of the build.
To continue with the build idea I will be choosing Assassin. Remember, you can always respec to Thief if you feel that ambushing and surprising enemies are not your cup of tea.
Overview
rogue_assassin Baldur's Gate 3Assassin
Features
Assassinate: InitiativeAssassinate: Initiative You are deadliest against unprepared enemies. In combat, you have an Advantage on Attack Rolls against creatures that haven‘t taken a turn yet.
Assassinate: AmbushAssassinate: Ambush Any successful Attack Roll against a Surprised creature is a Critical Hit.
Assassin's AlacrityAssassin's Alacrity Quick as an alley cat in a rain-dark city, you immediately restore your action and bonus action at the start of combat.

Level 9 - Rogue Lv 4

You should not jump to the last multiclass yet. The aim is to obtain the second Feat of the build.

Feat

So here it is only one feat recommendation if you did not take it before:

Feat Description
ico_features Baldur's Gate 3Ability Improvement The best choice in case you did not pick ability improvement previously. Get +2 and maximize Dexterity to 18 or 20.
Dual Wielder icon passive feature bg3Dual Wielder If you did not take this before, it is mandatory now for Dual Wielder build
Sharpshooter: All In icon passive feature bg3Sharpshooter: All In Take this if you skipped it at level 4, to maximize the ranged damage.

Level 10 - Fighter Lv 1

Now we do the last touches of the build and will finish it with Level 3 Fighter. It will give some great options to improve combat capabilities, especially on the first turn.

Class

Overview
fighter Baldur's Gate 3Fighter
Features
Second Wind icon action bg3Second Wind Draw on your stamina to heal yourself

Fighting Style

Taking a fighter also allows us to choose a fighting style. We already picked one from the Ranger class. So now we can choose the second:

Styles Description
DefenceDefence Probably the best option in this case, it gives +1 Armour Class improving the chance to avoid enemy attacks.

Level 11 - Fighter Lv 2

And the last level of our build. There is nothing to choose here and we only enjoy the default Fighter action we obtain:

Action Description
Action Surge icon action bg3Action Surge This will take the build to the next level as you can gain an action point at the start of the combat. As Assassin, this will result in two more attacks and critical hits at that if the foes are surprised.

Level 12 - Fighter Lv 3

We reach the final level of the build and it will have a substantial impact on the offensive capabilities. We get to choose the Fighter subclass and there are two main options

Subclass

I will be going with Battlemaster. Champion crit range increase is not as useful for Assassins as they can get guaranteed criticals on surprise rounds.

Overview
battlemaster bg3Battlemaster
Features
superiority dice bg3Superiority Dice These dice give bonus 1d8 damage, can be used 4 times, and are reset each short and long rest. Easy damage increase and improved battlefield control.

Manoeuvres

These are unique actions of Battlemaster, that will give you a unique edge in combat. The good thing is that they work together with a sneak attack, meaning you can empower your stealth attack even further. Here are my recommendations, you can choose only 3 of them:

Manoeuvres Description
Disarming Attack icon passive feature bg3Disarming Attack Makes the enemy waste their next turn picking up the weapon. This is not especially useful on mages, or beasts.
Menacing Attack icon passive feature bg3Menacing Attack Frightens your target, disabling movement and imposing a disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls.
Pushing Attack icon passive feature bg3Pushing Attack Gives you an option to push away enemies from ledges all while dealing bonus damage.
Trip Attack icon passive feature bg3Trip Attack Makes the enemy Prone, opening for Advantages to other group members if attacking from close range.

Maximizing Ability Scores

Now, as the build progression is covered there are a few aspects and important decisions you will have to make throughout the game. These will decide your final score for abilities.

  1. Act 1 - Auntie Ethel Hair - you will want to get +1 Dexterity if you pick this choice.
  2. Act 3 - Mirror of Loss - pick +2 Dexterity.
  3. Ability Improvement - +2 Dexterity

This will allow you to reach 22 natural Dexterity, giving a +6 modifier bonus.

Potions, Elixirs and Consumables

Let's look at what consumables you can use to further empower the Gloomstalker Assassin build.

Potions

These are general consumables, and most of them are activated for a few turns. Potions are separate from Elixirs and can be active together.

Consumable Description
oil of accuracy bg3Oil of Accuracy Gives +2 to attack rolls, which minimizes the negative impact from Sharpshooter: All In icon passive feature bg3Sharpshooter: All In.
potion of speed bg3Potion of Speed In case you or your other casters have a Concentration spell slot taken and cannot cast Haste, use this potion. It acts similarly, but the effect is just for 3 turns.
diluted oil of sharpness bg3Diluted Oil of Sharpness Gives a bonus attack roll and damage. It is a good coating if you can apply it before combat.
potion of animal speaking bg3Potion of Animal Speaking Although not something powerful, it is worth stocking up and saving a spell slot.
potion of invisibility bg3Potion of Invisibility Can be used to get a perfect position before the encounter starts.

Elixirs

Unfortunately, only one Elixir can be active at a time. However, the good thing is that they last until a long rest, making them very useful and economical.

Be sure to activate them before combat as otherwise, you will need to use Bonus Action.

Remember to activate one elixir after each Long Rest. These are found plentiful throughout the game, so don't save them too much.
Consumable Description
elixir of hill giant strength bg3Elixir of Hill Giant Strength Set's strength to 21. This is the best elixir if you are using Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow until about level 10, after that upgraded version of the elixir starts appearing.
elixir of cloud giant strength bg3Elixir of Cloud Giant Strength Set the strength to 27. Use this for maximum damage with Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow.
elixir of bloodlust bg3Elixir of Bloodlust You gain additional action by killing an enemy. It is useful, but you will not be able to activate the above elixirs for maximum strength. However, if you are using Club of Hill Giant Strength icon bg3Club of Hill Giant Strength, this is the best option.
elixir of vigilance bg3Elixir of Vigilance For some encounters, you will want to go first. This elixir will ensure that it overcomes even surprise mechanics. However, if you have Alert icon passive feature bg3Alert​ this becomes redundant.

Illithid Powers

This special mechanic in Baldur's Gate 3 allows you to consume tadpoles and unlock special Illithid Powers. These range from somewhat useful, to extremely deadly. I would like to leave a few recommendations:

Base Illithid Powers

Order Illithid Power Description
1 Favourable Beginnings icon passive feature bg3Favourable Beginnings Very useful power to take as it does not have any costs, and provides only benefits on the first hits.
2 Luck of the Far Realms icon passive feature bg3Luck of the Far Realms Guarantees a critical hit, a very powerful action to have.
3 Concentrated Blast icon action bg3Concentrated Blast Taking only for progression, to unlock the next power.
4 Cull the Weak icon passive feature bg3Cull the Weak Passive feature that does not cost anything and automatically deals bonus psychic damage around the target, once it is close to death.
5 Psionic Overload icon action bg3Psionic Overload It is mainly taken to unlock the next action.
6 Ability Drain icon passive feature bg3Ability Drain A good passive feature, that helps with debuffing enemies when attacking. It is not mandatory.
7 Charm icon passive feature bg3Charm Mainly taking it for progression.

Elite Illithid Powers

These become unlocked later in the game as you progress. They are extremely powerful additions to the build.

Order Illithid Power Description
0 Fly icon action bg3Fly This is an extremely good action that saves moving speed and is obtained automatically after you consume Astral-Touched Tadpole.
1 Freecast icon passive feature bg3Freecast Removes any cost of spell slots or consumable resources
2 Psionic Dominance icon action bg3Psionic Dominance You can use this similarly to Counterspell, and disable enemy spell.
3 Mind Sanctuary icon action bg3Mind Sanctuary Extremely valuable power that can also help other casters to use up their Bonus action effectively.
4 Illithid Expertise icon passive feature bg3Illithid Expertise An optional feature, that gives expertise in dialogue-related skills.

Equipment Recommendations

Now I would like to go through some gear recommendations to maximize the Assassin Gloomstalker build effectiveness. Items are especially important as they take the build to the next level thanks to their unique effects.

Act 1

The early game can be hard, as you do not know where to find items. I would like to point out that you will be using only one weapon in this act, and it is two-handed. You will also get Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King, but it will be used later in Act 2.

Dual Wield Setup Weapons

Slot Item Description
melee slot bg3Melee (One - Handed) Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King The best shortsword in Act 1, will lead you to Act 2. It gives higher critical rolls and improves damage output. Can be dual-wielded.
Phalar AluvePhalar Aluve The only longsword that can use the Dexterity modifier for damage and attack rolls. Moreover, it has a unique Phalar Aluve: Shriek effect, for bonus 1d4 Thunder damage. Use this together with Dual Wielder icon passive feature bg3Dual Wielder.
Sword of ScreamsSword of Screams Adds 1d4 psychic damage without any conditions, a solid choice in Act 1. I recommend wielding this when you get Dual Wielder icon passive feature bg3Dual Wielder.
ranged slot bg3Ranged Bow of Awareness icon bg3Bow of Awareness Improves initiative and allows going earlier in combat. I recommend this if you plan on using Dual-wielding weapons.
Hand Crossbow +1 icon bg3Hand Crossbow +1 These weapons can be dual-wielded, making them perfect very early in the game. Use this before obtaining better ones. What makes this good is that it can use bonus action for additional damage.

Ranged Setup Weapons

You can also equip a shield (strange right?) for this build when going ranged, if using Strenth Elixir or not picking Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow.

Slot Item Description
melee slot bg3Melee (One - Handed) Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King The best shortsword in Act 1, will lead you to Act 2. It gives higher critical rolls and improves damage output. Can be dual-wielded.
Club of Hill Giant Strength icon bg3Club of Hill Giant Strength This club should be equipped if you plan on using Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow without Strength Elixirs. This way you will maximize your damage from the Strength modifier. It can be dual-wielded with the next weapon - Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King without Dual Wielder icon passive feature bg3Dual Wielder​ feat.
ranged slot bg3Ranged Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow I would say this is the best bow if you plan on using Strength Elixirs or Club of Hill Giant Strength icon bg3Club of Hill Giant Strength to get high strength. This way you will deal bonus damage, outdamaging other ranged weapon options throughout the game.
Bow of the Banshee icon bg3Bow of the Banshee This is an amazing bow, as it can apply Frighten on enemies making them unable to move. This is not as powerful as Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow but a good alternative in case you want more control in combat.
Hand Crossbow +1 icon bg3Hand Crossbow +1 These weapons can be dual-wielded, making them perfect very early in the game. Use this before obtaining better ones. What makes this good is that it can use bonus action for additional damage.
offhand slot bg3Shield Adamantine Shield icon bg3Adamantine Shield It provides a substantial defensive boost by reducing critical hit damage.
Absolute's Warboard icon bg3Absolute's Warboard Very good shield similar to Safeguard Shield icon bg3Safeguard Shield, just gives a bonus Heroism icon action bg3Heroism​ cantrip. Only use it if you have Absolute's Brand.
Safeguard Shield icon bg3Safeguard Shield Gives a bonus to saving throws, easily accessible early in the game.

Other Equipment

Slot Item Description
helmet slot bg3Head Dark Justiciar Helm icon bg3Dark Justiciar Helm Provides a bonus Saving Throw while obscured, which is great for avoiding the effects of some spells.
Haste Helm icon bg3Haste Helm Increases movement speed at the start of the combat for 3 turns. I think this is the best helmet for Act 1, if you are using melee attacks.
cloak slot bg3Cloak The Deathstalker Mantle icon bg3The Deathstalker Mantle Only obtainable if you have Dark Urge Origin. After killing an enemy it gives invisibility.
armor slot bg3Armor The Graceful Cloth icon bg3The Graceful Cloth Gives +2 Dexterity (up to a maximum of 20). This will improve your rolls and damage. As this is Cloth it provides only 10 Armour Class.
Spidersilk Armour icon bg3Spidersilk Armour As there are not many good choices for light armour this is somewhat decent.
gloves slot bg3Gloves Gloves of Archery icon bg3Gloves of Archery Best gloves for Ranged attacks.
Gloves of the Growling Underdog icon bg3Gloves of the Growling Underdog A solid choice for melee approach, as you can easily gain advantage via multiple enemies sitting together.
Gloves of Power icon bg3Gloves of Power Gives a bonus to Sleight of Hand for better picklock chances. Moreover, applies the status effect, and penalizes the target.
Gloves of Thievery icon bg3Gloves of Thievery Although nothing fancy for combat, these are amazing for Pickpocketing, Chests, and traps.
boots slot bg3Boots Disintegrating Night Walkers icon bg3Disintegrating Night Walkers Avoids slipping on various terrains and most importantly unlocks Misty Step each short rest. These boots can last till Act 3, as walking on icy surfaces can be deadly for melee build. The item removes this problem.
Boots of Speed icon bg3Boots of Speed Great boots that can be used to avoid enemy attacks.
The Speedy Lightfeet icon bg3The Speedy Lightfeet Can be used to activate Dash icon action bg3Dash​ before combat for a bit more damage from Lightning Charges.
amulet slot bg3Amulet Broodmother's Revenge icon bg3Broodmother's Revenge The only amulet that gives a direct damage bonus. However, you will need someone to heal you, this will most likely be a healer or just chug a potion.
Amulet of Misty Step icon bg3Amulet of Misty Step Gives access to Misty Step icon action bg3Misty Step, in case you need a way to quickly or cover long distances.
ring slot bg3Rings Strange Conduit Ring icon bg3Strange Conduit Ring It's easy to activate it as you have multiple spells to concentrate on. This will result in bonus psychic damage.
Fetish of Callarduran Smoothhands icon bg3Fetish of Callarduran Smoothhands Allows casting Invisibility icon action bg3Invisibility​ that can be used to approach combat in the perfect position.
Caustic Band icon bg3Caustic Band This is a very powerful ring, that may be useful even till the end game, due to flat bonus damage.
Smuggler's Ring icon bg3Smuggler's Ring Although this does not provide any combat bonuses, it is very useful in world exploration and pickpocketing.

Act 2 - mid-game

This is the mid-game, where most of the areas will be covered by dark. Radiant equipment will shine here and having Darkvision icon passive feature bg3Darkvision​ is recommended. You also can get some great items, albeit some will stay the same from Act 1.

Dual Wield Setup Weapons

Slot Item Description
melee slot bg3Melee (One - Handed) Render of Mind and Body icon bg3Render of Mind and Body This item is very powerful due to the big 1d8 psychic damage bonus. It will be one of the best until the end of the game.
Justiciar's Scimitar icon bg3Justiciar's Scimitar You can blind the target thanks to the Assassinate: Initiative icon passive feature bg3Assassinate: Initiative​, but most importantly it has a unique attack that deals bonus damage based on proficiency and 1d6 psychic.
Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King Increases critical roll range and improves damage rolls.
ranged slot bg3Ranged Darkfire Shortbow icon bg3Darkfire Shortbow If you need an option to cast Haste icon action bg3Haste​, this bow is amazing. Otherwise go with the bow from Act 1.

Ranged Setup Weapons

To be honest, you can stay with the same weapons from Act 1. Shield is only valuable if you are not using Club of Hill Giant Strength icon bg3Club of Hill Giant Strength.

Slot Item Description
melee slot bg3Melee (One - Handed) Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King The best shortsword in Act 1, will lead you to Act 2. It gives higher critical rolls and improves damage output. Can be dual-wielded.
Club of Hill Giant Strength icon bg3Club of Hill Giant Strength This club should be equipped if you plan on using Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow without Strength Elixirs. This way you will maximize your damage from the Strength modifier. It can be dual-wielded with the next weapon - Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King without Dual Wielder icon passive feature bg3Dual Wielder​ feat.
ranged slot bg3Ranged Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow The best weapon if you have high strength from Strenth Elixirs or Club of Hill Giant Strength icon bg3Club of Hill Giant Strength
Bow of the Banshee icon bg3Bow of the Banshee An alternative to Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow, for some control capabilities.
offhand slot bg3Shield Sentinel Shield icon bg3Sentinel Shield Gives a big initiative boost, making it the best choice in my opinion.
Adamantine Shield icon bg3Adamantine Shield It provides a substantial defensive boost by reducing critical hit damage.

Other Equipment

Slot Item Description
helmet slot bg3Head Marksmanship Hat icon bg3Marksmanship Hat The best headwear if you are doing ranged setup, as it will increase hit chance. In Act 3 it loses most of its value.
Dark Justiciar Helmet icon bg3Dark Justiciar Helmet Increases the success likelihood of critical chance while obscured. This means that you should stand in lightly dimmed places.
Covert Cowl icon bg3Covert Cowl Increases the success likelihood of critical chance while obscured. This means that you should stand in lightly dimmed places.
cloak slot bg3Cloak The Deathstalker Mantle icon bg3The Deathstalker Mantle Can still be used in Act 2 as the invisibility effect is just that good.
Cloak of Protection icon bg3Cloak of Protection A very good cloak, with a good bonus to Armour Class.
armor slot bg3Armor Dark Justiciar Half-Plate icon bg3Dark Justiciar Half-Plate Upgraded version of the below armor, the casting of Shield of Faith icon action bg3Shield of Faith​ is a great way to obtain bonus damage from Strange Conduit Ring icon bg3Strange Conduit Ring and some additional survivability. It also looks cool!
Dark Justiciar Half-Plate icon bg3Dark Justiciar Half-Plate You can get a bonus 2 Armour Class from Shield of Faith icon action bg3Shield of Faith​ to improve survivability. Moreover, you get an Advantage on Stealth checks.
Yuan-ti Scale Mail icon bg3Yuan-ti Scale Mail This medium armor does not impose any disadvantage on stealth and gives bonus initiative rolls. It can give the highest armour class with high Dexterity until later in Act 3.
gloves slot bg3Gloves Dark Justiciar Gauntlets icon bg3Dark Justiciar Gauntlets The improved version of Dark Justiciar Gauntlets icon bg3Dark Justiciar Gauntlets also allows casting Darkness spells.
Flawed Helldusk Gloves icon bg3Flawed Helldusk Gloves Provides bonus 1d4 fire damage with weapon attacks and can inflict bleeding. The best choice early in Act 2.
Dark Justiciar Gauntlets icon bg3Dark Justiciar Gauntlets Gives a bonus of 1d4 Necrotic damage with weapon attacks.
boots slot bg3Boots Disintegrating Night Walkers icon bg3Disintegrating Night Walkers Still an amazing option for the Gloomstalker Assasin Build
Evasive Shoes icon bg3Evasive Shoes Gives bonus Armour Class. A good survivability choice, but not mandatory in my opinion.
amulet slot bg3Amulet Surgeon's Subjugation Amulet icon bg3Surgeon's Subjugation Amulet Very interesting choice. Because the build will deal a decent amount of critical hits, this will allow it to paralyze many humanoid enemies. Give this one a try.
Broodmother's Revenge icon bg3Broodmother's Revenge The amulet will be a good option until endgame as the 1d6 poison damage is a good boost. However, it does not allow coatings, so be sure to check for alternatives if you plan on using them.
ring slot bg3Rings Strange Conduit Ring icon bg3Strange Conduit Ring The ring is still a powerful choice to ensure consistent bonus damage.
Shadow-Cloaked Ring icon bg3Shadow-Cloaked Ring This is a bit more powerful than the ring below, but it requires your foes to be at least lightly obscured.
Caustic Band icon bg3Caustic Band The bonus damage is a good choice even in Act 2.
Risky Ring  icon bg3Risky Ring Just a mention of this ring. I do not think it is the best choice but could be useful, especially if you do not take Assassin and go with the Thief subclass instead.

Act 3 - Final Build setup

This is the last act of the game, where you will get access to the most powerful items. Getting them as early as possible will need some planning, but overall, it should not be a problem.

Dual Wield Setup Weapons

You will want Piercing weapons to exploit the bonus damage from vulnerabilities.

Slot Item Description
melee slot bg3Melee (One - Handed) Crimson MischiefCrimson Mischief
(BiS)
Gives a flat 7-piece damage boost. Together with Aura Of Murder icon passive feature bg3Aura Of Murder,​ this will result in 14 damage. If using Blade of the First Blood icon bg3Blade of the First Blood, it is not as powerful, so look at the other options.
Blade of the First Blood icon bg3Blade of the First Blood I recommend using this weapon if you did not obtain Bhaalist Armour icon bg3Bhaalist Armour, to get that Aura Of Murder icon passive feature bg3Aura Of Murder​ effect. Otherwise, skip it.
Render of Mind and BodyRender of Mind and Body
(BiS)
As you have multiple ways of getting an Advantage, the 1d8 psychic damage rider is a very large bonus making this weapon very powerful even in Act 3.
Rhapsody icon bg3Rhapsody This weapon is a good recommendation. I would not say it is necessary, but the flat bonus damage is good to have.
ranged slot bg3Ranged The Dead Shot icon bg3The Dead Shot
(BiS)
Decreases the roll requirement for Critical Hit by 1.
Vicious Shortbow icon bg3Vicious Shortbow You could use this bow as an alternative in case the other two options are taken. It gives bonus damage on critical hits. For now, this bonus works on melee attacks also and might be fixed in upcoming patches.
Hellrider Longbow icon bg3Hellrider Longbow Gives +3 Initiative almost guaranteeing that you go first.

Ranged Setup Weapons

Slot Item Description
melee slot bg3Melee (One - Handed) Rhapsody icon bg3Rhapsody Gives a flat 3 bonus damage and increased hit chance after you pump this item with killed foes.
Dolor Amarus icon bg3Dolor Amarus This item is somewhat bugged and its bonus damage applies even when using Ranged attacks. So you can get 7 bonus damages on critical hits, and you will do a lot of them during the Surprise rounds
Knife of the Undermountain King icon bg3Knife of the Undermountain King A slight improvement to damage and gives increased crit range. The latter is not as important as you will get guaranteed crits on Suprirpse rounds.
Club of Hill Giant Strength icon bg3Club of Hill Giant Strength Still an option to equip if you do not use Strength Elixirs.
ranged slot bg3Ranged Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow This bow is still very powerful and in Act 3, you can use Elixir of Cloud Giant Strength to reach 27 strength. This will give a bonus of 8 damage on each hit, which makes it the most powerful endgame bow.
The Dead Shot icon bg3The Dead Shot A solid bow, if you do not plan on using Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow, due to low strength.
Gontr Mael icon bg3Gontr Mael Although it is a legendary bow, it is not as powerful as the other options above.

Other Equipment

Slot Item Description
helmet slot bg3Head Helm of Balduran icon bg3Helm of Balduran If using Broodmother's Revenge icon bg3Broodmother's Revenge, this helmet's effect ensures that you get bonus damage on every combat encounter.
Sarevok's Horned Helmet icon bg3Sarevok's Horned Helmet
(BiS)
Increases critical chance and stacks with other items, a worthwhile choice.
cloak slot bg3Cloak Shade-Slayer Cloak icon bg3Shade-Slayer Cloak It boosts critical chance. The caveat is that you have to attack from hiding for this to activate, which sometimes can be complicated. I would also use this with the Thief Subclass, and skip it on Assassin as it automatically lands critical hits when attacking surprised enemies.
The Deathstalker Mantle icon bg3The Deathstalker Mantle
(BiS)
A perfect mantle to constantly get invisible after an enemy kills. Still a solid option for Act 3.
Cloak of Displacement icon bg3Cloak of Displacement Ensures good survivability, by imposing a disadvantage on attacker Attack Rolls.
armor slot bg3Armor Bhaalist Armour icon bg3Bhaalist Armour
(BiS)
This armor is particularly powerful for melee-piercing weapon wielders - these include daggers and short swords.  It makes them vulnerable to piercing damage unless they have resistance to it. Moreover, it gives bonus initiative, ensuring that you will go first most of the time due to the assassin's high initiative already.
Armour of Agility icon bg3Armour of Agility This medium armor perfectly works with stealth as it does not impose any disadvantages. Moreover, it has a decent armor class for protection.
gloves slot bg3Gloves Helldusk Gloves icon bg3Helldusk Gloves
(BiS)
These gloves provide bonuses for every attack. You will be doing many of them so the bonus fire damage stacks up
Martial Exertion Gloves icon bg3Martial Exertion Gloves Incur 6d6 damage, but gain additional attack points. This neatly fits into the Assassin playstyle as you can deal damage bonuses on the first turn.
Stalker Gloves icon bg3Stalker Gloves The bonus damage on stealth is a good effect and you also gain a bonus initiative roll.
boots slot bg3Boots Helldusk Boots icon bg3Helldusk Boots These boots have a wide array of uses - allowing succeeding Saving Throws while using Reaction, a teleportation spell, and ignoring difficult terrain.
Boots of Persistence icon bg3Boots of Persistence Gives Freedom of Movement icon action bg3Freedom of Movement​ and Longstrider icon action bg3Longstrider​ actions effects.
amulet slot bg3Amulet Broodmother's Revenge icon bg3Broodmother's Revenge
(BiS)
Bonus poison damage on each hit with the weapon is a great improvement
Surgeon's Subjugation Amulet icon bg3Surgeon's Subjugation Amulet A powerful choice for Act 3 as it will guarantee paralysis and critical hits from the melee range.
Magic Amulet icon bg3Magic Amulet Gives an Advantage on attack. I would use this only if you do not have Risky Ring  icon bg3Risky Ring. Otherwise, this does not provide much use, besides Saving Throw Advantage.
ring slot bg3Rings Strange Conduit Ring icon bg3Strange Conduit Ring
(BiS)
The ring is still a powerful choice to ensure consistent bonus damage.
Caustic Band icon bg3Caustic Band
(BiS)
Amazing choice till the end of the game as each attack will apply this bonus acid damage.
Shadow-Cloaked Ring icon bg3Shadow-Cloaked Ring This is a bit more powerful than the ring below, but it requires your foes to be at least lightly obscured.

Build Mechanics

Now I would like to cover some general tips on how to play Assassin Gloomstalker build.

Important Mechanics and Combos

Let's go through key mechanics and tips on how to effectively use the build.

Advantage and Sneak Attack

You may have noticed that the normal attack uses both action and bonus action when dual-wielding. This means that you will attack with both weapons. If you only wish to use bonus action, you should attack with off-hand attack action.

main hand attack action bonus action bg3

With the Assassin subclass, once you unlock Sneak Attack, have an Advantage, and attack with a melee attack (that uses both action and bonus action) an interesting thing will happen. Your both attacks will be sneak attacks, if you have them set up like this in the reactions window:

reactions sneak attack bg3

In theory, this circumvents the limitation of 1 sneak attack per turn, to 2 attacks. So generally, using only Sneak Attack or Off-hand Attack action is not recommended as it will only use one hand instead of both.

Stealth and Invisibility

The most gratifying thing with the Assassin build is getting the correct positioning and jumping on the enemy with a sneak attack. Then shredding them ensures that your target is removed from combat

Also, try to evaluate whether you will be able to reach the next enemy after the initial hit if they die. Otherwise, you will not utilize the Assassin to its full potential.

assassin build sneak attack baldurs gate 3

I do recommend before jumping into any encounter to evaluate the map. Are there any ledges? How many enemies? Can I use explosive barrels, etc? This will make both much easier and more enjoyable as you will be able to exploit what developers have prepared to the maximum.

Sometimes stealth approach is not possible. For example, enemy vision cones cover all the paths. Remember, that you can easily become invisible using either potions or the special Gloom Stalker action  - Umbral Shroud icon action bg3Umbral Shroud.

Attacking while invisible also initiates the Surprise round. This is what you want to get all the sweet bonuses of the Assassin subclass and hit with guaranteed critical hits.

Surprise Rounds

This is one of the pillars of this build and what makes it extremely powerful. As I talked about in the previous section, when attacking from stealth or invisible (before combat has started) you will initiate a Surprise Round.

surprise round, enemies skip turns bg3

What happens is that the enemy's portraits become greyed out which means they will be skipping their turn. Another aspect is that you will get guaranteed critical hits using Assassinate: Ambush icon passive feature bg3Assassinate: Ambush.

Strength for more power

As you noticed through my build I mentioned strength as an important aspect of the build. This is true when you are using Titanstring Bow icon bg3Titanstring Bow. It is the best-ranged weapon when used with high-strength character and this can be done with two items:

  • Elixir of Hill Giant Strength - 21 Strength
  • Elixir of Cloud Giant Strength - 27 Strength.

elixir of hill giant strength bg3

I have a guide on how to farm Elixir of Hill Giant Strength. This can be done in Act 1 if you haven't killed Auntie Ethel. A bit more difficult way, but still viable is available in Myconid Colony in Underdark.

However, there are two big caveats in my opinion:

  1. Your elixir slot is taken, and you cannot activate something like Elixir of Bloodlust, that can give additional action each turn.
  2. It breaks immersion and makes strength ability somewhat useless. I do not use it much.

I leave the choice up to you, as there are other bows like Bow of the Banshee icon bg3Bow of the Banshee and The Dead Shot icon bg3The Dead Shot.

Engaging in long combat encounters

Now not every encounter will be short. This is a huge weakness of Assassin's build. However, you can make this part a bit easier if you have picked:

Spell Description
Hunter's Mark icon action bg3Hunter's Mark Another good spell in the Ranger arsenal for Assassin. After the initial attack, we will lose a lot of damage bonuses. Hunter's Mark can be used to sustain the damage we do over longer combat encounters.

With it, every successful hit will deal an additional 1d6 Slashing damage. And if the target dies before the spell ends, it can be reused for free. So it's a great way to squeeze a bit more damage with your bonus action.

However, I do not recommend this if you are using a dual-wielding melee setup after about level 5.

Using Special Arrows

Throughout your playthrough, you will collect a lot of special arrows. These are very powerful giving ranged characters a big advantage over various combat situations. I think the most popular choice is "to save them for later", but I would recommend not doing this as you will end the game with hundreds of them.

However, a few of them should be saved for more difficult encounters:

  • Arrow of Many Targets - can hit multiple enemies, while the first one receives the full bulk of damage.
  • Arrows of Slaying - Abberation, Dragon, Monster, etc. All of these deal double damage to specific enemies, and can make you deal ridiculous amounts of damage.

For the others use them as you see fit, usually for normal encounters.

Escaping Combat

What makes this build special, is that sometimes it can clear encounters faster than 4 groups of people. As Gloom Stalker you get Umbral Shroud icon action bg3Umbral Shroud. Using it you can become invisible at any time in obscured areas.

After that just move away, and wait for enemies to search you. They will fail and disengage from combat. After that, you can start combat from the beginning with a new surprise round. This sequence allows you to cheese multiple fights in the game.

Leave merchants empty-pocketed

As with all rogues, having high dexterity, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth allows you to easily pickpocket merchants. Why is this useful? Generally, you can load yourself and allies with decent enchanted gear (sometimes even unique). Moreover, you can pick a lot of potions and elixirs in case you have some free bonus actions for your companions.

Early Game Combat

So how does the early game work? Well, you will not get access to the Assassin stuff yet, so you will be relying on what Ranger provides. It will get much better after you have Gloom Stalker at level 3.

  • I recommend going alone for the first attack before taking your group members if you see a guaranteed combat encounter.
  • Be sure to initiate combat while sneaking or invisible. You can also enter combat using Umbral Shroud icon action bg3Umbral Shroud. this gives a surprise round, and you can lead your allies to join the battle for a free round of damage.
  • Early in the game, you can use Dread Ambusher: Hide icon action bg3Dread Ambusher: Hide​ and attack with Advantage. Once you have Sharpshooter: All In icon passive feature bg3Sharpshooter: All In​ this will be a huge boost in damage.
  • Generally, you would want to attack while in Sneaking, this way you get an Advantage on Attack Rolls.
  • On the first turn don't forget to use Dread Ambusher icon passive feature bg3Dread Ambusher​ actions.

Late Game Combat

This is where things get interesting and you can start dealing big damage. Overall, I would say this starts from level 8, once you obtain the Assassin subclass:

  1. Approach the combat area alone in stealth or much better invisible.
  2. Attack the first enemy, and initiate the combat.
  3. You can then let your allies join in combat as all of you get a free round to attack.
  4. Now use up all your attacks to deal as much damage as possible. Each hit will be a guaranteed critical hit
  5. If using a bow, I recommend attacking with Arrow of Many targets for maximum damage over multiple grouped enemies.
  6. Be sure to use Dread Ambusher icon passive feature bg3Dread Ambusher's​ special action.
  7. Once you exhausted everything, use Action Surge icon action bg3Action Surge​ for more attacks.
  8. For normal attacks without Special arrows use Fighters Manoeuvres like Disarming Attack (Ranged) icon action bg3Disarming Attack (Ranged)​ or others.
  9. If playing solo, I recommend leaving an action point free after the surprise round so that you can become invisible at any time. Or just use hide with a bonus action.

Overall, you should have no problems with this build in any combat situation

Build Variations

Here are variations based on classes:

Setup Description
  • 5 Lv Ranger
  • 3 Lv Rogue
  • 4 Lv Fighter
This is an almost identical setup, but instead at level 12, you respec, to take an additional level in Fighter instead of Rogue. This way you keep the same 2 feats, but also get a little bit more HP.
  • 5 Lv Ranger
  • 4 Lv Rogue
  • 3 Lv Swords Bard
Instead of Fighter, you can now take Swords Bard. The build also gets more proficiencies for skills. However, there is a small caveat here. In total, you get more attacks from Slashing Flourish (Ranged) icon action bg3Slashing Flourish (Ranged)​ instead of Action Surge icon action bg3Action Surge, however, Bardic Inspiration icon action bg3Bardic Inspiration​ only gets restored on long rests, so you will have to do them more often. You also gain some quite useful spells.
  • 6 Swords Bard
  • 3 Ranger
  • 3 Rogue
Another setup, however, here you go for Bard as the cornerstone. This gives Slashing Flourish (Ranged) icon action bg3Slashing Flourish (Ranged), for much more attacks at the cost of not being able to use special arrows. Another problem is that Assassin would get delayed to level 9. Overall, this setup is better for the main character, due to more proficiencies from Bard.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading The Assassin Gloom Stalker build in Baldur's Gate 3. We covered all the main aspects of creating a truly powerful Assassin. This is all thanks to merging two classes - Rogue and Ranger. To further boost our attacks we also get Gloom Stalker to both improve the number of attacks at the start of combat and fit the theme

Cheers!

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Discussion

Anonymous

Nicely done and very thorough. One question though, before the latest update you had a variation of 2lvl fighter instead of 3, and 5 of ranger / 5 rogue. Is this not viable after the latest patch? What do we lose by this?

Thanks! Oh, it is still viable, I just decided that with this type of build getting Battlemaster class with Superiority dice is better than Evasion from Rogue.

Anonymous

Your build summary is different from the actual build on the page, if you plan on editing.

Thank you! I will be updating the build tomorrow, with some adjustments, so this will be also fixed.

Why can't I see any comments?

I had some issues, that should be fixed. Also clearing the cache and doing a hard reload on the website might help.

I see it now, thank you!

Anonymous

Just want to say thanks for the build! It fits me so well and it's really strong in my opinion. Btw, do you have any build for Paladin Dark Urge Solo on Tactician Mode?

Hey, thank you! I haven't explored Solo much. However, for Dark Urge I would definitely try this one - https://gamestegy.com/post/bg3/874/lockadin-paladin-warlock-build

You use two classes - Paladin (Oathbreaker) and Warlock (which can also neatly fit the dark theme). This multiclass combo is very powerful on Tactician, especially from level 10.

Anonymous

I'll try it later! Thank you so much for that!

Anonymous

Dear,

is possible to add to this guide an alternative gear for subclass Thief with Hand Crossbow predominance? For every single piece of gear.

Thanks alot in advance!

Hey, you can use this build with Hand crossbows. Just be sure to take the Sharpshooter perk as it will greatly boost damage. I have a dedicated build for this - https://gamestegy.com/post/bg3/863/thief-sharpshooter-rogue-build, but it has no gear yet.

You can use the recommended gear from this build and Hand Crossbows - Ne'er Misser, with Hellfire Hand Crossbow.

Anonymous

Is Mage Breaker worth a look for the True Strike cantrip?

No, I don't think so. You use an Action (that you can use to make damage) and get Advantage for only one attack. This also uses Concentration slot. So it is very inefficient cantrip to use.

Anonymous

Appreciated 👍

Anonymous

Just wanted to say thanks for the build. Do you have any recommendations for weapons, armor, or any other equipment?

Hey! I am updating my builds, and I will add gear progression for this build in a few days :) Be sure to come back

Anonymous

I fail to see why 2 fighter levels are the best.

Action surge is good, but it only adds 1 action per short rest.

While 2 more assassin levels would have an additional 1d6 to sneak attack. Since you can make 1 per round, it seems more powerful to me.

Well, Fighter lv 2 may not be the best, but I think it is better than bonus roll of 1d6 per sneak attack.
You get additional action point that results in 2 attacks (thanks to extra attack). Moreover, with Assassin, you want to burst your damage early on and not spread it throughout the battle as otherwise, you lose subclass benefits.

So depending on your equipment and bonuses that you have, it would take a 1d6 sneak attack bonus of about 4 or more turns to do equal damage. Moreover, by the late game, most of the encounters will be over by that time. Also, I do not see a problem with short resting as camp supplies are abundant.

Anonymous

I would argue that Charisma is less important than Strength in this build because there are no check on it, specially for Astarion that will be using acrobatics. So, I would go with 10 in Strength and 8 in Charisma

Yes, that is a good point, Strength helps in close combat against some melee action. Updated the build

Thank you!

Anonymous

Hello I am new to BG3. Is there a difference if I started as a Ranger than a Rogue? Will it affect the gameplay?

Hey, it should not affect much. Remember, you can always respec at Withers. You get him in the Catacombs close to the beach where you land in Act 1.

It may also be a better choice, as you will get Extra Attack by level 5, if you go for 5 Ranger at the start

Anonymous

Hi, thx for this! Can you elaborate about „6 attacks per turn”?

I chose „thief” instead. 3 levels Rogue, 5 Gloom and 2 Fighter (I’m level 10).

I have 1 action and 2 bonus actions and dual crossbows.

First attacks with both - 1 action and 1 bonus. These are 2 attacks.

Then second free attack. So 3 attacks.

And finally i have 1 bonus left - either „second hand attack” or „action surge”. So it’s 4 total.

Hey, with Extra attack, each Action - 2 attacks. If you have Haste, this is already 4 attacks. Then you have Dread Ambusher on the first turn. Moreover, if you are able attack from stealth before initiating in combat. This will activate Assassin's passive features and restore all the action and bonus action points.

Anonymous

Good build so far i like it. I wanted ask i got lvl 6 and respec 1 lvl assasin and 5 ranger should i then comeback assasin till lvl 5 and 2 fighter?

Hey, very sorry for late reply. There are multiple ways to approach it. For example, I went with Ranger Rogue 3 first, and then Ranger 5. However, you can play with respeccing as you just mentioned and go with it. I tried to avoid a lot of respeccing in the guide

Anonymous

Hey man. Lovely stuff, been reading most of your builds here and tried out a decent few of them. Especially useful as a DND newbie.

As a newbie to the universe, there's really only one thing I miss from the guides: Gear recommendations. With so many good potential armor pieces to choose from, I would love to get recommended, say, which two weapons from act 1 or 2 you would go with, or which armor piece (light/medium, +stealth or +initiative, etc.?) to go with.

Currently I enjoy this build on a Gith, and using the Yuan-ti Scale Mail for its dex modifier and no stealth penalty. With the Clutching Umbra and Life Stealing short swords. Anything you'd consider replacing this with?

Cheers, R.

Hey! Yeah gear is planned, but I plan to do it a bit later, want to create some functionalities on the website and cover the main builds :) Overall, once you get abilities and actions correctly, it becomes easy to choose good gear :D

I would recommend these items:

  • I don't think it is worth going medium armour, unless you get the ones that don't impose Stealth checks disadvantage like Dark Justiciar Half-Plate

  • For Light armours you could go with Spidersilk Armour (don't want to spoil how to get it), but my main recommendation would be The Graceful Cloth (Cat), which gives +2 dexterity. It is a robe, so don't expect much protection.

For weapons:

  • Phalar Aluve (Act 1) - very powerful longsword, but requires Dual Wielder feat.

  • Shortsword of First Blood (Act 1) - gives bonus damage when enemies have full HP, be sure to equip it on the main hand, so that it would be activated when you do sneak attack

  • Sword of Screams (Act 1) - rapier that deals bonus psychic damage. Unless you have Dual Wielder, you will be able to only wield it.

  • Knife of the Undermountain King (late Act 1) - increases the chance of critical hits

  • Sword of Life Stealing (Act 2) - does bonus necrotic damage on critical hit

Here are some recommendations, that should get you going :)

Anonymous

Personally, I would choose a Drow for this build.

Cool! What is your reasoning?

Anonymous

Not the original commenter, but I went Drow for the racial bonuses like Superior Darkvision and Darkness, and mainly roleplaying. Chose it for the Arcane Trickster build too.

You can only have one Sneak attack per turn. But at level 3 this spell is a decent choice, especially if you do not have any other options for spell concnetration slot.

Anonymous

Drow also get Faerie Fire, which highlights invisible enemies and gives you advantage. Really useful for back-to-back Sneak attacks.

I will be updating the build in the coming days and adding the gear progression. I will also think about adding Drow :)

After more playing with the build, I decided to go with 2 Fighter for the last two levels. Action Surge is extremely valuable and outshines other alternatives

Anonymous

I always liked going 5 assassination 5 gloomstalker, then taking 2 in fighter for action surge giving access to another action in emergencies

I was torn between 5 gloom stalker, 5 assassin and 2 fighter VS 5 gloom stalker and 7 assassin. Your suggestion is better in terms of damage. However, I went with majority Assassin, to better fit the theme.

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zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!