Best Oathbreaker Paladin Build

Best Oathbreaker Paladin Build - Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)

By zanuffas
Last updated:
In this post, I will go through the Oathbreaker Paladin Build. These are paladins who have broken their oath and now walk a path based on their own convictions. They are the opposite of the Devotion or Ancients Paladin and are able to control undead to their will. Breaking the Oath also gives them more aggressive gameplay options

Oathbreaker Paladin Build

Oathbreakers are a welcome subclass option for Paladins. They offer a breathing room to the limited role-playing of each Oath, where an incorrect choice means you have to either reload or pay the fine for breaking the oath. Unfortunately, you cannot select them in character creation and need to specifically break an Oath.

These Paladins are not necessarily evil and can do anything they prefer. There are no negative modifiers once you embrace this path. This also unlocks unique gameplay options with Oathbreakers, specifically in relation to the undead and fiends

oathbreaker paladin combat baldurs gate 3

Opposite to other Paladin subclasses, Oathbreakers embrace the ability to control undead and reanimate them. So you could be protecting people but with undead by your side. Moreover, you gain an aura that gives bonus damage based on the charisma modifier to yourself and fiends. This is the only paladin aura in the game that directly increases damage.

So if you are interested in this type of Paladin let's move!

Short overview

This is a short overview and progression of the build. Use it to get a quick glance if you want to pick the best options without going deep into the explanations. A more detailed description with texts, suggestions, and improvements can be found in the next sections.

Oathbreaker Paladin Leveling Overview Expand
Level Category Choice
1 Abilities Str 16(15+1), Dex 10, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16 (14+2)
  Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 1
  Subclass Oath of the Ancients (easiest to  break Oath)
  Skills Athletics, Acrobatics, Intimidation, Persuasion
2 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 2
  Fighting Style Great Weapon Fighting or Duelling
3 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 3
4 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 4
  Feat Great Weapon Master or Ability Improvement - +2 Strength
5 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 5
6 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 6
7 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 7
8 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 8
  Feat Polearm Master, Alert or Ability Improvement - Strength+2
9 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 9
10 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 10
11 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 11
12 Class paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin 12
  Feat Ability Improvement - Charisma +2

Starting the Game

We start with the early game. I would go into what are the best Races, Abilities, and Skills for Paladins. Some of these choices are impactful as you cannot respec them.


Picking a race provides various benefits - abilities, dialogue options, looks, etc. Because Paladin gets Heavy Armor proficiency you have many more options on what to choose.

If you are having difficulties making a choice, pick whatever you prefer in terms of looks or roleplay. "The perfect race pick" is important if you are min-maxing or doing a Tactician run.
Race Features Description
Tiefling Baldur's Gate 3Zariel Tiefling
  • Darkvision - Grant a creature the ability to see in the dark out to a range of 12m.
  • Hellish Resistance - Your blood protects you from flame, abyssal or otherwise. You have resistance to Fire and take only half damage from it.
  • Thaumaturgy - gain Advantage on Intimidation and Performance Checks.
Probably the most Paladinish option as it comes with additional Smites - Fire. Of course, they are not as good but may have their uses. Also, they have good fire resistance
Half-Orc Baldur's Gate 3Half-Orc
  • Darkvision - Grant a creature the ability to see in the dark out to a range of 12m.
  • Relentless Endurance - when you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
  • Savage Attacks - when you land a Critical Hit with a melee weapon attack, your damage dice are tripled instead of doubled
Half-Orcs really shine as Paladins. They can resurrect in case they die and get an additional die roll on a critical hit. This gives a big damage boost if you are using something like Polearm or Greataxe.
Half-Elf Baldur's Gate 3Wood Half-Elf
  • Fleet of Foot - your base walking speed is 10.5 meters.
  • Darkvision - Grant a creature the ability to see in the dark out to a range of 12m.
  • Civil Militia - you have weapon proficiency with Spears, Pikes, Halberds, and Glaives, and Armour Proficiency with Light Armour and Shield
  • Fey Ancestry - The Fey wild casts a veil over your mind. You have Advantage on saving throws against being Charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep.
What makes these special is their increased moving distance. I think this is valuable as once you start taking out enemies one by one with Smites, this will prove advantageous. Overall the same applies to Wood Elf.


paladin Baldur's Gate 3Paladin
Action_Paladin_LayOnHands_BigHeal Baldur's Gate 3Lay on Hands Use your blessed touch to heal a creature or cure it of all diseases and poisons. 
Action_Paladin_DivineSense Baldur's Gate 3Divine Sense Gain Advantage on Attack Rolls against celestials, fiends, and undead.
ico_classRes_channelOath Baldur's Gate 3Channel Oath Charges You gain the ability to channel the power contained in your Paladin Oath, which you can use to fuel certain actions.


We start with any subclass for Paladin. I recommend checking the guide on how to become an Oathbreaker. The easiest one to break the oath is Oath of the Ancients
Oath of the Ancients
Action_Paladin_HealingRadiance Baldur's Gate 3Healing Radiance Heal yourself and all nearby allies for 5 hit points. Regain another 5 hit points next turn.
Action_DivineIntervention_Weapon Baldur's Gate 3Oath of the Ancients Tenets Oath of the Ancients paladins abide by the following tenets:
Kindle the Light. Through acts of kindness, enkindle the light of hope in the bleakest hollows of despair.
Shelter the Light. Where love blooms, stand against the devilry that would snip its stem.
Preserve Your Own Light. Delight in culture and small joys to preserve the light in your own heart


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

Ability Value Description
strengthproficient_ability Baldur's Gate 3Strength 16 (15+1) The main melee weapon damage ability. So we should not skip it
dexterityDexterity 10 Dexterity is a debatable stat. Because Paladin uses Heavy Armor, we do not need much (as it does not give bonuses to Armor Class). However, we also do not want to have low initiative and be last, when you may get knocked out. So I recommend this middle ground, and in the later game, some items will give bonuses to initiative/dexterity
constitution bg3Constitution 14 (13 +1) Important stat for any build gives bonus HP and improves the success of Constitution Saving Throws, which ensures your  Concentration spells don't break.
intelligenceIntelligence 8 Not really important stat for us
wisdomWisdom 10 We get 10, to not get any negative modifier for Wisdom Saving Throws, as there are many of them.
charismaCharisma 16 (14+2) The main spellcasting ability of the Paladin. It also affects the power of Auras.

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:

  • Athletics
  • Persuasion
  • Intimidation

Detailed Leveling Progression

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 own options

Level 2

At level 2 we unlock the most famous action - Divine Smite. Moreover, we obtain 2 level 1 spell slots.

Actions Description
Action_Paladin_DivineSmite Baldur's Gate 3Divine Smite This Paladin-specific feature gives +2d8 Radiant Damage and an additional 1d8 against undead and fiends. it expends a spell slot if hits. Using higher-level spell slots deals more damage. Note, its damage does not depend on Charisma but spell level. Oathbreaker also gets a special "red" animation

However, we still have the main hurdle in front of us. You should already have left the tutorial zone. Our first goal is to break the Oath and unlock the Oathbraker subclass. I found that this can be done easily by killing two tieflings you find with Lae'zel at the Ravaged Beach in Act 1.

damays nymessae ravaged beach baldurs gate 3


paladin_oathbreaker Baldur's Gate 3Oathbreaker
Action_Paladin_SpitefulSuffering Baldur's Gate 3Spiteful Suffering You unlock it once you become an Oathbreaker. The action can be very useful on stronger enemies who you will be hitting multiple times. It gives an advantage on each attack and bonus necrotic damage. The action does not require spell concentration slot

Now, as we got the most important thing cleared, and can continue

Fighting Style

Here you can pick a style that fits your weapon usage or playstyle. For example, going with a shield and a one-handed weapon would benefit from Duelling. Want to avoid more hits? Take Defence for +1 Armour Class.

Style Description
PassiveFeature_FightingStyle_GreatWeaponFighting Baldur's Gate 3Great Weapon Fighting When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack with a two-handed melee weapon, that die is rerolled once.
PassiveFeature_FightingStyle_Duelling Baldur's Gate 3Duelling When you wear one one-handed weapon or weapon and shield, gain a bonus of 2 damage.
PassiveFeature_FightingStyle_Defense Baldur's Gate 3Defence Gain +1 to Armour Class, resulting in fewer hits being landed on you

I do not really find Protection useful. It requires you to stay near allies and activates conditionally. I prefer permanent bonuses. I would pick Great Weapon Fighting as Two-handed weapons are the go-to option for me.

Prepared Spells

Paladin level 1 spells are okay. They do not provide any crazy bonuses but can work in some situations. Here are my recommendations for what is good to have in your arsenal

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_ThunderousSmite Baldur's Gate 3Thunderous Smite A smite alternative that deals Thunder damage and can make enemy prone. I would use it in case you have a free bonus action that you do not plan on using. Otherwise, use normal Smite.
Spell_Abjuration_ShieldOfFaith Baldur's Gate 3Shield of Faith It gives a +2 Armour Class as long as you can maintain concentration. Lasts until a long rest.
Spell_Enchantment_CommandHalt Baldur's Gate 3Command Can command the creature to drop a weapon, run away, come close, etc. Can be useful in some encounters, especially against low Wisdom enemies.

For other slots pick what you want.

Level 3

Level 3 Paladin gains a lot of new things - new actions, class, subclass features, and spells. However, I do not think that these are very powerful boons, we will have to wait for better actions

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_DivineHealth Baldur's Gate 3Divine Health Get additional temporary hit points. The spell can be cast without using spell slots. May not be as potent, because you already have Armour of Agathys spell.

We also gain subclass-specific actions. These use Channel Oath Charge, which means that your spell slots will not be expended when used.

Action Description
Action_Paladin_ControlUndead Baldur's Gate 3Control Undead By using Channel Oath Charge you can take control of Undead. This is very powerful as the undead follows you until Long Rest
Action_Paladin_DreadfulAspect Baldur's Gate 3Dreadful Aspect An area of effect ability that Frightens enemies. Although it does not deal damage, imagine getting 5 enemies frightened and they are not able to move and have a disadvantage on attack rolls. This is very powerful spell

In addition, we get subclass-specific spells:

Spells Description
PassiveFeature_HellishRebuke Baldur's Gate 3Hellish Rebuke Use reaction to cast a fire spell. It is good in early levels, but later on, best save the spell slots for Divine Smite
Spell_Necromancy_InflictWounds Baldur's Gate 3Inflict Wounds Similar to Hellish Rebuke, it is a good melee spell early one, however, at later levels it is best to save spell slots for Divine Smite.

Level 4

We finally unlock our first Feat which will greatly improve the overall performance of Oathbreaker Paladin. Moreover, another Lay on Hands Charge is added, for more healing actions. So let's deep dive:


Feat Description
PassiveFeature_GreatWeaponMaster_BonusAttack Baldur's Gate 3Great Weapon Master If you are going with two-handed weapons this feat is mandatory. First, it gives an additional hit with bonus action if you kill a foe or get a critical hit. Second, you can sacrifice attack rolls to boost your damage. This is perfect when you have an Advantage.
ico_features Baldur's Gate 3Ability Improvement Another option is going for +2 Strength. This will give higher weapon damage and higher attack rolls.

Level 5

Finally, level 2 spells are unlocked, new Oath spells and we get the Paladin class feature - Extra Attack.

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_ExtraAttack Baldur's Gate 3Extra Attack Can make an additional free attack after making an unarmed or weapon attack. This will make you much more powerful in combat

Oathbreaker bonus spells are very good for Level 5:

Spell Description
Spell_Enchantment_CrownOfMadness Baldur's Gate 3Crown of Madness Drives the target crazy and makes them attack the nearest person. To be honest I did not use it much, as the Concentration slot would be taken by other options.
Spell_Evocation_Darkness Baldur's Gate 3Darkness This is an extremely valuable spell to have. If you have a dark vision, you can create a dark cloud and stand in it with enemies. If they do not have dark vision they will not be able to hit you, and you can freely take them out. The cloud also protects from ranged attacks.

Prepared Spells

As level 2 spells are unlocked here are some considerations to include in your build:

Spell Description
Spell_Abjuration_LesserRestoration Baldur's Gate 3Lesser Restoration Can heal disease, poison, paralysis, and some other negative effects. Not mandatory, but good to have if the situation arises.
Spell_Transmutation_MagicWeapon Baldur's Gate 3Magic Weapon This spell can empower your weapons with bonus damage rolls and attack rolls. The higher the spell slot you use the bigger the bonus. Another thing is that the bonus may seem low, but it will greatly boost your success on hitting while having Great Weapon Master active.

Level 6

For a Paladin, this is an important level. It unlocks their Aura - Aura of Protection. Why are they special? Auras are always active and there are no cons in using them

Action Description
Action_Paladin_AuraOfProtection Baldur's Gate 3Aura of Protection You and nearby allies gain a bonus to Saving Throws equal to your Charisma modifier

Level 7

This is another milestone for the subclass where you unlock a specific aura. The Oathbreaker has the only aura that boosts damage. However, there is a big caveat:

Feature Description
Action_Paladin_AuraOfHate Baldur's Gate 3Aura of Hate This aura gives bonus damage based on the charisma modifier if attacking with weapons. It affects the Paladin and nearby undead. Keep in mind, that the effect also applies to enemy undead.

Level 8

We get our second feat that will further improve the build. Here are the options:

Feat Description
PassiveFeature_PolearmMaster_AttackOfOpportunity Baldur's Gate 3Polearm Master Only with two-handed spear-type weapons. First, it gives an Opportunity Attack when an enemy comes within range of your melee attack. Second, you gain additional action that allows you to hit a second time using the polearm's butt. This can be useful as you could land additional smite for a good damage boost using only bonus action.
PassiveFeature_Generic_Threat Baldur's Gate 3Alert This feat is also a good choice, as you can go early in combat and take control of undead, frighten enemies, or just smite the strongest enemy before they do anything.
ico_features Baldur's Gate 3Ability Improvement Another option is going for +2 Strength. This will give higher weapon damage and higher attack rolls. It should now be a total of 20.

Level 9

This is an important level as it finally gives level 3 spells. We also unlock the last spells from the subclass. These are great additions to the Oathbreaker build

Oath Spells Description
Spell_Necromancy_BestowCurse Baldur's Gate 3Bestow Curse Curse a creature with your touch. The curse either bestows Disadvantage on checks and Saving Throws or Attack Rolls, lets you deal additional damage to the target, or robs it of its actions. I would only recommend this to bosses as it is expensive to use.
Spell_Necromancy_AnimateDead Baldur's Gate 3Animate Dead Create an undead servant from a corpse.

Prepared Spells

Here are my recommendations for level 3 spells. I do not think these spells are very powerful. They do not change the Paladin gameplay much but can provide some situational bonuses. It is still the best use case to use your Divine Smites.

Spells Description
Spell_Transmutation_ElementalWeapon Baldur's Gate 3Elemental Weapon Similar to Magic Weapons, this imbues your weapon with elemental powers and gives a bonus attack roll. The bonus is 1d4 damage which is decent. If the enemy is vulnerable to it this is doubled. Moreover, the spell lasts until a long rest if you can maintain the concentration
Spell_Evocation_BlindingSmite Baldur's Gate 3Blinding Smite Another smite in your arsenal. It is not as good as Divine Smite in terms of damage. However, it can be used to apply blind on the target
Spell_Evocation_AuraOfVitality Baldur's Gate 3Warden of Vitality The spell is best cast before combat. It allows you to use a healing spell with bonus action. This is a good choice to use in difficult encounters and to help your Cleric. But otherwise, has no real purpose in general easy fights. I personally would use it in case I died in some boss encounter and felt that additional heals would help.
Spell_Evocation_CrusadersMantle Baldur's Gate 3Crusader's Mantle An alternative to an Elemental Weapon spell, but instead you give 1d4 radiant damage to your group members. It also lasts only for 10 turns

Level 10

We get two Paladin class-related boons - additional Lay on Hands charge and bonus Aura

Spells Description
Action_Paladin_AuraOfCourage Baldur's Gate 3Aura of Courage You and your cannot be Frightened. The effect can be deadly so becoming invulnerable to it is welcome

Level 11

We get an additional level 3 spell slot and an improvement to all Smites

Spells Description
PassiveFeature_ImprovedDivineSmite Baldur's Gate 3Improved Divine Smite Melee attacks deal an additional 1d8 damage radiant damage. This is a welcome upgrade making the iconic spell even more powerful. This upgrade works on all smites - thunderous, searing, etc.

Level 12

This is the last level for Paladin's oathbreaker builds. We get the last Feat that looks a bit underwhelming. Be sure to check the next section for the multiclass alternatives

Feat Description
ico_features Baldur's Gate 3Ability Improvement I see two options here either +2 Strength, if you have not yet maximized it to 20, or +2 Charisma, for stronger spells and auras.

Multiclass Options

Paladin Fighter

You have an option of going 10 Paladin and 2 Fighter in the last two levels. This is a good option as you trade a Feat and higher tier Divine Smite for two more attacks. This comes from Action Surge which can be used for each short rest.

This looks like a good trade and you really do not lose anything else like spells or spell slots.


The multiclass between Paladin and Warlock build - Lockadin. This is a powerful combo as you can merge an extra attack from Paladin and a Depeened Pact bonus attack from Warlock. Another aspect is that you gain spell slots that are restored each short rest and do not need to Long Rest as often.

The downside is that you have only 2 Feats and lower-level spells.

General Tips

Now I would like to cover some general tips on how to play Paladin Build. It is an extremely powerful subclass with a few things

Take control of the Undead

Oathbreakers are able to take control of the Undead from level 3 with Control Dead action. This is especially useful in Act 2 where there are many of them. They will fight for you and can be used as cannon fodder

oathbreaker control dead baldurs gate 3

They will follow you until a long rest, meaning that they can support you in multiple encounters.

Smites Explained

This is the signature action of Paladin, that invokes Radiant damage. It looks cool and does a lot of damage. However, there are a few caveats that should be explained.

divine smite baldurs gate 3

First, the Paladin gets additional Smites - Thunderous Smite, Searing Smite, etc. They are cool and give additional effects. However, they are far weaker than Divine Smite. Why? Divine Smite only uses Action points and spell slots. Other ones take Action + bonus action. More or less you get more damage per action.

paladin smites combat baldurs gate 3

Of course, other Smites come with unique effects like Blind, Freighten, etc. They are also perfect when fighting enemies weak to specific elements - thunder, fire, etc. But if the enemy dies fast, there is no use for alternative smites. So they are best used against higher-health enemies.


Thank you for reading the Oathbreaker Paladin build for Baldur's Gate 3. This is a paladin subclass that does not have to follow any rules and can be both good and evil at the same time. Moreover, they can manipulate undead and even force them under their control


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