Complete Best Builds Tierlist - Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)
Here is a Tier List, that covers roughly how I think various builds are ranked. This is subjective and based on my personal criteria. All of the builds are enough to beat the game on any difficulty.
It would be interesting to hear your opinion in the comments below!
This is the top dog of Tactician and Balanced difficulties for now. This comes from the unique synergy of Extra Attack and Deepened Pact, allowing for 3 attacks per action point. However, this seems like a bug and might be fixed soon. For now, you can enjoy an unparalleled Paladin multiclass build.
Another aspect is that you invest only in one Ability, for weapon attacks and spellcasting. This saves ability points and you can have better survivability and offensive potential with the Lockadin build.
This is an excellent build that has minimal dependencies on equipment. It relies on Wet status + Lightning spells, that are easy to achieve just from normal progression or help from group members.
Hitting enemies while they are wet with Lightning, doubles damage output. Now, imagine you use Chain Lightning to hit 4 wet enemies, and just one spell can deal 600+ damage. Use Haste and Elixir of Bloodlust, and you can delete all the enemies in a single turn.
Way of the Open Hand Monk
This is a very simple yet extremely effective build that can reliably generate damage on each turn. This build is very powerful due to the abundance of item options and Tavern Brawler feat. Using this build is like guaranteeing that you will take out at least two enemies per turn.
What makes it so powerful? You have Flurry of Blows with various unique effects, to prone or push enemies. Moreover, in later levels, you get access to Stunning Strike (Unarmed) to disable enemy actions for one turn.
Due to minimal requirements, this can be used each turn over long fights and your Ki Points are restored every short rest.
Throwing is one of the mechanics that can be easily overlooked. However, together with Tavern Brawler feat, this becomes one of the most powerful and easiest to maintain builds. What makes it unique is Berseker's ability - Frenzy.
This is a huge improvement as it allows an additional attack with bonus action straight from level 3. Now you also take Thief for another bonus action to get even more attacks per turn. Overall this becomes a powerhouse, with almost 100% hit chance and high damage.
Eldritch Knight Thrower
This is another thrower build, but it has a different approach to dealing the maximum possible damage. As a fighter, you get access to some sweet stuff:
- Action Surge
- Extra Attack and Improved Extra Attack
Now you add Eldritch Knight and this gives access to some utility spells like Shield and Enlarge, however, the main aspect is Weapon Bond which allows you to make any Throwable weapon return on throw. With this you get access to wide variety of weapons, which some of them are very powerful.
Currently, one of the two most powerful Paladin multiclass builds. It has almost everything you want - lots of spell slots, control spells, huge nova damage, proficiency in dialogue checks. It is a perfect main character.
Of course, the main downside is that it relies on a few particular items - Helmet of Arcane Acuity and Band of the Mystic Scoundrel. Without these, the build loses a lot of potential. However, having them gives the Bardadin a 100% spell success chance.
Draconic Fire Sorcerer
This is another caster build, that concentrates on Fire spells mainly. It is a very powerful one and relies on one particular item to reach the S-Tier - Hat of Fire Acuity. This guarantees a 100% spell success chance after using Scorching Ray.
After this, you can follow up with fire spells like Fireball, Wall of Fire, or Command to immobilize most of the enemies. The build suffers from some problems in Act 3. Many enemies are resistant to Fire, but this can be overcome either with Arsonist Oil or having other element spells like Lightning Bolt or Cone of Cold.
This is another Paladin multiclass build and is one of the best ones for Honour Mode difficulty. Similar to Bardadin it has a good amount of spells slots and access to amazing control and offensive spells.
Light Domain Cleric
A cleric is generally considered a healer. However, what makes it appear this high is not its healing capabilities. It is what it can do using various items and its unique reaction - Warding Flare. Light Cleric also has access to fire spells, making it a powerful spellcaster for damage.
Mainly you will be able to stack Radiant Orb on enemies to make them miss their attacks. However, this is just a part of the build as you can stack Reverbation for bonus thunder damage. So overall, a good cleric should deal good damage and apply various debuffs.
Tempest Domain Cleric
Similar to Light Domain, this gets access to Lightning-related spells and reactions, mainly - Wrath of the Storm and Destructive Wrath. The former gives bonus damage as a reaction while the latter allows to deal maximum possible damage with lightning spells.
Now imagine, casting Call Lightning with a level 5 spell slot, dealing double damage on wet enemies, and then rolling maximum for the highest damage. This is crazy while in addition you can do all the cleric stuff and apply Radiating orbs with Reverbation.
Shadow Monk Build
This build is weaker than Open Hand in terms of a simple combat approach. However, it could be one of the deadliest builds with the correct setup in the whole game. What makes it extremely powerful are Cloak of Shadows and Shadow Step actions.
The combo of those, allows you to leave/enter combat at will, allowing you to just remove enemies while they do not understand what is happening. Another attractive approach is Shadow Monk's access to Shadow Arts: Darkness giving full control of combat advantage.
Why it's at Tier A then? The setups require quite a lot of effort, and you need some advanced knowledge of the game to fully utilize the build
Battle Master Fighter
Fighter class in essence is very simple - attack with weapons as much as possible for the highest damage. Battle Master takes this a step further and enhances those attacks with additional Manoeuvres.
This feature allows for increased damage and unique effects - attack advantage, disarm, prone, etc. In essence, this keeps the simplicity of the Fighter but also gives it some strategic combat approach while also making it more powerful than just its class.
The unique combination of Bard and Sorcerer in equal weights. Why would you go with this option? My main gripe with pure Lore Bard is that it is lacking in offensive capabilities. Yes, you have Glyph of Warding, but casting it for half a game could become boring.
This is where Sorcerer comes in, and I also recommend taking Hat of Fire Acuity. With Scorching Ray you can stack up arcane acuity and get a 100% spell success chance. Amazing, right?
We can take this a step further, by getting spells like Command, Hunger of Hadar, or Spirit Guardians for extremely powerful field control. After this your group members can finish off your foes or you can follow up with Fireball.
This build is something I would call a master of control. While it is not as powerful as other Controller builds above, it is still a solid choice. One option that I like to include is Mass Healing Word which gives a unique setup for the build:
- You can heal allies
- Buff allies with Blade Ward for damage resistance with Hellrider's Pride gloves.
- Buff allies with Bless while wearing The Whispering Promise
So not only you are a powerful spellcaster but also a support build.
Sorlock has many variations, but here I am talking about one very popular setup - 2 Warlock/10 Sorcerer. What makes it unique is access to Eldritch Blast and invocations - Agonising Blast, Repelling Blast, and Devil's Sight.
Moreover, you get all the sweet stuff from Sorcerer to improve your spellcasting output. So the build is extremely versatile in most combat situations. The downside is that it is not as powerful as other spellcasters that I listed above.
This is the strongest Paladin subclass in terms of offensive capabilities. The main highlight is Aura of Hate, which increases damage based on the Charisma modifier. This may not seem too much, but with multiple attacks, the effect stacks up well.
Another highlight is related more to the gameplay - no need to follow any Oaths. This may not seem much, but with the Oathbreaker subclass, you are free to do whatever you want without any repercussions.
Sadly, as strong as it is, this does not reach the capabilities of multiclass with Sorcerer or Bard, where you get more spell slots for higher damage.
Oath of Devotion Paladin
I had some doubts including this subclass this high. It is missing some big actions that could make it stand out. However, after some playing and testing Sacred Weapon is a much more powerful option than expected. It negates negative stuff from Great Weapon Master: All In helping in early-game combat.
Devotion Paladin also accesses Sanctuary, which helps in some encounters both for friendly NPCs and your party members. Overall it is a strong option, but I have my reservations.
Oath of the Ancients Paladin
If Oathbreaker is the best offensive paladin subclass, Ancients is best in terms of support. It has two main highlights:
- Healing Radiance - that gives healing for two turns. I do not find it as useful, but this action is very popular with many players.
- Aura of Warding - very powerful defensive aura, that halves damage from spells. Sadly it is not effective in helping group members due to its short radius, but it is perfect for Paladin's survivability, especially on something like Honour Mode.
Otherwise, this is a standard Paladin subclass.
Very popular and well-known build, that fills that "Stealth Assassin" fantasy. The build is very powerful and can make many encounters trivial. It allows you to deal guaranteed critical hits on the first turn.
The downside, which you can already guess is that all of the power comes on the first turn, after that without some cheesing, your damage output drastically falls off.
Abjuration Wizard - Arcane Defender
I would say this is the only Wizard subclass that can reach this high of a position. The main reason is its combat potential and unique feature - Arcane Ward. Combining it with Armour of Agathys you get a deadly combo that can one-shot enemies without you moving a finger.
After this, you can follow up any normal Wizard spell to deal even more damage in addition to what you already did via damage reflection using Armour of Agathys.
Cold Sorcerer Build
This is a Sorcerer build that goes all-in on cold and ice-related spells. The main highlight is Ray of Frost cantrip allowing for very high damage once you set enemies wet. You also get access to Ice Storm, and Cone of Cold for some very powerful area-of-effect spells.
The build is reliant on Wet status and sadly requires to multiclass into Cleric to get this early on. There are workarounds, like dropping the water bottle (which is tedious) and Water Myrmidon from Conjure Elemental, but it is accessible late in the game.
The build just being 10-level Lore Bard, is guaranteed to be very high on this list. By taking Warlock the build gets a small buff up in the cantrip department, allowing for some offensive options when saving spell slots.
Moreover, Warlock gives unique dialogue options, and some other goodies like Devil's Sight allowing you to combo it with Darkness for ultimate ranged protection.
This build may be suffering from some favoritism, from me... Overall, I enjoyed playing and making it. Warlocks, are very popular, and making a pure one without multiclassing was enjoyable.
It is truly powerful, as you get access to plenty of spells both offensive and control. Moreover, the melee setup does not make it suffer much as you can utilize both spells and cantrips to further boost what your melee attacks can do.
Still, the main thing that is keeping it this high is itemization as without gear, this build would go down in rankings in my opinion.
Way of the Four Elements Monk
In my opinion, this is the most underwhelming Monk subclass. It has good stuff like Flurry of Blows, but its subclass effects are only good in theory. It is cool to use various elements, but without big effort and a lot of optimizations, this falls off and doesn't scale well into the late game.
Champion Fighter Build
The build is effective frontline, but this effectiveness could be achieved just with pure Fighter. The subclass is disappointing as the critical range increase is not as good as many people expect if you look at the math. Moreover, there are no other highlights compared to Battle Master or Eldritch Knight, that would make it stand out.
Eldritch Blast Build
This is one of the most popular builds by far. It mostly relies on Eldritch Blast to both deal damage and control the battlefield using Invocations. The question is, why it is not higher?
The build limits itself in terms of spellcasting by not getting access to high-level spell slots and spells. Of course, you can delete everything with Eldritch Blast, but this starts to get boring after 10 hours.
Wild Magic Sorcerer Build
Wild Magic is an interesting concept that allows for some unique random events. However, the build reaches this only at level 11, and before that, you are more or less just a pure Sorcerer. This is not bad, but in that case, why not go with another subclass, that gives unique playstyles much earlier?
Oath of Vengeance Build
This is the weakest Paladin subclass in my opinion. It starts strong by getting Inquisitor's Might with Vow of Enmity. These are amazing, especially the latter one. However, it does not get any auras and the later-level actions are good, but you will not use them much as a Paladin.
Magic Missile Build
The build here is very straightforward and goes all in on the level 1 spell - Magic Missile. What makes it special is that this spell has a 100% chance to hit and can be upcast to level 6. To further empower it you take Evocation Wizard for Empowered Evocation feature.
In Act 3 you also gain Curriculum of Strategy: Artistry of War and an improved version that can deal even more damage. However, my main gripe with this build comes more from Wizard and not the spell. The build comes online very late in level 10 and is also item dependant if you want to do big damage.
Life Domain Cleric Build
A very attractive subclass by many people as it concentrates on Healing. This is a good choice a first glance, however, once you understand the mechanics of the game, most of these healing options limit your combat or control potential.
This is still a strong build as a Cleric, you get access to Spirit Guardians and with specific Reverbation/Radiant Orb gear you can greatly limit the enemy's combat capabilities.
Beast Master Ranger Build
I wanted to love this build, but there are some limitations in my opinion. Overall the mechanics of Beast Companions are very cool, and as a ranger, you are a good martial both ranged and on the frontlines.
The main gripe comes from the bugged AI of beasts. The only one that works okay is Dire Raven. With others, you will be pulling your hair, when you enter the combat and it is staying at the other side of the map, stuck on some doors.
However, this is not the only gripe, if Beast Master had a little bonus for the weapons that would boost damage a little I would definitely put it in A rank.
Arcane Trickster build
This was one of the first builds that I used. It is very fun in theory, however, the Mage Hand in underwhelming, spell progression is lacklustre and it is much cheaper than any of the other rogue multiclass.
The build is still okay to finish the game, but it falls off compared to anything else on the list.