Baldur’s Gate 3: Class Tier List

Baldur's Gate 3: Class Tier List

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The Ultimate Baldur’s Gate 3 Class Guide

The grand roster of Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts 12 classes and a staggering 46 subclasses, each one playing a distinct yet integral part in the party’s four-person ensemble. Even seasoned D&D veterans may find themselves frozen with indecision when faced with the Character Creation screen, let alone those fresh to the world of Faerûn.

Baldur’s Gate 3

This guide aims to dissect each class and guide you towards the one that aligns best with your desired playstyle and gameplay, ensuring a memorable and epic journey as you explore the Gates.

Preface And Criteria

Baldur’s Gate 3 Advantage

Viability

Baldur’s Gate 3 is a very well-balanced game. Every class is viable—and can flourish in their given role given the right builds, investment and party.

This tier list aims to highlight those that particularly excel in the game’s core mechanics.

Focus

Our focus in judging each class leans towards combat and utility.

Of course, roleplay is a massive part of the game. However, because each player will have a unique approach to it (for instance, a silver-tongued bard who sways with persuasion vs. a gruff soldier who prefers to intimidate), it’s challenging to universally evaluate every aspect of roleplay.

That said, we do consider social and knowledge-based skill proficiencies and expertise as a whole, as they can significantly impact gameplay.

Criteria

  1. Direct Combat Effectiveness: Damage output, area/single-target capabilities, melee/ranged options.
  2. Indirect Combat Effectiveness: Healing, crowd control, conditions, field control/displacement, buffs.
  3. Non-Combat/Utility: Mobility, socialization, skill proficiency/expertise.
  4. Versatility: Ability to take on various aspects of core gameplay (and do them well).

Our tier list assumes a diverse party composition, targeting each class’s intended role, not solo play. These ratings would differ greatly for a solo run.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Class Tier List

Baldur’s Gate 3 Advantage
Tier Classes
S Wizard, Cleric, Sorcerer
A Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Rogue
B Barbarian, Druid, Warlock
C Ranger

S-Tier: Wizard

Wizard
  • Party Role: Striker, Blaster, Controller, Support
  • Hit Dice: 1d6
  • Ability Scores: Intelligence

Overview

  • Massive list of strong spell options.
  • Prepared spellcasters; able to switch spells as needed.
  • Can collect spells from scrolls.
  • Fill a vast variety of roles in battle.
  • High intelligence-based knowledge checks.
  • Extremely fragile.

Analysis

The Wizard deserves their spot in this tier for several reasons, central of which is the sheer volume of their spell repertoire.

Boasting the largest spell list in the game, they’re prepared spellcasters who have the flexibility to switch spells on the go. This versatility is further enhanced by the unique ability to collect and learn spells from scrolls they find, allowing their potential to scale exponentially throughout your journey.

The Wizard’s expansive spell library allows them to fill multiple roles during battles. They can output high damage with their spell slots or utilize crowd control to manipulate the battlefield to their advantage. Their arsenal includes some of the most potent control and damage spells in the game, like Sleep and Fireball, providing a range of options that can turn the tide of any encounter—capable of supporting both spellcasting and martial allies.

Their focus on Intelligence also equates to high knowledge checks, making it easier to uncover aspects of the narrative that can be crucial for plot progression.

They are, however, notoriously fragile. Wizards can mitigate some of this risk through defensive spells such as Mage Armor, but they should still certainly avoid the frontlines. Good positioning is vital to keeping your Wizard alive and off the ground.

Subclasses

School of Evocation: B

The Evocation subclass focuses on destructive elemental magic—which is one of the Wizard’s strongest suits.

The lower ranking on this subclass, however, is because the Evocation subclass’ early features do very little to enhance the damage capabilities of the Wizard. Sculpt Spell, the Evocation Wizard’s first subclass feature, gives the Wizard the ability to exclude allies from their destructive area-of-effect spells. This can be very useful, but can be somewhat mitigated already with proper positioning from allies.

School of Abjuration: C

Abjuration Wizards focus on defense and support.

Its first subclass feature, Arcane Ward, grants temporary hitpoints upon the casting of an Abjuration spell. Unfortunately, the list of Abjuration spells in the game is very small, and even fewer are on the Wizard spell list. The survivability and supportive capabilities that this subclass grants the Wizard are underwhelming compared to classes dedicated to those roles, and it is difficult for this subclass to flourish without specialized builds or items.

S-Tier: Cleric

Cleric
  • Party Role: Support, Controller, Blaster
  • Hit Dice: 1d8
  • Ability Scores: Wisdom

Overview

  • Exceptional supportive capabilities.
  • Offers huge buffs to party durability and damage output.
  • Excellent support spells, good control spells.
  • Subclasses grant further specialization and expanded spell list.
  • Lacks great AOE damage options.

Analysis

The Cleric merits their position in this tier due to their exceptional supportive capabilities. They possess an array of spells that can effectively enhance the survivability of the party while simultaneously increasing their damage output.

Their spell list boasts some of the best supportive spells in the game. ‘Healing Word’ optimizes the otherwise-inefficient in-combat healing by utilizing a Bonus Action instead of an Action, which keeps your allies in battle without sacrificing the Cleric’s turn. ‘Bless’ also significantly improves the performance of the entire team by augmenting hit and saving throw success rates.

Although the primary function of Clerics is to offer support, they also have access to valuable control spells such as ‘Hold Person.’ Plus, the Cleric’s subclasses and patron deities each offer additional specialization in the form of proficiencies and expanded spell lists—this often allows the Cleric to excel in more than just their main party role.

The high Wisdom score inherent to Clerics also leads to improved Perception and Insight checks, which can provide information important to progressing through the game.

The base Cleric class, however, tends to be lacking in area-of-effect damage options—which isn’t a huge problem if you’re building them as a support.

Subclasses

Light Domain: A

The Light Domain offers Clerics offensive capabilities in battle.

Radiance of Dawn does considerable area-of-effect damage, while Warding Flare imposes disadvantage on enemies at the cost of a reaction. The Cleric has little to no use for their reaction, so this is an excellent use of it. The spell list also includes high-damaging spells such as Burning Hands and Fireball—useful, as the base class lacks in similar areas, as mentioned above.

Life Domain: A

Life Domain Clerics focus entirely on honing their healing capabilities.

Preserve Life and Disciple of Life both sGameTopicificantly boost the cleric’s healing, making it the best healer of the game. The potency of these healing features allows the party to play more aggressively, knowing that they’ll come out of any skirmish better for it than the opponents.

S-Tier: Sorcerer

Sorcerer
  • Party Role: Blaster, Striker, Controller
  • Hit Dice: 1d6
  • Ability Scores: Charisma

Overview

  • High, unmatched damage output.
  • Customization of spells.
  • Charisma-based, boost to social interactions.
  • Relatively fragile.

Analysis

Sorcerers earn their place in this tier by boasting incredible damage potential and impressive customizability over their magic.

Their playstyle is very similar to the Wizard’s, though they have a smaller spell list and they do not have the ability to prepare spells. While the Wizard is excellent for their versatility, Sorcerers pick one thing and do it extremely well.

Sorcerers truly stand out thanks to their unique Metamagic feature. This feature, allowing them to customize their spells—such as by extending the duration, reducing the enemies’ resistance against them, and doubling the spell output—grants them an unparalleled damage ceiling. Among the Metamagic options, Twinned Spell especially stands out, letting them double-target with a single spell, which can be game-changing in combat scenarios.

The high Charisma score inherent to Sorcerers also leads to improved socialization checks, which can provide information important to progressing through the game.

Also like Wizards, however—base Sorcerers are really squishy and will need to be positioned well to survive long battles.

Subclasses

Draconic Bloodline: A

The Draconic Bloodline subclass grants Sorcerers an added layer of survivability, making them less dependent on Mage Armor and more resilient.

It also opens up a lineage-specific array of great spells, expanding their combat versatility according to their chosen dragon ancestry.

Wild Magic: B

The Wild Magic subclass introduces Wild Magic Surge, which triggers unpredictable magical effects during combat. This unpredictability can lead to unfavorable outcomes, even potentially harming your party. Despite the randomness, however, the Wild Magic subclass provides really fun and chaotic gameplay, and a spectacularly beneficial surge can significantly turn the tide of a battle.

A-Tier: Bard

Bard
  • Party Role: Support, Controller
  • Hit Dice: 1d8
  • Ability Scores: Charisma

Overview

  • Enhances party damage output and survivability.
  • Great selection of crowd control.
  • Lots of skill proficiencies and unique skill expertise.
  • Charisma-based boost to social interactions.
  • High Stealth for sneaking past enemies.

Analysis

The Bard can prove invaluable to almost any party composition due to its supportive capabilities and well-rounded skillset. They bring a significant boost to the party’s damage output and survivability.

Their ability to control the battlefield with Enchantment and Illusion spells is almost unmatched. They have a ton of crowd-control options and can manipulate the dynamics of any encounter to the party’s advantage. Their Bardic Inspiration feature is also a solid boon to party performance.

Out of combat, Bards excel with an impressive list of proficiencies and expertise. Their unique ‘Jack of All Trades’ feature means they can handle a variety of situations effectively, making them a versatile choice for resolving challenges. Of course, their high Charisma and likely proficiency in socialization skills also greatly help in out-of-combat situations.

Subclasses

College of Lore: S

The College of Lore subclass takes the already versatile bard and pushes it to new heights. It leans heavily into the bard’s inherent flexibility and greatly enhances Bardic Inspiration with Cutting Words. Cutting Words allows Bardic Inspiration to be used both offensively and defensively, with the ability to turn enemy successes into failures.

College of Valor: C

Valor Bards get a combat upgrade with martial weapons, medium armor, and shields, and tries to make a tougher skirmisher out of the Bard. They can also add their Combat Inspiration to Armor Class for extra resilience, which is quite good. However, this strays from the Bard’s core strength: support. Using Combat Inspiration for damage is also almost never as worthwhile as enhancing attack rolls, making this subclass less efficient in its intended role.

A-Tier: Fighter

Fighter
  • Party Role: Striker
  • Hit Dice: 1d10
  • Ability Scores: Strength/Dexterity, Constitution

Overview

  • Notable durability and damage.
  • Six Fighting Styles, each with unique and strong bonuses that increase versatility.
  • Features are simple, versatile, dependable, and recharge quickly.
  • Lack the means to protect squishier allies.
  • Limited out-of-combat utility.

Analysis

The Fighters boast impressive durability and damage, making them a solid class choice.

Second Wind is a self-heal that can be used as a bonus action and is restored after a short rest, providing sizable sustainability to Fighters without costing an action in a fight. Action Surge, another short-rest feature, can also significantly boost damage when used in conjunction with crowd-control and party setup.

A Fighter can also specialize in one of six fighting styles, with each providing different bonuses. Most of these styles offer substantial benefits that can either significantly boost your durability or damage output—and all of which add to the versatility of the class.

Their features are straightforward, reliable, versatile, and recharge quickly.

Subclasses

Battlemaster: S

Perhaps no other subclass provides more mastery over its core class role than the Battlemaster. For a little added resource-management, the Battlemaster gets a rechargeable well of combat maneuvers that can add devastating efficiency to your damage output in fights. The combat maneuver Riposte is especially worth a mention because it utilizes the Fighter’s reaction, which otherwise sees little use out of Attacks of Opportunity.

Eldritch Knight: C

The Eldritch Knight subclass imbues the Fighter class with limited spellcasting. Unfortunately, casting spells from the backline is as far as it gets from where a Fighter should be—and if they’re in the front, the frequent concentration saving throws makes their spellcasting completely counterproductive. Spells that enhance melee attacks (such as Green Flame Blade and Booming Blade) which make the Eldritch Knight so potent in the tabletop version of the game, are also not present.

A-Tier: Paladin

Paladin
  • Party Role: Striker, Support, Defender
  • Hit Dice: 1d10
  • Ability Scores: Strength, Charisma, Constitution

Overview

  • High offensive, defensive, and support capabilities.
  • Features like Lay On Hands and Smites provide potent healing and damage.
  • Unique “taunt” mechanic can manage enemy aggression.
  • Subclasses impose specific conduct rules on gameplay.
  • Breaking these oaths rules results in loss of subclass.
  • Charisma-based, boost to social interactions.
  • Unreliable due to potential oath conflict but engaging for roleplayers.

Analysis

The Paladin is an absolute powerhouse in offensive, defensive, and support capabilities alike. They can heal, buff, output potent damage and are bastions of durability while doing it.

Lay On Hands provides reliable healing, and Smites can be devastatingly brutal against single targets in fights. They also have one of the few “taunt” mechanics in the game and are able to use Compelled Duel to draw enemy aggression.

However, the strength of the Paladin comes with a unique roleplay restriction: choosing an oath means you’ll need to commit to a specific code of conduct, and breaking its stringent rules (such as turning down those in need as a Devotion Paladin) will result in the loss of your subclass.

This aspect adds a layer of complexity to the Paladin, making them less reliable in certain circumstances where their Oath could conflict with the group’s interests or strategies. Still, this constraint also makes the Paladin especially engaging for those who enjoy the roleplay aspect of the game.

Subclasses

Oath of the Ancients: A

Sharing the same ideals as many Rangers and Druids, Oath of the Ancients Paladins aim to preserve the sanctity of life and nature. The tenets of this oath are sGameTopicificantly more difficult to break than that of Devotion, and its subclass features offer solid crowd-control options as well as exponentially-scaling, radial healing (level multiplied by your Charisma modifier) that especially excels in a party with lots of martials or frontliners.

Oath of Devotion: B

The Oath of Devotion Paladin, encapsulating the quintessential paladin role, is a potent combination of offense, defense, and healing—it does well in all the roles that a Paladin should excel in. However, their strict moral codes, such as refraining from stealth attacks or deception, can severely limit gameplay strategies—and it’s exceedingly easy to accidentally break your oath and lose your subclass as a result.

Oathbreaker: B

Oathbreakers are Paladins who broke their oath, losing their original subclass features. Though the process is reversible, it does cost a sizable amount of gold. Oathbreakers come with their own set of features, focusing on doing necrotic damage and controlling the battlefield by pitting foes against each other. Though they lose much of their subclasses’ supportive capabilities, they are still powerful in their own right—and without the restrictions of their oaths.

A-Tier: Rogue

Rogue
  • Party Role: Striker, Scout
  • Hit Dice: 1d8
  • Ability Scores: Dexterity

Overview

  • High burst-damage potential.
  • Very high mobility.
  • Low durability and consistent damage.
  • Relies on getting advantage, and doesn’t scale as well.
  • Highest number of proficiencies and unique skill expertise.
  • High Stealth for sneaking past enemies.

Analysis

A great addition to your party, the Rogue has extremely high burst-damage potential when played correctly. Sneak Attack can provide a substantial damage boost—but is dependent on being able to get advantage over foes or proper ally positioning. On that note, being able to consistently crit (such as in a party with Sleep and other incapacitation spells) will also boost the Rogue’s damage significantly due to the Sneak Attack dice being doubled.

Cunning Action gives the Rogue impressive mobility, costing a Bonus Action to be able to dip in and out of combat with increased movement. Unfortunately, their trade-off for mobility when compared to other strikers is durability (with their d8 hit dice), making them more fragile than other strikers and requiring proper positioning to play.

It’s worth noting that rogues have the highest amount of proficiencies and are one of the very few who