Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build guide – spells, subclass, BG3 skills

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build guide – spells, subclass, BG3 skills
Trent Cannon Updated on by

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Would you sell your soul for power? You can with our Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build guide. If you’re not sure where to start with playing or building a Warlock, this guide has everything you need.

Like in the tabletop version of D&D, Warlocks in Baldur’s Gate 3 get their powers from forming a pact with an otherworldly, possibly sinister figure. This gives them a unique place in Baldur’s Gate 3 lore, tying them to some of the most powerful creatures in existence. Check out some Baldur’s Gate 3 cheats if you’re looking to rewrite the game’s properties itself.

Unlike Sorcerers, who are born with their magic abilities, Warlocks rely on their patrons for power. In addition to picking the best spells in Baldur’s Gate 3, there are several important choices to make as you level up your Warlock which can define your party role and influence your dialogue options. Here’s what we consider to be one of the best Warlock builds.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock build guide: Warlock character during a cutscene

Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock Best Build 

Warlocks are arcane spellcasters like Sorcerers and Wizards, but they function very differently. They get access to fewer spells and spell slots, but they regain their expended spell slots after a short or long rest. In exchange for these limitations, Warlocks have access to unique spells that can pack a serious punch.

When building your Warlock, make sure that Charisma is your highest ability stat. As a result, your Warlock will be able to persuade or intimidate characters in conversations with ease. In addition, this will make your spells harder to resist and will boost your damage for many of your spells. Because the full build of the game moved Ability Score bonuses to classes rather than to race, your race is less important to your build. Still, both Tieflings and Drow both have bonus spells that make them well-suited to a Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build.

Until you pick a Pact Boon at Level 3, equipment won’t play a huge role in your Warlock build, so focus on items that boost your Charisma and wearing Light Armour that won’t interfere with your spellcasting abilities.

Best BG3 Warlock Ability Score

Here is the Ability Score distribution we recommend when you first create your Warlock character:

Strength (Str)8
Dexterity (Dex)13
Constitution (Con)16
Wisdom (Wis)10
Intelligence (Int)10
Charisma (Cha)17

Your first priority should be to raise your Charisma to the 20 limit using either items or your level up bonuses. Once that is done, focus on either Dexterity to raise your Armour Class and Initiative score or Constitution to make yourself more difficult to kill. This can be done whenever you have access to Baldur’s Gate 3 feats. Using the Ability Improvement feat at level 4, level 8, and level 12 can give your stats a solid boost with 2 ability points per feat.

Warlock Class Proficiencies in Baldur’s Gate 3

Here’s a list of the skills that the Warlock is proficient in with respect to Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Warlock Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor
  • Warlock Saving Throws: Charisma & Wisdom
  • Warlock Skill Proficiencies: Choose from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Nature, & Religion
  • Warlock Weapon Proficiencies: Simple Weapons
Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock: A Warlock  checks their Eldritch Invocations in the game.

Best Warlock race to pick in BG3

While all BG3 races have their own advantages, some of them are particularly suited to becoming Warlocks. While the Early Access build of Baldur’s Gate 3 assigned some ability points based on race, that is no longer the case. So it’s only the racial traits that you need to keep your eye on. With that, here are the best Warlock races in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Asmodeus Tiefling: Hellish Resistance against Fire damage and Hellish Rebuke to damage attackers are great traits for a magic user up against elemental or human forces. Extra spells and a cantrip let you build your Warlock for more situations while Darkvision ensures that the dark isn’t a threat but an ally.
  • Drow: This option also has extra spells and a cantrip to maximize your spell-wielding potential. Superior Darkvision gives you a leg up on other races and so do their weapon proficiencies. Fey Ancestry also grants an advantage on saving throws against being Charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep. This is great against other spells that test your Charisma.

Best background for a Warlock

Here are the best backgrounds for a Warlock in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Guild Artisan – Proficiency in Insight and Persuasion. Here’s the background’s official in-game description: “Your skill in a particular craft has earned you membership in a mercantile guild, offering privileges and protection while engaging in your art. Repairing and discovering rare crafts will bring new inspiration.”
  • Noble – Proficiency in History and Persuasion. Here’s the background’s official in-game description: “You were raised in a family among the social elite, accustomed to power and privilege. Accumulating renown, power, and loyalty will raise your status.”

Best Warlock Spells in Baldur’s Gate 3

With such limited spell slots, it’s important to ensure that each one you pick serves a purpose. Which spells you choose will depend on the role you want your character to play in the party. With only four party members available at a time, your Warlock must be able to deal arcane damage, so we suggest including the following spells:

  • Eldritch Blast – This is easily the most powerful cantrip in Baldur’s Gate 3. It deals good damage that scales as you level up and has an impressive range. No Warlock build is complete without it. It deals Force damage.
  • Scorching Ray – Another powerful spell that gets stronger as you level up.
  • Hex – You should take Hex as your main Level 1 spell, which allows you to deal extra damage against a specific enemy and move it to another enemy when they die. It also lets you disadvantage this enemy in an ability of your choice. Pair this with forcing a saving throw to improve your odds of success.
  • Misty Step – This spell allows you to move between points on the map quickly, which is perfect for a spellcaster who is low on hit points and needs to get themselves out of danger.
Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock build guide: a beast on fire

Best Warlock Subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3

As soon as you create your Warlock, you have to pick a patron for your Warlock. This is the being that imbibes your character with a fraction of their power. There are three options to choose from at Level 1:

  • The Fiend – You have made a deal with a greater demon or devil. While you might not be evil in nature, they certainly will try to twist you toward their dark ways. This pact excels at dealing damage, both in melee and through spellcasting.
  • The Great Old One – Your patron is a being from beyond space and time, with motivations and desires that are alien and unknowable. The powers they provide make them great at both buffing allies and debuffing enemies in combat. These Warlocks gain the Mortal Reminder passive which makes enemies Frightened on critical hits. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter and Dissonant Whispers are great ways to temporarily disable threats in the game.
  • The Archfey – You caught the attention of a Lord or Lady of the Fey. They exist outside of human morality and can be both cruel and benevolent in equal measure. Choose this pact if you want access to powerful crowd-control abilities.

The Fiend Pact is a good pick as it gives you access to Dark One’s Blessing. This feature grants you temporary hit points every time you kill an enemy, which can make your Warlock significantly more durable as a battle rages on. But we recommend the Archfey as its feature Fey Presence lets you charm nearby enemies. You also get access to spells like Charm Person and Phantasmal Killer.

Here are the features that the Archfey Warlock has access to in BG3:

  • Fey Presence – Charms or Frightens nearby enemies at level 1
  • Misty Escape – Upon taking damage, become Invisible. On your next turn, you can cast Misty Step, though this will break your invisibility. You get this at level 6
  • Beguiling Defences – You are immune to being Charmed. You get this at level 10

Warlock best equipment in Baldur’s Gate 3

Here are some of the best equipment you can find for the Warlock class in BG3:

  • Birthright – Increase Charisma +2
  • Cloak of the Weave – You gain a +1 bonus to Spell Save DC and Spell Attack Rolls; Absorb elemental damage once per Short Rest. Take half damage from the next elemental attack targeting you, and deal an additional 1d6 of that element type on your next attack.
  • Amulet of Greater Health – Increases the wearer’s Constitution score to 23. Advantage on Constitution Saving Throws Checks.
  • Killer’s Sweetheart – When you kill a creature, your next Attack Roll will be a critical hit. Once spent, this effect refreshes after a Long Rest.
  • Shifting Corpus Ring – Gain access to the Invisibility and Blur spells
  • Infernal Rapier – can summon Planar Ally level 6 Cambion
  • Viconia’s Walking Fortress – returns damage, can knock prone, and Reflect Shell ability

Warlock features explained

Here are the features you can use as a Warlock in BG3:

Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock Eldritch Invocations

The second choice you have to make when building your Warlock is which Eldritch Invocations to pick. These can boost your existing spells or give you access to new abilities altogether starting at Level 2. You are generally free to choose whichever Invocation you like, depending on how you want your Warlock to play in a party, but we highly recommend including Agonizing Blast. This allows you to boost the damage of the already powerful Eldritch Blast with the Charisma modifier and is a necessity for any damage-dealing Warlock build in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Warlock Pact Boon in Baldur’s Gate 3

The final decision you need to make in your Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build is your Pact Boon at Level 3. There are three of them to choose from and they massively change how your Warlock plays at higher levels.

  • Pact of the Chain – This pact gives you access to a Familiar – a subservient being that you can cast spells through.
  • Pact of the Tome – Picking this pact lets you choose several new spells from any spell list, which can make your Warlock far more adaptable in combat.
  • Pact of the Blade – Your Warlock gains a powerful pact weapon, which acts as a unique magic weapon that can be summoned and dismissed at will.

While each of the Pacts have their strengths, the most versatile and powerful of these Warlock options is Pact of the Blade. You still have all your spellcasting options while gaining a significant upgrade in combat.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock: A Warlock  casts Eldritch Blast on an enemy.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock Build explained

At level 1, consider picking up these spells as an Archfey Warlock:

  • Eldritch Blast – 1d10 force damage via an 18-meter beam. Remember Cantrips do not use spell slots. Warlocks have very few spell slots so cantrips are a good idea.
  • Blade Ward – Take only half of the damage from Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing attack.
  • Hex – Curse a creature so it takes additional damage whenever you attack it and inflict Disadvantage on Ability Checks with an Ability of your choosing.

Hex and Eldritch Blast should get you through most encounters as long as you are supported by a class that can sustain damage like the Barbarian or Fighter. At level 2, the Archfey Warlock gets one spell, two Eldritch Invocations, another Warlock Spell Slot, and a chance to replace a spell. And at level 3, you get improved Warlock spells, an additional spell, and the Pact Boon option.

Here’s what we recommend for the spells as a level 3 Archfey Warlock:

  • Sleep – Put creatures into a magical slumber. Select targets up to a combined 24 hit points.
  • Misty Step – Enveloped in a shimmering silver mist, you can instantly teleport to an unoccupied space within an 18m range that you can see.
  • Mirror Image – Create 3 illusory duplicates of yourself that distract attackers. Each duplicate increases your Armour Class by 3.

At level 4, you can pick a feat. Consider a +2 Charisma Ability Improvement feat as this ability ties into all your major spells. As for spells, here’s our top spell pick for level 5 Archfey Warlocks:

  • Shatter – Damages all nearby creatures and objects. Creatures made of inorganic material such as stone have a Disadvantage on their Saving Throw. On Save: Targets still take half damage.
  • Counterspell – Nullify another creature’s spell as a reaction. The spell must be 3rd level or lower. If it is higher, you must succeed in a Check to nullify it, the difficulty of which is based on the spell’s Level.
✓ Antony’s annotation

Counterspell is great against high-level spellcasters

While it might not seem useful at first, this spell can help you neutralize powerful spellcasters in Acts 2 and 3.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock: A Warlock  checks their Pact Boon in the level-up screen.

At level 6, get the Hunger of Hadar spell. Create a sphere of cold blackness, teeming with unknown horrors. Creatures starting their turn in the take 2d6 Cold damage, which is massive. Creatures ending their turn in the area possibly take 2d6 Acid damage. The area is Difficult Terrain and creatures within are Blinded. Remember that this spells needs concentration to maintain.

Once you reach level 7, the Book of Ancient Secrets gives you three spells without a spell cost requirement. It’s a new Eldritch Invocation. Here are the spells you should pick as a Archfey Warlock in BG3:

  • Ray of Sickness (free spell) – Possibly Poisons the target.
  • Chromatic Orb (free spell) – Hurl a sphere of energy. It deals 3d8 Thunder damage, or deals 2d8 Acid, Cold; Fire, Lightning, or Poison damage and creates a surface.
  • Silence (free spell) – Create a sound-proof sphere. All within are Silenced and Immune to Thunder damage.
  • Blight – Plants are more susceptible to this spell: they roll with Disadvantage, and still take half of all the damage if they succeed the roll. On Save: Targets still takes half damage.

Level 8 gives you a new feat and spell. Banishment lets you banish an enemy to another plane for two turns. This is great when your party is in a tight spot. As for the feat, you can add to your Charisma once more. At level 9, you get another Eldritch Invocation and spell. The Minions of Chaos Eldritch Invocation lets you conjure an elemental to fight alongside you.

Beginning at level 10, your patron teaches you how to turn the mind-affecting magic of your enemies against them. You are immune to being charmed, and when another creature attempts to charm you, you can use your reaction to attempt to turn the charm back on that creature. You also get another cantrip and spell. Consider Dimension Door for a sweet “get out of jail” card for you and an ally.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock: A Warlock  checks their feats in the level-up screen.

At level 11, the Mystic Arcanum feature lets you cast a level 6 spell without using a spell slot once per Long Rest. Consider picking Circle of Death. This lets you sculpt a massive sphere of entropic energy around a creature. It devastates the target and all surrounding creatures. And finally at level 12, you get a spell, an Eldritch Invocation, and a feat. The Devil’s Sight Eldritch Invocation lets you see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 24m. Elemental Affinity is a good feat if you consistently use one source of damage like Eldritch Blast.

If you are looking for more info on the different classes in the game, we have an overview of all the Baldur’s Gate 3 classes and subclasses for you to check out. We covered how this freedom of choice plays into the game’s narrative in our Baldur’s Gate 3 review. Players looking to spice up their gameplay can check out the best Baldur’s Gate 3 mods. Finally, fans of simply hitting things with a weapon will find plenty of info in our Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian build guide, which can help you create the perfect feral warrior.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build FAQ

Does Baldur’s Gate 3 have warlocks?

Yes, Baldur’s Gate 3 has the Warlock class.

What is the best Warlock Cantrip in Baldur’s Gate 3?

Eldritch Blast is the best Warlock cantrip in Baldur’s Gate 3.