The best D&D multiclass builds in Baldur's Gate 3

Shadowheart's eyes go white as she holds a glowing magic artifact
(Image credit: Larian)

Baldur's Gate 3's multiclass system had me giddy to get busy crafting some kind of messed up new type of guy out of the component parts of Dungeons & Dragons like I did in CRPGs of yore, a Fighter / Mage / Artificer / Hierophant / Whatever, man. Multiclassing has always been synonymous with getting the most out of these games for the more grognardy sort of RPG-liker.

D&D's multiclass rules will let you combine multiple Baldur's Gate 3 classes together into a hybrid that's more powerful, or maybe just more fun, than either individually. You're also walking a tightrope, risking a watered down character if you don't manage a careful balance of how much to invest in each class and when. In the first part of this guide, I'll go over the basic rules and best practices of multiclassing, but you can skip to the second section for a collection of multiclass builds and multiclass ideas.

Note: We've updated this guide from its pre-release version based on what we've found in the full game.

How to multiclass

Each time you level up in Baldur's Gate 3, you can choose any of its 12 classes to progress in. Baldur's Gate 3 has actually removed tabletop attribute restrictions from multiclasses, so your only restriction is whether the choice is worthwhile or not.

Baldur's Gate 3 has a relatively low level cap of 12, and multiclassing can delay or lock you out of endgame abilities⁠—how much of a loss this is depends on the class. A lot of key bonuses are also tied to the level of your individual classes as opposed to your overall level. For example, you get an "ASI" or feat/attribute bonus every four levels of a class⁠—a level 8 fighter would have two ASIs, while a 5 Fighter/3 Rogue would have just one.

Other level milestones to keep in mind:

  • Extra Attack: Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers, Monks, and Paladins get a second full attack per turn at level 5. Blade/Valour Bards get this at level 6. Extra Attack is a priority ability you don't want to delay more than one or two levels.
  • Subclass: Most classes let you choose a subclass at level 3 (your Bard college, for example). This is often, but not always, the minimum number of levels you want to hit in a second or third class. Most spellcasters, and also Paladins, choose their subclass at level 1.
  • Spell levels: Full casters gain new spell levels and spell slots every odd class level. Additionally, spellcaster/spellcaster multiclasses have a shared pool of spell slots, removing a major disadvantage of this kind of character in older versions of D&D. A Wizard 4/Cleric 3 can only cast level 2 spells from each class, but will have a large number of spell slots to devote to each, with their Cleric spells able to go in Wizard slots and vice versa⁠—it's not known if Larian has tweaked that progression from tabletop rules, though.
  • Proficiencies: Classes gain fewer weapon, skill, and saving throw proficiencies when chosen later on than at level 1. It can sometimes be beneficial to choose a class like Fighter or Rogue at level 1 for their excellent martial/skill proficiencies, even if they aren't going to be your main class focus.
  • Attributes: While those feats can be tempting, the highest you can raise an Attribute at character creation is 17 for a +3 bonus to its applications. You get another +1 every even level, to a max of +5 at 20 in a stat. I've found that a lot of my characters have 17 in a primary stat, and 15 in a secondary, and increasing both of those attributes to the next threshold is almost always the best use of your first ASI.

Sorcadins are out, Palocks are in

(Image credit: Larian)

Paladin 2 / Warlock 10  😈👼️

  • Pick this if you want: A knight-errant spellsword with a darker side
  • Key Abilities: Divine Smite + Warlock spell slots, Pact of the Blade
  • Priority Attributes: Charisma, Strength* (consider respeccing to just Charisma)
  • Secondary Attributes: Constitution, Dexterity
  • Non-combat capability: Pretty good! Definitely get proficiency in Persuade.
  • Recommended starting race: Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Zariel Tiefling, Dragonborn
  • Leveling order: Take your two levels of Pally, then all Warlock, baby.

The beloved Sorcadin of tabletop powergaming fame is a little bit DOA in Baldur's Gate 3. The melee cantrips that make it work, Green Flame Blade and Booming Blade (they basically function as regular attacks, helping make up for the loss of Extra Attack), are absent in Larian's take on D&D 5e, meaning that a traditional Paladin 2 / Sorcerer 10 Sorcadin is much less effective.

You could still get a nice gumbo cooking with a Paladin 6 / Sorcerer 6, but I'll do you one better: The Palock, a Paladin 2 / Warlock 10. If you choose Pact of the Blade as your pact boon, your Warlock will effectively get extra attack even as a spellcasting class. It only applies to Pact weapons, but you can Bind magical weapons to act as pact weapons.

You can use Warlock spell slots to crank out the Paladin's incredibly powerful Divine Smite, and you even get more and higher-level spell slots at a faster rate than a Pally. The pièce de résistance is that Warlocks get spells back on short rest, which means restoring Divine Smite uses on short rest—welcome to Smite City baby. 

As a note: Divine Smite implementation with Warlock spells seems to be a little iffy at the moment. Some users report that you can only use your Warlock slots for smiting after exhausting all your Paladin ones, and the Warlock slots currently don't work with Divine Smite reactions. It's unclear if this is a bug or some intentional balancing with the Warlock's short rest spell slot restoring.

I think you could have fun with this build playing from the early game and not respeccing, but just note that it has two power spikes: level 5 (Warlock level 3), when you can choose your Pact, as well as level 7, when you take your fifth Warlock level and nab Extra Attack with pact weapons. You'll still be dishing out the smites, but level 7 is about the latest I'd want to delay Extra attack for a martial character.

In praise of respeccing: Blade Pact Warlocks can use their Charisma modifier instead of Strength when attacking with their pact weapons, meaning you've got all the reason in the world to reset your attributes at level 5 when you get Pact of the Blade, dumping Strength and Dexterity in favor of Constitution and Charisma.

Subclass wise, Oath of Vengeance's damage focus lends itself to this high-damage build, but Oath of the Ancients has a certain lore synergy with an Archfey Warlock.

Tanky Battlemage

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Fighter 2 / Wizard 10 🛡️🧙

  • Pick this if you want: A battlemage, a character primarily focused on spellcasting, but with heavy armor, a shield, and melee competency helping them with survivability. 
  • Key Abilities: Wizard spells, Heavy Armor Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Shield Proficiency, Action Surge.
  • Priority Attributes: Intelligence
  • Secondary Attributes: Constitution, *Dexterity
  • Non-combat capability: Not as great, you'd have to carve out a place for it with skill proficiency ASIs.
  • Recommended starting race: High Elf, Githyanki, Gnome, Asmodeus or Mephistopheles Tiefling
  • Leveling order: One or two levels of Fighter, depending on if you want Action Surge, then all Wizard.

Many classes, including spellcasters, will find a lot of benefit in taking just one or two levels of Fighter at the start of their build thanks to their bevy of proficiencies opening up gear options for more limited classes.

All of those could prove beneficial, especially to an otherwise-easy- to- kill Wizard, and at level 2 Fighters gain Action Surge, an extra main action usable once per short rest. The bonus action and proficiencies could prove beneficial to any number of character roles. 

A Fighter 1/ Wizard 11 would generally be harder to kill than a straight Wiz, with more options when cornered by enemies, while only delaying and not losing endgame spells. Bump that Fighter level to 2, and you lose sixth circle spells in favor of Action Surge throughout the game.

You'd basically play this as a straight Wizard, trading pure glass cannon spell power for a little more versatility when cornered. In early access, heavy armor does not require a minimum strength to use, so you may consider bumping your Dexterity to 14 and focusing on finesse weapons, a shield, and whatever armor, medium or heavy, provides you with the highest armor class or AC.

Dark Brotherhood Assassin Edgelord

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Assassin Rogue 5 / Gloom Stalker Ranger 5 / Fighter 2 🥷  

  • Pick this if you want: Your classic stealth/DPS assassin, either with dual finesse weapons or a bow. A strong potential Astarion build.
  • Key Abilities: Dread Ambusher, Assassinate, Action Surge
  • Priority Attributes: Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: Constitution, *Charisma (if acting as party face)
  • Non-combat capability: Decent to excellent depending on whether you start as a Ranger or a Rogue.
  • Recommended starting race: Half-Elf, Wood Elf, Drow, Halfling
  • Leveling order: Four levels of Rogue, five Ranger, two Fighter, then grab that last Rogue level

A very strong take on your classic "from the shadows" dual wield DPS ambusher. The Ranger's Gloom Stalker subclass has an incredibly powerful tent pole ability: Dread Ambusher, which gives a flat +3 to Initiative, giving you a higher chance of attacking first in combat, in addition to other huge advantages in the first round of a combat encounter listed down below. 

Assassin subclass Rogues gain the Assassinate ability, which gives unique bonuses against enemies who haven't taken a turn in combat yet, as well as the Rogue's bonus sneak attack damage. Combine the two together, and begin as many fights as possible by stealthing right up to priority enemies, giving you the following advantages in the first (and typically most impactful) round of a battle:

  • One free 3d6 damage sneak attack before combat starts, another in the first round of battle
  • Bonus movement speed
  • An extra attack with 1d8 bonus damage
  • Advantage on your attack rolls.
  • Fighter Action Surge on short rest means two more full attacks
  • Bonus Assassin and Gloom Stalker initiative ensuring you almost always take your turn first
  • Automatic Critical Hits against enemies you've successfully Surprised

This build is all about having a prime first turn. I've been finding it strong throughout the game, but at max level you're looking at a seven attack opening round (outside combat sneak attack + two full attacks + offhand + Dread Ambusher attack + two more attacks with Action Surge), and we can even get this up to nine attacks if you use a Haste spell before the fight. Fear not if it's a story battle that opens with a cutscene: this setup still lends itself to a dinger of an opening round even with the outside-combat Sneak Attack and Surprise bonus excised. 

While it's a fun exercise to maximise sheer attacks-per-round, I often find it more beneficial to use the Ranger's Hunter's Mark spell as my bonus action in the first round of combat. A bonus d6 of damage on each attack is always welcome, and I've also encountered a lot of items that provide bonus damage for Concentrating on a spell like Hunter's Mark. After that first round of combat, you still have a high-damage, high-AC Ranger/Rogue to hold their own.

At first, I opted for Dual Wielder as my first ASI to take advantage of larger weapons like the finesse Underdark longsword Phalar Aluve. Eventually though, I found a lot of great enchanted short swords like the Knife of the Undermountain King, purchasable at the Githyanki Creche, and switched to straight ability score improvements for 20 Dexterity and 16 Charisma

The Yuan-Ti Scale Mail you can purchase from the Harper quartermaster at the beginning of Act 2 is a great fit for this build: it gives your full Dexterity bonus to AC and doesn't impose any penalties on stealth, and you'll have Medium Armor Proficiency from your Ranger levels.

There's an argument to be made for rushing level 5 Ranger for Extra Attack, but I really don't like leaving those excellent level 1 Rogue skill proficiencies on the table, and Assassinate on its own is so, so good. To that end, I'd just aim to hit four levels of Rogue right at the start for Assassinate and your first ASI.

Paladin Batman

(Image credit: Larian)

Oath of Vengeance Paladin 6 / Arcane Trickster or Thief Rogue 6 🌚🗡️ 

  • Pick this if you want: A holy avenger with more mobility than paladins usually get, or a melee rogue in plate armour.
  • Key Abilities: Divine Smite, Sneak Attack, Cunning Action: Dash/Disengage, Vow of Emnity, Divine Sense
  • Priority Attributes: Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: Charisma, Constitution
  • Non-combat capability: Excellent, thanks to the Rogue's expertise. I recommend Sleight of Hand for disarming traps, and some kind of charisma proficiency.
  • Recommended Starting Race: Zariel Tiefling, Half-Orc.
  • Leveling Order: Paladin 1 > Rogue 1 > Get to Paladin 5 > Get to Rogue 4 > Paladin 6 > Rogue the rest of the way.

Paladin's got one slight disadvantage over its Baldur's Gate 3 brethren—it's pretty slow. Unless you want to sacrifice one of your spell slots (those are for smiting, anyway) you can be left feeling like you're dragging your feet. Now introducing: the Paladin Batman build!

This is a Dex-based Paladin build designed to deliver on the fantasy of a dark holy avenger—while Oath of Vengeance is great for this theme, it also gels really well with the Rogue class. Divine Sense gives you free advantage on attack rolls against undead, while Vow of Enmity also grants you advantage against one target in particular—so if for some reason you don't have advantage, you have great ways to get it for Sneak Attacking.

You trade off your spell slot progression, meaning your Divine Smites will be a touch less meaty, but Sneak Attack doesn't require a spell slot—so what you trade out burst damage you make up for in sustainability. The real star of the show here is Cunning Action: Dash, Disengage, and Hide. Being able to double your speed as a bonus action, for free, forever? It's good on any class, but especially Paladin, considering how pigeon-holed they are into melee.

You also get major out-of-combat benefits in the form of Expertise, letting you pick two skills to excel in. I recommend going with Sleight of Hand for lockpicking, followed by your preferred poison of Charisma skill—Persuasion, Intimidation, or Deception. This is why I recommend delaying your Extra Attack from Paladin by one level by taking your dip into rogue early. Having Expertise'd skills will make the first Act much easier.

If you don't care about lockbreaking or being sneaky, you can still go Strength if you'd like. Finesse weapons will scale with Strength if it's higher, and Sneak Attack just needs the weapon to be Finesse to work. In this case, swap out Sleight of Hand for Athletics, and become an unstoppable shoving machine.

In terms of Subclasses, you can either run with Arcane Trickster for the added spell slots and utility spells—in which case, I recommend going Shortsword and shield—or Thief for the additional bonus action, which you can use to dual wield. The latter provides a great opportunity for burst damage, since you could technically get off four smites in a turn after level 6.

One thing to note: while you can Sneak Attack and Smite in the same attack, at the time of writing you need to either use the Smite action or the Sneak Attack actions from your hotbar—as you can only choose to "react" to one or the other in the prompt window.

Hulk Smash

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Berserker Barbarian 9 / Champion Fighter 3 🪓💪😤

  • Pick this if you want: The tankiest, beefiest, two-handed critical hits. This build rocks for Karlach.
  • Key Abilities: Action Surge, Improved Critical, Unarmored Defense, Great Weapon Master
  • Primary Attributes: Constitution, Strength, Dexterity
  • Secondary Attributes: No can do, hoss.
  • Non-combat capability: lol
  • Recommended starting race: Half-Orc, Githyanki
  • Leveling order: Barbarian to level 5, three levels of Fighter, then Barbarian all the way.

This build is extremely simple: essentially, you sacrifice high-level Barbarian abilities like Relentless Rage (keep fighting on the brink of death similar to a Half-Orc) and the Barbarian subclasses' level 10 abilities in favor of Action Surge and the Champion's Improved Critical making it easier to land critical hits⁠, and that latter ability also dovetails nicely with level 9 Barbarians' increased critical damage.

Since Barbarians get Unarmored Defense (add Dexterity and Constitution bonuses to AC when not wearing armor), they don't benefit as much from starting level 1 as a fighter for Heavy Armor Proficiency. With that in mind, a quick rush to level 5 as a Barbarian for Extra Attack is the name of the game, followed by your three fighter levels for Action Surge and Improved Critical. I experimented with Karlach as a Wild Magic Barbarian, which seemed like one of the most fun subclasses in Baldur's Gate 3, but it's really got nothing on Berserker's bonus attack per round and excellent throwing weapon abilities.

Constitution, Strength, and Dexterity will be critical for shoring up a Barbarian / Champion's damage and defenses, with little room for namby pamby niceties like Intelligence or Charisma. Half-Orcs and Githyanki lend themselves to the build, and Karlach is definitely a good fit as well, either as a companion in your party or your choice of origin character. 

For ASI picks, I prefer a straight Ability Score improvement at level 4 to lock in 18 Strength and 16 Constitution. For the second, one, you can't go wrong with another Ability bonus to 20 Strength, but I've also had success with Polearm Master and then sticking to halberds or spears. The Mighty Cloth Monk clothing can be purchased from the Harper Quartermaster at the beginning of Act 2, and its Bull's Strength bonus provides another route to securing max Strength.

Pretty Much Just An Arc Warlock From Destiny

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Tempest Domain Cleric 2 / Storm Sorcerer 10 ⚡

  • Pick this if you want: The lightning master. Think the Arc Warlocks from Destiny or Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.
  • Key Abilities: Sorcerer spells (particularly Lightning Bolt), Wrath of the Storm, Channel Divinity: Destructive Wrath, Cleric weapon/armor proficiencies
  • Primary Attributes: Charisma
  • Secondary Attributes: Constitution, Dexterity
  • Non-combat capability: Pretty good with the Sorc's high Charisma, even better if you get Persuasion proficiency.
  • Recommended starting race: Half-Elf, Drow, Zariel Tiefling, Dragonborn
  • Leveling order: Two to Cleric then ten Sorcerer.

You're taking the two lightning guys, and you're mashing them together. Your two main advantages over a standard Storm Sorcerer are more survivability in general⁠—Clerics get medium armor and shields⁠⁠—and the Tempest Cleric's lightning synergies with Storm Sorcerer. Tempest Clerics gain Wrath of the Storm, allowing them to retaliate against melee assailants with a big 'ole zap, and Channel Divinity: Destructive Wrath. That last one allows Storm Clerics to use their Channel Divinity points to deal max damage with a lightning or thunder spell.

Channel Divinity can only be used once per short rest with this build, but it'll turn spells like the third level cast, Lightning Bolt, into a super nuke you'll always have in your back pocket. The Tempest Cleric / Storm Sorcerer is maybe more of a lateral move over a pure Sorcerer, but offers a fun theme and playstyle, as well as similar survivability benefits to a Fighter dip. 

You're going to be relying on your Sorcerer spells more than Cleric, but at character creation I still would want at least 14 Wisdom to take advantage of Wrath of the Storm. Otherwise, it's Charisma all day, as high as it'll go. Similar to the Fighter/Wizard, I'd opt for Dexterity over Strength, finesse weapons like Rapiers, and a Shield with Medium Armor to maximize survivability and get the most out of the two Cleric levels.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.

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