In Faerûn, strategy and controlling the battlefield becomes crucial as you increase the difficulty of your party’s journey to face the Absolute. To help you navigate these dangers, here are the 10 best crowd control abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3.
10 Best Crowd Control Abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3
Here, I’m defining crowd control as any ability that can hinder enemies and prevent movements or actions.
10. Arcane Lock
Arcane Lock is a Level 2 Abjuration Spell that closes a door or container with a magical lock. This means it can’t be opened through lockpicking or even with the Knock spell. In battles, you can lure enemies into areas with doors and section them off so you don’t have to fight them all at once. Or, if you’re in a room with multiple doors, you can control the flow of enemies by locking doors and forcing enemies to enter through a specific point. Overall, Arcane Lock can be useful, but it’s not an option for every battlefield since you need doors for this method.
Sleep is a Level 1 Enchantment Spell that puts creatures into a magical slumber. At Level 1, you can choose targets with a combined 24 Hit Points and then add 8 Hit Points for each higher Spell Slot Level. Sleep lasts 2 Turns or until the enemy takes damage. While Sleep is a great option at lower levels, the low Hit Point limitation makes it less useful at higher levels. As you progress, you get to the point where you can only use Sleep on weakened enemies or weaker minions in the fight. Then, it’s usually easier and better to just melt the enemies and not worry about them instead of using Sleep.
Darkness is a Level 2 Evocation Spell that Blinds and Heavily Obscures enemies in the affected area. This means they can’t make ranged attacks out of the Darkness, but you can’t attack into it, either. Unlike most spells on this list, Darkness doesn’t make enemies hostile. You could use it to Blind NPCs and sneak by them. Or to pickpocket them.
While the radius is only 5m, you get a lot of use out of Darkness, depending on how you use it. It’s a Concentration Spell, so it can be broken. However, you can use it to dispel other spells like Cloudkill, which is an AoE that can be absolutely deadly if left on the battlefield.
7. Cloud of Daggers
Cloud of Daggers is a Level 2 Conjuration Spell that attacks enemies in its area. While it doesn’t seem like a crowd control ability based on its description, you can use it to control the battlefield. Enemies aren’t the smartest, but they’re sometimes smart enough to go around AoE abilities like Cloud of Daggers. However, enemies like to go through this spell and take damage. If you narrow the area so that enemies have to use a narrow path to reach you, Cloud of Daggers is even more effective. Enemies take damage trying to reach you. You can also drop it in one path, forcing enemies to go around and reach you through another path. My biggest complaint with it is the inability to move the spell once it’s cast like you can with Cloudkill.
Cloudkill is a Level 5 Conjuration Spell that deals 5d8 Poison Damage each turn. Also, creatures are Heavily Obscured within the cloud, and you can reposition the cloud each turn. Balthazar loves this spell, and it’s easy to see why. It makes it difficult for enemies in it to use ranged attacks outside of it. Plus, it’s dealing damage every turn. As a Concentration Spell, it can be interrupted. Other spells like Gust of Wind can negate it. However, even if it’s removed quickly as a crowd control spell, you still deal the initial damage. It’s really a win-win situation.
5. Sleet Storm
Sleet Storm is a Level 3 Conjuration Spell that breaks Concentration, puts out fires, and creates an icy surface. Since it lasts for 10 Turns, the surface is renewed each time, and it breaks Concentration of spellcasters in the affected area again if they tried to put up a new spell. Sleet Storm’s strength as a crowd control ability comes from the combination of creating difficult terrain, hindering enemy spellcasters, and putting out any fires that could hurt your party in the area.
4. Ice Storm
Ice Storm is a Level 4 Evocation Spell that brings down hail, dealing 2d8 Bludgeoning and 4d6 Cold Damage. Similar to Sleet Storm, Ice Storm can break Concentration from its damage, puts out fires, and creates an icy surface. However, it only lasts for 2 Turns instead of 10. But the bonus is that even if creatures succeed on a save against Ice Storm, they still take half the damage. It’s still a great crowd control ability, and it trades in duration for damage. After all, death is a form of crowd control.
3. Hunger of Hadar
Hunger of Hadar is a Level 3 Conjuration Spell, and it’s broken. It Blinds creatures, deals Cold Damage if they start their turn in the area, and deals Acid Damage if they end their turn in the area. Also, the area becomes difficult terrain, costing double movement to escape. That means you can trap enemies in this section for enough turns that they might die from the damage at the start and end of turns. The downside is that Hunger of Hadar is only available to Warlocks and Bards through Magical Secrets.
2. Hold Person
Hold Person is a Level 2 Enchantment Spell that prevents a Humanoid from moving, acting, or reacting for up to 10 Turns. Any attack made on the affected humanoid from within 3m is a Critical Hit (and breaks the spell). Possibly the most classic crowd control ability, Hold Person is perfect for removing a stronger enemy from the fight. Then, you can use that time to burn down weaker enemies, meaning you won’t have to worry about them when you finally fight the humanoid being held. Additionally, you get that sweet Sneak Attack damage if you have a Rogue break Hold Person through attacking.
Grease is a Level 1 Conjuration Spell that slows enemies, possibly making them fall Prone. This takes the number one spot due to its accessibility. You can find Grease Bottles throughout the game that act like a Grease Spell. As a Level 1 Spell, it doesn’t take too many resources from your spellcasters to use it, letting you keep the higher slots for powerful spells. Also, Grease can be used to move objects or lower the Strength DC needed to move them. And it’s great if you want to start a big fire, but don’t have Fireball yet. Just use Firebolt or an Arrow of Fire on the Grease, and it burns, also burning enemies in the affected area.
And that wraps up our list of the 10 Best Crowd Control Abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3. From Explorer to Tactician difficulties, crowd control helps make fights easier and possibly quicker, depending on the circumstances. But make sure you also head to our BG3 guides hub for more topics like the best feat for Astarion or the best build for Lae’zel.