Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock Build Guide: How to Make the Best Warlock

Learn how to make the most effective Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock build from the start.

The Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock is tons of fun to play as, but like any of the other classes in the new roleplaying game, things may be a bit confusing when you’re first configuring your Warlock in the character creation screen.

That's why we dug into Baldur's Gate 3 ourselves and did all the demon cavorting so you wouldn't have to! Based on what we've seen so far in Early Access, here are the considerations you should take when building your best Warlock in the character creation menu.

Baldur's Gate 3 Best Warlock Build Guide

Character builds in Baldur's Gate 3 boil down to a selection of:

  • Race/Subrace
  • Class/Subclass
  • Origin
  • Skills
  • Abilities 
  • Feats

Whether building a Warlock or Rogue, for example, it can also include other things like Cantrips and Spells, depending on which class you've chosen to play.

There are several different approaches to building a great Warlock in Baldur's Gate 3, however. You're encouraged to build the character you'd most like to roleplay in BG3, so if you follow this guide as a loose framework, you should find it much easier to create the Warlock that you’d most like to play as.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock Starting Class Features

  • 8 Hit Points + Constitution modifier
  • 2 Warlock Cantrips
  • 2 Warlock Spells
  • Warlock Spell Slots
  • Wisdom Saving Throw Proficiency
  • Charisma Saving Throw Proficiency
  • Light Armour Proficiency
  • Simple Weapon Proficiency

Best Warlock Races

There are about 16 races in Baldur’s Gate 3 in total. So, which race should you choose if you're looking to create the best Warlock?

The Warlock’s primary stat is Charisma, and its saving throws are based on Charisma and Wisdom. As is explained below, your primary stat does heavily influence your race selection.

Charisma influences the Warlock's ability to land spells and saving throws, and how potent each spell is. It also influences their aptitude at Charisma-based skill checks.

The following races offer the greatest starting bonus to Charisma:

  • Tiefling (+2)
  • Half-Elf (+2)
  • Lightfoot Halfling (+1)
  • Drow (+1)
  • Human (+1)

Wisdom influences the Warlock's saving throw proficiency. It also influences how well you'll roll Wisdom-based skill checks.

The following races offer the greatest starting bonus to Wisdom:

  • Wood Elf (+1)
  • Human (+1)
  • Half-Elf (+1 when allocated)
  • Gold Dwarf (+1)

Don't ignore a race's unique proficiencies and boons. The race with the most relevant stat advantage isn't always the one you should go with. 

All Elf, Drow, and Half-Elf races get Fey Ancestry, which blocks any status affliction that puts your Warlock to Sleep or makes them Charmed.

Tieflings get Hellish Resistance, which gives a 50% resistance to all Fire damage.

Gold Dwarf gets Dwarven Resilience, which grants an advantage to saving throws against Poison, and resists Poison damage. Gold Dwarf also has Dwarven Toughness, which grants one additional maximum Hit Point per level.

Each of these races also gets Darkvision, which allows them to see 12 meters ahead in areas with no light.

Drow gets an even better version, Superior Darkvision, which allows them to see 24 meters ahead in areas with no light.

Lightfoot Halfling has a bonus called Naturally Stealthy. This grants proficiency to Stealth checks. They also get Lucky, which forces a reroll whenever you land a die roll of 1. This can be great in tight spots! However, Halflings lack the highly useful Darkvision power and only have a movement speed of 7.5m per turn.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock Primary Abilities

You can manually allocate your Warlock's starting abilities out of the following:

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Constitution
  • Intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Charisma

The Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock's saving throws are based on their Charisma (CHA) and Wisdom (WIS) ability, meaning that these are the two most important stats for you to allocate for when you build your Warlock character.

Fortunately, you can rest easy as long as you focus on building up your Warlock's Charisma score first and foremost, making your Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock build more useful in combat. 

With that in mind, Charisma only influences some of the interactions outside of combat, meaning it's worthwhile to allocate extra points to other abilities based on the type of character you're playing.

Are you trying to mix a little more “sword” into your “swords and sorcery”? Allot extra points into Strength and work that sword arm like the melee combat champion you are.

Interested in getting the first shot before your opponent can deprive you of the opportunity? Put those points into Dexterity and take up the mantle as the fastest spell-slinger in the west.

Best Warlock Skills

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlocks can pick two skill proficiencies, in addition to any they receive from their race and origin.

You should lean on that Charisma muscle and start your Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock with proficiencies in Deception and Intimidation. However, you can choose skill proficiencies that seem interesting to the character you'd like to roleplay as instead.

Warlock can choose to become proficient in two skills from the following:

  • Arcana (Intelligence)
  • Deception (Charisma)
  • History (Intelligence)
  • Intimidation (Charisma)
  • Investigation (Intelligence)
  • Nature (Intelligence)
  • Religion (Intelligence)

Note: Proficiency equates to an immediate +2 modifier for the skill in question.

Skills automatically receive a +1 modifier for every two points allocated to their corresponding ability, with 10 (+0) as the baseline. Skills also receive a -1 modifier for associated skills whenever a stat decreases to 9 or lower.

For example, a Warlock who has 9 points in Strength also has an immediate -1 modifier to Athletics, whereas a Warlock who has 16 points in Dexterity also has an immediate +3 modifier to Stealth.

All Elf characters begin with proficiency in Perception. Githyanki Warlocks can choose up to three skills instead of two, and can even become proficient in skills that are normally unavailable to Warlocks.

Best Warlock Backgrounds

Backgrounds are the basic starting point for your Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock's background story, which also includes two additional skill proficiencies.

Though Warlock can’t naturally become proficient in Performance and Persuasion, these useful Charisma skill proficiencies are unlockable by picking up the Entertainer (Performance) or Guild Artisan/Noble (Persuasion) origins.

Do not choose Urchin or Criminal if you play as Lightfoot Halfling, Wood Elf, or Half-Wood Elf, as you'll be taking the same Stealth proficiency twice.

Likewise, High Elf (which gets its own Perception proficiency) shouldn't take the Sailor origin, which offers the Perception proficiency as one of its two bonus proficiencies.

Otherwise, just like in D&D, choosing your Baldur's Gate 3 character's origin is all about creating the character you want to roleplay as.

Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock Subclasses



The
Baldur's Gate 3 Warlock has two unique subclasses. You can choose which subclass you want at the 1st Level, in the character creation menu.

The subclasses, The Fiend and The Great Old One, both vary in what types of spells and abilities they gain access to as they level up. The Fiend is also granted a special buff.

The Great Old One

Choosing to play as The Great Old One subclass doesn’t seem to change too much at the moment, other than granting access to a couple of subclass-exclusive spells.

You can choose to take on the following spells when choosing The Great Old One subclass:

  • Dissonant Whispers
  • Tasha's Hideous Laughter

The Fiend

Choosing to play as The Fiend subclass grants you the Dark One’s Blessing, which heals you for an amount equal to your Constitution modifier plus your level after killing a foe.

The Fiend also gets to choose from the following unique spells:

  • Command (Halt)
  • Burning Hands

Both subclasses can learn the following Warlock cantrips:

  • Eldritch Blast
  • Blade Ward
  • Chill Touch
  • Friends
  • Mage Hand
  • Poison Spray
  • True Strike
  • Minor Illusion

Both subclasses can also learn the following Warlock spells:

  • Armour of Agathys
  • Arms of Hadar
  • Charm Person
  • Expeditious Retreat
  • Hellish Rebuke
  • Hex
  • Protection from Evil and Good
  • Witch Bolt
  • Shatter
  • Burning Hands 
  • Ray of Enfeeblement 
  • Hold Person 
  • Blindness 
  • Darkness 
  • Invisibility 
  • Misty Step 
  • Mirror Image 
  • Scorching Ray

At Level 4, both subclasses get to choose from the following feats:

  • Ability Improvement
  • Athlete
  • Defensive Duelist
  • Dual Wielder
  • Great Weapon Master
  • Heavily Armoured
  • Lightly Armoured
  • Magic Initiate: Cleric
  • Magic Initiate: Warlock
  • Magic Initiate: Wizard
  • Martial Adept
  • Mobile
  • Moderately Armoured
  • Shield Master
  • Skilled
  • Tough
  • Weapon Master

And with that, you’ve learned everything you need to know when first building your Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock! If you found this build guide useful, please consider sharing it with other players. Stick around with GameSkinny for more Baldur's Gate 3 tips and strategy guides as we progress deeper into Faerûn.

Published Oct. 16th 2020

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