Though Astarion is certainly one of the most charming origin characters, he’s not the strongest mechanically. That said, his vampiric abilities have a lot of potential in the early to mid-game and even late-game with a multiclass dip. Here’s my best Astarion builds guide in Baldur’s Gate 3.
What Are the Best Astarion Builds in Baldur’s Gate 3?
Since Astarion is a unique origin character that you can pick during character creation, he’s not your typical starting Rogue. His vampiric powers that develop as you progress through BG3 should, therefore, be considered when building him. I enjoy using his Vampire Bite as a Thief Bonus Action attack that deals 2d4 piercing damage and restores 2d4 HP.
Besides Vampire Bite, drastically more powerful vampire abilities like Ascendant Bite and Mist Form can later be gained through the Cazador questline. That said, this is late-game territory, so I’m focusing on the early to mid-game and discussing the best Astarion builds for the earlier hours.
Whether you’re playing as Astarion or simply have him as your companion, you can create a multi-attacking character that dominates either melee or ranged combat. Make Dexterity your focus stat (as always with Rogues) and focus on Constitution as your second priority with Intelligence if you’re going for Arcane Trickster.
Related: Should You Let Astarion Ascend?
Best Melee Astarion Build in Baldur’s Gate 3
This Astarion build focuses on melee and delivers multiple attacks per round. It synergizes heavily with his Vampire Bite, which resets on a Short Rest. Moreover, this build requires another melee combatant with you, so I would suggest Karlach or Lae’Zel who can take the heat off of you. Here are the specifics for this Astarion build:
- Weapons: Dual-wielding melee weapons with the Light tag is key as we’ll be utilizing the bonus action attack heavily.
- Subclass: Pick up the Thief subclass at Level 3 for its extra bonus action through Fast Hands. This will allow you to attack three times per round. This not only increases your chances of landing Sneak Attack but allows you to deal massive damage with some multiclass options.
- Vampire Bite: Since Vampire Bite is a bonus action, you can make a Light weapon melee attack with your Action. You can then add a bonus action dual-wield attack, ending with a Vampire Bite attack with your Fast Hands bonus action.
This core package cements your playstyle: you can perform three attacks or two with the Disengage action to retreat. The advantage of this Astarion build is the sustain granted from Vampire Bite, which Rogues in melee definitely need. Lastly, utilizing Drow Poison on your multiple attacks can provide that extra effectiveness in melee combat.
Melee Astarion Feats, Multiclass Options, and Gear
The best feats for this build are:
- Mobile – Allows you to reposition better after an attack (Rogues are not tanks). You should be going in for your attack rotation and retreating whenever possible.
- Dual Wielder – Boosts your AC and damage by allowing dual wielding with weapons that have a better damage die like Rapiers.
Make sure to also take Ability Score Increases and get that Dexterity up to 20 as soon as possible. It’s your main source of both offense and defense.
As for Multiclassing, at some point, you should definitely grab at least a single Fighter level for the Two-Weapon Fighting style. It will drastically boost your DPS by allowing you to add Dexterity to your off-hand damage rolls.
Must-have magic apparel for melee Rogues include The Graceful Cloth, Cloak of Cunning Brume, and the Shadow of Menzoberranzan. Gloves of Missile Snaring are also great in the early game. As for weapons, the Knife of the Undermountain King and a Sussur Dagger are a great combo. Of course, items like the Crusher’s Ring and Amulet of Misty Step are always decent Rogue options.
Related: Can You be a Vampire in BG3?
Best Ranged Astarion Build in BG3
This ranged Astarion build focuses on the character’s Stealth skills much more and taking out key targets before combat even begins. You’ll be hunting for surprise rounds, so getting Stealth up to as high as possible is crucial. Ways to boost it include our recommended magic items and the multiclassing option. Here’s the gist of it:
- Weapons: Fanged Marksman heavily relies on dual-wielding Hand Crossbows. Popular ways to get them include hiring a Bard hireling for 100 gold since they start with one or getting one from the blacksmith in the Grove. There are a few more strewn about the world, some of which are drastically more powerful.
- Subclass: You have two choices here. The Thief will allow you to attack more, but the Assassin will allow you to potentially take two turns before the enemy adding in critical strikes for free during the first round.
- Cazador Mist Form: In the later part of BG3, when Astarion has the option of becoming an Ascendant Vampire, his Mist Form ability is excellent for this ranged build due to its mobility and survivability options.
The key idea here is to Stealth to an advantageous position, preferably the high ground, and begin combat with a surprise round. If you’ve picked the Assassin subclass, you’ll get a free critical strike and an extra turn with Assassin’s Alacrity. Furthermore, dual-wielding Hand Crossbows will allow you to make two ranged attacks or even three if you choose the Thief subclass with the Fast Hands feature.
Ranged Astarion Feats, Multiclass Options, and Gear
The best feats for a ranged Astarion build are:
- Alert – With the Initiative bonus, you can make sure to always go first. With the added turn from Assassin’s Alacrity, plus the surprise round, this can be devastating for your enemies.
- Crossbow Expert – Just an overall upgrade to your Hand Crossbow skills.
- Sharpshooter – Potentially quite powerful with three Hand Crossbow attacks at +10 damage with the Thief subclass. However, it requires a single multiclass dip into Fighter for the Archery fighting style to be effective.
Speaking of multiclassing, there are two options here. Astarion’s Thief and Assassin subclasses pair quite well with the Ranger Gloom Stalker package. Dread Ambusher, the Archery Fighting Style, and the Level 2 Ranger spell Pass Without Trace provide excellent synergy. Get 3 Levels of Rogue and then go straight to Gloomstalker for five levels for Extra Attack, then come back to Rogue for the rest of the game to maximize our Sneak Attack damage.
Furthermore, the base class Fighter features like the Archery Fighting Style and Action Surge are always a great choice for multi-attacking. That said, don’t solely rely on multiclassing, as your Sneak Attack damage still depends on your Rogue level.
As for magic items in terms of armor and trinkets, the melee build ones are great here, as well. Additionally, the ranged Astarion build really excels with the Gloves of Archery and the Hellfire Hand Crossbow. As for attack roll boosts, I would definitely get the Risky Ring from Araj Oblodra in Moonrise Towers to offset the Sharpshooter penalty. Combine it with the Circlet of Hunting and Hunter’s Mark if you multi-classed into Ranger for a powerful attack roll boost. Furthermore, the Spidersilk Armour or Elven Chain can boost your Ac and Stealth too.
Best Arcane Trickster Astarion Build in BG3
Last but not least, we have the ranged spell attack and crowd-control-oriented Astarion build with the Arcane Trickster subclass. This is an excellent option if you want to delve into spellcasting. Especially because Arcane Tricksters can Sneak Attack with their ranged Spell Attacks in Baldur’s Gate 3.
- Spells: As weapon choice is up to your preference here, I want to cover Spell choices. The Firebolt cantrip is a great starting point since you can Sneak Attack with it. From here, must-have Level 1 spells include Shield, Charm Person, Enhance Leap, and Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. This selection provides a great defensive and mobility package with great crowd-control. Great Level 2 options are Hold Person, Misty Step, Mirror Image, Web, and Invisibility to name a few.
- Subclass: Of course, we take Arcane Trickster at Level 3, as it will allow us to gain the aforementioned spell options as well as allow us to Sneak Attack with attack roll-based spells. If you take some saving throw-based spells, the Magical Ambush feature can impose Disadvantage on enemies when you are hidden.
- Vampiric Abilities: Astarion’s Vampiric Abilities are mostly melee-based, so they don’t play a huge part here besides Mist Form, which is always useful for mobility and defensive purposes.
Essentially, this Astarion build allows you access to a unique playstyle, one where you are not only dealing decent Sneak Attack damage with spells but also applying crowd control. Your defensive abilities increase drastically with Shield and Mirror Image, and you can lock down key humanoid targets with Charm Person and Hold Person. Later on, AoE spells like Web can come in handy, especially when you still have access to the entire Rogue skill-monkey tools.
Utility Astarion Feats, Multiclass Options, and Gear
A lot of the same feat and gear choices from the previous two Astarion builds are also useful here, whether you choose to focus on melee or ranged combat. One addition is the Lucky feat, which can provide that extra utility in cases where you need it for your rolls.
Additionally, since you can Sneak Attack with ranged spell attacks, you have some unique multiclassing choices here. A multiclassing dip into the Warlock class for Eldritch Blast or the Magic Adept feat for the same might be a good option if you prefer to boost your spellcasting a bit further.
In terms of magic items, a crucial pick-up for this Astarion build is the Warped Headband of Intellect. It sets your Intelligence score to 17 so you can focus on Dexterity and Constitution. Players can find it in the Blighted Village dropped by the Ogre Mage.
This concludes my the best Astarion builds guide in Baldur’s Gate 3. He’s one of the more unique origin characters, mixing the devilish utility of Rogues with vampiric power. However you choose to build him, we recommend the hit-and-run playstyle, where you output as much damage as possible and then retreat to a safer position. For more builds and other tips and tricks articles, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 guides hub.