If you want a powerful melee combatant who mixes song and sorcery, then the Bard/Warlock multiclass is for you. This build offers incredible amounts of offensive, defensive, and utility spells with as many attacks as a Fighter. Here’s our best Bardlock build in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How to Make the Best Bardlock Build in Baldur’s Gate 3
The Bardlock build aims to utilize the fact that the extra attack from Warlock’s Pact of the Blade stacks with other sources of extra attack, like from a Level 6 Swords Bard. Furthermore, the Bardlock build blends spells and melee weapons beautifully, as the Improved Pact Weapon utilizes Charisma for both. This is highly complimented by the exceptional defensive options from the Swords Bard that will boost our AC through the roof.
The goal is to reach extra attack as soon as possible, as this is a crucial feature for any melee class. That’s why we’ll go Warlock 5, then Bard 6. This allows us to attack three times per round without losing on Feats too much. I don’t recommend going Warlock 3 for Pact weapon then Bard 6 for Extra Attack or vice versa. This means you’ll only get your second attack by Level 9.
Instead, we should either reach Warlock 5 first or Bard 6 first, then multiclass into the other. I highly recommend starting Warlock as Pact of the Blade allows us to depend only on Charisma for both melee and spell effectiveness.
We should therefore maximize our Charisma, while Constitution is our secondary stat for concentration checks with Dexterity being the third priority. I’ve found great success by pairing this build with another tanky melee combatant like Karlach or Lae’Zel with ranged support from Shadowheart or Gale. Let’s now dive into the nitty gritty details of this Bardlock build.
Best Bardlock Build Recommendations
As with any of my builds, I’ll first start with my recommended choices, and then we’ll discuss them below:
- Race: I recommend the Asmodeus Tiefling for our Darkness/Devil Sight combo.
- Multiclassing: Start with 5 Levels into Warlock, then 7 Levels into Bard for Level 4 Spells.
- Warlock Subclass: Choose The Fiend for powerful damage spells like Fireball.
- Eldritch Invocations: Agonizing Blast, Devil’s Sight (Goes Great with Asmodeus Tiefling’s Darkness), Mire the Mind.
- Bardic Subclass: College of Swords.
- Feat: Polearm Master (On Warlock Level 4) and Sentinel (On Warlock5/Bard 4) or Warcaster for maintaining concentration on important spells in melee.
- Fighting Style: Dueling.
- Gear: Start with a Spear and Shield (+2 damage from Dueling) and then pick up a Halberd or Glave when you get Sentinel while wearing Medium Armor throughout the game like Yuan Ti Scale Mail. Aim for Shar’s Spear of Evening, Viconia’s Walking Fortress Shield, and Armour of Agility/Yuan Ti if you opt for the shield and spear route.
- Cantrips: Blade Ward, Eldritch Blast.
- Spells: Warlock (Armour of Agathys, Hex, Mirror Image, Darkness, Counterspell, Fireball (Fiend), Blink (Archfey)) + Bard (Healing Word, Lesser Restoration, Hypnotic Pattern, Polymorph, Greater Invisibility)
Best Bardlock Spells
The Armour of Agathys is our core spell throughout the game. We should always upcast it to the highest level we have. It not only grants us temporary HP, but it also provides retaliation damage when enemies attack us.
Other great defensive options are Mirror Image and Darkness, which we can use with Devil’s Sight to grant enemies Disadvantage on attacks against us and Advantage on them for our attacks. From Bard, you can pick up supportive spells. Choose Cure Wounds, Lesser Restoration, and Healing Word to get downed allies back into the fight.
As for movement, Misty Step is great for getting into key positions on the battlefield or retreating when you’ve taken heavy damage. Once you have more spell slots later on, you should pick up Longstrider for the same reasons.
As for damage and crowd-control, your best bet is Fireball from your Fiend spells. Additionally, you always have your Agonizing Blast-powered Eldritch Blast for ranged options. Hex is a decent early-game damage boost, as well. Bard can also get you Hypnotic Pattern for some crowd-control effect. Furthermore, your Mire of the Mind Eldritch Invocation grants you one Slow spell per long rest for heavy enemy debuffs in a boss fight.
There’s no way to get Haste with our build, but we can still use it through the Potion of Speed. I highly recommend stacking up on those. Note that your two Warlock spell slots will reset on short rests while your Bardic ones require a long rest.
How to Use Bardlock
You’ll start the game off like any other Warlock, casting Hex and firing off Agonizing Eldritch Blasts. This is the safest bet for the early game until we pick up Pact of the Blade and the Improved Extra Attack version at Level 5. From here you can wade into melee with your Spear and Shield. These will get boosted by the Dueling Fighting Style from Bard later on.
Polearm Master allows us to attack an additional time per turn which is great for Hex. More importantly, we get an Attack of Opportunity when an enemy approaches our attack range. This can be devastating later when you grab Sentinel and a Glaive or Halberd. Enemies will be stopped at our Reach attack range and not able to approach you.
As for Swords Bard abilities, our Blade Flourishes will make us a superb melee combatant. They essentially use our Bardic Inspiration charges for extra weapon effects. Your priority should be the Defensive Flourish for extra AC and then Slashing Flourish for an extra attack. And don’t worry about spamming them as Font of Inspiration on Bard Level 5 restores them on a short rest.
The mid-to-late game strategy for boss fights is activating our buff spells before the fight. Then, we charge our Bardlock and melee ally into the vanguard. With Armour of Agathys, Mirror Image, and Darkness active along with your Medium Armour, Shield, and Defensive Flourish, you’re sporting an almost unkillable Bardlock. I found my AC increasing past the 20s. One note is that if you’re using Darkness, have your melee ally slightly away from you. Make sure they don’t get affected by the negative effects. On the other hand, one pro tip is to have Wyll as a companion. Build him into a full Pact of the Blade Warlock with Devil’s Sight, as well. This means that you can both crush it in melee while virtually invisible.
That’s my guide on the best Bardlock build in Baldur’s Gate 3. Now you know how to make one of the most unique builds in the game. For more, like best Honour mode builds and classes, click the links or head over to our BG3 guides hub.