Shadowheart is probably the most versatile origin character that can offer great healing and support to any team composition. That said, we’re taking her flexibility to the next level by making her a tanky caster that your frontline will love. Here’s my best Shadowheart build guide in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How to Make the Best Shadowheart Build in Baldur’s Gate 3
One thing we have to get out of the way first is that Shadowheart’s default Trickery domain build, although quite immersive and fitting for her story, isn’t the strongest Cleric option mechanically. So if you’re planning to play her as your main character, then simply try this build out level by level. Furthermore, if you want her as your companion, then I would suggest visiting Withers when you can and respeccing her with this guide in mind.
Essentially, this Shadowheart build is all about mixing the effectiveness of the Spirit Guardians spell with the defensive capabilities of the Tempest Domain and the Radiating Orb condition. Our Shadowheart’s position in combat will be just behind the melee characters so that she’s in range of Spirit Guardians.
We’ll wear a shield but won’t be making melee attacks as much, instead, we’ll focus on close-range spells and cantrips while outputting occasional burst damage with our Destructive Wrath Channel Divinity.
Pair the build up with a frontline like Karlach, who’ll benefit from your healing and another melee combatant like Lae’Zel. Additionally, some ranged damage and crowd-control from Gale is incredibly useful. As for Ability Scores, we’ll want to prioritize Wisdom as it fuels all our spellcasting. Secondary stats include Constitution for concentration checks and HP and Strength so that we can wear heavier equipment without movement penalties. We don’t need Dexterity due to our Heavy Armor, just make sure it’s not below 10.
Shadowheart Tempest: Best Subclass and Feats
Let’s discuss our character-building choices and strategies:
For Subclass, the Tempest Domain will grant us Heavy Armor proficiency so that we can be closer to melee combat to fire off our Spirit Guardians and other close-range spells. In case enemies do attack us, the Wrath of the Storm ability allows us to retaliate as a Reaction. Lastly, Tempest also allows us to drop down occasional burst damage with Destructive Wrath which maximizes the damage on spells like Thunderwave, Shatter, Glyph of Warding: Thunder/Lightning, etc.
When it comes to Feats, I highly recommend you pick up Warcaster at Level 4 for Advantage on concentration checks and then focus on maxing out our Wisdom and Constitution scores. We’ll be highly dependent on maintaining concentration with this build in melee.
If you want to go the Multiclassing route, a single Level start into Sorcerer can grant us Constitution Saving Throw proficiency for better concentration, the Chromatic Orb spell for our Destructive Wrath, and the Shield spell to boost our defenses. Note that this will slow down our overall progression with Cleric spells but it can be worth it. Finally, for Cantrips, I suggest Sacred Flame for damage, Light is mandatory for some gear options later, and Guidance for some general utility.
As for spells, we start BG3 by focusing on Bless to boost our allies in combat. Use Healing Word to get downed allies back into the fight and Guiding Bolt for your Barbarians and Fighter allies. Thunderwave and Shatter will be your go-to spells for Destructive Wrath to max out their damage.
Spiritual Weapon is a great non-concentration spell effect for damage while Prayer of Healing will keep your allies healthy out of combat. Speaking of which, always cast Aid at the beginning of the day at max level.
Once we get Spirit Guardians this will be our main concentration spell and we should remain in melee range with our vanguard allies. Always up-cast SG to their max level for excellent damage and crowd-control. Other useful spells you should always have at hand are Revivify, Death Ward, Lesser and Greater Restoration, and later on Heal.
Best Shadowheart Equipment for Your Build
Let’s now talk about the Radiant Orb condition. This status effect imposes a -1 penalty to attack rolls when it’s applied to enemies. Since Spirit Guardians illuminate the area and deal Radiant damage, there are certain gear choices that will greatly benefit from this:
- Coruscation Ring: Applies Radiating Orb on Spirit Guardian damage.
- Luminous Gloves: Applies Radiating Orb when we Radiant damage.
- Callous Glow Ring: Allows us to deal extra damage on illuminated enemies.
Moreover, though we want to focus on heavy armor like the Helldusk Armor, Adamantine Splint Armor, and the Emblazoned Plate of the Marshal, the Luminous Armor might be worth it in some cases. This is another gear piece that synergizes with Spirit Guardians. With all of these gear pieces in mind, the Light Domain Cleric is also a viable option but in the end, I chose the Tempest Domain for a weaponized Reaction and burst damage capabilities.
As for shields, the Ketheric’s Shield is excellent on our spell-focused character through the Shield of Devotion is also great. Make sure to stack up on Elixirs of Peerless Focus if you haven’t taken Warcaster for Advantage on Concentration checks.
How to Use the Shadowheart Tempest Build Effectively in BG3
Our game plan in the mid to late game revolves around activating our Spirit Guardians and standing behind our melee allies. Enemies will take passive Radiant damage and slowly become debuffed by Radiant Orbs from our gear. Furthermore, with spells like Spiritual Weapon and Destructive Wrath-boosted Shatter and Thunder Wave cast at max level we’re no joke as a blaster for a few rounds.
The best part is that we’re still a Cleric who can heal our allies with Cure Wounds, Mass Cure Wounds, Healing Word, Revivify, and Heal at level 11. I recommend keeping Aid up at max level on our whole party and casting Death Ward on melee characters before each fight.
This concludes my guide on the best Shadowheart build guide in Baldur’s Gate 3. Remember to stay close to your melee allies where you’ll deal incredible damage to enemies with Spirit Guardians each turn while debuffing them. Furthermore, you’re always close to your team to provide healing. For more guides, like this best Honour mode builds, check out our BG3 tips hub.