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Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build Guide

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

The Warlock is tons of fun to play as, but like any of the other classes in Larian’s 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 the class ourselves and did all the demon cavorting so you wouldn’t have to! Based on what we’ve seen so far, here are the considerations you should take for the best Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build.

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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 create the character you’d most like to roleplay, so if you follow this BG3 guide as a loose framework, you should find it much easier to build 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.

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

Don’t ignore a race’s unique proficiencies and boons. 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 three unique subclasses. You can choose which subclass you want at the 1st Level, in the character creation menu. The subclasses, The Fiend, Archfey, and The Great Old One, all vary in what types of spells and abilities they gain access to as they level up. The Fiend is also granted a special buff.

Archfey

True to the tricky nature of the fey, having the Archfey as your patron gives you access to abilities that you can use to control the battlefield and your location on it. You’ll get:

  • Fey Presence – Charm or Frighten nearby enemies
  • Misty Escape – Become Invisible when taking damage and get a use of Misty Step on your next turn, which then breaks the Invisibility
  • Beguiling Defenses – You cannot be Charmed

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. You also get the Dark One’s Own Luck, which lets you add 1d10 to an Ability Check.

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

Pact Boon

Warlocks also gain access to Pact Boons, which are enhancements to your fighting style. There are three pacts, and each one attributes to a different style such as weapon use, spells, or using a familiar.

Pact of the Chain

Pact of the Chain gives you a familiar that helps you in battle. At Level 5, the familiar can attack twice, helping you cull your enemies.

Pact of the Blade

Pact of the Blade lets you summon a pact weapon or bind your current weapon to make it a magic item. When you use the pact weapon, you use your Spellcasting Modifier instead of Strength or Dexterity, and you can get an extra weapon attack at Level 5. This pact is great if you don’t have melee spells because you can still deal a fair amount of damage with your weapon instead of using spell slots or rolling a spell at disadvantage due to range.

Pact of the Tome

Pact of the Tome gives you access to spells that would otherwise be limited to other classes. You’ll get Guidance, Vicious Mockery, and Thorn Whip. Then, at Level 5 you can cast Animate Dead, Call Lightning, and Haste once per Long Rest.

Our Favorite Warlock Build

Since Warlocks get Eldritch Blast, they’re one of the classes that I don’t use High Elf to play because I don’t need Firebolt as a reliable cantrip. I do love using Drow for the resistance to Charm and immunity to magic Sleep, Darkvision, and getting spells like Faerie Fire and Darkness. For subclass, I enjoy the Fiend for the Dark One’s Blessing and Dark One’s Own Luck. Then, I round out my build with the Pact of the Tome to give me melee range combat options.

And with that, you’ve learned everything you need to know about the best Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock build! 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.


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Author
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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.