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The 10 Best Bard Spells in Baldur’s Gate 3

Let's talk about the 10 must-have Bard spells in Baldur's Gate 3.

Bards are incredibly flexible casters that can fill roles like support, frontline, and damage dealer from melee or ranged depending on your subclass. I wanted to outline the best spells for crowd control, damage, and utility. Here are my top 10 best Bard spells in Baldur’s Gate 3.

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What Are the Best Bard Spells in Baldur’s Gate 3

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Tasha’s Hideous Laughter

This is your core early-game Bard spell for controlling powerful enemies in combat. If they fail their Wisdom saving throw, which most early-game enemies suck at, they fall prone. This means they cannot move and your entire team has Advantage on melee attacks against them. I recommend choosing whether you use this for the movement-hampering effect or for Advantage on attacks since the create gets another saving throw if you hit it. Still, this should be in any Bard’s repertoire. 

Healing Word

Another must-have spell for Bards that’ll be useful throughout the game is Healing Word. It’s not necessarily used for healing, instead, you use it on downed allies to instantly get them back into the fight. Furthermore, unlike Cure Wounds, this is a ranged healing spell that can be useful in a pinch as a lesser ranged heal on a distant ally. I used Healing Word during the final boss fight to great effect to get my Lae’Zel back in action.

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Heat Metal

Heat Metal is a powerful crowd-control and damage spell that changes function based on who you cast it on. If you cast it on a weapon, creatures will usually drop that weapon for you to pick up and disarm them. If they don’t, they receive Disadvantage on attack rolls and take 2d8 fire damage. However, the true potential of this spell is when you cast it on enemies in metal armor which forces the debuffs and damage. One pro tip is to cast this on Grym in the Underdark to automatically overheat it and debuff its defenses without lava.

Hold Person

Speaking of crowd control, Hold Person is probably one of the best ones when it works. If enemies fail a Wisdom saving throw, they’re Paralyzed which means they lose turns. Additionally, every melee or ranged attack within 10 feet is automatically a critical hit. 

I highly recommend casting this with a Rogue or Paladin in your party since their Sneak Attacks and Divine Smites will hurt much more. You can even upcast this to target multiple targets. That said, enemies get a saving throw each turn so you better pump up your spell save DC with our best Bard gear.


Bards don’t get access to a lot of AOE damage spells so Shatter is an A-tier damage spell going by the Bard standard. It has a great range/area and the damage is decent. All in all, a simple and effective spell with guaranteed damage when enemies are grouped up.

Hypnotic Pattern and/or Fear

Now this is where we get into some mid to late-game spells like Hypnotic Pattern or Fear. I highly recommend you pick up Hypnotic Pattern as it can shut down a whole room of enemies if they fail a Wisdom saving throw. It essentially places them under a charmed effect where they cannot take action for 3 turns. 

If they take damage they wake up which is why I would focus on enemies that succeeded the saving throw. The spell essentially shuts down enemies so that you can focus on a smaller number of foes. On the other hand, if you want to debuff enemies in an AOE while still being able to damage them, then Fear is another great option.


The great thing about Polymorph is that it works on any creature type so it can turn the biggest of monsters into harmless sheep. I often Polymorph HP sponge enemies and then use the Throw or Shove option with my Karlach to throw them off a cliff. At the end of the day, it just takes a heavy hitter out of the fight and it even works on bosses.

Hold Monster

Similarly to Polymorph, this is a save-or-die spell that can take an enemy out of the fight if they fail their saving throw. I recommend picking this up over Dominate Person since enemies under Dominate can just damage themselves and instantly break the effect. Meanwhile, Hold Monster disables their turns and gives you an automatic critical hit if you attack them within 10 feet. 

Otto’s Irresistible Dance

Otto’s Irresistible Dance is the lord of all crowd-control spells in Baldur’s Gate 3. First off, it’s guaranteed to work at least one turn because the enemy has to use their action to attempt a saving throw or waste a turn dancing. Second, all of your attacks will have Advantage against the target and their Dexterity saving throws are rolled at Disadvantage. Third, it targets Wisdom which is generally a low ability score for most enemies. OID is a must-have boss-killing spell. 

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Best Bard Magical Secrets Spells in BG3

The tenth entry on our list is actually some of the best spells you can pick up with your Level 10 feature Magical Secrets. Here are my top picks for different playstyles:

  • Caster Bard: Fireball or Wall of Fire for Concentration.
  • Swords Bard: Spirit Guardians.
  • Universally Useful: Counterspell or Conjure Elemental.

That concludes my list of the top 10 best Bard spells in Baldur’s Gate 3. For more BG3 guides and lists check out the best spells for Wizards and Clerics or my Bardlock build.

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Gordan Perisic
From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.