Casters get access to a vast collection of spell,s and it can sometimes be hard to pick the best ones. That’s why I wanted to highlight some universally great options from Level 1 to around Level 6. Here are my top 15 best early game spells in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Best Spells in the Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Game You Shouldn’t Overlook
Yes, I know: you should generally pick up damage spells like Chromatic Orb, Guiding Bolt, Shatter, etc. However, there are some great defensive and supportive options that players tend to overlook. Bless is one of those Level 1 Cleric or Paladin spells that can greatly benefit the entire party. It provides your allies with a +1d4 bonus to attack rolls and saving throws which melee classes like Fighters or Barbarians and ranged ones like Rogue or Ranger will love. It can even benefit your attack roll-oriented spells.
14. Healing Word
Speaking of support, the Level 1 Healing Word is a great spell both in the early and late game. It’s not strictly about the healing but about the fact that it’s a ranged spell and that it’s excellent for getting downed allies back into the fight. Due to the rules of D&D 5e, if a character is downed to 0 HP and falls unconscious, any source of healing gets them back up to the fight.
Healing Word then becomes an easy way to “revive” a fallen ally at range without having to heal them with a melee Cure Wounds or a Potion Throw. Best of all, it’s a Bonus Action. An honorable mention goes to Prayer of Healing which is a top-tier out-of-combat healing spell for your entire party.
This is the best defensive spell in Baldur’s Gate 3 in terms of the level-to-value ratio — period. For a mere Level 1 slot you’re getting +5 AC just when you need it since it’s a Reaction-based spell. It also blocks Magic Missile automatically, which isn’t that common but it’s still a nice addition. Whether you get this through your Sorcerer, Wizard, Eldritch Knight Fighter, or Arcane Trickster Rogue, I highly recommend picking it up along with Mage Armour. You can even get it through the Amulet of the Harpers magic item, Elegant Studded Leather armor, or the Magic Initiate feat.
This is one of those must-have Cleric spells that I recommend getting in the early game and casting at your highest level at the beginning of the day. It benefits your entire party and can easily get you +40 maximum HP when cast on four allies with a Level 3 slot. Granted, it can grant double its value if your allies are damaged due to its healing portion but casting it just for the maximum HP increase is also worth it. It lasts until you Long Rest and it doesn’t require concentration, it’s a great passive defense boost.
11. Hold Person
Now, I only recommend taking this Level 2 spell on full casters that go all in on their spellcasting stat since your spell save DC needs to be as high as possible. It’s widely available across all the spellcasting classes, and it can provide incredible value. Not only are you taking a humanoid enemy out of the fight by not allowing them to do anything, but you’re also granting your allies and yourself guaranteed critical hits.
The fact that this spell is a Wisdom saving throw makes it quite hard to resist, especially in the BG3 early game. Just make sure to check whether that caster you’re targeting has high Wisdom. If so, it might be better to cast it on another key target in combat.
10. Mirror Image
Mirror Image was tweaked for Baldur’s Gate 3 when compared to its tabletop version. Now, it creates three illusionary duplicates that each grant you +3 AC for a total of +9. This is a massive bonus, and I put this spell on my best early game spells list since it doesn’t require concentration, which is quite powerful. That said, I would generally only use it against bosses since you lose 3 AC whenever an attack misses you. This makes it less effective against groups of foes who have low attack rolls anyway.
9. Misty Step
Misty Step is another widely accessible Level 2 spell that generally everyone would find useful. It teleports you 18 meters or 30 feet across the battlefield for as little as a Bonus Action. Furthermore, thanks to the way spellcasting works in BG3, you can cast this and then another spell. In the original D&D5e tabletop, you can only cast one leveled spell per turn.
It’s great for moving around or getting out of dangerous situations where you’re surrounded. I highly recommend picking it up early in the Defiled Temple, Shattered Sanctum through the Amulet of Misty Step.
8. Pass Without Trace
Surprise rounds are incredibly powerful in BG3, as they essentially grant your party extra turns before the enemy can act. That’s why a high Stealth skill is so important for these ambushes. This Level 2 spell grants your entire party a +10 bonus to Stealth, making even the Heavy armor Paladin or Fighter effective at sneaking around.
It requires concentration but it lasts until you Long Rest, which is incredibly allowing you to set up ambushes without a time limit. It’s great for Druids and Rangers but you can also pick it up through subclasses like the Cleric’s Trickery domain.
When it comes to early-game AoE spells, Web is one of the stronger ones. You can place an area where enemies are constantly being Enwebbed — meaning they cannot move — have Disadvantage on attack rolls, and attacks on them have Advantage. It’s also extremely hard to get out of since it’s difficult terrain and it keeps trapping those that remain inside of its area every turn. It’s a massive CC spell that can decimate groups with low Dexterity saves.
Speaking of which, it also grants Disadvantage on Dexterity saves. If you want a similar lesser effect, then Grease or Entangle for Druids are also great options though with a smaller area.
6. Spiritual Weapon
Ahh yes, the ol’ reliable. This is a bread-and-butter passive damage spell for Clerics that doesn’t require concentration but outputs great DPS each round. You can combine it with other damage-per-round spells like Flaming Sphere or Spirit Guardians. Furthermore, depending on the weapon you choose you can apply special effects like Lacerate from a Greatsword or Piercing Strike from a Spear. The weapon can even tank some damage as it has an HP pool unlike in the tabletop.
This is our first Level 3 spell on the list, and it can be incredibly powerful in a defensive posture, as it shuts down enemy casters. Counterspell blocks another caster’s attempt to cast a spell and nullifies that spell as well. Not only are you blocking a harmful effect but also making the enemy lose their resources for nothing.
That said, you do have to take care of how you cast Counterspell as it’s harder to counter higher-level spells. I recommend checking out our Counterspelling guide to learn more. That said, this spell remains highly useful throughout the game as you can shut down powerful AOE abilities that decimate parties in the late game.
Yes, there are other AoE damage spells like Shatter before caster Level 5, but nothing beats the raw AoE power of Fireball. Level 3 spells are in general massive power spikes for casters and this fiery explosion demonstrates that perfectly. It’s incredible for taking out groups of enemies though upcasting it is generally not worth it for the 1d6 damage increase.
Still, this spell will dominate your repertoire for the next several levels. While it’s mainly accessible for Sorcerers and Wizards, Fiend Warlocks and Light Domain Clerics can pick it up too. You can also get it through the Incandescent Staff or the Crooked Wand of Fireballs.
Haste is a bit more situational than Fireball — but I still find it impactful. It’s a supportive spell that you can cast on your melee or ranged damage dealers that focus on weapons. It’ll grant them an extra action to attack with, double their movement speed, grant them +2 AC, and Advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws.
You can even cast it on two allies with the Sorcerer’s Twin Spell Metamagic which is incredibly powerful. It’s just a simple way to turn your allies into killing machines. Just be careful of that Lethargic debuff when the spell ends.
In a combat-heavy game like Baldur’s Gate 3 where death is common, especially on the Tactician or Honour difficulty, it’s easy to imagine why a resurrection spell is a must-have. Revivify is an easy pick-up for Clerics and Paladins and you can access the spell through Scrolls and The Reviving Hands gauntlets later on.
Yes, you can pay Withers to bring back dead allies but Revivify is much more cost-efficient and less time consuming. It’s generally not useful to use in a fight since characters come back with 1 HP but the neat part is that you can reposition them behind cover if they die by falling into a hole.
1. Spirit Guardians
Spirit Guardians blends everything we talked about throughout this list. It’s an AOE damage spell targeting Wisdom and also a crowd-control one as it halves the movement speed in its area. Since it deals damage to nearby enemies each turn it’s great value to upcast it with higher-level spell slots.
You should generally only use it on Clerics with Heavy armor since its range is 3 meters and those with decent Constitution scores to maintain concentration. For those reasons, it’s paired well with Warcaster. Overall, it’s just constant damage per round to multiple enemies around you. It’s simply one of the best damage-per-round spells in the game.