As our number one recommended class for beginners, the warlock in Baldur’s Gate 3 is extremely powerful, with one of the strongest playstyles available in the game, starting at just level 3. Do you want to blast your enemies off cliffs? Defeat ranged enemies without them ever firing a shot? Be a fiend of the darkness like Batman and Bane? Then this Baldur’s gate 3 warlock build is for you!
Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlock Build
Here is a brief outline of the build with only essential features for the build to function:
Best Race For Warlock
Any race will work, but the Halfling is the most powerful, reducing your chance for ability checks to critically miss from 5% to .25%, and only a .25% chance to critically fail any dialogue checks.
Drow, Half-Drow, and Asmodeus Tieflings are also great with an extra cast of Darkness for free once per day at level 5 and above.
Recommended Ability Scores At Level 1
- Strength – 8 or 10
- Dexterity – 14 (use the +1 bonus)
- Constitution – 15
- Intelligence – 10 or 8
- Wisdom – 10
- Charisma – 17 (use the +2 bonus)
Leveling Up The Warlock
Here are our suggestions for leveling up your Warlock and ability improvement.
- Take your first 5 levels in Warlock.
- At level 1 – take the Eldritch Blast cantrip, and the subclass of choice (recommended: The Fiend)
- At level 2 – choose the “Agonizing Blast” and “Devil’s Sight” Eldritch Invocations
- At level 3 – take the “Darkness” spell
- At level 4 – take the Ability Score Improvement feat, increasing your Charisma by 1 point to 18, and your Constitution by 1 point to 16.
- At level 5 – take the “Hunger of Hadar” spell and “Repelling Blast” Eldritch Invocation
- If taking all 12 levels in Warlock:
- At level 8, take the Ability Score Improvement feat to raise your Charisma by 2 points to 20, or Moderately Armoured (raise your Dexterity) if you do not already have medium armor proficiency and want to use a specific recommended gear piece.
- At level 12, take any of the following: Resilient (Constitution), Spell Sniper with your choice of cantrip, Alert, Dual Wielder if you want to use two stat staves, or Moderately Armoured (raise your Dexterity) if you did not already have medium armor proficiency and you did not take it at level 8 and want to use a specific recommended gear piece.
- War caster is another feat you can consider taking as a Warlock focused on spells.
- Item recommendations at the end of the article!
Warlock Build Playstyle
The Darkling is a simple, effective, thematic, and fun playstyle that can dominate almost the entire game. Before combat or on your first turn, cast a Darkness or a Hunger of Hadar. If casting Darkness, place it somewhere your party can duck in and out of it to attack from if they don’t have Devil’s Sight.
If casting Hunger of Hadar, place it on a chokepoint where enemies have to run through it in order to get to your party. This will force them to take damage on the way to you unless they can jump over or through it, or it may make them eat an action to dash through it. After your Darkness or Hunger are out, blast away with Eldritch Blast either from the safety of your darkness, or from a position that lets you knock enemies back into or further into the Hunger of Hadar to keep them subdued using our Repelling Blast Eldritch Invocation that we took at level 5.
By level 5, you are officially a fiend of the darkness, a darkling with the ability to dominate some of the most challenging fights in the game by blinding enemies but not yourself.
Keep a lookout for enemies that may have Devil’s Sight though, like rival Warlocks or even Devils themselves as they may be able to ruin your darkness camping which will require a slight change in tactics. That is where another powerful crowd-control spell can come in handy. Or just run away and Eldritch Blast.
Best Warlock Spells
From damage to utility to control spells, the Warlock spells you select make a huge difference in your build. Here are our picks for the best of the best to fill your Warlock spell slots.
Eldritch Blast (Cantrip)
This cantrip is the most powerful in the game by a long shot. First, it deals force damage which is only rarely resisted. Second, when you cast Eldritch Blast, instead of adding additional dice to a single damage roll, it gets additional beams at levels 5 and 10 meaning you can target additional enemies or launch all of your beams at one target.
More importantly, it means that Eldritch Blast inherits the damage buff from our Agonizing Blast invocation we took at level 2 up to three times. With no other buffs, that makes Eldritch blast between 12 and 45 damage cantrip in the late game depending on your Charisma.
This is before adding in any other effects like damage riders, or the best in slot robe for Warlocks which we will come to shortly. Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast forms the core damage of the Darkling Warlock for the entire game.
Darkness (level 2 spell)
Darkness, a level 2 concentration spell unlocked at level 3, is one of the most powerful spells available in Baldur’s Gate 3. This is yet another defining spell of the Darkling build and the Warlock class. That’s because enemies (and allies) that don’t have Devil’s Sight, one of our Eldritch Invocations, cannot see into or out of the darkness this spell creates.
Additionally, enemies (and allies) without the invocation cannot shoot projectiles into, out of, or over top of the darkness. Essentially, you cannot be hit by ranged attackers while inside of your Darkness.
Melee enemies can still attack you while you stand in it, but they will have disadvantage when they do so. The kicker is that with Devil’s Sight active, you can stand in your darkness and attack freely.
Inside your darkness, you are obscured, almost invisible, and unable to be attacked by ranged enemies but you can do whatever you want. You have advantage when attacking, and they can’t hit you back. You aren’t invincible, but you are very close to it.
Hunger of Hadar (level 3 spell)
Hunger of Hadar is a level 3 concentration spell you unlock at level 5 and is the last core spell to the Darkling’s kit. This is an offensive variant of Darkness that creates a massive area that blinds enemies inside of it, slows their movement speed significantly, and deals damage to enemies that cannot get out of it.
While this darkness is not quite as thick as the Darkness spell’s, the blind on it is incredible in conjunction with the difficult terrain it creates. Hunger of Hadar on a chokepoint can single-handedly set up a fight for victory throughout much of the game.
During the leveling process, Warlocks also get a series of choices at levels 2, 5, 7, 9, and 12 of class features called “Eldritch Invocations.” Some of these grant the Warlock buffs to their damage on certain spells and cantrips, some grant additional spells, and some grant proficiencies. If you take your Warlock all the way to level 12, you will get 6 different invocations in all. Many of the options are nice to have, but there are a few clear winners that we need for the Darkling build.
At level 2, take “Agonizing Blast.” Agonizing Blast will buff your Eldritch Blast damage by your charisma modifier. This is a huge damage buff that only gets better as you level up and Eldritch Blast acquires a second and third beam to its single cast. Devil’s Sight, on the other hand, is the key feature that makes the entire Darkling build possible.
With Devil’s Sight, the Warlock cannot be blinded by magical darkness, including the Darkness spell or Hunger of Hadar spell. We will go over this more in the playstyle section below, but this is essential. Finally, at level 5, take “Repelling Blast” which will make your Eldritch Blast have a toggleable knockback feature which is very useful for controlling enemy positioning, or knocking them off cliffs to their doom.
Other Warlock Invocations
After level 5, take whichever invocations you find the most interesting or fun. I find the utility spells very useful if my party does not already have them. For example, players can also choose to cast Conjure Elemental if interested in a wider Elemental focus for this build. Or you can cast mage armour using the Warlock versions called Armour of shadows.
Your three spells and three Eldritch Invocations form the core of the entire build and playstyle. Your subclass and Pact Boon offer additional flavor, but the majority of the Darkling’s power is subclass and boon agnostic.
Best Warlock Subclass
If you want my subclass and boon recommendations, take “The Fiend” subclass, and the “Pact of the Blade” for temporary life points on killing blows, and extra combat versatility while fighting in your darkness in the midgame before Eldritch blast is fully online at level 10.
Best Warlock Weapons And Armor
This warlock build will be greatly improved with the right weapons and armor. Read on below for more details!
Boots of Stormy Clamour – These inflict “Reverberation” on targets when you apply a condition. The “Repelling Blast” invocation counts as a condition on each hit of Eldritch Blast making these an excellent pairing. – Purchased from Omeluum in the Underdark in Act 1.
Potent Robes – This adds your Charisma modifier to damage with cantrips, meaning a Warlock gets their Charisma modifier added to their Eldritch Blast twice (that is +10 PER BEAM by the end of the game if you follow this build). Granted for both saving the Tieflings in Act 1, and rescuing the Tiefling prisoners from Moonrise in Act 2. Unavailable (mostly) to the Dark Urge.
Spidersilk Armor – This light armor grants you advantage on Constitution saving throws making you significantly less likely to drop your concentration on Darkness or Hunger of Hadar which is incredibly strong. This also has higher armor class than Potent Robes unless using the Mage Armor spell. Dropped by or taken from Minthara the drow leader of the Goblin camp in Act 1.
Dark Justiciar Half-Plate – This is medium armor that grants you advantage on Constitution saving throws. If you have medium armor proficiency, this armor will give you much better armor class than either the Spidersilk armor or the Potent Robes making you much less likely to be hit. Acquired alongside the Spear of Night at the end of the Gauntlet of Shar in Act 2.
Gloves of Belligerent Skies – These add additional turns of “Reverberation” whenever you deal lightning, thunder, or radiant damage. Stacked with the Spellsparkler and Boots of Stormy Clamour, you will be adding a significant amount of damage and crowd control to your Eldritch Blast every turn. Found in an elegant chest near the main door to the room with the Githyanki inquisitor in it in Act 1.
The combination of the Risky Ring and Ring of Free Action. The Risky Ring gives you advantage on every attack that does not have disadvantage which is a substantial increase to your accuracy, but it also gives you disadvantage on saving throws making spells and crowd control more likely to hit. The Ring of Free Action, however, prevents you from being “Restrained” which is the most debilitating kind of crowd control thus mitigating the Risky Ring’s downside almost entirely. The Risky Ring’s disadvantage + Spidersilk Armor’s advantage on constitution saves also cancel out so your Concentration saving throws are normal. Sold by Araj Oblodra in Moonrise Towers in Act 2.
If multiclassing, Psychic Spark – this necklace/amulet allows you to cast one Magic Missile spell per day, but also buffs Magic Missile with an extra projectile. When combined with a single level in Wizard or Sorcerer as a multiclass (because they get level 1 access to Magic Missile), you can cast Magic Missile with a level 5 Warlock spell slot which will launch a total of 8 Magic Missile projectiles at a target, all of which inherit the abilities of Gloves of the Belligerent Skies, Boots of Stormy Clamour, and the Spell Sparkler for a huge chunk of damage. Sold by Blurg in the Myconid Colony in Act 1.
If not multiclassing, Spellcrux Amulet – This amulet will allow you to restore one extra Warlock spell slot per day which can be very valuable to squeak in one more fight before a long rest. Looted from the Warden in Moonrise Towers in Act 2.
Birthright – This hat boosts your Charisma by +2 up to a total of 22. This is guaranteed extra accuracy and damage on your Eldritch Blast. Sold in Act 3 at Sorcerous Sundries.
Main hand weapon
The Spellsparkler – Chosen reward from saving Counsellor Florick in Waukeen’s Rest in Act 1.
Darkfire Shortbow – Grants a casting of Haste once per day as well as resistance to both fire and cold damage. Sold by Dammon in Act 2 (unavailable if Dammon dies in Act 1).
If you use the multiclassing setup with Psychic Spark, Ne’er Misser + Hellfire Hand Crossbow – these grant an additional free level 3 Magic Missile, and a level 3 Scorching Ray once short rest respectively. Ne’er Misser is sold by Roah Moonglow in Act 2 in Moonrise Towers. Hellfire Hand Crossbow is looted from Yurgir in the Guantlet of Shar in Act 2.
If you have shield proficiency, Ketheric’s Shield – This shield adds +1 to spell attack and save difficulty class making your Eldritch Blast more accurate, and your Hunger of Hadar hit more often. Acquired from looting Ketheric Thorm at the end of Act 2.
The Final Word
That’s it for the Best Warlock build in Baldur’s Gate 3. I hope you enjoyed and be sure to check out more of our Baldur’s Gate 3 content below!
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