Looking for the Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin build? The Paladin is known for its divine abilities and its ability to deal damage while also providing support to allies. The Paladin has a total of four subclasses, three of which are unlocked at the beginning of the game.
Paladins mostly rely on Strength and Charisma as their primary stats, and constitution is also important for Paladins, as it increases their hit points and concentration checks for spells. Here's all you need to know about the best Paladin build in Baldur's Gate, including the best race, skills, ability points, and subclasses.
Below, you'll find the best loadout and Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin build to use to really mess up those Mindflayers.
Best Paladin Race
The recommended race options for this build are Tiefling or Half-Orc. Tieflings, specifically the Zariel subrace, gain additional smite spells at levels 3 and 5, allowing them more abilities before requiring a long rest. Half-Orcs offer self-resurrection and strong crits due to abilities like Relentless Endurance and Savage Attacks.
Tieflings have a +2 bonus to Charisma and a +1 bonus to Intelligence, while Half-Orcs have a +2 bonus to Strength and a +1 bonus to Constitution. Both races also have dark vision, which is useful in low-light environments.
The recommended background choices are Noble or Soldier. The Noble background provides additional proficiencies in Persuasion and History, as well as a noble title and some wealth. The Soldier background provides additional proficiencies in Athletics and Intimidation, as well as a military rank and some equipment.
Depending on their personality and alignment, both backgrounds can help the Paladin role-play as a leader or a warrior. They also grant some useful skills for social and combat situations.
Best Paladin Subclass
This build focuses on the Oath of Vengeance subclass, one of the three available options for Paladins in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Oath of Vengeance is a vow to punish those who have committed great evil using any means necessary.
The Oath of Vengeance grants the following features:
- Inherited Paladin Features: As a Paladin, characters who choose the Oath of Vengeance subclass will still have access to the general features and abilities of the Paladin class.
- Tenets of Vengeance: Oath of Vengeance Paladins abide by certain tenets, including fighting the greater evil and exerting wisdom to identify higher morality.
- Offensive Focus: Oath of Vengeance Paladins prioritize offensive capabilities to destroy their foes.
- Ability to Rid the World of Evil: Oath of Vengeance Paladins take a vow to rid the world of evil and do not stop until they succeed.
- Starting Abilities and Skills: Oath of Vengeance Paladins have specific starting abilities and skills tailored to their subclass.
- Spells: Paladins of the Oath of Vengeance subclass have access to a selection of spells that can aid them in their pursuit of justice.
Recommended starting stats are 16 Strength, 16 Charisma, and 14 Constitution for optimal main stat distribution. Strength determines your melee attack damage rolls and some skill checks. Charisma determines your spellcasting ability, as well as some skill checks. Constitution determines your hit points and some saving throws.
The remaining points can be allocated according to your preference. Dexterity can improve your initiative and armor class, while Wisdom and Intelligence can improve your perception and knowledge skills.
Best Paladin Abilities
The Paladin build focuses on generating critical hits, which trigger additional attacks due to the Great Weapon Master feat. Critical hits also double the dice rolled for damage, including smite damage.
Abilities like Vow of Enmity are used to gain advantage on attack rolls, mitigating the penalty from Great Weapon Master and increasing the chance of scoring a crit. Other abilities like Inquisitor’s Might and Soul of Vengeance also provide extra radiant damage and an opportunity to daze enemies on hit.
Items and Gear
The best items and equipment for the Paladin class are the Grim Skull Helmet for fire resistance and the Adamantine Armor for damage mitigation.
The Grim Skull Helmet is a rare item that grants you resistance to fire damage, as well as a +1 bonus to AC. It also has a special feature that allows you to cast Hellish Rebuke once per day as a reaction when a melee attack hits you. Hellish Rebuke is a spell that deals 2d10 fire damage to the attacker and increases by 1d10 for each slot level above first.
The Adamantine Armor is an uncommon item that makes you immune to critical hits. Any attack roll against you that would be a critical hit is instead a normal hit. This can significantly reduce the damage you take from enemies with high crit chances or modifiers.
Other items that can benefit this build are:
- Greatsword of Vengeance: A rare weapon with 2d6 + 3 slashing damage and a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. It also has a special feature that allows you to cast Vampiric Touch once per day as an action. Vampiric Touch is a spell that deals 3d6 necrotic damage to a creature within 5 feet, and heals you for half the amount of damage dealt.
- Ring of Protection: An uncommon item that grants you a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws.
- Cloak of Displacement: A rare item that gives you the effect of the Displacement spell. Displacement is a spell that causes any attack roll against you to have disadvantage unless you are incapacitated or have a speed of 0. The effect ends if you take damage but resumes at the start of your next turn.
The Paladin build’s strategy revolves around triggering critical hits through abilities, exploiting the Great Weapon Master feat, and maximizing damage output.
The optimal strategy for this build is:
- Use Vow of Enmity on the most dangerous enemy in the encounter, gaining advantage on attack rolls against them.
- Use Inquisitor’s Might or smite spells on your weapon attacks, adding extra radiant damage and chance to daze or debuff enemies.
- Use Great Weapon Master on every attack, taking a -5 penalty to hit in exchange for a +10 bonus to damage.
- Use Luck of the Far Realm tadpole power, turning every successful attack into a critical hit, if available.
- Use Relentless Avenger and Soul of Vengeance to make more opportunity attacks and reactions, triggering the extra attack from Great Weapon Master more often.
- Use Avenging Angel if possible, gaining flight and frightening enemies within 10 feet.
- Use Heroism, Shield of Faith, Aura of Protection, and Aura of Courage to buff yourself and your allies, increasing your survivability and immunity to fear.
This strategy can allow you to deal massive damage with critical hits and smites while also having some utility and survivability. However, it also requires careful management of your resources, such as spell slots, Channel Divinity, tadpole points, and corruption level. You should also be aware of your enemies’ resistances and immunities and adjust your tactics accordingly.
That is it for our Paladin build guide. For more tips and tricks on improving your play-through, definitely do check out our best mods guide.