Baldur’s Gate 3 has a dozen classes to choose from. Mystical Monks, feral Druids, and plain old Fighters are just some of the classes available in the game.
For those uninitiated into Dungeons & Dragons it can be a bit overwhelming; or maybe you’re familiar but are curious where your favorite class sits on this list?
Monk is a fun class with a lot of unique features. The only problem is that it doesn’t really do anything that other classes don’t do better.
Want to do big melee damage? Barbarian and Fighter are right there.
Want to be mobile? Rogue.
You have a neat bag of tricks with Monk, but know who else has a (sometimes literal) back of tricks? Wizard.
In a vacuum, Monk is perfectly fine but since it’s compared to all the other classes it fades to irrelevancy.
Ranger is another class made irrelevant by better classes. Your real claim to fame here is more skills than a Paladin or Fighter but at the end of the day you’re basically a worse Paladin… or a worse Rogue if you want to use bows.
You’re a semi-divine caster that lacks the flashiness of Druid and lacks the Smite potential of Paladin. You’re a weird amalgamation of Rogue, Fighter, and Paladin but don’t have any of the class features that make them good.
Animal companions are kind of neat I guess.
This one was a tough decision. Monk and Ranger are distantly in last place so this is the first of the “good” classes. Bard is nice for roleplaying, a bit of healing and utility. But let’s be honest with each other, Bardic Inspiration is largely invalidated thanks to savescumming.
I’m not here to judge if you savescum (the act of quickloading during dice rolls/encounters to get a desirable outcome)
Wizard offers a great variety of tools but is quickly spent, if you’re fine with taking a Long Rest after every encounter then you’ll have a great time with it.
AoE damage is also a huge game changer, especially in early fights or if you can surprise a group of enemies. A well placed Fireball can turn a difficult fight into a 1-round encounter.
There’s also potential for cool builds with Necromancy and Abjuration. At least in my opinion.
Mechanically speaking, I think Warlock is worse than Wizard. Eldritch Blast with the Agonizing Blast invocation is big damage, but congratulations, you do less damage than a Rogue.
The only reason it’s higher than Wizard (and maybe Bard), is because of the neat roleplay options and dialogue you can get for both the class and your pact choice.
Speaking of roleplay options. Cleric has them in spades. Pick a god or goddess and watch those special roleplay dialogues pop up. For gods, I recommend Selune, Vlaakith, and Tyr for roleplay options. But experiment with the one that seems cool to you! You might find some neat dialogue.
Cleric also has the benefit of being a full caster, and while the Cleric spell list isn’t flashy it’s at least a step better than casting Eldritch Blast and ending your turn.
Another full divine caster with roleplay options, Druid kind of outwears its welcome after the first big story arc. Wild Shape is cool but in my opinion I want to see my character in a fight, not generic animal
Druid sits higher than Cleric though for the same Wild Shape feature I just criticized. Scout as a cat, dig holes as a badger, fly around as a raven. You get a lot of utility basically for free, some cool roleplay options, and full spellcasting progression.
Fighter is just… it’s just boring. I love Fighter when I’m playing actual tabletop games but in Baldur’s Gate 3 you have a few roleplay options but otherwise just swing your sword, swing it a lot.
The only reason it’s so high up is purely mechanical. Fighters get the most Extra Attacks in the game and with the right build can deal out tons of consistent damage. What few roleplay options they have help make things more immersive, but they don’t have nearly as many as Cleric or Druid.
Kidding, sort of. Barbarian has a lot of unique features in their subclasses which help make your character feel unique. They also have more roleplay options than Fighter.
Barbarians also have the potential to deal big damage but they’re less consistent than Fighter.
Sorcerers are just better than Wizards. Wizards can do some cool builds, but sorcerers get more spells and can do fancy things with them via Spell Points.
Also thanks to their bloodlines, Sorcerers have far more unique roleplay opportunities than Wizard by a mile.
If you’re abusing Long Rests to replenish spell slots, Sorcerer gets considerably lower on this list since they indirectly lose the benefit of having so many spell slots.
Rogue is our second place spot as they’re the second best melee damage dealer. More importantly they’re the first best ranged damage dealer.
Sorcerer can do big damage with spells, but that requires spell slots. Rogue can do big damage all the time by abusing Hide. Hide in shadows, hide behind boxes, hide in the rafters. Just hide.
Hide, then pop out with a cheeky little shortbow and shoot a man in the kidneys for at least 30-60 damage. Which doesn’t sound like a lot near the end game, but the fact that it’s a single basic attack and costs not Long or Short Rest resources, a Rogue can quickly become the bread and butter of your encounters.
Paladin has it all. They have access to all martial weapons and armor types. They have a decent amount of divine spells at their disposal. They have an incredible amount of roleplay options and dialogue. They even have the ability to explode an enemy thanks to Divine Smite.
Paladins do fall short on no AoE and a lack of ability to build around ranged attacks, but the truth is that a Paladin can walk into most fights and walk away with barely any injuries and a pool of blood at their feet.
The Divine Smite feature can crit too, the game even facilitates this with allowing users to declare a Divine Smite AFTER they’ve rolled their attack roll, which is in line with the tabletop game. Meaning you don’t have to waste smites before ensuring you’ve crit already.
They also have one of the most absurd self-buffs in the game, Aura of Protection.
Aura of Protection gives you (and allies within 3m) a bonus to their saving throws equal to your Charisma modifier. That’s easily a +2 or +3 to all saves. This aura is also further enhanced by your choice of Oath. The best by far is Aura of Warding from the Oath of Ancients, which just gives you resistance to all spell damage.
Did we mention this Aura doesn’t require any actions or spell slots to maintain? It’s just always there.
What do you think? Were we unfair to any classes? Did we overstate how powerful Paladin is?
Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now on Windows PC (via Steam) and PS5. The Xbox Series X/S release is coming at a later date.