If playing as a charismatic dark magician who can summon a small army of creatures is your thing, then Warlock may be the best class in Baldur’s Gate 3 for you. Unfortunately, even the most optimistic Warlock player may soon realize that the class can sometimes struggle to find a home in the later parts of the game. Well, at least they can if you’re not using the best Warlock build.
For this build, we’re going to be focusing on a powerful multiclass Warlock that lets us get the most out of the class’ combat potential by borrowing a few attributes from Sorcerers. It’s called a “Sorclock,” and I think you’re going to love what it can do.
As before, though, please note that Baldur’s Gate 3‘s online character-building tools are still being optimized. As such, I’m going to be writing out some of the information that such tools would usually help automate. If you notice anything missing, be sure to let me know.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Race: Drow
You have a few options when picking your Race for this build (High-Elf and Tiefling are great alternatives), but I prefer Drow. Why? Well, their ability to see in the dark essentially grants you a free Warlock skill, and they just look so damn cool as Warlocks.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Class: Warlock
An obvious class choice given the premise of this article, though as we will discuss later on, you actually have some additional options when it comes to your starting class. For now, though, we’re picking Warlock due to the strength of their Cantrip abilities and early spells.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Mage Hand/Blade Ward
Speak of the devil…
Eldritch Blast is the reason to play Warlock, so don’t even think of picking anything else. You will need this Cantrip, and you’re going to be using it at least once per turn for most of the rest of the game.
You do have options for the other Cantrip spot, though. Mage Hand is a nice pick if nobody else in your planned party will have access to it, though I think that Blade Ward may be the better overall option for its immediate and long-term defensive advantages. Neither is a game-changer, though, so do what you will with this slot.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Subclass: The Fiend
The Fiend subclass simply synergizes with everything else we’re doing with this build. This combat-focused spellcasting subclass grants you instant access to Dark One’s Blessing, which gives you a nice little health boost whenever you kill an enemy.
I do think you could also make a version of this build work with the other Subclasses, but The Fiend is just a natural extension of everything else we’re trying to do.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Spells: Hex, Hellish Rebuke
Hex is a must-have for most Warlock builds. It’s an incredibly powerful debuff that is made all the better by some of the bonus actions we’ll be acquiring later in this build. You can make Warlocks work without Hex, but you’re denying yourself one of the class’ best early abilties.
The second spell slot is much more interesting. I think that Armor of Agathys is the more popular choice here, and I can see why. It’s a nice defensive ability that grants Warlocks extra protection against devastating melee attacks. However, Hellish Rebuke not only works against casters as well as melee targets, but it fits into the “fire” theme this build will soon be adopting. Go with your heart on this one.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Background: Guild Artisan
Backgrounds aren’t incredibly important in Baldur’s Gate 3, so consider this more of a role-playing option.
I find that Guild Artisan enhances some of the things that I naturally want from the Warlock class, but if you’d rather gain a couple of bonus points in other areas, don’t feel bad for using this choice as a quick boost to your preferred areas of interest.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Stats and Abilities
Constitution: 16 (+2)
Charisma: 16 (+1)
Not much to talk about here. Charisma is the Warlock’s most important stat for reasons that we’ll get into in a minute. You’ll want as much of it as you can get as early as you can get it. Constitution is also quite valuable, and the nature of the Warlock class allows us to focus on it early on whereas other casters typically need to pour more points into other areas.
Beyond that, you have a little flexibility available to you. Strength and Intelligence don’t really matter much in this build, though the former has some secondary benefits that make it a viable option for those extra early points.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Skills: Arcana, Deception
Again, this isn’t really a big deal, but Arcana and Deception just play well with everything else we’re going for. If you have other preferences, feel free to take them without fear of screwing up anything this build is ultimately designed to do.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Warlock Build – Leveling Order
Level 2 – Warlock
Eldritch Invocations: Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast
Level 3 – Sorcerer
Cantrips: Fire Bolt, Light, Shocking Grasp, Mage Hand
Subclass: Draconic Bloodline – Brass
Spells: Magic Missile, Feather Fall
Level 4 – Sorcerer
Metamagic: Twinned Spell, Distant Spell
Level 5 – Sorcerer
Spell: Misty Step
Metamagic: Quickened Spell
Level 6 – Sorcerer
Ability Improvement: +2 Charisma
Level 7 – Sorcerer
Level 8 – Sorcerer
Elemental Affinity: Fire
Level 9 – Warlock
Pact of the Tome
Level 10 – Warlock
Feat: Elemental Adept – Fire
Level 11 – Fighter
Level 12 – Fighter
First off, you may notice that some spells are “missing” from this build. Well, that’s because this build relies on a pretty specific strategy that largely revolves around two damaging spells. While I’ve recommended a few spells in the description above, you can feel free to fill those additional spell slots with what you may need based on how you shape the rest of your party.
However, the true hearts of this build are Eldritch Blast and Fireball: two of the best pure damage spells in the game.
For those who don’t know, Eldritch Blast is one of the most powerful spells in Baldur’s Gate 3 and the absolute best Cantrip option. As a Cantrip, you are able to use it on every turn within the boundaries of your normal actions/turn limits. As early as Level 1, that means that Warlocks have access to a powerful damage spell that isn’t limited by a spell slot restriction and reset periods. That alone makes them one of the best multiclass options in the game.
However, we can further enhance Eldritch Blast’s power through the use of the Agonizing Blast Invocation at Level 2. That ability adds the Warlock’s Charisma modifier to Eldritch Blast as bonus damage. Given that Warlocks typically boast incredibly high Charisma scores (especially in this build), it’s fairly easy to turn a seemingly basic Cantrip into a beam of pure death. Well, beams of pure death, technically, since you can eventually hit a single target with multiple Eldritch Blast strikes.
Typically, Eldritch Blast is kept in check by the Warlock’s other class features (or lack thereof). While Warlocks can use Eldritch Blast every turn, their lack of easily accessible bonus actions prevents them from spamming the ability multiple times a turn. Furthermore, Warlocks’ other damage-dealing abilities typically aren’t as strong as what the other casters gain access to. Many pure Warlock builds will rely on companions, Eldritch Blasts, and debuffs to earn their spot in BG 3’s limited parties.
Fortunately, we can negate those two notable downsides by choosing to multiclass into the Sorcerer class.
The early goal with this build is to get to Level 5 and acquire the Quickened Spell Metamagic ability. For those who don’t know, Quickened Spell allows a Sorcerer to cast a spell that usually costs an Action as a Bonus Action instead. So, for the cost of a few measly Sorcery Points, it easily lets Warlocks cast Eldritch Blast multiple times in a single turn. That’s quite good.
However, things get even better when you unlock Elemental Affinity: Fire and Fireball. Elemental Affinity allows you to add a Charisma Modifier to your Fire Spells. To be more specific, it buffs the powerful AoE damage ability, Fireball, which we can actually cast multiple times with the other abilities we’re taking in this build. When using Haste (more on that in a second), you can cast a powerful Fireball three times in a single turn, and then fall back on your also powerful Eldritch Blast strikes for subsequent turns without having to worry about spell slots. On top of that, you can still utilize your remaining Sorcerer Spells as well as the unique Warlock spell abilities (which can be reset with a Short Rest).
And that’s why this build is so special. Typically, Sorcerers would have to rely on lesser spells after casting that expensive opening salvo of Fireballs. Now, they get to fall back on an enhanced version of the powerful Eldritch Blast ability. Typically, Warlocks would need to rely on a lesser form of Eldritch Blast for most of their damage. Now, they not only buff their Eldritch Blast damage potential (thanks to Quickened Spell) but they gain access to an even more powerful series of opening strikes.
For Levels 9-12, you actually have a few options. I’m choosing the Warlock/Fighter route because I want to lean into the Warlock side of this build as much as possible and because Fighters gain an additional bonus action at Level 2. However, you can certainly justify an 8/4 Sorcerer split or experiment with some of the other combinations (Paladins actually offer a fascinating third class alternative). Again, once you hit level 8, the core of this powerful casting build is already in place, so you have a lot of room to play with the rest of this set-up.
Finally, a quick word about Haste/Twinspell. Ideally, Sorcerer will be your party’s main Haste caster. Why? Well, they can actually use Twinspell to cast Haste on two allied targets at once, which is an absurdly powerful thing to be able to do in this game. However, in this particular build, we can’t actually access Haste until Level 8. As such, consider starting as a Sorcerer to gain access to Haste earlier in the game, or have a Wizard cast Haste until you’re ready to do so. Warlocks can also gain Haste at Level 5 through Pact of the Tome, but it’s not really worth passing up on Quickened Spell at that point to go that route.
On that note, consider the value of Twinspell when picking your “flex” spells. If your party could make the most of a single target spell that is modified to hit multiple (enemy or friendly) targets, it might be worth picking it up over some alternatives. If not, then choose your abilities based on needs/wants.