BG3 Warlock Handbook


Warlocks are just as powerful and versatile in Baldur’s Gate as they are in the TTRPG rules. As in the tabletop, Warlock are the preeminent multiclassers, invaluable for their flexible playstyle and casting as well as their unique invocations that allow for some truly unique builds. But Warlocks by themselves can be very fun and powerful without having to multiclass. A full Warlock playthrough can be incredibly rewarding in Baldur’s Gate 3, as there are plentiful items and unique features that help make up for what they were lacking by themselves in the tabletop.

Warlocks distinguish themselves from the other arcane caster classes by their flexibility in playstyle. Whether you want to be a frontline damage dealer, a master summoner, or just focus on getting big numbers from your Eldritch Blasts, there are many ways to accomplish whatever goal you have for your Warlock.

Also see our Warlock Spells Breakdown.

Table of Contents


RPGBOT uses a color coding scheme to rate individual character options.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

RPGBOT is fan content published under Larian’s Fan Content Policy. This is not official content, and RPGBOT has no official relationship with Larian.

Warlock Class Features

Hit Points: As a Warlock you are very middle of the road when it comes to hit points. You certainly aren’t winning any awards for most hit points, but you’re also not as squishy as your Sorcerer and Wizard cousins, and that’s worth something.

Saves: Charisma saves basically don’t exist in Baldur’s Gate since most Charisma saves from the TTRPG rules are now Wisdom saves. Given that, their proficiency in Wisdom saves is very valuable in this game. It will help you resist some of the bigger save or suck spells in the game.

Proficiencies: You get light armor, which is more than most arcane spellcasters get, but that’s about it.

Pact Magic: Like with the tabletop version, the Warlock’s spellcasting is quite unique. If you’re used to other spellcasters, Warlock might take some adjustment for you. You get very few spell slots, but they are cast at their maximum level and you get them all back on a short rest. Unlike the tabletop version, though, you aren’t beholden to the whims of a DM giving you short rests. With the click of a button you can short rest and recover spell slots, giving you up to 6 spell slots per day for most of the game, maxing out at 9 at 11th level. Other spellcasters like clerics and wizards only get 1 of their highest-level spell slot per day.

With a Bard in your party you get access to three short rests per long rest via their Song of Rest feature. This means you basically have 8 spell slots per Long Rest for the majority of the game, maxing out at 12 at 11th level.

You may think you can also offset this a bit by taking advantage of some of the many items, elixirs, and features that allow you to recover spell slots. Unfortunately, due to the fact that your spells are cast at their highest level and most spell recovery effects cap out at lower level spells, this means that many of these items get less useful the further in the game you are.

This, however, is balanced out with just how many free spells that don’t use your spell slots you have access to through both your own Warlock features and the plentiful amount of items with bound spells. All of this equates to a much more fulfilling and robust full caster experience for Warlocks in Baldur’s Gate 3 than in most campaigns of tabletop DnD.

Eldritch Invocations: The main draw of Warlocks and one of the reasons they are such a popular multiclass dip both in the tabletop and in Baldur’s Gate. The level of customization is just as robust as in the tabletop, with even more viable options thanks to some tweaks and changes. As with all things, though, there are some options that are better than others. You get 2 invocations at second level, with more given to you as you level up, capping out at 6 at 12th level.

  • 2: Agonizing Blast: The classic and a necessity if you plan on using your Eldritch blast even somewhat frequently. My advice is if you plan on heavily investing into Warlock, avoid this in the early game as your Charisma modifier won’t be incredibly high and you only have one beam on your Eldritch Blast. Instead take it at level 5 and use Hex in the meantime to make up the damage difference. There are other options that have a greater impact early on.
  • 2: Armor of Shadows: Save this for a camp caster. A 1st-level spell slot is absolutely not worth an invocation.
  • 2: Beast Speech: There’s an argument to be made for this pick in Baldur’s Gate, unlike in the tabletop version where it is extremely niche. Speak with Animals is very useful in Baldur’s Gate, but you can replicate its effects with abundant potions and some items scattered about the game.
  • 2: Beguiling Influence: Unless you took a background or multiclassed into something that offers it, you don’t have access to Persuasion as a proficiency. If you plan on being the Face of your group and don’t want to multiclass, this can be a decent pick, otherwise avoid it.
  • 2: Devil’s Sight: Very good, though not as hilariously broken as in the tabletop version since the Darkness spell’s effect can’t move with you. Pairing this with Darkness is still extremely powerful, though, no matter what your build. If you choose to focus on melee, blinding your enemies so that you have Advantage is very effective. If you choose to be a ranged caster, darkness can make you untargetable while you shoot out destructive spells, especially when it comes to Hunger of Hadar. Even if you don’t use either of these spells, there are a lot of casters in the mid-to-late-game that will, so this can be a game changer. Keep in mind that you will still be blinded by Blindness and Fog Cloud.
  • 2: Fiendish Vigor: Extra hit points is always nice, but If you want temporary hit points, Pact of the Fiend or Armor of Agathys are just far superior ways to get them. The hope here is that you’ll use Fiendish Vigour after every fight so that you perpetually have a pool of temporary hit points without resorting to resting or healing, effectively stretching your resources over a longer adventuring day. But in a game that not only encourages but actively requires you to take long rests to advance the game, there is absolutely no reason to do that. False Life is also only cast at its base level with this Invocation meaning you will only ever get 7 temporary hit points.
  • 2: Mask of Many Faces: At will Disguise Self is pretty useful in Baldur’s Gate as a way to avoid getting caught for crimes, access unique dialogue options based on race, and have the ability to question the spirits of people you kill with Speak with Dead. If you have the Digital Deluxe edition of the game, you get a free helmet that you can wear to cast Disguise Self, then remove and pass around the party without losing the effect.
  • 2: One with Shadows: There are very few situations where this would be useful and in cases where it is, invisibility potions are easy to make/find/buy and are more usable.
  • 2: Repelling Blast: This was already pretty broken in the tabletop version, and it’s even more so now. The creatures don’t get a save, even if they are gigantic, so you will be better at pushing things than even your strongest Barbarian. There are tons of ledges and bottomless pits that are just begging for you to launch hapless foes into them. Additionally, it helps push enemies that have escaped your persistent AOE effects back into them. Combined with things like Hunger of Hadar or Spike Growth, you can make things just miserable for your enemies. Even better, after testing I have found that if you push enemies into Spike Growth they still take damage from the distance they moved through it, making this a devastating combo. This also works in the tabletop rules, but the knockback animation looks like they fly through the air, so it’s not immediately obvious that it would work this way
  • 2: Thief of Five Fates: Bane is not a great spell and there are a lot of enemies that will resist it. Additionally, there are several items and abilities in the game that replicate its effects without the burden of concentration.
  • 5: Sign of Ill Omen: Bestow Curse is a mixed bag. When it works it is powerful, but there are many enemies that will likely resist it. The fact that it requires Concentration also limits its value somewhat.
  • 5: Mire the Mind: Slow is extremely powerful when it works and, even though a lot of late game enemies will resist it, unlike Bestow Curse, you can affect a group with it. If even one of them fails the save, it can shift the outcome of a battle. The biggest downside is that it still uses one of your very few spell slots. Save this for encounters where there are a lot of enemies. It’s probably best to avoid this if you are a Great Old One Warlock, though, as you already get Slow added to your spell list.
  • 7: Book of Ancient Secrets: This is a decent upgrade from the tabletop version. Instead of giving you ritual spells like it does in the tabletop rules it gives you some good spells (Chromatic orb and Silence) and one not so great spell (Ray of Sickness) that you can cast once per day each without expending a spell slot. You also don’t need to have Pact of the Tome to choose this feature, unlike the tabletop rules. Unfortunately they are cast at their lowest level so really only Silence is useful throughout the game unless you want to take advantage of the terrain effect Chromatic Orb leaves behind (like an ice surface)
  • 7: Dreadful Word: Confusion is very unreliable and you are better off using Mire the Mind for your crowd control. The one advantage it has over Slow is that it won’t affect your allies if they are in the area.
  • 7: Sculptor of Flesh: It pains me what they did to Polymorph in Baldur’s Gate. There was a good argument in taking this Invocation in the tabletop version, but I can’t recommend it here considering how severely they nerfed Polymorph.
  • 9: Minions of Chaos: A much easier pick than in the tabletop version. Conjure Elemental doesn’t require Concentration and your minion lasts until your next Long Rest. The elementals you get are extremely powerful.
  • 9: Enhance Leap: So many other classes get access to this as well (and Githyanki get it from their race), everything gets it at lower levels, and there are abundant potions with the same effect, so there is no reason for you to take this, much less at level 9.
  • 9: Whispers of the Grave: The fact that you get this option so late in the game is almost insulting as you will by this point have many different sources for this spell.
  • 12: Lifedrinker: If you plan on playing a full Warlock melee build, this is a no-brainer. The only drawback is that it’s your capstone option, so you won’t get it until very late in the game.

Pact Boon: Like in the tabletop version, Pact Boons offer unique ways to adjust your playstyle and are another reason why Warlocks are such a popular multiclass dip. None of the options are really bad, though some are entirely dependent on how much you choose to invest in them and what features/items you use to take advantage of them.

  • Pact of the Blade: Since there is no Hexblade in Baldur’s Gate, the developers decided to give its iconic feature to this Pact Boon, making a previously ok Boon into a really solid one. If you plan on focusing on weapon attacks, this is a really solid pick as now you can focus all your Ability Score points into Charisma rather than being forced to invest in whatever physical Ability you would need for your weapon. However, on its own, this feature isn’t the best. You need to build around it either through specific magical items, heavily investing in Warlock, or multiclassing to give it rider effects (like smite) and get more weapon proficiencies than your limited list allows, especially since the SCAG weapon Cantrips like Booming Blade are not in Baldur’s Gate, which sadly limits some gish builds (this is, however, easily fixable with mods).At 5th level you also get an additional attack, which adds more viability to a weapon-focused playstyle without the Invocation tax required in the tabletop rules. Remember to rebind your weapon after every Long Rest as you can’t do so during combat.
  • Pact of the Chain: This one is all upside with no real drawback. Unlike the tabletop version, your familiar gets its own turn and all of them have some sort of attack. Each basic familiar has unique attacks that are useful in some way or other, but you will probably want to focus most on either Quasit or Imp. Both can turn Invisible, which basically guarantees you can set up surprise rounds easily, as attacking while Invisible almost always results in your enemy getting surprised. The Quasit can cause Fear in targets, and the Imp can Poison your enemies, both highly useful.
  • Pact of the Tome: More cantrips are useful, especially Guidance. Vicious Mockery still has its uses, too, though you will probably be using Eldritch Blast more often than not. Thorn Whip is almost never useful, though. We are truly here for our Improved Pact at level 5 which gives us once per day uses of Animate Dead, Haste, and Call Lightning, all very powerful and useful spells in this game that don’t use your limited spell slots. Unfortunately, it appears the spells are cast at their base level making this feature really only useful for haste and one Zombie.

Mystic Arcanum: This is our version of 6th-level spells, and we can cast one of these per Long Rest. The options available to us are good but not as game changing as a Sorcerer or Wizard, and we can’t recharge the slot with items like other spellcasters can. Still, it’s a free 6th-level Spell.

Warlock Subclasses


Probably the best subclass if you’re just starting out as a Warlock. You get access to some of the best spells in the game and its features are geared towards helping your survivability and making things go a little bit more in your favor.

1: Dark One’s Own Blessing

Free temporary hit points after every kill that scales with your level does wonders for your survivability. That said, you can’t always guarantee you’ll get the final hit in. This is a feature that will be welcome when it comes into play but you shouldn’t rely on it.

Since Baldur’s Gate 3 makes hit points visible, you can deliberately plan to last-hit enemies, but it’s annoying and easy to mess up. Determine the average damage you’ll do with your attack (Eldritch Blast or whatever), then have your party leave enemies comfortably below that average. However, if this means that they’ll get another turn before you finish them off, it’s not worth the trouble.

1: Expanded Spell List

There are some really great options here that are useful for us. Command, Blindness, Scorching Ray, and Fireball are all continuously useful throughout the entire game. Wall of Fire is also very good in Baldur’s Gate as enemy AI has a tendency to run right into it.

6: Dark One’s Own Luck

A free d10 to add to any Ability Check is never not useful, and you get it back on a Short Rest. Keep in mind it’s only for Ability Checks, though, so don’t count on using it for Saves or Attacks. Initiative does not count as an Ability Check in Baldur’s Gate as it uses a d4 instead of a d20.

9: Fiendish Resilience

Not only do you get resistance to one damage type of your choice, but you can change it every Short Rest. This gives you a lot of flexibility in how you approach encounters. If you know you’re about to get into a fight with enemies that favor one damage type, this can be a game changer.

Great Old One

GOO is a subclass that felt very underwhelming in the tabletop, especially at the early levels. A single, simple change that replaces your first level feature with a new one alleviates that somewhat. You get access to some great spells that focus more on battlefield control rather than direct damage like the Fiend. That said, it takes a bit more consideration and planning than the Fiend to play effectively and so is not a subclass I would recommend to newer players.

1: Mortal Reminder

This is a new feature added to the game to replace Awakened Mind from the tabletop. It certainly helps to make the subclass feel a bit more impactful, even if it suffers from the same issue as Barbarian’s Brutal Critical feature. That said, there are a lot of ways in this game to guarantee a Crit, or at least increase your Crit Threat Range. Frightened is a powerful effect and having it as a rider on your Criticals makes your Eldritch Blasts even more impactful than they already are.

1: Expanded Spell List

You don’t get many useful damaging options, instead getting spells that help you become an effective controller. The spells you do get are really good, though. Dissonant Whispers and Tasha’s Hideous laughter will get you far in the early game, while Slow and Black Tentacles are your Crowd Control Options. At higher levels, Dominate Person and Telekinesis can trivialize difficult encounters, especially since you can throw people into bottomless pits with Telekinesis. The biggest downside to the GOO list, however, is that you will have a lot of spells competing for your Concentration, so knowing which spell to use in each situation will be key.

6: Entropic Ward

Being able to impose Disadvantage on an attack and being able to follow up with Advantage against the attacker is very impactful, especially since you will be relying on Eldritch Blast so much. This also synergizes really well with your Mortal Reminder feature, giving you more opportunities to get a Crit. You also get this back on Short Rests, meaning you have the option to use this somewhat frequently.

9: Thought Shield (Psychic Resistance/Reflection)

In any other game this would be a highly situational feature, but this is a game where Mindflayers and their servants are the primary antagonists, meaning you will be dealing with Psychic damage quite frequently, especially in the late game. This makes enemies that would have previously been threatening to you seem almost weak. There’s no real downside to this ability.


Archfey feels like it struggles to find a middle ground between GOO and Fiend. The features you get feel mostly underwhelming and situational, and the spell list is filled with roughly half good spells, half less-useful ones. If you know what you’re doing and have a very specific build in mind to take advantage of its features, you can make it work, but the things it offers can be more easily accomplished and with more consistency by choosing one of the other subclasses or by multiclassing.

1: Fey Presence

This could be a decent feature except for the fact that it requires you to almost be in melee with creatures you are trying to affect. To get the most out of it, you also want to be preferably surrounded by enemies, which is never a good place for a Warlock to be. You could argue that this is best suited to a melee-focused character, but the Fiend’s level one power is more impactful for such a build than a feature that just may not work and recharges on a Short Rest. There’s also the fact that it takes an Action to use this ability, making it an even harder sell when compared to the other subclasses.

1: Expanded Spell List

This is a bit of a mixed bag. Most of the better spells are relegated to higher levels and some of your spells that are good early on fall off at higher levels, like Sleep which gets worse as enemies gain exponentially more hp the later in the game you are. Faerie Fire, Plant Growth, and Dominate Person are solid spells that have their uses, but it’s not enough to justify having more than half your spell list filled with useless stuff like Phantasmal Force, Seeming, and Calm Emotions.

6: Misty Escape

This is a pretty solid feature. Going invisible after taking damage and getting a free use of Misty Step for your trouble is definitely useful for getting out of tough situations.

9: Beguiling Defenses

This feature is so disappointing, especially when compared to the features of the other two subclasses at this level. Elves already get advantage on Charm effects and, yeah, immunity isn’t bad, but it doesn’t give you anything else. Charm is more common than you might think in this game, but not so common that this feature feels all that impactful. Besides, most enemy AI, especially at higher difficulty levels, tends to prioritize party members with lower Wisdom saves for Charm effects, and, since you have proficiency in Wisdom saves, you are less likely to be targeted anyway. Even just adding immunity to Frightened would make this feature more worthwhile without making it too powerful.

Warlock Ability Scores

Warlocks are Face casters along with Sorcerers and Bards. Charisma should be your main focus, followed closely by either Constitution for the Concentration checks and health, or Dexterity for AC, followed by Wisdom for those nasty save-or-suck spells. 

There is a singular feat that increases Charisma by +1: Actor, which gives us expertise in Deception and Performance. If you plan on going this route, then you can leave your Charisma at 17 and pick something besides Deception for your starting skills, or respec later.

Str: Literally only useful for jumping and Shove. You can cast Leap or Fly for jumping, and you can shove people more effectively with Repelling Blast.

Dex: Ranged weapon attacks (just use Eldritch Blast), AC, Dexterity saves, Initiative and some skills. With only light armor, this is a decent part of your durability. Starting with 16 is entirely achievable, but not something I would recommend.

Con: Hit points, Concentration, Constitution saves.

Int: Along with Strength, this is our dump stat. We don’t need any book learning, that’s what Gale is for.

Wis: Wisdom saves and Perception checks are both common.

Cha: Your primary casting stat and useful for pretty much every dialogue in the game. Wizards wish they were as smooth as us.

Game Recommended+2/+1FinalRPGBOT Recommended+2/+1Final

Warlock Races


Slow, and both Darkvision and Poison Resilience are replaceable with 2nd-level spells.

  • Gold: More HP is always welcome.
  • Shield: Medium armor is excellent, but the Githyanki is a much better way to get it.
  • Duergar: Advantage on some saves is nice, and the innate spellcasting is decent.


Permanent damage resistance is nice, but aside from that there is not much here that is useful for us.


Proficiency in hand crossbows is fine but not really useful for us as we have Eldritch Blast unless you plan on using dual wield crossbows. Rapiers, however, are very useful for Blade Warlocks.

Darkvision can be replaced by a 2nd-level spell, but Fey Ancestry and proficiency in Perception are both good. Faerie Fire is good, but Darkness is what we’re really here for, especially if you plan on taking advantage of Devil’s Sight at all. Even if you get Darkness as one of your Warlock spells, having another source of it will always be welcome.

Lolth-sworn Drow and Seldarine Drow are mechanically identical, but get access to different dialog choices.


The weapon proficiencies aren’t useful because Pact of the Blade solves proficiency, though Darkvision can be replaced by a 2nd level spell. Fey Ancestry and proficiency in Perception are both good.

  • High Elf: We can’t learn new cantrips from scrolls like Wizards can, so more cantrips seems great. Unfortunately, they are based on our Intelligence modifier, which makes them useless offensively, and utility cantrips which are commonly useful in the tabletop rules either don’t exist or aren’t appealing in Baldur’s Gate 3. Get Pact of the Tome if you really want more cantrips.
  • Wood Elf: Additional speed and yet another skill proficiency.


Gnome Cunning can be useful for us as we already have proficiency in Wisdom, so getting advantage is always helpful. Intelligence saves almost never come up.

  • Rock: Adding twice your proficiency to History checks is nice, offsetting your poor Intelligence score when making History checks, but those checks are infrequent.
  • Forest: Speak with Animals is amazing in Baldur’s Gate 3, and you only need to cast it once a day anyway. It’s not normally on the Warlock’s spell list unless you get the Beast Speech Invocation, but it’s also available from abundant and inexpensive consumables.
  • Deep: Advantage on Stealth is great if you spend a lot of time sneaking.


Astral Knowledge is proficiency in as many as 4 skills, and you can change it every Long Rest. Githyanki Psionics is a great set of innate spells. Martial prodigy gets you medium armor, which is a significant improvement to your durability and also gets you access to several useful magic boots, gloves, and helmets.


Half-elves get the same Civil Militia feature that humans do, which gets you shield proficiency, but instead of a skill proficiency you get Darkvision (which is replaceable with a spell), Fey Ancestry, and a subrace.

  • High Half-Elf: More cantrips on a class that gets fewer of them is always nice. Too bad it’s based on our Intelligence.
  • Wood Half-Elf: Better speed and proficiency in stealth. More speed is very helpful in Baldur’s Gate 3 because the game makes positioning so important.
  • Drow Half-Elf: This, paired with Pact of the Blade and Devil’s Sight, allows you a constant source of Darkness with which to mess up your enemies.


You don’t need Darkvision and you can get Intimidation from a background. Savage Attacks can be useful when paired with Pact of the Blade, but does not apply to spells.


Baldur’s Gate 3 makes a natural 1 a critical failure, meaning that you automatically fail whatever attack/check/save. This makes Halfling Luck extremely useful. Brave is also nice, especially in a game where fear effects are surprisingly common.

  • Lightfoot: Advantage on Stealth is great if you spend a lot of time sneaking.
  • Strongheart: Poison Resistance is available as a 2nd-level spell which lasts until your next long rest, so getting it from your race is pointless beyond low levels.


One skill, proficiency in light armor, and proficiency in shields and some weapons. You already have light armor proficiency, so you’re effectively here for one skill and shield proficiency.

The problem with humans isn’t that they’re bad: it’s that for whatever you want from the human, there is a better solution. Do you want skills? Wood Elf gets two, and Githyanki gets Astral Knowledge (which can be as many as 4). Do you want better AC and/or more weapons? Half-elf gets the same Civil Militia feature, or Githyanki and Shield Dwarves both get medium armor.


Resistance to fire is a great start. Fire damage is common. The subraces all synergize well with Warlock.

  • Asmodeus Tiefling: Produce Flame, Hellish Rebuke, and Darkness are all great spells to add to our limited list and, even better, they are based on our Charisma.
  • Mephistopheles Tiefling: Mage Hand is a very useful cantrip, and getting it from your race frees you up to take more damaging cantrips. Burning hands is a decent AoE spell based off your Charisma, and Flame Blade can be ok on a Blade Warlock.
  • Zariel Tiefling: Smites are very good when paired with a blade Warlock, even if you plan on multiclassing into Paladin.

Warlock Skills

  • Acrobatics (Dex): If you don’t want yourself getting shoved, this can be another defense since we’ll be leaving our Strength very low and therefore should ignore Athletics
  • Animal Handling (Wis): Largely replaced by Speak with Animals or an equivalent potion.
  • Athletics (Str): Strength is a dump stat. You can shove people more effectively than any Athletics user with Repelling Blast.
  • Arcana (Int): Intelligence is a dump stat, but, if you have to take one knowledge skill, I recommend this one as it comes up more than any other. This should not be surprising in a game dealing with Mind Flayers.
  • Deception (Cha): Deception is extremely good for talking your way out of some bad situations or talking your way into solutions that would otherwise be unavailable to you. If you plan to take the Actor feat, don’t take proficiency in Deception at 1st level because the proficiency will be redundant (or respec once you’re level 4).
  • History (Int): Intelligence is a dump stat and you’re better off taking Arcana.
  • Insight (Wis): Occasionally rolled during conversations.
  • Intimidation (Cha): Can be useful for throwing your weight around. That said, you’re almost always better off going for Persuasion or Deception as both NPCs and your companions can react negatively to you using this skill.
  • Investigation (Int): Intelligence is a dump stat, and you’re better off taking Perception or Arcana.
  • Medicine (Int): Almost never matters.
  • Nature (Int): Intelligence is a dump stat and you’re better off taking Arcana.
  • Perception (Wis): Consistently useful.
  • Performance (Cha): More useful for Bards who can actually get something out of it. That said, there are a few rare circumstances where it can come in handy. If you plan to take the Actor feat, don’t take proficiency in Deception at 1st level because the proficiency will be redundant (or respec once you’re level 4).
  • Persuasion (Cha): Pretty much mandatory if you’re going to play a Face. There are more Persuasion options in the game than any of the other Charisma-based skills, and using Persuasion often doesn’t get a negative response like Deception or Intimidation can. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to pick it as one of our class skills, so you will need to get proficiency from another source.
  • Religion (Int): Intelligence is a dump stat and you’re better off taking Arcana.
  • Sleight of Hand (Dex): Open locks, disarm traps, pick pockets. Warlocks can easily have enough Dexterity to make this work.
  • Stealth (Dex): Warlocks can easily have enough Dexterity to make this work, and, even with Invisibility on the table, Stealth is still very helpful.
  • Survival (Wis): The buried chests are not worth the skill proficiency to find them.

Warlock Backgrounds

Backgrounds provide two skill proficiencies and determine the way that your character earns Inspiration. The game has ample opportunities to earn Inspiration for every background, so choosing a background typically comes down to what skills you want.

  • Acolyte: Insight can be useful in social situations, but Religion is useless for a Warlock.
  • Charlatan: Good for the Deception proficiency and Sleight of Hand, but keep in mind that you can get Deception as one of your two class skills or from the Actor feat.
  • Criminal: Like Charlatan, both skills are useful for a Warlock.
  • Entertainer: Acrobatics is a situationally useful defensive choice. Performance is not useful on a Warlock.
  • Folk hero: Animal Handling can be handled magically, and Survival is only useful for finding disappointing chests.
  • Guild Artisan: Pretty excellent background if you plan on doing most of the talking. Both skill proficiencies will get you far as a Warlock
  • Haunted One (Dark Urge only): If you’re playing Dark Urge, you’re locked into this. You get Medicine and Intimidation, only the latter of which is useful for a Warlock.
  • Noble: Since we don’t normally have access to Persuasion as a Warlock, it is worth picking it up wherever we can. That said, there are better ways to get it and History is not useful for us.
  • Outlander: Athletics is a bad choice for Warlocks and Survival is only useful for finding hidden chests scattered across the map that inevitably have disappointing treasure.
  • Sage: You’re not a Wizard.
  • Soldier: Intimidation is useful for a Warlock. Athletics is not.
  • Urchin: It’s entirely possible to have 16 Dexterity as a level 1 Warlock, which is plenty to make these skills work.

Warlock Feats

This section does not address every feat, as some clearly aren’t relevant to the class. For more general discussion on feats, see our Practical Guide to Feat Selection.

  • Actor: A solid feat that gives us +1 to Charisma and expertise in Deception and Performance. If you plan on being a Face, this is definitely worth considering. If you plan on taking this feat, make sure you leave your Charisma at an odd number at level 1 so that you can fully benefit from it, and pick skills other than Deception at character creation to avoid redundancy.
  • Alert: Going first is great for spellcasters. Get summoned creatures, area effect spells, and crowd control spells up and running before enemies can respond. Of course, since initiative is rolled on a d4, having passable Dexterity is often sufficient.
  • Dual Wielder: Use two magic staves. At high levels you’ll find enough of them that choosing just one is hard, and this is the only way to use two. Avoid the trap of getting this for two melee weapons as a Blade Warlock as you have better things to use your Bonus Action on.
  • Elemental Adept: Can be useful if you plan on specializing in a certain elemental damage type, but we don’t get enough of those (outside of fire) to really justify picking this up.
  • Lucky: Good on every character.
  • Resilient: Worth picking up for Constitution saves to help maintain our Concentration on some of our many spells that require it.
  • Ritual Caster: We don’t get access to Ritual spells normally. Of the spells offered, Enhance Leap, Longstrider, Speak with Dead or Disguise Self will be the most useful. It also can potentially free up an invocation slot for you if you wanted to get those spells anyway. Find Familiar is also very useful if you aren’t planning to pick up Pact of the Chain.
  • Spell Sniper: The extra cantrip is fine, but being able to crit more on our Eldritch Blast is very useful, especially if you plan on being a GOO Warlock. It also stacks with a lot of items in the game that adjust your Crit Threat Range.
  • War Caster: This is a good choice to help offset our lack of Constitution Proficiency. Shocking Grasp is a fine cantrip, but if you are a Blade Warlock you’re probably better off just attacking with your weapon.

Warlock Weapons

Warlocks get very few weapon proficiencies, but Pact of the Blade makes you proficient in your pact weapon, which makes you an actually viable weapon user.

  • Dagger: Until you find a magic staff, this is your go-to melee weapon. You really only need it for attacks of opportunity. Try to avoid using it as much as possible. If you’re using Pact of the Blade, there are way better options.
  • Greatsword: You can summon this weapon as a Blade Warlock, so it’s worth trying to get proficiency if you can as there are some really amazing magical Greatswords in the game that you can use.
  • Light Crossbow: Just use Eldritch Blast.
  • Rapier: One of the weapons you can summon from Pact of the Blade. It’s decent, especially when paired with a Shield if you can get proficiency. Using it also allows you to Sneak Attack if you decide to multiclass into Rogue. There are also several Rapiers in the game tailor made for Warlocks.
  • Quarterstaff: You don’t actually want it as a weapon, but you’ll acquire magic staves which are treated as quarterstaves, so you can bonk people from time to time.

Warlock Armor

Warlocks are proficient in light armor, but the game also includes many magic robes which will fill your armor slot.

Warlock Multiclassing

Warlocks are the belle of the ball when it comes to Multiclassing. Most classes can get something out of a 2-5 level dip into Warlock. If Warlock is your main class, you can also benefit from Multiclassing, but it will come at the expense of some of the features that make Warlocks more engaging to play. If you want Warlock levels in your build, you should probably either plan to spend very few levels in Warlock or commit to a full Warlock playthrough.

  • Barbarian: You can’t cast spells while you rage, however there are some spells, like Armor of Agathys, that you can benefit from as they don’t require Concentration. If you are a Blade Warlock, you can conceivably be a Face and dump your Strength, but Barbarians rely on Strength for a lot of their features, and there are better multiclassing options
  • Bard: Bards and Warlocks complement each other very well. You get extra short rests from the Bard’s song of rest feature and you get extra spell slots which you can use for your Bard spells that refresh on a Short Rest. Eldritch Blast is a solid cantrip for anyone and the Invocations will be very appreciated on a Bard. Just remember you can’t use Bard slots to cast Warlock spells.
  • Cleric: There’s not a lot here for you aside from some good low-level spells, possibly better armor proficiency, and Channel Divinity. The Invocations can be useful for a Cleric, but there just isn’t a whole lot of overlap here. You’re better off taking Paladin levels.
  • Druid: Everything you want from the Druid is probably better coming from the Cleric since they get better armor options.
  • Fighter: Starting your build with 1 level of Fighter gets you heavy armor, shields, and a Fighting Style. A second level gets you Action Surge so that you can cast two big spells in a single turn. This pairs really well with Blade Warlocks as all of the Fighter subclasses can offer you something cool in the form of Maneuvers, bigger Crit range, or more spells.
  • Monk: Unarmored Defense works while in robes intended for Warlocks, but you likely won’t get any other benefit, and Mage Armor or even just light armor will be more impactful. That said, Shadow Monks can benefit well from both Devil’s Sight and Darkness, but it’s probably not worth multiclassing just for this unless you plan to lean into that build fantasy.
  • Paladin: Paladins and Warlocks go together like cookies and cream. There’s a reason the so-called “Hexadin” is so popular. You get better armor and weapon proficiencies, smites, and more spells. The Paladin will appreciate a lot of the powerful Invocations this class brings, and the Paladin half appreciates having access to a source of smites that refresh on a short rest, as well as Pact of the Blade’s ability to rely on Charisma for attack and damage. The only real thing holding them back is the lack of any meaningful melee cantrips from SCAG like in the tabletop. Even so, the Hexadin is a force to be reckoned with and was the first character among RPGBOT staff to complete a Tactician campaign.
  • Ranger: No ability overlap. You can get everything you want from the Ranger from the Druid and/or the Fighter.
  • Rogue: Rogues and Warlocks can synergize really well with each other, especially if you are a Bladelock. Sneak attack still works off your Charisma as long as you are using a Finesse weapon or a ranged weapon. The invocations will be much appreciated on a Rogue, while Cunning Action will be invaluable as a Warlock. Just keep in mind that you can’t Sneak Attack with Eldritch Blast.
  • Sorcerer: Another classic multiclass combo. While the Coffeelock isn’t a viable option in Baldur’s Gate, you can still get a lot out of a Sorcerer muticlass, not the least of which is more spells and access to Metamagic. Pact of the Chain is extremely useful to have since Sorcerers can’t normally summon familiars.
  • Wizard: There’s no real overlap here as our casting abilities are different, and since warlocks use Pact Magic you don’t advance Spellcasting in a way that allows you to abuse BG3’s multiclassing rules to learn and cast high-level wizard spells from scrolls.

Warlock Illithid Abilities

Warlocks can get a lot from the Illithid abilities as most are just useful for everyone. That said, there are some clear overall winners. Please check out our Practical Guide to Illithid Powers for more information.

[SPOILERS]: If you plan on investing heavily into Illithid powers as a Sorcerer, I highly recommend you attempt to get the Awakened buff in Act 2, which will turn all your Illithid powers into bonus actions.

Tier I

  • Concentrated Blast: Very situational. It requires you to break your concentration on a spell and target someone else who is also concentrating on a spell to get the most out of it. The damage is decent but unless you’re concentrating on something like guidance (spells from items count here), hex, or detect thoughts, it’s almost never worth breaking your concentration and prematurely ending your own spell.
  • Favorable Beginnings: Can be very powerful on even just Eldritch Blast and synergizes well with Luck of the Far Realms. Be aware, though, that if a member of your party attacks your target before you, you won’t get this benefit on that creature. It’s unclear if this is intended or a bug. This can also be very handy for social.
  • Force Tunnel: Useful as a get out of melee card, especially if you can do it as a bonus action. The potential of knocking enemies off cliffs is also there and you won’t affect your allies.
  • Psionic Overload: Can be useful on a Bladelock, but the tradeoff is dicey considering our lower health pool.
  • Transfuse Health: As a squishy caster you probably shouldn’t be sacrificing your tiny health pool to heal someone for a low amount of hit points. Get this on your barbarian companion.

Tier II

  • Ability Drain: Due to the nature of this power, the ability score we will most likely be draining from enemies is Charisma, which hardly ever factors into anything combat-related unless you’re fighting a paladin or another charisma-based spellcaster, neither of which are common.
  • Charm: As a class that doesn’t like getting hit, having abilities to avoid that is very useful. It does use your reaction, though, so it competes for space with options like Hellish Rebuke or an Opportunity Attack if you are playing a Bladelock.
  • Cull the Weak: This is a weird one as its value goes up as you invest more points into Illithid powers. If you plan on exploiting this, hoard those tadpoles for yourself alone.
  • Displace: This is very good on a Warlock, especially if you pick up the Repelling Blast Invocation. You will be knocking enemies off cliffs a lot, so the added damage is welcome.
  • Luck of the Far Realms: A guaranteed crit per long rest is amazing on anyone, and this works really well for our single target attacks like Eldritch Blast or a multiclass Hexadin smite.
  • Perilous Stakes: This is a useful buff to cast on your barbarian, especially if you can do it as a bonus action. Never cast it on yourself. You’re squishy enough already. At lower difficulty levels you can also cast this on enemies, setting up your party to unleash brutal damage on them before they can benefit from the healing. This does not work on Honor Mode, however.
  • Psionic Backlash: This is a very funny power that also uses your reaction. I have killed more than my fair share of spellcasters with this ability and it is never not hilarious. Enemies who you might not consider spellcasters can still trigger this because many unique abilities are implemented as spells, but they’re also implemented as 1st-level spells, so the damage you deal is negligible.
  • Repulsor: An upgraded form of your force tunnel that’s useful if you get surrounded. Be careful as this power does affect your allies, so be sure you don’t knock them off a cliff with it.
  • Shield of Thralls: This is arguably better cast on your tank, but temporary hit points are always welcome. The possibility of stunning melee combatants is just icing on the cake, especially if you’re a Bladelock. And it lasts until your next long rest.
  • Stage Fright: Better used on a high AC frontliner, but if you are awakened, the value of this power increases. Make sure you cast it on enemies attacking your heavily-armored tank to maximize its damage. The fact that it’s an AoE that doesn’t affect your allies is very nice.
  • Survival Instincts: This is good on everyone. Extra survivability is never not useful. Keep in mind that you can’t buy this power normally. You need to acquire it from a sidequest in Act I

Tier III

  • Absorb Intellect: Situational. Towards this stage of the game there are a lot of enemies that will resist this effect and the healing you get from it is pathetic.
  • Black Hole: The ability to pull a bunch of enemies to a single point, damage them, and then slow them and recast it for several turns is amazing. As a bonus action it is godly.
  • Displacer Beast Shape: This is a fun power that is probably better taken on a martial character. You can’t cast spells while in the form and the powers you get don’t make up for that. Use this as an extra pool of hit points or a fallback when you’re out of spells for the day.
  • Fly: You get this one for free and it is all upside.
  • Fracture Psyche: Good for setting up your martials to damage an enemy, but there are better things to use your Action on. As a bonus action the value of this power increases.
  • Freecast: Very good, but it probably won’t be as impactful for you as on a full caster, since you get your spells back on a Short Rest anyway. This doesn’t work with Mystic Arcanum as you aren’t using a resource like a Spell Slot.
  • Illithid Expertise: Expertise on all our Face abilities? Yes, please. That said, this late in the game there are many different sources for proficiency in these skills. If you do take this, strongly consider respeccing to put your proficiencies into other skills.
  • Mind Blast: The damage is respectable and stun is useful, but at this stage of the game you probably have better spells. Obviously more valuable as a bonus action.
  • Mind Sanctuary: This is probably the best ability in the game. This is essentially free quickened spell for 3 turns as long as you remain within the sanctuary. The fact that this can affect your whole team is a huge bonus, though certain classes will get way more out of this than others.
  • Psionic Dominance: This is essentially free counterspell lite. Definitely worth taking by everyone on your team if you can.

Warlock Example Build: Eldritch Summoner

This build leans into the full caster build of Warlock with a focus on summoning and area control while still being able to dish out a lot of damage. We will be picking up Pact of the Chain for the extra summon. The focus of the build is to get as many summons out as you can to tie down your enemies while you set up Darkness or other nasty area effects that keep your enemies focused on your summons and you untargetable. If they ever get through your frontline, repelling blast should put them right back in their place.

Ability Scores

For this I like to have my charisma at 16 for a few reasons. One, it allows us to only have one ability score at 8 as opposed to two and you get absolutely nothing from having a 17 instead of a 16 in your primary stat unless you plan on getting the Actor feat, which I don’t recommend for this build. Since we have access to Light Armor we won’t need as much Dexterity so I put more focus on my Constitution to help with all of our powerful Concentration spells. You can also switch the values of Dexterity with Constitution if you would rather start sooner in battle and have more defense.

Base+2/+1 IncreasesFinal


We’re going to play as an Asmodeus Tiefling for the extra spells, especially Darkness, but really any race is good here. Drow is also a good choice here if you want to be able to mess up your enemies if they get into melee range with you.


I recommend Guild Artisan if you want to be a face since we don’t normally get access to Persuasion as one of our class skills. You can also go Charlatan or Criminal if you want to be a little less reliant on Astarion to do rogue things.

Skill Proficiencies

Intimidation and Deception are good to pick up if you want to fully round out our role as the face of the group. The other skills aren’t really special. If you already have Intimidation or Deception, pick Arcana, as it comes up more in the game than the other skills.


We’re going to go full Warlock for this build (Blasphemy!) which gives us access to a total of 3 feats. The Feats are a bit flexible here as we don’t necessarily need anything to make this build good. For the first feat I’m going to pick up ASI to bump up our Charisma, followed by Resilient: Constitution for our concentration spells at 8th level and then ASI again at 12th to max out our Charisma. You can also go Spell Sniper instead if you use Eldritch Blast a lot, especially if you decide to go Great Old One instead.


LevelFeat(s) and FeaturesNotes and Tactics
1Subclass: Fiend

Pact Magic

-Armor of Agathys

-Eldritch Blast
-Minor Illusion

Dark One’s Blessing

Spell Slots: 1

Spell Level: 1
Like for anyone else, level 1 is going to be simple and rather dull for you. You should prioritize Armor of Agathys for your first spell you cast for the day, followed by Hex after you take a short rest.

Other than that it’s just Eldritch Blasting combined with Hex for steady damage. Dark One’s Blessing will do its work passively to keep you alive. Minor Illusion is also useful for setting up distractions or keeping people occupied while you rob them blind.
2New Spell:

Eldritch Invocations:
-Devil’s Sight
-Repelling Blast

Spell Slots: 2
Two spell slots now yay! I hope you like those two slots, because that’s all you’re going to get for the majority of the game. They also are still only level 1 at this point. Pick up Command here, which starts out very useful for disarming enemies and setting up allies for Opportunity Attacks, and gets more powerful as you level up and are able to affect more people.

For the Eldritch Invocations I chose to forgo Agonizing Blast as right now we don’t have a lot of Charisma and we can only shoot one beam, so it’s not going to give us a ton at this level. Devil’s Sight is more valuable to us right now, especially considering we are about to pick up Darkness next level.
3Pact Boon: Chain

New Spell:

New Cantrips:
-Vicious Mockery
-Thorn Whip

Spell Level: 2
We already get Darkness from our race as an Asmodeus Tiefling but it’s worth doubling up since we are going to be using it a lot and conserving our limited slots for other things is useful. As far as priorities between Darkness and Hex go, Hex is more useful against singular enemies while Darkness will be better in those protracted fights with a lot of enemies. Your goal should be to cast Darkness on yourself or a group of your enemies and use your repelling blast to damage them from relative safety while ensuring they stay out of the Darkness or in it, whichever is more useful for your team.

At this level, Pact of the Chain gives us a useful familiar we can always have available. I prefer Imp due to its poison and fly ability, but Quasit also works well. The main thing we will use our familiar for is harassing the enemy and turning invisible for both hit and run tactics and setting up guaranteed surprise rounds before combat.
4Feat: ASI (Charisma +2)

New Spell: Blindness
We’re going to go ahead and bump our Charisma up to 18 to increase our save DCs and eventually our Eldritch Blast damage. 

The Spell here doesn’t super matter but I went with Blindness as it’s a very powerful debuff that doesn’t compete with our other spells for Concentration.
5Improved Pact of the Chain

Eldritch Invocation: Agonizing Blast

Replace Spell:
-Hex -> Fireball

Spell Level: 3
This is our biggest power spike yet and where things start getting interesting. Not only do we get to add our improved Charisma modifier to our Eldritch Blast damage now, we also get an extra beam to use. Our spell slot level also increases to level 3 at this point.

Additionally, our familiars get an extra attack, making them more useful for harassing our enemies and keeping the focus off of us.

Meanwhile, Hunger of Hadar is like an upgraded form of Darkness for us. You can place it in the middle of a group of enemies and essentially make their lives miserable. If they ever get out of it, you can Repelling Blast them straight back in.

Additionally, we replace Hex for our Fiend exclusive spell, Fireball. We have enough good concentration spells that we don’t really need Hex anymore. If you really want to keep it, you can delay getting Fireball until next level. Throwing Fireball onto enemies ensnared by your Hunger of Hadar is incredibly satisfying.
6Dark One’s Own Luck

New Spell:
Counterspell or Hypnotic Pattern
Dark One’s Own Luck will be a nice boost that will help us throughout the game. Keep in mind that we can only use it on ability checks we ourselves make so it won’t be useful for our party members. 

The spell we get here is a matter of choice. You can take Counterspell to have an answer to annoying spellcasters or you can add another tool to your kit for battlefield control by taking Hypnotic Pattern, a very good spell that will essentially remove strong enemies from the fight entirely for 2 turns.
7Eldritch Invocation: Book of Ancient Secrets

New Spell: Scorching Ray

Spell Level: 4
Another decent power spike for us. Our spell slot level is now 4th level and we will take Scorching Ray as a harder hitting Eldritch Blast now that we are at a level where it scales very well. 

For our fourth Invocation we are going to take Book of Ancient Secrets to give us three more spells that don’t use our spell slots: Ray of Sickness, Silence, and Chromatic Orb. The first one won’t be that all useful but at this stage of the game there are several powerful magic using boss enemies that you can absolutely shut down by using Silence and abusing your Repelling Blast to keep them inside it. 

Chromatic Orb is also a decent spell, even at base level that leaves behind a surface. I prefer the Cold version as it will leave behind difficult terrain that has a chance to make enemies go prone and waste their turn. Combine this with Silence to keep your enemies from escaping it.
8Feat: Resilient (Constitution)

New Spell: Wall of Fire
At 8th level we are going to pick up the Resilient Feat for our Constitution since we have a lot of spells that require our concentration, including the one we are picking up right now.

Wall of Fire is incredible to cast in choke points. The AI doesn’t know how to handle it and will more often than not run straight through it, taking a ton of damage. Then you can just Repelling Blast them right back into it for free damage.
9New Spell: Cone of Cold

Eldritch Invocation: Minions of Chaos

Spell Level: 5
Another power spike. Our spells are now 5th level (the highest they will ever be) and we get another Fiend exclusive spell with Cone of Cold. Cone of Cold is your answer for enemies that are resistant to your Fireball and is good to combine with a Cleric’s create water to slow down your enemies even further.

The real prize here is Minions of Chaos which allows us to get another summon in the form of a powerful Elemental. Combined with your familiar, you are well on your way to gathering a squad to harass your enemies with.
10New Spell: Any

Fiendish Resilience
This is normally where I’d encourage people to think about multiclassing as the features you get from this point onward aren’t terribly exciting. But we are going to stick with Warlock for this build. Fiendish Resilience will be useful at this stage of the game when a lot of enemies begin to use magic damage of some sort. Make sure you read ahead if you can to know which resistance is best for any given fight. If you don’t feel like spoiling yourself, then either Fire, Necrotic, or Psychic are good options as all three are relatively common at this point in the game.

As for spells, you can choose whatever you want here. Some good options are Fear to make people drop their weapons and set up Opportunity Attacks for your minions and allies, Dimension Door for quick getaways, or Banishment to completely shut down a bothersome enemy. 

Additionally, at this level we get our third and final beam for our Eldritch Blast.
11New Spell: Any

Mystic Arcanum: Create Undead

Spell Slots: 3
We finally get our third spell slot, allowing us more flexibility with our spells. As for new spells, you can choose whatever you want here that you think is useful. See above for some of my suggestions.

We also get our once per day 6th-level spell and to cap off our terrifying army we have to pick up Create Undead. The spell creates a mummy, which is unbearably slow, but it does have an attack that causes the Frightened condition and a multiattack if you manage to frighten a creature (it doesn’t have to be frightened by the mummy). Its attacks also come with Mummy Rot which reduces a creature’s max hp and makes it so they can’t be healed. Many enemies at this point in the game, especially in higher difficulties, will try to heal each other if they can, so this is useful.

Between your Familiar, your summoned Elemental, and your mummy, you can ensure your enemies will be too busy dealing with your minions to attack you while you put down horrible hazards to make their lives even more painful.
12Feat:ASI (Charisma +2)

Eldritch Invocation:
Mire the Mind
Our final level. The last Feat we will use to max out our Charisma, adding even more damage to our Eldritch Blast. You can also instead choose something else like Spell Sniper if you like. 

Our final Invocation doesn’t super matter at this point as we have everything we need to make our Warlock strong. I chose to pick up Mire the Mind to have one more tool in my arsenal for making my enemies miserable.