My Dexterity-based Paladin in 5e Dungeons & Dragons is one of my favorite characters for my favorite class, so I recreated this character for my first playthrough of BG3. That said, I tweaked and respeced a few things to make my Paladin build more optimal.
Best Paladin Build BG3
Paladins are the holy knights of Baldur's Gate 3, excelling at melee combat but packing support spells and healing for versatility. That said, you'll most often find your Paladin doing burst damage through Divine Smite. Let's explore the best Paladin build in Baldur's Gate 3.
Best Stats and Race for Paladin in Baldur's Gate 3
The most important stats for Paladins are Constitution, Charisma, and Strength or Dexterity. Strength is the most common focus, but I prefer Dex-based Paladins myself. A high Constitution will ensure you have large pools of health, while increasing Charisma makes your spells more effective.
For race, I recommend either Half-Orc, Zariel Tiefling, or Githyanki. Half-Orcs gain Relentless Endurance, which allows you to shake off death and stay in the fight longer. On the other hand, Zariel Tieflings get smites through their racial abilities, allowing you to free up your spells. Finally, Githyanki gain powerful mobility options as they level up, which can alleviate the Paladin's lack of mobility somewhat.
- Race - Half-Orc, Tiefling (Zariel), Githyanki
- Strength - 16 - 17
- Dexterity - 10
- Constitution - 14 - 16
- Intelligence - 8
- Wisdom - 10
- Charisma - 14 -16
Best Subclass for Paladin Baldur's Gate 3
Oath of the Ancients is by far the best subclass for Paladin—their level seven Aura of Warding alone makes this choice obvious. Providing you and any ally within the aura with resistance to spells, it effectively halves any damage you take from spells, essentially nullifying some of the most powerful spellcasters.
While the other perks gained from Oath of the Ancient aren't as good as its aura, this doesn't detract from how powerful it is; the subclass' tankiness and ability to deal massive amounts of damage with instant spell damage resistance make it a force to be reckoned with.
Best Skills for Paladin in Baldur's Gate 3
When it comes to Paladin skills, you'll want proficiency in Athletics for certain, as it ensures your Paladin can hang in the front lines. Outside of this, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Perception, Medicine, and Religion all fit the theme of a holy knight and come in handy. Whether you choose to be a charming Paladin or a wrathful one is up to you.
Best Paladin Features and Feats - Baldur's Gate 3
Paladins benefit from feats like Ability Score Improvement, Alert, Sentinel, Tough, and Mobile. They are naturally somewhat slow, making Mobile great for increasing your movement speed, and Alert excellent for increasing your initiative roll. Meanwhile, Ability Score Improvement and Tough are perfect for rounding out your stats or getting more health, and Sentinel allows you to lock down the battlefield by making more attacks and preventing creatures from fleeing your melee range.
|Lay on Hands
Channel Oath Charges
|Lay on Hands Improvement
|Lay on Hands Improvement
|Improved Divine Smite
Best items for a Paladin in BG3
Paladins can benefit from heavy armor and can use a variety of weapons. For this build, we will be focused on increasing AC and using weapons with helpful effects. Here is some gear that is best for your Paladin build.
Best Paladin Weapons in BG3
- Everburn Blade: Found in Act 1 on Commander Zhalk. The Everburn Blade is a great weapon to get early on and adds fire damage on every hit. The best strategy to get it is to give Shadowheart Command before the fight and use it to Command Zhalk to drop the weapon.
- Spellthief Bow: Found in Act 1 purchased from Arron at the Druid's Grove (X: 200, Y: 516). The Spellthief Bow can grant a 1st Level spell back on critical hits once per Short Rest and is a great early-game weapon.
- Blood of Lathander: Found in Act 2 in the Gith Creche. The Blood of Lathander is a great weapon for a Paladin using a one-hand weapon. It grants the user Sunbeam, a powerful spell that can damage and blind enemies. The Blood of Lathander quest triggers if you interact with a plaque in the central first floor room of Rosymorn Monastery.
Best Paladin Armor in BG3
- Adamantine Splint Armor: Found in Act 2 at Grymforge. The Adamantine Splint Armor is one of the best Heavy Armors due to its ability to prevent Crits on the wearer.
- Flawed Helldusk Armor: Found in Act 2 by giving material to Dammon at Last Light Inn.
The Flawed Helldusk Armor is another great Heavy Armor that can deal fire damage when the wearer is hit, making it very handy in melee combat.
- Reaper's Embrace Armor: Found in Act 2 after defeating Ketheric at Moonrise Towers.
The Reaper's Embrace Armor is Heavy Armor that grants a 17 AC, reduces damage, grants Howl of the Dead, and can keep the wearer from being moved against their will.
Best Paladin Items in BG3
- Helmet of Smiting: Found in Act 1 in the Selunite Outpost. The Helmet of Smiting grants temporary hitpoints when applying conditions with Smite abilities, which is extremely helpful. It can be found at in a chest in the Selunite Outpost. (X:164 Y:-251)
- Periapt of Wound Closure: Found in Act 2 outside the Gith Creche. This amulet is a must-have for Paladin tanks, granting full healing for any heal received and automatically stabilizing the wearer when downed, making it one of the best items to keep you alive.
- Surgeon's Subjugation Amulet: Found in Act 2 in the House of Healing. This amulet can be handy later on when fighting difficult enemies. It paralyzes a Humanoid target on Crits once a Long Rest, which can be very useful for a Paladin stacking Smites on Crits.
How to play Paladins in BG3
This Paladin build is capable of dealing tons of damage and being a great tank. Paladins are great in close, so when playing a Paladin, the best strategy is to get close to enemies and use Divine Smite on Crits or when you need a little extra damage. Paladins should take every Smite available for spells and try to use spell slots for Smite.
Paladins can also heal and buff allies using their Channel Oath abilities. The Lay on Hands ability can get you out of tight spots by healing a set amount depending on how many charges you use. Oath of the Ancients Paladins also have great Oath abilities. Nature's Wrath can be used to Ensnare targets and Turn the Faithless can Turn fey and fiends.
For more information on Baldur's Gate 3, check out Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard Build Guide – Best Stats and Subclass and Best Eldritch Invocations in BG3 on Pro Game Guides.