Baldur’s Gate 3, provides endless opportunities for exploration, and among them, there’s the Rogue subclasses: Thief, Arcane Trickster, and Assassin. In this article, we’ll explore the three Rogue subclasses and rank them based on their unique attributes and gameplay advantages.
For the Rogue class, you won’t be able to select your subclass at character creation just yet, you’ll only be able to choose once you reach level 3. It’s honestly easy to level up early in the game, so be patient. Until then enjoy exploring and immerse yourself in the game.
Thief – Sneak Attack Is the Best Offense
In D&D tabletop RPG, the Thief is one of the best subclasses to choose from. Of course, it’s also the top one on our list. Among the three, the Thief embodies the Rogue archetype the most. It is also the most powerful out of all of the three subclasses because of its unique class feature, Fast Hands. Here are the class features available:
- Fast Hands (Level 3): Provides a second bonus action during combat. This feature is only available for the Rogue subclass.
- Second-Story Work (Level 3): This feature allows you to become resistant to fall damage. This feature is also only available to the Thief Rogue subclass.
- Supreme Sneak (Level 9): This is an action that allows you to turn invisible during battles. You only have 10 turns to use this ability. Sadly this ability will end if you cast a spell, attack, or take damage from enemies.
As a Thief, your Rogue character will shine outside of combat, especially if you’ve chosen the Urchin background and possess the Sleight of Hand skill.
In terms of combat strategy, dual-wielding is the preferred choice for the Thief subclass, while bows come into play when ranged attacks are necessary. Like all Rogue subclasses, Thief excels at hiding in the shadows and launching devastating sneak attacks against enemies, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer stealth over direct confrontation against enemies. That’s why maintaining stealth checks during combat is key to your success in the game.
Arcane Trickster – The Magical Assassin
What sets this subclass apart is the ability to learn spellcasting along with the Rogue’s innate ability to hide in the shadows, this subclass offers a powerful combination that can make your journey easier to Baldur’s Gate. So what’s unique about the Arcane Trickster? Here are the class features available:
- Arcane Trickster Spellcasting: You gain the ability to cast spells with this ability. Consider spells like Friends and Minor Illusion for manipulating NPCs or for more offensive options use Fire Bolt or Poison Spray. You’ll also receive spells typically used by Wizards, such as Magic Missile and Expeditious Retreat, to make your escape from combat easier, making this subclass an ideal choice for multiclass options.
- Mage Hand Legerdemain: This is basically the same as the Mage Hand. You can summon an invisible spectral hand on the field.
- Magical Ambush (Level 9): When you are hiding in combat, enemies have a disadvantage on saving throws against your spells.
While the addition of spellcasting enhances the Arcane Trickster subclass, it may distract your focus from the true experience of the Rogue class. Balancing between the traditional Rogue skills and spellcasting requires careful consideration and strategic planning for your build. Additionally, just like the Thief, Arcane Tricksters can also dual-wield their weapons while casting spells for ranged attacks, a very common strategy for this subclass.
When it comes to choosing a race, High Elf for spellcasting or Drow for Rogue abilities are excellent options to choose from. In choosing your character’s Background, you should choose either Urchin or Criminal, these will help your stealth checks during your adventure in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Assassin – Deadly, but Classic
Although the Assassin subclass is absent in the Early Access version, it is now available in the full release of Baldur’s Gate 3. This subclass embodies the deadly rogue archetype, and just like the other subclasses it also specializes in assassination and stealth. It’s the subclass that often comes to mind when picturing the Rogue class in D&D. It’s nothing new honestly, but it’s a very powerful subclass if done right. However, these are the available features of the Assassin subclass:
- Assassinate: Initiative (Level 3) – This ability gives your rogue a d4 when it comes to rolling for initiative. With a high dexterity, you should be able to consistently have high rolls on initiative during a battle.
- Assassinate: Ambush (Level 3) – This ensures that any successful attack roll against a surprised enemy will result in a Critical Hit.
- Assassinate: Alacrity (Level 3) – You gain your action and bonus action at the start of combat.
- Uncanny Dodge (Level 5) – A passive action gained by the Assassin subclass, you only take half the usual damage from enemies.
- Evasion (Level 7) – When you do an ability check with your proficient skill, the lowest result you can roll on the die is a 10.
- Reliable Talent (Level 11) – You can change your appearance at will with this ability and can only used once until Long Rest.
If you’re interested in the idea of being a master of disguise while dealing devastating blows against your enemies, or you just want to feel like you’re playing Assassin’s Creed again, then the Assassin subclass is a fitting choice.
Whether you prefer the classic Thief, the magically inclined Arcane Trickster, or the deadly Assassin, each subclass brings a unique flavor and gameplay experience to Baldur’s Gate 3. Your decision should align with the vision of your character in mind and choose what speaks to you the most. If you’re having a hard time choosing what’s the best build for your Rogue, you can check out our ultimate guide for the Rogue class. Multiclass is also a great option for Rogues if you want more options for your build. You can always re-spec with Withers if you feel like the build isn’t the one for you. Just steal some gold and you’ll be able to pay the re-spec fee.