In Baldur’s Gate 3 Warlocks don’t draw their magical power from extensive study (unlike Wizards) or innate talent (unlike Sorcerers), but rather from a mystical pact with a powerful and often enigmatic patron. These patrons can be from various otherworldly realms, and the choice of patron dictates the available Warlock subclasses in Baldur’s Gate 3.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the three Warlock subclasses available in the game: The Fiend, The Archfey, and The Great Old One. Each subclass offers distinct abilities, bonus spells, and playstyles, making your journey through Baldur’s Gate 3 a more customized experience—and it should be since you basically sold your soul for the ability to shoot sparks.
The Fiend – Dealings with Devils
The Fiend subclass embodies the essence of corruption and destruction. Warlocks who make a pact with these malevolent entities (usually Devils or denizens of the Nine Hells) gain access to potent offensive and defensive spells, making them both tanky and damaging on the battlefield.
- Level 1: Dark One’s Blessing – This unique power allows them to regain hit points equal to their Charisma modifier plus their level whenever they reduce an enemy to 0 hit points.
- Level 6: Dark One’s Own Luck – Allows Warlocks to add a 1d10 to an ability check once per short rest. This handy feature can turn a failed ability check into a successful one, proving especially valuable during crucial story or dialog moments.
- Level 10: Fiendish Resilience – This subclass feature grants Warlocks resistance to a chosen damage type, which can be changed once per short rest. Such adaptability ensures they remain effective against a wide range of threats though that doesn’t mean they can tank as well as the heavy armor classes.
Fiend spells per level
- Burning Hands | Command (Level 1): These additional spell options provide Fiend Warlocks with the means to ignite foes and immobilize them.
- Scorching Ray | Blindness (Level 3): These spells expand the Warlock’s offensive capabilities, enabling them to unleash fiery rays and blind their adversaries. Blind enemies are easier to hit and also attack at a Disadvantage.
- Fireball | Stinking Cloud (Level 5): Fiend Warlocks gain access to these iconic spells, allowing them to create deadly fire explosions and noxious gas clouds, respectively.
- Fire Shield | Wall of Fire (Level 7): These defensive spells grant Fiend Warlocks added survivability and the ability to obstruct foes with blazing walls.
- Cone of Cold | Flame Strike (Level 9): These powerful spells offer versatile damage options, with one dealing cold damage and the other radiant damage.
The Great Old One – Treaties with Tentacles
Warlocks who forge pacts with the inscrutable entities of the Far Realms become Great Old One Warlocks.
These enigmatic Lovecraftian beings grant their followers access to a unique set of spells and abilities that focus on debuffing enemies and manipulating the battlefield.
- Level 1: Mortal Reminder – Frightens the target and nearby enemies for a turn upon landing a critical hit. This power can be instrumental against enemy clusters or bosses and their minions, although it relies on the unpredictability of critical hits. It’s worth noting that Frightened enemies can be attacked with an Advantage.
- Level 6: Entropic Ward – As a reaction, Warlocks can impose a Disadvantage on an incoming attack. If the attack misses, Warlocks gain an Advantage on their next attack against the failed attacker. You do have to use it sparingly per short rest.
- Level 10: Thought Shield: Psychic Resistance | Thought Shield: Psychic Reflection – These abilities grant resistance to psychic damage and automatically deal Psychic damage equal to any Psychic damage the Warlock receives from the attacker. Quite useful against Mindflayers.
Great Old One spells per level
- Dissonant Whispers | Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (Level 1): These spells allow Great Old One Warlocks to inflict Psychic damage and induce humiliating crowd control and incapacitation in their foes.
- Detect Thoughts | Phantasmal Force (Level 3): These spells grant the ability to read minds and inflict Psychic damage that adapts to the last attack that hit the target.
- Bestow Curse | Slow (Level 5): These two spells provide a diverse range of debuff options. Slow is particularly debilitating against bosses as it denies them a turn.
- Dominate Beast | Evard’s Black Tentacles (Level 7): These spells enable the Warlock to control monsters and summon tentacles to restrain foes.
- Dominate Person | Telekinesis (Level 9): These spells give the ability to control humanoids and move objects and creatures using thoughts.
The Archfey – Pact with Pixies
Archfey Warlocks forge pacts with powerful Fey beings, tapping into the capricious and whimsical magic of the Feywild. Basically fairies.
These Warlocks excel at enchantments, charms, and crowd control, making them valuable assets in both combat and dialogs.
- Level 1: Fey Presence – Charm or Frighten all creatures in a 3-meter radius when they fail a Wisdom Saving Throw. Hint: it also works in dialog.
- Level 6: Misty Escape – Upon taking damage, become invisible. On your next turn, you can cast Misty Step, though this will break your invisibility. Great for self-preservation and even in cheesing combat scenarios. Only usable once per short rest, however.
- Level 10: Beguiling Defences – You have built stoic barriers in your heart and mind, and cannot be Charmed. A bit too situational for Warlocks and it’s wasted if you’re already an elf.
Archfey spells per level
- Faerie Fire | Sleep (Level 1): These spells grant Archfey Warlocks the ability to highlight targets for attacks with Advantage and put enemies to sleep (taking them out of the combat), respectively.
- Phantasmal Force | Calm Emotions (Level 3): These spells inflict Psychic damage and grant immunity to Charm and Fear effects.
- Plant Growth | Blink (Level 5): These spells create difficult terrain and allow the Warlock to evade attacks by briefly disappearing from reality.
- Dominate Beast | Greater Invisibility (Level 7): These spells provide control over animals and monsters and more robust invisibility for extended durations.
- Dominate Person | Seeming (Level 9): These spells offer the ability to control humanoid creatures and the ability to disguise several party members simultaneously.
All these Warlock subclasses or patrons are effective. The Fiend gives a free Fireball, the Great Old One gives more battlefield control, and the Archfey is great for setting up ambushes.
But if you want something more straightforward and cost-effective for a pure Warlock, the Great Old One offers more for your choices compared to the other Warlock subclasses. Still, it’s up to you to pick your Eldritch sugar mommy/daddy. Feel free to shop around, your soul is too expensive for impulse buying.