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Baldur's Gate 3 best Paladin build

The best subclass, equipment, skills and spells for Paladin in BG3.

Paladin custom screenshot in Baldur's Gate 3
Image credit: VG247 / Larian

Choosing one of the best Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin builds is a solid choice if you want your Baldur's Gate 3 character to be a tank, but there's more to them than just tanking, you know? Paladins are plenty capable of doing a little bit of everyone's job — tank, support, stealth — you name it, these holy warriors will jump right in and give it a go.

There's a lot to consider when putting together a Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin build, and the Paladin class has some unique features you'll need to get to grips with. So we've put together our picks for the best gear, spells, ability score priority, and subclass to take to help you on your way.

Baldur's Gate 3 best Paladin build

The Paladin isn't the simplest class in Baldur's Gate 3, but a life of religious devotion practised through regular deadly combat was never going to be simple. Paladins can be hugely rewarding to build and great fun to roleplay as, and there are a lot of different directions you can take them in. In this build we're largely focused on a fairly straightforward tank approach to start you off with, but there's no need to be limited, as Paladins can handle juggling quite a variety of skillsets.

Paladin best race

The best race for Paladin players in Baldur's Gate 3 is the Gold Dwarf.

Gold Dwarves are excellent for building tanky classes like the Paladin, due to the bonus HP they gain at the very beginning and then periodically with every level-up. They also get Darkvision (always useful) and poison resistance (likewise).

For a Paladin more focused on stealth than tanking, consider the Deep Gnome as an alternative. They enjoy enhanced Darkvision and advantage on Stealth checks, making it particularly easy for them to sneak around for extended periods without being spotted. They're a bit more fragile than the Gold Dwarf, however, so build with care if you're choosing this alternative!

Paladin best ability score spread

Your ability score priority should be Strength and Charisma before anything else.

When first creating your character, we recommend the following initial stats:

  • Strength - 17
  • Dexterity - 12
  • Constitution - 13
  • Intelligence - 8
  • Wisdom - 10
  • Charisma - 15

As you level up, you'll gain ability score increases at level 4, 8, and 12.

You should invest your points into Strength up to 20 before focusing in on other stats.

Paladin proficiencies and background

The best background for this BG3 Paladin build is the Soldier.

Soldiers get in-built proficiencies in Athletics and Intimidation, which is basically perfect for a Strength-first, Charisma-second Paladin build like this one.

For your free choice of proficiencies, Persuasion is a good choice for this build, as is Insight. Religion is also a good option in the name of role-playing as a holy warrior, but it's less essential if you're just looking to optimise your build.

Paladin best subclass

For our build, we recommend taking the Oath of Vengence subclass. Paladins aligned with this subclass are sworn to always fight on the side of higher morality in a conflict, as well as to punish the wicked with deadly force.

Oath of Vengeance unlocks the ability to channel the strength gained from staying true to your oath. The Channel Oath Charges special abilities for those on the path of Vengeance focus on debuffing enemies in various debilitating ways, and also grants the Paladin advantage on attack rolls at higher levels.

Paladins also have a unique power to unlock a new subclass through gameplay: Oathbreaker. Oathbreakers have gone against the tenets of their Paladin Oath and thus attracted the attention of the Oathbreaker Knight, who will rock up to your camp and give you a choice: change your subclass to Oathbreaker, or be locked out of your subclass' special abilities until you pony up 2,000 Gold. Oathbreakers have their own subclass special power, of course, but to stay on-track with this build, we strongly recommend sticking to your Oath as outlined above.

Paladin best equipment

Paladins are proficient in all armour types, so equip some Heavy Armor to ensure they're appropriately well-defended for tanking. It's also a good idea to give them a shield, since one of our recommended feats (see below) grants extra Dexterity when holding one.

Paladins have proficiency in simple and martial weapons, and since we recommend carrying a shield for this build, a one-handed weapon from either category is our top choice. A one-handed Battleaxe or Warhammer, or a Morningstar in the main hand all work well.

As you progress through the game there are plenty of cool ones to pick up either from the Adamantine Forge or the legendary Blood of Lathander.

Paladin best feats and features

Paladins are prompted to choose a fighting style to specialise in, and we recommend Defense, which gives an extra +1 to your character's AC. In terms of general class features, the Paladin's Lay on Hands ability can be extremely handy (pun intended) if, like many BG3 players, you're struggling to fit a full-time healer into your team comp. I did tell you they were verstaile party members! Lay on Hands gets extra charges when you hit Levels 4 and 10, too.

An Oath of Vengeance Paladin who manages to stay true to their tenets up to Level 9 gains the subclass feature Relentless Avenger. This allows them to gain an addition 4.5m movement speed on the next turn whenever they're able to hit an enemy with an Opportunity Attack.

When selecting your Paladin's feats, we recommend taking Tough for the extra hit points, Sentinel to improve ally shielding, and Shield Master to improve — well — self-shielding.

That concludes our Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin class guide! For similar guides, check out our pieces on the best Baldur's Gate 3 Fighter build and the best Baldur's Gate 3 Barbarian build.

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