Unleash Epic Power! Explore the Definitive Guide to the Best Paladin Build in Baldurs Gate 3. Level Up Now and Conquer the Realm!

Paladin with sword

As a passionate Baldur‘s Gate fan who has invested over 60 hours into early access, I‘ve played every class and know first-hand the immense potential a well-built Paladin offers. Channeling divine power to smite evil while protecting allies suits my valiant playstyle.

But extraordinary roleplaying experiences require optimal character building. Through research, experimentation and hands-on play, I‘ve discovered what works best – and now offer to you the fruits of my labor!

Follow these tips to transform from squire to holy champion leading the charge against the hellish evils that plague Faerûn!

Choosing an Optimal Race: Balance is Key

While all races can produce potent Paladins, some offer clear statistical and ability advantages. But more ability score increases await through leveling, so focus primarily on cool racial traits that enable interesting tactics early on.

My Top Recommended Races

Gold Dwarf+2 Con helps concentration checks and tanking. Poison Resistance mitigates dangerous monster attacks. Darkvision useful in many areasLack skills/abilities that benefit social encounters
Half-Elf+2 Cha improves spell save DCs and social skills. Darkvision still useful, plus skill versatility.Only 30 ft speed hurts mobility
Half-OrcRelentless Endurance prevents early deaths. Savage Attacks makes critical smites truly brutal. Intimidation fits Oath of Vengeance.No Darkvision reduces perception. Wisdom penalty impacts mental saves.

I prefer Half-Orc for my Divine Crusader theme because nothing is more righteous than obliterating villains with a timely critical hit!

But a party lacking Darkvision users would make Dwarf or Half-Elf stronger options. The key is balancing your strengths and weaknesses with your companions to create a versatile fellowship ready for anything!

Progressing Along the Righteous Path: Level 1-4 Guide

Gearing up for adventure at early levels requires focusing on immediate priorities before pursuing specialization…

Level 1:

  • At least 16 Strength meets melee weapon requirements
  • Lay on Hands offers emergency healing
  • Divine Sense reveals hidden undead/celestials – useful!
  • Heavy Armor proficiency enables higher AC quickly

Best Level 1 Spells: Bless, Cure Wounds, Guiding Bolt (high damage nuke)

Early Gear Goals: Scale mail (AC 14), shield, simple weapon, holy symbol

Level 2:

  • Divine Smite adds DAMAGE to weapon attacks by expending spell slots
  • Fighting Style expands melee capabilities (Defense for protection or Great Weapon Fighting for offense)
  • Save spell slots for smites rather than casts

Level 2 Spells: Lesser Restoration (ability curse removal), Shield of Faith

Gear Goals: Upgraded weapon and armor with bonuses as available

Level 3:

  • Sacred Oath defines abilities and spells (Vengeance for damage or Devotion for defense)
  • Divine Health grants immunity to disease
  • Hunter‘s Mark enhances sustained single target DPR
  • Hold Person paralyzes humanoids, enabling brutal crit smites

Gear Goals: +1 armor/weapon, Bag of Holding solves inventory woes

Level 4:

  • First ASI/Feat expands Strength for damage or Constitution for durability
  • Consider Resilient (Constitution) or Inspiring Leader to bolster concentration and allies
  • Extra Attack enables frequent Divine Smites
  • Upcast Bless for entire party; it‘s THAT good!

With these basics mastered, Paladins gain an identity and can support specific party roles…

Specializing Your Build by Levels 5-10

Here are key level breakpoints and ability choices to double down on offense, defense or support capabilities between levels 5-10…

Level 5

Offensive DPR Focus

  • Great Weapon Master Feat
  • Upcast Divine Favor for damage bonus
  • Exploit Extra Attack with Great Weapon

Defensive Protector Build

  • Shield Master knocks enemies down
  • Compelled Duel forces enemies to attack you
  • Interpose allies with Protection Fighting Style

Support/Healer Hybrid

  • Inspiring Leader grants THP to allies
  • Aid boosts ally HP maximums
  • Warding Bond splits damage taken

Level 6

  • Aura of Protection grants saving throw bonuses to nearby allies
  • Oath Spells expand options (Haste enhances offense, Protection from Evil and Good defends)

Level 8

  • Second ASI expands primary stats again or takes Resilient (Constitution)
  • Prepare situationally useful spells like Magic Weapon and Crusader‘s Mantle

Level 10

  • Improved Divine Smite adds a d8 of radiant damage to every weapon strike!
  • Aura of Courage prevents frightened condition on nearby allies
  • Choose niche spells like Remove Curse and Revivify

Peak Performance: Levels 11-20 Progression

Approaching the pinnacle of power, high level Paladins gain access to specializations and spells enabling tremendous feats of skill and slaughter during this climatic tier of play…

Level 11

  • Improved Divine Smite adds a d8 of radiant damage to every weapon strike!
  • Third attack at level 11 Fighter multiclass (optional)

Level 13

  • Greater level 4 spell options like Staggering Smite, Banishment
  • Situationally useful Freedom of Movement and Stoneskin

Level 15

  • Destructive Wave for AOE damage and control
  • Soul of Vengeance adds spell resistance vs enemies in sight
  • Oath spells offer Circle of Power and Hold Monster

Level 17

  • Fourth attack at level 11 Fighter multiclass
  • Dispel Evil and Good renders undead and outsiders vulnerable

Level 20

  • Holy Weapon makes attacks bypass resistance/immunity
  • Avenging Angel form grants flight, resistance and bonus damage
  • Various level 5 spell options like Flame Strike

While every party and player has different priorities, keeping these level-based ability and spell goals in mind will ensure your Paladin unleashes their full potential!

Statistical Analysis: Optimizing Damage and Accuracy

For players interested in maximizing damage capabilities, this section covers mathematical analysis regarding optimizing attributes, fighting styles and feats to empower brutal critical smite hits…

Based on weapons, fighting styles and 20 strength/charisma, two builds emerge as top contenders for dishing out supreme, Righteous Punishment:

Great Weapon Master Build

  • Greatsword: 2d6 Slashing (Versatile)
  • Great Weapon Fighting Style
  • Great Weapon Master Feat
  • Approx Damage Per Round: 64 at Level 11

Dueling Build

  • Longsword/Battleaxe 1d8+2 Slashing (Versatile)
  • Shield (+2 AC)
  • Dueling Fighting Style (+2 damage)
  • Approx Damage Per Round: 49 at Level 11

While the Great Weapon Build has higher potential damage output thanks to bonuses from the Great Weapon Master feat, the increased accuracy and defense from using a shield with the Dueling build makes it better sustained, long-term damage dealer.

Defensively, a sword & board build also gains +4 AC over a two-handed greatsword user, allowing you to absorb more attacks on the frontline to protect the party. It‘s easier to smite evil if you‘re still standing!

Gearing Up and Preparing Spells

Delving into dungeons and battling hellish fiends requires proper equipment and thorough magical preparations…


Early Game: Longsword, Battleaxe, Warhammer + Shield

Mid Game: +1 Magic Weapon

End Game: Holy Avenger Legendary Sword


Early: Scale mail + Shield

Mid: +1 Half-plate

End: Adamantine Full Plate +3


  • Healing Potions
  • Potions of Speed/Invulnerability
  • Oils (Bonus damage for weapons)

Magic Items

  • Ring/Cloak of Protection
  • Belt of Giant Strength
  • Amulet of Health
  • Bag of Holding (Inventory space!)

Prepared Spells

Tier 1: Essential

  • Bless
  • Cure Wounds / Lay on Hands
  • Shield of Faith / Protection from Evil and Good

Tier 2: Situational Priority

  • Lesser/Greater Restoration
  • Revivify
  • Aura of Vitality
  • Remove Curse

Tier 3: Niche Uses

  • Magic Weapon
  • Water Walk / Water Breathing
  • Freedom of Movement
  • StoneSkin

With strong fundamentals, optimal specialization, strategic spell preps and mighty weapons in hand, your Paladin will strike fear into evildoers and prove an exemplary champion of righteousness!

Effective Party Tactics and NPC Synergies

While skilled in solo combat, Paladins truly shine when coordinating with allies. Here are some excellent formations, strategies and team ups:

Frontline Tank

An essential protection warrior up close, using your shield and defense focused abilities to absorb hits. Allies like archers and wizards remain safely behind you. Taunt actions can draw attacks away from wounded teammates. Stand in doorways and narrow spaces to limit enemy approaches.

Synergizes Well With:

  • Wyll – extra melee damage dealer
  • Shadowheart – backup heals and buffs

Divine Striker

Deliver devastating burst damage against priority targets by ambushing, smiting during vulnerabilities (e.g grappled/prone), and unleashing your avenging angel form after scattering lesser foes. Coordinate stuns and attacks with allies.

Synergizes Well With:

  • Lae‘zel – brutal melee spike damage
  • Gale – controlling battlefields with AoE and debuffs

Protect the Backline

Focus on defending vulnerable ranged assailants and artillery casters from ambushes by putting yourself between them and harm. Buff, heal and revive them while they work their magic safely behind you.

Synergizes Well With:

  • Astarion – deadly archer / rogue
  • Shadowheart – Trickery cleric off-heals

The key is communication! Discuss strategies with allies and call focus fire targets to maximize crowd control and burn down threats quickly. United you will triumph against the darkness!

Conclusion: A Hero Rises!

I hope this comprehensive guide has illuminated everything required to ascend into an unstoppable force for righteousness. Through clever ability choices, optimized gear selection and tactical coordination with allies, your Paladin will strike fear into the hearts of evildoers across Faerûn!

Stay vigilant on your quest fellow crusader. And may your Oath guide you to glory!

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