The player has to make many choices when building their character in Baldur’s Gate 3 – especially when it comes to choosing a class – but spells offer the most options up front, and it can be hard to know which ones to pick. Baldur’s Gate 3 is a combat-heavy game, so it’s best to ensure you’re decked out with the right spells at level 1 to prevent your quest from ending in the first dungeon.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard all receive spells at level 1. The Ranger and Paladin receive spells at level 2, and some subclasses provide spells, such as the Arcane Trickster for the Rogue. It’s the primary spellcasters who must be careful with their spell selection, as it forms the crux of what they can do when facing challenges.
Bard: Best Level 1 Spells In Baldur’s Gate 3
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Bard’s spellcasting stat is Charisma. The Bard picks two Cantrips and four level 1 spells at character creation. These are the best level-1 spells for the Bard to choose at character creation:
- Dissonant Whispers – This will be your strongest attacking spell against elite units, as it deals a ton of damage and can Frighten an enemy for two turns, keeping it out of the battle while you deal with other foes.
- Healing Word & Cure Wounds – If you’re not planning on taking a Cleric or a Druid, take both of these spells, as you’re now the group’s healer. Cure Wounds is a powerful restorative touch-range spell, and while Healing Word doesn’t heal as much, but it can be used from a distance and has a Bonus Action casting time, allowing you to cast two spells in the same turn. If there is another healer in the group, take Healing Word (replacing Cure Wounds with Faerie Fire) and keep it as a backup for when the other healer goes down.
- Faerie Fire – This spell forces a Dexterity save in an AoE, with all targets lit up on a failed save. For the next turns (so long as the Bard’s concentration isn’t broken), all attacks against the enemy have Advantage. This is especially useful when you have a party with spellcasters who rely on ranged attack Cantrips, like Fire Bolt, or if you turn Astarion into an archery-themed rogue.
- Thunderwave – A fantastic AoE attack spell that not only deals damage but can knock enemies back, which is especially useful in a game where range plays such an important role, as you can manipulate enemy placement with Thunderwave.
Cleric: Best Level 1 Spells In Baldur’s Gate 3
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Cleric’s spellcasting stat is Wisdom. The Cleric picks three Cantrips and can prepare three level 1 spells. Clerics can change their prepared spells when they take a long rest. These are the best level-1 spells for the Cleric to choose at character creation:
- Cure Wounds & Healing Word – These are your bread-and-butter healing spells. You use Cure Wounds when you need more healing at close range, and you use Healing Word when you need to heal a little from a distance while throwing out more spells in the same round, thanks to its Bonus Action casting time.
- Guiding Bolt – While you won’t have as many offensive options as the other spellcasting classes, you can still pack a punch with Guiding Bolt, which deals 4d6 Radiant damage, and the next attack against the creature has Advantage. You’ll be spending most of your time healing, but Guiding Bolt is still a great option to have in your back pocket.
- Command – When facing an elite unit with a lot of hit points, it’s often wise to try and incapacitate them, so you can deal with other enemies first and abuse the action economy as much as possible. Command offers several options: it can move enemies away or closer to you, knock them prone, or even make them drop their weapons.
Druid: Best Level 1 Spells In Baldur’s Gate 3
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Druid’s spellcasting stat is Wisdom. The Druid picks two Cantrips and can prepare five level 1 spells. Druids can change their prepared spells when they take a long rest. These are the best level-1 spells for the Druid to choose at character creation:
- Entangle – Keeping your spellcasters alive while they pelt enemies with magic can be trickier than it looks, especially when foes run up to them and whack them with swords. Entangle is a great AoE spell that you can hide behind, as it slows down enemy movement and potentially stops them altogether, leaving them open to ranged attacks.
- Goodberry – While not quite as good as it is in D&D 5E, Goodberry is still a fantastic healing spell. When you cast Goodberry, it conjures four berries that heal 1d4 each, and while they’re a pain to use in battle, they can act as mini-healing potions outside of combat, preventing the need to burn through spell slots or using finite healing potions.
- Cure Wounds or Healing Word – Yup, you still need one of these prepped, even if you have another healer. If you’re taking Goodberry, then select Healing Word, as its range makes it the more effective spell when allies are taken down in combat.
- Ice Knife – If you need to deal some AoE damage against weaker foes, then Ice Knife is a great option, as it deals 1d10 piercing damage to a target, then it explodes, dealing 2d6 cold damage to nearby enemies. The ice knife will still explode if the initial attack misses.
Sorcerer: Best Level 1 Spells In Baldur’s Gate 3
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Sorcerer’s spellcasting stat is Charisma. The Sorcerer picks two Cantrips and two level-one spells. Sorcerers gain new spells when they level up and can even swap old ones out. These are the best level-1 spells for the Sorcerer to choose at character creation:
- Mage Armor – As an arcane spellcaster, you will be very squishy. This can be alleviated with Mage Armor, which gives you AC 13 + Dexterity modifier, potentially making you hard to hit. It also lasts until the next long rest, making it better than spells like Shield.
- Sleep – The best crowd control spell during the game’s early stages, Sleep puts 24 hit points worth of enemies to sleep, with no saving throw. Remember that this effect only lasts for two turns, so make the most of it.
- Thunderwave – A great AoE damage spell that can push enemies back, allowing you to throw enemies that have gotten too close or maneuver foes into position, so an ally can AoE them on their turn.
Warlock: Best Level 1 Spells In Baldur’s Gate 3
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Warlock’s spellcasting stat is Charisma. The Warlock picks two Cantrips and two level-one spells. Warlocks gain new spells when they level up and can even swap old ones out. It’s important to note that Warlocks recharge spell slots on a short rest, and they always cast spells as if they were at a higher level. These are the best level-1 spells for the Wizard to choose at character creation:
- Hex – This Warlock-exclusive spell lets you curse a target, so they’ll take 1d6 extra damage from your attacks and give them Disadvantage on Ability Checks involving one of the six stats. They don’t get a saving throw against Hex, either. This spell is the perfect combo with Eldritch Blast, a Warlock-exclusive Cantrip that will act as your main weapon throughout the game. There’s a reason why the Hex & Eldritch Blast combo is so popular with D&D players.
- Armor of Agathys – One of two great defensive spell options for the Warlock. This grants five temporary hit points and deals five cold damage to a target that hits you. Armor of Agathys also lasts until the next long rest, so it will stay active.
- Hellish Rebuke – The other defensive option is a reaction spell, which means you use it in response to any enemy attack. Hellish Rebuke deals 2d10 fire damage to an opponent in response to an attack, with half damage on a save, potentially killing anyone foolish enough to get close to your caster.
Wizard: Best Level 1 Spells In Baldur’s Gate 3
In Baldur’s Gate 3, the Wizard’s spellcasting stat is Intelligence. The Wizard picks three Cantrips, selects six level 1 spells, and prepares four. Wizards can change their prepared spells when they take a long rest. These are the best level-1 spells for the Wizard to choose at character creation:
- Grease – This spell might turn Baldur’s Gate 3 into a slapstick comedy, but you can’t argue with the results. The Grease spell creates a slippery liquid AoE effect that can knock enemies prone, potentially ending their turn early and giving you a chance to pile on the damage before running away, as they have to burn movement on their turn to get up.
- Mage Armor – You won’t wear armor as a mage unless you’re willing to spend Feats or multiclass. Instead of wasting precious assets, just cast Mage Armor, raising your base AC to 13 + Dexterity modifier until your next long rest.
- Magic Missile – D&D 5E is a dice-based game, which means there’s always a chance that an attack can miss. You can ignore the dice with the Magic Missile spell, which creates three darts that deal 1d4+1 damage, and they’re guaranteed to hit: no attack roll needed!
- Tasha’s Hideous Laughter – One of the best low-level incapacitating spells in Baldur’s Gate 3, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter forces the enemy to make a Wisdom saving throw or fall prone with laughter, preventing them from acting. This effect can potentially last for ten turns, though they get another saving throw whenever they take damage.
It’s worth mentioning that Baldur’s Gate 3’s early party members include a Cleric, a Wizard, and a Warlock. This means you have allies who can fill some of the roles in the group that you might not be interested in using for your main character. There are plenty of party members to choose from over the course of the game, so don’t feel as if you shouldn’t play a specific type of character just because it’s too close to an ally.