Paladins are among the most powerful warrior classes in Baldur’s Gate 3, and some are better suited for wielding the holy/unholy blade than others. Some of the best races for taking up the banner of the warrior priests are surprising choices, but that doesn’t mean they are any less capable of leading the charge into battle than the humans, dwarves, and elves from the D&D Player’s Handbook.
The Paladin class is centered around wearing heavy armor and charging into battle with a big weapon. They have some healing abilities and magic, but their main focus is using their Divine Smite and Smite spells to deal ridiculous amounts of damage to enemies. The only other non-primary spellcaster class to deal as much damage in a single attack is the Rogue, and they have to rely on various circumstances to ensure their Sneak Attacks actually work.
Best Races For Playing Paladins In Baldur’s Gate 3
As the retail version of Baldur’s Gate 3 dumped the racial stat bonus rules, there are technically no bad choices when it comes to race/class combo, and if you feel strongly about playing a certain mix, then go for it, as you can still finish the game with all of the tools available to you. With that being said, some choices are better regarding the Paladin. These are the best races for playing as a Paladin in Baldur’s Gate 3:
- Dragonborn: The children of Bahamut and Tiamat make for some of the best Paladins in Baldur’s Gate 3, even after the racial stat bonuses were dropped. You can pick your damage resistance with this race, with Black and Copper for Acid; Blue and Bronze for Lightning; Brass, Gold, and Red for Fire; Silver and White for Frost; and Black for Poison. Access to a powerful AoE breath weapon is also useful on the front lines, as it can be used to clear out or heavily damage mobs of weaker enemies.
- Half-Orc: The ferocity and tenacity that Half-Orcs bring to battle make them just as suitable for the Paladins as the Barbarians. This is due to the Half-Orcs adding extra damage dice when critting, which can be devastating when mixed with Divine Smite and a Smite spell. Relentless Endurance also stops them from dropping once per long rest, hopefully giving you time to chug a potion or use Lay on Hands on your next turn.
- Zariel Tiefling: It’s fitting that the being who was once a powerful angel would help create some of the best Paladins among the devilkin in the D&D multiverse. Not only do Zariel Tiefling’s gain Fire resistance and Darkvision, but they can also cast Searing Smite at level 5 and Branding Smite at level 5. These additional Smite spells can be used once per Long Rest for free, adding some potent options to your arsenal that don’t burn resources.
There are some surprising standouts among the best Paladin races, but that’s one of those things that comes up in tabletop RPG-inspired games. Indeed, D&D has tried hard to make all race and class options viable in 5E, and there is much more encouragement to play the kind of character you want without ever feeling underpowered.