Best Bard spells and cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

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The Best Bard Spells and Cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3

When it comes to Baldur’s Gate 3, bards bring music, magic, and entertainment to the game. While they may not have complete mastery in battle, they can support their team members who are better equipped. If you’re playing as a bard, it’s important to know the role you want to fulfill and choose the best spells and cantrips for your character. This guide will provide advice on the best spells and cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3 and offer tips to help you create the strongest bard build.

Note: If you’re new to Dungeons & Dragons and/or Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s recommended to familiarize yourself with Karmic Dice before proceeding.

Choosing the Best Bard Subclass, Race, Background, and Skills

  • Best Bard subclass: 1. College of Lore 2. College of Valour 3. College of Swords
  • Best Bard race: Wood Half-Elf
  • Best Bard background: Entertainer
  • Best Bard skills: 1. Charisma 2. Dexterity 3. Constitution 4. Intelligence 5. Wisdom 6. Strength

The best bard in Baldur’s Gate 3 is a wood half-elf with a background as an entertainer. The College of Lore subclass is the recommended choice as it enhances your ability checks and improves your support character skills. However, if you prefer a more active role in combat, the College of Valour is a useful option.

Bards rely on Charisma as their spellcasting modifier, so higher charisma is advantageous. According to research, the wood half-elf is the best race for a bard due to its +2 Charisma and other useful abilities. Alternatively, the wood elf is a viable choice with its proficiency in stealth.

Recommended Early Bard Spells and Cantrips

After deciding on the initial details for your bard character, it’s time to choose the best starter spells and cantrips in Baldur’s Gate 3. Keep in mind that bards begin with two cantrips and four level-one spells. Here’s what you should consider selecting:

  • Cantrips:
    • Vicious Mockery
    • Blade Ward
  • Spells:
    • Healing Word
    • Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
    • Heroism
    • Dissonant Whispers

For cantrips, it’s recommended to choose Vicious Mockery and Blade Ward as they provide useful benefits in combat. Vicious Mockery demoralizes enemies and weakens their attacks in the next round. Blade Ward reduces damage from specific attack types, increasing your chances of survival in challenging battles. Dancing Lights is an optional cantrip that can be useful in darker areas for improved accuracy, but it can be added later.

Among the spells, Healing Word and Tasha’s Hideous Laughter are particularly useful. Healing Word provides additional healing capability that can be crucial in critical moments. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter has potential effectiveness against enemies who aren’t highly intelligent.

Heroism is another recommended spell as it buffs your party members, protecting them from fear and maintaining their HP at a stable level. Additionally, Dissonant Whispers deals valuable psychic damage. Outside of combat, spells like Charm Person and Disguise Self can be useful for specific situations.

The Best Bard Spells and Cantrips for the Endgame

As you progress towards the endgame and your bard reaches higher levels (up to level 12 in Baldur’s Gate 3), you’ll gain access to more slots and powerful abilities. Here are the top spells and cantrips to consider:

  • Cantrips:
  • Spells:
    • Shatter
    • Hypnotic Pattern
    • Enhance Ability
    • Aid

Throughout the game, it’s recommended for your bard to continue playing a supportive role, acquiring abilities that benefit both combat scenarios and interactions with non-player characters outside of battles. Shatter and Hypnotic Pattern are effective against multiple targets when dealing damage. Aid is an excellent healing ability, while Enhance Ability provides a useful buff that becomes increasingly important as you face more powerful adversaries.

The Best Bard Subclass for a Strong Support Role

Once your bard reaches level three, you’ll have the opportunity to choose a subclass that significantly enhances your proficiency in a specific role. If you prefer playing as a support-focused bard, the recommended choice is the College of Lore.

By selecting the College of Lore, you’ll gain access to Cutting Words, a reaction ability that debuffs enemies and reduces their damage output while making it harder for them to land successful attacks. This ability proves useful in supporting your allies. Additionally, you’ll excel in Sleight of Hand, which can be valuable for tasks like picking locks and disarming traps.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available on Steam.