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Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin builds, subclasses and features

If you don’t mind playing by your Oath’s rules, the Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin subclass gives you plenty of power as a damage dealer and support caster.

Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin seen with Shadowheart and Lae'zel

The Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin is a great class for indecisive players. Can’t decide between playing a supportive spellcaster or a mighty martial fighter? With the BG3 Paladin, you don’t have to. You’ll need to carefully balance your build to get the most out of all the Paladin has to offer, but that’s what we’re here to help with.

Below you’ll find our recommendations for building this holy Baldur’s Gate 3 class up to great heights. That includes explaining all the Paladin offers, as well as recommending Baldur’s Gate 3 races and subclasses to try. The rest is up to you (though we do have other guides for help with Baldur’s Gate 3 companions, Baldur’s Gate 3 romances, and even Baldur’s Gate 3 feats).

For now, raise your swords and holy symbols. Here’s your crash course on the Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin:

Minthara, a Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin

Basics of the Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin

Saving throws Wisdom, Charisma
Armor proficiencies Light, Medium, Heavy, Shield
Weapon proficiencies Simple, Martial
Skill proficiencies Choose two

Here’s the base class features of the Paladin:

Lay on Hands

Level: One

As an action, you can heal a creature within melee range, removing all diseases and poisons and giving them back 4HP. Doesn’t work on undead or constructs.

Divine Sense

Level: One

Spend a bonus action to gain advantage on Attack Rolls against celestials, fiends, and undead.

Channel Oath Charges

You can use Channel Oath Charges to fuel certain Paladin activities. You get these charges back if you take a short or long rest.

Level: One

Divine Smite

Level: Two

Spend an action and a spell slot to deal an additional 1d8 Radiant damage to a target. If the creature is a fiend or undead, the damage increases to 2d8. Additionally, an extra d8 is added for every spell slot level above first you spend – for example, using a level three spell slot adds 3d8 rather than 1d8.

Fighting Style

Level: Two

Choose a Fighting Style from Defence, Duelling, Great Weapon Fighting, and Protection (more on some of these later).

Divine Health

Level: Three

Divine Health prevents disease from affecting you.

Lay on Hands Charge

Level: Four, Ten

You gain an additional Charge to spend on Lay on Hands.

Extra Attack

Level: Five

You can make an additional attack action on your turn.

Aura of Protection

Level: Six

You and nearby allies gain a bonus to saving throws.

Aura of Courage

Level: Ten

You and nearby allies can’t be frightened as long as you’re conscious.

Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin in character creator mode

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin build

Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin stats

A Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin is one-part martial fighter and one-part supportive spellcaster. Because of this, they’ll need to prioritize Strength and Charisma (their spellcasting modifier). It’s also important to boost Constitution so you’ve got enough hit points to keep you afloat.

DnD Paladins are known as MAD (Multiple Ability Dependent) in the original tabletop RPG, and the same is true in Baldur’s Gate 3. With limited ability score boosts, three skills is a lot to juggle at once. It means you’ll be pretty reliant on ability score boosts, so we don’t recommend you take many 5e feats for your Paladin build.

We recommend putting Strength first, then Charisma, and then Constitution. While a Paladin can make a great back-up healer, strong builds generally focus on buffing their damage-dealing abilities first – your spell slots may let you cast spells, but you’ll more often be using them to go full Divine Smite.

Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin Half-Orc

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin races

There are two optimal DnD races to choose from with the Paladin: the Gold Dwarf and the Half-Orc.

The Gold Dwarf starts with an extra hit point, gaining another each time your character levels up. It may not sound like much, but it’ll pay off over time with a sturdy Paladin build. Plus, you get the core DnD Dwarf race’s poison resistance and Darkvision.

The Half-Orc’s racial features are designed to make you a battle beast, so they’re perfect for beefing up your Paladin. Relentless Endurance stops you being downed if you hit zero hit points, and Savage Attacks makes it easier to score critical hits. Plus, Darkvision and an Intimidation proficiency never hurt anybody.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin background

The Soldier is undoubtedly the best DnD background for your BG3 Paladin. It offers proficiency in Athletics and Intimidation, which puts both of your core stats to use. Plus, it’s a nice bit of backstory for how you became such a great fighter.

Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin Dragonborn

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin subclasses

When it comes to Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin subclasses, your choice should be made based on your preferred roleplay style just as much as power levels. Taking an Oath as a Paladin gives you tenets that your character must abide by. Don’t, and you’ve become an Oathbreaker, which leads your character build down an entirely new path.

And honestly, none of the Paladin subclasses are bad choices for a build. The Oath of Devotion makes a strong Support character, while the Oath of Vengeance packs a real punch if you want to focus on swinging a sword over buffing your pals. Necromancy never seems to be as powerful as you think it is, but the Oathbreaker’s hold on the undead can prove very helpful in certain maps.

The Oath of Ancients is our personal favorite. It’s an excellent balance of support and damage-dealing with healing options to give Shadowheart a run for her money – extra HP for everyone in your party as a bonus action? Yes please. Plus, Moonbeam and Misty Step were two of our top spells in D&D 5e, and BG3 reminds us exactly why.

Baldur's Gate 3 Paladin Oathbreaker

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin fighting styles

We also suggest you choose Defense or Dueling for your Paladin fighting style. The first gives you a permanent +1 to your armor class, which makes a surprising amount of difference to how often you get hit. Meanwhile, the other lets you deal an extra two damage when you wield a single melee weapon – perfect for either a sword and board approach.

For even more thoughts on BG3, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 review in progress. We can also give you the low-down on specific characters like Lae’zel and Astarion.