Baldur’s Gate 3 has 12 classes for you to choose from when you create your character. A Paladin is a versatile melee warrior who fights, smites, and does what’s right — most of the time.
Paladins are bound to uphold justice as they have taken a holy vow to stand against evil. They train their combat prowess to fight the wicked and protect the innocent. In doing so, they need to increase their Strength, their primary ability score.
There’s no single best class in Baldur’s Gate 3, and the game gives you as many opportunities for creative problem solving as it does for punching. Finding the best class really just boils down to how you want to play. Even when playing solo, you’ll still manage the rest of your party, so you’ll get to experiment with multiple classes at once.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Paladin class in Baldur’s Gate 3, and learn all about the best Paladin subclass, feats, and build.
Baldur’s Gate 3’s Paladins are a well-balanced blend of melee and caster roles, but balancing their stats is more complicated than other classes. Because they can play the role of both tanky melee fighters and support healers (and casters in general) at the same time, it’s hard to make them really good at both at the same time.
That said, Paladins are a great way to dabble in spellcasting and healing without fully committing to a caster class — you can always fall back on sheer physicality when you run out of spell slots.
Paladin class features
- Hit Dice — 1d10
- Hit Points at 1st level — 10 + your Constitution Modifier
- Hit Points at higher levels — 6 + your Constitution Modifer per paladin level after 1st
You’ll have one of four actions depending on your subclass.
- Oath of the Ancients — Healing Radiance
- Oath of Devotion — Holy Rebuke
- Oath of Vengeance — Inquisitor’s Might
- Oathbreaker — Spiteful Suffering
- Weapons — Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
- Armor — Light Armor, Medium Armor, Heavy Armor, Shields
- Skills — Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion.
- Saving Throws — Charisma and Wisdom
The Paladin has a total of four subclasses, three of which are unlocked at the beginning of the game. During character creation, you must take a sacred oath by vowing to stay on the path of righteousness. The final subclass can be unlocked once you’ve broken your oath and you’ve veered off of the path.
Oath of the Ancients
Paladins who have taken the Oath of the Ancients follow the principles of good, pushing aside any concern for law or chaos. They fight against despair and try to preserve the joy and beauty of the world. By taking the Oath of the Ancients, you’ll gain the action “Healing Radiance,” which will heal yourself and all nearby allies. You’ll also gain the subclass feature “Oath of the Ancient Tenets,” which is what you’ll need to abide by.
Oath of Devotion
Paladins who have have taken the Oath of Devotion can be seen as the knights in shining armor as they’re honest law-abiding warriors. By taking the Oath of Devotion, you’ll gain the action “Holy Rebuke,” which will grant an ally an aura that deals Radiant damage to anyone who hits them with a melee attack. You must also abide the “Oath of Devotion Tenets,” which is your subclass feature.
Oath of Vengeance
Paladins who have taken the Oath of Vengeance seek to punish those who have committed heinous sins. They sacrifice their own purity to bring about justice. By taking the Oath of Vengeance, you’ll gain the action “Inquisitor’s Might,” which will cause your attacks to deal an additional 2 Radiant damage and daze enemies. You’ll follow your subclass feature, the “Oath of Vengeance Tenets.”
The Oathbreaker is a hidden subclass that is only available to those who have broken their oath. Once you’ve broken your oath, you’ll be visited by the Oathbreaker Knight, who’ll inform you of your actions and wait for you in your camp. After speaking with them, you can choose to become an Oathbreaker or pay a fee of 2000 gold to retake your oath. As an Oathbreaker, you’ll gain the action “Spiteful Suffering,” which will deal Necrotic damage to enemies and make them vulnerable to attacks.
Best Paladin subclass and build in BG3
Baldur’s Gate 3 races don’t really have any direct impact on your class, but certain races and subraces come with features that play well with certain classes like extra movement or proficiency with certain weapons. Paladins already come with an impressive array of weapon and armor proficiencies, so it’s better to focus on movement or Saving Throws:
- Wood Elves and Wood Half-Elves get an extra 5 feet of movement and their Fey Ancestry means they have advantage against being Charmed.
- All three subraces of Tiefling have resistance to fire damage
- All three Dwarven subraces have Dwarven Resilience and resistance to poison damage, and Gold Dwarves get an extra hit point per level.
- Halflings have advantage against being Frightened
- Gnomes get advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.
- Each Dragonborn subraces has a resistance to a thematic type of damage
- Half-Orcs’ Relentless Endurance gets you a free hit point if you fall to zero (one time per long rest) and their Savage Attacker feature means they deal extra damage on a Critical Hit.
When you’re creating and leveling up your Baldur’s Gate Paladin, Strength is your most important stat (for hitting things). After that, you’ll have to balance Constitution (for the HP) and Charisma for the spellcasting. Since your best Paladin spells (well, spell-like actions) are channeling divine magics, though, you’re safe to focus on Constitution first. Make Strength your highest stat and Constitution your second highest.
You’ll pick your Paladin subclass at level 1. Oath of Devotion and Oath of Vengeance Paladins get better offensive actions, but the best (and most utilitarian) subclass is Oath of the Ancients — you’ll get plenty of use out of their Healing Radiance spell that heals all of your allies.
Best Paladin Feats in BG3
Every four levels, you’ll get the option to either increase your stats or choose a Feat. Feats are special talents that add features to your character. If you’re happy with your stats and start taking Feats, Paladins can benefit from:
- Actor. Your Charisma Increases by 1, to a maximum of 20. Your Proficiency Bonus is also doubled for Deception and Performance Checks.
- Athlete. Your Strength or Dexterity increases by 1, to a maximum of 20. When you are Prone, standing up uses significantly less movement. Your Jump distance also increases by 50%.
- Charger. You gain Charger: Weapon Attack and Charger: Shove.
- Durable. Your Constitution increases by 1, to a maximum of 20. You regain full hit points each time you take a Short Rest.
- Great Weapon Master. When you land a Critical Hit or kill a target with a melee weapon attack, you can make another melee weapon attack as a bonus action that turn. Attacks with Heavy melee weapons you are Proficient with, can deal an additional 10 damage at the cost of a -5 Attack Roll Penalty.
- Mobile. Your movement speed increases, and difficult terrain doesn’t slow you down when you Dash. If you move after making a melee attack, you don’t provoke Opportunity Attacks from your target.
- Savage Attacker. When making weapon attacks, you roll your damage dice twice and use the highest result.
- Shield Master. You gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity Saving Throws while wielding a shield. If a spell forces you to make a Dexterity Saving Throw, you can use a reaction to shield yourself and diminish the effect’s damage. On a failed Saving Throw, you only take half damage. On a successful Saving Throw, you don’t take any damage.
- Tough. Your hit point maximum increases by 2 for every level you have gained.
For more information on the classes in Baldur’s Gate 3, consult our overviews on the Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes. If you’re stumped by the choice, consult our guide on what class to start with.