Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (2024)

Each of Baldur's Gate 3's classes offers different abilities and utilities to the team, from the Rogue's incredible burst damage and trap-removing abilities, to the Fighter's access to every weapon and armor type, or the Druid's ability to shapeshift and speak with any animal they meet.

In Baldur's Gate 3, a Paladin is a warrior empowered by their adherence to a sacred oath. Be it to protect the innocent as a Knight in Shining Armor, upholding the ideals of protecting Life and Nature, or commitment to Justice and Retribution, the Paladin is defined by their Oath in many ways. Each Oath serves both gameplay and narrative purpose, with Paladins who break their Oath during gameplay becoming a different subclass known as the "Oathbreaker."

Updated on August 14th, 2023 by Thomas Hawkins: Following the full release of Baldur's Gate 3 players are now able to use the Oath of Vengeance Subclass and reach a maximum level of 12. This means that all subclasses now have access to more spells and abilities as they level up beyond level five. This guide has been updated to reflect these additions and any changes from the Early Access Build.

Updated on February 19th, 2024 by Thomas Hawkins: Now that Baldur's Gate 3 has been out for a while and players have explored the later acts and uncovered the game's seemingly endless secrets, information about equipment that synergizes with certain playstyles is now readily available. This guide has been updated to reflect new information regarding equipment and multiclassing utility.

Updated on June 5th, 2024 by Thomas Hawkins: To further aid players who enjoy planning out their build in advance and/or are looking for the best equipment for a subclass in Act 3 of the game, this update includes recommended gear suggestions for players in Act 3 of Baldur's Gate 3. Naturally, these sections contain major spoilers for the final third of the game and have been marked accordingly.

Related: Baldur's Gate 3: The Best Melee Weapons, Ranked

Oath Of Vengeance

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (1)

At level one, an Oath of Vengeance Paladin is able to use "Inquisitor's Might." This allows them to grant bonus radiant damage to their weapon attacks, or those of an ally, as a bonus action. The bonus damage is equal to the Paladin's Charisma modifier.

At level 3, Vengeance Paladins can channel their oath to use "Abjure Enemy" or "Vow of Enmity." The former allows them to frighten an enemy as an Action, making them easier to hit, and is especially effective against Fiends and the Undead. The latter allows them to gain an advantage on Attack Rolls against a target within 3m for 10 turns, as a bonus action. This level also grants them "Bane" and "Hunter's Mark" as additional spells known. The former debuffs up to 3 creatures, while the latter places a mark on a target that makes them take extra damage from the Paladin.

At level 5, Vengeance Paladins gain "Hold Person" and "Misty Step" too, allowing them to freeze humanoid foes in their tracks and teleport around the battlefield.

At level 7, Vengeance Paladins get "Relentless Avenger," which boosts their movement speed by 4.5m on their next turn after landing an opportunity attack. This helps them to keep up the pressure on foes and ensure no target escapes them. Finally, level 9 offers them "Haste" and "Protection From Energy." This pair of spells allow them to give extra actions to themselves or an ally and grant resistance to one type of elemental damage at a time.

Oath of Vengeance Paladins will break their oath if they take actions that show mercy for the wicked or go against the greater good. An example of this would be raiding the Emerald Grove alongside the Goblins during Act 1.

Multiclassing & Equipment

The Oath of Vengeance Paladin is a prime choice for multiclassing with either Bard or Warlock, the former to take advantage of The College of Swords and its excellent assortment of Flourishes, and the latter to consolidate weapon attacks and spellcasting under a single stat by using Pact of the Blade and get spell slots that recharge on a short rest for more Divine Smites.

When it comes to equipment, the Oath of Vengeance Paladin might consider grabbing the Gloves of Heroism, hidden in the Tollhouse in Act 1. These will provide the heroism buff whenever the Paladin uses a "Channel Oath" ability. Players can then grab the Helmet of Smiting from the Selunite Outpost (also in Act 1), and purchase the Armor of Devotion from Roah when they relocate to Moonrise in Act 2. The former provides temporary hit points whenever you apply a status effect using a smite spell (Searing Smite inflicting a burn effect over time, for example), while the latter allows the Paladin to restore a Channel Oath charge at will once per long rest.

Players seeking out a particularly powerful helmet should take the time to fight Grym at the Adamantine Forge during Act 1 or Act 2, acquiring the Grymskull Helmet in the process. As the only Heavy Helm in the entire game, the Grymskull Helmet provides immunity to critical hits, resistance to fire damage, and the ability to cast Hunter's Mark once per long rest.

Act 3 Equipment (Spoilers for Act 3)

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (2)

Act 3 offers some incredibly powerful weapons and items for a Vengeance Paladin. If you're using a two-handed weapon to maximize your damage, you could pick up Balduran's Giantslayer from the Dragon's Sanctum. This incredible sword doubles the bonus damage granted by your Strength Modifier whenever it connects, while also allowing you to increase in size (gaining temporary hitpoints, boosted damage, and advantage on Strength Checks and Saving Throws) once per short rest. If you're playing as a Githyanki, or respecced Lae'zel into a Vengeance Paladin, then the Silver Sword of the Astral Plane is also a good choice. It grants additional psychic damage on hit while also providing advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma Saving Throws. It also gives resistance to psychic damage, immunity to the "Charmed" status, and the special attack "Soulbreaker" to stun enemies.

When looking for some endgame armor, you could consider the Helldusk Armor acquired from the House of Hope. Getting the full set means facing off with Raphael and his incredible boss music, so it's highly recommended. The Helldusk Armor makes you fire-resistant, immune to burns, inflicts burns on casters if you succeed in the saving throw against their spell, reduces all damage you take by 3, and allows you to fly. The Helldusk Boots can be found on the top floor of Wyrmrock Fortress, providing the wearer with fiery teleportation and immunity to being forcibly moved by enemy spells and actions. They also let you spend a reaction to change a failed saving throw into a success, helping you shrug off dangerous effects and trigger the Helldusk Armor's burn effect. Add in the Helldusk Helmet (Also found in the House of Hope) to gain immunity to critical hits, immunity to being blinded, and to deal extra fire damage against any target that is burning. Alternatively, Sarevok's Helmet could be an excellent choice, reducing the target number for landing a Critical Hit to facilitate even more damage. You can find Sarevok's Helmet by defeating Sarevok at the Murder Tribunal.

The Oathbreaker Set (See the section on the Oathbreaker Paladin for more information) can also prove very effective for this subclass.

Oath Of The Ancients

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (3)

Oath of the Ancients Paladins are defenders of Life and Nature first and foremost, similar in some respects to Druids. They gain Healing Radiance as their first Channel Oath ability, allowing them to perform an AOE Heal centered on themselves which pulses a second time at the start of their next turn. This can be tremendously useful when fighting in melee alongside other party members.

At level 3, these Paladins gain Nature's Wrath and Turn the Faithless. The former lets them spend a Channel Oath charge to restrain an enemy as part of their attack, while the latter lets them instill fear in fey and fiends and cause them to flee. They also gain "Speak with Animals" and "Ensnaring Strike (Ranged)" as additional prepared spells. This makes them incredibly useful for stunning troublesome foes in combat and gleaning additional information from unlikely sources.

At level 5, the Oath of Ancients grants "Misty Step" and "Moonbeam" as additional prepared spells, allowing them to teleport as a bonus action and conjure a damaging beam from above that can be repositioned on later turns. Level 7 grants them the "Aura of Warding," causing them to take half-damage from spells and letting them extend that protection to any ally within 3m.

At Level 9, the Oath of the Ancients allows access to "Protection From Energy" and "Plant Growth" as additional prepared spells, letting them grant resistance to an elemental damage type or create difficult terrain for their foes.

Oath of the Ancients Paladins will break their Oath if they fail to defend the sanctity of life or deliberately disrupt the balance of nature. For an early example of this, players can break the Oath of the Ancients by resurrecting Mayrina's husband using Ethel's Wand, since raising the dead counts as disrupting the balance of nature. Many of the actions the Dark Urge will spur players into taking can also result in breaking the Oath of the Ancients.

Multiclassing & Equipment

Paladins and Warlocks pair together incredibly well and the Oath of the Ancients is a solid choice for players that want some support and control utility in their kit. By grabbing Pact of the Blade it's possible to run a Paladin/Warlock with Charisma as their main stat for spellcasting and attacks, leaving plenty of spare points for boosting Constitution for extra HP or Dexterity for extra AC.

When it comes to equipment, the Oath of Ancients Paladin will get a ton of mileage out of the "Hellrider's Pride" gauntlets, which can be stolen from Zevlor during act 1, or obtained as a reward for completing the "Investigate Kagha" quest. These gauntlets grant resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage to any creature healed by the wearer, essentially working like the Blade Ward cantrip. Helping out the refugees will also award players with Wapira's Crown, which heals the wearer for 1d6 whenever they heal another creature. All of these synergize with Healing Radiance tremendously well and will also apply when using Lay on Hands. To shine in a support role, add The Whispering Promise. This ring applies two turns of bless to anyone the wearer heals, allowing the Paladin to pulse a short-lived bless whenever they use Healing Radiance, or apply it alongside their healing with Lay on Hands.

Act 3 Equipment (Spoilers for Act 3)

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (4)

After reaching Act 3, Oath of Ancients Paladins can make use of many of the same options as the Vengeance Paladin, though they should probably stick with the Hellrider's Pride Gauntlets and Whispering Promise Ring combo to make the most of their healing. Wapira's Crown starts to fall off by the endgame, so this is a good time to swap it for either the Grymskull Helmet (if you picked it up in Act 1/Act 2), the Steel Watcher Helmet (found in the Steel Watch Foundry in Act 3, Provides Darkvision and Advantage on Constitution Saving Throws), or even Sarevok's Horned Helm (Defeat Sarevok at the Murder Tribunal.)

Oath Of Devotion

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (5)

Oath of Devotion Paladins are the classical Knights in Shining Armor, defenders of the weak and the greater good. They can Channel their Oath using Divine Rebuke, placing a divine ward on an ally that deals radiant damage to anything that attacks them with a melee attack.

At Level 3, they gain additional spells and abilities associated with their Oath, including two new ways to Channel their Oath. Sacred Weapon allows them to turn their weapon into a Sacred Weapon, adding their Charisma Bonus to attack rolls with it. Turn the Unholy allows them to ward off Undead and Fiends by making them afraid of the Paladin. They also gain the spells "Protection from Evil and Good" and "Sanctuary" as additional prepared spells.

At Level 5, Oath of Devotion Paladins gain the spells "Lesser Restoration" and "Silence" as additional prepared spells, allowing them to remove diseases and conditions and create a sphere that silences everything inside it and renders them immune to thunder damage.

At Level 7, Oath of Devotion Paladins gain an "Aura of Devotion," which renders them immune to being charmed. This effect also extends to allies within 3m.

At level 9, Oath of Devotion Paladins gain access to the spells "Remove Curse" and "Beacon of Hope", allowing them to purge curses and grant their allies improved healing, advantage on wisdom saves, and advantage on death saves.

Going back on their word or engaging in cruelty will cause a Paladin who swore the Oath of Devotion to become an Oathbreaker. This makes it an especially tricky subclass to maintain when playing as the "Dark Urge" origin, whose bloodthirst is hard to control and can lead to accidents. Another early example of somewhere this Oath can be broken is during the encounter with Damays and Nemissa in Act One, with Lae'zel in a cage, as choosing to attack Damays and Nemissa will immediately break the Oath of Devotion​​​​​​.

Multiclassing & Equipment

The Oath of Devotion Paladin is fairly stat-hungry if players want to take full advantage of Sacred Weapon, so it doesn't pair very well with most other classes when compared to the other Paladin Subclasses. When it comes to gear, players will likely want to use a one-handed weapon and a shield, tanking for the Party and keeping enemy attention. The Blood of Lathander legendary Mace is a fantastic choice that will remain relevant for most of the game, and can be found towards the end of Act 1.

The Glowing Shield, found hidden away in the Goblin Camp, provides temporary HP the first time the wielder takes damage while below half health. This makes for an excellent early shield, but players should endeavor to replace it with something like the Adamantine Shield once they are able (this can be forged during Act 1 at the Adamantine Forge.) The Adamantine Shield provides immunity to critical hits and inflicts the Reeling status effect on enemies when they miss. To further strengthen this subclass' defense, players should collect the Luminous set to take advantage of Radiant Orbs. This set consists of the Luminous Armor, Luminous Gloves, Coruscation Ring, Callous Glow Ring, The Sacred Star (Mace), and the Fabricated Arbalest. The Armor of Devotion (sold by Roah Moonglow in Moonrise Towers during Act 2) is also useful as it allows the Paladin to regain an Oath Charge once per long rest, allowing you to use Sacred Weapon, Divine Rebuke, and Turn the Unholy more often.

Act 3 Equipment (Act 3 Spoilers)

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (6)

The Oath of Devotion Paladin can make good use of the Reaper's Embrace Armor acquired at the end of Act 2 if they want to trade some of the Luminous Gear for more defensive power. Assuming Dammon the Blacksmith survived all the way to Act 3, you can also buy the "Armor of Persistence" from him, which grants permanent resistance and blade ward while reducing all incoming damage by 2. Of course, the Helldusk Armor from the House of Hope can also be a good option for defense-focused loadouts. It is worth noting that the Luminous Armor remains a viable option all the way to the endgame if you want to focus more on the Luminous Orb strategy over raw defensive power. Many of the armor options suggested for the Oath of Vengeance Paladin are also effective choices for a Devotion Paladin, so check that section too for more ideas.

While the Blood of Lathander remains an ideal weapon for the Devotion Paladin, this is a good time to pick up a better shield. Viconia's Walking Fortress, a legendary shield wielded by Viconia DeVir during the quest "Daughter of Darkness", is a truly stunning option for a tanky Paladin. It grants advantage on all saving throws against spells, gives all spell attack rolls against you disadvantage, and allows you to blast enemies who strike you back with a wave of force. On top of all this, it also allows you to cast Warding Bond once per long rest and the unique "Reflective Shell" once per short rest. Reflective Shell returns all projectiles to their point of origin for 2 turns, and is activated as a bonus action.

Oathbreaker

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (7)

Oathbreakers are Paladins who, for one reason or another, have broken their Oath. Due to no longer having the support of their Oath, Oathbreakers are instead fueled by Darkness. Players cannot begin the game as an Oathbreaker and must instead begin as another Paladin and break their Oath during gameplay. After breaking their Oath, players will meet with the Oathbreaker Knight at their camp and can become an Oathbreaker, though they can alternatively have their Oath restored by the Knight in exchange for 2,000 gold at any time.

Oathbreakers initially have the Channel Oath ability: Spiteful Suffering. This allows them to deal necrotic damage to a target within 3m and cause all attacks on that target to gain advantage. This is resisted with a Charisma Saving Throw.

At Level 3, Oathbreakers gain two additional Channel Oath Abilities, Control Undead and Dreadful Aspect. Control Undead allows Oathbreakers to gain control over an undead creature, allowing them to gain a temporary ally if the creature fails a Wisdom Saving Throw. Dreadful Aspect allows them to create a pulse that frightens nearby enemies that fail a Wisdom Saving Throw. They also gain the spells "Hellish Rebuke" and "Inflict Wounds" as additional prepared spells, allowing them to counterattack with fire and deal necrotic damage at a distance.

At Level 5, Oathbreakers gain "Crown of Madness" and "Darkness" as additional prepared spells, allowing them to get enemies to attack their allies and create fields of darkness to conceal their allies. Level 7 Oathbreakers gain an "Aura of Hate," which lets them add their Charisma modifier to damage rolls. It also lets them extend this benefit to undead or fiend allies within 3m.

Level 9 Oathbreakers get "Bestow Curse" and "Animate Dead," letting them weaken their foes with curses and create undead to aid them in battle.

Oathbreakers no longer have an Oath to break, and so they do not run the risk of losing this subclass through the actions they take.

Multiclassing & Equipment

There is an entire set of equipment tailor-made to suit an Oathbreaker Paladin, known as the Blackguard Set. These consist of the Blackguard's Plate, Gauntlets, Greaves, and Sword, along with the Shield of the Unjust. These provide an assortment of bonuses including an extra first level spell slot to dish out Divine Smites and advantage on Wisdom Saving throws. These items cannot be found until Act 3, however, so until then players should grab the Paladin-specific items mentioned in the section on the Oath of Vengeance Paladin.

Act 3 Equipment (Act 3 Spoilers)

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (8)

The Full Blackguard Set can be obtained by defeating a trio of Death Knights who guard the Murder Tribunal. These three are known as "That Which Guards", "That Which Lurks", and "That Which Watches." Defeating them will earn you the entire Blackguard Set: Blackguard's Plate, Blackguard's Greaves, Blackguard's Gauntlets, Blackguard's Sword, and Shield of the Undevout. The Plate reduces incoming damage by 1 and grants advantage on Wisdom Saving Throws. The Gauntlets provide +1 to attack rolls and strength saving throws (Along with casting inflict wounds at level 4 once per long rest.) The Greaves grant permanent longstrider and +1 to athletics. The Shield gives an extra first-level spell slot and gives all enemies disadvantage on saving throws against any of your actions that cause fear. Finally, the Sword deals necrotic damage and can daze enemies you hit with your smites.

Alternatively, you can utilize much of the same equipment as the Oath of Vengeance Paladin, so check that section for more ideas.

Baldur's Gate 3 is available now for PC, Mac, and PS5.

Baldur's Gate 3: Every Paladin Subclass, Ranked (2024)

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