Baldur's Gate 3 Wizard Guide

Published: Saturday, October 10, 2020 - 23:42 | By: Alex Verdini
Developer
Larian Studios
Publisher
Larian Studios
Release Date
October 6, 2020
Genre
RPG
Multiplayer modes
Online, Online Features
Platforms
PC
Monetization
One Time Purchase
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
GOG Steam
How to Play a Wizard

The big damage dealer, and arguably one of the best spellcasters in Dungeons & Dragons, is without a doubt the Wizard. Wizards pack a punch in Baldur’s Gate 3, but it comes with a cost as most of their powerful spells require spell slots. This means there is a limited number of powerful spells you can cast until needing to go back to camp and rest.

Fear not, as you can always use unlimited cantrips, but part of playing a Wizard is knowing when a situation calls for using those more powerful spells. While not as completely and disparagingly powerful as the Cleric, expect your Wizard to be the big damage dealer of the group.

 
 

Baldur's Gate 3 Wizard Best Stats

A rundown of stats for the Wizard

Where should you place your stats as a Wizard?  Those familiar to the tabletop game shouldn’t expect anything to change, as your main stat should be Intelligence. Your damage is impacted directly by increasing your Intelligence, as well as spell save DC. Maxing Intelligence to 16 is a must, as doing so will give you +3 to your modifier, which can add damage and increases the likelihood that your spells will hit. Your modifier increases for each even number you hit above 10 (12, 14, 16, 18, 20). You can give yourself the Intelligent edge by also picking a race that gives Intelligence bonuses.

Beyond just Intelligence, Dexterity is a great second stat to hit with your remaining points. Being able to have a higher initiative roll (the chance to go before your opponents or teammates) is crucial as a Wizard since many spells will directly impact the choices or abilities of your own party members. It’s always a plus to have high Dexterity too as it is often needed to make saves against powerful spells and increases your armor class.

As final stats to consider, Constitution or Charisma is always helpful to have. More Constitution means more health at each level, and more Charisma can be useful when trying to talk your way out of situations. Avoid Strength as you shouldn’t have much need to use melee attacks, and remaining points can be useful in Wisdom as many some opposing spells require a Wisdom saving throw. If you’re interested in a more in-depth guide to character creation and stats, it’s worth checking out Jackson’s fantastic guide on character creation for every class, including the Wizard.

Suggested stats (using High Elf as my race):
Strength: 8
Dexterity: 16
Constitution: 12 
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 12

Baldur's Gate 3 Wizard Subclasses

Picking between two subclasses
Abjuration or Evocation School is a big choice early for the Wizard class.

A time-honored tradition in Dungeons & Dragons is selecting your subclass. Baldur’s Gate 3 is no different. Admittedly, your subclass choice won’t have much of an impact in the early-access version of Baldur’s Gate 3 currently available. It’s something to consider though, assuming saves don’t get broken in the next level cap raise.

Assuming the game remains close to its tabletop counterpart, we can make some assumptions on how each subclass will impact your Wizard going forward. When deciding, it really comes down more to your preference than anything else. At level 2 you'll be able to pick your Wizard's subclass, this will be either Evocation or Abjuration. Evocation should give you more raw damage and control over your spells if that’s your main goal with a subclass. Abjuration still gives you access to all the evocation spells, but they get less damage-dealing options. Instead, expect to see more defensive benefits associated with abjuration spells.

Best Spells

A bolt of lightning strikes out and grabs an enemy
Witch Bolt is by far one of the strongest spells your Wizard can use

Spells are the bread and butter of Wizards, and the obvious benefit of the Wizard is that you change up your prepared spells as needed. Going into town? Fit yourself out with spells that can help with charisma checks, like Friends or Charm. Know you’ll need to fight some bosses? Consider Witch Bolt and Scorching Ray. Here’s a list of some of the best spells for Wizards:

  • Ray of Frost (Cantrip): Unlimited use and arguably the best offensive cantrip available. While it may deal a bit less damage than some of its counterparts, Ray of Frost has a chance to knock enemies prone and can slow your opponents down as well, which is a massive perk.
  • Expeditious Retreat (Level 1): Allows you to use Dash as a bonus action, granting you quite a bit more movement. Wizards are notoriously squishy, so being able to run further is big-time beneficial. Wizards also don’t get much use of bonus actions (aside from having to chug health potions), so this spell will give you a bit more do as a Wizard.
  • Witch Bolt (Level 1): The spell that keeps on giving. The beauty of this level 1 lightning spell is that despite using a spell slot, it essentially keeps recasting for free each turn, allowing you to do damage on a target unless your concentration is broken. Witch Bolt is exceptionally useful against high-health targets since lower health enemies will die too quickly to get multiple uses out of it.
  • Scorching Ray (Level 2): This fire spell deals 2d6 damage per each ray that hits, with a total of three rays fired. If each hits, that’s a massive 6d6 potential damage for a level 2 spell. Great for use on high HP targets, or you can individually select multiple targets to thin out large groups.
  • Hold Person (Level 2): Fantastic for temporarily eliminating a boss or heavy-hitting enemy. Just be sure to hang back as to not risk damage and potentially lose concentration on this spell.
  • Ray of Enfeeblement (Level 2): Another great spell for big melee enemies. Cuts their damage significantly as long as their melee damage is strength-based.

Baldur's Gate 3 Wizard General Tips

The wizard uses hold person on a hobgoblin boss
Always keep concentration in mind when maintaining your spells

If you've never played a Wizard before in Baldur's Gate 3—or Dungeons & Dragons, for that matter—there are a few things you should always keep in mind. You might have a party around you, but one small mistake can mean the difference between life or death for your squishy spellcaster.

  • Run, you fool! Gandalf had a point. Wizards are very squishy. Moreover, enemies love to target you for all that damage you deal out. Using a spell, like Expeditious Retreat, which turns Dash into a bonus action, is a great way to get far enough away or out of sight from taking too many hits.
  • Did you know Wizards can copy scrolls down into their spellbook for a minor sum of gold? It’s a huge perk of being a Wizard over other spell casters, and you should take advantage of it at every opportunity to expand your arsenal of spells.
  • Arcane Recovery is your best friend. Use it after big battles where you want to keep pushing along on your adventure. You’ll be able to recover spell slots without having to complete a long rest back at camp.
  • Avoid getting into melee range. Not only does it decrease your chance of successfully casting a ranged spell on a target, but if you need to run you will take an opportunity attack, which can really add up in trying to kill your poor squishy Wizard.
  • Concentrate! Keep mind of which spells require you to have concentration. It should be listed in the description, but if a spell you’re currently using requires concentration and you cast another concentration spell, you’ll lose the use or benefit of that initial spell you cast.

How are you enjoying Baldur's Gate 3? Did our Wizard tips help you? Let us know in the comments below, and check out our other Baldur's Gate 3 guides for more tips on surviving the world of Faerun.


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A picture of staff writer Alex A. Verdini
Staff Writer

A gamer since his earliest memory, Alex enjoys practically every video game genre known to humankind (with a particular favoritism toward shooters and RPGs). He's been a long time Dungeons & Dragons player, and he has a fondness for board games and tabletop RPGs.