Baldurs Gate 3 Early Access: Wizard Guide Gate MtG

Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access: Wizard Guide

Wizards master the arcane by specializing in individual schools of magic, honing ancient spells to modern heights.

Wizards in Baldur’s Gate 3 Early Access are the best class for spellcasting versatility. They have access to a ton of spells and learn more than any other, allowing them to have a lot of utility. The wizard class is a great class to pick if you want as many spells and nifty tricks as you can.

Gale is the wizard party companion currently available. You can use the information in this guide for optimizing your Gale.

Primary Stats

Intelligence: Intelligence is important for wizards solely because it determines how likely your spells are likely to land via ranged spell attacks and saving throws.

Additionally, intelligence increases your likelihood of succeeding at Arcana, History, Investigation, Religion, and Nature skill checks. There are a large number of instances of these skills being needed in Early Access.

Dexterity: You’ll almost always want to prioritize dexterity after intelligence. Dexterity makes up for the lack of armor and hit points available to wizards. A dexterity modifier of +3 combined with the Mage Armor spell, will give you a respectable AC of 16. Constitution is less valuable because of the Wizard’s 1d6 Hit Dice, resulting in fewer hit points as you level. It is also more beneficial to avoid damage than be able to take more.

Dexterity is also useful for Stealth, Sleight of Hand, and Acrobatics. Depending on your playstyle Stealth and Sleight of Hand may see lots of use if you don’t have a Rogue party member.

Races

  • With the recent addition of Gnomes, they’ve become the best race for wizards. They are the only race with a +2 Intelligence bonus. I recommend the Deep Gnome subrace, as it gives a +1 dexterity bonus as well as superior darkvision and advantage on stealth checks. The other two races are viable as well.
  • For wizard not using the Warped Band of Intellect, choose between High Elf, Human, Githyaki, High Half-Elf, Asmodeus Tiefling, or Mephistopheles Tiefling. All give or are able to give a +1 intelligence boost.
  • If you plan on using the Warped Band of Intellect as a typical caster, choose Drow for their +2 dexterity bonus and superior darkvision.
  • If you plan on using the Staff of Crones item, you may also choose the Strongheart Halfling in lieu of combining it with the Ring of Poison Resistance item.
  • If you want to use armor and weapons with the Warped Band of Intellect, choose either the Shield Dwarf or the Githyanki. Both races give you proficiency in Light Armor and Medium Armor, allowing you to be a strength-based melee wizard.

Weapons & Armor

Daggers, Darts, Slings, Quarterstaves, Light Crossbows

Basic Equipment

  • Gnome, Half-Elf, Tiefling, Human, Halfling: Light Crossbow, x2 Daggers, Simple Robe
  • Shield Dwarf using strength: Light Crossbow, Battleaxe, Githyanki Half Plate
  • Githyanki using strength: Light Crossbow, Greatsword, Githyanki Half Plate
  • Elf: Longbow, x2 Shortswords, Simple Robes
  • Drow: Light Crossbow, x2 Shortswords or Rapier, Simple Robes

Magic Items

  • During character creation, decide if you’ll be relying on the item Warped Band of Intellect (Increases the wearer’s Intelligence score to 17). This item is available a couple of hours in and gives you the option of putting your ability points elsewhere. This item can allow your wizard to be much bulkier, or combine with a race that gives armor and weapon proficiencies for a unique play style. It is worth noting that your intelligence will be capped at 17, and you will not be able to reach 18 intelligence along with its +4 modifier.
  • Typical wizards without armor proficiency will use robes, particularly the Poisoner’s Robe (an extra 1d4 on poison damage spells)or Robe of Summer (resistance to Cold damage).
  • Staff of Arcane Blessings is a great supportive option, giving you access to an alternate Bless spell that gives an additional 2d4 bonus to spell attacks on top of its normal effects.
  • If you are an elf you can use Spellthief, which could help you recover valuable spell slots.
  • The Staff of Crones allows you to cast Ray of Sickness without consuming spell slots at the cost of also damaging your character for 2d8 poison damage. This damage can be mitigated with Strongheart Resilience, Dwarven Resilience, and the Ring of Poison Resistance.
  • Circlet of Blasting allows you to cast Scorching Ray without having to learn the spell from a scroll or leveling up.
  • Mystra’s Grace lets you cast Feather Fall without having to learn it.
  • Gloves of Flint and Steel forces enemies you inflict fire damage on to make a constitution saving throw or be set alight.
  • Boots of Aid and Comfort add an additional 3 hit points when you heal a target with a healing spell.
  • The Sapphire Spark is one of the best items you can get on your wizard. This necklace doubles the damage of Magic Missile by adding 1d4 psychic damage to each missile. Considering how often this spell is used, you’ll get a ton of value from this item.

Saving Throws

Intelligence: There are a few instances and spells that require intelligence saving throws.

Wisdom: Wisdom is a saving throw required to resist some powerful spells that are in the game. However, so far there are only a small number of enemies that use them.

Features

Spellcasting: Spellcasting is a very powerful feature that a number of classes have, though the spells they have access to depends on the class. The Wizard’s spell list centers around damage, crowd control, and trickery. Wizards have two level 1 spell slots at level 1. At level 2, they unlock an additional level 1 spell slot. At level 3, they unlock two level 2 spell slots in addition to another level 1 spell slot. Spell slots always recover when you take a long rest.

Arcane Recovery: This feature gives you a number of points that you can spend to recover used spell slots. It increases as your wizard level increases and can be used to recover 1st or 2nd-level spell slots.

Spells

This section will just be focusing on spells available to learn when leveling up as a wizard.

  • The best damage cantrip for wizards is Firebolt. It has highest cantrip damage for wizards, a good range, and can create fire surfaces.
  • Ray of Frost finds use in conjunction with Create Water, and other water surfaces to create large ice surfaces.
  • Shocking Grasp can also be used to disengage from a melee threat while still having damage output.
  • Friends can be useful in a handful of conversations, and Light is almost essential if your character does not have darkvision.
  • Mage Armor is an important first-level spell for wizards, they are very fragile without it.
  • Magic Missile will likely be your most reliable, non-cantrip damage spell. It cannot miss, target multiple target and is can be buffed by a strong magic item, The Sapphire Spark.
  • Sleep is one of the most powerful spells early on, as it requires no saving throw from the enemy and will guarantee a critical hit from a melee character. Sleep’s HP requirement affects current HP, not total, meaning you can soften a group of enemies and then put them all to sleep.
  • Disguise Self can be useful for getting certain conversation outcomes that are only available to certain races. Feather Fall can also be used for certain shortcuts and secret areas.
  • Misty Step is a fantastic 2nd-level spell option, significantly increasing mobility, perfect positioning, and easy disengagement. It uses a bonus action instead of action and can be used outside of combat to access hidden areas and shortcuts.
  • Mirror Image is a powerful defensive option that greatly increases your AC.
  • Invisibility finds niche use when used on Rogues, to steal or to avoid and set up fights.
  • Hold Person is a strong controlling spell. It only affects humanoids, so some of the bosses in Early Access won’t be affected by this spell. However, this spell is worth knowing for the advantage it gives over the handful of humanoid bosses. Use it to take the biggest threat out of the fight while you deal with lesser enemies that pose a threat through the sheer amount of actions against your party. Attacks against a creature affected by Hold Person will always critical hit, so pair it with a rogue’s sneak attack, or a powerful spell like Guiding Bolt or Inflict Wounds.
  • Shatter can be your go-to AoE damage spell, especially if you’re dead set on the evocation subclass. It has good range, damage, and a decently large area of effect. There are also a handful of situations where it will interact with the environment.
  • Scorching Ray is one of your options for a 2nd level damage spell. It deals three instances of 2d6 fire damage, which can be put on separate targets or one target. It deals 1d6 more damage than an upcasted Guiding Bolt, but doesn’t give advantage on an attack. The primary reason to use this spell is for AoE damage and creating fire surfaces.

The spells below should be learned from spell scrolls.

  • Healing Word is one of the best spells for any class that can pick it up. It’s ranged and only uses a bonus action. I would consider having this spell readied even if your wizard isn‘t filling a support role.
  • Silence is a deceivingly powerful spell. It shuts down powerful casters, doesn’t allow for a saving throw, and can be used to keep enemies from hearing the sounds of combat or other shenanigans. I wouldn’t keep this spell readied, but you should know it so it can be switched to when an opportunity arises.
  • Guiding Bolt is one of the best single-target spells you can get. It has less output than Inflict Wounds, but it gives advantage on the next attack, which will generally make up for the slightly lower damage output. On top of this, Guiding Bolt is ranged whereas Inflict Wounds is has a melee range.
  • Bless is one of the best cleric spells available, and it is good on wizards as well. It gives a 1d4 bonus to attack and saving throws to three or four allied creatures, depending on the spell slot used. 1d4 doesn’t seem like a lot, but it will quickly add up between multiple attacks from and against your party.
  • Entangle is a druid spell that is meant to control the battlefield. It reduces enemy movement within a large AoE by making the area difficult terrain. It also has a chance to ensnare any creature that fails a strength saving throw within the area. The control alone given by this spell is good, however, it becomes even better when you combine it with any of the wizard’s fire spells to create a flaming surface.
  • Spike Growth is another druid spell, serving a similar purpose to entangle for a spell slot level higher. Spike Growth creates difficult terrain in a large area, but instead of ensnaring enemies, it deals 1d4 of piercing damage for every 1.5m a creature moves. This damage builds up extremely quickly, especially if multiple enemies are within the spell’s range. On top of that, the enemy AI often ignores or gets confused by this effect, moving through this spell’s AoE very ineffectively, resulting in them frequently killing themselves.
  • Flaming Sphere is a conjuration spell that creates a controllable ally that does 2d6 fire damage to enemies and beside it. Unsurprisingly, this spell will ignite fire surfaces as well. What makes this spell so good is that it cannot take damage, with no duration limit, and no range limit. This means the caster can comfortably hide out of combat, controlling an invincible ally to completely cheese a fight. It’s likely that Larian Studios will change this before the final release, but for now, it’s one of the most powerful strategies.
  • Shield of Faith is an abjuration spell usually associated with clerics. It’s a flat increase to your own or an ally’s AC. It can be combined with Mage Armor, as the latter doesn’t require concentration, getting a typical wizard’s AC up to 18.

Feats

Most wizards will want to take a +2 increase to intelligence at level 4 when presented with the Feat options.

Feat’s worthy of mentioning are Magic Initiate Feats. These feats can give you access to spells like Hex, Create Water, Shield of Faith, Bless, Entangle, and Faerie Fire. These Feats won’t use your intelligence modifier, so don’t pick spells that will rely on a spell modifier.

Tips/Tricks/Recommendations

The wizard’s strongest advantage over the other spellcasters in Baldur’s Gate 3 is their ability to learn new spells from spell scrolls. In Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, wizards can only learn spells from the wizard spell list. This is not the case in Baldurs Gate 3, where a wizard can learn a spell from a spell scroll of any class list. This gives wizards access to very powerful spells like Guiding Bolt and Healing Word.

Readied spells are very easy to change in Baldur’s Gate 3, you can change them anytime outside of combat by going to the spell menu (‘K’ keyboard shortcut).

Subclass 1: Evocation School

Evocation spells focus elemental energy into powerful attacks and enchantments. Those who specialize in this school are known as evokers.

If you want to play an AoE blasting spellcaster, evocation wizard is an option. However, you’ll likely find it inferior when compared to the sorcerer.

Features

Sculpt Spells: Create pockets of safety within your Evocation Spells. Allied creatures automatically succeed in their saving throws and take no damage from these Spells.

This feature looks good in theory, however, with the current level cap and limited spell options, it sees very little use. There are only three spells it gets any effect out of; Burning Hands, Thunderwave, and Shatter. Out of the three, Shatter is really the only good option.

Subclass 2: Abjuration School

Abjuration spells summon wards, banish enemies, and nullify magic, suitable for those who wish to defend themselves and others.

The Abjuration school can help your wizard survive to minor a degree. There are a very limited amount of abjuration spells your wizard will cast frequently. You’ll mainly see use out of this subclass when refreshing Mage Armor after a long rest, or buffing a creature’s AC with Shield of Faith.

Subclass Weapons & Armor:

  • Choosing a Githyanki can give you access to the Sword of Justice. This sword gives you access to cast Tyr’s Protects (Shield of Faith) without using a spell slot. This spell works with Arcane Ward, letting you refresh it as a bonus action any number of times.

Features:

Arcane Ward: Gain 3 temporary hit points when you cast an Abjuration spell of 1st-level or higher. These hitpoints refresh whenever you cast additional Abjuration spells, recovering twice the spell slot level.

In Early Access, there are few Abjuration spells available. Mainly, Mage Armor, Shield of Faith, Protection from Good and Evil, Lesser Restoration, and Aid. Your wizard isn’t likely to be spamming these spells in combat, which means you are unlikely to get much out of Arcane Ward.

Conclusion

Overall, the wizard is a strong class in Baldur’s Gate 3, similar to its Dungeons & Dragons counterpart. Its strength lies in its versatile, extensive spell list and their interactions with the environment.

Thanks for reading our Wizard guide! Keep an eye out for more of our Baldur’s Gate 3 guides. We already have an early access class overview post, so check that out!

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