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Baldur's Gate 3 best Wizard build

Become a spellcasting master with our Baldur's Gate 3 best Wizard build guide

Gale, a Wizard companion in Baldur's Gate 3, shows a face of concern.
Image credit: Larian Studios / Rock Paper Shotgun

What is the best Baldur's Gate 3 Wizard build? Wizards are the most spell-driven class in Baldur's Gate 3, with a stunning array of options at their disposal. Much of your Wizard build will involve making choices around selecting high-damage spells while ensuring that you also have spells at your disposal that can protect and heal as necessary.

If you're looking for the best Wizard build in Baldur's Gate 3, we have a total overview of the class below, followed by our recommendations for the best Wizard race, subclass, background, and spells. And even if you're not planning a Wizard playthrough, your companion Gale is a Wizard, and this guide can assist you with finding effective strategies for statting out his skill progression.

Note: Looking for lots more builds to choose from? Check out our dedicated list of the best builds in Baldur's Gate 3 for each class!

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Baldur's Gate 3 Wizard best build

Wizards are a magic class centered around studying, learning, and preparing spells. This differs from Sorcerers, who possess innate power from their bloodlines, and Warlocks, who receive their magic from a patron. Wizards need to hit the books, changing and preparing new spells each day to make their arsenal suitable for specific challenges. They also benefit from Arcane Recovery, which allows them to replenish spell slots while not in combat. However, they cannot restore spell slots above spell level 5 with this Action. The number of spell slots you can recover depends on your number of Arcane Recovery charges. Your number of charges increases every other level, starting with level 1.

Wizard weapon, armour, and class proficiencies:

  • Wizard weapon proficiencies: Daggers, quarterstaves, light crossbows
  • Wizard armour proficiencies: None
  • Wizard skill proficiencies (choose 2): History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Religion
  • Wizard saving throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

Wizard subclass options

At level 2, Wizards can choose from the following subclasses, which are called Schools:

  • Abjuration: Summon wards, banish enemies, and nullify magic.
  • Evocation: Focus elemental energy into powerful attacks and enchantments.
  • Necromancy: Channel the power of death.
  • Conjuration: Summon objects and creatures and displace them in space.
  • Enchantment: Use your magic to influence and bend the will and conviction of those around you.
  • Divination: Peer through time itself and sculpt the future.
  • Illusion: Unravel and restitch the fabric of reality to fool your foes.
  • Transmutation: Exercise power of crude matter and manipulate it.

In each case, learning spells of your subclass type from scrolls only costs you 25 gold per spell level, rather than 50 gold.

Best Wizard race, background, and skills

Your race, background, and skills can greatly enhance and strengthen your Wizard character. These may vary based on your team composition, but these are our best picks for a solid Wizard build.

The best Wizard race is Forest Gnome.

The Gnome race can't move as far as most other races per turn, with a limitation of 7.5m. However, they more than make up for this lack of movement with Gnome Cunning, which grants instant advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. You'll depend on your Intelligence stat a lot as a Wizard, so Gnome Cunning will certainly come in handy.

The Forest Gnome also gains Darkvision, which allows them to see in the dark up to 12m. They also gain Speak with Animals, allowing them to verbally communicate with beasts and already setting your Wizard up from the getgo with a useful spell.

The best Wizard background is Sage.

The Sage background grants proficiency on rolls made with Arcana and History. Arcana allows you to recall lore about spells, magical items, eldritch symbols, traditions, and similar matters, while History allows you to recall lore rooted in the past.

The best Wizard skill proficiencies are Investigation and Insight.

Investigation allows you to make deductions about clues, while Insight helps you determine a being's true intentions.

Best Wizard subclass

The best Wizard subclass is the Evocation School, which enhances your cantrips and most of your damage-based spells as you level up. Most of Baldur's Gate 3's heaviest-hitting spells are of the Evocation variety, so it's worth focusing on this school to maximise your Wizard's damage potential. Choosing the Evocation School at level 2 will also give you access to Sculpt Spells, a great ability that keeps you from harming allies with your magic.

Best Wizard spells and cantrips

As a Wizard, you will initially gain three cantrips, which are spells that do not take up a spell slot, plus a list of prepared spells. Keep in mind that you can switch out your prepared spells regularly - our list of cantrips and spells below offers recommendations as to which you'll want to equip most often, though it's important to remember you can switch these out at any time to conform to specific situations.

Best Wizard cantrips

The best Wizard cantrips are Fireball, Poison Spray, Mage Hand, and Minor Illusion. This is a solid damage-dealing and utility mix that'll work in a wide variety of scenarios.

Best Wizard spells

Note that in Baldur's Gate 3, spell levels do not conform to character levels. Instead, spell levels typically increase every other character level.

These are the best Wizard spells by spell level:

Level 1: Burning Hands, Magic Missle, Mage armour, Shield

Level 2: Scorching Ray, Misty Step

Level 3: Fireball, Haste, Counterspell

Level 4: Greater Invisibility

Level 5: Cone of Cold

Level 6: Chain Lightning

All of the damage spells listed here enhance your power as an Evocation Wizard, while protection and evasion spells such as Mage Armour, Shield, Counterspell, Misty Step, and Greater Invisibility can prevent you from taking damage. Don't neglect these spells, as the Wizard class has no inherent armour proficiency and can be a bit squishy.

Best Wizard feats

Wizard can choose feats at levels 4, 8, and 12. The best Wizard feats are:

  • Level 4: War Caster
  • Level 8: Resilient
  • Level 12: Tough

War Caster gives advantage on saving throws to maintain concentration when taking damage. Resilient increases an ability score by +1, and we suggest adding this to Constitution to increase your proficiency bonus so you are likelier to succeed on saving throws when enemies try to break your concentration. Tough is also useful for granting two extra HP per level for a total of +26 at level 12.

That's everything you need to know about developing the best Baldur's Gate 3 Wizard build. As you progress through the game, you may also want to check out our guides to multiclassing and to romancing your favorite Baldur's Gate 3 companions. If you're unhappy with any of your characters, check out our guide on how to respec, and choose a new setup from our best builds guide to help you through the game.

Disclosure: Former RPS deputy editor Adam Smith (RPS in peace) now works at Larian and is the lead writer for Baldur's Gate 3. Former contributor Emily Gera also works on it.

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