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Eldritch Knight Character Build (Tips, Tricks, & Strategies)

Eldritch Knights are one of the most versatile subclasses in all of Baldur’s Gate 3. The primary class is Fighter, which is dedicated to mastering various weapons. But, the Eldritch Knight mixes in some limited spell knowledge allowing for extra protection, destruction, or utility outside combat.



Githyanki companion Lae’zel is already a Fighter and joins earlier enough to build her into a great Eldritch Knight. However, you may also want to use this build on other characters. This can even include training hirelings you have recruited from Withers.

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Combat Strategy and Character Creation

As a subclass of Fighter, Eldritch Knights are proficient with all Martial Weapons in Baldur’s Gate 3. This includes both melee weapons and ranged options. Even if you focus on only one of those, it is a good measure to still equip both weapon types. This will slightly change the overall build, as primary archers will be taking less direct damage and do not need to focus as much on survivability.

Ability Scores

The main ability score for Fighters is either Strength or Dexterity, depending on the weapon type. The other shouldn’t be outright “dumped” – lowered to a minimum – but can typically stay around 12 or less. As an Eldritch Knight, you will use Intelligence to make both Spell Attacks and improve the difficulty of the Saving Throw enemies must pass. Constitution is used both to withstand hits and keep Concentration on ongoing spells.

Ability

Score

Notes

Strength

16 (12 if focusing on ranged attacks)

Strength determines and accuracy and damage output of strong melee weapons.

Dexterity

12 (16 if focusing on melee attacks)

Dexterity governs the chance to hit and damage of ranged weapons. Also improves Initiative at the start of combat.

Constitution

14

Improves base hitpoints and helps maintain Spell when suffering damage. Many enemy spells also have a Constitution Saving Throw.

Intelligence

15

Your Spell-casting stat that improves the accuracy of magic.

Wisdom

10

A common Saving Throw type. Otherwise, only used on certain Skills.

Charisma

8

Used only on certain Skills, many of which Fighters do not favor.

Racial Features

The majority of Racial features have only a small impact on an Eldritch Knight. Selecting High Elf or High Half-Elf as your race in Baldur’s Gate 3 will grant a bonus Cantrip. This also uses Intelligence as the casting stat, giving you access to magic before the third level. Bone Chill, Ray of Frost, and Fire Bolt are all good damage options.

Half-Orcs are also impressive melee fighters. Relentless Endurance allows you to survive deadly attacks with one hitpoint remaining. Savage Attacks also lets them deal extra damage dice when scoring a critical hit. Consider Half-Orc if you want an even more powerful combatant, but don’t mind delaying magic prowess.

Background and Skills

There are 11 Backgrounds to choose from which can slightly change dialogue options and determine how the whole party earns Inspiration dice. However, you may also want to consider a Background purely for the Skills it adds to an Eldritch Knight’s repertoire. Good options are Sage for Arcana and History, or Outlander for Athletics and Survival.

Note: Aside from the four previously mentioned skills, also pick up Perception and Acrobatics. This can be as basic Fighter Skills, from considering another Background, or other in-game choices.

Level Up Choices

Gith enemies prefer the Eldritch Knight subclass in Baldurs Gate 3

While the Fighter fundamentals are gained at first level, more choices must be made on future level-ups in Baldur’s Gate 3. After all, you can’t even select the Eldritch Knight subclass until third level. Starting at second level, you should pick a Fighting Style befitting of your main weapon. This is typically either Great Weapon Fighting or Archery. But, Defense and Dueling are also worth taking if you prefer one-handed weapons.

Feats and Ability Score Improvements

Fighters gain Feats at levels 4th, 6th, 8th, and 12th. This is more often than any other class in Baldur’s Gate 3. You will primarily want to take Ability Score Improvement to raise Strength or Dexterity to 20, and Intelligence to 16. However, this does not stack with equipment and other bonuses.

If you are already hitting the mentioned Ability Score maximum, take actual Feats instead. Great Weapon Master and Sentinel are optimal for melee builds. Spell Sniper will award another bonus Cantrip that uses Intelligence. Resilient is also good for improving Saving Throws, while still improving an Ability Score by one point.

Spell Selection

Eldritch Knights use magic as if they were a Wizard class. Their spell progression is among the slowest of all classes, receiving only seven Spell Slots by level 12. In total, they will learn three base Cantrips and eight Spells of either first or second level. They will need to rest often to recover these spells, or can easily fall back on their weapon focus.

Spell Level

Recommended Choices

Cantrip

Bone Chill, Shocking Grasp, Blade Ward, Friends (if the main character, only)

First

Magic Missile, Shield, Protection from Evil and Good, False Life, Longstrider

Second

Blur, Cloud of Daggers, Melf’s Acid Arrow, Scorching Ray

Multiclass Consideration

The strongest Fighters are those that take all 12 levels in one class. However, multiclass combinations offer more versatility. Taking this short “dip” into another class can give the Eldritch Knight more freedom in combat, or while exploring. Wizard is by far the most fitting to expand magic use.

At first level, the Wizard will grant the Eldritch Knight Ritual Casting – certain spells with the Ritual tag will not consume Spell Slots when used out of combat. They also learn Arcane Recovery, which can restore used Spell Slots. At second level, they can pick a school subclass. Arcane Ward from Abjuration can prevent damage. Portent from Divination allows you to change rolled d20s as a reaction.

Regardless of your overall choices, any Eldritch Knight will remain a consistent source of damage and tanking in any Baldur’s Gate 3 team. Always treat them as martial experts first, and mainly rely on magic for buffing and gaining a tactical advantage. Still, all characters will eventually need to rest. When an Eldritch Knight does so, they will be even more frightening upon returning to the battlefield.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Released
August 31, 2023

Developer(s)
Larian Studios

Publisher(s)
Larian Studios

ESRB
M

How Long To Beat
50 – 100 hours

Prequel
Baldur’s Gate 2

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