Baldur’s Gate 3 gives players an incredible array of magic to experiment with through its extensive spell list. Every class has access to dozens of spell options at each level, which can be overwhelming when trying to decide what to learn as you level up your characters.
In this guide, we’ll countdown the 10 outright most powerful and useful spells that you need to be using in Baldur’s Gate 3. These are surefire picks that will provide major benefits in any party. We’ll also discuss what makes each spell so strong and how you can utilize them effectively.
What Makes a Spell Powerful in Baldur’s Gate 3?
With the enormous selection of spells in BG3, how do you identify which options are most worth your precious slots and preparations? When rating the strongest Baldur’s Gate 3 spells, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:
- Damage Potential – Spells that can deal high damage, especially wide AOE damage, are very valuable in combat. Being able to wipe out groups of clustered enemies quickly can completely swing a challenging fight. Prioritizing damage spells helps you dominate battles.
- Crowd Control – Spells that can immobilize, paralyze, stun or otherwise incapacitate enemies are extremely powerful. Removing an enemy from the action economy for even 1-2 turns by disabling them can be far more impactful than simply damaging them. CC wins fights.
- Buffs/Debuffs – Spells that make your party stronger (like boosting accuracy or AC) or weaken your enemies (lowering their saves or attack rolls) can completely shift the course of a battle in your favor. Targeted enhancements give you a potent edge.
- Versatility – Spells that have multiple creative uses, both in and out of combat, provide more value as preparations since they can serve more situations. Flexible, open-ended spells that lend themselves to improvisation are ideal.
- Consistency – Spells that always work, and don’t rely on dicey saving throws or attack rolls, are much more consistently powerful. Removing the RNG and guaranteeing their full effect makes them more attractive than similar spells.
- Concentration – Since concentration is limited, spells that benefit from sustained duration and concentration provide more lasting impact per spell slot used. Concentration spells must be exceptionally good to warrant the slot investment.
Keeping these factors in mind, let’s dive into the list!
10. Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast
While technically not a spell but a cantrip, Eldritch Blast has earned its place among the most potent abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3. This infinitely spammable cantrip forms the core of a Warlock’s sustained damage potential.
On its own, Eldritch Blast deals a solid 1d10 Force damage to a single target. Useful, but nothing exceptional for a cantrip. However, once you pick up the Agonizing Blast invocation at Warlock level 2, it supercharges Eldritch Blast into one of the hardest hitting cantrips in the game.
Agonizing Blast adds your Charisma modifier to the damage of each Eldritch Blast beam. With a +3 Charisma, for example, you would deal 1d10+3 damage with each beam, dramatically increasing your DPR (damage per round). Because it scales with your Charisma, it remains highly competitive even at higher levels.
Warlocks also gain access to useful invocations like Repelling Blast that can push targets hit by your Eldritch Blasts up to 10 feet away from you. This adds battlefield control to your damage, allowing you to force melee enemies to waste actions reaching you each turn.
Between its excellent damage scaling and flexible targeting/repositioning, a properly built Eldritch Blast should be one of the centerpieces of any Warlock’s repertoire. It’s the king of cantrips.
9. Spiritual Weapon
Available to Clerics at 2nd level, Spiritual Weapon stands out as one of the best spells in the game relative to its low spell slot requirement. As a bonus action, you summon a spectral weapon that independently makes attacks each round – no action required on your part.
Having an extra ally on the battlefield – even an inanimate one – provides additional damage every turn without using any of your action economy. The summoned weapon also serves as an extra target that soaks up enemy attacks. Enemies attacking your Spiritual Weapon means fewer attacks targeting your party.
With a 1 minute duration, you’ll generally gain a full 10 rounds of bonus action attacks from Spiritual Weapon per 2nd level slot spent. That outstanding value makes it a phenomenal spell to concentrate on. It combines damage over time with action economy and battlefield control.
Few spells in D&D lore carry as much raw destructive power as the iconic Fireball. This staple AOE damage spell has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the most devastating 3rd level spells in Baldur’s Gate 3.
A standard Fireball deals a whopping 8d6 fire damage in a 20ft radius burst, with a dexterity save to halve damage. Few other spells can match that level of potential damage in such a large area. Clustered groups of enemies melt under a well-placed Fireball.
As a wizard, you can upcast Fireball using higher level slots to add a breathtaking 1d6 per slot level above 3rd. A mighty Overchanneled Fireball cast using a 5th level slot would deal a hellish 10d6 fire damage!
When you absolutely, positively need to annihilate a room full of enemies, accept no substitutes – bring the heat with Fireball.
Polymorph demonstrates the incredible utility of control spells in Baldur’s Gate 3. This 4th level Transmutation spell transforms a creature into a harmless beast of your choice for up to 1 hour, provided you maintain concentration.
Turning an enemy into a sheep or bunny instantly removes them as a threat. They lose access to all special abilities, attacks, and even magic resistance and legendary saves! Polymorphed creatures have the statistics of their new form.
Simply polymorphing a major enemy and dropping them off a cliff or bashing them as a slug can be a cheesy but effective instant kill. More impactfully, you can neutralize the biggest threat in a fight for 1-2 rounds while you deal with their minions. By the time Polymorph ends, a challenging fight becomes trivial mop-up duty.
Creative casters can also polymorph their own allies, turning a squishy wizard into a beefy mammoth or giant ape to wreak havoc. The flexibility and sheer potency of this control spell earns it a top spot.
6. Hypnotic Pattern
Hypnotic Pattern is an outstanding 3rd level control spell on the enchantment school. It creates a scintillating pattern of light that hypnotizes anyone in a 30ft cube who fails their wisdom save, incapacitating them.
Incapacitated creatures are effectively stunned – they cannot take actions or reactions. At higher levels, Hypnotic Pattern can disable entire groups of packed enemies in a single cast with no concentration required.
Rendering a cluster of foes harmless without requiring concentration frees you up to concentrate on other potent spells like Spirit Guardians. Weaving Hypnotic Pattern into your disabling spell rotation can completely shut down difficult fights.
Any wizard’s spellbook feels incomplete without the signature Counterspell. This critical 3rd level abjuration spell allows you to interrupt and cancel an enemy spellcaster as they attempt to unleash a spell.
Knowing when and where to apply Counterspell is an art that can nullify even deadly high level spells. Baldur’s Gate 3 makes educated Counterspelling easier by telling you which spell is being cast before committing your reaction to counter it.
Landing a key Counterspell against a devastating AOE or control spell can instantly reduce a deadly encounter to easy mode. Disabling enemy casters by repeatedly Counterspelling their attempts gives your party an enormous advantage. It’s a must-have arrow in any serious spellcaster’s quiver.
4. Summon Greater Demon/Elemental
Few abilities provide as much raw, efficient power as summoning spells like Summon Greater Demon and Summon Elemental. For the cost of one 4th and 5th level slot respectively, you gain a powerful demon or elemental ally on the battlefield for 1 hour.
These summoned creatures have formidable HP pools and high damage potential on their own multi-attack actions. Simply having an extra damage-dealer on your side drastically alters the action economy of fights in your favor. Enemies have to chew through their huge HP before focusing fire on your party.
Demons can also apply useful debuff effects like knocking targets prone. Elementals bring added utility like firewalls. And because summoning spells don’t require concentration, you remain free to concentrate on powerful spells like Polymorph or Hypnotic Pattern simultaneously.
Summoning spells provide phenomenal battlefield impact for a single non-concentration spell slot. They’re hugely action-efficient spells.
3. Spirit Guardians
Clerics gain access to the mighty Spirit Guardians spell at 5th level. For up to 10 minutes, you’re surrounded by spectral protectors that damage any creature within 15ft that ends its turn there. This grants you a potent damage aura.
As a wisdom save concentration spell, Spirit Guardians pumps out consistent AOE damage each round without requiring any action from you. Creatures that fail their initial save will likely take the full 3d8 radiant damage per turn. That adds up fast!
You can also maximize damage potential by carefully moving enemies in and out of the zone with control spells. Coupled with Spiritual Weapon, Spirit Guardians can turn a Cleric into a holy lawnmower chewing through enemies.
It’s easy to overlook 1st level spells, but one of the most impactful spells in all of Baldur’s Gate 3 is the humble Bless. Available at level 1, this concentration buff spell grants attack roll and saving throw bonuses to up to 3 targets.
In a dice-driven RPG, increasing your chances of landing attacks and succeeding on saves provides an absolutely massive benefit over time. Advantage mechanics double your chance of success, and Bless provides a similar accuracy boost.
Because the 1d4 bonus applies to entire attack and spell action rolls, rather than just one beam/attack, it scales excellently as you gain Extra Attack and make more d20 rolls each turn. Keeping Bless up boosts your party’s offensive and defensive prowess considerably. It’s a must-have arrow in any Cleric’s quiver.
Claiming the title of most powerful spell in Baldur’s Gate 3 is the phenomenal Haste. Available to wizards and sorcerers at 3rd level, this concentration transmutation buff doubles a target’s speed, grants +2 AC, advantage on dexterity saves, and most importantly, an extra action each turn.
Granting a fighter or barbarian an entire extra action means they can use both the Attack action and Bonus action for more damage. A Rogue with Cunning Action can aim, shoot, and hide each round. Casters can cast an extra spell. The benefit is staggering.
Sorcerers can share the love by using Twinned Spell to Haste two allies simultaneously. Two Hasted melee allies can unleash a devastating four attacks per round between them. Even non-concentration buffs like Bless simply can’t compare to the raw power of the extra action economy granted by Haste.
Smart use of Haste wins fights. It can turn a challenging boss into a cakewalk by doubling your party’s actions for 10 full rounds. Prioritize it!
Of course, no top 10 list can cover all of the incredible and versatile spells in Baldur’s Gate 3. Here are just a few excellent honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut, but which still deserve a spot in your spellbook:
- Misty Step – This level 2 bonus action teleport offers unmatched mobility and repositioning. Mages and rogues can use it to easily disengage or reach priority targets. It allows crossing gaps or escaping grapples, and combos with Spirit Guardians by teleporting enemies into the damage zone. Truly an incredible mobility spell.
- Mirror Image – Avoiding damage completely is far better than resisting it. Mirror Image provides 3 decoys that enemies must chew through before they can touch you. Excellent for mages and any character trying to avoid direct damage.
- Disintegrate – One of the highest damaging single-target “delete button” spells in the game, though the dexterity save is less reliable than Magic Missile. Upcasting to increase damage is devastating.
- Greater Invisibility – Keeping rogues, rangers and melee allies invisible for sustained advantage, automatic sneak attack, and improved defense is outstanding. Removes the action tax of casting Invisibility repeatedly.
- Dimension Door – The ability to teleport your entire party together 500 feet to any location completely changes battlefield positioning. Extricate allies from danger or move them exactly where you need to for maximum damage.
Understanding which spells provide the most benefit relative to their spell slot cost and concentration is absolutely vital in mastering Baldur’s Gate 3’s challenging combat encounters, especially at higher difficulties.
Learning to weave the phenomenally powerful effects like extra actions, stuns, and battlefield control offered by spells like Haste, Hypnotic Pattern, and Polymorph will give you a dominant advantage against deadly enemies.
While this list covers our picks for the outright top 10 most potent magics, the creative potential of spells in BG3 is nearly endless. Let us know in the comments if we’ve overlooked any other spells you think deserve special recognition among the most impactful picks in your arsenal! There are so many amazingly fun wizardry tools to experiment with.
But for starting your journey off on the right foot, memorizing these 10 spells will offer you a fantastically well-rounded repertoire of damage, buffs, debuffs, control, and utility to overcome any challenge Faerûn throws your way. Now get out there and start unleashing some magical whoopass!