Baldur's Gate 3Paladin

Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin and Subclasses (Overview Guide)

Everything You Should Know About the Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin and its Subclasses

In Baldur’s Gate 3, Paladins are traditionally seen as the Holy Warriors that stand as a beacon of light and virtue amongst a world plagued by darkness.

As a Paladin you will combine divine magic with martial skills to aid your allies and smite your foes with righteous fury.

Whether you act as a shield for your allies or deliver divine retribution to your enemies, the Paladin’s path is one of honor and commitment to the greater good.

However, there are multiple paths that a Paladin can choose, with some being darker than others.

In this BG3 Paladin overview, we’ll be covering the pros and cons of the class along with the perks of each of its subclasses.

Find out where the Paladin ranks in our Baldur’s Gate 3 class tier list.

Pros and Cons

paladin icon


  • One of the best ‘faces’ to a party as they have access to high defensive abilities and Charisma as a main ability score allows you to often problem solve without altercation.
  • Paladins have proficiency with most weapons and all armor types, therefore they are extremely versatile when unsure of your desired playstyle, so long as you want to be in melee range.
  • Great single target melee damage versatility with several smite options.


  • While Paladins excel at single target damage, this comes at a cost in access to AOE damage. You can help offset this with spell scrolls and throwing bottles or flasks to deal some AOE damage.
  • Furthermore, Paladins are considered a half-caster which means they have limited access to spells. If you are looking for specific spells, you may not have access to them as a Paladin.
  • While there are healing options provided to the class, Paladins are not primary healers and lack the necessary buff options to be considered a full support class.

devotion paladin splash

BG3 Paladin Mechanics

Paladins align themselves with their sacred oath and must follow the guidelines of their oath in everything they do. Your oath grants you your powers and is ultimately your identity.

Failure to carry out the aspect of your oath may result in breaking it. Breaking your oath will summon the Oathbreaker Knight and define you as an Oathbreaker Paladin.

Killing a non-aggressive creature or refusing to help someone who is in obvious need of aid are examples of decisions that could result in breaking your oath.

Channel Oath, Divine Sense, Lay on Hands & Spellcasting

As a Paladin, you receive several class features and core abilities that align with your chosen Oath. We’ll cover the various Oath options later on, but it is important to understand the applications of these class features and the methods used to maximize the impact you bring to the game as a Paladin.

Your channel oath abilities are provided at level one and again at level 3. These abilities require charges to cast and the charges reset on either a short or a long rest. For this reason, you will want to utilize your channel oath abilities often as they typically provide support to your allies or additional damage to your foes.

channel oath charges

The total number of channel oath charges does not increase as you continue to level up, so by level 3 you have the full power of your channel oath abilities, which provides you with some serious early game impact!

Divine Sense

Divine Sense is a classic ability for a Paladin and provides you with advantage when attacking certain creatures within Baldur’s Gate 3. Paladins are commonly referred to as Holy Warriors and their Divine Sense ability provides brief advantage when attacking celestials, fiends and undead targets.

divine sense

Despite being thematic to the Paladin class, Divine Sense is a great ability for increasing the likelihood that you will land a crucial hit against your enemies, so long as they fall under the correct category of creature.

Lay on Hands

Lay on Hands is another key Paladin ability and provides you the option to heal a creature you can touch with your blessed hands. Similarly to your channel oath charges, you will have Lay on Hands charges however these only reset on a Long Rest.

lay on hands

As you progress, you will receive expanded charges as well as an expanded total amount of healing each charge can provide. With your Lay on Hands ability, you can extend the time between rests, and save some potions, by providing light healing to your allies and perhaps those you come across in your journey through Baldur’s Gate 3.

Charisma Casting

The power of a Paladin is derived from your strength to the conviction of your sacred oath, and for this reason, your spellcasting ability is Charisma. While you are primarily a martial fighter, you will have access to many powerful spells, some of which are unique exclusively to the Paladin, and they scale based on your Charisma modifier.

Your sacred oath will provide additional spells correlating to the convictions of the particular oath, however, the general summary of the Paladin’s spell list contains several buff and healing spells as well as Smites. Smites provide additional damage when you attack an enemy with a melee hit.

You’ll have several opportunities to leverage your Smites and they’re versatile in applying additional bonus damage types beyond the standard bludgeoning, piercing or slashing. Determine what your foe is weak to, and add the corresponding smite to your melee attack, and watch the enemies crumble under your strength!

The Paladin’s Party Role

In Combat

As a Paladin, you’ll most likely be talking your way into battle, face-to-face with the boss of the fight or at least the main target from the enemy’s perspective. You should have medium or heavy armor and might be utilizing abilities to increase your AC, so the likelihood of taking serious damage is somewhat diminished while your foes attack.

On your turn, you should determine the priority; Take a swing at the main foe or help an ally with a support ability. Both are good options, but be aware of how the positioning on the battlefield is evolving as smarter enemies may look directly past you and target other, weaker, members of your party.

Make sure to utilize the optimal smite ability when you do land hits against your foes. Your smite abilities are additive and the spell slots are only consumed if you successfully land your attack.

minthara closeup

Out of Combat

As mentioned before, the Paladin’s spellcasting ability score is Charisma, allowing you to be a great “face” of the party. You will naturally be better at the following skill checks because of your high Charisma:

  • Deception
  • Intimidation
  • Performance
  • Persuasion

Another consideration for Baldur’s Gate 3 is being the ‘mule’ or the individual character who will pick up all the items and do some sort of item management. Since the Paladin is a martial class, you are likely going to put some points into the Strength ability score to increase the likelihood of successfully landing your melee attacks.

This results in additional benefits from Athletic checks, but also provides your Paladin with a higher carrying capacity than your other party members.

Remember that you are tied to your sacred oath in everything you do. This includes actions both in and out of combat, so consider all of the consequences when making dialogue decisions and how you choose to interact with the environment as you’re progressing through Baldur’s Gate 3.

Paladin Subclasses

During character creation, you choose your Sacred Oath, which serves as a guide for your Paladin’s interactions with everything in Baldur’s Gate 3. Each Sacred Oath offers slightly different abilities and spells as you level up, but they are all related to the core ideology behind the oath. There are three Sacred Oaths to choose from in Baldur’s Gate 3, and one option if you happen to break your oath:

Here’s a breakdown of each of the Sacred Oaths for a Paladin and their playstyles!

Oath of the Ancients

ancients paladin

Oath of the Ancients Paladins are deeply connected with the light within the natural world around them. They fight against darkness throughout Faerun and work to preserve life and the beauty of nature. The full text of the Oath of the Vengeance, scribed on your starting armor, can be read below:

If you select this Sacred Oath, you will receive the following abilities:

Level Feature Description

Healing Radiance

  • You may channel your oath to heal nearby allies.

Nature’s Wrath

  • You may channel your oath to root an enemy in place.

Turn the Faithless

  • You may channel your oath to force fey and fiends to flee from you.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Ensnaring Strike
    • Your attack summons thorny vines, dealing Weapon Damage and possibly Ensnaring your target.
    • Ensnared creatures cannot move and take 1d6 Piercing damage at the start of each turn. An ally can use their Help Action to try and tear away the vines.
  • Speak with Animals
    • Gain the ability to comprehend and communicate with beasts.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Misty Step
    • Surrounded by silver mist, you teleport to an unoccupied space you can see.
  • Moonbeam
    • Call down a silvery beam of pale light that deals 2d10 Radiant damage to any creatures that enters it or starts its turn in the light.
    • You can use an Action to move the beam Range Icon.png 18 m / 60 ft. On a successful Constitution Saving Throw, targets still take half damage.

Aura of Warding

  • You may channel your oath to protect allies from damaging spells.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Plant Growth
    • Make weeds burst from the ground and smother the area. Creatures moving through the weeds have their Movement Speed quartered.
  • Protection from Energy
    • Touch a creature to grant it Resistance to Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, or Thunder damage.

Oath of Devotion

devotion paladin

Oath of Devotion Paladins are the ideal Holy Warrior. A knight in shining armor sent to aid the weak, protect the right & true all while defeating fiends and undead. Your oath requires you to act with honor and virtue in all that you do. You must work for the greater good. The full text of the Oath of the Devotion, scribed on your starting armor, can be read below:

If you select this Sacred Oath, you will receive the following abilities:

Level Feature Description

Holy Rebuke

  • You may channel your oath to provide a vengeful aura around a nearby ally.

Sacred Weapon

  • You may channel your oath to buff a weapon with your positive energy, increasing damage dealt.

Turn the Unholy

  • You may channel your oath to force fiends and undead to flee from you.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Protection from Evil and Good
    • Protect an ally against the attacks and powers of Aberrations, Celestials, Elementals, Fey, Fiends, and Undead.
    • The targets can’t be Charmed, Frightened, or Possessed by them, and when these creatures attack it, they have Disadvantage.
  • Sanctuary
    • You or an ally cannot be targeted until you attack or harm a creature. You can still take damage from area spells.
    • Until the affected entity attacks or harms another creature, it cannot be targeted by enemy attacks. However, it can still take damage from spells that influence a larger area.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Lesser Restoration
    • Cure a creature from Disease, Poison, Paralysis, or Blindness.
  • Silence
    • Create a sound-proof sphere. All within are Silenced and Immune to Damage Types Thunder damage.

Aura of Devotion

  • You may channel your oath to protect allies from being charmed.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Beacon of Hope
    • Your allies will regain the maximum Hit Points possible when healed. They also gain Advantage on Wisdom Saving Throws and Death Saving Throws.
  • Remove Curse
    • Touch a creature or object to remove all Curses and Hexes affecting it.

Oath of Vengeance

vengeance paladin

Oath of Vengeance Paladins are fighting for justice, even if it costs you your purity. Always fight against the greatest evil and do so mercilessly. Eliminate the villains you cross with your might. Your oath requires you to deliver justice to those who have committed the most serious of crimes, as the wicked should always pay for their sins. The full text of the Oath of the Vengeance, scribed on your starting armor, can be read below:

If you select this Sacred Oath, you will receive the following abilities:

Level Feature Description

Inquisitor’s Might

  • You may channel your oath to provide an ally with additional radiant damage.

Abjure Enemy

  • You may channel your oath to frighten an enemy.

Vow of Enmity

  • You may channel your oath to gain advantage on attack rolls against an enemy.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Bane
  • Hunter’s Mark

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Hold Person
    Misty Step

Relentless Avenger

  • When you hit an enemy with your Opportunity Attack, gain additional movement speed on your next turn.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Haste
    Protection from Energy

Oathbreaker (transitioned to)

oathbreaker splash

Well well well… You broke your sacred oath, presumably due to your pursuit of unbridled power, or perhaps the tenants of your oath no longer guide you. Fear not, Oathbreaker, as now darkness provides you power.

Unlike the other Sacred Oaths, the Oathbreaker Paladin subclass is only available to those Paladins who have broken their oath, in doing so they lose the previous subclass features and gain new ones. These new features align more closely with dark and evil influence, so if you wish to role-play as an evil Paladin, this may be a direction you choose. In the event you wish to reclaim your previous sacred oath, you can talk with the Oathbreaker Knight in your camp, who will guide you through the process.

If you select this Sacred Oath, you will receive the following abilities:

Level Feature Description

Spiteful Suffering

  • You may activate this ability to engulf your foes in darkness causing necrotic damage and leaving them vulnerable to attacks.

Control Undead

  • You may activate this ability to control an undead creature.

Dreadful Aspect

  • You may activate this ability to channel your dark emotions, frightening nearby enemies.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Hellish Rebuke
    • React to your next attacker with flames that deal 2d10Damage TypesFire damage.
    • On Save: Target still takes half damage.
  • Inflict Wounds
    • Putrefy a creature with Damage Types Necrotic energy filling your hands.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Crown of Madness
    • Instill madness in a humanoid enemy, making them attack the creature closest to them (other than you), even if it’s allied.
  • Darkness
    • Create a cloud of magical darkness that Heavily Obscures and Blinds creatures within. Creatures cannot make ranged attacks into or out of it.

Aura of Hate

  • You may activate this ability to provide allied fiends and undead with additional damage when attacking with a melee weapon.

Oath Spells (Always Prepared)

  • Animate Dead
    • Animate a corpse to create an undead servant while not in combat.
    • The target must be a medium or small corpse.
  • Bestow Curse
    • Curse a creature with your touch. The curse either bestows Disadvantage on Checks and Saving Throws, Disadvantage on Attack Rolls, lets you deal additional damage to the target, or robs it of its Actions.

So, which Sacred Oath should you choose?

If you’re looking for the classic Paladin experience, you should consider the Oath of Devotion Subclass. The Oath of Devotion subclass will provide you with all the features and abilities you may associate with a Paladin, or a Knight, in other forms of media. Heal and protect your allies while smiting your foes to oblivion.

On the other hand, if protecting nature and all its beauty aligns closer with your character’s story, then you should choose the Oath of the Ancients subclass for your Paladin. Your abilities will help you connect to the world around you and your oath revolves around preserving life in its most beautiful form.

When the fight for justice is your ultimate cause, the Oath of Vengeance is the subclass for you. Destroy evil across the land as the judge, jury, and executioner. You’ll find several criminal masterminds throughout your journey in Baldur’s Gate 3, and you can be the force to contest each one.

Lastly, if you’re considering a darker, perhaps evil, path for your Paladin then the Oathbreaker subclass is the ideal choice. Your abilities will grow in power as you combat and vanquish fiends and foes across Faerun. Tap deep into your evil side and unlock the full power of a Paladin with a broken oath.


The Baldur’s Gate 3 Paladin class is one of the highest recommended classes because the abilities and features are impactful at all levels.

They have access to several Smite variants, each of which can provide the optimal damage type given your foes’ vulnerabilities. Additionally, they’re a Charisma-based class which makes them great for dialogue, and with access to several defensive abilities and features, Paladins make for one of the best Tanks in the game. So the only question for you is – which specific subclass fits with your preferred gameplay style?