Baldur's Gate 3Rogue

Rogue (Assassin) Build Guide for Baldur’s Gate 3

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BG3 Assassin Rogue Build and Guide

In Baldur’s Gate 3, Assassin Rogues are best known for their ability to remain hidden in plain sight and their capacity to deal massive amounts of damage in one turn.

Assassin Rogues are no exception to this rule. Boasting Stealth and Sleight-of Hand Proficiencies, they not only have good exploration utility, but also the capability to provide your team with staggering single-target damage.

Striking from the shadows, Assassin Rogues have the means to end most fights before they even begin.

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

To learn how to play the Rogue Thief, check our guide.

Pros and Cons


  • Very high single-target damage
  • Quickly get Advantage for attacks and massive damage crits on enemies
  • Great out-of-combat utility with access to Lockpicking and Pickpocketing
  • Easy to multi-class


  • Lack of spells and spell-casting
  • Low defense
  • Doesn’t get extra Bonus Actions
  • Lower damage after the first turn

Assassin Rogues are an extremely satisfying class to play due to their high damage output and first-turn Advantage. Being able to easily pick off enemies out-of-combat, and get their Actions and Bonus Actions refreshed at the start of battle, you’re able to ambush and kill any enemy that crosses your path easily. They also have great utility with their ability to lockpick and pickpocket easily.

sleight of hand rollProblems with Assassin Rogues begin with their lack of spellcasting and extra Bonus Actions, extending into their fragility, and their reliance on their first turn. Unlike Arcane Trickster or Thief, Assassin Rogues do not get any spells or extra Bonus Actions as they level up.

Unless you have a race-provided Cantrip such as Firebolt, your Rogue will not have access to any spells. Because of this, it’s best to keep consumable items, such as poison and elemental arrows, on hand so you can have some sort of AoE or status-effect ability.

Rogues can be fragile since they’re only Proficient in light armor, so having high Dexterity is important since it increases the damage of your Finesse attacks and your Armor Class (AC).

Lastly, any actions specific to the Assassin Rogue sub-class all revolve around making the most out of your first action. Because of this, you’re forced to pick off enemies out-of-combat without the rest of your party blowing your cover. If you don’t enjoy this playstyle then you won’t like this sub-class.


The best races for Assassin Rogues are any that give Proficiencies in Stealth or Stealth Checks with their traits.

Recommended races & their traits

  • Wood Elves/Wood Half-Elves: Fleet of Foot & Darkvision
  • Lightfoot Halflings: Naturally Stealthy
  • Deep Gnomes: Stone Camouflage & Darkvision

I recommend Wood Elves/Wood Half-Elves, since Fleet of Foot gives you a 10.5 m base movement speed, and you get Darkvision which allows you to gain Advantage on enemies easier since you’ll be able to see them even in low lighting.

fleet of foot


assassin rogue ability points

Your highest Ability Scores should be Dexterity and Constitution. Dexterity is needed for doing more damage with Finesse (weapons scale with your Dexterity instead of Strength if your Dexterity is higher) and AC.

Constitution will increase your HP, making you less of a liability if caught out. These two stats should have between 14 and 17 Ability Points. How you allocate the rest of your Ability Points is up to personal preference, but I like putting them into Wisdom and Charisma.

This allows for good synergy with backgrounds that provide Charisma skills, such as Charlatan or Criminal. Your “dump stat” should be Intelligence since Assassin Rogues don’t have any attacks or abilities that are modified by Intelligence. You should have a +2 in Dexterity, and +1 in Constitution.

Backgrounds and Proficiencies

Rogues also have access to Expertise. Expertise is a class ability that allows you to double your Proficiency Bonus on a skill. I recommend choosing Stealth and Sleight of Hand as your Skills with Expertise so that Lockpicking, Disarming, and Sneaking are easier.

Recommended Backgrounds:

  • Charlatan: Sleight of Hand and Deception
  • Criminal: Deception and Stealth
  • Urchin: Sleight of Hand and Stealth

assassin rogue skills

Level 1

At Level 1, your only Rogue Class Action is going to be Sneak Attack. This is one of the main abilities you’ll be using as an Assassin Rogue throughout your playthrough. In order to use this ability, you need to have an Advantage on an enemy, or be within 1.5m of your target and not have a Disadvantage. The best way to gain an Advantage is to hit them while in Stealth, unseen, or from high ground. Once you reach level three, however, Assassin Rogues gain an Advantage on attacks against enemies who haven’t had their turn yet.

Beginning a battle in Stealth is a really simple way to gain an early Advantage as you will Surprise your enemies. Assassin Rogues turn any successful Attack Roll against a Surprised creature into a Critical Hit, making this an important mechanic to keep in mind.

If you hit Left Shift on your keyboard, anything highlighted in red is the area that enemies have vision of, and you will need to pass a Stealth check in order to stay hidden. Anything not in red is not seen, and you will be able to sneak around freely.

How difficult it is to remain hidden is dependent on whether your enemies have Darkvision and the surrounding environment. For example, if you’re in a heavily shaded area, you will be harder to spot.

Sneak Attack is capable of dealing a massive amount of damage as long as the prerequisites are met.

melee sneak attack

There are ranged and melee Sneak Attacks, and throughout your game, expect to be using them very often.

Level 2

At Level 2, you’ll gain access to Cunning Actions. Cunning Actions include Disengage, Dash, and Hide. Cunning Action allows all of these Actions to be Bonus Actions, instead of Actions. Because of this, your Rogue will gain the ability to attack an enemy and then Dash away.

cunning action hide

While you don’t gain multiple Bonus Actions like Thief Rogues, this is still an incredibly useful ability to have in terms of survivability and damage. While playing as Astarion, Bite can be used as a Bonus Action to regenerate health.

Level 3

Once you reach Level 3, you’ll be able to choose Assassin as your sub-class and gain access to new Actions. These Sub-Class Actions include Assassinate: Initiative, Ambush, and Alacrity.

assassinate initiative

  • Assassinate – Initiative: While in combat, you have an Advantage on Attack Rolls against creatures that haven‘t taken a turn yet. Since you’ll almost always attack first or early in combat, you’ll be able to Sneak Attack most enemies extremely easily.
  • Assassinate – Ambush: Any successful Attack Roll against a Surprised creature is a Critical Hit. This passive has no cooldown and can allow for an insane amount of damage to multiple targets (if you gain Extra Attack from multiclassing or have Haste). This ability has great synergy with Half-Orcs due to their Passive Ability: Savage Attacks. It’s important to note that enemies need to literally have the “Surprised” condition, which can only be applied if you attack from stealth outside combat.
  • Assassinate – Alacrity: You immediately restore your Action and Bonus Action at the start of combat. Your main strategy as an Assassin Rogue is to pick off enemies without them seeing you and starting a fight. Because of this, if you do end up entering combat, you’ll have available actions allowing you to hide or make attacks against enemies using your other Sub-Class Actions.
Level 4

Once you’re able to pick your first Feat at Level 4, I recommend choosing Sharpshooter.

sharpshooter all in

This Feat allows your ranged weapon attacks to not receive penalties from High Ground Rules. Your Proficient Ranged Weapons Attack Rolls also have a -5 penalty to their Attack Roll but deal an additional 10 damage (this is a Passive and can be turned off).

high ground rules

This Feat allows your Ranged Weapon attacks to deal additional damage and also will not impose a Disadvantage when you attack from Low Ground. When using this Feat, I’ve always had the Reaction enabled as I feel like the damage is better when compared to it disabled.

Level 5

Once you reach Level 5, you’ll gain Uncanny Dodge. This makes it so that when an attack hits you, you’ll only get hit with half the damage. This greatly helps with your survival. Your Sneak Attack damage is also increased to 3d6. Since you gain Advantage very easily as an Assassin Rogue, the extra damage from Sneak Attack will greatly increase your damage.

Levels 6-8

At Levels 6, 7, and 8, you’ll gain Expertise, Evasion, and a Feat. You’re able to choose two more skills with Expertise, which doubles your Proficiency Bonus on the skills you choose.

I recommend choosing any skills you enjoy using so you can pass checks more often. Evasion makes it so when a spell or ability makes you do a Dexterity Saving Throw, you’ll take no damage if you succeed the Saving Throw. If you fail the Saving Throw, then you’ll only take half the damage. This will help you against spells like Faerie Fire and Call Lightning.

Lastly, you’re able to choose a Feat. I recommend choosing Ability Improvement and putting both points into Dexterity, so you can further increase your damage.

Level 9

When you reach Level 9, you gain the Sub-Class Action Infiltration Expertise. This allows you to change your appearance until Long Rest and is essentially casting Disguise Self without a Spell Slot.

infiltration expertise

You can use this Ritual to sneak into areas that you’re not allowed into or get new dialogue choices. This can also be used to allow you to benefit from Equipment that offers racial bonuses.

Levels 10-12

Once you reach Levels 10, 11, & 12, you gain a bonus Feat, Reliable Talent, and a Feat. Rogues and Fighters are the only classes that are able to choose four Feats. Once you reach 20 Dexterity, then you’re able to choose any other Feat that strikes your interest.

rogue astarion splash cropped

A good Feat to choose is Alert, which causes you to gain a +5 bonus to Initiative and you cannot be Surprised. This Feat allows you to make better use of your Assassin Sub-Class Actions. Finally, Reliable Talent causes any Ability Check with a skill you’re Proficient in to roll at least a 10.


Before Level 4, you should equip your Rogue with two short swords and a longbow. This is the highest damage out-put you can have. Assassin Rogues mainly Range Attack, so having a strong longbow is important. A great early-game longbow is the Joltshooter, which you get by rescuing the Grand Duke in Waukeen’s Rest.

You should always use Light Armor since you don’t have any other armor Proficiencies. One of the best Rogue armors in Act 1 is the Spidersilk Armour, which you get after defeating Minthara.

spidersilk armour

This armor gives you +1 Stealth and Advantage on Constitution Saving Throws Rolls. Make sure not to use any Medium or Heavy Armor, as you will not be able to use Sneak Attacks.

Another useful piece of equipment is the Smuggler’s Ring which can be found on a skeleton near the broken bridge at Risen Road. This ring provides the wearer with a +2 bonus to Sleight-of-Hand and Stealth at the expense of a -1 to Charisma.

While Charisma isn’t a bad stat to have in case you need to deceive your way out of a bad situation, it isn’t necessary. On the other hand, having an early bonus to Stealth and Sleight-of-Hand can make Act I a lot easier to go through.

However, once you get into Act II or III it isn’t a bad idea to switch out your gear. Some items I would recommend are as follows:

  • Cloak of Cunning Brume: Sold by Mattis at Last Light Inn
  • Penumbral Armour: Found in a locked chest in an abandoned house near Last Light Inn
  • Bhaalist Armour: Sold by Echo of Abaziga
  • Elegant Studded Leather: Found in The Counting House Vault 9
  • Gloves of Thievery: Sold by Brem at the Zhentarim Hideout
  • Disintegrating Night Walkers: Dropped by True Soul Nere after defeating him
  • Ring of Twilight: Found in a chest in a tower at the Ruined Battlefield
  • Ring of Shadows: Obtained from Oliver after either winning hide and seek or pickpocketing him
  • Ritual Dagger of Shar: Obtained from the Sharran Sanctuary in the Ruined Battlefield
  • Cold Snap: Sold by Ferg Drogher in Rivington
  • Sword of Screams: Dropped by True Soul Nere after his defeat
  • Pelorsun Blade: Found in Cazador’s Castle
  • Crimson Mischief: Dropped by killing Orin
  • Bloodthirst: Dropped by killing Orin
  • Stillmaker: Found inside a cave in Wyrm’s Crossing
  • The Dead Shot: Obtained from Fytz the Firecracker in Stormshore Armoury
  • Gontr Mael: Dropped by Steel Watcher Titan in Steel Watch Foundry

The Cloak of Cunning Brume gives the wearer a foggy cloud whenever they Disengage, blinding all units, including allies, within a 2m radius for one turn.

cloak of cunning brume

Not only is this good for gaining an Advantage against them, it also provides you with additional cover if you aren’t able to get out of sight in your turn.

Penumbral Armour provides you with a +3 bonus to Stealth Checks while obscured.

penumbral armor

This will make it harder for enemies to spot you while you’re hiding, allowing you to keep your Advantage and do extra damage.

Once you obtain the Bhaalist Armor, you can equip it to gain the Passive Ability, Ambusher, granting you a +2 to Initiative Rolls.

bhaalist armour

This increases your chances to attack early during combat and is useful since Assassin Rogues deal more damage to their target based on whether or not they have gone before them.

Additionally, wearers of this armor will gain Aura of Murder, making any enemy within 2m vulnerable to Piercing damage unless they have a resistance or immunity to it which is beneficial since most of the weapons that you’ll be using, such as daggers, rapiers, and bows, will deal Piercing Damage.

Another piece of armor that provides the wearer with Ambusher is the Elegant Studded Leather. In addition to the +2 on Initiative Rolls, the wearer will gain an Advantage on Stealth Checks, making them harder to detect both in and out of battle.

Finally, this armor grants the ability Shield, meaning that you can cast Shield once per Short Rest, giving you the ability to use a Reaction to increase your AC by 5 before being hit. You will also negate all damage taken from Magic Missile while the effects are active.

Gloves of Thievery grant you an Advantage on Sleight of Hand Checks.

gloves of thievery

This Advantage will let you successfully pickpocket and lockpick more often which is useful to have on any Rogue build.

The Disintegrating Night Walkers provides the wearer with the spell, Misty Step, allowing them to reposition during fights to gain an edge.

disintegrating night walkers

Additionally, while wearing these boots, you can’t be affected by movement inhibiting statuses such as Enwebbed/Ensnared/Entangled and you can’t slip on grease or ice surfaces. This is helpful for extra maneuverability and overall mobility during fights since you won’t have to worry about getting caught in any environmental hazards.

The Ring of Twilight gives the user a +1 to your AC while obscured. This is overall very useful because of an Assassin Rogue’s generally low AC.

ring of twilight

Additionally, your gameplay will generally require you to stay in darkness, so you’ll usually be making use of this ring’s benefit.

The Ring of Shadows allows the user to cast Pass Without Trace, a Spell that gives you and nearby party members a +10 to Stealth Checks.

ring of shadows

While this spell does require Concentration, you will mostly be hiding, providing less opportunity for you to get attacked and fail your Saving Throw.

A strong option for anyone using daggers is the Ritual Dagger of Shar. This weapon is overall powerful, easy to obtain, and gives the wielder an extra +1d4 Necrotic damage on their attacks.

Another option is the Cold Snap which provides a +1d4 Cold damage bonus. Furthermore, the weapon’s passive, Chilling Counter, makes it so that when you dodge an attack, the unit that had tried to attack you must pass a DC 13 Constitution check or it will become vulnerable to Cold damage.

However, the passive is only active if it is set as your offhand weapon. This is useful if you have Spellcasters like Warlocks or Wizards in your party.

The Sword of Screams is a solid choice of rapier for anyone who chose to dual-wield them because of its +1d4 Psychic damage.

The Pelorsun Blade gives you an additional 1d4 Radiant damage as well as an advantage against undead enemies.

The Crimson Mischief is a dagger that deals 1d6 +2 Piercing damage as well as +1d4 Necrotic damage on hit. Attacking with this weapon will activate the ability Prey Upon the Weak, dealing another +1d4 Piercing damage against units with 50% or lower of their total HP.

Additionally, while this weapon is in your main hand, you will have access to its other ability, Redvein Savagery, which makes you deal an extra 7 Piercing damage if you make an attack while having an Advantage, something that you are likely to have while playing Assassin Rogue.

However, if you have this weapon in your off-hand, it gives you the potential to add your Ability Modifier to any attacks using your off-hand weapon.

Bloodthirst is the second dagger you obtain from Orin’s corpse. While using this weapon, you lower the number you need to roll a Critical Hit, which can stack with any other effect that applies this bonus.

You also gain the ability to cast True Strike once per Short Rest as a Bonus Action, giving you an Advantage against a target on your next Attack Roll against them. Bloodthirst also counts as a Bound Weapon, so if you’re disarmed or decide to throw it at someone’s head out of rage, you don’t have to worry about losing it. While this weapon is in your main hand, you gain Exploit Weakness, giving any creature hit with its attacks a vulnerability to Piercing damage.

If you decide to put it in your off-hand, you gain True Strike Riposte and a +1 to your AC. True Strike Riposte is an ability that allows you to retaliate and gain True Strike if an enemy misses an attack against you.

Stillmaker is another dagger that deals 1d4 +2 Piercing damage. While you don’t gain any additional damage modifiers, you gain access to the spell, Hold Person.


This spell renders its victims unable to move, act, or react. Additionally, if attacks within 3m are made against anyone who is affected by this spell, it is an automatic Critical Hit.

The Dead Shot is a good all-around Longbow, as it lowers the number you need to roll to Critical Strike as well as doubling your Proficiency Bonus when attacking with it, causing you to deal even more damage than you already would be dealing as an Assassin Rogue.

the dead shot

Another good alternative to The Dead Shot is the Gontr Mael. This bow deals 1d8 + 3 Piercing damage and provides the wielder with many bonuses, the first of which is the ability Promised Victory.

gontr mael

This ability gives you a chance to inflict Guiding Bolt on a unit after hitting them with an attack using this weapon. It also has an effect called Gontr Mael: Glowing which causes it to glow in a 6m radius. This effect can be turned off in order to preserve your stealth better.

Finally, you gain access to Celestial Haste which you can cast once per Long Rest. This ability lets you get a +2 to your AC and an Advantage to Dex Saving Throws. Your movement speed is also doubled and you gain an extra Action during this time.

In conclusion

If you’re looking for a playthrough with fewer drawn-out combat scenarios, I would highly recommend picking up an Assassin Rogue. Their high single-target damage makes them useful for taking out high-level enemies quickly, and their Sleight-of-Hand Proficiency gives them good out-of-combat utility as well, rendering them fairly versatile across many different scenarios.