Best Races and Ability Scores for Clerics in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Cleric Build, Races & Ability Scores (BG3)

If you like helping people while sometimes bashing another character’s head in with a mace, then the versatile Cleric class is likely right for you in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3), and if that’s the case, here’s our guide to the best starting build, which focuses on choosing your race and ability scores.

Recommended Videos
JUMP TO:
What Is a Cleric in BG3?
Best Races for a Cleric Build in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)
All Cleric Domains and Subclasses in BG3, Listed
Best Ability Scores for Tempest & War Domain Cleric Builds in BG3
Best Ability Scores for Life Domain Cleric Builds in BG3
What Background Should You Choose For Your BG3 Cleric?
What Cleric Feats Should You Choose In Baldur’s Gate 3 As You Level Up?

What Is a Cleric in BG3?

Focused on worshiping a specific deity, Clerics come in many flavors – in fact, they have the second most subclasses in the game, with one less than their Wizard cousins. Furthermore, adventuring parties need both a healer and a tank – the Cleric can be both of those in one.

As a result of their versatility, Clerics have the most options available to them right from the character creation screen, which can quickly become overwhelming. They must choose several Cantrips and spells immediately, while also deciding on one of seven subclasses called Domains, and those offer even more spells and abilities to choose from. They also select a Deity that the denizens of Faerun will remark upon, though it has little effect on combat prowess. With so many options, let’s take building a Cleric one step at a time, beginning with the race.

Best Races for a Cleric Build in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3)

Baldur's Gate 3 featured image as part of the best build for a Tempest Cleric in BG3.

As Baldur’s Gate 3 does away with race ability bonuses, you can freely make a Cleric of any race. However, for most Domains, the Elf race with the Wood Elf subrace makes for a great choice, since the distance you can travel in combat each turn is increased by 1.5 meters. As plenty of Cleric spells are cast within melee range, this allows you to reach both enemies and allies more quickly.

Otherwise, your race will depend on the weapon proficiencies you want, as most Cleric Domains only have access to simple weapons and morningstars. The Githyanki give access to swords of all types, the Dwarves hammers and the like, and Humans have access to spears, glaives, and halberds. However, if you plan on making a melee-focused War Domain or Tempest Domain Cleric, the Half-Orc comes equipped with several abilities, including Savage Attacks and Relentless Endurance, that will help you smash and smite simultaneously.

All Cleric Domains and Subclasses in BG3, Listed

Clerics have seven Domains to choose from in Baldur’s Gate 3, all of which focus on different things. Just which one is right for you depends a lot on how you want to play, with some being focused more on combat and others more on healing. Here’s the list, with a bit of commentary on what they’re all about:

  • Life Domain: The Disciple of Life feature increases healing potency. This Domain also has access to more healing spells. It also provides Heavy Armor proficiency.
  • Light Domain: Warding Flare gives your attacker Disadvantage, making you harder to hit, or harder to hit hard, while providing light-themed spells of both fire and fey origin.
  • Trickery Domain: Blessing of the Trickster gives another creature an advantage of Stealth, along with some illusion-themed spells.
  • Knowledge Domain: This Domain provides knowledge of the world of Faerun, while providing spells to ward off attacking creatures.
  • Nature Domain: This Domain dips its toe into the Druid subclass and provides the superb Shillelagh Cantrip, which makes your melee weapon deal damage based on your Wisdom ability. It also grants you Cantrips from the Druid spell list and animal-themed spells. Furthermore, it also provides access to Heavy Armor.
  • Tempest Domain: Wrath of the Storm allows you to strike back at an attacking enemy with powerful lighting; otherwise, you gain access to storm-based spells. It also grants Martial Weapon proficiency along with access to Heavy Armor.
  • War Domain: You gain War Priest charges to make extra attacks as a bonus action. It comes with both divine and defensive spells, along with Heavy Armor and Martial Weapons proficiency.

Best Ability Scores for Tempest & War Domain Cleric Builds in BG3

Ability scores in BG3 will give a modifier bonus to your dice rolls and you have a total of 27 to allocate into six skills. Furthermore, you have the option to grant a +2 and a +1 bonus to two different abilities. The following allocation is recommended for a Tempest or War Domain Cleric:

Half-Orc

Strength: 16 (+2 bonus)
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 14
Intelligence: 8
Wisdom: 14 (+1 bonus)
Charisma: 9

A focus on Strength over Wisdom, while not neglecting the latter entirely, allows this build to dish out damage with any weapon type while wearing near impenetrable heavy armor. At the cost of being uncharismatic and kind of dumb, your Dexterity and Constitution will ensure your Armor Class and hit points can stand up against the worst Faerun has to offer. 

Best Ability Scores for Life Domain Cleric Builds in BG3

While that build is rather unconventional (a Half-Orc Cleric?), a more standard spread that leans into the healing aspects of this class, such as the Life Domain, looks like this:

Elf (Wood Elf subrace)

Strength: 8
Dexterity: 15 (+1 bonus)
Constitution: 14
Intelligence: 8
Wisdom: 17 (+2 bonus)
Charisma: 8

As a Wood Elf, you gain proficiency in short bows and longbows, allowing you to stay out of trouble, healing and buffing your party from a safe distance, plus your bows will deal some damage with 15 Dexterity.

Upon reaching level 4, selecting the Ability Score Improvement feat to increase your Dexterity and Wisdom by 1 each, allowing you to unlock that +3 and +4 modifier bonus, is an absolute must. This best build for a Cleric in Baldur’s Gate 3 also plays well into the Nature Domain, allowing you to take points out of Strength to allocate into Dexterity and Constitution when you have the Shillelagh Cantrip to change all melee attacks with certain weapons to rely on Wisdom.

What Background Should You Choose For Your BG3 Cleric?

You should choose the background in BG3 that makes the most sense for the character you wish to play rather than the skills you’ll receive. Backgrounds grant Inspiration Points when certain goals are met, which allow you to reroll ability checks.

For the Cleric, the Acolyte thematically fits but also provides useful tools such as proficiency in Insight, allowing you to focus on choosing two other skills. However, roleplaying a Cleric with a Soldier or Criminal background might be more fun; don’t stress too much about this decision – go with how you want to play your god-fearing Cleric. You can find out more about backgrounds and Inspiration Points in this guide.

What Cleric Feats Should You Choose In Baldur’s Gate 3 As You Level Up?

cleric sentinel feat in baldur's gate 3 bg3

As you level, you’re going to need to choose different feats to make your Cleric stronger and formidable. Just what feats you choose, and what the best Cleric build for you in Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) is going to depend a lot on your playstyle and needs. If you’re playing a Tempest or War Domain Cleric, you’ll likely want to go with more physical feats, whereas a Life Domain Cleric may want to instead work on building up their survivability and casting. We’ve broken down our picks for the top 5 feats for Clerics in BG3 in this guide.

With all this in mind, as the Cleric has almost the most subclasses, plenty of other builds will work. You can respec your character in Baldur’s Gate 3, however – so don’t fret too much with all the options available to you if you’re committed to smashing and healing your way through The Sword Coast in the name of your deity of choice.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now on console and PC.


The Escapist is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Author
Image of Lowell Bell
Lowell Bell
Lowell is a freelance contributor with The Escapist that began his career reporting on live events such as the Penny Arcade Expo and E3 back in 2012. Over the last couple of years, he carved a niche for himself covering competitive Pokémon as he transitioned into game criticism full time. About a decade ago, Lowell moved to Japan for a year or two but is still there, raising a Shiba Inu named Zelda with his wife while missing access to good burritos. He also has a love/hate relationship with Japanese role-playing games.