Best Races and Ability Scores for Warlock in Baldurs Gate 3 - A Zariel Tiefling being built as a Warlock in the character creation screen of Baldur's Gate III.

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

Warlocks use Charisma to cast spells in Baldur’s Gate 3. Charisma also affects the Deception, Intimidation, Performance, and Persuasion skills, making Warlocks very useful outside of combat. That said, certain races and ability scores work better than others. Here are the best races and ability scores for Warlocks in BG3.

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Best Races for Warlocks in Baldur’s Gate 3

Because Baldur’s Gate 3 does away with race ability bonuses, there’s no penalty to making a Warlock of any race. That said, two races come with bonuses that stand out: the Tiefling or Half-Elf. And for the Half-Elf, the Drow or Wood subrace is the best race for Warlocks.

The Tiefling Mol in Baldur's Gate 3
Screenshot by The Escapist

The Tiefling receives an extra spell upon creation, which is invaluable for a class that relies on spell slots. Each of the Tiefling subraces receives access to a utility spell, including the Zariel Tiefling’s Thaumaturgy Cantrip which gives Advantage to Intimidation checks. On the other hand, the Half-Elf subrace gives the Warlock access to more weapons, such as Glaives and Spears, along with either increased movement speed (Wood) or the Dancing Lights Cantrip (Drow). Note that the High-Elf subrace grants a Cantrip of your choice, but it is based on Intelligence, which a Warlock does not use. 

Which is the Best Warlock Subclass?

Warlocks have three subclasses that you select from at level 1, based on the type of being you draw your power from: The Fiend, The Great Old One, or The Archfey. Each comes with a powerful ability to aid you in battle.

  • The Fiend: Dark One’s Blessing gives you temporary hit points whenever you defeat a hostile creature, along with two defensive spells.
  • The Great Old One: Mortal Reminder frightens nearby enemies if you land a critical hit, along with two debilitating spells.
  • The Archfey: Fey Presence allows you to charm and frighten foes with beguiling magic, along with two debilitating spells.

All options are viable; however, Mortal Reminder and Fey Presence have more utility in combat. Dark One’s Blessing, meanwhile, can help on the ultra-difficult Tactician mode to ensure you survive. Go with whatever pact fits your character best. Each patron will also allow you to select different spells; taking the two spells that the subclass offers, such as Dissonant Whispers and Tasha’s Hideous Laughter for The Great Old One, isn’t a bad choice. However, all Warlocks should choose Eldritch Blast as a Cantrip. It is by far the most powerful damage-dealing option for the class that can be upgraded as you level.

Related: How to Get XP & Level Up Fast in Baldur’s Gate 3 on Twinfinite

Best Ability Scores for Warlocks in BG3

Ability scores 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. For a Warlock, the following spread is recommended for a balanced build:

Tiefling (Zariel subrace)

Here are the best ability scores for a Tiefling Warlock in BG3:

  • Strength: 8
  • Dexterity: 15 (+1 bonus)
  • Constitution: 14
  • Intelligence: 10
  • Wisdom: 10
  • Charisma: 17 (+2 bonus)

High Dexterity and Constitution will help keep your Warlock alive. Upon reaching level 4, you can improve Charisma and Dexterity to reach the next tier of ability modifiers, as they’re based on even numbers. This Tiefling (Zariel) Warlock build will make great use of Eldritch Blast to incinerate foes while debilitating them with various spells.

If you plan to multiclass or want to use melee-based weapons, a build like this would work much better:

Half-Elf (Drow subrace)

Here are the best ability scores for a Half-Elf Drow Warlock in BG3:

  • Strength: 15 (+1 bonus)
  • Dexterity: 12
  • Constitution: 13
  • Intelligence: 8
  • Wisdom: 12
  • Charisma: 16 (+2 bonus)

With the Half-Elf (Drow) build, when reaching level 4, you should buff your Charisma by a further 2 points with the Ability Score Increase feat. Likewise, the Eldritch Invocations — class-based feats — that you pick at level 2 should include Agonizing Blast. This will power up your Eldritch Blast even further based on your Charisma modifier to deal damage at a distance.

As for backgrounds, pick whichever makes the most sense for the character you wish to play rather than the skills you’ll receive. Backgrounds give you specific conditions to fulfill to gain Inspiration Points, which are used to reroll ability checks. For example, Sages get them from learning about Faerun’s history, while Criminals benefit from successful thefts. For a Warlock, the Charlatan background gives you a boost to Deception. When combined with your impressive Charisma stat and proficiency in Intimidation, few will be able to stand up to you during dialogue sequences.

That’s about all you need to know about the best races and ability scores to get started as a Warlock in Baldur’s Gate 3. Don’t be afraid to experiment and multiclass, as you can respec your character later if needed. As such, with these tips in mind, you should be all set to make the most of the Warlock and its dangerous patron as you explore the world of Faerun. We have similar guides for all of the other classes and other tips for the game, so make sure to take a look at what’s available.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.

The above article was updated on May 18, 2024, by Escapist Editorial to clarify information regarding the best Warlock subclass and ability scores.

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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.