In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Sorcerer Class Build Guide, I’m going to be covering my Sorcerer Build for Early Access, and showing you what I’ve found to work best. I’ll be doing more Build Guides at the launch of Baldur’s Gate 3, but for now, let’s look at how you can use a Sorcerer effectively in the first Act of the game.
Best Sorcerer Builds Features
- Abilities: Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution
- Subclasses: Draconic Bloodline & Wild Magic
- Unique Feature: Metamagic
- Spells: Ranged Attack Spells
- Hit Die: +6 HP + CON Modifier per level
Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds: Sorcerer Class Guide
Sorcerers are well-known for their magical prowess that stems from an ancient bloodline, unchecked chaotic magic, or mysterious circumstances. Unlike Warlocks, they don’t depend on patrons for the strength of their Spells and far from Wizards, arcane books are not essential to further develop their capabilities. One Class Feature that distinguishes them from other Spellcasters is their ability to incorporate Metamagic to manipulate the way Spells work to their liking, making them versatile. This also compensates for their lack of Armour Proficiency as it allows them to take charge in Combat.
For instance, they can use Twinned Spell, which lets them apply the Spell’s singular effects on a second target. It’s essential if you intend to eliminate multiple enemies in one turn. Another example is Quickened Spell. With this, Sorcerers are able to cast two Spells in one turn since one of them is considered a Bonus Action. All in all, there are 7 Metamagic options to choose from in Early Access. At Level 2, you can select two of them. However, unless otherwise stated, you can’t stack two Metamagic features on a Spell.
Applying Metamagic costs Sorcery Points. Replenishing these points are made possible through the conversion of Spell Slots or by taking a Long Rest. Furthermore, if you wish to cast additional Spells, you can spend Sorcery Points to unlock more Spell Slots.
Sorcerer Character Creation
In this section we’ll take a look at how to set up your Sorcerer during Character Creation for best results. You don’t have to follow this to the letter, and it’s likely this will change at full launch of the game. However, this will hold you in good stead during Early Access.
For Background, I suggest taking any that provides you with Charisma Skills since Sorcerers need a good amount of this Ability to hit targets with their Spells and to improve the chances of successfully negotiating with and convincing NPCs in dialogue. These are Deception, Persuasion, Intimidation and Performance. Ideally you’d have all 4 of these if possible, but you’re more likely to get 3 out of 4.
The first Race that works well for the Sorcerer Class is the Wood Half-Elf. This is due to the +2 Charisma, which allows you to reach 16 Charisma in Character Creation, on top of the two Ability Score Points. Specifically, you ought to allocate 1 point each to Dexterity and Constitution. Dexterity is important to the Sorcerer because they’re not proficient with Armour. Any bonuses added to this Ability improves their Armour Class (AC), making them more durable in combat. Constitution raises their max HP so it also contributes to the Sorcerer’s survivability. As such, you should at least have 16 Dexterity and 14 Constitution.
The Wood Half-Elf also grants Darkvision to help you land Spells in the dark within a certain range, as well as increased Movement Speed and Stealth Proficiency. Alternatively, you may also want to consider the Lolth-Sworn or Seldarine Drow since it provides you with +2 Dexterity, +1 Charisma and Superior Darkvision to see and attack better in the dark. Lastly, a Lightfoot Halfling grants the same Ability Bonuses together with its unique Lucky Racial Feature. This lets you make another roll for an Attack, Ability Check, or Saving Throw if you initially roll a natural 1.
For the Sorcerer Class, there are two Subclasses to choose from, namely Draconic Bloodline or Wild Magic. Your decision depends on whether or not you prefer to have a Dragon Ancestor with Draconic Resilience or Wild Magic Surge and Tides of Chaos at earlier levels since you essentially start with the same set of Cantrips and Spells. Draconic Ancestry lets you focus on an Elemental Damage Type to deal more damage while becoming resistant to it when you reach Level 6, which isn’t applicable to Early Access since you can’t reach this level. Additionally, you gain a specific Spell based on the Ancestry.
I prefer the Draconic Ancestry: Green (Poison) and Red (Fire) because of the Ray of Sickness and Burning Hands Spells, respectively. Ray of Sickness can be cast from afar while possibly poisoning your target, which deals additional damage over time in addition to the initial Poison Damage. Burning Hands is for close-range combat to inflict massive Fire Damage against multiple targets in the AoE. Meanwhile, Draconic Resilience not only enhances your max HP every time you level up the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerous Origin but you also set your AC to 13 + Dexterity Modifier since you won’t be wearing Armour.
Conversely, Wild Magic Surge lets you unleash a magical effect when you cast a Spell. This effect is chaotic, meaning it can be against you or for you. For instance, you’re able to cast Mirror Image to trick enemies into attacking your duplicates or one of your allies becomes poisoned for a period of time. With Tides of Chaos, you gain an Advantage on your Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Skill Check once per day so you’ll need to engage in Short or Long Rest to be able to use this feature again. Advantage is a mechanic, which makes you roll a D20 twice for an Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Saving Throw.
Between these two Subclasses, the Draconic Bloodline provides you with better stability and survivability because of the AC bonus you receive compared to the erratic and random Wild Magic Subclass.
For Skills, again, it’s not super important, but you’ll have high Charisma and Dexterity, so selecting Skills that fall under these Abilities is ideal. Dexterity has Acrobatics, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand, and I’ve already listed what Charisma Skills there are.
Your primary Ability as a Sorcerer is Charisma as this makes your Spells more effective in combat. For this reason you’ll want at least 16 in this Ability during Character Creation, and likely 18 later on. Other than this, Dexterity and Constitution are the Abilities you should focus on for better durability since you’re only proficient with Clothing, which doesn’t raise your AC that much.
You can then add points into Wisdom, Intelligence or Strength but it won’t matter as much since they don’t influence your Spells. However, it’s worth considering that they influence the outcome of your Skill Checks. Your Ability Spread should look something like this:
Sorcerer Level 1 Cantrips, Concentration and Spells
During Character Creation you’ll be given Cantrips and Spells to choose from. But unlike Wizards, you won’t have to “Prepare” Spells from a Known Spell List to use them. Instead, you learn a limited number of Spells, which are readily available not unlike the Warlock Class. As such, you have to be very selective about the ones you intend to learn since Sorcerers don’t have access to ALL of their Spells.
At Level 1, you’ll be able to choose 4 Cantrips. The best ones are Dancing Lights, Ray of Frost, Acid Splash, and Chill Touch. Dancing Lights allows you to summon a wisp of light for allies who cannot see and hit well in the dark. Ray of Frost is a Ranged Attack Spell that deals Cold Damage while slowing the target down. Acid Splash deals Acid Damage with an explosive AoE to inflict damage to other enemies near your intended target. And finally, Chill Touch deals Necrotic Damage while preventing targets from restoring their HP. If you use this against the Undead, you also impose a Disadvantage on their Attack Rolls, making it harder for them to hit you.
There are also Cantrips and Spells whose effects are dependent on the Sorcerer’s Concentration to remain active. Concentration is broken if you cast another Cantrip or Spell that also requires Concentration. You can tell which these are because it will say on the Spell itself. For example, if you cast Dancing Lights, but then you cast Witch Bolt next, you would stop “Concentrating” on Dancing Lights and begin Concentrating on Witch Bolt.
Moreover, if you take damage while Concentrating on a Spell, you must make a Constitution Saving Throw, and if you fail, then the effect of that Spell ends. Should you succeed in your Saving Throw, however, you maintain your Concentration and the Spell continues. This is why it’s vital for Sorcerers to have average to high Constitution because of the Spells that require this Ability and they are wasted if it’s constantly broken.
Sorcerer Level 1 Spells
Sorcerers have a variety of Spells to pick from. At Level 1, you can select two of them. I highly recommend choosing Magic Missile and Thunderwave. Magic Missile is an essential Spell to have because it doesn’t miss and it can finish off enemies, especially if their HPs are low. Thunderwave, on the other hand, is a great AoE Spell to have because it knocks enemies backward, which may sometimes kill them. Due to its short range, you ought to use this against those who are moving close to you to push them away.
If you pick the Draconic Bloodline Subclass, you won’t need Mage Armour anymore since you start with 13 AC by default.
Sorcerer Level 2 Class Feature and Spells
Flexible Casting allows for the conversion of Sorcery Points into additional Spell Slots and vice versa. This is a Bonus Action so you can use it on top of casting Spells in the same turn. At Level 2, you gain 2 Sorcery Points, which increases at a rate of 1 point per level.
Sorcery Points are used in Metamagic, which let you choose ways to manipulate your Spells. In the meantime, you’ll be able to pick 2 Metamagic options out of 4. There’s Careful, Distant, Extended and Twinned Spells. Careful Spell lets you and your allies succeed in their Saving Throws so you automatically negate or reduce the effects of Spells against them. Distant Spell lengthens the range of some of your Spells to allow you to hit enemies from a great distance. Extended Spell doubles the duration of Spell effects including conditions and conjured surfaces so enemies stay debilitated longer.
Twinned Spell allows you to target two creatures with Spells that would normally hit just one. Specifically, I highly suggest taking Distant and Twinned Spell since you won’t often need to roll for Saving Throws, nor is it necessary to extend the duration of any condition since most of your Spell effects don’t have to be prolonged. Conversely, with Distant Spells, you’re able to attack any type of enemy that’s difficult to reach such as Harpies. Examples include Ray of Frost, Ray of Sickness, and Acid Splash. This even extends to Spells in Scrolls like the Scroll of Inflict Wounds.
In fact, you don’t need to limit yourself to these Spells. An encounter that greatly benefits from Distant Spells is the one against Auntie Ethel who is situated extremely far away from you. To make sure that you successfully hit her with your most potent Ranged Spells, you can use this Metamagic Option with Magic Missile. As a result, you no longer have to worry about your position and damage since this combination takes care of it all, letting you kill her within a few rounds.
Twinned Spell is a potent Metamagic option because what this essentially does is to cast a Spell twice using only a single Spell Slot, which is huge for the Sorcerer that only has 3 Level 1 Spell Slots at Level 2. Because of this, you’re able to cast Ray of Sickness against two targets in the same turn. For each of these Metamagic options, you’ll have to spend 1 Sorcery Point. Sorcery Points and Spell Slots are fully restored after taking a Long Rest.
Spell and Replacement Spell
At Level 2 onward, you’ll be able to unlearn and learn old and new Spells, respectively, via the Replacement Spell, similar to the Warlock. Unlearning a Spell lets you select what you wish to remove from your list. As a replacement, you’ll get to pick one Spell when you level up. Alternatively, if you want to keep your current list, you can simply ignore this feature and continue to learn new Spells. In this Sorcerer Build Guide, we won’t be unlearning any Spells since the ones we’ve chosen are essential in combat.
Lastly, I suggest learning Chromatic Orb because it’s a powerful Spell that makes you choose the type of Elemental Damage you want to inflict from a distance.
Twinned Chromatic Orb is a very powerful combination at the moment, and it becomes more potent at Levels 3 and 4 because of the total number of Sorcery Points you have. In a combat encounter against numerous enemies, Twinned Chromatic Orb can be cast twice at Level 2, thrice at Level 3, and so on. This is due to the low cost of Metamagic: Twinned Spell at only 1 Sorcery Point. So going back to Level 2, you’re able to use this Spell against 4 different enemies. Since Chromatic Orb lets you change the respective Elemental Damage at will, you can select the most appropriate ones given the situation, effectively having a ton of control on the battlefield.
Sorcerer Level 3 Metamagic and Spells
At Level 3, you’ll be able to choose another Metamagic Option out of 5. The three added options are Heightened, Subtle and Quickened Spells. Heightened Spell imposes a Disadvantage on the recipient if they need to make Saving Throw Rolls. Subtle Spell lets you continue casting Spells even when Silenced. And Quickened Spell converts all Spells that are considered an Action into a Bonus Action. Among these, it’s ideal to take Quickened Spell even if it costs 3 Sorcery Points unless you plan on frequently using Saving Throw Spells or you’re always being Silenced, which rarely happens.
Going back to Quickened Spell, in a single turn, you can cast one Spell as a Bonus Action, instead of an Action, thereby allowing you to cast another Spell. This is highly effective against tough encounters and bosses alike since you’re able to use whatever powerful Spell you have, twice.
Moreover, a great Spell that you ought to choose at this level is Scorching Ray. It deals 2-12 Fire Damage against multiple enemies, or 3x 2-12 damage to the same target. This is a lot of damage, making Scorching Ray very versatile and a must-have Spell. Additionally, you receive 1 Level 1 Spell Slot and 2 Level 2 Spell Slots.
Sorcerer Level 4 Feat and Spells
At Level 4 you’ll gain another Level 2 Spell Slot as well as a Cantrip. Furthermore, you can pick a Feat, and I highly recommend selecting Ability Improvement to get to 18 in Charisma. As a Sorcerer, you should prioritize boosting this as much as possible.
You also get to pick 1 Cantrip and 1 Spell. Shocking Grasp is a Melee Attack that deals 1-8 Lightning Damage while preventing the target from reacting to any of your actions. For instance, enemies won’t be able to perform Attacks of Opportunity when you move away, making it multipurpose. For the Spell, you can go with Misty Step, Hold Person, Mirror Image, or Sleep.
Misty Step is vital when you intend to change positions to gain Advantage prior to casting any of your Ranged Attack Spells. The only reason why you wouldn’t take this is if you already own the Amulet of Misty Step, which is located in the Shattered Sanctum. Alternatively, you can choose Hold Person to paralyze your target in place or Mirror Image to conjure 3 duplicates of yourself in order to distract enemies.
Sleep is also a great crowd control Spell since you can immobilize them for a period of time even if there’s a limit set because of the target’s HP. Generating enough breathing room between them and the party is highly beneficial to the latter when it comes to recovery. Moreover, you can use Twinned Spell for Hold Person, Mirror Image, and Sleep to cast and effectively utilize them against multiple targets.
When it comes to the Sorcerer’s Equipment, you don’t have to invest in Weapons and Armour as much compared to other Classes like the Wizard. Wielding a Quarterstaff or Light Crossbow, which you’re proficient with, wouldn’t matter much in spite of limited Spell Slots since you can readily replenish them after taking a Long Rest. Even if Larian Studios tweaked this feature to include the gathering of Camp Supplies, it doesn’t limit your Long Rests as long as you manage to hoard these supplies.
Since the Sorcerer isn’t proficient with any Armour, you can continue wearing the Sorcerer Robe you started off with because it contributes to your 16 AC. In terms of Accessories, you’ll want to obtain The Sapphire Spark, Absolute’s Talisman, and Ring of Colour Spray. The Sapphire Spark can be purchased from Blurg in the Ebonlake Grotto. It provides you with an additional 1-4 Psychic Damage for each Magic Missile projectile. As a result, you inflict 9-27 damage with your Level 1 Magic Missile while for Level 2, it becomes 12-36 worth of damage, which can one-shot a lot of enemies no matter what your elevation with respect to them is!
Next, the Absolute’s Talisman, which can be found in the Shattered Sanctum, is good for survivability because it restores 1-8 of your HP when you deal damage, provided that your HP is already low. Lastly, the Ring of Colour Spray grants you the Colour Spray Spell. This is useful to blind enemies who are nearby in order to hamper their chances of successfully attacking you. This is acquired in the Secluded Cove.
The Sorcerer Class is very flexible in terms of the way they cast their Spells. It allows them to be creative in the Spells they choose depending on different Metamagic Options. For instance, if you often cast Spells that make enemies roll for Saving Throws like Burning Hands and Thunderwave, you may want the Heightened Spell instead of Quickened Spell. This imposes a Disadvantage on them, which would increase the likelihood of receiving the full damage of these Spells. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other Metamagic Abilities.
You can preemptively select the Metamagic Option you want to use before the start of an encounter. This lets you plan out the Spells you’re about to cast and in whatever order you wish. So if you were to use Twinned Spell on, say Ray of Sickness, your Sorcery Points will only be spent after you cast it against two enemies.
Make sure to cast Ranged Attack Spells from a higher elevation than your target in order to gain Advantage. Examples of these include Ray of Frost, Ray of Sickness, and Scorching Ray. To identify these Spells, you can refer to their respective descriptions.
Lastly, always try to surprise enemies by sneaking up on them. You’re able to improve this Skill by having Stealth Proficiency. Not only does surprising them provide you with an Advantage on Attack Rolls, but it also gives your party one whole round to wipe them out.
Stay tuned for more Baldur’s Gate 3 content as we take a look at Classes and Builds, and be sure to drop by our Twitch channel if you have questions about the game. If you need something specific, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Wiki which is being worked on night and day!