Baldur’s Gate 3 Eldritch Knight Fighter Build Guide – In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Eldritch Knight Fighter Build Guide, I’m going to cover my Fighter Build for Early Access, and show 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 an Eldritch Knight Fighter effectively in the first Act of the game.
Be sure to check out our other Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds for Early Access including: Battle Master Fighter, The Field Warlock, The Great Old One Warlock, Beast Master Ranger, Hunter Ranger, Circle of the Land Druid, Circle of the Moon Druid, Wild Magic Sorcerer, Wildheart Barbarian, Draconic Sorcerer, Berserker Barbarian, College of Lore Bard!
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Fighter Builds Features
- Abilities: Strength, Constitution
- Subclasses: Eldritch Knight & Battle Master
- Unique Feature: Melee Combat
- Hit Die: +10 HP + CON Modifier
Baldur’s Gate 3 Eldritch Knight Fighter Build Guide
The Eldritch Knight Fighter is a powerful Build to try if you intend to mix magic with Melee Combat. Even if they can only cast Level 1 Spells, they effectively utilize them to obliterate enemies from any distance. All of this is made possible thanks to the Warped Headband of Intellect, which boosts their Intelligence to 17, allowing them to allocate points to other Abilities.
Similar to the Battle Master and at Level 5, the Eldritch Knight gains access to Extra Attack, making them a nightmare to fight against. What’s more, is that they’re extremely resilient since they can wear Heavy Armor like the Paladin and they have high Constitution.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Eldritch Knight Fighter Character Creation
In this section, we’ll take a look at how to set up your Fighter during Character Creation for the best results. You don’t have to follow this to the letter, and this will likely change at the game’s full launch. However, this will hold you in good stead during Early Access.
For Background, choose one that provides you with Athletics since it’s the only Strength Skill alongside the Skills of other Abilities you’ll be investing in. Since you’re going to cast Spells later on, it’s a good idea to acquire Intelligence Skills. Intelligence has Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion. Some Background examples are Sage, Noble, and Acolyte.
The Eldritch Knight’s Race will be dependent on the Warped Headband of Intellect, which has been nerfed since its release in Early Access. You can get this within 4 hours of your playthrough by slaying Lump the Enlightened of the Blighted Village. Instead of setting Intelligence to 18, the headband will only increase this Ability to 17, meaning that your Intelligence Modifier will be set to +3 rather than +4. But this shouldn’t be an issue since you’ll more often than not successfully hit your targets with Spells unless you’re extremely unlucky.
Now when selecting a Race, be sure to incorporate the 17 Intelligence you’ll get from the Warped Headband of Intellect so you can allocate the rest of your points to other Abilities. The first one that works well for this Build is the Shield Dwarf. Shield Dwarves will let you reach 17 Strength and 17 Constitution, which means that when you hit Level 4, you can have 18 in both of these primary Abilities. They also have Darkvision, allowing them to perform better in dark places.
Next, you’ll want the High Half-Elf to be able to invest 1 point each into Strength and Constitution while gaining 1 Cantrip of your choice during Character Creation. Here, I recommend getting Fire Bolt, which can be used against a target located far away from you. This can then be combined with Grease or oil barrels to set multiple enemies on fire. You also gain Darkvision as well as increased Movement Speed.
Last but not least is the Human instead of the Githyanki since you won’t need to raise Intelligence due to the headband. With this Race, you’ll be able to reach 16 Strength and 16 Constitution in addition to having a more balanced Ability spread.
Fighting Style and Second Wind
When it comes to the Fighting Style, I highly recommend getting Duelling or Great Weapon Fighting depending on the type of Weapon you intend to wield in the long run. Duelling is great if you go for a One-Handed Weapon and Shield setup since you gain a +2 Damage bonus on Weapon Attacks. Comparatively, Great Weapon Fighting is a good choice for Two-Handed Melee Weapon users, allowing you to perform another Damage Roll if you happen to initially roll a 1 or 2, thereby amplifying the carnage you deal. But no matter what, you shouldn’t pick Archery since you won’t be making use of your Ranged Weapons that much.
The primary Abilities that are needed for this Build are Strength and Constitution with the former increasing your chances of successfully attacking and dealing massive damage using Melee Weapons. Meanwhile, Constitution should boost your max HP. Similar to the Paladin, you’ll ideally keep Dexterity at 10 since you’ll be wearing Heavy Armor, which doesn’t account for the Dexterity Modifier bonuses but your AC will continue to be high. In the meantime, you can don Medium Armor such as Lae’zel’s Githyanki Half Plate or Scale Mail Armor +1 to boost your AC to 15. Ideally, your Ability spread should look something like this, assuming you selected the Shield Dwarf Race:
Baldur’s Gate 3 Eldritch Knight Fighter Level 2
As early as Level 2, the Fighter gains an extra Action in the form of Action Surge. This is a powerful Class Feature because it lets you finish off a target by hitting them once again in the same turn. What’s more, is that you’ll only need to perform a Short Rest to replenish it.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Fighter Level 3
At Level 3, you’ll get to choose your Fighter’s Subclass and for this Build, you’re going to select the Eldritch Knight. You can then pick some Cantrips as well as Wizard Spells. For Cantrips, I suggest going for another long-range one similar to Fire Bolt, specifically Ray of Frost to lower the Movement Speed of the target. Additionally, you can go for either Acid Splash or Dancing Lights. Acid Splash lets you hurl a handful of acid, thereby affecting enemies adjacent to each other while Dancing Lights becomes useful for allies who are having trouble seeing well in the dark.
Next, you’ll be choosing 2 of 6 Wizard Spells, and here I highly recommend taking Magic Missile and Burning Hands or Thunderwave. Magic Missile is an amazing Spell since it doesn’t miss, and because of this, it doesn’t suffer from any High Ground Disadvantages if you were to attack an enemy located at a higher elevation than you. It also lets you deal decent damage from afar at 6-15 Force Damage against a single foe or 2-5 Damage against multiple targets.
Meanwhile, Burning Hands and Thunderwave allow you to deal damage up close and personal. Burning Hands let you burn multiple enemies while inflicting significant Fire Damage whereas Thunderwave can push them back using the force brought about by the Spell itself on top of dealing Thunder Damage.
Last but not least, you’ll be picking 1 of 17 Wizard Spells, and here I suggest going for Expeditious Retreat or Chromatic Orb. Expeditious Retreat allows you to make Dash a Bonus Action, thereby doubling your Movement range, and still allowing you to attack. This lets you get to enemies more easily. However, remember that you’ll need to maintain Concentration for this Spell.
Concentration is broken if you cast another Cantrip or Spell that also requires Concentration. You can tell which these are because it will say so on the Spell itself. For example, if you cast Dancing Lights, but then you cast Expeditious Retreat, you would stop “Concentrating” on Dancing Lights and begin Concentrating on Expeditious Retreat.
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, you maintain your Concentration and the Spell continues. This is why it’s vital for the Eldritch Knight to have average to high Constitution because of the Spells that require this Ability and is wasted if it’s constantly broken.
The other option here is Chromatic Orb, which is an extremely potent Spell. This allows you to change the element of the damage you deal. So you can deal Lightning Damage and create a similar surface to electrify other targets who step into it by mistake. Or you can conjure a burning surface and deal Fire Damage instead. The possibilities are quite endless.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Fighter Level 4
At Level 4, you can choose a Feat, and here you’ll be taking Ability Improvement to place 1 point into Strength and Constitution, amounting to 18 each if you’ve chosen the Shield Dwarf Race. Otherwise, you can allocate 2 points into Strength to improve the effectiveness of your performance in the melee range. Doing so will boost your Attack and Damage Rolls due to the +4 Strength Modifier!
Additionally, you’ll be able to choose 1 more Spell. You can then take any of the Spells you didn’t pick in the previous level like Thunderwave or Chromatic Orb.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Fighter Level 5
At Level 5, you gain the much-anticipated Extra Attack, which lets you make another attack using your Melee Weapon, allowing you to obliterate powerful enemies. With Action Surge, you’ll be able to execute at most 3 attacks in a single turn!
When it comes to the Eldritch Knight Fighter’s Equipment, you’ll be wielding a Two-Handed Weapon or One-Handed Weapon and a Shield. Again, this will depend on the Fighting Style you’ve chosen during Character Creation. I personally prefer Two-Handed Weapons like the Everburn Blade, which you get by killing Commander Zhalk of the Nautiloid. Its Slashing Damage is high and you’re able to deal Fire Damage as well. Additionally, you can even set enemies on fire when you use the Everburn Blade with Grease. What’s more, is that this Weapon allows you to execute Lacerate and Cleave to inflict Bleeding and to hit adjacent enemies in one swing, respectively.
In terms of Heavy Armor, your choices in Early Access are limited. However, wearing one becomes advantageous since this lets you allocate points to other Abilities besides Dexterity. You can get your hands on the Chain Mail Armor by defeating Lurgan in the Underdark or the Adamantine Splint Armor from Grymforge to increase your AC to 17. If in case you decide to wield a Shield, which will add +2 to your AC, it’ll much harder for enemies to attack you.
For Accessories, on top of the Warped Headband of Intellect, you’ll be wearing the Boots of Striding and Psychic Spark. The Boots of Striding allows you to gain extra Movement Speed when casting a Spell that requires Concentration such as Expeditious Retreat. Once Concentration is active, you’ll be invulnerable to being knocked Prone. Meanwhile, the Psychic Spark improves Magic Missile by adding one extra dart. Because of this, you can deal as much as 8-20 Force Damage against a single enemy as if you have the Level 2 version of Magic Missile!
The Eldritch Knight Fighter likes to mix melee-focused combat with Spells, making it a fun Subclass to try. These Spells aren’t confined to ranged only, however, since they also have access to Burning Hands and Thunderwave, allowing for a more versatile playstyle. One of their must-have Spells is Magic Missile because it simply doesn’t miss regardless of where you’re located. You can even cast this at point-blank range or in low-light conditions if you wish. Additionally, remember that positioning yourself at High Ground with respect to your targets when using Fire Bolt or Ray of Frost will improve the chances of hitting them. So be sure to double-check the descriptions of your Cantrips and Spells to know which ones provide this bonus.
If you wish to go with the One-Handed Weapon and Shield setup, I suggest wielding Dragon’s Grasp, which can be purchased from Arron at the Druid Grove, and any Shield. With this, you can deal extra Slashing Damage when you use it against burning targets. Overall though, your damage won’t be as high as wielding a Two-Handed Weapon but you’re going to be more resilient against enemy attacks due to your relatively greater AC.
Lastly, you can choose to turn Lae’zel into a fine Eldritch Knight Fighter just by simply letting her wear the Warped Headband of Intellect. Similar to the Battle Master, be sure to allocate 1 point each to Strength and Dexterity at Level 4 to improve the effectiveness of her Melee Attacks and Damage, as well as her AC, considering that she’s wearing Medium Armor. The only downside that I see is she’ll have less HP since her Constitution is at 14 but it shouldn’t be an issue since the creatures in Early Access aren’t that difficult to deal with.
Stay tuned for more Baldur’s Gate 3 content as we update the other 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!