Baldur’s Gate 3 Thief Rogue Build Guide – In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Thief Rogue Build Guide, I’m going to cover my Rogue 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 a Thief Rogue effectively in the first Act of the game.
Be sure to check out our other Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds for Early Access including: Abjuration School Wizard, Evocation School Wizard, Eldritch Knight Fighter, 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!
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Builds Features
- Abilities: Dexterity
- Subclasses: Thief & Arcane Trickster
- Unique Feature: Sneak Attack
- Hit Die: +8 HP + CON Modifier
Baldur’s Gate 3 Thief Rogue Build Guide
The Thief Rogue is a powerfully cunning Subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3. Not only can they attack multiple times in a single turn to deal considerable damage with Main Hand and Off-Hand Weapons, but they can also evade and resist enemy hits effectively. Because of the number of Bonus Actions they have per turn, they can use Shove, Jump, or even Cunning Action: Dash to approach their targets with ease.
Unlike the Arcane Trickster, the Thief specializes in dishing out Sneak Attacks to inflict incredible damage under the right circumstances. For instance, hiding and quietly moving toward the enemy grants Advantage, allowing them to go in for the kill.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Thief Rogue Character Creation
In this section, we’ll take a look at how to set up your Rogue 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, choosing one that provides you with Dexterity Skills should be enough since this is your primary Ability in order to lockpick chests and stealthily attack enemies. Dexterity has Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth. Some Background examples include Urchin, Charlatan, and Criminal.
The first Race that works well for this Build is the Wood Half-Elf. Not only can you allocate 1 point each into Dexterity and Wisdom, but you also gain +2 Charisma to persuade or deceive NPCs, Darkvision to see and hit targets better in the dark, and Fleet of Foot, which raises your Movement Speed.
Next is the Wood Elf and Drow. Wood Elves gain +2 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom as well as Proficiency in Perception and Stealth. Additionally, they can’t be put to Sleep by magic due to Fey Ancestry. Drow, on the other hand, has Superior Darkvision, making it much easier to perform better in dark places, plus, you’re able to cast the Dancing Lights Cantrip for allies who need light to execute their attacks well. It’s worth noting that for all of these Races, you’re going to have mostly the same Ability spread with 16 Dexterity at Level 1.
Skills and Expertise
The Thief Rogue Build will gain 4 Skills at Character Creation, making it higher than any other Class in Early Access. Aside from having high Dexterity, it’s good for them to also gain enough Wisdom to have better rolls on Perception. Perception is important to Rogues because it allows them to spot traps as well as see hidden switches or doors. Wisdom also has Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, and Survival, and I’ve already listed what Dexterity Skills there are. Additionally, you can opt to take Charisma Skills such as Deception, Persuasion, Intimidation, and Performance to sway NPCs in dialogue.
In Patch 8, Expertise has finally been added for Rogues at Level 1. This Class Feature doubles your Proficiency Bonus for Ability Checks of your 2 chosen Proficiencies. And so I highly recommend taking Sleight of Hand and Stealth to make it easier to disarm traps and sneakily approach encounters, respectively.
The primary Abilities that are needed for this Build are Dexterity and Constitution. Dexterity not only increases your chances of successfully attacking and dealing considerable damage using Finesse and Ranged Weapons but also boosts your Armor Class (AC), which is necessary since you’re only Proficient with wearing Light Armor. Meanwhile, Constitution boosts your max HP. Next, I suggest investing 14 points each to Wisdom and Charisma to become an effective Stealthy Thief who fares well in dialogue. So your Ability spread should look something like this:
Sneak Attack is a special Action that all Rogues can use once every turn. This becomes very potent since it boosts their damage tremendously under the right circumstances. In Baldur’s Gate 3, to deal Sneak Attack Damage, you need to have Advantage, or the target needs to be within 1.5m of a character it considers an enemy. Nowadays, the easiest way to gain Advantage for the Melee or Ranged versions of Sneak Attack is by stealthily approaching foes to hit them or attacking from the shadows. Being on High Ground no longer counts because you instead gain +2 Attack Roll Bonus for it. Simply positioning yourself directly behind the target doesn’t work either.
However, there seems to be a bug because, in Sneak Attack’s description, you can’t have Disadvantage to use it. In one instance, my ally was standing beside the enemy whereas my Rogue was able to successfully activate Sneak Attack (Ranged) despite feeling Threatened.
It’s important to remember that using this special Action takes into account your Main Hand Weapon’s damage, your Ability Modifier, and the additional Sneak Attack Damage. This means that your Off-Hand Weapon’s damage isn’t included. Remember that the Sneak Attack Damage increases every odd level. So at Level 3, this will amount to 2x the damage of your 1d6 Damage Roll and then at Level 5, it’ll be equal to 3x d6.
Furthermore, since Sneak Attack uses your Main Hand Weapon’s damage, then at earlier levels, you’re better off using Sneak Attack (Ranged) with a Light Crossbow because of its 1d8 Damage Roll as opposed to the Shortsword’s 1d6 damage. At Level 4, you’ll be able to take the Dual Wielder Feat, which would allow you to wield 2 Rapiers, thereby pushing your Melee Damage Roll to 1d8. The following is the damage calculation for your total Sneak Attack Action:
Main-Hand Damage Roll + DEX Modifier + 1d6 * (Rogue Level -1)/2 + 1 = Total Sneak Attack Damage
Baldur’s Gate 3 Thief Rogue Level 2
At Level 2, Rogues gain two versions of Cunning Action, namely Dash and Disengage. Cunning Action: Dash doubles their Movement Speed and is considered a Bonus Action. As such, this Class will still be able to attack after moving, unlike the others that use Dash as an Action.
Meanwhile, Cunning Action: Disengage is another Bonus Action that allows them to move away from the center of the fight without being susceptible to taking Attacks of Opportunity from enemies within range. This is powerful considering that your character can simply walk away without taking into account the Reactions of those around them.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Level 3
At Level 3, you’ll get to choose your Rogue’s Subclass and for this Build, you’re going to select Thief where you gain Fast Hands and Second-Story Work. Fast Hands allows Thief Rogues to use 2 Bonus Actions in every turn so you can use Off-Hand Attack (Melee) 2x in many cases, thereby amplifying your overall damage.
On the other hand, Second-Story Work reduces the fall damage you take by half, allowing you to jump down from a higher elevation or just protect yourself from Shoves from high places.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Level 4
At Level 4, you can choose a Feat, and here I recommend you go for Dual Wielder to gain +1 AC while dual wielding and to be able to use 2 Rapiers in either hand. Rapiers deal 1d8 damage compared to the Shortsword’s 1d6 so this will be a +1 damage upgrade on average.
But if you prefer to attack targets from a distance and favor the Longbow, then the Ability Improvement Feat would probably be better. With +2 Dexterity, your hit chance and damage using the Bow and a Main Hand Melee Weapon increases but remember that your Off-Hand Attack (Melee) does not.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Level 5
At Level 5, the Thief gains Uncanny Dodge, which grants resistance to the damage you take. This means that damage received from Physical Attacks or Spells will be halved. For instance, instead of originally receiving 3 Slashing Damage, you only take 1 damage since 2, which is rounded up, will be subtracted from the formula. However, Uncanny Dodge remains inconsistent and may therefore be bugged. For example, 2 Ranged Attack Weapon Actions coming from the same enemy at different turns yields two results where the damage is taken in full at first but is then halved in the second instance.
Additionally, and as mentioned earlier, your extra Sneak Attack Damage increases to 3d6.
When it comes to the Thief’s Equipment, you’re going to equip 2 Shortswords and a Longbow early on. But after taking the Dual Wielder Feat, you’ll be able to replace these Shortswords with Rapiers for extra damage. You can purchase the Rapier +1 from Dammon of the Druid Grove and the Longbow +1 from Roah Moonglow of the Shattered Sanctum. Note that even if you don’t have Proficiency in wielding Longbows, you won’t incur a Disadvantage, meaning, you can still use Sneak Attack (Ranged).
In terms of Armor, you should wear the Studded Leather Armor or the Spidersilk Armour, which you get after defeating Minthara in the Shattered Sanctum. This, together with your +3 Dexterity Modifier and +1 AC bonus from the Dual Wielder Feat, should give you a total of 16 AC.
For Accessories, you’ll be wearing the Haste Helm, Linebreaker Boots, and Amulet of Misty Step. The Haste Helm from the Blighted Village further raises your Movement Speed at the start of every encounter, making it much easier to reach your targets. Next is the Linebreaker Boots, which grants Wrath every time you use Cunning Action: Dash so you gain +1 Melee Damage almost always. I won’t recommend The Speedy Lightfeet anymore since this will lead to a Disadvantage, thereby preventing you from using Sneak Attack. It’s primarily due to the boots’ being Medium Armor, which you don’t have Proficiency in.
And lastly, there’s the Amulet of Misty Step since this enables you to use the Misty Step Spell. So with a Bonus Action, you can simply travel to a higher elevation or evade dangerous situations. Just remember though that High Ground no longer equates to gaining Advantage.
The Thief Rogue is a stealthy and quick Subclass that takes advantage of proper positioning to deal the most amount of damage, whether it be near or far away from the enemy. What’s more, is that due to their agility, they effectively resist any type of damage thrown at them. Remember that for Bonus Actions, it’s best to save them for your Off-Hand Attack (Melee) as this will give you the most attacks per turn, helping to keep your damage up.
Next, it’s important to create scenarios where you can keep using Sneak Attack in every round if possible so that you can efficiently slay your targets. For instance, hiding and sneaking up on them or shooting arrows from the shadows should do the trick to gain the Advantage you need. Just be careful of taking Attacks of Opportunity in the melee range should you move from one enemy to the next.
Additionally, and in some cases, even if you don’t gain Advantage by attacking from a higher elevation, this idea is worth pursuing to capitalize on the +2 Attack Roll Bonus. Afterward, you can then find targets near your allies to still use Sneak Attack (Ranged).
Lastly, if you’re unable to get ahold of a good Rapier and Longbow, you can go for the Speedy Reply and The Joltshooter, respectively. The Speedy Reply has a good Damage Roll plus, you keep gaining Momentum to raise your Movement Speed when this Weapon is used to attack targets. Meanwhile, The Joltshooter allows you to gain Lightning Charges. These charges provide you with a +1 bonus to your Attack Roll and another +1 to your Damage Roll. If you accumulate 5 charges, it’ll automatically be consumed, letting you deal an extra 1-8 Lightning Damage.
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!