Baldur’s Gate 3 Abjuration School Wizard Build Guide – In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Abjuration School Wizard Build Guide, I’m going to cover my Wizard 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 Abjuration School Wizard effectively in the first Act of the game.
Be sure to check out our other Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds for Early Access including: 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, Draconic Sorcerer!
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Wizard Builds Features
- Abilities: Intelligence & Dexterity
- Subclasses: Evocation School & Abjuration School
- Unique Feature: Wizard Spells
- Hit Die: +6 HP + CON Modifier
Baldur’s Gate 3 Abjuration School Wizard Build Guide
The Abjuration School Wizard is a more resilient Subclass compared to the Evocation School due to the Arcane Ward they conjure when casting Abjuration Spells. What happens here is that they receive temporary HP to absorb damage. They can then recast the same Spell type every time to replenish this Magical Shield effectively. So even if they only wear Clothing and their AC is relatively lower, the Abjuration School tends to survive longer in Combat.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Abjuration School Wizard Character Creation
In this section, we’ll take a look at how to set up your Wizard 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 Intelligence Skills should be sufficient since this is your primary Ability to hit and damage enemies by casting Spells. Intelligence has Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion. Some Background examples are Sage, Noble, and Acolyte.
Unlike in our previous Wizard Build Guide, Race will be an essential factor for this Class because you won’t be able to rely on the Warped Headband of Intellect to grant 18 Intelligence since it’ll only provide you with 17. This is crucial in encounters since you’re going to want to maximize Intelligence at 18 in Early Access to make sure that your Spells land on enemies.
As such, you’ll want to select a Race, which will allow you to reach 16 Intelligence during Character Creation so you can then add 2 points to it at Level 4. The ones you should consider are the High Elf and Deep Gnome. It’s worth noting that both of them will have the same Ability distribution but they’re going to differ in terms of the perks they offer.
For the High Elf, you gain 1 additional Cantrip, and for this, I suggest taking Fire Bolt. Fire Bolt will allow you to incinerate the ground as long as you cast Grease beforehand or you blast oil barrels in the area. In addition to Fire Damage, affected targets also take burning damage over time. Next, you gain access to Darkvision, which lets you fare well in dark places, together with Keen Senses, thereby making you Proficient in Perception.
Comparatively, choosing the Deep Gnome will grant you an Advantage on Saving Throws for Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, as well as Stealth Checks. You also gain Superior Darkvision, increasing your sight range in the dark.
For Skills again it’s not super important, but you’ll have high Intelligence and Dexterity, so selecting Skills that fall under these Abilities is ideal. Dexterity has Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth, and I’ve already listed what Intelligence Skills there are.
First and foremost, Wizards need a high Spellcasting Ability Modifier to boost the effectiveness of their Spells. Since you can no longer rely on the Warped Headband of Intellect for this, you’re going to have to raise Intelligence to 16 during Character Creation. Next, you’ll be increasing Dexterity to the same value to raise your AC. This is vital for Wizards since they’re only Proficient in wearing Clothing, making their AC lower compared to other Classes. And finally, you’ll be raising Constitution to as much as 14 to improve your max HP. Your Ability spread should look something like this:
Baldur’s Gate 3 Abjuration School Wizard Level 1
During Character Creation you’ll be given many Spells, but you’ll have to choose which to “Prepare” in order to cast them. Every time you level up as a Wizard, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of Known Spells and Prepare more and more Spells.
Cantrips and Arcane Recovery
There are some excellent Wizard Cantrips to select during this stage. If you’ve selected the Deep Gnome, then you should definitely include the Fire Bolt among the list of Cantrips to pick. This, together with Ray of Frost, Acid Splash, and either Dancing Lights or Chill Touch are the ones I highly recommend. Ray of Frost is another Ranged Attack Cantrip that potentially knocks the target Prone while temporarily reducing their Movement Speed.
Acid Splash has a small AoE effect, which is nice for hitting multiple enemies. Dancing Lights is great for creating light so allies who don’t have Darkvision can see and hit things more easily in dark places. And lastly, Chill Touch lets you deal Necrotic Damage while preventing the target from restoring their HP.
Arcane Recovery allows you to recover either 2 Level 1 Spell Slots or 1 Level 2 Spell Slot at the start. So use this when you need to cast another Spell or two before taking a Long Rest. Note that Arcane Recovery can only be used outside of combat.
Level 1 Spells
At Level 1, you’ll get to Prepare 4 Spells. The ones you should focus on in addition to Grease are Mage Armour, Magic Missile, and Thunderwave. Mage Armour is crucial to Wizards because it sets their default AC to 13 + their Dexterity Modifier, amounting to 16 in total so they won’t be too much of a glass cannon in combat. What’s more, is that the Spell also doesn’t require Concentration. You’ll only have to recast Mage Armour after taking a Long Rest.
Next is Magic Missile, which cannot be protected against, nor can it miss. With this, you can target up to 3 enemies at Level 1. Magic Missile is very useful when you need to finish off those with low HP but still hit your primary target, or when you cannot hit the enemy using another Spell that easily. And finally, there’s Thunderwave, which is an excellent AoE Spell that’ll allow you to push back foes who are approaching you, often to their deaths. However, the Abjuration School Wizard’s allies will get caught in Thunderwave’s blast at Level 2, unlike the Evocation School, since they don’t gain the Sculpt Spells Feature. This would’ve negated the Spell’s damage since it makes use of a Saving Throw.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Abjuration School Wizard Level 2
At Level 2, you’ll get to choose your Wizard’s Subclass and for this Build, you’re going to select the Abjuration School. Doing so will grant Abjuration Savant and Arcane Ward. Abjuration Savant reduces the gold you spend when learning new Abjuration Spells from Scrolls. On the other hand, Arcane Ward serves as a Magical Shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. At this level, you gain a maximum of 7 HP upon casting an Abjuration Spell of Level 1 or higher, which means that the Blade Ward Cantrip won’t work here. Unlike what Arcane Ward’s description says, you’ll lose the Shield once your temporary HP is reduced to 0. To fully replenish this, you’ll only need to cast another Abjuration Spell.
Additionally, you’ll get to Prepare another Level 1 Spell, and for this, I suggest taking Chromatic Orb instead of the Abjuration Spell known as Protection from Evil and Good. Although specific enemy types incur a Disadvantage when attacking the targeted ally, the Spell doesn’t have much use in Early Access. So you’re better off choosing a powerful Spell like Chromatic Orb. Now to replenish your Arcane Ward’s temporary HP, you can recast Mage Armour.
Chromatic Orb is a Ranged Spell whose element changes depending on the type of damage you want to inflict. So you can hurl a fireball at targets and create a burning surface or deal Lightning Damage and conjure an electrified surface. There are a lot of choices to be made with Chromatic Orb, making it a versatile Spell.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Wizard Level 3
At Level 3, you’ll gain another Level 1 Spell Slot and 2 Level 2 Spell Slots. There are a lot of great Spells here such as Scorching Ray, Shatter, Cloud of Daggers, and Misty Step, although, there are no new Abjuration Spells.
Scorching Ray deals 2-12 Fire Damage against multiple enemies or 6-36 damage to the same target, making it a must-have Level 2 Spell. Just remember that similar to Fire Bolt and Ray of Frost, getting on Higher Ground will improve the chances for Scorching Ray to hit your foes.
Shatter encompasses a larger AoE and it can also be cast from afar. This deals huge Thunder Damage against multiple adjacent enemies. Additionally, Shatter doesn’t need Concentration so you can cast a Concentration Spell without any problems.
Cloud of Daggers is an incredible Spell to have because although it requires Concentration, the daggers you conjure will continue to circle around, attack, and even slay multiple adjacent enemies per round for up to 10 turns. It’s also more useful in chokepoints like doorways. But remember that Cloud of Daggers can also damage allies who are nearby so you need to be careful when positioning it.
Misty Step lets you teleport to a location you can see, allowing you to get to High Ground easily to gain the +2 Attack Roll bonus when using Ranged Attacks like Scorching Ray. Since this is a Bonus Action, you can also perform an Action during the same turn. Alternatively, you can opt to get the Amulet of Misty Step from the Underdark to be able to gain Misty Step but you’re going to have to wait a while to do so.
Once you reach Level 3, you’ll also be able to cast some Level 1 Spells as Level 2 versions, using Level 2 Spell Slots instead of Level 1 Spell Slots. This works out tremendously for the Abjuration School Wizard Build because it allows you to cast some of the better Level 1 Spells as more powerful versions. For instance, you can cast Thunderwave at Level 2 for an extra 1-8 damage. Or you can cast Magic Missile at Level 2 to shoot an extra dart.
Some Cantrips and Spells have effects that are dependent on the Wizard’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 so on the Spell itself. For example, if you cast Dancing Lights, but then you cast Cloud of Daggers, you would stop “Concentrating” on Dancing Lights and begin Concentrating on Cloud of Daggers.
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 Wizards to have average to high Constitution because of the Spells that require this Ability and is wasted if it’s constantly broken.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Wizard Level 4
At Level 4, you’ll gain another Level 2 Spell Slot, Cantrip, and 2 more Spells. You can choose the ones you like best from the list of Spells I provided in the previous level. For the Cantrip, it’s a good idea to pick Blade Ward to reduce the damage you take from Physical Attacks by half.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Wizard Level 5
At Level 5, you gain access to great Level 3 Spells such as Counterspell and Glyph of Warding. When either of these is cast, you automatically activate Arcane Ward since they’re both Abjuration Spells. Counterspell is a Reaction that can significantly foil your enemy’s plans as long as they’re located within 18m of you. Doing so will let you stop corresponding Spell effects. But remember that since it consumes the Abjuration School Wizard’s Spell Slots, you can only use this at most 2 times before taking a Long Rest.
Next is Glyph of Warding, which is an extremely potent Spell that allows you to conjure circular glyphs on the floor whose effects will be triggered once the enemy moves so it’s instant. You can choose from a series of effects including dealing huge 5-40 Fire Damage, Lightning Damage, or even pushing back everyone provided that they fail their Dexterity Saving Throws. But for the damage effects, remember that they’ll still take half the damage even if they succeed with this roll. With Glyph of Warding, you’ll need to make sure that none of your allies are standing on the AoE, otherwise, they’ll also get hit.
When it comes to the Abjuration School Wizard’s Equipment, you can go for the Staff of Crones from Auntie Ethel if you intend to keep casting the Ray of Sickness Spell it grants. Here, Ray of Sickness doesn’t really act like a Spell since it won’t consume a Spell Slot so you effectively deal 2-16 Poison Damage from a ‘Cantrip’. But there’s a catch. As the Spellcaster, you take 2-8 damage every time. This can be reduced by wearing the Ring of Poison Resistance from the Shattered Sanctum near where Halsin is, thereby cutting the damage by half. I won’t recommend choosing the Strongheart Halfling for their natural Poison Resistance since they can’t reach 16 Intelligence during Character Creation.
Alternatively, you can choose to wield The Spellsparkler as part of completing a portion of the Rescue the Grand Duke Quest. So every time you cast a Cantrip or Spell, you gain 2 Lightning Charges, which are then used to increase your Attack Roll and deal Lightning Damage. At 5 Charges, you’ll be able to inflict additional 1-8 Lightning Damage on your next cast!
For the other Accessories, you’ll also be wearing the Psychic Spark. The Psychic Spark, which is bought from Blurg of the Ebonlake Grotto in the Underdark, is the updated version of The Sapphire Spark after Patch 9. Instead of dealing 12-36 damage against a single target at Level 2 of Magic Missile, you’ll only be able to inflict 10-25 Force Damage. Although the difference is high, you still gain the benefit of casting 1 extra dart as long as you’re wearing this necklace.
The Abjuration School Wizard is an incredible Subclass to play because, in addition to their powerful Spells that deal massive damage, they have access to a Magical Shield that temporarily grants them HP to absorb some damage. What’s more, is that this HP increases as you level up, going as high as 14 at Level 5. You get to fully replenish it simply by casting a Level 1 Abjuration Spell.
Speaking of Level 5, you gain the highly sought-after Level 3 Spell called the Glyph of Warding. Aside from the variety it provides, you can use Glyph of Warding: Lightning right after casting Create Water. Create Water is a Spell that doubles the Lightning Damage dealt by this Level 3 Spell. So if the target is wet, instead of receiving the standard 5-40 Lightning Damage, they can potentially take 10-80 Damage, which is far better than Fireball!
If you don’t have a Druid or Cleric with you to cast Create Water, you can equip the Rain Dancer Staff, which is purchased from Arron at the Druid Grove. Just remember that you’ll be able to accomplish this combination in 2 turns. Alternatively, you can have another Spellcaster wield the staff so you can then cast Glyph of Warding in the same round.
Last but not least, remember that not all Spells make use of the High Ground bonus, and only those that operate as Ranged Attack do such as Scorching Ray and Ray of Frost. For Spells like Thunderwave, which make use of Ability Saving Throws, you won’t gain any Attack Roll bonuses by situating yourself at a higher elevation than your targets. So keep this in mind to know when you should cast certain Spells.
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!