Rangers are a complicated class. They’re athletic, acrobatic, and arcane all at the same time. This means that even though they aren’t designed to be pure casters like Wizards, Warlocks, and Sorcerers, you still get to pick out a handful of spells. That being said, you’ll have to be very selective with the spells that your Ranger chooses in Baldur’s Gate 3.
A fully leveled Ranger only gets four Level 1 spell slots, three Level 2 spell slots, and three Level 3 spell slots. Still, granting your character access to the right spells can completely change the way you play the game. Here are a few of the best Baldur’s Gate 3 Ranger spells in each category.
Cantrips are spells that do not expend spell slots. They’re usually the weakest type of spell, but the ability to use them infinitely makes them extremely valuable. Rangers don’t get to choose their cantrips from a list like most spell-casting classes, however.
Only two cantrips are available, and Rangers can only get them as features of their selected Favored Enemy (which they get to choose at levels 1, 6, and 10). Here are the only two that offer cantrips:
True Strike (Mage Breaker)
True Strike isn’t great. Casting it simply allows players to have advantage on their next attack roll. This is good if you have the opportunity to use it before the start of combat, but it’s less than worthless if combat has already started.
The problem is that casting the spell takes an action, and you’re going to be rolling twice to hit across two turns regardless. All you’ve done is deny yourself the opportunity to potentially hit twice.
In fact, this spell actually makes it so you have even fewer attack rolls once you’ve managed to unlock Extra Attack. You’ll probably never cast this during combat, unless you can’t move or do anything else meaningful.
Sacred Flame (Sanctified Stalker)
Radiant damage is one of the best damage types in the game. It’s great for fighting fiends and undead, and there are only a few enemies with resistance to it. Sacred Flame deals 1d8 Radiant damage to start and goes up an extra d8 at levels 5 and 10. You probably don’t need it if you plan to have a Cleric in your party, but it’s always good to have someone who can deal this damage type.
Note: You can alternatively choose the Ranger Knight Favored Enemy, which gives the player proficiency with Heavy Armor. This is also a valid choice for those who want to lean more towards melee rather than magic.
Best Level 1 Ranger Spells
First-level spells represent a majority of the Ranger’s spellcasting since they don’t get any second-level spell slots until Level 5. The Ranger spell pool has a small, but reasonably healthy mix of utility, combat, and movement spells. Here are the three best:
3. Speak with Animals
There are a lot of different animals in Baldur’s Gate 3, and you’ll be missing out on a lot of roleplay if you aren’t able to talk to them.
Of course, there are plenty of potions and spells in the game that will allow you to communicate with them. However, odds are that you’ll end up using one just about every in-game day to talk to these critters, so it’s nice to have the spell as a renewable resource.
2. Ensnaring Strike
The Best Ranger spells in Baldur’s Gate 3 are the ones that enhance the Ranger’s natural play style. Ensnaring Strike is a bonus action spell that imbues a trap into your next attack. Hitting an enemy while using Ensnaring Strike makes it so that you summon vines that might ensnare your target.
If they’re ensnared, they can’t move, have disadvantage on attacks against you and your allies, will take 1d6 piercing damage at the start of each turn, and you and your allies will have advantage on attacks against them. All these effects last up to 10 rounds, or until the enemy manages to pass a Dex saving throw and break free.
We hope we don’t have to explain why this is so good if you successfully ensnare an enemy. It’s especially effective against enemies that only have melee options, as your party can just safely pepper them from afar.
1. Hunter’s Mark
This spell is one of the main reasons to choose the Ranger class. Hunter’s Mark allows you to ‘mark’ an enemy as your quarry. All weapon attacks you make against the creature deal an extra 1d6 damage for as long as you can maintain concentration on the spell.
It doesn’t even end when your target dies! You can transfer the mark to a new target without having to expend an extra spell slot. Best of all, casting it is a bonus action, so you still get to attack on the turn that you cast it.
- Find Familiar: This is a great spell for exploring, and these spectral critters can even help out in combat.
- Cure Wounds: Rangers aren’t the best healers, but it’s always good to have someone in the party who can restore a little extra health.
Best Level 2 Ranger Spells
The second-level Ranger spells are almost exclusively concentration spells. Since you can only maintain one concentration spell at a time, you will usually end up casting one and then leaving it active in order to preserve its effect rather than casting another on your next turn. We think these three have the most useful effects:
3. Spike Growth
Occasionally, you want to do more than just attack your enemies. Sometimes it’s better to cast environmental spells in order to control the field.
Spike Growth allows you to turn a patch of ground into hard spikes. Any creature that walks on these spikes only gets half movement and takes 2d4 piercing damage for every 1.5m that it moves on them. Place this in a hallway between you and your enemies and then switch to shooting them with your bow, as you watch any melee fighters among them struggle to reach you.
Nothing shuts down spellcasters like a little soundproofing. Casting the Silence spell creates an 18m sphere. Everything inside the sphere is silenced and immune to thunder damage.
Most spells in BG3 require some kind of verbal component. This spell will prevent those spellcasters from being able to speak their incantation, thereby preventing them from casting said spells. It’s definitely useful when going up against a team of mages.
1. Pass Without Trace
Rangers often end up taking the sneaky scouting role in the party. You could always take your chances rolling standard stealth checks, but a more surefire way to make sure that you don’t get caught anywhere you aren’t supposed to be is to cast Pass Without Trace.
This spell allows you to create a veil of shadows and silence that gives not just you, but your entire party a +10 to stealth checks. This makes it much easier to sneak through enemy encampments or to make sure that everyone in your party is in the ideal position before triggering the start of an encounter.
Best Level 3 Ranger Spells
Rangers don’t get third-level spells until Level 9, and even then, they only get a few. These are the most powerful spells in the Ranger’s arsenal though, so you’ll want to make sure you pick the ones that will give you the most bang for your spell slot. Here are our top three:
3. Conjure Barrage
Walking headfirst into a hoard of enemies? Rangers don’t get a ton of AoE spells, but Conjure Barrage is a great way to hit a ton of them all at once.
It essentially allows you to fire a volley of arrows dealing 2d8 slashing damage to everyone within a 9m sphere. Targets will get to make a Dex save to only take half damage, but it’s still a decent opening salvo.
2. Plant Growth
Plant Growth is another spell that creates difficult terrain for your enemies. The spell summons a 6m sphere of weeds on the ground in a location of your choice. It doesn’t deal damage like Spike Growth, but it actually quarters the movement of creatures passing through the affected area.
This means that they will either have to go all the way around the sphere, or else get bogged down in a 6m area that will take them about three rounds to get through. This leaves you plenty of time to whittle down their health with ranged spells and weapon attacks.
1. Lightning Arrow
If you want to hit your enemies hard, then there isn’t a more powerful spell in the Ranger’s arsenal than Lightning Arrow. This spell allows you to shoot an arrow made of (you guessed it) lightning. Once the arrow hits its intended target, it deals 4d8 lightning damage before splitting off into smaller bolts of lightning that hit other nearby creatures for an additional 2d8 lightning.
This combination of targeted-and-AoE spell is a great way to hit a boss with a powerful shot while weakening their minions at the same time. It’s particularly good to use after trapping a bunch of enemies together in Spike Growth or Plant Growth.
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