The Bard is a class that’s uniquely designed to fit any niche in your Baldur’s Gate 3 party. They can heal, debuff, deal damage, offer crowd control, and more. They can learn just about any spell in the game through their Magical Secrets feature, further enabling you to specialize in any direction you like. Their own support-heavy spell list is not to be overlooked, however. Choosing new spells from the list can be intimidating since you can’t change your spells on the fly as a Bard — only when you level up. To help you out, we’ve put together this list of the 10 best Bard spells in Baldur’s Gate 3, starting with some fun ones and working up to the absolute must-haves.
Let’s get started!
10 Best Bard Spells in BG3, Ranked
As a quick disclaimer, this ranking is limited specifically to Bard spells. There are some excellent spells in the game that are a boon for any caster, but are only available through the Magical Secrets feature. The image above contains the full list of Bard spells available to choose from, which is what we’ll use to recommend our picks.
With that in mind, let’s get into our ranking of the 10 best Bard spells in Baldur’s Gate 3!
Bards only have one damaging cantrip in their spell list, but it’s a fun one. Vicious Mockery allows you to literally insult your enemies to death. Every time you cast it, your bard will shout a clever one-liner. The spell will do 1d4 of damage, increasing by a d4 at Level 5 and again at Level 11.
It’s not a lot, but that’s only half of the spell’s effect. It also gives the target disadvantage on its next attack roll, making it less likely to land a hit on you or an ally. That’s the main reason you’d want to use this spell, as the damage is less than you can do with your hand crossbow.
Speak with Animals
This Level 1 spell has no use in combat, but you definitely want to have someone in your party who can cast it, and it may as well be your charismatic Bard, since they’ll probably be the one making use of it in dialogue anyway. Speak with Animals opens up entire conversations that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to fully explore. It’s also a ritual spell, meaning you can cast it without using a spell slot, and it lasts until your next long rest.
Throw this spell up on yourself at the beginning of each day any you’ll be able to take advantage of it any time you encounter an animal. Now you can finally figure out what’s up with that Strange Ox!
Next up on our list of the best Bard spells in Baldur’s Gate 3 is Greater Invisibility. Although you don’t get this spell until you acquire Level 4 spell slots, it’s a game changer when you do pick it up. Unlike the lower-level Invisibility spell, your target can stay invisible, even if they pick a pocket or attack. That makes it particularly useful if you’re looking to steal everything in sight. Just make sure your target has a high Stealth skill, because they’ll have to roll a Stealth check every time they take an action or interact with an object.
You’ll also have to maintain concentration, but that should be easy if you keep yourself out of harm’s way. If you’re going to use this spell for thieving, it’s a good idea to enter turn-based mode, because it only lasts for 10 turns.
Here we have another spell that’s only useful for dialogue, though that’s a benefit of its own as a Bard. As a Level 2 spell, Detect Thoughts is very similar to the Illithid Wisdom ability, but with fewer concerns about what kind of powers you might be tapping into. The spell can be cast right from the dialogue menu, so you don’t have to anticipate when you might need it — just have it available in your spellbook. The best part is it’s a ritual spell, so you won’t need to burn any spell slots to cast it.
Despite being only a Level 1 spell, Healing Word is the one of the best and most important Bard spells in your Baldur’s Gate 3 arsenal. You should pick it up even if you aren’t your party’s primary healer! It doesn’t heal for as much as other healing spells, but it’s a bonus action that can be cast at range, which makes it extremely efficient. You don’t have to waste your action to cast it, and you don’t have to put yourself in harm’s way. Use this spell to get your allies up and save your main action for crowd control, buffs, or damage so they don’t keep taking hits.
As a Bard, it makes sense that you’d be able to lull enemies to sleep, and this Level 1 spell will let you do that very effectively. There are a few things that make this spell so strong. First, it always lands — there’s no attack roll and no saving throw, it’s just straight to dreamland. Second, you can affect multiple targets with it. As long as your enemies have combined health that falls below the spell’s threshold, you’re golden. Third, you and your allies get guaranteed critical strikes on enemies who are asleep. You can rob multiple enemies of a turn or two and deal some heavy damage to them while you’re at it.
This spell falls off a bit as you get into the higher levels. It’s most effective in Act I, where it can be used to knock out multiple smaller enemies at once. It’s also worth noting that its hit point requirement is based on current HP, so you can even use it on bigger enemies once their health gets low.
Glyph of Warding
Since the Bard only gets to swap spells on a level up, a little flexibility can go a long way. Glyph of Warding is a Level 3 spell that can do any kind of elemental damage. It can also put your targets to sleep or knock them back. We’ve already talked about how useful the Sleep spell is; the Sleep version of Glyph of Warding is an upgraded version of that spell that isn’t limited by hit points, although it does allow the target(s) to make a Dexterity saving throw. To make this spell even better, any target that succeeds its saving throw still takes half damage. And because you can choose any element, you can cater your strategy to the environment. Throw down some fire and blow up a few barrels, or if there are a bunch of enemies standing in water, hit them with some lightning.
Cloud of Daggers
Even as a Level 2 spell, Cloud of Daggers is perhaps the best damaging spell in the bard’s spell list. This is because it simply works every time — no saving throws, no attack rolls, no resistance, no escape. Any enemies inside the targeted area take damage at least twice, once when you cast the spell and again on their turn. And if they don’t move away from it (and you don’t lose concentration), they’ll continue taking damage. Use this spell at a choke point, or force enemies to stand in it with your crowd control abilities. Then sit back and watch it do all the work.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is all about skill checks, and this Level 2 Bard spell is effectively a cheat code for passing them. You get to roll twice for every roll of the given type until you take a long rest or lose concentration. The Cat’s Grace version of the spell is especially useful for disarming traps and picking locks. You can also cast the spell during dialogue, making it incredibly valuable to have on hand for those particularly tricky Persuasion or Deception checks.
There are also some useful secondary effects for the spell; you can double your weight limit with Bull’s Strength, reduce falling damage with Cat’s Grace, and gain some extra hit points with Bear’s Endurance. That extra flexibility is valuable for a bard, who has fewer known spells than some other casters.
At Level 4, Dimension Door is one of the higher level spells on our list, but it’s well worth using a higher level spell slot to cast it. Bards don’t get many tools for escape, and this is one of the best escapes in the game. Not only that, but you can take an ally with you. This can help you get the high ground advantage with your ranged party members and keep them out of harm’s way. Positioning is a major element of combat in Baldur’s Gate 3, and Dimension Door can really help you gain the upper hand.
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Thanks for reading! We hope this guide has helped you pick out the best spells for your Bard in Baldur’s Gate 3. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and be sure to subscribe to High Ground for more useful guides!