Rogues are one of the best classes in Baldur’s Gate 3 for roleplaying purposes. Sticking to the shadows, deceiving your foes, picking pockets whenever possible…Rogues fulfill a specific role-playing fantasy in ways that other classes simply can not. Of course, learning to get as much out of the Rogue class during combat as you do outside of combat can take a lot of practice and effort. That’s where this build comes in.
This particular Rogue build emphasizes the class’ stealth and ranged attack abilities in order to ensure that you maximize every Rogue attack without having to constantly keep Rogues in the fray. At the same time, it should allow you to utilize most of the out-of-combat features that often make the Rogue class special.
Before we get into that, though, please note that the current online Baldur’s Gate 3 character builder tools haven’t been updated for the retail version of the game quite yet. As such, I’m going to be sharing the basics of this build by writing out as much of it as possible. If you notice any information missing (or have any questions), though, be sure to let us know!
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build: Leveling Path and Strategy
Level 1 – Rogue
Level 2 – Rogue
Level 3 – Rogue (Subclass: Assassin)
Level 4 – Rogue (Feat: Sharpshooter)
Level 5 – Rogue
Level 6 – Ranger (Favoured Enemy: Bounty Hunter, Natural Explorer: Beast Tamer)
Level 7 – Ranger (Fighting Style: Archery)
Level 8 – Ranger (Subclass: Gloom Stalker)
Level 9 – Ranger
Level 10 – Ranger
Level 11 – Rogue (Expertise: Perception, Acrobatics)
Level 12 – Rogue
As you can see, we’re going with a combination of Assasin Rogue and Gloom Stalker Ranger for this particular build. That multiclass combo allows us to maximize the potential of a stealth-based ranged attack strategy.
The heart of this build is the Assasin Rogue’s ability to deal an Advantage attack to any enemies that haven’t taken a turn yet. On its own, that ability makes it fairly easy for the Assassin Rogue to enter Stealth, get into Ranged attack…err…range, and then unleash a devastating opening shot upon an unprepared enemy.
However, by multiclassing into the Gloom Stalker Ranger, we eventually not only gain additional initial attack bonuses and a valuable “Hide” ability but the ability to perform a free extra attack at the start of combat.
When you combine all of those attributes, you not only have a high chance of dealing a devastating opening blow but dealing multiple devastating opening blows that can kill several enemies before the fight even properly starts. Even when you can’t reach the conditions needed to gain the maximum advantage in such situations, this particular Rogue build offers high-end ranged damage and all of the other benefits you get from the Rogue class (free actions, stealth, etc.)
While you don’t really start to see the full power of this build until Level 8 (when you unlock both subclasses) and Level 10 (when you gain the additional attack benefits), it really is quite useful throughout. At worst, you’re going to be a very stealthy archer who is also capable of utilizing some of the Rogue class’ more beneficial role-playing/out-of-combat attributes.
It should be noted that some variations of this build actually pick up Fighter class abilities for those Level 11 and 12 slots. While doing so will eventually grant you another extra attack ability, that ability can only be used once per day. I think it’s best to pick up that extra Rogue spots at the end of the leveling process in order to acquire the class’ Evasion ability (an incredibly defensive perk), though your mileage may vary.
Finally, you can swap these classes a bit and go Ranger at the start and pick up Rogue later if you’d like. Again, I find that the Rogue’s class benefits and early bonuses make it slightly more valuable to use them as your base class, but the fact that you acquire a Rogue as one of your first companions means that you can easily justify starting as a Ranger. Ultimately, though, it might come down to personal preferences.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build – Race
Though you have a few options in this category, I’m ultimately opting for the Wood Elf due to their enhanced proficiency with longbows and other synergistic racial benefits (such as Stealth Proficiency and additional movement range). Again, though, this is the best racial choice for an archery-focused build, so consider other options if you’re going the Thief route.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build – Background
Though your background choice isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, Urchin synergizes with most of the things this build is trying to do. Charlatan is also a great option, though I prefer going with the Sleight of Hand benefit you get from Urchin in order to enable us to focus on some other things down the line.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build – Abilities
Strength – 8
Dexterity – 17 (+2)
Constitution – 11
Intelligence – 10
Wisdom – 16 (+1)
Charisma – 12
Dexterity is the main thing you should be worried about here. Dexterity not only benefits our ranged attacks (a powerful benefit for this build), but it enhances most of the skills checks that Rogues regularly rely on. It’s the defining stat of the Rogue class, and you’ll always want to consider its value at all times.
Your other stats are much more flexible. Strength is largely irrelevant for this class, and Intelligence will mostly be used for certain skill check bonuses. Constitution can be quite valuable due to the HP bonuses it offers, but you’re going to find it hard to fully compensate for the Rogue’s lack of natural defenses. Still, it’s there if you need it.
Instead, consider putting a couple of more points in Charisma (a valuable asset for most Rogues) and Wisdom (which benefits some of the multiclass spells we’ll be picking up). Ultimately, though, you do have a lot of flexibility in this area once your Dexterity is set.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build – Skills
Acrobatics, Performance, Persuasion, Perception
Sleight of Hand, Stealth
Rogues are blessed with extra Skill Proficiency spots, and you’ll certainly want to take advantage of that blessing as much as reasonably possible. Acrobatics, Stealth, and Perception tend to be the most valuable skills to focus on in this category given how often you’ll be utilizing them (Stealth is certainly a must-have). Beyond that, you certainly have a few viable options, though Sleight of Hand, Performance, and Persuasion all help you lean into the basic Rogue playstyle a little more effectively.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build – Best Subclass
Assassin and Gloom Stalker
While Thief is an excellent Rogue subclass option, this particular build is going to emphasize ranged combat and maximized ranged damage. As such, we’re opting for the Assassin subclass.
The highlight of this particular subclass (for our purposes) is the “Assassinate Initiative” feature. This incredible ability grants you Advantage on any Attack Rolls against enemies that haven’t taken a turn yet. Taken on its own, this ability makes Assassin Rogues one of the best “first strike” classes in the game. However, with this particular build, you’ll actually be able to utilize this ability multiple times at the start of most fights. It’s absurdly good.
Assassin’s Alacrity is also quite good. It resets your Action and Bonus Actions at the start of combat, which is a fantastic utility ability that helps ensure you are almost ready to execute your primary attack strategy.
Finally, Assassinate Ambush grants you a guaranteed Critical Hit against a Surprised creature. Again, obviously useful given that we’ll be starting a lot of fights from a stealth position. This just makes our already powerful opening attacks that much better.
As noted, above, the biggest reason to eventually pick up the Gloom Stalker subclass from the Ranger class is the “Dread Ambusher” ability. That powerful bonus grants you additional movement speed as well as a damage bonus on your first hit. With everything else we’re picking up, those bonuses allow you to pick a priority target at the start of most fights and either kill them outright or ensure that they will die shortly thereafter. You also gain some additional stealth abilties/benefits with the Gloom Stalker subclass, though they tend to be a bit less valuable wiht the Rouge abilities we’ll be taking than they would be on their own. Even still, Dread Ambusher is too powerful to pass up.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build – Best Feats
When it comes to Feats, the one Feat you definitely want for this build is Sharpshooter. Along with allowing you to essentially ignore High Ground attack rules, this Feat grants you 10 additional damage in weapons that you are Proficient with. While that extra damage comes with a reduced attack roll penalty, we can fairly easily negate that penalty with our stealth advantages and other modifiers. That means that this Feat is basically free extra damage with a High Ground bonus.
You have some options for the second Feat spot. Savage Attacker is a nice little damage modifier you’ll usually be happy to have, while Lucky allows you to utilize even more Advantage attacks than you already have access to. You could also give yourself extra proficiency in other ranged weapons for those times when you want to use something other than a Longbow.
While all of those options can be incredibly useful in certain situations and with certain party members, I tend to recommend taking a Dexterity bonus instead of picking a second Feat. Dexterity is so good for Rouges that it essentially grants you multiple bonuses with each new point you acquire.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Rogue Build – Best Spells
Ensnaring Strike, Hunter’s Mark
You actually have a ton of flexibility when it comes to your Ranger spells in this build, but I do think that Ensnaring Strike and Hunter’s Mark are pretty close to being must-have options.
Ensnaring Strike is a powerful ranged attack that allows you to softly shut a melee enemy down whenever it procs. While it can be a bit expensive, using it with the Rogue class is actually slightly easier given that Rogues gain valuable Bonus and free actions that Rangers wouldn’t normally have access to.
Hunter’s Mark is one of the best reasons to play the Ranger class in the first place, so it’s another obvious pick. This powerful ability essentially increases the odds that your opening shot (or subsequent Advantage-based strikes) will kill whatever you hit. Given that you can actually reset this ability by killing targets afflicted by it, it soon proves to be a fantastic way to pick and isolate targets during prolonged fights.
Beyond those two abilities, I’d say your choice of spells is up to you. Speak With Animals is fantastic if nobody in your party has access to a similar role-playing skill. Enhance Leap, Pass Without a Trace, and Cure Wounds all offer obvious benefits, though deciding to pick up any of them will likely depend on the situation, your party, and your preferences.