Baldur’s Gate 3 – A Ranking of Fighting Styles

Here is the wisdom of fighting styles, ranked for thine edification.

Fighting Style Rank List

S Tier (Most Exalted)

  • Two-Weapon Fighting: When one dost brandish a weapon in each hand, the forces of destiny allow the might of thine essence to seep into the off-hand’s strike. Especially for those of grand stature and prowess, this technique can unleash a barrage of blows most devastating, much to the bane of thy foes.

A Tier (Noble and Grand)

  • Dueling: When one chooseth to master the singular grip of a one-handed weapon, an added force, akin to the strength of two, graces each swing, bringing balance to offense and defense in the dance of battle.
  • Archery: In the hands of a skilled marksman, this art bestows a boon of unmatched precision. With a bonus most valuable, the arrow seldom misses its mark, piercing through air and foe with unerring certainty.

B Tier (Stalwart and True)

  • Great Weapon Fighting: Those who wield weapons of great heft and length, fear not when fate deals thee a weak blow. For in such moments, thou art granted a second chance to strike with renewed vigor.
  • Protection: A noble heart that takes up the shield, with its very presence can cast a shadow of doubt upon the enemy’s aim, ensuring that brethren in arms remain unscathed.

C Tier (Dependable in Specific Builds)

  • Defense: Donning armor is an art in itself. Though the increase of a mere point to one’s Armor Class may seem trifling, it oft serves as a silent guardian, deflecting blows that might otherwise find purchase.

Let this guide serve thee well in the heat of battle, and may thy choices reflect the heroism and strategy of legends past.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6927 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

6 Comments

  1. GWF is an objectively bad fighting style. It gets chosen a lot because of how great heavy weapons are but it adds on average 1 point of damage in the best case scenario. It’s just if you’re building a heavy weapon user that’s offensive oriented then the other choices aren’t that compelling.

    So even though GWF is probably going to be picked by a significant # of players, I absolutely agree with it being in B tier.

    Looking at some of the weapons in this game Dueling is starting to look like a pretty solid option. There is a Legendary +3 Rapier that gives you a bonus action attack when your off hand is emptywhich effectively gives you the same benefit as TWF as well as the +2 damage on all attacks and requires fewer feats.

    • GWF feat would add an average of 1.3334 points of damage to each attack made with a greatsword, and less for most other weapons. However, feat consideration doesn’t exist in a vacuum. For example, you could combine GWF with Savage Attacker. This would undoubtedly give you an advantage in damage output, raising your average damage per hit noticeably.

      • It adds less than 1 pt of damage with things like polearms and almost all other heavy weapons except for mauls. To really maximize it you want to use it with smites on a paladin but even then it adds like 4.5 damage to a level 5 smite on average which is just once a day and we’re limited to level 3 in this game anyway.

        Compare that to dueling which gives you 2 damage on every single attack regardless of weapon choice and I still think it’s inferior to the other fighting styles.

        If we assume 100% hit rate they would compare like this at level 12.

        Dueling +6-8 DPR (depending on weapon)
        TWF +5-6 DPR (depending on gear)
        GWF +2-4 DPR (depending on weapon)

        At lower hit rates the ratio is consistent.

  2. defence should be top tier, Because of bounded accuracy in DND 5. The more ac the better, while TWF at the top… GWF at bottom.

    • Most people have only played Act 1 so far, wherein it would appear defense should be top tier, though veterans of fifth edition might understand that AC gets outstripped at high levels, even with the bounded accuracy philosophy. However, if your build is sword and board tank, it becomes necessary to take defense in order to maximize your build’s function.

  3. Dueling, Archery, and 2 Wpn Fighting are definitely the best 3.

    From my experience in Act 1 I would think Archery would be the best since there are really no companions I’ve met that specialize in bows or xbows. For dual wielding I would still think you’d want archery because you can take the crossbow feat and you’d get +2 to hit to 4 attacks + 3 more attacks on the action surge round vs +5 dmg to 1 attack.

    I would probably swap Defense and Protection personally. If I’m designing a tank that can defend his allies, sentinel is the more effective option. It isn’t a good idea to have your squishies standing next to your front liner in most cases and the enemies are going to be spread out so your fighter is going to need to be mobile. If you group everyone up you’ll be an easy target for aoe attacks and the long range enemies are going to be able to punish you longer before you deal with them if your fighter is rooted to 1 spot.

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