Larian Studios
Posted By: RumRunner151 Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 04/11/20 10:38 PM
Preface: You can play and finish this game however you want. You paid for the game, so enjoy it how you wish. I don’t like to cheese things. I am not a huge RP person. I could be accused of being a min/maxer.

TLDR: IMO The best party combo is You as Str/Con Trickery Cleric, Lae’zel as a battle master, Wyll, Gale. Pick Shar or Selune for fun options.

IMO Classics are classic for a reason. With only 4 party members, Tank, Healer, and 2 Damage dealers are a good start. Bonuses for ranged, off-tank, and utility.

Starting with the origin characters, you would choose Lae’zel as Tank and Shadowheart as Healer. For damage, you have 3 to choose from. Gale is weak at the start, but probably strongest at level 4. So taking Astarian and Wyll for level 2 fights is fine. At party level 3 and 4 you have your main fights so… Gale has consistent damage from magic missile, utility from other spells, and mage armor + mirror image is good for keeping him alive. Wyll has consistent damage that can be useful for the knockback (though bugged so no fall damage), utility, and Mirror image for defense. Astarian has good damage, but it is inconsistent (due to bugs?), no unique utility (other classes can sneak, open locks, disarm traps), and is very squishy. Also the lack of good light weapons to dual wield hurts too. So that leaves us with Lae’zel, Shadowheart, Wyll and Gale.

Now, what character should we play? We can min/max a better character than any of the origins, but is it significantly better? For Lae’zel, Wyll, and Gale – I don’t see it. Shadowheart on the other hand can be improved quite a bit.

Some people think Trickery is a dumb choice. While I like the advantages of Life and especially Light, I can’t get past the loss of Mirror Image. It increases your survivability so much. So, I stick with Trickery. However, I like a Gold Dwarf with 14 STR, 12 DEX, 16 CON, 8 INT, 16 WIS, and 8 CHR. Same STR for damage, but better weapon options from dwarf. 3 higher DEX gives you +2 AC. 4 higher CON gives you way more HP (most in party) for a huge survivability boost and your spells requiring concentration are much less likely to break on damage. What are the downsides? 1) Immunity to sleep as Half Elf is better than Immunity to poison. 2) 4 lower CHR means bad news for dialog choices…use Wyll + Buffs.

What about Cheese Wizard? (Gith Wizard w/ dumped INT using 18 INT Ogre headband wearing Lae’zel’s armor) Search YouTube for examples of soloing the game with it. Totally cool/viable. Obviously Lae’zel is less useful. Also note that at least on the character sheet, your Spell DC sucks. Since you are mostly casting buffs and magic missile, its not a big loss…but be aware. I don’t like to cheese builds or combat; your mileage may vary.

What about Ranger? Love it. If they make it so Colossus Slayer stacks with hunters mark consistently, my opinion might change. I really enjoyed my play-throughs as a DEX Ranger, and especially a STR Ranger (better weapon choices, big damage numbers, great mobility, and utility). But is either build an overall upgrade to your party, especially when you have to go back to Shadowheart as your healer? Not IMO.

This party has good synergy w/ Wyll and Gale up high ranged and you and Lae’zel in melee. You can melee and cast heals at the same time. Two pets including Imp (2nd best pet in game) makes your party even stronger.

Am I saying you have to do this? Hell no. It's your game. Play it how you want. Solo Cheese Wiz, all min stat rogue, etc. can be enjoyable and beat the content. You do you. I really enjoyed playing some non-optimal characters/parties. Dual cleric so you can keep Bane or Fairey Fire and Bless up is pretty powerful. The Ranger Beastmaster Spider companion is awesome. But if you are struggling and don’t mind having a main as a non-charismatic cleric…give this comp a try.

PS: My Combat Tips Guide: https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=722075


EDIT: With now 330 hours played, I just today found out that you could throw food and potions at downed party members. I haven't even tried it yet. I assumed that the only way to get them back up without going to them was a cleric's ranged heal. Soooo that kind of invalidates my above theory and I guess I am going to have to go all Damage Dealers and see how it goes. Good thing I love this game LoL. I do kind of think throwing food at a downed character is cheesing...gray area at the very least. Kind of like Cheese Wiz...but not as much so??? Dunno. YMMV.

Also the above party is still strong, just maybe not optimal if you are willing to literally cheese heal. (Get it? Cheese heal...like throwing Waterdhavian cheese at them is a cheesy mechanic...Sorry I crack myself up.) For example, the above party went to the Underdark today. I hit the Minotaur's from a different direction than normal, so I did not realize it until I entered combat. No planning. No prep. No pre-placement. Still an easy one shot. Same with Duergar fight. No stealth. No cheese. No planning. One shot. Wyll did die near the end of both...guess I should have cheese healed him!!!!
Posted By: Takolin Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 02:29 PM
You don't really need a cleric in this game as damage or control trump healing in this game.
Moreover with the abundance of food and potions, you should have ample sources of healing. And the help action or throwing food gets up downed party members so 'healing word' got nerfed in that aspect as well.

I did 2 runs in EA.
One with a balanced party (laezel with sword and shield as 'tank', shadowheart as cleric, gale and Warlock PC) and one with 4 damage dealers (laezel with a 2hander, Astarion, Wyll and Ranger PC). The 2nd run was a lot easier and not just attributable to meta knowledge and experience.

So I would build the cleric as a light domain cleric for extra damage. Astarion is a beast as a thief with the correct setup so I'd choose him over one of the casters.
Posted By: SecondAchaius Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 03:08 PM
Speaking of Cleric, I'm kind of shocked that a class with Wisdom in mind has one of their cantrips use Dex as hit/save (Sacred Flame)
Posted By: Nezix Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by SecondAchaius
Speaking of Cleric, I'm kind of shocked that a class with Wisdom in mind has one of their cantrips use Dex as hit/save (Sacred Flame)


It's the opponent's Dex that is used. That's how saves work.
Posted By: SecondAchaius Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 04:37 PM
I still run into the problem of sacred flame having a constant range of 40-60% chance to hit. While Mage and Warlock cantrips are getting 75-100%
Posted By: Choosen of KEK Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 04:50 PM
Astarian is pretty bad ass actually. You separate him, make him sneak to a high ground position, I also gave him the jump spell and he becomes borderline overpowered with backstubs and sneak attacks. Can you seriously replace a rogue in this game with somebody else doing traps and lock picking? I bet you will need to waste some feats or skill points to make it efficient.
Posted By: Takolin Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by Choosen of KEK
Astarian is pretty bad ass actually. You separate him, make him sneak to a high ground position, I also gave him the jump spell and he becomes borderline overpowered with backstubs and sneak attacks. Can you seriously replace a rogue in this game with somebody else doing traps and lock picking? I bet you will need to waste some feats or skill points to make it efficient.


A Dex Ranger can be a suitable replacement. Wood elf get the free proficiency in Stealth and if you pick a background with sleight of hands, you got all the bases covered.
Posted By: Veilburner Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 07:08 PM
I keep restarting but right now my character is a warlock. So I have Lae'zel, Shadowheart, and Astarion.
Posted By: Nezix Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 05/11/20 07:29 PM
Originally Posted by SecondAchaius
I still run into the problem of sacred flame having a constant range of 40-60% chance to hit. While Mage and Warlock cantrips are getting 75-100%


So traditionally, in D&D when deciding whether to use a spell that uses "hit" mechanics or a spell that uses saves against an opponent, you might weigh the opponent's AC vs what stat they'd have to use for saving.
Example: Knight in plate armor has a really high AC, but really poor Dex. Odds of hitting with the first spell are really low, odds the knight makes their dex save are more favorable for you.

Problem: Larian has inflated means to gain Advantage (height / backstab), which only benefits the "hit" kind of spell. Advantage (or disadvantage) for you doesn't change an opponents saves. That's why it's more often lower in BG3.
Posted By: RumRunner151 Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 06/11/20 03:38 AM
Originally Posted by Nezix
Originally Posted by SecondAchaius
I still run into the problem of sacred flame having a constant range of 40-60% chance to hit. While Mage and Warlock cantrips are getting 75-100%


So traditionally, in D&D when deciding whether to use a spell that uses "hit" mechanics or a spell that uses saves against an opponent, you might weigh the opponent's AC vs what stat they'd have to use for saving.
Example: Knight in plate armor has a really high AC, but really poor Dex. Odds of hitting with the first spell are really low, odds the knight makes their dex save are more favorable for you.

Problem: Larian has inflated means to gain Advantage (height / backstab), which only benefits the "hit" kind of spell. Advantage (or disadvantage) for you doesn't change an opponents saves. That's why it's more often lower in BG3.


This is a better description than I could give.
Posted By: RumRunner151 Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 06/11/20 03:59 AM
Originally Posted by Takolin
or throwing food gets up downed party members


I feel like a moron. 330 hours played...no clue you could throw food/potion at downed party member until I saw it in another thread earlier today. So yeah...it seems like the utility of cleric has been nerfed like the utility of rogue. Guess I am going to have to play through again w/ no cleric now LoL!!!!
Posted By: Painbringer71 Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 06/11/20 04:11 AM
IDK I kind of of like the thief that sneak damage is impressive mixed with dash and hiding ...running 2 thieves cleric and wizard. I am about to switch our the cleric she just does Whimpey melee it seems.

I was almost going to say the sneak attack is either broke or OP... its always an option. At least it has been for me.

And OMG the food thing it needs to be in the description cause clueless...thank you Rum Runner
Posted By: Schugger Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 06/11/20 06:33 PM
Originally Posted by Nezix
Originally Posted by SecondAchaius
Speaking of Cleric, I'm kind of shocked that a class with Wisdom in mind has one of their cantrips use Dex as hit/save (Sacred Flame)


It's the opponent's Dex that is used. That's how saves work.


This! I reckon if the opponent makes the DEX save he completly avoids damage. If the opponent is proficient at DEX saves he adds a further +2 to his saving throws. I must say that I don't have a problem with the ranged cantrip being weak with clerics, as they can hold their own in melee, while wizards and warlocks struggle at close ranges, to say the least.
Posted By: Xaelyn Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 08/11/20 10:11 AM
Originally Posted by Nezix

Problem: Larian has inflated means to gain Advantage (height / backstab), which only benefits the "hit" kind of spell. Advantage (or disadvantage) for you doesn't change an opponents saves. That's why it's more often lower in BG3.


Not only that they also halved enemy AC values to make missed attacks less common, but doubled HP values to keep average TTK the same. Spells that target saves get no benefit from the AC reduction but still have to deal with the increased HP thus are much worse relative to attack save spells than they should be.
Posted By: alice_ashpool Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 08/11/20 11:22 AM
If you're having your cleric cast sacred flame and healing your companions rather than jumping into the middle of a pack of enemies with bless/armour of faith up and letting off radiance of the dawn and lvl 2 flaming hands and slapping people with inflict wounds I don't know what to say ^_^
Posted By: Balls Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 08/11/20 06:03 PM
I think the balance is pretty good with the classes. I've played with just about every combo, and with thought, each has their own strengths and weaknesses, as they should. Agree than Astarion can be extremely deadly when he gets set up in the right spot. I've had a lot of fun playing a dex/wis/charisma based good drow cleric lady. She seems to be able to hold her own as the second fighter, takes the place of Shadowheart for healing chores, and all the folks on the gobbo's side fall for her persuasion easily and love her, much to their regret.
Posted By: RumRunner151 Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 12/11/20 02:31 AM
So I just finished another playthrough. Wish I could edit orig post. Anyway, if you want to face roll through this game with so much damage that you will seldom need to heal and I only had 1 party member go down on only a couple of fights:
Swap my trickery cleric w/ STR based shield dwarf rogue. Pick thief. At level 4 pick up two-weapon fighting. Have one of your weapons have on hit properties. I like the Flind's weapon for tons of self heals. Just throw him in the middle of crap and watch it die. Sneak attack is icing. Stuff just melts. Sometimes 3 kills per turn. Most big stuff only survives 2 turns.

Again...alice_ashpool could probably beat the entire game with no cheese and a lvl 1. I have done it multiple times with a lvl 4. So add 3 companions and you can be whatever you want. I am not saying you need to run this party, but if you want to focus on seeing all content without prepping for fights, cheesing, stealth, etc... it's pretty darn good.

Now thanks to alice, I may need to do a lvl 1. FML
Posted By: alice_ashpool Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 12/11/20 11:16 AM
^^ as another idea, if you went wood half-elf you could start with 16str, 16 dex 14 con, then take two weapon wielder at level 4 for + 1 AC. Then you have 10.5m speed base (Max of 31.5 with double dash and still able to make 1 offhand attack) and Darkvision; you also have sleep immunity. That's comes out at 17AC with studded leather + 1 and dex, and if shadowheart keeps up shield of faith on you that's 19AC - Dual wield Flind's and burning axe. Sneak attack away. If you want to be really cheesey chug a potion of fire resistance, equip the amulet of elemental torment, jump into the middle of a group of enemies and crack an alchemists fire over your own head before you start swinging.
Posted By: alice_ashpool Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 12/11/20 11:51 AM
For a custom party thinking just of the EA maybe:

1. Wood half-elf thief duel wielder dps monster with Flind's + burning axe and gloves of power
2. Wood half-elf cleric of light ranged damage cannon with xyanide + shield (or watchers guide) and boots of speed keeping armour of faith up on the thief
3. Gith cleric of light with Sword of Tyr and Great Weapon Master
4. Strongheart Halfling Battlemaster with Light of Creation, Great Weapon Mastery and a Potion of Hill Giant Strength addiction
Posted By: fallenj Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 12/11/20 04:09 PM
Originally Posted by RumRunner151
Originally Posted by Takolin
or throwing food gets up downed party members


I feel like a moron. 330 hours played...no clue you could throw food/potion at downed party member until I saw it in another thread earlier today. So yeah...it seems like the utility of cleric has been nerfed like the utility of rogue. Guess I am going to have to play through again w/ no cleric now LoL!!!!


Kind of interesting, did you know you could throw characters also. Started having one of my companions throw my halfling for gap closers and jumps.
Posted By: RumRunner151 Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 14/11/20 03:51 AM
Originally Posted by fallenj
Originally Posted by RumRunner151
Originally Posted by Takolin
or throwing food gets up downed party members


I feel like a moron. 330 hours played...no clue you could throw food/potion at downed party member until I saw it in another thread earlier today. So yeah...it seems like the utility of cleric has been nerfed like the utility of rogue. Guess I am going to have to play through again w/ no cleric now LoL!!!!


Kind of interesting, did you know you could throw characters also. Started having one of my companions throw my halfling for gap closers and jumps.


WOW no, I did not!
Posted By: Nicottia Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 17/11/20 03:23 AM
I dare you to try the kamikaze bomber strategy: have Lae'zel throw Gale in the middle of enemies, Gale will take damage and die, he does necrotic aoe due to death, enemies take more and more damage per round if they stand in it, if they move away, have Lae'zel throw his corpse around. Just be careful that she doesn't die herself. wink
Posted By: RumRunner151 Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 17/11/20 08:38 PM
Originally Posted by Nicottia
I dare you to try the kamikaze bomber strategy: have Lae'zel throw Gale in the middle of enemies, Gale will take damage and die, he does necrotic aoe due to death, enemies take more and more damage per round if they stand in it, if they move away, have Lae'zel throw his corpse around. Just be careful that she doesn't die herself. wink

Awesome idea. I hate when Gale goes postal in camp and I kill him too close to the bedrolls.
Posted By: RumRunner151 Re: Best Party Combo (Go Cleric!) - 17/11/20 10:02 PM
Originally Posted by RumRunner151
So I just finished another playthrough. Wish I could edit orig post. Anyway, if you want to face roll through this game with so much damage that you will seldom need to heal and I only had 1 party member go down on only a couple of fights:
Swap my trickery cleric w/ STR based shield dwarf rogue. Pick thief. At level 4 pick up two-weapon fighting. Have one of your weapons have on hit properties. I like the Flind's weapon for tons of self heals. Just throw him in the middle of crap and watch it die. Sneak attack is icing. Stuff just melts. Sometimes 3 kills per turn. Most big stuff only survives 2 turns.

Again...alice_ashpool could probably beat the entire game with no cheese and a lvl 1. I have done it multiple times with a lvl 4. So add 3 companions and you can be whatever you want. I am not saying you need to run this party, but if you want to focus on seeing all content without prepping for fights, cheesing, stealth, etc... it's pretty darn good.

Now thanks to alice, I may need to do a lvl 1. FML


After my recent escapades w/ STR Fighter, I think it's better than STR Rogue. Start stealth for 2 turns in a row, Use action Surge. Use menacing attack to frighten them so you get an attack of opportunity and many big things are about dead or dead before they get a chance to even swing.
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