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The best build for Karlach in Baldur's Gate 3

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Karlach is a companion with a heart of (molten) gold in Baldur's Gate 3. Discover the best build for the essential Tieffeline Barbarian.

During Act 1 of Baldur's Gate 3, you will probably come face to face with a Tiefling with an imposing build: Karlach. This barbarian straight out of Avernus will be presented to you as a she-devil to be eliminated… but you will quickly learn that the fugitive is nothing like the thirsty monster that you have been described.

If, like many players, you have chosen to trust Karlach and integrate her into your group of adventurers, it is better to know how to make the Barbarian as effective as possible, with a build perfectly suited to its lore and your needs.

In this guide, we explain in detail how to make a build Barbarian 8 / Warrior 4 powerful which will make Karlach a real steamroller in combat.

Summary :

Karlach in Baldur's Gate 3

The best subclass for Karlach

When you recruit Karlach as a companion or select her as an origin character, the latter is a Barbarian, whose subclass you will need to select at level 3.

In order to make Karlach a powerful melee fighter, we advise you to opt for the Berserker subclass, which is the nastiest way of this merciless fighter. Afterwards, a little tour through the Warrior class is recommended, to take advantage of the excellent Fougue and maneuvering capacity of the Warmaster subclass.

Note that a melee Barbarian build is quite viable with the other Barbarian subclasses. The Wild Magic subclass adds a good dose of fun to the class, thanks to its random effects. This is probably the least powerful subclass of the Barbarian, although it can easily beat the game.

Each option in the Wild Heart subclass is also worthy of attention, including the Bear for tanking, the Tiger for damage, or the Eagle for jumping on your enemies from crazy heights. So don’t hesitate to experiment with Cœur Sauvage’s different options… and their piercings!

Additionally, progression for this build works regardless of which subclass you choose. So don't hesitate to adapt your build to your preferences.

If you change your mind about the subclass of Karlach but also to properly redistribute its characteristics, we invite you to respec Karlach. If you're not sure how to go about it, check out our respec guide in Baldur's Gate 3.


Best features for Karlach

A Barbarian must have characteristics perfectly suited to his role, namely inflicting as much damage as possible, but also surviving in the heart of the melee:

  • Strength (16 at level 1): The essential offensive characteristic for Karlach, which will determine its chance of hitting when attacking in melee as well as its damage. Strength also determines jump distance and carryable weight.
  • Dexterity (14 at level 1): Since Karlach will not wear heavy armor (or even any armor at all), his Dexterity modifier will be added to his Armor Class. Additionally, Dexterity also influences initiative, which is a valuable stat on all characters.
  • Constitution (16 at level 1): Constitution is important for all classes, but even more so for Barbarians. Indeed, Karlach needs a lot of HP, but she also benefits from an Armor Class bonus equal to her Constitution modifier as long as she is not wearing armor.
  • Intelligence (8 at level 1): The dump stat of this build is Intelligence, although you can optionally opt for Wisdom or Charisma.
  • Wisdom (10 at level 1): In this build, Wisdom's sole purpose is to boost your Perception and Survival rolls, in addition to the fairly important saving throws that it improves.
  • Charisma (10 at level 1): Even if you don't plan to use Karlach in dialogue, Charisma is not without importance. Indeed, particularly annoying control effects require a Charisma saving throw.

The best skills

  • Perception and Nature if you don't plan to use Karlach for your dialogues
  • Perception and Intimidation if you plan to use Karlach for your dialogues

The best stocks and passives for Karlach

Via the Barbarian class or via the few Warrior levels that we advise you to take at the end of progression, Karlach will have access to powerful actions that will make her formidable in close combat. Here are the most useful actions for this build:

  • Barbarian Actions and Passives
    • Defense without armor (Barbarian Level 1): This passive forms the Barbarian's unarmored fighter identity. It allows you to add your Constitution modifier to your Armor Class.
    • Temerity (Barbarian level 2): ​​This action – which can also be triggered when a weapon attack misses its target – gives the Barbarian advantage on his attack rolls, but also gives advantage to enemies who attack you. It's a double-edged action, but an essential tool for the Heavy Slugger Gift that is a must have for the Barbarian.
    • Frenzy (Berserk Barbarian level 3): The Berserker version of the Rage offers the possibility of using a Bonus Action to make an attack or make a throw. This is a huge advantage given the colossal damage the Barbarian can deal in one hit.
  • Warrior Actions and Passives
    • Fighting style – Two-handed weapons (Warrior Level 1): This passive allows you to re-roll bad damage rolls from your two-handed weapon attacks, thus increasing your average damage.
    • Passion (Warrior level 2): ​​This powerful action simply grants you an additional action, once between each short rest. Thanks to the additional attack obtained at level 5 of the Barbarian, Fougue will therefore allow you to attack twice more during a crucial turn during combat.
    • Maneuver – Precise Attack (Warrior Warmaster level 3): Using only a Superiority Die, this free action increases the result of your next attack roll. A must have to counterbalance the Heavy Slugger Gift.
    • Maneuver – Riposte (Warrior Warmaster level 3): This reaction allows you to attack any enemy that misses a melee attack against your Barbarian. Given your damage, the enemy may regret his failure.

The best donations for Karlach

By following our build for Karlach, you will be able to choose a feat at level 4 (Barbarian 4), 9 (Warrior 4) and 12 (Barbarian 8). Here are the best feats for this build:

  • Heavy Slugger: This gift increases the damage of all your melee weapon attacks by 10, at the cost of a significant penalty of -5 to the attack roll. Thanks to Temerity which systematically gives you an advantage on your attacks, you will still be able to hit the majority of your hits and benefit from impressive damage.
    • Gift to choose at level 4 (Barbarian 4)
  • Characteristic improvement (Strength +2): Improving your Strength has many benefits as part of a Barbarian build. Strength mainly improves your damage and your chances of hitting your attacks.
    • Gift to choose at level 9 (Warrior 4) and level 12 (Barbarian 8)

Best amenities for Karlach

Karlach seeks to deal as much damage as possible, and that's why the main element of your build should be a good two-handed melee weapon. You will find them throughout your adventure, and it is even possible to acquire one from the tutorial aboard the Nautiloid, by defeating the devil in the final fight (or by stealing him using the Cleric Injunction spell) .

For your equipment, focus on anything that can give you boosts when not wearing armoror increases your survivability or your damage when attacking with weapon.

Keep in mind that you cannot equip any item marked Light Armor, Medium Armor, or Heavy Armor, otherwise you risk losing several key Barbarian passives.


Karlach build progress

Now that you have understood the components of a good Barbarian/Warrior build for Karlach, here is a progression guide to help you choose your actions and your gifts at each level gained in Baldur's Gate 3.

This build relies on the strengths of the Barbarian to which are added some excellent tools from the Warrior and his Warmaster subclass.


Tips and tricks

  • Do not use the Temerity action directly. Instead, check the boxes on the left and right in the Reactions tab of your abilities (K key), so that the game asks you if you want to activate Reckless when you are about to miss an attack.
  • Abuse your ability to roll for a Bonus Action. Throwing an opponent into a chasm or off a cliff can be more effective than an attack.
  • Use Fierce to make up to 5 attacks per turn (or even 7 with Haste or a Speed ​​Potion) and thus inflict colossal damage on a dangerous enemy.
  • You can activate or deactivate the Heavy Slugger feat at any time. Consider deactivating it when the opponent you are attacking has very little HP, in order to increase your chances of hitting.

This concludes our guide to playing Karlach well in Baldur's Gate 3. Are you still unsure about your character's class? Take a look at our tier list of classes in Baldur's Gate 3.

We also invite you to discover our builds for the other companions of Baldur's Gate 3:

Build Astarion | Build Gayle | Build Lae'Zel | Build Shadowheart | Build Wyll

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