In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Astarion Build Guide, I’ll be showing you how to play Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3 if you want to add a bit more combat prowess to him than just what Rogue itself provides, by adding either the Gloomstalker or Hunter Subclasses of Ranger. I’ll cover Ability Scores, Class Features, Equipment, and I will provide tips on how to get the most out of Astarion when played this way.
Best Astarion Build Guide – Baldur’s Gate 3
Being a Rogue, Astarion is both good at ranged and melee attacks (using Finesse Weapons) due to high Dexterity. Rogues also gain Sneak Attack Damage when Attacking with Advantage or when Attacking a creature standing near a friendly character (as long as you don’t have Disadvantage). This can result in huge damage once per round, but Rogues never gain an Extra Attack like Fighters, Rangers, Monks, Barbarians or Paladins, which is why I decided to Multiclass Astarion with the Ranger Class.
BG3 Astarion Build Guide – Ability Scores
Since Astarion begins BG3 as a Rogue, his Ability Scores are in line with what a typical Rogue might have. However, you will want to respec him eventually to get the most out of him, and this will allow you to take Sharpshooter for your first Feat without having serious Ability Score issues that need correcting.
Starting Ability Scores
- STR 8
- DEX 17
- CON 14
- INT 13
- WIS 13
- CHA 10
Ideal Ability Scores
- STR 8
- DEX 16
- CON 14
- INT 12
- WIS 16
- CHA 8
You can see that we’ve given him more Wisdom and dropped his Charisma a bit. This is because Rangers use Wisdom to determine the effectiveness of their hostile Spells, and we want to be able to use them effectively. It also boosts Wisdom Skill Checks like Perception and Survival, which are both great for spotting traps and hidden objects/loot.
BG3 Astarion Build Guide – Skills
Astarion has Proficiency in Perception, Deception and Sleight of Hand by default so you won’t need to choose any of those when respeccing him.
You’ll minimally want to select Stealth and Acrobatics, but Insight and Athletics are also not bad choices. Athletics and Acrobatics help Astarion resist being Shoved, and Insight can be used to deduce what other characters are thinking. Make sure to select Expertise in Sleight of Hand and Stealth to further boost Stealth Checks and Disarming Traps/Lockpicking.
- Stealth Expertise
- Sleight of Hand Expertise
- Investigation (1st Ranger Level taken)
- Survival (1st Ranger Level taken)
BG3 Astarion Build Guide – 3 Rogue Thief
I like to keep my Companions at least the Class they begin the game with, since it feels like that is how Larian intended for them to be played, and it’s no exception with Astarion. So we go Rogue to begin with and pick up a lot of nice things from this. At level 1, Rogues gain:
Level 1 Rogue
- Sneak Attack (Ranged)
- Sneak Attack (Melee)
Sneak Attack deals 1D6 extra damage at this level when Attacking with Advantage or when Attacking a creature standing near a friendly character (as long as you don’t have Disadvantage). Rogues must use a Finesse Weapon if making a Melee Sneak Attack, though they can use whatever Ranged Weapon they want for a Ranged Sneak Attack.
Level 2 Rogue
At level 2, Astarion can Hide, Dash or Disengage as a Bonus Action, allowing him to use any of these each turn and still Attack. Hiding as a Bonus Action is particularly good for him, since it allows him to meet the criteria for Sneak Attack reliably each turn.
Level 3 Thief
- Fast Hands
- Second-Story Work
- Sneak Attack Damage (2D6)
At level 3, Astarion will get to choose a Subclass, and we choose Thief here in order to pick up Fast Hands and Second-Story Work. Fast Hands provides Astarion with a second Bonus Action each combat, which allows him to Hide, Attack and then Hide again. He can also cast Hunter’s Mark, Hide and then Attack to gain the benefit of its extra damage once he Multiclasses.
Also at this level, Astarion’s Sneak Attack Damage will increase to 2D6, roughly doubling the damage he will gain when triggering it.
BG3 Astarion Build Guide – 5 Ranger Gloomstalker OR Hunter
At this point Astarion will Multiclass with Ranger in order to pick up a Fighting Style, Proficiencies, as well as some more Skills. You can also choose either Hunter or Gloomstalker for your Subclass and I’ll explain why you might choose either once you get to level 3 Ranger.
Level 4 Ranger
- Natural Explorer
- Favoured Enemy
- 1 Skill Proficiency
- Martial Weapon Proficiency
- Medium Armour Proficiency
- Shield Proficiency
At level 1 of Ranger, Astarion gains a lot of things. Not only can he now use any Weapon in BG3, but he can also use Medium Armour if he wishes. And even though he might still use Light Armour since he will have high Dexterity, there are many Boots, Gloves, Helms, etc that are Medium Armour that he may wish to use.
He’ll also gains one Skill Proficiency, which I recommend taking Survival with, but he can also choose 1 Natural Explorer and 1 Favoured enemy. I like Bounty Hunter here for more Ensnaring Strike success, as well as Investigation Proficiency, and I like Wasteland Wander: Fire for Fire Resistance.
Level 5 Ranger
- Level 1 Ranger Spells (Ensnaring Strike, Hunter’s Mark)
- Fighting Style
At level 2 of Ranger, Astarion will get to select a Fighting Style and will gain access to Level 1 Ranger Spells. Ensnaring Strike should be one of these Spells, especially if you chose Bounty Hunter.
Ensnaring Strike allows Attacks against the Ensnared target to be made with Advantage as long as you maintain Concentration, which makes triggering Sneak Attack easier to do.
Hunter’s Mark should be the other Spell you select. This allows Astarion to mark a target and deal 1D6 extra damage to it each time he makes a Weapon Attack against it, as long as he maintains Concentration. This means you cannot keep a target Ensnared and Marked at the same time, but that you will have to choose. Because Astarion is a Thief, this allows him to Mark a target, Hide and then Sneak Attack for even more damage.
For Fighting Style I highly recommend Archery, as this further increases Astarion’s chances of landing attacks when using a Ranged Weapon, and it’s a bit easier to trigger Sneak Attack at range with this setup.
Level 6 Gloomstalker
- Dread Ambusher
- Superior Darkvision
- Dread Ambusher: Hide
- Umbral Shroud
- Disguise Self
Level 6 Hunter
- Colossus Slayer
At level 3 of Ranger, Astarion will get to choose a Subclass and I suggest either Hunter or Gloomstalker here because they will both increase the damage he deals each combat.
Gloomstalker will grant him more Initiative, allowing him to go first in combat more often, and will also allow him to move further and gain a free Attack on the first turn of combat that does +1D8 damage on top of whatever damage he would deal from the weapon and Sneak Attack. This can boost his burst damage, allowing you to wipe out 1 target rather quickly. Gloomstalker also allows him to go Invisible once per Short Rest, and provides Misty Step at level 5 which is great for positioning.
Hunter grants Astarion more consistent damage if you select the Colossus Slayer Hunter’s Prey. This adds 1D8 damage to his Weapon Attacks once per turn if the target is below maximum HP. This is almost always the case, especially since Sneak Attack will trigger Colossus Slayer if the target is at max HP when you attack it. So essentially you have to decide if you want an extra 1D8 damage each turn, or you want better burst at the start of each combat.
Level 7 Gloomstalker or Hunter
- Feat (Sharpshooter)
At level 4 of Ranger, Astarion will gain his first Feat and I highly recommend he select Sharpshooter here to eliminate low ground penalties when shooting at enemies higher than him, but also because he can take a -5 Attack Roll penalty to gain +10 Damage every ranged Attack. This typically doubles Astarion’s damage, and the penalty is somewhat offset by gaining Advantage from Hiding, and because we’ve taken the Archery Fighting Style. Remember that you can always toggle this ON or OFF depending on how hard the target is to hit.
Level 8 Gloomstalker or Hunter
- Extra Attack
- Level 2 Ranger Spells (Pass Without Trace)
- Misty Step (if Gloomstalker)
At level 5 of Ranger, Astarion will gain Extra Attack, allowing him to Attack a second time each turn if he uses his Action to Attack (which he will 99% of the time). This further boosts his damage, and if he’s a Gloomstalker this means the first turn of combat he can Attack 3x.
He will also gain Level 2 Spells, and Level 2 Spell Slots at this level. Pass Without Trace is extremely good here as it gives him and nearby allies +10 to Stealth Checks while he maintains Concentration. This is great for keeping him Hidden during fights, just remember that you cannot use this and Hunter’s Mark or Ensnaring Strike at the same time.
BG3 Astarion Build Guide – 4 Rogue Thief
Level 9 Thief
At level 4 of Rogue, Astarion will once again be taking levels in Thief in order to pick up another Feat. For this one I recommend taking Ability Improvement in order to increase Dexterity for Hit Chance and Damage. This will further offset some of the -5 Attack Roll penalty from Sharpshooter.
Level 10 Thief
- Sneak Attack Damage (3D6)
- Uncanny Dodge
At level 5 of Rogue, Astarion will gain more Sneak Attack Damage and will also acquire Uncanny Dodge. This will allow him to use his Reaction once per round to reduce the damage he takes from an Attack that hits him by half. This is great at keeping him alive.
Level 11 Thief
- Expertise in 2 Skills
At level 6 of Rogue, Astarion will get to choose 2 more Skills to double his Proficiency Bonus in. I recommend one of these being Perception, so he’s even more likely to spot traps and hidden objects. Survival is also good for similar reasons, but you could select Investigation as well.
Level 12 Thief
- Sneak Attack Damage (4D6)
At level 7 of Rogue, Astarion gains more Sneak Attack Damage, and gains Evasion. Evasion makes it so when Astarion is forced to make a DEX Saving Throw against a Spell or effect, he takes no damage if he Saves against it, and half damage if he fails.
BG3 Astraion Build Guide – Equipment
Spidersilk Armour can be acquired from killing Minthara in the Shattered Sanctum. It’s a Light Armour that gives +1 to Stealth and Advantage on Constitution Saving Throws. This helps should Astarion take damage while using Hunter’s Mark, Ensnaring Strike or Pass Without Trace so he doesn’t lose Concentration.
Yuan-ti Scale Male also allows him to apply all of his Dexterity Modifier to his Armour Class, despite it being Medium Armour, and doesn’t apply Disadvantage to Stealth Checks like a lot of Medium Armour do. It also gives +1 Initiative, which helps him act sooner in combat.
For melee weapons, Astarion will likely use Shortswords of some kind, since he needs to use a Finesse Weapon for Sneak Attacks when meleeing. I like both Ambusher and Sword of Clutching Umbra, but there are other good ones as well. Look for things that increase his damage.
For ranged weapon, I like Least Expected since it has +2 to Attack and Damage Rolls, and adds 1D4 to Attack Rolls when firing it while at least Lightly Obscured. You’ll be Lightly Obscured if you are Hidden in any area that is not well lit. These two things help to further offset the Sharpshooter Attack Roll penalty, making it even more likely Astarion will connect with his Attacks from range.
However, you can use Hand Crossbows if you want for more overall damage, as long as you can find some decent ones and you can still hit your target with Sharpshooter on.
Gloves of Dexterity are not a bad choice for this Build, since Astarion won’t reach 18 Dexterity until very far into the game. This will improve his Accuracy and Damage early on, and they also add +1 to Attack as well, further boosting his hit chance. If you plan to use these all game, which you can, you can dump Dexterity on Astarion and put points into Intelligence and Constitution instead for better Skill Checks and more HP.
Stalker Gloves are another good choice for increased Sneak Attack Damage if you aren’t having any issues hitting your enemies.
Covert Cowl is a good choice of Helmet to further boost your Critical Hit chance, and I like Strange Conduit Ring to further boost damage while Concentrating. Astarion is always Concentrating on something with this Build, so this is great.
BG3 Astarion Build Guide – Final Tips
The general strategy with this Build is to use a Bonus Action to cast Hunter’s Mark if Astarion is not using Pass Without Trace. Then move to a location you can Hide easily enough, and Hide with his second Bonus Action. Then use the free Attack from Gloomstalker or just Attack the target you Marked with Hunter’s Mark dealing Sneak Attack Damage. Then you can Attack it again until it’s dead or you’re out of Attacks.
Once the target is down, use your free cast of Hunter’s Mark for your next target and begin this process again. If you’re dealing with a hard to kill enemy then you can spend your extra Bonus Action Hiding at the end of your turn to avoid damage, or you can move in and melee with your offhand. Don’t be afraid to melee with this build when the situation calls for it, because you can still deal great damage as long as you can trigger Sneak Attack.
The Favourable Beginnings tadpole power is great to have on Astarion (really any character), since it further helps with his hit chance. Sharpshooter makes it easy to Miss and anything you can do to help hit chance is a good idea. This only requires 1 tadpoll to use, so it’s a no-brainer on this build.
Lastly, the Shadow Blade Ring is not bad for this build if you want to lean more towards the melee side of things. This gives you a Shortsword that always has Advantage as long as you are at least Lightly Obscured, so you can always trigger Sneak Attack. The drawback is that it does require Concentration to use, so you can’t use it and Hunter’ Mark together.
That wraps up our Baldur’s Gate 3 Astarion Build Guide! Stay tuned for more Baldur’s Gate 3 content as we update the other Builds, and be sure to drop by our Twitch Channel if you have questions about the game. If you need something specific, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Wiki which is being worked on night and day, as well as our Baldur’s Gate 3 Guides.