Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Karlach Build [Subclass & Skills]

Here is my most potent Karlach build to pursue an ideal playthrough according to her lore.

Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach Build Banner
Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach Build Banner

Among various characters in Baldur’s Gate 3, Karlach has always struck players with barbarian solid fighting. Not that she is not one of the most wholesome demons I have ever come across, but her strong attacks also make a strong case for her. 

Key Takeaways

  • Karlach is a tough Zariel Tiefling Barbarian, deeply influenced by her past as a slave soldier. She values strength in all aspects and has a soft spot for the oppressed.
  • Karlach truly comes alive as a Berserker Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3. This subclass is all about raw power and up-front combat.
  • She is a powerhouse with two skills that stand out: Athletics, tied to her solid physical prowess, and Survival, reflecting her keen instincts and wisdom.
  • In essence, Karlach, as a Berserker Barbarian, grows from a straightforward melee damage dealer to a formidable force on the battlefield. With each level, she gains more tools to enhance her combat prowess, manage threats, and ensure her Survival.

Author’s Trust

Karlach was one of the early characters to join my party. After playing numerous hours with her, I have come up with a build for Karlach that most players will be able to use in Baldur’s Gate 3.

– Shahzar Khalique

Importance of Karlach

Class Overview Table:

RaceZariel Tiefling
Base ProficienciesLight, Medium, Shields, Simple weapons
Recommended BuildBarbarian Class with a Two-handed Weapon
Origin CharacterYes
LocationThe Risen Road, Act 1, "Hunt the Devil" Quest

I would not recommend making any significant changes to her class type and her core gameplay. If you want to optimize her skills, visit Withers at Camp once he becomes available.


Berserker: A perfect subclass for Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach Build

Karlach truly comes alive as a Berserker Barbarian in Baldur’s Gate 3. This class is for players who want to use Barbarian like a Barbarian, potent hits. With moves like Frenzy Strike and Enraged Throw and the ability to amp up her Rage into a fierce Frenzy, Karlach is designed to be right at the front, dealing massive damage.

But the Barbarian world in Baldur’s Gate 3 is vast and varied:

  • Berserker: The go-to for those who love straightforward, hard-hitting action.
  • Wildheart: For players who enjoy a bit of strategy and adaptability in battle.
  • Wild Magic: Perfect for those who like to sprinkle unpredictability and magic into their fights.

Karlach’s Race

Karlach's Race
Zariel Tiefling

Karlach is a Zariel Tiefling, a unique race known for its fighting skills and fire powers. This background did make me nervous about bringing her into the part, but to my surprise, this Tiefling is full of sarcasm and a heart of gold. But with her unique abilities, she’s a great teammate to have.

SpeedMoves 9 meters quickly
DarkvisionCan see in the dark up to 12 meters
Fire ResistanceTakes less damage from fire
Thaumaturgy CantripA basic spell
Searing SmiteFirepower at level 3
Branding SmiteA power unlocked at level 5
Ability BoostChoose to increase two abilities

Skills & Ability

Baldur's Gate 3 Karlach Build key skills and abilities
Karlach’s Key abilities

Two skills stand out for her: Athletics, tied to her physical solid prowess, and Survival, reflecting her keen instincts and wisdom.


Furthermore, Karlach focuses on her Strengths and Constitution. Higher Strength points meant that she was the attacker in my party, and a solid Constitution told me that I knew she could take in more hits. Agility is her third priority, allowing her to act quickly and defend herself effectively.

Remember, these ability scores are a character’s basic stats in the game. While they are set by default, you can tweak them later at your camp for a price.

Level Progression For Karlach

  • Level 1: Key Abilities: Unarmored Defense and Rage.
  • Gameplay: Start combat with Rage. Equip a two-handed weapon, ideally a Greatsword like the Everburn Blade. Despite that, focus on initially using medium armor for high AC, transitioning to clothing sets for special bonuses later.
  • Level 2: Key Abilities: Reckless Attack and Dangerous Sense.
  • Gameplay: Begin with Rage and charge in. Prioritize using Reckless Attack for increased damage despite the risk.
  • Level 3: Subclass Choice: Berserker.
  • Essential Abilities: Extra Rage Charge, Frenzied Strike, and Enraged Throw.
  • Gameplay: Activate Frenzy and rush into combat. Thus, you can now use bonus actions for Frenzied Strike or Enraged Throw. Also, consider using the race-specific skill, Searing Smite, for added fire damage.
  • Level 4: Key Abilities: Ability Score Improvement.
  • Gameplay: Increase strength to 18 for more significant damage. But avoid the Great Weapon Master feat at this level.
  • Level 5: Key Abilities: Extra Attack and Fast Movement.
  • Gameplay: The Barbarian shines with multiple attacks per turn, especially when combined with Frenzy. Consider using a Potion of Speed for added effect.

Some Advanced Levels

  • Level 6: Key Abilities: Additional Rage and Mindless Rage.
  • Gameplay: The Barbarian becomes resilient to crowd control effects, ensuring consistent damage output.
  • Level 7: Key Abilities: Feral Instinct.
  • Gameplay: The increased initiative ensures you are frequently one of the first to act, allowing you to prioritize targets and control the battlefield.
  • Level 8: Key Abilities: Great Weapon Master feat.
  • Gameplay: This feat brings substantial damage at the risk of a reduced hit chance. This is why focus on using your bonus action for Great Weapon Master attacks whenever possible.
  • Level 9: Key Abilities: Brutal Critical.
  • Gameplay: TheBarbarian’s critical hits now pack an even greater punch, further enhancing damage potential.
  • Level 10: Key Abilities: Intimidating Presence.
  • Gameplay: This new skill offers a chance to debuff enemies with fear, though its utility may be situational.
  • Level 11: Key Abilities: Relentless Rage.
  • Gameplay: This passive ability provides a safety net, potentially preventing the Barbarian from being downed.

Essential Consumables

You may also boost your Barbarian’s prowess with these select consumables. 

  • Speed Of Potion Benefits: Zoom past enemies! Get an extra action, double your movement speed, gain a +2 Armor Class, and have the upper hand with Dexterity Saving Throws. Arguably, the most valuable potion around.
  • Elixir Of Hill Giant Strength Benefits: Feel the raw power! Boost your strength to a mighty 21 and keep it that way until your next long rest. Ideal for those heavy-hitting encounters.
  • Smoke powder Bomb Benefits: Explosive force! Hurl this bomb 18m away to unleash a 3d4+9 Force damage within a 4m radius. Perfect for dealing with clustered foes.
  • Arrow of Fire Benefits: Light them up! Not only does it deal an extra +1D4 fire damage, but it also creates a fiery surface for additional area havoc.
  • More excellent Healing Potion Benefits: Quick recovery! Use this in a pinch to restore 4D4+4 HP instantly.
  • Essential Poison Benefits: A sneaky advantage! Coat your weapon for that extra venomous strike.
  • Feather Fall Scroll Benefits: Graceful as a cat! With this, drop any height without a scratch – essential for exploring places like the Underdark.
  • Alchemist Fire Benefits: Fiery doom in a bottle! Throw it to deal 1d4 Fire damage each turn to the unlucky target.

Pros and Cons Of This Build

  • Raw Power in Combat
  • Versatile Abilities
  • High Survival Instincts
  • Fire Resistance
  • Improved Initiative

  • Risk in Reckless Attacks
  • Limited Magical Abilities
  • Feast-or-Famine Damage
  • Situational Utility
  • Late Campaign Progress

My Thoughts

I came across Karlach later in my campaign. During my 2o-plus hours with the game, it was not until I was halfway into the game that I accidentally came across Karlach.

At first, I was a little hesitant to bring a Tiefling to my party. However, soon, I realized how vital Karlach was to my party.

Baldur's Gate 3 Gameplay
Baldur’s Gate 3 – Gameplay Time: Image by Gamesual

Apart from Karlach, you can also learn more about building ideas for Baldur’s Gate 3.

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