Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Illithid Powers in BG3 Listed

Something, something, dark side.

If you have opted to embrace your brain tadpole in Baldur’s Gate 3 and experiment with some of the Illithid Powers that are available in the game, you may be wondering which ones you should use. You don’t want to eat those parasites for nothing, after all!

Which Illithid Powers too choose in Baldur’s Gate 3

A screenshot of the Illithid Powers skill tree in Baldur's Gate 3.
Picking the right skills for your playstyle is key. Screenshot by Prima Games.

Illithid Powers unlock through a special menu that you get access to after receiving a visit from an odd NPC in a dream. If you have yet to unlock them and are simply researching your options, keep playing until you hit that point in the story. You should definitely consider whether Illithid Powers are something you wish to use or not quite carefully.

You need to be able to “draw” a connection between an active Tier 1 and an active Tier 2, so keep that in mind as you are thinking about what to use.

Tier 1

  • Favorable Beginnings – the first Attack Roll or Ability Check you make against any target gains a bonus equal to your Proficiency Bonus.
  • Force Tunnel – Charge forward, pushing objects and creatures in your path 4m away from you. Will not provoke attacks of opportunity.
  • Concentrated Blast – Can only be cast when concentrating on another spell. If the target of a spell you cast is also concentrating, you will heal for the damage you do them. Breaks the concentration of the spell. Does 6-36 damage.
  • Transfuse Health – Sacrifice half of your current hit points to heal a target for the same amount.
  • Psionic Overload – Deal additional Psychic damage with attacks (1D4), but you also take 1D4 damage per turn. Lasts for 10 turns.

Best Tier 1 Illithid Spell

The clear winner here is Favorable Beginnings. It provides benefits to any class without forcing you into specific actions or tactics and also provides benefits both in and out of combat. Transfuse Health can be fantastic for a very tanky character, allowing you to keep your glass cannons alive with a little sacrifice.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3: How to stop Shadow Curse Effects

Tier 2

  • Stage Fright – gives your targets Disadvantage on attack rolls and forces them to take 2D6 Psychic damage when they miss. Last for three turns or until a characters make a successful attack.
  • Repulsor – Push targets back by six meters. Does 2D6 force damage.
  • Luck of the Far Realms – Allows you to change a successful attack against an enemy into a Critical Hit.
  • Charm – Use your tadpole to Charm any enemy that attacks you, preventing them from doing so until their next turn.
  • Ability Drain – reduces the same ability used to make the attack toward an enemy by one in that enemy. Can only happen once per turn.
  • Shield of Thralls – Grant yourself ten temporary hitpoints by creating a shield around yourself. It can burst when all points are depleted, giving it a chance to stun enemies.
  • Psionic Backlash – Allows a reaction against casters within nine meters and will inflict psychic damage of 1D4 per spell level when they try to cast.
  • Perilous Stakes – Make a target Vulnerable, but also allows them to heal when it attacks. Last for three turns.
  • Displace – inflicting fall damage on a target causes them to take even more damage.
  • Cull the Weak – Creatures die when reduced to a number of hit points that is less than your evolved Illithid Powers. Nearby creatures will also take 1D4 psychic damage.

The Best Tier 2 Illithid Spell

Just like the Tier 1 spells, the best Tier 2 spells lean toward being passive rather than active. Stage Fright is amazing because it impacts your targets, making it far harder for them to damage you back. Charm adds more to your own defensive options without the need to waste resources by casting, and Ability Drain can be a huge difference-maker in long fights against powerful enemies as you slowly chip away at their main ability score. Cull the Weak can also come in clutch in the late game, sometimes getting enemies off the board a full turn quicker than you may have been able to without it.

About the Author

Aidan O'Brien

Aidan has been playing games for over three decades and has been writing about them for about five years. When not getting stomped on by the creations of Hidetaka Miyazaki he enjoys spending too much time in Warframe, Destiny 2, and any ARPG with a solid grind. When not writing, he is doing inexplicable behind-the-scenes magic.