Even playing on Honour Mode, you can use the overpowered Surprise status effect to make combat easy in Baldur’s Gate 3.
How Surprise Makes Combat Easy in Baldur’s Gate 3
How to make combat easy in Baldur’s Gate 3 is to trigger the Surprise Status Effect. Surprise is a status effect that skips the enemy’s turn when triggered by attacking while unaware or from a hidden ally. What makes surprise so strong is that one ally can trigger the surprise effect, and get one free round of combat without fear of retaliation. This is the common strategy for making Tactican and Honour Mode easy, along with playing solo. This guide will show you how to use Surprise to make combat easy in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Surprise Status Effect: Surprise Enemies cannot move, take actions, or make reactions during the first round of combat. The easiest way to do this is by stealthing your entire party. Avoid the red detection area, move behind an enemy with melee, or shoot an arrow at ranged. If you land, this will trigger the surprised status effect. However, some enemies, especially Legendary Honour Mode enemies have the Alert feature. This prevents surprise, but you can still get a free hit off on them.
Additionally, while stealth, you can use Misty Step, Fly, or other mobility skills to avoid the red detection area and remain hidden. You can even Misty Step right behind someone without alerting them, getting into position for a free attack, and possibly a free round of damage!
How to Trigger Surprise in BG3
To trigger the surprise status effect, initiate combat on an unaware enemy with an attack from a hidden party member. Hidden includes hiding with a bonus action or stealth. When you hide, the terrain floor will appear red in areas of detection. If you hide in line of sight of someone detecting you, you will need to pass a check and are unlikely to remain hidden. However, there is another mechanic, invisibility that can help you guarantee a surprise attack making combat easy.
For instance, the fight with Inquisitor W’wargaz has an entire area flooded with detection (picture above). Moreover, the entrance is nearly impossible to reach without being detected. However, you can use a potion of invisibility, or invisibility spell, or an item for 10 turns of invisibility. This bypasses the detection area allowing you to set in position and strike to trigger the Surprise status effect.
Next, your remaining allies can unload from stealth as well giving them an advantage on their initial attack. Advantage gives you two d20s rather than one, selecting the highest. Thus, you can expect a much higher chance of landing an attack. This tactic makes the fight much easier and can be applied to nearly all combat encounters in Baldur’s Gate 3.
You can obtain powerful items and consumables to turn yourself invisible as early as Act 1. Potion of Invisibility, Shadow of Menzoberranzan, and Fetish of Callarduran Smoothhands are the earliest in the game. These items ensure at least one member won’t be detected during combat. Also, some areas will automatically trigger dialogue and conversations. Depending on the situation, you can press “character select” in the bottom right. If you’re going to get into a fight anyway, initiate an attack with the character not engaged in a conversation to trigger Surprise making combat much easier.
Here are some tips for making Combat Easy using Surprise in Baldur’s Gate 3:
- Always start combat from stealth (all characters)
- Break the Chain within your party UI to have one lead character alone attack from stealth/invisibility
- Obtain Potion of Invisibility, Shadow of Menzoberranzan, Fetish of Callarduran Smoothhands
- Use invisibility when stealth isn’t possible within areas that have massive detection
- Initiative turn-based combat before you start to ensure enemies don’t move
- Buff with Blessed, Oils, Elixirs and Potions
- Move into position while stealth or invisible, and unload with your hardest-hitting attack
- Attacks with Special Weapon abilities, arrows, or area-based damage spells are the best
Enjoy a free round of damage, which you can use to eliminate or crowd the entire encounter. We are confident if you practice stealth, invisible, and triggering the surprised status effect, it will make combat much easier in Baldur’s Gate 3.
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