Baldur’s Gate 3’s Secret Weapon: Why You Need Scratch in Your Party

Discover why you need to use Scratch summon party member, combat bonus, treasure discover, and Baldur’s Gate 3’s secret weapon!

BG3 Why You Need Scratch in Your Party

Why You Need Scratch in Your Party – Baldur’s Gate 3’s Secret Weapon

Every party should recruit Scratch, an optional companion in Baldur’s Gate 3 because this pet dog can provide combat support, treasure discovery, and interaction with other companions. This unassuming companion appears early in Act 1 and requires you to pass a perception check to learn his name, recruit him, and then summon him. In this guide, we explain why Scratch is Baldur’s Gate 3’s Secret weapon.

BG3 Scratch

Scratch has only 5 hit points once summoned and can be used once per short rest. Unlike summoning spells or scrolls, he returns after a short rest even when killed. Having this extra ally doesn’t seem impactful, but he provides an important distraction and bonus. Pack Tactics is a passive feature that grants Advantage to attacks when an ally is close to the target.

BG3 Pack Tactics

Pack Tactics helps you roll 2D20s rather than one, selecting the highest. Thus, Scratch is a perfect companion for melee builds charging into combat.

How to Use Scratch in Combat

BG3 How to Use Scratch in Combat

The best way to use Scratch in Combat is in conjunction with a melee damage dealer like a Barbarian, Fighter, or Paladin. You want to move Scratch into melee range of an enemy you intend to attack with your melee damage dealer. Scartch’s Bite attack by itself doesn’t do much damage, so consider using Dash action to move much further per turn. Once in the small 3-meter radius, your ally will have an advantage on attacks and possibly trigger an opportunity attack.

Many times, NPC range users will want to move out of the melee range (3-meter circle). Range weapon damage dealers receive a disadvantage when a melee character is in their bubble. Thus, they will peel back without using the Disengage action, triggering free damage via Opportunity Attack. If you look at the above picture, it’s a perfect illustration of free damage. On turn one, I move in Scratch to disrupt the archer. He/she can either kill Scratch with an attack or retreat to avoid a disadvantage. Since my primary melee damage dealer is in the 3-meter range, he triggers an advantage and an opportunity attack. In summary, Scratch’s added value is immense, especially when facing the toughest bosses in BG3 on Honour Mode.

Scratch on Honour Mode Bosses

With the introduction of Honour Mode in Patch 5, you need to seek any combat advantage to complete the campaign and earn the Foehammer Achievement. All of the bosses have “Legendary Actions,” which mostly are buffs when the boss is attacked. Nere is a particularly hard fight in Act 1 on Honour Mode. He summons Psionic Visage, essentially 3 clones of himself that deal damage to attackers.

You don’t want your primary damage dealer to take this damage, and Scratch makes a worthy sacrifice to remove 1 of 3 debuffs per round! You can stack companions and summons similar to scratch, using Animate Dead, Spiritual Weapon, Conjure Elemental, and more to soak up the damage. Once the Psionic Visage is dropped, your primary damage dealers can unload without the fear of retaliation. This is just another reason why Scratch is Baldur’s Gate 3’s Secret Weapon and you need him in your party

Scratch Detects Treasures

BG3 Scratch Detects Treasures

In addition to combat performance, Scratch can enhance your BG3 party’s exploration through treasure detection! While exploring, Scratch will Bark and Sniff, then move to a treasure and start wagging his tail. Most likely, this will require a perception check to detect the treasure chest. In the event you fail the perception check, simply use your shovel from your inventory to dig in front of Scratch. This will trigger the appearance of the chest, and thus more loot during every campaign.

Scratch may also detect traps while exploring as well. There is no downside to having him out in the open while you are exploring. However, if you return to camp, Scratch may remain at camp. Therefore, if you return to camp and do not long rest, you may have to consume a short rest to re-summon Scratch. Most likely, you will be returning to camp for a long rest, but in the event, you don’t realize he may not return with you requiring one of two short rests.

How to Get Scratch

Where to find Scratch, the Pet Dog in Baldur's Gate 3 - Map Location
Scratch Map Location

Here is a summary of how to get Scratch in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • 1. Find Scratch: Travel west of Druid Grove in Act 1 and look for a white dog guarding a dead body coordinates X: 69 Y: 476.
  • 2. Interact carefully: Approach Scratch without startling him. He thinks his master is alive and may be wary of adventurers.
  • 3. Learn his name: Pass a perception check to read his collar and learn his name is Scratch.
  • 4. Comfort and convince: Choose dialogue options like “You’re okay, Scratch…” and “I don’t think he’s going to wake up.” Gently convince him his master is gone, offering him companionship on your journey.
  • 5. Seal the deal: Extend your hand so he can follow your scent back to camp. Rest at camp to finalize his recruitment.

Save your game before interacting with Scratch in case you need to try again! That is it, you now have a loyal canine companion in your Baldur’s Gate 3 party!

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