The Most Underrated Level 1 Spell in Baldur’s Gate 3

Discover how to prevent enemies from attacking you or an ally with the most underrated Level 1 spell in Baldur’s Gate 3, Sanctuary.

The Most Underrated Level 1 Spell in Baldur’s Gate 3

In Baldur’s Gate 3, spellcasting is essential to builds, combat, and exploration. Spells are divided into levels ranging from 1 to 6. The higher-level spells are often considered the best in BG3. However, even level 1 spells can be a powerful ally in combat. This guide explores a commonly unused and unknown spell, Sanctuary.

The Most Underrated Level 1 Spell in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Cleric spell Sanctuary is underrated in Baldur’s Gate 3, but the spell can prevent enemies from attacking you, uses a bonus action, and has a level 1 spell slot. Moreover, Sanctuary can carry your survivability on Honour Mode difficulty, where the only damage you can take is environmental or area (AOE). Let’s explain Sanctuary in detail and how to use it.

Sanctuary Spell

Sanctuary Spell in Baldur's Gate 3

Sanctuary spell description and properties:

  • Description: You or an ally cannot be targeted until you attack or harm a creature. You can still take damage from area spells. Until the affected entity attacks or harms another creature, it cannot be targeted by enemy attacks. However, it can still take damage from spells that influence a larger area.
  • School: Abjuration spell
  • Cost: Bonus action + level 1 spell slot
  • Range: 18 meters
  • Upcast: no
  • Classes
    • Cleric at level 1
    • Oath of Devotion Paladin level 3
    • College of Lore Bard level 10 via magical secrets feature
    • Bard level 10 via magical secrets feature

You can prevent an ally or yourself from being attacked using a bonus action. Sanctuary’s effect lasts for 10 turns and does not require concentration. Therefore, you can cast this on multiple allies without the concentration requirement. Moreover, you can “pre-buff” by entering turn base mode and casting this before entering combat. You may lose one or two turns, but this allows your entire party to get in stealth, use oils and spells, and prepare for combat. Having Sanctuary on your most vulnerable target ensures they don’t die on turn one.

Sanctuary will deactivate after you attack or do damage. Therefore, you must ensure you can activate your highest damage attack afterward. Otherwise, cast this on a pure support build like the Life Cleric, who rarely does damage. You can also use this to peel back, heal invisibility potion, and refresh your action and bonus action for the next combat round.

Countering Sanctuary

Countering Sanctuary spell in Baldur's Gate 3

Enemies have access to the Sanctuary spell and can often be annoying. The easiest way to counter Sanctuary is by using area-based damage effects like Fireball, Sleet Storm, and Cone of Ice. Even when under the effects of Sanctuary, you can still use ground-based AOE like Chromatic Orb and target the ground only. This can knock enemies prone while maintaining the Sanctuary effect. Moreover, the enemy NPC typically doesn’t cast Fireball on the ground near you and simply moves onto another target. This is why the Sanctuary spell is so underrated in Baldur’s Gate 3: it costs a bonus action, you can still use actions, and NPC avoids you entirely!

Obtaining Sanctuary Spell

Magic Initiate Cleric Baldur's Gate 3 Feat

Any class can obtain the Sanctuary spell by multiclassing one level of Cleric or the Magic Initiate Cleric feat at levels 4, 8, or 12. You can select two cantrips and one spell with the Cleric Initiate feat, and this is helpful if you don’t use a Cleric like Shadowheart in your group. You can obtain Guidance and Thaumaturgy, both useful for dialogue dice rolls. If you multiclass just one level, you will still reach level 11 with your primary class. This is important to obtain one level 6 spell slot, the most powerful in the game.

Sanctuary within a Build

The main perk of Sanctuary is that it’s a bonus action and doesn’t require concentration. Thus, turn one, and you can use two powerful spells. If you weren’t able to pre-buff before combat, a Life Cleric often times cast Blessed with an Action and Sanctuary on themselves with a bonus action. If you’re playing a heavy armour Cleric or Paladin with Sanctuary, you are likely to have lower Dexerity and go near the end of the combat order. Therefore, expect incoming damage turn one.

Defensively, Sanctuary can be used on a high-damage-dealing character that’s recently taken a beating. Your goal is to use an action with a bonus action to solve the problem of lower health. Cast Cure Wounds or another action-based heal/shield, and then follow it up with Sanctuary to protect your ally. When it returns to that ally’s turn, they can either use an action to attack, dash to create distance or disengage. Then, that same ally wants to use a potion to regain even more health and be at a safe level before engaging. Ending the turn will prevent them from taking damage, then they will refresh their action and bonus action for an onslaught attack and negating Sanctuary’s benefits.

Scouting in Baldur's Gate 3

You can scout with a reusable NPC like Scratch. Cast Sanctuary on Scratch, go into stealth, and let him charge into an unknown area. Scratch won’t be attacked with single-target abilities if you are ambushed. Then, you can come in behind, ambush the attackers, and get a free round of damage!

Other Powerful Level 1 Spells in Baldur’s Gate 3

BG3 Command Spell

Below is a list of our other favorite Level 1 spells in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Command – best early single target stun in BG3 (Cleric, Fiend Warlock, Paladin, Bard).
  • Bless – best buff spell to increase damage and survivability (Cleric, Paladin, Bard).
  • Chromatic Orb – AOE damage spell with elemental effects that can be upcast for more damage (Wizard, Sorcerer, Bard)
  • Hex – debuff that increases damage per strike, pairs well with Eldritch Blast cantrip (Warlock).
  • Hellish Rebuke – returns damage when attacked, great free damage spell (Warlock, Oathbreaker Paladin, Bard, Asmodeus Tiefling).
  • Longstrider – increases movement per character and doesn’t consume a spell slot (Bard, Druid, Wizard, Ranger).
  • Magic Missile – damage spell that doesn’t require line of sight and 100% chance to hit (Sorcerer, Wizard, Bard).
  • Shield – triggers +5 AC when attacked (Sorcerer, Wizard).
  • Thunderwave – AOE knockback (Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard, and Tempest Domain Cleric).

Looking For More About Baldur’s Gate 3?

Thank you for reading The Most Underrated Level 1 Spell in Baldur’s Gate 3 Article. We provide the latest news and create guides for Baldur’s Gate 3. Also, watch me play games on Twitch or visit my YouTube channel!