After 500 hours in Baldur's Gate 3, I finally oneshotted the Spider Matriarch with Eldritch Blast – all thanks to Wyll being a bardlock

Baldur's Gate 3 Patch 5
(Image credit: Larian Studios)

The Bard of Frontiers. That is what I have dubbed Wyll in my latest Baldur's Gate 3 playthrough. Sitting down to my first multiplayer stint in a game I now know like the back of Astarion's…well, back, I know I had to shake some things up if I wanted a novel new experience. My remedy for tedium? To finally play one of the classes I've never dared to before, but in a slightly different way. Enter: Wyll Ravenbard. 

I've multiclassed the Blade in previous saves, finding paladin-warlock to be especially effective for my Wyll origin run. But this venture is slightly different: it's once again all about the origin characters, but I'm playing it with my older brother. I select Lae'zel as my main while Zack steps into the delicious-looking magical boots of one Gale of Waterdeep (not unlike GR+'s own Heather Wald). But while leveling up Wyll right before one of my least-favorite Act One battles, my brother makes an offhand comment. He's no BG3 rookie, but in 350 hours, he admits that he has never once messed with the set classes of his companions. Nor has he ever multiclassed them. It started as a joke, but by showing him the joys of multiclassing in Baldur's Gate 3, I've accidentally made Wyll far more OP than any of my Tavs that came before.

Eldritch Bard

Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

We begin in the Whispering Depths. I'm patching myself up, having barely scraped through the short fight against ettercaps at the bottom of the Blighted Village's well. Our party is skirting around the level three to four mark, as, much to my brother's dismay, my plan for our multiplayer run is to get through the game as fast as possible. He is a self-confessed loot goblin, and I am short on free time. The result? We're trying to hit only the most important missions in BG3's opening salvo. 

Killing the Spider Matriarch might not sound like one such key target, but it is a means to an end. Zack desperately wants the Poisoner's Robe for Gale's early game poison build, and it would be nice to pick up the amethyst stone required to open the Necromancy of Thay tome while we're down here. But as I respec Wyll into a bardlock just to prove that mutliclassing is fun instead of fussy, I am unprepared for what lies in store. 

Now kitted out with a rather fancy lute thanks to his level of bardic expertise, I unlock both the Repelling and Agonizing Blast modifiers while selecting Wyll's level two warlock features. The latter boosts Eldritch Blast's damage by adding his charisma modifier to the final roll – a tidy +3 in this case. Meanwhile, Repelling Blast has a chance to shove enemies back up to four feet. This is something I do as a matter of good practice, living in vain hope for the rare occasion in which my largely unassuming warlock is actually able to send foes flying into the ether. I've had some success at higher levels in Baldur's Gate 3, but today, I'm feeling daring just five hours in.

"Watch this," I say to my brother with a frankly delusional level of confidence. I command both Lae'zel and Wyll to hide as we approach the patrolling Spider Matriarch. By the might of Mizora, I finally succeed at something I have been trying to do since August last year: hide behind a rock and send the giant spider toppling comically into the Underdark using a single bolt of Eldritch Blast. The Matriarch falls without fuss or retaliation, almost as if diving off the webbed bridge on purpose. How was it possible? The sheer charismatic might of being a bardlock, that's how.

Baldur's Gate 3

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

I've accidentally made Wyll far more OP than any of my Tavs that came before.

Having Wyll perform a lute solo while surrounded by dead spiders is an appropriately theatrical way to celebrate, but I've much grander plans for the nascent superstar. 

I have awakened the untapped musical potential he never knew existed, and it weirdly fits his character to a T. In fact, with both bards and warlocks being charismatic classes, I have no idea why more people aren't turning the golden boy of Baldur's Gate into a moonlighting busker, even if just to add a little whimsical texture to his backstory. 

I can picture Wyll in the dim light of the campfire, strumming a ditty about the wickedness of Mizora while she grumbles at his insolence. I can see the rebranded Bard of Frontiers sneaking out of Duke Ulder Ravengard's stately home and making a beeline for the Elfsong, entertaining the Lower City with tall tales of monsters, valor, and damsels in distress. But most importantly, I'm excited to see just how powerful I can make Eldritch Blast now that I have a renewed sense of confidence in its ability. Once I get Alfira's Potent Robe and that ugly Birthright hat from Sorcerous Sundries, it'll be curtains for the bad guys and a standing ovation for me.

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Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.