In Baldur’s Gate 3, your character has a mind flayer tadpole stuck in their head that grants you Illithid Powers. Each class has a specific Illithid Power, but all classes get access to Illithid Power upgrades in the Illithid Power skill tree. In this guide, I’ll break down the best Illithid Power upgrades in the skill tree as well as the best class Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Note: If you’re playing a spellcaster, you’ll want to learn how to permanently learn spells quickly and easily as detailed in our guide.

Best Illithid Power upgrades in Baldur’s Gate 3

As you find parasites in jars in Baldur’s Gate 3, you’ll gain Illithid Powers experience points which you can spend on the Illithid Powers skill tree. You can use Illithid in conversations once a day to make skill checks require a two or above thanks to Illithid Persuasion which every character starts with, but what are the best Illithid Power upgrades after that?

Tier 1

  1. Favourable Beginnings
  2. Force Tunnel
  3. Transfuse Health
  4. Concentrated Blast
  5. Psionic Overload

Favourable Beginnings is the best Illithid Power upgrade because your first Attack Roll or Ability Check per long rest gains a bonus equal to your Proficiency Bonus. This is great in combat and also really useful in social encounters to make things go your way. Force Tunnel is the second-best Illithid Power upgrade because movement abilities are great to have, but it’s probably the worst pick if you are a ranged or support character.

Transfer Health can be extremely useful in a pinch whether you’re a tank character and want to keep your support character alive or if you’re playing support and want to give some extra health to your tank. Concentrated Blast can be good to get some healing, but it’s really only good for spellcasters that have concentration spells. Lastly, Psionic Overload isn’t that good in my opinion because while you might deal more damage, it’s a guarantee you’ll take more damage.

Once you unlock one of the six Illithid Powers in tier one, you’ll unlock two adjacent Illithid Powers in tier two. Keep that in mind when you pick your first Illithid Power.

Tier 2

  1. Stage Fright
  2. Repulsor
  3. Charm
  4. Luck of the Far Realms
  5. Shield of Thralls
  6. Ability Drain
  7. Psionic Backlash
  8. Perilous Stakes
  9. Cull the Weak
  10. Displace

I think Stage Fright is the best tier two Illithid Power because, for three turns, an enemy has disadvantage and takes 3-12 Psionic damage. That’s good for every class. Repulsor is my second favorite Illithid Power in tier two because it deals 2-12 Force damage and pushes everything back 20 feet; this is perfect for tanks that get overcrowded with enemies.

Charm is a really good Illithid Power upgrade because it stops an enemy from attacking you which is good for every class in every scenario. Luck of the Far Realms is also great because you can choose when you want to deal a critical strike which is really powerful, especially for Rogues. Shield of Thralls is a good one for support characters to have, but every class can benefit from being able to create a 10 hit point barrier on themselves or another ally.

Ability Drain is a really solid Illithid Power that can drain one of your enemy’s abilities, the one you use to attack it with, to one which allows your allies to easily clear skill checks of that stat type. Psionic Backlash allows you to deal a little more damage as a reaction when an enemy casts a spell within 30 feet of you. Perilous Stakes is a tricky one because you’ll imbue an ally with the ability to heal when it attacks, but it also becomes vulnerable.

The least best tier two Illithid Power upgrades in my opinion are Cull the Weak because you need to kill an enemy to activate it and it doesn’t do that much damage and Displace because all you do is make a creature suffer falling damage and then take damage yourself (although now that I’m thinking about it, you could easily kill bosses with Displace by throwing them off cliffs…).

Best class Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 Camp Screenshot

Screenshot: PC Invasion

Around the end of Act 1, you receive an Illithid Power specific to your class. I’m not going to rank these specifically because they are all good. If you want a ranking of every class in Baldur’s Gate 3, I recommend checking out our class tier list.

  • Barbarian: Endless Rage – Bonus Action that recharges on short rests. While Raging, deals an additional 1d4 with weapon attacks, but receives 1d4 each turn. Prevents Rage from ending early.
  • Fighter: Psionic Pull – Bonus Action that recharges on short rests. Pull one creature or object toward you.
  • Range: Force Tunnel – Action that recharges on short rests. Charge forward and push all objects and creatures in your path 20 feet away.
  • Rogue: Inkblot – Bonus Action that recharges on short rests. Create a cloud of magical darkness and immediately attempt to hide. Creatures within the cloud are Heavily Obscured and Blinded. Creatures cannot make ranged attacks into or out of the darkness.
  • Cleric: Survival Instinct – Bonus Action that recharges on short rests. Infuse a creature with Psionic Force. If it reaches zero HP, it regains 3d4 HP instead of falling unconscious.
  • Sorcerer: Horrific Visage – Action that recharges on short rests. Release the Eldritch magic within you and terrify a creature with your twisted powers. Regain two Sorcery Points and potentially deal 1d4 Psychic damage for three turns.
  • Paladin: Fracture Psyche – Action that recharges on short rests. Invade a target’s mind and disrupt its defense. Reduce the target’s AC to one.
  • Bard: Stage Fright – Action that recharges on short rests. Drown your enemies in an overwhelming fear of failure. They receive disadvantage on Attack Rolls and take damage every time they miss. If they succeed in an Attack Roll, Stage Fright is removed.
  • Druid: Aberrant Shape – Bonus Action for Moon subclass, Action for Land subclass that recharges on short rests. Magically assume the shape of an intellect devourer that can deal Psychic damage. Your new form has 21 HP.
  • Warlock: Supernatural Attraction  – Bonus Action that recharges on short rests. You are part of a greater whole. Concentrate on your connection to teleport to another creature.
  • Wizard: Reflective Shell – Bonus Action that recharges on short rests. A protective shield envelops you. It reflects any projectiles targeted at you back to their point of origin.

And that is everything you need to know about Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3. Have fun with them! If you need help finding the parasites that grant Illithid Powers, check out our guide.

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