arcane ward feature bg3 wiki guide 75px

Arcane Ward


The residual magic of your spells forms a ward around you that protects you from harm.

Each time you cast an Abjuration Spell, the intensity of the ward increases by an amount equal to the spell level, up to a maximum of twice your Wizard level.

Each time you take damage, the ward blocks an amount of damage equal to its intensity, and its intensity decreases by 1.

After each Long Rest, the ward intensity resets, and becomes the same as your Wizard level.

recharge icon baldursgate3 wiki guide 25px Long Rest



Abjuration School Lvl 2 (Wizard Sub Class)

Arcane Ward is a Feature in Baldur's Gate 3. Features provide unique abilities or effects and can be acquired depending on the Character's Race, Class and level.


Baldur's Gate 3 Arcane Ward Information

  • The residual magic of your spells forms a ward around you that protects you from harm.
  • Every time you cast an Abjuration Spell, the intensity of the ward increases by the Spell Level, up to a maximum of twice your Wizard level. Each time you take damage, the ward blocks an amount of damage equal to its intensity, and its intensity decreases by 1. After a Long Rest, the ward intensity resets, and becomes the same as your Wizard level.

How to unlock Arcane Ward in BG 3

Arcane Ward can be acquired by

Arcane Ward Tips & Notes for BG 3

  • If an attack has multiple damage components,  each damage component will be reduced by your arcane ward individually before the arcane ward decreases intensity. For example, when you get hit by Searing Smite  with 5 arcane ward, both the weapon's damage and the searing smite will get reduced by 5 for a total reduction of 10, and then your arcane ward drops to 4. This only applies to attacks that get multiple lines of text stating '[name] was hit for [x] damage' in the combat log, not affects like sneak attack that add damage to an attack without adding another line of text.



Traits and Features
Ability Drain  ♦  Abjuration Savant  ♦  Acolyte of Nature  ♦  Action Surge  ♦  Additional Ki Point  ♦  Additional Proficiencies  ♦  Additional Rage Charge  ♦  Advanced Unarmoured Movement  ♦  Agonizing Blast  ♦  Animal Aspect  ♦  Archery  ♦  Arctic  ♦  Armour of Shadows  ♦  Artificer's Lore  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Bear  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Chimpanzee  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Crocodile  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Eagle  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Elk  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Honey Badger  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Stallion  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Tiger  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Wolf  ♦  Aspect of the Beast: Wolverine  ♦  Assassin's Alacrity  ♦  Assassinate  ♦  Assassinate+Ambush  ♦  Assassinate: Initiative  ♦  Assassin‘s Alacrity  ♦  Athlete Standing Up  ♦  Aura of Courage  ♦  Aura of Devotion  ♦  Aura of Hate  ♦  Aura of Protection (Feature)  ♦  Aura of Warding  ♦  Base Racial Speed  ♦  Battleaxe Proficiency  ♦  Bear Heart  ♦  Beast Speech  ♦  Beast Tamer  ♦  Beguiling Defences  ♦  Beguiling Defenses  ♦  Beguiling Influence  ♦  Bend Luck  ♦  Benign Transportation  ♦  Bestial Fury  ♦  Bestial Heart  ♦  Blade Flourish  ♦  Blessed Healer  ♦  Blessings of Knowledge  ♦  Bolstering Magic  ♦  Bonus Proficiencies  ♦  Book of Ancient Secrets  ♦  Bounty Hunter  ♦  Brave  ♦  Breath Weapon  ♦  Brutal Critical  ♦  Channel Divinity Charges  ♦  Channel Divinity: Charm Animals and Plants  ♦  Channel Divinity: Destructive Wrath  ♦  Channel Divinity: Guided Strike  ♦  Channel Divinity: Knowledge of the Ages  ♦  Channel Divinity: Read Thoughts  ♦  Channel Divinity: War God's Blessing  ♦  Channel Oath Charges  ♦  Charger: Shove  ♦  Charger: Weapon Attack  ♦  Charisma Saving Throw Proficiency  ♦  Charm (Illithid Power)  ♦  Civil Militia  ♦  Cloak of Shadows  ♦  Club Proficiency  ♦  Coast  ♦  Colossus Slayer  ♦  Combat Wild Shape  ♦  Commander's Strike  ♦  Companion's Bond  ♦  Conjuration Savant  ♦  Constitution Saving Throw Proficiency  ♦  Controlled Chaos  ♦  Crossbow Expert: Point-Blank  ♦  Crossbow Expert: Wounding  ♦  Cull the Weak  ♦  Cutting Words (Feature)  ♦  Dagger Proficiency  ♦  Dampen Elements  ♦  Danger Sense  ♦  Dark One's Blessing  ♦  Dark One's Own Luck  ♦  Darkvision  ♦  Dart Proficiency  ♦  Deception Proficiency  ♦  Deepened Pact  ♦  Defense  ♦  Defensive Duellist  ♦  Defensive Tactics  ♦  Deflect Missiles  ♦  Desert  ♦  Destroy Undead  ♦  Destructive Wrath  ♦  Devil's Sight  ♦  Dexterity Saving Throw Bonus +2  ♦  Dexterity Saving Throw Proficiency  ♦  Disarming Attack  ♦  Disciple of Life  ♦  Disciple of the Elements  ♦  Displace  ♦  Distracting Strike  ♦  Divination Savant  ♦  Divine Health  ♦  Divine Intervention  ♦  Divine Smite  ♦  Divine Strike  ♦  Domain Spells  ♦  Draconic Ancestry  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Black (Acid)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Blue (Lightning)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Brass (Fire)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Bronze (Lightning)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Copper (Acid)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Gold (Fire)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Green (Poison)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Red (Fire)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: Silver (Cold)  ♦  Draconic Ancestry: White (Cold)  ♦  Draconic Resilience  ♦  Draconic Resilience: Armour Class  ♦  Draconic Resilience: Hit Points  ♦  Dragon Ancestry: Red (Fire)  ♦  Dread Ambusher  ♦  Dreadful Word  ♦  Drow Weapon Training  ♦  Dual Wielder (Feature)  ♦  Dual Wielder Bonus Armour Class  ♦  Dueling  ♦  Duelling  ♦  Duergar Magic  ♦  Duergar Resilience  ♦  Dungeon Delver Perception  ♦  Dungeon Delver Resist Traps  ♦  Dwarven Armour Training  ♦  Dwarven Combat Training  ♦  Dwarven Resilience  ♦  Dwarven Toughness  ♦  Eagle Heart  ♦  Eldritch Invocations  ♦  Eldritch Strike  ♦  Elemental Adept: Acid  ♦  Elemental Adept: Cold  ♦  Elemental Adept: Fire  ♦  Elemental Adept: Lightning  ♦  Elemental Adept: Thunder  ♦  Elemental Affinity: Damage  ♦  Elemental Affinity: Resistance  ♦  Elk Heart  ♦  Elven Weapon Training  ♦  Empowered Evocation  ♦  Enchantment Savant  ♦  Entropic Ward  ♦  Escape the Horde  ♦  Evasion  ♦  Evasive Footwork  ♦  Evocation Savant  ♦  Exceptional Training  ♦  Experimental Alchemy  ♦  Expert Divination  ♦  Expertise  ♦  Extra Attack  ♦  Faithwarden  ♦  Fast Hands  ♦  Fast Movement  ♦  Favored Enemy  ♦  Favourable Beginnings  ♦  Favoured Enemy  ♦  Feinting Attack  ♦  Feral Instinct  ♦  Fey Ancestry  ♦  Fey Presence  ♦  Fiendish Vigour  ♦  Fighting Style  ♦  Fleet of Foot  ♦  Fly (Feature)  ♦  Focused Conjuration  ♦  Font of Inspiration  ♦  Freecast  ♦  Fungal Infestation  ♦  Giant Killer  ♦  Gloom Stalker Magic  ♦  Gnome Cunning  ♦  Goading Attack  ♦  Great Weapon Fighting  ♦  Great Weapon Master: Bonus Attack  ♦  Greatsword Proficiency  ♦  Grim Harvest  ♦  Hand Crossbow Proficiency  ♦  Handaxe Proficiency  ♦  Heart of the Storm  ♦  Heart of the Storm: Resistance  ♦  Heavy Armour Proficiency  ♦  Hellish Resistance  ♦  Horde Breaker  ♦  Human Versatility  ♦  Hunter's Prey  ♦  Illithid Expertise  ♦  Illithid Powers  ♦  Illusion Savant  ♦  Illusory Self  ♦  Improved Abjuration  ♦  Improved Bardic Inspiration  ♦  Improved Combat Superiority  ♦  Improved Critical  ♦  Improved Critical Hit  ♦  Improved Divine Smite  ♦  Improved Elemental Casting  ♦  Improved Extra Attack  ♦  Improved Unarmoured Movement  ♦  Improved Warding Flare  ♦  Improved Warlock Spell Slot  ♦  Improved Wild Strike  ♦  Indomitable  ♦  Instinctive Charm  ♦  Intelligence Saving Throw Proficiency  ♦  Inured to Undeath  ♦  Iron Mind  ♦  Jack of all Trades  ♦  Javelin Proficiency  ♦  Keen Senses  ♦  Keeper of the Veil  ♦  Ki  ♦  Ki-Empowered Strikes  ♦  Land's Stride: Difficult Terrain  ♦  Lay on Hands Charge  ♦  Lay on Hands Charges  ♦  Level 3 Spell Slots Unlocked  ♦  Lifedrinker  ♦  Light Armour Proficiency  ♦  Light Crossbow Proficiency  ♦  Light Hammer Proficiency  ♦  Longbow Proficiency  ♦  Longsword Proficiency  ♦  Luck of the Far Realms  ♦  Lucky  ♦  Mace Proficiency  ♦  Mage Breaker  ♦  Mage Hand Legerdemain  ♦  Mage Slayer Attack Caster  ♦  Mage Slayer Break Concentration  ♦  Mage Slayer Saving Throw Advantage  ♦  Magic Awareness  ♦  Magic Initiate: Bard (Feature)  ♦  Magic Initiate: Cleric (Feature)  ♦  Magic Initiate: Druid (Feature)  ♦  Magic Initiate: Sorcerer (Feature)  ♦  Magic Initiate: Warlock (Feature)  ♦  Magic Initiate: Wizard (Feature)  ♦  Magic Resistance  ♦  Magical Ambush  ♦  Magical Secrets  ♦  Malleable Illusions  ♦  Manifestation of Body  ♦  Manifestation of Mind  ♦  Manifestation of Soul  ♦  Manoeuvres  ♦  Manoeuvring Attack  ♦  Martial Archetypes  ♦  Martial Arts Bonus Unarmed Strike  ♦  Martial Arts Deft Strikes  ♦  Martial Arts Dextrous Attacks  ♦  Martial Prodigy  ♦  Martial Weapon Proficiency  ♦  Mask of Many Faces  ♦  Mask of the Wild  ♦  Medium Armour Proficiency  ♦  Melee Attack Bonus -5  ♦  Melee Damage Bonus +10  ♦  Menacing  ♦  Menacing Attack  ♦  Metamagic  ♦  Metamagic: Careful Spell  ♦  Metamagic: Distant Spell  ♦  Metamagic: Extended Spell  ♦  Metamagic: Heightened Spell  ♦  Metamagic: Quickened Spell  ♦  Metamagic: Subtle Spell  ♦  Metamagic: Twinned Spell  ♦  Mindless Rage  ♦  Minions of Chaos  ♦  Minor Alchemy  ♦  Minor Conjuration  ♦  Mire the Mind  ♦  Misty Escape  ♦  Mobile Evade Difficult Terrain  ♦  Mobile Evade Opportunity Attack  ♦  Morninglord's Radiance  ♦  Mortal Reminder  ♦  Multiattack Defence  ♦  Musical Instrument Proficiency  ♦  Mystic Arcanum  ♦  Natural Explorer  ♦  Naturally Stealthy  ♦  Nature's Ward  ♦  Necromancy Savant  ♦  Oath of Devotion Tenets  ♦  Oath of the Ancients Tenets  ♦  Oath of Vengeance Tenets  ♦  One with Shadows (Feature)  ♦  Open Hand Technique  ♦  Otherworldly Leap  ♦  Pact Boon  ♦  Pact of the Chain  ♦  Performance Proficiency  ♦  Perilous Stakes  ♦  Polearm Master Bonus Attack  ♦  Polearm Master Opportunity Attack  ♦  Portent  ♦  Potent Cantrip  ♦  Potent Spellcasting  ♦  Precision Attack  ♦  Primal Strike  ♦  Projected Ward  ♦  Protection  ♦  Psionic Backlash  ♦  Psionic Dominance  ♦  Psionic Fortitude  ♦  Purity of Body  ♦  Pushing Attack  ♦  Quarterstaff Proficiency  ♦  Rage  ♦  Rage: Bear Heart  ♦  Rage: Eagle Heart  ♦  Rage: Elk Heart  ♦  Rage: Tiger Heart  ♦  Rage: Wolf Heart  ♦  Rally (Feature)  ♦  Ranger Knight  ♦  Rapier Proficiency  ♦  Relentless Avenger  ♦  Relentless Endurance  ♦  Relentless Rage  ♦  Reliable Talent  ♦  Remarkable Athlete  ♦  Remarkable Athlete: Jump  ♦  Remarkable Athlete: Proficiency  ♦  Repelling Blast  ♦  Resilient Charisma  ♦  Resilient Constitution  ♦  Resilient Dexterity  ♦  Resilient Intelligence  ♦  Resilient Strength  ♦  Resilient Wisdom  ♦  Riposte  ♦  Ritual Caster Free Spells  ♦  Sanctified Stalker  ♦  Savage Attacks  ♦  Scimitar Proficiency  ♦  Sculpt Spells  ♦  Sculptor of Flesh  ♦  Second Wind  ♦  Second-Story Work  ♦  Sentinel Opportunity Advantage  ♦  Sentinel Snare  ♦  Sentinel Vengeance  ♦  Shadow Arts  ♦  Shadow Step  ♦  Sharpshooter: All In  ♦  Sharpshooter: Low Ground  ♦  Shield Master: Block  ♦  Shield of Thralls  ♦  Shield Proficiency  ♦  Shortbow Proficiency  ♦  Shortsword Proficiency  ♦  Sickle Proficiency  ♦  Sign of ill Omen  ♦  Sign of Ill Omen (Feature)  ♦  Simple Weapon Proficiency  ♦  Sling Proficiency  ♦  Slow Fall  ♦  Spear Proficiency  ♦  Speed Increased  ♦  Spell Slots Unlocked  ♦  Split Enchantment  ♦  Spreading Spores  ♦  Stalker's Flurry  ♦  Steel Will  ♦  Stillness of Mind  ♦  Stone Camouflage  ♦  Storm's Fury  ♦  Strength Saving Throw Proficiency  ♦  Strongheart Resilience  ♦  Stunning Strike  ♦  Superior Darkvision  ♦  Superiority Dice  ♦  Sweeping Attack  ♦  Symbiotic Entity  ♦  Tempestuous Magic  ♦  The Third Eye  ♦  Thief of Five Fates  ♦  Thought Shield: Psychic Reflection  ♦  Thought Shield: Psychic Resistance  ♦  Thunderbolt Strike  ♦  Tides of Chaos  ♦  Tiger Heart  ♦  Tranquility  ♦  Transmutation Savant  ♦  Trip Attack  ♦  Two-Weapon Fighting  ♦  Two-Weapon Fighting Style  ♦  Umbral Sight  ♦  Unarmored Defense  ♦  Unarmored Movement  ♦  Unarmoured Defence  ♦  Unarmoured Movement  ♦  Uncanny Dodge  ♦  Undead Thralls  ♦  Undead Thralls: Additional Undead  ♦  Undead Thralls: Better Summons  ♦  Underdark (Feature)  ♦  Unstable Backlash  ♦  Urban Tracker  ♦  War Caster Concentration  ♦  War Caster Opportunity Spell  ♦  War Magic  ♦  War Priest  ♦  Warding Flare  ♦  Warhammer Proficiency  ♦  Warlock Spell Slot Gained  ♦  Warlock Spell Slots  ♦  Wasteland Wanderer: Cold  ♦  Wasteland Wanderer: Fire  ♦  Wasteland Wanderer: Poison  ♦  Whispers of the Grave  ♦  Wholeness of Body  ♦  Wild Magic (Feature)  ♦  Wild Shape  ♦  Wild Strike  ♦  Wild Surge  ♦  Wisdom Saving Throw Proficiency  ♦  Wolf Heart  ♦  Wrath of the Storm

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    • Anonymous

      So does this work with the Armor Shadows warlock invocation like it does in D&D? (i.e. cast Mage Armor at will to fully charge the ward outside combat)

      • Anonymous

        What about a tempest cleric 1 (heavy armor) / warlock 2 (AoA+AoS) / abjuration wizard X build with the Heavily Armored feat ? I'm afraid it takes a bit too long to start with getting the starter pack at lvl 5. You still get lvl 6 spell slots but no wizard selection (relying on scrolls ?).

        • Anonymous

          Any idea if the stacks increase when casting an abjuration spell from an item? I counted 6 low rarity rings and amulets that let you cast a non-shield abjuration spell, 2 high-rarity armor items that do. I was wondering if after a long rest you could shuffle through all the equipment and cast their spells just to pump your ward up.

          At that, I have another question. Can you switch to items you didn't have equipped that have spells and cast their spells, or do you need to have them equipped from the time you long rest to cast their spells? If so at the very late game and at level 12 you can potentially pump your ward up to intensity 20 at the end of a long rest. Talk about a lot of damage mitigation.

          • Anonymous

            If the ward reduces the damage to 0, do you still lose a charge?
            Say you take 10 damage but the ward has 11 charges, you get 0 damage. Does the ward now have 10 charges or still 11?

            • So it reduces damage by the intensity value, then decreases it only by one intensity per attack. However, I noticed that if a single attack has multiple damage types, each damage type is reduced fully by the intensity, and still only decreases by one intensity. Arcane Ward 4 against a slash with d6 slashing + d4 fire may do some slashing, does no fire, and leaves you with Arcane Ward 3. (or.. maybe i misread a few things. can anyone else confirm this?)
              Each intensity tier can block as little as 1 damage, but as much as it's intensity value as damage. For a Ward of intensity x, it's effective HP is between x and (x^2 + x)/2. it is exponential, so keep it at a high tier if you can manage. Tier 2 blocks up to 3 damage, Tier 4 blocks 10, Tier 6 blocks 21, Tier 8 blocks 36, etc.

              • Anonymous

                Combine with Warding Bond (resistance to all damage) from a Cleric or the magic rings to double the amount of life this protects since resistance applies before the hit. If you have an Arcane Ward of 14 charges at Level 7 Wizard, you have to take a hit that deals more than 28 damage for any damage to actually hurt you or your bonded character. You can easily tank hundreds of damage just with this mechanic alone.

                • Anonymous

                  Not noted here but bg3 arcane ward does not have int scaling, the max is always wiz lvl*2. Additionally it does work with armor of shadows as of date of post, to turn off mage armor for recast just put on any armor that is incompatible with the spell.

                  • Anonymous

                    Warlock 2/ Abjuration Wizard X would be really good. Access to armor of agathys and armor of shadows invocation to spam mage armor and heal your arcane ward (hopefully this works in game, I haven't tested it yet). And with the Archfey patron you can charm nearby creatures whilst in the middle of combat because you are pretty tanky for a wizard.

                    • Anonymous

                      With this rework i do wonder how well an Eldritch Knight / Abjuration Wizard with heavy armor master would go. Since i think the ward auto gives you 3 stacks after you do a long rest, as well as the tanky nature of the multiclass with lots of Shield spells spam would keep arcane ward up. Reducing all damage from 3-6 with a possible Blade ward at Fighter lvl 7 with War Magic while still attacking. High AC, Resistance to damage, flat damage reduction. All of your spell slots will fuel your shield, protection from evil and good etc. as well as having good ritual spells like feather fall, longstrider, find familiar etc.

                      • Anonymous

                        The new arcane ward has up to 4 stacks for a lvl 2 wiz with 17 int. Each occurrence of damage reduce the damage for the number of stacks and remove 1 stack. ex : you have 3 stacks and suffer 4 damage > you take 1 damage and have now 2 stacks.

                        • Anonymous

                          okay for who ever cares: casting mage armor or protect vs good/evil gives me at lv4 12 hp with an int of 18 so no more 3 hp

                          • Anonymous

                            There is a Blade Ward cantrip you could use to get the shield.
                            So you end up having 50% weapon reduction damage for 2 turns +3 hp shield.

                            • Anonymous

                              Yup. I just experimented with it right now to confirm the low number I was seeing and it's a hard flat 3hp. It's also not even stacking with sources of Temporary HP like False Life - which it should be doing in accordance with tabletop. (Since the Ward creates a separate barrier around you that takes damage for you, rather than simply being Temporary HP added to your body.)

                              Apologies for the double post, this was meant to be its own post.

                              • Anonymous

                                In early access this is not useful. The only abjuration spells are mage armor and protection from evil/good; mage armor you'll never recast and you shouldnt be recasting protection either. So no way to charge it. I can see the use later in game at later levels with more ways to charge

                                • Anonymous

                                  This is a huge change to 5e arcane ward. In BG3 it has a max of 3hp, while in 5e the arcane ward is double your level plus your int modifier.

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