Baldur's Gate 3 Best Illithid Powers Ranked
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Best Illithid Powers in Baldur’s Gate 3, ranked

What are the best Illithid Powers in Baldur's Gate 3?

In Baldur’s Gate 3, your character has a mind flayer tadpole stuck in their head that grants you Illithid Powers that everyone can use regardless of class or race. In this guide, I’ll break down the best Illithid Power upgrades in the skill tree as well as the best class Illithid Powers ranked in Baldur’s Gate 3.

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Best tier one Illithid Powers in BG3

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

Favorable 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. Keep in mind 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 use 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.

Best tier two Illithid Powers in BG3

Best Illithid Powers In Baldurs Gate 3 Ranked
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  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 HP 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 that 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. This melds perfectly with gear that aids your Psychic damage. 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 and Displace. The former isn’t that great because you need to kill an enemy to activate it and it doesn’t do that much damage. For the latter, all you do is make a creature suffer a little more damage after they fall, but I didn’t find myself pushing enemies off of cliffs too often. If that’s your jam, you may rate Displace a lot higher than I did.

Best tier three Illithid Powers in BG3

The only way to unlock the third tier of Illithid Powers in BG3 is to help the Emperor and become Half-Illithid. I accidentally did this in my playthrough and suffered the consequences which included looking ugly but having very helpful powers including Flight.

  1. Fly
  2. Black Hole
  3. Mind Sanctuary
  4. Mind Blast
  5. Psionic Dominance
  6. Displacer Beast Shape
  7. Fracture Psyche
  8. Freecast
  9. Absorb Intellect
  10. Illithid Expertise

Fly is the best Illithid Power here because it allows you more movement options in and out of combat. I love Black Hole because it gets enemies away from your allies and makes them vulnerable to a big AoE attack. Mind Sanctuary is a great ability that allows allies within the bubble to take Actions and Bonus Actions interchangeably.

Mind Blast is incredible because it’s a big Psychic AoE attack that can Stun targets. Psionic Dominance is a good Reaction that can negate spells if you have a high Proficiency Bonus. Displacer Beast is awesome even if you aren’t a Druid since it looks cool and deals impressive damage.

Fracture Psyche lowers a target’s AC by one which is solid but not amazing. Freecast lets you cast something for free without using a Spell Slot which can be really good. Absorb Intellect is weak as it only lowers a target’s Intellect and allows you to heal a little each turn. I think Illithid Expertise is the worst here just because it gives you expertise in Persuasion, Deception, and Intimidation. My character already has Expertise in those areas, so it’s useless for me.

All class Illithid Powers in BG3

Best Illithid Powers in Baldur's Gate 3, ranked
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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.
  • Ranger: 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.

How to get Illithid Power points in BG3

As you find parasites in jars in Baldur’s Gate 3, you can consume them to gain Illithid Power points to spend in the Illithid Powers skill tree. You can only use an Illithid Power once per Long Rest. In conversations, you only have to beat a DC of 2 thanks to Illithid Persuasion which every character starts with.

All Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen locations in BG3

To unlock an Illithid Power, you need a Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen. These items are found throughout Baldur’s Gate 3 Act 1, 2, and 3. Here are all the Mind Flayer Parasite Specimen locations in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Act 1
    • In the Enclave Library in Emerald Grove. You’ll find it on the Drow corpse, but only loot it when Nettie isn’t looking.
    • On Edowin who is found in the forest west of the Emerald Grove just before the bridge to the Blighted Village.
    • On Brynna’s friend in the Druid Grove.
    • On the body of Flind the Gnoll Warlord who is found on the Risen Road.
    • The Shattered Sanctum has three: Priestess Gut, Dror Ragzlin, and Minthara.
    • Three Mind Flayer Specimens are found in the Creche Y’llek Infirmary.
    • On True Soul Nere’s body in the Grymforge.
  • Act 2
    • On Flaming Fist Marcus when you protect Isobel at Last Light Inn.
    • Two Mind Flayer Specimens can be found on a boat at the Dock at Moonrise Towers. If you miss it, you can find it at the dock in Act 3.
    • On Linsella in Moonrise Towers.
    • On Zealot Malik in Moonrise Towers.
    • On Adept Merim in Moonrise Towers.
    • On Zealot Krizt in Moonrise Towers.
    • On Disciple Z’rell in Moonrise Towers.
    • In a Brine Pool within the Mind Flayer Colony that is accessed through the red hole in the Moonrise Towers prison area.
  • Act 3
    • In the cellar within the Blushing Mermaid.
    • Within the Steel Watch Foundry at the back of the chamber.

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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Noah Nelson
From his early days of blog-style music, movie, and game reviews to working as the Esports Writer at Coastline Community College, Noah Nelson now works fulltime as a Staff Writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion. He has been helping gamers everywhere with Destiny 2 god rolls, Warzone 2 DMZ missions, and collectibles in any indie game for over a year and a half. His Bachelor's Degree in English Rhetoric and Composition with a minor in Journalism from CSULB has shaped him to be a strong writer and editor. His fondest gaming memory is playing Sly Cooper 2 after begging his mom (for hours) to play it before his birthday and he still cries myself to sleep remembering the time he accidentally saved over his 99% completion save file in Kingdom Hearts 2.
Anyka Pettigrew
Anyka Pettigrew has been a Staff Writer for PC Invasion since November 2023 and a Contributing Writer since February 2023. She is a Canadian graduate of a Bachelor of Arts degree who has been writing in games journalism for four years. Anyka is an avid guides writer but also enjoys writing anything from news pieces, to reviews, and even opinion pieces. Having a never-ending passion for video games for as long as she can remember got her into a plethora of genres like action adventure, RPGs, horror, survival etc. Some of her favorite franchises are God of War, Persona, The Last of Us, Zelda, and Resident Evil. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, as well as drawing digital art. Anyka also regularly listens to podcasts on gaming news from 'Kinda Funny Games', and 'Play, Watch, Listen'.