[Top 7] Pillars of Eternity Best Classes To Play

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A monk, a wizard, a fighter, and a pries... adventuring parties are just so odd.

What are the best classes in Pillars of Eternity? What are they best at?

In Pillars of Eternity, you control of group of adventurers - 6 of them to be precise. You encounter NPCs throughout your adventure that will fill some of the missing roles you need, or you can hire generic adventurers to have full control over your party and their classes. Regardless of your choice, you will still need to pick a class for your main character. Each class is different and has their own strengths.

Okay, that's great. So which of them are the best? This article will break down the 7 best classes and why they are the best.

7. Chanter

A human chanter, preparing his tales and songs to wow his allies and foes with in battle.

Bard-adjacent characters, chanters are spellcasters that enter the battlefield singing verses that either passively buff your party or passively debuff your enemies. While they do have spells similar to wizards and priests, their chanting is their real bread and butter. Because of their passiveness, I tend to forget how much their presence affects combat until I add a chanter to my party. Having more than one chanter in your party is not a bad choice whatsoever, as it allows your party to receive the benefits of multiple chants at once. You can acquire a chanter early into the game.

Why this class is great:

  • Passively chants spells while performing other actions
  • Can summon a variety of creatures to fight alongside you
  • Common class for doing The Ultimate Challenge

Pick this class if:

  • You are attempting to do The Ultimate Challenge
  • You like spells but hate having to stop and cast them
  • You love summoning and controlling small armies of creatures

6. Barbarian

An aumaua barbarian, barely containing his desire to scream and dive into battle.

Does the thought of combat make you want to scream and bash things with your hammer or handaxe? The barbarian might be the right choice for you. Damage, damage, damage is what this class is all about but that’s not all it can do. They make excellent offtanks due to the amount of aggro they draw from their attacks and inflict several debuffs such as Terrified from their intimidating presence. While I don’t always pick barbarians to be in my party, their presence is certainly noticed when I do decide to use them. You also can acquire a barbarian NPC in The White March - Part II.

Why this class is great:

  • Excellent crowd control
  • Draws a lot of aggro due to high damage output
  • Has an ability that deals damage upon being defeated

Pick this class if:

  • You like dealing massive amounts of burst damage
  • You like dealing damage - even after death

5. Fighter

A human fighter, who will stop at nothing to keep his friends safe.

For the class that excels in locking down an area and taking hits, look no further. The fighter is an excellent all-around class that can act as a tank or an attacker, depending on the situation. Unlike some other classes, you don’t lose out on much if you have two in your party. I have never run a party without a fighter, however, if you don’t want to double up, you do find an NPC that acts as a fighter early on in the game.

Why this class is great:

  • Good for beginner players
  • Great all-around attacker and tank
  • Best tank class in the game
  • Decent crowd control abilities

Pick this class if:

  • You like being the center of attention in combat
  • You want an all-around balanced class
  • You have never played Pillars of Eternity

4. Paladin

A godlike paladin, whose devotion to her cause cannot be broken.

The Hero. The Savior. The Leader. The paladin is all of these things and more. Unlike the fighter or priest who both focus on locking down an area or providing support to the entire party, paladins have powerful single-target buffs and debuffs that allow them to take boss enemies head-on. I have never played without a paladin due to their incredible utility and have made my main character a paladin more times than I haven’t because of how awesome it feels to take on all the game’s bosses without yielding. If you want a paladin but don’t necessarily want to make your main character one, you acquire a paladin NPC in Act II of the game.

Why this class is great:

  • Excellent at engaging with powerful foes
  • Amazing role playing opportunities
  • Can be an attacker, tank, and support
  • Excellent backup character for Fighters and Priests

Pick this class if:

  • You like complimenting your team through a variety of methods
  • You like going head-to-head with powerful foes
  • You enjoy playing a leader-type character

3. Priest

An orlan priest, who just finished a prayer to her god and is ready to heal her wounded party.

The ultimate support character is a good way to describe the priest. These amazing religious followers can buff your party to new heights while making sure your enemies know their place with powerful debuffs. Priests are pretty much mandatory at higher difficulty levels, and still extremely useful at lower difficulty levels. In my opinion, you lose out on damage output and durability if you run with two priests, but running two isn’t an awful choice. As for NPCs, you do get Durance early into the game… and if you can stand all the creepy remarks, being watched as you sleep, and his gravelly voice, then keep him, but I usually replace him.

Why this class is great:

  • Best healer in the game
  • Has amazing buffing and debuffing spells
  • Great for roleplaying
  • One of the common classes for doing The Ultimate Challenge

Pick this class if:

  • You are interested in the theological side of Pillars of Eternity
  • You like focusing on supporting your party
  • You want a replacement character for Durance

2. Wizard

A dwarf wizard, who never can never let his grimoire leave his hand.

Once hated by the community when this game was released, the now powerful wizard is a master of lore and spellcasting. They unfortunately start as one of the weakest classes but become arguably the best class at the highest level. They have a mixture of outright damage spells and control spells, making them excellent in either context. I always run a wizard in my party but rarely make my main character one. The first companion you acquire in the game is a wizard and he does his job well.

Why this class is great:

  • Insane endgame abilities
  • Great roleplaying
  • Gains spells through finding grimoires

Pick this class if:

  • You want a unique leveling experience
  • You are interested in the magical side of Pillars of Eternity
  • You want to have every tool for every combat situation by the end of the game

1. Cipher

An elf cipher, who already has a grasp on somebody's soul.

Unique to the Pillars of Eternity universe, ciphers are soul-affecting spellcasters with nearly unrivaled control effects. Unlike most other spellcasters like wizards, however, ciphers gain Focus, which they use to cast spells, during combat. These spells can range from causing a target’s soul to burn, dealing damage over time, stealing defense from an enemy, to even inflicting Charmed or Dominated. I highly recommend the Cipher as your main character in at least one playthrough as it is extremely powerful and unique. Like the paladin, the cipher is a very main character-focused class as the class’s origin and abilities go well with the main character’s story. You also acquire a cipher NPC late into the game.

Why this class is great:

  • Extremely powerful control spells
  • Excellent roleplaying
  • Does basically what the Rogue and Ranger can do - but better

Pick this class if:

  • You want to be the puppet master of combat
  • You want to be proficient in many out of combat skills
  • You want to play a Rogue or Ranger with spells

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Jedi Guardian, Paladin, GDI Commander, monster hunter for hire, college graduate, depending on who you ask.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Apex Legends, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Top 3 Favorite Games:Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Pillars of Eternity, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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