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Cavalier vs Blade: Better, more enjoyable character to play through the saga?

I have played the game(s) a few times, since the original first game came out in the late 1990s. However, I have never lasted long enough to complete the entire sage due to study, jobs, career, family, moving, losing old save files, changing computers without saving old hard drives, whatever.

I am feeling the urge to try again to finish the original sage with the enhanced additions and bonuses. I want to use the same character to play through and finish the whole sage in Enhanced Edition: starting with Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast, importing through Siege of Dragonspear, importing again to Shadows of Amn, and finally Throne of Bhaal.

I am looking for class recommendations. I have narrowed down my final two choices to: Cavalier or Blade.

Based on what I know: both Cavalier and Blade are not as boring or dull as plain base classes like the fighter or cleric. Both Cavalier and Blade start out strong in the first game from the get-go, stay consistently strong throughout the whole saga, become very powerful at the end, has no "downtime" (like, let say, Kensai/Mage or Sorcerer,) level up consistently and quickly enough (unlike multi-classes or dual-classes,) play well in a party but also strong enough to survive on its own, flexible enough to work with any combinations of NPC party members, etc.

I have played the Cavalier once but did not finish the first game with it. I thought it was okay, one of the better and easier classes I have played, (compared to, let say, Kensai, which was a real pain to play in the first Baldur's Gate before I got the chance to duel it to a mage or thief.) Cavalier has always been among the most recommended "best classes to play through the saga".

I have never played Blade. However, I read that Siege of Dragonspear has added some fairly powerful Blade-specific equipment that could be carried over into the later games, so Blade has become a better, easier and more enjoyable class to play through the whole sage. Blade has become one of the most recommended "best classes to play through the saga" since Siege of Dragonspear came out.

So, my final two: Cavalier vs. Blade. I'm looking for analyses, comparisons, opinions, etc., especially for anyone who has play through the game(s) with either or both of those two classes.

My considerations are: Which class is easier, more fun and more consistently powerful throughout the entire saga? Which class complements the other major NPC companions/party-mates better? Which class is given more stories, side quests and interactions with NPC?

I have a huge list of games in my backlog on Steam and GOG. So, I want to use this one character to play through and complete the whole Baldur's Gate saga, once; and then I do not want to replay the same games again with a different character/class. I would rather spend my time to attend to other games in my huge backlog. So I want this one class to give me the best, optimal gameplay enjoyment and experience.

  1. Cavalier vs Blade: Better, more enjoyable character to play through the saga?30 votes
    1. Cavalier
    2. Blade


  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,269
    edited June 2019
    Take a Cavalier and make him a dual-wielder. Be sure to take two pips in bastard swords to use the nifty Holy-Avenger you find in Watcher's Keep later on. Take Keldorn and Anomen with you and you have the makings of a Holy-Warrior grand adventure! The other members don't matter too much (no evil members of course) but I romanced Aerie and rounded the party out with Imoen and Nalia. (In BG I took Ajantis, Imoen, Minsc, Dynaheir and Yeslick.)

    To this day it was the most fun I've had in a BG Trilogy run.
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,840
    I actually like using Blades with two-handed weapons. For example, in Icewind Dale, a blade with Offensive Spin can deal a lot of damage with Joril's Axe, which deals 1d12+3 damage (which is a lot more when the damage is maximized).
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 920
    I feel every wand user is super strong in bg1 and sod. Use fire wand as basic attack is so fun :D
  • ktchongktchong Member Posts: 58
    edited June 2019
    ...The value of blade class is dramatically altered by the Rogue Rebalancing addition, a well-established mod in the community. I would recommend at least considering it for installation. My experience with the blade is based upon the iteration created by the mod...

    I read that the Rogue Rebalancing Mod nerfs the Blade quite a bit, by replacing his High Level Abilities with lesser abilities, like replacing Enhanced Bard Song with Whirlwind, Spike Trap with Mass Charm, and Time Trap with Sound Burst.
    Danacm wrote: »
    I feel every wand user is super strong in bg1 and sod. Use fire wand as basic attack is so fun :D

    I remember wands can't be recharged normally in Baldur's Gate. You would have to sell an almost depleted wand to a store and then buy it back, which could be an expensive hassle.

    I do not remember, but could you check a wand's remaining charges in BG1:EE? I know you could not in the original version.
    Post edited by ktchong on
  • DeucetipherDeucetipher Member Posts: 521
    I would agree that the HLAs are less powerful in Rogue Rebalancing, though I do think it makes the abilities more in line with the idea of the class. That being said, the HLA revisions are a separate component, so you can pick and choose if you prefer the thief HLAs.
  • ktchongktchong Member Posts: 58
    edited June 2019
    I also posted the same question on Reddit. Someone there reminded me of Haer'Dalis, who had somehow slipped my mind.

    In one of my previous games, I was unable to keep Haer'Dalis in my party because my player character was romancing Aerie. i.e., a love triangle over Aerie caused a conflict between my main character and the Blade NPC. However, this time around I intend to romance the new NPC Neera. Neera is in all the BG games including Siege of Dragonspear, so she seems to be the best only option for a long-term romance with a male main character. With the love-triangle conflict out of the way, keeping and using Haer'Dalis as the Bard/Blade in my party seems to be a viable option.

    Generally, I do not like to having "repeated classes/kits" in my party, i.e., having two or more party members sharing the same class and kit. So, having a Blade NPC - i.e., Haer'Dalis - available as a companion choice does significantly factor into my considerations and push me towards choosing the Cavalier for my player character.
    Post edited by ktchong on
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @ktchong: You can view the current charge of a wand in EE, unlike in the original BG1. The cost of recharging a wand can range from a few grand to 15,000, but frankly, the cost is more than worth it. A 100-charge Wand of Fire or Wand of Monster Summoning will last you all the way through Siege of Dragonspear, and the gold you spend on recharging a wand is going to be far more useful than the gold you'd spend on any other expenses.

    As for which character is more fun, it depends on whether you like a character to be very efficient, or very versatile. The Blade has many more tools at its disposal, both in terms of spells and in terms of items, and there's not really anything the Cavalier can't do that the Blade cannot. However, the Cavalier does deal physical damage faster and more reliably, and aside from a brief period at the start of BG1, the Blade will never be able to match the damage output of a Cavalier... unless you have Rogue Rebalancing and you're combining Offensive Spin with Whirlwind Attack while in Iron Golem form from Shapechange or something crazy like that.

    If it's more important for your character to have a bunch of tools, the Blade is going to be more fun. If you want your character to chop through enemies quickly and you don't want to fuss around with a bunch of special options, the Cavalier will be faster and smoother for you.
  • Very_BigSwordVery_BigSword Member Posts: 217
    Lots of good points in these posts. I chose Cavalier since it is a very survivable class for a less experienced player, not too fiddly and valuable abilities for the full saga. Immunity to lots of status effects helps a melee charname greatly. Use NPCs to experience the variety, pros and cons of non-warrior classes. Spells are spells, wands are wands whoever is using them. Micro as much or as little as you like with them.

    Somebody suggested Anomen, Keldorn as off tanks for BG2. Both have weak Dex resulting in getting hit a lot in melee and there is only one set of dex gauntlets. If taking that path aim for 17 or 18 Dex at character creation. Con might have to be a trade off depending on how high you roll. 10 Int if you can and minimum Wis.

    I agree with making the PC a dual wielder with bastard sword and axe specialisation to go front line with either Anomen or Mazzy as shield bearer/tank. I would take Mazzy with Aerie or Anomen if not using Aerie. Keldorn second line with 2H swords.
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 920
    Cavalier is more streamlined and far easier class to play. Yes blade can be fun, lot of options but in low levels is hard to manage, you will have few spell slots, dont have plate armor, thief thac0 so you not be a whirling death, rather a whirling miss. After a couple of levels, when you have enough spins per day, the blade will be fine but i always view blade as a fine tanky class, because of mage buffs.
    Cavalier has staple immunities, full plate, fighter thac0, its faar easier in the begining and remain strong through the saga.
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,291
    Blade requires more attention, but is more powerful. In BG1 they are great from the start with ranged weapons, wands and spells (due to higher caster level). An archer with Offensive Spin is pretty powerful.

    Just don't try to melee with them before getting a few levels and defensive spells.

    In BG2 they are great tanks and have an excellent damage output, due to weapons granting extra attacks and spells like Stone Skin and Improved Haste.

    But in the end it is simple: the Blade is so good because the kit is functionally close to the Fighter/Mage multiclass, which is regarded as the most powerful class combination by many players.
    The Blade is a bit better in the beginning and somewhat worse in the BG 2 endgame.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    The sorcerer has no down time, only dual class have it, like the kensai mage named in the op post.
    I used to like the blade, but as i dislike the nerfs to the enhanced song introduced by EE i almost dont see any reason to chose it instead of a multi F M, that has no down time and is much stronger as fighter and caster.
    The cavalier is a good fighter with some utility spells and immunities from the kit, that balance well the impossibility to attain GM.
    So FM if you like a versatile and powerful toon trough the saga, pally if you like a fighter type with added RP value or blade if you like to micromanage a lot, to concentrate on charname a lot of good stuff to have him effective.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    the way i treat the EE blade can look a little too harsh, so let me explain better comparing him with FM at some levels of xp
    blade lev 9, 9d6 hp 16 thac0, 8 spells max lev 3.
    FM lev 6,7 hp average of 6d10 and 7d4, thac0 15, 10 spells max lev 4.

    blade lev 12, 10d6+4 hp, thac0 10, 11 spells max lev 4.
    FM lev 9,10 hp average of 9d10 and 10d4, thac0 12, 15 spells max lev 5.

    blade lev 23, 10d6+26 hp, thac0 15, 26 spells max lev 6.
    FM lev 14,14 hp average of 9d10+15 and 10d4 +4, thac0 7, 26 spells max lev 7.

    end game the blade thac0 is still at 10 and the FM's one is at 0, he has +1.5 apr from level and specialization and is able to cast 2 lev 9 spells while the blade is stuck with lev 6 max. The access to PI and simulacrum multiply the numbers of FM's spells and give the access to a super strong clone to go mlee.

    trough all the saga the FM has more hp and thac0 and even if has less levels as spellcaster (so a fireball is less damaging and some buffs last less) he is able to cast more and more powerful spells.
    the blade has a powerful dispel magic, while the one from a multi is almost not useful.
    the higher the level get the more the blade sub optimal thac0 and lack of high level spells becomes relevant, and the wands, that both can use, become obsolete.

    at high levels the HLA kick in, and some of the rogue ones are really useful, UAI and traps are very good ones. But if a real thief is used instead of imoen or nalia the trap department is covered any way and most of the items a blade can equip thanks to uai can be equipped by a FM or are not effective in bard's hands, like the pally sword that in the hands of a 1 apr toon with rogue thac0 and not even a proficiency in its style is certainly not game breaking. the FM trades that with fighters HLA and high level mage HLA (additional spells, improved alacrity, summon deva and so on.

    what made in not EE the blade interesting for me was the enhanced song. not, or at least not only, for the use of it with multiple mislead clones, thing that i have done, but not so often. with a little micromanagement was possible to have a blade activating the song and attacking in the same round, in EE it is no more possible as the auto pause interaction with the song is changed.
    and in EE the AOE of the enhanced song, that before was too wide, is ridicously small, is almost impossible to have the full party affected if some work ranged, other mlee and other casting.
    to have a blade singing and attacking, enhancing the whole party AC and thac0 while getting a 10 AC bonus himself was balancing him well against a FM, in EE i feel that no matter how i try but is always an inferior choice, still useful as the game can be beated with each class, but less interesting then before as it need a lot of good stuff to work and does not match the power of a FM at any point if not at the very beginning of bg.
  • ElysianEchoesElysianEchoes Member Posts: 475
    Who do you like more, Batman or Captain America? If Batman, play blade. If Cap, play cavalier. Is that a good way to think about it?
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,857
    If you don't mind be a mediocre archer in early BG1, Blade is fine. They are embarrassing in melee at low levels, but a pip in shortbow at creation is very valuable, enabling said ranged use. Shield Amulet is kinda handy at least, until you can score the chainmail, which btw requires you to do Dorn's quest to get. Annoying, but not painfully so, as Dorn is both a great ankheg hauler and melee brute, but he's really, really evil.
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,072
    edited June 2019
    Cavalier is among the least flexible classes in the game, occupying a fighter slot yet unable to use missile weapons or put five pips in melee weapons. Blade is much more flexible and takes advantage of the great synergies between mage buffs and offensive spin, though blades are noticeably weak at the beginning of BG1 and do restrict party formation to some degree since the blade can't replace the party fighter (way too little DPS except in quick bursts) nor the party mage (can't cast breach until late in the game) nor the party thief (no traps/locks).

    At least to my way of thinking, neither of these classes do a great job satisfying the OP's requirements but blade comes much closer than cavalier. Plus blades are just a lot of fun to play despite their shortcomings.
  • PsicoVicPsicoVic Member Posts: 866
    edited June 2019
    The pool is 50-50

    Cavalier, a solid choice for a character for the entire saga. You have summon deva.
    Blade: more fun and challenging. Not many spells but you can cast them at high level and level up faster. Spìns are fun and useful. Nice equipment choices. Good HLA. Rogue rebalancing is a must. Also:
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,235
    @jsaving Unless you're a rabid bard fan (like myself) bards aren't really a prime pick for initial slots in a party. They are amazing at supporting the group, so they should be a guaranteed pick for the 5th slot after you get the mostly necessary basics (fighter, mage, thief, healer).
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    I've soloed the saga through with both, and both are one of the most fun classes to play. Cavalier for me is the most interesting class of all. Completed the saga three times with it, yet I'm still interested trying it again to succeed in that nR run. It has just right amount of spells to make it interesting and survive situations, yet not making it overbearing. And on the other hand it's fighter class that can achieve 100 damage resistance (in Ascension), 10 apr critical strikes and get deva, among three skeleton warriors. In Hell you can turn it good&evil with some shenanigans, that can wield both Carsomyr and Soul Reaver, the best dispel and anti boss weapons. Not to mention the top three immunities, which you don't have ever to bother thinking about. For solo it doesn't need missile weapons. For party dynamics I don't really have much experience, or it has been so long that I don't even remember how they worked in parties.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    They are amazing at supporting the group, so they should be a guaranteed pick for the 5th slot after you get the mostly necessary basics (fighter, mage, thief, healer).
    it is interesting how the play style affects the party composition and roles, i often go without a dedicated fighter, but use toons that can go mlee and also do other things, like anomen, jaheira or aerie and only some times i have people like korgan or minsk to cover the mlee department. and is almost 20 years that i don't use a healer, i rely on regeneration items and potions and memorize very few heal spells, even if i like and use the divine magic, even if not to heal.
    also very often my 5th and 6th slots are left empty.
    so probably, even if we are both bard fans we use them to cover different roles in our parties that being different need different tactics.

    those games are great because they don't force you to a certain style or to certain tactics, but really give the chance to experiment with a lot of freedom.

    histamiini wrote: »
    In Hell you can turn it good&evil with some shenanigans, that can wield both Carsomyr and Soul Reaver
    please explain it better, i don't know it and i want to taste every possible piece of cheese in the game, my mouse familiar also loves cheese :)

  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,425
    edited June 2019
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    histamiini wrote: »
    In Hell you can turn it good&evil with some shenanigans, that can wield both Carsomyr and Soul Reaver
    please explain it better, i don't know it and i want to taste every possible piece of cheese in the game, my mouse familiar also loves cheese :)
    Basically it means taking evil paths in Test of Wrath and/or Test of Selfishness, and escaping the level before fallen script hits. Test of Wrath needs less precision to get it working, if you plan to play nR. Possibly this also works in the other three tests, but I don't usually go for them.

    Test of Selfishness

    Talk to the demon, then quickly back up so it doesn't force the dialogue further. Cast Silence on the peasant out of sight, then cast Death Ward on him. Then with Boots of Speed and Oil of Speed open the doors on right and pause. Then direct your character to the exit and let him run as far as he can. The demon talks to you on the way, and gives you the tear, pause, and direct your character to the exit.

    Test of Wrath

    Again you need Boots of Speed and Oil of Speed, then cast Farsight on wraith Sarevok. This way he doesn't activate dialogue immediately when he sees you and you get enough time to charm him with the Control Circlet through his 100 Magic Resistance. Make Sarevok attack you, so that he follows you to the main area. Then attack him, take the evil route, and kill him. Then click back to the wrath area, pausing before you arrive, then click back to the exit.

    If you keep Carsomyr +5 in quick slot before using the evil tear, you can keep using it being evil as long as you don't remove it. And you also get the ability to use Soul Reaver +4. Only downside to this is you can't upgrade Carsomyr to +6, which really only matters against Melissan's Divine Mantle.

    Also because you get the evil tears from these tests, Cavalier can consequently get undispellable 25 strength and AC cap, if you use STR tear three times, and AC tear two times. This also leads to 10 apr FoA +5 critical strikes with 25 str bonus, without needing Crom Fayer.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Wow :)
    Thank you!
  • ktchongktchong Member Posts: 58
    edited July 2019
    The Rogue Rebalancing Mod file, the last version, at the source website (Spellhold Studios) is infected with Occamy.B, a Trojan and a severe system threat.

    The older versions were fine.

    People have been posting in the Spellhold Studios to report the virus in the latest version, but the staff there were acting very defensively like a bunch of assholes, claiming the anti-virus programs were wrong without showing any evidence or proof.

    I don't have an account at Spellhold Studios, and I have no prior experience with the forums or people there. However, based on what I read on their forums, those people are some serious assholes. Personally, I'd rather trust reputable anti-virus apps than a bunch of assholes over at the Spellhold Studios.

    IMO, the latest file is infected with a Trojan. I am especially wary because the mod project has recently changed hands, from "aVENGER" to "Wisp". So be careful.
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited July 2019
    @ktchong you are right to warn us, but unless you have a proof that there is really a trojan and it is not a false positive to call people assholes, people that spend their time for free to let us mod our beloved games, seems to me quite eccessive.
    false positives are possible and as a mod is something that changes a program is even more likely that some antivirus flag as positive something that is not so.
    i think that if spellhold studios would allow on purpose infected files it would be a suicidal move from their side.

    by the way what antivirus are you using? have you sent the suspect file to virus total or a similar online service? i can not do it as i am not working with my pc now as i am not at home and i don't want to download a potentially infected virus on a computer that is not mine.

    EDIT: i gave a quick look and on their forums the only thread i am able to find that deal with the possible trojan is
    and there only a single person asked about the trojan and only a single antivirus flagged the file as infected.
    but you told:
    ktchong wrote: »
    People have been posting..........the staff there were acting very defensively like a bunch of assholes, claiming the anti-virus programs......
    and people is different from a single person, programs is different from a single antivirus and a single person of the staff replied telling "Nothing but a false positive", thing that is different from "the staff there were acting very defensively like a bunch of assholes", a person is not a bunch and that answer does not qualify as asshole imho.

    i don't see why to bring here a 1 year old topic, without giving the link to the source, i had to google to find it, to give us a wrong report, from what you write it seems that the issue has been brought up by more then 1 person and that the spellhold s. staff had answered in a different way than how they did.

    to warn us about a possible virus in a download related to the games is wellcome, but i am not happy about the way you did it :(.
    ktchong wrote: »
    is infected with Occamy.B, a Trojan and a severe system threat.
    is something that can be told only if who tells it is sure of the fact, and at this point i am not even sure that you have downloaded the mod and tested it yourself. and to call assholes peoples, when you can not proof to us in any way (afaik) that they are really so, is not the way people write normally on this forum, we try to be respectful, even when we have different opinions on things like religion or politics that are a cause of flames in less respectful places.
    Post edited by gorgonzola on
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