Legacy of Avernus: Searing Smite is one of the racial abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3. Racial abilities are specific abilities that characters of that race unlock as they level up.
Legacy of Avernus is the set of abilities available to the Zariel subrace of Tieflings.
All Tieflings have a base movement speed of nine meters per turn, and Darkvision which lets them see up to 12 meters in the dark.
Tieflings also have a natural resistance to Fire damage, meaning they only take half damage from it. Very useful, given that damage types abundance.
With Legacy of Avernus, Zariel Tieflings gain:
- Level One: Unlock Thaumaturgy, a Transmutation cantrip that gives advantage on Intimidation and Performance checks
- Level Three: Searing Smite, which gives extra damage on a weapon attack and recharges once per Long Rest
- Level Five: Branding Smite, which gives extra damage and might leave a light that stops the target from turning invisible. Also recharges once per Long Rest
All Tiefling spells use Charisma as its spellcasting modifier.
Legacy of Avernus Searing Smite: a classic pairing with Paladins
Searing Smite is a level 1 Evocation spell that deals an extra 1d6 Fire damage and sets your target on fire for 1d6 fire damage per turn.
As a Zariel Tiefling, Origin character Karlach will naturally learn this spell through Legacy of Avernus.
Unfortunately, Karlach won’t be using this spell that much since she starts as a Barbarian. Since Barbarians’ signature Rage ability stops them from casting spells once activated, Karlach won’t get to Smite much through a normal playthrough (but this still won’t stop her from being one of the best companions).
Of course there’s nothing stopping you from chatting to Withers to respec Karlach as a Paladin, or choose a Zariel Tiefling Paladin for your custom character.
Since Paladins generally want Charisma for their spellcasting ability, it synergises very well with Tieflings.
Further, because Paladins have a fairly limited number of spell slots to cast their various Smite spells, getting two free Smite spells as a Zariel Tiefling is a dream come true for most Paladins.
All Paladins can learn Searing Smite at level 2 and Branding Smite at level 5, separately from the Zariel Tiefling’s natural level up.
This means that even if a Paladin uses up their spell slots on Searing Smite, a Zariel Tiefling can still cast it once more using Legacy of Avernus.