D&D 5th Edition [GUIDE] Celestial Link Evoking Radiance Into Creation - CLERIC guide
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  1. #1

    [GUIDE] Celestial Link Evoking Radiance Into Creation - CLERIC guide





    Color Code

    Goldenrod: Something you pretty much always take.
    Deepskyblue: Grade A, and usually the most optimal choice.
    Blue: Grade B, solid, if not quite optimal.
    Black: Grade C, it passes, but don't expect much wow from it.
    Darkviolet: Situation, most of the time you should pass on this, but there are corner cases that can really make this good.
    Red: Grade F, avoid. At best you just wasted your choice, but it might actually hurt you.


    Clerics specialize in recovery for their allies. Reversing damage, disease, and even death. They have some buffing, attack, utility and control spells, but they tend to be weaker then their counter parts (bards, sorcerer's, wizards, and druids respectively). Their domain can add some versatility as well. They are also the most heavily armored of all the casters, which helps them survive long enough to heal their allies. It also makes then a decent tank.


    Str There is little benefit from wielding a 2-handed weapon since you don't multi-attack and can attack with Dex or not attack at all. You need 15 to not be slow in heavy armor. Though it's usually not a big deal if your late to the party, since you mainly do the cleanup.
    Con You want to be the last one to die. Helps concentration too, though your not too as dependent on that as some other casters.
    Dex Clerics need initiative less then others, since they can recover after the fact but it never hurts to get bless up first. All weapon feature all work with ranged attacks as well (except death), and which is nice if your heavy armor is slowing you down. You could potentially dual wield as well, with 2 chances to land divine strike. Shillelagh can also allow you to use melee attacks with Wis.
    Int This is your most likely a dump stat. But it's never bad to know stuff.
    Wis Despite being your main stat, there's no DC for bless, heal, revivify, create food and water, ect.. so you could potentially get away with 14 and take more feats or Con.
    Cha The other dump stat. But it never hurts to be charming.

    Booming Blade/ Green Flame Blade: Melee cleric should strongly consider using a feat or multi-class to pick booming blade and green flame blade (along with shillelagh). It synergies well with divine strike allowing you to get some solid melee damage while leaving your slots open to fulfill your support role (bless and heal).
    Booming blade can be triggered with command if you have warcaster. Cast command (flee) to force an OA, use booming blade as your OA, which immediately triggers for extra damage, though this will drain your slots.


    Example Dwarf:
    10 Str
    15(+2) Con (+1 more with resilient)
    14 Dex
    8 Int
    15(+1) Wis (+4 more with ABI).
    8 Cha


    Skills: Beyond perception, which matches your Wis, and Stealth for a few domains, there's not a whole lot of specific skills to take. Athletics is probably the third most used choice.
    Last edited by mellored; Monday, 30th November, 2015 at 07:26 PM.
    XP Yunru, Treantmonklvl20, Ogre Mage, Bulldozers gave XP for this post

  2. #2
    Races

    Hill Dwarf Wis, Con, and HP all go to keeping you alive long enough for you to keep others alive. Plus you can run around in heavy armor without Str.
    High Elf Dex is good, Int is not, however the fact that you can get Booming Blade / Green Flameblade without a feat/multiclass makes a big difference for melee clerics. worse for caster clerics.

    Human Variant +1 Wis, +1 Con, and starting with a feat of your choice. Though they lack darkvision.
    Gnome Even without Wis, advantage on saves is very strong. Keeping you alive longer.
    Wood Elf +1 Wis and dex are good, and longbows can indirectly help keep you alive. Better for tricksters, who like stealth.
    Half-Elf +1 Wis and Con, for the skill heavy games. Variants are have their uses, except for keen senses. Don't trade 2 skills for 1.
    Half-Orc For the strength builds, relentless endurance helps ensure you don't die.
    Water Genasi +2 Con and +1 Wis. Though you already have create/destroy water.
    Goliath: Adds some toughness, and stones endurance can help keep concentration spells going.
    Duergar: Con and some spell resistance helps keep you alive.
    Ghostwise Halfling: +1 Wis, and rerolling 1's helps with saves.


    Aarakocra: Mobility generally isn't worth the loss of AC for a cleric, and flying is dangerous. So despite +2 Dex and +1 Wis, this isn't too great. That said, you can positioning yourself above enemies for spirit guardian or the light cleric CD.
    Aasimar: +1 Wis, but otherwise you get spells you already have. Fortunately, it doesn't really matter that they are Cha based, and don't need to scale, so saving a spell slot doesn''t hurt.
    Eladrain: Dex is't bad, but clerics tend not to need mobility that much. Better for light clerics who could use misty step to jump in the middle of the enemies for their Channel Divinity.
    Mountain Dwarf: For the weapon using domains, this isn't bad.
    Halfling (lightfoot, stout): Rerolling 1's helps defense, but don't do anything with spells. Better for weapon clerics.
    Human: More stat's are never bad, but not great either.
    Dragonborn: Most domains lack AoE attacks, so breath is nice to have, but otherwise it's lacking.
    Genasi (earth, fire, wind): Con is good, but most of the rest is lacking.
    Feral Winged Tielfing: Worse stats then aarakocra, but no armor restriction. Flying is still a dangerous.

    Tiefling: Doesn't have much to offer with Cha based spells.
    Drow: Light sensitivity doesn't hurt spell casting, but +Dex is usually combined with weapons. Playing a drow light cleric and constantly blinding yourself can be fun.


    Features: The basic cleric is very light on features. Most of them come from the sub-class.
    Spellcasting: You can prepare the largest number of spells (including 10 from your domain), and can change them out each day from the whole cleric list. You can also use a holy symbol, allowing for casting of most spells while you have a weapon in your hand.
    Turn/Destroy Undead: This works best against a horde of low level undead. Aginst higher level undead, you might want to use your domain channel divinity (depending). Fortunately, undead like to come in hordes, so it's not quite as niche as it might otherwise be.
    Divine Intervention You might get a free casting of a spell of your DM's choosing each week. Since it's so unreliable, it's best used to pray for healing after battle, freeing up your spell slots for later. And you might as well try it every day, since more rolls is more chances to use it.
    Divine Intervention improvement It's a free spell of your DM's choosing 1/week. Unlike before, you want to save this for hard days. This presumes your DM won't simply cast a level 1 cure wounds when you pray for a resurrection.
    Last edited by mellored; Tuesday, 8th December, 2015 at 05:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Spells with a * next to them are already on the cleric list and detailed below. Since you could of taken them anyways, this makes them a little less valuable.

    A quick comparison of damage channel divinities at level 10...
    Spoiler:

    War is assumed to turn a miss into a hit.
    tempest is assumed to be used on a failed save, and is only the amount added (max - spell average).
    light assumes 50% save rate.

    war with a longsword = 14
    light = 15.75 (aoe, uses an action).
    war with a greatsword = 16.5 (-2 AC)
    war with longsword and green flame blade = 18.5 + 9 to a second target
    tempest with a level 5 shatter = 21 (aoe)
    tempest with a level 5 call lighting = 22.5 (aoe)
    death = 25
    war supporting a rogue = 26
    war supporting an assassin's surprise = 47.


    Knowledge Skill Expertise. It adds a lot to out of combat and RP and comes with a few good control spells, as well as divination spells.
    I suggest 20 Wis to land suggestion, but after that it's fairly open. You should be using your knowledge to avoiding combat a fair bit. Possibly picking up utility feats like ritual caster (if you don't have a wizards), healer, and inspiring leader. Team up with other stealth and deception PCs' (assassin, bard), since knowledge and trickery go hand in hand. Though having some more battle focused (barbarians, fighter) allies to cover for you when things go wrong is good too. It also works well as in a solo game, since you can cover every skill with some rest.
    Spoiler:

    Blessing of Knowledge: More skills and expertise. Though not the most valuable ones.
    CD: Knowledge of the Ages Temporarily gain any skill. This has diminishing returns as you've already gotten all the ones you really want.
    CD: Read Thoughts: Knowing what someone is thinking has all sorts of RP benefits. But what makes this skyblue is that this doesn't have V,S, or M components, and thus you can stealthily cast ©suggestion, even while your talking to them. Pathetically when combined with your other scouting spells (scry past a door, just make sure they are within 60'). Though it does take 2 actions and concentration.
    Potent Spellcasting: Better then the weapon proficiency, since you don't need 2 stats.
    Visions of the Past: Knowing the past isn't as useful as knowing the future, or the present. But it's still at-will.

    Spells:
    1
    *command
    identify

    2
    *augury
    ©suggestion: "Help us kill your boss" is a great suggestion. Or simply "go away and don't come back", to take someone out of combat. You get this with your channel divinity as well, however concentration keeps you from turning everyone against their boss.

    3
    nondetection: It's pretty rare for a NPC to scry you.
    *speak with dead

    4
    ©arcane eye: A solid scouting spell.
    ©confusion: A bit unpredictable, but is still a mass control spell.

    5
    *legend lore: Pretty rare that you'll need this. Particularly once you get the level 14 ability.
    scrying: A nice scout spell.


    Life: Healbot. While giving out more hit points is unquestionably helpful, that's all you get. You don't even get any non-cleric spells, though it's at least mostly ones you would take anyways.
    I suggest Con with heavy focus on defense (heavy armor mastery, defensive duelist) as none of your features and only a few domain spells need to hit. And the more hit points you have, the more you can heal. However, you could go Str/Con, or Dex/Con as well, and dishing out a little damage. Best with high risk/reward players, (wild sorcerer, reckless barbarian), since you can more readily recover from mishaps.
    Spoiler:

    Heavy Armor: A small boost to AC.
    Disciple of Life: A little bit of HP to your spells. If you snag a heal of time spell (goodberry, aura of vitality) or your own regeneration, it's get's much better.
    CD: Preserve Life: More HP, with good targeting, but only upto 1/2 HP.
    Blessed Healer More HP, for you. But you really shouldn't be casting that many spells to make much of a difference.
    Divine Strike This requires Str/Dex, while nothing else does. Likely you should skip weapons and stick with sacred flame.
    Supreme Healing: Yet more HP. While this sounds amazing, your higher level heal spells (heal, mass heal) don't roll dice as much. So it's mostly a boost to your lower level ones.

    1
    bless,
    *cure wounds

    2
    *lesser restoration
    *spiritual weapon

    3
    beacon of hope: You're already overloaded with healing, maximizing it further doesn't help. And then this becomes useless with your level 17 feature.
    *revivify

    4
    *death ward
    *guardian of faith

    5
    *mass cure wounds
    *raise dead


    Light The AoE blaster. Best against large hordes. This fills in one of the gaps that clerics normally have, mainly damage. Though the extra spells overlap with the channel divinity a fair bit, and your spells can end up stretched if you try to both blast and heal. Particularly since they both need to scale with slots.
    I suggest Con and defense slightly over Wis, so you can survive to get into melee for your channel divinity, and since most of your spells deal 1/2 on a miss anyways. Alert doesn't hurt either, killing things sooner. Best with other's who deal with single target (fighters, rogues, enchanters).
    Spoiler:

    Bonus Cantrip: This is mostly flavor, but still something.
    Warding Flare: Disadvantage is potent to have, though as multi-attack comes into play, this helps less.
    CD: Radiance of Dawn: A friendly, if slightly weak AoE. Scales reasonably. You may want to use this against hordes of undead in place of turn undead.
    Improved Flare: You can now help your allies, though it's stretching your resource.
    Potent Cantrip:
    Corona of Light: While disadvantage on saves is normally powerful, this only applies to spells that do 1/2 on a miss anyways (and it doesn't apply to scorching ray). Better if you have allies who also sling fire/radiant spells.

    1
    burning hands The best level 1 AoE damage spell. Though that's not saying much.
    ©faerie fire: Advantage for everyone. Can combo nicely with scorching ray.

    2
    ©flaming sphere: Adds some damage over time. Though generally combat doesn't last long enough to make it worth while.
    scorching ray: A strong spell with strong scaling. Just make sure you have advantage, and possibly bless before casting, as it does nothing on a miss.

    3
    *daylight Your channel divinity can already dispel darkness, and you have the light cantrip.
    fireball. One of the best damage spells in the game. Though it doesn't scale that well.

    4
    *guardian of faith
    ©wall of fire A large area but less damage then fireball. With a plus that it blocks enemy archers. better if combined with immobilizing effects from allies, but otherwise, don't expect to hit people more then once.

    5
    flame strike This does less damage then fireball. Even against fire immune things, use your cantrip.
    scrying


    Nature The druid. Most of the features revolve around beasts and plants, making this somewhat campaign dependent. They do get a few nice control spells and features from the druid list. It also one of the better melee clerics, as you can snag Shillelagh for free, and you get a choice of damage types.
    I suggest Wis/Con in equal parts, using your control spells to block out a few people, then bashing the ones that are left. Polearm Master can also work with a quarter staff if your party needs a bit more damage. Works with any group, but best in a nature setting.
    Spoiler:

    Acolyte of Nature: Shillelagh allowing you to go into melee without needing to use Str/Dex. Other options are ok.
    Heavy Armor: A little extra AC.
    CD: Charm Animal and Plant: A much more limited version of animal friendship.
    Dampen Elements: 1/2 damage on some of the most damaging effects in the game. Plus it's at-will.
    Divine Strike: Your choice of element, makes this solid.
    Master of Nature: An upgrade to your CD. Dominate is very strong. Even if the targeting and duration is limited. Note that this will still break if the creature takes damage.

    1
    animal friendship: You can charm as your Channel Divinity. Though this lasts a good bit longer.
    ©speak with animals: Best uses as a scout.

    2
    ©barkskin
    ©spike growth No save AoE damage and area denial. Unfortunately, it doesn't scale at all.

    3
    plant growth A strong wall of plants that can keep melee enemies at bay for a good while. Assuming there's plants.
    ©wind wall Good defense against archers.

    4
    ©dominate beast: Turning an enemy into an ally is strong. But this has some limited targeting.
    ©grasping vine: Bonus action to attempt to move someone 20', that's it. That's very much red by itself, even being able to do it repeatedly without a size limit. However, if you combo it with something to pull enemies into (pit, cloud of daggers, wall of fire), it can be pretty good. Though you can't use it yourself, because concentration.

    5
    ©insect plague: Ok area denial.
    ©tree stride Useful for fast travel, and for hit and run against enemies. Assuming there's trees. Though it only targets yourself.


    Tempest The focused Blaster. Like the light cleric, adding damage really helps shore up a weakness with the cleric. Tempest brings more nova, though it's spells can be stretched a bit more. Though killing things sooner generally means less need to recover. This does have a weakness to underground, making it just ok for underdark campaigns.
    I suggest Wis/Dex, with Alert. As well as sticking to medium armor, or even light armor (at 20 Dex) for stealth. Aiming to go first and blow up the enemies before they have a chance to retaliate, and your allies get in the way. Then falling back to a handbow to help stretch your slots while your allies are in the mix. Best with more tanky allies.
    Spoiler:

    Heavy Armor & Weapons: A little more AC, and a tiny bit more damage.
    Wrath of the Storm: Damage as a reaction is good, however it doesn't scale at all.
    CD: Destructive Wrath: This adds ~70% more damage to a spell. Though your selection is somewhat limited (thunderwave, shatter, call lighting, and destructive wave). It can also work on divine strike, but that's generally a waste.
    Thunderbolt Strike The only things this works on is Wrath of the Storm, and Call Lighting. It feels like it should work on thunder as well. Better if you have something to push people into, or have lighting lure (pull first, then immediately push).
    Divine Strike: Most of your damage is from spells. Though you can maximize your weapon damage.
    Stormborn Flight, without concentration. And why your carrying a handbow.

    Spells that can be maximized with destructive wrath are marked with @

    1
    ©fog cloud Good for blocking archers, or for sneaking past people.
    @thunderwave A solid start with AoE damage.

    2
    gust of wind: A nice spell to keep low Str creatures at bay. But usually too thin to make it too good.
    @shatter: The same damage as thunderwave, but now at range.

    3
    call lightning: Repeatable AoE damage that scales very well is skyblue. But the fact that it also works with thunderbolt strike and destructive wrath with d10's makes this your go-to spell. Just watch out for low ceilings.
    ©sleet storm: AoE Prone is not too useful. Particularly since they get as save.

    4
    control water:
    ice storm: Good damage and then slows people down.

    5
    @destructive wave: High damage friendly AoE. Note that only 1/2 the damage is thunder, making this not quite as nice for destructive wrath.
    *©insect plague: Ok area denial. Though it really seems out of place for a storm cleric.


    Trickery The rogue domain. How good it is depends heavily on your DM and party. You can pull off all sorts of fun tricks with the channel divinity and spells, setting up battles, attacking from another room, or other fun tricks, but if the barbarian always rush in or your sitting in the middle of a wide open area, you lose much of that benefit. The spell list is mostly defensive and avoidance, which let's you flee easily, either after you cast contagion, or to come back later and raise dead.
    I suggest Dex followed by Wis, doing more to avoid any direct confrontations, and relying on your defensive spells to keep you safe. Possibly dip rogue for expertise and cunning action. You can always polymorph if you need to tank for a bit. Good in parties with patient for trickery. Bad in parties that like to rush in.
    Spoiler:

    Blessing of the Trickster: Stealth (and surprise) is powerful. Note this does not work on yourself.
    CD: Invoke Duplicity: Assuming you cast it ahead of time this is very nice. It also gives you advantage with dual wielding, contagion, inflict wounds, or crossbow expertise (not just melee attacks). Or you can simply cast around walls, or add 120' to your spells. Also works well with disguise self. However, it's generally not worth using in battle.
    CD: Cloak of Shadows 1 turn of invisibility has it's uses, but competes with duplicate. It also takes an action, so you can't turn invisible and hide on the same turn (without rogue), though you can on your next turn. On the plus side, it does not take concentration, and can be good to use if your caught in an ambush or something.
    Divine Strike Poison is among the worst damage type.
    Improved Duplicity: Now you have a squad of illusions to add even more confusion to the battle. Or you can have one of your duplicates call another duplicate a doppelganger.

    1:
    charm person A small skill buff with a clear downside.
    disguise self Plenty of good trickery here. Like running around a corner, changing into a servant girl, and saying "he went that way".

    2
    mirror image A solid defensive spell.
    ©pass without trace: Note that this stacks with blessings of a trickster. So you really can sneak a heavy armor guy in places.

    3
    blink: An excellent defensive spell. You have 50% chance of not being targetable, with no concentration. Plus you can travel though thin walls. You can also be a bit cheese and ready a dash while on the ethereal plane to travel though thicker walls.
    *dispel magic:

    4
    dimension door: Short range teleports are useful. Particularly after you just landed contagion and need to run away a few turns while it kicks in. Just make sure your landing spot is clear.
    ©polymorph: Not only useful for disguising yourself as a stray cat, but you can turn someone into a t-rex to stomp stuff.

    5
    ©dominate person: A very strong effect, but short lived with a lot of saving throws and limited targeting keeps it from being too good.
    ©modify memory: Can come in handy on occasion.


    War The paladin. They do NOT "excel in combat" (until level 17). They are just OK in combat. You get features to add to weapon attacks, but it doesn't add much damage at the cost of making you MAD (without shillelagh). The domain spells are pretty much all outclassed by bless. It's still viable to play one, but consider playing a paladin or multiclassing into another weapon class.
    For straight war clerics, I suggest getting Shillelagh, booming blade/ green flame blade, and going Wis/Con with a quarter staff, using features when you miss. Best supporting rogues (war god's blessing) and necromancers (crusader's mantle).
    Spoiler:

    Heavy armor & weapons: Extra AC is nice, and just a little extra damage.
    War Priest: 2 attacks at level 1 is massive. But this can quickly get replaced with a feat or by spiritual weapon. Divine strike is 1/turn, so save this for when you miss to get a second chance. Note this does NOT work with booming blade / greenflame blade, only "attack actions".
    CD: Guided Strike: Turning a miss into a hit is pretty good. Better with booming blade / green flame blade.
    CD: War God's Blessing. You have divine strike, so you mostly want to use CD on yourself. Unless you have a rogue ally.
    Divine Strike: You make slightly better use of this then other domains, since you can change damage types, and it stacks with CD.
    Avatar of Battle Massive boost to your defense. A bit late to save the domain though.

    1
    ©divine favor Worse then bless, unless you are the only one in combat and can't spare the action.
    shield of faith

    2
    ©magic weapon Worse then bless. It does have a good duration though, and can overcome weapon resistance.
    *spiritual weapon

    3
    crusader’s mantle Worse then bless. Unless you have a large party, such as a necromancer's army.
    *spirit guardians

    4
    *freedom of movement
    ©stoneskin: Good if you have someone in a narrow corridor tanking.

    5
    *flame strike
    ©hold monster Normally a strong control spell that allows crits, but you likely don't have as much Wis to make it stick.


    Death (DMG): The Gish. With very good melee channel divinity and a mixed selection of damage/control spells, your one of the best gish domains. Though like most Gishes, they can be MAD. However you can skip weapons and using melee attack spells (vamperic touch, spiritual weapon) you can go pure Wis/Con. You could also grab thorn whip or shillelagh with a feat or druid dip.
    I suggest Warcaster, 20 Wis then Resilient Con. Keeping your concentration and accuracy of Vamperic Touch, adding in Touch of Death to boost heal yourself. Add a spiritual weapon + touch of death for a double tap. Shillelagh and Green Flame Blade also work good here.
    Spoiler:

    Martial Weapons Minimal extra damage.
    Reaper Chill Touch and Spare the Dying are the only necromancy cantrips, and you can already get spare the dying. Being able to hit 2 creatures is nice.
    CD: Touch of Death Very good damage that can't be wasted, but requires you to be in melee. Note that this can be used with melee spells as well (inflict wounds, spiritual weapon, vamperic touch). Spiritual Weapon being particularly good since it's a bonus action, at range, and without concentration.
    Inescapable Death: This is more of a theme tax then an actual feature. Particularly since you have plenty of radiant and turn undead to fall back on.
    Divine Strike You'll be in melee anyways, though it's still kinda poor scaling. Stacks with Green Flame Blade though.
    Improved Reaper: Doubles the power of some spells, if enemies are close enough. Most notably with blind and vamperic touch. Note that you only need 1 use of touch of death to deal extra damage to both targets.

    I'm rating spells without considering Improved Reaper, since you'll be using them single target for the majority of the game.
    But, i did mark the improved spells with a @. So increase their color by 1 once you get to 17.

    1
    false life Pre-healing is always nice. Scales ok.
    @ray of sickness Most low AC, low Con creatures don't rely on attack rolls, making this less then helpful.

    2
    *@blind/deafness
    @©ray of enfeeblement: Against high accuracy targets who use Str attacks this is better then blind. Though you need to hit AC as well.

    3
    *animate dead
    vamperic touch: Repeatable damage and heal, but the fact that it's concentration and melee makes it a good spell. The thing that really brings it to skyblue is the synergy with Touch of Death, which not only boost damage, but healing.

    4
    @blight an upgrade to inflict wounds, with 1/2 on a miss. Though it doesn't synergise with Touch of Death.
    *death ward

    5
    ©antilife shell Making yourself immune to most melee creatures is massive, particularly with the nice long duration. However, it goes both ways, and prevents you from using your channel divinity. (unless you use Spirital Weapon) So know when to use it.
    ©cloudkill: Ok area denial. Nearly identical to insect plague.

    @other cleric necromancy spells that get improved.
    Contagion
    Gentle Repose
    Inflict Wounds
    Raise Dead
    Speak with the Dead


    Arcana (SCAG): Anti-Magic. The CD and spells are pretty niche. They work well against red wizards of thay summoning fire elementals, but does little against orcs, kobolds, dragons, or terrasque. So check your campaign to see if what your going up against. At least you get all non-cleric spells boosting flexibility. Note that since the extra cantrips are cleric cantrips, booming blade get's a damage boost from potent cantrip, giving you good melee options.
    I suggest Wis then Con, getting shillelagh and being in melee. Best in campaigns that feature wizards and planar travel as enemies.
    Spoiler:

    Arcane Initiate: Minor illusion and prestidigitation but several good choices, or booming blade and green flame blade for melee.
    Arcane: More skills is good. Though it's an Int based skill.
    CD: Arcane Abjuration
    : This is very close to red as your you can easily lose out on a major ability simply by never facing one of these creatures, and it only affects 1. But this can still be great in the right campaign.
    Healing Dispel? I find the need to dispel to be pretty rare, but it's still 2 spells for the price of 1.
    Potent Cantrip: Keeps you on par. Bladesinger can double-tap with booming blade and greenflame blade, as well as affect multiple creatures with sword burst. Though similar abilities where errated to 1/cast, so this may follow.
    Magic Secrets: High level wizard spells are somewhat better then high level cleric spells but not massively so. (except wish->simulacrum).

    1
    ©detect magic:
    magic missile: never bad, but rarely good. Doesn't scale too well.

    2
    ©magic weapon: Worse then bless, though last longer.
    nystul's magic aura:

    3
    dispel magic: Obsolete by your level 6 feature.
    magic circle: worthless at this level. Though it can come in handy at level 11.

    4
    ©arcane eye: A nice scouting spell.
    leomunds's secret chest: you can usually just carry stuff yourself.

    5
    planar binding: This, along with planar ally / conjure celestial / gate (+magic circle), can actually be good. Though you'll need to wait a few levels to be useful. Cost keeps it from being too broken.
    teleport circle: Some good utility.
    Last edited by mellored; Wednesday, 19th October, 2016 at 08:00 PM.

  4. #4
    The clerics ability to swap spells makes alot of the niche spells much more useful. For instance, if your stuck in a desert, you can take create food and water, then when your crossing a swamp, you can swap it for water walk, and when your fighting in the underdark against drow swap to daylight. Make sure you keep some core spells that are always useful, just in case your DM throws you a curve ball, and you suddenly fall into the underdark.

    © = concentration
    ® = ritual

    Cantrips:

    Sacred Flame: Your only attack cantrip. But it's a good one, and can be used in melee without disadvantage.
    ©Guidance: Ideal for out of combat skill boost. But also good for initiative. Just note that it's concentration.

    Light: Useful, but consider making a few continuous flames.
    Mending: All sorts of RP uses.

    ©Resistance It's rare that you will know when a saving throw is coming. And since it's concentration, it doesn't stack with bless.
    Thaumaturgy While flavorful, none of the effects are particularly useful. And it's still a V spell, so you can't even use it stealthed.

    Spare the Dying As a cleric, you should have at least 1 healing spells, which is much better then simply stabilizing. In addition, any can do this with a DC 10 Wisdom check.


    Level 1:

    Command: This can make an enemy provoke an opportunity attack as well as miss his next turn without concentration. There are some targeting limitations. This loses some steam as OA's get less powerful and reactions get more competition, unless you have a rogue ally.

    ©Bless: A good all around buff and generally what your going to use your concentration for. Particularly with allies with sharpshooter or greatweapon master.
    Healing Word: In combat heal. This stays valuable as you really only need 1 HP to have someone useful in combat, but you should probably not cast it in a higher level slot.
    Sanctuary: A strong defensive buff without concentration, and as a bonus action, makes this valuable at all levels. At first glance it might seem useless, but there's plenty of actions you/they can take. Such as casting bless, healing (spells or feat), summons, illusions, help, ect... You can even deal damage with precast spells like call lighting, blade barrier, or spiritual guardian (NOT spiritual weapon) though your DM may disagree with this interpretation.

    Cure Wounds: Your out of combat heal. This will quickly get replaced.
    Inflict Wounds: Strong damage and scales well.
    Guiding Bolt: Good damage for it's level, but this scales very poorly, both in damage, and because multi-attack reduces the advantage. So drop it later.
    ©Protection from Evil and Good: An very strong buff, but against limited, but not too uncommon targets.

    ©Bane: An good debuff, but with both a save and concentration, it's not enough. It has potential in a group of casters, since bless won't help, and this one of the few ways to reduce a saving throw.
    ©Shield of Faith: This has value if you can use it for a full 10 minutes.

    Create or Destroy Water
    ©Detect Evil and Good
    ©®Detect Magic
    ©®Detect Poison and Disease
    ®Purify Food and Drink
    Last edited by mellored; Thursday, 17th September, 2015 at 01:40 PM.

  5. #5
    Level 2

    Spiritual Weapon: No concentration and as a bonus action damage. Scales reasonably.

    Blindness/Deafness: While somewhat weaker debuff, it doesn't take concentration, and isn't limited by targets.
    Continual Flame: Since these are permanent, you can cast it on your downtime and then swap spells. Making the only cost the 50 gold. Casting it on your weapon is a good choice. Perhaps a few arrows or sling bullets as well.
    ©Hold Person: While targeting is somewhat limited, you give out free crits.
    ©®Silence: Extremely strong against spell casters.
    Prayer of Healing: Out of combat healing. Scales well, but still get's replaced.

    Aid: A nice pre-heal for your party. This scales pretty well too.
    ©Enhance Ability: Versatile buff.
    Lesser Restoration: Clears out a good number of nasty effects.

    ®Augury: Since it's a ritual, you might as well use it every day.
    ©Calm Emotions: Turns a combat encounter into a talking encounter. But only if you hit everyone.
    Warding Bond: Somewhat weak on it's on, but it does have a good effect on concentration checks.

    Find Traps
    ®Gentle Repose
    ©Locate Object
    Protection from Poison
    Zone of Truth


    Level 3

    Revivify: The earliest and cheapest raise dead. Generally this will be enough, so you don't need to upgrade.
    ©Spirit Guardians: An ally friendly damage zone that moves with you and last a good while, as long as you can keep concentration. Consider using sanctuary with it. Scales reasonably with slots.

    ©Bestow Curse: The best use is to deny actions. Consider it hold monster, without the crits, but a few levels earlier. There's even some good RP benefits at level 9 (the duration is too short otherwise).

    Animate Dead: This can add alot of damage over the course of a day if you manage to keep them alive. Just be careful you don't turn your own skeletons.
    ©Clairvoyance: It's always nice to know what's enemies are coming up.
    Glyph of Warding: This can let you double dip on concentration spells, or prepare an emergency heal. Though it's immobility and cost keeps it from being abuse.

    ©Beacon of Hope: This can boost healing a lot, but rarely will you need that much at once.
    Dispell Magic: Depending on how many evil wizards you fight.
    ®Meld into Stone: This can safely give you long rest. Unfortunately, you can't bring your allies.
    Mass Healing Word: Your upgrade from healing word, though generally you don't need low in-combat mass healing.

    Create Food and Water
    Daylight: You generally don't need this much light, and you can make permanent ones with continuous flame a level lower. Though against drow in the underdark it can be nice.
    ®Feign Death: There's some fun RP potential here.
    Magic Circle: Too expensive for something temporary. Could be useful with planar ally and planar binding. Giving you time to bind something.
    ©Protection from Energy
    Remove Curse: Curses are fairly rare.
    Sending
    Speak with Dead
    Tongues
    ®Water Walk
    Last edited by mellored; Thursday, 17th September, 2015 at 06:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Level 4

    ©Banishment: A rare Cha save to remove someone from combat for a minute. Also good for returning to your own plane of existence.

    Death Ward: A nice pre-heal.
    Freedom of Movement: Immunity to some powerful effects without concentration.
    ©Control Water: Strong effects, assuming there's water nearby.

    Stone Shape: All sorts of RP benefits. You could possibly create cover in combat too.

    ®Divination An upgrade from Augury, though this consumes gold.
    Guardian of Faith Covers a small space, for ok damage, and doesn't move. At least it has a good duration.
    ©Locate Creature


    Level 5

    Geas: Knock someone out, and then use this on them.

    Greater Restoration: Most of the time lesser restoration will cover it, but there's a few nasty things that can crop up.
    Hallow: Non-mobile and a long casting time make this hard to use, but the effect is permanent and strong, so it's easy to swap in when needed. Though i'm a bit confused about how slashing, piercing and bludgeoning count as "energy".
    Mass Cure Wounds: Nice to have when your party get's fireballed, but most of the time you can use a heal up after battle.
    ®Commune The best of the divination, with 3 questions, no time limit, no cost, and no spell slot.

    ©Dispel Evil and Good
    Flame Strike: Somewhat weak and small for it's level, but clerics don't have many blast options.
    ©Insect Plague: Somewhat weak and small for it's level, but clerics don't have many zone control options.

    Raise Dead: Most of the time, revivify will do. Prepare this only in the rare case it's needed.
    Legend Lore
    Planar Binding: This mostly trumped by Geas. Though it does combo with Planar Ally and Magic Circle.
    ©Scrying: A less good divination spell that let's you see places you've already been to, or creatures you've already seen.
    Contagion: A really powerful debuff, but takes at least 3 turns (clarification) to work making it difficult to use in combat. However, it's 7 day duration means if you can land it, you have plenty of time to capitalize on it. Easier for a trickster who can hit and run.



    Level 6

    ©Blade Barrier: This is a nice big wall that's does pretty good damage and provides cover. Consider putting it at an angle, or even down a hallway.
    Heal: Nearly twice the hit points of cure wounds, adds in lesser restoration and scales very well too.

    Create Undead: Upgrade from animate dead. Just make sure you don't turn them.
    Harm: Slightly more damage then inflict wounds, and half on a miss. The max HP reduction is usually only good against PC's.
    Word of Recall: Not simply for transportation, but also escape.

    ®Forbiddance: Nice for a temporary sanctuary against a few foes, but generally not enough. Also an upgrade to hallow.
    True Seeing: A bit of a short duration for the slot level, but it's helpful if you need it.

    Heroes’ Feast This would be a pretty nice buff if it didn't take so long and cost so much.
    Planar Ally Since you need to both pay gold, and possibly experience, you'll only want to use this under special circumstances.

    ©Find the Path Knowing the direction to go to get back to a place you've already been to should be a level 2 spell. For level 6, you have Word of Recall which is instant.
    Last edited by mellored; Thursday, 17th September, 2015 at 01:50 PM.

  7. #7
    Level 7

    ©Conjure Celestial: There's only a few options, but they come with their own set of spells, and aren't bad at combat. More details here.
    Regenerate: Lot's of HP, and not just for out of combat. If they get knocked unconscious, they will start their next turn with 1 HP.

    Fire Storm: A blast spell with nicely flexible targeting.

    Divine Word: You can likely do better simply killing stuff with spirit guardian or firestorm, but being a bonus action and charisma save makes it not to bad.
    Eternalness: A scout spell. Note that it doesn't require material components, so you can use it to escape a jail as well.
    Symbol: An upgrade to glyph of warding, with the same movement restrictions.
    Plane Shift: While you could potentially banish someone, though it takes 2 good to do so. And it doesn't do anything on a miss. Better for war domain who are much more likely to hit the first time. Cast it twice to teleport to a "general" area on your own plane.

    Resurrection: Given the time frame, this is something you only memories for that day. Use revivify otherwise.


    Level 8

    ©Antimagic Field Immunity to magic for an hour is superb.
    ©Holy Aura A massive defensive buff for your allies.

    ©Earthquake Enemies often are in structures, strongholds, or caves. This turns it against them.

    ©Control Weather You rarely need 8 hours of a blizzard. But this does have massive range.


    Level 9

    Mass Heal Your only real level 9 spell. Though it's enough with it's massive amount of HP, with perfect targeting.

    ©Gate An upgrade from plane shift. It let's you travel to a "precise" locations in your own plane by casting it twice. Also good for assassinating people by dragging them to you, by traveling to another plane, and summoning them without their allies.

    True Resurrection Like resurrection and raise dead, you prepare this when you need it.
    Astral Projection A plot spell you may never use.
    Last edited by mellored; Thursday, 17th September, 2015 at 01:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Feats and Ability Bumps

    Since there's so many of these, i'm stretching the normal ratings a bit. Gold isn't mandatory, though you still want to avoid red isn't quite a trap.

    +2 Wis: Many cleric spells don't have DC's. But it's still your casting stat.
    +2 Con: You want to be the last person to die. Also help keep concentration (bless) up.
    Resilient (Con): For the +1 Con and spell resistance as much as the concentration checks, though you can wait till level 8+ or 12 for this. Just good if you have even Con.

    Defensive Duelist: Most domains don't have any competing reactions, and can easily hold a dagger off-hand for a strong AC boost. Though wait till level 8+ for a higher bonus.
    Healer: Cost a little money, but helps save spell slots. Though you probably want an ally to take this instead, since you can already heal. Worse if your DM makes healing potions readily available.
    Heavy Armor Mastery: Another good defensive option. Amazing at low levels but it loses some steam later.
    Magic Initiate: Melee clerics should strongly consider shillelagh which let's you ignore Str, or booming blade/green flame blade for extra damage.
    Shield Master: Rating assuming Str and Athletics to help give advantage to allies, otherwise the defenisve boos is just ok.
    Observant: Assuming an odd Wis score, this is a good defensive boost.
    Resilient (Dex): If for some reason you don't want Con saves, Dex saves are good too. Combo's with shield master.

    +2 Dex: Initiative, Dex saves, and can help with weapon attacks. Better if it also improves your AC (less then 14 with medium).
    Alert: You don't gain as much as some other's by going first, but it's still nice.
    Crossbow Expert For martial weapon clerics, who stand in the back, this adds an extra chance to land divine strike. Though at the cost of your shield. Also, be carefuly juggling your bonus action.
    Inspiring Leader: Less HP then healer, but being proactive makes it more valuable. Knocked down a color due to the Cha requirement, which is usually a dump stat.
    Lucky: If you don't know what else to take, this is a good all around bonus.
    Polearm Master: The melee alternative to crossbow expertise, same advice applise. Combines well with warcaster and shillelagh.
    Ritual Caster: This can add alot of utility, but like healer, it's a 1/party thing. Strongly suggest wizard's list.
    Tough: More hit points helps keep you alive, but you're better off taking +2 Con for the concentration checks.
    Warcaster: Extra concentration is defiantly helpful, and a stronger OA goes well with command. The second point should rarely come up since clerics can use shields as implements, letting you cast all the M spells, and you can simply draw/stow a weapon. Weapon clerics generally won't be casting in combat anyways.
    M-but-not-S spells

    Guidance
    Sacred Flame
    Spare the Dying
    Cure Wounds
    Detect Evil and Good
    Detect Magic
    Guiding Bolt
    Inflict Wounds
    Purify Food and Drink
    Calm Emotions
    Find Traps
    Lesser Restoration
    Protection from Poison
    Silence
    Spiritual Weapon
    Zone of Truth
    Beacon of Hope
    Bestow Curse
    Create Food and Water
    Daylight
    Dispell Magic
    Meld into Stone
    Protection from Energy
    Remove Curse
    Death Ward
    Contagion
    Mass Cure Wounds
    Blade Barrier
    Harm
    Heal
    Planar Ally
    Conjure Celestial
    Etherealness
    Fire Storm
    Mass Heal


    +2 Str: For clerics who like their old fashion maces.
    Dual Wielder: Dual wielding is a viable option for clerics, with more chances to land divine strike. But this is still a weak feat in general.
    Durable: Only good if you have 19 Con (and took resilience), which is possible.
    Dungeon Delver: You could potentially be Wis/Dex, making you a trap finder. Red for games without traps.
    Heavily Armored: If you have an odd stat, this open up heavy armor mastery. Otherwise, medium + shield is enough.
    Mage Slayer: You have a good out of turn attack. Better for tricksters who can more easily get close to the target.
    Medium Armor Mastery: If you have exactly 16 Dex and want stealth, this is get +2 AC. Otherwise it's red.
    Mobile: This "counters" heavy armor penalty and can be cheaper then boosting Str.
    Mounted Combat: Advantage on contagion makes this occasionally useful. Better for death domain with vamperic touch.
    Sentinel: You can be pretty tanky, but your OA doesn't scale, and might not want too much focus. Worse if you can't hit things with weapons. Note this does not combine with warcaster, since that is "instead" of an OA.
    Skilled: For your less combat intensive games.

    +2 Int:
    +2 Cha:
    Actor: Good RP option, if you have an odd Cha.
    Athlete: If you have an odd stat.
    Keen Mind: The odd bump for int, but that's likely your dump stat.
    Linguist: The other odd bump for Int, but still likely your dump stat.
    Martial Adept: Faint can help with contagion or vamperic touch. Otherwise it's pretty weak with only 1 die.
    Skulker: Stealth is a possibility.
    Spell Sniper: Flamebolt isn't a bad addition, but won't trigger Potent Cantrip or Divine Strike. Slightly Better for death domain who get chill touch.
    Tavern Brawler: You can reasonably get away with 1 hand free, and you do get Divine Strike on improvised weapons.

    Elemental Adept: Clerics have very few damage spells, and most of those are radiant. Slightly less horrible for light and tempest. Though they have multi-damage types, and it won't boost channel divinity damage.
    Charger: This is bad for just about anyone past the first few levels.
    Grappler: While you can reasonably get away with 1 hand free, you don't have multi-attack.
    Great Weapon Master: No multi-attack, lose shield.
    Lightly Armored: You already have light armor.
    Moderately Armored: You already have this medium armor.
    Savage Attacker: No multi-attack.
    Sharpshooter: No multi-attack.
    Weapon Master: No multi-attack.
    Last edited by mellored; Monday, 30th November, 2015 at 06:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Multi-Class

    Clerics are fairly front loaded, making them more open to multi-classing then some others. Even as a caster, their high level spells aren't quite as dominating as some other classes (i.e. no Force Cage, True Polymorph, or Wish). So once you get "enough" recovery, it's easy to branch out into other aspects.

    Good break points.
    1: Armor, Bless, Guidance, Spell Slots, and the domain feature make this one of the best dips in the game.
    2: Channel Divinity gives you strong power that can compliment a lot of classes. Just not Life, Light, or Death since they scale by Cleric level. Tempest also needs caster levels to scale but can work well with a storm sorcerer.
    5: Revivify, along with a slew of utility spells. You also pick up some nice control spells at 3.
    6: Double the channel divinity.
    *If you pick up divine strike at 8, it will scale to 2d8 without more cleric levels. Though adding 1 more level will get you....
    9: Greater Restoration, Mass Cure Wounds, and Raise Dead "complete" your recovery.
    17: Strong domain features, as well as Mass Heal.
    18: Your third channel divinity.
    Last edited by mellored; Wednesday, 19th October, 2016 at 07:57 PM.

  10. #10
    Comments, questions, and disagreements welcome.

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