5E War Cleric/Fighter build questions
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  1. #1

    War Cleric/Fighter build questions

    Hello everyone, this is my first time posting. If there is a protocol I am not following for posting questions please let me know.

    I have a lot of experience playing 3e and 3.5, but I haven’t played much 5e yet, so I had a few questions about a character I am making for an upcoming campaign with some friends. My idea is for a Hill Dwarf Fighter/Cleric (war domain), and I plan on playing him more from a buffing/melee standpoint than a blaster, since the party also has a Ranger specialized in ranged and a sorcerer (although I like the idea of having the option of attacking from distance). We are using feats, and I see war caster being an obvious first choice, although I am open to suggestions.


    My question is about level progression. Is there a vast difference between starting lvl 1 as Cleric vs Fighter? And how far should I go into either class for the desired play style? In particular I am looking at Fighter levels, lvl 1 for the fighting style, lvl 3 for the specialization (Battle Master), and lvl 5 for the extra attack. Anyways, here’s the stats that I rolled, with mods.


    Str 15
    Dex 11
    Con 16
    Int 10
    Wis 16
    Cha 8

    Soldier background.

    I’m open to all suggestions, and if I left out any pertinent information let me know. Thanks.
    Last edited by snswk89; Tuesday, 7th August, 2018 at 07:05 PM.
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  2. #2
    Hi, I think a War Cleric/Fighter can be pretty effective. You've got pretty decent stats, here's what I would recommend:

    Level 1: Grab War Cleric. This gives you spells, including combat buffs, your heavy armor and weapon, and the ability to use your bonus action for an extra attack 3/day. This is a good deal.
    Spells: Make sure Guidance and Toll of the Dead hit your cantrip list. Guidance is one of the best cantrips in the game, and Toll of the Dead is a good way to get a backup ranged spell for when melee isn't an option. Divine Favor is going to be the first level spell you rely on most, but Healing Word is a spell you will be glad to have as well.

    Level 2-7: Fighter all the way. At level 5, take the Heavy Armor Master feat. This will bring your Str to 16 and give you some damage reduction against non-magical attacks. The fighter archetype I recommend is Battlemaster. The rest of your party is pretty squishy, so Goading Attack is likely a maneuver you will find particularly helpful. Once you reach level 7, pump Str to 18.

    Levels 8-X: Go back to Cleric. You will never be an amazing spellcaster, but you can be a decent one, and War Cleric continues to build your fighting ability. 6 Fighter levels is enough, you never need to go back.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    I'm actually going to suggest starting out as a Fighter for your first level so you get CON save proficiency without having to splurge a feat for Resilient (CON) later on.

    Then your first Cleric level at 2, then Fighter up to 5 (or 6 if you want the extra feat), then Cleric the rest of the way.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with Fighter 1, then Cleric 1, then back to Fighter but I would probably stay Fighter for a while maybe even up to Fighter 11, and THEN go back to Cleric for a few levels.

    I also agree with the HAM feat, and then bumping Str to 18 before anything else or even 20 then grabbing War Caster. I would make it a mostly Fighter build with some Cleric levels.

    Personally, if you were wanting more Cleric than Fighter, I would rather go Tempest or even Forge. I just think War is really underwhelming compared to some of the others. Small dips are good for Fighters though IMO.

  5. #5
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    Hi @snswk89, have some welcome XP.

    Multi-classing is a bit of a different beast between 3.5 and 5e. The biggest problem with 5e multi-classing is accidentally making a character who ends up a lot weaker because they delay certain features too much. The primary ones of these are the ASI/feat advancements that come every four class levels, and the "level 5 power bump". At level 5, the start of the second tier of levels, every class gets a big bump in what they can do, like extra attacks or 3rd level spells. I wouldn't recommend delaying that for more than a level at most.

    So I'd suggest picking fighter or cleric and have at least 5 levels of it by character level 6. And when you switch out, try not to do it right before a level you get an ASI/feat.

    One of the other differences between 5e and 3.5 multiclassing is that all of the core classes that do magic add together in terms of spell slots (though not spells known). I mention this because one of the fighter subclasses, the arcane knight, does advance spellcasting at 1/3 of your level so you will get more spells and higher level slots, even if you are just using them to upcast lower level cleric spells.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of fighter subclasses if you want to focus on the martial aspects more. Battlemaster is one that gives a lot upfront. Going fighter 6 (for battlemaster, extra attack and 2 ASIs) could be all you could need of fighter and the rest cleric if you want.

    For a divine weapon wielder it's too bad your CHR is an 8 - paladin is a really good class and works well when multiclassing with a full caster.

    War cleric is unfortunately one of the poorer domains in delivering what you'd expect. It's not bad, but it's not going to be a huge help in the feature department compared to some of the others. If your DM allows the other books, the Forge domain from Xanathar's Guide to Everything is a nice boost to a weapon-wielder.

    On this same subforum is a sticky with class guides - they usually have a section on multiclassing so you might want to take a look at the cleric and fighter guides listed.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Fighter 1. I agree a melee character buffer should have con saving throw proficiency. Acolyte background for religious things.
    Battle axe and shield is what I prefer as melee caster. Defense fighting style because I hat versatile weapons with duelling style. Defense helps you not getting hit which is good for you.

    Then 4 levels cleric. This gives extra melee attack. Bless 4 times a day and spiritual weapon 3 times per day. You might even use divine favor because it is bonus action cast.
    You have an ASI going to either HAM, or str and wis. You might want to pick up resilient wisdom later when it could mean that you are out of a fight forever.
    With those spells you are easily keeping up with another 5th level char at 5.
    What you do then is up to you.

  7. #7
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    I have a very similar character (although he hasn't been played in almost 6 months now), a Fighter (Battlemaster) / Cleric (Light). Honestly its a super fun character to play, both mechanically and as a leader/tank.

    I agree with starting 1st level as Fighter to get the Con Saving Throw Proficiency. At 2nd then take Cleric. From there you have a choice to make, whether to first focus on Cleric or Fighter. A Class's level 5 power spike is VERY significant, so you want to get that ASAP. Either go Cleric for the 3rd Level Spell Access or Fighter for the Extra Attack. Personally, I went Fighter, then Cleric, then Fighter to level 6 (Extra Feat was worth it), and back to Cleric which I will ride out for the rest of the character's advancement. So right now he is a Fighter 6 / Cleric 2.

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