Life Cleric, Arcane Cleric or something totally different?

Paul Smart

Explorer
I am building a support character for AL. They will be starting at level 4. As I am usually the most experienced player I want to let the other players take point, with me in the back to support them when needed. That being said which is better for this role in everyone's opinion, Life Cleric or Arcane Cleric? Also interested in other options if you have a great suggestion. I already play a Grave Cleric in another non AL game so not interested in Grave. (Love my Ghostwise Halfling Grave Cleric) Willing to play any race, but I like Tortles and Genasi. Thanks.
 
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Fenris-77

Explorer
Life is probably more effective, but Grave is probably more fun. In your shoes I might opt for fun. I really don't love playing straight healers though, so I might be biased.
 

Esker

Explorer
Thinking about how to maximize your fellow players' enjoyment, what about an Order Cleric? No special healing ability beyond the base cleric, but whenever you heal your allies in combat they can make a reaction attack.
 
If you would be willing to move out of cleric,

I suggest Glamor Bard (if you enjoy bards). Their temp hp generation is amazing which cuts drastically down on the healing you need to do. You do more debuffing than buffing, but clerics will start stealing the show from level 5+ with spirit guardians and spiritual weapons etc. Bards control and debuff will give them more time to shine IMO.
 

Paul Smart

Explorer
Never thought of an Order Cleric, I will have to take a look at that. I do enjoy Bards, but I have played them so many times. Looking for something a bit different. I have very rarely played Clerics so I thought I would look there.
 
Never thought of an Order Cleric, I will have to take a look at that. I do enjoy Bards, but I have played them so many times. Looking for something a bit different. I have very rarely played Clerics so I thought I would look there.
Yea. I think order cleric would be my top pick for new player support cleric.

There's also the divine soul sorcerer which lets you function similar to a cleric while also having access to more control spells. A bit limited on spell selection but you can make it work. Twin spell on cure wounds can be pretty strong for healing as well.
 
I enjoyed the Arcana cleric though we only got to level 9 with him. Played 15 year old cleric of Vecna who just graduated early from military school. 'With hard work, keen intellect and dedication.' cue incredulous look from the druid, '...familial name recognition, class privilege, bribery and cheating.'
 
Any other suggestions?
I think a charisma based paladin has a lot of potential for your goal.

Variant human + inspiring leader. Good access to party buff spells. Built in healing that scales better than cure wounds. Paladins also get wrathful smite which is a great debuff spell. The fear spell is really top notch for control as well (which at least 1 subclass gets).

IMO, you could make a really good support paladin.
 

Esker

Explorer
I think a charisma based paladin has a lot of potential for your goal.

Variant human + inspiring leader. Good access to party buff spells. Built in healing that scales better than cure wounds. Paladins also get wrathful smite which is a great debuff spell. The fear spell is really top notch for control as well (which at least 1 subclass gets).

IMO, you could make a really good support paladin.
Good call. I'd go Oath of Conquest for the fear effect and the fear spell at 9th. All Paladins also get Bless, Aid (which stacks with inspiring leader), Aura of Vitality, Crusader's Mantle... I think the main drawback compared to Cleric is that a lot of your support abilities are spells or Channel Divinity, and you get fewer of both than the Cleric.
 
Good call. I'd go Oath of Conquest for the fear effect and the fear spell at 9th. All Paladins also get Bless, Aid (which stacks with inspiring leader), Aura of Vitality, Crusader's Mantle... I think the main drawback compared to Cleric is that a lot of your support abilities are spells or Channel Divinity, and you get fewer of both than the Cleric.
Yea. I just foresee the cleric doing more spirit guardians and less actual support. Multiclassing considerations can help the paladin a lot.
 

Esker

Explorer
Yea. I just foresee the cleric doing more spirit guardians and less actual support. Multiclassing considerations can help the paladin a lot.
I mean, just because you have spirit guardians doesn't mean you have to use it. If you're a support-focused cleric you might prefer to concentrate on, say, Slow (which Order Clerics get), or even just Bless. The problem with multiclassing as a support Paladin to up your spell slots is that you really want Paladin 6 for the aura, and then if you multiclass into a full caster (Divine Soul Sorcerer, say), it's level 11 before you get 3rd level spells, which is two levels later than a single classed Paladin (although you do have a lot more slots to use). Plus, Lay on Hands scales with Paladin level, so if you're multiclassing you give up the healing advantage you have over the Cleric.

Compare an Cleric 6 to a Paladin 6. The Order Cleric has 4/3/3 in spell slots; the Paladin has 4/2. If the cleric uses one 3rd level cure wounds and one 2nd level cure wounds, that heals an average of about 30HP (assuming 18 WIS), the same as the Paladin's entire lay on hands pool. And the cleric is still up two 3rd level spell slots (and gets two channel divinities per short rest vs the Paladin's 1).

Granted, the passive aura is hard to beat, and the Cleric's 3rd level support spell options are not that great, though again, Order Clerics get Slow, which is pretty nice (War Clerics get Crusader's Mantle if you wanted to be more Paladin-y; their 6th level Channel Divinity option is nice too, though their other domain features are not very support-oriented).
 
I mean, just because you have spirit guardians doesn't mean you have to use it. If you're a support-focused cleric you might prefer to concentrate on, say, Slow (which Order Clerics get), or even just Bless. The problem with multiclassing as a support Paladin to up your spell slots is that you really want Paladin 6 for the aura, and then if you multiclass into a full caster (Divine Soul Sorcerer, say), it's level 11 before you get 3rd level spells, which is two levels later than a single classed Paladin (although you do have a lot more slots to use). Plus, Lay on Hands scales with Paladin level, so if you're multiclassing you give up the healing advantage you have over the Cleric.

Compare an Cleric 6 to a Paladin 6. The Order Cleric has 4/3/3 in spell slots; the Paladin has 4/2. If the cleric uses one 3rd level cure wounds and one 2nd level cure wounds, that heals an average of about 30HP (assuming 18 WIS), the same as the Paladin's entire lay on hands pool. And the cleric is still up two 3rd level spell slots (and gets two channel divinities per short rest vs the Paladin's 1).

Granted, the passive aura is hard to beat, and the Cleric's 3rd level support spell options are not that great, though again, Order Clerics get Slow, which is pretty nice (War Clerics get Crusader's Mantle if you wanted to be more Paladin-y; their 6th level Channel Divinity option is nice too, though their other domain features are not very support-oriented).
You seem to be arguing against a position I never took. Order clerics are by far the cleric is recommend for support. But clerics are typically much better off at offense than support, thanks to spirit guardians. I mean really, what good support spells do clerics get that they will be using encounter after encounter after levels 5+
 

Esker

Explorer
You seem to be arguing against a position I never took. Order clerics are by far the cleric is recommend for support. But clerics are typically much better off at offense than support, thanks to spirit guardians. I mean really, what good support spells do clerics get that they will be using encounter after encounter after levels 5+
I agree that after about level 9, a conquest paladin has more support options than an order cleric, though they can't use the options they have as much as the cleric can.

Slow stays relevant through high levels, outside legendary resistance. Guidance stays relevant out of combat. Bless stays relevant and Aid scales well (both are available to both classes, but the Cleric's spell slot advantage gives them the edge). At level 11 the Cleric gets Heroes' Feast, which is amazing if have some idea of when you'll face bosses. Upcasting Banishment can be good.

The Conquest Paladin gets a bunch of good 3rd level concentration options at class level 9: Aura of Vitality, Crusader's Mantle, and Fear. But they only get two or three uses between all of those per day until much later. And then there's not much else until level 17, when they get Circle of Power (which is great, but you probably won't get there). Their real support strength is their auras, which are fantastic; I'm not knocking that, and it may well be enough reason to choose the class depending on what kind of support you want to be doing. But in terms of spell-based support, I think the Cleric has the edge, simply due to being a full caster.
 
I agree that after about level 9, a conquest paladin has more support options than an order cleric, though they can't use the options they have as much as the cleric can.

Slow stays relevant through high levels, outside legendary resistance. Guidance stays relevant out of combat. Bless stays relevant and Aid scales well (both are available to both classes, but the Cleric's spell slot advantage gives them the edge). At level 11 the Cleric gets Heroes' Feast, which is amazing if have some idea of when you'll face bosses. Upcasting Banishment can be good.

The Conquest Paladin gets a bunch of good 3rd level concentration options at class level 9: Aura of Vitality, Crusader's Mantle, and Fear. But they only get two or three uses between all of those per day until much later. And then there's not much else until level 17, when they get Circle of Power (which is great, but you probably won't get there). Their real support strength is their auras, which are fantastic; I'm not knocking that, and it may well be enough reason to choose the class depending on what kind of support you want to be doing. But in terms of spell-based support, I think the Cleric has the edge, simply due to being a full caster.
In terms of in combat support my ratings are:
Cleric 1 > Paladin 1
Cleric 2 < Paladin 2
Cleric 3 = Paladin 3
Cleric 4 > Paladin 4
Cleric 5 > Paladin 5
Cleric 6 < Paladin 6
Cleric 7 < Paladin 7
Cleric 8 < Paladin 8
Cleric 9 < Paladin 9

I'd honestly suggest to mutliclass after paladin 11 (I'd stick around at least till then as paladins get some awesome level 3 support spells).

Clerics of course have guidance, rituals and wisdom skills for out of combat. Paladins have charisma skills.

I still think the charisma based paladin with inspiring leader will be a bit better support overall. The cleric is close though and better for out of combat tasks.
 

Esker

Explorer
In terms of in combat support my ratings are:
Cleric 1 > Paladin 1
Cleric 2 < Paladin 2
Cleric 3 = Paladin 3
Cleric 4 > Paladin 4
Cleric 5 > Paladin 5
Cleric 6 < Paladin 6
Cleric 7 < Paladin 7
Cleric 8 < Paladin 8
Cleric 9 < Paladin 9
I think most of that is reasonable. I'd give Cleric 3 > Paladin 3, since a single casting of Aid is worth the same HP as the Paladin's entire lay on hands pool (it's better in some ways since prebuffing is better than healing, and worse in others because you have to divide it evenly among three PCs), and then after that the Cleric still has one 2nd level and one 1st level slot that the Paladin doesn't. From 6-8 I think it just depends how much you value the passive auras vs the Cleric's spell options. It's totally reasonable to value the auras more, in which case the Paladin has the edge. I think it's also reasonable to value the spells more (for at least Order Clerics and maybe War Clerics), but it's a different kind of support.
 

Paul Smart

Explorer
Thanks for the help everyone. I decided to go for Celestial Warlock (nice healing) Pact of the Tome (all the rituals). When necessary I will be a magic archer but my main thing will be healing and ritual support. May pick up a whip as a weapon (1 level of fighter for Con saves and weapons). Will probably go Tortle for race just to be different.
 

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