5E Life Cleric vs Light vs War in Practice

vlysses

Explorer
It would be great to hear from players with practical 5E experience on the following:

"My issue with Life Clerics is that some of my players feel that if they want to use non-healing spells, they need to play a Life Cleric, which is kind of the opposite of intent. The reason is twofold A) the group will always need heals, so any other cleric has to spend a good portion of their prepared spells on healing. The Life Cleric can prepare more blasty spells and buffs than other clerics can in practice, and B) The cleric heals more per spell, therefore they have to spend less of their spell slots of healing too, once again allowing them to use blasting spells."

The remark is from here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?396973-Clerics-of-Life-Broken-Bad-Design-or-Working-as-Intended/page3#ixzz3Q28zLSuN . Unfortunately it was not elaborated upon, and the discussion moved into a very different direction, which is why I'm not posting this there.

We are converting a Pathfinder group to 5E, and not having had any practical experience in 5E, I wanted to ask the esteemed community if the above remark holds true in practice. HP recovery rules (vs 3.5E/Pathfinder) and short/long rest periods seem to indicate a more faster (in-game time) type of play, without retreats and much re-grouping when the party is powered out.

Does that mean that a Light or War Cleric will use much of his spells on healing only, without being able to cast any of the fun stuff (e.g. blasts for Light Cleric)?

Thx
 
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yakuba

Visitor
My experience is from playing Bard, but I think the issue is similar. In practice, I found that the support guy really just needs Healing Word, to keep people up in combat and then when possible either the Healer or Inspiring leader feat. The vast majority of healing my Bard did via Healer, and the most of the healing in the party was done via Hit Dice. Consequently my Bard mostly cast non-healing spells, using Healing Word on the rare occasion someone actually dropped in combat.

So I would advise your prospective clerics to not worry about reserving spells for healing. Just use the spells you wish to use when you wish to use them, and have Healing Word on your list so that you can use it when someone goes below 0 hp in combat. Hit Dice and healing potions make it so the cleric (or bard) doesn't have to be dedicated to healing with their spells.
 
I'm currently playing a light cleric in a level 3 party (should be 4 by the time we next play) and I hardly use any healing spells. Its seeming far more efficient to prevent the bulk of the damage with combat spells (combined with the wizard and bard while the paladin and fighter hold things off) and then patch up anything serious later (along with the paladin and bard).

It may change as we progress through the levels but at the moment we're finding most encounters either deadly or easy with little inbetween (sometimes we make the easy ones deadly with poor tactics but the dwarf fighter and the young impetuous paladin are always likely to rush in if no-one else comments first).
 

Mistwell

Legend
I think in practice any flavor of cleric will do just fine. Realistically it's just one spell you need to prepare, and there is more healing spread around than PF (like fighter's second wind, for example).
 
Can't Tempest cleric included here? He can will do just fine in healing and blasting. He only prepare the Call Lightning a 'fun' AOE spell (max duration 10mins) and others are for healing/utility.

Zap! Zap! Heal! Zap! Zap! Zap!

Note: for open areas
 

exile

Visitor
I have really enjoyed playing a life cleric for 2-3 levels. Jhess Dundragon has more than enough healing to keep the party up, plus she is a big contributor in other ways. She is fierce with a mace, and Bless is a great 1st-level spell. Heavy Armor Master feat (and a solid AC) means less healing wasted on herself.

That said, I can't speak for the other types of clerics.
 

exile

Visitor
I think in practice any flavor of cleric will do just fine. Realistically it's just one spell you need to prepare, and there is more healing spread around than PF (like fighter's second wind, for example).
But are those other forms of healing as prevalent as the wand of cure light wounds?
 

PnPgamer

Explorer
I have really enjoyed playing a life cleric for 2-3 levels. Jhess Dundragon has more than enough healing to keep the party up, plus she is a big contributor in other ways. She is fierce with a mace, and Bless is a great 1st-level spell. Heavy Armor Master feat (and a solid AC) means less healing wasted on herself.

That said, I can't speak for the other types of clerics.
what is your clerics domain? You are using mace so I suspect some that only gets heavy armor proficiency?
 

exile

Visitor
what is your clerics domain? You are using mace so I suspect some that only gets heavy armor proficiency?
Life. I am contemplating a feat or a level of fighter to get access to some more solid weapons.

As an aside, I miss the three-headed flail (or whatever it was called) from 4e.
 

Paraxis

Explorer
The only magical in combat healing you need early on is Healing Word. Ranged, bonus action, brings target at 0 h.p up again, simple. For after fights the Healer feat is very helpful, that and spending hit dice.

A good number of cleric abilities are about buffing the party to shorten the length of combat, a Bless spell does wonders to help your side hit and do damage reducing the number of overall attacks they take during the fight and letting them make saves they wouldn't have, that extra 1d4 on a Dexterity save to take half damage or Con save to avoid a big chunk of poison damage altogether is great and much better than a single cure wounds later.

The three clerics I see in regular play are War, Light, and Thunder the Thunder cleric seems to have the most fun out of all of them , followed by Light, and the War cleric seems to get bored.
 

vlysses

Explorer
Wow, thanks guys/gals for all the responses - overall it seems like healing HP after encounters is not such an issue due to inherent/HD related and speard out general healing capabilities of each character.

So the really critical time is combat healing, for which any non-life cleric has enough up his/her sleeve.

We are going to convert and stat playing at level 7 so the enemy is starting to get a bit tougher, but I think I'm comfortable with the answers above anyhow.

Now the only decision is Light or Thunder Cleric?

What say thou? ;-)
 

Paraxis

Explorer
Now the only decision is Light or Thunder Cleric?

What say thou? ;-)
Either, both are great. If you want to be melee Tempest(thunder) is crazy good, so much synergy between class abilities polearm master and sentinel feat. If you want to be a blaster caster type Light is wonderful, anytime the cleric is dropping fireballs and blasting things with scorching burst is fun.
 

Uller

Adventurer
It also depends somewhat on the DM. I'm running a game right now with no cleric (4th level). I'm generous with Potions of Healing. They are one magic item that is commonly available for purchase.

I played a cleric of Light in a 7th level one shot. I loved it. We had no wizard in the party so he filled both the AoE and healing niches well enough. I never felt like I had to over do it with stocking up on healing spells. I think the premise that you might need to really stock up on healing misses that spell casting doesn't "use up" prepared spells. If you have one 1st level healing spell prepared, you have it available as long as you have a slot available.
 

Mistwell

Legend
But are those other forms of healing as prevalent as the wand of cure light wounds?
Given the existence of hit dice? Yes. And given I've been playing for about 18 months now, I feel pretty confident saying any flavor of Cleric will do just fine n 5e. In fact one complaint about the game by some is it has too much healing, which resulted in options in the DMG to reduce healing. I've yet to hear anyone complain there is not enough healing in the game.
 

keterys

Visitor
I've heard several complaints about healing during combat being too difficult / inefficient; like it almost never being worth healing someone who isn't already down, and no matter the size of the heal it's not going to stop an enemy from just going through it in one round.

Out of combat healing - Goodberry, Healer, Prayer of Healing, hit dice, etc - work great.

Which is probably the right mix; you need less spell slots for out of combat healing, so you're inclined to let damage pile up during combat, which increases tension without greatly increasing true risk.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
I'm playing a Tempest Cleric in one campaign (only 3rd level so far). I'm enjoying and don't feel an overwhelming need to heal. That said, I prep healing word, cure wounds and prayer of healing and it doesn't stop me from using thunderwave or shatter when I need damage (especially with the max damage channel divinity feature).

In a campaign I run, there is a 5th level War Cleric and he also feels good about his options.

Honestly, the way clerics can have variety and feel more than healbots seems to be one of 5e's biggest successes.
 
Now the only decision is Light or Thunder Cleric?

What say thou? ;-)
For me, my answer is still:

Can't Tempest cleric included here? He can will do just fine in healing and blasting. He only prepare the Call Lightning a 'fun' AOE spell (max duration 10mins) and others are for healing/utility.

Zap! Zap! Heal! Zap! Zap! Zap!

Note: for open areas
But it depends, their almost equal at some points:

In a Dungeon Crawl - Tempest cleric can't be at their full potential. To note, their full potential is in an open area in the middle of a raging storm. Plus they get proficiency in martial weapons, heavy armors. You also get an ability to hurt whoever hurts you a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier. Damage is heavily dependent on Lightning damage.

Light Cleric only gains the Light cantrip (if you already don't know it). But Warding Flare feature can keep you from getting hit a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier. Damage is heavily dependent on Fire and Radiance damage.
 

DaveDash

Explorer
Playing a War Cleric level 1-3, 11, 17, and 20. Also playing a Light cleric Level 11-14. Starting a Life Cleric at level 1.

To reiterate what most people have said, most healing happens out of combat. In combat healing is usually for emergencies only. The way the game is designed now is that healing (with the exception of a couple of spells, and Life Clerics) in combat is inefficient. It's better to take the hits and spend healing hit dice, or use other out of combat means to heal.

Clerics can focus on doing damage. Light Clerics do great damage with their cantrips and have fireballs, wall of fire, and such. Other spells like Spiritual Weapon helps stack on a lot of damage and is very efficient resource wise. All my Clerics usually get through the day with plenty of slots to spare (except at low levels).
The only thing I will say though is I usually hold back on some of the higher slots (6th, 9th) for the "big heals" just in case.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
My 2 cp the healer feat frees up a lot of spells for a cleric to do other things. THis is great on things like the light cleric. Having around 1.5 or 2 healers in the party helps.

Z's healer rating.

Healing feat counts as 1 healer
Paladin counts as 0.5 healer
Life Cleric counts as 1.5 healer
Cleric (the rest) count as 1 healer
Druids/Bards count as 0.75.
Druid(land)/Life cleric 1 MC counts as 1.5 or 2 healers.
Lore Bard 6+/life cleric 1 counts as 1.5 healers (assuming the Bard takes goodberry and aura of vitality)
 

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