Paladin Healing vs Cleric Healing

I'm curious how a Paladin's Healing potential compares to a clerics. My initial thought is to compare cure wounds spells and lay on hands and heal when applicable. Is there any other abilities or spells I should take into consideration?
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
Aura of Vitality, which as of right now (i.e. while the Class Features UA stuff isn't "official" yet), the Paladin has and the Cleric doesn't.

Also Prayer of Healing for the Cleric.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I treat it as half a healer point while a cleric gets 1 point and the life domain a 1.5.

Multi class life cleric 1/druid xyz counts as 2 or 3 points.

Healer feat counts as two points as well at lower levels.

Not scientific and how many healer points a party needs/wants varies.
 
dependent on domain pick. all clerics,Life and grave clerics more so, have better action economy healing where the pally's LoH prevents over healing and is a cheap fix for poison/disease.
you also need to factor in medigation and pre healing like the Aid/heros' feast spells.

the real answer will depend on your party and table play style.
 
dependent on domain pick. all clerics,Life and grave clerics more so, have better action economy healing where the pally's LoH prevents over healing and is a cheap fix for poison/disease.
you also need to factor in medigation and pre healing like the Aid/heros' feast spells.

the real answer will depend on your party and table play style.
don’t care about subclasses in this comparison
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
Aura of Vitality is really strong outside of combat. Its worth noting that the class feature variants UA gives the spell to Clerics as well.

For most paladins, 3rd level slots are open outside of the desire to smite. So its pretty good.

In combat, I think clerics are better off than paladins at healing but mainly because of bigger slots and more ranged healing spells.

There aren't many subclasses in either class that care about healing (outside of the obvious). A couple of both have situationally triggered healing, and the Oath of the Crown has the area healing CD. So I think you're assumption to not consider subclasses is fine, except with the acknowledgement that Life Domain clerics are probably better at it than other clerics and probably better than paladins at it.
 

Krachek

Adventurer
I'm curious how a Paladin's Healing potential compares to a clerics. My initial thought is to compare cure wounds spells and lay on hands and heal when applicable. Is there any other abilities or spells I should take into consideration?
Paladin lay on hands is sometime just too god. Spreading 1 hit point at the time to bring a character on its feets is amazingly efficient vs cure or healing word.
at low level when potion are still a good expense this ability outshine the cleric.

otherwise, I rarely see spell slot spent successively to heal someone with cure light wound,
 

RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
Paladin lay on hands is sometime just too god. Spreading 1 hit point at the time to bring a character on its feets is amazingly efficient vs cure or healing word.
Lay On Hands is more efficient for in-combat healing than Cure Wounds, but not Healing Word. Healing Word is a Bonus Action. Cure Wounds and Lay On Hands are both an Action, so you can't do much else that turn.

Similarly, Paladins don't get Mass Healing Word, but they do get Aid. Aid can be used is a similar manner, but it's a Action, while Mass Healing Word is a Bonus Action.
 
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Aura of Vitality, which as of right now (i.e. while the Class Features UA stuff isn't "official" yet), the Paladin has and the Cleric doesn't.

Also Prayer of Healing for the Cleric.
I'm not factoring in prayer of healing because of it's long duration.
Aura of vitality where it starts having an effect immediately and doesn't last much longer than a combat is fine to factor in.
I'm also not factoring in AOE heals as they have their own set of pros and cons to worry about.

So basically,
  • Lay on Hands
  • Cure Wounds
  • Aura of Vitality
  • Heal

The paladin starts off at an average of 61% healing of the cleric from levels 1-8. Some levels are a little higher and some a little lower. However, after level 8 the paladin exceeds the cleric in healing.

Assuming both max their caster stat and don't use spells for anything but healing.

I'm thinking level 9+ a paladin that uses hunters mark or divine favor and focused on charisma will be better at both healing and offense than a cleric.

Thoughts?
 
On whack-a-mole:

While potentially a more effective strategy - I don't view healing for the sole purpose of enabling whack-a-mole to be more effective healing.
 
Paladin lay on hands is sometime just too god. Spreading 1 hit point at the time to bring a character on its feets is amazingly efficient vs cure or healing word.
at low level when potion are still a good expense this ability outshine the cleric.

otherwise, I rarely see spell slot spent successively to heal someone with cure light wound,
I actually find it to be better for the opposite reason. It can take a downed or low hp PC back up to nearly full hp instantly and not waste any on overhealing him.

Cure light wounds has a few issues compared with healing word.
  1. Range - Often a Paladin or cleric will be engaged with an enemy and require an OA to break free to heal
  2. HP pools are often low compared to the amount a cure wounds can heal - which further incentivizes waiting for a PC to become very injured and risking being downed.
  3. Being able to heal a little and do something else is often more useful than just healing a bunch
  4. Monster damage keeps up fairly well with Cure wounds (assuming they hit) which makes the difference in healing it does and healing word negligible in cases where you are healing a downed ally.
All that said, this thread is about healing and so
  • You will take an OA to heal
  • You seek to heal over being more effective overall
 
I'd have to run closer numbers to actually test the math, but from building past characters in both white room scenarios and from actually playing multiple clerics and paladin builds at the table, I'd wager that aside from the life cleric, whose whole "thing" is healing (and possibly the redemption paladin whom is actually pretty useful at healing/preventing damage taken), it generally runs that the paladin runs about half as well as the cleric at healing. That said, a paladin can substantially close the gap if they save their spell slots for healing spells, albeit at the cost of smiting damage.

Frankly I wish lay on hands was a bonus action, something I REALLY wish even more after the celestial warlock and the circle of fay (dreams?) Druid. I've considered houseruling it as such.

I dont necessarily feel the paladin falls behind in combat healing if one is concerned about action economy too much. Aura of vitality is perhaps my favorite healing spell in the game hands down. It is out of combat where I feel the paladin falls behind. Between prayer of healing, and just more raw spell slots, the cleric is a beast if they dedicate their spells to healing (again though this has similar opportunity cost to offense, a tempest cleric for example really would rather call lightning than cast another cure spell, etc.).

The only thing I'd really like to see changed is maybe making a paladin lay on hands a bonus action. I feel they are fine. 5th edition in general runs perfectly fine with a party with two "half healers" and short rests instead of a dedicated healer. Hell as long as the party short rests you can get on fine without a healer at all.
 

RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
Hell as long as the party short rests you can get on fine without a healer at all.
Very true. A dedicated healer isn't strictly necessary. Realistically, short rests and healing potions can handle nearly all of your HP healing needs. That's boosted even further if you have a character who's a quasi-healer, like someone with the Healer feat and a Healer's kit (especially a Thief Rogue), and/or someone with the Inspiring Leader feat.
 

Ashrym

Hero
The heroism spell. Depending on ability score and duration of combat the temp hp can be more effecient slot use than cure wounds or healing word.

Level progression is also significant. By the time paladins add aura of vitality clerics are adding mass cure wounds, greater restoration, and raise dead while clerics are adding prayer of healing and aid at 3rd level.
 
The heroism spell. Depending on ability score and duration of combat the temp hp can be more effecient slot use than cure wounds or healing word.

Level progression is also significant. By the time paladins add aura of vitality clerics are adding mass cure wounds, greater restoration, and raise dead while clerics are adding prayer of healing and aid at 3rd level.
IMO if you have a safe 10 minutes you likely have a safe hour. Which puts prayer of healing at a disadvantage compared to all these other healing spells.

As for aid - great spell.
 

Ashrym

Hero
IMO if you have a safe 10 minutes you likely have a safe hour. Which puts prayer of healing at a disadvantage compared to all these other healing spells.

As for aid - great spell.
Which spells would those be that are available to a 3rd level paladin? Prayer of healing is efficient healing long before paladins have a comparable option. That's the real consideration. Also being able to take a short rest is irrelevant. Multiple prayers of healing can be cast in the same time as a short rest, or in less time.

Plus all the warlock complaints that the party doesn't take the hour breaks for them on these boards seems to contradict the ease of taking that hour. ;-)

At 1st level it's 5 hp worth of lay on hands versus cure wounds avg 7.5 hp twice using 2 spells slots. That's 15 hp vs 5 hp.

At 2nd level the paladin has 10 hp worth of lay on hands plus the two cure wounds and might have 16 CHA but MAD tends to kick them a bit here. That's 25 hp for the paladin vs 22.5 hp using 3 slots for the cleric. This is the closest the paladin really gets.

At 3rd level the paladin has 15 hp worth of lay on hands and 3 cure wounds for 37.5 hp while the cleric adds 2 prayers of healing on up to 6 characters and 4 cure wounds. That's 30 hp from cure wounds and 144 hp from the prayers of healing for 174 hp. 174 hp vs 37.5 hp is quite the gap.

Paladins don't get aura of vitality until 9th level, it takes a minute to complete the healing for 70 hp, and by then the clerics have +5 WIS added to prayer of healing that can be upcast to the same 3rd level slot for 111 hp on average per casting and more slots to do it. If a party can take a minute of downtime for aura of vitality out of combat they can take 10 minutes out of combat for prayer of healing. It's easier to make that claim because that leaves 9 minutes of potential interruption instead of the 50 minutes of potential interruption in taking a short break. The 81 hp worth of lay on hands at that point isn't even the equivalent of a single prayer of healing.

If the cleric needs something fast then mass healing word is available 4 levels before a paladin even gets aura of vitality, and mass cure wounds is available to the cleric at the same level. A single mass cure wounds on 6 characters at that level is also 111 hp so more than aura of vitality and much faster.

It's the access rate to higher level spells that favors clerics over paladins so much. Paladins have plenty of good spells for healing but they just don't gain access to them as fast, and they don't gain the higher level healing spells at all. That's what makes the big difference.

Not that it really matters that much. Both will spend spell slots on other things and 5e is easy enough to cover healing. The paladin has more dedicated healing with lay on hands when they are using slots for other useful spells than healing, which I find happens quite often.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Healing during combat in 5e is only good in selected tactical situations. The best benefit is if the healing is a group healing, or to get a player out of his death saves. Heals just because someone is low on HP are not recommendable, except it is the healer himself being low on HP.
 
Healing during combat in 5e is only good in selected tactical situations. The best benefit is if the healing is a group healing, or to get a player out of his death saves. Heals just because someone is low on HP are not recommendable, except it is the healer himself being low on HP.
Lots of factor to take into account.
If the initiative order falls player A >NPC > player B and player A has the option to heal player B to potentially prevent a loss of turn and player B is generally more apt to handle that NPC (NPC is currently under magical effects and player B has dispell) then trading an action for an action could be worth it.
 

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