Tempest or Life Cleric

Tyler Dunn

Explorer
So the party consists of

A variant human abjuration wizard
A half elf Oath of the Ancients Paladin
A feral Tiefling arcane trickster rogue
A Variant human battlemaster fighter (Archery fighting style)
And a Hill Dwarf Cleric

Should the Cleric be a Life cleric, or could a Tempest cleric fill the role of healer well enough while also being a reliable tank/dpr?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
What's going to be more fun? Either is fine, especially since you have a paladin as a backup healer. Since the paladin could use a tank buddy, I'd probably go tempest or consider war cleric. The best defense is frequently a good offense. :D

Then again, if you're going with a tank cleric you might want to consider mountain dwarf instead of hill. Yes, your heals will be slightly worse but if you focus on buff and healing spells a +1 to attack and damage with your weapon from strength is worth more than a +1 to your spell DC to me.

But there are a lot of options and builds that will work, there's too much variation in the game to have one answer so I always do what feels right. Have fun and good gaming!
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Healer is pretty important role in the group and a 5 man group is pretty large making it harder for each character to find a niche role to shine in. I would recommend going Life Cleric and focusing on being the be best healer you can be so that you are a master of that role but don't take or diminish your paladin as a tank (& Melee smite DPS) or out shine the battlemaster as ranged DPR (because that's pretty much the only option for that PC). The Wizard hopefully focuses on interesting support spells and AoE damage. The rogue can act as a scout disarming traps and unlocking doors. That way everyone has some of their own thing having moments to shine.

If you had a smaller group of 2-3 I would recommend Tempest as safety but with 5 players and a spread of possible roles DPR is not much of a concern as effectively when you heal a party member that adds DPR to a fight for every round they are standing when they should not and focusing on Healing doesn't mean that you can't do damage just that you and your allies are aware that is not your focus. Your keeping the party alive and when they are at deaths door they will appreciate that. Also, if you don't like PC you can choose not to heal them for 2 death saves to they can learn why they should treat you better, lol.
 
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Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
You do have a bit of backup healing in terms of the paladin, especially to help the out-of-combat load or stand you back up. Abjuration is good at avoiding damage in the first place with their ward. A battlemaster fighter is quite sturdy. You can pull off the healing needed with either. It will be less spells needed for healing with a Life Cleric, so paradoxically the Life cleric will have more slots free for supporting the party in other ways.

You only have one melee front liner, but with Oath of the Ancients my guess is they willing to focus on tanking, not just DPR like an Oath of Vengeance. But still, with only one be prepared to tank. Luckily both get heavy armor.

Since you need to be in the front lines, you'll get hit more. Keeping Concentration won't be as easy, so casting low level spells that you can afford to lose the slot is a bit better.

A good number of the tempest spells take Concentration. Base cleric has a bunch of good concentration spells, tempest expands that list with some good area of effect damage.

Probably your best low level buff will be Bless. No big surprise, but this party has a lot of attack rolls being made. If you want to spend on DPR, Spiritual Weapon and later Spirit Guardians are both good. Tempest has some good AoE damage, but with a wizard that niche does already have coverage.

I think a life cleric, as much as people think it defensive and passive, would better be able to handle tanking and DPR, due to less slots needed for healing so more slots for everything else. The only problem is that without martial weapon proficiency, their Divine Strike to add to weapon damage at 8th is lackluster, doing a point or two less per hit then a character with martial weapons.

One oddity with dwarven clerics - since you don't need STR for heavy armor, and you want a shield/divine focus while tanking, it can often make sense to go for finesse weapons and push your DEX as an attack stat since of all the other goodies DEX brings. I just find it funny that being dwarven enables rapiers and daggers if you want to go that route.

(If you were open to other domains, have you considered Forge from XGtE? They can fill a tanking role even better.)
 

Mistwell

Hero
Just go Tempest. Life Cleric is overrated. Healing spells are overrated as hit dice do that better anyway (and Druids heal better much of the time as well). Your fighter has second wind, your wizard can have polymorph and safe resting spells like rope trick and a familiar to deliver some healing like a potion or (if you can get the spell somehow in the party) a goodberry. Paladin can do some healing. I say don't worry about it too much and play what you want to play.

Not that I would personally choose Tempest as the subclass - you already have a fighter and a paladin to get into melee so you're not needed in melee. But, it's not a bad subclass.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
So the party consists of

A variant human abjuration wizard
A half elf Oath of the Ancients Paladin
A feral Tiefling arcane trickster rogue
A Variant human battlemaster fighter (Archery fighting style)
And a Hill Dwarf Cleric

Should the Cleric be a Life cleric, or could a Tempest cleric fill the role of healer well enough while also being a reliable tank/dpr?
1. Characters are more durable because death doen't occur till death saves are failed.
2. Characters are more self sustainable because they can hit dice heal on short rests.
3. Healing in 5e is fairly inefficient compared with killing the enemies faster. You want to be able to heal, but you don't have to overly focus on it.
4. If the party needs more healing then the healer feat can be taken by the cleric or another pc.

You have a paladin who can heal with lay on hands and if he must can use a spell slot for healing. You have an abjuration wizard which gets a ward that can protect allies. The party is a lot more healing and defensive oriented than it might seem.

Between the paladin and fighter you have insane damage nova damage. The rouge adds in some nice sustain dpr alongside the paladin and fighter. The Wizard should give you plenty of control, or can haste the rogue for extra dpr if desired.

However, you only have 1 true front line character. The rogue may play ranged or may melee some, it's hard to say. I think you want the cleric that most wants to be in the melee with the Paladin. Spreading damage over 2 PC's is a very effective survivability strategy. I think tempest plays better as the melee cleric than the life cleric does. Tempest also helps out a lot more on Nova damage than the life cleric.

Due to all the above I would recommend tempest over life for your party.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
One thing to consider with the tempest is that he's also probably the best cleric to use cure light wounds in battle. Now hear me out before you flat out dismiss the notion.

When he's in melee and needs to pull away to cure light wounds an ally he can punish an enemy that dares to hit him with an OA with his wrath of storms ability. I can't say it's really a deterrant that will keep OA's from hitting you, but potentially sacrificing some of your hp to damage the enemy and give your ally that really needs it a good heal isn't a bad strategy and keeps your effective healing numbers comparable or maybe even surpassing a life clerics that simply attempts to use healing word when in combat.
 

Coroc

Explorer
Just go Tempest. Life Cleric is overrated. Healing spells are overrated as hit dice do that better anyway (and Druids heal better much of the time as well). Your fighter has second wind, your wizard can have polymorph and safe resting spells like rope trick and a familiar to deliver some healing like a potion or (if you can get the spell somehow in the party) a goodberry. Paladin can do some healing. I say don't worry about it too much and play what you want to play.

Not that I would personally choose Tempest as the subclass - you already have a fighter and a paladin to get into melee so you're not needed in melee. But, it's not a bad subclass.
Agree with life cleric being a bit overrated. But how do druids heal better much of the time? Please give an example.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Agree with life cleric being a bit overrated. But how do druids heal better much of the time? Please give an example.
Goodberry heals more than cure light wounds or healing word
Healing spirit held way more than anything the cleric has.
 

Mistwell

Hero
Agree with life cleric being a bit overrated. But how do druids heal better much of the time? Please give an example.
They get the best lower level healing spells in the game: Healing Spirit, Goodberries, Healing Word, and Cure Wounds. And of course they get the best higher level healing spells of Mass Cure Wounds and Heal, and all the ressurection spells (and reincarnate).

Some of those, the Cleric just does not get. Like Healing Spirit and Goodberries, which in my opinion are the two best lower level healing spells in the game.

Then you can look to subclasses and you might argue Life Clerics have them beat there. But not so fast - Circle of the Shepherd with Unicorn Spirit is essentially the same boost to healing (or arguably better).
 

Gwarok

Villager
So the party consists of

A variant human abjuration wizard
A half elf Oath of the Ancients Paladin
A feral Tiefling arcane trickster rogue
A Variant human battlemaster fighter (Archery fighting style)
And a Hill Dwarf Cleric

Should the Cleric be a Life cleric, or could a Tempest cleric fill the role of healer well enough while also being a reliable tank/dpr?
Honestly Life Clerics are just amazing, especially once they hit 6th. If you want to get the healer feat as well, it's kinda almost silly how well they can heal. If you want to tank you still can, in fact even better since you heal better. If you're just looking for which is more effective in a party, no contest, Life Cleric.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Honestly Life Clerics are just amazing, especially once they hit 6th. If you want to get the healer feat as well, it's kinda almost silly how well they can heal. If you want to tank you still can, in fact even better since you heal better. If you're just looking for which is more effective in a party, no contest, Life Cleric.
Question, have you actually used the level 6 ability because to me it seems like it will typically be a waste.... how many times is the cleric at max hp and healing an ally that isn't?
 

Bacon Bits

Explorer
Personally, I would probably go with Barbarian given this party makeup, especially if you roll your stats well.

However, given the choices in the OP I'd go Life. Not because Life is so great, but because Tempest isn't that good.

Frankly, I think Tempest is pretty lackluster. The domain spells are pretty narrow (call lightning is an iconic spell, but it's not as good in 5e since it doesn't work very well indoors and the damage is much lower), and Wrath of the Storm is similarly weak compared to what other domains get. Channel Divinity: Destructive Wrath is decent, but there aren't many cleric spells that work with it, even including your domain spells. Thunderbolt Strike could be great with a cantrip like shocking grasp, but you haven't got any lighting cantrips and feats would give them to you with the wrong ability score. The domain has amazing flavor, but the abilities don't have enough to work with on the class's spell list because clerics don't ever deal lighting or thunder damage! Truly the only spell I see on the entire base cleric list that is capable of thunder or lighting damage is glyph of warding. That means all your domain abilities work with five spells: thunderwave (domain), shatter (domain), call lightning (domain), glyph of warding, and destructive wave (domain). That's everything. Everything else is based on your class abilities, which are pretty limited. Frankly, I almost feel like the domain's Divine Strike ability needs to allow the tempest cleric to select between thunder and lighting damage.
 

CTurbo

Villager
Tempest will be infinitely more fun than Life. Tempest can just DO so many more things. Easy decision IMO.

I agree that healing in a little bit over-rated in 5e. I mean SOMEBODY needs to be able to heal, but you never want to rely on it, and creating a character that's going to just be a heal bot in a bad idea. That entire character can be replaced at the market with healing potions.
 

Gwarok

Villager
Question, have you actually used the level 6 ability because to me it seems like it will typically be a waste.... how many times is the cleric at max hp and healing an ally that isn't?
Yes, I have and it's pretty sick. The main use is when the party is fighting something with AOE attacks. DM's I play with usually love to surprise a party with a fireball or a dragon breathing on them in the beginning. Having a tough start to a fight that we need to slog our way to victory seems a common thing, even in the published adventures. So yea, a lot of times the whole party is in bad shape at the same time. Then I pop the channel divinity, heal 5xLevel in HP up to half hp, followed by a Mass Healing Word which for a life cleric heals 1D4 + Ability(4 for my guy) + 5 on everyone, which isn't half bad especially at low levels. Takes a lot of the sting out of those occasional AOE's the party eats. The fact healing word gets a bonus to healing actually makes Life Clerics able to toss out a relatively decent heal as a bonus action and still make an attack, which in my mind makes them better as tanks than any of the other types.

Also it's not a 6th level ability, they can Channel Divinity at 2nd to do it, they just get a second use of it at 6th. Getting 2 of those per short rest makes for a pretty fair amount of extra healing. As I had the Healer feat as well for another free 1D10 + 4 + 1/HD available to all characters and the DM was a bit non-plussed when I started using this combo as he really didn't expect that much ability to eat damage in the party. We rotate DM's in our group and others felt the same way, but it was very noticeable.

Besides, what do Tempest Clerics get that's all that great? The 2D8 lightning damage as a reaction is certainly nice don't get me wrong, and channeling max damage on Lightning or Thunder attacks is some sweet DPS when you need it, but other than that the Life Priest can do just about everything a Tempest cleric can and you're party will likely appreciate being kept on their feet more than anything. But again, it really boils down to what you want to play. If you want to play mini Thor, then by all means rock that thunder hammering cleric to your heart's content because if that's what you want you will not be happy playing a Life cleric. But I did find Life cleric's healing to actually make healing a much bigger factor than usual.

Oh, I have to say one specific example. Had my Life priest in a fight. He had spiritual weapon and Spirit Guardians up. Action was weapon attack/1 action heals/Channel divinity, using bonus action for either Healing Words or the bonus weapon attack, doing AOE damage and hindering enemies with difficult terrain, and used the Channel divinity twice when we were fighting a young green dragon and some minions. Combined all those made what seemed like a terrifying fight into one the DM was kinda disappointed in.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Yes, I have and it's pretty sick. The main use is when the party is fighting something with AOE attacks. DM's I play with usually love to surprise a party with a fireball or a dragon breathing on them in the beginning. Having a tough start to a fight that we need to slog our way to victory seems a common thing, even in the published adventures. So yea, a lot of times the whole party is in bad shape at the same time. Then I pop the channel divinity, heal 5xLevel in HP up to half hp, followed by a Mass Healing Word which for a life cleric heals 1D4 + Ability(4 for my guy) + 5 on everyone, which isn't half bad especially at low levels. Takes a lot of the sting out of those occasional AOE's the party eats. The fact healing word gets a bonus to healing actually makes Life Clerics able to toss out a relatively decent heal as a bonus action and still make an attack, which in my mind makes them better as tanks than any of the other types.

Also it's not a 6th level ability, they can Channel Divinity at 2nd to do it, they just get a second use of it at 6th. Getting 2 of those per short rest makes for a pretty fair amount of extra healing. As I had the Healer feat as well for another free 1D10 + 4 + 1/HD available to all characters and the DM was a bit non-plussed when I started using this combo as he really didn't expect that much ability to eat damage in the party. We rotate DM's in our group and others felt the same way, but it was very noticeable.

Besides, what do Tempest Clerics get that's all that great? The 2D8 lightning damage as a reaction is certainly nice don't get me wrong, and channeling max damage on Lightning or Thunder attacks is some sweet DPS when you need it, but other than that the Life Priest can do just about everything a Tempest cleric can and you're party will likely appreciate being kept on their feet more than anything. But again, it really boils down to what you want to play. If you want to play mini Thor, then by all means rock that thunder hammering cleric to your heart's content because if that's what you want you will not be happy playing a Life cleric. But I did find Life cleric's healing to actually make healing a much bigger factor than usual.

Oh, I have to say one specific example. Had my Life priest in a fight. He had spiritual weapon and Spirit Guardians up. Action was weapon attack/1 action heals/Channel divinity, using bonus action for either Healing Words or the bonus weapon attack, doing AOE damage and hindering enemies with difficult terrain, and used the Channel divinity twice when we were fighting a young green dragon and some minions. Combined all those made what seemed like a terrifying fight into one the DM was kinda disappointed in.
I’m very confused. You mentioned the level 6 ability but talk here a lot about the level 2 ability. I made my comment about the level 6 ability. Why are you telling me how good the level 2 ability is when I questioned how good the level 6 ability is?
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Yes, I have and it's pretty sick. The main use is when the party is fighting something with AOE attacks. DM's I play with usually love to surprise a party with a fireball or a dragon breathing on them in the beginning. Having a tough start to a fight that we need to slog our way to victory seems a common thing, even in the published adventures. So yea, a lot of times the whole party is in bad shape at the same time. Then I pop the channel divinity, heal 5xLevel in HP up to half hp, followed by a Mass Healing Word which for a life cleric heals 1D4 + Ability(4 for my guy) + 5 on everyone, which isn't half bad especially at low levels. Takes a lot of the sting out of those occasional AOE's the party eats. The fact healing word gets a bonus to healing actually makes Life Clerics able to toss out a relatively decent heal as a bonus action and still make an attack, which in my mind makes them better as tanks than any of the other types.

Also it's not a 6th level ability, they can Channel Divinity at 2nd to do it, they just get a second use of it at 6th. Getting 2 of those per short rest makes for a pretty fair amount of extra healing. As I had the Healer feat as well for another free 1D10 + 4 + 1/HD available to all characters and the DM was a bit non-plussed when I started using this combo as he really didn't expect that much ability to eat damage in the party. We rotate DM's in our group and others felt the same way, but it was very noticeable.

Besides, what do Tempest Clerics get that's all that great? The 2D8 lightning damage as a reaction is certainly nice don't get me wrong, and channeling max damage on Lightning or Thunder attacks is some sweet DPS when you need it, but other than that the Life Priest can do just about everything a Tempest cleric can and you're party will likely appreciate being kept on their feet more than anything. But again, it really boils down to what you want to play. If you want to play mini Thor, then by all means rock that thunder hammering cleric to your heart's content because if that's what you want you will not be happy playing a Life cleric. But I did find Life cleric's healing to actually make healing a much bigger factor than usual.

Oh, I have to say one specific example. Had my Life priest in a fight. He had spiritual weapon and Spirit Guardians up. Action was weapon attack/1 action heals/Channel divinity, using bonus action for either Healing Words or the bonus weapon attack, doing AOE damage and hindering enemies with difficult terrain, and used the Channel divinity twice when we were fighting a young green dragon and some minions. Combined all those made what seemed like a terrifying fight into one the DM was kinda disappointed in.
Life clerics are roughly twice as good as the other clerics at healing, and clerics are better at healing than most other classes MC Life clerics with Druid/Bard levels being an exception and that new spell from Xanathars for Druids. When you're that good at healing a lot more resources can be devoted to other things. But yeah we had life clerics and healer feat combo around late 2014/early 2015. Healer feat is also in the top 5 most powerful feats list IMHO.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Life clerics are roughly twice as good as the other clerics at healing, and clerics are better at healing than most other classes MC Life clerics with Druid/Bard levels being an exception and that new spell from Xanathars for Druids. When you're that good at healing a lot more resources can be devoted to other things. But yeah we had life clerics and healer feat combo around late 2014/early 2015. Healer feat is also in the top 5 most powerful feats list IMHO.
I don't think life clerics are twice as good at healing compared to other clerics.

However, there's also one more important consideration, dead enemies don't deal damage that needs healed from. At level 2 a max damage thunderwave is deadly to most anything you fight. At level 3 a max damage shatter is the same way. How much damage was prevented just by having the tempest clerics channel divinity and an aoe spell to use it with? Even as you level that stays pretty potent.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
I don't think life clerics are twice as good at healing compared to other clerics.

However, there's also one more important consideration, dead enemies don't deal damage that needs healed from. At level 2 a max damage thunderwave is deadly to most anything you fight. At level 3 a max damage shatter is the same way. How much damage was prevented just by having the tempest clerics channel divinity and an aoe spell to use it with? Even as you level that stays pretty potent.
True but a light cleric is even better. Tempest cleric isn't that good at melee or blowing stuff up.
 

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