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D&D 5E Zard's S Tier Archetypes

Zardnaar

Legend
Those numbers are based on how often those resistances appear in the MM, not on how often those creatures are typically encountered. The typical adventurer fights lots of undead, and a lot of undead are at least resistant to necrotic damage. And many of the monsters with cold resistance are rarely encountered.

Certainly psychic, radiant and force damage are good, but so is Thunder, and (people forget this) magical s/p/b.

Yeah my group defaults to thunder with things like chromatic orb.

Undead not that common and even if they are it's dead easy to use radiance as a cleric anyway (or just turn them).

Undead you encounter them at some point probably but getting hit with say fire.
 

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Yeah my group defaults to thunder with things like chromatic orb.

Undead not that common and even if they are it's dead easy to use radiance as a cleric anyway (or just turn them).

Undead you encounter them at some point probably but getting hit with say fire.
YMMV. In our games undead and constructs are extremely common, after enemies with no immunities.

Turn Undead is great against a bunch of zombies, but against one ghost - it saves and your turn is wasted.
 
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Aldarc

Legend
Yeah my group defaults to thunder with things like chromatic orb.

Undead not that common and even if they are it's dead easy to use radiance as a cleric anyway (or just turn them).

Undead you encounter them at some point probably but getting hit with say fire.
This is a popular misconception, but most undead are not actually vulnerable to Radiant damage. Between the MM, Volo's, and MToFs, there are only 2 monsters vulnerable to Radiant damage.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
YMMV. In our games undead and constructs are extremely common, after enemies with no immunities.

Turn Undead is great against a bunch of zombies, but against one ghost - it saves and your turn is wasted.

Don't see turn undead used that much. I use undead and have in current game but it's been a couple of levels. You will encounter them at some point.

Worst case scenario death cleric it's really not hard to deal with them.

Undead themed I wouldn't run death cleric.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
This is a popular misconception, but most undead are not actually vulnerable to Radiant damage. Between the MM, Volo's, and MToFs, there are only 2 monsters vulnerable to Radiant damage.

It's not because they're vulnerable but not resistant or immune either.

Not generally anyway. Sacred flame, guiding Bolt, spirit guardians, spiritual weapon will deal with them and you should have some of those spells anyway.
 

Aldarc

Legend
It's not because they're vulnerable but not resistant or immune either.

Not generally anyway. Sacred flame, guiding Bolt, spirit guardians, spiritual weapon will deal with them and you should have some of those spells anyway.
Also it seems a bit weird to me to laud the great things that a Light Cleric gets, which includes a LOT of fire spells (6 of 10), while docking the Forge Cleric down for a ribbon ability that provides bonus fire damage alongside their regular attack.
 

Don't see turn undead used that much. I use undead and have in current game but it's been a couple of levels.
Wheras in our Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign practically every difficult encounter the party has faced so far has been against undead. Just reached Level 4, and they have already faced a wisp, an undead NPC, two ghosts, a banshee and three coldlight walkers.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Wheras in our Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign practically every difficult encounter the party has faced so far has been against undead. Just reached Level 4, and they have already faced a wisp, an undead NPC, a ghost, a banshee and three coldlight walkers.

Sure some adventures are undead heavy.
You're still a cleric.....
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Also it seems a bit weird to me to laud the great things that a Light Cleric gets, which includes a LOT of fire spells (6 of 10), while docking the Forge Cleric down for a ribbon ability that provides bonus fire damage alongside their regular attack.

Light cleric gets potent cantrip, has radiance of the dawn, the flare ability and is still a cleric.

I rate potent cantrip and the new Tasha's ability over divine strike.
I've seen light clerics cope fine on the elemental plane of fire and forge cleric does get fireball.

Light clerics really good blaster, good at nova, good if it's 6-8 encounters etc.

Basically it runs rings around the forge cleric imho.
 

Sure some adventures are undead heavy.
You're still a cleric.....
Thing is, I wouldn't rate RotFM as exceptionally undead heavy. And yes, there was a Twilight cleric, who did fine, despite having failed on all her turn attempts so far. But a death cleric would have had to really on non-themic spells, if they even had them prepared.
 

Light cleric gets potent cantrip, has radiance of the dawn, the flare ability and is still a cleric.

I rate potent cantrip and the new Tasha's ability over divine strike.
I've seen light clerics cope fine on the elemental plane of fire and forge cleric does get fireball.

Light clerics really good blaster, good at nova, good if it's 6-8 encounters etc.

Basically it runs rings around the forge cleric imho.
I would rate a light cleric as better than a forge cleric myself, but don't undervalue tradition and theme when people evaluate a class. Clerics wearing heavy armor and hitting things with a hammer is the traditional old school cleric experience, not to mention playing a dwarf.

After all, both are vastly inferior to twilight, so neither are "S".
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Thing is, I wouldn't rate RotFM as exceptionally undead heavy. And yes, there was a Twilight cleric, who did fine, despite having failed on all her turn attempts so far. But a death cleric would have had to really on non-themic spells, if they even had them prepared.

Thematic lol I'll use whatever's good. Espicially for situations like that.

The new death clerics I've bee seeing wear medium armor, smite with inflict wounds, use toll the dead and prepare the usual suspects that most clerics should probably prepare.

Hell they can use channel divinity with vampiric touch and not only inflict more damage they also get the lifegain effect from the spell plus channel divinity effect.

And they have radiant damage on tap. And force damage.

Counterargument to your Time adventure. I ran there is no honor. It had some skeletons in it and I used a wight iirc.

The death cleric this time around is only a dip (1/divine soul 5).

Last game we had a Minotaur death cleric of Anubis in undead heavy not Egypt. Nuria Natal Midgard.

I used more undead than current campaign. How many varies by what adventure you run.

Undead heavy isn't a major problem.

Personally with 0 information I would pick a death cleric over forge to play. Both spell lists are a bit meh, DC had better channel divinity, forge better granted powers with it's armor and weapons.

Death negates necrotic resistance as well so there's that and necrotics a lot better than fire.
 

That's another way where we play differently. If someone in our game plays a death cleric, they probably won't take radiant damage spells, because it's "against the character's religion".

But whatever way you play it, a death cleric is still decidedly average, and easily inferior to Twilight. Whether or not it's better or worse than another decidedly average cleric (forge) is a matter of taste.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
That's another way where we play differently. If someone in our game plays a death cleric, they probably won't take radiant damage spells, because it's "against the character's religion".

But whatever way you play it, a death cleric is still decidedly average, and easily inferior to Twilight. Whether or not it's better or worse than another decidedly average cleric (forge) is a matter of taste.

Yeah twilight's better. Online people really over rate forge cleric though. And grave imho.

Life domain is boring as but also strong.

Death not all DMs allow one and most can't play it right from what I've seen.

I've got one player who usually ends up with the cleric (or bard/druid) she's the death/divine soul character.
 

Life domain is boring as but also strong.
I tend to rate Life quite low. It simply has TOO MUCH healing. Unless things are going really badly and everyone is taking tons of damage is special shtick just isn't needed.
Death not all DMs allow one and most can't play it right from what I've seen.
It's in the DMG, and listed as an NPC class, so sure. But I'm pretty sure powergamers would have picked up on it anyway if it was particularly strong.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I tend to rate Life quite low. It simply has TOO MUCH healing. Unless things are going really badly and everyone is taking tons of damage is special shtick just isn't needed.

It's in the DMG, and listed as an NPC class, so sure. But I'm pretty sure powergamers would have picked up on it anyway if it was particularly strong.


I think it's pretty good and underated.

I play clerics as primary caster and even if they melee they're using spells at least from level 5+.

Hence why I rate potent cantrip higher, and a death clerics toll the dead is kinda like a twin toll the dead (it's funny seeing quickened toll the dead on two targets level 5+).

For rogues lower level maybe thief with healer feat or assassin with XBE feat might be S tier, outside that can't think of anything.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Light cleric gets potent cantrip, has radiance of the dawn, the flare ability and is still a cleric.

I rate potent cantrip and the new Tasha's ability over divine strike.
Okay? Well I don't rate Potent Cantrip higher than Divine Strike and the New Tasha Ability is also accessible to a Forge Cleric. So what?

I've seen light clerics cope fine on the elemental plane of fire and forge cleric does get fireball.
Again, your double-standards are showing where you dock points from the Forge Cleric for a fire-based Divine Strike but are perfectly cool overlooking fire-based spell attacks from the Light Cleric. Also, the Forge Cleric does not have Fireball on their domain spell list, so I'm getting suspicious about your analysis, though I suppose this likely means you will dock further points from the Forge Cleric with your inscrutable standards.

Light clerics really good blaster, good at nova, good if it's 6-8 encounters etc.

Basically it runs rings around the forge cleric imho.
Blasters IMHO are overrated, particularly Cleric ones. Clerics IME don't have the tools to make blasting particularly effective.
 

There is no particular reason why a Forge Cleric can't Magic Initiate shillelagh and be not-MAD.
But actually, a forge cleric does fine if they put ASIs in STR and leaves wisdom at 16. Post Tasha's your dwarven cleric can start with 17 in both wisdom and strength, and have both maxed by level 12.
 

TheSword

Legend
Wow, you can always tell a thread with potential for pain when the first five pages are arguments about terminology.

Incidentally I spend far too much time playing computer games and yet I only just learnt what S meant by playing Bloodborne. And only then by looking it up online. That was in relationship to weapon scaling by stats and you had to search for it. 35 years of computer gaming. Never heard of S before.

It is by no means ubiquitous in gaming. Neither is the Japanese examination marking scheme or buying theatre tickets in Japan... though once covid is over maybe I’ll get chance.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
What about Peace Cleric? I don't think they're S tier, but a decent spell list and a concentration-free, stacking bless is nothing to sneeze at. If the party has some other characters grab SS and GWM in the early going, that early +2d4 to hit is a major source of damage.
 

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