Author Topic: Ultimate cleric?  (Read 3493 times)

Offline NumberKruncher

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Ultimate cleric?
« on: September 01, 2016, 11:54:24 PM »
Hey guys, I'm trying to build a great cleric. The character will be played in the new adventure module about Giants.

We use point buy, no house rules, except natural 1's are fumbles (you might hit an ally or lose your next turn, ect.).

Anyway, I was looking at creating a variant human arcana cleric with the magic initiate feat.

The feat would be for druid spells, so I could pick up shillelagh. Looking at the spell list, I'll probably take produce flame as my other druid cantrip and goodberry for my first level spell (easy out of combat healing, subject to change). Shillelagh is the selling point though, as this character is centered around maximizing WIS, starting with a 14 DEX (to maximize medium armor), and a 14 or 16 CON (HP/concentration checks).

An arcana cleric can choose two wizard cantrips. I'm looking at green flame-blade and ray of frost, although I'm tempted to substitute in minor illusion instead (I have a level 9 wizard in another game and I still use minor illusion). I'd also get three cleric cantrips to start with, I know one will be sacred flame, one will be guidance, and I'm not sure of number 3 yet.

The initial character can have a pretty good AC with that 14 DEX, with medium armor and a shield. His HP are respectable.

In combat, step one would be to cast shillelagh as a bonus action, and cast green flame-blade as my regular action.

I'd do 1d8+3, plus 3 damage to one adjacent enemy (not a lot, but we're talking level 1.

I'd have the option to do fire damage (green flame-blade, produce flame), cold damage (ray of frost), or radiant damage (sacred flame). It's pretty nice to be so versatile!

The damage leaps forward at level 5 (18 WIS).

Melee with green flame-blade and shillelagh: 2d8+4 to enemy, 1d8+4 to an enemy withing 5 feet.

At level 8, I add CHA to all damaging cantrips. That's awesome.


The point of this character is to have an optimized single classed cleric. This arcana cleric can fight in melee with any of the clerics, and be better than most. He's got a great spell list to choose from.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
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Offline 8wGremlin

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2016, 01:53:49 AM »
at level 8 you add WIS to the damage, not CHA.
The Arcana Domain Cleric is a favourite of mine.

Offline 8wGremlin

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 02:09:20 AM »
Also I'd take Booming blade over Greenflame blade, but that's just me

Offline NumberKruncher

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2016, 07:11:21 AM »
Thanks! I meant WIS!

Why booming blade?
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Offline NumberKruncher

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2016, 07:17:07 AM »
This idea is only a slightly tweaked version of yours, 8wGremlin!

I played him in a game that died out before we hit 3rd level, so I figured it would be a good time to bust out this extremely versatile charater again.

Many players try to optimize a character by doing one thing extremely well. The reason I love this build is because he does do one thing extremely well, but he's not one dimensional. This character is still a full caster and is running off of one stat.

Dwarf FTW.

Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2016, 09:09:31 AM »
If you want a ranged spell attack option, Chill Touch is necrotic, 120 ft. range, shuts off monster regen and healing, and has a situational rider against undead.  Ray of Frost is more commonly resisted, and anecdotally, the 10 ft. movement speed reduction is not that useful when you're playing a class that will do the most damage at melee range unless enemies are running from you frequently.

If you go with Chill Touch, you cover your ranged spell attack option with one cantrip instead of splitting between Produce Flame and Ray of Frost to avoid resistances.  That can leave you open for Thorn Whip from Magic Initiate, which will allow you to gain some positional control from your cantrips you wouldn't otherwise have.  Thorn Whip can pull ranged attackers off their perches, pull enemies out into pits, pull enemies near your allies so they can't Dash away without provoking, etc.

Potent Spellcasting lacks the errata of features like Elemental Affinity and Empowered Evocation.  It would seem to follow rules more like Agonizing Blast, which means Booming Blade would get Wisdom on the initial hit and on the follow-up if the target moves, and similarly Green-Flame Blade would get Wisdom on the initial target and Wisdom x2 on the secondary.  Granted, they probably just copied the feature over from the PHB and this combo wasn't even something to consider until SCAG came out.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 09:25:15 AM by TenaciousJ »
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Offline 8wGremlin

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2016, 06:31:00 PM »
Yeah, I like the versatility of the character, I've not been in a situation that I couldn't contribute to.

Chill touch is a good substitution, and I may look to go that way.

I found at low level the penalty to the movement helped with slight battlefield control, stopping a number of targets from getting to squishier targets.

I'm 5th level now and have picked up the obligatory Spirit Guardians.
Spirit Guardians plus the Ray of Frost makes it very difficult for opponents to move.


Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2016, 12:38:23 AM »
...
I found at low level the penalty to the movement helped with slight battlefield control, stopping a number of targets from getting to squishier targets.

I'm 5th level now and have picked up the obligatory Spirit Guardians.
Spirit Guardians plus the Ray of Frost makes it very difficult for opponents to move.

I brought up Thorn Whip as part of the Magic Initiate pack for this reason.  It doesn't have the range or damage of Ray of Frost, but you can undo 10 feet of movement from an enemy as one of many options with Thorn Whip.  Fewer things resist piercing damage unconditionally than resist cold as well.  Piercing resistance normally specifies "from weapons," and Thorn Whip is not a weapon.
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Offline 8wGremlin

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2016, 08:37:34 PM »
I brought up Thorn Whip as part of the Magic Initiate pack for this reason.  It doesn't have the range or damage of Ray of Frost, but you can undo 10 feet of movement from an enemy as one of many options with Thorn Whip.  Fewer things resist piercing damage unconditionally than resist cold as well.  Piercing resistance normally specifies "from weapons," and Thorn Whip is not a weapon.

Very good points!

Shillelagh, Thorn Whip, and which out of Goodberry, Longstrider or Absorb Elements?

Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2016, 11:20:49 PM »
I would be inclined toward Absorb Elements or Healing Word, since they're both "oh crap" buttons.  Yeah you can already cast Healing Word as a cleric but it's still one more use.
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Offline NumberKruncher

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2016, 09:33:34 AM »
I would be inclined toward Absorb Elements or Healing Word, since they're both "oh crap" buttons.  Yeah you can already cast Healing Word as a cleric but it's still one more use.
I like the additional healing word. The problem with absorb elements is it is very situational: you need to know that element is coming.

You can always use a healing word.
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Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2016, 10:09:35 AM »
I would be inclined toward Absorb Elements or Healing Word, since they're both "oh crap" buttons.  Yeah you can already cast Healing Word as a cleric but it's still one more use.
The problem with absorb elements is it is very situational: you need to know that element is coming.

Check the casting time line on Absorb Elements again.

Quote
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you take acid, cold, fire, lightning or thunder damage.

The second line says:

Quote
You have resistance on the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn.

You don't need to know it's coming.  You just need a reaction open.  If the red dragon surprises you by casting Cone of Cold when you're at 20 HP, you don't need to die because you guessed wrong before being hit.
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Offline NumberKruncher

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2016, 12:10:23 AM »
Thank you for that! IDK how I missed it!

Since it's not a cleric spell, and since it's much more useful as a reaction than as I thought it was originally, I think it's a better option.
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Offline NumberKruncher

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Re: Ultimate cleric?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 11:56:37 PM »
War caster works real nice with booming blade.

I'm starting a new game this week and I'm considering busting this character out. I still haven't played it past level 3 for more than one game.
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