D&D 5e: Aarakocra Cleric Guide

A female arrakocra cleric flies into the air holding a holy orb.

D&D 5e: Aarakocra Cleric Guide

Ordinary birds are godless creatures that poop all over your cart and ram into windows. However, you are no ordinary bird, and you by no means have to be a godless creature, and pooping on someone’s cart will only happen in a particularly strange campaign.

How to Make a Aarakocra Cleric

Wisdom should be your highest score, followed by dexterity, then constitution. Resist the urge to wear medium armor or heavy armor for the higher armor class unless you’re absolutely certain you won’t need to fly anytime soon. You need a high dexterity for the light armor and shield you’re going to use.

If you’re playing a low level character, your high dexterity makes you uniquely good among clerics at using weapons. A mid to high level cleric is awful with weapons, but a low level one can take the War Domain subclass at 1st level to get several bonus action weapon attacks per day. These attacks can be with any weapon, from a greatsword to a dagger to a longbow, but the longbow is probably the highest damage option. Keep a backup rapier in case you somehow end up in melee.

For a higher level character, Trickery Domain is something a cunning eagle might like; the features themselves are mediocre, but the domain spells are absolutely fantastic, from Polymorph to Pass Without Trace.

A black male aarakocra cleric holds his shield high and casts guiding bolt.

How to Play a Aarakocra Cleric

Use your flight when you want to avoid taking damage, and in combat, cast a concentration spell and then use cantrips or weapons to supplement it. Use healing when allies need it, or when you have nothing else you can do. Never fly so far away from your allies that you can’t fly in and try to save them; Healing Word does not have a range of 200 feet.

Spirit Guardians is a noteworthy 3rd level spell with a 15 foot range. Because many creatures have a 5 foot reach, you can hover ten feet above their heads and Spirit Guardians them, but they may try jumping to reach you; the efficacy of this strategy depends on whether or not the concept of jumping occurs to your dungeon master.

How to Roleplay as a Aarakocra Cleric

You are a religious bird; what kind of deity might a bird worship? A deity of the sky, storms, sun, mountains, or moon might be appropriate, or if you want your character to be disliked by other aarakocra, you can worship a darker deity instead.

Your high wisdom and unique (top-down) perspective on life compared to other species means you’re likely a fountain of knowledge, so feel free to lean into that.

And only poop on someone’s cart if the whole table thinks it would be funny.

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