D&D 5e: Cleric Class Guide

D&D 5e: Cleric  Class Guide

Intro

Welcome to the Cleric Class Guide. First thing to keep in mind that not all clerics are healers. Clerics have a wide variety of abilities. Their stats are also different depending on the domains that are chosen. Each domain is vastly different from all the others.
Some Cleric domains will give you proficiency in heavy armor which means that your strength must be at a 13. If the domain doesn’t give you this proficiency, your CON stat should be the second highest. The only domain exempt from this is the Trickery Domain where your DEX needs to be the second highest.
In this guide, we’ll go over appropriate races for each domain, weapons, armor, and class features as a Cleric. 

Epic

Good

Meh

Bad

Ability Scores

STR This can be your second highest. If your subclass gives you proficiency in heavy armor, you’ll need STR.

DEX Decent for your AC and initiative. As a Trickery Cleric, this should be your 2nd highest.

CON This can also be your second highest. If you’re going for a medium armor character, CON should be your 2nd highest.

INT Dump

WIS This stat needs to be the highest.

CHA Dump

Races

Aarakocra Boost to DEX. Trickery Cleric should have this as the second highest stat.

Aasimar CHAR boost

Protector WIS boost so it’s good for all Domains.

Scourge You get a CON boost. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Fallen STR boost. Good for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Bugbear Boost to DEX and STR. Good for Domains of Trickery, Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge

Centaur STR and WIS boost. Great for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Changeling: Nothing good for Cleric. 

Dragonborn STR and CHAR; Good for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Dwarf CON boost by 2. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Hill WIS boost. Good for all domains. 

Mountain: STR boost; Good for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Duergar: STR boost; Good for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Elf DEX boost by 2. 

Drow: Nothing good for Cleric.

Eladrin Nothing good for Cleric.

High Nothing good for Cleric.

Wood WIS +1. Good for all domains. 

Sea Elf: CON +1 is always useful. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Shadar-kai: CON is good. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Firbolg Boost to WIS and STR. Great for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Genasi CON boost. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Air Boost to DEX; Good for Trickery Domain.

Earth STR boost; Good for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Fire Nothing good for Cleric.

Water WIS boost. Good for all domains. 

Gith Boost to INT.

Githyanki STR boost. Good for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Githzerai WIS boost. Good for all Domains.

Gnome INT boost

Deep DEX boost.  Good for Trickery Domain.

Forest DEX boost. Good for Trickery Domain.

Rock Boost to CON. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Goblin boost to CON and DEX; good for Trickery, Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Goliath STR and CON but more STR than CON. Good for all domains except Trickery.

Half-Elf 2 ability scores can be increased by 1 and +2 to CHAR. Decent for all domains.

Half-Orc STR and CON. Good for all domains except for Trickery.

Halfling DEX boost.

Lightfoot Nothing good for Clerics. 

Stout DEX boost; Good for Trickery Domain.

Hobgoblin CON and INT boost. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Human: Each ability score gets a +1. As a variant human, you get a feat. Good for all domains.

Kalashtar WIS +2 and CHAR + 1; Good for all domains. 

Kenku: DEX and WIS. Good for Trickery Domain.

Kobold DEX and -2 to STR. Good for Trickery Domain.

Leonin CON and STR. Good for all domains except for Trickery.

Lizardfolk CON +2 and WIS +1. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Loxodon CON and WIS. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Minotaur STR and CON. More STR than CON. Good for all domains except for Trickery.

Orc STR and CON boost but more STR than CON. Good for all domains except for Trickery.

Satyr CHAR and DEX. More CHAR than DEX. Decent for Trickery Domain.

Shifter

Beasthide: Boost to CON and STR; Good for all domains except for Trickery.

Longtooth: Your STR +2 and your DEX gets a +1. Good for all domains except for Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Swiftstride: DEX + 2 and CHAR +1. Good for Trickery Domain.

Wildhunt: DEX gets a +1 and WIS increases by 2. Good for Trickery Domain.

Simic Hybrid CON +2 and +1 to another stat. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Tabaxi DEX and CHAR. Good for Trickery Domain.

Triton CON, STR, and CHAR boost. Good for all domains except Trickery.

Tiefling INT and CHAR boost. 

Asmodeus Nothing good for Clerics.

Baalzebul Nothing good for Clerics. 

Dispatcher CHAR and DEX. Good for Trickery Domain.

Fierna CHAR and WIS. Decent for all domains.

Glasya CHAR and WIS. Decent for all domains.

Levistus CHAR and CON. More CHAR than CON. Decent for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Mammon Nothing good for Clerics.

Mephistopheles Nothing good for Clerics.

Zariel CHAR and STR; decent for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Feral INT and DEX. Good for Trickery Domain. INT isn’t needed.

Tortle STR and WIS boost. Great for Domains of Life, Nature, Tempest, War, Order, Twilight and Forge.

Warforged CON and +1 to another stat. Good for Domains of Knowledge, Light, Peace, Arcana, and Grave.

Yuan-Ti Pureblood Nothing good for Clerics.

Class Features

Hit points: 1d8 

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields (sometimes heavy armor)

Weapons: Simple weapons

Tools: None

Spellcasting – your bread and butter. Wisdom is your spell casting modifier. 

Channel Divinity – You channel your divine energy; your domain gives you a magic effect, you can also use this to Turn Undead which causes undead to move away from you

Destroy Undead – Undead that fail their saving throw are instantly destroyed. 

Divine Intervention – you call your deity to intervene on your behalf.

Subclasses

Knowledge Domain – Utility cleric mostly used outside of combat  

Life Domain – You are the healer. 

Light Domain – Praise the sun. When you want to be a Sorcerer. 

Nature Domain – When you want to be a druid. 

Tempest Domain – When you want to be Thor.

Trickery Domain – When you want to be bard.

War Domain – When you want to be a paladin. 

Forge Domain – These are your smiths. 

Grave Domain – You decide when people die. 

Arcana Domain – When you want to be a wizard. 

Order Domain – These are your police officers.

Peace Domain – These are your pacifists, very defensive.

Twilight Domain  – When you want to be Batman. 

Death Cleric – When you want to be a necromancer. 

Skills

Acrobatics DEX based; Parkour and wiggling out of things. 

Animal Handling WIS based, leave this most to druids. Situational

Arcana INT based. Situational and Clerics power comes from a god not study.

Athletics STR based. Useful if you want to push/pull/carry.

Deception CHAR based. Leave the talking to the charismatic characters. 

History INT based. Very situational.

Insight WIS based. Judge of character skill.

Intimidation CHAR/STR; if you’re trying to be intimidating 

Investigation very useful and used a lot

Medicine useful if want to be a healer

Nature INT based. This skill could be hit or miss. Situational.

Perception useful when you’re checking for traps

Performance CHAR based. Very situational. Better to leave this to a Bard. 

Persuasion CHAR based. If you’re trying to be persuasive; Leave the talking to the charismatic characters.

Religion INT based. While you get power from your god, this skill usage is very situational. 

Sleight of Hand DEX based, mostly used by rogues.

Stealth DEX based, good to have in general but some heavy armor gives you disadvantage

Survival WIS based, good to have in your out in the wilderness.

Top 3 Backgrounds

Acolyte – You get two skill proficiencies and two languages of your choice.
Cloistered Scholar – You get two skill proficiencies and two languages of your choice.
Hermit – You get two skill proficiencies, a toll proficiency, and a language of your choice. 

Top 3 Weapons

This really depends on whether your domain gives you martial weapons as a proficiency. Warhammer is a good option for this.
However, depending on your domain as well, you might be using magic primarily to deal damage.
For simple weapons, a mace or quarterstaff is useful. 

Armor

Having a shield is very useful. Especially if you’re going to play as a melee character.
For armor specifically, chain mail is great but your strength needs to be at a 13. However, this is heavy armor and that requires you to have proficiency. Some domains will give you this.
If not then, scale mail is a good option for medium armor. 

Top 5 Feats

War Caster – gives you advantage on con saves. Useful you’re in melee.

Tough – gives you extra hit points.

Resilient – +1 to an ability and gain proficiency in that ability

Shield Master – you use your shield to shove a creature, add AC to any DEX save

Healer – you can stabilize a wounded creature with a healer’s kit; useful if you want to be a healer

Multiclass options

As a cleric, there are a few options to take if you want to multiclass. It also depends on your chosen domain. For example as a tempest cleric, you can multiclass into a storm sorcerer to maximize your damage.
However, it’s important to note that typically you multiclass into cleric and not out of cleric. It’s also helpful to multiclass into a corresponding class/domain. Another example would be Light Cleric and Draconic Sorcerer (fire) to maximize the damage. Or if you were a druid or ranger, you would multiclass into a Nature cleric. 

Sage Gamers

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