I'm going to start straight off with a disclaimer: there are
style="font-style: italic;">many ways to roll a
cleric, and so there are many ways to play a cleric. Some focus heavily
on melee. Others focus on healing and group desirability. Still others
try to meet in the middle, or at varying points in between the two
extremes. The methods I'm going to show you here are based on how I've
chosen to play my cleric--as primarily a solo or duo character.
Level 10 and 11
You've made it to level 10. It really shouldn't have been a difficult
journey given how well clerics hold up in battle. But now it's time to
focus on holding up even better. If you've been able to save some coin
it's time to invest in the best armor you can afford.
Fortunately, armor for your level should be fairly plentiful and cheap.
Hit the broker, or get with crafters who can whip you up some decent
plate for now.
All in all, the solo cleric receives no ground breaking spells at level
10 (although you do get your class-defining Resurrection spell, it's
only useful on others). You'll basically use the same tactics
you've used all along: buff yourself thoroughly and melee fight using
your special attacks, Hand of Censure and Strike Down, and
fill in with your Anathema direct damage spell when your endurance runs
low. When you've lost about 1/4th of your health, cast Alleviate, a
heal over time (HoT) spell which will heal you over the course of
several ticks. Keep an eye on the spell timer and replenish it as
necessary. Fill in with Healing Touch if you have to. When you're in a
tough fight that's going to consume energy for healing, renew
some of your energy supply with Replenishing Strike, using it as soon
as it's recharged and as your endurance permits.
You receive a complete heal spell, Rejuvenate, at level 10. As a solo
cleric I rarely find myself using this spell since the cast time is
long and the chance for interruption is greater. It also consumes more
energy than Alleviate. If Alleviate will cut it, and you can fill in as
needed with Healing Touch, there's really no reason to use Rejuvenate
outside of a group situation.
In for a tough fight? Ward Shield will protect you from two incoming
attacks. Although the spell has a long recharge timer, sometimes
completely fending off two blows from a strong opponent can mean the
difference between life and death. And if you're in a real bind, Divine
Barrier encases you in a protective barrier so that nothing can harm
you for 18 seconds. While you're protected, you won't be able to fight
or cast spells...but that 18 seconds can buy you time to think plus a
few ticks of health and energy regeneration. Use it as your panic
Level 12 - 14
At level 12 you'll receive some useful spells and abilities:
is an instant heal with a long recharge timer. While you won't make it
a healing staple, it's very useful for a quick hit point boost in a
roots your enemy in place, a handy spell for mobs that want to run off
into enemy-infested territory. Unfortunately, I've found it gets
I gives you another melee special attack at your disposal.
This powerhouse deals 200% weapon damage and lowers a mob's spiritual
resistance by 50% and damage by 10% for 30 seconds. Use it early and
whenever it recharges.
Blades sounds like a damage shield but it's actually a
point-blank area of effect (AoE) damage over time (DoT) spell, meaning
that when it's active the mobs within your range will suffer damage
over time. This spell has a fairly high energy cost, so use it only
when you need it or have energy to burn. I find it's only really
efficient when fighting multiple mobs.
At level 14 you'll receive Pacify, a lull spell that will (in theory)
keep opponents from aggroing you while you drag their buddies away,
beat them up, and take away their lunch money. Be warned that Pacify is
resisted fairly often. It also isn't effective once you have aggro--it
won't stop a mob in its tracks if it's already attacking you, or if
you've already harassed one of its nearby friends. Use Pacify, but be
prepared for resists.
Level 15 - 20
At level 16 you'll get an upgrade to Hand of Censure, your melee
staple, plus a new melee ability, Maul of Divinity. Maul of Divinity
does 75% weapon damage plus 32-39, but it increases your damage output
(or your group's) by 12 for 20 seconds. Use it early in a fight and
keep it sustained if the fight runs long so that you'll have that extra
damage boost. As a solo cleric, your aim is to maximize your damage per
second (DPS), and Maul of Divinity is one such spell to help you
Aside from the group spell, Hero's Call (which summons a group-mate
from a dungeon's entrance down to where your group is fighting), levels
18 and 20 bring mostly upgrades to existing spells.
The Keys to Soloing
If you're planning to solo, the key is to make the most of your DPS. In
these levels, doing that is a matter of rotating through your attacks
and managing your endurance. If you won't require a lot of mana for
healing, don't be shy about using Anathema to add a little direct
damage into the mix. The faster you kill, the less you need to heal.
(The faster you kill...the faster you gain experience, too.) Use your
Castigator's Fury stance to boost your melee damage.
Armor and weapons become more important as you head into your teens and
beyond. Fortunately, there are armor quest lines (such as the href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=689">URT
quests in Thestra) that will net you both experience and
decent armor you won't have to spend your hard-earned coin on. But if
you're going to spend money on anything, do try to invest in a good
weapon with high DPS.
When it comes to investing your attribute points, your choices are
myriad. I chose to keep my cleric balanced so that she would still be a
valuable asset in a group, but I put a little more emphasis on melee
than healing stats. I focused heavily on Strength (for higher melee
damage output), but channeled points fairly evenly into Wisdom (for a
bigger energy pool) and Vitality (for better healing capabilities and
faster energy regen). You may also want to funnel some points into
Dexterity to increase your critical hit chances, but I chose
to enhance that stat primarily with buffs and items. Once
again, there are many ways to play it. Your mileage will also vary
depending on which race you've chosen.
It's also time to head out and choose your affinity. Take a look at our
to Affinities for help deciding what your cleric will be when
he grows up.
If you've made it to level 20, you've surely discovered that the Cleric
is a fun class to play. What's not to like about being able to wade in
and melee plus buff and heal yourself? Clerics are certainly not
invincible--in fact if they have an Achilles Heel it's likely over
confidence--but a well-played Cleric shouldn't have to make many trips
to fetch a tombstone. Get out there and experiment and enjoy yourself!
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