By Brennie

First and foremost, let me say what this guide is not.

This is
not a static build, with only one set of options. It is not a battle
cleric, a utility-only cleric, or a “stays in the back and only heals”
cleric. This guide is a well-rounded cleric able to hold his own in
combat and maximize his ability to do what a cleric does best: keep the
party buffed, ailment free, full of mana, and alive.

First up, what alignment should you choose?

Lawful Good is an alignment no one can go wrong with, allowing many
strong weapon choices. True Neutral is a good second choice, with
“Stability” items available relatively early, but very few weapon
choices. Chaotic Good is my third choice; it has some decent weapons
available and Iron Manacles for defense at higher levels. It style="font-style: italic;">does give you artistic license to
be completely nutty, though.

Next choice, which race should you be?

Human is easily the race I'd recommend most. The extra Feat makes life
a lot simpler, and extra skill point per level doesn't hurt. A decent
second choice is elf, offering a few resistances and the ability to use
a longbow and longsword. If you do choose elf, I would put an even
stronger recommendation on the Lawful Good alignment so that you may
use the longsword “Retribution.” I do not recommend dwarves, halflings
or warforged for this build. Dwarves make decent battle clerics, but
the Charisma penalty will hurt this build too much to make them a
viable choice. Halflings, in my opinion, don't make very good clerics.
Their initial skills simply don't benefit a cleric well. Lastly,
warforged make terrible clerics all around. A low Wisdom and Charisma
cleric who can barely heal herself is not a cleric you want to have.

Ahh, now down to the number crunching!

What attributes should you have? For this build, I would consider the
following stats to be optimal:

Strength: 10

Dexterity: 12

Constitution: 14

Intelligence: 8

Wisdom: 16

Charisma: 14


Wisdom is the most important score for a cleric, so why haven't I maxed
it out? To get Wisdom from 16 to 18, I need to spend 6 whole Ability
points. This would give me a +1 to will saves, +1 to the difficulty
check of offensive cleric spells (of which there aren't many), and a
total of 19 extra spellpoints at Level 10. I would rather spend those
points on DEX and CON, giving me +1 potential armor class bonus when I
wear magical platemail, +1 to ranged attack, +1 reflex save, +2 to the
Concentration skill, +2 fortitude save, and +2 hitpoints per level.

Alternately, I could change that 14 CON into a 14 STR, which will give
me more fighting potential at lower levels. At higher levels, though, a
+2 bonus to attack and damage won't help a whole heck of a lot, but the
extra hitpoints and fort save will. Elves won't be able to have a 14
CON without sacrificing something else, but can have extra Strength or
DEX to compensate.

The next thing to consider is what skills should you focus on?

Clerics only have 3 class skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, and Heal.
Concentration is a MUST, and should be maxed out at every level.
Leaving your character without Concentration will mean that any minor
little attack against you is likely to disrupt your casting (thus
severely inhibiting your ability to heal yourself and your party while
in battle).

Diplomacy and Heal are situational skills at best, and I would only
recommend a human (with those extra skill points) even consider them.
Diplomacy is nearly never used as intended due to its long activation
time, but it is useful for a few extra NPC dialogue choices in
higher-level quests. Heal, on the other hand, is most useful in lower
level quests when you are more apt to run out of spell points or want
to save mana by bringing an incapacitated teammate back to 1 hit point
before using a Cure Light Wounds spell (and thus saving precious spell
points). Cross-class skills do very little to benefit clerics, and I
would recommend against taking any of them.

Now the daunting question: what Feats should you take?

All characters get to choose one new Feat for their character at
creation (two at creation for humans) and one Feat Levels 3, 6 and 9.
The choices are many, but for this particular build I would consider
the following to be the best choices:

href=""> alt="Cleric"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 159px; height: 200px;" align="left">1st
- Mental Toughness, Extend Spell (humans only)

3rd - Extra Turning

6th - Improved Mental Toughness

9th – Empower Healing

Mental Toughness and Improved Mental Toughness are essential to any
cleric, adding 110 much needed spell points. Extend Spell is an active
Feat that allows your buffs to last twice as long for 150% of the cost.
It is especially useful on spells like Remove Fear, or when buffing a
party immediately after they (but before you) use a shrine. Extra
Turning allows you to turn undead (Or more importantly, use your Divine
Vitality ability, 4 extra times per rest.) Lastly, Empower Healing
you an even trade of 150% boost to your healing spells at a cost of
150% more spellpoints.

Extend Spell, Extra Turning, and Empower Healing may be switched around
as you desire. If, for example, you find you hardly ever cast buffs but
need more oomph to your healing, you may decide that Extend Spell
should be your 9th level Feat and empower healing should be 1st.

For non-Human clerics, you will have to remove one of the Feats from
the list above. I suggest Extend Spell. While Extend Spell is helpful
to have, it is entirely a “nice utility” that is not essential.

Lastly, which Enhancements should you pick?

Right from level one, clerics get to see the Enhancements that will
likely be sticking with them throughout their character's life. Divine
Vitality (DV) and Energy of the Zealot are essential choices that you
will see at first level. Energy of the Zealot provides you with extra
spell points, while DV lets you use all those Turn Undead you have to
“heal” other character's spell points.

Two other enhancements you ought to get at first level are Devotion I
and Extra Turning (after you get DV). Extra Turning, of course, gives
you extra Turn Undead charges, while Devotion I increases the potency
of your Cure Light Wounds spell.

Once you get the “Empower Healing” Feat, you will also have access to
an Enhancement called Improved Empower Healing. This Enhancement will
decrease the spellpoint cost of the “Empower Healing” Feat, thus giving
you more healing for less spell points. Unfortunately, though, because
characters can only have four Enhancements at a time, you will have to
decide whether to swap out a prior Enhancement for Improved Empower. If
you decide that you need those extra spell point savings from Improved
Empower, I would suggest swapping out Extra Turning (6 extra DVs is a
major boon, but having enough spell points to last between shrines is

Here is how I would suggest you build your enhancements:


1st - Energy of the Zealot I, Divine Vitality I, Extra Turning I,
Devotion I

2nd - Energy of the Zealot II, Divine Vitality I, Extra Turning I,
Improved Devotion I

3rd - Energy of the Zealot III, Divine Vitality I, Extra Turning I,
Improved Devotion I

4th - Energy of the Zealot IV, Divine Vitality II, Extra Turning I,
Greater Devotion I

5th - Energy of the Zealot V, Divine Vitality II, Extra Turning II,
Greater Devotion I

6th - Energy of the Zealot VI, Divine Vitality II, Extra Turning II,
Greater Devotion I

7th - Energy of the Zealot VII, Divine Vitality III, Extra Turning II,
Greater Devotion II

8th - Energy of the Zealot VIII, Divine Vitality III, Extra Turning II,
Greater Devotion II

9th - Energy of the Zealot IX, Divine Vitality III, Extra Turning III,
Greater Devotion III

10th - Energy of the Zealot X, Divine Vitality IV, Extra Turning III,
Greater Devotion III

href=""> alt="Cleric in tavern"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 267px; height: 200px;" align="right">

Why is Greater Devotion in this build at later levels, but not Improved
Devotion IV or Devotion V? Simply put, clerics use their Cure Light,
Cure Moderate, and occasionally Cure Serious Wounds spells vastly more
often than their level 4 and 5 healing spells. Clerics seldom use their
4th or 5th level healing spells because the lower versions cycle faster
and give a much better spell-points-used-to-hit-points-healed ratio
(especially with a 40% bonus from Greater Devotion). Thus, your cleric
will be a healing machine that can also replenish the spell points of
other casters—which is doubly useful if you have another person who can
heal in your group!

The Path Less Traveled

Alternately, the cleric can sacrifice some spell points and his level
10 Enhancement options to take a single level of fighter. This will
provide the benefit of a +1 base attack bonus, 10 extra hitpoints (2
more than a level of cleric), +2 to fortitude saves, an extra martial
Feat, and—most importantly—proficiency with tower shields and martial
weapons. While this does impact your ability to be a support cleric, it
will increase your potential to help out your group by ruthlessly
slaughtering the smaller, easy-to-hit creatures that you encounter
while adventuring. I would only recommend this course of action to
players who find they are more than adept at keeping their group healed
and protected and have the discipline to retain their clerical role
while fighting as well.

Parting Thoughts

In conclusion, the cleric is a most versatile character, being a front
line defender, healer, buffer, curer of ailments, and occasionally
therapist to evil villains who wish to blather on and on about how they
were driven to evil by a traumatic childhood. And with this guide, your
character will be able to fill all those roles, being a powerhouse of
divine magic and might.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.