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Rift Calling Template Analysis: Cleric Tank

Posted Thu, Feb 23, 2012 by Medawky

Rift Cleric
A new feature introduced in Update 1.7, Calling Purposes, are premade soul templates that can help new and old players alike navigate their way through the sometimes complex world of Rift talents. Each of Rift’s callings has 4 different templates to choose from, each with their own unique role or playstyle.

Starting with the Cleric calling, we will break down each of these templates and discuss their finer points. We will take a look at their strengths and weaknesses as well as providing some possible alternatives for more adventurous players.

The second calling template up for review is the 
Cleric tank build, the Seraphic Guard. Built around the Justicar soul, the Seraphic Guard is a well rounded tanking build with solid AoE abilities, useful self and group heals and decent threat generation.

Cleric Tank Template: Seraphic Guard

Rift Calling Purposes

Overview:

Cleric tanking can be extremely rewarding and extremely fun if  done right. The Seraphic Guard template is a step in the right direction, giving the player many of the tools needed to succeed. Featuring a solid mix of AoE and single target threat, this build focuses on survivability and utility and is a good place for a player that is new to tanking to start.

Key Abilities:

Rift Calling Purposes

Absolution: Resurrection spell that is usable in combat. It returns the target to life with 100% health and 50% mana, perfect for those "oh crap" moments where a healer or top DPS die.

Purpose:
Purpose restores 10% of the cleric’s mana each time a damaging ability is used. The one drawback to Cleric tanking is the heavy mana usage, so learning when to use Purpose for maximum effect is essential. 

Doctrine of Loyalty: This Justicar ability works in conjunction with Cavalier, a self-buff that causes all life-based damaging abilities to create Conviction, to heal their group for a moderate amount. Conviction is a resource that can be stored temporarily and used to heal the Cleric or their group, it stacks up to 4 times and will last for up to 30 seconds or until they are used.

Doctrine of Bliss: Another Conviction based ability similar to Doctrine of Loyalty. Doctrine of Bliss is a self heal that can be a critical part of staying alive during difficult encounters, or if the healer is killed or incapacitated.

Precept of Refuge: Conviction based ability that does a small amount of damage, but increases Block by 15% for 8 seconds. Adding this ability into a macro is a great way to insure that it is up all times.



Hits and Misses –

The strength of the Seraphic Guard build lies in many of its passive or long duration buff abilities which help increase overall survivability. New tanks will be able to hone their skills easily without having to micro-manage a plethora of reactive abilities or worry about maintaining shield spells.

By focusing so heavily on the Inquisitor, the Seraphic Guard forgoes much of the melee punch that a Cleric tank can bring to the table. While fear immunity is nice, it simply isn't worth dropping 11 points into a caster soul. Even a minor change such as only spending 6 points in the Inquisitor tree would provide a better end result as the player would still get Armor of Treachery and  have more points to spend in the Shaman tree.

Alternative Build

Rift Calling Purposes

51 Justicar/ 15 Shaman / 0 Purifier

Built on essentially the same premise – maximum survivability, solid threat and beneficial heals, this build contains several key additions. Increasing our spending in the Shaman tree grants us an extra self heal and a second mana regen ability as well as increasing our melee damage output options, which is key for threat generation. By using the Purifier as our tertiary soul, we gain a nice damage shield. This build is a more active one, requiring more activity by the player to make it work, whereas the Seraphic Guard has more passive abilities and can feel more manageable to new players. 
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