Rift Calling Template Analysis: Cleric Tank

The new premade calling templates are a great way to introduce new players to Rift souls and to introduce old players to new roles, but are they always the best choice? We continue our analysis with a look at the cleric tank template - the Seraphic Guard.
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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 style="font-style: italic;">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


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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:


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style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">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 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

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

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


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51 Justicar/ 15 Shaman / 0 Purifier

Built on essentially the same premise – maximum survivability, solid
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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