Rift Calling Template Analysis: Cleric Melee DPS

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 begin a new series by looking at the Cleric melee DPS soul, the Thunderer.
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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.

Up first is the highly versatile and very new-player friendly build -
The Thunderer. This is a melee DPS soul template that builds quickly
from a moderate damage increase to an all unstoppable solo machine in
the course of a few levels.

Cleric Melee DPS Template: The Thunderer


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Striking hard and fast with melee abilities that heal themselves and
their group in the process is the calling card of the Thunderer. This
template is an example of a fairly popular subset of Shaman builds
known as the Shamicar. Pairing the explosive burst damage of Shaman
with the splash healing of Justicars provides a ton of upside as you
can pump out good numbers and many times negate the need for a support

This soul is also fairly easy to build macros around as it features
several cooldown based abilities and a few reactive attacks. It
features ample single target and AoE damage, and while it usually won’t
be the top damage in the game, it won’t leave you feeling
gimped.  It also features a ton of self-buffs that will need
to be maintained to maximize effectiveness.

Key Abilities:


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Rage of the North: 
Cooldown based ability that causes all abilities to be critical strikes
for 7 seconds. On a 1.5 minute timer.

Self-buff that causes all damaging abilities to heal all group members
for a small amount.

Lightning Hammer:
Melee strike on a 6 second cooldown. This ability causes moderate
immediate damage, but has a strong DoT component that helps even out
overall damage.

Reactive ability that becomes active after scoring a critical hit, make
sure to use this every time its up.

Ageless Ice / Purpose: These
two abilities are on separate 1 minute cooldowns, but both do the exact
same thing: they restore 10% of the cleric’s mana each time a damaging
ability is used.

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.

Hits and Misses –

The Thunderer is a solid build that works well when soloing or in a
group setting. It allows the cleric maximum uptime as there is never
any need to drink to regain mana if the regen buffs are used properly,
or to stop and heal as the Justicar portion of the template will keep
the Cleric at nearly full health by the end of most fights.

The Inquisitor portion of the build, while good for adding an extra
source of life-based damage, is mostly wasted points. There are much
better pairings out there that provide better upside. This spec also
goes a bit too deep into the Justicar tree. While it is nice to have
two mana regenerating abilities, one is more than enough in almost
every situation.

Alternative Build


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51 Shaman/11 Justicar/4 Sentinel

Built on essentially the same premise – maximum uptime, solid damage
and excellent support heals, this build contains several key additions.
By going all-in on the Shaman tree, we get the added benefit of Frozen
Wrath that significantly increases our single target DPS.  By
using the Sentinel as our tertiary soul, we get a group buff, a single
target heal and a 4% increase in Spell Power.

This build requires a more proactive approach on the part of the player
however, as they need to swap out their self-damage buff to match the
situation of either single target or AoE encounters.

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