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.
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
Overview: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 soul.
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 wont be the top damage in the game, it wont leave you feeling gimped. It also features a ton of self-buffs that will need to be maintained to maximize effectiveness.
Reparation: 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.
Jolt: 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 clerics 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.
51 Shaman/11 Justicar/4 SentinelBuilt 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.