My first 4e Character - Rate my Battle Cleric

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Hey guys, long story short I'm now playing 4th edition with my group of Magic playing friends, and I was wondering what you think of my first character in the system. I've previously played a ton of 3.5 and some other different systems.

Class: Battle Cleric
Race: Dragonborn

Stats: (after racial modifiers)
STR: 18
CON: 12
DEX: 10
INT 8
WIS: 15
CHA: 17

Skills trained: Diplomacy, Insight, Heal
Feat: Weapon Proficiency (Longspear)

At-will Powers: Recovery Strike, Righteous Brand
Encounter Powers: Healing Strike, Dragonbreath (STR/Cold)
Daily Powers: Cascade of Lght

Things I'd like an opinion on:
what the ritual I learn should be, there's already a mage in the party with tenser's floating disk.
is cascade of light worth it in my build, or should I take a healing based daily, or a melee based one
should I replace turn undead for healers mercy?? we already have a paladin so would be realistically need 2 turners in the party?

Here's the party I'm rolling with:
Dragonborn Cleric (me)
Minotaur Paladin
Human Wizard
Drow Rogue
and we have another mate of ours joining next week, playing a dwarf something (probably fighter).

I've played a balanced STR/WIS cleric through Paragon, and love it-welcome to the pack!

I took Cascade of Light @ level one as well, but didn't really feel it gave me the most bang for my buck. My teammates are pretty healing-needy (we're not very optimized), so if you have a similar group, Beacon of Hope will really amp up your Healing Word and Healing Strike.

However, after level 5, I felt Moment of Glory was a much better way to protect my party, as at low levels, resist 5 all encounter will save you a lot of surges. It's most useful when you get into an encounter with lots of enemies, to mitigate damage. Since your build doesn't have a lot of need for minor actions yet, Moment of Glory would be easy to sustain.

Don't forget the retraining 1/level option. Might as well give Cascade of Light a try and see if it works well with your group.

One thing to note (and I don't have my books handy, so I may be wrong), but I'm pretty sure Paladins don't have any way to turn undead. I'd keep that one if I were you. As a strength cleric, being weakened does you NO good.

I don't have any advice on rituals, as aside from Enchant Item and Brew Potion (which your Wizard will be better equipped to deal with), we don't use them that often in our campaign. I took the mandatory Genlte Repose and Make Whole (only had PHB at the time) when I created my cleric and have NEVER used either one through 11 levels. I'm working with my DM to add some to my repertoire, though.
One more thing: If you haven't checked it out already, go see Gelatinous Octahedron's Cleric Handbook

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

It's full of VERY useful information. DO keep in mind that it's geared toward optimization. I followed his advice religiously (ha!) through level 6, and became an awesome healer, but it got rather boring as some of the best powers don't do a ton of (or any) damage. I'm pretty evenly split between sky blue/blue/black these days, and the black powers have been quite good with my party-though it helps that we have a healing heavy Paladin with us, allowing me to take more esoteric powers (you can get a TON of action with Weapon of the Gods).

Your character looks fine for the most part, but I would pick something besides a long spear.  Do you have access to the adventurer's Vault book or the online character builder?  That has the greatspear, which is pretty much the same as a longspear, but is a superior weapon and will give you an extra +1 to hit.  If you don't have access to that you might consider a spiked chain since that does about the same amount of damage, has reach, and is a +3 to hit.  All else considererd clerics like having a +3 proficiency weapon.  You might consider hafted defense for your next feat if you stick with a spear.

Paladins can't turn undead (they can sometimes take feats that kind of let them do something similar), but turn undead is a situational power.  Its very useful when you need it, but you might not need it that often and you need to keep boosting your wisdom at later levels if you want to hit with it.  With a paladin there is a good chance your group won't be short on healing anyways so which one to take is a tossup.

I might avoid wisdom powers if I were you and focus on boosting stength and charisma.  The one exception is for your first level daily since moment of glory is one of the best cleric powers there is, but most of the goodness comes from the damage resistance and it is not a big deal if you miss with it.  Later on you can take powers like sacred shielding,  focus of cascading power, and consecrated ground that take advantage of a high charisma.

Yeah a Greatspear would be better but mostly for the +3. See if you can fudge around with your stats to get your CON up to 13 so you qualify for Scale armor proficiency. If you already have a Wizard and feel you won't be using your rituals much, I suggest you swap it out for the Alchemist feat instead (from Adventurer's Vault), and invest in a few items every once in a while. Your Fighter (if you get one) will love to be able to mark everyone in a Burst 1 when he throws the Alchemist Fire you cooked up.

What's your deity? A good Domain feat at level 2 could add some pizazz to your character.

As for level 1 Daily Moment of Glory and Beacon of Hope are indeed both excellent choices, personally I'm rather fond of Shield of the Gods, but then again my Dragonborn Battle Cleric is MCed Paladin and often ends up as the off-tank by throwing his single Divine Challenge around so I need the defense.

In any case there's nothing glaringly wrong with your character. Battle Clerics aren't hard to play but they can be tricky to build correctly. I greatly enjoy mine in any case.
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
Yeah a Greatspear would be better but mostly for the +3. See if you can fudge around with your stats to get your CON up to 13 so you qualify for Scale armor proficiency. If you already have a Wizard and feel you won't be using your rituals much, I suggest you swap it out for the Alchemist feat instead (from Adventurer's Vault), and invest in a few items every once in a while. Your Fighter (if you get one) will love to be able to mark everyone in a Burst 1 when he throws the Alchemist Fire you cooked up.

What's your deity? A good Domain feat at level 2 could add some pizazz to your character.

As for level 1 Daily Moment of Glory and Beacon of Hope are indeed both excellent choices, personally I'm rather fond of Shield of the Gods, but then again my Dragonborn Battle Cleric is MCed Paladin and often ends up as the off-tank by throwing his single Divine Challenge around so I need the defense.

In any case there's nothing glaringly wrong with your character. Battle Clerics aren't hard to play but they can be tricky to build correctly. I greatly enjoy mine in any case.
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
KuzuD: Yeah I'm not sure on cadcade either, it seems like I would rather have something that involves STR/CHA/hitting folk with my spear. I reckon it'll be grand for level 1 anyway, but I would be retraining it asap.

I'll definitley have a gander at that guide, as our party is all magic/mostly ex wow players (of which I am one) so I would be leaning towards optimisation (and not feel bad about it because I reckon I can still roleplay fairly decently with my stats as they are).

I'll keep turn then so, I didn't really think of the weakened bit when I was typing, I just remember seeing an AOE heal and thinking that would be useful.

Gelatinous: I read a guide that referenced greatspears for battle clerics, and was all for it, but when we were rolling stats and building characters we only had the player's handbook with us, and longspear is the only similar weapon in it, I thought the guy mistyped in his guide, so I took that. I realised later on greatspears were in adventurer's vault when I was on  the character builder, so I had a chat with my DM about changing it and he was fine with it, so I do have greatspear proficiency and a greatspear on the character now.

In terms of stat ups, my first one will be used on CON&CHA mosty definitley so I can take scale armour prioficiency and get CHA up to a +4, but I'm not really sure if upping WIS to get to +3 is worth it if I'm prioritising CHA and STR powers, I'll have to have a look at some later-level powers.

Undrave: That's a good point, the only thing about rituals is that there's resurrection at level 8, and we weren't sure if it was a divine-only ritual like back in older editions, and in a fluffy sense I dunno if I'd trust an INT 8 alchemist :P

Like I said above, my first stat-up will be to CON and CHA to let me get scale (the party is gonna try to get zero overlap between armour and weapons so we're not fighting over loot, so I won't be going for plate proficiency anyways).

Deity is Bahamut, kinda generic but again, I only had the player's handbook at character gen so I dunno if this is optimal. the paladin is also bahamut so we might work this into a bit of backstory between our two characters.

Cascade of Light is getting thrown out at level up, I'll have a closer look at dailies next time I have the books handy, but I could see myself taking Beacon of Hope from the sounds of things.

Thanks for all the feedback guys, it's very much appreciated, I'm actually enjoying the edition a lot more than I thought I would (I'd read a lot of negative stuff on the net before when the game came out), and I'm looking forward to developing this character, he seems like he'll be a good lad :P
If your DM is willing to be a little flexible on retraining, which would be reasonable since all you guys are new to 4e, you might ask very nicely if you can wiggle your stats a bit for 13 starting Con (off the top of my head, dropping wis to 14 could get you 13 con for scale and... I guess 11 dex so it'll kick to 12 at paragon and give you +1 init and reflex.  Because upping high stats at character creation is much more expensive than reinforcing low ones, whereas your leveling boosts are equally efficient wherever they go, you wanna set up your stats to be increasing your attack stat at every opportunity, and preferably your chosen offstat as well.  The assumption that you'll continually raise your primary stat is built into the math for monster defenses at higher levels, and consistent raising of str/cha keeps your fort and will very competitive as you level.  Long story short, if there's any way you can negotiate switching a point into con without spending your leveled boost on it, it would be wonderful to do so.  If not, your character can survive a -1 to hit during half the levels.

Unless I'm forgetting something important, clerics aren't terribly deity reliant in most cases.  Check out the Domains chapter in Divine Power for ways to personalize your cleric and make him feel like an agent of Bahamut if you're interested.  Power of Justice and Power of Hope both give you a little skill bump as well as an extra +1 attack boost on your righteous brand (from Hope it's to one ally of your choice, from Justice it's every bloodied ally).  It's not a huge bonus, but it's flavorful and you'll probably be using righteous brand quite a bit.

Enjoy being a 4e cleric!  Strength clerics are pretty good at doing however much monster stabbing they need to do for you to have fun while maintaining some pretty solid healing and buffing.  Glad you tried this edition, I was skeptical too at first, but I've become a big fan. 
Raise Dead is available to Wizards, but its a Heal-skill ritual so yes you could possibly be better at it if you got the higher WIS. It is worth it then if you prefer. Remove Affliction is another good Heal ritual.

I'd say if you don't want to wiggle a point into CON I recommand putting your stat bump in STR and CON and wait for the next bump to boost STR and CHA. That way your attack stat will keep up nicely.

Bahamut is plain but a very nice Deity. Channel Divinity: Armor of Bahamut is mocked for being situational but there is nothing more awesome than when your DM goes "Crit!" you reply "Bahamut says NO." It doesn't come up all the time but you or your paladin should look into it, at least in my experience it was fairly useful and unless you need to use Turn Undead you can get along very nicely without Divine Fortune available.

As for Divinity feat Power of Hope is fairly nice as it let you spread the love to your ranged ally while you use Righteous Brand to boost your melee buddies. Power of Justice is tempting but I fear its not all that often that it triggers, unless your pals like to be bloodied. Power of Protection gives you a nice +2 to Heal checks and boosts the defenses of an ally of your choice, so its pretty nice, sadly its attached to Priest Shield which is too defensive minded for an agressive Battle Cleric... so unless you got lots of squishes (or you were a human) your best bet would be Power of Hope.

Also don't take too many Daily utilities, being able to use more tricks as encounter power is a great way to break up the monotony. If you have to take the Skill Power feat XD Heal has a nice utility at level 6 that lets you trigger an adjacent allie's second wind.

58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
I have to second Undave regarding encounter over daily utilities (though you won't have a lot of choices in the early going). Shield of Faith is great for a daily, especially at low levels, though I still get a ton of mileage out of it at level 11.

With your Charisma being so high, you may want to pick up the Defensive Healing Word feat pretty soon, as it gives a +CHA to all defenses to the recipient of your healing word.
I have to second Undave regarding encounter over daily utilities (though you won't have a lot of choices in the early going). Shield of Faith is great for a daily, especially at low levels, though I still get a ton of mileage out of it at level 11.

With your Charisma being so high, you may want to pick up the Defensive Healing Word feat pretty soon, as it gives a +CHA to all defenses to the recipient of your healing word.



Oh yeah Shield of Faith is really worth it, but at later levels I try not to get stuck with only Daily utilities.
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
I hope I'm not hijacking Mebrind's thread, but stuck with only daily utilities is something I've been debating with myself as I build my cleric.

My current thinking is that since there's really only so many actions you'll be taking in any one given encounter, it's more useful to have minor action utilities, no matter if it's the daily or encounter variety. I'm also of the opinion that I have better/more proactive things to do with a standard action than use a utility, unless it's at the beginning of the encounter.

At level 11, I have Shield of Faith, Spirit of Healing (LOVE it), and Word of Vigor, with WoV being an encounter, and all 3 being minors. WoV is almost exclusively used after a fight, but before a short rest, with the party gathered around for a Healing Word Light. It's also nice to have in an emergency.

What level have you Clericed at, Undrave, and what have you found useful? 
Well my lv 6 Cleric as he is right now actually is stuck with Daily Utilities: Shield of Faith and Divine Favor. My previous Cleric only had Cure Light Wound but it turned out to be way more healing than I really needed since he already had Healing Strike and Beacon of Hope.

Meanwhile my other characters get to do things like mark all enemies in a close burst 3 or teleport or inspire competence every 5 minutes. It feels more flavorful somehow to have tricks I can do each encounter.

I'm thinking my Cleric should pick up the Skill Power feat and get the Intimidate power 'Everybody Move', I think its really fun. My Bard has Swift Recovery, letting him grant an ally his second wind at the cost of my minor action, its pretty sweet.  So now I usually favor Encounter powers as my level 2 utility.
58292718 wrote:
I love Horseshoecrabfolk. What I love most about them is that they seem to be the one thing that we all can agree on.
See for yourself, click here!
Also don't take too many Daily utilities, being able to use more tricks as encounter power is a great way to break up the monotony.



You are right in a sense, but on the other hand the Daily utility powers available to Clerics tend to be soooooo good.

For L1 daily powers, look at Shield of the Gods and Weapon of Astral Flame, both from Divine Power. My Battle Cleric ended up taking both of them and I just ignored the level 5 daily list.

As a fellow Dragonborn Battle Cleric player, I recommend dropping your wisdom to 10. Healer's Lore would be nice, but it really isn't necessary. Those two points of healing per surge will only scale up to three by the epic tier. Consider Dex or just more Charisma instead. You may also want to consider Breath of Life, (Divine Power feat) an option only available to your race/class combination. You won't need an implement for much of anything else, but consider a Symbol of the Holy Nimbus for the bonus temp HP.

Saving throws tend to be a major weak spot for Battle Clerics, so you may want to consider Divine Aid next level. It's an awful power, (don't look at the equivalent Warlord power...it will only piss you off) but may be better than leaving yourself with a glaring weak spot.

Start shopping for a paragon path now. Battle Clerics have it rough on paragon paths, and you should get that issue planned in advance.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
If he has Eberron available in his campaign, add Mark Of Healing - free saving throw every time you
heal. Pretty awesome actually.




 


Pretty sure you're not supposed to publish the full text of rules items here, Rhohn.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Pretty sure you're not supposed to publish the full text of rules items here, Rhohn.



Did not know that - thanks for the heads up, and I edited the offending post.

Saving throws tend to be a major weak spot for Battle Clerics, so you may want to consider Divine Aid next level. It's an awful power, (don't look at the equivalent Warlord power...it will only piss you off) but may be better than leaving yourself with a glaring weak spot.

Another option is to take the Versatile Channeller feat, which will give you access to the Paladin's save-granting channel divinity.
Well as I see you are the only healer in the team so I would suggest to take Healer's Mercy channel divinity starting; one turn weakend won't kill you but might save your friends. And may be some per encounter healing powers wouldn't be too much.

Also considering that you are a STR based character may be Divine Strength would be a better choise to take advantage of the Versatile Channeller feat so you can finish quickly some really annoying monsters or easy battles in general.

Taking armor proficiency feats is a really good idea too. And when you reach your peek in armor even take Teamwork defense (PH3) with your warrior friend could be useful. 

"Make holy water" is a good ritual to remind your friends that you are a cleric and no only another warrior and targets undead so that almost compensates if you decide to not take "Turn Undead".
Saving throws tend to be a major weak spot for Battle Clerics, so you may want to consider Divine Aid next level. It's an awful power, (don't look at the equivalent Warlord power...it will only piss you off) but may be better than leaving yourself with a glaring weak spot.

Another option is to take the Versatile Channeller feat, which will give you access to the Paladin's save-granting channel divinity.



Actually, that's a good point. I didn't consider it much since I've already taken a channel divinity feat for my battle cleric but the Paladin channel divinity powers are both pretty decent for a Str/Cha cleric.

This thread is pretty old though.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
This thread is pretty old though.

Yeah. But seeing as it was still on the front page I thought I'd drop my pearl of wisdom into the mix
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