Cleric/Ranger Build: Need Assistance

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Hey there guys. I've been interested in playing around with a Cleric character, but was hesitant about getting Pigeonholed into a Healmonkey... as that would get rather old over the course of 20 Levels. I got really into trying to work up Archery Skills in tandem with Divine powers, as being a Ranger was something I never experimented with before. I've got a pretty solid skeleton down for the build, but I'm having a difficult time solidfying feat selection. This is what I have so far:

Name: Sindarus the Gold
Race: Elf (Sun Elf)
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Deity: Solonar Thelandria

Ranger 2 / Cleric 3 / Seeker of the Misty Vale 9 / Abjurant Champion (Divine Variant) 5 / Contemplative 1
Primary Attributes: Wisdom, Dexterity, ---

Starting Domain(s): Elf, War
Seeker of the Misty Vale Domain(s): Travel, Magic
Contemplative Bonus Domain: Luck

Alternative Class Features:
Arcane Hunter (Favored Enemy: Arcanists), replaces Favored Enemy ~ Ranger
Spiritual Connection (Speak to Plants & Animals 3/Day), Replaces Wild Empathy ~ Ranger 
Skilled City-Dweller, Trades Ride for Tumble in Class Skills List ~ Ranger
Cloistered Cleric (Various Changes to Cleric Class), ~ Cleric

Bonus Feats at 1st Level:
Point Blank Shot (Elf Domain)
Weapon Focus: Longbow (War Domain, Solonar Deity)
Rapid Shot (Combat Style: Archery, Ranger)
Track (Ranger)

Planned Feats:
Combat Casting (Required for Abjurant Champion)
Holy Warrior [Reserve] (Huge Bonus to War Domain Characters)
Knowledge Devotion (Identifying Monsters grant major attack bonuses)
Zen Archery (Ranged attacks use Wisdom instead of Dex)

Planned Skill Tricks:
Collector of Stories (Big Bonuses to Monster Identify checks, Synergizes with Knowledge Devotion)

Considered Feats:
Precise Shot
Manyshot
Divine Metamagic
Quicken Spell
Extend/Persistent Spell

Considered Skill Tricks:
Clarity of Vision

Usually, having Cloistered Cleric would grant the character the Knowledge Domain, but that is sacrified in order to gain the Knowledge Devotion Feat. In theory, the character can use Arcane (Divine) Boost, Holy Warrior, and Knowledge Devotion in conjunction with Divine Power/Favor and Zen Archery to gain huge Attack Bonuses and Damage Bonuses with the Bow. It also has access to 5 Domains, which are all pretty diverse and give useful Granted Powers. The Luck Domain especially helps this build when paired with Knowledge Devotion Identify Rolls.

I guess the question is, what Feats should I utilize to best make this character a capable Archer and Caster? I have a few in mind (as above), but I'm not sure which are the most useful and when I should take them in my feat progression.

Also, I know I should bump Wis (Casting & Archery Damage) as well as Dex (because of lack of Heavy Armor)... but what would my third-most important Attribute be? Charisma? Or I hear Strength somehow factors into Ranged attacks... though I'm not sure how. 

Any advice, tips, suggestions, or generally better ideas than what I already have here are welcome. Thanks in advance.


The cleric archer is old school 3.5 optimization. Iirc the original builds were for 3.0. My point is,google  cleric archer and you will getlots of help. Point number 2, dont take ranger levels.

 Youve even got the good feats,so youve got a lot of the hard stuff down.just keep in mind, a cleric should never be the healbot. Especially in combat. Sure toss out a few heals (the spell) now and again, but thats it. 

Something to keep in mind, is that you never want to loose a cleric casting level, and that your spells will serve to buff your archery, and also straight out end fights.

There are lots of cleric archer builds out there. 

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Hey there guys. I've been interested in playing around with a Cleric character, but was hesitant about getting Pigeonholed into a Healmonkey... as that would get rather old over the course of 20 Levels.


Read this. Then have your team read that. Realistically you aren't a healer, you just happen to have the option if you so choose, and are probably far better off ending the threat now rather than hoping your teammates can do it on their next turn. Or, jokingly, a Pounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I got really into trying to work up Archery Skills in tandem with Divine powers, as being a Ranger was something I never experimented with before. I've got a pretty solid skeleton down for the build, but I'm having a difficult time solidfying feat selection. This is what I have so far:


The cleric archer is an optimization staple; it just got less emphasis after Persistent Spell came out and made every cleric melee gods.

Here's the quickstart guide. I'd strongly suggest NOT losing caster levels wherever possible, though, so ranger really doesn't work here. (Note that I mean actual spellcasting ability, not CL. Martial Arcanist won't help here.)

Also, I know I should bump Wis (Casting & Archery Damage) as well as Dex (because of lack of Heavy Armor)... but what would my third-most important Attribute be? Charisma? Or I hear Strength somehow factors into Ranged attacks... though I'm not sure how.

Bump Wis. Casting is your armor class booster. If you need to hunt for others, the usual ones are Constitution (you survive) and Charisma (normally powers Divine Metamagic, which you're skipping). Strength only applies through the composite longbow, and realistically that won't matter too much most of the time (though it certainly helps!).

Read the quickstart guide above; hopefully that'll give you a huge leg up.

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There's a thread called something like "A Player's Guide to Healing (Or, Why You Will be Just Fine Without a Cleric to Heal You)". I can pretty much sumarise it though by saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", "some healing spells/abilities/items are better than others; use the best ones" and "tell your party to heal their own damn selves". The long and short of it is that they don't need you to be a dedicated, healer, so don't let them make you.

Cleric/Rangers were good in 2nd Ed, I think, but probably not necessary now. You have Zen Archery, which is the winner in Cleric archer builds. I was going to suggest using the War Domain to get WF in a ranged weapon, but I see you've already done that. So well done.

If your DM will let you take Abjurant Champion as a divine class, go for it, it's pretty neat. You really don't want to lose a casting level if you can help it, though, at least without getting something good.

Incidentally, I wouldn't bother bumping Dex too much. Put those points into Con or Cha instead. With Zen Archery you use Wis for attacking, and with armour you won't need or even necessarily get the benefit of a high Dex for AC. Put a few points in it, yes, but don't neglect your other stats in favour of it. Clerics have plenty of defensive spells anyway.

Stuff like Extend is always pretty handy to have around, too. Make sure you take some Divine Feats to get the best use out of your Turning abilities as well. 
How do I avoid taking Ranger levels and still get the most out of my archery?
and with Abjurant Champion's Martial Arcanist (Variant Diviner) my Caster Level is equal to my Base Attack Bonus, which is somewhere near the 18 Mark if I'm doing my Math correctly... which doesn't net me a whole lot of loss on the caster front (-2 9th Level Spell Slots).

Martial arcanist only boosts your caster level. It does not give you new spell levels or spells per day.


Also, with ranger 2 / cloistered cleric 3 / seeker of the misty isle 9 / abjurant champion 5 / contemplative 1, your base attack bonus will be +14. (+2 ranger, +1 cloistered cleric, +6 seeker of the misty isle, +5 abjurant champion, and +0 contemplative.) Martial arcanist won't help you.


Losing 3 levels of casting allows you to reach 9th-level spells at 20th-level, but you'll still constantly be behind 1 or 2 spell levels from levels 1 to 19. At, say, 11th-level, when you're only able to cast 4th-level spells instead of the normal 6th-level spells, the fact that you will catch up in 9 more levels isn't going to help you win a fight.

OK, well TS beat me to the post there but never mind.

Take a look at Ranger. Ranger's cool and all, but all two levels gives you is Rapid Shot, and only whilst in light or no armour. An equal Fighter dip wouldn't be so good for your saves, but would give you Rapid Shot and its prereq, more health, *and* let you wear super-heavy full plate. Don't do that either, though.

If you have to use Cloistered Cleric, you do probably want to get into a higher-BAB class, if only to meet the prereqs for Martial Arcanist (Martial Divinist?); once you get Divine Power you can just use that. However, prestige classes which keep your caster level going are the aim of the game.

If you want to use SotMI, you don't need Ranger for that either, you just need Survival. If your DM will let you take a different domain when you get into SotMI, you could take Travel as a Cleric to solve that issue, but it's a waste otherwise.

Contemplative incidentally is a nice dip for any divine caster IMO, but if you can squeeze it in you may as well take two levels, since you get Slippery Mind but don't lose any BAB or casting. Don't give up any other features for this though, it's not worth it.