Fighter / Cleric

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A while back, a user here named SeraphKast proposed the following multiclass Fighter/Cleric build.

I am pretty fond of it. I was wondering what folks here think of it, and what updates should be added to it now that we have more supplements.

In addition, would it be worth just taking Cleric as the paragon path, and getting that great Righteous Brand at-will power?

Alright, so the search for a Gish character build continues, as ever. And there are a few that seem pretty decent out there. This here, is my contribution to the cause. Yeah, its divine, not arcane; but its a melee/caster hybrid that can buff and do some ranged damage as well. It's designed to use the Glaive to (ab)use the Polearm Gamble/Blade Opportunist/Heavy Blade Opportunity combo that seems pretty potent. As for why Fighter/Cleric? Well, fighter needs Wisdom already as a second stat, thus making most Cleric powers useable almost as well as Clerics can themselves; secondly, Holy Symbols only need be worn, not wielded, meaning that you can have a 2-hander and still use the powers without constant weapon-swapping. Furthermore, the Warpriest class has amazing synergy with the OA craziness that fighters can pull off.

So, without further adieu:

Fighter/Cleric Gish Stats: I tried it as Elf and Longtooth Shifter...I find Shifter to be better, thanks to stat bonuses and the pretty awesome encounter regen, which helps make up for a lower than average constitution. Here are both statlines, but for the rest of the build, I'm going to go with the Shifter.

Stat............Elf.....Shifter
Strength.......16........18*
Constitution...13........11
Dexterity.......16*......15
Intelligence....10........10
Wisdom..........16*.....16*
Charisma........8..........8

*= racial boosts

Stats are similar, but the second build has better primary stat (Str) and the same/slighly lower secondaries (Wis/Dex). Since many fighter abilities are Reliable, and regeneration as an encounter ability is awesome, I think that Shifter wins out, YMMV, and both are pretty effective looking. Key point is that 15 dex means you don't have to dump more points into it at the x4 and x8 levels. Just bring up Str and Wis (and maybe Con, too).

Next we get to Feats, either one would be the same:
(1)Initiate of the Faith - Straightforward, need this, it's the point. Allows healing 1/day and implement usage.
(2)Blade Opportunity - Now have a healthy +5 on OA's, that will only grow.
(4)Toughness - Extra HP is good since we have low Con, but this could be substituted for Focus or whatever.
(6)Novice Power - Straightforward, get a cleric encounter power.
(8)Acolyte Power - Same, but for Utility power.
(10)Adept Power - Ditto, but Daily.
(11)Polearm Gamble - The start of the combo of awesome.

'Nuff said on these, I think. Toughness is a floating choice, I guess. Personally, I think it's nice, but it could easily change, it's hardly critical. Next come powers, whose choices I will try to be a bit more in depth about, and why I chose the powers I did for certain levels.

At-Will:
(1)Cleave - Yup, nice for swarms, and reach makes it pretty cool.
(1)Reaping Strike - The 2-hander power of choice, great with 18 starting Str.

Encounter:
(1)Spinning Sweep - Knocking people prone at range is fun. Again, hardly critical, take the power of your choice here.
(3)Daunting Light (Cleric) - Ranged blast against Reflex, and sets up Combat Advantage.
(7)Sudden Surge - Free movement to nail someone and shift to be next to some nice potential OA victims.
(11)Battle Cry - Close attack that also lets you heal the entire party? Yes, please!

Daily:
(1)Comback Strike - Useful to keep yourself alive and let the real healer focus elsewhere. Could be changed, though.
(5)Crack the Shell - Nice, lets you make baddies easier to kill and has ongoing damage, my fave at this level.
(9)Flame Strike - Make Dragonborn cry by having this nail people from far, far away, and leaving them on fire. Huge AoE!

Utility:
(2)No Opening - Encounter power that negates the disadvantage of Polearm Gamble for a serious threat...yeah.
(6)Cure Serious Wounds - Party synergy, big sudden heal for someone, saves actual healing surges. Awesome.
(10)Into the Fray - Extra movement. Could take Last Ditch, but I prefer encounter powers, personally.

So, those are my choices, up to 11. Makes a strong melee character a decent party buffer (read: healer) with a couple ranged attacks when needed, and still gives you basically the same melee potential for awesomeness that comes from being a OA polearm fighter. As you level past 11, you can just keep picking appropriate powers. Warpriest is totally awesome. It helps bump your AC in Scale, which you can negate the movement penalty on, thanks to Scale Spec. It further buffs your team by allowing an encounter reroll of a 1 to you or an adjacent ally. PLUS at 16, when you nail someone with a melee at-will, you can give it effectively a fighter mark that lasts the encounter, except that you can attack with an OA, instead of an immediate interrupt. Since your OA's will be using at-wills at level 12, you can mark something, and force it to chase you around, or suffer OA's. Furthermore, this Warpriest mark does not specify adjacent, so you can shift a square away, and still keep it locked, while engaging more people. Hell, the only bad thing about the Warpriest mark is that it only lets you do it to one poor sucker at a time.

The powers for Warpriest are better than the Fighter options available to a polearm specialist, IMO. Battle Favor lets you get an effect like Cure Serious or recover a daily, once per day when you get a nat 20. Pretty pimptastic in my book. And lastly at 20 it gives you a close burst 5 AoE versus Will that lets you absolutely own the face of someone taking ongoing Radiant damage...and thanks to Flame Strike (and I'm sure other possible Cleric choices) you can get away with that.

It seems decent. You now have to include the mandatory Weapon Expertise. Wfocus would be good too.

Dont forget the +WIS to damage Mark feat. Forgot the name. :-(



Yeah, if you are starting at 11+, this looks decent. This build already blows 4 feats on the cleric MC and swaps, so PMC is easy enough to take. I doubt it is worth all 3 of the paragon path features of warpriest though for a single at-will. I guess it depends on if you can take enough great cleric-ey stuff in the PMC, that is better than the warpriest powers.
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Well, the build is looking to combine Polearm Gamble, Heavy Blade Opportunity, and Warpriest's Challenge, so paragon multiclassing prevents that from coming together.

Since we have a lot more feat options now than we used to, we might want to avoid some of the multiclass power swaps to free up some feat slots.

Here's how I'd build up through level 20:
Show
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&DI Character Builder ======
level 20
Shifter, Longtooth, Fighter, Warpriest
Fighter Talents: Two-handed Weapon Talent

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 23, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 11, Wis 21, Cha 9.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 11, Dex 15, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.


AC: 23 Fort: 28 Reflex: 23 Will: 25
HP: 151 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 37

TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +20, Endurance +18, Athletics +23, Religion +15

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +13, Arcana +10, Bluff +9, Diplomacy +9, Dungeoneering +15, Heal +15, History +10, Insight +15, Intimidate +9, Nature +15, Stealth +13, Streetwise +9, Thievery +13

FEATS
Level 1: Polearm Momentum
Level 2: Weapon Expertise (Polearm)
Level 4: Toughness
Level 6: Blade Opportunist (retrained to Heavy Blade Opportunity at Level 11)
Level 8: Initiate of the Faith
Level 10: Adept Power
Level 11: Polearm Gamble
Level 12: Uncanny Dodge
Level 14: Blade Opportunist
Level 16: Daunting Challenge
Level 18: Spear Push
Level 20: Reckless Attacker

POWERS
Fighter at-will 1: Reaping Strike (retrained to Brash Strike at Level 10)
Fighter at-will 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter encounter 1: Passing Attack
Fighter daily 1: Comeback Strike
Fighter utility 2: Pass Forward
Fighter encounter 3: Dance of Steel
Fighter daily 5: Hounding Longarm
Fighter utility 6: Unbreakable
Fighter encounter 7: Trip Up
Fighter daily 9: Stop Thrust (retrained to Divine Power at Adept Power)
Fighter utility 10: Defensive Resurgence
Fighter encounter 13: Silverstep (replaces Passing Attack)
Fighter daily 15: Quicksilver Stance (replaces Comeback Strike)
Fighter utility 16: Bolstering Stride
Fighter encounter 17: Harrying Assault (replaces Dance of Steel)
Fighter daily 19: Controlling Thrust (replaces Hounding Longarm)

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&DI Character Builder ======


t~
I'm currently playing a human variant of this in high heroic. I know that build lists such as this aren't meant to show the level by level progression... but some things consider.

Until you get your fancy +3 glaive for paragon, a greatspear is far superior.
The slightly higher base damage, as well as access to Rain of Blows, gives the character some oomph. Featwise there's no difference between glaive + WE vs WP(greatspear). You can't take Blade Opportunist, but that was going to be swapped out anyway and you have no real way to generate OAs until paragon. In my experience, picking up Initiate of the Faith earlier and then grabbing Novice Power, swapping out your level 1 encounter power for the Cleric's Healing Strike, is far better.

I'm going to have to give it up soon to make the switch to paragon and am unimpressed with the level 1 fighter powers that I am going to get back. I think Passing Attack is the probably the right option, but the per encounter extra heal is going to be missed. Plus it's radiant damage!

As for the paragon multiclassing... Righteous Brand is fantastic, and you get it at 11. Warpriest's Challenge doesn't come around til 16. The question is, how often will you use Righteous Brand. The Polearm/Footwork Lure combo, even before polearm momentum, is really potent. Positioning matters a lot. With polearm momentum, you're giving allies a +2 to hit the enemy if they don't already have CA; not as good as a +5/+6 in paragon for Righteous Brand, but everybody using melee attacks gets it. Using Righteous Brand in some ways transforms the character from a defender to a leader, at least mentally. I was drawn to multiclassing into cleric to improve my own character's stickiness & survivability, to be a better defender. Boosting the attacks of others was just gravy.

Regardless, the Polearm Gamble track is so feat-heavy already that I'm not sure it can really handle the requirements of PMC into Cleric. You'd have to be human to pull it off.
Of your 7 heroic tier feats you get as a human:
4 would go to PMC Cleric,
1 would have to be Polearm Momentum
1 should be Weapon Expertise
1 will be swapped out at 11 for your second paragon tier feat. (You'd have it from 6 - 10, so it's not unimportant, but you can't bring it with you to paragon.)

That's it. There is no wiggle room, unless you want to lose Weapon Expertise and not get it back til 14. So, no toughness, no racial feats, no at-will modifiers, no flavor. It's possible but it's very constricted.
Well, we are starting the campaign at level 11, so it seems less restricting that way.

And I am not in any way fond of toughness. I think it's not a good feat, and does not belong in almost any optimized builds. Particularly for a polearm-wielding multiclassed cleric. If I am getting hit THAT often that I need those few hit points often, then I am doing something wrong already.

I do like Weapon Expertise, but I also think living without it for a few levels would be acceptable. It's not like people didn't have fun playing without it for a year

So how would one build a longtoogh shifter version up to level 11 if you did want to go full multiclassed into cleric? Any further advice?
Well, now that we have hybrid rules, I would take advantage.

Paragon multiclassing SUCKS for the most part.


Now you can make a fighter/cleric with uber STR(shared), and then probably high WIS and decent CHA.

You will want righteous brand as your cleric at-will, and can take the GOOD STR-based cleric powers.

You can wear a holy symbol, though I'd avoid the implement powers. You can take good cleric utilities and the occasional Heal-On-Hit attack power.



I think this would work quite well, as you can cherry pick the best parts of each class. I'd probably hybrid talent: fighter armor for free light,Heavy shield, scale armor feats.
My Sorc Guide Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19649162/Joes_Sorcerer_Guide_AP_update_51509 My Genesi Wizard Blaster Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/25082729/Miniguide_to_Genesi_LightningThunder_Blaster_Wizard_%2806-2010%29
Until the hybrid rules become actual rules instead of beta rules, we don't allow them (and I suspect most games do not allow them at this point - despite the frequency of mentioning them on these boards)

I'm building a Longtooth Cleric|Fighter hybrid and am aiming to be a better healer/leader because of it.  I'm my party's only leader and they're all squishy strikers, mostly. I had been trying with Warlord|Bard, and Warlord|Cleric, which wasn't so bad, but I'm intrigued by Fighter|Cleric.

Compared with the MC route:


- Free Righteous Brand (as basic attack w/ Power of Skill, meaning lots of charging and allies provoke OAs so I get OAs.)
- Lots of feat slots for things like


 


  • Cruel Cut Style (ongoing Wis with Cleave if no enemies adjacent to the target)

  • Hybrid Talent (Combat Superiority for damage and more Righteous Brand OAs before Polearm Gamble)

  • Power of Skill

  • Roundabout Charge (with multiclass rogue)

  • Surprise Charge

  • Flanking Maneuver (move through enemy spaces

  • Polearm Gamble/Uncanny Dodge

  • Cliffwalk shifting (Climb speed makes so many possibilities for reach weapons and charges, esp. with Roudabout Charge!) 

Also, Utility 6 gives Stream of Life - Give yourself ongoing 5 radiant, and every turn you don't save you grant 15 +Wis hp to an ally every turn.  Shifting gives you regen 2 until regen 4 at lvl 11.  Or you can just take an item with resist 5 radiant.

Or, lvl 9 daily gives you Divine Power which gives you regen 5 and +2 AC (whole party) to end of encounter, oh plus the hit damage. 

Items
I'm using Farslayer or Myrdoon's Shard Longspear (or Greatspear with a feat) for melee reach 3-5 Righteous Brands =)

- Taking fighter's Draeven Marauder PP for 19-20 spear crits and lots of other unexpectedly nice leaderly synergy for a fighter PP.
- Possibly Eternal Defender for some nice dual-wield polearm options.


Antipathy Gloves (lvl 10 hands) gives more OAs since nobody can shift to squares adjacent to you.  Especially if someone else in the party has them too and you can flank-lock people into two OAs (mine are Righteous Brands) 


So, all told, does this make a better (more leaderly) melee cleric than a pure melee cleric?


Also, Utility 6 gives Stream of Life - Give yourself ongoing 5 radiant, and every turn you don't save you grant 15 +Wis hp to an ally every turn.  Shifting gives you regen 2 until regen 4 at lvl 11.  Or you can just take an item with resist 5 radiant.




Stream of Life does not have Radiant keyword.  Also, damage can not be reduced.  Otherwise, the Shifting regen works.


Stream of Life

Your life energy flows into a companion and grants your friend the vigor to fight on.


Daily   bullet.gif     Divine, Healing
Minor Action      Personal


Effect: You take ongoing 5 damage (save ends). This damage can’t be reduced in any way. At the end of your turn, you can choose not to make a saving throw against this ongoing damage. Whenever you take the ongoing damage, an ally within 5 squares of you regains 15 hit points.

Duly noted and altered accordingly.

Personally I am going the route with a Hybrid Ranger|Cleric, and so far I like it a lot.  What I am doing so far is taking all Ranger attack powers to work best with Hunter's Quary.  As for my Cleric powers I will be taking more Utilities or other powers as such to help buff my party & myself up (I.e. Divine Favor, Divine Power, Holy Wrath, etc...). 

Next, since I am focusing on Str/Wis this could work even for a Hybrid Fighter|Cleric build.  Then taking the paragon class Pit Fighter, you'll get some extra AC, and able to dish out a lot of damage too since you'll be able to add your +Wis modifier to your melee damage rolls from your Pit Fighter abilities.

Anyhow, this is just a thought, and something I was doing that is similiar to your build (minus the defender role).  =) 

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