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Tips on playing/fighting a Cleric

I'm playing a Cleric (8th level) right now, really for the first time. I try to play very realistically but what are some tips from those of you that have played them before?

I find myself often using him like a 'fighter with spells' rather than a 'priest who can fight'.

What are a Clerics best options when dealing with spellcasters?

Fighters?

Other Clerics?

What strategies do y'all use?

What are your favorite spells to carry? How do you use them?

Thanks, CT

gorgonzolaDreadKhan

Comments

  • MichelleMichelle Member Posts: 546
    It depends on if you play with a party or not. I almost only solo so it is a different play style than with a party, even the party composition will determine how you want to play.

    The easiest Cleric kit for me to solo was Priest of Lathander, pretty easy to get high attacks per round. With buffs and everything she can be a very strong fighter.

    Remove Fear and Pro Evil 10’ Radius are standard.
    Holy Power, Righteous Magic and DUHM for fighting or even slinging.
    Strength of One improves the strength of all your skeletons but not Aerial Servant if I remember right.
    All skeletons are immune to sleep, so with Chaotic Commands and a spell or perhaps item that makes the enemy sleep, it can make many battles almost easy. For the more cautious, Farsight can even keep your character out of the action while summons do the dirty work.
    Harm with Cleric buffs will land almost every time, especially from Invisibility.
    Aerial Servants are strong summons and can be buffed for almost any situation.
    Fire Storm is a good spell throughout the game. My favorite drow killer.
    Cleric traps, like Gylph of Warding and Symbol Stun, while under Sanctuary can assassinate many characters in the game with the Ring of the Ram.
    True Seeing is mostly standard as well.

    Playing with a party everything can be very different depending on playing from th front or back, I don’t remember much about that so I can’t be much help.

    CharlestonianTemplartypo_tillyGrond0gorgonzola
  • CharlestonianTemplarCharlestonianTemplar Member Posts: 855
    Danacm wrote: »
    Are you playing party or with solo ?

    Against casters try to use doom, silence, miscast magic spells, and defend yourself with chaotic command and shield or the archons. And you have summons like animate dead and aerial servant. But mages always will be stronger than you.
    You can buff yourself to fighter levels, but always have just 1 attack per round without dual wielding. But still you have some damage, and also you can use the wand of heavens between every hit.
    Against undeads use the turn undead, after you higher level you can basically destroy them.

    I always play a party of six, In this case, Imoen (Thief/Adventurer 9), Faldorn (Druid/9), Neera (Wild Mage/8), Branwen (Battleguard of Tempus/7), Kivan (Ranger/Archer - 7).

    Thanks for the tips. All fantastic feedback. CT

  • CharlestonianTemplarCharlestonianTemplar Member Posts: 855
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Clerics are a hugely powerful class in BG1. They do drop off substantially in the later stages of BG2, but up to then they're a strong class. Here's a quick flavor of what they can do even before you consider their special ability to turn undead and the wands they can use.

    Great feedback brother! I'm taking it in.

    Thank you.

  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 614
    I find cleric is the class where I wonder the most why I didn’t play a fighter/cleric or berserker(9)/cleric instead.

    Just hardly any downside at all to playing multi or dual, with tremendous upside.

    CharlestonianTemplargorgonzola
  • CharlestonianTemplarCharlestonianTemplar Member Posts: 855
    It depends on if you play with a party or not. I almost only solo so it is a different play style than with a party, even the party composition will determine how you want to play.

    For the more cautious, Farsight can even keep your character out of the action while summons do the dirty work.... Sanctuary can assassinate many characters in the game with the Ring of the Ram.
    True Seeing is mostly standard as well.

    Playing with a party everything can be very different depending on playing from th front or back, I don’t remember much about that so I can’t be much help.

    Thanks. I do play with a party but I particularly like the two suggestions above.

    I'm playing a Priest of Oghma but I'm already thinking of a LG run w/a Cleric too.

    Btw, I have Farsight… but haven't had the 'farsight' to use it yet. Great idea.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,299
    I find Hold Person to be the best divine spell early because it works on most powerful enemies,specially enemy fighters and its still very useful in BG2 .

    CharlestonianTemplar
  • CharlestonianTemplarCharlestonianTemplar Member Posts: 855
    DJKajuru wrote: »
    I find Hold Person to be the best divine spell early because it works on most powerful enemies,specially enemy fighters and its still very useful in BG2 .

    Thanks much.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,639
    edited March 2019
    I play clerics all the time, but it's for roleplay, not necessarily because it's powerful, although it can be. I like healing and protecting my friends.

    Remove Fear, Protection from Evil 10', and in BG2, Chaotic Commands are my standard staple spells. Chaotic Commands stops most of the nasty status effects that can ruin your day.

    Do you know the Resist Magic trick against dragons? It sets magic resistance to, I think 30 percent, which is actually *lowering* the resistance when cast on a dragon, and there's no save, because it's supposed to be a friendly spell. You can then follow up with Doom to get the saves lowered, which gives you a chance to land something like Silence or Slay, although normally you would do it in support of your mages to help them Feeblemind, Stone, or even just Magic Missile the dragon to death.

    The Heal spell heals *everything*, including Feeblemind. Resurrect spells can also be used as Heals since they restore full health and remove status effects.

    I also like to be able to Raise Dead on party members without having to trek to a temple. Raise Dead can also literally be a life saver when you're trapped somewhere, like the Underdark.

    In BG 1, Command is great, as has been mentioned. I prefer Hold Person to Silence, because it not only stops the caster from casting, it stops the caster from doing *anything*, plus it's party friendly.

    It's also great to have high enough wisdom for two bonus second level spells, because as soon as you hit 3rd level, which happens at an accelerated rate for a single class cleric, you get three Hold Person spells, which is an enormous boost in power. Bassilus and Mulahey become pushovers if you land Hold Person. One time, I beat Bassilus by Silencing him before he could run his dialogue, which also stops his turning all the skellies hostile, but I guess that was kind of cheesy.

    semiticgoddessgorgonzolaGusinda
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    In BG1, I found a solo cleric was very, very good at going through the main campaign, and could take out Sarevok quite painlessly with use of boots of speed and a good sling, along with super-strength. I might have even dispelled his haste, I don't remember for sure. If not, I might have stacked oil of speed with boots, so my character probably aged crazy fast like that guy with the IWD short sword. :P But seriously!

    In battle, I rarely relied on my own brute force to win the day, as my solo cleric was not a great fighter early on especially, until he could reliably boost his str to 19 or better he was quite tanky but didn't hit hard or often. So, I made good use of Command of course, then Hold Person, and when I say used, I mean that was all my slots for those levels. ;) If I took damage, I was likely in trouble. I also used the wand of sleep I think? In EE, you definitely would want to use Stupifier, which could be effective for any solo battles you run up to. I'm sure I used Silence sometimes too, but rarely prepped DUHM, as I needed more offensive spells.

    Anyways, as I got 3rd level spells, things got really interesting, and I made use of Animate Dead, and boy howdy are those things good. They can get you a ton of levels vs the Basilisks iirc, along with the ghoul, and they can help clear most levels quite reliably. They are downright overpowered IMHO, and make a level 5 cleric a real powerhouse, especially since you'll likely max out Wis and use the ring of holiness. So yeah, you'll have some slots even at level 5. With the jump in level almost inevitable, you're now set to basically cake-walk the core game, but keep in mind that it's hard to open the chest for strength without a thief or wizard, and you really do want this tome I think. Also, you end up capped at level 8, so it's not like you got 6 or 7 levels like a wizard might get from level 1 vs those pesky basilisks.

    That level 8 cap is really annoying though, since Clerics get some nice picks at 5th level spells, so I think you can use some mental effects at this level maybe?? It has some handy pre-buffs, but most aren't as needed until BG2, though Freedom of Movement would be a nice buff to self-cast actually, and free up a ring slot. Holy Power might be nice, but it's hard to say you'd really NEED the buff that badly for most fights, and if you got the tome and didn't go halfling, you have higher str than it will provide. Until you get the tome I suppose it's a great pick at 4th level though, amounting to +4 or +5 to hit, and a heap to damage, as well as bonus HP. Not a bad deal!

    Make liberal use of Wand of the Heavens to get some firepower out of your cleric, and don't forget that you can actually make great use of the Necklace of Missiles to pelt groups with decent fireballs for cheap. Really, I found solo cleric very easy, and would strongly consider something odd like a halfling cleric reliant on slinging. You'd need Holy Power to take on Sarevok, but killing him with a sling is somehow extra satisfying to me, or at least it was the 2 times I did it. ;) Very David and Goliath, especially if you're a shorty.

    Grond0gorgonzolaStummvonBordwehr
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Clerics are a hugely powerful class in BG1. They do drop off substantially in the later stages of BG2, but up to then they're a strong class.
    i strongly disagree about their dropping of power in bg2, but i agree with every other ting you told.

    i have very little experience about bg, my focus is all about bg2. i find that there a party cleric can be really powerful even in the latest stages, hitting 4 times/round while dw and improved hasted, with more dmg/hit and better thac0 than a fighter that does not use the 25 str hammer, as long as the cleric buffs properly. this retaining the divine casting capability, while a mage can go mlee using tensor transformation but loosing the ability to cast and loosing thac0 and dmg compared to a same level cleric. obviously a high level mage is extremely powerful, but not for his mlee capability, that is the topic of this thread.
    I find myself often using him like a 'fighter with spells' rather than a 'priest who can fight'.

    i can give little help about playing your cleric in bg as i lack of experience, but if you import him in bg2 i suggest you some readings.
    first of all the thread in an other forum that opened my eyes about what a cleric can do in bg2, is a solo cleric, but to some extent it is also true for a party one.
    https://sorcerers.net/community/threads/a-cleric-is-having-fun.21706/
    then 2 threads opened by me in this forum, one is about aerie, so some of the things she can do a cleric can not do being not also a mage. but there is shown her capability while fighting in mlee, a cleric can do the same in bg2 earlier as gains levels faster then a multi, even if he lacks the arcane protection on himself and on his buffing that a cm can have.
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/47354/superaerie-power-tactics-for-the-c-m-spoilers
    the other one is about anomen, a f->c, but the way to buff a cleric and a f->c is the same, the only advantage the f->c has is more hp, grand mastery and apr.
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/74776/the-most-powerful-soa-fighter


    CharlestonianTemplar
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited March 2019
    I find cleric is the class where I wonder the most why I didn’t play a fighter/cleric or berserker(9)/cleric instead.

    Just hardly any downside at all to playing multi or dual, with tremendous upside.

    if someone plans to go trough all the 3 games i surely agree with you.
    even if a multi will be some levels back as spellcaster, not much in bg1 and sod, but from the point where the level progression becomes linear instead of the doubling the needed xp to level up at the begining his spell casting ability and the turn undead one will be inferior. also one of the best perks of a cleric is the spell that gives him the same thac0 of a fighter of the same level, but as a multi has already about the same thac0, slightly inferior to the one a pure class cleric properly buffed has having the same xp, i find the multi non optimal.
    less powerful when fully buffed than the dual, that has grand mastery and better thac0, but more capable for the minor battles where he has not to buff to be effective. still is a very powerful combo as he can buff his hp and str without items. and will get fighter's hla that the dual misses.
    the dual is more powerful when fully buffed, as long as his buffs are not dispelled, and if he has also the berseker rage even better. but it mean to play bg in a completely different way, as a pure fighter, and to face the down time, thing that not all the players like. dualing at lev 7 to get the 1/2 apr is also an option, less down time and fastest growth as spell caster and undead turner. when buffed he will be just as powerful as the lev 9 dual. f->c is the only combo that allows to dual earlier with little consequences in late game. a lev 9 dual need 800k xp to complete the dual, more than the sod cap level, a lev 7 dual needs only 174k xp.

    but i find this discussion very informative even if we don't consider dual or multi classes, a cleric has power on his own and can be a really fun class to play, giving a lot of utility to the party, being able to go mlee and at high level to actually kick butts in mlee.
    even if a dual or multi is more powerful than a pure class cleric power is not everything in those games, at least not for all the players. playing a pure class cleric trough the whole saga can be a lot of fun and a way to learn to use properly the clerical divine magic.

    CharlestonianTemplar
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    edited March 2019
    Hmm, well, in BG2 you will run into some brick walls known as arcane casters, but these aren't THAT common in certain quest lines, so you can do things like nab the FotA without dealing with too much arcane casting, and since you've got some options vs undead, you can take on the odd Lich better than might be expected, and for weaker undead you can use Turn Undead later game, though by then you should have other options.

    In BG2 you'd still want to stick to using Animate Dead to build up an army on any hard level, and they are really nasty when they reach their max at lvl 15 iirc. Also remember that Aerial Servants hit like a truck, so use them too. Gate can work, and if you do plan to use it a lot you can buy that amulet that gives you PfE continuously, and equip to cast. You've got the odd spell at higher levels that is good vs the undead, but really things feel a bit lack luster, and thats because compared to a Druid or Mage, they are lackluster. You get a few good HLA spells later on, so it's not done just because you've reached your 7th level spells. It'd be nice if you could nab 1 more wisdom in game without using that tome... Ah well, I got to 24 static, and that gave me a lot of spells per day. If only most weren't dreck late game, because I cast mostly Aerial Servant, Animate Dead, Deva/Elementals, and the odd pre-buff, but I was a dual with combat abilities, so I could fight better than a normal cleric.

    This brings me to a good point though, kit can matter a bit, with Lathander having a heads up I'd say over Helm, but True Sight is by no means a bad trick to have. Talos seems to be the worst, but I've heard that lots of people enjoy him plenty, and find his lightning bolt helpful. Those extra apr could be a godsend, assuming they stack with Improved Haste, because iirc, it's hard for a cleric to get past 3 apr without imp haste, maybe 2.5 without oil of speed but gauntlets, while dual wielding with limited pip spent on it, so those would be huge I think, if annoying to prep.

    Seems like dual wielding would be pretty helpful if you can cast pre-buffs to offset the disadvantages of dual wielding with only proficiency, so you won't hit much off-hand.

    Cleric makes a nice multi-class too actually, with thief being a really fun playthrough. You can handle a ton of things, but you're even worse in melee than a regular cleric, which sucks, but you can back-stab. I'd have loved to death a Cleric/Fighter/Thief multi, that would be fantastic. Naturally I'd spend most of the HLA picks on Fighter picks after UAI, but it'd be a good time, and you shouldn't be stuck with thief weapon picks, which would be nice, though you might enjoy using backstabs.

    Edit: I suppose your big gain from dualing from berserker is Rage and GM/apr? Lathander offers some apr for a pure cleric, and the Helm kit has that seeking sword fwiw (...not a ton iirc). I dunno if I'd want to miss out on Boon, but I'd hardly be eager to dual from Cleric to Fighter, I hate any non-early dual to fighter builds, as truly vanilla fighter is painfully dull to play.

    gorgonzolaCharlestonianTemplar
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    DreadKhan wrote: »
    since you've got some options vs undead, you can take on the odd Lich better than might be expected, and for weaker undead you can use Turn Undead later game, though by then you should have other options.
    if ee has not changed it you can look at the link "a cleric is having fun" i gave above.
    there you see that most of the liches are turned, so made not effective, by a lev 11 cleric and a lev 18 one makes them explode.
    even the powerful kangaxx stops to cast his imprisonment and try to run away if turned by a lev 27 cleric.
    afaik the only undeads that are immune to turning are bodhi and hexxat, that is your ally, and maybe, but i am not completely sure about it, the demi lich in wk.
    it is surprising how the turn undead is effective even if in a full party, if the xp boost of importing from sod is taken in account, a cleric imported from that game can be lev 10 so right at the start of soa is able to turn a mummy and make explode a skeleton or a ghoul.
    my aerie, multi but overleveled as i run small parties and efficient leveling strategies, usually clears the whole bodhi lair after spellhood only going invisible and walking in, than the fireworks happen, everything she meets explode but the final boss.
    the spell is almost useless imo cause at the moment a cleric is able to use it he can anyway turn most of the undeads he meets.

    CharlestonianTemplar
  • EnialusMeliamneEnialusMeliamne Member Posts: 399
    edited March 2019
    It’s hard to eclipse what has already been said so I won’t even try to add much in the way of advice, but an Oghman cleric was my first completion of the trilogy many revolutions of the sun ago. The extra lore of that modded kit was uber valuable over the long haul since my party didn’t include a bard on that run. I can’t emphasize how uber convenient that was over the course of the game.

    On an aside, if you decide to write about your characters escapades and experiences, @CharlestonianTemplar, you’ll have a faithful reader. Your writings on here were some of my favorite to read. Cheers.

    Edit: and...I see that you are writing about your toon. Time to catch up on the reading.

    CharlestonianTemplargorgonzolaGrond0
  • CharlestonianTemplarCharlestonianTemplar Member Posts: 855
    It’s hard to eclipse what has already been said so I won’t even try to add much in the way of advice, but an Oghman cleric was my first completion of the trilogy many revolutions of the sun ago. The extra lore of that modded kit was uber valuable over the long haul since my party didn’t include a bard on that run. I can’t emphasize how uber convenient that was over the course of the game.

    On an aside, if you decide to write about your characters escapades and experiences, @CharlestonianTemplar, you’ll have a faithful reader. Your writings on here were some of my favorite to read. Cheers.

    Edit: and...I see that you are writing about your toon. Time to catch up on the reading.

    Thanks friend! I appreciate your kind words.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Well, tbh, I rarely turned undead much in BG2, so I'm not really clear on how good it is; I used IWD's HoF mode to get decent at these games, and in that you did not ever bother with Turn Undead, as it always failed. That, and one time Viconia Turned Keldorn, and I was in shock, and made sure I didn't Turn anymore, maybe the bad experience soured me on it? So, it's actually decent? Could have been good to know, I was playing a cleric recently that might have used it the odd time.

    CharlestonianTemplar
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    in vanilla and with some mods like tactics mod is actually really powerful, running a small party and/or using efficient level up strategies is extremely powerful, you don't have to fight against vampires, or the undeads in the area before the unseeing eye area or the vampires and undeads in the firkraag dungeon, you just send the cleric and make them explode or in the latter case with an evil cleric use them as allies to fight in the ambush you are going to face. to have an army of vampires that level drain samia and helpers is really useful, make that battle trivial, the shadows and other stuff can be used later to deal with the defenders of the mask components. with other mods can not be so.
    i also had viconia turn keldorn in a run with a mod that avoids conflicts in the party, really amusing :).

    CharlestonianTemplarDreadKhan
  • CharlestonianTemplarCharlestonianTemplar Member Posts: 855
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    i also had viconia turn keldorn in a run with a mod that avoids conflicts in the party, really amusing :).

    Good stuff. Every few years or so, I'll play a bad guy. Thanks.

    gorgonzola
  • CharlestonianTemplarCharlestonianTemplar Member Posts: 855
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Clerics are a hugely powerful class in BG1. They do drop off substantially in the later stages of BG2, but up to then they're a strong class.
    i strongly disagree about their dropping of power in bg2, but i agree with every other ting you told.

    i have very little experience about bg, my focus is all about bg2. i find that there a party cleric can be really powerful even in the latest stages, hitting 4 times/round while dw and improved hasted, with more dmg/hit and better thac0 than a fighter that does not use the 25 str hammer, as long as the cleric buffs properly. this retaining the divine casting capability, while a mage can go mlee using tensor transformation but loosing the ability to cast and loosing thac0 and dmg compared to a same level cleric. obviously a high level mage is extremely powerful, but not for his mlee capability, that is the topic of this thread.
    I find myself often using him like a 'fighter with spells' rather than a 'priest who can fight'.


    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/74776/the-most-powerful-soa-fighter

    Great feedback. Thanks.

    gorgonzola
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