The Cleric is a powerful and versatile character in virtually every RPG that has some form of the class. It used to be associated mainly with healing, but players have taken some creative steps with the Cleric that include putting them in combat and defense rolls, and the result is another combo class that can compete with Fighters and Rogues when it comes to versatility. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous already has a reputation for a wide variety of classes as the tabletop game on which it is based, and the Cleric is one of 25 different choices players are offered.
The Clerics of the Pathfinder universe use Wisdom as their primary ability score for learning skills, and Domain selection depends on the choice of the subclass. In Wrath of the Righteous, these choices will also determine the spells, armor, and weapons a character can use. The Cleric is one of the few classes that doesn’t suffer a penalty to their casting ability because of their armor, which is why most players use them as a combination of healer and defender or damage-dealer.
There are three ways to build a Cleric in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. Players can choose a pre-generated option from the very start or wait until the Cleric companion is recruited into the party in Chapter 2. The most popular option is the third one, for the protagonist to be a Cleric, allowing the player to build the character from the ground up. The following guide includes all of the above options.
Ability Scores for Clerics
- Wisdom. Always the most important ability score for every Cleric, but the order of others will vary.
- Consitution. More hitpoints are always better, but this is more of a priority for melee fighters or combo Clerics.
- Strength. Only for melee fighters, otherwise a low-priority ability.
- Dexterity. Another ideal ability for melee fighters, but spellcasters who need better dodge abilities would also benefit from it.
- Charisma. Useful if the player wants to have a strong Persuasion modifier, but otherwise not a crucial ability score.
- Intelligence. Normally not important to a Cleric, WotR has a lot of Perception checks and it’s easier to succeed at these with a higher Intelligence ability score.
- Aasimar. The Aasamir Heritage the player chooses can give this character a boost for any build imaginable, including boosts to Wisdom, Consitution, and Strength. It’s one of the best choices available and makes a lot of RP sense when paired with the Angelic Mythic Path.
- Dhampir. A great choice for Clerics that want to wield Negative Damage, since this race has an affinity to Negative Energy and can use spells from this school to self-heal. This race might have less room for innovation later, but can shift between melee and ranged damage at any time.
- Dwarf. The classic Healer and Protector combination often starts with a hearty race like a Dwarf. They have buffs to both Constitution and Wisdom, which is a great start as long as the loss of -2 to Charisma isn’t too painful.
- Elf. Not an obvious choice, with buffs in abilities like Intelligence and Dexterity and a penalty in Constitution. However, they have some improvements to casting abilities and proficiency with distance weapons, so a creative player can make this work.
- Gnome. A minus to Strength, but that only matters for melee Fighters, and Gnomes have the scores where it counts in Consitution and Charisma. This race also has a lot of handy spell resistance and dodge bonuses, so for a build that’s intended for healers, this makes a lot of sense.
- Halfling. Dexterity and Charisma are the bonuses for this race, which isn’t promising for building a Cleric at first. However, Halflings have a lot of other handy abilities like Halfling Luck, which gives them a bonus on all saving throws. A possible build for this tace could be a damage dealer or healer that needs to be light on their feet.
- Half-Elf. Players can add +2 to any ability score when creating a Half-Elf, and this race gets the same +2 resistance to sleep spells as other Fey races, so it’s easy to add that to Wisdom and build a Cleric. Use the bonus Feat at Level 1 to further customize this character for virtually any build.
- Half-Orc. This would make for some interesting RP, and given that a Half-Orc can choose any ability score for a +2 bonus it makes even more sense. This is the ideal race to choose for players that want to build a more battle-minded Cleric focused on melee action.
- Human. The most versatile choice for any character, the +2 bonus humans get to any ability score, along with the additional Skill at every level, is a great start for any Cleric build. Humans come in a wide variety of cultures and worship many deities, so there’s almost nothing to limit the choices here.
- Kitsune. There are two choices for a Kitsune heritage, and neither of them has a positive Wisdom modifier. Like Elves, the Kitsune is a race that’s focused on Dexterity and Intelligence, so this isn’t the most viable choice unless the player has a specific ranged fighting build in the mind.
- Oread. The exact racial bonuses for this race vary depending on the player’s choice of Oread Heritage, but two of the three choices are great for Clerics. The Ironsoul Oread takes a +2 bonus to Wisdom and Consitution and access to a spell that includes melee weapon damage. Regular Oreads get a +2 to Wisdom and Strength and the Stone Fist spell.
- Tiefling. What’s a religion to some is ancestor worship to others, so a Tiefling Cleric of the Evil persuasion might just be serving a familiar ancestor. It doesn’t seem intuitive at first, but there are several Tielfing Heritage options to choose from that offer both Wisdom and Consitution bonuses, so this is a decent choice.
Pre-Made Character Cleric Builds
Sordara, A Pregenerated Cleric
There are several choices of pre-generated characters that represent several classes, and the Cleric on the list is an Oread by the name of Sordara. Even if a player intends to develop their Cleric, these character information pages are handy to use as a reference as to one possible build when it comes to basic ability scores and how the choice of Domain affects other parts of the build.
An Oread is a nice choice for a Cleric because of their Wisdom and Consitution buff, but this depends on what racial background the character chooses. In this case, however, Sordara is primarily a spellcaster and needs a higher Wisdom for a better selection of spells.
Sosiel, An In-Game Companion
Sosiel joins the protagonist after they are appointed as the Commander of the Crusaders. His diety is Shelyn, a god of aesthetic beauty, and as the rules of Pathfinder dictate, he carries a Glaive thanks to his choice of diety.
A high Consitution means he can take some hits, but his catalog of healing spells is extensive. For a player that’s interested in a Cleric that can act as the party’s support in virtually any role, Sosiel is one example of a Cleric that can do a bit of everything.
Domain and Diety Selection
There are 33 possible Domains available to Clerics in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, along with 22 deities that offer a variety of weapon proficiencies. The possibilities to mix and match are impressive, making this an exciting part of any Cleric build. Alignment is related to the ability to channel either Positive or Negative energy, which determines whether a Cleric casts spells that heal or spells that harm.
The choice of diety and Domain are often related, and some are more obvious than others. For example, Clerics that are melee damage-dealers would choose the War Domain, which scales damage to the character’s Wisdom score and worship the god Torag to get a Warhammer proficiency.
The Best Cleric Builds
This Cleric is focused on healing, but they are just as effective outside the battlefield or deep in the fray thanks to having a better AC than other healing classes. This is one possibility for those that are allowing following the Angel or Aeon Mythic Path.
Avoiding engaging in melee combat is the priority for this type of Cleric. Their priority is healing, buffing, and crowd control, which is better done from the sidelines. Dexterity will be the priority stat for this class after Wisdom and Constitution and their armor will be light to medium.
This is a defensive role that a Paladin or Fighter might take, but with an emphasis on handling the enemies in a fight as opposed to just drawing their aggression. A diety with a heavy melee weapon is preferable to one that favors daggers or bows, meanwhile spells like Sleep or Hold can be used for crowd control.
Constitution is as important as Wisdom here, so an Oread or a Dwarf is a good start for this build since they are the only classes that have a racial bonus for both. The Protection Domain is the most obvious and best choice for this Cleric, and players can use it for themselves and their party.
Here’s a Cleric that can deal as much damage as healing, plus they have a melee weapon in case the defender needs some support. Make sure they have a high Constitution and a heavy armor proficiency so they can take as much damage as they give.
Choose a diety with a two-handed sword proficiency and prioritize protection spells. For those that want a hack and slash Cleric that fights on the front line, this is the ideal build.
The polar opposite of the Angelic Healer, this is a likely class to move on to a Mythic Path with a more sinister background, like the Lich. Players can also choose the path of Negative Damage along with an evil deity, provided their moral alignment allows, and wield spells that hurt living creatures as opposed to healing them. These abilities make this Cleric a nasty foe with both melee weapons and spell damage.