Saturday, December 25, 2010

[Build] The Battle Cleric

So, a few takes, some rambling, and passing time into Christmas morning has turned what was originally going to be a blog post, into a video.

I've mentioned my Battle Cleric before, I did say I would break her down and share my thoughts about builds and other things, so here ya go. I don't ramble too much, I'd say it's about 1/3rd of it all. But then, that's just my opinion.

Just some notes;

1: Feel free to minimize it, the video is largely irrelevant. Youtube turned pretty mediocre vid quality into very awful vid quality. But there's nothing to see. It's just the same stats looped while I talk.

2: Video quality is awful. CB1 I could run on high/ultra and keep it that way, CB2, high/ultra became unstable for me which is why I took out all the shiny things and the game looks like poop (running around the world though, I learned it's actually decent). It's why I didn't bother frapsing anything, except for mousing over her stats because I figured it'd be useful at some point. Well hey, it's useful now!

New vid cards in the new year will take care of that for future events and vids of whatever.

3: There are two Shaman abilities I don't really talk about. The first being the dot they get pretty early on, because I ended up taking it off my bar. I'd rather not spend the GCD when I could use the instant (which does less damage, but it's rather insignificant) and refresh the cooldown on Massive Blow, which would mean even more burst.

The second is a reactive that comes up when you're blocked/dodged/parried. I didn't talk about it, only because I rarely ever think about it. I just see the block/dodge/parry and hit it and move on. Useful skill, good to have, good to use, I just didn't bother mentioning it.

That's about it.

Merry Christmas!

In text:

Essentially, the Battle Cleric I went with in CB2 is 20 Shaman/0 Warden/0 Sentinel.

Some of the key abilities of this build are;

0pt Warden: Heal over Time with no cd, and 12s duration.
0pt Sentinel: Instant heal with an 8s cd.

Shamans can heal when crit, it is on a 6s cd. If you're fighting melee DPS, it's almost always up.

Shamans also get a shield at level 10.  It worked out to be anywhere from 20-40% of my hp at any given time depending on buffs. It's a fixed value, but the fixed value of new ranks was pretty awesome (towards the 30-40% area) while coming down as I leveled up into and past that rank (the 20-30% area).

Shamans get charge at 26. It can't be used in combat like the Champion charge (Bull Rush) can, but it's on a 15s cd, and basically allows you to lock down a target once you get the jump on them... main reason being... Shamans get a 1h buff that snares by 50% for 6s every time they hit something.

Mana is also not really an issue. There is a 30s buff on a 2m cd that returns mana to the Shaman when they hit stuff. I tried to see if using my AoE returned more mana... the jury is still out on that one. Partially because the AoE costs a bit more mana. Then again, a 2nd hit should have made up for the cost. Some fights it seemed like it worked that way, other times, it was debatable.

As far as attacks go, it's actually quite simple.

There are really only two.

0pt Shaman attack, Thunderous Slam.
Early on in the Shaman root, Massive Blow.

Massive Blow is your big hit, it's on a 15s cd and at 
18pts into the branch, you can give Thunderous Slam a 30% chance to refresh the cd on Massive Blow.

I found that mechanic much better than the execute ability that Champions get, because it's almost always up (while being low enough to not be up every swing, or sometimes for 3 or 4 swings), and has no hp% requirement. Massive Blow can be used all the time. Execute on the Champ wasn't quite always there for me as much, because if you have one or two attack points at the time, it's kind of a waste since you then have to wait for the GCDs to give you 3 AP to maximize the use of the skill. In PvP you aren't always standing in the same spot for more than 2 or 3 seconds at a time, so that window of opportunity to use the Champion's execute could easily just vanish if you're CC'd/target gets distance/etc.

Not so with Massive Blow.

There are various builds for Battle Clerics.

20 Justicar is a more tanky variation. They carry a shield, they can heal on hit, they can also increase their block value by a certain amount of their spell power. Spell power from WIS affects the Warden, Sentinel and Shaman heal also.  I really like the fact that stats are made to be pertinent, and players really only have to worry about, at most, 3 stats. Generally 2; the one they use to do their job, and their HP. 

Another variation is 0 Druid for the pet. The pet casts a hot on the owner, and damages enemies, but everything requires a cast time. Dueling another Battle Cleric, I saw much more success with killing the pet first. The 0pt pets have a level cap in the early to mid 20s (if I'm not mistaken), which will make them useless in end game despite how useful they are now. Which is why I don't really see all the fuss people raised a while ago. Then again, things could go differently.

Mages are also pretty beast. I dueled one who shut me down repeatedly, since I spent about 60% of the fight running away from him. Shamans are very susceptible to CC. I believe he was Dominator or Stormcaller, since those are the CC souls.  The damage buffer before CC breaks is useful, since it makes CC noticable, without being locked out of your character for extended periods of time over and over. I could get to him, I could hurt him, but he'd just send me away, finishing duels at about 20-40% of his hp.

Battle Clerics aren't that OP, which is a part of the beauty of the system. For every build out there, there is a counter available. Watching a Battle Cleric walk into a rift or invasion and tank a bunch of mobs is all well and good, but mobs don't CC, they don't debuff healing, they don't do the things that shut down a Battle Cleric, which players can do with their builds.

Side note, Prifier is useless to Shaman based Battle Clerics. The 0 pt Purifier shield is on the same cd as the 10pt Shaman shield. So it's worth sticking it out to level 10, picking up Warden or Sentinel instead.

Shaman/Justicar was fairly mediocre in CB1. But could be made better with Druid as 3rd or Warden/Sentinel. Were I to redo my build from CB1, I'd have gone Justicar/Sentinel/Purifier. Basically, heals on hit, a hot, and a shield to protect it. Then again, some people from CB1 went Shaman/Justicar and really liked it. But, that's another beauty of the system. What works for me might not work for someone else, what works for someone else might not work for me.

Extra points for CB3 is going to be great, since again, Shamans get charge at 26. As well as whatever else can increase survivability in the Sent/Ward trees.

I then talk about my On Souls blog entry for a bit and the various counters available, as well as mentioning that I will be leveling a Rogue to 20 in CB3 as a result of Corwynn's challenge to do so. While the 40% hp increase to every mob suggestion was slightly tongue in cheek, it is rooted in truth because I did find things a little too easy on my Battle Cleric, hence the challenge. Hopefully Trion buffs the PvE content regardless, since that thread proved that no one really disagrees that the game is really easy. It's just how far from the mark Rift hits where you get different opinions.

That's about it.

Thank you.
Merry Christmas.
Have a bottle on the house.
Take good care.



  1. Great post. I played a mage in CB1, and a Sent/Warden/Cabalist in CB2. I'm looking forward to trying a melee cleric this time around, so I appreciate the info.

  2. I posted this on the Rift forum, but not sure if you'll read it. Just confirming that the shaman's mana regen does regen more if you hit more than one mob with AoE abilities. In IT there were a couple situations where I'd regen from near OOM to max in 4 or 5 swings using an AoE ability.

  3. Babbadi - BriarcliffJanuary 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I leveled as a Druid/Shaman/Justicar in betas 3&4 and found that i could not possibly die and produced enough damage that killing mobs did not take any longer than a shaman build.

    I used the druid as the main focus of skill points, used shaman for increased crit/damage points (up to 15), and the justicar for 10 points to get the 2 doctorine heals and mein of honor to increase their effectiveness by 50%. The Justicar also increased damage by 10 % using a hammer/mace which includes 2h weapons.

    By level 20 i had my build like this:,2_3113,1_3114,4_3115,2_3117,5_&soul2=36&soul2_talants=3616,2_&soul3=33&soul3_talants=3314,1_3315,3_3316,1_3317,5_&lang=eng

    Reasoning behind the druid is pet heals are increased heals and the second ranged cast. Based on what you had to say i will have to check out investing more points into the shmmy.

    I was thinking a final build like this:,2_3113,1_3114,4_3115,2_3117,5_&soul2=36&soul2_talants=3616,2_&soul3=33&soul3_talants=3314,1_3315,3_3316,1_3317,5_&lang=eng

    But who really knows, alot could change before release and i have yet to try out a casting cleric also.

    Thanks for the vid. great ideas!

  4. The Druid was my own very pleasant surprise during CB4. I thought Shamans were pretty sweet, which they are, but Druids are also pretty damned wicked. They kite better, they sustain better, and their damage is somewhat comparable... the Shaman wins out with the simple 1-2 combo they have, but the 3-6 odd Druid attacks that get shuffled together into a progressive rotation, applies buffs and debuffs and just aids their sustainability over all.

    I personally took Templar and Warden to sorta boost that even further, but the more offensive way certainly seems to do well with having 10 pts in Shaman, even if the shield is useless. It does have the benefit of returning damage, and that alone makes it using as the main shield, but I was quite comfortable with the Druid shield which also absorbed a bit more damage.

    The one downside I see to having Druid mixed with Shaman for the crit/damage bonuses, is the loss of Waterjet from the Warden soul. That combined with Bombard, macroed into the same key, means you're snaring every 6 seconds, and applying ranged damage that is regularly in the triple digits with every GCD.

    I will admit I never jived too well with having 6pts into Justicar for their intsant heal, something about it just threw off my rhythm. Then again, I figure I'm just not used to watching convictions.

    If convictions showed up like combo points (same for things like a Void Knight's pacts) with some bar/radial/etc representation of how much of that resource is applied, I think I'd enjoy playing both of those souls much better.

    I certainly keep an eye on buffs, just not to the point where I'm monitoring stacks every few GCDs, all the time, in as small of a place as a buff icon.

    Ah well, I'll get used to it I'm sure, because it adds a lot of potency to the build, especially if one wished to make use of a few 1h/shield talents for dealing with certain Warriors, Rogues and other Battle Clerics.

    I had a lot of fun testing builds over CB4. Even played Inquisitor some (I kinda suck with casters, have always thrived as mdps).

    Anyway, yeah, fun stuff, possibilities all over.

    Thank you for commenting. :D