A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #181
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Jun 2020

    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderous Mojo View Post
    This is a list of spells, that fellow Playgrounder, dark.revenant, posted on a discord chat regarding this topic:

    Conjure Celestial
    Etherealness
    Heroes’ Feast
    Control Undead
    Create Weather
    Mass Heal

    Fellow Playgrounder, Eladriel, has developed numerous strategies on how to derive some incredible value from a Coautl summoned with Conjure Celestial.

    Gate can be such an awesome control spell, especially if someone in the party has excellent Grappling skills. Just a few weeks ago, a Cubic Gate owned by my spouse’s Sorcerer, set up the win condition against Grazz’t and 5 Death Knights.

    My Psi Warrior shoved Grazz’t and a Death Knight through a portal. Leaving two Death Knight remaining, (one other Death Knight had been slain).

    Without Gate, the party was going to die, with Gate..we told a Demon a lord to get his Patchouli stink out of our local dimension. Legendary Resistance holds no sway over a Shove attack.

    It strikes me as unreasonable to declare that any spell that is not Wish or Simulacrum is lackluster. That is akin to declaring that any automobile that is not a super car is a janky, piece of 💩. (🃏).

    Of course, it is almost nigh impossible to change people’s earnest feelings.
    All, I ask, is for people to consider that all the options a cleric has available to them, can allow for some fairly spectacular combos, without having to resort to Wish/Simulacrum shenanigans.
    Your point that just because a spell isn't Wish, Simulacrum, etc doesn't mean it's bad is well taken. I do think 5e would benefit greatly from not having a few overpowered spells at most levels. Further, most of those spells are on the Wizard list, which by default means that Bards can get them. And sorcerers list mostly overlaps with wizard. Comparisons are going to be natural.

    At the same time Clerics need options that aren't niche, don't require a material cost, and are broadly better than upcasting lower level spells to incentivize not multi-classing. Do they have them? Based on your examples and my own with Divine Word... probably.

  2. - Top - End - #182
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Mar 2022

    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderous Mojo View Post
    Without Gate, the party was going to die. With access to the Gate spell, the party told a Demon Lord to get their Patchouli stink out of our local dimension. Legendary Resistance holds no sway over a Shove attack.
    Repelling Blast and other similar things are forever top tier in my mind for this reason exactly.
    Time to Chill Out - 5e base class contest

    Hold My Ale! Current subclass contest!




  3. - Top - End - #183
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Oct 2020

    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5eNeedsDarksun View Post
    At the same time Clerics need options that aren't niche, don't require a material cost, and are broadly better than upcasting lower level spells to incentivize not multi-classing. Do they have them? Based on your examples and my own with Divine Word... probably.
    I do agree with the sentiment that the Cleric Spell list could use some supplemental options. Korvin Starmast once suggested that Foresight should be on the Cleric Spell list, and I agree Foresight fits the Clerical Archetype.

    My own assessment is the 8th and 9th level options could use some more options.

    Bestow Curse, is a spell that seems to bristle with potential.
    The Player and DM get to decide what a 9th level Custom Curse does, and that is just plain fun in my book.

    To add ahistorical touch point that seems thematically relevant.
    When Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templars,
    was burned at the stake, Jacques de Molay, reputedly, cursed Pope Clement and King Philip of France, whom he deemed culpable for his death and the destruction of the Templar Order.

    Both the King and the Pope, died within the year.
    It was commonly accepted, the curse worked.

    Bestow Curse, is like a Build a Bear store, but for curses.
    Last edited by Thunderous Mojo; 2023-01-05 at 12:00 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #184
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderous Mojo View Post
    I do agree with the sentiment that the Cleric Spell list could use some supplemental options. Korvin Starmast once suggested that Foresight should be on the Cleric Spell list, and I agree Foresight fits the Clerical Archetype.

    My own assessment is the 8th and 9th level options could use some more options.

    Bestow Curse, is a spell that seems to bristle with potential.
    The Player and DM get to decide what a 9th level Custom Curse does, and that is just plain fun in my book.

    To add ahistorical touch point that seems thematically relevant.
    When Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templars,
    was burned at the stake, Jacques de Molay, reputedly, cursed Pope Clement and King Philip of France, whom he deemed culpable for his death and the destruction of the Templar Order.

    Both the King and the Pope, died within the year.
    It was commonly accepted, the curse worked.

    Bestow Curse, is like a Build a Bear store, but for curses.
    This is a pertinent thread for me as I currently have a tier 2 Death Cleric (with magical armor not made of metal) and the plan was to stay single classed. I was checking out the level 6 spells last night and trying to figure out what would be good enough to be used more often than upcasting something else.. say Spirit Guardians. Heal is probably my top choice, but it would be hard to commit to praying for multiple level 6 spells on a regular adventuring day.

  5. - Top - End - #185
    Titan in the Playground
     
    J-H's Avatar

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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    It's a bit off-theme for a Death cleric, but Sunbeam gives you a 6d8 radiant + blind, Con save for half, 5'x60' beam that you can fire once per round for up to a minute. You can keep Spiritual Weapon running with your bonus action at the same time, or do something else for a round and then go back to lasering the enemy. I think it's one of the better 6th level options.

  6. - Top - End - #186
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5eNeedsDarksun View Post
    This is a pertinent thread for me as I currently have a tier 2 Death Cleric (with magical armor not made of metal) and the plan was to stay single classed. I was checking out the level 6 spells last night and trying to figure out what would be good enough to be used more often than upcasting something else.. say Spirit Guardians. Heal is probably my top choice, but it would be hard to commit to praying for multiple level 6 spells on a regular adventuring day.
    That last point is worth highlighting. There is a "softness" in the 6th level spell list, as I can easily imagine preparing 2 or 3 6th level spells and would probably end up burning the slot with an upcast spell.

    These 6th level spells are situationally strong, but the situations where they really matter are not a given. Heal would be the most commonly used because frontliners going toe to tow with something nasty happens a lot, yet throwing that much healing at one PC may or may not extend the adventuring day. Planar Ally has potential to be campaign changing, but it is effectively a Mother May I spell -- great if it fits into how your DM wants to work with your party, expensive and annoying otherwise.

    Multiclassing looks attractive because it can alleviate spell selection pressure while still providing that 6th level slot for upcasting. It is very nice to have the space on your prep list to have both Divination and Commune, to cast as rituals.

  7. - Top - End - #187
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    It's a bit off-theme for a Death cleric, but Sunbeam gives you a 6d8 radiant + blind, Con save for half, 5'x60' beam that you can fire once per round for up to a minute. You can keep Spiritual Weapon running with your bonus action at the same time, or do something else for a round and then go back to lasering the enemy. I think it's one of the better 6th level options.
    It is a good option, obviously. The counterargument is since most enemies are stronger in a melee fight than a ranged fight against PCs, you expect to see most enemies rush the party. Upcast Spirit Guardians gives the same damage while being more likely to get multiple enemies round after round.

    If your Cleric urgently needs to dish damage at range, Sunbeam is one of the better options.

    OTOH, if the number of problematic enemies is small, singly or doubly upcast Banish might be even better.

  8. - Top - End - #188
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5eNeedsDarksun View Post
    This is a pertinent thread for me as I currently have a tier 2 Death Cleric (with magical armor not made of metal) and the plan was to stay single classed. I was checking out the level 6 spells last night and trying to figure out what would be good enough to be used more often than upcasting something else.. say Spirit Guardians. Heal is probably my top choice, but it would be hard to commit to praying for multiple level 6 spells on a regular adventuring day.
    Death clerics do well to stay single-classed. You don’t have quite the same mojo in Tier 3, since your new spells are mostly buffs and healing, and concentration gets harder to maintain against high CR creatures, but your Touch of Death Channel Divinity damage keeps progressing at about the same rate as Sneak Attack, so you’re getting more than most clerics from your progression. Twinning Toll the Dead with Reaper, is also solid, although that will work even if you multi-class.

    When I played a Death Domain cleric in tier 3 I spent about 2/3 of my time doing generic cleric stuff and periodically lashing out for 70 necrotic damage in a single strike with an upcast Inflict Wounds. That was a lower ratio than in tier 2 (more like 60/40 offense to support) but I still felt like I was good at the same stuff as lower levels.

  9. - Top - End - #189
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Thanks for the responses and ideas around Death Cleric and 6th level spells.
    Sunbeam doesn't look bad; when compared to Spirit Guardians (like a lot of things) it just isn't going to look good very often. Both duration and having your action free are significant advantages to SG.
    On Death Clerics scaling better, yes Touch of Death is worth another 12 points of damage/ day/ Cleric level assuming 2 short rests (and not using CD for turning). That's definitely weighing into my desire to make a single class work. This 'quazi-smite' damage, by the way, is really good. Just pasting damage, with no impact to the action economy, to things you're going to do already (usually Spiritual Weapon) is great. I know there was a thread on here a while ago where someone calculated the damage for a Touch of Death alone, and it was more than a Paly using every spell slot for (non-crit) smites. At 6th level (assuming 6 uses) that's 102 points per day.
    Planar Ally is definitely worth a look; we're not flush with gp, so I'd probably have to save it for special occasions. Maybe not an every day spell, but one I could see busting out occasionally, which I think is how it's designed anyway.

  10. - Top - End - #190
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Nov 2018

    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5eNeedsDarksun View Post
    Thanks for the responses and ideas around Death Cleric and 6th level spells.
    Sunbeam doesn't look bad; when compared to Spirit Guardians (like a lot of things) it just isn't going to look good very often. Both duration and having your action free are significant advantages to SG.
    On Death Clerics scaling better, yes Touch of Death is worth another 12 points of damage/ day/ Cleric level assuming 2 short rests (and not using CD for turning). That's definitely weighing into my desire to make a single class work. This 'quazi-smite' damage, by the way, is really good. Just pasting damage, with no impact to the action economy, to things you're going to do already (usually Spiritual Weapon) is great. I know there was a thread on here a while ago where someone calculated the damage for a Touch of Death alone, and it was more than a Paly using every spell slot for (non-crit) smites. At 6th level (assuming 6 uses) that's 102 points per day.
    Planar Ally is definitely worth a look; we're not flush with gp, so I'd probably have to save it for special occasions. Maybe not an every day spell, but one I could see busting out occasionally, which I think is how it's designed anyway.
    The key with Touch of Death is that it’s burst damage, which makes it very handy for taking out opposing spellcasters or at least breaking their concentration.

    Planar Ally is very DM dependent. Last time I played with a DM who let us use it the party ended up building multiple orphanages to pay off their debt to the celestial in question, and playing out the negotiations was a ton of fun.

  11. - Top - End - #191
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuras View Post
    The key with Touch of Death is that it’s burst damage, which makes it very handy for taking out opposing spellcasters or at least breaking their concentration.

    Planar Ally is very DM dependent. Last time I played with a DM who let us use it the party ended up building multiple orphanages to pay off their debt to the celestial in question, and playing out the negotiations was a ton of fun.
    I'm trying to figure out if it's worth it to get Thorn Whip on this character, and if so, how? Because Thorn Whip is a Melee Attack it works with ToD. Added benefit is the pull effect works great with Spirit Guardians, likely resulting in a double dip of damage in 1 round. Also, at least a couple of the ways I could get this, Magic Initiate and 1 level of Druid, also get me Absorb Elements. There's also Spell Sniper, but no AE with that one.

  12. - Top - End - #192
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Do clerics get lackluster after tier 2?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5eNeedsDarksun View Post
    I'm trying to figure out if it's worth it to get Thorn Whip on this character, and if so, how? Because Thorn Whip is a Melee Attack it works with ToD. Added benefit is the pull effect works great with Spirit Guardians, likely resulting in a double dip of damage in 1 round. Also, at least a couple of the ways I could get this, Magic Initiate and 1 level of Druid, also get me Absorb Elements. There's also Spell Sniper, but no AE with that one.
    I used Spell Sniper myself. Absorb Elements would be nice, but I ended up wanting the range improvement more. With Thorn Whip at 60’ range you can actually do a single turn alpha strike at range 60’ since you can hit the same target with a Thorn Whip + ToD and a Spiritual Weapon + ToD. It would be even better if you could exceed counterspell range, but since you only use ToD if you hit, opposing casters either waste their counter on a cantrip or eat 40 damage.

    The additional range and avoiding cover also helps if you’re using Chill Touch instead of or in addition to Toll the Dead, as it brings your range to 240’. That’s not longbow Sharpshooter level range, but it covers any practical size battle map and gets you multiple shots at a rapidly approaching dragon before it arrives.

    The only annoying bit with Spell Sniper is that RAW it doesn’t work with Spiritual Weapon.
    Last edited by Zuras; 2023-01-05 at 11:04 PM.

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