Last Updated on January 22, 2023
So, I’ve never played a Cleric before, what should I take?
Since you’ve never played a cleric, or rather an Aasimar cleric, let’s break this down and cover as much as we can so that you know what subrace, domain, feats, and even some multiclass options you should consider as an Aasimar Cleric.
Optimization depends obviously on whichever domain you decide to take, whether it be war, life, light, grave, death, or some of the others; the choice is yours for which you’d rather take.
This guide will break down which domains might be better than others as an Aasimar because that is likely why you’re really here. Now let’s get into it.
Why an Aasimar Cleric?
For an Aasimar Cleric, the default racial stat bonus is charisma, which isn’t the most optimal for a cleric, but they have many other features that far outweigh having the wrong main stat for a cleric.
Aside from this minor deficit, Aasimar provides so many more benefits to nearly any cleric. In saying that, you have three subraces to choose (assuming you’re using Volo’s version of the Aasimar race).
Scourge, Fallen and Protector are the three subraces to choose from here.
Protector is the most viable option, in my opinion, for the simple fact that at level 3 you can use your bonus action to grant yourself 30 feet of flying for 10 combat rounds, which is extremely potent early on.
With one round of set up, you can be casting your divine spells from above.
Fallen is another option for those evil clerics out there. The unfortunate thing is that Necrotic shroud scales off of Charisma and not Wisdom, so unless you have high starting Charisma, I’d avoid this option.
Below are Volo’s Aasimar race stats along with the Protector subrace. Feel free to search up Fallen and Scourge for yourself.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
- Age. Aasimar mature at the same rate as humans, but they can live up to 160 years.
- Size. Aasimar have the same range of height and weight as humans. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision. Blessed with a radiant soul, your vision can easily cut through darkness. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
- Celestial Resistance. You have resistance to necrotic damage and radiant damage.
- Healing Hands. As an action, you can touch a creature and cause it to regain a number of hit points equal to your level. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
- Light Bearer. You know the Light cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.
Source: Volo’s Guide to Monsters
- Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
- Radiant Soul. Starting at 3rd level, you can use your action to unleash the divine energy within yourself, causing your eyes to glimmer and two luminous, incorporeal wings to sprout from your back.
- Your transformation lasts for 1 minute or until you end it as a bonus action. During it, you have a flying speed of 30 feet, and once on each of your turns, you can deal extra radiant damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell. The extra radiant damage equals your level.
- Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
In addition to the benefits of Protector, the base Aasimar race has celestial resistance that grants you resistance to necrotic and radiant damage, which is extremely valuable as a cleric or even an evil cleric if you so wish to be one.
Healing hands is also quite good as it saves you from having to burn a spell slot to cast a low-level healing spell on yourself or someone else.
Now let’s dive into the class part of this guide.
It’s Domain Time
Now I know you’re likely looking for the most viable and best option for a domain – one where you can get those big dps rolls or healing rolls.
Well, unfortunately, there is no “best” option for Aasimar Cleric; however, there are several viable options. In fact, almost all of the domains can be good options for you, which makes building an Aasimar cleric so good.
Depending on your domain choice, if you’re seeking a more melee-oriented build, pick the War domain for guided strike, war god’s blessing, and let’s not forget divine strike.
All are very good benefits of the War cleric. It’s a more melee-oriented domain – if that’s what you’re looking for, you should definitely consider it.
Tempest and Order would be my two other recommendations for offensive clerics.
Order domain allows you to deal bonus psychic damage on melee attacks, which sounds cool, but psychic damage isn’t a resistance many monsters have, so it’s a very good damage type to have.
Tempest domain is another very good option if you like dealing lightning and thunder damage.
I’ve heard of a lot of clerics taking this domain and combining it with Polearm Master and Sentinel so they can maximize their combat efficiency and literally trap their opponents.
If you’re looking for a more supportive playstyle, then consider the Life domain. Many will say it’s boring, but if you pair it with the healing feat, it can output the most healing in DnD 5e, at least that I’ve seen.
It would be hard for your party to hate you as the healer, plus you can take some offensive spells if you so wished to.
A more tactical domain would be Trickery. It plays a unique role and has very strong domain spells. You can get your party or yourself out of some pretty tricky situations as they have a lot of utility to offer.
I’ve Picked My Domain – Now Do I Take Feats?
You’ve made it this far, and you’ve hopefully picked a domain. Regardless of what domain you chose, there are some extremely powerful feats that almost every Cleric should take.
First up on my recommendations list will not shock you: War Caster.
Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell
You have practiced casting spells in the midst of combat, learning techniques that grant you the following benefits:
- You have advantage on Constitution saving throws that you make to maintain your concentration on a spell when you take damage.
- You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.
- When a hostile creature’s movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, rather than making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.
Source: Player’s Handbook
This feat shouldn’t need any explanation.
With the option to use spells for attacks of opportunity, advantage on concentration saving throws, and even the ability to have your shield in hand when you cast spells, it’s a must-have no matter your domain.
Next up is Resilient.
Choose one ability score. You gain the following benefits:
- Increase the chosen ability score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- You gain proficiency in saving throws using the chosen ability.
Source: Player’s Handbook
Pick a stat you’re low in, add a +1 to it, and become proficient in saving throws. So simple and so powerful.
As a Cleric, I recommend you boost your constitution and become proficiency in saving throws for it as Con saves are EXTREMELY common in DnD 5e. It also pairs very well with War Caster if you take that one as well.
Last up on the top 3 feats is Observant.
Quick to notice details of your environment, you gain the following benefits:
- Increase your Intelligence or Wisdom score by 1 to a maximum of 20.
- If you can see a creature’s mouth while it is speaking a language you understand, you can interpret what it’s saying by reading its lips.
- You have a +5 bonus to your passive Wisdom (Perception) and passive Intelligence (Investigation) scores.
Source: Player’s Handbook
An extremely good feat. The +1 to wisdom helps any cleric greatly, and the bonus to perception and investigation is extremely good.
If you’re already proficient with perception, then the +5 from this feat and the +6 proficiency bonus by level 17 grants you an additional +11 to Perception as a base.
That doesn’t even include your own Wisdom score. Nothing will get by you.
These feats are some of my recommendations as a cleric player. I’ve seen many other feats taken and provide great benefits to the player.
Be sure to do your research, but by all means, don’t ignore these feats; they provide many benefits to any cleric.
Do I Multiclass?
Clerics are extremely versatile, and there are many multiclass options, which depend on your domain, for this build.
I’ll list some of the most popular options for each domain below, but remember, this is not something you have to do.
Max-level clerics do just fine on their own as by level 20 you get guaranteed Divine Intervention, which can literally be almost anything you want – at your DM’s discretion of course.
- Arcana Domain/ Paladin – Lay on Hands, Divine Sense, Fighting Style, Smites
- Death Domain/ Necromancy Wizard – Martial Melee attacks, Grim Harvest, more necromancy cantrips
- Forge Domain/ Battle Master Fighter – High AC (Over 20 easily), Action Surge, Battle Master Maneuvers
- Scout/ Assassin Rogue/ Grave Domain – Massive damage with assassin rogue, ability to weaken enemies and allow allies to deal increased damage to them.
- Knowledge Domain/ Divination Wizard – Literally know everything, call on the gods for help or knowledge
- Life Domain/ Druid – Access to an animal form if you level high enough, more healing spells, Goodberry spell early on allows for high early healing
- Light Cleric/ Paladin or Sun Soul Monk – Increased proficiencies with Paladin and access to smites, Burning hands with Sun Soul monk, and the use of both Dex and Wisdom for AC if you level high enough
- Nature Cleric/ Celestial Warlock or Warlock – Offensive spells, and the ability to speak to all animals with beast speech. Channel Divinity: Charm animals is very strong with this build.
- Order Domain/ Battle Master Fighter – Voice of authority with Commander’s strike is very potent. As stated above, this domain is very good by itself or paired with this subclass.
- Peace Domain/ Alchemist Artificer – Bless, Potions, Bond, and your allies get an extra 3d4 to a lot of rolls. Big bonus.
- Tempest Domain/ Paladin – At higher levels you become a flying divine smiter and deal lightning damage all over the battlefield. Very Fun.
- Trickery Domain/ Shadow Sorcerer, Illusionist Wizard, Shadow Monk – All viable and very deceptive multiclass options. Some of them are self-explanatory. You can literally go undetected with some of these options if you play them right.
- Twilight Domain/ Dreams Druid or Scout Rogue – Twilight domain grants some insane movement speed options, which both the scout rogue and dreams druid benefit highly from. Enjoy being a flying beast or a rogue that can run as fast as the flash himself.
- War Domain/ Oath of Conquest Paladin – It’s smiting time again, but this is one of the best Cleric Domains for it. War Clerics can make an additional attack as a bonus action. Get Extra Attack and an aura from the Paladin levels, and you’ll be set. The theme is strong as well.
With those just being some of the options you can take as a cleric, do your research and consider all of them. It depends on which type of Aasimar cleric you want to be and what the campaign setting is.
Clerics are highly versatile in terms of feats available, multiclass options, and spells.
Make sure you pick what’s right for your character and your campaign. This whole guide is purely based on recommendation, and it’s optional. Remember, it’s your choice!
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Rich is an avid D&D player and DM. He has been playing since the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd editions. He has run campaigns of various editions with family and friends for over 20 years. Playing DnD 5th Edition in person at local game stores and online with VTT’s over the past 10 years has provided a consistent connection to how the game has grown. He strongly believes in understanding the source material, but catering the games to your individual players. Feel free to ask anything in the comments or drop him an email: [email protected].