Last Updated on January 22, 2023
What Is a Tempest Domain Cleric?
Clerics who devote themselves to gods of the Tempest Domain worship the virulent fury of the storms, sea, and sky. Wrath and power define the bounds of this domain. Much like the quick judgment of a bolt of lightning, these clerics and their gods believe in decisive actions and physical strength.
In this article, we’ll be diving into just how the actual abilities of this class reinforce these basic ideals and how you can build the best Tempest cleric for your next campaign. From choosing a race to deciding on feats, we’ve got you covered, so let’s jump in.
Gods of the Tempest Domain
Choosing a god is an important way to tie yourself to the world you’re about to explore. Below are some established tempest domain deities that can further guide you in your roleplay.
This Faerûnian greater deity has dominion over storms and destruction. Also known as the Storm Lord, Talos instructs his followers to spread destruction throughout the world and to swear utter subservience to him.
This Chaotic Evil deity represents the pure violence of nature, and his followers believe that reflecting nature is a worthy goal. Many of his worshippers are just marauders and raiders, but some truly believe that they are achieving a higher calling through their actions.
Depicted as a powerful triton woman or as a menacing representation of the sea, Umberlee is a Chaotic Evil goddess of the sea. Most of her worshippers do so not out of any aspiration but rather out of fear.
For this reason, many sailors or pirates may carry idols or wish to employ a cleric of Umberlee so as to garner protection from the fury of the sea herself.
In the Greyhawk setting, Kord is an intermediate deity of athletics, sports, strength, and courage. His connection to the storm is much more focused on the raw power of nature rather than the inherent violence.
An interloper deity in many D&D settings, you’re probably familiar with Zeus of the Greek pantheon. His domain stretches over far more than storms, but he is most commonly known for his iconic lightning bolt with which he delivers swift judgment to those who would question him.
In general, gods associated with any aspect of nature’s virulent side could be seen as Tempest Domain patrons. While thunderstorms and the sea are a natural fit, other natural phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes could also be appropriate.
Much like Kord, any gods with enough strength and ferocity might be stormlike, and thus an excellent candidate for a Tempest deity.
Class Defining Abilities
- Incredibly Brutal Spell List
- Martial Weapons and Heavy Armor
- Elemental Damage Dealer
Brutal Spell List
Tempest Domain Spells
With any cleric, we really have to start by looking at their spell list to see how they set themselves apart from the general goals of a cleric. With the Tempest spell list, we see no healing spells, and in fact, most of our spells are devoted to dishing out damage if they aren’t just purely focused on nailing home the stormy concept.
We actually start off with some battlefield control, pushing creatures away with Thunderwave and attacking under the cover of clouds with Fog Cloud. Both of these are incredible in combat but can have some interesting utility off the battlefield as well.
At third level, we pick up Gust of Wind for more controlled movement of our enemies. Shatter, on the other hand, dishes out a whole lot of thunder damage for a 2nd-level AOE spell.
At fifth level, we start to see some lightning damage enter the mix with Call Lightning, an amazing concentration spell that we can get consistent value from turn after turn. Then, if we want to create a fog cloud that also knocks our opponents prone and creates difficult terrain, we have Sleet Storm to do the trick.
Control Water is incredibly powerful if you’re near some body of water. Drown your enemies, topple boats, or do so much more with this; all you have to do is make sure you’re near enough water to make it useful. Our more likely 4th-level standout is Ice Storm, which is essentially a sleet storm that actually dishes out some significant damage.
Then, lastly we gain access to Destructive Wave and Insect Plague. Both of these are defining AOE spells with incredible damage outputs.
When we look at all of these spells on their own, they’re certainly terrifying, and we’d be happy to have any of them added to our roster. Together though, they paint an excellent picture of what we’re trying to do in this subclass.
Control the battlefield by forcibly moving our enemies, create difficult terrain, obscure the area, or all three at once, and then unleash a terrifying assault of AOE damage that they’ll have little hope of escaping.
Martial Weapons and Heavy Armor
Clerics aren’t typically built for fighting on the frontlines, but a cleric who carries the strength of the storm best be able to hold their own. With bonus proficiencies in martial weapons and heavy armor, tempests can certainly do so.
In fact, tempest clerics have a few other things going for them that allow them to be a menace on the battlefield.
At first level, they gain a feature called Wrath of the Storm. Whenever they are hit with an attack by a creature within 5 feet of them, they can cause the creature to make a Dexterity save. They take 2d8 lightning or thunder damage (your choice) on a failed save and have as much on a success.
While this ability can only be used a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier, it makes a huge difference in combat. Triggering this just once is enough to scare your opponents into backing off if it isn’t enough to just outright strike them down.
It would be a bit nicer if this ability scaled with your level, either damage or uses, but it’s still incredibly powerful and enough to really boost the efficacy of this subclass.
Fortunately, this isn’t the last time you’ll see bonuses in combat. The Divine Strike feature you receive at 8th level deals an extra 1d8 thunder damage when you hit with weapon attacks. This actually does scale, turning into 2d8 at 14th level, and considering that it’s once a turn with no limit, you’ll be dishing out a whole lot of damage.
Elemental Damage Dealer
As you might’ve put together already, there’s a strong emphasis on elemental damage in this subclass. Thunder and lightning make an appearance in most of your spells and in your 1st- and 8th-level features. This isn’t just on brand; it’s pulled together into a cohesive build by your channel divinity and 6th-level feature.
Your channel divinity allows you to deal maximum damage when you roll lightning or thunder damage, instead of rolling. This is actually an incredible ability and one of the few channel divinities that scales. As you roll progressively more dice, that cap will only get higher.
Then, Thunderous Strike at 6th level lets you push Large or smaller creatures 10 feet whenever you deal lightning damage to them. While Call Lightning is the only method of dealing lightning damage you actually receive from this subclass, there are plenty of avenues for dishing out that damage and sending your enemies flying, essentially making all of your lightning spells 2-for-1 deals.
Altogether, this is an incredible subclass with a lot of value, and it only gets better when you start making the right decisions in the build process.
While the tempest is an incredible template for a powerful combatant with mastery over the elements, it is a bit limited by the class it’s in. It’s absolutely necessary for this subclass to have such a powerful spell list because clerics aren’t meant to be combat-focused spellcasters.
I’m sure you’re well aware of the standard picture of a cleric. With white robes, shining armor, healing spells, and a holy symbol, a cleric is there to be the ultimate support healer with a chance to be a bit of a tank if the build calls for it. They aren’t necessarily designed for wanton destruction.
In walks this domain, the perfect opportunity for some brutal power, and most of it appears to come through the spell list. Sure, you can rebuke your enemies with some lightning damage and send them flying back a few feet thanks to your features, but most of this subclass, at least damage-wise, is centered in the spell list.
Why is that? Well, there is exactly one cleric spell that deals either lightning or thunder damage, Glyph of Warding. This spell, while powerful in its own right, takes an hour to cast and certainly isn’t something you’ll be relying on in combat.
Without multiclassing or picking up some creative feats, the power of this subclass starts and ends with the subclass features themselves, and there isn’t anything in the main class that really reinforces the melee-combat aspect of this subclass either.
Had this been a wizard or sorcerer subclass, your options would have really opened up, allowing you to decide just how you want to use the storm. Instead, you’re pigeonholed into the spells given to you or forced into making a M.A.D. (multi-ability dependent) build that stretches itself too thin.
This subclass is interesting because on its own, it’s incredibly cohesive. Control the battlefield and deal thunder and lightning damage to your enemies to further control the battlefield. It’s an incredible example of built-in synergy. Unfortunately, there is exactly no synergy between the subclass and the class itself.
So, instead of playing a tempest cleric, you’ll likely end up playing a tempest sometimes and a cleric at other times. Or, you’ll create your own unique build with clever multiclassing and feat usage that allows you to play exactly the character you were looking for when you read the description.
Black Citadel’s Ranking and Tier System
Color and Tier ranking is very helpful when you’re trying to digest a lot of information. In our ongoing series of 5e class guides, we use the following color-rating scheme:
- Red – C Tier. Red options can sometimes be situationally useful and might make for an interesting narrative choice, but they are largely less effective than other tiers.
- Green – B Tier. Solid but nothing that is absolutely critical for a build, or Green can be very good but only in very specific situations.
- Blue – A Tier. An excellent choice. Widely regarded as powerful in some way, useful, highly effective.
- Purple – S Tier. The top of our rankings. Objectively powerful or transformative in some way. No choice in D&D is essential, but these options are worth strongly considering when you create your character.
Our goal here is to provide scannable but comprehensive guides for you as you develop your character.
While we might sometimes make reference to unofficial or homebrew content to illustrate a point (or just because it’s too cool not to talk about), every option we suggest is legal in the official rules for D&D 5e as published by Wizards of the Coast.
All builds really start with the ability scores you roll. In order to achieve the goals of this subclass, you’ll need to put your high rolls where they count.
- Primary: Wisdom
- Tier II: Strength, Constitution
- Tier III: Dexterity
- Dump Tier: Intelligence, Charisma
Strength: Since we’ll be using heavy armor, we’ll want our strength as high as it can go so we can wear the best armor possible without having our speed reduced. We’ll also be using this for our martial weapons, hoping to land as many attacks as we can.
Dexterity: While dexterity would normally be useful for AC, our heavy armor allows us to instead focus our attention elsewhere. It’s still a beneficial ability score, but it may trade places with INT or CHA if we want to multiclass.
Constitution: In order to actually survive in combat, we need more than just good AC; we need good HP. We also need constitution to give us a better chance at maintaining concentration since most of the spells this subclass focuses on require it.
Intelligence: We should only dive into this if we want access to the wizard’s spell list.
Wisdom: As this is our casting ability, we need a high Ability Score. Getting our modifier as high as possible as fast as we can not only improves our usage of the Wrath of the Storm feature, but it also raises our Spell Save DC, allowing our AOE spells to have more impact.
Charisma: We should only dive into this if we want access to the sorcerer’s or warlock’s spell list. We could also multiclass into paladin, but that is a bit harder to pull off with this build, even though both love smiting their foes.
Traditionally, races in 5e were chosen to improve our ability scores, and any features you got were a bonus. Recently though, we’ve received the onset of custom ASI bonuses in newly published races, and we can focus a bit more on synergistic racial traits.
Since choosing the right race is becoming less and less about your ability scores and more about the actual abilities, this section of the guide concerns itself with both but makes sure to highlight the traits that actually work with this subclass.
As it stands, we’re looking for abilities that can improve our martial abilities or give us some more casting potential. Here are some races that work excellently with the Tempest Domain cleric.
Note: Custom ASI refers to the new method of Ability Score increases adopted by 5e. This allows you to take a +2 in one ability and a +1 in another, or a +1 in three abilities of your choice.
+2 Constitution, +1 Wisdom
This subrace of dwarves is going to be excellent for a sturdy, frontline build. Your HP maxim will increase based on your level, and your speed won’t be reduced when you wear heavy armor, regardless of your strength score. Additionally, you’ll be picking up dwarven resilience: resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against poison.
Air Genasi (MMotM)
Perhaps the best reason to pick up this race is access to the Shocking Grasp cantrip, which you can cast with wisdom as your spellcasting ability. Consistent access to a lightning damage cantrip that will eventually be able to send your opponents flying is incredibly useful and is honestly something the subclass itself should’ve done.
You’ll also eventually be able to cast Feather Fall or Levitate, gaining you much quicker access to flight than this subclass provides. As a nice bonus, you have resistance to lightning damage.
(While Water Genasi would feel thematically appropriate for a more sea-focused Tempest cleric, their lack of access to lightning or thunder spells makes them a non-option.)
Kobolds have a nice mix of martial and spellcasting abilities to help you along. Their draconic cry can give you and your allies advantage on attacks against enemies a number of times a day equal to your proficiency bonus. This is a great way to actually make you feel like a martial combatant.
Then, you can pick up Draconic Sorcery as your Kobold Legacy trait choice to choose a cantrip from the sorcerer spell list to cast using wisdom. The best option is still Shocking Grasp, although you can choose Lightning Lure if you want the option of pulling or pushing your enemies with lightning damage.
We should be choosing our skill proficiencies based on our highest stats; however, if we want abilities that fit the character we’re trying to roleplay, we can certainly choose those instead, especially since adding your proficiency bonus might compensate for a not-so-good ability modifier.
The suggestions below are based more on logic than roleplay, so feel free to ignore anything that doesn’t apply to you.
The cleric class is given the ability to choose two skills from History (INT), Insight (WIS), Medicine (WIS), Persuasion (CHA), and Religion (INT)
- History (INT) – History isn’t important to us.
- Insight (WIS) – Insight is always incredibly useful, and any cleric with a good wisdom score should take it.
- Medicine (WIS) – This is another skill we want to take because of our wisdom. It will also allow us to do some healing even if all our spell slots are used up from being a damage dealer.
- Persuasion (CHA) – Unimportant to this subclass.
- Religion (INT) – Religion checks are hit or miss, often being reflavored as innate knowledge or history checks. Discuss this with your DM, and see if they’re going to be incorporating religion into the campaign. Of course, if you really want to take this, it can obviously be pertinent to a cleric.
Tempest Domain Cleric Progression
This progression shows class and subclass abilities. Features that you automatically obtain through the Tempest Domain will appear in Yellow.
Filling Out the Character Sheet (Level 0)
- Hit Dice: 1d8 per cleric level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per cleric level after 1st
- Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
- Weapons: All simple weapons
- Tools: None
- Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
- Skills: Choose two from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion
You start with the following equipment in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a mace or (b) a warhammer (if proficient)
- (a) scale mail, (b) leather armor, or (c) chain mail (if proficient)
- (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) any simple weapon
- (a) a priest’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
- A shield and a holy symbol
Clerics use wisdom as their spellcasting ability, so your Spell Save DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier, and your Spell Attack modifier is your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier.
Clerics can prepare their spells from their list of available cleric spells when they finish a long rest. Their list of prepared spells is equal to their Wisdom modifier + their cleric level.
You can cast a cleric spell as a ritual if it has the ritual tag and you have it prepared.
You gain proficiencies with heavy armor and martial weapons.
Wrath of the Storm:
When a creature within 5 feet of you that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to cause the creature to make a Dexterity save. They take 2d8 lightning or thunder damage on a failed save and half as much on a success.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier and regain all expended uses on a long rest.
This feature is excellent for getting some extra damage out on your foes, and hopefully, your heavy armor will protect you enough that you only have to use this as often as you’re getting hit.
Twilight Domain Spells:
You can channel divine energy to use one of your available channel divinity effects, either Turn Undead or Destructive Wrath. Uses replenish on a short or long rest. At 2nd level, you can use this ability once, at 6th, you can use it twice, and at 18th, you can use this three times.
Channel Divinity (Turn Undead):
As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer, forcing each undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.
A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
Channel Divinity (Destructive Wrath):
When you roll lightning or thunder damage, you can use this feature to deal maximum damage instead of rolling.
A question that may come up has to do with AOE spells. Some DMs may roll damage for each affected creature, while others will have you roll for damage across the board. Since either could happen, I would suggest that this feature affects all appropriate damage rolls occurring at a specific instance, which reflects the spell itself being empowered by your deity.
Harness Divine Power (Optional):
You can choose to use your channel divinity to regain an expended spell slot. The level of the slot must be no greater than half of your proficiency bonus (rounded down). If you use your channel divinity in this way, that expended use is not regained until you take a long rest.
You can either increase one ability by 2 points or two abilities by 1. Alternatively, you can choose a feat. If you already have great stats this is a great choice.
Whenever you reach a level where you gain an ASI, you can also replace one cantrip you know with another cantrip from the cleric spell list
When an undead fails its saving throw against your Turn Undead feature, the creature is instantly destroyed if its challenge rating is at or below a certain threshold, as shown in the cleric table above.
When you deal lightning damage to a Large or smaller creature, you can also push it up to 10 feet away from you.
Away from you is a bit ambiguous, but we can simply rule that the creature would have to end up further from you than it was when you dealt the damage.
I also just want to clarify that this is specifically lightning damage, not thunder damage, so your divine strike won’t allow this ability to trigger.
Once on each of your turns, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can deal an extra 1d8 lightning damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.
Blessed Strikes (Optional):
You can choose to replace your divine strike ability with this ability.
When a creature takes damage from one of your cantrips or weapon attacks, you can also deal 1d8 radiant damage to that creature. Once you deal this damage, you can’t use this feature again until the start of your next turn.
You won’t want to take this since dealing thunder damage can still let you use Destructive wrath on occasion. On-theme damage is better for us than bonus damage on cantrips.
You can call on your deity to intervene on your behalf when your need is great.
As an action, describe the assistance you seek, and roll percentile dice. If you roll a number equal to or lower than your cleric level, your deity intervenes. The DM chooses the nature of the intervention; the effect of any cleric spell or cleric domain spell would be appropriate. If your deity intervenes, you can’t use this feature again for 7 days. Otherwise, you can use it again after you finish a long rest.
At 20th level, your call for intervention succeeds automatically with no roll required.
You gain a flight speed equal to your walking speed whenever you are not underground or indoors.
This is an incredible ability, even though you’ll likely have found a reliable method for flight by the time you reach this level.
Feats are an excellent way to improve your build, either by reinforcing your strengths or covering up your weaknesses. The selections below are great options to either make yourself more of a martial threat or to make yourself an even better elemental caster.
This feat is a great way to start adding more spells to your roster. If you choose druid, you don’t even have to worry about going M.A.D. and can still pick up an appropriately damaging cantrip.
If you are planning to multiclass anyway, you can avoid this, but this is an excellent way to soft multiclass while still getting some functionality.
With many of your AOE spells, concentration is going to be incredibly important. This feat will give you advantage on CON saves to hold your concentration.
Of course, we wouldn’t put it on here if that was it. This feat also allows you to cast spells as a reaction in place of an opportunity attack and gives you the ability to cast somatic elements while holding a weapon.
This feat allows you to choose a damage type and then ignore resistance when you cast spells of that type. Additionally, whenever you roll damage, you can treat 1s as if they were 2s.
This subclass on its own deals more thunder damage than lightning damage, but if you’re picking up spells from other sources, you’ll want to specialize in whichever damage you have more of. You can choose this feat more than once, but you’ll likely only be able to spare one ASI for this feat, saving space for more spells, etc.
With a Tempest cleric, it can be very tempting to multiclass and pick up some better spells or martial abilities to hone your build. Finding synergistic abilities is important, but it’s also imperative that you don’t miss out on what this subclass has to offer.
The best things you get from this subclass are the spell list, the channel divinity, and Thunderous Strike. Realistically, you’ll want to at least devote 14 levels to this cleric so you can also turn your Divine Strike into 2d8 of thunder damage on a weapon attack.
That leaves us six levels of wiggle room, more than enough to get some solid abilities from a class and a subclass of our choice.
As the other wisdom-based casters, druids are an excellent choice in general for multiclassing clerics. Their general focus on the elements and nature provides some basic synergy for this subclass, and their wild shape ability can be a great way to engage in more martial strategies.
Unfortunately, wild shape isn’t often going to allow you to keep wearing heavy armor, so we’ll probably want to find a good subclass that uses their wild shape for something other than a bestial form.
The main benefit of this class is the spells it can offer us. Lightning and thunder damage aren’t abundant here as you might expect, but we still get some good options.
The Thunderclap cantrip makes an excellent alternate option to the Shocking Grasp we should be picking up through our race. With a range of 100 feet, you’re very likely to dish out some damage, even if it’s much less controlled than we might like.
Then, we get Absorb Elements as a 1st-level spell. This isn’t often going to be helpful since it requires us taking thunder or lightning damage in order to deal it, but at the very least, it provides a helpful reaction and a way to add some damage to our melee attacks.
The Circle of the Land subclass, specifically the circle of the mountain, is a great way to lean into our elemental nature. While the only spell of note here is Lightning Bolt, which requires us to reach 5th level in druid, it’s enough of a solid bonus to give us the consideration alone.
Interestingly, a better choice is the Circle of Stars, even if they share no real synergy with the tempest subclass. Their usage of wild form to give helpful bonuses is a great addition, even if they don’t have any strong focus on lightning or thunder. I’m sure you can change it to thematically be a lightning form instead of a starry form, and no one would be the wiser.
While any sorcerer could provide you with five times the amount of lightning and thunder damage-dealing spells than your class could, the Storm sorcerer is by far the best choice, and I’m sure you can guess why.
Storm sorcerers are all about powerful storm magic, which, yes, means lightning and thunder damage spells.
Tempestuous Magic at 1st level allows you to use a bonus action to move up to 10 feet without provoking opportunity attacks, which is helpful if you end up pinned down.
Then, at 6th level, you get access to Heart of the Storm. This feature gives you resistance to lightning and thunder damage, a nice enough bonus.
The big pull of this feature though is that whenever you cast a spell of 1st level or higher that deals lightning or thunder damage, you release a surge of magic that deals lightning or thunder damage equal to half your sorcerer level to creatures of your choice within 10 feet.
This might not seem like much, dealing only 3 damage to a few creatures around you, but if you’re backed into a corner, all you need to do is cause this to be lightning damage and send creatures flying back 10 feet, giving you plenty of space to get out of dodge.
Additionally, sorcerers can use the transmuted spell metamagic to change the damage of one of their spells to another damage, allowing you to make essentially all of your spells deal lightning or thunder damage, further benefitting from both class abilities.
While fighter may seem like only an option to gain more martial prowess, there are actually several benefits to be gained here.
Obviously, the natural bonuses apply to our martial combat. Extra attacks, a fighting style, and second wind to gain back some health are all great ways to stay standing and dish out some solid weapon-based combat damage. The extra attacks will even allow us more Divine Strikes triggers and therefore more thunder damage.
Interestingly enough, Action Surge only specifies that you get an extra action and does not specifically need you to make another Attack. So, you can cast a spell and then make a couple of attacks on your turn, capitalizing on a brief moment of chaos created by none other than yourself.
The real kicker of choosing this class is that we get some serious bang for our buck on ASIs since fighters get an extra ASI at 6th level. This means we can multiclass without compromising any ASIs. Normally, multiclassing for a full six levels would reduce us to just four.
Since none of the fighter subclasses specifically focus on storm themes or lightning or thunder damage, just about any option would be fitting. Avoid Arcane Archer and Eldritch Knight as they can quickly lead you to a M.A.D. build. Probably the best choice, simply because it is one of the best subclasses, would be Battle Master.
Of these options, Storm sorcerer is the best build for spellcasting, but it comes at the cost of being a M.A.D. build. Fighter is the best for improving your melee ability, but you’ll only be getting spells through feats. Lastly, druids are the best option for keeping a S.A.D. build and offer a relative balance between either choice.
Tempest Cleric Build
For the following example build, we’ve used the standard set of scores provided in the PHB (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) when deciding Ability Scores.
This section will provide you with a collection of the best choices from this article put into a single character build along with explanations of different synergies and a general path for progression.
- Race: Air Genasi
- Background: Outlander
- Ability Scores: STR 12, DEX 10, CON 13, INT 8, WIS 16, CHA 15
- Skill Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Perception, Acrobatics, Athletics, Survival, Stealth
- Language Proficiencies: Common, Goblin, Thieves Cant
- Tool Proficiencies: Lute
- Equipment: A warhammer, chain mail, a lightbow and 20 crossbolts, an explorer’s pack, a shield, a holy symbol, a staff, a hunting trap, a trophy from an animal you killed, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp.
- Multiclass: Tempest Cleric 14 / Storm Sorcerer 6
- Feats: Elemental Adept (4th Cleric), War Caster (4th Sorcerer)
- ASIs: +1 Cha, +1 Con (8th Cleric); +2 Strength (12th Cleric)
My favorite of the possible multiclass builds involves the synergy between the lightning/thunder damage abilities of both subclasses. While this is a M.A.D build, the goal is to focus most of our build on spells. We’ll be using our spell slots mainly for lightning and thunder spells, converting extra slots into metamagic so we can transmute as needed.
Just about everything we do should be dealing lightning or thunder damage. This way, by the time we hit either 6th-level ability, we can get the maximum use out of it. If we can find a magical weapon, then we can start using some actions on weapon attacks, but mainly this will just be a backup.
We can reliably cast Shocking Grasp and send our enemies flying, employing other cantrips if necessary or more appropriate to the situation.
While the Tempest cleric is a top-tier subclass, it doesn’t quite fit with the general theme of clerics, and therefore, we lose some synergy. It’s not a lost cause though; with some creative build choices, we can get a lot of value out of it and still feel like a cleric most of the time. Rather, we can feel like a devoted priest of a stormborn god, which is exactly the point.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and if you didn’t, don’t worry. There are other 5e subclasses that require less finagling to pull off. Be sure to check some of those out, and as always, happy adventuring.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.