Baldur's Gate 3 has just released in early access to some fanfare and even more anticipation for the future. The cleric is the perfect class for anticipating those later, tougher fights with their huge healing potential plus a few extra buffs and bonuses. If you’re here, you probably want a healer or something similar. If not, I’d advise checking out all the other guides we have available here at TechRaptor.
Starting off Baldur's Gate 3 as a Cleric
The cleric class is a spellcaster with a divine affinity who focuses on healing and tanking damage. If you like to be the team healer, this is the perfect class for you. Their religious knowledge and following of patron gods is also an interesting role, even if the gods make no difference in combat.
There are currently three Domains to choose from, which are the Cleric subclasses. You'll find a few similarities across the subclasses. They all have light and medium armor proficiency, shield proficiency, and simple weapon proficiency. They also have Wisdom and Charisma saving throws. Naturally, this pushes you into certain builds.
All of their skills are based around the Wisdom stat, and the Dex/Int stats mean very little for most builds. You start with the choice of three out of five available cantrips, very basic spells that are easy to use and don’t require a spell slot. This makes them reasonably useful for a long time when you start to run out of resources.
What Are the Best Cleric Cantrips?
The choice of cantrips isn't your most important decision early in Baldur's Gate 3, but it's certainly worth taking into account for your build. Light is automatically unlocked under Light Domain, so don't go for it if you want to move in this directions. Thaumaturgy, Sacred Flame, and Resistance seem to be a nice combo, giving you a mix of buffs, offense, and charisma advantage.
- Guidance gives a bonus d4 to an ability of the character's choosing. This is a useful cantrip to have in most instance to give a small buff.
- Resistance gives a bonus d4 to saving throws. Saving throws are an important measure in Baldur's Gate 3 and a nice buff when a teammate is in a bad spot.
- Sacred Flame deals one d8 radiant damage to an opponent. Sacred flame works as your only ranged attack early game but loses its effect rather quickly.
- Thaumaturgy gives an advantage to intimidation and performance checks. This is perhaps a bit better for a build versed in charisma.
- Light infuses an item with light. If your party doesn't have many members with Darkvision, this could be useful in dungeons.
What are the Baldur's Gate 3 Cleric Domains?
Domains are a rather important choice for any cleric. They majorly affect your playstyle with new spells, different abilities, and proficiencies. Whilst they share some traits, there are unique talents you can only get through each subclass. Early game, you will rely mostly on your shared abilities but as you get stronger, you will notice their true power. Here's a run down of each type.
Cleric - Light Domain
Light Domain is the most outright offensive of the three subclasses. It comes with domain spells and abilities that cause flame, light up areas, and generally improve your perception. Spells like Burning Hands ignite flammable things, and spells like Daylight create a large sphere of light around your characters, great for exploration and finding those hidden switches and things.
They also come with the Light cantrip, so it should make your cantrip decisions a little easier. This is a cleric class for someone who wants to feel like a Wizard but also get some of the great healing abilities of a Cleric. If you want to heal and blast at opponents, this is your class. Unfortunately, you may be better off with one dedicated Cleric and one dedicated Wizard as their later abilities are much stronger.
Cleric - Trickery Domain
This is quite a funny subclass. It uses Larian’s open-ended game design in nice ways, changing your appearance, charming others, and acting generally mischievous. Larian has built Baldur's Gate 3 to be messed around with, so you can experiment with every tool in your arsenal. The Trickery Domain adds more to your toolkit..
Spells like Blink can even give you the chance to entirely vanish, a nice getaway for a character at low health. Before this, you can also use spells like Mirror Image to create duplicates of yourself for enemies to hit. Shadowheart, a companion you find early on, is this subclass, showing a good idea of what it offers. If you’d like a Cleric who feels a little like a Rogue, go for this.
Cleric - Life Domain
This is the most traditional and powerful of the Cleric subclasses. They focus on high healing and even manage to tank a bit of damage. They can cure characters, remove diseases, and generally help out all party members. They also come with a proficiency in heavy armor, making them a bit of a tank.
The Life Domain can get into the midst of a battle with its short-range spells and stay alive long enough to actually help. Their Cure Wounds domain spell is easy to use, and it heals allies for 1d8. They aren’t entirely without offense, with moves such as Spiritual Weapon giving some pretty damage. If you want a beefy healer, this is the best subclass to play, but it has a certain all-roundedness to its design too. This is a needed role that is well worth filling.
Baldur's Gate 3 Cleric - Best Races and Attributes
As mentioned above, the cleric favors Wisdom above all else. Any race that buffs this and gives some extra abilities elsewhere would be best. A nice, well-balanced Cleric has a lot of Wisdom and a decent bit of Constitution and Strength.
Clerics are only adept with simple weapons, so making them hard hitters while having some HP is the best way to go. For these reasons, the Gold Dwarf seems to be a very good choice. With naturally high Wisdom and Constitution, it’ll make every, admittedly rather small, step just a little easier. Finally, whilst there are a few main skills to choose, Medicine, Persuasion, and Insight all seem like particularly strong choices for this build.
Starting Your Baldur's Gate 3 Cleric Right
The Cleric class in Baldur's Gate 3 seems to have a few defined traits. Its innate healing ability naturally leads one to buff their Wisdom, but you can move outside of this for some fun.
The Light Domain will make you more offensive, but not more so than a standard Wizard. While fun, the Light subclass is not the most optimal for an easy-play route.
The Trickery subclass lives up to its name with an innate cheekiness. You can mess around with the fabric of the world, and Larian seemed to have created it with that in mind. Messing with enemies' perception of reality is an everyday task. While good, this is not the greatest class.
The Life class seems to be the most powerful in a structured party setup. Focusing on great restorative spells, high health, and a bit of damage on the side is your best chance at having an easier time with a sometimes rather difficult title.
To have an easier time as a Cleric in Baldur's Gate 3, you should focus on Wisdom and Constitution, which makes the Gold Dwarf a good choice for any playstyle. Furthermore, while all subclasses have their place, going full Life Domain with some tankiness is the best way to fit into a well-oiled party. For cantrips, I'd advise Sacred Flame, Thaumaturgy, and Resistance to give a nice blend of offensive and defensive. Kit yourself out in some nice heavy armor and get out there!