Basic Cleric Overview

Table of Contents

1) Introduction

2) Cleric Soul Specializations

3) What do I want to be?

4) Equivalence (WoW only)

5) Druid Mid-level Analysis

6) Summary

1. Introduction

Hey there guys, I’m a friend of Taugrim. I’ve watched his videos since ever; in fact I think I can remember the first commentary he ever uploaded. It was about Lord of the Rings Online and one of the Creeps he played, am I right?

The reason why people respect and simply appreciate what Taugrim does is because there aren’t many people who go to the effort of compiling stats and numbers, and making smart commentary. Let alone go through all the theory-crafting, for another person’s benefit.

Most online PvP videos are a simple music mash-up type thing, which I am guilty of too, though there isn’t anything wrong with it, it can be refreshing to watch something smarter, especially if you’re new to the game and you don’t know what the hell is going on!

So I hope to bring to you the same kind of aid and helpfulness that Taugrim manages to always convey so well.

(If you would like to know more about me and the games I’ve played, visit the previous post or About section.

2. Cleric Soul Specializations

Firstly, let us get the basic soul specializations out of the way, here is what equals what:

  • Purifier – Single Target Healer
  • Sentinel – Area of Effect Healer
  • Warden – Heal over Time Healer
  • Justicar – Defensive Tank
  • Inquisitor – Single Target Ranged DPS
  • Cabalist – Area of Effect Ranged DPS
  • Druid – Pet Based Melee DPS
  • Shaman – Non Pet Based Melee DPS

What do you notice first?

You should notice that although the word ‘Cleric’ springs a healer to mind, there are more DPS variants to a Cleric than healers!

This may seem weird at first. You might be glancing at every Cleric in your Warfront hoping for a quick heal and nothing comes, you’ll soon get used to it.

3. What do I want to be?

Now that is a tough question to answer. It totally depends on your play style. The first thing to get out of the way and decide upon is; do you want to Heal, DPS, or Tank?

Pick one and go from there. Though do NOT scrap your Purifier at level 10 just because you think it isn’t for you. If you don’t enjoy it, that’s fine, but come level 15-ish you can simply go to and fro from your Factions main City and collect all the Souls available to your chosen Calling, be it Rogue, Mage, Cleric or Warrior.

4. Equivalence (WoW only)

A ton of people that play Rift have departed from World of Warcraft.

So here is an easy way of comparing the Clerics Soul specializations into WoW classes and/or particular specs. This might help you in your decision of making a Cleric, if you indeed have come from WoW.

  • Purifier – Discipline Priest (Absorptions, Single target preference)
  • Sentinel – Holy Priest (Raid-wide Preference)
  • Warden – Restoration Druid (HoTs, Very low hard-casting, Mobile)
  • Justicar – Protection Paladin (‘Convictions’ are very similar to Holy Power mechanic)
  • Inquisitor – Shadow Priest (Death-based debilitating magic)
  • Cabalist – Fire Mage or Balance Druid (Death-based AoE magic)
  • Druid – Death Knight or Enhancement Shaman (Melee, Permanent Pet,  Elemental Magic
  • Shaman – Enhancement Shaman (Melee, ‘Jolt’ talent similar to Maelstrom Weapon)

I hope that helps for the WoW guys looking for something very similar to their previous playing style.

5. Druid Mid-level Analysis

I’m currently level 30 as of writing. I’ve played 90% of the time in my Druid/Shaman/Warden designed spec. So unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for other Soul analyses because I don’t want to give false information.

My spec at the moment is:

What would my role be?

Front-line harrasment, melee DPS with functional off-healing capability.

This involves getting stuck in there, in your face, using the two-hander mostly. One thing is for sure, not many people expect the burst capability and decent survivability that the Druid possesses in PvP combat. They take one look at your Fairy and laugh! And then you kill them.

What Pets do I get?

There are three Pets.

One huge put-off for a lot of would-be Druids, who instead rolled Shaman, was the art for your first two pets. They’re awful, or adorable, depending on which you prefer. If little Fairies rock your boat then more power to you!

You get your first Fairy for free; she comes with a small HoT which she will automatically cast on every nearby ally who is taking damage, and a tiny attack. But, every little helps and it does all add up. With your Combined Effort melee attack buff up, and your pet Rage active, the pet will be much, much more efficient and actually do some decent DPS and HPS. I have just got my second Fairy and she basically does that same, aside the fact she has a cast-time direct heal that she will spam on you or your allies when taking heavy focus fire. The AI is really quite decent sometimes.

Last but by no mean least, you get a Satyr, and this is right at the top of the Druid soul tree and he is a complete beast. He face palms everything in his way (no joke) and you would use him for the extra DPS (which is a lot), alas you would lose the healing components, but gain an AoE. I think I’ll be using him mostly. Though as aforementioned, this is all speculation and word of mouth; I haven’t got that far yet.

Why Shaman?

A few things here are crucial; I really do think Shaman is a very solid choice to sub-spec into. Some people have just dismissed it as just another melee spec where you get a lot of useless melee abilities, cluttering your action bar even further, this is not the case.

Glacial Shield is a huge help when trying to gain a gap to an enemy at ranged, allowing you to absorb damage (nearly as much as Shield of Oak from Druid) whilst doing a little bit of damage back. Trust me, those numbers add up.

Also from Shaman is the Crit Chance increase and Crit Damage increase, an extremely important Reactive ability (ability only used in certain conditions) that aids tons against high dodge opponents a la tanks or Rogues.

Also given is the 10% healing increase on you for a measly two points (although I haven’t managed to pick it up yet, it will be one of the best investments of the tree).

Other things include the Courage spells (which are akin to auras), another high DPS melee ability which you can fit in your close-range rotation, a 50% snare which activated on every melee attack, and most important of all, Glory of the Chosen.

Druid without Glory of the Chosen (which I didn’t pick up until 25ish I think), relies almost entirely on the HoT from Warden, the Absorb Shields and Balm of the Woods to survive. Balm of the Woods is a nice instant cast small chunk-heal that unfortunately has a 15-second Cooldown, those 15 seconds can seem like forever in the middle of a scrap, trust me on that!

What’s so special about GotC? Every single time you receive a Crit, it pops up, and you can instantly heal for nearly the same amount as Balm of the Woods. So we know it’s a reactive, but if it had no Cooldown it would be most definitely on the OP side of things, hence it 6-second Cooldown.

Don’t under-estimate this ability, when taking focus fire you can double insta-heal (GotC is off of Global Cooldown) and Shield up, giving you huge survivability in times of retreat. This, coupled with the Warden HoT, makes for what I think is a brilliant combination.

Why Warden?

I find managing the free HoT from Warden very easy. Its instant, has a low mana cost and lasts 12 seconds. So if you’re really good you should never be in combat without that HoT on you.

You will get a ranged earth-based attack from Druid that, if you spec into, can snare an opponent to ensure death before escape. But that ability has a 6 second Cooldown.

So Waterjet from Warden, pretty much guarantees spammable ranged attacks if you need to finish someone off or apply pressure from afar.

All you have to do is make a simple macro:

#show Bombard

Cast Bombard

Cast Waterjet

How Do I Manage All These Melee Abilities?

You near enough need to macro them up to be efficient. You don’t have to I suppose but it helped me ten-fold.

This is the best thing I could come up with to show you what I do, Paint skills for the loss!


Don’t worry if it seems confusing, everyone has their own personal way of adjusting their UI and bar layouts. That just works for me so feel free to use it as a template. Also, it will make more sense when you see some footage of Druid in action!


Stack wisdom, wisdom and more wisdom. With the Justicar, Shaman and Druid you gain a passive buff at 0 points that converts any Spell Power into Attack Power, Spell Crit into Physical Crit etc. Just stack that and you’ll be fine. Intelligence is okay but not recommended, and usually found more on Cloth items, just leave it for the Mages. Endurance you’ll want if you’re a Justicar no doubt.

6. Summary

Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have a video narration going up of some World PvP I encountered in my 20’s and a Warfront or two!

The videos will be posted here, alternatively wait for it on my Youtube channel page here:

Please if you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If I’ve made any mistakes let me know also.

Posted in Cleric, Guide, PVP, RIFT
12 comments on “Basic Cleric Overview
  1. taugrim says:

    Nice Guide :)

    * Purifier – Discipline Priest (Absorptions, Single target preference)
    * Sentinel – Holy Priest (Raid-wide Preference)
    * Warden – Restoration Druid (HoTs, Very low hard-casting, Mobile)
    * Justicar – Protection Paladin (‘Convictions’ are very similar to Holy Power mechanic)
    * Inquisitor – Shadow Priest (Death-based debilitating magic)
    * Cabalist – Fire Mage or Balance Druid (Death-based AoE magic)
    * Druid – Death Knight or Enhancement Shaman (Melee, Permanent Pet, Elemental Magic
    * Shaman – Enhancement Shaman (Melee, ‘Jolt’ talent similar to Maelstrom Weapon)

    That’s a very helpful summary. Some of the trees (e.g. Shaman) I had more or less picked up on based on watching you play and looking at them (e.g. Justicar), but some of the others I wasn’t sure how to classify.

    If/when I roll a 2nd character, it will definitely be Cleric. I love the whole melee-healer archetype, from WAR’s Warrior Priest / Discipline of Khaine to Allods Online Melee Healer to WoW’s Prot Pally.

    Looking forward to the videos!

  2. taugrim says:

    Do you see any reason to take both the Shaman and Justicar trees for a given spec (i.e. Role)?

    Both trees seem geared toward melee combat, but with very different purposes, e.g. AFAIK:
    – Shaman is 2H, Justicar is 1H
    – Shaman has better burst capability, Justicar generates AOE heals based on damage

    I’m just not clear whether they have any synergy or not, or whether a Cleric is best off choosing one or the other for a given melee spec.

    • shawshank22 says:

      That spec I was playing about in the other day was Shaman / Justicar.

      Like you saw, the burst can be insane and I didn’t have to gear for it since Shaman and Druid need the exact same gear for the same purpose.

      So I was mainly Shaman, with a 2-hander.

      I knew Justicar was S&B but wanted to try it anyway.

      When the stars don’t align and the Shamans burst ability is on CD, Shaman feels a bit weak and very squishy unless played well.

      With Justicar, what I was doing with the time whilst waiting for the burst CD, was constantly building Conviction (holy power) and just spamming AoE heals.

      So playing Shaman / Justicar in a good group feels quite rewarding, though akin to a Rogue, if your initial burst DPS doesn’t pay off on a target, you’re gunna have a hard time taking them down.

      Alas, this is at 33 in the 30-39 bracket and things could change.

      It is very worth trying out.

      • Potent says:

        Hey guys :)

        I’ve finally given in and ordered rift :P, and I have been playing with the soul tree calculator thing. Shaman/Justicar/Warden was an idea was entertaining, it looked as if you could make a fairly tough character with a steady stream of smallish heals from HoTs and Justicar attacks/doctrines, whilst also dishing some damage with a 2hander. The aim would be to be playing a support healer/dps role. I have a few questions though:

        Is there a maximum number of convictions you can have at any one time?

        Does the damage from Justicar attacks scale well with a 2hander?

        How much would a high parry rate benefit you in the thick of things? Would points in devout deflection be a worthwhile defensive investment?

        Does Cavilier generate Convictions based on number of life-damage dealing attacks ‘activated’ or number of enemies ‘hit’ with a life-damage attack? I.e could even justice + vengeful justice generate a max of 5 convictions (5 enemies hit) or just for 1 for activation?

        Does doctrine of loyalty heal yourself?

        In the shaman soul, how much of your [important] damage is air? Is stormborn neccesary?

        Sorry for the sheer number of questions!

        Here is a link to what sort of build I had in mind: I know 50 is a long way off though! :P

      • shawshank22 says:


        I’ll answer what I can!

        You can have up to 4 max Convictions I think, IIRC.

        Justicar attacks hit for about half as much as Shaman attacks, which is still okay. You’ll only be using those Justicar attack to build Conviction anyway.

        Doctrine of Loyalty heals yourself too, yes. If you’re wondering why you would use Doctrine of Bliss at all, its because it has a very tiny mana cost, and Loyalty costs quite a bit.

        I wouldn’t bother with Deflection myself, but the beauty of Rift is that there are no cookie cutter specs, do what you wish!

        I’m not too sure about Cavilier, I think its the latter.

        Stormborn is necessary really, if you’re heavily invested in Shaman, since Jolt is nigh always up in combat (as Shaman relies on Crit heavily).

        The build you linked me was a Druid/Shaman/Warden spec for @ level 30. Not sure if you did something wrong there.

      • Potent says:

        Thanks a lot! Ah well I imagine the link went wrong because I used a link to someone elses build to get to the rift calculator, unlocked it and edited it :P.

        There seems to be a lot of focus on Massive Blow in the shaman spec, is it the main burst damage move of the spec? If so, are the Massive Blow talents pretty much essential?

        I have a feeling that given the crit reliance of shaman specs this: build will be lacking in crit and so somewhat ineffective in the dps department. The lower talents in warden seem to synergize well with a dps build though. Also dissolution seems like a useful anti-kiting/escape tool + a spammable cleanse and knockback also seem useful.

        Do you find yourself being kited much?

      • shawshank22 says:

        I like what you’re trying to do, not going heavily into one specific tree, its really unique.

        Some things you might want to take note of:

        You probably NEED Templar as a second or third spec.

        I don’t know if you’re aware but every Calling (Mage, Rogue, Warrior, Cleric etc) has a shared PvP tree with a ton of self-defence and resistence, toughness talents to make PvP a little easier.

        I’m not 50 yet so I don’t exactly know how badly toughness (resilience) and other things will affect end-game PvP.

        Also, if you might as well pick up the Battle Rez, or Shaman burst ability that ensures tons of crits when used, these are mega powerful, don’t miss um. They’re the top ones in the tree.

        I don’t get kited too much as I make use of LoS a lot. Shaman has the Charge too, brilliant gap-closer on a fairly short CD.

      • loghain says:

        I would high suggest people NOT rolling cleric simply because of mana drain in this game.

        I have level 40 cleric that I now abandon… I have tried pvp with various spec and Inquisitor is probably the best pvp spec for cleric for now. (high burst, on demand crit, aoe fear, purge, and dot that heals 90% of your dmg… all from range)

        Shaman isn’t ideal for pvp since 3/4 pvp souls from other classes are -15% crit (1st tier)… you need to crit to do dmg… lets not even mention the 7 seconds crit… your toon VISIBLY grow bigger… telling ppl to cc or blink away from you for the duration.

        Druid actually have better, consistent physical dmg when sync with your pet, satyr… but that’s hard to coordinate in pvp especially when you need to switch target and your pet have no charge.

        There are two souls that can completely shut you down. Void knight/warrior can drain your mana in 10 seconds of less… Dominator/Mage can sheep/squirrel you and drain your mana in two channel (and the CC won’t break)

        There is no future pvping as cleric unless they balance mana drain and CC (adding diminishing return) in this game.

      • shawshank22 says:

        It will be addressed, no doubt.

        Besides, every class has its counter, or something that it actually struggles on at least.

        No Rogue can touch me as Melee Cleric.

    • Arioth says:

      my opinion on going any mellee (sp?) class as cleric is that Shaman is essential. with just 10 points into shaman you get +5% chance to crit and +20% crit damage. These two talents alone make it work snagging shaman as the 3rd for any mellee setup as cleric.

      The farther you go into the Shaman tree instead of the Justicar tree, the farther your survivability goes down. I find however that with adequate healing in pvp that the burst of Shaman is preferable to the Justicar’s survivability.

  3. jbrocky says:

    Hey. Nice guide here. Well informed and on the ball. One quick and small thing. In your macro I noticed you had the default icon with it. I just wanted to let you know that you can use #show to give you any icon’s image (that you have) to show it. So, as a small example you can use:

    #show Power Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast Power Strike

    It gives it the Power Strike icon.

  4. loghain says:

    There’s counter classes and there’s bad design.

    Even in WoW, counter classes have a good chance of winning if they have better gear, skills or knowledge of the game/terrain.

    I won’t get into it again but I’m sure you will encounter them soon in RIFT. There’s something wrong with class balance if a mana classes have NO counter against mana drain. You can not counter mage’s mana drain when they can instant sheep you and drain your mana (with no cooldown or breaking sheep)… or a Voidknight that can range mana burn or deathgrip you to drain your mana in melee (at least with warrior, you can “prevent” getting drained by out range them a bit)

    As for rogue killing melee cleric… i’m surprised you haven’t fought against any saboteur yet… or even good ones… they can sap and load up charges (no dmg, don’t break the sap) and burst 50% of your hp while they are still at 100% hp with traps waiting for you to charge in… also you’re not killing a bard solo… there’s no way because you have no CC and he does.

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