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 How to Build a Cleric 101 v1.0

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CloeyNicole
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PostSubject: How to Build a Cleric 101 v1.0   Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:02 am

Hello and welcome to my very first guide for the cleric class! This guide will tell you what you need to know for building a cleric of various types.

As always, rest assured that anything written is how I do things and have been tested and work 100%. Keep in mind that some things mentioned are my own views and should not be taken as being the only ways to do things. I cannot stress enough, do what you want to do, try different ways and find new strategies that work for you.

NOTE: Any spells mentioned in this guide were the spells used at the time of creation. Adjust your spells to the higher or lower level versions as necessary.

Key Options

So before I get into the good stuff, lets make sure we get your hotkeys setup properly! This is what I will refer to as "The Hotkey Method" periodically in this guide. This hotkey setup will allow you to very quickly cast spells faster than what you could with a mouse.



So as you can see, I've set gems 2 - 6 all to the same hotkey, and gem 8 to a single key beside it. This setup allows you to cast all of your healing spells for grouping and raiding spell lineups really fast as long as you always keep your heals memmed on the same gems at all times (see the grouping and raiding spell lineups below). It is a wise decision to save your spell lineups by right clicking the spellbook at the bottom of your spell gems bar and using the save option. This will ensure that your heals always stay where they need to be for this hotkey setup.

Keeping both hotkeys side by side allows for faster use of group heals and single target heals. For those times when you're spamming the Y key and a group member gets hit, you can easily press U to send out a group heal without switching targets.

So how does it work?

Simple, having your heals set to the same key will start with the first heal and go down the line. When your heals are in their recast time, your Y key will move to the next available heal. This is why you always want to have your heals on the same gems at all times, otherwise this setup won't work. Your heal spells don't have super long recast times, so you'll virtually never run out of heals using this method.

Types of Cleric Builds

Building a cleric can go about four ways. You've got the group healing cleric, the raid healing cleric, the soloing battle cleric, and the grouping battle cleric. The group and raiding clerics are both very similar, and the same between the soloing and grouping battle clerics with slight differences.

Group and Raid Healing Cleric

The most important thing to know between grouping or raiding as a cleric is that your spell lineup is what makes all the difference. Your spell lineup can make or break you when it comes to reputation and being known as a good or bad cleric in the eyes of others.

While there are more than one spell lineups for grouping or raiding, based on spell lines, you're going to want to find the most efficient of those lineups if you want to really shine. Moreover, you're going to want to have a decent UI setup as well as a decent keyboard setup to get the most out of your healing experience. So lets get started on the differences between grouping and raiding!

Grouping

The grouping cleric is typically your primary style since raids can't always happen. And your spell lineup can vary from group to group depending on where you are or how powerful your group is. Your primary focus is either sitting back and healing or in some cases being a battle cleric. We'll go over the joys of battling further into this guide. Right now I'd like to show you a great spell lineup that will make you very highly effective in any group situation and explain it to you.



So this lineup is basically the same as the raiding lineup except for two spells. I prefer to use this semi-raid lineup because raiding lineups tend to work great for grouping too. As a main healer for a tough group, your job is strictly to heal. You should never be a battle cleric when you're the main healer in a group that is taking on harder content.

As you can see in the picture, every spell is geared towards never having to take the tank off your target. Basically all you have to do is make sure to keep Hand of Graceful Infusion, Greater Ward of Vie, Shining Bulwark, Retort, and DI on the tank at all times during battle (Or whatever versions of those spells that you currently have). Other than that, you're basically just spamming your heals as needed, using the method explained above or clicking. Use your best judgment as to whether you need to click or spam your hotkey.

Obviously with this lineup, you're going to be keeping your group alive through the group heals and the hand that puts a healing proc on everyone's weapon, and you'll also be contributing to damaging the mobs with your interventions without ever having to take the tank off of target. Nor will you have to worry about hitting a mob that the tank isn't currently fighting, since your intervention hits the mob that the tank is on. Everyone else has to /assist the tank except for YOU!

Lastly, it is very highly recommended that you sit on a mount during your group to help conserve and regenerate mana when in outdoor zones. Indoor zones that do not allow mounts, you will need to sit down between pulls obviously. I recommend keeping yourself stocked up on Clarity potions for your level for indoor zone use when there isn't an enchanter around or someone who can feed you some mana.

See the AA section below for more information to help with this lineup.

(Video coming soon)

Raiding

For the next spell lineup, you will notice as I mentioned above that there are only two spells that are different. However, raiding will have other differences besides just the spell lineup, and I will explain those. Raiding is the time when you will definitely want to use the hotkey method for healing and use your mouse for other things as needed (unless you have hotkeys setup for other things too).



So for this lineup, you will notice that the hand of graceful infusion has been replaced with Ward of Surety. And elixir of the seas has been replaced with Issuance of Spirit.

When raiding, your goal is not only to help heal the tanks, but also to have the ability to toss out an AOE heal here and there when needed. Issuance makes this possible. Hand of graceful infusion is a nice spell to have, but it only effects your group. Ward of Surety provides an extra defense to the tanks and is used often for that reason.

Also, when casting your Ward of Surety it is wise to coordinate your reuse time with other clerics on the raid so that only one of you are casting it at any given time. That said, here is a hotkey that clerics should make, which allows other clerics to know that you're casting the ward, and who you're casting it on.



Next up are two very useful hotkeys for raiding that every cleric should have. I'll leave it up to you to read the descriptions for each AA to see the beauty of these keys.

First we have a very potent healing setup on this key for emergency use when the tank drops below 30% of his or her HP. The higher you build the AA's used, the more potent this key will be. Please note that this burn can only be used once every 10 minutes.



And now we have an AA burn that is meant for raiding heals when things get rough. This key in combination with your healing spell lineup (using the hotkey method of healing) will make your heals more potent. Due to recast times, this heal should be used only when needed.



Finally, we've got one more hotkey similar to our ward hotkey above, only this one is for our Divine Intervention, or DI for short. Same basic reason, it lets other clerics know who you're casting it on so that they can cast theirs on someone else. DI has a moderate recast time.



Targeting

When it comes to raiding, most raids require a tank lineup consisting of multiple tanks to do separate jobs or to be a backup to take over when the main tank steps down. As a cleric, you may sometimes be the main healer and other times you may not. Either way, it is always a good idea to put each tank on your extended target window to allow for easy switching, or to save the life of an off tank (if you're not the main healer).

Main healer will focus on the main tank, and other healers will focus on everyone else. So if you're the main healer, you don't want to be switching targets to any off tanks to save them, you need to stay on the main tank until that tank steps down and lets another one take their spot, then switch to the replacement. Main healer also heals their group with group heals as needed, and that can be done without taking the main tank off of your target.

Always use your best judgment when you're not the main healer. You are responsible for keeping your group alive first and foremost, and if your group isn't taking damage, then you focus on helping keep all the tanks alive. Normally there are going to be more than just one healer on the main tank anyways, and less on the others.

(Video coming soon)

Solo and Group Battle Cleric

Now comes the fun half of the cleric class! A lot of clerics tend to just sit back and heal, and while healing can be a lot of work and still fun, it can also be boring at times because some of us like to get up in the action. This is where the grouping battle cleric comes in!

Lets face it, most clerics honestly believe that soloing isn't possible after a certain level, and there is even a myth going around that clerics cannot solo at all, and if they can, it is light blue and green cons, and a mercenary is required.

I am here to tell you that the myth is completely wrong! A cleric that knows their class can solo dark blue and white cons without a mercenary at all. It's all about knowing what to do! So for this section, I am going to teach you how to be a battle cleric for both grouping and soloing!

Group Battle Cleric

Contrary to popular opinion, a battle cleric can keep their group alive effectively. While it may be a little bit harder than the group healing cleric explained above, it is still very doable. The following spell lineup will show you how to be an effective battle cleric in a group situation.



For this lineup, you're getting healing power from various methods. First is your Mark of the Vicarum which is cast on the mob. This spell deals damage to the mob each time it hits the tank, which also heals the tank for a short amount each time they get hit. There is another version of this spell called Blood of the Vicarum which does the exact same thing, except this one has a chance to spread to other nearby mobs. So if your tank is pulling 2 or 3 mobs at a time, it is better to swap out the mark for the blood.

Next is your Awecrush which is a spell that stuns the mob, nukes the mob, and heals the tank all at once. And then you've got three different Contravention spells, a group heal, and a group heal over time. So there's plenty of healing power going on without ever having to take the mob off of your target.

Now there is one exception to changing target to the tank. You will still want to buff the tank with your DI, Shining Bulwark, and Retort as soon as the fight begins (or before the pull for shining), and then you can jump into battle. DI lasts for a good amount of time, and Shining Bulwark lasts anywhere from 8 to 10 minutes depending on your buff duration AA and your gear. With your buff duration AA maxed and wearing a 35% buff duration gear item, your Retort will last for 2 minutes, which should be plenty for a mob or two at one time. But it usually isn't necessary to rebuff Retort during battle because then you run the risk of the tank dying because you switched target to them. Keep in mind that healing as a group battle cleric depends on you having the mob targeted. And you MUST make sure that you are assisting the tank on the same mob when there are multiple mobs.

This type of cleric also depends on how tough the mobs are that the tank is pulling. If the tank is single pulling or pulling no more than 2 at a time, you'll be fine. Above that is questionable depending where you are, so use your best judgment. You may need to switch to your group healing cleric setup at times.

You will want to be sure to put up your primary buff for battle. It is called Vow of Virulence and lasts around 2 hours, which is why it is not shown in this spell lineup. And when your contraventions are in recast, use your group heals. Group heal has a fast reuse. Also, do not forget about your AA heals such as Beacon of Life and Celestial Regen. A weapon with a healing proc is a good idea for this build as well.

Lastly, I must mention that clerics can also tank in a group and actually be effective. Obviously this will be when there's not a real tank around, and you don't want to use a tank merc. Let the cleric tank!
Simply swap out Awecrush with Sound of Thunder and disable your Spell Casting Subtlety AA and you're golden! I would avoid using your AA Group Heal pictured above if you're tanking as well.

You're going to want to use a weapon that will help you generate agro, and some Scorpion's Agony potions probably wouldn't hurt either. Pictured here is my current weapon for group tanking as a cleric.



As you can see, the aug is cleric useable, and is the only hate generating aug in the game that clerics can use. Clerics generate a lot of agro just with their spells, especially the contravention spells. Adding that extra bit of hate with the aug and the potion will ensure that you keep agro when no tank is in your group, and sometimes even if you do have a tank! Turning off your Spell Casting Subtlety AA increases your agro by 68% when maxed out. Clerics were given this ability because of the mass agro they are capable of generating. And, being that clerics are a plate armor class, they can take some hits pretty well.

(Video coming soon)

Solo Battle Cleric

Similar to the two spell difference between the group and raid healing cleric spell lineups, the grouping and soloing battle cleric lineups have a three spell difference. So lets show you the lineup and go over those.



So for this lineup, we've replaced Awecrush with Sound of Thunder, replaced Elixir of the Seas with Hand of Graceful Infusion, and replaced Glorious Judgment with Sermon of Justice as you can see.

Obviously if you solo without a merc, you're not going to have to worry about any agro issues at all. That said, you can have your Spell Casting Subtlety on or off, it doesn't matter. You can use any weapon type you want as well.

This particular lineup is meant for soloing undead mobs. As a cleric, we are at our best when it comes to undead. With the right spell lineup, we can break the myth that clerics can't solo dark blue or white con mobs. This lineup is one of the most effective that I have used so far when it comes to survivability without a mercenary present. YOU are the tank, healer, and dps all in one.

Now, you can use the same lineup for living mobs as well, with exception of one spell. Simply change the Sermon of Justice back to Glorious Judgment and you're good to go. Now you may be asking, why the infusion rather than the heal over time?

And I answer, your Vow of Virulence buff has a recourse effect that overwrites Elixir of the Seas, making the elixir useless since the recourse heals better and lasts just as long. Hand of Graceful Infusion stacks, adding extra heal effect.

Any way that you can heal yourself while soloing is what makes it possible, but damage plays a big role as well, and obviously your gear. One thing we have to worry about is getting interrupted. Sound of Thunder helps with that due to the super fast casting time and the heal effect. But it's not going to save you by itself. I highly recommend using your AA's called Divine Avatar and Divine Retribution when soloing (Don't worry about the agro reducer on Divine Ret, it has no effect if you're solo). You will get interrupted and you will come close to death at times, especially if you get an add. Single pulling is a must!

Now if you are fighting undead mobs as you should be when solo, you get an AA called Repel the Wicked which knocks an undead mob way back and drops agro. To avoid having to use this, simply don't fight in places where agro can wander by. Find a safe spot to pull the mobs to! This brings me to the next point, which is how to single pull effectively. Simply replace DI with your best pacify spell, such as Pacifying Glow. And just put DI back on as needed and switch back (if you're fighting in a place that requires pacify).

Another very good reason that you should focus on undead mobs when soloing is that you don't have to worry about them running at low HP and causing unwanted agro. Additionally, we as clerics get more undead related spells than any others when it comes to damaging or detrimental type spells.

(Video coming soon)

AA's and Most Important Stats

AA's

So with all of the above fresh in your mind, you should have a basic idea of some of the AA's to go for. As far as what to focus on first as you grow up, I recommend the following...

1. Combat Agility and Combat Stability
2. Anything that increases the potency, duration, reuse time, or casting time of your healing spells and buffs
3. Resists, HP, and Mana increasers
4. Defenses and raw stats
5. Offenses

That is the basic order that I recommend, but it can change from playing style to playing style. Obviously a battle cleric whether group or solo is going to want defenses, mana, and healing potency as a priority. To go into a bit more detail, here is a list of some of them that I consider to be priority.

General Tab

1. Combat Agility and Combat Stability (Should be maxed out for your level as soon as possible)
2. Armor of Wisdom
3. Discordant Defiance
4. All Innates
5. General Sturdiness
6. Planar Power
7. Natural Durability
8. Mystical Attuning


Archetype Tab

1. Abundant Healing
2. Call of the Herald
3. Expansive Mind
4. Forceful Rejuvenation
5. Gift of Mana
6. Healing Adept
7. Healing Boon
8. Healing Frenzy
9. Healing Gift
10. Innate Enlightenment
11. Mastery of the Past
12. Mental Clarity
13. Mental Stamina
14. Mnemonic Retention
15. Persistent Casting
16. Prolonged Salve
17. Secondary Forte (See the Specializations section below)
18. Shield Block
19. Shielding of Spirits
20. Silent Casting
21. Spell Casting Mastery, Reinforcement, and Subtlety
22. Twincast and Improved Twincast
23. Twinheal


Class Tab

1. Beacon of Life
2. Burst of Life
3. Bestow DA (both A and B)
4. Blessing of Resurrection
5. Sanctuary and Blessing of Sanctuary
6. Celestial Rapidity and Regen (and focused c-regen)
7. Channeling the Divine
8. All of the Divines
9. Flurry of Life
10. All 3 spires
11. Quiet Prayer and Venturika's
12. Spirit Mastery
13. Touch of the Divine
14. Tunare's Grace
15. Vehement Recompense


Focus Tab

1. Improved Intervention and Contravention
2. Focus: Spiritual Remedy, Elixir of the Seas, Eradicate the Undead, Glorious Judgment, Justice
3. Enhanced Forgetfulness


Anything else, focus on as a lower priority than the listed AA's above, but don't be afraid to live a little and splurge on others that you want now and then. Your AA's are all a matter of preference, but as long as you base your spending on this list and the basics list above it, you're heading the right direction. Keep in mind that your auto-grant will purchase a lot of these for you as well.

Most Important Stats and Gearing

There are many different opinions on the most important stats to go for as a cleric. I personally go for the obvious. Raw Mana, Heal Amount, Wisdom, and AC. I consider them to be equally important for obvious reasons. AC for defense, Heal Amount for more potent heals (even if just a little), and Wisdom and Raw Mana to get the most mana you can.

These stats are what I have built, and I have no trouble doing my job as a cleric in any style that I covered above. When going for aug's for my gear, I focused mainly on Heroic Wisdom and Raw Mana over everything, and in my experience, most of the good Heroic Wisdom aug's come with Heal Amount.

A couple more nice stats to go for are Spell Damage and Mana Regen for obvious reasons. The Spell Damage is obviously going to help you with either battle cleric style. The Mana Regen is self explanatory. If you have no interest in being a battle cleric, simply don't worry about Spell Damage as a priority.

When it comes to AC, getting higher AC items tend to have higher stats following it. When performing searches in the bazaar, choose either mana or AC as your stat, then order the list by that stat to easily find the best options. When it comes to aug searches, I personally choose to search by Heroic Wisdom. Not all of my augs have AC on them. I opted for a happy mix of high Heroic Wisdom and Raw Mana, and high AC augs.

Sure, I take a defense loss by going the route that I went, but I gain in the amount of total mana that I have, and the potency of my heals. The way that I chose to go put me in a sweet spot where my mana and HP are close together (favoring HP by a little), and my AC isn't lacking. I can still take hits pretty well.

Now if I were to go full healer and never be a battle cleric at all, then I would opt for more mana and healing potency while fully sacrificing defense. But defense will naturally follow behind regardless of which way you favor. And if the tanks are doing their jobs, the only damage you'll be taking is aoe damage.

Spell Specialization Skills

As a noobie, once you reach your 20's, you begin to gain "Specialize" skills, and you get to choose which skill to specialize in. Once you choose, your primary specialization can go to 280 of 280 max, and the rest of your specialize skills cap out at 225. Additionally, at level 55 you can buy an AA called Secondary Forte which allows you to advance an additional specialization by 50 points, which will cap it out at 275. So once you get that AA, you will have a 280, a 275, and the rest 225's (that is the cap at level 105, they'll be lower at lower levels but they will rise as you level). In this section I will cover the route that I went and why.

As a young cleric I specialized in Evocation because I had already planned my course of action for this character after going through and reading the AA's. My goal and sole reason for creating the cleric was to break the myth that clerics can't solo (and I wanted a real cleric box to run with my warrior too). And now, 105 levels later, I have mastered the art of soloing without a mercenary and broken the myth. And this achievement can be attributed to the route I took in specializing. The extra Evocation plays a role in direct damage spells, specifically the potency of the nukes.

When I purchased the Secondary Forte AA, I made sure that Alteration was the first specialize skill to break the cap by casting heals over and over on my warrior until I got the point. Alteration is a clerics primary skill as a healer. It provides mana preservation (1% for having the specialization and 1% per every 20 points in the skill) as well as effects the power of your heals. And at 275, it is not much lower than my Evocation cap to make a noticeable difference, only 5 points. Focusing on Heal Amount, as well as all of the healing potency AA's and items (Faycite Shards) more than makes up for that 5 points, making me great at both healing and nuking.

Most clerics go for Alteration and Abjuration as their two specials. And there is nothing wrong with that. There are nice benefits for your specializations. Going the route that I went, I knew full well from the get go that I'm sacrificing potency potential in buffs such as our Vie line, Retort line, and Mark/Blood line for example. However, when soloing or being a group battle cleric, the reverse DS's are not going to pump out more damage than your nukes will, even if I had gone the Abjuration route in place of Evocation. So for the particular build that I wanted, Evocation made more sense. You will typically see Alteration and Abjuration on boxed clerics. While I am a box on this character myself primarily, I am also a main. I actually play the class rather than use it as a box at all times.

And at 225 specialize Abjuration, my retort, mark/blood, vie, and DI are not effected that much anyways, not enough to lose any effectiveness of the spells themselves at high levels. They all cap out and can't be raised past a certain point anyway.

For more information, check out the link below...
http://everquest.wikia.com/wiki/Spell_school_specialization_skills

Closing

So now that you've made it to the end of this guide, I want to congratulate you for making it! But seriously, thank you for reading my work and taking an initiative to better yourself at the cleric class. Also, check out the new guides as they become available where I explain other aspects of the class that weren't mentioned here, as well as the videos!

_________________
Llux - Level 110 Dark Elf Warrior of Firiona Vie in Everquest
Llux - Level 100 Dark Elf Guardian of Free Trade in Everquest 2
Angelyz - Level 97 RB1 Untamed Venomancer of Tideswell in PWI
Trina Danger - Level 175 Sorcery of USPC in DC Universe Online
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