Clerics have access to some of the most popular spells in the game. Cure Wounds, Spiritual Weapon–but there are some hidden gems lurking in their spell lists. Here are five every Cleric should consider.
Clerics are some of the most powerful spellcasters in D&D right now. With the flexibility of knowing all the spells on their list, they have more innate versatility than a Wizard. But it can be hard to capitalize on that when you have to pick from every Cleric spell in the game. So most of the time there ends up being a go-to list of favorites. Cure Wounds (which is apparently the most popular spell), Healing Word, Spiritual Weapon–these are Cleric Classics for a reason. Healing your party is expected (if not always the best idea), and Spiritual Weapon is one of the best damage spells in the game. But. There’s so much more Clerics can do. So today we’re taking a look at five spells that can help Clerics make the most out of any encounter.
Want to shut down a massive chunk of enemy casting, sneak up on and even fight with enemies undetected, and protect yourself from thunder damage? You can get all of that from one little 2nd level spell. There’s no save with this one, you just pick a point and cast a fireball-sized swath of silence. No sound comes in or out, which means you can fight an entire army on the walls, and if nobody looks up, there’s no one to sound the alarm. Better still, any spells with verbal components (most of them), can’t be cast while inside the area. Silence + a buddy with a beefy grapple bonus and you can shut down spellcasters well above your weight. What good are ninth level spells if you can’t speak to cast them? Even Wish doesn’t get a pass through this spell.
Why heal your party members when you can protect them from death for up to 8 hours without concentration instead? Death Ward is a gem of a 4th level spell. It has to compete with Banishment and Freedom of Movement, but as far as protecting your party members go, this one’s a doozy. It stops a party member from dropping to 0 hit points the first time they’d fall. If it’s damage that would drop them to 0 or more, they’re at 1hp instead.
If they would instead be outright killed by a spell that effects are negated instead. Shut down Power Word Kill, those corner-case “fail three saves and die” abilities or odd sudden death abilities like a Bodak’s death gaze. Sure, it’s a 4th level spell, but if you know you’re headed into lethal territory, this is a great backup plan.
This one is just incredible. It’s not very sexy to cast, but you get so much with one simple spell. It makes you harder to hit, but that’s not the real reason you cast it. This spell makes you immune to being charmed, frightened, or possessed by the creatures the spell wards against (which are more like outsiders who happen to be good/evil)–or it grants an additional saving throw (with a bonus) to an ally already affected by one of those conditions. Powerful stuff for so humble a spell.
A surprisingly useful spell. One 3rd level spell lets you feed 15 medium creatures or five steeds. Sure it’s not the best food, but this is a literal, actual miracle that Clerics can do. Great if you want to provide support to your party in weird stretches of the wilderness when you have a GM who is a stickler for tracking rations, etc. But it’s also a tremendous roleplaying tool as well. Nurture your flock, end hunger, upend economies — all with a 3rd level spell.
And now we get to the meat and potatoes of what Clerics do best: get some straight answers from their deity and also the GM. These spells aren’t permanent additions to anyone’s daily casting lists, sure, but Divination is rare indeed, and Commune is Cleric-only, and both let you ask a question and get a truthful answer. With Divination you can be a little more free-form but so can your deity with the answer. Commune gets you three questions, but they have to be yes or no. An excellent tool for making headway when you’ve been spinning in circles for the last hour and a half at the table.
What are your favorite Cleric spells? Got any tricks we missed? Let us know in the comments! And as always, Happy Adventuring!