The Devoted Cleric Guide to Healing
Part 1: Overview
The Devoted Cleric is NWO’s only healer at game start, even though the official wiki (Devoted Cleric - Neverwinter Wiki) lists them as a Leader/Controller. Personally I don’t think this class has anywhere near the amount of CC (Crowd Control) to be considered a controller and this shouldn’t be a reason why you choose to play this class. There are some decent crowd control options but nowhere near as many as a conventional controller class. The way I have it specced out below will have you doing decent DPS (Damage Per Second) and excellent healing in particular for groups/raids.
As a Devoted Cleric you’ll never swing a weapon in physical combat or protect yourself with a shield. You can only wear Chain Mail and no other armor type (not even cloth). Leave those conventional D&D ideas behind – all of your attacks are spell based. Your heals are mostly regeneration (HOT, Heal Over Time) based, not huge direct heals that take a tank from near death to 90%. You don’t stand back in battle and watch health bars – you still need to watch health bars but your potency depends heavily on you also dishing out some attacks and being more involved in the battle.
Please feel free to share this guide with whomever you want, just don’t try to take credit for it or make money for it. It is provided for free to the public. If anyone has questions you can contact me through my guild, The Hammerfist Clan at www.hammerfistclan.com or in game at @Drake5252.
About This Guide’s Suggestions
I’ve written this guide based on my own experiences and what I have chosen for my Cleric. While I’ve put information in on powers I don’t use, I focus on the ones that I do use and why. You can do whatever you want, of course. My choices are not the only choices out there and I’m sure there could be arguments against them. But this is my guide, so I’m putting my own suggestions in there.
My suggestions and selections assume that you want to focus on being a group healer. Everything you do will be related to healing, buffing and/or damage mitigation. If you want to focus more on CC or DD, this guide may still be helpful for some of the information. This guide is also not intended to be a leveling guide, although some of the information it could certainly be helpful in understanding the choices available for you.
Choose whatever race you prefer to be. Sure you may get a +2 bonus to a particular stat you feel is necessary and that’s fine but I go over the details of this below and you’ll see it’s not always what you think. Play what you prefer to play, the differences aren’t so significant that you have to be one or the other to be effective. Play for fun, not for that 1% bonus. Below are the bonuses you will get from ability scores, note that you get this bonus for every point you have over 10 – so for an 18 score you would multiply the bonuses listed by 8.
Strength: 1% Critical Chance, 1% DOT Resistance, 1% Stamina Regeneration
- Critical Chance will affect heals, stamina regen important for how often you can shift.
- Strength is considered a secondary ability score for Clerics
Constitution: 2% Hit Points
- Everyone needs health, the more the better – but this isn’t a tank build so you won’t need this to be super high.
Dexterity: 1% AOE Damage Resistance, 1% Deflection Chance
- Deflection gives you a chance to resist a significant portion of an attack (physical or magical)
Intelligence: 1% Recharge Speed
- Recharge Speed is how long it takes for your Encounter and Daily Powers to be reusable
Wisdom: 1% Control Bonus, 1% Damage Bonus, 1.33% Healing Bonus, 1% Control Bonus, 1% Control Resistance
- Damage and healing are your main bonuses here, and note the additional .33% bonus for healing
- Wisdom is considered the Primary ability score for Clerics
Charisma: 1% Combat Advantage Damage, 1% Recharge Speed, 1% Action Points Gain, 1% Companion Stat Bonus
- Combat Advantage is a bonus you get when you’re fighting someone that’s between you and another player. Not a huge deal for Clerics
- Recharge Speed is how long it takes for your Encounter and Daily Powers to be reusable
- Action Points Gain helps your Daily powers to recharge quicker
- Companion Stat Bonuses are helpful for everyone, makes your pet more effective
As you can see, not every ability score packs a punch, but Wisdom certainly isn’t the only important one to focus on. Personally I think Charisma is just about as important as Wisdom for a Cleric. When you make your character, keep these in mind. Keep rerolling your status until you get a decent mix of Wisdom, Charisma, Strength and Intelligence (in that order). If you select the option where you start off with a 20 in Wisdom, you’re going to be significantly hurting your Charisma (10 or 8) and Intelligence (10 or 8). You do not want negatives in either of these scores as they will negatively impact your potency. This game does not cater to the Min/Max style of character creation as a lot of other games have.
Your First Few Levels
As you go through the opening tutorial area, you’ll gain some very basic gear (armor and a weapon) and a few abilities. You don’t get an actual heal until later, but you won’t need it yet anyway. Kill some undead and get used to the buttons, etc. Notice a few things:
- You don’t select yourself or other characters to heal or monsters to attack. You just point your cursor at them and cast. Tab is for something altogether different than in most other games, it’s not used for “tabbing through” targets here.
- Left-click and Right-click are used for your attacks. Both buttons control “At-Will” attacks that you can cast almost constantly (no real cool-down). You can move these around as you wish by hitting the P button to open up Powers and drag them into their appropriate slots.
- Your Encounter powers, which have a short (usually in the 8-12 second range) cool down, use the Q, E and R buttons. Your first Encounter power uses the Q button, but you can move it later if you want.
- Once you get your first daily (before the final battle in the starting area), you will use the 1 button for it. Later you’ll get a second Daily option to use, and that will use the 2. You can move these around as you wish. Unlike Encounter powers, Daily powers don’t come back with time – they come back as you charge up your action point bar (the d20 in the middle/bottom of your screen) – you charge this up by attacking mobs and the power icons light up when ready (you also hear a bell in the game).
To pick up treasure, some of it gets added automatically to your inventory (like coins, for example) but some need to be picked up – use the F key to pick up loot and interact with most things in game such as starting a conversation with an NPC or to bring up an options window to chat with or inspect other player characters.
As you gain levels you’ll get a little pop-up asking you to hit the U button, which brings up a helpful list of new powers, feats or other things added because you gained your level. Click the new power option to open up your power selection window or any other buttons that come up to open their options as well. Read your powers and understand them before moving on. Also take note of the key that the new power was assigned to.
Part 2: Powers
Hitting the “tab” button puts you into Divinity mode (you get this as you level, not right away). Your character will now be holding up their Holy Symbol in their left hand and some of your powers will turn blue and have a + sign over them indicating that they get a bonus when cast in this mode. This increases the potency of some of your powers based on their descriptions (some powers get no increase and thus cannot be cast in this mode). I have included this information with each power below as needed. Those 3 crosses (or + signs) near the center of your screen shows you how many powers you can use in Divinity mode before you have to recharge it. Divinity is charged during combat, similarly to how Daily Powers recharge but not exactly. My spec focuses a lot on Divinity and making the best of your heals with it as well as quickening the recharge. You will also get an extra + sign (a total of 4) to use which can make a big difference.
While in Divinity Mode your At-Will powers are replaced with:
- Punishing Light (Left-Click) - This is a beam of damaging light that you hold in to damage. I never use it.
- Soothing Light (Right-Click) – This is a beam of healing light that you hold in to heal your target. This is handy sometimes between fights if you want to top someone off, but during a fight it's not too helpful.
Powers – General
Below are you’re At-Will, Encounter, Daily and Class Powers. I’ve provided brief descriptions of the powers as well as showing how many points are in them (this is the number in red after the power itself). Note that this number represents the TOTAL number of power points in the power at the end of the build, you may want to spend your points differently and respect at 60 as I did. Lance of Faith, for example, may be something you put more points into (the game automatically puts 1 power point into it when you obtain the power, you may want to add to those to make your attacks more potent for leveling but since it’s unused in the final spec I didn’t add more). You also can’t put a third point into some of the early powers until you have put 20 points into your powers overall, which caused me to put added points into powers I didn’t care about like Hallowed Ground and Guardian of Faith.
These powers are pretty much constantly usable, you can have 2 of them active for use at any time and they are activated by using your left- and right-mouse buttons.
- Lance of Faith 1 - A Standard DD (Direct Damage) attack that you get in the starter area. The 3rd hit in a row does a small amount of additional damage. Put only 1 additional power point into this ability (2 total), as you will be using a Sacred Flame later on in place of it.
- Astral Seal 3 – A DD attack that also puts a circular icon all around the mob. While the seal is active on them, anyone that attacks the mob will get a small amount of health back. Max this power out, you will always keep it as your right-click at-will attack.
- Sacred Flame 3 – A DD attack that does extra damage on the third attack like Lance of Faith, but it also gives a minor heal to you or your allies that are near the target. This heal actually adds “temporary HP” which you will be getting a bonus on for a feat you choose later on – but it acts almost the same as a regular heal does. Fill up this power’s points as soon as they become available to you. This will be your left-click at will power going forward.
- Brand of the Sun 0 – Ranged DOT. Unused in this build.
These powers have fairly short recharge times (bases from 13 seconds to 22 seconds), but you can quicken them with increasing your recharge ability. That can be done by choosing equipment with recharge bonuses on them, starting off and increasing your Charisma and Intelligence scores as shown above, or by putting points into feats (below) around them. Recharge is very important for your Cleric; you want your Encounter powers to be readily available in a big fight.
- Sun Burst 3 – a PBAOE (Point Blank Area of Effect, a power centered on your character) that damages enemies and heals yourself and allies in the area. This is a decent heal and does decent damage. You get it during the starting area and it is used by hitting “Q”. You will leave this there forever, and fill it with power points. You will become very dependent on using this power often. In Divinity Mode this power also knocks enemies back pretty far - this can tick off your tank. I try not to use it unless necessary.
- Healing Word 3 – Your first and only ally-targeted heal, but it applies regeneration to your target AND yourself. Recasting on an ally will extend the duration of the regeneration, not increase its potency. In Divinity Mode this becomes a direct heal (instead of regeneration you and your target gain a burst of health at once, it’s not huge but decent) as well as applying regeneration – it also does not consume an encounter power charge which is very nice. While a good power and a standard for leveling, once I hit 60 I no longer used it. Situational, probably good in a duo or trio group, but when you’ve got a bunch of people crowding around it’s tough to single out an individual target that you’re trying to focus on so you may be healing a pet instead of the tank.
- Searing Light 0 – Shots a beam of light in front of you and can hit multiple targets in a straight line. In Divinity Mode the damage is increased and it adds a little AOE damage around targets that get hit by it. I do not put any points into this in my build.
- Chains of Blazing Light 1 – Ranged AOE cast that drops a rune on the ground set to go off when the first mob hits it – this can be cast directly on mobs to go off immediately. Good CC power as it immobilizes mobs and damages them (damaged reduced for each additional target). Used this in leveling up but it is not a part of my build at 60. In Divinity Mode it is cast instantly and adds damage.
- Daunting Light 0 – Ranged AOE damage that takes a moment to cast. In Divinity Mode it is cast instantly and does more damage. Unused in this build.
- Forgemaster’s Flame 3 – Single target, lights mob on fire and slows them. In Divinity Mode the flames around the target heal you and allies nearby. Max this out, it will be used as a part of the final build.
- Bastion of Health 3 – Ranged AOE heal, takes a while to cast. In Divinity Mode it dishes out more healing. While this is a decent heal and power, it’s not as potent as some of the other powers in the final build. Put 3 points into it as a contingency power but this power is not specced out in my build.
- Break the Spirit 3 – Single target DD, weakens target and does DOT, plus lowers your threat. In Divinity Mode it briefly stuns the targets before slowing them. Good for lowering your threat, I’m a little torn with this power but it doesn’t make my final cut.
- Divine Glow 0 – Ranged AOE debuff. Lowers enemy defenses. In Divine Mode this deals extra damage and gives allies a damage buff if they are in the area at the time of casting. I used this quite often while leveling but it doesn’t make my final cut as a healer.
- Astral Shield 3 – Ranged AOE buff. Reduces damage allies take while in the circle. In Divinity Mode allies regenerate health while in the circle. This is a very important spell in this spec, as healing and damage mitigation both in the same cast makes it invaluable.
These powers are cast less frequently because you need to build up your action points (shown in the big d20 at the bottom middle of your screen) in order to cast them. Fill the d20 and you can cast one of your two queued Daily Powers. Daily Powres have no bonuses in Divinity Mode. These are very powerful spells that can turn the tide of a battle when used. It’s important to note that a high Recharge will increase how fast you regain your Daily powers as well as your Encounter powers.
- Guardian of Faith 2 – Single target DD that knocks them down. It also heals allies close to the target. Although this is a decent power early on, it doesn’t make the final cut due to limited healing.
- Flame Strike 3 – Ranged AOE Damage, knocks up and then down targets in the immediate (smaller) circle area. Targets around that area still take damage. While this spell is very important during leveling, it won’t be used in the final spec. No bonus in Divinity Mode.
- Hallowed Ground 2 – PBAOE buff. Increases ally offense and defense. Not really used and doesn’t make the final cut.
- Divine Armor 3 – Ranged AOE large area buff that lasts a little while. Increases defenses of allies while they are in the circle and they also get a good amount of temporary hit points. Great ability with huge returns and is a part of the final build.
- Hammer of Fate 3 – Single target DD that knocks them back. Hits like a truck and is a game changer while leveling. While casting you have a large resistance to damage and are immune to CC effects. Makes the final cut as your secondary Daily Power and will be used only in situational times (when your party doesn’t need healing and you can spare the use of a Daily Power to help with DPS).
These powers give you constant bonuses like a buff that’s always on. I have almost all of these at full spec for this build. You do not queue these, they are “always on”.
- Healer’s Lore 3 – Increases your healing powers by 5% per tick.
- Divine Fortune 3 – Your heals and buffs now rebuild your Divine Power instead of only your attacks.
- Sooth 3 – Decreases threat from your healing spells.
- Holy Fervor 3 – Your attacks build more Action Points for your Daily Powers
- Foresight 3 – You have a permanent damage resistance buff that you share with allies when you heal them.
- Terrifying Insight 1 – Whenever something damages you, you get a buff to your damage against them. Only took 1 point of this since it doesn’t match up well with a healing spec.
- Prophetic Action 3 – Fully resist one attack every 60, 50, 40 seconds (depending on how many points you have in it, 40 seconds for this spec).
Powers - The Final Build
Below is a picture of the powers as I have them specced out at level 60. Note that some powers I say won’t be included in the build have had points put into them – the fact is you get more points to spend than you can use at any one time so you need to put points somewhere. The choices I made are based around powers that I think are useful and that I may test them out again at a later date – for example, I don’t use Bastion of Health but it doesn’t hurt having it as a backup in case I ever want to do a closer comparison later on. You may be fond of that power and may prefer to switch it out with something I have here– it’s up to you.
Powers in the tray (associated keys are in parenthesis):
- Daily Powers: Divine Armor (1), Hammer of Fate (2)
- Encounter Powers: Sun Burst (Q), Forgemaster’s Flame (E), Astral Shield (R)
- At-Will Powers: Sacred Flame (Left-Click), Astral Seal (Right-Click)
Below is a screen shot of the Devoted Cleric Power Tree as it looks at the end of this spec.
It’s important to note that healers can gain a lot of aggro from healing allies. Starting off a fight against a group using Sun Burst may be a good idea when you’re soloing, but with a group it could kill you right off the bat. It’s important to let your tank (or your DPSers if you don’t have a tank) attack first and build up a little aggro. The first thing you should be doing in most fights is planting Astral Seals on mobs, in particular on the tougher ones first – you can have this spell on as many creatures as you want. This does a little damage but sets up your group heals nicely (everyone that hits it will get a small heal). Now that we have that understood, below is a general guideline for how to use the powers in your tray (keys associated to the powers are listed in parenthesis):
- Dodge (Shift + Direction or double-tap direction) – I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn to dodge right away. NEVER stand on ground highlighted in red, it means a bad thing is about to happen there or is already happening. Keep in mind that party members in that red area are likely about to take damage so prepare to heal them. You will be dodging constantly throughout a fight – it’s very rare that even a shorter battle has you standing in one spot the whole time. If you are on the edge of a red zone you can step outside of it without shifting, but sometimes this can take too long.
- Astral Seal (Right-Click) – as explained above, start off with this. Once they start disappearing from the mobs and your party is not in immediate need of healing, start laying them out again.
- Sacred Flame (Left-Click) – until your party needs some AOE healing lay these out on mobs that are surrounded – this will heal close party members a small amount with each hit.
- Sun Burst (Q) – once aggro has been obtained by other party members, feel free to wade in closer to the action and lay this out every time it pops. It will damage all nearby enemies and heal all nearby allies a pretty decent amount. This is PBAOE so you don’t have to pause to aim it and it’s got a decent range. It repops pretty quick, and doesn’t require Divinity Mode.
- Astral Shield (Tab, R) – Pop into Divinity Mode (tab) and place this around the center of all the action. It has a large AOE that lasts a little while and protects your party while healing them – but only if they are in the circle. Use this only in Divinity Mode as it doesn’t heal anyone otherwise. (Note: In Divinity Mode the circle is blue, in normal mode it’s gold).
- Forgemaster’s Flame (Tab, E) – Pop into Divinity Mode (tab) and cast this on a tough mob or the boss. This provides even more healing to anyone near the target. Only cast this in Divinity mode as otherwise it doesn’t heal at all.
- Divine Armor (1) – Unless it’s a short fight, cast this as soon as your party needs it and you have it available (your action points are full). This is a big defensive buff AND it grants the party a large amount of temporary hit points if they are in the circle at the time of casting. Position it smartly so you get as many people as possible, yourself included! Temporary hit points are added to the party member’s current hit points and cannot be healed themselves, but they take away all the damage the character takes until they are gone which allows you to build them back up to full normal hit points a lot easier. Temporary hit points show up as a tan or yellow color added to the end of each party member’s hit point bar.
- Hammer of Fate (2) – Only use this if your party is doing fine and doesn’t require immediate healing or buffing (using it will delay you from being able to cast Divine Armor again until you rebuild your Action points). This will be rare….but this spell is really fun and does a ton of damage. It’s loud and puts on a show (hits the mob 3 times and knocks them backward). This can also be used to help save you from a bad situation – you take a lot less damage during the cast and you become immune to CC so it can save you in a pinch.
You should never stop casting spells one way or another. Remember you need to keep casting to rebuild Divinity and Action Points, so unless you’re standing around doing nothing to help the party, you need to remain active throughout.
This guide is continued in the second post with the feats, and follows with a third post that has a cheat sheet for this build.
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05-02-2013, 10:19 AM #1
The Devoted Cleric Guide to Healing
Last edited by drake5252; 05-02-2013 at 10:36 AM.
05-02-2013, 10:19 AM #2
Part 3: Feats
There are 12 Heroic Feats, some of which I do not use in this build and I will not list here. You get a total of 20 points to spend on Heroic Feats and in order to move from each Tier to the next you have to spend points in increments of 5. Heroic Feats are listed below with the amount of points I spent in them for this build followed by a brief description of the feat.
- Greater Fortune 3 – Gives you a bonus to your healing.
- Healing Action 4 – Gain more Action Points when you cast healing spells.
- Domain Synergy 5 – Gain more Recovery – very important for getting your Encounter and Daily powers back.
- Battlewise 3 – Your powers create less threat. Very important especially for healing powers.
- Cleanse 1 – Healing an ally gives you a chance to remove a negative effect on them. I only put 1 point into this because Bountiful Fortune is very important and you will be healing so much this should still tick very often.
- Bountiful Fortune 4 – Gain Divine Power faster.
Below is a screen shot of the Devoted Cleric Heroic Feats as they look at the end of this spec.
There are 3 Paragon Paths for the Devoted Cleric but I am only going to discuss one as it’s the only path I use in this spec. This is the Faithful path which focuses on healing. You get a total of 31 points to spend on Paragon Feats and in order to move from each Tier to the next you have to spend points in increments of 5. Paragon Feats are listed below with the amount of points I spent in them for this build followed by a brief description of the feat.
- Deepstone Blessing 5 – When your target has Temporary Hit Points your heals are more effective on them.
- Benefit of Foresight 5 – Your Foresight class power has increased defense bonuses.
- Linked Spirit 5 – You increase the stat ratings of every ally you heal. This benefit increases the more targets you heal at once.
- Invigorated Healing 5 – Sun Burst, Bastion of Health and Astral Shield now give a small burst of additional healing after 6 seconds of casting.
- Power of Life 5 – Astral Seal heals more and Sacred Flame grants more temporary hit points to allies around the enemy you hit with it.
- Mark of Mending 5 – Your Healer’s Lore Class Power now gives you even more of a bonus to your healing and your Power Stat increases which adds even more to your spell potency.
- Greater Divine Power 1 – This adds a 4th pip (+ sign) to your Divine Power, up from 3.
Below is a screen shot of the Devoted Cleric Faithful Paragon Feats as they look at the end of this spec.
Thank you for reading this guide. Please feel free to give me feedback personally. I plan on updating this as more information becomes available or changes in game are made. Hopefully this guide has been helpful to some of you – but remember, this is only a guide. Create your character and play them however it is the most fun for you!
05-02-2013, 10:22 AM #3
The Devoted Cleric Guide to Healing: Cheat Sheet
The final build for this guide is as follows (numbers represent the power or feat points spent on them):
Lance of Faith 1
Astral Seal 3
Sacred Flame 3
Sun Burst 3
Healing Word 3
Chains of Blazing Light 1
Forgemaster’s Flame 3
Bastion of Health 3
Break the Spirit 3
Astral Shield 3
Guardian of Faith 2
Flame Strike 3
Hallowed Ground 2
Divine Armor 3
Hammer of Fate 3
Healer’s Lore 3
Divine Fortune 3
Holy Fervor 3
Terrifying Insight 1
Prophetic Action 3
Greater Fortune 3
Healing Action 4
Domain Synergy 5
Bountiful Fortune 4
Paragon Feats - Faithful
Deepstone Blessing 5
Benefit of Foresight 5
Invigorated Healing 5
Power of Life 5
Mark of Mending 5
Greater Divine Power 1
Powers in the tray (associated keys are in parenthesis):
Daily Powers: Divine Armor (1), Hammer of Fate (2)
Encounter Powers: Sun Burst (Q), Forgemaster’s Flame (E), Astral Shield (R)
At-Will Powers: Sacred Flame (Left-Click), Astral Seal (Right-Click)
Dodge (Shift + Direction or double-tap direction) – use whenever red is beneath your feet
Astral Seal (Right-Click) – Tag enemies first so you aren’t starting with high aggro.
Sacred Flame (Left-Click) – Use to help regain Action Points and Divinity
Sun Burst (Q) – AOE Damage and Heal
Astral Shield (Tab, R) – Use only in Divinity Mode
Forgemaster’s Flame (Tab, E) – Use only in Divinity Mode
Divine Armor (1) – Daily, large AOE Defense buff and adds Temporary Hit Points to party members
Hammer of Fate (2) – Daily, only use if healing is not necessary or in an emergency
Last edited by drake5252; 05-02-2013 at 10:45 AM.
05-02-2013, 10:48 AM #4
Very nice, thanks!
05-02-2013, 10:49 AM #5
Thanks! I've only reached level 22, but I plan on being a healing cleric at 60 so I will find this very helpful!
05-02-2013, 11:02 AM #6
WOW!!!! Thanks Drake. This is amazing and I wish I'd found it yesterday
I will gain some more levels and then respec. Thanks again....Beyond just "the build" I learned a lot about the powers and their use. Thanks for that too!!!!
05-02-2013, 11:14 AM #7
Very well written. Thanks for all the info. One thing I would like to add as it did not seem clear in the guide is about the Class Powers. They are always on but you can only have 2 active at a time. They are socketed next to your encounters in the little squares.
Last edited by uberguber; 05-02-2013 at 11:27 AM.Noli sinere te ab improbis opprimi
05-02-2013, 11:43 AM #8
05-02-2013, 11:52 AM #9
Thanks for your comments everyone, and for the additional information. I expect this to be a living document and will make changes to the original posts as more info comes out. It's still very early on in the game and I'm sure things will change, I just wanted to put together some good information for everyone to start off with.
Glad you like it!
05-02-2013, 12:12 PM #10
I sort of disagree with your assessment of Hallowed Ground as a full heals-based cleric. Not using this at any level is a terrible idea.
The base mitigation it provides indirectly heals. And it "heals" for quite a bit. Additionally, with Moontouched, this ability heals for 5% of max HP every 3 seconds for as long as HG lasts. That's actually one of the most significant healing powers in the game when you consider it runs at 9 seconds, and covers an extremely large area (can cover most of a boss battle area). If you have AP gain feats and a high WIS, you can actually fire this daily off again before it fades.
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