Warpriest Guides and healing


Advice


I'm going to be starting a new campaign soon and was looking for some advice. I'm thinking I want to be a Warpriest but am also likely to be the party "healer" out of 4 total players (one will be playing a Cavalier).

Will the Warpriest be able to cover the needed party healing? Is there a location for some Warpriest builds (some of which might address healing)?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Scarab Sages

It depends on what you mean by "healer". Warpriest will be a fabulous engine of destruction in combat, and should almost never waste spells or fervor on healing. Memorize a few condition removal spells and carry wands of cure light wounds and you will be able to provide all the healing needed out of combat.


okay
give us more information
help us to help you

What level will you be starting at?
how are you determining ability scores?
wealth by level? Low magic? Magic item access?

What campaign? Homebrew? An Adventure Path?

Do you even want to play a healer?
Or do you feel you need to be a healer?


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A warpriest can use a wand of Cure Light Wounds and many scrolls of condition removal spells like Lesser Restore, remove disease, etc. In many cases that's all that's necessary to be party healer.

One shouldn't be an in-fight healer unless one is built for it. It requires significant optimization to be better at healing than most foes are at damage-dealing.


I'm new to Pathfinder but not new to D&D, which I've played for 35 years or so. I've normally changed to each Edition when it comes out so am familiar with 3.5.

The campaign starts at level 1 and I think is some sort of module or adventure path that goes to reasonably high levels. I think the adventure path probably has "normal" magic and magic access.

I believe we will be doing some sort of standard point buy for ability scores though I'm not 100% sure. That's normally what our group does though.

When discussing which classes we might play, I know one of the 4 players did NOT want to be a healer-type. She'd played a cleric before and didn't want to deal with the prep work on selecting spells and other bookkeeping stuff this time around. She's likely to play a dps-type class. Another player has mostly decided to be a Cavalier. I will say two of the 4 players are less likely to be super optimizers, while the other player optimizes fairly well. I'm closer to the optimizer than not.

I volunteered to cover the party's healing requirements and have no problem in this role. (I usually fill whatever role might be missing in a party but also try to squeeze some sort of other role into my builds.) From what I've read, there are some Oracle, Oracle/Paladin and perhaps some Cleric builds that would be uber healers.

I'm wondering if Warpriest would be adequate as a healer? Would I be wasting the class by covering that role? Should I just be a Cleric or Oracle so healing is better covered and try to build them so they are melee or ranged capable?

Thanks for any help.


A Warpriest can pass as a healer. While you will want to pick battle spells, you can convert them to cure type spells. If you go with the Healing Blessing, those cure spells can be upgraded as if you used the Empowered feat.

My opinion -
Warpriest is a better healer then the Oracle (unless it's a life Oracle).


The thing is that in combat healing isn't usually very useful. In Pathfinder, it's a lot easier to deal a lot of damage than to heal a lot of damage. So instead of healing, you focus on preventing damage, such as by killing things faster.

Out of combat healing is quickly handled by a wand of cure light wounds which is very cheap. So by level 2 most of the healer role is handled by whoever has and can use a wand of cure light wounds.


Fundin Strongarm wrote:
I'm new to Pathfinder but not new to D&D, which I've played for 35 years or so. I've normally changed to each Edition when it comes out so am familiar with 3.5.

You'll find that, at first glance, the Warpriest is aesthetically similar to the 1st and 2nd Ed Cleric, but in practice is radically different.

Fervor ends up being sort of Super-Channel. It initially acts as a pseudo Lay On Hands, later becoming actual Channel by expending 2 uses of each.

You can also burn uses of Fervor to activate the second part of Sacred Weapon, which pumps your chosen Weapon with either a +1-5 Enhancement or equivalent abilities, on top of whatever enhancements they may already have; he later gains the ability to Enhance both his Armor AND his Weapon simultaneously

You can burn Prepared spells to spontaneously cast Cure spells just like a Cleric.

---

However, burning prepared spells for Cure spells is basically worthless until you decide to sleep for the night, and need a quick bump of HP.

using Fervor as Lay One Hands is also not typically great, unless you're desperate to somehow harm Undead.

Channel is a better way to cluster-bomb Undead and heal party members, but all-in-all healing during battle isn't usually as helpful as using Variant Channeling in order to give alternate effects (such as Battle Variant Channeling providing a bonus to damage for those who are normally healed by Positive Energy, or imbuing a negative to those who are harmed by Positive Energy).

---

At the end of the day, though, the Warpriest is a front-line combatant, who's main trick is spamming Fervor in order to cast Buff spells on himself as a Swift Action each round, slowly growing more and more powerful as the fight goes on - a Warpriest becomes very hard to kill due to its ever-growing power.

A Human or Half-Human Warpriest (a Half-Elf, Half-Orc, or Scion-of-Humanity Aasimar) gets as many Feats as a Fighter when all is said-and-done, and most of those are Combat Feats, so expect the Warpriest to generally be a martial first, medic second.

It's a great class to give a Wand of Cure Light Wounds to, or to give Scrolls of Cure Light to, but you're ultimately going to be beating faces in far more often then you are healing, at least in battle (out of battle, sure - you're a medic if need-be)


Not hardly, Matt. Warpriest gets delayed spells and is limited to level 6 spells and lower. Fervor can be used to channel, but it's frankly a waste of the ability to do this. Oracles not only get more spells per level than a warpriest, but they also get spells sooner. A warpriest won't get Heal until level 16, which is out of range for all but the very end of most APs, and very few PFS characters will ever see play at this level. Level 12, where oracles get Heal, on the other hand, is right around the third or forth book of most APs, and while normal scenarios end at 11, there's lots of specials, AP sections, and modules that allow PFS play at level 12. Casting Cure Serious Wounds, even with a limited-use Empower effect, is not going to keep up with the damage being dealt at that level.

Can a warpriest be the primary source of out-of-combat healing and condition removal for a party? Sure. Can a warpriest keep up with damage output to heal in-combat? No. Just, no. The math doesn't lie.


Warpriests get the spell slots but they often have better things to do with them than heal, and they don't get enough of them fast enough to heal effectively when it comes time to deal with conditions and the like. They gain channel but have a strong incentive to never use it, instead using Fervor to quicken out buffs-- the two abilities draw from the same pool and one is much stronger than the other.

So they're decidedly "meh" healers.

Access to items can make that easier; they do have the Cleric spell list so a wand of Lesser Restoration, a wand of Cure Light Wounds, a scroll or two later on, and you should be more-or-less alright.

But you're certainly no Cleric or Oracle.


Matt2VK wrote:

My opinion -

Warpriest is a better healer then the Oracle (unless it's a life Oracle).

Well, you're opinion is wrong.

And, yes, opinions CAN, in fact, be wrong, especially if they're able to be backed up by hard data.

An Oracle is a spontaneous caster with 9th-level spell progression. By the time the Warpriest learns 4th level spells, the Oracle is already on to 5th level spells.

The only real time a Warpriest and Oracle are about equal in casting power is from lv1 to lv4, because 9th-level spontaneous and 6th-level spellcasters both gain 2nd-level spells at lv4; the differences just get exaggerated from there.

Combine that with the fact that they're both using the SAME spell list, thus a 3rd level spell for an Oracle is ALSO a 3rd level spell for a Warpreist, and it's even more of a disconnect in terms of using spells for healing.

The Warpiest gets away with having the same spells later and not being useless mainly because Fervor is such a boon (effectively Still Spell, Silent Spell, and Quicken Spell, ALL AT ONCE, WITHOUT RAISING THE SPELL'S LEVEL), and would otherwise make certain spells like Divine Power completely busted if they were gained earlier than they already are for the WP.

So, no - Oracle is the significantly-better healer.


Thanks for the great responses.

I'm getting the impression that a Warpriest is mostly subpar at healing unless I can start at a higher level and rely on wands to provide mostly-out-of-combat healing.

I guess the next questions would be:
Would a typical Adventure Path in Pathfinder require a dedicated healer? Maybe not a Life Oracle uber healer but something better than a Healing Blessing Warpriest?

Should I make a Cleric or Oracle to make sure heals are fairly well covered and then try to make it more interesting (to me) by looking at some sort of Archer or melee variant by multiclassing/Prestige class?


Generally speaking I don't think in-combat healing is required for a typical AP. It's a good idea to have someone able to sling a wand and cast condition-removing spells for downtime-healing. This can usually be performed with scrolls of remove X/restoration and wands of Cure Light Wounds.

With all that said, the Warpriest is an underwhelming healer compared to the cleric, oracle, or even the paladin.


Fundin Strongarm wrote:

Thanks for the great responses.

I'm getting the impression that a Warpriest is mostly subpar at healing unless I can start at a higher level and rely on wands to provide mostly-out-of-combat healing.

I guess the next questions would be:
Would a typical Adventure Path in Pathfinder require a dedicated healer? Maybe not a Life Oracle uber healer but something better than a Healing Blessing Warpriest?

Should I make a Cleric or Oracle to make sure heals are fairly well covered and then try to make it more interesting (to me) by looking at some sort of Archer or melee variant by multiclassing/Prestige class?

No path ever really requires a "dedicated" healer. At least not a dedicated Combat Medic.

If your Party needs lots of healing in battle, your Party is in trouble in general.

Healing mid-battle is a last-ditch effort, since every turn you spend casting a Cure spell or using Channel to Heal is a turn you're not taking down the enemy - at best you're delaying defeat for another round, and at worst you're actually helping your enemy by prolonging the fight, rather than stopping them.

That's one of the main reasons why the Cleric sucked so badly in 1st and 2nd Ed - they were shoehorned into being healers with little active battle powers, while healing mid-combat never did anything to actually help win a fight (except against Undead, and that's only because Healing magic harms Undead).

A Warpriest isn't a great healer, no; not compared to the Cleric.

But the Cleric should also never really be used to heal mid-battle, either - its Channel ability is often changed from being "heal everyone" in some manner or another, either through Feats, through Variant Channeling, etc.

And you should never, ever, EVER, burn a useful spell for a Cure spell, unless it literally will be the only thing that'll keep your Party alive somehow (which, generally, it won't be).


Eh... sort of.

Condition removal can be extremely useful, and generic out-of-battle healing is always valuable. But both of those are solvable problems.


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I recommend you ask the DM to let control a cohort specifically for healing. I did for an AP and it worked out great! Nobody felt as though their toes were stepped on, and it didn't require much more management or slow down combat. Here's my cohort example.

Name: Wand
Class: Magic Item CL1
Str:---
Dex:---
Con:---
Int:---
Wis:11
Cha:---
Spells Prepared:
Lv1: Cure Light Wounds (50 uses)

He covers all the healing your party should need out of combat for quite a while. He is bound by a contract that costs 750gp for his full services though so ask the party to chip in for his contract. Also he's not very loyal. Once his spells are used up he refuses to assist the party anymore until his contract is renewed. I highly recommend hiring his brother in a few levels, Wand. Unlike Wand, Wand prefers casting Lesser Restoration. Eventually you may find yourself powerful enough to call upon he powers of the eldest Wand brother. His spell of choice is Restoration. Costly, but worth it if you know your about to face ability drain.


Quote:
I'm getting the impression that a Warpriest is mostly subpar at healing unless I can start at a higher level and rely on wands to provide mostly-out-of-combat healing.

It's not really that. If you run the AP's by the book you will rarely take enough damage that you wouldn't rather hurt your opponent rather than cure.

If you do get into a situation where healing immediately is needed (your DM is playing with numbers) then healing is unlikely to match the damage incoming no matter your class.

Outside of combat anyone who can cast Cure light will keep the party alive until you can find potions (found all over the AP's I've played) or a wand that will unlikely ever run out.

The other thing is, you know your group (esp DM) better than we do. I've been in groups that will fluff the battle until it starts to drain the party's resources no matter what. In this case you need some in combat healing.

If you need this dedicated healer, I suggest playing an "Oradin" (part life oracle, part paladin). Healing will be done using free actions to heal yourself and then transfer damage onto yourself. Then with power attack and a 2-handed weapon you can still smite the baddie with the best of them.


Yes, a Warpriest can cover healing. They get healing spells in their spell list, meaning they can use CLW-wands. They also get some channel and fervor to boot.
However, that's not optimal. Being a healer makes you spend actions, in combat, to heal. A Warpriest want to spend his actions and resources to fight. A supporter who doesn't frontline (like a Bard, support Cleric and etc.) is way more suited for this.

But it's totaly doable.
It's not that the Warpriest is a sub-par healer, it's that there are so much other things that can't be done while being a healer as a Warpriest. So you will fall short in other areas (as healing in combat will spend your fervor and few spell slots or spend your actions/time by drawin wands instead of fighting), where a cleric or an oracle could heal and still do other things from the back line.


I will ask the DM if access to wands of CLW will be an issue during the AP. If wands are no problem then I'll go Warpriest. If wands might be hard to come by then I will make some sort of Oracle build.

Thanks for the advice.

Grand Lodge

Maybe you should look besides the warpriest and tell us what roll besides healing do you want to cover and the rest of the party.

Theres a lot of good options that can cover healing for a 4 man party


I have played two different warpriests now in two different APs and they are excellent at what they do: good up front melee with backup healing. This game system rewards killing things before they do damage as opposed to being able to feasibly do nothing while in combat to heal as a healing character.


If you really want a "Combat Healer" then the Oradin (Life Oracle 3 or 4/Paladin the rest) can work well. You use the Oracle Life Link revelation from the Life Mystery to transfer 5 damage from each party member to your character each round. You then use Lay on Hands on yourself as a Swift action to heal up. Then you hit stuff with a great sword for the rest of the turn. Add in Fey foundling and Greater Mercy to increase the amount LoH heals, and Power Attack to hit harder. Done.

Silver Crusade

I have a 3rd level Oradin in Society play. My only regret is that I waited so long to play him.

My build is Paladin 4/Oracle 2/Holy Vindicator rest.


What about an Orapriest? Instead of lay on hands you Fervor a self heal?


Fundin Strongarm wrote:
What about an Orapriest? Instead of lay on hands you swift cast a self heal?

Oracle requires Charisma as its primary/only stat.

Warpriest's are Wisdom and either Strength or Dexterity.

Paladin requires Strength or Dexteriy, and gains major bonuses from Charisma. Paladins may or may not need Wisdom, especially since 2 Paladin Archetypes completely remove spellcasting.

So Oracle-Paladin is a much better synergy (since you can focus on Str/Dex and Cha almost exclusively) than Warpriest-Oracle (which would require you having 3 good stats - Str/Dex, Wis, and Cha)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fundin Strongarm wrote:

Thanks for the great responses.

I'm getting the impression that a Warpriest is mostly subpar at healing unless I can start at a higher level and rely on wands to provide mostly-out-of-combat healing.

I guess the next questions would be:
Would a typical Adventure Path in Pathfinder require a dedicated healer? Maybe not a Life Oracle uber healer but something better than a Healing Blessing Warpriest?

Should I make a Cleric or Oracle to make sure heals are fairly well covered and then try to make it more interesting (to me) by looking at some sort of Archer or melee variant by multiclassing/Prestige class?

If you're defining par as Cleric, than the War-Priest is subpar at healing at any level. But as said before you're good with scrolls and items up to level 6 spells, and the war=priest is one of the best self buffing melees around. So you need to decide on your priorities.


chbgraphicarts wrote:
Fundin Strongarm wrote:
What about an Orapriest? Instead of lay on hands you swift cast a self heal?

Oracle requires Charisma as its primary/only stat.

Warpriest's are Wisdom and either Strength or Dexterity.

Paladin requires Strength or Dexteriy, and gains major bonuses from Charisma. Paladins may or may not need Wisdom, especially since 2 Paladin Archetypes completely remove spellcasting.

So Oracle-Paladin is a much better synergy (since you can focus on Str/Dex and Cha almost exclusively) than Warpriest-Oracle (which would require you having 3 good stats - Str/Dex, Wis, and Cha)

Pst, PF Palaadin Spellcasting is Cha anyway. Wisdom is a fairly common dump stat [and sort of justifies the Smite First ask questions later Paladin often seen in Gaming Parody.]


kyrt-ryder wrote:
chbgraphicarts wrote:
Fundin Strongarm wrote:
What about an Orapriest? Instead of lay on hands you swift cast a self heal?

Oracle requires Charisma as its primary/only stat.

Warpriest's are Wisdom and either Strength or Dexterity.

Paladin requires Strength or Dexteriy, and gains major bonuses from Charisma. Paladins may or may not need Wisdom, especially since 2 Paladin Archetypes completely remove spellcasting.

So Oracle-Paladin is a much better synergy (since you can focus on Str/Dex and Cha almost exclusively) than Warpriest-Oracle (which would require you having 3 good stats - Str/Dex, Wis, and Cha)

Pst, PF Palaadin Spellcasting is Cha anyway. Wisdom is a fairly common dump stat [and sort of justifies the Smite First ask questions later Paladin often seen in Gaming Parody.]

Weird.

Well, shows how long it's been since I've taken a hard look at the Paladin for spellcasting (I'm used to it being Wisdom like before).

On the very, very rare occasions I've played one, it's always been a Warrior of Holy Light 'cause I don't like spellcasting Rangers or Paladins, so I always throw out the spell lists.


The battle oracle would be a good alternative: better at healing, skills, and overall utility, worse at defense (AC, Saves) and a little bit worse at offense.
It's a question of style and preference.

In your case I recommend battle oracle. You want one member of your group to be able to cast HEAL at level 12 (?) - or it's just like: the optimal group has one full arcane and one full divine caster - of course that does not mean it is not possible and fun without them. In the end all depends on the interaction of group and DM/GM and if and how she adjusts the given encounters (in either direction).

I like both classes and think they are comparable in power, just different.
I love good defense (and as many feats as possible!) so I would personally rather play a warpriest or the widely praised inquisitor, but that's just me.

P.S.: concerning the battle oracle's defenses: there's a new (in my eyes almost mandatory) feat in the ACG called Divine Protection that helps the battle oracle a ton in this regard. It more or less only makes sense for a warpriest if you play with 25-point buy (and play the Champion of Faith Archetype).


Basically an in combat healer is needed when something happens unexpectedly. That is, someone is crit and dying. Your wands likely not in your hand and now he is dead.

In this respect, a warpriest is ok, due to some minor healing buffs. But channel requires you to spend a feat to use efficiently and as stated the war priest is better served not doing that.

I agree that the battle oracle is better served here. Strong in combat yet able to attack and heal someone else at the same time without missing a beat with some expenditure.

Personally the best healer I played (so far) was the witch. With scar and hex healing, I was able to heal others WITHOUT spending my spells, and at a distance so I didn't have to move. This allowed me to buff with fortune hex and stay in one spot with little fear I wouldn't be where I was needed. I took hedge witch to better cast heals without prepping them, so I could focus on spells I wanted and be a healer when needed.

But as you want a little more Frontline I will second the battle (or even fire!) Oracle. Lots of bite with a quick heal should things go wrong and some fools dying.


OK, I think I've got it mostly figured out. The plan is to Oradin but use most feats I get on making me a decent melee combatant. I was thinking a reach weapon.


Imbicatus wrote:
It depends on what you mean by "healer". Warpriest will be a fabulous engine of destruction in combat, and should almost never waste spells or fervor on healing. Memorize a few condition removal spells and carry wands of cure light wounds and you will be able to provide all the healing needed out of combat.

The warpriest doesn't get condition removal spells on the cleric schedule so they're not entirely satisfactory for this either. The CRs at which nasty effects that require removal appear are usually set by when clerics get the spells to remove them. Since you're reliant on scrolls you're not any more of a healer than a cleric 1 fighter n.

For all the new classes Paizo has never addressed the condition removal problem and there is no substitute for cleric except to have a scroll monkey.

I consider the warpriest not fit for any purpose. You want a cleric with a hitting things build that leaves some slots open for as needed spell preparation. Especially third level slots: there are a lot of third level condition removal spells.


Is there a link to reasonably standard melee array builds? Things like Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, etc.? Maybe a reach build or two-handed builds?

Any help or links would be appreciated. Thanks.


Sample feats for an oracle of battle / + revelations

(RB = Revelation Bonus)
Feats for an oracle of battle:
1st: Combat Reflexes
3rd RB: WF Bardiche,
3rd: Power Attack,
5th: Divine Protection
7th: Craft Wondrous Item,
8th RB: Improved Critical: Bardiche,
9th: Improved Initiative
11th RB: Improved Trip
11th RB: Greater WF Bardiche,
11th RB: Greater Trip
11th Skill Focus Survival
13th Eldritch Heritage
15th Quicken Spell-like Ability

Revelations: 1 Skill at Arms, 3 Weapon Mastery, 7 War Sight, 11 Maneuver Mastery, 15 Surprising Charge (3/day)


Fundin Strongarm wrote:


I'm getting the impression that a Warpriest is mostly subpar at healing unless I can start at a higher level and rely on wands to provide mostly-out-of-combat healing.

I'm really late to the party here, but I'm running Rise of the Runelords and the party healer is a Warpriest with the healing blessing.

He does the job just fine.

Empowered heals means that he heals more than a Cleric or Oracle would with single target heals, at least while his Fervor lasts. And since in combat healing is primarily for covering those "Oh Crap!" moments, his Fervor lasts the entire adventuring day most of the time. The real downside of a Warpriest is 9th through 12th level where a Cleric or Oracle would have Breath of Life and Raise Dead but a Warpriest doesn't. The same is an issue for the Oradin.

The Oradin healers I've seen have been dedicated healers: You have to put too much investment into Cha for channels and Lay on Hands to get enough Str and Con to be very effective in combat. Sure you can buff yourself with spells, but those take actions, and unless you can pre-cast that means you aren't either attacking or supporting your party. Sure they mix it up and swing their sword, but they do about as much damage as a rogue without flank. They've also got about the same level of condition removal as Warpriests since their Paladin levels slow down their Oracle spell access.

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