Advice on a 5th Level Cleric Spell


Advice


My sons Cleric just hit level 9 and picked up a 5th level spell slot and we are looking for advice as to what are a few of the best spells available to a Cleric.

His domain spell will be Breath of Life, plus he plans to take the feat Channeled Revival in an effort to not lose any party members in upcoming adventures. (PFS play btw)

So, what are the best options for:

Utility
Damage Dealing
Buffs

Thanks for your help!


Wall of Stone and Greater Forbid Action are both excellent spells.


Spell resistance, greater forbid action, plane shift, communal air walk, communal spell immunity


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Greater Command seems better than Greater Forbid Action. I guess they get a new save every round, but it's dictating what they actually do, rather than what they can't (leaving all other actions open).

Hunter's Blessing is probably the best buff at that level, if you know what you're facing and where you're going that day.

Wall of Stone is great, but requires stone to anchor it to, so, not always a good choice (in a jungle or sea game, for example).

You shouldn't be focusing on damage, but for my money, Boneshatter is a nasty damage/debuff combo, if you hit a guy with weak Fortitude.

If you want both utility and/or damage and you don't mind dropping 25gp per casting, Holy Ice is the best of both worlds. Choose between excellent damage or a wall of ice every time you cast it.


If APG is used = Life Bubble has long duration = 2 hour per level. Can effect 1 creature per level ( duration divided up in 1 hour increment, between effected creatures), and great for exploring underwater / other air less environments.

Nice spell, if you want a buff with a good duration, that can let you explore area you would not be able to otherwise.


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Summon Monster V is nice. Get a large elemental or 2 - 5 lantern archons. Only downsides are the full round casting time and the extra bookkeeping.

Another possibility is leaving the spell slot open and, if he has time, preparing an appropriate spell when he needs (like wall of stone if the group comes across some interesting ruins).

Shadow Lodge

Channeled Revival isn't as good as it seems.
The problem is that it takes a full-round action to activate, which means that you must already be standing in an adjacent square to your suddenly dead ally in order to use it. You can't move to their position and start it up; they'll be perma-dead by the time it activates.
You're also putting yourself in danger by standing there and using an ability that provokes an AOO right in front of whatever just killed your friend.

I suggest Reach Spell instead. There are lots of 'Communal' buffs that you can prep with it. Communal Resist Energy and Communal Align Weapon are exceptional buff spells when paired with Reach Spell.
Quick Channel is another decent option.

Spell suggestions:
Utility: Communal Air Walk, Commune, and Breath of Life are all good choices.

Damage: I agree with mplindustries; Boneshatter is good if you want to do some damage. You can always spontaneously convert it into mass CLW.
Also Curse, Major - very nice because it's close range and has a good DC.

Buffs: Dispel Evil and Communal Spell Immunity can be very good in the right circumstances. Also apply Reach Spell to any number of 4th level buffs for this slot.

I suggest that you avoid Spell Resistance. If you fall unconscious and need a Cure or an ally needs to cast a beneficial spell on you, they have to roll vs SR 21 at this level. That can create some problems and might even get you killed.


OK, where do I find Boneshatter? I will assume it is in a book that I do not have yet.

Regarding Channeled Revival...it does not activate in range of the normal channeling positive energy? If not, it would seem to be a wasted feat. The entire idea behind it would be a comrade falls in battle and you channel to save them. If you need to move to be adjacent prior its a waste.


Channeled Revival does use the range of channeling per this FAQ, but still, it seems a waste of a feat. Because, if you are within 30 feet of the person and have Breath of Life as a domain spell, you can just move up to them and cast Breath of Life instead of using a full-round action to use Channeled Revival. It is potentially better at keeping you out of harm's way, but in my mind the only real reason to take it is so you don't have to prepare Breath of Life, which is irrelevant if you have it as a domain spell.


OK, so moving on to another question regarding channeling:

I have seen talk of Variant Channeling. Is this something that a Cleric can pick up and choose to do rather than Positive Channel? How does it work, and is it available to a Neutral Good Cleric of Saranrae. We were looking at the Rulership channel where when you channel for Harm it dazes the enemies as well as doing half damage. I assume this is only against undead?

Is there a feat that allows you to channel EITHER positive or negative energy? Channel to heal your party one round, and then channel to heal humanoids the next?


I've enjoyed Angelic Aspect as a buff. Also summon monster as noted above.

There's some info on variant channeling here: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/cleric/variant-channeling.

As a NG sarenrae cleric, probably no.

Shadow Lodge

I hadn't heard of that FAQ. That makes the feat only marginally more useful though. Rumpin is right that you might as well just use BoL.

Boneshatter is in the Osirion, Land of Pharaohs supplement. It's also in Pathfinder #84 Mummy's Mask AP book 6.

Variant Channeling can be good, but you have to decide to use it when you create the character.

Versatile Channeler feat lets you channel either positive or negative, but it doesn't look like it works with variant channeling like you are imagining.


If he has debuffing or a really high wisdom plane shift is a worthy consideration as its a very good save or die. Summon monster V is very solid. Any wall spell. And finally level 5 spells are a very sweet spot for metamagic spells. Extend spell for example is very good for a buffing cleric, so look at that possibility if nothing truly stands out.


Cleanse is a decent spell not so much for healing HP, but for condition removal. It not only removes a bunch of conditions all at once, it also acts as break enchantment on a single affect. It’s basically a mini heal but with less HP, that can remove transmutation and curses.

Commune is also a good spell but is more useful during downtime. It’s like playing 20 questions with a deity except not as many questions. If the party is stumped and in a safe location it is can be useful to get information.

Major Curse is a good for severely weakening an opponent that has a poor will save. The permanent -4 on all attack rolls, saves and skill checks is probably the strongest.

Hallow is great for using on your base of operation. The ability to have secondary spell that last a full year affecting only those that share your faith is very good. Add death ward and you will have a sanctuary that undead will really have problems with.

Spell Immunity Communal is great for protecting against a known threat. It works great to protect the party from spell cast by the party. If you have a sorcerer that uses fireball cast this on the party before a battle and the party can ignore his spells.

True Seeing is another good spell. It’s use is pretty obvious but a new player may forget about it.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Cleanse is a decent spell not so much for healing HP, but for condition removal. It not only removes a bunch of conditions all at once, it also acts as break enchantment on a single affect. It’s basically a mini heal but with less HP, that can remove transmutation and curses.

Cleanse is not a bad spell but severely limited by the fact that you can cast it only on yourself. Makes half of it's condition removal useless as you can't cast Cleanse when you're nauseated, petrified or dominated. It's great if you have access to contingency but that's somewhat rare among divine casters.

Sovereign Court

Tomos wrote:
I suggest that you avoid Spell Resistance. If you fall unconscious and need a Cure or an ally needs to cast a beneficial spell on you, they have to roll vs SR 21 at this level. That can create some problems and might even get you killed.

If you have other players with decent Heal skill they can always First Aid you to prevent you from dying, then afterwards cast healing spells. Still an inconvenience but it's an option.


Kysune wrote:
Tomos wrote:
I suggest that you avoid Spell Resistance. If you fall unconscious and need a Cure or an ally needs to cast a beneficial spell on you, they have to roll vs SR 21 at this level. That can create some problems and might even get you killed.
If you have other players with decent Heal skill they can always First Aid you to prevent you from dying, then afterwards cast healing spells. Still an inconvenience but it's an option.

If there was a channeler or paladin nearby this would get past the SR as well. I'm goin to assume there isn't but it is still possible/practical.


In general, "which is the best cleric spell" is strongly situational -- who else is in your party, what do you regularly do, what do you plan doing, who are your current foes?

Hallow, scrying, and commune are all great spells for non-adventuring days, plane shift lets you get places long before a wizard does (if you want to go there...)

Dispel chaos/evil/law/good is magnificent if you are up against foes of that type (especially outsiders).

For combat buffs: fickle winds makes enemy archers cry huge hot tears of pain, righteous might is good if you are a combat cleric, and true seeing shuts down a whole school of magic that might otherwise make everyone's life hard.

Summon monster V is a nice flexible default spell since you can do lots of different things with it, but generally at this level you should start by figuring out "what am I going to do today?" and then picking your spells.


Would still argue for Life Bubble. For Utility/Buff

At 9th level, you only get one spell to use for the day right.

Life bubble has a 2 hour duration per level = 18 hour use spell at 9th level.

You can cast it on yourself or you can share it with other, right out the box, in 1 hour increment. ( have a part of 4 = give 3 people the effect for 4 hours, and give yourself the effect for 6 hour, with one casting).

You get:
1) Breathe Freely, underwater or in vacuum of space.
2) Immune to harmful gases and vapors, including inhaled diseases and poisons and spells like "cloudkill" and "Stinking cloud"
3) The spell protects the subjects from extremes of temperature ( per Endure elements spell) as well as extremes of pressure.

.....

Other utility = Wall of Stone is amazing in dungeon craws, caverns, and Citys.

.............................

Damage spell = 5th level spell: Flame Strike would be one i like.
Give a 10 foot radius ( 20 foot diameter blast area up to 40 feet high). Does 1d6 damage per caster level up to 15d6 max. Half the damage is fire but the other half is divine and not resistible.
This is the cleric version of a fireball.. shorter range and area, but can burn hotter in latter levels and less likely for it to be ignored by fire resistance creatures.
....Downside: same weakness of fireball: Saving throw is reflex based (monk/rogue/9th level ranger can evade it for even less damage), and spell resistance can stop it cold.

The only other damage spell i normal use on a cleric at low level ( we really do not get many at low levels ), is Sound burst... not so much for the damage, but for the chance to stun every creature in a 10 foot radius ( 20 foot diameter blast area) with a Fortitude save to avoid the stun. Stun = 1 round creature drops everything held, can't take actions, takes a -2 penalty to AC, and loses its Dexterity bonus to AC if any.
...Downside: can not effect creature that can not hear (but teamed up with a rogue with earplugs... and he can now use sneak attack vs stun creature that round), and spell resistance can stop it cold.
...Upside: Reach feat can extend the range with higher spell slots. Great spell to use on a cluster of archer... as they just dropped all there bows this round, if they fail the save.

........

Would also avoid spell resistance, the duration is just way to short. 1 minute per level, would mean you cast it and hope, something cast a spell on you to resist ( and pray it stop it them ), or you cast it, and then nothing
... there goes your 5th level spell slot for the day. Even worse, something win initiative, and cast something on your before you have a chance to cast it.
Get a Spell Resistance magic item instead, were you get spell resistance 24 hour a day as a magical effect.

............................

Feats : APG Reach Spell (Metamagic) : Turns a Touch, Close, or Medium range spell up to a close, Medium, or Long range spell. Uses up a spell slot +1 for each range increase up to Long. ( +3 spell level to turn a touch spell into a long range touch attack ).

Good for Cure/Cause light wounds, if you need to effect friend/foe from a distance

At 9th level, you could use Bestow Curse as a 5th level spell slot to effect a creature up to 100 feet + 10 feet per level with the spell, as a range touch attack. ( same is true with Blindness/Deafness, Deeper Darkness, or Inflict serious wounds ).

or turn a Dismessal spell ( close ) to Medium range with a 5th level spell slot.

Feat : Selective Channeling : is another good feat, for a cleric. (( Kind of a feat tax really, as it should have been build into the basic ability, but it lets you not heal... the bad guys that are close to you when you heal the good guys. )).

Extra Channel is also another good one for a cleric, especially if you you got low charisma and/or a dwarf.

Extend spell (metamagic): Might be useful for a +1 to spell level. Depending on your play-style or DM.

anyway, hope this was helpfull.


Quote:
At 9th level, you only get one spell to use for the day right.

It's very likely that you'll have a bonus spell slot from a 20 wisdom by then (if you started with a 16 Wis, put the level 4 and 8 increases into Wis, and got a +2 item, you'd have a 20 by level 9). You also have your domain spell slot.

I can think of a lot of really good level 4 cleric spells, but what does it say about the level 5 ones that half the time a metamagiced level 3/4 spell does better in the level 5 slot than most of the level 5s? Except the out-of-combat ones. Hmmm... maybe level 9 is when the High Priest retires from adventuring and opens his own cathedral or something.

Extend Spell is very good for a cleric, particularly a buffing cleric, but much of the time one uses a lesser rod of extend instead of a feat + a higher-level spell slot. (Then again, maybe you have better uses for that 3K gold.)

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