Best Tempest Cleric Build

Best Tempest Cleric Build - Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)

By zanuffas
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In this post, we will go through Tempest Cleric Build for Baldurs Gate 3. This subclass is specifically designed to take control of Thunder and Lightning. We can easily burn enemies with roaring thunder or set the whole stage with electricity where every step shocks an enemy to its core. Not only that, but we can support and heal our allies, making sure they are ready for the hardest encounters

Tempest Domain Cleric Build

This domain of Cleric concentrates on manipulating various elements - water, thunder, cold, etc. It is especially effective at using thunder and lightning. This is supported by subclass features that allow you to Channel Divinity and deal the highest damage.

thunder damage tempest cleric combat baldurs gate 3

The good thing is that you also do not lose any benefits of Cleric. You can still heal, support allies, and summon weapons. However, you are much more potent at offensive spellcasting - Call Lightning, Ice Storm, etc.

The Tempest Cleric is a wonderful addition to the party and a good option if you felt that Cleric was just standing still and only casting Bless. Moreover, you get Heavy Armor proficiency making you extremely effective at avoiding enemy hits.

We will also take one level dip in Storm Sorcery via multiclassing. Not only it fits the theme of the build but also it will give a huge boost to the survivability and mobility of Tempest Domain Cleric.

Starting the Game

We start with the early game. I would go into what are the best Races, Abilities, and Skills for Tempest Cleric. Some of these choices are very impactful as you cannot respec them.

Races

Picking a race provides various benefits - abilities, dialogue options, looks, etc. Because Tempest Cleric gets Heavy Armor proficiency you have many more options on what to choose. I think it is one of the rare classes that really can go with any race.

If you are having difficulties making a choice, pick whatever you prefer. "Picking the perfect race" is important if you are min-maxing or doing a Tactician run.
Race Features Description
Half-Elf Baldur's Gate 3Wood Half-Elf What makes these special is their increased moving distance. This is important as you will be using Spirit Guardians icon action bg3Spirit Guardians​ often and you will want to reach all enemies so that they get damaged and debuffed.
Elf Baldur's Gate 3Wood Elf
  • Elven Weapon Training icon passive feature bg3Elven Weapon Training
  • Darkvision icon passive feature bg3Darkvision
  • Fey AncestryFey Ancestry
  • Fleet of Foot - your movement speed is increased by 1.5m.
Similar to Wood Half-Elf, gives increased movement speed. This is crucial for Spirit Guardians icon action bg3Spirit Guardians​ so that you would be able to reach all enemies.
Elf Baldur's Gate 3High Elf
  • Elven Weapon Training - You have proficiency with the Longswords, Shortsword, Shortbow, and Longbow
  • Darkvision - grants a creature the ability to see in the dark out to a range of 12m.
  • Fey Ancestry - You have Advantage on Saving Throws against being Charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep.
High elves are a good choice because they can pick additional Cantrip (for example Friends icon action bg3Friends​ if you are the main character) and get bonus resistance against Charm and especially Sleep. This is not critical but good to have.
Half-Elf Baldur's Gate 3High Half-Elf
  • Civil Militia - You have weapon proficiency with Spears, Pikes, Halberds, and Glaives, and Armour Proficiency with Light Armour and Shield
  • Darkvision - Grant a creature the ability to see in the dark out to a range of 12m.
  • Fey Ancestry - You have Advantage on Saving Throws against being Charmed, and magic can't put you to sleep.
Similar to normal elves you get a bonus cantrip and additional resistances.
Githyanki Baldur's Gate 3Githyanki
  • Martial Prodigy icon passive feature bg3Martial Prodigy
Githyanki comes with a few special-race abilities. However, the most prominent one is Mist Step which you can cast without expanding Spell slot. You can use it to avoid enemies in the case of being surrounded or jump straight to them with Spirit Guardian active

Class

Overview
cleric Baldur's Gate 3Cleric
Features
PassiveFeature_Generic_Magical Baldur's Gate 3Domain Spells You gain spells from your domain. They are always prepared.

Cantrips

Cantrip Description
Spell_Evocation_SacredFlame Baldur's Gate 3Sacred Flame You could say this is the main ranged attack of Cleric. It can be useful against undead enemies. But I do not use it much, due to its low damage, and rather hit with a crossbow, bow, or other cantrip.
Spell_Divination_Guidance Baldur's Gate 3Guidance Probably the most useful cantrip in the game. Can be used to improve the chances of successful ability rolls. Especially useful in dialogues. The cleric can use this on any character in the group.
Spell_Evocation_Light Baldur's Gate 3Light Imbue an object or person with light. This reveals darker areas and can be a good quality of life improvement.
Spell_Abjuration_BladeWard Baldur's Gate 3Blade Ward For two turns decrease slashing, bludgeoning, and piercing damage in half. In theory, this means doubling the HP. The good thing is that this does not require Concentration.

Subclass

Overview
cleric_tempest Baldur's Gate 3Tempest Domain
Features
GenericIcon_DamageType_Thunder Baldur's Gate 3Wrath of the Storm Strike back at an attacking creature, potentially dealing 2 -16 Lightning damage. On a failed Saving Throw you deal half of a 2 -16 Thunder damage roll.

Abilities

Now let's take a look at the abilities of the Tempest build. Correct allocation will allow us to maximize the early gameplay and get good modifier bonuses. The thing that may be confusing is that fighter's main ability is strength, but we keep it low. It's because, with some Cleric features, we will change how damage is calculated to the Charisma.

Ability Value Description
strengthStrength 10 Just insurance for Strength Saving Throws, so that we would not get any negative modifier
dexterityDexterity 14 It will help us with Dexterity Saving Throws, and increase initiative. You could also experiment with 12 if you are okay with delaying combat turn
constitution bg3Constitution 16 (15 +1) Increases the amount of HP we have and improves spell concentration. This means there will be a smaller chance to cancel spells if hit and we will be hit a lot.
intelligenceIntelligence 8 Unfortunately, we lower this so that Constitution's ability could be improved. Gladly there are not many Intelligence Saving Throws.
wisdomproficient_ability Baldur's Gate 3Wisdom 17 The main damage ability and very important to resist spells in the game. We will also have good perception to detect things in the world
charismaCharisma 8 Unfortunately, we skip this stat to improve others. However, if you are playing as a main character you may want to win some dialogue checks, so you could go 8 Strength and 15 Constitution. Then use those points for Charisma.

Skills and Expertise

Overall, the skills should be impacted by your roleplaying and background decisions. However, you would still probably want those that will give you the best benefits. You are best to pick those at which you have a high ability modifier:

Wisdom related:

  • Animal Handling - influence animals. Pet all of the dogs.
  • Insight - read people and situations. Detect lies.
  • Medicine - recognize symptoms. Diagnose diseases. 
  • Perception - observe your environment. Spot hidden details. 
  • Survival - stay alive in the wilds. Track prey. 

However, I think something like Arcana or Religion also fits the Cleric build

Detailed Leveling Progression

Here is the detailed progression for the build to get you started. You can use it as a guideline because early games can be daunting and overwhelming. Later on, once you get the feel for the class you can start picking your own options

Level 2

Tempest Cleric is an amazing choice and you can already feel how powerful it is early in the game. We instantly get a subclass feature and Channel Divinity charge. Moreover, we get additional spell slot for more spell usage

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_DestructiveWrath Baldur's Gate 3Destructive Wrath This is a very powerful subclass feature. We can use Channel Divinity to deal the maximum amount of damage when using Lightning or Thunder damage.

We also unlock the Turn Undead spell. There are a few places where you can use this spell, but to be honest, I never used it. I rather concentrated on dealing damage - what Tempest Cleric is good at.

Spell Description
Spell_Cleric_TurnUndead Baldur's Gate 3Turn Undead Pray to Turn all undead that can see you. Turned enemies cannot take action and can only move.

Prepared Spells

We also get additional spell slot, so here are the recommended Spells to add:

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_GuidingBolt Baldur's Gate 3Guiding Bolt A strong single-target attack that also gives the next attacker Advantage with Attack Rolls.
Spell_Necromancy_InflictWounds Baldur's Gate 3Inflict Wounds Early on this is a very powerful spell. In case someone gets close, use this to inflict 3d10 damage which is a lot for a level 1 spell slot.
Spell_Enchantment_Bless Baldur's Gate 3Bless A staple spell for Cleric. We can use it to boost multiple ally attack rolls. This is great for general use, but especially good if your party members have Great Weapon Master or Sharpshooter feats.
Spell_Abjuration_Sanctuary Baldur's Gate 3Sanctuary A last resort spell that you can save your ally from being killed. This will divert enemy attention from them as long as they don't do aggressive attacks
Spell_Transmutation_CreateWater Baldur's Gate 3Create Water The spell is useful for both Tempest Cleric and your party members. You can make enemies wet, allowing you to deal double damage using Cold or Lightning.
Spell_Evocation_HealingWord Baldur's Gate 3Healing Word A very good spell to have in the arsenal. It costs bonus action and can be used safely to heal allies when you expend your main attacks or spells.

Level 3

We finally unlock level 2 spells and this in total gives us 3 level 1 spell slots and 2 level 2 spell slots. Now we can cast many more spells each Long Rest. This will be needed as the Tempest Cleric arsenal will now increase with new Tempest domain spells

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_Shatter Baldur's Gate 3Shatter Area of Effect spell that deals Thunder damage. Especially effective against enemies with inorganic materials. It also targets Constitution so use it on enemies that how this attribute on the lower side.
Spell_Evocation_GustOfWind Baldur's Gate 3Gust of Wind Creates a wide cone of wind that pushes enemies 5 meters and throws them off balance. Personally, I use Thunderwave which also deals damage.

Prepare Spells

As a new spell tier is unlocked a few more options appear to improve both the defensive and offensive prowess of Cleric. Here are some good options that you can include.

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_SpiritualWeapon Baldur's Gate 3Spiritual Weapon I think this is the most potent level 2 spell. It has saved my combat encounters numerous times. This summons a levitating weapon that can draw enemy attention and deal a decent amount of damage.
Spell_Abjuration_LesserRestoration Baldur's Gate 3Lesser Restoration Useful in a few encounters, so good to have in hand in case your allies are under the effects of disease, poison, paralysis, or blindness
Spell_Enchantment_HoldPerson Baldur's Gate 3Hold Person Can be used to paralyze a single humanoid enemy. Each melee hit on them deals critical damage.

There are other good spells, however, I did not use them much. The next target is level 3 spells, which will be a huge improvement for the Tempest Cleric.

Level 4

On this level up we gain an additional level 2 spell slot, spell preparation slot, additional cantrip, and a new Feat. The latter will give unique effects based on the choices we make.

Cantrips

You can get a cantrip that you did not take during character creation or take this one, which helps in some dialogues

Cantrip Description
Spell_Transmutation_Thaumaturgy Baldur's Gate 3Thaumaturgy Gain Advantage on performance and intimidation checks. Makes passing those dialogue checks easier.

Feat

I think this is the main option for now when playing Tempest Cleric

Feat Description
ico_features Baldur's Gate 3Ability Improvement Put two points into Wisdom +2. This will increase your spell damage and success

Level 5

This is a big milestone for Cleric build. We reach level 3 spells, unlock a new set of Tempest spells, and obtain additional class features:

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_DestroyUndead Baldur's Gate 3Destroy Undead If you successfully Turn and undead deal additional 4-24 radiant damage. This makes Turn Undead spell much more useful in my opinion.

The new spells that you gain with Tempest Cleric are also very powerful. They have some good use cases and can deal huge amounts of damage.

Spell Description
Spell_Conjuration_SleetStorm Baldur's Gate 3Sleet Storm Amazing crowd control spell that disrupts spellcaster concentration and creates Ice surfaces. After one turn this changes into water that can be electrified.
Spell_Conjuration_CallLightning Baldur's Gate 3Call Lightning A perfect skill to hit multiple enemies that are close to each other. Combine it with Destructive Wrath for huge damage. Also, it can be reused next turns without expending spell slots if your concentration is not broken. However, it will break other spell concentration

Prepared spells

Because we unlocked level 3 spells, we can update our spellbook with new spells. Here are my favorite options

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_MassHealingWord Baldur's Gate 3Mass Healing Word Using a bonus action you can heal multiple allies. Of course, this is not much, but can be extremely useful to revive someone from being downed and give a little regeneration.
Spell_Conjuration_SpiritGuardians Baldur's Gate 3Spirit Guardians At this stage, you should have decent spell concentration. Spirit Guardians deal radiant or Necrotic damage in 3 3-meter radius. This can be perfect, especially against multiple weaker enemies. Definitely keep this spell on hand.
Spell_Abjuration_GlyphOfWarding_ExplosiveRunes Baldur's Gate 3Glyph of Warding I like this AOE spell as it allows to choose its element. This way you can maximize the damage dealt if the enemy is weak to a particular element.

Level 6 - respeccing to Sorcerer

"What? Why?" you may say. Well, there is a big reason for that and it will improve our endgame Cleric much more than continuing on the current path. So what do we do next? Well, we respec and take Sorcerer. Why one would do that? Here are some pros:

  • Get some really good Sorcerer level 1 spells that can be upcast
  • Easily move around the battlefield with Fly, after casting a spell
  • Constitution Saving Throw Proficiency. This will greatly reduce your chances of canceling spell concentration and save one Feat slot.

So here is what we do:

Class

Overview
sorcerer Baldur's Gate 3Sorcerer
Sorcerers are natural spellcasters, drawing on inherent magic from a gift or bloodline. 

Cantrips

Take the ones that Cleric does not have, to cover more aspects:

Cantrip Description
Spell_Conjuration_MageHand Baldur's Gate 3Mage Hand Quality of Life spell, that you can use to summon an invisible hand. It can solve some puzzles, pick and throw objects. It can also shove enemies from ledges.
Spell_Enchantment_Friends Baldur's Gate 3Friends If you are the main character and do most of the dialogues, this is also a good choice as it gives an Advantage during rolls.
bone chill Baldur's Gate 3Bone Chill Can be useful in some encounters as you can disable enemy healing and greatly weaken undead enemies.
Spell_Evocation_ShockingGrasp Baldur's Gate 3Shocking Grasp Has good synergy with Tempest Domain subclass features and greatly improves its effects via reactions - knockback, and maximum damage.

Spells

You can now select two spells for Sorcerer. The good thing is that we will be able to cast these using Cleric spell slots, meaning that they will be upcast to level 5 for much higher damage.

Spell Description
Spell_Shield Baldur's Gate 3Shield Mandatory pick. Expend a spell slot to increase your Armor Class just before the enemy hits. This gives a huge boost to survivability and you can even engage in close combat using Shield Guardian.

To be honest that spell is the only one we need. The other ones are optional and taken based on your discretion. The good ones may be - False Life, Magic Missile, or Chromatic Orb.

Subclass

Overview
storm sorcery bg3Storm Sorcery
Features
PassiveFeature_TempestuousMagic Baldur's Gate 3Tempestuous Magic After you cast a Level 1 spell or higher you can Fly as a bonus action until the end of your turn without receiving Opportunity Attacks.

Abilities

Take the same ones you took for the Cleric at the start of the game. Nothing changes for that, only what is our builds' initial class

We only take Sorcerer for the first level, after this we multiclass back to Tempest Cleric. So go again through levels 1-5 Cleric progression, nothing changes

Level 7 - Cleric Lv 6

We get the additional level 3 spell slot and Channe Divinity charge for casting spells or activating reactions. Moreover, the third subclass feature - Thunderbolt Strike is unlocked

Feature Description
PassiveFeature_ThunderboltStrike Baldur's Gate 3Thunderbolt Strike When you deal Thunder or Lightning damage to a creature that is Large or smaller, you can also push it up to 3 m/10 ft. This allows for creating some sick combos where you can deny enemies of access to areas.

We also get an additional prepared spell slot, but otherwise, no new spells are introduced that we could use.

Level 8 - Cleric Lv 7

We reach Level 7 which unlocks Level 4 spells. We also get Tempest Cleric-specific spells that do not need to be prepared and added to the spellbook:

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_IceStorm Baldur's Gate 3Ice Storm Drops Icicles from the sky that deal both ice and physical damage. Creates an Ice surface that melts on the next turn to water. You can then electrify it and knock back enemies from the area. It is a good alternative to Sleet Storm if you need damage.
Spell_Abjuration_FreedomOfMovement Baldur's Gate 3Freedom of Movement Remove stun and give immunity to Difficult Terrain, Paralyzed, and Restrain via magical means. Best to cast it outside of combat as it lasts until Long Rest.

Prepared Spells

Here are recommended level 4 spells that I suggest using or at least trying them out. I personally only took Banishment, because the level 3 spells that you previously used can be upcast to be even more powerful.

Spell Description
Spell_Abjuration_Banishment Baldur's Gate 3Banishment A spell that can remove an enemy from combat for two turns. What makes it special is that it needs Charisma Saving Throw and not many spells target this ability. Unfortunately, it requires concentration so your other spellcasting may be canceled
Spell_Abjuration_DeathWard Baldur's Gate 3Death Ward Protect a creature from death, if its HP reaches 0 it stands back up with 1 HP. A decent spell as it does not require concentration to maintain and works until a long rest

Level 9 - Cleric Lv 8

At level 8 the tempest cleric gets an additional level 4 spell slot, a new action that can be used in melee. Moreover, we get a new Feat to further boost the class.

Action Description
Action_DivineStrike_Melee Baldur's Gate 3Divine Strike: Tempest This action is an alternative to the base weapon attack. You can use it to deal additional thunder damage in addition to normal one. A decent alternative to base cantrips.

Feat

Feat Description
ico_features Baldur's Gate 3Ability Improvement Get 1 point into Wisdom, so that it would reach a maximum of 20. The next point can be allocated to any ability

Level 10 - Cleric Lv 9

At Level 9 the Cleric class starts to shine even more. We have additional spell slots for even more casting and level 5 spells are unlocked. In total we can now have 13 spells in the spellbook at any given time.

tempest cleric level 9 baldurs gate 3

Moreover, two new Tempest Cleric-specific spells are unlocked:

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_DestructiveWave Baldur's Gate 3Destructive Wave Create a shockwave that can deal thunder with necrotic or radiant damage in a 9-meter radius. If enemies fail Constitution Saving Throw they become Prone allowing you to get melee hits with Advantage.
Spell_Conjuration_InsectPlague Baldur's Gate 3Insect Plague Deals 4d10 damage and makes the terrain difficult. Moreover, enemies get a Disadvantage on Perception checks. A perfect spell to control a choke point

Prepared spells

So we finally get level 5 spells. I think all of them are powerful if used in the correct circumstances

Spell Description
Spell_Evocation_FlameStrike Baldur's Gate 3Flame Strike A very powerful spell that does good fire and radiant damage. In addition, it has a small Area of Effect.
Spell_Abjuration_GreaterRestoration Baldur's Gate 3Greater Restoration Can dispel almost any negative status effect like Petrification, Stun, etc.
Spell_Abjuration_PlanarBinding Baldur's Gate 3Planar Binding You can add this spell to the spell list if you know that encounter is coming with - a celestial, elemental, fey, fairy, etc. It will make them fight on your side
Spell_Evocation_MassCureWounds Baldur's Gate 3Mass Cure Wounds If you need something that has great healing for all the party members this is your choice

Level 11 - Cleric Lv 10

At Level 10 you get an additional level 5 spell slot, a new cantrip, and a Prepared spell increase. Moreover, you get the Cleric class-specific feature Divine Intervention

Feature Description
Action_DivineIntervention_Attack Baldur's Gate 3Divine Intervention This feature allows you to call on your deity for help. It gives 4 choices - a legendary weapon, a very strong revival, a cataclysm with 8d10 damage, and camp supplies. I suggest Saving the game and trying to activate it. Check what each of them does, before you commit to one.

Cantrips

To be honest, take anything here. Probably you already have the main abilities that you use every combat encounter so one additional cantrip will not change much. Take something that you may find useful or did not take in the previous levels.

Level 12 - Cleric Lv 11

And we get to the level 6 spells. This also gives one level 6 spell slot.

level 11 cleric baldurs gate 3

Prepared Spells

We get 6 new spells, that are truly powerful. As always you can easily switch them out after each combat encounter if you do not find them useful. Here are my preferred ones:

Spell Description
Spell_Conjuration_PlanarAlly Baldur's Gate 3Planar Ally You summon a very powerful summon from three choices - Deva, Djinn, and Cambion. Each comes with unique actions and spells. Generally, they are all very powerful and can drastically empower the combat prowess of the Cleric
Spell_Necromancy_Harm Baldur's Gate 3Harm The most powerful single-target spell in your arsenal. The only downside is that it leaves the enemy with at least 1 HP. So be ready to take them out, so that they would not heal
Spell_Evocation_BladeBarrier Baldur's Gate 3Blade Barrier This spell summons weapons from another dimension that deal 6d10. This is a crazy powerful spell that can cover pathways and hit multiple enemies in a single line.
Spell_Conjuration_HeroesFeast Baldur's Gate 3Heroes' Feast Gives camp supplies, boosts allies' HP (not just temporarily), gives an Advantage on Wisdom Saving Throws, and makes you immune to many status effects. Overall, this is a very powerful spell, that makes your party very strong overall and increases its survivability.

As you can see all of the spells are very powerful. Pick the one that fits your playstyle the most, you cannot go wrong here.

General Tips

Now I would like to cover some general tips on how to play Tempest Cleric Build. It is an extremely powerful subclass with a few things

Water surfaces and Lightning

Thanks to the Tempest Cleric features you are extremely versatile with Thunder and Lightning magic. If you can create a water surface - magic, throwing water bottles, etc. Then on the same turn use Thunder Magic to electrify it - you will deny any enemy from reaching you as you will knock them back using Thunderous Strike feature.

electrocution tempest cleric knockdowns baldurs gate 3

Even more Water

Water plays a very important role for Tempest Cleric. You can use it to make enemies wet. For this reason, take Create Water as early as you can.

Wet enemies lose any resistance to lightning and cold, and instead gain double damage. So its best to apply this status using a companion if you are the main damage dealer or yourself, if you have something like Storm Sorcerer.

Spirit Guardians and Sorcerer features

This is a deadly combination at level 5 Cleric gains Spirit Guardians that deal damage in 3-meter AOE. It sounds nothing special, however, imagine that you can deal spell damage, and then fly over using the Tempestous Magic feature and deal additional damage with Spirit Guardians. Generally, this will allow you to kill multiple weaker enemies in one turn.

spirit guardians tempest cleric baldurs gate 3

Or you could use Tempestuous Magic as an escape mechanism that does not trigger any Attack of Opportunity. This only costs a bonus action as long as you have cast a spell that turns.

Sleet Storm and Watersparkers

At level 5 you get the Sleet Storm spell. Then at level 6, you obtain the Thunderous Strike feature of Tempest Cleric. Equip The Watersparker shoes that you can get in Act 1. Now how to combine this:

  1. Summon Sleet Storm, the first turn it will be Ice, and enemies may get Prone, which is very good
  2. After one turn this changes to water, once you walk into it with your Watersparker shoes this electrifies
  3. Thanks to Thunderous Strike enemies get pushed around making it hard to reach their targets.

This is an extremely useful Crowd Control combo in some of the encounters. Keep in mind that electrification will also affect your party members.

Using Healing spells

Even though casting Thunder spells is fun, remember that you are still a Cleric. You have a wide array of Radian, healing, and protection spells. Something like Sanctuary could be invaluable in Saving an ally. Restoration can remove petrification and make your party members get back into the battle.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading the Tempest Domain Cleric build for Baldur's Gate 3. I hope you enjoyed it, and better understand how to use this lightning and thunder-fueled subclass. The good thing is that also does not lose the core of Cleric's abilities making it also a perfect support if the situation arises.

Cheers!

Discussion

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Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!