Life Domain Cleric Build - Baldur's Gate 3 (BG3)
Life Domain Cleric Build
This build is for those that want to build a cleric as a main supporter in the group that could heal at moment's notice if there is a need. In total, you could have 9 healing spells! Of course, this may be overkill so we also have additional roles that the Life Cleric can undertake
Thanks to being able to wear Heavy Armor and huge healing potential, we can also stand in frontlines close to enemies. This is an especially valuable position once you hit level 5. You wonder why? The Life Domain Cleric can easily damage multiple foes without even casting an offensive spell per turn by using Spirit Guardians
These are spirits that surround you damaging everything nearby. You do not need to do anything just move close to the enemies. This is a perfect choice to finish off any stragglers or close-to-death foes.
To further boost Cleric and give ven more survivability and mobility we multiclass to Storm Sorcerer. This is just a 1 level dip that gives us Constitution Saving Throw proficiency, spell - Shield, and the ability to Fly after casting a spell while expending only bonus action.
This is a short overview and progression of the build. Use it to get a quick glance if you want to pick the best options without going deep into the explanations. A more detailed description with texts, suggestions, and improvements can be found in the next sections.
|Str 12, Dex 14, Con 15 (14+1), Int 8, Wis 17 (15 + 2), Cha 8
|Sacred Flame, Guidance, Light
|Perception, Acrobatics, Medicine, Arcana, Religion, etc.
|Ability Improvement - Wisdom +2
|Respec to Sorcerer Lv 1 (check level 6 progression section)
|Mage hand, Fire bolt, Bone Chill, Friends
|Alert or War Caster
Starting the Game
We start with the early game. I would go into what are the best Races, Abilities, and Skills for Life Clerics. Some of these choices are very impactful as you cannot respec them.
Picking a race provides various benefits - abilities, dialogue options, looks, etc. Because Life 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.
|High elves are a good choice because they can pick additional Cantrip and get bonus resistance against Charm and Sleep. This is not critical but good to have. Cantrip like Firebolt can be useful in setting off explosions
|Similar to normal elves you get a bonus cantrip and additional resistances. Cantrip like Firebolt can be useful in setting off explosions
|Githyanki comes with a few special-race abilities. However, the most prominent one is Mist Step that 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
|You gain spells from your domain. They are always prepared.
|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, especially if I have something like Fire bolt
|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.
|Can cast a Light effect on yourself or allies. Useful in some situations during the game, so it's good to have it on hand.
|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.
|Disciple of Life
|Your devotion empowers your healing Spells. When casting a healing spell, the target regains additional hit points equal to 2 + the spell's level
Now let's take a look at the abilities of the Life build. Correct allocation will allow us to maximize the early gameplay and get good modifier bonuses.
|We will be in close combat most of the time, so it is relevant to not have a negative saving throw modifier
|It will help us with Dexterity Saving Throws, and increase initiative. You could go for a lower amount as we are not as interested in going first during the fight
|16 (15 +1)
|Increases the Cleric's HP and spell concentration. This means there will be a smaller chance to cancel spells if hit and we will be hit a lot.
|Unfortunately, we lowered this so that the Constitution's ability could be improved. Gladly there are not many Intelligence Saving Throws.
|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. It is also what Cleric use to determine their spell effectiveness and damage.
|We set this to the lowest value so that we could spend more points on Strength. Gladly there are not many Charsima Saving Throws in the game
Skills and Expertise
Overall, the skills should be impacted by your roleplaying and background decisions. However, you would still want those that will give you the best benefits. You are best to pick those at which you have a high ability modifier:
- 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, History, 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
At level 2 Life Cleric gets subclass-specific action, Channel Divinity charge, Turn Undead spell, and an additional level 1 spell slot. These are good boons for our build
|Use a single Channel Divinity Charge and restore their health. This effect has 9-meter radius making it especially useful when you are in the frontlines
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. Later on, it becomes a bit better as we also are able to deal damage.
|Pray to Turn all undead that can see you. Turned enemies cannot take action and can only move.
We also get additional spell slots, so here are the recommended Spells to add:
|A strong single-target attack that also gives the next attacker Advantage with Attack Rolls. Very good especially early on.
|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.
|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.
|Use this spell to create water surfaces and make enemies wet. This is only useful if you have lightning or cold spell users in the party as they can deal double damage then
|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
|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.
We finally unlock level 2 spells and this in total gives us 4 level 1 spell slots and 2 level 2 spell slots. Now we can cast much more spells each Long Rest. Unfortunately, the spells that Life Cleric receives for subclass are the same ones as for base Cleric. This means that we do not need a spellbook slot for them, but this does not give any surprising effects.
|Increases all of the ally's HP and restores some of it. The good thing is that this targets everyone in 9 meters Radius around the caster.
|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
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.
|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. It does not use a Concentration slot
|Can be used to paralyze a single humanoid enemy. Each melee hit on them deals critical damage.
|Due to your healing capabilities, you can easily soak some damage from other front liners or even makes in your group. This spell chains you to the target, and gives them bonus resistances and Armour Class. Moreover, it splits the damage between the two of you. The spell does not use a Concentration slot
On this level up we gain an additional level 2 spell slot, spell preparation slot, cantrip slot, and a new Feat. The latter will be important in increasing Life Cleric's effectiveness.
You can get a cantrip that you did not take during character creation or take this one, which helps in some dialogues
|Gain Advantage on performance and intimidation checks. Makes passing those dialogue checks easier.
I think this is the main option for now when playing Life Cleric
|Put Wisdom +2. This will increase your spell damage and their success,
This is a big milestone for Cleric build. We reach level 3 spells, unlock a new set of Life Domain spells, and obtain additional class features:
|If you successfully Turn and undead deal additional 4-24 radiant damage. This makes Turn Undead spell much more useful in my opinion.
You also gain a few spells of the Life domain, but they are average in my opinion:
|Beacon of Hope
|The spell requires a concentration slot, which makes it not as useful. It is good in a few game encounters, but overall, other spells will be much better at handling combat encounters and supporting party members.
|Unfortunately, the spell is useless in my opinion. Generally, you have tons of Scrolls of Revivfy stocked up from pickpocketing. Of course, if you do not steal, then it could have some purpose, but then again you could just throw a potion at the downed ally.
Because we unlocked level 3 spells, we can update our spellbook with new spells. Here are my favorite options
|Mass 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.
|At this stage, you should have decent spell concentration. Spirit Guardians deal radiant or Necrotic damage in 3 meters radius. This can be perfect, especially against multiple weaker enemies. Definitely keep this spell on hand.
|Glyph of Warding
|I like this AOE spell as it allows Cleric 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 reduce your chances of canceling spell concentration and saves one Feat slot.
So here is what we do:
|Sorcerers are natural spellcasters, drawing on inherent magic from a gift or bloodline.
Take the ones that Cleric does not have, to cover more aspects:
|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.
|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.
|Can be useful in some encounters as you can disable enemy healing and greatly weaken undead enemies.
|Use this cantrip to deal moderate damage or light up barrels with oil. Perfect if you want to save spell slots
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.
|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 anything that does not depend on the Sorcerer ability modifier - Charisma.
|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.
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:
- Strength - 12
- Dexterity - 14
- Constitution - 16 (15 + 1)
- Intelligence - 8
- Wisdom - 17 (15 + 2)
- Charisma - 8
Level 7 - Cleric Lv 6
We get the additional level 3 spell slot and Channel Divinity charge for casting spells or activating reactions. Moreover, the third subclass feature - Blessed Healer is unlocked
|Now Warding Flare can be activated not only on yourself but also on an ally. It is a very powerful reaction allowing to mitigate huge amounts of damage for the whole party.
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 Life Domain Cleric-specific spells that do not need to be prepared and added to the spellbook:
|Guardian of Faith
|A summon that can be useful in covering choke points. Unfortunately, each time it does damage it takes off from HP, but the damage is guaranteed.
|Protect a creature from death, if their HP reaches 0 they stand back up with 1 HP. A decent spell as it does not require concentration to maintain it and works until long rest
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.
|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
|Freedom of Movement
|I think this spell perfectly fits the build. Once you activate Guardian Spirits, you want to move as much around the battlefield without being restricted. It makes it so that difficult terrain cannot slow you down.
Level 9 - Cleric Lv 8
We get additional level 4 and the first level 5 spell slot. Moreover, new melee action is unlocked, and another Feat to further boost the class.
|Divine Strike: Life
|The spell can be used once per turn. It imbues weapon attack with radiant 1d8 damage.
|Increases chances to sustain Concentration as you gain an Advantage. Moreover, gives a melee reaction for Shocking Grasp
|Increases Initiative, giving a very high guarantee that you will go first at the start of a combat encounter.
Level 10 - Cleric Lv 9
At Level 9 the Cleric class starts to shine even more. We have additional level 5 spell slots for the new level 5 spells. In total, we can now have 13 spells in the spellbook at any given time. Moreover, two Life Domain-specific spells are unlocked that do not require preparation:
|Mass Cure Wounds
|If you need something that has great healing for all the party members this is your choice
|Can dispel almost any negative status effect like Petrification, Stun, etc.
So we finally get level 5 spells. I think all of them are powerful if used in the correct circumstances
|A very powerful spell that does good fire and radiant damage. In addition, it has a small Area of Effect.
|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
|Deals 4d10 damage and makes the terrain difficult. Moreover, enemies get a Disadvantage on Perception checks. A perfect spell to control a choke point
Level 11 - Cleric Lv 10
At Level 10 you get an additional level 6 spell slot, a new cantrip, and a Prepared spell increase. Moreover, you get Cleric class-specific feature Divine 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 before activating it and deciding which one you plan on using.
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.
We get 6 new prepared spells, that are truly powerful. As always you can easily switch them out after each combat encounter if you did not find them useful. Here are my preferred ones:
|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
|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
|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.
|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.
|70 Healing and removes diseases. A very powerful spell that you should consider having in your arsenal.
As you can see all of them are very powerful. Pick the one that fits your playstyle the most, you cannot go wrong here.
Now I would like to cover some general tips on how to play Life Cleric Build. It is an extremely powerful subclass with a few things
Summoning Spiritual Weapon
I cannot stress and recommend this spell enough. Especially in the early game, it saved my party multiple times. Summon it close to enemies, so that they would spend time hitting it.
The weapon has resistance to most of the physical and spell types and also deals damage. Think of it as a crowd control ability that uses bonus action.
Do not forget Warding Bond
A very useful level 2 spell. Cast it on your ally and create a connection between you two. The target receives +1 Armour Class and Saving Throws.
If the ally under this effect gets hit, the damage is split between you two. This can make a frontline fighter or a mage survive twice as longer. Moreover, each turn you could heal them and in turn heal yourself from passive bonuses.
Heal for any kind of situation
What makes this stand out from other cleric builds, is that Life Domain has options to cast healing spells with any type of resource:
- Need to heal specific multiple allies - Mass Cure Wounds
- Does somebody die? - Revivify (although I think it is redundant)
- Need a huge strong heal? - Heal level 6 spell
- Don't have spell slots, but want to heal everyone? - Preserve Life
- Do not have an Action point? - Healing Word or Mass Healing Word using bonus action
As you can see the possibilities are wide and the build prepares you for most combat situations in the game.
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.
Or you could use Tempestuous Magic as an escape mechanism that does not trigger any Attack of Opportunity. It only costs a bonus action as long as you have cast a spell that turns.
Thank you for reading Life Domain Cleric build for Baldur's Gate 3. I hope you enjoyed it, and better understand how to use the best support class in the game. As you can see it is not only able to heal overhead allies and yourself but also tank and deal damage itself.