Tomes of spells lay before you. Countless choices and variations are possible, and it’s daunting to figure out which are the best choices. What do some of these spells even do?
We’re here to give you some quick insight to what we think are ideal spells to choose. These are based on our experiences and will definitely vary from game to game, so we’re going to assume that you’re playing in the traditional D&D high fantasy setting with a mix of role play and combat.
Sacred Flame – Summons a radiant fire to deal damage to enemies, who get no cover bonus. This cantrip deals 1d8 radiant damage and increases as you level.
Thaumaturgy – Multi-purpose cantrip that can be used in many ways, so many that we made an article about it here: Clever Uses for Thaumaturgy
Guidance – Grants a 1d4 bonus to any ability check, to your or an ally.
History of Clerics: Where do they come from?
Bless or Bane – A concentration spell that you can carry with you through all levels. The two spells are the same, affecting attacks and saving throws. Bless gives you and your allies a +1d4 while Bane will subtract -1d4 from any of their attacks or savings throws. Usually Bless pays off more, but if your party use a lot of abilities that make enemies roll saving throws, then you should go with Bane.
Cure Wounds and/or Healing Word – The quintessential healing spells: Cure Wounds being the more powerful, but close ranged heal. Healing word is the less potent, but is further reaching and a bonus action.
Divine Favor (War Cleric) – Adds 1d4 damage to every weapon attack you make. Combine this with the war clerics additional attacks and you can deal out a lot, but is restricted to this one Domain.
Burning Hands (Light Cleric) – Deals fire damage to a 15ft cone, where the enemies must make a dexterity saving throw. This spell can clear out an entire room and is an iconic fire spell.
Lesser Restoration – Go to healing spell able to remove disease, poison, blindness, deafness, or paralysis.
Prayer of Healing – First healing spell which can affect many people at once, but takes some time to do. Great choice if you’re a healing cleric and don’t short rest a lot.
Spiritual Weapon – A bonus action which creates a magical weapon which floats in the air and attacks as you instruct. This is not a concentration and combines very well with most cleric builds.
Mirror Image – Creates 3 illusory copies of you, which mimic your movements and trick your enemies. Attacking you is more likely to hit one of these copies. This is also not a concentration spell, so can really help give you more of a fighting chance if you are looking to be a more combat heavy cleric.
Suggestion (Knowledge Cleric) – Reminiscent of the Jedi mind trick, suggestion can make someone follow a simple instruction of your choosing. Based on your creative use, this spell can change entire encounters.
Mass Healing Word – Same as the lesser version, but applies to multiple allies. This is a spell that makes the entire party happy.
Sending – Incredibly useful spell to communicate with characters across the entire campaign setting. Effectively magical texting.
Dispel Magic – Surprisingly game changing spell which can end the magical effect on a character, item, or area.
Revivify – First spell choice available to bring someone back from death. It comes with a price though, requiring a diamond worth 300gp.
Spirit Guardians – Summon various floating spirits which surround you in a 15ft radius for 10 minutes, doing damage and reducing the speed of opponents. A very good choice to upgrade your concentration spell choice!
Banishment – For 1 minute, send someone to another dimension. A great way to just remove someone from your life for a short while.
Death Ward – Long last spell which activates when the person hits 0hp, which brings them back to 1hp instead. A great backup spell, just don’t forget that you have cast it!
Mass Cure Wounds – Steps up your Cure Wounds to have a 60ft range, affects multiple allies, and does 3d8+spell mod in healing.
Great Restoration – The go-to spell to fix almost any issue with someone. This spell removes a level of exhaustion, charm, petrification, a curse, attunement to a cursed item, any reduction to ability scores, or an effect reducing hit point maximum.
Flame Strike – The cleansing fires of a clerics flame strike are legendary. This spell has a 10ft radius and a 40ft high cylinder, which makes anyone within do a dexterity saving throw or take 4d6 fire and 4d6 radiant damage.
Heal or Harm – Heal will give you a pool of 70hp to give to any ally in 60ft, which also cures them of blindness, deafness, or disease. Harm will do 14d6 necrotic damage and reduce the enemies hit point maximum by that much.
Plane Shift – You can banish an unwilling creature to another plane, or you and eight willing creatures are transported to another plane of existence. Like Teleportation, this can be a very effective means of escaping a dangerous situation, but with a stay-over in another plane for a while. Best to pass this by the DM first because they would probably have a lot of fun making a thematic tavern or inn for you on another plane!
Fire Storm – The most damaging spell at this level, you create a storm of flames in 10 10ft cubes, which you can arrange as you like. Any creature in a cube rolls a dexterity saving throw against 7d10 fire damage, taking half damage on a successful save.
Holy Aura – You emit an aura in a 30ft radius, affecting creatures of your choice to begin to glow. These allies of yours have advantage on all saving throws and attacks against them have disadvantage. If an enemy does land a hit, they must make a constitution saving throw against being blinded.
True Resurrection – There are four spells at this level and each of them serve a unique purpose that could arguably be far more useful than the others. True Resurrection is chosen here only because it is the most death defying spell, although it is possibly the most expensive spell, costing 25,000gp worth of diamonds.