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Ultimate Guide to Cleric in Dark Souls III

Ultimate Guide to Cleric in Dark Souls III

Traveling in the wide yet dangerous plains of Lordan requires much more than simple skill. You need to have deep faith in yourself along with several heaven-defying survival skills. You can either embark on a training journey to achieve these or you can simply choose Cleric as your starting class. 

The simplistic yet effective playstyle of a Cleric makes him a great starting option in Dark Souls III. However, being effective does not directly translate to being easy to play. 

The Cleric uses spells and miracles as his/her main form of offense. Due to this, the class provides enough stability to be a popular pick for both PvP and PvE. However, you will need to adhere to certain requirements to play this class to perfection.

While the class is not limited to simple spells and magic, you still need to follow the proper build paths to find success with it. 

How to Obtain Cleric

It is generally hard to obtain classes in certain ARPGs. However, the same is untrue for Dark Souls 3, since every class is readily available from the very start. You will be able to choose your class in the character creation suite. Simply choose Cleric at the time and you’re good to go. 

Alternatively, you might need to make a brand new character if you’ve already started your journey. Consequently, this also means that you won’t be starting with the progress you’ve already made on that character. 

Therefore, it is generally advisable to decide on your class before heading firsthand into the Kingdom of Lordan.

Effective Cleric Combat

Running Cleric on full throttle is rather simple. Your basic kit revolves around your miracles and spells. Therefore, specing accordingly will be your best bet. The spells have different types, so the uses will vary accordingly. 

With that said, combat with a Cleric can feel both easy and difficult since you’re mainly reliant on your spells. This in turn comes with predictability in attack patterns. Therefore, it is always recommended to go for multi-purpose spells that can be used during multiple scenarios. 

Having a bigger option pool is necessary for playing this class to perfection. However, only certain spells pass the required criteria, so your mileage might be different than expected.

Cleric Essential Steps

The Cleric class operates on Strength and Faith. Therefore, it essentially eliminates the need for specing into any other stat since you only need spells to make it work, and the spells require Faith to initiate. 

However, this also saps away any possible flexibility from the Cleric as the class. You still get to change spells based on whatever you’re aiming to achieve, but that’s it. You cannot expect to build like an Assassin and expect it to work just as well.

The concept of classes is rather blurred in Dark Souls 3. This essentially entails that it’s possible to build the complete opposite of what a said class is supposed to achieve. While it would still work, it won’t nearly be as efficient. 

With that said, you still need to be able to know the proper cast timings in accordance with the cast range. Finding success in battle with a Cleric often feels hard-earned, especially in PvP due to the exorbitant time and resources based costs attached to their spells. 

Alternatively, it is recommended to invest a bit in your strength to offset any possible weaknesses that the class possesses. You certainly won’t enjoy getting mowed down while casting a spell. Therefore, the option to counterattack should always be there no matter what.

Needless to say, the spells in Dark Souls 3 range from massive spears to wide-area healing. Therefore, you won’t be limited to a single way of playing and winning. For example, you could attempt to heal and life steal from bosses in PvE aside from dealing massive single target or AOE damage.

Being a magic-type class still requires you to have a decent physical weapon. Therefore, you can consider going for slow-hitting types like Maces and such. While they might not seem of much use in the early game, it is much easier to find success with them than going bare-handed.

Best Cleric Builds

Despite being limited, it is not completely necessary to only go for spells for the Cleric class. Instead, the Hollow and Strength builds have also started to rise in popularity. Therefore, it is recommended to go for them just as much as you would go for a regular Faith build. 

Alternatively, it is also possible to stack up as much Faith as possible while investing nothing in other stats. Such offsets can be curbed with relevant items and accessories. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Cleric Builds.

Dex/ Faith Cleric Build

This build is designed for using miracles as a backup mechanism while letting the damage of your weapon carry the fight. While it might not look as good on paper, the flexibility of both physical and magic hybrid types is rather tough to compare. 

With that said, the build is rather simple but covers all the basics needed for you to thrive in your hunting adventures.

Attributes

As the name suggests, you would need to invest your stat points in Dexterity and Faith. While working without a set ratio in mind would still be fine, it is better to keep both stats close to the 30:30 mark. 

This is because certain spells are only made available when you have at least 30 Faith. As for dexterity, it’s going to be your main source of damage, so the more the merrier. You will need to go with weapons that can scale accordingly with such stats. 

Fine-tuning the mentioned ratio will lead you to a much better result than intended. However, you can also choose to spec a bit into Intelligence for that added magic bonus. Similarly, you can choose to go for Vigor if you’re having difficulty surviving against a boss. 

With that said, it is perfectly plausible to go for multiple stats at the same time, given that you’ve already fulfilled the basic conditions for the Faith/ Dex build to work. 

Equipment and Armor

  • Ring of the Sun’s First Born
  • Sage Ring
  • Lightning Clutch Ring

Your equipment will be the deciding factor in how you want to formulate your overall build. Therefore, the options can be endless, yet at the same time, it can get really hard to find a relevant item for the build. 

With that said, the Ring of the Sun’s First Born complements this build rather well due to its flat increase in Miracle Damage. It can also stack with the Morne’s Ring or Lightning Clutch Ring to deal massive amounts of damage to your enemies. 

Meant as a gift to Farron’s Undead Legion, the Sage Ring is used to decrease the overall casting time for your spells. This item is rather fundamental on any casting-type class or build since it allows you to daisy chain your attacks in coordination with your physical attacks. 

The Lightning Clutch Ring can be used to boost the efficiency of lightning-based attacks by a total of 15%. Most miracles inflict lightning-based damage. Therefore, it is a great item for stacking ratios on top of the already-inflated base damage.

Spells

Spellcasting is usually the cornerstone for every Cleric build. Therefore, we recommend you choose the spells that can aid you with your primary weapons, while also ensuring survivability in battle. With that said, here are the general spells you can use for this build:

  • Sacred Oath: Increases all damage dealt with a flat 10% multiplier. Consequently, you also get 10 absorptions in the duration of the spell. Thi buff lasts for a total of 60 seconds and can temporarily boost your character to new heights.
    Feel free to think of this buff as a berserk spell that can be manually triggered by the player. 
  • Great Heal: Performing large-scale miracles can be tough in Dark Souls 3. Luckily, the selective few are allowed to recite this epic tale. A single cast holds the potential to restore HP equal to the spell buff of the used chime or talisman.
    The multiplier for this effect is 5.5x and can be used as an effective AOE spell to support in the middle to later stages of the game.
  • Lightning Spear: This spell is also a miracle type, so you will need to use a chime or talisman to make it work. The multiplier for the damage is rather respectable, which can account for it being a menace against PvE bosses in the later portions of the game. 

With that said, spellcasting is considered a form of art in combat. Therefore, feel free to mold it according to your tastes. Spells like Lightning Spear can be upgraded further into Great Lightning Speak and Sunlight Spear. Therefore, make sure to go as far as possible. 

Faith Sorcerer Cleric Build

As the name suggests, this build will focus more on the magic aspect than the physical. However, you will still have enough cards up your sleeve to last a while before needing any form of retreat. With that said, implementing this build is anything but hard. 

Therefore, let’s skip the formalities and see how high Faith works with the overall mechanics of a Cleric.

Attributes

This build will be focusing on stacking Faith, so make sure to get it up to 60. From there on, investing in Attunement and Vigor is your best bet since you will need bonus HP that complements your healing-based spells quite nicely.
Moreover, a little dash of Vitality will go long way in determining the amount of equipment you can carry. Therefore, try to bump it up to 38 before investing in stats other than Faith. You won’t be needing any hollowing for this build since you’re the main avenue of damage is through your spells. If everything is done correctly, you will have around 240+ BSB for miracles and 300+ BSB for sorcery. 

Consequently, your heals will also be quite efficient with the help of your exorbitant FP and the damage factor will also be quite high as a result of that. 

Luck is also a good secondary stat to improve for this build since it governs resistance to certain curses. Having curses eating away at your HP when you already have it this low can be a cause of concern after all.

Equipment and Armor

  • Chloranthy Ring
  • Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring
  • Sage Ring

Since you’re going for a hybrid build, it only makes sense to have some sort of sorcery enhancements. With that said, the Bellowing Dragoncrest ring further enhances your sorceries by 20% making it as useful as high Faith-based miracles. 

Furthermore, the Chloranthy ring is a nice addition since it regenerates your stamina at the rate of 7 points per second. While it might sound slow at first, facing smaller scale battles with random breaks in-between is the perfect place for this ring to shine. 

Related: The 20 Absolute Best Rings in Dark Souls 3

The Sage ring reduces your casting time, thereby making it exceptionally good in the grand scheme. Since you will be casting a lot of sorceries and miracles, any form of cooldown reduction will help immensely. 

As for the armor, feel free to go to the lapp’s set due to its inherent affinity with magic-based builds.

Spells

The spells are the cornerstone of this build that will make or break your gaming experience. While you have the choice to take any desired route, it is still recommended to follow a base model of absorption and damage-based spells for that inherent effective HP manipulation. 

That being said, here are the recommended spells for the Faith Sorcerer build:

  • Deep Soul: As the name suggests, this spell can deal dark attribute damage against the targetted enemy. The modifier is a flat 1, so you will be dishing out damage equivalent to your Spell Budd. With that said, it has a very fast cast time. Therefore, it can work exceptionally well in accordance with the Sage ring. 
  • Lightning Storm: This spell is used to cast an exorbitant amount of lightning damage along with a startup explosion. The multiplier for the following damage is 2.35x while the initial explosion deals 1.45x damage to the spell buff.
    With that said, the furious bolts of lightning are a decent spell that can turn the tide in pivotal battles.
  • Dark Blade: This is used to clad your attacks in the dark attribute. The bonus damage is increased by 85 percent. However, this damage can only be inflicted through successful hits with a weapon. Therefore, it complements well your HP manipulation Faith build. 
  • Heal Aid: HP cannot be controlled until and unless you have a healing spell in your arsenal. This quick cast miracle can restore HP equal to 150% * Spell Buff according to the chime or talisman. With that said, the minuscule requirements and the fast casting time makes this spell work exceptionally well with the sage ring. 

The mentioned spells are a great balance between offense and defense. However, you are free to manipulate them however you desire. Therefore, don’t hesitate to improvise on them. 

For example, you could use more offensive types that complement your high Faith levels or you could go for sorcery-based spells. 

Once again, the fine-tuning is up to you, so make sure to experiment with it until you’re satisfied.

The Best Overall Options for Cleric Builds

The cleric is a rather simple class in nature. You cannot go wrong by going faith in it. While there are certain classes and bosses that inherently counter this class, it is really hard for it not to work otherwise. 

With that said, it is better to meet the general Faith requirement before blatantly investing in any other stat. This is because your basic kit revolves around creating miracles. Therefore, it is recommended to go for spells with low casting times that can work well with the Sage ring. 

However, it is not always necessary to go for casting-based builds on Cleric. Instead, you can choose to abuse the Mace as your primary weapon along with strength and dexterity-based build. Despite being uncanny, they work just as well but require careful calibration. 

Furthermore, a Cleric is a one-dimensional class. Therefore, everything you upgrade will have a lasting effect on your playstyle. With that said, making changes to such classes can often be perceived as harder than expected. 

You will have to invest active effort into learning Cleric to find success with him and his builds. Make sure to keep Faith as your cornerstone of any build and you should be good to go!

Wrap Up

All in all, a Cleric is a decent starting class as long as you play according to its strengths. You still won’t be able to no-brain most fights and will have to actively devise strategies for beating bosses and enemies alike. 

However, putting a constant effort into improving is the charm of Dark Souls 3 and it continues to shine even in the dullest moments in the game. With that said, playing Cleric to peak perfection can be tough due to the wide choice of spells and pieces of equipment. 

However, it is just as rewarding if you manage to pull it off. That being said, best of luck on your Cleric journeys within the Kingdom of Lordan and beyond!