Comments posted to our Dark Souls 3 Wiki
As somebody who just grinded out ten levels in faith just to use this, I wish I had done my homework.
there is a common misconception here, there is nothing wrong with the lightning spear spell OR faith builds for that matter, it's just that faith builds in dark souls 3 need to be approached in a different way than we're used to from ds1/2. In the previous games you just got the spell, the faith to use it and were able to do max damage just by casting the spell, even from far away. Dark souls 3 wants you to approach offensive miracles in a completely different way, if you noticed, talismans were re-introduced in ds3 and have a unique weapon arte called unfaltering prayer that allows you to cast a spell while temporarily increasing your poise and reducing damage taken. It is a fact that offensive miracles benefit greatly if cast RIGHT in front of the enemy (seriously, it increases damage by a LOT). what you want to do in dark souls 3 is pump some stats into vgr/vit to make yourself able to take hits, then into fth/atn for spell casting (just use a fire infused weapon till you get 20/20/20/20 in said stats). once you have the necessary stats (at least 20/20/20/20 mentioned above. i started as a herald and infused my spear with fire, with these stats i'm only lv 46), equip a talisman (preferably the canvas talisman, it has the best damage to poise granted during unfaltering prayer ratio) and (for early game) morne's ring (maybe lloyd's shield/sword ring as well), definitely the sage ring (increased casting speed) and cast your offensive miracle at point blank range by using the unfaltering prayer weapon are (LT). you'll want to make sure to time your spell so that it lands WHILE the enemy is attacking you so they can't dodge. if you got the stats recommended and equipped a decent set of armor with that nice vit, you'll be able to trade blows and take less damage while guaranteeing the spell lands as they can't dodge while in their attacking animation. Early game spells include lightning spear, lightning stake (i plan on getting this soon, if you want to kill the sandworm in smouldering lake to get this spell you wont regret it) and i use heal and replenishment. I use the default herald class shield, but if you want to have both a talisman AND a chime (talisman for offense, chime for hp regen arte and maybe buffing) then feel free. i have a +3 canvas talisman and am able to hit 193 up close with lightning spear, this may not sound like much after having played dark souls 2 where everyone wants AT LEAST 1500 hp mid game, but in dark souls 3 the "must have" amount of hp has changed alongside the way to fight as a cleric. Most people have around 1000 hp early/mid game (if they even have 1000 hp as another thing that has changed is that people tend to dump most of their stats into str/dex for offense) and cap at 27 vgr late game, so i'm able to hit 1/5 their hp (that's while at only 20 fth too) per lightning spear and am able to cast lightning spear 5 time per FP bar WHILE using unfaltering prayer.
The Unfaltering Prayer Weapon Art does not reduce damage taken currently, which is something I hope is granted to it in the future.
you're right, i'm sorry for the misinformation guys!
So you're saying that the spell is viable even though I have to take damage to get a good hit even though my weapon does more DPS for zero mana cost?
@anon from 1/31/17: yes, that is what you do in trade offs. the idea is to take one hit from your enemy and hit them as they're attacking/right after dealing more damage than them since they're mid animation, its a common concept in ds3 (look at every weapon with hyperarmor). This spell is incredibly viable low level as i stated before as you'll see if you try it out yourself. As far as your "more DPS" i stated that miracle builds are meant to trade hits with unfaltering prayer, meaning you won't get in multiple hits as my lightning spear will stun you before you land your next hit if timed correctly AND i'll do the higher damage in the trade since i'll have that sweet spot damage AND counter damage.
Lightning spear more like Rekt-noobs-early spear.
People say that miracles are weak the try comboing this or better versions of this with str weapons which can stunlock for a guaranted kill
"just do these mental gymnastic" posts below

its bad. from should feel bad. dragons faked their own death conspiracy headcanon is plausible.
I like to use this in pve more then pvp, it's a pretty good spell but unless your fighting a fat roller it's not likely going to hit someone.
Good for trading with unfaltering prayer and fast casting but it comes with several downsides. Ranged damage sucks, very bad against most big enemies since they will not be stunned, same with airborne and very agile enemies/targets due to missing extra damage, unfaltering prayer inflates fp cost, bad fp cost to damage ratio (bad for very long fights), needs extra stats in vigor, vitality and good armor with some poise to trade effectively.
My recommendation? use it up close and against lightning weak enemies only, then ditch for lightning skate if you want to trade and lightning arrow for range casting.
I don't know what from was thinking making these deal more damage at close range. We have Lightning Stake for that ffs