In this Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Build Guide we’re going to be taking a look at the Cleric Class, which is a mixture of Fighter and Priest. I’ll be providing information on Attributes, Weapons, Armor, and most importantly, what Abilities to take and how to use them. Please keep in mind that this is my Cleric Build, and there are plenty of ways you can build this class, and this is not the only one. If you’re new to Pillars of Eternity 2, or you just love creating characters as much as I do, then this Guide is for you. Note this Build is updated to the 1.2 version of the game.
Cleric Build Guide
The Cleric uses the offensive and defensive buffs of the Priest and pairs it with the combat prowess of the Fighter class. Together you get a formidable combination of both offense and defense, that can take on lone enemies or swathes of foes easily. For those of you who just want to look like a badass while smacking things in the face as hard as you can, then this Build is for you!
This Cleric Build utilizes the Spiritual Weapon of the Priest in order to do insane damage to all enemies struck. When combined with the Cleaving Stance of the Fighter, whenever you down an enemy, you deal damage to one enemy near you. This makes it easy to finish another target and repeat this process. In addition, Clear Out will allow you to strike all enemies near you, prompting further Cleaves from your sword. In short, you can make quick work of many enemies in a very short span of time.
Cleric Subclasses (Devoted and Berath)
For the Fighter Subclass I chose Devoted for the increase to Crit Damage and Penetration. Since we’ll only be using the Spirit Great Sword of the Berath Priest, there is no need for any other weapon type. The extra Penetration also helps with the weak amount Great Swords usually have, even though they have been increased by 1 in Patch 1.2. This was a pretty easy choice.
For Priest I chose Berath in order to gain access to the Spirit Great Sword, which not only looks badass, but hits like a truck. The +20% damage dealt as Corrode comes into play after all other damage calculations, making this weapon hit harder than most in the game. I considered playing a Wael Priest for the Rod AoE Weapon Ability, however, you can’t trigger Cleaves with it, so I went with Berath.
Cleric Weapons and Armor
The Cleric will be using the Spirit Great Sword of the Berath Priest, which you gain at level 4. It scales with your Power Level, so anything you can do to increase this helps the general performance of it. It will have about the same Damage, Accuracy and Penetration as other weapons of your level, just with the +20% Damage as Corrode added on top, which is a good amount. Keep in mind that this will increase if you follow the alignment of Berath to a total of 30%.
You can pretty much use whatever Armor you want with this Build. Fighters reduce some of the penalty you take from wearing Light or above with the passive Armored Grace, and you don’t need the fasted Action Speed in the world with this Build. I would suggest either Light or Medium, as you don’t have a whole lot of ways to buff your Armor. You will also gain a Recovery Time reduction when you upgrade to Mob Stance, so you will be attacking faster later on in the game.
In this section we’re going to cover the “must have” Cleric Abilities for this Build. You are free to pick and choose which you want outside of these because everyone’s style of play is different and there is no perfect way. However, these ones will be needed for this Build to work effectively.
Disciplined Barrage – This ability increases our Perception, and converts 50% of Grazes to Hits. This really boosts the overall performance of the Build, and helps with the generally low Accuracy that you get from Two-Handing
Knock Down – This ability isn’t that great, but it does add +10 Accuracy and interrupts the target. In addition, it allows us to take Mule Kick later on, which is what we’re really after.
Fighter Stances – These Stances become available at level 4 and you want to get them ASAP. Cleaving Stance is amazing with this Build so you’ll want to use it as much as possible.
Confident Aim – This passive also helps to convert Grazes to Hits, and is excellent for early game damage until you have better Accuracy.
Two-Handed Style – This passive increases your total damage with the Great Sword, so we take it.
Penetrating Strike – This ability has great Penetration and +20% bonus damage. Use this when you need to get through some Heavy Armor.
Disciplined Strikes – This upgrade of Disciplined Barrage increases the likelihood that you will Crit by 25%, which helps increase our overall damage. Crits help increase the Corrode Damage of the Great Sword even further, so you want to Crit as often as possible.
Mule Kick – This ability does the same thing as Knock Down but adds +25% Damage. This is your go to ability for targets with lower Armor, and the +10 Accuracy will help you to Crit even more often.
Rapid Recovery – This upgrade of Constant Recovery really helps to keep you alive while in combat and is just an all around good use of an ability point on any Fighter.
Weapon Specialization – This passive will further increase our damage with the Great Sword.
Mob Stance – This stance will upgrade Cleaving Stance so that you gain even further reduced Recovery Time for each enemy around you. You’ll absolutely want this one, because it’s one of the few ways you can increase how often you attack.
Uncanny Luck – This ability gives you a small chance to resist damage or Crit, and we need both. Take it when there is nothing else worth getting.
Armored Grace – This ability will reduce the penalty you take to Recovery Time when wearing Armor. This will allow you to wear Light Armor with almost no penalty.
Clear Out – This ability is a Primary Attack so works better with a Two-Handed Weapon than when you dual-wield. Use this when you need to knock enemies down or away from your party, but you will not use it all the time.
Improved Critical – This passive will further increase your Crit Damage, and you will be doing plenty of Crits so it helps.
Weapon Mastery – Another passive that increases damage so we pick it up. You can never have enough passives that do this, and Fighters possess many, which is great.
Spiritual Weapon – This ability is what makes the Build work so take it as soon as you hit level 4. The Spiritual Great Sword hits like a truck!
Barring Death’s Door – I really like this ability here because you can prevent yourself or another party member from dying for quite a bit of time, especially if you have good Intellect. It also has a 0.5 second cast time.
Rapid Casting – This ability helps your Cast Time by a small amount, which helps to get your Great Sword out faster.
Martial Caster – This ability further increases the speed at which you cast your Great Sword, and every little bit helps.
Salvation of Time – This ability lets you add +10 seconds to all your current buffs in an AoE, so it benefits other party members as well. It also has a 0.5 second cast time as well, which is great.
Minor Avatar – This is one of the best buffs in the game and it gives you crazy stat bonuses and lasts for a lengthy Duration. We can refresh this with Salvation of Time, along with our Great Sword. Use this at the beginning of combat once you finally get it.
In this section we’ll cover Attributes for the Cleric, and explain a bit about each and why we need it or why it’s important. Clerics need Dexterity, Perception and Intellect, with a dash of Constitution. Dexterity helps to reduce Recovery Time, because we are Two-Handing and will attack slower. Perception helps with Accuracy, which you will need again because of Two-Handing. Intellect helps with the Duration of your abilities and the AoE radius of Cleaving Stance, so you’ll definitely want a few points there. Constitution depends on how much tanking you will be doing. You can dump Resolve for extra points. Note that if you want to you can pump the hell out of Might and dump Constitution and rely upon Barring Death’s Door to keep you alive.
Dexterity will help to reduce your Recovery Time between attacks and spells. You won’t cast a whole lot of spells, but it does help when you do. Characters Two-Handing need Dexterity more so than those Dual-Wielding because they don’t gain reduced Recovery Time just for doing so. 16 or 17 points is good.
Perception is there for Accuracy, which will help make sure you Hit and Crit when you attack. Because we have the Fighter Class all we need to do in most cases is at least Graze to gain Hit damage, which helps tremendously, but you don’t want to Miss. Somewhere around 15 ish points would be good.
Intellect helps with the Duration of many of our buffs, including our Spiritual Weapon. It also helps with the AoE radius of the Cleave from Cleaving Stance. Both are beneficial to Clerics, so be sure to place some points here. 13 or higher for sure, but 15 or more is better.
Clear Out and is the best ability you can use with this setup because it hits multiple targets and if you down one then you get an AoE which can down another and so on and so on. You’ll want to use this one when facing large bunches of enemies all grouped together, but it can prevent Cleaves if you knock them too far away. I like to use this as an opener to soften up targets before switching to Mule Kick or Penetrating Strike.
Fighters, like Rogues, have no real way of replenishing their resource so they tend to run out of it fast. Remember to use Empower to gain back half your max Discipline when you run out, so that you can keep swinging away. Clerics have excellent burst damage so you want to kill things as quickly as you can, and finish the fight auto-attacking that one last guy if you have to.
When you begin combat you want to buff with Minor Avatar first once you have it, as it will increase the Duration of all other buffs you cast after due to increased Intellect. Then cast your Spiritual Weapon and then Disciplined Strikes. This is an excellent time to cast Salvation of Time, as you will enhance the Duration of all these buffs by around 25 seconds if you have 20 ish Intellect. Keep in mind that Salvation of Time will buff the Duration of Constant Recovery as well, so will gain additional healing over time.
Lastly, always always always target the enemy nearest you with least Health so that you can trigger an additional attack as soon as possible. Be sure to pause and ascertain which is the weakest target and switch to it as often as you need. It’s worth doing even if you have to Disengage, because it will increase your overall DPS tremendously!
Stay tuned for more Pillars of Eternity 2 Build Guides through out May, as we make some more specific Guides covering some of the most fun and interesting combinations we could find. If there is a specific combination you would like to see, please post in the comments and we will do our best to accommodate!