Clerics may just be the best overall support class in Baldur’s Gate 3. They’re tanky, they boast absurdly powerful healing abilities, and the first full-time companion you gain in Baldur’s Gate 3, Shadowheart, is, herself, a Cleric. You’re probably going to have a Cleric in your party for much of the game, but properly building a Cleric is another matter entirely.
While there are a few fascinating things you can do with the Cleric class, this particular build is going to focus on Cleric’s powerful healing abilities. While I will offer some build alternatives, the fact of the matter is that Clerics may just be the best pure healers in the game, and that’s a difficult attribute to ignore.
As before, though, please note that the currently available online Baldur’s Gate 3 character builders are not quite optimized for the retail version of the game. As such, I’m going to be writing as much of this information out as possible. If you notice anything missing, though, be sure to let us know.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Class: Cleric/Wizard
We’re obviously going with Clerics with this build, but as we’ll discuss in-depth later, this particular build also incorporates crucial elements of the Wizard class. If needed or preferred, you can also go with a Cleric/Paladin build.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Race: Drow/Shadowheart
If you’re creating a Cleric from scratch, it’s hard to go wrong with a Drow. They boast some of the best racial passives in the game, and those passive happen to work especially well with what Clerics are already trying to accomplish.
However, if you’d rather treat Shadowheart as your party’s primary Cleric, then you can absolutely make this build work with them.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Subclass: Life Domain
Life Domain is Cleric’s best healing subclass, so it’s the obvious choice for this support-focused build. For what it’s worth, though, Clerics are blessed with a few powerful subclass options, and Light Domain is usually the preferred option for those looking to strike a balance between damage and healing.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Cantrips: Guidance, Blade Ward, Resistance
Clerics not only have access to an impressive set of Cantrips, but you’ll have the option of picking up quite a few of them as you level.
However, Guidance should be a part of every Cleric’s initial Cantrip arsenal until further notice. This incredible skill can be used during combat, but it’s really there to give you a free bonus on pretty much every interaction roll in the game. You can’t live without it.
Blade Ward is especially useful for anyone who rolls a tank-like character and intends to use Shadowheart as their Cleric. Generally speaking, though, it’s hard to go wrong against extra protection from a fairly wide array of common melee strikes.
Resistance is another one of those Cantrips you can justify using for the rest of the game. It’s a fantastic preemptive magical shield that comes with some additional Saving Throw benefits. Not the most exciting option, but it will always be useful.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Abilities
Constitution: 16 + 1
Wisdom: 16 +2
Wisdom is Cleric’s most important Ability by a significant distance. It impacts their ability to land spells and several vital skill checks that Clerics will regularly rely on. You’ll want a lot of it.
Constitution is arguably nearly as valuable, though. Clerics need to be able to stay alive during combat in order to reach their full support potential, and Constitution allows them to do just that. You can’t go wrong going with high Constiution for tankier classes.
Strength and Dexterity will likely be your toss-up categories. Strength is a nice catch-all stat, but Dexterity allows Clerics to really get the most out of their various armor proficiencies. I’m going with Dexterity because of the rest of this build, but the choice is yours.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Background: Hermit
Your Background choice isn’t super important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s hard to go wrong with Hermit. It’s the only background choice that comes with Medicine proficiency (something that every healing Cleric should have), and Religion is also an exceptional attribute given its relative rarity and the role-playing elements of the class.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Skills: Insight, History
Again, not super important, but Insight and History are nice options. Animal Handling is also a fascinating alternative if you end up going that route, but the choice is very much yours in this category.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Cleric Build – Leveling Order
Level 2 – Cleric
Spells: Command, Shield of Faith, Healing Word, Protection From Good and Evil/Speak With Animals, Guiding Bolt
Level 3 – Cleric
Spell: Spiritual Weapon
Level 4 – Cleric
Cantrip: Produce Flame
Spells: Enhance Ability or Warding Bond
Feat: Wisdom +2
Level 5 – Wizard
Cantrips: Shocking Grasp, Mage Hand, Bone Chill
Spells: Shield, Find Familiar, Feather Fall, Grease, Expeditious Retreat
Level 6 – Cleric
Spells: Mass Healing Word, Animate Dead, Glyph of Warding
Level 7 – Cleric
Level 8 – Cleric
Level 9 – Cleric
Feat: +2 Wisdom
Level 10 – Cleric
Spells: Dispel Good and Evil, Flame Strike
Level 11 – Cleric
Cantrip: Your Choice
Level 12 – Cleric
First off, it’s worth reiterating that this is a healer/support build. If you’re looking for a battle Cleric, I highly recommend this build that turns your Cleric into a battle tank or this build which takes advantage of their unique elemental damage abilities. If you’re looking to use your Cleric as a healer, though, then this is the rough model you’re probably looking for.
For the most part, this build is designed to maximize the potential of the Life Domain Cleric. Life Domain Clerics are designed to emphasize the class’ pure healing potential to an almost absurd degree. They essentially forgo even basic damage bonuses in order to heal their allies as much as possible as often as possible.
The benefits of this approach begin as early as Level 2 when Life Domain Clerics gain access to the invaluable Preserve Life Action. At this point in the game, this will be your most reliable healing spell. It’s cheap, it’s powerful, and it even scales with your level, which ensures that it remains useful for most of the rest of the game.
Even better, taking the Life Domain subclass means eventually gaining “free” (relatively speaking) Healing abilities like Beacon of Hope, Revivify, and Death Ward without having to choose and prepare them from the usual pool of options. That makes it that much easier to choose sneakily valuable spells that other Cleric builds usually have to ignore.
And that’s where this build gets interesting. See, not only does this build offer some “best in the game” AoE healing options, but those spells will also heal and buff the various minions you’ll be summoning. Yes, this is actually a stealth minion summoning build. Spells like Spiritual Weapon, Animate Dead, Guardian of Faith, and Find Familiar allow us to conjure helpful additional allies in various ways at various stages of the game. You could essentially consider this to be something of a flex build for healing Clerics. Not only does it show why they are one of the best support classes in the game, but it shows why the Cleric needs to actually summon even more party members to properly showcase their full support power.
It should also be noted that Life Domain Clerics enjoy a valuable (and sometimes hard to come by) natural Proficiency with Heavy Armor. That allows Clerics to effectively utilize pretty much any kind of armor in the game, which is great when you’re trying to ensure they stay in the fight and keep your other party members buffed and healed. Do you like tanky healers that maximize your party’s size and bring out the best in everyone around them? You’re going to love this build.
Also, while I’m recommending a few spells you absolutely need to pick up along the way, you actually have quite a bit of room to play with when it comes to some of the “lesser” spells you acquire and prepare. Basically, any of the spells that do not fit into your primary rotation (summoning and heals, mostly) could be swapped out without seriously impacting what this build is designed to achieve.
Finally, we should talk about the Wizard multiclass. On the surface, taking one level of the Wizard class probably seems pretty useless. However, along with allowing your Cleric to learn some nice Level 1 Wizard spells, picking up the Wizard Class allows your Cleric to learn Wizard spells from Spell Scrolls. That ability makes it relatively easy to expand their spellbook throughout the game. It’s also a big reason why so many casters end up picking up a Wizard level. It’s so, so good.
If, however, that doesn’t really interest you, then I’d advise considering picking up an Oath of Ancients Paladin level in order to access their naturally complimentary array of additional healing and support spells. It might be overkill, but it’s probably a little better than going Cleric all the way through and having little to show for it at Level 12.