Top 10 DnD Cleric Domains

With the huge range of DnD domains available these days, clerics are more than just the party healer. Unfortunately, not all domains are made equal. We’ve ranked our top ten cleric domains so you can build your cleric with the confidence that your character is going to be the holy buddy your party needs!

10. Arcana (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide)

Arcana has some neat little benefits, like a flexible set of adventuring spells and the ability to turn creatures from other planes rather than just undead, but the tastiest bit of this subclass is ending spells on your allies when you heal them. Vital in certain circumstances, a bit underwhelming in others.

9. Tempest (Player’s Handbook)

The Tempest domain has synergy built straight in with a strong damaging spell list, heavy armour and martial weapon proficiency, reactive damage, and buffs to the damage of your lightning and thunder attacks. The only disadvantage for a damage-dealing cleric build is that the Tempest Domain strikes just one (thunderous) note, which means that any time you fight something resistant or immune to thunder and lightning, you’re going to be left with very little to do.

8. Trickery (Player’s Handbook)

The Trickery domain is…well, a tricky one. It has some incredibly useful abilities if you want to be a sneaky backstabbing assassin, such as creating a perfect illusion of yourself or turning invisible for a turn. Unfortunately, a lot of those struggle to keep up with other subclasses that build sneaky backstabbers better. That said, strong spell choices for a sneaky party and the ability to give other people an advantage on Stealth checks make the Trickery domain a fun addition to the cleric.

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Image by Wizards of the Coast

7. Light (Player’s Handbook)

For sheer damage dealing as well as a decent range of utility spells, the Light Domain cleric might spark your interest. With a spell list normally reserved for the most explosive of sorcerers and evocation wizards, a defensive flare that can eventually be used to protect other people, and a tasty 2d10 radiant damage in an area from their Channel Divinity power, the Light Domain cleric is a good fit for a more aggressive cleric build.

6. War (Player’s Handbook)

The War domain is a strong choice for a one-cleric army, with the same heavy armor and martial weapon proficiency as the Twilight and Tempest Cleric, plus spells like shield of faith and spiritual weapon. Being able to attack as a bonus action is a strong element of this domain, as well as providing a big bonus to attacks for you and your allies. With a pick of any martial weapon, Divine Favor, and an eventual +1d8 damage to weapon attacks at 8th level, the War cleric is versatile and makes the most of the action economy.

5. Life (Player’s Handbook)

This is the pure healing build and it definitely delivers. The massively increased efficiency of healing makes the most of your spell slots and heavy armor proficiency adds survivability with its heavy armor proficiency. This is a cleric in its most archetypal form, with a spell selection that includes some buffing gems like beacon of hope and bless. Take this if you want a classic cleric build that the whole party will be grateful for.

4. Order (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)

Order clerics play into some of the tropes embodied by the 4th Edition warlord, focused on giving allies opportunities and tactically negating enemies’ agency to retaliate. Their Voice of Authority ability allows allies to make a weapon attack as a reaction after the cleric has cast a spell of 1st level or higher on them. On top of that, they can cast enchantment spells to control the minds of enemies as a bonus action rather than a full action, which gives them an unparalleled ability to control the battlefield.

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Image by Wizards of the Coast

3. Grave (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)

The domain of the Grave is a welcome change in the vibe for the Cleric, forcing them to walk the line between maximising their healing and risking a full party wipe. Sentinel at Death’s Door is a really excellent way to manage the swingy nature of DnD when it comes to unexpected critical hits on player characters, and your party will definitely thank you for it. Path to the Grave and Circle of Mortality help when things get dire, and the spell list is great fun for a slightly more necromantic tone.

2. Peace (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)

Peace Domain clerics focus on buffing and passively healing their friends with localised passive healing and small dice bonuses to their bonded companions that apply to attack rolls, ability checks, or saving throws. 1d4 might seem like a small buff, but with DnD’s principle of Bounded Accuracy, it can make the difference between success or failure. At 6th level, you can even get your friends to intercept attacks with a teleport. They also have one of the strongest protective and healing spell loadouts on this list.

1. Twilight (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything)

A domain so strong that it is banned in some games, the Twilight Domain cleric has a huge stack of benefits such as a huge Darkvision radius (which they can also grant to other people), the ability to grant advantage on initiative rolls, and an area of regeneration that makes the whole party vastly more powerful than most. It’s a shame that this is such an obvious choice because it could easily be toned down while still keeping the unique flavour of this versatile subclass.

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Eleanor Hingley

WGTC Contributor – Eleanor has been writing professionally in the table top role-playing game industry for six years and playing Warframe since 2017. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm for all things tabletop and Warframe to Destructoid!

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