Everything in its proper place—that’s the mantra of an Order Cleric. Every person should fill their appointed role in society, laws should be followed, stability should be maintained above all else. It can be a bit stifling, but following the rules, all the time can keep people safe and prosperous.
Originating from the “Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica” book, the Order Cleric is a master of the game’s action economy. You’ll win fights by limiting your enemies’ options while giving your allies extra attacks and doubling up on spells yourself. It brings a new twist to the classic combat mindset.
An Order Cleric will worship strict gods that encourage a strong sense of duty, such as Bane or Tyr. If you want to take a crack at playing the party’s quartermaster, read on and learn how to play this subclass!
Using This Guide
Everything in this guide has an emoji, ranking how useful a given ability or feature is to playing this class effectively.
✅ — An absolutely crucial feature. Often forms the backbone of a class’ look and feel. Will provide some bonus that can’t be found through other means.
🆗 — A solid feature that does its job well. Not game-breaking, and certainly replaceable, but a strong choice that shores up some weakness.
⚠️ — A debatable choice. Could work for a specific build, but otherwise is either a wasted opportunity or is just weaker than other alternatives.
⛔ — Outright bad and detrimental. This weighs down the class and just takes up space on the character sheet. A weakness you will have to accommodate for.
These rankings are meant to help you create an optimized class build but remember—DnD isn’t a game where you need to win to have fun. Weaker but flavorful builds also have their place and can make for fulfilling characters.
How to Play an Order Cleric
The Order Domain plays, unlike any other Cleric subclass. Your main strategy will be improving your party’s action economy optimization. In DnD combat, the winning side is often the one that takes more actions, so focus on giving your party extra actions while restricting how many your enemies can take.
You’ll be looking for a way to debuff your foes and force them into disadvantageous positions (Controlling) while also buffing your allies so they can take advantage of the tactical opportunities you create (Support).
Being an Effective Controller
You can provide your allies an advantage by holding enemies back until your party is ready to fight them. To do this, target the biggest monster with a save-or-suck spell to keep them out of the fight for a little while. Also, look for opportunities to split enemies into groups with spells that create massive obstacles so your party can fight each group one by one.
Being an Effective Support
Several of your subclass features require you to cast spells on your allies. Buff spells are perfect for this, falling in line with your focus on gaining an edge over enemies. Strategically buff strong party members to turn a normal advantage into an overwhelming one, and heal people with a target spell whenever they need your help.
Order Domain Subclass Features
Your subclass features allow your party to sneak in extra attacks or spells while delaying the enemy. Exploit these opportunities and seize the moment to deal devastating damage before the enemy can recuperate.
🆗 Domain Spells
Good to quickly weaken a creature. Just make sure an ally is nearby to follow up and take advantage of that weakness.
A great buff at low levels that can save a squishier party member from death. Does get worse at higher levels, though.
🆗 Hold Person
Can incapacitate the biggest threat on the battlefield, often a spellcaster. A little inconsistent to maintain, but can buy your party a round or two to regroup.
⚠️ Zone of Truth
Handy roleplay utility, but even still, it’s a little too niche.
✅ Mass Healing Word
Helping the whole party is efficient, and because you’ll often use your action for something else, getting this effect as a bonus action is excellent.
Straightforward action economy debuff. Fewer actions mean less of a threat.
A great way to rearrange the battlefield to your party’s advantage, or even just to force a bunch of baddies to leave you alone.
⚠️ Locate Creature
Good for tracking, but usually not worth a whole spell slot.
Only ever cast this as a ritual, but it can provide some useful info.
✅ Dominate Person
Simultaneously eliminating a threat while gaining an ally is a massive advantage, not to mention very efficient.
✅ Bonus Proficiencies
The skill is irrelevant, but heavy armor greatly improves your survivability.
✅ Voice of Authority
Your main mechanic. Giving an ally an extra attack every combat round adds up to a lot of extra damage. Also note that this could be a melee or a ranged attack.
✅ Channel Divinity: Order’s Demand
Mostly used to buy a combat round for your party to heal up and reposition. Can also disarm enemies, but you’ll have to force them to move away from their dropped weapons.
✅ Embodiment of the Law
Many of your buff spells are enchantments, so this is an obvious upgrade that lets you also cast a cantrip during most turns.
🆗 Divine Strike
With heavy armor, you might well be on the front lines within melee range. But without martial weapons, this kind of falls flat.
✅ Order’s Wrath
An incredible incentive to make melee attacks happen. Will end up dealing double damage to your target by proxy. Just stick close to your party.
The Perfect Order Domain Build
Useful for making melee weapon attacks and wearing heavy armor.
You have a lot of concentration spells, from buffs to control magic. Increasing Constitution makes it much easier to maintain concentration.
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability, and having it higher means enemies can’t shake your spells as easily, giving you more bang for your buck.
✅ Because of their maneuverability and flexibility, Harengon, Variant Human, and Protector Aasimar are some of the best races for an Order Cleric. Hill Dwarf, Githzerai, Lizardfolk, Loxodon, and Tortle are also great picks for defensive power.
🆗 Firbolg, Water Genasi, Kalashtar, Reborn, and Warforged are all decent choices, offering good defense against weapon and spell attacks alike. Centaur is an interesting choice because the high speed helps you reposition on the battlefield.
A great way to keep the advantage in battle is by using this ability to avoid spells or to land attacks. Also saves you from having to use spells to protect yourself when they could be cast on your allies.
🆗 Metamagic Adept
Customize your spells to make them better suit the situation at hand. You can squeeze in bonus spells with Quickened Spell or make sure your friends don’t get hit by friendly fire with Careful Spell. Or simply multiclass into Sorcerer.
✅ War Caster
An obvious choice since you use so many concentration spells. Plus it can give you an extra spell every combat round via an opportunity attack.
Note: This section skips spells already gained through Domain Spells.
- 🆗 Resistance
- An easy way to protect your allies mid-combat. If you don’t have another concentration spell running, might as well use this.
- ✅ Toll the Dead
- The indispensable Cleric damage cantrip. It quite simply deals the most damage and has nice range.
- ✅ Bane
- Leaves your enemies exposed to spells and makes them miss your friends when they attack. An excellent debuff.
- ✅ Bless
- Great for both offense and defense, helping your party overcome your foes. It’s crazy how much of an impact one 1st-level spell can have, but affecting your entire party makes this so good.
- ✅ Cure Wounds
- The most efficient healing spell you’ll have access to. Use it when you need a big chunk of health restored.
- ✅ Healing Word
- Perfect to pair with a cantrip for a very efficient double-spell turn. Also good if you can’t get to the front lines.
- ✅ Shield of Faith
- Extra AC can make a huge difference. Put this on a sturdy party member and watch them tear through enemies.
- 🆗 Aid
- A useful amount of health, and the long duration makes this good to cast before a long day of adventuring.
- ✅ Spiritual Weapon
- Adding in an extra attack as a bonus action is great value. This spell is a very efficient use of your spell slot.
- 🆗 Incite Greed
- Leaves any affected foes open for your party members to pick off.
- 🆗 Motivational Speech
- Good defensive buffs and can grant advantage on an attack. A well-rounded spell to improve your whole party’s combat capabilities.
- ✅ Revivify
- You never want to be without your resurrection spells. The time limit on this means you should always be ready to cast it.
- 🆗 Banishment
- Keeps a big monster on another plane until your party kills their friends and can outnumber it.
- ✅ Death Ward
- Slap this on every party member that you can. An elegant solution to dying friends, saving you the turn it would take to heal them.
- 🆗 Geas
- Can turn an enemy into an ally if your instructions are clever enough, or else just deals a decent chunk of psychic damage.
- ✅ Holy Weapon
- A massive damage boost that few enemies will survive against. Put this on whichever friend deals the most number of attacks.
- 🆗 Raise Dead
- Another powerful resurrection spell, this time with a large window of time so you can focus on finishing combat and then bring your ally back.
- ✅ Blade Barrier
- A great obstacle to throw down on the battlefield, holding swarms of enemies at bay or trapping your targets within melee range of your party.
- ✅ Heal
- A flat value of HP restored makes this nice and predictable, and it restores plenty of HP too.
- ✅ Heroes’ Feast
- This grants your party lots of buffs with a super-long duration, so you can start any fight already at an advantage. Perfect for your short rest before a boss fight or dungeon crawl.
- ✅ Divine Word
- Debilitates entire hordes of enemies with a single spell. Even if your targets survive, they will be so weakened that your party can put them out of their misery without much fuss.
- 🆗 Symbol
- If used well, this can be a nasty surprise for your enemies, capable of affecting swaths of monsters and inflicting some big debuffs on them. Flexible and powerful.
- ✅ Antimagic Field
- Doesn’t really let your allies fight back, but against the crazy magical effects you’ll be facing at higher levels, you’ll be grateful to cower behind this shield as it stops all but the biggest threats.
- ✅ Holy Aura
- Probably the best spell for Order Cleric. Disadvantage for your opponents, advantage for your allies, and you can even blind certain enemies to weaken them further. The definition of a “win-more” spell.
- ✅ Mass Heal
- Puts your entire party back in the fight with one spell. The ability to choose just how much each party member heals has excellent strategic potential, too.
You will want the best heavy armor to keep yourself alive, so grab plate and complement it with a shield. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with simple weapons. For melee weapons, greatclubs, handaxes, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs, and spears all deal good damage, and light crossbows are your best option for ranged weapons. However, your cantrips are probably better for ranged damage.
The Order Domain is great for veteran players who want a unique backstory and appreciate creative approaches to combat. If you found this guide helpful, share it with your friends! And leave a comment telling us about an Order Cleric you’ve played before.