Originally thought to be one of the slower leveling classes in Trion Worlds: RIFT, Clerics have shown themselves to be not only exceptional in parties, but masters of soloing much of games leveling content. The reason for this is extremely simple: the ability to AoE(Area of Effect) grind every quest in the game, with the exception of elite or group based content, with a proper soul build.
Every player enjoys a different play style. Some like casters or healers, others, melee and tanks. Luckily, Trion’s vision of the Cleric calling facilitates each and every persons desires when it comes to play styles.
This guide will delve into the world of the Cleric–both melee and caster–to give you a basic understanding of the skills and talents you will need to successfully reach level 50 in the shortest time possible. As previously stated, every player has a different play style from the next and, in turn, will enjoy one soul build over another. The talents trees displayed here are merely suggestions. I implore you to change up these builds a bit and find the build that best suits your personal play style. It will not only help to keep you from wanting to slam your face into the keyboard due to repetition, but you will also learn a lot about your class.
This is the section of the guild for players who prefer Caster classes. Lets get started.
Welcome to the newbie zone! In this area you will get your first taste of RIFTs combat system, as well as choose your first 3 souls. You will be able to choose a soul at the beginning of the zone, at a mid point and near the end. Don’t get crazy over picking which souls you want, as you will be able to purchase the other 5 from your class trainer for only 20 gold.
For the caster side of the guide we will be using these souls:
1st Soul: Inquisitor
2nd Soul: Sentinel
3rd Soul: Cabalist
(All abilities will be italicized and color coded to correspond with the soul that will provide them.)
How To: You will have to kill enemies one at a time(single target) rather then AoE(multiple targets) until you can obtain all 3 of your first souls. Don’t worry, this will not take long at all. Once you have all three souls use this simple strategy: Vex enemies to engage them, if one or more of the enemies are either a caster or a ranger try to line of sight(LoS) them by moving behind a building, tree, rock, or any other solid object near you. Once you have them rounded up, start spamming Shadow’s Touch and use Healing Breath as needed.
It is recommended that you only pull 2-3 enemies at a time this early in the game. AoE Grinding can be difficult at these early stages of the game. So don’t be discouraged if you are forced into killing only one target at a time.
Continuing on with your journey to max level, your talent build should look a little something like this.
How To: Your going to use the strategy as before, as well as add Bound Fate to your rotation. Cast this in place of Shadow’s Touch when ever its cooldown time finishes. One other difference here is that Vex will be healing you every time it hits an enemy. So make sure it is damaging enemies constantly.
When you hit level 13, you will want to put another point into Fanatic’s Faith. Level 14, Aggressive Renewal. At 14 points in Inquisitor, you will unlock a root ability, one of your best AoE spells: Soul Drain.
At this point, we have dropped the Sentinel soul and picked up the Cleric tanking soul, the Justicar. There are a few reasons we are doing this. First off, with our new buff Salvation, every attack that you land on an enemy will now heal you for 11% of the damage you do to them. This, on top of your heals from Vex (talented with Contempt), will be more then enough healing to keep you alive. If you some reason you notice yourself getting low on health, the Justicar ability Doctrine of Bliss can be used as your replacement for Healing Breath. Doctrine of Bliss, along with costing a small amount of mana, will require you to have at least 1 conviction. Convictions can be gained simply by buffing yourself with Cavalier(also from the Justicar Tree) and using any life-based damage ability. This ability’s healing will also be increased by 50% from the buff Mien of Honor.
With this build you have a few damaging abilities that are life based and will build convictions, they are as follows:
- Bolt of Judgment – 2 Second cast ranged spell from your Inquisitor tree.
- Sanction Heretic – Instant cast ranged spell from your Inquisitor tree. 15 Second Cooldown.
- Strike of Judgement – Melee attack from your Justicar Tree.
- Censure – Melee attack from your Justicar Tree. 6 Second Cooldown.
- Bolt of Radiance - Instant cast ranged spell from your Justicar Tree. 8 Second Cooldown.
- Light Makes Right – Double Convictions gained when your life-based damaging abilities critically strike and enemy.
- Reprieve – Heals you and the target of your Righteous Mandate(if you have one) for ~2500 at it base rank. It’s A LOT of health.
- Reparation – Works almost exactly like Salvation, but does not effects you entire party with the exception of any Cleric buffed with it. (including yourself)
- Eye of the Storm – Adds a 4 second Damage over Time(DoT) effect to any enemy that is hit by your Strike of the Maelstrom
- Stormborn – Increases any Air damage(Jolt & Eye of the Storm) you do by 10% per point spent in the talent, with a maximum of 50%.
- Battle Charge – Everyone likes to go flying through the air to engage their targets. Its very useful to charge an enemy that is up to 17 meters away, when you get slowed by one of the enemies in your AoE grouping.
- Favored of the Valnir – Increases all healing received by 5% per point. Maximum of 10%. More healing per hit means you can kill more enemies in one grouping.
- Rage of the North – Enrages your Cleric, causing all melee attacks and abilities to critically hit for 7 seconds. This ability is off the GCD.
How to: Your basically going to use the same strategy as before, but with a few tweaks. Engage most of your enemies with Vex, while also pulling two with Sanction Heretic & Bolt of Radiance. The reasoning behind doing this is to build up a few convictions for emergency heals. When you have grouped them up, cast Soul Drain every time its available to cast. While it’s not, just use Shadow’s Touch.
We have gained an additional buff at this point, which is extremely important to have on. So make sure you have Lurking Decay cast!
We’re going deeper into Cabalist at this point. Once you hit 10 points in Cabalist, you will unlock the root talent, Tyranny. This ability, just like Soul Drain, is by far one of your best AoE abilities. Tyranny will consume all the decays you currently have stored. You will gain these decays every two seconds as long as you have the buff Lurking Decay on, with a maximum of three. Make sure you have all the mobs(enemies) grouped up before you cast it.
How to: After you have Vex‘ed/Sanction Heretic‘ed/Bolt of Radiance‘ed your enemies to engage them, cast Soul Drain. Next in the line up will be Tyranny(assuming you currently have 3 decays) followed by Bound Fate. Use these every time their respective cooldown times have finished. Fill in the rest of the available cast time with Shadow’s Touch.
Again, we’re deeper into Cabalist. We have gained a few new abilities that will make life exponentially easier. The one that is most worthy of note is Maelstrom. This ability will drag three enemies(five when fully talented) onto your current target. Curse of Solitude is one of the other cast-able ability that you gained. This spell works almost exactly like Vex, but with one large difference. The enemy afflicted with Curse of Solitude will damage up to five enemies around it, every time it uses an ability. The last cast-able ability you will have gained is Vile Power. This ability works exactly like Tyranny but will give you a considerable amount of mana back when you use it. Another talent you will have gained is Affinity for Death. This talent causes your Tyranny to have no cooldown, other than the six seconds you will want to wait to build up 3 decays.
How to: You will want to engage the enemies the same way you have been for the entire game. Simply add Curse of Solitude to that set of abilities. Use Maelstrom when you need to bring everything you have pulled into one spot. Make sure you have the enemy that is closest to you targeted before you use the ability. Start your AoE rotation with Soul Drain, then cast Tyranny(assuming you currently have 3 decays), followed by Bound Fate. Use Curse of Solitude when ever its cooldown finishes, and if everything is on cooldown, use Shadow’s Touch. At this point you should not have to cast Shadow’s Touch very often as you are cycling through abilities with fairly low cooldown times. Use Vile Power in place of Tyranny when ever you are running low on mana.
At this point, you have already had the majority of AoE abilities that you will use while leveling up to max level. The only thing of note that you will have gained by this point is the ability Ravaging Darkness. This ability is just like Tyranny or Vile Power, but gives you health for each enemy hit.
How to: Same stuff as before. Use Ravaging Darkness if you need a quick heal and you are out of convictions.
This is it for the caster portion of the leveling guide. Hope you enjoyed it, or it at least helped you get an idea of how to build and play your “caster” style Cleric.
This is the section of the guild for players who prefer Melee classes.
Some bad new right off the bat: unfortunately, melee AoE leveling is just not viable until level 18. So, you have a choice to make. You can either use the above guide until you get to level 18, or you can single target enemies down. The choice is yours to make, however, this guide will be jumping to level 18…
This is your basic soul build.
[ Melee Buff Bar ]
If you read any of the caster leveling guild above, you will know how Cavalier and Convictions work. If you didn’t, here is a quick overview.
Convictions can be gained simply by buffing yourself with Cavalier and using any life-based damage ability. These convictions can be used for your Doctrine of Bliss, Doctrine of Loyalty and Doctrine of Righteousness. The latter two of the three can be completely ignored while soloing, as they are only useful in a group.
How to : Engage enemies by using a ranged ability. Bolt of Radiance should be used if it is off cooldown. If you are not able to use it, Water Jet will do the trick. Line of sight(LoS) any ranged enemies by moving behind a building, tree or other solid object. This will cause them to run after you. Once you have them all grouped up, start spamming Even Justice. This is also an opportune time to use the ability Glacial Shield. This will absorbed a few blows from the enemies as well as damage them when they strike you. It only has a 30 second cooldown, so feel free to apply liberally. If you are taking more damage then you are healing with the combination of Even Justice & Salvation, cast Healing Spray on yourself. If you are still struggling to stay alive, use Doctrine of Bliss. Using this strategy you can easily kill multiple enemies at the same time, so don’t be afraid to engage a whole heap of them. If you start running low on mana, activate the ability Purpose. This will give you mana back for every hit you successfully land on an enemy for 10 seconds.
At this point int your melee AoE leveling experience you actually have almost every ability you will be using. You gained Devout Deflection which increase your dodge and parry, based on your spell power. From the Shaman tree you will gain three abilities that you will want to use when ever they are active: Jolt, Fated Blow, & Glory of the Chosen. The reasoning behind using these abilities is that they will not cause a Global Cooldown(GCD) and can be simply added into a damage macro. The macro at this level should look like this:
#show Even Justice
cast Fated Blow
cast Glory of the Chosen
cast Even Justice
This is the basis of what will eventually be your one button AoE damage macro. This macro will cast the highest skill on the list if it is available to be used. Being the only ability that has no previous requirements or cooldowns, it will always cast Even Justice. Once you critically hit an enemy, an enemy dodges, or you get critically hit, it will use Jolt, Fated Blow, or Glory of the Chosen respectively, assuming they are not on cooldown.
How to: This is about as simple as it can get. Keep Healing Spray up on yourself at all times. Now, push that AoE damage macro we set up until everything stops trying to kill you back. If you start running low on mana, and you will, use Purpose or Ageless Ice(same effect as Purpose, and they do not share a cooldown and be used together or one after the other) but remember that they only give you mana back for each swing landed on an enemy.
This is the first level you will be able to get your second melee AoE attack ability. Strike of the Maelstrom, is a 21 point talent in the Shaman soul tree. It can hit up to 6 targets if they are within 7 meters of you in any direction(360 degrees). You will want to add this to you AoE macro. The macro will try to use this ability first, if its on cooldown it will automatically switch to Even Justice until the cooldown on Strike of the Maelstrom finishes. Your macro should now look like this:
#show Even Justice
cast Fated Blow
cast Glory of the Chosen
cast Strike of the Maelstrom
cast Even Justice
Once you have the abilities listed above, you will have everything you need to finish the race to level 50. I’m not going to post a talent tree, because you have already have all the skills required for melee AoE leveling, and the rest of the points are really just gravy. However, there are a few that you may want to pick up:
By combining souls in certain ways, you can build a powerful, sturdy cleric, capable of devastating many enemies at a time. As aforementioned, the souls posted here are not a strict line you must follow, it is merely a guide. I hope you will try to branch out to create your own soul combinations, as there are literally thousands of possibilities to discover, and will also teach you a lot about your calling. RIFT’s Clerics are the most dynamic, versatile class we may ever see. So get out there, kill some shit, and enjoy the game for what it is: Awesome.