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Pathwalker
09-28-2007, 02:06 PM
TrueGrave from Ghallanda here. While plenty of other good cleric types exist, this guide is specifically for for making the most out of healer/protector. This means staying completely out of battle (unless it's a no contest fight), letting the rest of the party rain down pain and death upon the enemy, and making sure they continue to be able to do so.

Updated 10/18/07: Just about everything, from better formating to additional details on spells and enhancements. Thanks to all whom have made suggestions so far.


Choosing a Race

Drow A good choice when you get the fame to use one. The penalty to Constitution does hurt some, but the bonuses to Dexterity, Wisdom, and Charisma are useful.
Dwarf The penalty to Charisma is a slight loss to the number of Turn Undead uses, but a bonus Constitution, Saves, and Balance tend to make up for it.
Halfling Good bonuses to Dexterity, Size, and Saves. Their Dragonmark, Healer, can also be a good boon, while their penalty to Strength can easily be made up in a single magical item.
Human Nothing particularly good or bad about a human healer. The Making dragonmark can help when you run into warforged party members.
Elf A penalty to Constitution, hardly worth the Dexterity bonus and few immunities they get. Not highly recommended for a healer.
Warforged Penalties to Wisdom and Charisma, and healing spells cast on warforged are only 50% as effective. File under “Technically Possible”, but normally not a good idea.



Attributes
Wisdom is a primary attribute needed for any spell based cleric, healers included. At low to mid levels, Charisma can actually be far more useful due to the varied divine enhancements. These balance out at later levels, and some builds can ignore Charisma entirely to focus on Wisdom and other attributes.

Strength Least important attribute for a healer under normal circumstances. You will want this at least 10 though to make sure a single Ray of Enfeeblement doesn't take you out. If you don't mind a slight risk at low levels, start it at the racial minimum and boost with a magical item later on. Points can be used elsewhere.
Dexterity As clerics can wear full plate mail, 10-12 is recommended for most. If you got the points to spare after your primary attributes, a higher dexterity can help a bit for the reflex saves.
Constitution A base of 14 is recommended, +/- racial modifiers. If you got the extra points, generally tends to be more useful then Dexterity.
Intelligence You can survive off of 8, though 10 - 12 is recommended if you want to have more then just Concentration as a skill.
Wisdom Wisdom gives better DC's against offensive spells, as well as more spell points.
Charisma Affects the # of times you can use divine enhancements (covered later), and the chance of turning undead.



Skills
Most skills have limited or no uses for a healer. The Heal skill is a joke compared to what your spells can do. Haggle is good for getting the most out of everything you sell, but I've found coin flow to not be a problem at higher levels. I've found the following to be the most needed:

Concentration Getting injured while casting can cause your spells to fizzle, having maximum ranks in this helps insure they don't. Max out first, then decide what to do with the rest of your skill points
Balance cross-class A good secondary skill to have, as no magic to date prevents one from being tripped. And until you get the right protection spells, there plenty of other effects that can have you finding yourself watching the sky. Getting back up quickly can mean the difference between life and death.
Diplomacy In case you get any enemies focused on you, you can convince them to go after your allies instead.



Feats
General

Empowered Healing metamagic Adds an additional 50% to the spells power for 10 extra spell points. This is only cost effective at 3rd level spells or higher, though can be useful at lower levels to quickly heal a lot of damage. Can reduce the cost with enhancements.
Extend Spell metamagic Double duration for +10 spell points. While not useful for healing spells, there are plenty of buffs and protections that make this well worth getting.
Extra Turning Gives 4 extra turn undead uses per day.
Mental Toughness 5+ 5 per level extra spell points. Can also be taken twice with Improved version. Nice for getting the most spells possible.
Toughness 3+ 1 per level extra hit points. Nice for keeping yourself alive though tough battles, but generally lower on priorities then the metamagic and extra spell points.

Dragonmarks
While it takes 3 feats to get a dragonmark enhanced all the way (Least, Lesser, and Greater), a few can be very useful for healers and do not require spell points to use. The info listed below is when you get all 3 feats. You can also use enhancement points to get up to an additional 4 uses per day of each ability.

Healing Halfling Only Cure Light Wounds (5/day), Cure Serious Wounds (3/day), Heal (1/day).
Making Human Only Repair Light Damage(5/day), Repair Serious Damage (3/day), Reconstruct (1/day).



Enhancements
General

Life Magic Each increase gives +10% to all healing and negative energy spells. A must for every healer.
Energy of the Zealot Grants 20 extra spell points at I, and 30 per additional increase.
Wand and Scroll Mastery As most the healing enhancements don't help when your throwing around wands, up to 40% extra healing from them has a few uses if you find yourself going through them often.
Prayer of Life Gives a chance of each healing spell getting a critical hit, improving the amount healed with each casting. Maxed out at 12 enhancement points, there is a 9% chance of each healing spell restoring 225% of normal. As the overall effect of all the Prayer of Life enhancements increases your healing by just over 11%, it's generally not worth it.

Follower
These enhancements combinations can be used for powerful restorative abilities. The first one only gives a +1 to hit with a specific weapon. The second one grants a major healing ability that has no spell point costs, though takes along time to recharge.

Follower of the Undying Court & Undying Call Elf Only Raises a dead ally (True Resurrection if the ally is an elf).
Follower of the Sovereign Host & Unyielding Sovereignty Fully heals an ally of any wounds, ability damage, and just about every negative status effect. Can also be used when your hit with effects that normally prevent you from casting spells (ex: Feeblemind).

Divine
Each use of a divine enhancement uses up a turn undead use rather then spell points, with a variety of benefits. These can not be used on oneself however.

Divine Healing Heal an ally over time. Due to it not needing line of sight, and that it can heal/stabilize anyone who's dying the moment they fall, makes this quite useful. At higher levels though, don't expect it to be able to keep up with the tanks hit points. Also, like healing spells, not very effective on warforged.
Divine Cleansing Each upgrade to this removes more status effects. Saves on the use of spell points to cure stuff like paralysis, curses, etc. Takes care of Mummy's Rot in one use with Divine Cleansing II, and Divine Cleansing III is the only sure way to restore petrified allies in one try.
Divine Vitality Gives another spell caster extra spell points. Useful if there isn't much cleansing to do, or if you have 2 clerics in the team.



Spells

Healing and Raising the Dead
When casting healing spells, it's a fine balance between keeping the party alive, and wasting too much magic that may be needed later. Keeping the party at at least 80% health is generally fine unless coming up against a boss. Casters and rogues may want higher as it doesn't take as much to take them out. Many front lines you can wait till they about 50% and bring up back up to full with a single Heal.
Also, remember that healing spells can be used to harm the undead. Hitting a named undead or two with Heal can seriously quicken their demise, and Mass cure wounds is that more effective when you injure a half dozen undead while healing the party at once.


Cure Light Wounds 1st through Cure Critical Wounds 4th Your basic healing spells. Note that DDO rolls each 1d8 as 1d6+2. As Cure Light wounds maxes out healing at 5th level, afterwards it's more efficient to wait till an ally needs at least a Cure Moderate and then heal them.
Mass Cure Light Wounds 5th through Mass Cure Serious Wounds 7th As long as 2 or more party members are injured and within range of one another, these are more efficient to use then healing a single ally at a time. The in game description is also a bit misleading as they have higher caster level limits. For example, Mass Cure Light wounds says it heals “1d8 hit points +1 per caster level (max+5)”. In truth, it heals “1d6+2 hit points, +1 per caster level (max+25)”.
Mass Aid 3rd This spell gives temporary hit points makes and is about as powerful as Mass Cure Moderate Wounds. Recommended to cast without extend metamagic up, then once most the party wounded again, heal and recast.
Heal 6th Best used on wounded tanks, it heals 10 hit points per caster level, ability damage, and quite a few status effects.
Raise Dead 5th Despite one's best efforts, allies can and will die at times. Sometimes it is best to wait till after a battle however, as coming back with 10% hit points in the middle of a firefight might end up with a quick trip back to the grave for your friends.
Resurrection 7th If you have this, get rid of Raise Dead. Bringing an ally back with 50% of their max hit points more then makes up for the 10 extra spell points to cast, and much safer during a fight.

Restorations
As there are plenty of effects that decrease abilities and drain levels, these are invaluable abilities. Get Restoration as soon as you can, and keep it in your active spells.

Lesser Restoration 2nd Best for removing spells and effects that weaken ability scores, such as Ray of Enfeeblement or fatigue. Can also take care of 1d4 ability damage.
Restoration 4th Best for curing all ability damage in a single casting. Can also restore one negative level.
Greater Restoration 7th Best for restoring 2+ negative levels. Also cures Confusion and Insanity effects.


Prevention and Removal of Negative Effects
There are quite a few nasty effects that can befall the party, having the right restoring spell at the right time can be a life saver. While many spells only affect a single ally at a time, some spells can affect a group of allies that are relatively close together.

Bless 1st, Group Keep in your selection to cancel out Bane effects.
Remove Fear 1st, Group A good one to keep to higher levels, can be used both before combat as a boost to fear saves, and to counter any fear effect.
Protection from Evil 1st Prevents charm and dominate spells from affecting the target.
Remove Paralysis 2nd A good one till you get Freedom of Movement. Paralysis can quickly end even the toughest tank's life if they surrounded.
Magic Circle Against Evil 3rd, Group Prevents charm and dominate spells from affecting the target.
Remove Curse 3rd and Remove Disease 3rd Both very important. Though party members get cursed often, diseases are more rare. Mummy's Curse is a special exception to this. To remove, you need either Divine Cleansing II, or cast Remove Curse followed by Remove Disease.
Remove Blindness 3rd A good one to keep, as the blindness effect doesn't wear off on it's own, and is a major pain to anyone whom gets hit by it.
Freedom of Movement 4th Not only protects against Paralysis, but also makes the target immune to several effects, including: The Earth Elementals “Grapple” ability, any sort of sleet or fog effect that slows movement, Iron Defender's Grease, and many others. This does not prevent against physical trip attacks. Generally saves on the spell points in the long run if cast on the entire party.
Death Ward 4th Besides being immune to death spells, it also prevents any negative energy damage. As there plenty of enemies whom use such things, it's useful in most quests.
Neutralize Poison 4th In most situations, only useful on low fortitude allies. For the fighters, let them be poisoned, changes are they won't even take damage from it. If they do, only need a Restoration to fix it. One special case, there are some enemies that know Cloud Kill. When facing such things, this is a party saver.
Break Enchantment 5th, Group One of the few things that can stop allies from dancing, and the only other ability other then Divine Cleansing III that a cleric can use to remove Flesh to Stone.
Hero's Feast 6th, Group My personal favorite as long as there a shrine, get the entire party to rest after casting. A few bonus hit points, along with immunity to poison and fear.


Buffs
Buffs can be the most important spells for keeping the party from harm, the right defensive boosts can keep the party from taking serious damage. Here's the generally useful ones to have around:

Nightshield 1st, self only Good up until you get a +3 resistance item or higher. Can also be useful for stopping magic missiles as well.
Resist Energy 2nd Good for protecting against elemental damage. This one is also on the wizard/sorcerer spell list.
Protection from Energy 3rd In most cases, less useful then Resist Energy unless you come across anything that does major elemental damage. Generally not good to extend as it only protects against so much damage, chances are that will wear out before the time does. Can also be handled by the wizard/sorcerer.
Shield of Faith, Mass 4th Unless most the party has items of protection on, this can be a decent boon to helping to prevent injury.
Recitation 4th, Group +2 luck bonus to AC, attack, and saves. While a short duration means it will only last one to two battles, it's good to cast right before a boss or other tough fight.
True Seeing 5th While not often needed, good to cast on the party's best offense if there are a lot of enemies either invisible or using blur effects. Note that this does not work if the enemy is just using Stealth.
Spell Resistance, Mass 7th Good for protecting allies against all sorts of dangerous spells.


Support
These are spells that while not directly useful in healing/protection, is beneficial for many healers to have.

Summon Monster III 3rd Summons a Hell Hound,
good from 5th to 8th level. Support that attacks anything that gets close, tends to be more useful for distracting enemies then in causing wounds. Still, more attacks against something that just disappears latter is less against the party.
Summon Monster V 5th Summons an Earth Elemental, good from 9th level onward. The elementals ability to hold a single enemy for a limited time while ones allies beat them to a pulp make it even more useful.
Harm 6th Deals 10 damage per level, 5 on a successful save. As this is improved by the Cleric Life Magic enhancement, it is one of the few offensive spells I use. Sadly, the Empower Healing spell doesn't affect this.



Equipment

General
I would recommend searching for items with the following effects during your travels.

Potency/Devotion Improves on your healing talents. If you get one that boosts lower level spells only (example: +30% to 2nd level or less), it may be more efficient to cast the lower level spell then a higher level one.
Wisdom Extra spell points and higher save DC's always useful.
of Power, Wizardry, or Magi Even more spell points.
Charisma Extra uses of divine enhancements and better at turning undead.


Status Immunity:
If the cleric held/blind/dead/etc, then the rest of the group likely soon to follow. Keep an eye out for the following, as well as keeping an eye out for other immunity items as well. The less that can stop the healer, the better off the party will be.

Blindness Immunity Generally found on goggles. While being blind doesn't prevent casting spells, it too easy to run into trouble.
Deathblock Doesn't prevent negative energy damage, but does stop any death spells. Generally found on shields and armor, though can find an amulet that gives a similar effect through the Necropolis quests.
Disease Immunity Generally found on belts, good against Mummy Rot and other diseases.
Proof against Poison Neutralize Poison cast ahead of time can do the same in most cases, but nice not having to waste a spell. Immunity to Cloud Kill also a nice bonus.
Resistance Generally found on cloaks, high saving throws can make sure you are almost immune to most effects.



Final Tips

Healing spells have 360 degree range, as long as they not too far out or blocked. Paying more attention to the life bars then the actual battle tends to keep the party alive. People will let you know when they been paralyzed, poisoned, etc.

You can target allies by clicking on them, but it's more effective to use the function keys or clicking on their name in the status bar.

Watch and listen to find out not just how badly the party is being injured, but by what is hurting them. If a Flamestirke comes down and everyone is fine except for one severely injured ally, chances are that ally don't have enough fire protection. If there a lot of tough melee enemies, see if the wizard can help the front line with a stone skin or two.

Everyone but the fighter and rogue asks for Divine Vitality (DV's) to increase their spell points. If you got more then enough extra, that's fine, but keep some in reserve so you don't use up all your own spell points on removing status effects that a simple Divine Cleansing can clear.

Crarites
09-28-2007, 03:11 PM
You might want to include the halfling dragon marks for healing.
With full dragon marks and enhancements
9 cure light
7 cure serious
5 heals
That are non-interruptable, affected by healling boosts enhancements/items/feats is something I feel should be mentioned.

Also I didn't see divine sovereingty listed? 1000 point heal that removes all status affects but mind blast and recharges wihtout having to use a shrine?

Having the ability to remove feeblemind on yourself with either greater mark of healing or divine sovereignty is also a nice bonus as well.

WeaselKing
09-28-2007, 03:17 PM
Healing spells have 360 degree range, as long as they not too far out or blocked. Paying more attention to the life bars then the actual battle tends to keep the party alive. People will let you know when they been paralyzed, poisoned, etc.
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An important point for noobs who are playing a cleric for the first time is that you do not have to click on your ally, clicking on their life bar will target them. I have had this come up a couple times where our healer was doing miserably until we found out he didn't know this. After we informed him, things went much better.

oronisi
09-28-2007, 03:23 PM
This is a nice discussion of how to make a healbot out of a cleric. Glad to see you called it 'The complete Healer' instead of trying to refer to it as a cleric. Some people use the term interchangably, and they definitely aren't the same thing.

I guess it's just me, but I think a well-rounded cleric can perform as a great healer AND also do CC or damage at the same time, which can save the party from taking damage in the first place, making them more effective overall.

But anyways, good guide. You could add halfling and human dragonmarks in the mix if you wanted to reference some of the feats that could be used to heal / protect.

Turial
09-30-2007, 01:38 PM
Also note a cleric (if they are human and want to use the feats) can take the Repair dragon marks to "heal" forged just as well as they heal fleshies.

Ulfr
10-04-2007, 07:48 AM
Looks like a good start! I'd also put at least a little mention that the different Cure XXX Wound spells are on different timers. That makes it possible (at pre-Heal spell levels) to chain heal rather quickly. It can be costly to chain heal, but it can save lives in a sudden onslaught of attacks.

On Divine Healing, you might also mention that its effect is NOT attenuated on warforged characters. What's more is that you mention that its good for use in between battles. I feel that may be the most wasted method of using it as most people can wand whip or down potions easily and safely between battles. Additionally, it inherently gets wasted if it's just used to top someone off or if they top themselves off while it's in effect, i.e. it doesn't expend its full range of healing. What I find is a nice tactical use of it is to throw it on the main tank at first sign of damage, and also on warforged in the thick of the fray. Used that way, it provides a little easement to your burst heals. Furthermore, it can pull an incapacitated player up if you're overburdened. In the midst of a fight, creatures will usally drop agro on an incapacitated player and turn to the next threat, allowing the incapacitated player to duck out of combat and self heal when the next Divine Healing tick brings them up. One other nice feature of Divine Healing is that you can use it on players out of your line of sight, whether they're around a corner or behind an obstacle, where spells will not hit them.