Baldur's Gate 3 Best Cleric Subclasses

Shadowheart, the best cleric in BG3

Are you playing as a cleric in Baldur’s Gate 3? Clerics can be versatile, ranging from a powerful support character to your party’s primary damage dealer. In this article, we rank each cleric subclass from good to best so you can make the right decision for your gameplay. 

Knowledge Domain (Ok)

Selecting a Knowledge Domain Cleric

Knowledge Domain clerics specialize in the use of arcane magic. Their spells are best used for disabling enemies through manipulation and crowd control. This subclass gets an increase in the damage enemies take from cantrips. Additionally, Knowledge Domain clerics gain additional skill proficiency and expertise. While the crowd control and healing features of this subclass stand out, this isn’t the best choice for a combat-focused character.  

What Knowledge Clerics Excel In: 

  • Using cantrips: add extra damage to cantrips
  • Crowd control: reading and manipulating the minds of their foes
  • Roleplaying: better dialogue choices for your character
  • Arcane magic: more skilled in arcane magic than other clerics
  • Extra proficiency: Gain proficiency in all skills of a chosen ability

Subclass details: 

  • Level 1 - Domain Spells (Command, Sleep), +2 Expertise Skills out of History, Nature, Religion, Arcana.
  • Level 2 - Knowledge of the Ages (Action)
  • Level 3 - Domain Spells (Calm Emotions, Hold Person)
  • Level 5 - Domain Spells (Speak with Dead, Slow)
  • Level 6 - Channel Divinity: Read Thoughts (Action)
  • Level 6 - Speak with Animals
  • Level 7 - Domain Spells (Confusion, Otiluke's Resilient Sphere)
  • Level 8 - Potent Spellcasting (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 9 - Domain Spells (Dominate Person, Telekinesis)


Trickery Domain (Good) 

Shadowheart, a Trickery Domain Cleric by default 

Trickery Domain clerics are a bit harder to master than other subclasses, but they’re a strong build when played correctly. Focusing on deceit and illusion, these clerics are powerful spellcasters. They have certain spells to improve stealth, particularly helpful with rogues and rangers in the same party. This subclass focuses on supporting and protecting allies, exemplified by Shaodwheart’s default build. 

What Trickery Domain Clerics Excel In: 

  • Increased stealth: Pass Without a Trace improves Stealth checks for the whole party
  • Scaring enemies: Fear spell allows cleric to terrify enemies during combat
  • Increased survivability: unique illusion spells such as Invoke Duplicity and Mirror Image
  • Decent dialogue: more dialogue options due to Disguise Self and Charm Person
  • Diverse play: access to many healing, damage, and ability-enhancing Spells, unlike other subclasses

Subclass Details: 

  • Level 1 - Domain Spells (Disguise Self, Charm Person)
  • Level 1 - Blessing of the Trickster (Action)
  • Level 2 - Invoke Duplicity (Action)
  • Level 3 - Domain Spells (Mirror Image, Pass Without Trace)
  • Level 5 - Domain Spells (Bestow Curse, Fear)
  • Level 6 - Channel Divinity: Cloak of Shadows (Action)
  • Level 7 - Domain Spells (Polymorph, Dimension Door)
  • Level 8 - Divine Strike: Poison (Action)
  • Level 9 - Domain Spells (Dominate Person, Seeming)


Light Domain (Good)

Selecting Light Domain for your Cleric 

Light Domain clerics are a powerful subclass specializing in offensive spellcasting. Most of these spells center on light and fire, blinding or burning their enemies. Additionally, they have greater damage output from their Channel Divinity actions than any other cleric subclass. The Radiance of the Dawn spell allows the cleric to deal 2d10 plus the character's level in radiant damage, which is helpful against the undead. This comes in handy when facing the shadows in Act Two.

What Light Domain Clerics Excel In 

  • Offensive spellcasting: high amounts of light-focused spells to blind enemies
  • AoE: unique Radiance of the Dawn spell harms large area 
  • Ranged combat: acts best as a support or offensive build
  • Fire damage: experts in fire spells like Fireball to attack enemies
  • Fighting shadow: Radiance of the Dawn harms shadows and the undead

Subclass Details:

  • Level 1 - Domain Spells (Faerie Fire, Burning Hands)
  • Level 1 - Warding Flare (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 1 - Light (Subclass Feature, Cantrip)
  • Level 2 - Radiance of the Dawn (Action)
  • Level 3 - Domain Spells (Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray)
  • Level 5 - Domain Spells (Daylight, Fireball)
  • Level 6 - Improved Warding Flare (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 7 - Domain Spells (Wall of Fire, Guardian of Faith)
  • Level 8 - Potent Spellcasting (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 9 - Domain Spells (Flame Strike, Destructive Wave)


Nature Domain (Good)

Selecting Nature Domain for your Cleric

Nature Domain clerics are versatile spellcasters focused on the powers of nature, similar to Druids. They are powerful healers and buff their allies for battle while controlling and manipulating the natural world. At level one, this subclass gets to learn a druid cantrip and gain proficiency in either Animal Handling, Nature, or Survival. Their combination of defensive spells, crowd control abilities, and heavy armor proficiency make them the perfect spellcasting tank in combat. 

What Nature Domain Clerics Excel In:

  • Manipulating nature: spells focus on nature, including a druid cantrip
  • Buffing allies: increase the defense of party members
  • Divine Strike: Elemental Fury, which allows them to deal an extra 1d8 of cold, fire, or lightning damage once per turn.
  • Tank role: soak up damage while steering the flow of combat 

Subclass Details: 

  • Level 1 - Domain Spells (Speak with Animals, Animal Friendship)
  • Level 1 - Acolyte of Nature (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 2 - Charm Animals and Plants (Action)
  • Level 3 - Domain Spells (Spike Growth, Barkskin)
  • Level 5 - Domain Spells (Plant Growth, Sleet Storm)
  • Level 6 - Dampen Elements (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 7 - Domain Spells (Dominate Beast, Grasping Vine)
  • Level 8 - Divine Strike: Elemental Fury (Action)
  • Level 9 - Domain Spells (Insect Plague, Wall of Stone)


War Domain (Excellent)

Selecting War Domain for your Cleric

While War Domain clerics are the least focused on healing, they deal the most damage to enemies in combat, including buffing allies to increase the party’s overall attacks. This subclass specializes in divine blessings related to warfare and battle. Similar to paladins, they are a true hybrid between a powerful spellcaster and a strong melee combatant. Their War Priest ability allows an extra attack as a bonus action whenever they use their action to make an unarmed or weapon attack.

What War Domain Clerics Excel In:

  • Melee fighting: better suited to melee combat than any other ceric subclass
  • Martial weapons: add a proficiency bonus to attack rolls with martial weapons
  • Versatile in combat: fight on the frontlines while protecting their allies with support spells
  • Taking damage: proficient in heavy armor 
  • Buffing allies: increase the defense of party members with War God's Blessing 

Subclass Details:

  • Level 1 - Domain Spells (Divine Favour, Shield of Faith)
  • Level 1 - Heavy Armour Proficiency (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 1 - Martial Weapon Proficiency (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 1 - War Priest (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 2 - Guided Strike (Action)
  • Level 3 - Domain Spells (Magic Weapon, Spiritual Weapon)
  • Level 5 - Domain Spells (Spirit Guardians, Crusader's Mantle)
  • Level 6 - War God's Blessing (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 7 - Domain Spells (Stoneskin, Freedom of Movement)
  • Level 8 - Divine Strike: Weapon (Action)
  • Level 9 - Domain Spells (Flame Strike, Hold Monster)


Tempest Domain (Excellent)

Selecting Tempest Domain for your Cleric

Tempest Domain clerics rely on thunder and lightning damage. Like the War Domain, they have access to heavy armor and martial weapons, but with more spellcasting. The Shatter and Call Lightning spells are always prepared. This subclass makes you feel like a wizard but with more durability. The Tempest Domain is best when played as a hybrid weapon and spell-casting damage dealer with some support. 

What Subclass Tempest Domain Clerics Excel In:

  • High damage: channel divinity maximizes an instance of lightning or thunder damage
  • Pushing enemies: can push enemies three meters away when dealing thunder or lightning damage
  • Taking damage: proficient in heavy armor 
  • AOE: use a Smokepowered Bomb or Glyph of Warding for area damage
  • Easy to play: the mechanics of this character aren’t as complex as other subclasses

Subclass Details:

  • Level 1 - Domain Spells (Thunderwave, Fog Cloud)
  • Level 1 - Heavy Armour Proficiency (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 1 - Martial Weapon Proficiency (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 1 - Wrath of the Storm (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 2 - Destructive Wrath (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 3 - Domain Spells (Shatter, Gust of Wind)
  • Level 5 - Domain Spells (Call Lightning, Sleet Storm)
  • Level 6 - Thunderous Strike (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 7 - Domain Spells (Ice Storm, Freedom of Movement)
  • Level 8 - Divine Strike: Thunder (Action)
  • Level 9 - Domain Spells (Insect Plague, Destructive Wave)


Life Domain (Best)

Selecting Life Domain for your Cleric

Life Domain is the default subclass you think of when you think of clerics. Focusing on keeping allies protected and healing abilities, Life Domain clerics have the best healing powers in the entire game. The purpose of this subclass is to buff allies while dealing damage. Spells like Cure Wounds, Revivify, and Death Ward are always prepared, so these clerics are experts at keeping companions in the fight. If players choose to reclass Shadowheart, this subclass is highly recommended. 

What Life Domain Clerics Excel In:

  • Healing: strongest healing abilities of all cleric subclasses
  • Front-line support: proficiency in heavy armor and strong healing spells
  • Out-of-combat support: spells like Guidance to influence speech 
  • Buffing allies: increase the defense of party members
  • Defensive spells: the best defensive support of all subclasses in the game

Subclass Details:

  • Level 1 - Domain Spells (Bless, Cure Wounds)
  • Level 1 - Disciple of Life (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 1 - Heavy Armour Proficiency (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 2 - Preserve Life (Action)
  • Level 3 - Domain Spells (Lesser Restoration, Aid)
  • Level 5 - Domain Spells (Revivify, Beacon of Hope)
  • Level 6 - Blessed Healer (Subclass Feature)
  • Level 7 - Domain Spells (Death Ward, Guardian of Faith)
  • Level 8 -  Divine Strike: Radiant (Action)
  • Level 9 - Domain Spells (Mass Cure Wounds, Greater Restoration)


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