Critical Hit! 5 Tips for Playing a Cleric in D&D

Clerics are one of the staples of a well-thought-out D&D party. Whether you’re in a dragon’s lair, getting ambushed in an orc camp, or your sorcerer rolls a Nat 1 on wildmagic and fireballs your airship… you’re going to need a healer. Here are some top tips on playing a cleric effectively in Dungeons and Dragons.

1. Make Wisdom your Highest Stat

When you first roll up, be sure to make wisdom your highest stat. This will affect your spell casting abilities and they’re the party’s bread and butter! You can pick a race that has a bonus to wisdom too which can help!

2. Pick your Domain to Suit Your Character

As a healer you will need to pick a domain – as a good character, our party’s healer picked the “Life” domain. It fits with her “lawful good” alignment and provides all the healer spells. One thing to note is playing a cleric can get quite polarised – it’s good or evil… It’s hard to be in between. If you’re thinking it’s not for you… maybe you can try one of the other classes.

3. Stand back from the Fighting

There may be the urge to run straight into the battles – especially when bad guys are picking on your friends. But you’ll do the most help staying WAY back – ranged healing spells are lifesavers (literally) and if you die… who’s going to save you?

4. Pay Attention and Be Smart

If you’re good at paying attention then cleric is for you. When your whole party is getting wounded around you, it’s good to be able to keep track of who is most damaged so you can plan the best method of healing distribution on your turn. It’s also good to not expend all your high spell slots all in one go and do mass healing at higher levels.

Spell casting not your thing? Check my guide to picking your class here.

5. Your don’t HAVE to be ‘good’.

How does being a bloodthirsty “suck the souls out of the living for their healing properties” sound? Pretty evil right? You can actually be an evil character and still be a cleric. Your allegiances could be to your party, at the detriment of anyone who pisses you off.

Enjoyed these tips? Check out my D&D, Critical Hit series here.


  1. Chris
    27th August 2019

    I still say that a decently statted cleric can be a VERY effective melee fighter. They have all the buff spells and can keep themselves in the fight.

    Ranged healing is pretty new by the way. In 3 and 3.5 all the healing spells were touch based.

    Give the tank a bundle of cure potions and wade in I say!

    Great article though, I agree with everything else! Clerics are one of the best classes in the game, both for effectiveness and you get some amazing RP opportunities too. Did the rogue do something offensive to you god last session? Are they bleeding out now? Have they heard the good news about Moradin?

  2. scott kriegan
    7th March 2020

    Good tips, I always play a ranger but sometimes I have to play a cleric

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