Rift: cleric builds

Rift is a game that empowers creativity with character customisation. Although I’m well aware there are, and have always been ‘cookie cutter’, builds in the game, it does give plenty of opportunity to play with specs.

My main spec at the moment

My main spec at the moment

When I re-subscribed to the game I wanted to just get on and play, so at the moment I’m playing two different prebuilt specs on my cleric.

Glacial Priest talents

Glacial Priest talents

The Glacial Priest is an interesting spec to play. It’s main soul is the warden, a healer with a mixture of heal-over-time spells and area effect heals. This is combined with the melee-dps shaman soul and a splash of justicar. I find it a durable soul to play if somewhat slow for killing things (which is probably why I was getting bored of the carnage quests!).

Particular strengths of the spec are the variety of damage abilities – I have single and multiple target melee attacks, a slow cooldown heavy hitting melee strike and another slow cooldown heavy hitting lightning strike. One of my area heals does area damage at the same time.

The other spec I tried since starting the expansion content is based on the Arbiter prebuilt soul spec.

The arbiter ranged DPS build

The arbiter ranged DPS build

I took this mainly for higher survivability in group content. World bosses, such as those at the end of invasions, often throw out nasty area damage. So having a ranged DPS build seemed sensible. It has a multitude of damage-over-time (DoT) abilities and some heavy hitting channeled skills.


I added the sentinel soul to brings some self heals to the spec, the cabalist brings area damage skills. So far I’m not really enjoying this build as much, maybe by swapping Justicar for Sentinel I broke the synergies of the pre-built spec. It’s “high maintenance” to play as you’re almost constantly reapplying all the DoTs, plus it’s so much squishier than the hybrid healer/dps Glacial Priest. I miss not having a shield ability, which most cleric souls have as an emergency ‘breathing space’ skill.

I think I’d like to try stripping out the sentinel and adding purifier instead for some shields and instant self-heals to make it more survivable without diminishing single target damage. I might even swap the cabalist out as well for justicar to add some further survivability. In open world group content even characters specced as tanks won’t necessarily ‘tank’ all the non-boss creatures running around, so using a lot of area damage skills is a good way to get yourself in hot water if you lack defence or healing skills.

My original leveling spec, which predates the prebuilt paths now in the game, was a druid/shaman/purifier build I made up as I went along. It lasted me very well up to 50. Sadly it was lost with the great soul reset in the pre-expansion patch, and I haven’t been able to find a screenshot recording it. Druids no longer have a self heal spell (other than the fairy pet), and other souls have changed a good deal so it might not work anymore. Regardless I have a third build slot that’s languishing unused at present so I can start experimenting with something more original again soon.

Rush hour, Telaran-style

Rush hour, Telaran-style

On the new server front; I have been happily surprised at how busy Icewatch is in comparison. The game is teeming with other players, and I have no trouble getting involved in rifts, invasions and instant adventures now. My enjoyment of the game has increased dramatically now I can just jump into content again.

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5 Responses to Rift: cleric builds

  1. pkudude99 says:

    Busier servers do seem more fun. I’ve got my Guardians on a busy server and my Defiants on a quieter one and I definitely prefer to play my Guardians with more people around.

  2. Pingback: My Solo Spec Post for Rift « Nomadic Gamers

  3. sean says:

    you were on Argent? I’m still there, and will be for a long time, I think – but I can understand why people move away; it is a small server.

    re: Cleric builds. Deep Inq works better with Warden + Sentinel; the classic DPS build is 11 Warden (for Tidal Surge), 4 Sentinel (for +SP) and the rest Inq. Macro Bolt of Depraviy and Fanaticism together; and Tidal Surge and Nysyr’s Rebuke, and Sanction Heretic, Bolt of Retribution and Vex/Scourge, and you’re good to go. It’s really a single target spec though, not great for levelling.

    The new cleric soul, Defiler, is very nice for levelling: there’s a pre-built one that’s apparently pretty good, and I’ve been running a 54 Defiler/22 Cabalist (at 60; at 50 it’s 51/15) that is an AoE monster. Basically unkillable levelling, pulls and kills 8 mobs at a time, has handy oh-shit heals as well. single target DPS is not high, but it’s designed for pulling and killing lots of things at a time.

    • Telwyn says:

      I was yes and always had been, moving server was a big decision for me but the lack of population stopped me from doing instant adventures or other open world activities which is the whole reason why I play the game – it’s Rifts unique(ish) selling point for me.

      I’ll be doing an update post probably tomorrow on builds since I’ve now found a new DPS variant I’m enjoying a lot more.

  4. Pingback: Rift: Update on cleric DPS build | GamingSF

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