“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
For the faithful sort in Pathfinder, building the best Cleric can be somewhat daunting.
Clerics are a jack of all trades and master of none. While that phrase is often applied to Bards and Rogues (and it is very true), Clerics have many options to be a backup for others or to fill a hole in a party’s makeup.
Most think they are just boxes of Bandaids on two legs, but a properly built Cleric can be the answer to all your party needs.
How do you properly build a Cleric though?
That is one of the things we are here for!
Today we are looking at which feats are the best for Clerics in Pathfinder 1st and 2nd Edition to help you know what is great and possibly what is just fluff you shouldn’t seek out at all.
What Do We Mean by Best?
As always before we begin, we need to define what is best.
Typically when making one of these guides, we want to look at three different things:
Simply put, this is how much a feat really applies to your build or a given situation. A feat whose bonus comes up often, like Improved Initiative for Fighters, is going to offer more to that Fighter’s build than something like Combat Reflexes, which only comes up when someone provokes an Attack of Opportunity.
The more applicable a feat is, the better it is for any build.
Availability is about how you can get the feat. Feat slots are relatively sparse for a Cleric, so you need to make the most of what you put in those slots.
How soon a feat is available to your build will affect how quickly you want to use the feat slot and how much of an impact it will have on your character.
The last metric I use when looking at feats is their flavor.
While many feats are rather generic, there are some that imply something deep about the character. A character with Improved Turning might have history with the undead. Maybe their village was savaged by zombies, or perhaps they grew up in an area under the control of a Vampire Count.
Flavor can help you make a decision if you are hemming and hawing over what Feat is best for your character.
Pathfinder 1st Edition Cleric Feats
Here we are going to take a look at the top 5 feats for Clerics in Pathfinder 1st Edition. These feats are an excellent bonus to almost any build you want to make and could be some serious must-haves.
In Pathfinder 1e, Clerics are one of those classes that can be just about anything depending on their builds. So the below choices are great to slot into almost anything you are wanting to do.
I have linked this feat before, but this is one of those feats that literally everyone should have. He who strikes first, strikes hardest, and holding on to the initiative is the best way to stay alive in any given combat or structured time encounter.
Always look for Improved Initiative in the early levels because it can help you anytime.
For those of you who really want that positive (or negative) energy at your beck and call, this feat can help you get that healing out quickly when someone needs it most. It’s pretty easy to acquire at the early levels and can spell life and death for party members when you need to patch up some battle damage.
To go with the Quick Channel Feat above, this feat is great if you are finding yourself surrounded often and need to make sure you are not healing your enemies or harming your allies.
This requires a Charisma Score of 13, which isn’t too hard to get for most Clerics — that is unless you are using your Charisma as a dump stat. In which case… are you sure you aren’t playing a Paladin?
STOP! In the Name of Love! (or whatever your Deity stands for)
This feat is great if you are wanting to be more proactive about making sure your party doesn’t get hit. Rather than treating their wounds after they take a warhammer to the kidneys, you can stop that blow from ever landing!
<Insert your own Blue Mana Joke Here>
It’s not flashy and not intricate, but this feat can be amazing for the party cleric who wants to open up their spell slots for things like Channeling and Divine Interference above.
Scribe scrolls of your most powerful spells, and have them in your back pocket ready to use. This is your backup for your backups. Always keep backups of everything. Anytime you find or learn a new spell, just scribe a scroll for it just in case.
Scribed Scrolls are like
condoms a good weapon: rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Pathfinder 2nd Edition Cleric Feats
2nd Edition Pathfinder is an interesting creature when it comes to feats. Rather than just side powers to take to augment your class abilities, Feats in Pathfinder 2e are the class abilities. You just build your character out of new feats as they level.
Traditional structures like what we have above take some work to really break down in the same way, though there are still some stand-out options that all Clerics should look for as they level through Pathfinder 2e.
This is a general feat, meaning that it can be taken by characters outside of their normal feat progression at their character levels.
This feat is tailor made for Clerics, who will generally have the Wisdom to make the required skill checks 9/10 times. This means you can know exactly what is coming at the party and possibly how to counter it.
This is your stand-out feat at first level for Clerics. This gives you access to your focus pool and focus spells, which are incredibly important for casters in Pathfinder 2e.
If you are using the Cloistered Cleric Archetype, you even get this one for free. If you take it a second time, you can get more Focus Spells, but you won’t get more Focus Points.
Building onto Domain Initiate, this will unlock some more advanced spells for you to use Focus Spells on. This is not available until level 8, but it is a must-pick for almost all Cleric builds you would want to use.
This is a perfect feat if you are playing a Cleric who wants to mix it up in melee or ping targets at range. A well of temporary HP is never a bad thing, and getting them every time you make a hit with your weapon is like getting free candy.
Our last feat here for Pathfinder 2e, this is the next step up from the Advanced Domain and Domain Initiate series.
This feat is going to seriously boost your Focus Spell usage, giving you more points and more power.
Keep it Holy, Pathfinder.