Light Cleric 5E Guide | Attributes, Tips, Builds, and More

light cleric 5e

As an additional option included in the Player’s Handbook, the Light Domain is one of the stronger domain choices for damage-dealing clerics. This type of Cleric Domain has the radiance of the Gods at their back, and are paragons of renewal. They get some strong Domain spells, both with damage and information gathering. Their abilities seem like great support skills, and they use Wisdom fantastically. But does this make them strong, or is it just a trick of the light? Let’s find out in our Light Cleric 5E Guide!

Bathe in Radiance: Light Cleric 5E

Very similar to the sun, the Light Cleric is considered by many to be an incredibly useful element to any day. Not only do they get the supportive powerhouse of the Cleric’s spell list and class abilities; they also get to throw fireballs like they’re a wizard. They are expected to sit back and blast, though Warcaster is always an option for anyone invested in hand-to-hand combat.

Domain Spells

Perhaps the most impressive element of the Light Cleric are the domain spells. Considering how passive Cleric spells are in general, the blasting options that the domain provides are insane.

Light Cleric Domain Spells

  • 1st Level – Burning Hands, Faerie Fire
  • 3rd Level – Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray
  • 5th Level – Daylight, Fireball
  • 7th Level – Guardian of Faith, Wall of Fire
  • 9th Level – Flame Strike, Scrying

The domain spells are split into two main camps. For Information, Light Clerics get Faerie Fire, Daylight, Guardian of Faith, and Scrying. These spells’ primary purposes are to alert the Clerics of something nearby. Faerie Fire and Guardian of Faith counter invisibility, Daylight for darkness, and Scrying is good at finding specific things. These are all good spells, but situational. Especially Guardian of Faith.

The Light Cleric gets six spells that deal fire damage. Six. Burning Hands, Fireball, Wall of Fire, and Flame Strike are all incredible Area of Effect abilities. Fireball is one of the most impactful spells in the game, and Wall of Fire can completely stop an encounter. Burning Hands keeps the early game locked down. However… don’t use Flame Strike unless the enemy is weak to radiant; Fireball does much more damage with 5th level spell slots, and synergizes with fire abilities better.

Flaming Sphere and Scorching Ray are grand single-target options. Flaming Sphere lasts longer but Scorching Ray scales really well. Any of these fire spells deal really good damage, though. Consider taking the Elemental Adept feat for Fire damage. You have so many fire options… You’ll want to ignore resistance when you can.

Bonus Cantrip

At the first level, the Light Domain gives the cleric a little bit of flavor.

When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain the Light cantrip if you don’t already know it.

On the bright side (pun entirely intended), you do gain an extra cantrip known for free. Consider using a race that can’t see in the dark when you take this Domain to make use of this cantrip that you’re forced to take.

Obviously, this ability is less good than access to Heavy Armor, a proficiency that many domains gain access to. It’s far from useless, since you get to use a utility cantrip without too much hassle. You can take more damage cantrips for ranged damage, and maybe some minor buffs like Guidance. Certainly, it has more power than it appears, even if it is still quite minor.

Warding Flare

Time to protect yourself a bit!

Also at 1st level, you can interpose divine light between yourself and an attacking enemy. When you are attacked by a creature within 30 feet of you that you can see, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll, causing light to flare before the attacker before it hits or misses. An attacker that can’t be blinded is immune to this feature.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

A reactionary disadvantage to attack rolls is useful, but at level 1, this ability is quite limited. Giving something disadvantage the moment that it attacks you is quite strong; you get two chances to make them completely whiff. The range is fine, since most clerics like being in that range for Area of Effect spells. And, in theme for the domain, throwing light in someone’s eyes right as they swing their sword is kind of hilarious.

Since you’re imposing a disadvantage, you do have to use it before you see the result of the attack roll; The opponent could completely ham their first attack, and this ability is somewhat wasted. It also has limited uses. The Wisdom cap is necessary, but it does mean that you can’t use this willy-nilly. You should save this for when you’re worried about something REALLY big smashing into you. Or, you can use it to deflect the attack of a strong spell in later levels, like Disintegrate, from ruining you.

This ability does get quite a bit better with later abilities. But because Clerics are relatively durable, it’s more of an emergency button. Like “oh gods, that’s a big sword. Pocket light!”

Channel Divinity: Radiance of the Dawn

The Channel Divinity option for the Light Domain is somewhat weak, but useful in its own way.

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to harness sunlight, banishing darkness and dealing radiant damage to your foes.
As an action, you present your holy symbol, and any magical darkness within 30 feet of you is dispelled. Additionally, each hostile creature within 30 feet of you must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes radiant damage equal to 2d10 + your cleric level on a failed saving throw, and half as much damage on a successful one. A creature that has total cover from you is not affected.

Let’s start with the bad parts, since there’s more good than bad. The downside of this ability is the damage. The scaling on this damage isn’t great, especially compared to other Channel options. You increase the damage of this by 1 every level. That’s okay, but nothing fantastic. Certainly not a major reason to take this subclass.

However, the ability to banish magical darkness is good. You don’t need to use a spell slot to do so, and you always have this in your pocket. In some encounters, magical darkness really messes with the party, so this ability will stop some enemies from being such a pain. Being able to both banish light and effectively deal damage is an efficient solution to a major problem.

The area of effect aspect is good, since you don’t need to distance yourself from your allies. And while the damage isn’t great, dealing that damage in a 30 ft area of effect is still fine. You’ll find a use for this in a lot of fights, even if it isn’t the main reason to take the subclass.

Improved Flare

Oh boy, Warding Flare got stronger!

Starting at 6th level, you can also use your Warding Flare feature when a creature that you can see within 30 feet of you attacks a creature other than you.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

One of the main problems of Warding Flare was that it targets you, a d8 Hit Dice cleric with okay armor (in most cases). Using this ability to protect a Wizard or Sorcerer from getting trucked is a much better use of your ability.

Also, this means that your enemies can no longer escape it by targeting others. You’ll be able to catch Disintegrates aimed at others just as easily as yourself, and possibly save lives. Boss Fights are pretty likely to land hits against the frontlines. Giving them an extra chance to dodge means you’ll have more spell slots to cast Scorching Ray or Fireball instead of having to heal.

The bad parts are more issues of opportunity. Most domains have unique abilities at these levels, and this simply buffs an ability you had earlier. Your own personal strength doesn’t increase, which is a shame. This still uses your reaction, and still has the limit of your Wisdom Modifier, since it is Warding Light. Make sure you’re in range of your allies as much as possible, and use your pocket light with care..

Potent Spellcasting

And how does the Light Domain gain extra damage?

Starting at 8th level, you add your Wisdom modifier to the damage you deal with any cleric cantrip.

This solidifies the Light Cleric’s role as a ranged caster. By now, you can usually get your Wisdom modifier to +3-5, so this is a pretty significant burst to cantrip damage.

As a reminder, clerics have 3 damage cantrips; Sacred Flame, Toll the Dead, and Word of Radiance. Only two of those abilities have ranged options, and they aren’t exactly varied in damage. Sacred Flame has better utility, ignoring cover, and Toll the Dead deals a little more damage. You’ll use these two spells quite a bit, but they do scale well over time. Unfortunately, Sacred Flame doesn’t work with Elemental Adept (Fire), since it’s Radiance damage.

Hand of Radiance, from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, lets the Melee Light Cleric deal good Area of Effect damage with a cantrip. It only hits enemies, just like your Channel Divinity ability. It’s a good idea to take all three of them to have your options covered. The cantrips have some good variety, though the lack of actual Fire cantrips feels bad.

Corona of Light

Anyone feel like making a beer joke?

Starting at 17th level, you can use your action to activate an aura of sunlight that lasts for 1 minute or until you dismiss it using another action. You emit bright light in a 60-foot radius and dim light 30 feet beyond that. Your enemies in the bright light have disadvantage on saving throws against any spell that deals fire or radiant damage.

Alright, so there’s actually a lot of good stuff here. First of all, this takes an action and lasts a full minute. You can use this right before a fight and a lot of fights will be over before the ability runs out. The visibility increase is fantastic, putting the Light cantrip to shame… Though this will make you one bright target, so be careful if you’re squishy.

The offensive ability of giving your enemies disadvantage against blasting spells is insane. Pair yourself with a blasting Wizard or Sorcerer and watch your enemies flounder Dexterity Saves all over. Even without a friendly blaster, you get so many benefits from this. Your Domain Spells and cantrips all get a huge chance of doing full damage. And, notice… There’s no limit listed.

At the cost of one action per 10 rounds, you can reduce resistance to your blasting spells in a 60 ft aura. You have a lot of good area of effect options that this heavily benefits. And if you get some allies that feel like dealing Radiant or Fire damage, you can make this into a really effective damage booster.

It is somewhat countered by magical darkness, but your Channel Divinity counters that. And then when it’s banished, they get disadvantage against the radiant damage. Nice!

5e light cleric

Best Race for Light Clerics

All Clerics get benefits from Wisdom, obviously. This one has a special connection to Wisdom, though. From more uses of support abilities, better cantrip damage, to higher saves for your blasting, the Light cleric desperately wants Wisdom.


The Firbolg is chosen not just because of the Wisdom boost, though that is a major factor. This Volo’s Guide race gets a massive Wisdom boost, the ability to turn invisible to avoid attacks. They can even get racial Detect Magic. All good traits for a cleric that doesn’t naturally have Heavy Armor. The Strength boost is useful for clerics who are melee-range, since they can more easily use medium armor, or heavy if you invest a feat later on.

Halfling (Ghostwise)

As a long-ranged build, the Halfling can be a pretty good cleric, with their big boost in Dexterity. The Ghostwise subrace gets some Wisdom, and some neat utility with Telepathy, allowing you to make quiet plans with allies. The Light Domain is a natural caster, so you don’t need to worry about the Heavy quality on some weapons. Cantrips are all the damage you need! Movement speed does raise an issue, but as long as you’re within 30 ft range of your allies, you’ll be fine.

Races to Avoid

There isn’t really a bad race for this class, as long as you’re willing to invest heavily in Wisdom. I would highly, HIGHLY suggest choosing races that gain Wisdom, since it helps the Blasting role by quite a lot. I would also avoid races that naturally have Darkvision. The Light cantrip is kinda the Light Cleric’s thing, and they get a lot of tools to negate darkness. Darkvision just isn’t as good for them, and thus a lot of races with Darkvision will likely be weaker than races that don’t have it.

Light Domain Gods in D&D

Gods with the Light Domain are often good. Gods of the light are associated with the sun and purging the darkness. Here are some examples of light domain gods that you can follow.

Apollo (Olympian)

The Sun rises, the sun sets. All is based on the chariot that rides through the sky. Without the lord of music, light, and healing, none will be able to survive on the material plane. The god of archery watches over the land and brings happiness to all who know his name. This is Apollo, the Greek god of the Sun. And to deny his importance is to deny all things.

Apollo is the Chaotic Good god of light, archers, healing, and music. His myriad of roles make him quite important in the Greek pantheon, and thus he was worshiped under many different names in real life. He is quite tolerant, benevolent and helpful compared to many Olympians. But, like all of them, he possessed a terrible temper when angered. Vain but respectful, many find Apollo to be an agreeable god. He does not necessarily exist in the Forgotten Realms.

Apollo’s worshippers must respect the law, but only when the law is good. He is a merry god, but his clergy must be repentant of sin. His easy-going nature is not necessarily to be shared by his followers. His clergy is expected to be bold and relentless, but perceptive of opportunities to convert evildoers. They are talented archers and warriors, since he guides their arrows.

A Light Cleric of Apollo is the pinnacle of his clergy. Apollo guides the sun across the sky, and thus his worshippers that spread the light are crucial. Light Clerics use the light of their god to guide those who wish to stray from evil while burning those who defy goodness. 

Apollo may not exist in standard 5E worlds, but he is the perfect example of those who use light to burn away villainy. Similar gods include the Egyptian Re-Horakhty.

Belenus (Celtic)

Stare up. Look into the burning star in the sky. Notice that when it goes behind the planet, the surface of the material plane freezes. Notice that when it rises once again, the material plane burns with flame. This is the life-bringer, this is the heat of the universe. Belenus, the Celtic God of the Sun and Flame, has arrived. And his flame will bring life to your livestock. 

Belenus is the Neutral Good god of the Sun. He is in direct control of this star, able to make it rise, set, or stand completely still. He can grant his life-giving light to livestock, or cause entire harvests to fail with a lack of light. He often uses his power over the sun to harm those who wish to bring harm to others.

The worshippers of Belenus are plentiful. Many perform rituals with flames to appease the god: running livestock between flames, sacrificing relics and artifacts, and constructing grand sculptures. Belenus is benevolent, but strict. Evil is to be punished, and resources should be waylaid from those who are not productive to his idea of a happy and just society.

Light Clerics of Belenus are, unsurprisingly, directly related to the Sun. They understand how critical light is to a functioning society. These clerics work closely with Druids to ensure the balance of the land is kept in check. They are closer to humanity than their druidic counterparts. They serve as the bridge between nature and civilization, in terms of the Sun.

Belenus is a good god who uses Light to reward those who deserve it. A fitting wielder of the Light domain.

Branchala (Dragonlance)

The Bard King has many songs dedicated to his name. All who sing ballads tip their cap to the harp. He shares many names, and all races know him by a different title. Any storyteller or tune-whistler will be inspired by the winds of this god. Branchala, the god of Good, is the pinnacle of inspiration. As long as your heart beats in line with the common man, Branchala will give you ideas and respect.

Branchala is the Chaotic Good god of Inspiration in the Dragonlance pantheon. He is primarily a god of musical performance and storytelling. The patron deity of bards, Branchala is known by a different name for many different races. As long as there is a good society with bardic performers, someone will know the god.

Worshipers of Branchala are usually Bards. Storytellers, performers, dancers, and more follow the celestial harp. These people have divine insights and musical talents far beyond what is standard for mortals. They are designed to aid others when possible and serve as a guiding light for their community.

Light Clerics of Branchala are not nearly as well known as their Bardic counterparts. However, as guides for communities, Light Clerics of Branchala shine. They grant their light as an objectification of Branchala’s inspiration. They are community leaders and bring Branchala’s services to more audiences than a Bard would be able to.

Light is not just the sun. It is a force of guidance, and Branchala is the perfect personification of a non-Sun deity of Light.

Helm (Forgotten Realms)

Beneath steel, two eyes gaze out, piercing easily through the shadow. Those who fall under its gaze are quickly and efficiently tested. Fail the test, and they will find punishment to be closeby. Succeed, and they are free to pass and continue on their day. The cold focus of Helm, the Watcher of the gods, is known by all who live in society.

Helm is the Lawful Neutral god of the Watch. He is the seer of the night and a patron god of guards. He is a cold disciplinarian who wants nothing more than to ensure that the law is followed. However, he is tolerant of children and other free souls who may stretch the boundaries of the law. Thus, he is not heartless, but he knows when his kindness is being abused.

Worshipers of Helm tend to be guards and watchmen, firefighters and other such defenders of the peace. They keep a close eye on villains and threats to civilization, and are quick to throw suspicious folk in jails. They can be seen as overly cautious and even tyrants. However, helms worshippers are asked to simply follow the law.

Helm’s Clerics of Light use their light to ignite the darkness that hides evil. Their Warding Flame is designed to protect those that obey law from those who seek to destroy it. They should be willing and able to bring evil into the light so it can be investigated fully. They should also be able to bring evidence and information to light so a just result can be located.

Helm’s Light serves as a way to gaze deep into the hearts of others. Use your light wisely.

Lathander (Forgotten Realms)

The golden dawn rises on a man, hoisting a newborn baby into the air. The sounds of an orchestral choir sing over the scene, embracing a new day as new life is born. The scourge of the undead presents the child to this world, eager to see how the child will handle their experience. This is Lathander, the deity of renewal and vitality, and his blessing is sought by all parents.

Lathander is the Neutral Good god of Renewal. He represents the rising sun on a new day, a newborn baby, a worker waking up from a good night’s rest, and many more. He is the patron deity of childbirth, as bringing new life to this world is his goal. His goodness and visage is radiant, and he dresses in colorful robes to showcase his cheerful, youthful disposition.

His worshippers, the Dawnbringers, are baptized into a group of personally-recognized individuals. Lathander’s worshipers promote the betterment of oneself and culture. They are completely intolerant of evil, and often go on crusades against undead and corrupt individuals. They are devoted to bringing light to the world, no matter the cost.

Light Clerics of Lathander bring light to all. They are guides of those who otherwise cannot better themselves. They are brutal to those who hide in darkness. They are the embodiment of the Dawn, proof that there will always be a sunrise after the deepest night. 

Pholtus (Greyhawk)

The gavel slams down on a sun-filled day. The verdict is sung out, and all go their way. There is a reason all, even the convicted, are satisfied with the result. They all look out into the light of the new day and see that the gods are watching over the proceedings. Pholtus is here, of the Path of Law, and will ensure that good walks free this day.

Pholtus is the Lawful Good god of order and light. He is the good of the sun and the moon, inflexible in his want to keep the law stable. He is known for his stubborn truth which, while it keeps all under the hand of the law, can be seen as old-fashioned or conservative. However, the flow of time is not lost on Pholtus, and civilization can always continue moving across the righteous path.

Worshipers of Pholtus are lawfully-minded individuals. Judges often worship the god, as well as guards and politicians. Typically, older-fashioned individuals find their way to Pholtus. They tend to share the mindset that the law, as written, should be followed.

Light Clerics of Pholtus focus less on the law and more on the light. While the law is important to Pholtus, the god did put the sun and the moon into the sky. This importance is carried through Light Clerics, who represent the history and importance of Pholtus to all societies.

Silver Flame (Eberron)

In a world torn asunder by darkness and chaos, there is a voice that can be heard over all of the wars. The Silver Flame is a name uttered only by those who have joined the fight against the Overlords. This name, uttered fearfully amongst many populations, echoes throughout Thrane. This unattainable virtuousness can only be heard through prophets and those touched by the goddess.

The Silver Flame is the Lawful Good deity of goodness and law. It is an abstract entity, more of an energy than any sort of physical being. As such, it is unknowable by any but the most devout of beings. Due to this, many interpret the silver flame as being staunchly pro-law with very little wiggle room. The church of the Silver Flame has a binding force in Thrane and Khorvaire. 

The Worshipers of the Silver Flame tend to be more zealous. Since the Silver Flame only speaks through the most devout of prophets, many wish to reach that level of thought. Because it is an abstract entity, it often only exists through the voices of these prophets, which gives them additional power over normal people. 

Light Clerics of the Silver Flame represent the guiding light of the flame. In Eberron, specifically in Thrane, this light is a religious powerhouse. As such, this symbol of the gods will garner respect to one who guides using the Flame’s light. These clerics are highly respected and warrant full attention to any who wish to be taken seriously by religious circles.

Best Feats for Light Domain Clerics

Light Clerics want feats that can improve their combat utility and survivability.

Elemental Adept

Elemental Adept works interestingly for Light Domain clerics. Light Clerics have a lot of fire spells, so avoiding Fire Resistance comes in handy… A lot! You’ll also be rolling damage for fire spells a lot, so this can kick up your damage a little bit. If you’re confident in your survivability, this can be worthwhile.

Fey Touched

Fey Touched is a great utility feat. Improving Wisdom by 1 is great, but now you have a few additional benefits. You get to cast Misty Step once per day, which is my favorite spell! Being able to move across the battlefield as a Bonus Action is incredibly nice, and you will always find a use for a teleport. Totally worth the free spell slot! The other 1st-level spell is trickier, but you get access to a few bangers. Bless, Charm Person, Command, Hex, Hunter’s Mark, and Silvery Barbs are all fantastic choices. Try to use one that can fill in some of your party’s weaknesses!

Heavily Armored

In case you don’t want to increase Dexterity, Heavily Armored is a good idea. You boost Strength by 1, which doesn’t matter much for our purposes. We want that Heavy Armor. Plate Armor is 18 by default, which can be hard to get over. Since you can use a shield and keep a hand open for Cantrips and spellcasting, we can get a huge amount of AC without dedicating anything to Dexterity. That’s not a terrible idea!

Metamagic Adept

You get two Metamagic options from the Sorcery list and 2 sorcery points to spend them on. We recommend Quickened Spell and either Distant, Empowered, or Twinned Spell. Quickened Spell makes your bonus action into a Fireball or Flame Strike. Any of the other options can be a quick and effective way to improve the efficiency of your buff spells, or work as an emergency healing option.


It is crucial that Light Domain Clerics stay alive. So, Resilient is not a bad idea. By improving Constitution by 1, a Light Cleric also gets proficiency in Constitution Saving throws. This is key, since effects that target Constitution saves are the ones that can take you out of combat for a long time. Can never be too careful!

Shadow Touched

Shadow Touched buffs your Wisdom by 1 and gives you a few spell choices. Invisibility is a fantastic spell to have in your pocket, allowing you to hide from foes or get the jump on them. Your 1st level spell options are alright. Cause Fear, False Life, and Ray of Sickness are all decent combat spells. Disguise Self and Silent Image can work well in some situations. Try to cover your party’s weaknesses with this free spell slot!


As the Cleric of the party, staying alive is very important. Tough provides a +2 to HP per level, getting you 40 by level 20. That’s not nothing! This feat is almost as good as getting a +4 to your Constitution, without the bonuses to saving throws. Now you can take hits like a Fighter while providing healing for everyone else! With Warding Flare, you’ll be hard to kill.

Multiclassing for Light Clerics

Light Clerics are very Wisdom-focused. However, after Corona of Light, Clerics don’t get much. You have a few levels to spare! Let’s talk about your best options for Multiclassing.


Druid provides small boons to a Cleric. You’re locked out of metal armor, but you get access to Druid spells. These spells are weird, offering a great mix of utility and raw damage. 

Wild Shape provides a small health shield and doesn’t interrupt Concentration, making you survive a lot longer. If you decide to put enough levels into Druid to get Wild Shape, you’ll also get your Druid Circle. Moon provides a Bonus Action health shield and heal. Shepherd provides additional support options. Dreams provide extra healing. We wouldn’t suggest putting more than 3 levels into Druid. They don’t get much outside of circle features and spell slots.


Monk is a weird multiclass. You’re replacing spell slots for a high investment Dexterity build. But it is so cool! Monk starts with Unarmored Defense, a huge boon for Clerics! While unarmored, you can easily get your AC to 18-20 by level 20. That’s kind of insane! Martial Arts is a bit more awkward, but it means you can leave a hand open while still threatening foes with your fists.

More levels into Monk lets you get Ki and Unarmored Movement. Ki is fantastic, giving you a few great Bonus Actions. Unarmored Movement is also good, letting you boost around the battlefield 40 feet at a time. More levels into monk give you additional defensive options, but worsens your Spellcasting. Be careful with this multiclass.


Ranger is a middle ground between Druid and Monk… And is also not recommended. If you have the Tasha’s rules, Favored Foe and Deft Explorer are interesting options to add to a Cleric. But, Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer are not worth multiclassing for.

Level 2 is pretty good. You get Ranger spells, which are fantastic, but you’re losing a level of Cleric casting for them. You get a Fighting Style, but Light Clerics prefer to cast cantrips. We only recommend this multiclass if you’re wanting a mixed Light Cleric style that relies more on bows than cantrips. Which… Might not be the best path for your Cleric.

Suggested Light Cleric Backgrounds

One of the best things you can do for your background is getting powerful Wisdom skills. These are things like Insight and Perception. Even Survival, in some campaigns.


In terms of Flavor, Acolyte is great. As a servant of the sun, you might be on a pilgrimage or simply a devout follower of the gods. Insight is great, and you can get Religion for free. The basic starting equipment options are fine, though nothing a Cleric wouldn’t have access to with their Starting Kit. Shelter of the Faithful will often work, since many worship the Light.

Guild Artisan

Some artists and writers will often begin serving Light gods, as a burst of inspiration turns them to the holy life. Insight and Persuasion are fine for clerics. Artisan Tool proficiency is very nice, since it can churn out a ton of money. It can also come into play for puzzles, if you choose the correct tools. We suggest options like Alchemist’s Supplies, Carpenter’s Tools, Cook’s Utensils, Smith’s Tools or Woodcarver’s Tools. Guild Membership is okay, especially if you’re something like a Smith or Woodcarver. You’ll often have friends.


A sailor usually navigates by the stars to find their way. But, why not a sailor guided by the light? Athletics isn’t great, but Perception really, really is! Navigator’s Tools and Water Vehicles are a pair of okay proficiencies. The starting equipment is fun but nothing crazy. Ship’s Passage will only come up based on the specific type of campaign you’re on. 

How to Play Light Clerics

Out of Combat

  • Utilize Your Skills. Light Clerics have no advantages out of combat than a standard Cleric. As such, you should use your limited skill set as much as possible. Skills like Persuasion, Insight, and Perception come up fairly often.
  • Provide Guidance. If you’re roleplaying a typical Light Cleric, then you are a wise community leader. Use your Wisdom to provide advice to others. Use your Light Cantrip and spells like Augury to give yourself extra credibility. You are naturally very trustworthy. Use that to your advantage!

In Combat

  • You Can Prepare Non-Aggressive Spells. The Light Cleric is given a ton of aggressive spells. Make sure you prepare spells that heal party members, restore status conditions, and buff others. As soon as you get Fireball, you really don’t need aggressive spells anymore!
  • Warding Flare is a great Reaction. Early on, use Warding Flare often! You might be a ranged character with your cantrips, so you’ll want to use this at basically any opportunity. Reduce the damage that you take! When you reach level 6, you can save Warding Flare for when your allies are about to take damage that could knock them out, or when a huge guy makes an attack roll. You get a Wisdom number per day, so 3-6 uses. Make sure you spend them all!
  • Radiance of the Dawn is a good nuke. Using Radiance of the dawn for more than 2d10 damage will come up often. This ability actually hurts! If you don’t need your Channel Divinity to banish Undead, then use this as a “get off me” tool. It’s like a super cantrip!
  • Potent Spellcasting Influences Your Actions. Your Cantrips hit like a truck as soon as you get this. Weapons really can’t keep up. Spam your Toll the Bell like your life depends on it!
  • Corona of Light Is Absurd. Spam this puppy! If you can, do it before the fight begins so your blasting spells are max power! 1 minute is 10 full rounds, so you can really make this thing active all of the time.

Light Cleric Build 5E

The Light Cleric benefits a lot from Wisdom. So, when you’re making a Light Cleric, you’re really going to want to boost up your Wisdom where you can.

The following is not the only way you can make a Light Cleric build! However, it should give you a good idea on what you should prioritize and where your choices come in.

For our build, we’ll be using a Firbolg Sailor, a worshiper of Lathander. She is taking on the seven seas to bring Light to foreign lands! We’ll be using a Standard Array, since that is a common way to build characters. Notice that we’re going to get a +1 modifier to Dexterity and take Heavy Armor proficiency later. This is just to survive the early game, where we only have Medium armor to work with.

5E Light Cleric Build
Race: Firbolg (Wisdom +2, Strength +1)Ability Scores: STR (14) DEX (12) CON (14) INT (8) WIS (17) CHA (10)Proficiencies: Athletics, Insight, Perception, Religion, Navigator’s Tools, Vehicles (Water)Starting Equipment: Mace, Scale Mail, a Light Crossbow, 20 bolts, a priest’s pack, a shield, a holy symbol, Club, 50 feet of Silk Rope, a small stone with a hole in the center, common clothes, and 10 gpLanguages: Common, Elven, Giant
LevelsNew FeaturesChoices To Make
1-Spellcasting-Divine Domain (Light)- Light Domain Spells (1st Level)-Bonus Cantrip (Light)-Warding FlareSee the above table for our Racial and Background choices. It also includes our basic Equipment Choices. At this level, you take Divine Domain.Spellcasting: Clerics get to prepare whatever spells per day they would like. Talk with your party and talk about the spells that would help your party the best. We recommend preparing spells like Healing Word to heal your party in critical situations. As you level up, check the spell list and talk to your party to decide what spells are best all of the time, and what spells you should just keep in mind.Cantrips: Get strong cantrips like Sacred Flame and Toll the Dead for offense, Guidance for out-of-combat situations, and Mending for rare cases where it’ll matter. Thaumaturgy is fun and Spare the Dying can come up.
2-Channel Divinity (1/rest)-Channel Divinity: Radiance of the DawnNo choices here! Keep reading the spell list and decide what spells are good for you.
3-2nd Level Spells-Light Domain Spells (3rd Level)Check out some 2nd level spells. Blindness/Deafness, Lesser Restoration, and Spiritual Weapon are all good options.
4-Ability Score ImprovementInstead of an Ability Score Improvement, we’re going to take a feat! To improve our versatility, we’re going to take Fey Touched. This lets us cast Misty Step and Silvery Barbs, making us faster to get to priority targets and more defensive against damage instances that we don’t want to use Warding Flare on.
5-3rd Level Spells-Light Domain Spells (5th Level)-Destroy Undead (CR ½)Check out 3rd level spells! Dispel Magic will be a close friend. So will Mass Healing Word, Remove Curse, and Spirit Guardians.
6-Channel Divinity (2/Rest)-Improved FlareYou can spam Radiance of the Dawn more now. Keep that in mind during fights! You can also use Warding Flare on other targets. Stay vigilant during fights so you can protect low-health, high priority targets.Otherwise, keep looking at those spells.
7-4th Level Spells-Light Domain Spells (7th Level)4th Level spells, we’re starting to get very strong! Banishment, Freedom of Movement, and Stone Shape will come up every now and then.
8-Ability Score Improvement-Destroy Undead (CR 1)-Potent SpellcastingThis level, we’re going to take the +2 to Wisdom. That gets us to 20, maxing out our Spellcasting attack rolls and DCs. Potent Spellcasting means that cantrips are king.
9-5th Level Spells-Light Domain Spells (9th Level)5th level spells are here. These can’t be as easily spammed, but are handy to cast during big fights. Spells like Greater Restoration, Holy Weapon, and Raise Dead will often be on your list.
10-Divine InterventionNo big choices here. Keep looking at spells.
11-Destroy Undead (CR 2)-6th Level SpellsSpells like Harm and Heal are on the list, as are Planar Ally and Word of Recall. Use these only for emergencies!
12-Ability Score ImprovementThere are a few choices here. We are currently looking at our durability, which is probably starting to hurt us. We can take Tough, +2 Constitution, Resilient (Constitution), or Heavily Armored. We’ll go for Heavily Armored here to get our AC to 20 without any magical aid.
13-7th Level SpellsConjure Celestial, Fire Storm, Regenerate, and Resurrection are great spells to have in your kit.
14-Destroy Undead (CR 3)Keep reading your spells and learning about what your party needs.
15-8th Level SpellsAntimagic Field, Holy Aura, and Sunburst are all great new spells.
16-Ability Score ImprovementHere, we’ll take Tough. While we like Resilient, Tough provides 32 HP right now. That’s easily an extra hit. We want to stay alive to cast game-winning spells like Heal.
17-9th Level Spells-Destroy Undead (CR 4)-Corona of LightThese spells are nuts. Gate, Mass Heal, and True Resurrection are crazy spells to have in your kit. You only get 1, though. Make it count!
18-Channel Divinity (3/rest)Keep cycling through spells. You keep getting another high-level spell by now, so make them count!Multiclassing: At this point, you can multiclass pretty easily. For the purposes of this build, we won’t. Heavy Armor Light Cleric doesn’t have great options for multiclassing outside of Ranger, which doesn’t do anything we want to do.
19-Ability Score ImprovementThis is a weird one. We have all of the ability scores we’d ever want. For our build, we’ll take Resilient to help us survive against effects that might paralyze us. It’ll also help our Concentration saving throws.Other great options here are Elemental Adept, since Fire Resistance is fairly common now. We can also just get +2 Constitution to get more health. Or Metamagic Adept for Quickened Gate.
20-Divine Intervention ImprovementCalling on your god mid-combat will be useful. Keep adjusting your spell lists based on what kind of fights you’re getting into.

Light Cleric FAQ

What Book Has Light Domain?

The Light Domain is available in the Player’s Handbook. It is one of the first Domains, alongside options like Knowledge and Life. You can find it in between domains on page 60.

Can Light Domain Clerics Heal?

Of course! In fact, it is expected that a Light Domain cleric provides healing to those who are good. Most Light Clerics will also try to heal and “save” evil creatures that are willing to repent. Mechanically, there is nothing stopping you from learning healing spells and helping other characters.

Should a Light Domain Cleric Deal Damage or Support?

This is a cop-out, but both. As the party’s cleric, you are responsible for making sure your fellow party members don’t die. If you need to heal a party member to prevent a death, then heal. If you need to throw a fireball to make sure your party doesn’t take damage from a lot of targets, then deal damage. As you play, you’ll learn what damage your party members can take without needing healing, and how effective your damage-dealing spells are at taking care of enemies.

Conclusion – Our Take on the Light Domain

What a subclass! If our Light Cleric 5E Guide tells us anything, this domain is a good time. There are a few domains that are blaster roles, and this one stands as one of the better options. Giving Clerics access to Fireball, Wall of Flame, and Scorching Ray gives them a lot of damage opportunities. They still keep the supportive spells of Cleric and get a good interception option. Their Channel Divinity is only okay, but still adds damage to the battlefield. And Corona of Light might be at the top of my list in terms of capstones, offering a lot of damage potential with the right amount of setup. All in all, I highly suggest this archetype if you’re looking for a quite potent blaster… With Cure Wounds.

Want to see your other Cleric options or how to optimize your character in general? Check out our Comprehensive Cleric 5E Guide!

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