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How One DnD Is Changing 5e’s Clerics

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Wizards of the Coast has called One D&D the next generation of Dungeons & Dragons, intended to offer players new features and opportunities while still remaining compatible with Fifth Edition. As new material has been released, players have been able to get an idea of what WotC is looking to change in 5e. With the recently released Unearthed Arcana focusing on Clerics, fans can now see how the class is changing.


Clerics are one of D&D‘s most versatile classes, with Cleric domains able to provide parties with any number of support or damage-dealing builds. The class’ power and customizability make it an ideal choice for anyone struggling to think of what niche they want to fill in a party. At the same time, it offers enough unique style to fit any character idea. With the changes made in WotC’s playtest materials, which were made available on D&D Beyond, players can now see what’s in store for Clerics in One D&D.

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Cleric Spells & Channel Divinity Will See Some Changes

A cleric undoes a petrification effect in DND

Several of the Cleric’s most popular spells have been hit with nerfs. Spiritual Weapon has been changed to be a concentration spell, while Banishment now allows the targeted creature to roll saves to end the spell’s effect early. Both spells are just two of the several that were nerfed, but they’re two of the Cleric’s best tools when it comes to dealing with difficult foes. Many Clerics in One D&D will need to change up their plans in order to continue being as effective.

While spells have been nerfed, the Cleric’s class feature, Channel Divinity, has seen an improvement. Rather than giving Clerics a few uses before needing to be recharged at a long rest, Clerics can now use their Channel Divinity feature a number of times equal to their Proficiency Bonus. While it does mean that individual Channel Divinity abilities are slightly nerfed (for example, Turn Undead now ends if the effected creature is damaged), they can be used more frequently. The added Divine Spark effect also provides a potentially helpful new source of healing.

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New Features Give Clerics More Role-play & Combat Ability

A Twilight Cleric casting spells in DnD

Beyond changes made to already existing features, Clerics have also been given some new abilities. Holy Orders are features that Clerics can take at second and ninth level that allow them to tune their character toward more specific playstyles. Protector allows Clerics to gain a higher armor class by offering heavy armor, while Scholar allows Clerics to gain proficiency in more skills. Thaumaturge provides Clerics with another cantrip and lets them regain a use of Channel Divinity on a short rest.

Clerics also receive the feature Blessed Strikes at seventh level, providing them with a less potent version of a Paladin’s Smite. Once per turn, Clerics can deal an extra 1d8 Radiant Damage when attacking with cantrips or weapons. Previously, this was a slightly more potent feature included in the Life Domain, but it will not be available for every Cleric, regardless of subclass. Several other features for Clerics and the Life Domain have also been shuffled around, applying at different levels than they did in 5e.

With all the changes made, it appears that WotC is looking to improve the effectiveness of the Cleric’s innate class features while also changing some of the more popular spells to require more investment. The changes presented are still playtest material, however, meaning that WotC will still be looking at what works and what doesn’t in order to further update the Cleric for One D&D. Like previous One D&D playtest material, the changes look to be a mix of good and bad for fans of 5e, and players should make sure their voices are heard by WotC about how these updates work out.

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