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Baldur’s Gate 3: Tempest Domain Cleric Build Guide

The Tempest Domain brings the wrath of the storm to the cleric class, allowing you to create a divine warrior that can put even the mighty Thor to shame. The subclass offers an incredible combination of defense and damage, allowing you to wreak havoc on enemies from the front lines – on top of the cleric’s inherent healing and support capabilities.

You might be looking for the best build for Shadowheart, or maybe you’re playing a custom cleric of your own. Either way, this guide can give you all the information you need to build your Tempest Domain Cleric in Baldur’s Gate 3.

The Tempest Domain Subclass

The Tempest Domain subclass specializes in area of effect spells that do thunder and lightning damage as well as crowd control.

Here are the features you’ll gain through the Tempest Domain subclass:

  • Heavy Armour and Martial Weapon Proficiency at level 1 let you use any weapon or armor in the game.
  • Wrath of the Storm at level 1 gives you a powerful reaction that can deal 2-16 lightning or thunder damage whenever you’re attacked.
  • Destructive Wrath at level 2 lets you expend your reaction and a Channel Divinity charge to deal maximum damage with a thunder or lightning spell.
  • Thunderbolt Strike at level 6 enables you to push enemies away when you deal thunder or lightning damage to them.
  • Divine Strike: Thunder allows you to add 1-8 thunder damage to your melee weapon attacks.

You’ll also learn two Domain Spells at levels 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, which we’ll include under the Spells section below.

Race and Subrace

A Tempest Domain cleric has proficiency with all armor and weapons from level 1, so you can completely ignore any proficiencies offered by a race – they’re redundant. With that in mind, we’ll look for a race that offers some unique spells or features that synergize with the Tempest Domain.

The Githyanki race offers the Mage Hand cantrip and the powerful Astral Knowledge feat, which allows you to become temporarily proficient in any skill. At level 3 you also get the Jump spell, and at level 5 you learn Misty Step, which is an exceptional spell for positioning your frontliner cleric. But as good as all that is, we recommend another race.

The Half-Orc offers Darkvision, which will help you avoid fighting at a disadvantage in darkness, as well as proficiency in the Intimidation skill. You also get Savage Attacks, which lets you reroll a damage die when you score a critical hit with a melee weapon. But most importantly for Tempest clerics, half-orcs get the Relentless Endurance feature, allowing you to cheat death once per long rest. This failsafe will come in very handy since we’ll want to be on the frontlines as much as possible.

Ability Scores

Like any other cleric, your Wisdom score is your primary stat, and you’ll want to get it as high as you can to improve the effectiveness of your spells and abilities. Remember, though, that odd-numbered scores don’t offer additional benefit – a 17 is effectively the same as a 16. So try to keep your numbers even so as not to waste stats.

Constitution will be important for you as a frontliner, as it not only increases your health but also helps you to maintain concentration on your spells when you take a hit. Dexterity comes in third, improving your weapon attacks as well as your AC and some commonly used skills.

  • Strength: 10
  • Dexterity: 14
  • Constitution: 16
  • Intelligence: 8
  • Wisdom: 16
  • Charisma: 10

Background and Skills

Your background and skills are mostly about how you want to roleplay, but we’ll offer some recommendations that fit well with the Tempest Cleric.

Clerics can choose from History, Religion, Insight, Medicine, and Persuasion for skill proficiencies. You may want to look at backgrounds that offer proficiencies you can’t get through your class. Athletics or Acrobatics in particular will help you as a frontliner.

There aren’t any obvious choices for a background for this build. We’ll opt for the Outlander background since it offers two skills we can’t otherwise get proficiency in, Athletics and Survival. We’ll put our other two skill proficiencies in Persuasion and Religion.

Spells

Many of the Tempest Domain’s core spells are learned automatically through their subclass, but we’ll fill in the gaps with some healing and support spells so that you’re prepared for any situation that arises. Don’t forget that you can change your spells any time you’re out of combat, so you can take advantage of niche spells without having to hold onto them over the long haul. The spells we’ve listed below are ones that we recommend having prepared at all times. Those marked as (Tempest Domain) are gained through your subclass and are always prepared regardless.

Cantrips

  • Blade Ward: A good defensive cantrip that’s made even more useful for you as a frontliner.
  • Guidance: The best cantrip in the game, which lets you add a d4 to all ability checks.
  • Resistance: The saving throw equivalent to Guidance and a solid cantrip to use for defense.
  • Produce Flame: A two-for-one cantrip that lets you light up an area or deal a little damage.

Level 1 Spells

  • Create or Destroy Water: Enemies who are standing in water are weak to lightning damage, so having a spell that can create a pool of water wherever you want it is pretty handy for a Tempest cleric.
  • Fog Cloud: (Tempest Domain) You can use this spell to either blind enemies, or to hide your own party members.
  • Healing Word: An extremely efficient healing spell that can be cast as a bonus action and from range.
  • Shield of Faith: Lets you beef up your (or an ally’s) armour class, which is nice since you’ll usually be in the midst of the fray.
  • Thunderwave: (Tempest Domain) A solid area of effect damaging spell that also pushes enemy back, which can be useful.

Level 2 Spells

  • Enhance Ability: A fantastic spell for helping you pass skill checks. It can be cast directly from the dialogue menu or thrown up before a trap disarming/stealing spree.
  • Gust of Wind: (Tempest Domain) You can use this spell to knock enemies off balance or clear away a poisonous cloud.
  • Shatter: (Tempest Domain) Deals thunder damage to everyone in its radius. Inorganic creatures are more likely to take damage from this spell, so it’s especially good to use on constructs.
  • Spiritual Weapon: A bonus action that doesn’t require concentration which gives you an extra weapon attack every turn, and another “party member” who can perform opportunity attacks and is immune to many crowd control effects.

Level 3 Spells

  • Call Lightning: (Tempest Domain) Unlimited power! An AOE lightning spell that you can keep casting every turn without using another spell slot, as long as you can maintain concentration.
  • Mass Healing Word: It’s Healing Word, but more of it. Heal up your entire party as a bonus action so you can get back to shooting lightning.
  • Sleet Storm: (Tempest Domain) Not the greatest offensive option since it doesn’t do lightning or thunder damage, but a decent option for utility that can slow enemies, disrupt spellcasters, and douse fires.
  • Spirit Guardians: This doesn’t do lightning or thunder damage either, but it does damage to anything that’s near you, which is extra useful for a cleric who actually wants to be in melee.

Level 4 Spells

  • Banishment: Send a troublesome enemy to time out for two turns.
  • Freedom of Movement: (Tempest Domain) Make an ally immune to movement impairment. It lasts until a long rest without requiring concentration, which is pretty great.
  • Ice Storm: (Tempest Domain) Another offensive area of effect spell that doesn’t do thunder or lightning damage, but it does last for two turns without requiring concentration.

Level 5 Spells

  • Destructive Wave: (Tempest Domain) Another shockwave spell similar to Thunderwave, but you can choose whether it does radiant or thunder damage.
  • Greater Restoration: A very useful spell for dealing with nasty debuffs.
  • Insect Plague: (Tempest Domain) Kind of an oddball in your arsenal, since it does piercing damage, but you get it for free with your domain so you might as well look for opportunities to use it.

Level 6 Spells

  • Planar Ally: Choose between a djinn, cambion, and deva to summon for the rest of the day, basically trading a level 6 spell slot for an extra party member. The djinn does thunder and lightning damage so may be the best choice to synergize with your Tempest cleric.

Feats

For a Tempest Domain cleric, the War Caster feat has extra value. You’ll need the help maintaining concentration since you’ll be on the frontline. You can also make good use of the Shocking Grasp reaction, since lightning damage is your specialty. Beyond that, you’ll want to beef up your Wisdom score so you maximize the effects of your spells. Here are our recommendations:

  • War Caster at level 4 will help you maintain concentration and give you a useful reaction.
  • Ability Improvement at level 8 gives you two extra points in Wisdom (or 1 in Wisdom and 1 in another stat, if you have odd numbers).
  • Ability Improvement at level 12 maxes out your Wisdom score.

Equipment

There are several items in the game that give or spend lightning charges. Some of these items can be particularly fun for a Tempest Domain cleric, since they synergize with your affinity for lightning. They’re not worth hunting for specifically, but you can use them if you don’t find something better for the slot.

You can also use items that improve the effects of your heals, like the Boots of Aid and Comfort, which can be purchased from Grat the Trader in the Goblin Camp.

The best items will be ones that give you access to spells or abilities that fill gaps in your build, like the Amulet of Misty Step, which will let you teleport across the battlefield as a bonus action. The amulet can be found in the Defiled Temple underneath the Goblin Camp.

As for your weapons, you can use any weapon as a Tempest Domain cleric, so look for one that offers the best bonuses or abilities. You may use your weapon to attack at times, but it will never be as strong as your spells are, so its attack damage should be a secondary consideration.

Join the High Ground

Thanks for reading! We hope this guide has helped you build your Tempest Domain Cleric in Baldur’s Gate 3. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and be sure to subscribe to High Ground for more useful guides!

Happy gaming!

 

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