Viperion’s healbot (Devout Cleric build in Mod 16)

by Viperion on June 9, 2019
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Viperion’s healbot (Devout Cleric build in Mod 16)

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Introduction

About me

Hi, guys. I’m Viperion (Vip for short), and I’ve been around in Neverwinter for quite some years. My first character was a wizard and then I thought of playing more so I also tried the ranger, and eventually the warlock. For some reason, rogues, fighters and barbarians (GWFs) never grabbed my interest. Then… an idea struck me: to try out the support and tanking roles. We needed clerics in the guild also, tbh. And a few years ago I also created a cleric and a paladin and I’ve been playing both ever since.

Mod 16 has been quite a twist of the game but some players do like the changes we’ve been presented. Myself included. I have adjusted my cleric’s support playstyle from a buffer bot to a heal bot.

Guide contents

In this guide we will be covering the following topics:

  • Set up a cleric properly for healing
  • Divinity management tips
  • Habits a healer should develop

Contact me

I hope you’ll enjoy this build. If you have more questions or you’d like to discuss in the game, my cleric is Viperion [email protected]

Race

For a healer I think that it doesn’t matter very much which race you pick, as long as you’re eyeballing WIS, DEX or CON. I am currently a dragonborn which allows adding +2 to any two ability scores and I’m OK with this choice. I also get that small damage boost that DPSes want it so much. It probably helps when I solo with my Arbiter loadout.

Again, Devout is for healing, if you want to deal any kind of damage, go Arbiter.

Ability Scores

I have picked WIS+DEX but WIS+CON is also a good choice if you want that AP gain or (small!) HP gain from CON.

The reason I went for WIS+DEX is that WIS helps with healing and DEX helps with critical healing.

Powers & Feats

The powers which are not grayed out in the image below are the ones I find useful. We will discuss them individually below.

At-wills:

  • Sacred Flame – Single target At-will with good Magnitude. Nothing special about it OR Scattering Light – for AoE purposes.
  • Blessing of Light – boost for the next healing spell.
  • Soothe – quite a waste of time, really

Encounters

  • Bastion of Health – never leaves the bar, the main healing encounter
  • Intercession – never leaves the bar because always somebody messes up and needs that quick heal
  • Cleansing Light – for situations where removing a debuff is needed OR Exaltation when Cleansing Light is not needed.

Some other situations could require Sunburst (e.g. the Yester Hill BHE in Barovia or demonic heroics).

I have excluded Healing Word from this build.

The problem with this encounter is that it eats way too much Divinity compared to the amount of the initial heal. Furthermore, the healing over time aspect is unreliable because it might proc when healing is not needed at all (full HP already) or it might not proc when it’s extremely needed (right before a big blow from the boss). This means that the predictability of the fight from a healing management perspective is affected, because it cannot be controlled at all by the healer, as it’s controlled by the game via the healing over time ticks. So you need to jump in with Bastion of Healing interventions anyway. Bastion of Healing is far superior to Healing Word because of almost x3 less Divinity used for a doubled amount of burst HP healed and the fact that you control when healing happens. Having to use Bastion of Healing on top of Healing Word just means that Healing Word is not enough to do the job properly. As a result, I have decided to drop using Healing Word entirely and ever since I’ve been so much happier with my divinity management. It no longer drops fast as it used to and I now rely on the healing  upon the press of a button when I know it’s really needed.  This idea is reiterated in the “Divinity Management Tips” section.

Dailies

  • Guardian of Life
  • Hallowed Ground OR Guardian of Faith

When the AP is filled, most of the times it’s Guardian of Life the daily to use (but only if there’s an actual need for extra healing).

Both Hallowed Ground and Guardian of Faith are situational. I use Hallowed Ground for phases when a big blow is about to happen (e.g. Trobriand’s or Ras Nsi’s one shot). The only situation I use Guardian of Faith so far is during Arcturia’s mimics phase, if the tank didn’t manage to defeat the mimic in time.

Class Features

The only good ones I consider are worth slotting are:

  • Hallowed Armor – you take 5% less damage from all sources and 10% less damage when you pray (TAB)
  • Expanded Faith – your divinity meter is increased by 150 units (from 1000 to 1150)
  • Hallowed Guide – heal for 5% more when you’re close to your target (15 feet). This one is a good candidate but I don’t really use it because sometimes you can’t be that close to your target. It can be good during some situations where players are packed together (e.g. During the Boreworm fight in Lair of the Mad Mage, when we need to survive the lightning phase)

Feats

  • Repeated Blessings – this is because we have to choose something… This build doesn’t use Healing Word. But the other choice targets boosting Soothe, so it’s even worse.
  • Battle Prayer – this helps slightly regenerate more divinity after you used an encounter which costed divinity. Not a big game changer as the values are very small but the other feat to pray until you get the effect. Sometimes you need to jump out of praying mode and assist your party.
  • Blessed Armaments – when using Exaltation you also get an additional 10% reduced damage. The other feat increases your damage by 10% depending on how full your divinity meter is – this makes no sense, in my opinion for a healer who should heal not deal damage…
  • Persistent Guardian – helps with more healing over from your Guardian of Life daily. Usually you use that daily when your encounters are not enough to handle the situation, so this feat which extends the healing of the daily over time, is just pure gold. The other feat based on Annointed Army can also be slighly good but on a different loadout for damage buffing.
  • Light of Devotion – every 4s of praying your next healing is boosted by 5%. Stacks 3 times. Initially I thought the other feat, Angel of Life is better but those 30 stacks are way too much to achieve and over time you might just lose them all (e.g. unskippable long CoDG cutscene…). Having to use that many encounters will very likely end you up with no divinity… The goal is to avoid reaching the point of running out of divinity and to avoid that you need to pray during the fights. Remembering to pray for at least 4s, will also benefit you the boost of Light of Devotion. You have to pray anyway to refill your divinity.

Gear & Enchantments

The following image displays what I decided to use starting with mod 16. You won’t need to follow strictly these items, we will tackle them individually and provide alternatives.

Weapon set

The best weapon set in the game right now is the Watcher set which is good to have for every class. But for the moment, it’s extremely hard to obtain. If you have the free time to farm for it, then sure, go ahead. But if you don’t, the Alabaster set is just fine (that is if you’re lucky to drop it from the Master Expeditions). But even better, there’s the Burnished Set.

The Burnished set bonus grants 5% bonus to power and defense when you are hit by an enemy or healed by a healer. However, the bonus procs if you attempt to heal yourself with a Bastion of Health, regardless if you heal anything or not. The part about getting hit isn’t too acceptable for a healer role, it’s what a tank is good at. You must make sure you will not develop this weird habit of healing yourself all the time to proc the bonus, instead of efficiently spending your divinity on your party. One good advice I have here is to make sure that when you heal somebody, you’re also in the area of effect of the Bastion of Healing.

Artifact equipment set

First of all, let me clear this out – you don’t need necessarily to wear the items as a set. But since sets have some extra bonuses, it’s nice to pair the items as a set. However, I strongly recommed to use some of the new mod 16 artifact equipment set items just because they have so much better HP compared to the previous ones. That extra HP will help you with better survivability.

I am currently using the Enchanted Thumb set (more commonly known as the flower set). It’s not a cheap one, mainly because of the artifact, the Staff of Flowers which drops from Zok’s chests (the Yawning Portal pretty face goblin). The artifact is very good for a support to use as an active. Also the set belt, has WIS+CHA which are good for a support healer. For alternatives, I suggest the Constructed Demiset set (more commonly known as Trobriand set) since the ring piece should be part of your equipment. Or, if you’d like to have the Wyvern-venon coated Knives artifact as an active, go for the Wyvern set.

Enchantments

Radiants for your offense slots (more Power means better heals)

Radiants for your defense slots (more HP means better survivability). Alternatively, you can use Demonics like me to also cover some Deflect and Crit Avoidance defense stats.

Dark for your utility slots for companion influence (if you think that stat actually can make a difference). Alternatively, Quartermasters for RP bags.

Vorpal for your critical heals.

Soulforged for a 2nd chance to dodge that red better.

Armors

  • Headpiece: Crown of the Lost King (from Master Expeditions or Zok’s chests) OR Broken cap of the Omnipotent (from Master Expeditions or Zok’s chests) OR a piece of the successor gear (from Lair of the Mad Mage).
  • Chestpiece: Gurdunn’s Defense (from Master Expeditions or Zok’s chests).
  • Gloves: Crash Guards (from Master Expeditions) because of the Power-based bonus.
  • Feet: Gurtunk’s Booties (from Master Expeditions) because of the Power-based bonus.
  • Rings: Ebonized Raid Rings (from Master Expeditions) because of the 3% ranged damage bonus which is totally useless for a healer who doesn’t deal damage but it will help you when soloing content with an Arbiter loadout.
  • Shirt: Ebony Stained Assault Shirt (from Master Expeditions) because of the damage bonus which is again totally useless for a healer who doesn’t deal damage but it will help you when soloing content with an Arbiter loadout.
  • Pants: Prized Restoration Trousers of the Cult (from Master Expeditions) OR some pants which are part of the Protege set (with Seals of the Deep from Lair of the Mad Mage).

Artifacts

Mainly use artifacts which have the Power stat on them. With mod 16, the Staff of Flowers and Trobriand’s Ring are especially good due to their 3k Power each.

Other good options are: Wheel of Elements (bonus damage to use on a DPS character), Sigil of the Cleric (some AP over time), Sigil of the Paladin (damage resistance buff and heals).

Armor reinforcement Kits

Power kits for armors. The +1s are slightly better.

Stamina regeneration kits for accessories. Since the stamina regen ones won’t be too much of a game changer, you can alternatively use Combat Advantage ones for the times when you run content with other people as Arbiter.

Boons

Aim for all the power boons, all the HP boons, the resistance boons vs demons/undead, companion influence, movement speed, AP gain and Outgoing Healing.

For the Stronghold boons, make sure to use the Power boon, the defense boon (if you didn’t cap defense yet) or the HP boon.

Companions

There are two important things to mention here:

  • use an augment-type companion as your active
  • use companions with powers which deal with Power increase and Outgoing Healing increase.

Bonding runestones must be as high as possible.

There can be other choices of companions, of course, but this is what I’m currently using for now:

  • Deepcrow Hatchling – At legendary it grants 8k Power.
  • Ioun Stone of Radiance – At legendary gives 10% Outgoing Healing and 2k Deflect.
  • Baby Polar BearSummoned Companion. The tooltip for this companion is quite messed up but it’s 6% Outgoing Healing for Rare quality, 8% for Epic and 10% for Legendary.
  • Neverember Guard 10% Outgoing Healing at Legendary quality.
  • Ghost4k Power and 2k Critical Strike at Legendary quality. I had this companion from previous mods and it was a pleasant surprise to see it’s still useful this mod.

The companion gear I use is the ones you get from the Undermountain quest line (make sure during all expeditions you find all 9 relics). They all have offense slots and in every offense slot I’m using Empowered Runestones for more Power.

Mounts & Insignias

Mounts

Any mount with 5k Power boost is fine. Even better, one with 10k Power boost such as the Arcane Whirlwind or the Black Ice War Horse.

Insignias

Ideally, you’d like to go for Domination insignias to boost your power. However, these are so not affordable for most players at the moment. When offense improvement is too expensive, consider defensive improvement. I’m using a few Domination insignias but I am also focusing on increasing my HP through Prosperity insignias and Deflect through Evasion insignias.

Healbot Play Style

In this section we will speak about the DOs and DON’Ts a cleric healer should keep track of in a group.

I’ve heard this way too many times: Cleric divinity just sucks! The Cleric healer is an awful experience. To be honest, I have thought so too in the beginning. However, I took a step back to analyze what cause that awful feeling about this healing spec. The big truth is it’s a class that requires some brains, you can’t just throw out all your healing and then the next moment the boss sneezes, you find yourself out of divinity.

Divinity Management Tips

Here’s a list of situations or issues which cause your divinity meter to go down fast:


1. Healing when not needed.

The truth is I’ve seen far too many healers who just heal all the time. This will decrease your divinity meter fast and in the end, you’ve barely been effective with anything.


2. Healing in too many places at once.

Now this is something big, many players maybe don’t even realize. It’s that kind of thing that’s so obvious, you don’t even realize it. This happens very often.

When you run in a group, especially with ranged characters, you will notice people might be scattered all over the place. The tank aggroes the boss, some DPS who actually takes advantage of the Combat Advantage is on the other side of the boss, and some other wizards are dealign damage but from a distance. This is at least three spots to heal: one for the tank, one for the smart DPS that deals Combat Advantage from the other side of the boss and one for the far-away wizards. Oh, and you too!

Some bosses have certain mechanics that ignore the threat from the tank, and just target the DPSes or the healer. I think it’s obvious where I’m hinting. To keep your party alive, you need to heal 3-4 times for the 3-4 spots where players are located. This will cause you to run out of divinity very fast.

Since this build doesn’t use Healing Word because we have already agreed it heals very poorly based on how much divinity it eats, you will need to “educate” the players to stick together. It’s simple as that. One heal to heal them all 🙂 Well, two actually, cause if they’re near the tank, they’re probably dead.


3. Dealing damage instead of praying

You might want to be useful with something, so you want to deal damage. Worse, you’re using divinity-based damaging encounters like Daunting Light… Please stop.

You’re helping the party by healing them and keeping them alive. That’s your job. Your damage can very easily be covered by a competent DPS character. So embrance your role, you’re there to heal and not dps.

Now that we’ve agreed on you having to heal instead of dealing damage, we also have to make sure you pray to recover your divinity. Between fights of clearing monsters, it’s nice to pray out of combat to regen the divinity faster. However, for longer fights like boss fights, you will need to identify small timeframes when the fight is going just fine without your intervention, and just pray to recover your divinity. This habit will extend the overall ability of spamming healing with Bastion of Healing.

Healer Habits

This section will just reiterate some of the previous points. It will also add a few new tips that should help to your overall experience as a healer:

  • Heal when a player actually needs healing.
  • Buff with your active artifact only for enemies worthy of your key press (bosses or tougher enemies)
  • Do not deal damage with divinity-based encounters. Save your divinity for healing.
  • Use Cleansing Touch for dungeons where debuffs are applicable to players (Hati fight in FBI, Ras Nsi fight in ToNG). Its main use is to remove debuffs so don’t use it instead of Bastion of Healing. Cleansing Touch costs 90 divinity and heals for 400 Magnitude. Bastion of Healing costs 80 divinity and heals for 800 Magnitude.
  • Use Intercession to quickly heal the tank or a player in need. Don’t waste it on things that Bastion of Healing could’ve easily handled because Intercession has a relatively high cooldown.
  • Some players don’t know or realize they’re not using the positioning correctly for gaining Combat Advantage. For instance, the tank is in the “North” side and a DPS in the “South” side. This other players deals damage from the “West” side but he doesn’t gain Combat Advantage. Help them out by positioning yourself on the opposite side of him (i.e. in the “East” side). Of course, do this only if the boss fight mechanics allow it.
  • Watch people’s HP bars. I have customized my UI to drag the party HP bars closer to the center of the screen. It’s now right of where the Arbiter sparks meter should be displayed. This provides you an easier way to spot when a player’s HP suddenly goes down and needs healing. Additionally, you can even enable to show HP bars above party characters as they move. This also helps a lot!
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  • bigcountry
    June 14, 2019 at 11:27 am

    [“I have excluded Healing Word because it eats a lot of Divinity and the heals are not very great. More info about the “why” in the Divinity Management Tips section”]

    this is simply not true….u cast healing word once the battle starts, then it costs 0 divinity for the rest of the battle, as long u heal your team every 5 seconds with bastion of health, …. on the contrary.. u cast healing word a few times until u have less then 50% divinity, then u gain about 20% more healing from your feat….with a little channeling u will never run out of divinity…to sum it up, u heal about 60% more with healing word, then without healing word…

    • June 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm

      Hi, thanks for your reply and time to read this post.

      There are three major problems with Healing Word:
      1. It eats too much divinity compared to the amount of HP initially healed. The initial heal is what matters most. Although over 20s, Healing Word will heal overall more than Bastion of Health, a boss might attack the tank several or a dozen times during this time-frame and Healing Word’s weak healing over time will simply not be able to solve this.

      2. Although the healing over time generally sounds great, the one from Healing Word is actually unreliable because it ticks only once every 3 seconds. Most of the times you need a large healing to help the tank survive. Spamming Bastion of Health two times instead of relying on Healing Word, gives you much better control of the whole situation and excludes any chances that Healing Word might actually not heal at the right needed moment.

      So if you’re able to spend 80 divinity on a 800 magnitude heal when healing is actually needed, why would anyone waste 200 divinity on a 400 magnitude heal and then hope the next 200 magnitude healing over time jumps in at the right moment?

      3. The “Repeated Blessings” feat which fuels Healing Word by 6 seconds further forces you to use Bastion of Healing too often and most likely even when not needed. This contradicts the main point of this post – heal when needed to not run out of divinity… With your approach, you will slowly and surely run out of divinity casting unnecessary Bastions of Health and you will barely have any time for praying to refill the wasted divinity. Just don’t do it.

      The feat you probably speak of is called “Desperate Healing” which improves healing by 20% as your divinity reaches 0. This implies that at around 50% divinity, there’s a 10% healing boost applied, instead of 20% as you stated. But this again is in contradiction with the good practices to keep your divinity high because as you stated, you will have to “cast Healing Word a few times” – which is waste of divinity. The healing from multiples casts will not stack. I do not recommend using this feat at all. There’s a much better alternative by just using Exaltation instead. Exaltation increases your healing by 20% and you won’t have to worry about divinity because it’s a cooldown based encounter. Exaltation’s “on-demand” healing boost perfectly goes hand in hand with the “on-demand” healing provided by Bastion of Health.

      Unfortunately, I see that you’ve missed the main points of the divinity management section. Please read it again and if you’d like to contribute to this post, let me know which areas might need rephrasing or additional explanation. Thanks.

  • June 18, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    great guide, glad to see other clerics putting them out! got a laugh when i saw you also had originally included soothe then removed it xD

    • June 20, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      Hey, thanks a lot for reading this post!

      Soothe was a “nope” from the first two minutes of trying it out.
      Healing Word was a “nope” after about 1-2 days of using it and noticing that my divinity goes crazy low very fast.

      I mentioned them as strikethrough text to emphasize the idea they’re not skills worthy enough to be slotted in the powers bar.

      • June 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm

        Yes i agree both are worthless, though I do feel a certain joy when I’m playing as dps and some random cleric is healing me up with soothe in a public dungeon queue…..gives me a good laugh 😉

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