Viperion’s healbot (Devout Cleric build in Mod 17)
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 play-style from a buffer bot to a heal bot.
Mod 17 brings further complexity for the life of healers. Powers costs are now higher and their healing potency is reduced. The Tower of the Mad Mage trial (ToMM) challenged healers as well in every possible way.
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
- There is no designated section for ToMM requirements, however it is mentioned several times throughout this guide.
I hope you’ll enjoy this build. If you do, make sure you vote those fancy stars 🙂
If you have more questions or you’d like to discuss in the game, my cleric is Viperion [email protected]
For a healer I think that it doesn’t matter very much which race you pick, as long as you’re eyeballing WIS, DEX.
I am currently a human with +3 to WIS for the outgoing healing bonus. I used to be a dragonborn in the past, which is a good option, also.
I have picked WIS+DEX. WIS helps generally 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.
- 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
- 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
- Exaltation – for extra outgoing healing.
- Healing Word – it’s now useful for the 80 feet radius heal effect but use it cautiously as it eats divinity even faster than before! I recommend using this only in large groups like Trials where the other 9 people are scattered everywhere. For groups of 5 players, I recommend avoiding this power as there are better choices.
- Cleansing Light – for clearing negative effects such as DoT (e.g. Hati fight in FBI or Ras Nsi fight in ToNG)
- Divine Glow – for extra divinity regeneration (use this if there’s extensive need of your healing)
- Astral Shield – shield the tank or the entire party from very high damage (Trobriand Brink of Death phase in LoMM or various needs in ToMM)
Some other situations could require Sunburst (e.g. the Yester Hill BHE in Barovia or demonic heroics).
- Guardian of Life
- Hallowed Ground OR Guardian of Faith
Use Guardian of Life when healing with Bastion of Health doesn’t seem to be enough.
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 I’m teamed up with didn’t manage to defeat the mimic in time.
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). You can use this for start until you learn to save your divinity. Then you can switch to Hallowed Guide (described below).
- Hallowed Guide – heal for 5% more when you’re close to your target (15 feet).
- Repeated Blessings – this helps with Healing Word when running Trials. The other choice targets boosting Soothe, so it’s a clear nope.
- 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 or Divine Glow 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 time 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 – with every 4 seconds of praying, your next healing is boosted by 5%. Stacks 3 times. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that you will have to pray every now and then to keep your divinity up. Just remember to do it for at least 4s to trigger this bonus. The other feat, Angel of Life is not good because those 30 stacks are way too much to achieve and over time you might just lose them all (e.g. unskippable long CoDG cutscene…).
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.
Probably the big question is – why all that crit?
The short answer is this: for healers, the chance to critically heal is calculated differently than for a dps. The power stat is also considered in the formula. The complete explanation is provided by Janne in the Heals section.
healing crit chance = critical strike / (power * 2.5)
So to reach the 50% critical strike chance cap, you actually need your critical strike to be higher than your power stat. Or in other words, your power must be 80% of your critical strike. It’s not really acceptable to have a low Power stat. Then your regular heals will be too low. If you are increasing your power, do the same with critical strike. Check the companions section later on for some guidelines on boosting this stat.
Here’s a list of weapon sets to get, from best to worst:
- Lionheart set (from ToMM – Tower of the Mad Mage)
- Watcher set (from special bosses in Master Expeditions ran with 3 runes)
- Burnished set (via Seals of the Deep obtained from LoMM)
- Alabaster set (from Obaya’s chests)
Right now, the Lionheart set isn’t accessible to most people as the trial is very difficult. The Watcher and the Burnished set are actually close in terms of set bonus. And here’s how to proc the Burnished set bonus more often than you’d think:
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 even if you attempt to heal yourself with a Bastion of Health/Intercession/Healing Word, regardless if you actually healed 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.
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.
- 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 set (from Lair of the Mad Mage).
- Chestpiece: Gurdunn’s Defense (from Master Expeditions or Zok’s chests). OR a piece of the Successor set.
- 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: any rings with critical strike and 2x offense slots. Rings are a main source of high critical strike rating.
- Shirt: a piece from Fragment Expeditions that has 4k critical strike.
- 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). Preferably, the pants should increase your defense and critical avoidance.
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.
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.
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 Bear – Summoned 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.
- Rebel Mercenary – 10% Outgoing Healing and 2k Awareness at Legendary quality.
During Undermountain, make sure you find all the 9 relics in the Expeditions to get the starter companion gear. After you unlock the Master Expeditions in Yawning Portal and the Warden/Fragment Expeditions in Stardock, farm for better equipment. I will not post a recipe for equipment here because that varies a lot based on a lot of items players might have, but I can tell you this – a big portion of my critical strike comes from here. So I use companion gear with critical strike in all my slots.
I’d say this is the ideal combination of companion gear to go for:
- 12k Critical Strike item
- 7.1k Critical Strike / 4.7k Ddefense item
- 12k Critical Strike item OR 7.1k crit/4.7k Critical Avoidance (capping Critical Avoidance for ToMM is very much needed)
In offense slots, use Empowered Runestones for more Power.
In defense slots, use Profane Runestones for better Defense.
Mounts & Insignias
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.
Domination insignias, right? To boost my power! Yes. No. No? what?
The truth is this is very debatable. Power is good to improve your healing but it comes with a cost: you must improve your critical strike at the same time. And actually it’s ideal that your critical strike is higher than your power to have a decent critical chance for healing. My personal opinion is that you opt out domination insignias and feel no guilt about it. They are so expensive so let the DPS characters battle over them 🙂
I very much recommend using defense-oriented insignias. However, due to the ToMM frenzy and the increased defense requirements for ToMM, the prices of defense insignias have risen as well. Here’s what I suggest for an ideal setup (I’m not really there yet, but close) to prioritize :
- Prosperity insignias – because a dead cleric is of no use to the party. Increased HP means increased chance of survival against strong hits.
- Refuge insignias – because critical avoidance isn’t only for tanks but also for the others. ToMM teaches this to people the hard way.
- Insignia of Skill – as Power grows, Critical Strike needs to as well.
- Courage insignias – defense should be a stat that should already be capped from other sources but in case you didn’t manage to achieve that, these types of insignias are fine, if only temporary.
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 the cause which creates this awful feeling about this healing spec. The big truth is it’s a class that requires some discipline, 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.
This is a painful situation for a healer. It’s obvious that healing in two or more places causes your divinity to go down much faster.
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 dealing 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 with 3x or 4x Bastion of Health at once. But you’d think you have a solution – Healing Word! Healing Word is eating 1/4 of your total divinity in only one go. That’s not a solution for a group of 5 people. The solution is to “educate” the players to stick together. It’s simple as that. One cast to heal them all 🙂 Well, two actually, cause if they’re right 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 embrace your role of a healer as you’re not there to outdps anyone.
Now that we’ve covered 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 regenerate 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. An alternative is to introduce Divine Glow on the skill bar. In my opinion, at the moment, all dungeons in the game (except ToMM) can be managed without Divine Glow.
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.
- 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. Your mere location can help. Go to a spot so that the others get the Combat Advantage. Of course, do this only if the boss fight mechanics allow it (not in CoDG when fighting the Atropal).
- 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!