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  • Cleric compendium

    (tl;dr - fill your defensive slots with cloth and procs, grind colo hard for cost recovery, and prioritize utility in your monster selection. carry four heals in quests. three heals in pvp, plus some cost management. precast when you can. don't carry too many long cooldowns or let yourself run out of cost)

    Hello! I bring you another thread with an apology. I've wanted there to be an updated sticky for a while now, but i haven't felt adequate enough to comment on some areas of class play. Since then i've grown a lot, experienced some parts of the game that were previously out of my reach, and developed a soldier build. What's significant to building a soldier in convincing me to write a cleric guide? I'm seeing other clerics for the first time. There's a lot of good, bad, and ugly out there. Maybe (hopefully) a new guide can take some of the edge off of the worse elements of play.

    DISCLAIMER: i'm not the best cleric in the game, and i apologize if this inadvertently contains some unpopular or incorrect opinions. I'll make fixes as needed.

    Keep in mind most of this advice is for dedicated clerics. People multi-classing or playing 'fake' cleric will still gain some useful advice here, but a lot of advice won't be helpful due to gearing conflicts.

    Scanning the guide
    If you don't want to scroll through the whole thing, use your browser's search function to skip to [number]. For example, searching [1a] will toggle between right here and the equivalent entry in the table of contents.


    [1] Contents and Overview
    [1a] Search tip
    [1b] Cleric synopsis
    [2] Gear
    [2a] Max defense slots
    [2b] Spawning strategy
    [2c] Choosing defense gear (+useful procs)
    [2d] Monsters (+useful utilities)
    [2e] Weapons (+book/relic procs)
    [3] Abilities
    [3a] Cleric skills
    [3b] Advanced abilities
    [3c] Basic attacks
    [3d] Non-cleric skills
    [4] Play
    [4a] Quests
    [4b] Colosseum
    [4c] Guild battles
    [5] Advanced topics
    [5a] Infusion
    [5b] +1s
    [5c] The x in x/8/8/x
    [5d] Managing weapon procs
    [5e] Balancing expensive gear
    [5f] Splitting damage
    [1b] Overview of the class and progression

    It's not the only class that can heal, but it's the only class that's expected to. Cleric starts out extremely weak in the beginning but around midgame (or "when things change" as people who have reached that point may understand) it becomes an essential role in most content - to the point that many parties won't even bother setting out unless there's a cleric present.

    Later in the game, after DPS classes become so adept that they can zip through content, cleric once again becomes a lower priority. At that point, healing becomes more about keeping your DPS output high, which means focusing on removing ailments, clearing debuffs, and sharing cost with your party.

    In pvp things are a bit different. The nature of Unison League pvp is such that you often have to make the best use of what you have. It all depends on what your guild has to work with, and some guilds lately don't even use a cleric.

    New players, cleric is a useless class to play in the early levels of the game. The early levels go fast because they're so easy - so easy in fact that healing is usually a waste of time. You're better off playing mage and allocating cost like a tank. It's also an option to play soldier, though you would need to collect gear appropriate for a magic user. Or play "battle cleric" which is generally a bad habit to get into but will serve you better than using a too-weak heal as your CPU companions struggle to kill anything. Really anything but a healer. Choose it as your starting class for the story/lore/quests, sure, but you'll get somewhere faster if you're dealing damage instead of focusing on healing. Just for a little while.

    Progressing through the first three rings is fairly straightforward, with skills (mostly) getting gradually better as you go along. Early game is different, but by the end of second ring a cleric should only be carrying cleric abilities. Don't be that cleric carrying HB to a quest. That's bad for anybody, but especially for a cleric. The one exception to "all cleric abilities" may be EE but imo that's also a bad habit to get into, and i've seen it used to justify some other awful build decisions.

    Upon reaching the 4th ring, a cleric should be carrying all heals in pve. There are exceptions, but generally unlocking Area Recovery (the start of 4th ring) means dropping your last non-heal utility (Area/Mass Refresh). By the end of 4th ring, clerics' skillsets are complete for most questing content.

    The 5th ring is primarily pvp-focused with the exception of Cleanse Healing, so don't feel at all afraid to start questing with the big kids after you've learned Dignity. You've got everything you need at that point, and from there onward your gear and playstyle will be the primary determination of how good you are. Even for pvp, 5th ring abilities are optional.

    Beyond that you have Tower of Judgment abilities, a heal unlocked by awakening the Xenorelic, and a 6th ring that adds some neat twists to your potential.


    ATEAM EDIT: I'm stickying this fantastic guide as it is more up-to-date than the existing one, but in case you'd like to see it for reference you can find it here!
    Last edited by HotMessExpress; 02-16-2019, 04:07 PM.
    Hot Mess Express 2086796674


  • #2
    [2] Gear means stats, and gear means procs

    Properly gearing a cleric means two things: building your stats up in a way that allows you to function effectively and collecting a set of gear skills that will make you stronger.

    In general, cleric is the least GS-dependent class in the game. You don't need a massive gear score to be a good cleric, so you should never be making decisions based solely on how equipment will affect your total GS. You should be mindful of your stats, sure, but it's more important to have "stats in the right places" than it is to have "high stats." Magic Defense should always be your highest stat. After that, it's up to you whether you want to prioritize Defense or Magic Attack. In my pve set, MDEF makes over half of my GS, and DEF is a good bit higher than MATK. In my pvp set i drop a lot of MDEF and increase MATK, with DEF coming up a little bit as well.

    How much MDEF and MATK is enough? A guideline i’ve heard is to test by casting Heal. If you’re restoring at least two thirds of your max without a proc then your stats are high enough. If you’re healing for more than two thirds with Heal, then consider moving some points from MATK into MDEF. If you’re healing for less, try to increase your stats.

    [2a] You should be x/6/6/x -> x/7/7/x -> ?????

    What's a good strategy when allocating gear cost or attempting gem spawns? I'm sorry to say this isn't as simple as it used to be.

    The old standard was "max points into head/body slots, equip three weapons, then put the rest of your points into monsters." I think the rules are more flexible these days depending on build and personal strategy, but it's still a good idea to put as many points as you need into head and body slots to ensure you can max out your defensive gear. (New players, you should never NEVER auto-allocate your gear cost. This goes for every class. It's a terrible feature that should be removed from the game.)

    You should aim for max defensive slots by level 90. This will mean some planning in advance. Save gear to fill the slots, and save cost starting around lv80 to be able to equip everything. If you're not x/6/6/x at level 90, aim for it by level 100. At level 110 i was already saving all of my equipment cost to bump up to x/7/7/x at level 120. Same goes for the transition at 150, etc. (We're 10 levels away from a cap of 210 now, but if you're realistically going to hit that on release then you probably have the gems to rebuild at will.)

    There are a few reasons for this. First, you're the healer in your party. A party will often survive if a DPS dies. Tanking is not super important in most content because of the mechanics of many boss battles, so losing a tank is forgivable too. If the healer dies, the party is likely going to wipe. Cleric has low HP and performs a very important role in every party - so you need to be able to stay alive. Second, building tanky reduces the need for you to heal yourself, so you'll save some cost too. I almost never target myself for healing in quests; being nearby when healing other people is usually enough for me to ensure that i stay at full health.

    As i said above, MDEF should be your primary stat. Magic Defense is used in the calculation for your healing abilities along with Magic Attack. Cleric gets very large bonuses to the MDEF on cloth gear (up to 50% currently) so filling all of your body slots with high MDEF gear will help your heals in addition to helping protect you. Hat gear gets a much lower MDEF bonus (up to 18%) so if you must use high-DEF armor gear, it's more optimal to put it in your head slots so you lose out on a lower MDEF bonus.

    Most people know that MDEF only gets counted half as much as your MATK in the healing calculation, but it's not as well known that MDEF buffs and debuffs are IGNORED when determining heal amounts. That's very important, because lots of higher end questing content includes monsters that repeatedly spam debuffs. Healing extra when buffed is great, but you definitely do NOT want to be healing for less than expected when some monster balances the party and follows up with a -8 stack to your stats. High MDEF will make your heal amounts predictable and reliable in ways that MATK will not.

    In pvp it's a bit different, because players have HP multipliers (necessitating stronger heals) and MATK debuffs are far less common (reducing the risk of relying on MATK). Monster choices will be important for f2p players who want to be able to spec properly for pve and pvp without reallocating equipment points.

    Early on when you have lots of spare equip cost and not so much spare gear, it's an easy thing to be impulsive and just spend cost to equip whatever you happen to have. DON'T DO THIS. DO NOT. You probably won't break your character this way, but you may make it harder for yourself later. I'm specifically cautioning against spending too many points on weapons or monsters early on. You can always put points in later once you decide which way to build, but it costs gems to un-spend. This used to be prohibitively expensive, but Ateam has since added a 15 gem item that allows one month of free point reallocation.

    [2b] When to spawn? What to spawn?

    Divine Grace is an excellent spawn to take part in for somebody looking to build up an initial base of gear. There's massively increased rates of SSR gear, and you can never spawn anything below SR rarity. There's no focus on any particular types of gear, so it's a mixed result, but you will get lots of SR-UR books (which can remain useful for a while) and decent chances at armors and monsters. Once you're developed enough that you're looking for specific gear it's a bad spawn, but for new players it can be useful.

    Since they added medal exchanges to divine grace, it can also be useful if you're willing to spend a lot on gems. This way gets expensive though, so for most people i wouldn't recommend it. This is treating it basically like a treasure spawn.

    Shared Spawns can get you some really awesome gear for super cheap if you have the patience, vigilance, and reflexes. If you're absolutely trying to save as many gems as possible, never spawn until the pool gets very low. Try to snipe the last few items, scooping up a grand prize in the process. This will mean missing the spawn and watching it reset many times. That's okay, you don't lose any gems that way. Just stay patient and you can get a prize. Or, worst case, you don't spend any gems. Also fine.

    If you're not afraid to spend some gems if it means getting good results, remember that each item spawned pulls one from the pool. Probability of success follows binomial distribution, and you can calculate your odds based on how many items you'll spawn and how many total items and desired items are left in the pool. If you wait for a favorable probability, half cost 30x spawns can give you very high odds of a hit for relatively cheap, before the final rush to snipe. It's all about patience and vigilance.

    Treasure Spawns should generally be avoided. When they have favorable rates, they generally tend to pop out a lot of high cost gear, and high cost armors will squeeze your supply of gear cost available for weapons and monsters. This used to be 100% bad, but now it's a mixed situation thanks to Ateam buffing all 31+ cost gear. There are certain situations where these grant medals that can be used to buy guaranteed pieces of gear. I generally don't recommend these, though some items (with unique or useful abilities) warrant it, imo.

    These spawns are the most common way to get Seal of Health, which is second only to Cost Recovery in value (and beats it in terms of filling your slots with stat-appropriate weapons).

    Guaranteed SSR spawns For most clerics, in terms of spawns, you should probably always default to guaranteed SSR defense gear. Lately these mostly pop up as class spawns, with one spawn for each weapon type and another spawn for head gear or body gear. If i've got the gems, i'll often drop them on the armor gear just to see what i get.

    If you're in the market for new weapons, these are the way to go as well. You can guarantee relics/books here, where most spawns just give random assortments of gear. This is another good source of SR->UR books for beginners who just want to fill gear slots.

    Step Up spawns are either great or terrible, normally. The trend i've noticed is that during collaboration events they'll have step ups that cost hundreds of gems. I mostly skip these. Normal step-ups will have 3 steps: 1 gem single spawn -> 15 gem 10x spawn -> 30 gem guaranteed featured gear spawn. These latter step-ups can net you some nice gear (usually monsters) for 46 gems, which is pretty nice.

    Always check the featured gear lists so you know what you're getting into.

    Video Spawns are free spawns that you can perform every 3 hours (twice in a row on weekends) by watching 5 video ads. The chances of SSR aren't boosted, but every 10th spawn has a guaranteed SSR. The gear you get from it probably won't be spectacular, but did i mention it's free? Spam these as hard as you can. I've definitely gotten a lot of keepers out of here, particularly for elemental sets. You can also save up cheap monsters from these video spawns for free monster infusions. Stat sticks that don't cost much are good filler for elemental sets.

    Be an armor collector. Duplicates are nice for infusion, and different types of procs may be useful in some situations that warrant keeping them around.

    It's also worth saving lots of pieces of various elemental armor. Spawned armor gives much more elemental defense than quested armor, and having an appropriate set will make tons of quests trivially easy to survive. Recommend this to your dps friends too, as they can go from squishy to tanky without even pulling points from their weapon or monster slots. A full party of elementally geared players makes Ordeals quests trivially easy, and it makes Super Difficult quests not-impossible for f2p players. Otherwise Super Difficult quests will cost too many revival gems to be realistically productive.

    If you've got most of your armor filled out, it's probably safe to start spending gems on monster spawns. Again, try to go for step-ups or SSR guaranteed, and check the spawn lists to make sure you're not going for a single desirable monster out of two dozen trash monsters. If there are a few decent ones in the pool, you stand a better chance of getting something nice. The "standard monsters" that pop up in a lot of spawns (a 25, 26, 27, 28, etc cost monster in each element) include a lot of nice utility. Around half of them are worth having for cleric, and several are actually very good to keep in your primary set forever. Even several of the lower cost ones (e.g. Lilith, Valk) are good stat sticks for low points if you end up with several copies infused together.

    That means weapons come last. Weapon spawns are your lowest priority. I am almost always disappointed when i see a weapon in my spawn pool. There are some very nice weapons out there with some excellent procs or basic-replacement abilities, but weapons should be third priority behind defensive gear and monsters. I think most clerics shouldn't even be spawning for weapons (at all. ever.) unless something especially juicy is up for grabs or you've already filled all of your defensive slots AND have a couple of nice monsters under your belt.

    This is because weapon procs are extremely easy for cleric. You can literally complete your weapon requirements with f2p gear and have a very successful build. Don't worry about weapons. You will have plenty of opportunity to get good ones for only the cost of some effort and frustration. The only weapons exempt from my "do not spawn for" rule are the Athena relic and some of the basic attack replacement relics. Many of these are limited time spawns and may not be coming back, so if you've been saving gems for a new weapon, don't throw those gems away unless the weapon is very useful.

    [2c] What to look for in head/body gear

    Stats are the easiest to explain but not the most important. If it's not clear yet, you should be looking for cloth and hat gear with high MDEF in order to take advantage of all of your passive MDEF boosts.

    Don't take bad procs if you can help it, no matter what the stats are. It's forgivable early on to have a Fatal or Magic Testament in your set because it's cloth and boosts MDEF, but eventually you'll want to collect enough good procs that you can phase out any that aren't useful for you. This may mean wearing armor instead of cloth for a while but because of how the damage calculation works (warning if you hate math) it's very hard to protect yourself from a large source of damage unless a defensive armor skill activates. Stats do help defensively, but this game is built around dealing damage, and the damage formula shows it.

    There are some decent f2p questable options. I generally don't recommend carrying these with the matching weapon to activate the Blessing associated with them, but there may be some situations where it's desirable to do so. Equipping a blessing means putting the UR versions of all three pieces of a matched set (i.e. you can't mix the alice dress with the white rabbit hat even though they're both 26c wind medal exchange gear and count toward the same blessing) which also means giving up your usual main slot procs in most cases for a passive bonus that activates during quests. On the armor side this normally isn't a problem, but none of the weapons are preferable to cost restoration procs. If you don't have any colo weapons (any of them) or an athena book, go ahead and put on the blessing of your choice when healing.

    Fire Ordeal:
    Inferno Armor and Horns (31c armor and helm) give a universal Damage Down proc. The stats aren't that desirable, but the proc definitely is. This is the best 31c Ordeals set for pvp cleric imo, and could be worn in a main slot for guild battles if you haven't earned enough Legend Medals for Ignis/Veluda. The associated Blessing (activated with the axe from the set) increases DEF/MDEF by 10% but isn't worth losing a weapon slot imo, and while the 10% MDEF probably factors into heals i haven't tested and am not positive it does. Pretty sure Ateam did this to fix the "lancer playing cleric in fire ordeals because no cleric wants to or needs to touch it ever" problem, and to be honest now i kind of need to spam some fire ordeals for the first time in my life.

    Wind Ordeal:
    Iron Garb and Guard of Turbulence (31c cloth and hat) give a Null Status Ailments proc. It's a high-DEF cloth set, so you will get your bonus MDEF out of it, but it's a low base amount to begin with. Still, extra defense never hurts to have, and for pve i've been wearing Null Status gear in both of my main slots for a long time anyway. The associated blessing (acvitated with the relic from the set) increases status ailment resistance by 20% and the relic has a Healing Test analogue, so it's not a total waste of your main slot if you're doing quests with heavy ailment spam. I'd still prefer a cost restoring main slot weapon for most content though.

    Wonderland Dress and Headband (26c cloth and hat) give a Magic Damage Down proc. It's the only high-MDEF cloth set with a defensive proc in this list, so you're going to make the most of your cloth passives, and though you shouldn't be prioritizing magic-mitigating procs, it's still good to have them. The associated blessing (activated with the gun from the set) increases ATK/MATK by 5% so you really shouldn't bother with that in any serious play.

    White Rabbit's Garb and Hat (26c cloth and hat) give a Physical Damage Down proc. It's a balanced DEF/MDEF cloth set so the stats aren't amazing, but they aren't bad either, and the physical-mitigating proc make this overall more appealing to me than the other 26c wind set. The associated blessing (activated with the gun from the set) increases ATK/MATK by 5% so again, please don't.

    Light Ordeal:
    Amaterasu's Robe and Hairpiece (26c cloth and hat) give a Magic Reflection proc. The pieces have balanced DEF/MDEF so the stats aren't amazing, but you do get your passive cloth bonuses. I'm not a huge fan of this set, but it can be useful and is worth equipping until you have better options. The associated Blessing (activated with the relic from the set) increases status ailment resistance by 10% so in some rare cases you may actually want to use this to further increase your resilience. However, the proc on the weapon is analogous to HoH, so it's declining in value. The Zephyrus set is 100% superior to this one.

    Robes and Hat of the Sun God (31c cloth and hat) give a Magic Testament Proc. It's a high-MDEF cloth set for awesome stats, but the proc is an offensive one. I don't think they can drop from the quest itself, and i really wouldn't bother spending medals on these unless you're also working on a set for a magic attacking class. The associated Blessing (activated with the staff from the set) increases MATK by 20% but losing a main slot healing support proc and two main slot defense support procs doesn't justify the added stats unless you want to play battle cleric for novelty. In that case, this is the best set you can equip, as it's difficult for us to get high cost gear with offensive procs.

    Water Ordeal:
    Silver Dragon's Armor and Mask (26c armor and helm) give a Physical Reflection proc. These are heavy armor and high-DEF at that, so the stats aren't the best for you, and you won't get any passive bonuses. The proc is decent to help shore up a weakness for a class that doesn't rely on its physical defense though. The associated Blessing (activated with the axe from the set) increases DEF/MDEF by 5% so it's worse than the Fire set in every way. This set might have been usable before, but now it's really only worth equipping if you haven't earned better stuff yet.

    Dark Ordeal:
    Dark Deity Dress and Hairpin of Morrow Moon (26c cloth and hat) give a Magic Testament proc. I'm listing this set last because while it's high-MDEF and cloth for good passive bonuses, the proc is an offensive one. You may pick up some of these as drops while farming medals for your awakening gear or to help friends, but they're no use on cleric if you have defensive procs you could wear instead. The associated blessing (activated with the staff from the set) increases MATK by 10% but a new player will lose more from their pre-4th ring heals by equipping a staff than they will gain by adding bonus MATK.

    Useful defensive skills for cleric:

    Procs come in lots of flavors, but each has its own potential use. Some procs also come in tiers; for these, XXL is currently the best though it's only found on limited spawns or event exchanges. For most armor procs, you should aim for XL. Some procs don't have markers for M, L, XL, XXL and some of these have been found to be nearly or exactly the same at any gear rarity. Consider leaving these items at lower rarity to save gear cost. Here's a thread with more information about that.

    Reactive skill procs are the standard procs you see on gear. Only two can activate at once, and there's only a chance of activation, so try to stack up procs that cover your important bases. It's also VERY IMPORTANT to note that your main slot gets better proc rates. DO NOT equip constant gear in your main slot. Only your percentage chance procs should go in main, and you should put your most important procs in the main slot. If it must proc, put it in main.

    Physical/Magic Damage Null - only available on hard to attain armor earned by participating in RGB (ranked guild battle). These are the only procs that can activate against piercing attacks. Pick up at least one Phys Null, and main slot it. Strongly consider picking up a Veluda piece too, now that there are unblockable magic attacks and frenzy is becoming more common. If not, double up on Ignis in main slot.

    Reflect - like below but you don't have to choose between Physical or Magic. You're most likely to see this on azure knight gear from recycle medal exchange, and those pieces are better used infusing into RGB gear to get better proc rates on your nulls. Still, it's a nice proc that doesn't make you choose between defending against physical or magic damage.

    [Physical/Magic] Reflect - excellent in pvp because it punishes people for attacking you. I definitely recommend stacking some Physical Reflect in your pvp sets. It stacks additively with mirrors too, so you may even be able to reflect 100% of damage (for example if you double XL proc while Amaterasu's monster buff is active). Amaterasu's Glory is Magic Reflect that comes on light medal exchange gear. Avsaris's Glory is Physical Reflect that comes on water medal exchange gear.

    Damage Down - like below but you don't have to choose between Physical or Magic. This one is rare like Reflect XL, but if you happen to get it, it's a great addition to pve or pvp sets. Unlike the Reflect variant, it reduces less damage than a plain Physical or Magic Down. It's important to note that "Down" gear procs more often than "Reflect" gear.

    [Physical/Magic] Damage Down - reduces damage, potentially all the way down to 0. I'm unclear exactly how these work mechanically, but they're very nice to have. They don't punish enemies like reflects, but in pve that's less important and these may actually be better for reducing more damage anyway. Rabbit's DEF Glory is a Physical Damage Down, and Alice's MDEF Glory is a Magic Damage Down. These both come on the two wind medal exchange gear sets.

    Art of [Physical/Magic] DMG down - reduces damage as above, but it also increases your unison gauge in the process. I think the gain isn't as much as the colosseum gear, but it comes with damage mitigation which should normally be your primary focus anyway.

    Unison Gauge Fill - does just what it says. When you take damage this will add 5 to your uni gauge if it procs. It doesn't reduce any damage though, so it's just for niche use. The gear it comes on is hard to obtain, too.

    Null Status Ailments - prevents status afflictions from sticking when it procs. Cleric already has greatly boosted resistance to status ailments, especially if you equip an appropriate Blessing set, but more can't hurt. It always sucks when para or confuse ruins an otherwise smooth quest. Not so useful in pvp, since it doesn't proc against uni attacks.

    Null [Status Ailments] - like above but specific to one or two status ailments. As a cleric you really only need to worry about Paralyze, Confuse, and Prohibit Unison, so skip any that don't protect against these.

    [Physical/Magic/Fatal] Testament - just don't. These are useless for you, or at the very least they don't add meaningfully to your survivability. You may situationally want to carry these on weapons, but never on armor.

    Constant armor skills activate at the beginning of a quest and remain active throughout. These provide smaller bonuses, but these can sometimes be meaningful in their reliability. It's important, again, to note that since these are always active they cannot benefit from the main slot proc rate boost. Also important is that these come in different categories. You can only have TWO from each category active, so try not to overlap too much.

    Armor Up - Defense category - Each one of these is equivalent (in effect) to wearing one of each of the Physical and Magic varieties, so even though they are high cost to equip, they're still very slot-efficient no matter how you're building. Each piece gives a constantly active 10% reduction to all non-piercer damage, and you can have up to two defense constants active at a time. Unfortunately this effect is on the rare side, but it's one of the best things you can put in a slot. Take care to look at your set to ensure no other defense constants can interfere with these.

    [Physical/Magic] Armor Up - Defense category - reduces damage by a small percentage. Constantly active, but only two can function at a time. It's notable that these stack additively with Barriers and Damage Down procs, increasing their value when paired accordingly. They were buffed a while back to 10% damage reduction, and mitigation has been moved in the damage calc to happen before defenses are factored in. I used to say skip these, but honestly now if you have high MDEF you should be carrying two Magic Armor gears and focusing the rest of your procs mainly against physical damage.

    [Element] Damage Reduction - Defense category - reduces damage of a specific element by some currently unknown amount. It's speculated that this stacks the same way as elemental advantage on defensive gear, meaning that it's probably safe against piercing attacks and the like. However, you can only equip two defense constants, so if you're facing multiple elements or non-elemental damage, these are probably not worthwhile. I wear them on elemental quests like Ordeals though, as i'm assuming they are superior gear in that case.

    Unison AbP Down - Awakening category - reduces damage from unison attacks in the same manner as (and stacking with) the constant armor up effects. This is pvp only gear, but the way Ateam has been ruining the game lately with monsters that can one shot a whole team solo, any reduction is good reduction. Cleric can only get this on the awakening cloth set, but it's f2p at least, in spite of being very expensive in terms of rare materials. If you can get two Armor Up constants paired with both awakening pieces, you'll earn a 40% reduction to all unison damage received, which makes this a very important investment to any cleric who wants to play serious pvp.

    HP up - Other category - only gives 4k HP to your max at skill lv5. It's trash.

    [whatever name] - Offensive category - increases your damage, so don't waste slots since you aren't an attacker.

    Opening armor skills activate at the beginning of an engagement and remain 100% active like constants, but only for a certain amount of time. After a time described in the skill info, they will wear off. For cleric, they're mostly pvp gear. In pve you won't need these kinds of effects and should probably be focusing on elemental gear instead of this, but the beginning of a pvp engagement is critical. Staying alive longer, or keeping your cost up, etc, will be a large contributor to your success. Again, you top out at two from each category. Choose wisely.

    Opening Concentration - Defense category - gives 20% increased activation rate to your main slot defense procs for the first 30 seconds. This is #1 for guild battles and is still quite good for colosseum.

    [Physical/Magic] Damage Cut - Defense category - reduces physical or magic damage by 20% for 30 seconds. These last longer than their reflection counterparts, but only catching one type of damage is meh, imo.

    Reflect Damage - Defense category - gives a 20% mirror stack for 20 seconds. This might help deter some aggro by punishing aggressors, and the skill isn't picky about physical or magic damage. One or two of these are very nice in colosseum.

    Almighty Damage Cut - Defense category - reduces physical and magic damage by 20% for the first 30 seconds. These are better than reflection in gb imo, but perhaps not in colosseum.

    Health Regen - Other category - restores 12% of your max HP every 5 seconds for the first 40 seconds of a battle. With boosted pvp HP pools, these are actially pretty nice.

    HP boost - Other category - increases max HP by 20% for 40 seconds. This can help negate your low HP, and in pvp will go a long way to making you less squishy.

    Opening Ward - Other category - gives ward status for 60 seconds. I'm torn on whether this is worth a carry. It might save you, but 1hp is still a nearly certain doom under fire in pvp.

    Opening Resurrection - Other category - gives res for 50 seconds. This is much better than ward, and 50 seconds is still almost half of a colosseum round.


    [2d] What kind of monsters to seek

    The monster slot is the most versatile in terms of stats. Monsters don't benefit from any passives except for global stat boosts such as percentage-based shared traits or your 3% MATK boost in the 4th ring, but they do benefit from hidden potentials, which can greatly boost their stats or effects. Sometimes you can get a LOT of stats out of a little bit of cost with the right monster. Even if i never throw her, my Lilith currently grants 6197 MATK and 6092 MDEF for 25 cost. That's a stat:cost efficiency of almost 500 stats per cost point, and they go directly into my primary and secondary stats. If i've got an awkward number of points left over in a set, she's an easy choice to boost my stats.

    Think of monsters as slots you can use to customize your stat balance, while at the same time adding to your arsenal of useful skills. You should ideally try to focus into Dark, Water, or Light monsters, as these increase stats that are useful to you without increasing the one "wasted" stat cleric has. However, if you have a great wind or fire utility, carry it! Nobody is going to fault you for throwing Wind Athena or Ares just because the stats aren't ideal for your class, because these have great utility. However, carrying a monster like Alice just to boost your GS is a bad idea.

    On that note, DO NOT make carrying farmable 34-cost monsters a priority. You should farm them and level them up, but keep one of each for uni battles with your guild. They are incredibly bad stat sticks unless you are a glass build dps. Those classes wear them because they want to maximize ATK or MATK at all costs, and filling monsters is the only way to do that. As a cleric you don't need to do that, so prioritize efficiency and utility in your monsters.

    Unfortunately, monster AP calculations do not favor the cleric class. Any time you see "Ability Power" in a monster's ability description for damage or heals, it means that monster will take the average of your ATK and MATK when performing its calculations. That means that monster heals with an AP number attached will probably be weaker than your own natural cleric heals, and they will certainly be weaker than the same monster in the hands of a damage dealing class. Monster attacks will probably be weaker from you than from your teammates who are carrying a full arsenal of weapons and offensive-stat-boosting monsters. I advocate for most clerics to focus on carrying monsters that provide useful effects rather than damage or healing.

    Common skills to look for on monsters:

    "Removes status ailments"
    (F2P option - Amaterasu)
    Basically a free Mass Refresh that can not be blocked by Paralyze or Confusion. Even if you are carrying Area Refresh, Mass Refresh, or Area Recovery - a monster with this ability will save your cost/cooldown and does not run the risk of failing due to status ailments. I think everybody (cleric or not) should carry at least one monster with this ability, even if it means going off-color for their class. These monsters will prevent wipes.

    "Removes stat buffs"
    (F2P option - Avsaris)
    The same as Archer's Balancing skill. It's less essential to carry in monster form since the thing it's doing can't be blocked by the thing it's meant to do. I think most people (any class) should carry one of these if they can get it in an on-color monster. Lots of bosses are dangerous when buffed, and especially as a cleric you may make your job a lot easier by learning a boss's moves and throwing a well timed Avsaris.

    "Removes stat debuffs"
    (common spawn - Unicorn)
    This is Purifying Light - the third of the "big three" utilities. I think this one's the least important for a cleric to carry. Debuffs will slow your party's damage, which is a problem, but it's not a problem that's going to cause an emergency like a one-shot from a buffed boss or a bunch of missed heals by a paralyzed cleric. Still worth carrying on debuff-heavy quests, especially if you can get a Dark/Water/Light monster with it.

    "Reduces damage taken"
    (common spawn - Kaava)
    Gives Barrier stacks to your party. Nezha is a great monster to use in pvp and pve, though he's an uncommon one to have. Much easier to attain is the Kaava/Carbuncle monster, which is still useful for pve and has the added benefit of a full minute of barrier.

    "Casts a [percentage] reflect barrier"
    (F2P option - Amaterasu)
    Gives Mirror Guard stacks to your party. This will reduce all direct damage by the stated percentage, then return that damage to its source. This buff is mostly useful in pve for its damage mitigation, but in pvp (as with reflect procs on armor) it can be used to punish others for attacking you. If you haven't figured it out yet, Amaterasu is awesome. Farm her as soon as you can.

    "Reduces damage taken to 0"
    (F2P options - Benkei, Nereusa, Peliasa; common spawn - Tengu)
    Will nullify one attack taken by each party member. Sometimes this will only apply to the next magic (Nereusa) or physical (Peliasa) attack taken, but most monsters will just give a single nullification barrier that applies to any type of damage. Mostly, these monsters aren't worth taking over other options unless you're in a quest with a boss that hits very hard. If you can get Aizen, his buff gives two damage nullifications which is twice as nice.

    "Increases [stats]"
    This is an extremely common ability on monsters. Focus on monsters that increase ATK or MATK to help your party sweep through quest waves faster. Remember, increasing MDEF doesn't add anything to your heals, and Soldier is the only class that gains damage from DEF boosts. Increasing defenses will reduce damage a little bit, but it's not worth occupying a monster slot to do so.

    "Reduces [stats]"
    It's a bit less common but can still be very useful. As above, focus on ATK and MATK reductions, to make powerful bosses less threatening. This can work as a pseudo-balance by counteracting a boss's +stat buffs with -stat buffs or it can simply reduce a boss's damage, allowing you to save cost for a bit. Reducing enemy defenses is generally not that great, though there are some monsters with defenses so insanely high that cutting them will increase party damage significantly.

    "Increases elemental advantage"
    Among the "standard" monster spawn set, this attribute is present on the 28c and 30c monsters. It also pops up commonly in collaborations. Increasing your party's elemental advantage can net significant gains in damage output, though this doesn't bring any extra defensive benefit.

    "Removes [unique effect]"
    (F2P options - Vol&Rena, Yukino, Zephyrus, Ra, Thanatos)
    Each of the 34 cost monsters can remove a buff that isn't removable with balancing or inertial force. These monsters are good to have handy, because some quests feature bosses with extreme buffs that will make the quest much harder for players. A permanent barrier or regeneration be a recipe for insurmountable attrition, so taking one of these can mean the difference between winning or losing. Since cleric isn't as stat-focused as the rest of the team, you're an easy choice for bringing these if they're off-stat or off-element for the dps players.

    [2e] Weapons are largely F2P accessible

    Up until the 4th ring, cleric was exceedingly blessed in the weapons department. Two procs were basically all you could ever need - Heart of Health and Cost Recovery. I remember Ocythoe recommending three weapons in the old Cleric 101 thread: main slot Heart of Health and the SSR Cost Recovery relic and staff in sub slots. That was all. This has changed since then, but it's still a good starting point.

    To date, stacking Cost Recovery is a very strong way to build. It takes some time and effort to earn all of the pieces, but they can all be earned without spending a single gem. This is a significant proc to pursue, as a large part of the difficulty in playing cleric is maintaining cost. They are only available through Colosseum Medal exchange. Learn to love Colosseum. Not only will it make you a better cleric, it will give you access to this necessary proc. At the very least, earn the relic and staff. Leave them SSR. You get more stats out of reforging into UR, but the gear skill stays the same. It's more valuable to save 5 cost per slot than it is to UR the weapon for just some MATK (unless you're going to fully infuse the weapon which you could always do later anyway). It's not the end of the world if you already did it, but reforging is a one-way operation, so plan ahead to be sure it's what you really want.

    I used to laugh in people's faces when they talked about upgrading the Xenorelic. You need Colosseum Medals to upgrade it, and those should be set aside for some very important weapons. Plus, i traditionally have Colo weapons on, and only one of those is a relic, so i'd be missing out on a large portion of the Xenorelic's stat boost.

    However, with the addition of the ability Blessing Veil, the relic now becomes an important piece to collect. I'd still recommend first picking up the Colosseum relic, staff, and perhaps gun, but after that feel free to start saving medals for upgrading your Xenorelic. If you decide you really need the scythe and axe, you can pick them up, but unlocking the Blessing Veil ability should be a priority at least to say you've completed the class.

    Otherwise, don't worry about spawning books unless they have useful basic attack replacements (check the list) or cost-recovering procs. The only proc worth spawning for is the Athena proc (Seal of Health). Everything else is infusion fodder. If you spawn a weapon with a useful attack replacement ability, consider leaving it SSR and using only augment swords to ensure its skill stays level 1. This way you can gain the benefit of its ability without feeding its proc rate. Since you can only proc 2 abilities at a time, try to maximize your chances of getting a proc that will return some cost to you.

    List of weapon skills on books and relics:

    Cost Recovery restores 5 cost and can proc when you activate any attack or AP-based heal and (though it's not listed in the description) on some non-heal basic attack replacement abilities. A 5-cost ability can become a great energy battery if you have lots of Cost Recovery equipped.

    Opening Elevation is the one opening weapon skill worth pursuing on cleric. Elevation increases activation rate of main slot "offensive" procs, including Cost Recovery. This opening skill adds 20% to your main slot proc rate for the first 30 seconds of battle. I wouldn't bother with this if you're using anything but Seal or Cost Recovery in main, but for those two it's very nice.

    Seal of Health is a flat 40 ap heal boost plus Cost Recovery. Pretty much the most amazing proc available for a standard healing build. This is the most valuable Testament variant in pvp or pve, and if it wasn't limited solely to direct heals i'd say it's better than Cost Recovery overall. It loses to CR on the value of the proc itself, but being able to equip class-appropriate weapons makes these books better to wear than at least the CR axe and scythe.

    Healing Testament increases heal amount by 40% so at 100ap it's the same as a Heart skill. It will be stronger above that mark and weaker below. It works on any AP-based heals so it will activate even on Basic-replacement skills that don't have their own proc available. This is a pretty common proc and has replaced HoH as the standard heal booster on new gear.

    Arbiter Testament is Healing Testament plus a lingering single stack of regen. Two tics of 5% max hp over the next ten seconds after the heal is cast.

    Vitality Testament is Healing Testament plus a 5% buff to max HP that lasts for 20 seconnds. This is actually pretty nice, since it's a guaranteed increase in HP beyond what you could normally heal. The 5% is not amazing for pve but makes a decent chunk of health in pvp. As with Cost Recovery, you reap the effect of this when the proc activates, which means that this is officially the fastest way to grant a target added HP. Of all the Testament variants, i think this one is the second most valuable for pvp.

    Revelation Testament is Arbiter Testament + Vitality Testament. As far as straight healing boosts go, this is very nice.

    Psalm of Health is Healing Testament plus a 5,000hp restoration to you. Not bad, but these pieces are mostly infusion fodder.

    Recovery Blessing is Healing Testament plus a 20% cooldown reduction off the top. Meaning instead of a "faster" cooldown (Athena buffs or Body to Mind) it starts off your timer at a point 20% lower than normal. I believe it's possible to surpass the normal cooldown reduction cap this way. This is one of the few procs that may be worth spawning for. I haven't used mine extensively, but in a situation where your cooldowns will be under more pressure than your cost (mobius perhaps) it could be a useful main slot.

    Cure Testament (Cleanse) is a general heal boost, and it additionally increases the strength of Greater Aid, Cleanse Healing, Area Recovery, and Area Heal above the amount it grants to other heals. That's right. Area Heal can hit for 100 (or is it? can anybody test this?) AP. Pleased that Ateam chose this skill combination. Like Healing Mastery this is a great all-around pve proc for those who still need to boost healing amounts.

    Cure Testament (Rapid) is a general heal boost that further increases the strength of Aid, Cleanse Healing, Dignity, and Recover. This one is less useful than above imo, but it's still a nice general purpose proc with an added bonus if you're using one of the above spells. It's just too bad Aid is mostly pvp while the rest are pve, and Recover isn't used so much now that Arc Heal is available.

    Aid Mastery increases Aid and Greater Aid by 60ap at a significant proc rate. It's a very strong ability to carry in pvp, but it's overkill in pve and you shouldn't be carrying Aid in quests anyway. If you have a very strong cost build, this proc will make Aid + G.Aid monstrous tools in pvp.

    Blessing Mastery increases the percentage of health boost conferred by Great Blessing by 60 (to 90% instead of the standard 30% - subject to the max HP boost cap). For pvp where Blessing is an expected ability to carry, this makes it amazing if you're willing to give up your main weapon slot. It doesn't always proc, but when it does you'll be dropping a large HP buffer / pseudo-heal. This will put people at or near the HP cap, which is 200k HP or 100% bonus - whichever is reached first.

    Healing Mastery boosts Cleanse Healing, Area Recovery, and Dignity by 60ap (doubling their strength) at a significant proc rate. This is the pve version of Aid Mastery, though big heals aren't as essential in pve. These abilities also have much longer cooldowns than the Aid spells, so i think this proc isn't quite as good. Still, Mastery is a solid skill and this one covers three great spells. Worth having.

    Heal Up is an oddball in the group. It's our weapon constant, and rather than increasing heals by a flat AP amount, it increases AP by 8% rounded down to an even AP amount. Keep in mind you can only have two constants of a particular type active at any time. Two of these would occupy your weapon constants, so equipping a third would turn one weapon into simply a stat stick.

    Immutable Heal is another constant, this time from the awakening relic. It increases the stats (ATK/MATK) of all equipped books and relics by 20% when fully awakened. It's expensive to equip (36 cost at UR+) and expensive to level up. Imo this is for Berserker and not cleric (or for messing around with battle cleric), but crafting the weapon strictly to unlock Blessing Veil might be worthwhile.

    Heart of Health procs for a 40ap boost on every healing skill from the first four rings. It's a significant increase to all of them, and it's readily available, as it used to be the most common skill on spawned or quested books and relics. Amaterasu's Favor comes on the light medal exchange mirror and is identical in effect / perhaps also in proc rate.

    Cleric's Conviction is on the most recent RGB weapon and procs on all direct heals from 4th and 5th rings. It's very versatile and since it only costs legend medals is technically F2P friendly - though it's still a lot of work to earn enough medals. You should probably spend your medals on the damage nullifying armors and awakening gear before getting this.

    Secret of the Book is on a previous RGB weapon and procs on all skills from the first four rings. It's basically Heart of Health plus Hearts of Judgment, Divinity, and the Heavens. Because it costs legend medals to unlock, i think it's not worth getting. The proc is HoH plus other useless stuff, so it's not really any better than carrying HoH.

    Heart of the Cleric is on the original RGB weapon and procs on all skills from the first three rings. Don't get it. It's worse than HoH and costs legend medals, which could be put to use buying something nice.

    Heart of Recovery is like HoH but only activates for Heal / Recover / Cure. It's a common proc found on SR-UR gear from gem spawns. You'll probably end up with more of these than you could ever need, though it's a good idea to keep a few of them. You'll even get to infuse them up for free because you'll likely end up with a few dupes. At 24 cost these make a very efficient way to pack in more XL procs. These are still decent early on, though the addition of Arc Heal has reduced their value significantly.

    Heart of Generosity is like HoH but only activates for Area Heal / Greater Healing / Area Cure. It's meh.

    Heart of Area Recovery same as above but Area Recovery only. Meh.

    Heart of Judgment / Divinity / the Heavens all boost the various cleric damage skills. Please don't use these except to mess around for fun.

    Magic Testament is available on some relics, believe it or not! Also F2P sometimes, though again, please don't carry this for any serious use.

    Art of Attack comes on a relic. It will boost damage like a magic testament, and it will add some extra uni gain to the attack.

    Crystal Breaker exists on a relic only so that berserkers can equip two MATK-focused breaker weapons. You can collect it by exchanging Möbius medals, so it's F2P friendly. It has 100% proc rate and greatly increases damage against the enemy's crystal in guild battles. You could use this in guild battle, but please don't unless you're just having some fun.

    MATK Up is an opening skill that for some reason is available on a relic. Having a 20% MATK buff for the first 30 seconds is a waste of a slot except maybe in pvp, where the added stats will help you cope with deeper HP pools.

    O Heal Up is an opening skill that increases HP recovered by heal abilities in the first 30 seconds. The description doesn't specify how much, and i've never seen it tested. Probably better than MATK Up, but i'm still skeptical that it's very useful.
    Last edited by HotMessExpress; 02-16-2019, 07:18 PM.
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    • #3
      [3] Abilities

      Here i'll list all relevant abilities sorted automagically, along with why you may or may not want to equip them.

      I've also added some ranges for upgradable skills. Not sure if this is the best way to display them, so i may revisit it in the future. Basically the base amount is the first number listed, and the last number listed is the max. If there is a number in the middle, that one represents the highest amount that can be reached without spending any enchantment stones.

      The skills will all follow this template:
      Skill Name
      # ring, (X1->X2->X3)s (cooldown, in seconds), YYc (cost), PVE:rating PVP:rating
      Description of skill and why it's good or bad / when to use.

      Ratings:
      - don't bother carrying
      ★★ - might work sometimes, but there are better options
      ★★★ - an okay or situationally good choice
      ★★★★ - generally a good idea to carry
      ★★★★★ - you should almost always carry this

      I'm not going into great detail on the particulars of my descriptions here. If you want detailed breakdowns of why certain heals are better than others, there's a thread for that. I'm assuming for these rankings that you've got a mature stat spread, though some skills may be noted "until you get better options" or something. I'm also assuming you're taking advantage of all passives. Some of the early heals have multiple ap ratings because they may be upgraded by passives after unlocking them; after your first three rings are complete you will cast at the largest number listed. When it comes to heal skills from the first three rings, you better have a book/relic in your main slot.

      [3a] The six rings

      I'm over hauling this a bit with the advent of sixth ring because the skill list is growing quite long. Rather than sort by value, i'm primarily sorting by function. Some skills will be better suited to pve or pvp, as denoted in their descriptions. There's a great deal of overlap between categories, so i'm considering a skill's primary use in determining where it goes.

      Direct heals come in single, area, and party variants. In general, the single target heals will be more suited for pvp and the area skills more suited for pve. I've got the single heals first, then area heals, then party heals.

      Aid
      5th ring, 5s, 15c, PVE: PVP:★★★★★
      Single target 120ap heal. This is Heal on steroids. Great single target health restore at a very fast activation speed and snappy cooldown. Really amazing for pvp, and the only reason to skip it would be if you've got a dedicated proc build that favors Heal/Recover/Cure. Even then, consider bringing it instead of either Heal (if you're having trouble with weak heals) or Cure (if you're having trouble with cooldown management). It's too expensive for pve, and it lacks any utility. I kick clerics from my parties if i see them carrying Aid to pve, and everybody else should too.

      Heal
      1st ring , 5s, 10->6c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target 10->20->30ap heal (+60 from traits). Decent activation speed, cheap cost, and short cooldown make this a solid heal skill after appropriate passives are unlocked. Single target heals in general tend to perform better in pvp because smart enemies will try to focus down one target at a time. In pve the lack of utility hurts its ranking.

      Recover
      2nd ring, 7->5s, 11->7c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target 30ap heal (+60 from traits) that clears status ailments. Activation speed is a little sluggish, but the cost is good, and the cooldown is moderate. This breaks even with Heal for me in pvp because of the added utility. It's almost mandatory to always carry this in pve until you get Arc Heal.

      Cure
      3rd ring, 7s, 12->8c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target 50->65->80ap heal (+60 from traits) that clears status ailments. In pve strong heals aren't important, so carry Recover instead. Activation speed is pretty bad under heavy fire in pvp, but its strength helps. It's only getting three stars instead of two for pvp because it shares procs with Heal and Recover, making it an efficient third heal for beginner builds. Later on in the game you should not carry this.

      Greater Aid
      5th ring, 7s, 20c, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Three target 90ap heal. Good general purpose heal. This is the first skill i've viewed as a candidate to fully replace Area Heal in pve. It's better in every way except that it's expensive to rely upon. Still... it's got great activation speed, cooldown, and heal strength - which actually makes it very good in pvp too. Stock up on Cost Recovery to get the most out of it.

      Great Arc Heal
      6th ring, 10s, 20c, PVE:★★★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Three target status ailment and debuff clear, plus a 70ap heal. This, like its single target counterpart, is like carrying multiple skills in one. Also like Arc Heal, it applies the stat and status clear before the heal, meaning that it will get around curse effects. This is now a mandatory carry on pve sets as well, even more than Arc Heal because it's useful in large group events. In regular quests it can replace any other skill you might have carried before 6th ring came out, depending on your need.

      Area Recovery
      4th ring, 20s, 16->12c, PVE:★★★★★ PVP:★★★
      Three target 70->85->100ap heal that clears status ailments. As soon as you get this, it will live on your pve set forever. Cooldown will hurt in pvp and activation speed is mediocre, but status ailments can play a big role in colosseum. Not so much in gvg.

      Cleanse Healing
      5th ring, 20s, 16c, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★
      Three target 60ap heal that clears stat debuffs. It's like Area Recovery's less popular little brother. Still very useful in a lot of quests though, so definitely consider bringing it. Stat debuffs aren't particularly common in pvp and are often countered with monsters when they become an issue, so the weaker heal, lengthy cooldown, and mediocre activation speed make this very meh in pvp.

      Area Heal
      1st ring, 15s, 12->8c, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★
      Three target 10->20->30ap heal (+40 from trait). Of the early area heals, this one has the best cooldown, and its lower ap doesn't really hurt. Great mainstay for pve for a long time, though the cooldown hurts its value in pvp. As with all three-target spells, remember to never target the party member on the edge. You will waste a third of your ability.

      Greater Healing
      2nd ring, 17->12s, 15->11c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★
      Three target 30ap heal (+40 from trait). When you first unlock it, your stats may necessitate a stronger heal in pve than Area Heal can provide. It's excusable to use this in that case, but eventually you'll want to "upgrade" back down to Area Heal. Suffers the same drawbacks as A.Heal in pvp, but with an even longer cooldown.

      Area Cure
      3rd ring, 22s, 20->16c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Three target 40->55->70ap heal (+40 from trait). I think of this one kind of similar to Greater Healing in pve: once your stats justify it, downgrade to the spell with the lower cooldown. This one gets a better rating in pvp than the other two because it actually has a very quick activation time. The cooldown and cost are significantly higher for a marginally stronger heal, but this will fire off fast at least.

      Dignity
      4th ring, 30s, 20->16c, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★★
      Full party 60->70->80ap heal. This is another workhorse for pve content since many bosses use heavily damaging full party attacks. It always hits all members regardless of who is targeted, so it's good in an emergency and is super effective on United Offense (9-member) quests. In pvp its usefulness is hurt by its long cooldown and mediocre activation speed, though it qualifies as "situationally good" if your guild uses two clerics.

      Sacrificial Healing
      6th ring, 15s, 10% uni, PVE: ★★★★ PVP: ★★★★
      Full party 70ap heal, debuffs your incoming heals by 50% for 15s. The two constraints on this are large. Losing 10% uni and receiving 50% less healing for the cooldown duration are both steep costs to pay, but to have a half-cooldown Dignity on your bar is a large benefit as well. I'm not certain this really deserves 4 stars, but i think the potential is great here, so until i've had time to play with it myself i'm leaving this entry as-is.


      Mend
      1st ring, 15->9s, 0c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Full party heal of 10->15->25% max hp. I am grudgingly giving this some stars after the ability overhaul. It's still not good, but early on perhaps it won't be wholly useless in if multiple people are bringing it. However, for classes that need their cost for attacking, this is now a very viable party support skill in pve or pvp once the potency is enchanted up to 25%. Two stars for cleric, but i'd give it four stars for DPS if this guide was for DPS players.

      Utilities come in a lot of flavors. Some are geared toward survival, while some are geared toward removing hindrances to the party. There are even some new ones geared toward "buffing" in the sense that restoring cost or reducing a cooldown will increase your party's output. Again i've got them ordered here for self target, single target, area, and party effects.

      Silver Guidance
      6th ring, 10s, 30%hp, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★★★
      Single target 100ap damage calculated using MATK and MDEF, with an added 60 point chance to prohibit unison for 10 seconds. Also restores 15 cost on your character. Forget all of that junk at the beginning. This skill is a self-target utility that restores cost on your character. That is the primary reason to use it, AND it can proc cost recovery. If you don't have Ether Rebuild, this is now hands-down your best cost management skill for pvp. If you do have ER, you may still consider this depending on your needs. I rated two stars for pve because it's still bad form to EE or DPS as cleric in quests. Important: this skill requires a relic in main slot. It's not a difficult condition to meet, but it's a tricky one if you aren't paying attention.

      Time Shift
      6th ring, 30s, 25c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target dual attack buff, which reduces the next skill's cooldown to 0. This caught a lot of attention before 6th ring release, but the more i look at it the more unimpressive it seems. The cost and cooldown are large, and there are a lot of skills it doesn't work on. You might use this to double up on Dignity in UO or something, but it's really a wasted skill slot in most situations i can think of.


      Divine Affection
      6th ring, 60s, 25c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Single target 40% max HP buff for 60 seconds, with an added heal of 100% of the target's health. The effect itself is pretty nice, but with the cost and cooldown i really can't imagine ever wanting this taking up a slot. The best use i can imagine would be for "escort the NPC" quests, but for those i'd probably prefer Light of Relief instead.


      Refresh
      1st ring, 5->3s, 5->3c, PVE:★★ PVP:
      Single target status ailment clear. It's learned very early on, so it's excusable to carry it in pve only until you get something better. Recover does the same thing with a nice heal on top, so drop this early in the 2nd ring. Don't waste a slot on this in pvp. Don't waste any enchantment jewels on this. People who carry this are jerks who just want to look out for themselves, like most cure-carriers but dumber.

      Protect
      1st ring, 15->10s, 10->6c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Single target 10% damage reduction buff (+10% from trait) that lasts 30 seconds. When you unlock it it will only give 10% reduction, but a passive learned later will increase this and Barrier by 10% with a relic in main slot. It's not awful for what it costs, and the buff lasts twice as long as the cooldown.

      Barrier
      3rd ring, 30s, 15c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target 30->35->40% damage reduction buff (+10% from trait) that lasts 30->35->40 seconds. This is the best of its kind to take as a cleric. The way barrier stacking works, more gives marginally increasing returns so this actually beats out Light of Relief if you're able to cast it proactively enough. Not uncommon to see other classes carrying this in pvp even though they miss out on the extra 10% reduction. It's not great for pve, but it's not terrible either. Just drop it once you've reached the 4th ring unless you're carrying a low leveled friend through tough content. Since the proliferation of frenzy and mitigation-ignoring abilities, i'm bumping this from 4 to 3 stars in pvp.

      Light of Relief
      4th ring, 40->35->30s, 20c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target 30% damage reduction buff that lasts 40->45->50 seconds and also restores 40% of target's health in 5% increments every 5 seconds. It's not a bad skill, but in pvp most skilled opponents will swap to a new target when this is cast so the healing goes to waste. In pve it can be used to both protect a squishy party member and gradually restore their hp while you focus on healing others. It's a bit more expensive than Barrier but lasts longer in equal proportion at base values. Barrier is better in pvp.

      Perpetual Healing
      5th, 20s, 10c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Three target 20% barrier and 12k counter heal 12k for 15 seconds. This ability is greatly improved since the big ability adjustment patch. The duration looks a lot more appealing with the cooldown cut in half, and it's a bit cheaper now too in addition to getting a buff to the counter heal effect. I think it's still not amazing, but it may have some situational use in pvp.

      Area Refresh
      2nd ring, 15->11s, 10->6c, PVE:★★★ PVP:
      Three target status ailment clear. Mass Refresh is more popular, but i'm ranking this the same for pve because i like the cooldown better, and i think it forms good status-clearing habits so that Area Recovery isn't a big adjustment later when it replaces your Refresh. This skill has similar timing and targeting, just without the heal. Even after you've completed your skill rings, this may be worth a situational carry in some quests where the primary cause of wipe is overwhelming status ailment spam. Waste of a slot in pvp.

      Mass Refresh
      3rd ring, 30->25->20s, 15->10c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★
      Full party status ailment clear. Like Dignity and Great Blessing, this hits everybody in a 9 member raid, so definitely carry it over Area Refresh in those quests. It can replace Area Refresh as soon as you learn it, and it will eventually be replaced by Area Recovery. Again, you may want to carry this in some advanced quests if there's a lot of status spam, but choose between this one or Area Refresh - don't take both. This one gets another star in pvp because it may be of some use after a nasty uni in colosseum, but it's generally not usable by cleric in gvg.

      Purifying Light
      2nd ring, 60->55->50s, 15->10c, PVE: PVP:
      Full party stat debuff clear. This is a lot more useful than the ratings indicate, but it will normally be taken by other classes instead of cleric. Your main focus should be on heals, so this is mostly a wasted slot outside of United Offense quests, where a full 9-person stat shutdown can bog down progress. The update to Purification basically obsoleted this for cleric main.

      Purification
      4th ring, 40s, 11c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Full party stat debuff clear, with a heal that restores 30->40->50% of each target's max hp. You won't take it often, but since the ability adjustment patch it's pretty decent in some specific cases. In pvp with high hp caps it may be a comparable heal to Dignity, especially if your group has a Blessing rotation in effect, and it costs less plus removes debuffs with an extra 10 seconds of cooldown as a penalty. In pve you won't see as much healing from it, but you should replace Purifying Light with this in any large-party situation like United Offense, as this is now strictly better than PL in every way.

      Sanctuary
      6th ring, 10s, 20c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      Full party 30k counter heal that lasts 5 seconds. This would have been timely in the days of the meteor rain meta, but today it's just meh. You might see some valid team strats in pvp centered around using this to fill gaps in defenses, but overall i think it's lackluster due to the short duration and/or the high cost.

      Holy Circle
      6th ring, 40s, 30c, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Full party 30% HP heal. As an added effect, everybody but the caster recovers 20 cost immediately, and the caster gets improved cost recovery rate for the duration of the cooldown. This is really pretty excellent in pvp and pve alike. One of the main complaints has been that cleric doesn't add anything in a 4xDPS party when a 5xDPS party could just as easily clear most content. This is a step toward allowing cleric to improve the party's damage output to make up for the lack of our own.
      In pvp this has the added benefit of potentially allowing the rest of your party to forego carrying EE in favor of some other utilities or damage. The skill itself is just okay imo, but what makes it excellent is that it allows offloading some of the burden on the rest of your party's skill bars. The fact that it gives a reasonable heal as well is icing on the cake.

      Great Blessing
      5th ring, 30s, 25c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Full party HP buff, adds additional 30% of max. Since it's a full-party skill, it will hit all 9 members of a UO quest and is especially useful for UO or Raid where you're expecting to see curse ailment. I'll start by saying i don't like this skill. It's expensive, the duration is only half of the cooldown, and the buff can be balanced away. I also think it's a bit weak at pve for what it costs. Still, it's decently rated because there's no other option we have that can proactively protect the whole party from damage or respond quickly to a full party curse. In some difficult pve content it's good to open with this until the uni train can start stalling monsters. In pvp the higher hp caps stretch that 30% boost to a larger absolute value. If you proc Blessing Mastery this goes from meh to amazing.

      Direct damage spells are kind of useless as cleric. Especially since the advent of Berserker, my relic collection mostly sees combat when i'm off-class. None of these are very good DPS, and with the exception of the 6th ring spell they offer very little reasonable utility over other classes or abilities. Even the new spell doesn't do anything useful enough to justify its inclusion in a serious skill set.

      Angelic Judgment
      Initial skill, 6->4s, 9->5c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Single target 100/120ap damage spell with a 40 point chance to prohibit unison for 20 seconds. This isn't bad when you get it, mostly because it's all you've got. But even in the long run, if you build for MATK and have decent cost recovery, you can spam this on cooldown. It's not awful; it just doesn't do what you're here to do. All of the cleric nukes deal "low" damage, because we don't build into MATK and damage procs like mages do. Damage boosting relics are rare for now, and mostly low in stats, so the alternative is to use staves which don't benefit from our passive bonuses. Even though the ap on this one is equal to a "strong" heal, heals get MDEF factored in, so you'll do more good with a heal than harm with a nuke.

      Heaven's Judgment
      2nd ring, 7->5s, 10->6c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Single target 120ap damage spell with a 50 point chance to prohibit unison for 20 seconds. You're trading 1 more cost and 1 more second on cooldown for 20ap and a marginally increased chance to uni block. Not really worth it, though you could spam them both on cooldown for some hot *bing*bing* action, in the unlikely event you're trying to actually play dps cleric.

      Judgment
      3rd ring, 10s, 16->10c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Single target 70->85->100ap damage (+50 from trait) with a 60 point chance to prohibit unison for 20 seconds. Hits twice. After the ability adjustment this is essentially a linear upgrade to the previous two. It's single target now and no longer as useful as it was for clearing waves in augment quests.

      Plague of Light
      4th ring, 40->35->25s, 25c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Random target 90->105->120ap damage spell that hits random targets 10x with a 30% chance to miss. It can still be used to clear waves in material quests (probably, if your stats are high enough) so the rating stays the same for pve. The cooldown is atrocious without enchantments, but the damage is lackluster too. If you have a large stack of attack procs you might get some okay dps out of this with max cooldown reduction, but it's still inferior to other DPS classes' abilities.

      Decree of the Khakkhara
      6th ring, 10s, 18c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Single target 130ap damage (+10 after combo: Sacrificial Healing) calculated using MATK and MDEF. Hits twice. Heals the caster for 15% of max HP, or 30% in combo. The damage on it is our best single target damage, but you shouldn't take this outside of battle cleric, and battle cleric is still not a viable build for serious play. Important: this skill requires a book in main slot. This requirement is an added layer of silly, as all current damage-increasing cleric weapons are relics.

      [3b] Advanced abilities

      These abilities are unlocked individually by completing missions which require advanced preparation, materials, or skill.

      Three come from the Tower of Judgment. All classes have abilities for clearing floors 25, 30, and 35 in the tower, but they also require clearing floor 20 (on two off-classes) for the first ability and floor 25 (on the other two off-classes) for the second ability. The third ability again requires floor 35 on the main class and 30 on two off-classes. For cleric this means you MUST clear up to Archer and Mage floor 20, because Arc Heal is one of the most useful single abilities in the cleric repertoire.

      The last skill comes from increasing the Xenorelic (awakening gear) to UR+.

      Arc Heal
      Cleric 25F + Archer/Mage 20F , 7s, 10c, PVE:★★★★★ PVP:★★★★★
      Single target, removes status ailments and stat debuffs plus a 120ap heal. As strong as Aid, plus with similar activation speed and same cooldown as Recover, but cheaper. You must have this skill. It should replace Recover on every set, which then allows Recover to replace Cure. Cure is now obsolete. Because of its strength, it even performs well in pvp. It was also reworked so that the heal lands after the refresh/purify, meaning curse won't block its restoration. Carry this always, except perhaps in large-party pve like UO and Raid.

      Sanctuary of Light
      Cleric 30F + Soldier/Lancer 25F, 10s, 10c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Single target hp buff and barrier effect (both 30%) and counter heal (20k) all lasting for 10 seconds. Enemy attacks in pve aren't predictable enough to bother with this, but if you're carrying somebody this could replace barrier or LoR. It's decent in pvp if you're quick about applying it to broken targets, though the adjustment increased the cooldown to be longer than the duration. Another plus is that it can proc Cost Recovery (but not Seal of Health).

      Pious Wish
      Cleric 35F + Archer/Mage 30F, 40s, 30%hp, PVE:★★ PVP:★★
      Poor Pious Wish. By the time it was released, it had a brief moment of viability before being eclipsed again. On release it was already worse than Ether Rebuild. It's technically better than pre-enchantment Ether Exchange, but since EE is so useful to so many classes, most people are going to enchant it. Now that Silver Guidance is out, i don't see any reason why anybody should bring Pious Wish unless it's a strange situation where you really need the status ailment resist buff.

      Blessing Veil
      Xenorelic Exceed, 20s, 16c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Three target 60ap heal that buffs max HP by 40% for 20 seconds. This is a very strong ability for pvp, especially in the current "everything one-shots everybody" meta. Stronger base HP boost and slightly longer duration than Blessing, but it only hits 3 people. The buff lasts for the duration of the cooldown though, and it has a direct heal attached as well for topping off missing health. I'll count this among the rare multi-target abilities that i recommend for pvp. It's still going to be decent in pve, but imo Area Recovery and/or Cleanse Healing are more worthy spells to bring to quests.

      [3c] Weapon skills

      Until fall 2016, it would have been a pretty depressing list. Things have gotten better, but all of the good options have been pretty whale friendly. Sadly the only F2P option here sucks a ripe banana. Don't consider the stars on these to be on the same scale as all of the rest, since they're not interchangeable with ordinary skills. I'm judging these on whether i think they're better than basic attack or not, so the bar is set pretty low to begin with.

      With the new addition of the "Stun" status ailment, keep in mind that these are almost always going to be the best way to clear a stun from yourself. They will generally have the lowest utility on your bar, and they often have low cooldown as well

      It's important to note that in guild battles, these abilities will turn into "Guild Bond" during recovery phase. They will be unavailable during that time.

      Basic attack
      Starting ability, 4s, 5c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      At first glance, this is worthless. It's got a silver lining though, and that bright side is actually the thing that makes it so bad: clerics have awful ATK stats. You can hit any target suffering break with impunity. You will almost never kill anything, meaning this can be used to fill a chain while your party members rest. They don't risk getting a kill and ending the round too soon, and presumably if you're milking break chains then the action is slow at the time anyway, meaning you don't have to be available to heal with any urgency. This goes for pve and pvp, though break farming is a more valuable asset in pvp so it gets an extra star. Bonus: it's so cheap that you can often use it for free with reliable Cost Recovery procs - maybe even at a refund of 5 cost. You can also take advantage of the fact that Cost Recovery restores cost on activation, while cost is only spent when an ability resolves. This means if you attack a target immediately before it dies, you will get 5 free cost for every CR proc. This is also a great way to clear off damage nullification barriers. You could let one of your DPS teammates hit for 0 instead of six figures, or you could hit for 0 when you probably would only have hit for 1 anyway. It's super efficient to throw your basic attack at monsters or enemy combatants.

      Prayer
      Mirror of Darkness, 7s, 12c, PVE:★★ PVP:
      Single target 20ap heal, plus a 10% buff to status ailment resistance for 20 seconds. This would be an okay skill if it didn't cost so much, but it does. It costs too much. In pve i'm calling this one a draw with basic attack. It can't keep a break chain alive, but it can be precast to increase odds of resisting status ailments, and if you've got a lot of cost to spare you can spam this to efficiently build uni without wasting one of your "real" heals. In pvp the heal isn't worth the time it takes to cast the spell, and using this much cost for 20ap is actually counterproductive. You're better off bringing basic attack to fill your party's uni gauges on broken targets. It also comes on a Heart of Health weapon, so the proc doesn't boost the skill attached. At least it's a bit cheaper if Cost Recovery procs, though it will never be free to use.

      Mirror Wall
      Book of the Chevalier, 40s, 20c, PVE: PVP:
      Self-target (plus adjacent) 10% damage reflection buff for 25 seconds. The mitigation is awful. Only 10% isn't enough to deter attackers in pvp. The buff is expensive and only lasts a bit longer than half of the cooldown. Also can't proc Cost Recovery, as if the rest didn't make it bad enough. Equip the book if you need a Heart of Health, but don't use the ability.

      Cost Transfer
      Lu Bu's Star, 40s, 30c, PVE:★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target receives 20 cost while you spend 30 cost - can't self target. I hate that it's inefficient, and Cost Recovery won't proc on it to balance out the 10 lost in the exchange. Still, if you're one of those people who happens to often sit at full cost in quests, you may as well give some to a damage dealer to speed things along. I doubt this is the case in tougher content though, so it's not worth a star above basic attack. In pvp, depending on your guild's strategy you may come out of crystal/recovery phases with excess cost though. I gave it a star for pvp because in those cases it may get you an edge to be able to boost a damage dealer's ability to end the round sooner or go into the crystal more fully stocked on energy.

      Healing Aura
      Steampunk Orb / Abdrah: Arid Relic, 60s, 5c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      Self target 20% buff to amount healed. It's a long cooldown, and the buff is only active for half of it, but 30 seconds is usually enough to determine the victor in a round of pvp. Assuming this is cast at the beginning of each confrontation, it could give an edge. Short of a better option, i think this is actually a decent choice. In pve i'm calling it a draw with basic attack, since heal strength isn't as much an issue. I don't have this one, so i don't know if this can proc Cost Recovery - could somebody confirm?

      Halloween Parade / Xmas Party
      Ghost of Hallow / Book of Yule / Relic of Snow, 8s, 5c, PVE:★★★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Single target weak (40ap) heal with a 10% buff to DEF and MDEF. This is two abilities from two different items, but they both do the same thing. Since heal strength requirements are less severe in pve, it's the #1 best option for questing content. The cooldown is one second longer than Prayer, but since it's only 5 cost you can cast it for free or with a 5 cost refund assuming you're carrying Cost Recovery. The heal itself is uninspiring in pvp, but it's free cleanup health and increases to 56ap if the weapon procs. The weapon it comes on gives Healing Testament too, so it's not a wasted weapon slot with skills from the 4th ring onward. Don't worry about the buff. It doesn't matter much, and i'm not sure why Ateam bothered putting it on.

      Ether Rebuild
      Chocolatier's Plushie / Crystal Tome, 20s, 15%hp, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★★★★
      Self target, lose 15% of max HP to restore 10 cost. This is exactly half of an Ether Exchange: half the health sacrifice, half the cooldown, and half the cost restoration. On paper, it should be just as good as EE (minus time lost to ability animation), but it comes with some key differences: 1) EE gives all cost up front, where ER makes you wait 20 seconds to get the other 10 cost, 2) ER can proc Cost Recovery, 3) ER is affected by cooldown reduction buffs (still true, or no?). So there's a drawback if you need cost up front, but in the long run it's a better skill. This is really unbeatable for pvp compared to other currently available basic replacements, and it's super awesome for pve too, if you don't have the Hallo/Xmas abilities.

      Sakura Smiles
      Miku Speaker ver.B, 10s, 5c, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target, clear status ailments and stat debuffs. It's basically Arc Heal without the heal. This actually looks promising. I think for general pve use, the hallo/xmas basic replacement is still the best, but this will actually be useful and may be the preferred basic replacement on certain quests where status attacks are extremely common. It's cheap, and the cooldown isn't terrible. With this, A.Recovery, and Arc Heal, you'll be able to clear ailments from a whole party, albeit slower than a MR would accomplish. Or for some content where carrying full party skills precludes any single target spells, this may replace Recover/Arc to help clear status. You can also precast it to proactively shield yourself from ailments, so your Area Recovery won't be interrupted afterward. There are lots of possibilities.

      Body to Mind
      Assassin Relic, 20s, 15%hp, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★★★
      Self target, lose 15% of max HP to gain a 20% cooldown reduction effect for 20 seconds. This is Urgency like Mage and Lancer have, but it spends HP instead of cost. It can also proc Cost Recovery, potentially making it a mini-ER. This is actually quite nice in a lot of situations, though imo it's outclassed in most cases by ER or the Hallo/Xmas ability. It's useful in quests that require you to carry long cooldown abilities though. I think i ran with this to good effect in a mobius once with Arc Heal, G.Aid, A.Recovery, and Cleanse Healing.

      Battle Heal
      Necromancer Relic, 7s, 9c, PVE:★★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target 50ap heal with 60% chance to remove status ailments (combo: +10ap and 100% chance to clear status if used after Aid, Greater Aid, Area Recovery, or Cleanse Healing). This has a similar cooldown to the halloween/xmas ability, but it costs almost twice as much. On the other hand, the status clear is a nice bonus, if not always reliable. The heal is stronger but not significantly so. You won't abuse Cost Recovery as well with this as with some other options, but it should heal enough to be reliable in pve. For pvp you could use it for spot clearing in case of Qwaser harassment if you want to save Arc for Diminishing Shot. For pvp it's good if you don't have better, and for pve i'm gonna call it just plain good.

      [Element] Saber
      Various relics, 8s, 12c, PVE:★★★★★ PVP:★★★
      Single target 80ap heal with an added +2 buff to the target's elemental advantage for 30 seconds. These are really really great in pve if you can use one appropriate to a quest's elemental weakness. In pvp they're decent heals at less than decent cost and cooldown. Still, i'd say they're probably better than basic attack, though not enough to have an extra star.


      [3d] Honorable mentions (non-cleric skills to consider)

      Cheer
      Starting ability, 15s, 0c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      Full party (minus caster) addition of 5% to uni gauge. In pve you shouldn't be carrying this beyond the first few levels, and possibly again in top tier difficulty content. It's actually pretty great for United Offense, as you're giving 8 people 5% of their unison gauge. I wouldn't take it to disorganized pvp (colosseum) but it has its place in gvg depending on team strategy.

      Guard
      Starting ability, 20s, 0c, PVE: PVP:★★★
      Self target, stand still for 5 seconds while taking half damage. Can be useful to put in your set in advance if you know it's likely you'll be receiving focus fire. Not great for general use (and never in pve) but it has its place, especially since it's the only skill that can reduce piercing damage (i.e. attacks that "igonore damage reduction abilities"). It can proc Cost Recovery as well, which is a nice bonus for a 0 cost ability.

      Ether Exchange
      2nd ring Mage, 40s, 30%hp, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      Self target, lose 30% of max HP to restore 20 cost. This used to be mandatory in gvg until sixth ring; now it's still decent but imo Silver Guidance is better. In pve i have mixed feelings. It can be useful to carry if you're having energy troubles, but later in the game you will absolutely need four cleric-primary utilities. Most likely that means 4 heals, or 5 if you can get a decent basic attack replacement. My instinct is to say if you're having cost issues in pve you should examine your build or playstyle instead of using EE as a crutch.

      Heaven's Breath
      2nd ring Soldier, 45s, 15->11c, PVE:★★ PVP:★★★
      Self target 30->35->40% max hp buff for 90 seconds. I hate on this skill a lot, but in colosseum it really isn't a bad one for any class to take. With triple HP caps it's like adding 90% of a regular HP bar to your health, which is significant. It's also one of the few means of adding health that can circumvent curse, which may be important if you're carrying a pvp build that doesn't have the ability to clear status. I wouldn't take it to gvg though, and you definitely shouldn't be taking it to pve unless you're having a high leveled friend carry you through story content. Less valuable since the ability update cut its effect in half.

      Mirror Guard
      3rd ring Soldier, 15s, 5c, PVE: PVP:
      Self target, reduce damage taken by 20->25->30% and return reduced damage to sender for 10->15 seconds. This used to be a mainstay of survivability strategy before piercing buffs and attacks became common. The nail in its coffin was the ability overhaul. Instead of a long duration deterrent, now it's a reactive skill with a short duration, meaning it won't lighten your load in pvp anymore. It may be a stand-in for guard as you can resume activity immediately after casting, though it won't reduce damage as effectively and its animation is still atrociously long. In my opinion this skill is no longer worth carrying.

      Knight's Loyalty
      3rd ring Soldier, 30s, 0c, PVE:★ PVP:★★
      Self target (plus adjacent), for 30->35->40 seconds intercept 40->45->50% of damage taken by adjacent targets and take it yourself. This can be used to prevent big damage spikes from being fully absorbed by one person. It's generally not carried by cleric, but now that it's 0 cost it could potentially be used by an entire line to spread out damage, increasing the value of spells like Great Arc Heal or Mend.
      Last edited by HotMessExpress; 02-16-2019, 10:24 PM.
      Hot Mess Express 2086796674

      Comment


      • HotMessExpress
        HotMessExpress commented
        Editing a comment
        Good call. It's been so long since i've carried it regularly that i forgot all about that. I used to use it for that, though, and it's a good idea to do so.

      • Hydroz
        Hydroz commented
        Editing a comment
        Clerics can bring guard, if 3 dps targets you and you have no barrier you are pretty much dead.Lancer guilds usually aim for clerics to burst down and Severe sting is almost 100% break chance that followed by Cross Assault, in the scenario guard will help you.
        PvE, yes i agree it is not needed at all in PvE
        PvP. No you can still use it i would give it at least 3 stars or 4
        Speaking here as a main cleric. If guard was bad YG clerics wouldn't use it in RGB last season.

      • HotMessExpress
        HotMessExpress commented
        Editing a comment
        Situationally useful, updated

    • #4
      [4] Play

      The name of the game is keeping people alive. Playstyle is actually the most important aspect of being a cleric, but i'm listing it last because how you do this will depend on everything that's listed before.

      First, and i can't believe i have to say this - don't bring bad skills. Aid is just about the worst thing you can bring to pve. If i am forming a party and for some reason don't have cleric equipped, i'm instantly dropping any cleric who's got Aid. It tells me you don't know what you're doing.

      Likewise, in colosseum i see lots of clerics using skills with long cooldowns. Then they just stand there waiting while the other team annihilates their damage dealers. Know what you're doing when you hit the "start quest" button, and plan accordingly. So here are some basic rules for playing cleric:

      1) Don't run out of cost. It happens sometimes even to people stacked up with CR procs, but half of the battle for cleric is not burning away all of your cost and then standing there uselessly while people die.

      2) Don't get caught waiting for cooldowns. Have at least a couple of skills chosen specifically for quick turnaround. You never know when you're going to need an emergency heal, and it sucks watching your timers tick down while people drop around you.

      3) Don't sacrifice yourself. The loss of a DPS is normally less of a death sentence than the loss of a cleric. You're doing the team a favor by staying alive.

      4) Don't worry about what people say. Most folks don't know what it's like to have to keep a team alive or understand the mechanics of the cleric class. Most of them don't even know which enemy attacks do what, and they may not be aware enough to know whether a monster is buffed. One-shots happen. Para/confu locks happen. Sometimes deaths are unavoidable, and while it's understandable for people to get salty, it isn't always your fault somebody died.

      5) Stay cool. If you're firing off heals every time somebody's hp bar moves, you're probably going to break rules 1 and 2. You don't have to keep everybody at 100% at all times, and sometimes it's smarter to wait to heal, so you don't waste cost.

      6) Communicate, but wisely. This one is super, super hard. My front page of text macros has notifications for important messages (cost or cooldown warnings, "need refresh," etc). Just whatever you do, do not spend time typing out messages. People will die. If you ever think to yourself "wow, i wish i'd been able to say something in that quest" then make a text macro. If you don't have a macro that says it, do your best with the emojis.

      7) Precast. If you know what's coming in, go ahead and get a spell ready. A lot of cleric spells have a significant delay before activation, so casting early can save some stress. ESPECIALLY be ready to precast status ailment removal skills in pve. If you're already in the Refresh (or Recover, Area Recovery) animation when you're paralyzed or confused, the affliction will be removed safely instead of risking having your ability nullified. Precasting Recover on yourself "just in case" can save a party. In pvp precasting means being aware of who the other team wants to kill. Party members with break are attractive targets, as are members who have class advantage over several of the other team. My only caution here is that you watch out for monsters with very long delays after their attacks. In particular, Succubus and Fenrir come to mind. Fenrir’s delay after readying his % attack is ridiculously long, so if you heal too early you will waste your Dignity.

      [4a] General questing

      Heal / Angel's Judgment / Ether Burst / Cheer
      Heal / Recover / Area Heal / Area Refresh
      Recover / Cure (or Greater Healing) / Area Heal / Area Refresh
      Recover / Area Heal / Area Recovery / Dignity
      Arc Heal / Greater Aid / Area Recovery / Dignity
      Arc Heal / Greater Aid / Area Recovery / Cleanse Healing (optional)
      Great Blessing / Greater Aid / Area Recovery / Dignity (optional)

      Start with these. Begin at the top of the list, and move down to the next entry if you have all of the listed abilities.

      In general, your build should always have a single target heal (or two), at least two multitarget heals, and a means of clearing up status afflictions. Use your fastest cooling heals the most often. They’re usually cheaper, so you’ll save cost in the long run by relying on them. Precasts are important for large full party attacks, or for abilities that cause lots of status afflictions.

      When i first got Area Recovery, i was always torn on how to use it. At first i wasn't using it unless somebody had status ailments, but don't forget that it's a heal, too. Many fights don't require you to clear ailments immediately, and it's a fairly efficient heal on its own. Don't be afraid to use it, though for those fights with lots of status afflictions, keep in mind that it has a long cooldown.

      Recover has the most staying power of any cleric ability. I'm really surprised at how good it still is, in spite of coming out in only the second ring. It finally died summer 2017 when Ateam released Arc Heal. Rest in peace, first three cleric rings.

      I only drop my single target heal if i'm doing certain arcadia-level or harder quests where Great Blessing is needed early on to prevent a wipe. In those situations there's really no good skill to drop, but i pick Arc/Recover because it's only single-target and the quests i bring Blessing to tend to be filled with fights dealing area or party damage only.

      The first four rings have basically got you covered for most quests though. That's my general recommendation with the exception of Cleanse Heal which is a nice debuff cleaner or Greater Aid, which you should only rely on after you've stacked up enough Cost Recovery from...

      [4b] Colosseum

      My favorite. Make it your favorite, too. This is the only way to earn the Cost Recovery weapons. Learn to love colosseum, and colosseum will push you toward greatness.

      Advice for everyone: Colosseum is both an individual and a team sport, but your primary goal should be to defeat the other team, not your own teammates. There are enough colo rant threads filled with "do not" advice, so i'll just say that placing #1 on the losing team scores as much prestige as placing #4 on the winning team. You will do better overall if you put your team first.

      I'll repeat here that cleric-mains should earn all five Chronos weapons and leave all five SSR. The proc does not upgrade with the switch to UR, so you're trading 5 gear cost for higher stats. For almost all other gear, ugrading also upgrades the equipment's skill, so you actually make the gear better in addition to getting more stats. It's not going to ruin your character if you have UR Chronos weapons, but squeezing out 5 cost here or there will let you upgrade elsewhere.

      Heal / Recover / Cure / EE

      This is the place to start. Anybody can use these heals, and they're all boosted by all the same procs. They've also got closely spaced cooldowns. Here's the rotation i used when this was my colosseum build:

      Start with Heal, then Recover, then Cure. By the time you're done, Heal should be almost ready. Continue spamming heals, but watch your cooldowns; if two heals are almost off cooldown together, you should hold off until the weaker one is ready. Always try to prioritize the weaker heal.

      This is best for two reasons: 1) Heal is more time-efficient than Recover, which is more time-efficient than Cure. By this i mean that if you had unlimited cost and a set amount of time to spam each skill, Heal would actually put out more health over time. It's less efficient per cost spent (assuming no procs), but it will outperform in terms of HP output. If you proc a Heart or Cost Recovery then this changes. 2) Among these three skills, the weaker skill activates faster and cools down faster. To keep a good cycle going you need to keep the lower cooldowns refreshed. Otherwise you will end up locked in a Cure > Recover > Heal cycle that is constantly depending on Cure's cooldown. Now instead of three cooldowns you have one, and it's the longest one of the three.

      You can practice efficient cycling of your heals by going in Labyrinth and spamming until you find the right pace. Once you've picked up some Cost Recovery, just using EE on cooldown will normally be enough to last through any intense pressure from the other team. Don't be
      discouraged from using it because i say this "used to be" my colosseum build. It's still very strong, and it's more than enough in lower tiers until you're able to farm some CR weapons.

      If you have any Heart of Recovery books, this is their time to shine. They are super slot-efficient, meaning you can get a nice XL proc into a weapon slot for only 24 cost. They may also be stat-efficient too; because of their extremely common spawn rates, you will most likely have several that can be reforged and infused together for no ether cost. Getting 7000 MATK for 24 cost is nice.

      Likewise, this is a great time to use the Sun God's Blessing for its passive status ailment resistance bonus. Colosseum is the event where status ailment inflicting monsters shine the most, so you will see the best of them taking the spotlight. Null Status Ailment procs won't activate against uni attacks, but the passive from your Ama's set still counts. Sometimes people will also carry abilities like Cruel Illusion, Demoralize, and Jinx. Even if you're limited in your ability to clear status ailments from your teammates, all may not be lost if you're able to resist them yourself. Except if people get cursed. F that.

      Here's a more up to date list of viable skill sets:
      Arc Heal / Recover / Aid / EE
      Aid / Arc Heal / [Defense] / EE
      Aid / G.Aid / [Defense] / EE
      Arc Heal / Recover / EE / [Defense]
      (*[Defense] means Guard, Barrier, Sanctuary, or HB. They all play differently, so it's up to preference which to carry.)

      They've all got their perks and drawbacks. Dropping to two heals makes cooldowns sketchy. Carrying a defensive buff improves survivability if the other team attacks predictably, but it feels like a wasted slot if the enemy immediately swaps targets. Sanctuary is the best balance of them all imo, and can proc Cost Recovery. I do not recommend dropping EE unless you're absolutely sure you won't have cost issues. Avoid long-cooldown heals like the plague.

      Ether Exchange serves a dual purpose in colosseum. You'll be using it as much as possible to fuel your heals, but you may also choose to use it to bait attacks from the other team. Exchange like usual, then continue healing your teammates as usual, neglecting yourself. Be careful with this obviously, but this is the payoff for building tanky. Undisciplined opponents will see the missing HP and get trigger happy. The impulse is to finish a wounded target, so they'll pile on. When the other team throws themselves at a brick wall it can only help your chances of winning. Just watch out being overly confident because you might get rekt.

      Here's how play typically evolves in colosseum:

      Opening salvo - Try to predict who the other team will target. If you are the only cleric (i.e. they don't have one on the other team and you're the only one on your team) then buh-bye; they're coming for you to level the playing field. Don't open with EE if you're the only cleric. Otherwise whomever's expected to be the most squishy is usually the first target - either a mage or an archer. If the other team is heavy in one class, they may target a member of your team they have an advantage against or who has an advantage against them. If somebody in the opening shuffle is visibly weaker than the rest (three stars instead of a crown, one crown instead of two) then they're an obvious first target. Barrier activates quickly enough to save lives here, so accurate prediction ability can make it an A+ skill to carry. Sanctuary doesn't reduce as much damage, but it gives an HP buff and a counter heal, so it may actually be stronger. I haven't tested yet.

      First round - Mad rush to kill. At this stage, you will most likely be spamming hard and swapping targets often. If you have a filled uni, feel free to throw immediately as long as there's at least a minute left. After that mark, consider whether your uni is going to have any real impact. If you throw and somebody on your team matches color, or if the enemy throws, it's going to burn down a lot of the clock. Your deep debuff to the enemy team won't matter if battle resumes with 5 seconds on the clock.

      Second round - The main goal of this round is to end up in an advantageous position with everybody carrying full uni gauges into the third round. Full uni by the end should be every player's #1 goal. Important. If you're far enough ahead it won't matter, but it's definitely not worth risking an eventual loss just to wipe them in the second round. You don't have to demolish the enemy; you just have to win.

      Other than that big picture goal, second round play depends on how the first ended up. If you didn't let the other team get any kills in the first round, any who survived to the end will likely be low on cost, which may earn you an easy second round. If your team wiped them out quickly, they may have had time to rest while your team was burning their cost fighting - leading to a harder second round for you. Second round is generally easier than the first as you have a better idea of who they'll target.

      Metagame used to mean saving uni through this round, but now it almost always opens with each team using Mercury. Seriously, it's as predictable as third round Indra; she's spammed because she's useful. Whether you take part in the uni battle or not doesn't really matter i think. If you have a good hindering monster (balance, debuff, etc) then you might try to fit it in at the end of the lineup or solo uni after. If you have a barrier monster, try to get it in earlier in the lineup. Mirror monsters should aim toward the end, since that mitigation doesn't reduce uni damage.

      At the end of the round you can dump cost for points if you like, even if your uni is full. You'll score better at the end, and third round uni battle will give you plenty of time to rest.

      Third round - This almost always starts with a quickly initiated unison battle. Especially with the advent of Negative Pressure, it's risky to hold out on your uni. If you have a priority monster, throw as fast as you can. Otherwise, try to hang on for a moment or even try to fit in later in the lineup if it's advantageous to do so for your monster. After the uni battle just do the best you can with what's left. It's usually a quick slugfest to the finish line at that point. Again, feel free to dump cost.

      Third round uni battle

      Priority monsters:
      Status resistance buffs
      Uni blockers
      Status resistance debuffs (risky, but if a uni block monster goes off after these you win)

      Mid-lineup monsters:
      Barriers
      Refreshes
      Buffs/debuffs/heals
      Uni blockers again

      Finishing monsters:
      Refreshes
      Attack shields (nullifying great spirit damage is huge)
      Balances
      More uni blockers

      If you can't tell, uni block is both overused and essential to overuse in colosseum. Nobody really likes it, but at least Ateam has made an effort to add more of these monsters so a few players aren't able to dominate the scoreboards. Since our stats make monster damage lackluster, uni block and refresh are the two best options we have. Clerics are important to the uni because our built in resistances make us harder to uni block, which means you're more likely to successfully use your monster to block their unison or clear uni block from your team. Don't waste that class advantage by throwing something stupid - third round should be a priority monster (if you have one) or a refresh monster.

      [4c] Guild battles

      I'll try to keep this section shorter, since how gvg plays is mostly determined by your guild's composition/activity/ranking. For purposes of this list, "DPS" means anybody who's specced to dish out damage. Obviously this list is not exhaustive and does not mean that unique strategies are necessarily less viable.

      Cleric is a frontline class in guild battles. We will never do enough damage to warrant a slot in a "real" backline, though for attendance reasons or for cleaning up health between frontline sessions, etc, you may end up staying in for crystal assault.

      "Standard" line compositions

      Single cleric + 4 DPS
      People will die. It is unavoidable. Your job is basically to stall enemy DPS long enough for your 4 DPS to score some kills. I'm not a fan of this one, but a well coordinated damage team can wipe 2 enemy DPS very quickly to put you off to a good start. Quick spells like Heal and Aid shine, but it sucks that cost starts out so low in gvg.

      If you see this in the other team, be prepared for a timed attack strategy with piercer damage. HP buffs like Sanctuary or Blessing are your only prophylactic, and anybody who's attacked needs to be quick with guard or pray for null procs.

      Single cleric + 2 Loyalty + 2 DPS
      Tanks at 2 and 4 can cast Loyalty on the whole party. You're tanky, so you should be in position 3 to let each soldier only take damage for one DPS. This is a much sturdier frontline without fully giving up on damage, and it has the benefit of being very archer resistant. Strong single target spells like Aid and Arc will do well for keeping the Soldiers alive, and Greater Aid will heal the DPS under attack as well as the soldier sharing their damage. I've also seen this with soldiers at 1 and 5 using Devotion, but i feel like this is an outdated counter to Rain teams. Similar play though.

      If you see this in the other party, watch the attending DPS. If they're lancers, your mages are in danger because they pose the greatest threat to enemy soldiers. Same applies with different classes if other class tanks being used for Loyalty. If you don't see this weakness on your side, then gauge the enemy's strengths - for example if their tanks are Soldiers, they will most effectively be able to assist their DPS in killing Archers.

      Double cleric + 3 DPS
      Pretty standard among high level guilds. The damage is slower than with 4 DPS, but you gain a lot of flexibility when you aren't shouldering team heals alone. Slower spells like Recover and Cure become easier to carry, and longer cooldowns like Dignity and Great Blessing are less painful when you can alternate with a partner.

      If you see this in the other team, try to maintain defense while your DPS save cost. A unified attack when Blessing drops is your best chance. If available, using balancing to force the clerics to reapply Blessing off their preferred schedule can create an opening after the second casting wears.

      Double cleric + Loyalty + 2 DPS
      This is the slowest common setup i see, but it's extremely durable. Clerics at 1 and 5 focus heals toward the middle, while the tank at 3 protects your DPS with Loyalty. If your team can get kills with this setup it's a lot less pressure, though you still need big heals like Aid and Cure to preserve the soldier's large HP pool.

      If you see this, call up some mages to blast down the soldier. Alternately, if your frontline has several of a class that beats an enemy DPS you may consider spamming the weak DPS to try to kill the soldier through transferred damage.


      Skill bars

      Heal / Recover / Cure / EE [beginner skill bar only]
      Heal / Aid / Recover / EE [beginner + 5th ring]
      Aid / Arc Heal / G. Aid / EE
      Aid / Arc Heal / Blessing (or Dignity) / EE
      Aid / G.Aid / Blessing (or Dignity) / EE

      Which skills you take will depend on your need, though the longer cooldowns are almost exclusively for dual clerics sharing heal duty. Starting with only 10 cost makes EE almost mandatory. Do the best you can with your 3 other slots. Since the "backline can participate too" update, EE is less mandatory - especially if you have ER (or BtM) and lots of Cost Recovery. Decisions like dropping EE should happen on a team level though, and your backline should be instructed ahead of time to use their cost fill ability on you should that happen.
      Last edited by HotMessExpress; 04-02-2018, 08:48 PM.
      Hot Mess Express 2086796674

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      • ReZero
        ReZero commented
        Editing a comment
        If someone is visibly weaker in Colosseum most people ignore them right away as they don't have the huge burst of 5th ring, just my observation.

    • #5
      [5] Avanced topics (under construction)

      Here i'll discuss some things that may be controversial or things that perhaps don't apply to everyone or in every situation

      [5a] Infusion

      Just before i came to a final decision on what to think of infusions, they changed up stat balance in favor of high cost gears. I was advocating to infuse low cost gears for a while, to capitalize on their superior point efficiency, but now they are no longer the most efficient gear, stat-wise. Now, infusing high cost gear will get you huge stat gains relative to lower cost gear, though this is obviously with the downside of potentially reducing the number of gear slots you can fill.

      Honestly i'm still out on the issue, and now that gear point allocation is relatively cheap you may just want to save your Ether for a dps class anyway.

      For monsters (Hidden Potential, but whatever) i don't think there will ever be a safe bet. The way Ateam releases monsters, whatever you do will be obsolete before you get a return on your material investment, so i've just been sticking to infusing copies together for free.

      [5b] +1 allotment

      These small bonuses are never going to make or break the game, except in one situation: unison battles. For that reason, it is imperative that you FIRST max out any monsters you will be using in pvp. If it's a monster that will likely only see use in pve (or uncontested/solo uni in pvp) then you should not be spending +1s on it.

      After that, i've chosen to max my defensive gear because +1s also are affected by passive bonuses. So for every +1 i add to a cloth armor's bottom slot i gain another 48% of that on top. Instead of +20 adding 100 MDEF it's adding 148 MDEF. It's a more efficient way to raise gear score and gives you the biggest possible boost to your primary stat.

      You may choose to max your weapons in order to shore up cleric's normally low ATK/MATK so that ap-based monsters will be more useful. This is one area that i think is more flexible for cleric than with the DPS classes, who should always max weapons after uni battle monsters. Your uni damage will never be impressive though, and these days it doesn't even matter, so consider only spending your bottom+ augments on weapons and saving the top for increasing your DEF on armor.

      [5c] x/8/8/x revisited

      Armor should be maxed. Almost everyone agrees with that. So how do you gear beyond that? There are two extremes and a spectrum in between. I know some prominent clerics who are hardcore supporters of each extreme, and i'm falling somewhere in the middle. There are justifications for each build.

      8/8/8/x
      Some people build cleric like an offensive soldier and max out their weapons at the expense of monster count. This is a nice way to go if you're planning on multiclassing soldier and want to be able to deal some damage, and it's also pretty effective in pvp since the added access to weapon procs makes the increased HP caps easier to fill. You may also be able to halfway multiclass into a DPS role too, though your damage will probably always be lackluster (with the exception perhaps of an Undermine-focused mage). This path will also allow you to eventually be on par with soldiers in terms of high GS - assuming you're maxing and infusing even your weapons.

      The biggest weakness of this build, imo, is that monster selection is severely limited. I can't imagine only being able to carry 2-3 monsters; the lack of flexibility might kill me. It's just one problem, but i think it's a big one.

      x/8/8/8
      Some people build cleric along the path that most soldiers were planning pre-5th-ring. I think three weapons is really a bare minimum, but after that's covered (and for most people it will be by level 90) then feel free to dump points into monsters if you're following this path. Going this route allows you to attain a higher max MDEF than any other build, and monsters give the flexibility to boost any stat combinations, so you can carry water to improve defense, dark to double-dip healing stats, or potentially even wind to try to make up some ground in uni damage between this build and the high weapon build.

      There are two drawbacks here. First, monsters are less efficient in the long run, stat-wise. They don't get passives (except global stat boosts) and they can't be infused. Second, losing procs means you're really relying on your stats to push your heals higher. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as procs can be unreliable at times, but there's really no room to carry a lot of ATK/DEF monsters when you don't have a solid proc base to fall back on.

      x/8/8/5
      This is the way i recommend after playing around with the bottle of enlightenment for a few weeks. I think having five monsters gives optimum flexibility in terms of utility, while in the long run allowing a still-decent number of weapon procs to be carried. Especially for somebody who's aiming to stack SSR Chronos weapons, the reduced weapon cost availability (relative to 7/7/7/x) doesn't hurt so much. I'm actually running 6/7/7/5 right now in both pvp and pve sets, at level 135.

      This path completely nullifies the only weakness of the 7/7/7/x build, while only partially suffering from the weakness of the x/7/7/7 build.

      Obviously the same applies now that the level cap is 150, and actually while we're waiting on 180 to release it is possible to attain 8/8/8/5 and have the best of all worlds. My current build for most of my cleric sets is 8/8/8/6 with 3 Cronos weapons (SSR relic, staff, gun) and 4 Athena books, with the 8th slot holding whatever basic-replacement i've got on at the time. My sixth monster is a multi-infusion Lilith, though she's dropped for guild battles in favor of equipping higher cost monsters in the first five slots.

      [5d] Managing offensive procs

      I don't even know what to do with this section anymore, but instead of taking it out i'm just going to use this opportunity to tell you to put some Cost Recovery in your main slot, along with a lot of cost recovery and maybe some heal boosters in your sub slots. In this category, Seal of Health is an acceptable alternative, though if you're carrying skills like Guard, Ether Rebuild, or Sanctuary of Light, keep in mind that they can proc CR but not Seal.

      Or you may want a heal booster in your main slot and straight cost recovery in the subs, so that you'll have a reliable CR rate, but also the opportunity to heal for more if the main slot procs. I think this is a decent approach for pvp especially, because you don't want to lose out on a big heal. If you have it, Vitality Testament makes an excellent choice here, as its effect both synergizes with pvp's increased health pools and helps to jumpstart your defense by applying the HP buff as soon as your heal animation begins. Otherwise, keep in mind that Seal is also a health booster, so it counts for both categories.

      I think right now outside of a situation where i'm using Blessing (meaning: i have a mastery in main slot) all of my cleric sets are Cronos Relic/Staff/Gun + 4xAthena + Basic replacement relic. In that order, with the Cost Recovery out front.

      [5e] Defense stats vs procs

      My short answer is "don't depend on your stats to save you." It's complicated to explain without talking about the damage calculation, but basically defense stats only count 50% as much as attack stats when figuring out damage... and that's assuming a 100ap attack. If it's a 150ap attack then defense stats count 33% as much. If you've got defense break effect then your defenses count for even less than they would otherwise.

      However, power creep being what it is, many monsters (especially the multi-hit ones) now deal comparable or less damage compared to the attacks you'll face in pvp (LMAO DISREGARD THAT, I SPOKE TOO SOON). My advice used to be to stack up high MDEF and add two Magic Armor Up constants with lots of other physical procs to compensate for your lowered DEF. I think that's still not a bad start, but Break Thrust came along, and Rage Slash followed, and now Starburst ignores procs too, so it's just anarchy.

      Armor Up (dual-type) is now the superior constant, replacing all other defense constants.

      In the current atmosphere, Phys/Magic Nulls in main slots are the best call, with also maybe another set in sub. They're expensive (140 for all 4), as are Armor Up gears (66 for two), and if you didn't happen to get MDEF heavy pieces your total GS may suffer (with the benefit at least of getting more DEF out of the deal). The Awakening set is also a must-have for pvp, as monster damage has completely jumped the shark, so that's another 70 cost between two slots - or 276 cost split between head and body, all to fill 8 slots.

      Monsters need to be 32 cost anymore to be competitive in a uni battle, so a cleric should try to carry at least three of those (96 cost) plus another monster or two with some solid utility for solo throws (Snow White and Mercury to give example, for another 57 cost) for a total of 153 monster cost.

      We'll also say you've been very lucky in spawns, so your pvp weapon set is the cheapest Blessing Mastery book (29 cost), two Athena books (30x2), the Cronos relic and staff (22x2 if SSR) and you have the cheaper of the two Ether Rebuild items (24 cost if you were smart like i wasn't and left it SSR to reduce the interference of a less useful proc). So for your weapons you have 157 cost invested.

      Why go through all this trouble in the section about advanced armor decisions? Because right now we've spent 586 cost points to get a build to 6/4/4/5 which as you can clearly see is not x/8/8/x like you need to have. The wiki is up to date as of the 165 cap, and it says 863 is the total cost allowable at that time, so since i'm around that level, that leaves 277 cost to play with, and you must max your defensive slots. That averages out to a bit under 35 cost if all you're doing is putting on more armor pieces. If you've managed to get 35 cost monsters or want to put on more weapons to improve healing it takes away from your defensive options, but defense should still come first.

      Keep in mind, you've got 4 slots handling low-reduction constants (Armor Up + Awakening) and 4 slots handling low-proc Null abilities that only deflect one type of damage.

      If you have Damage Down, they're the best you can get for the remaining slots. Unfortunately, i think all variants of this currently available at XL come with elements attached. Any Phys/Magic Down XXL gear will also give great stats and a great proc. If you can, aim for high-MDEF gear, but it doesn't even really matter these days, as pumping up all defenses as far as you can get them. Why mention the elements on the Damage Down gear? Because elemental attributes also count toward reducing unison damage, and in its current state the game punishes all who dare underestimate uni damage.

      So for your remaining slots, try (if you can) to get a mix of useful procs. Down > Reflect in most cases, both because it reduces more damage and because the enemy can't abuse it to force a crystal phase. Also if you can, try to build using neutral armors, as they give 6 elemental defense to each category, which will protect you from any potential angle the enemy may use with their monsters.

      It sounds pretty easy to manage now, but once 180 drops i think we'll be tight on cost again.

      [5f] Splitting damage

      This is like precasting on steroids. It's harder to do purposefully, but against more dangerous players in pvp it will save lives. The idea is that - unlike in pve where a boss will use a large, hard hitting, single stroke attack - in pvp damage often comes in many consecutive hits, which can be split up to prevent a large spike from killing a player. Any reasonably fast heal can be used for this purpose, but Aid is really a blessing in this field. Its health restore resolves almost instantly, and it's a high AP heal to boot. Heal is also nice for this, though obviously much weaker. Arc Heal can do this too, but it isn't as fine an instrument.

      With Arc Heal, it's more about predicting incoming enemy attacks. When you see a break applied, it's probably time to get ready to cast. You won't be able to intentionally split a Cross Assault, but you may catch an Arabesque or Qwaser, and you can definitely catch some of the hits coming in the barrage that will inevitably follow a break. If they can't deal enough damage in one stroke, they can't kill.

      I can't say too much more about it, since i'm not especially adept at this. I haven't had much practice, but it's something that a great cleric will work toward.
      Last edited by HotMessExpress; 04-02-2018, 09:55 PM.
      Hot Mess Express 2086796674

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      • #6
        I find this post triggering and intriguing.


        I found these randomly, want them? I was walking to the store.

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        • #7
          Vote for sticky pls
          "Gods in his Heaven, and All’s Right with the World."
          ID: 2115856992 GS: 381K LV: 165 Executioner Leader of Fenrir Glory. Started: March 26, 2016. "Mankind's greatest fear is mankind itself."
          Evangelion First Half Rank: 398

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          • Duo
            Duo commented
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            Sticky

          • [WOC] Fenrir
            [WOC] Fenrir commented
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            Put in on the refrigerator

          • Khaleesi
            Khaleesi commented
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            Sticky!!

        • #8
          Great guide! Definitely sticky!
          IGN: Duo Unison ID: 2128488408 282k GS Cardinal || 260k GS Royal Protector || 240k GS Arcana Lord

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          • #9
            Thank you very much for this. As a newer player any information I am able to absorb is great. Maybe I will learn to actually play Cleric well one day. :P

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            • #10
              I here by say Ateam Admin Sticky Please.....admin no cheating read XD lol jk

              Edit:

              HotMessExpress your the reason after reading all this i dont want to ever read anything at my job XD jk its nice men just hope ateam sticky this...
              Last edited by Tri-Edge; 04-13-2017, 12:55 AM.
              .

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              • #11
                hooray !!! Your post deserved the Sticky
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                • #12
                  Thank you so much for this! Between healing aura and the new Miku skill, which one do you think is better for GB? You rated both of them three stars. I've never liked using healing aura because it can take too long to cast and if I cast it before a new round starts, the transition between CB/recovery mode with the new round already takes around 5 seconds so healing aura will only take effect for 25 seconds. If healing aura is better, when is the best time to cast it?
                  Please send your Athena to 2061957376.

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                  • HotMessExpress
                    HotMessExpress commented
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                    I think for general use, healing aura might let you get away with using smaller, cheaper, faster-cooling heals to greater effect. It's probably better against a lot of guilds.

                    However, if you're likely to face status ailments (beyond qwazer, cause they're so short) a set with recover, cure, and the new miku ability might let you clean up ailments from your party faster. I think it's situationally better. If you dislike aura for pacing or whatever other reasons, carrying the new ability wouldn't hurt. You could always just not use it unless it's needed

                • #13
                  Pretty alright guide, gj, but proc and moveset rating should be taken with a grain of salt

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                  • HotMessExpress
                    HotMessExpress commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Aid is the superior heal for pvp, yes. Aid is 25% more costly than cure and approx 9% stronger, with better activation and cooldown. If I could only take one heal to pvp, it would be aid. That's why I gave it 5 stars.

                    However if I'm running a cost recovery and heart of recovery set on a 1:4 or 2:3 split then I'm taking cure instead of aid. If I was stacking healing test and CR then assuming three heals I'm taking aid, recover, and either heal (gb) or cure (colosseum). Cure will never be the primary heal but it makes a good third option depending on the rest of the set

                  • Guest's Avatar
                    Guest commented
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                    Guess it's only preferences, then. I just prefer my heal target to be alive by the time the heal goes through

                  • BlitzJager
                    BlitzJager commented
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                    Reo savage as ever lmfao.

                • #14
                  For monsters which you can freely choose stats, what would you recommend? Matk/mdef? Def/mdef?
                  IGN: Owl·City°SNC
                  ID: 2001063906
                  Healer main

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                  • HotMessExpress
                    HotMessExpress commented
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                    I'm torn. Was actually talking about this with the other cleric in my guild the other day. I think for cleric the only bad combination would be atk/def or atk/mdef. Mdef/def might come close imo.

                    I think the goal should either be to boost heals (matk/mdef), boost defenses (def/mdef) or boost monster strength (atk/matk). It's probably easier to answer if you know how you want to build, or if you have another class you want to play alongside cleric. Wind stats will boost damage for any class. Dark stats can translate to mage or half-archer but nothing else. Water stats are nice if you plan to play a tank on other classes.

                    I'm really only playing cleric in the long run, and my build is terrible for attack stats. At this point I might as well focus on non-AP monsters in pvp and abandon atk/matk. I'm a couple more infusions away from being able to cut back on matk for my heals, so I may get def/mdef on my flutter miku.

                    In pve (long run) it doesn't really matter so much. Been running miku arcadia with mostly SSR weapons and 2-3 fire monsters. My stats look stupid but between mdef, procs, and added cost regen, it's still safe to run

                  • GilbyGlibber
                    GilbyGlibber commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks for the input. I do want to off-role as soldier once in a while, so I think I will go def/mdef as well. Although the increased heal for PvP is tempting...

                • #15
                  So for a end game cleric would it be best to have a balance of 100k def+mdf (mdf being a bit higher of course) with about 35k or so mak or just having lower def and higher mdf?
                  Last edited by Cthulhu; 04-21-2017, 01:43 PM. Reason: wish i could spell
                  ID: 2136016703
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                  • Cthulhu
                    Cthulhu commented
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                    HotMessExpress cool cool ill keep that in mind when playing with my cleric's stats

                  • Guest's Avatar
                    Guest commented
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                    Do not go balanced defenses. You want to use the stat list hotmess suggested. Instead of an equal p defense, it is better to use p dmg reducing procs.

                  • HotMessExpress
                    HotMessExpress commented
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                    Yeah, i guess i should say that i'm not sure if there's currently a soft cap on MDEF/MATK utility. I wouldn't worry about boosting defense (as an intentional build choice) until you're not getting any real benefit from increasing MDEF, and at that point you could always just start carrying weaker heals to save on cost and cooldowns. Worry first about healing enough, and physical procs will do a better job keeping you alive than defense as Reo said
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