In my 4E game, a player is going to try an elven cleric with a longbow (and a mace, just in case). She chose mostly ranged powers. Are there any caveats to playing such a character, or any builds that I could recommend for her?
You should point out to the player that none of the
At very low levels this doesn't matter so much. Your nonmagical mace will do just as well as your nonmagical longbow. Implement powers can be used without an implement at no penalty.
But as you level up, you are going to acquire a magic longbow, and most likely feats and items that enhance your ability to use a longbow. Your melee weapon powers can only be used through your mace and are going to lag behind in their chance to hit and damage. Implement powers can be used without a Holy Symbol, but again your effectiveness is going to be reduced without one.
This is going to make you prioritize
So at first glance, a ranged weapon cleric isn't the best idea. But there are a few ways around this.
While this option opens up a few new options with a longbow, you're diminishing your "cleric-ness". The end result isn't much better.
Once you are 11th level, an Elven bow cleric really starts to shine for this one reason:
This opens up a world of possibilities. Every
An Elven Bow Cleric is weak before level 11, but with the Seldarine Dedicate Paragon Path you should be fine.
Start with the Moonbow Dedicate feat. While it requires worship of Sehanine, there are a number of fascinating builds possible here. You'll want to look at the Bow Cleric mini-handbook. All of this advice changes at level 11, of course, where I simply recommend going half-elf with moonbow and making sure you have hand of radiance.
In terms of build, Elf with Moonbow is as standard as it gets, especially as elves now get dex/wis as a possible combo. I prefer the razorclaw shifter, simply because it's not generic as [expletive]. Battle Cleric is essential for armor.
There's little domain synergy, as the two worthwhile "power of" of Sehanine are melee based. Silvery glow is excellent, but moonbow provides a feat bonus to damage. Don't forget a screaming bow which maps damage into thunder damage. It'll become critical by paragon as part of a "make blasts larger" strategy: something that clerics and invokers can use to deadly, deadly, effect.
A completely different tack is to take the Elemental Initiate theme so that you get ki-focus proficiency. At the end of the day, I'd probably hybrid warlord, as the number of ranged-weapon interrupts they get can strongly synergize with the cleric buffs, and the warlord at-wills work better with the bow.