I'm playing my first D&D campaign.

When I created my cleric, I didn't understand that clerics' divine domains had gameplay effects. My cleric is level 3, with a Wisdom score of 19, and I chose the Trickery Domain. I am the party's healer and it hasn't been difficult right now, but I'm not sure if my character will be a good healer in the long run. The DM has said that these characters, this campaign, is intended to go to level 20.

Would it be better for a new player to switch to a god of the Life Domain, or will I still be a viable healer with my character's current domain?

The DM has stated that I can switch the god my character worships, but it's going to be a bit of a hassle due to the rules the DM established.


2 Answers 2


You're fine.

While the Life Domain Cleric is the best at healing among the Clerics...Clerics, in general, do excellently as healers, regardless of their domain.

D&D 5E is not as heavily dependent on the idea of having a Dedicated Tank, a Dedicated Ultra Healer, and DPSers as an MMORPG, or even D&D 4E was.

I have played in a game where the best healer in the party was a Bard, and am presently DMing one where the only healer is a Paladin. I've also played in a party that had a Ranger (who never prepared heal spells) as the closest thing to a healer we had. All three parties have been highly successful. The third party had to play a little more carefully and were more dependent on rests...but we got along just fine without any healer at all.

In fact, in many games I have played, the Healer ends up only preparing the weakest healing spell they can (such as Healing Word) as a tool to stand someone back up if they get reduced to 0hp...and they don't do any other healing besides that whatsoever.

D&D 5E does not rely very much on Perfect Optimization. You're playing a Cleric...the class with the best variety and range of healing spells in the game. Just because you didn't pick the one narrow subclass that is the 'Best of all Healers,' doesn't mean you are not still a very effective healer.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Using only Healing Word is the perfect optimization in 5e, that is why many people dislike it. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Nov 17, 2018 at 7:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A Druid or Bard (basically anyone with full caster progression and Healing Word) is as good a healer as a non-Life Cleric. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Nov 17, 2018 at 9:28

Yes, you will be a viable healer

Any cleric is a viable healer as long as they prepare and use healing spells such as Cure Wounds and Healing Word, and as long as they have enough spell slots to cast them with. Being an effective healer is more than the number of hit points you can restore in one action. It involves carefully managing your resources, making sure you have enough spell slots for healing before you get into a fight, making the party consider their hit points before making an important decision that could result in combat, and having a few healing potions on hand just in case.

Sometimes the best way to function as a healer is to prevent damage to your party, which can come in many forms. Distracting enemies (Trickery Domain excels at this) and allowing for your party to sneak past with advantage or some similar bonus is one such example.

Life Domain clerics are built to keep people alive directly, but if the cleric was intended to simply be a healing resource, there wouldn't be other domains to choose from. Healing is an important part of all clerics' skill sets, but it is not their only resource. Overall, if you're smart and manage your resources well, you can be an indispensable healer as any domain, not just Life Domain.


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