9
\$\begingroup\$

Tempest domain clerics get the following feature at 6th level:

Thunderous Strike. At 6th level, when you deal lightning damage to a Large or smaller creature, you can also push it up to 10 feet away from you.

I'm a bit confused as to how this is useful. As far as I can tell, there are no ways to deal lightning damage to enemies as a normal cleric and tempest clerics get a single spell from their class spell list that can do it, Call lightning. And while that is not a bad spell, it seems weird to have a class feature for a single spell.

So what are some other ways a pure tempest domain cleric could deal lightning damage? Any magic items? From the race? Something else?

\$\endgroup\$
1
12
\$\begingroup\$

Primarily, from their 1st level feature

The Tempest Cleric gets this feature at 1st level:

Wrath of the Storm. Also at 1st level, you can thunderously rebuke attackers. When a creature within 5 feet of you that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to cause the creature to make a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 2d8 lightning or thunder damage (your choice) on a failed saving throw, and half as much damage on a successful one.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

From being a Dragonborn

Dragonborn players get a breath weapon which can deal lightning damage if they choose Blue or Bronze as their draconic ancestry.

From magic items

There are various magic items that deal lightning damage. The ones usable by a pure Cleric at the time of writing this answer are:

  • Wand of Lightning Bolts
  • Staff of Thunder and Lightning
  • Javelin of Lightning
  • Ring of Shooting Stars
  • Ring of Air Elemental Command

From one other spell: Glyph of Warding

Glyph of Warding is a 3rd level spell on the Cleric's list that can be set to deal lightning damage when cast. Since it's a 'trap' spell (literally, not figuratively), it's unlikely you'll use Thunderous Strike on damage from this, as you might not even know when it's triggered - but you could if you did know.

Cheese time - this spell plus this feature allows unbounded damage on 1 turn given many hours of setup plus an arrogant foe

Glyph of warding lasts until dispelled - so you can cast as many as you have hours, 200gps worth of incense and diamonds, and 3rd level spell slots.

So:

  • Set up a long line of lightning-damage Glyphs of warding, with the trigger "when a creature is over the glyph"
  • Lure an enemy to the place you've done so
  • Get them to step on the first (or one of the first) in the line while you're in line with them and the line
  • They take lightning damage from the Glyph (Dex save only stops half of it), and you activate Thunderous Strike, which does not take a reaction, to push them
  • They move over the second glyph, rinse and repeat

This is unlikely to work, but is a fun consequence of Thunderous Strike not requiring a reaction.

Their options are indeed limited

Unfortunately, as you note, only Call Lightning and Wrath of the Storm (and Glyph of Warding) allow them to take advantage of their Thunderous Strike feature if a player doesn't want to be a Dragonborn and isn't getting lightning-based magic items from their DM.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I started to make a comment on your inclusion of Javelin of Lightning and decided to turn it into a question instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Feb 21 at 23:29
13
\$\begingroup\$

This is an improvement on the 1st level feature Wrath of the Storm

The Tempest Cleric’s 1st level feature, Wrath of the Storm says:

Also at 1st level, you can thunderously rebuke attackers. When a creature within 5 feet of you that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to cause the creature to make a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 2d8 lightning or thunder damage (your choice) on a failed saving throw, and half as much damage on a successful one.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

The 6th level Thunderbolt Strike feature synergizes well with this feature, allowing you to deal damage and push the creature away from you with your reaction. You can even use channel divinity to make it deal 16 damage.

This can be especially useful for kiting creatures with multi attack. If a creature expends all of its movement to reach you, then hits you with its first attack, you can use your reaction to push the creature out of reach, so that it is unable to make any further attacks.

Since class features do not assume you will be given any magic items or play a certain race, it seems this is the canonical intended function of this ability.

Ask your DM if you can swap some spells on your spell list.

If you want more flexibility here, I recommend just working with your DM on swapping out some of your existing spells for more lightning damage spells. The DMG says this is okay:

Modifying a class’s spell list usually has little effect on a character’s power but can change the flavor of a class significantly. In your world, paladins might not swear their oaths to ideals, but instead swear fealty to powerful sorcerers. To capture this story concept, you could build a new paladin spell list with spells meant to protect their masters, drawn from the sorcerer or wizard lists. Suddenly, the paladin feels like a different class.

This shouldn’t make your Tempest Cleric feel like anything other than a Tempest cleric. It just gives the cleric more of what it should have had to begin with.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While the DMG thinks swapping is ok, it's probably worth mentioning, this answer does not think so: rpg.stackexchange.com/a/170371/51849 \$\endgroup\$
    – findusl
    Feb 21 at 21:46
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @findusl That answer is specifically referring to a domain spell swap, which is more powerful because clerics prepare domain spells for free. Modifying the cleric’s spell list (as the DMG suggests) is a different kettle of fish (IMHO). \$\endgroup\$ Feb 22 at 17:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For the swapping: I'm pretty certain that the "it doesnt matter" was done without accounting for any synergies like this. Giving a 6th level tempest cleric more lightning-based spells is a clear cut buff. That is not to say it shouldn't be done but it's not as irrelevant as the DMG states there, because the first sentence is just flat out untrue: "usually has little effect on a character’s power ". In this case it would be a significant buff \$\endgroup\$
    – Hobbamok
    Feb 23 at 9:34
6
\$\begingroup\$

As a pure cleric, without multiclass dips, start as a High Elf which lets you add Shocking Grasp or Lightning Lure.

If you don't mind a multiclass dip though, even a single level of Storm Sorcerer, or Wizard, expands your choices significantly.

\$\endgroup\$

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .