When new D&D players picture a Cleric, they probably imagine a Life Cleric 5e first. These spellcasters use their holy powers to protect the sanctity of life, healing the wounded and sparing the dying. They’re a friend to adventuring parties everywhere, often being the one thing between them and certain death. They’re also not too shabby in a fight themselves.
If you’re looking to learn more about the Life Domain Cleric 5e subclass, you’ve come to the right place. We can tell you all about the D&D Life domain, and we’ve plenty of tips for creating your character. If you want more information about this class in general, you can also check out our DnD classes, DnD Cleric, and DnD Cleric spells guides. After that, just grab your DnD character sheet, and you’re ready to roll.
Life Cleric features
Here are the class features for the Life domain Cleric:
- Life domain spells
- Bonus proficiency
- Disciple of Life
- Channel Divinity: Preserve Life
- Blessed Healer
- Divine Strike
- Supreme Healing
Life Domain spells
Your Life Cleric will learn a selection of 5e spells as they level up. Your Domain spells are always prepared, and they don’t count towards the number of spells you can prepare each day.
The Life Domain spells are:
|1||Bless, Cure Wounds|
|3||Lesser Restoration, Spiritual Weapon|
|5||Beacon of Hope, Revivify|
|7||Death Ward, Guardian of Faith|
|9||Mass Cure Wounds, Raise Dead|
At first level, the Life Cleric gains proficiency with heavy DnD armor.
Disciple of Life
Any time you use a first-level spell or higher to restore a creature’s hit points, they’ll gain extra hit points equal to two plus the spell’s level. Command over life itself has its perks!
Channel Divinity: Preserve Life
Your domain’s version of Channel Divinity can be used for healing. If you spend an action and present your holy symbol, you can restore hit points equal to five times your Cleric level. These don’t have to go to just one target; you can divide the hit points between all creatures within 30ft of you.
There are a few extra rules that are important to know here. Firstly, Preserve Life doesn’t work on undead or constructs. It also can’t restore a creature to more than half of its maximum hit points. It’s a tool for a crisis, not for a top-up.
When you cast spells of first level or higher to restore another creature’s hit points, you’ll also benefit from the healing magic you cast. More specifically, you get to regain hit points equal to two plus the spell’s level.
Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can deal 1d8 extra radiant damage thanks to Divine Strike. This increases to 2d8 when you reach level 14.
Any time you cast a healing spell and need to roll one or more dice, you can use the highest number possible for each die.
Tips for building a Life Cleric
While there are many Cleric DnD character builds, lots of the subclasses will want to choose the same DnD races. This is to make sure you’ve boosted your core DnD stats, Wisdom and Consitution. The Wood DnD Elf, the Hill Dwarf 5e, and the Human 5e are the best options found in the Player’s Handbook.
You’ll get a selection of Life Cleric spells automatically, but you’ve got total freedom over what other spells you can learn from the Cleric spell list. You can pick up Healing Word and Greater Restoration if you want to go full field medic. It’s also important to think about preventing damage as well as healing it. Spells like Shield of Faith and Sanctuary are good places to start when protecting your squishy party mates.
Alternatively, you can pick up some more offensive spells for combat utility. Guiding Bolt is a solid early choice, and Spirit Guardians and is a top pick for pretty much any Cleric.
There’s a wide range of 5e feats that can make a Life Cleric more powerful. Feats that boost your Wisdom, such as Observant in the Player’s Handbook, or Fey Touched and Telekinetic in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, are never a bad option.
Our other favourite feats for Life Clerics are War Caster and Magic Initiate. The first makes casting and concentrating on spells in combat far easier. The second lets you take two DnD cantrips and a first-level spell from another class’ spell list. Goodberry is the way to go here, as your Life domain powers make its healing even more potent. (If you felt up for some DnD multiclassing, you could also get Goodberry by going part DnD Druid.)