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Pathfinder - Cleric Domains Breakdown

Disclaimer

I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.

Domains

Air Domain

The air domain isn't particularly exciting. The powers are useful, but not exciting. The spells are decent with a few good options, and a few really bad ones. The spell list adds Chain Lightning and Elemental Body to your spell list, but these aren't major improvements.

Lightning Arc (Sp): Generic ranged energy attack. Solid, reliable, and a great option at low levels when your spells are limited.

Electricity Resistance (Ex): Permanent resistance to electricity, but it's not a lot of resistance.

  1. obscuring mist: Occasionally useful as an escape mechanic.
  2. wind wall: Essentially negates archers, and you get it a level early.
  3. gaseous form Occasionally useful as an escape or infiltration mechanic, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  4. air walk: The Cleric's best flight spell, but you can already prepare this as a 4th level spell.
  5. control winds: Allows you to prevent enemies from flying, and isn't on the Cleric spell list.
  6. chain lightning: Decent multi-target damage spell, and isn't on the Cleric spell list.
  7. elemental body IV (air only): Awful spell.
  8. whirlwind: Great crowd-control effect, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. elemental swarm (air spell only): Create a bunch of elemental servants. If you can spare the 10 minutes to cast this ahead of time, the elementals are big bags of hit points to defend you in combat. However, the biggest elemental you summon is CR 9, which won't be very scary at this level.
Cloud Subdomain

The cloud domain doesn't improve the spell Air domains spell list, but the Thundercloud power is fantastic.

Replaced Power(s): Electricity resistance.

Thundercloud (Su): This is a great area control power. Because it blocks line of sight, it interferes with spellcasting and ranged attacks, and you get guranteed damage. It's not as scary as your spells, but it's very useful.

  1. solid fog: Occasionally useful as an escape mechanic or area control effect. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. storm of vengeance: This is a weird spell. It's hard to time, it's hard to use, and it's hard to not do just as much damage to your party. Already on the cleric spell list.
Wind Subdomain

The Wind domain trades some mediocre options for some equally mediocre options.

Replaced Power(s): Lightning arc

Wind Blast (Su): Cool, but situational.

  1. whispering wind: You get this a level before anyone else, but it's not very good.
  2. wind walk: This is better than air walk for long-distance travel, and has a fantastic duration, but it's not useful in combat.
  3. winds of vengeance: A very flashy buff with a good fly speed, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.

Animal Domain

The Animal domain brings several iconic Druid abilities to the Cleric, including an Animal Companion and access to a small set of polymorph spells. The early benefits are terrible, so this domain should largely be ignored until level 5. Because the animal companion is on par with a ranger, the Boon Companion feat is almost mandatory.

Speak with Animals (Sp): Very situational. Animals aren't very smart, so they have very little of interest to say.

Animal Companion (Ex): An Animal Companion is like a furry fighter. If you plan to depend on your companion heavily, take the Boon Companion feat to bring your companion up to par. Also see my Practical Guide to Animal Companions.

  1. calm animals: Situational, affects a very small set of creatures which generally don't have the ability to rage.
  2. hold animal: Situational, affects a very small set of creatures.
  3. dominate animal: Situational, affects a very small set of creatures.
  4. summon nature's ally IV (animals only): You have Summon Monster, which is strictly better.
  5. beast shape III (animals only): Potentially very powerful, but since it's one of three polymorph spells that you get it's unlikely that you are adequately prepared to use it. See my Practical Guide to Polymorph.
  6. antilife shell: Excellent area control ability, but it's already on the Cleric spell list at the same spell level.
  7. animal shapes: Polymorph your animal companion into a bigger version of itself. Hillarity ensues.
  8. summon nature's ally VIII (animals only): You have Summon Monster, which is strictly better.
  9. shapechange: Fantastic spell. Form of the Dragon can be a truly monstrous option for you.
Feather Subdomain

Give up a lousy ability, and some of the least interesting spells in the Animal Domain for considerably improved flight abilities and a bonus to Perception.

Granted Power: Add Fly to your list of class skills. In addition, whenever you cast a spell that grants you a fly speed, your maneuverability increases by one step (up to perfect).

Replaced Power(s): Speak with animals.

Eyes of the Hawk (Ex): Perception is the most rolled skill in the game, and initiative bonuses are fantastic.

  1. feather fall: You get this a level behind Wizards, but it's not normally on the Cleric spell list, and it's good to have.
  2. fly: Flight is hugely important, and Fly isn't usually available to Clerics.
  3. fly (mass): Fly for the whole party!
Fur Subdomain

The big draw here is the spells. The options your give up are pretty bad, but Magic Fang is great for your companion, and Beast Shape I give you an early polymorph option. If you want to polymorph as a Cleric, this is the way to do it.

Replaced Power(s): Speak with animals.

Predator's Grace (Su): Very situational, but better than Speak with Animals.

  1. magic fang: Great for buffing your companion.
  2. beast shape I (animals only): Adds another polymorph spell, making Polymorph a much better option for you.

Artifice Domain

The biggest appeal of this domain is access to Minor/Major Creation. Creation spells are very powerful, but the rest of this domains abilities are lackluster.

Artificer's Touch (Sp): Mending isn't particularly important unless you have someone in the party who likes to Sunder things. The ability to damage artifacts and constructs is very situational, and doesn't do much damage.

Dancing Weapons (Su): The dancing property is fantastic, but the duration is very short.

  1. animate rope: Very situational.
  2. wood shape: Very situational.
  3. stone shape: Very situational, but also very powerful.
  4. minor creation: The possiblities are numerous. Try creating poison for your rogue.
  5. fabricate: Very situational, but also very powerful. Try frabricating a wall into gravel, or a metal door into weapons.
  6. major creation: The possiblities are numerous. Try creating poison for your rogue.
  7. wall of iron: Situationally useful.
  8. statue: Like a weird version of Flesh to Stone. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. prismatic sphere: Very powerful area control, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
Construct Subdomain

Animate Servant is only slightly better than Dancing Weapon, but the new spells are considerably better than what you give up. However, because the new spells are high level, it doesn't fix the problems with the Artifice domain at low to mid levels.

Replaced Power(s): Dancing weapon.

Animate Servant (Su): Better duration than the Dancing Weapon ability, and potentially more effective.

  1. limited wish: Incredibly powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. polymorph any object: Incredibly powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
Toil Subdomain

The domain power is cool, but the spell options aren't much better than the options which they replace.

Replaced Power(s): Dancing weapon.

Aura of Repetition (Su): The will save will keep pace with your spells, and if you time this right you can really mess with your enemies.

  1. command: Unremarkable. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. waves of fatigue: No save, but Fatigued is a very lackluster condition. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. waves of exhaustion: No save, and Exhausted can really mess with melee enemies, but there are much better options at this level. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Chaos Domain

Touch of Chaos (Sp): If you need to shut down an enemy attacker, this can really hurt them.

Chaos Blade (Su): The duration is very short, but Anarchic can deal a huge amount of damage.

  1. protection from law: Useful, but hard to predict when you will need it.
  2. align weapon (chaos only): Helpful against lawful outsiders, but you can prepare Align Weapon normally at the same level.
  3. magic circle against law: Lawful
  4. chaos hammer: You don't get Slow, so this is a decent way to slow people. However, the damage is poor.
  5. dispel law: very flashy, but very situational.
  6. animate objects: Decent.
  7. word of chaos: Fantastic AOE debuff against weaker enemies.
  8. cloak of chaos: Good buff for your whole team, especially if your enemies are lawful.
  9. summon monster IX (chaos spell only): You can already cast this without the alignment limitation.
Protean Subdomain

If someone took this in my game, I would punch them in the mouth. Aura of Chaos is a nightmare to manage, and hugely bogs down the game. The spell list changes don't really add anything interesting, so this subdomain is largely reserved for trolls and people who hate fun.

Replaced Power(s): Chaos blade

Aura of Chaos (Su): Do you want combat to be confusing and take forever? Because this is how you do it.

  1. confusion (lesser): Confusion is a good debuff, but wasting a round to confuse someone for one round is a bad investment since they get a will save to resist, and still have a percentage chance to act normally if they fail.
  2. displacement: An excellent buff, though the duration is short. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. planar binding (proteans only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The Proteans limitation is annoying.
Charm Domain

Dazing Touch (Sp): No save, and Daze takes away the target's whole turn. Many monsters have more hit dice than their CR, but in encounters with NPCs or multiple monsters, this is a fantastic option.

Charming Smile (Sp): In encounters with NPCs, this is a good use for a swift action.

  1. charm person: Helpful in social sutations.
  2. calm emotions: Very situational.
  3. suggestion: Good mind control effect, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  4. heroism: Great buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. charm monster: Situational, but effective.
  6. geas/quest: Powerful, but situational and it's already on your spell list.
  7. insanity: Brutal permanent debuff, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. demand: Very powerful, and not normally on the Cleric spell list. Send the BBEG a message telling him to meet you somewhere that totally isn't a trap.
  9. dominate monster: The ultimate Save or Suck spell. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Love Subdomain

On par with the Charm domain's already fantastic abilities, and it replaces the lousy 2nd level spell with a slightly more useful option. This is a more defensive version of the Charm domain.

Replaced Power(s): Dazing touch.

Adoration (Su): Immediate action, will save or the target automatically fails an attack. Hugely powerful.

  1. enthrall: Distraction! Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. euphoric tranquility: This is a weird spell. It basically takes one target out of combat without a save, which can be very powerful.
Lust Subdomain

On par with the Charm domain's already fantastic abilities, and it replaces two of the worst spell options with some excellent debuffs. This is a more offensive version of the Charm domain.

Replaced Power(s): Charming smile.

Anything to Please (Su): The save DC will keep pace with your spells, and the effect can really ruin the target's day. More useful in combat than Charming Smile, but less useful socially.

  1. touch of idiocy: Decent debuff for enemy spellcasters, especially at high levels when NPC spellcasters will barely have ability scores high enough to cast their best spells. No save, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. confusion: Excellent debuff. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Community Domain

Aside from the Unity power, the Community domain has nothing interesting to offer. It doesn't give you any particularly exciting new spells, but the domain spells are decent selections from the Cleric spell list.

Calming Touch (Sp): Subdual damage is very rare, and wears off quickly. The other conditions affected are fairly gentle and can be overcome by other means.

Unity (Su): With a high base will save and Wisdom as your spellcasting ability, you will likely have the highest will save in the party. Your fortitude won't be shabby, but fortitude saves are generally less scary than will saves. This can provide an extra layer of protection for your fighter against spells like Dominate Person which will wreck your party.

  1. bless: Good, but already on your spell list.
  2. shield other: Good, but already on your spell list.
  3. prayer: Good, but already on your spell list.
  4. imbue with spell ability: Good, but already on your spell list, and somewhat situational.
  5. telepathic bond: Very helpful for party communication, not on the Cleric spell list.
  6. heroes' feast: Good, but already on your spell list.
  7. refuge: Good, but already on your spell list.
  8. mass cure critical wounds: Mediocre.
  9. miracle: Good, but already on your spell list.
Home Subdomain

The Home subdomain is great if you plan to spend a lot of time defending a specific area or structure. For travelling and delving dungeons, this is difficult to use.

Replaced Power(s): Unity

Guarded Hearth (Su): This is helpful for protecting wherever you rest or for defending a specific area. It's certainly powerful, but also very situational. Giving up Unity for this hurts.

  1. alarm: useful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. glyph of warding: Good, but already on your spell list.
  3. guards and wards: You get it a level behind Wizards, but this has a ton of great effects.
Family Subdomain

Binding Ties is very slightly better than Calming Touch, but the spell list is worse than the default Community spell list.

Replaced Power(s): Calming touch

Binding Ties (Su): It is generally a better idea to simply remove the condition from the target. Still, this is better than Calming Touch.

  1. calm emotions: Hugely situational.
  2. create food and water: Useful, but already on your spell list.

Darkness Domain

The domain abilities are mediocre, but the additon of Shadow Conjuration adds a huge number of Wizard spells to your available options. The other shadow spells also add some cool utility options.

Touch of Darkness (Sp): No save, and completely prevents the target from making Sneak Attacks. The 20% miss chance really helps, especially if the target gets a lot of attacks. The duration is dissappointing.

Eyes of Darkness (Su): Useful, but the duration is garbage.

  1. obscuring mist: Occasionally useful as an escape mechanic.
  2. blindness/deafness (only to cause blindness): Blindness is the better option anyway, and you get this a level earlier than Clerics usually do.
  3. deeper darkness: Situationally useful, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. shadow conjuration: Fantastic. Grants access to a huge number of Wizard spells. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. summon monster V (summons 1d3 shadows): Clerics can already cast this without the limitaiton.
  6. shadow walk: Excellent movement option, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  7. power word blind: Excellent debuff, no save, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. greater shadow evocation: Not quite as good as Shadow Conjuration, but it adds a lot of damage spells to your spell list.
  9. shades: Fantastic. Grants access to a huge number of Wizard spells. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Loss Subdomain

The powers you sacrifice are fantastic, and the Loss subdomain's powers are confusing and difficult to use. The spell selections are fine, but you give up Shadow Conjuration and Shades, both of which provide massive improvements to the Cleric's spell options.

Replaced Power(s): Eyes of darkness.

Aura of Forgetfulness (Su): It isn't clear what happens to targets while inside the area, but it makes sense that they would lose their memory once they exit the aura. The lost spells are annoying, but become less of a problem as you advance in level. The aura also affects your allies.

  1. enervation: Very effective, but you get it a level after Wizards.
  2. modify memory: Situational, but usually only available to Bards.
  3. energy drain: very powerful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
Night Subdomain

The Night subdomain is right on par with the Darkness domain. Night Hunter is about equal to Touch of darkness, and Night trades a better 6th level spell option for a better 1st level spell option. Choosing between the two isn't a matter of which is better; it is a choice of which one you enjoy more. Just the way it should be.

Replaced Power(s): Touch of darkness

Night Hunter (Su): The duration is short, and it doesn't work on things with Darkvision, but Clerics get very few options for invisibility.

  1. sleep: At level 1, this is the best save or suck spell. It stops being useful after a few levels, but it's a great low level option. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. nightmare: Cool, but situational. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Death Domain

The domain abilities are bad, and all of the spells are already on the Cleric spell list. Still, the spell selection is solid and includes a lot of good necromancy spells.

Bleeding Touch (Sp): The ongoing damage is nice to force Concentration checks, and this is good for killing things with tons of AC, but there are very few situations when your spells will not be a better option.

Death's Embrace (Ex): Channeling energy is your job. How often will there be other people channeling energy near you? How often will they be channeling negative energy?

  1. cause fear: Making things run away if less useful than killing them, and it only affects creatures with up to 4 hit dice. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. death knell: Sacrifice a chicken or something for some really great buffs. Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. animate dead: Pet zombies! Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. death ward: Death effects are scary, and this protects against them. However, the duration is short, so it is hard to know when to cast this.
  5. slay living: Save or die. Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. create undead: Pet mummies! Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. destruction: Roughly equivalent to Harm, which is a spell level lower. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. create greater undead: Pet shadows! Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. wail of the banshee: AOE Save or die, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
Murder Subdomain

The Murder subdomain greatly improves on the Death domain. It exchanges three spells which Clerics already get for three cool new spells from the Wizard spell list. Killing Blow is more usable than Death's Embrace, though still not very good.

Replaced Power(s): Death's embrace

Killing Blow (Su): Critical hits are rare, you're probably not proficient with anything with a high threat range, and you can't get Improved Critical until level 15. Oh, and you can only use this a few times per day in case you're unnaturally lucky. Still, it's better than Death's Embrace.

  1. keen edge: You might actually get some use out of Killing Blow, but this still isn't particularly good for you. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. suffocation: Excellent, exciting Save or Die spell. Even if they succeed on their fortitude save, they are still staggered, and they have to resist it for three turns. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. suffocation (mass): Arguably better than Wail of the Banshee. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Undead Subdomain

The Undead subdomain trades some of the Death domains normal killing power for some better support and debuff options.

Replaced Power(s): Bleeding touch.

Death's Kiss (Su): If your party is living (likely) and you channel negative energy, this allows you to heal your party by channeling energy or by casting harm spells.

  1. ghoul touch: Excellent save or suck spell, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. enervation: Very effective, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. energy drain: very powerful, but already on the Cleric spell list.

Destruction Domain

The Destruction domain just isn't good. The only interesting spell on the spell list is Disintegrate, and the domain powers are bad and potentially dangerous to use.

Destructive Smite (Su): The damage bonus is small, doesn't scale well, and it's a common morale bonus, so it won't stack with many of your buff spells.

Destructive Aura (Su): This is very scary to use, as it affects you and your party members. If your party has more attacks than your target, this gives you an advantage. If you enemies have more attacks, this will get you killed.

  1. true strike: Rarely more useful than two rounds of attacking.
  2. shatter: Situational.
  3. rage: Situational; don't cast on yourself.
  4. inflict critical wounds: You have much better options for dealing damage at this level.
  5. shout: Usable while pinned, but otherwise rarely useful.
  6. harm: Excellent damage with no DR or resistance. Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. disintegrate: Excellent damage with no DR or resistance, and ranged, but fortitude saves are generally high. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. earthquake Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. implosion: Lots of damage to one target per turn. Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
Catastrophe Subdomain

The Catastrophe subdomain replaces Destructive aura with Deadly Weather, which gives you several interesting tactical options instead of potentially murder your own party. The spell selection is roughly equivalent, but you give up Disintegrate for Control Weather, which is already a Cleric spell.

Replaced Power(s): Destructive aura

Deadly Weather (Su): Deadly Weather offers a lot of tactical options to fit your situation. Remember that the lightning bold option costs a standard action to call a lightning bolt, just lime Call Lightning.

  1. gust of wind: Occaionally useful.
  2. call lightning: Mediocre damage spell, but it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. control weather: Occasionally useful, but you give up Disintegrate.
Rage Subdomain

Rage is a great option for a Destruction cleric, but the spell selection isn't much better than what you get from Destruction.

Replaced Power(s): Destructive aura

Rage (Su): Rage like a low level Barbarian. This is a good offensive option, but the limited duration means that you can't really build a character around it.

  1. bull's strength: Essential, but already a Cleric spell.
  2. moonstruck: You get this two levels late, but it's an excellent debuff spell if your enemies outnumber you.

Earth Domain

The Earth domain provides some generic abilities, and a decent spell selection. The spells are mostly utilities or area control effects, and several of them come from the Druid spell list.

Acid Dart (Sp): Generic ranged energy attack. Solid, reliable, and a great option at low levels when your spells are limited.

Acid Resistance (Ex): Permanent resistance to acid, but it's not a lot of resistance.

  1. magic stone: Very low damage spell.
  2. soften earth and stone: Excellent utility, not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. stone shape: Excellent utility, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. spike stones: Fantastic area control, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. wall of stone: Excellent utility, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. stoneskin: Great buff that's not on the Cleric spell list, but very expensive to cast.
  7. elemental body IV (earth only): Awful spell.
  8. earthquake Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. elemental swarm (earth spell only): Create a bunch of elemental servants. If you can spare the 10 minutes to cast this ahead of time, the elementals are big bags of hit points to defend you in combat. However, the biggest elemental you summon is CR 9, which won't be very scary at this level.
Caves Subdomain

The Caves subdomain helps you survive fighting underground. You get an easy way to get Darkvision for brief periods, and you get a selection of cool area control spells.

Replaced Power(s): Acid resistance

Tunnel Runner (Su): The duration is decent and the bonuses are pretty good. You will likely get Darkvision from the spell, but the bonuses to Stealth and Initiative are very good.

  1. create pit: Area control. Not on the Druid spell list.
  2. spiked pit: Better area control. Not on the Druid spell list.
  3. hungry pit: Even better area control. Not on the Druid spell list.
Metal Subdomain

Metal Fist is bad, and the spell selections are bad. Iron Body is cool, but not enough to justify the rest of the subdomain.

Replaced Power(s): Acid dart

Metal Fist (Su): The damage is fine, but barely exceeds that of a spiked gauntlet, and falls below the Heavy Mace you're probably holding.

  1. heat metal: Amusing, but bad.
  2. wall of iron: Situationally useful.
  3. iron body: Cool buff, and not on the Cleric spell list.

Evil Domain

All of the spell options are already on your spell list, and Touch of Evil is situational. Scythe of Evil is cool, but hardly enough to justify taking this domain.

Touch of Evil (Sp): The big appeal here is the penalty to saving throws, and treating the target as Good for your Evil spells. Touch them to make them sickened, then hit them with something evil. Not particularly helpful at low levels when the duration is short, and hard generally you can just prepare spells appropriate to your enemies' alignments.

Scythe of Evil (Su): The duration is very short, but Unholy can deal a huge amount of damage.

  1. protection from good: If you're evil, most of your enemies will likely be good. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. align weapon (evil only): Essential for fighting Good outsiders, but you can already cast this as a second level spell. Without the alignment limitation.
  3. magic circle against good: AOE version of Protection from Good. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. unholy blight: Poor damage, and the duration of the Sickened condition is pathetic.
  5. dispel good: very flashy, but very situational.
  6. create undead: Pet mummies! Already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. blasphemy: Very powerful against weaker enemies. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. unholy aura: Excellent buff, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. summon monster IX (evil spell only): You can already cast this without the alignment limitation.
Daemon Subdomain

Considerably better than the Evil domain, the Daemon subdomain replaces Scythe of Evil with a much more exciting power, and adds two very powerful spells to the Cleric spell list.

Replaced Power(s): Scythe of evil

Whispering Evil (Su): Excellent AOE crowd control effect. Fascination takes targets out of combat until someone does something hostile to them, so you can use this to disable groups of enemies while your allies move into position.

  1. cause fear: Making things run away if less useful than killing them, and it only affects creatures with up to 4 hit dice. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. vampiric touch: Fantastic, especially if you're in combat a lot. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. planar binding (daemons only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The Daemon limitation is annoying, and Daemons have a fairly small list to choose from. Don't mistake demons for Daemons.

Fire Domain

Easily the best of the elemental domains, the Fire domain has effectively the same powers as the other elemental domains, but a considerably better spell list. You get several excellent area control and damage spells off the Wizard and Druid spell lists.

Fire Bolt (Sp): Generic ranged energy attack. Solid, reliable, and a great option at low levels when your spells are limited.

Fire Resistance (Ex): It's not a lot of resistance, but fire is the most common energy damage type.

  1. burning hands: Mediocre damage spell.
  2. produce flame: Mediocre damage spell.
  3. fireball: Good damage spell; one of the best AOE spells at early levels.
  4. wall of fire: Good area control, not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. fire shield: Decent buff, but you get it a level behind wizards. If you're in melee, this can be an excellent defense.
  6. fire seeds: The holly berries option is insane. Charge eight berries, then some time in the next hour or two, drop them in the other guy's square, and step back out of the 5 foot blast radius. Trigger all 8 for for 8d8 plus 8 times your caster level. The acorn version is bad. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  7. elemental body IV (fire only): Awful spell.
  8. incendiary cloud: The damage isn't great, but this is still a great area control spell. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. elemental swarm (fire spell only): Create a bunch of elemental servants. If you can spare the 10 minutes to cast this ahead of time, the elementals are big bags of hit points to defend you in combat. However, the biggest elemental you summon is CR 9, which won't be very scary at this level.
Ash Subdomain

The Ash subdomain replaces the rather boring Fire Resistance power for the super exciting Wall of Ashes. On top of a much better power, it replaces two of the worst spell options on the Fire domain spell list with two excellent spells from the Wizard spell list. This is a clear improvement on the Fire domain without altering the feel or strategy of the domain.

Replaced Power(s): Fire resistance

Wall of Ashes (Su): Absolutely fantastic. Wall of Ashes combines a counter-invisibility mechanic with a great debuff and an area control effect. If you aren't using this regularly, you are doing yourself a disservice.

  1. disintegrate: Excellent damage with no DR or resistance, and ranged, but fortitude saves are generally high. Not on the Cleric spell list. You get it a level later than Wizards, which stinks, but it's still a good spell.
  2. fiery body: A fantastic buff, and not on the Cleric spell list.
Smoke Subdomain

You give up your offensive options for some area controll effects. Coloud of Smoke is weak, but Stinking Cloud is pretty fantastic. This isn't a real improvement on the Fire domain, but it provides some interesting new options.

Replaced Power(s): Fire bolt

Cloud of Smoke (Su): An interesting debuff, but you have plenty of spells available which provide similar or better options.

  1. pyrotechnics: Interesting, but difficult to use as it requires an existing fire. A torch might suffice, but check with your GM. The effects are decent, but you have other, better options at this level. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. stinking cloud: Excellent area control.

Glory Domain

The Glory domain starts off very flat, but opens up a bunch of really excellent buffs, including some of the best options from the Paladin spell list. Divine Presence provides a really cool mechanic to pause and potentially escape fights.

Granted Powers: Makes your Channel Energy harder to resist for undead. Situational, but good.

Touch of Glory (Sp): Buff your party's Face. The bonus is typeless, and should be impressive depending on your Wisdom score.

Divine Presence (Su): Is the fight going poorly? Turn this on, politely excuse yourself, and walk out of the room.

  1. shield of faith: Excellent buff, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. bless weapon: Better than Align Weapon, assuming your enemies are evil.
  3. searing light: Terrible damage, even against undead.
  4. holy smite: Poor damage, and the duration of the Sickened condition is pathetic.
  5. righteous might: Absolutely great buff, but it's already a Cleric spell.
  6. undeath to death: Wrecks undead, but already a Cleric spell.
  7. holy sword: This is an absolutely fantastic buff, and this is one of very few ways for anyone but Paladins to get it. Use it early, use it often.
  8. holy aura: Excellent buff, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. gate: Hugely powerful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
Heroism Subdomain

Though the spell list isn't much of an improvement, the Aura of Heroism is going to get much more use than Divine Presence.

Replaced Power(s): Divine presence

Aura of Heroism (Su): Very solid buff, very easy to use. If you aren't running other morale bonuses already, use this in every fight.

  1. heroism: Good single-target buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. heroism (greater): Good single-target buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
Honor Subdomain

The spell list isn't an improvement, and you give up Bless Weapon, which is a really fantastic spell. Honor Bound is a gret defense for you, and it's a good way to break enchantments at low levels before you get the Break Enchantment spell.

Replaced Power(s): Touch of glory

Honor Bound (Su): Touching your friends to allow another save against charm/compulsion effects is good, but allowing yourself a second save as an immediate action is amazing. With the Cleric's will saves, this is hugely valuable.

  1. zone of truth: Situationall useful, but already on the Cleric spell list. You give up Bless weapon for this, which really sucks.
  2. geas/quest: Situationall useful, but already on the Cleric spell list.

Good Domain

The Good domain brings practically nothing to the table. Touch of Good is bad because the duration is so short, and Holy Lance isn't enough to justify a whole domain when the Glory domain gets you the Holy Sword spell. All of the spells on the spell list are already Cleric spells.

Touch of Good (Sp): The bonus only lasts one round, which is useless in combat. Instead, use this for Skill and Ability checks, or before you throw the Rogue into a room full of traps.

Holy Lance (Su): The duration is very short, but Holy can deal a huge amount of damage.

  1. protection from evil: Most enemies will be evil, but this is already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. align weapon (good only): You can already cast this without the alignment limitation.
  3. magic circle against evil: Same issues as protection from Evil.
  4. holy smite: Awful damage, and the duration of the Blind effect is pathetic.
  5. dispel evil: Good buff, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. blade barrier: Excellent area control, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. holy word: Good against weaker enemies, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. holy aura: Fantastic buff, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. summon monster IX (good spell only): You can already cast this without the alignment limitation.
Agathion Subdomain

A small improvement to the spell list provided by the Good domain, but hardly enough to justify losing Holy Lance.

Replaced Power(s): Holy lance

Protective Aura (Su): This would be decent if the bonuses scaled. By 8th level, most people will have a Ring of Protection, and everyone should have a Cloak of Resistance +2. These enhancements will very quickly make this power obsolete. Plus, you give up the only interesting part of the Good domain

  1. shield of faith: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. tongues: This is already a Cleric spell, but you get it a level early.
  3. planar ally (agathions only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The Agathion limitation is annoying.

Healing Domain

The Healing domain is bland. Most of the spells are generic cure spells, and untilyou get Breath of Life, most Healing clerics will be able to spontaneously cast the entire domain. Healer's Blessing is the only thing truly worthwhile in the entire domain, and even that can largely be replaced by a Wand of Cure Light Wounds (or Infernal Healing if you're crazy like that).

Rebuke Death (Sp): At very low levels, this is helpful. With small pools of hit points, players will be knocked unconcious often, so this can save you a lot of more expensive healing resources. At high levels, this will almost never be helpful.

Healer's Blessing (Su): This is a huge amount of extra healing.

  1. cure light wounds: You can probably spontaneously cast this by dropping your other domain spell.
  2. cure moderate wounds: You can probably spontaneously cast this by dropping your other domain spell.
  3. cure serious wounds: You can probably spontaneously cast this by dropping your other domain spell.
  4. cure critical wounds: You can probably spontaneously cast this by dropping your other domain spell.
  5. breath of life: So essential that people often call this a spell tax on clerics. If you have this and don't prepare it, you're a fool. It's already on the Cleric spell list, so prepare your other domain spell of this level if it's even remotely interesting.
  6. heal: Essential, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. regenerate: Useful if you lose limbs, but not as easy to use as Heal. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. mass cure critical wounds: You can probably spontaneously cast this by dropping your other domain spell.
  9. mass heal: Good, but there are more impressive options at this level, and it's already on the Cleric spell list.
Restoration Subdomain

Awful. Truly awful. Restorative Touch heals a very small set of conditions which generally aren't that annoying or go away within a turn. The spell list is somehow worse

Replaced Power(s): Rebuke death

Restorative Touch (Su): With the exception of Dazed and Sickened, those conditions are fairly gentle. Unless your ally is going to do something really impressive with their turn, you are probably better off doing almost anything else.

  1. remove disease: Hugely situational, and it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. neutralize poison: Hugely situational, and it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. break enchantment: Situational. Not nearly as good as Breath of Life, and it's already on the Cleric spell list.
Resurrection Subdomain

Surprisingly awful. Gift of Life has so much potential, but only comes into play if your party is falling apart. Combined with Rebuke Death, the entire domain becomes a distaster scenario fallback. On a normal day, you won't be able to use most of your abilities.

Replaced Power(s): Healer's blessing

Gift of Life (Su): If your party members tend to die a lot, this is helpful. Of course, if you're friends tend to die a lot you are probably going to die before this can get a lot of mileage.

  1. raise dead: Why would you need this as a domain spell? How often do you wake up in the morning and say "I bet one of my friends is going to die today, so I should prepare for it." This is already on the Cleric spell list, and generally raising the dead is something that justifies taking a day off.
  2. resurrection: See Raise Dead.
  3. true resurrection: See Raise Dead.

Knowledge Domain

Granted Powers: Access to every knowledge skill. Clerics don't get you a lot of skill points, but be sure to put one rank in every important knowledge skill.

Lore Keeper (Sp): Helpful for learning about creatures, but very difficult to do in combat. If you don't need to identify things beforehand, this can save you a ton of skill ranks on Knowledge skills.

Remote Viewing (Sp): Clairvoyance is a great scouting effect, and being able to use it one round at a time gives you a lot of really great options without wasting a spell slot to peek around a corner.

  1. comprehend languages: Situational, already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. detect thoughts: Situational, but very powerful and not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. speak with dead: Situational, already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. divination: Situational, already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. true seeing: Essential, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. find the path: Situational, already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. legend lore: You get it a level late, but this spell can be very powerful if your DM is creative.
  8. discern location: Situational, already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. foresight: Fantastic buff. Insight bonuses are rare and expensive, and a 10 minute per level duration will get you a few hours of protection. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Memory Subdomain

You get two more spells which aren't on the Cleric spell list, and the Recall ability is absolutely amazing. This ia clear improvement on the Knowledge domain.

Replaced Power(s): Lore keeper

Recall (Su): I would take this over Lore Keeper any day of the week. Even if you can't cover your party's knowledge needs by yourself, allowing your allies to reroll knowledge checks even once a day can dramatically change the outcome of your campaign. 3+wisdom rerolls a day makes your party a bottomless well of knowledge. Adding your Wisdom bonus as an additional bonus is amazing, but this would probably be blue without it.

  1. memory lapse: Situational, but hillarious. You get it a level late, but it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. modify memory: Situational, but potentially very powerful.
  3. moment of prescience: Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
Thought Subdomain

The Thought subdomain replaces three Cleric spells on the Knowledge domain with some very powerful spells from the Wizard spell list. Read Minds is an interesting ability, and probably removes the need to cast Detect Thoughts. Losing Remote Viewing hurts, but the improvements to the spell list are dramatic.

Replaced Power(s): Remote viewing

Read Minds (Su): Similar to detect thoughts, but you don't have to spend a spell slot on it. Spread the duration around as much as you can, because it's not going to last very long.

  1. seek thoughts: Potentially powerful, but very dependant on your DM.
  2. telepathic bond: Very helpful for party communication, not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. mind blank: Immensely powerful buff which applies to almost all will saves. Cast this every day, and enjoy the 24 hour duration. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Law Domain

The spell list is pretty boring, but the Law domain abilities are fantastic.

Touch of Law (Sp): It's hard to use in combat, but this ability is fantastic. The sheer reliability of a guranteed 11 really makes you much more reliable. Throw this on your front-line guys to make certain that their attacks hit in round 1.

Staff of Order (Su): The duration is very short, but Axiomatic can deal a huge amount of damage.

  1. protection from chaos: Chaos is much harder to predict than Good or Evil. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. align weapon (law only): Very few things have DR/lawful, and you can already cast this without the alignment limitation.
  3. magic circle against chaos: Same issues as Protection from Chaos.
  4. order's wrath: Terrible damage, but Dazed is a good status condition. The duration is still terrible.
  5. dispel chaos: Good buff, but it's already on your spell list.
  6. hold monster: Save or suck, and not on the Cleric spell list. You get it a level late, but it's still fantastic.
  7. dictum: Good against weaker creatures, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. shield of law: Excellent buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. summon monster IX (law spell only): You can already cast this without the alignment restriction.
Inevitable Subdomain

If you like to boss things around, this is the subdomain for you. The Command ability is very useful if you are creative, and can address a lot of problems. The spell list is mediocre, but provides some potentially interesting options.

Replaced Power(s): Touch of law

Command (Su): Command is a good spell, and the DC will keep pace with your spells. This might be easier to use than Touch of Law, but it's not nearly as reliable.

  1. command undead: Situational, but not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. command (greater): Already on the Cleric spell list, and your Command ability will probably be enough.
  3. planar binding (inevitables only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The Inevitables limitation is annoying, and there is a small list of Inevitables to choose from.

Liberation Domain

The abilities are fantastic ways to get access to Freedom of Movement, but the spell list is very poor.

Liberation (Su): If you ever need this, it will save your life. Somewhat redundant with Freedom's Call.

Freedom's Call (Su): The listed status effects are all very debilitating, and being able to ignore them for a few rounds per day will save your life. Allowing your entire party to ignore them is fantastic.

  1. remove fear: Rarely useful; hardly worth preparing. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. remove paralysis: Situational. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. remove curse: Situational. Generally you prepare this when someone in the party is already cursed.Already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. freedom of movement: Good to have ready, but situational, already on the Cleric spell list, and you have Freedom's Call.
  5. break enchantment: See to Remove Curse.
  6. greater dispel magic: Fixes a lot of problems, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. refuge: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. mind blank: Immensely powerful buff which applies to almost all will saves. Cast this every day, and enjoy the 24 hour duration. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. freedom: Very situational, and already on the Cleric spell list. Most of the effects of this spell are covered by Freedom of Movement, and the ability to remove creatures from Imprisonment and Maze are highly situational.
Freedom Subdomain

Liberty's blessing is incredibly powerful, but the spell list really isn't any different. If you don't think you will need Liberation between levels 1 and 7, Liberty's Blessing is incredibly powerful.

Replaced Power(s): Liberation

Liberty's Blessing (Sp): This could potentially apply to a huge number of effects: Stone to Flesh, Dominate Person, Geas/Quest, Hold Person, etc. Rerolls on saves are amazing, and there is nothing that prevents you from using this repeatedly until your target passes their save.

  1. sanctuary: Situational. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. plane shift: Situational. Already on the Cleric spell list.
Revolution Subdomain

Deviating from the Liberation domain's theme of physical freedom, the Revolution domain takes on a much more social feel. Powerful Persuader is great on a Face, but spell list isn't really any different from the base Liberation spell list.

Replaced Power(s): Freedom's call

Powerful Persuader (Su): If you aren't the party's Face, you won't get much mileage out of this. With a trait, you can add Bluff to your list of class skills, which makes you a perfectly viable choice for a Face. Rerolls are great in any situation. This ability does lower your combat effectiveness, but the utility is still fantastic.

  1. enthrall: Good crowd control, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. symbol of persuasion: Good crowd control, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.

Luck Domain

Though the spell list doesn't become useful until very high levels, the Luck domain has arguably the best ability available. Good fortune is a game changer. It can save your life from save-or-suck effects, it can make sure you make that crucial last attack, and it can help in any number of other cases.

Bit of Luck (Sp): When things are going to come down to one attack or skill check, this is very comforting to have on hand. Difficult to use in combat, but still very useful for skill checks and ability checks.

Good Fortune (Ex): Free daily luck rerolls. Good on any character, and in any situation.

  1. true strike: Very difficult to find a use for, but it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. aid: Good buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. protection from energy: Good buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. freedom of movement: Good buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. break enchantment: Good buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. mislead: Excellent escape spell, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  7. spell turning: Absolutely fantastic. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. moment of prescience: Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. miracle: Very powerful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
Curse Subdomain

Malign Eye isn't as useful as Bit of Luck, and it's hard to justify using in place of casting a spell or attacking. The only important option on the spell list is Eyebite, which is really only great for a level or 2 before enemies will have too many hit dice to be affected.

Replaced Power(s): Bit of luck

Malign Eye (Su): This hurts as a standard action. In the same amount of time you could cast spells which might give the target Shaken or Sickened, both of which apply -2 penalties to saves on top of a laundry list of other effects.

  1. bane: You will generally get better results from Bless. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. bestow curse: Very powerful debuff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. eyebite: Absolutely devastating save or suck spell against targets below 10 hit dice. Creatures with 10 hit dice will still be affected by the Sickened condition, which makes them easier to hit with other spells. Targeting a new creature each round as a swift action allows you to affect a whole mess of enemies. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Fate Subdomain

Tugging Strands is just better than Good Fortune. You get it a little later, but the effect is well worth the wait. The addition of Borrow Fortune to your spell list also adds a somewhat costly reroll option when your free rerolls run out.

Replaced Power(s): Good fortune

Tugging Strands (Su): I honestly didn't think that I would find a better option than Good Fortune, but here it is. Any creature in line of sight includes you, your allies, and probably all of your enemies. You get this two levels behind Good Fortune, and get additional rerolls two levels behind each new reroll of Good Fortune, but that is really the only drawback.

  1. augury: Useful if you roll well and your DM is okay with vaguely alluding to the future. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. borrow fortune: This is a hugely powerful spell. I would prepare this every day, but save it for absolutely crucial rolls, like save or suck effects. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Madness Domain

The Madness domain is absolutely fantastic. Vision of Madness is a high risk, high reward buff option which could be a lot of fun at the table. Aura of Madness is a fantastic group debuff which can shut down entire encounters. On top of excellent and exciting powers, the Madness spell list is almost entirely non-Cleric spells, many of which are powerful save or suck/die spells.

Vision of Madness (Sp): Give the bonus to attacks to your fighter types before combat, and hopefully the huge penalty to saves won't get them slaughtered.

Aura of Madness (Su): Confusion is a great debuff spell, and the save on this ability will keep page with your spells. Affecting every enemy within 30 reduces entire encounters to mobs of babbling incoherent lunatics.

  1. lesser confusion: Even if they fail the save, targets have a good chance to act normally.
  2. touch of idiocy: Excellent debuff for enemy spellcasters. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. rage: Interesting, but hard to use. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  4. confusion: Excellent debuff. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. nightmare: Situational. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  6. phantasmal killer: Decent low level save or die spell for Wizards, but you get it 2 levels late. Not on the Cleric spell list. By this level you have other, more effective save or suck options.
  7. insanity: Brutal near-permanent debuff.
  8. scintillating pattern: AOE debuff with no save, and some very nasty effects. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. weird: AOE save or die spell, and even if targets pass their save, they are Stunned. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Insanity Subdomain

The Insanity Subdomain isn't significantly better than the base Madness domain, but has slightly different options. Choosing between the two is entirely personal preference.

Replaced Power(s): Visions of madness.

Insane Focus (Su): Most Will save effects are mind-affecting, so that +4 bonus applies to most will saves. The immunity to Confusion is situational.

  1. moonstruck: Excellent debuff spell if your enemies outnumber you. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. phantasmal web: Excellent AOE debuff/save or suck. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Nightmare Subdomain

Fearful touch is a very interesting option if you like to use Fear effects, and it's the key component of this subdomain. If you prefer to use Fear over Confusion effects, use the Nightmare subdomain.

Replaced Power(s): Vision of madness

Fearful Touch (Su): Fear effects are generally weak, with the exception of Phantasmal Killer, which kills people. Oh, look! It's on your spell list! Of course, this combination requires to turns (or a quickened spell) to manage, but it's certainly effective.

  1. phantasmal killer: Combine with Fearful Touch, this is brutally effective.
  2. cloak of dreams: Amazing defense. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. weird: I'm confused why this is here. It's alreadyo nthe Madness domain at the same level.

Magic Domain

Despite being a domain about Magic, the Magic domain's abilities mostly center around resisting and defeating spellcasters. These abilities are very powerful, especially in a magic-heavy campaign.

Hand of the Acolyte (Su): Unlike the energy ray abilities, this targets AC. It won't be as accurate, but at first level your weapon will do slightly more damage. At high levels, your weapon may be enhanced to deal more damage than the energy rays, but without enhancement the energy rays will scale faster.

Dispelling Touch (Sp): Great for fighting other spellcasters. Engage them in melee, dispel their buffs, then stick around to disrupt their spells.

  1. identify: Helpful, and not normally available to clerics. Without a Wizard's intelligence, this will help when identifying items.
  2. magic mouth: Situational. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. dispel magic: Immensely helpful, but on the Cleric spell list already.
  4. imbue with spell ability: Very cool, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. spell resistance: Fantastic, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. antimagic field: If they're a better spellcaster but you're a better fighter, turn off the magic and go hit them with your mace. You get this two levels ahead of other Clerics.
  7. spell turning: Fantastic, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. protection from spells: Fantastic, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. mage's disjunction: Disregard mages, nuke treasure. Insanely powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
Arcane Subdomain

Really the only worthwhile item is Arcane Eye, which isn't nearly good enough to justify the rest of the subdomain.

Replaced Power(s): Hand of the acolyte

Arcane Beacon (Su): A conceptually interesting support effect, but you are a truly awful character if th best you can do with your turn is to replicate the effects of Spell Focus.

  1. magic aura: Hugely situational, though it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. arcane eye: Fantastic scouting spell. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. analyze dweomer: Situational. Most of the time Detect Magic will work just as well.
Divine Subdomain

Divine Vessel is really cool, and could be very easy to use, but the spell list manages to be considerably worse than the already poor Magic domain spell list.

Replaced Power(s): Hand of the acolyte

Divine Vessel (Su): The +2 bonus is typeless apparently. Targeting yourself with a divinge spell is fairly trivial. Out of combat you can use cantrips like Resistance or Light, and in combat you can use short-term buffs like Heroism.

  1. bless water: Already on the cleric spell list, situational, and bad. You can just buy holy water for the same price as the material component.
  2. cleanse: Nice self-healing effect, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. resurrection: Why would you need this as a domain spell? How often do you wake up in the morning and say "I bet one of my friends is going to die today, so I should prepare for it." This is already on the Cleric spell list, and generally raising the dead is something that justifies taking a day off.
  4. miracle: Good, but already on your spell list.

Nobility Domain

Inspiring Word is bad, but you get Leadership for free, and a bonus to your leadership score. The spell list has only one option which isn't already on the Cleric spell list, and most of the spells ar mediocre.

Inspiring Word (Sp): Small buff, and it doesn't stack with a bunch of cleric spells (Bless, Prayer, etc.), and the duration is pitiful. You should generally have something better to do in combat, so use it for skill checks between fights.

Leadership (Ex): If your DM allows leadership in your campaign, this is fantastic.

  1. divine favor: This is good, especially because it's a luck bonus, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. enthrall: Decent, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. magic vestment: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. discern lies: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. greater command: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. geas/quest: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. repulsion: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. demand: Very powerful, and not normally on the Cleric spell list. Send the BBEG a message telling him to meet you somewhere that totally isn't a trap.
  9. storm of vengeance: This is a weird spell. It's hard to time, it's hard to use, and it's hard to not do just as much damage to your party. It's also on the cleric spell list already at the same level.
Leadership Subdomain

This is miles better than the Nobility domain. Inspiring Word is terrible, and Inspiring Command is a welcome replacement. The addition of Brilliant Inspiration to the spell list is a welcome addition. The other spell options aren't any better than the default Nobility list. If you are the party's support caster, this is a solid domain choice.

Replaced Power(s): Inspiring word.

Inspiring Command (Su): Despite the one round duration, this is considerably better than Inspiring Word. Insight bonuses are easier to stack with common Cleric buffs like Bless and Prayer, and it can affect multiple targets.

  1. bless: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. prayer: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. brilliant inspiration: Absolutely amazing. This spell only appears on the Bard spell list at 6th spell level, so you get this a stunning 5 levels early. Imagine allowing your fighter or your rogue to reroll every d20 for the length of a combat. This can completely change the outcome of a battle.
Martyr Subdomain

The Martyr subdomain focuses on you taking damage in place of your allies. Invest in additional hit points, because you will need them. This can help to compensate for a lack of a defender, but the Martyr subdomain lacks any proactive options.

Replaced Power(s): Leadership.

Sacrificial Bond (Su): Like an emergency version of Shield Other. This can be a fantastic way to rescue your squishy allies, or keep your defender on the front lines.

  1. shield other: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. sacrificial oath: An upgraded version of Shield Other, and it's normally only available to Paladins as a 4th-level spell, so you get it at least 2 levels early.

Plant Domain

Similar to the Animal domain, the Plant domain adds several Druid spells to the Cleric spell list. While the domain abilities are uninteresting, the spells list includes several really fantastic options across every spell level. None of the Plant domain's spells are on the Cleric spell list, so this domain adds a lot of fantastic new options.

Wooden Fist (Su): Just get a mace.

Bramble Armor (Su): The damage is small, and it's hard to know when to best use these rounds.

  1. entangle: Excellent area control spell, and not generally available to Clerics.
  2. barkskin: Excellent AC buff with a good duration, and not normally available to clerics.
  3. plant growth: Situational, but not on the Cleric spell list, and potentially very powerful.
  4. command plants: Very situational, but not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. wall of thorns: Excellent area control, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  6. repel wood: Situational, but not on the Cleric spell list, and potentially very powerful.
  7. animate plants: Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. control plants: Situational, but not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. shambler: Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
Decay Subdomain

Aura of Decay is cool, but hard to use. The spell list gives up three spells from the Druid spell list for three spells already on the Cleric spell list.

Replaced Power(s): Bramble armor.

Aura of Decay (Su): Because this aura affects allies, it's hard to determine when to use this. The cumulative strength penalty can be very debilitating, and doesn't require a save.

  1. contagion: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. poison: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. harm: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
Growth Subdomain

The Growth subdomain is all about making yourself bigger and hitting stuff. If you're going to be on the front lines, this is an excellent subdomain.

Replaced Power(s): Wooden fist.

Enlarge (Su): Situationally useful, though the duration is very short. Miles better than wooden fist.

  1. enlarge person: Fantastic, and not on the Cleric spell list. The addition of reach justifies preparing this every day if you can manage it.
  2. righteous might: Fantastic, but already on the Cleric spell list. You also give up Wall of Thorns, which is a really good spell.

Protection Domain

Granted Powers: A permanent resistance bonus. Saves you some money on a cloak of resistance, and gives you great saves early in the game.

Resistant Touch (Sp): Your allies should have their own resistance bonuses.

Aura of Protection (Su): The bonuses are small, but they cover basically everything that can hurt you.

  1. sanctuary: Situational. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. shield other: Good, but already on your spell list.
  3. protection from energy: Good buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. spell immunity: This spell is very difficult to use. Unless you know exactly which spells your enemies will be using, this won't get you anything. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. spell resistance: Fantastic, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. antimagic field: If they're a better spellcaster but you're a better fighter, turn off the magic and go hit them with your mace. You get this two levels ahead of other Clerics.
  7. repulsion: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. mind blank: Immensely powerful buff which applies to almost all will saves. Cast this every day, and enjoy the 24 hour duration. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. prismatic sphere: Very powerful area control, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
Defense Subdomain

Miles better than the Protection domain, the Defense subdomain replaces the useless Resistant Touch with a once per day party AC buff, and replaces several Cleric spells on the Protection spell list with some excellent defensive buffs from the Wizard and Druid spell lists.

Replaced Power(s): Resistant touch.

Deflection Aura (Su): Deflection bonuses are expensive, and this can reduce the need for Rings of Protection. The duration isn't great, and it's only usable once a day, so you may need to save this for when things get scary.

  1. shield: Excellent AC buff, and it opens up your hands so that you can use a two-handed weapon without sacrificing AC.
  2. barkskin: Excellent AC buff with a good duration, and not normally available to clerics.
  3. deflection: Amazing buff, despite the short duration. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Purity Subdomain

Purifying Touch is a great power, but the Purity subdomain's spell list isn't any better than the Protection domain's regular spell list. It's no worse, fortunately.

Replaced Power(s): Aura of protection.

Purifying Touch (Su): This is a great way to remove a huge number of negative effects: poison, disease, curses, enchantments, ongoing damage, etc. Basically any harmful spell with a duration that isn't "instantaneous" can by fixed with this ability.

  1. protection from chaos/evil/good/law: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. remove blindness/deafness: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. atonement: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.

Repose Domain

Repose features a pair of fantastically powerful abilities, but the spell list is fairly poor. The only non-Cleric spell on the spell list comes at level 9.

Gentle Rest (Sp): No save. Staggered reduces the target to a single action, which can be debillitating at high levels. Touching them again to make them fall asleep makes the target bait for a Coup de Grace.

Ward Against Death (Su): This will absolutely save your life.

  1. deathwatch: Useful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. gentle repose: Very situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. speak with dead: Situational, already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. death ward: Death effects are scary, and this protects against them. However, the duration is short, so it is hard to know when to cast this.
  5. slay living: Save or die. Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. undeath to death: Wrecks undead, but already a Cleric spell.
  7. destruction: Roughly equivalent to Harm, which is a spell level lower. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. waves of exhaustion: Exhausted is a pretty gentle status condition, especially at this level.
  9. wail of the banshee: AOE save or die.
Ancestors Subdomain

The Ancestors subdomain gives you nothing that you didn't already have.

Replaced Power(s): Ward against death.

Speak With Dead (Su): Hugely situational, and you can replicate this with a spell which you could cast three levels earlier. You also give up Ward Against Death, which is amazing.

  1. rest eternal: Hugely situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. geas/quest: Hugely situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
Souls Subdomain

Touch the Spirit World is very situational, and the only interesting spell on this subdomain's spell list in Trap the Soul. This isn't really any better than the Repose domain, and might actually be worse if Gentle Rest is working well for you.

Replaced Power(s): Gentle rest.

Touch the Spirit World (Su): Situational, but effective.

  1. animate dead: Good, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. antilife shield: Excellent area control, but already on the Cleric spell list
  3. trap the soul: very powerful, but situational and expensive. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Rune Domain

Granted Powers: Scribe Scroll is a great feat. Make scrolls of situational spells so that you always have them handy.

Blast Rune (Sp): Useless at first leve due to the dismal duration, and the damage doesn't scale enough to keep it relevent at high levels.

Spell Rune (Sp): And suddenly Blast Rune becomes useful! Throw something nasty on the rune like Hold Person or Harm, and really ruin someone's day.

  1. erase: Very situational. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. secret page: Very situational. Not on the Cleric spell list, and you get it a level early.
  3. glyph of warding: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. explosive runes: Situational. Not on the Cleric spell list, but you get it a level late.
  5. lesser planar binding: Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  6. greater glyph of warding: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. instant summonsSituational. Not on the Cleric spell list
  8. symbol of death: Effective, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  9. teleportation circle: Very cool, and not on the Cleric spell list, but arguably situational.
Language Subdomain

This will greatly improve your ability to communicate with creatures that don't speak your languages. Rune Shift would be fantastic if Blast Rune did something interesting. Telepathic bond is a welcome addition, but Tongues and Telepathic bond aren't good enough to make up for the loss of Spell Rune and Lesser Planar Binding.

Replaced Power(s): spell rune.

Rune Shift (Su): This would be fantastic if you hadn't given up Spell Rune for it. Blast Rune by itself is pitiful.

  1. comprehend languages: Ocassionally useful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. share language: Ocassionally useful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. tongues: Already on the Cleric spell list, but you get it one level ahead of schedule.
  4. telepathic bond: Very helpful for party communication, not on the Cleric spell list.
Wards Subdomain

Wards is a sidestep from the Rune domain. The spells are slightly different, though no better, and Warding Rune removes much of the utility of Spell Rune.

Replaced Power(s): spell rune.

Warding Rune (Su): Not as versatile as Spell Rune, but certainly an excellent defensive measure.

  1. arcane lock: Situational, but not on the Cleric spell list and you get it a level ahead of wizards.
  2. dimensional anchor: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. guards and wards: Contains a ton of really great effects, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.

Strength Domain

The Strength domain has a couple of abilities which are difficult to use, especially in combat where you would want them most. The spell list includes Enlarge Person, which is fantastic at any level, and at high level adds some telekinetic fist spells which are great for locking down single targets.

Strength Surge (Sp): The bonus is nice, but the duration is only one round, which makes this extremely difficult to use. It also takes a standard action to use, which means you probably won't use it on yourself in combat.

Might of the Gods (Su): Doesn't apply to anything combat related, and using it for strength checks and ability checks will probably never matter.

  1. enlarge person: Essential melee buff, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. bull's strength: Decent, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. magic vestment: Excellent, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. spell immunity: This spell is very difficult to use. Unless you know exactly which spells your enemies will be using, this won't get you anything. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. righteous might: Absolutely great buff, but it's already a Cleric spell.
  6. stoneskin: Great buff that's not on the Cleric spell list, but very expensive to cast.
  7. grasping hand: Useful for locking down single targets, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. clenched fist: Stunned is a devastating status effect, and Clenched Fist isn't on the Cleric spell list.
  9. crushing hand: Better version of Grasping Hand. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Ferocity Subdomain

Ferocious strike is considerably easier to use in combat than Strength Surge, and Ferocity doesn't meaningfully change the Strength spell list. The new spells aren't notably worse than the Strength domain's spells, and the Strength spells replaced are situational.

Replaced Power(s): strength surge.

Ferocious Strike (Su): Not very flashy, but this is a reliable source of additional damage.

  1. rage: Interesting, but hard to use. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. bull's strength (mass): Potentially useful, but by this level anyone who needs a strength buff will have items for it. Already on the Cleric spell list.

Sun Domain

If you plan to fight a lot of undead, the Sun domain is fantastic. Many of the spells on the Sun spell list do additional damage to undead, and your abilities really help against undead. The low level spell options are bad, but as you gain levels the options improve. Sunbeam and Sunburst are difficult to interpret because the spell descriptions are written strangely, but if your GM takes a reasonable interpretation of these spells, they can be very effective.

Sun's Blessing (Su): If you ever fight undead, you will win.

Nimbus of Light (Su): Removes Darkness spells, fries undead.

  1. endure elements: Very situational.
  2. heat metal: Amusing, but bad.
  3. searing light: Terrible damage, even against undead.
  4. fire shield: Decent buff, and not the Cleric spell list. If you're in melee, this can be an excellent defense.
  5. flame strike: Great damage for a Cleric spell, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. fire seeds: The holly berries option is insane. Charge eight berries, walk into melee. Next turn, drop them in the other guy's square, and step back out of the 5 foot blast radius. Trigger all 8 for for 8d8 plus 8 times your caster level. The acorn version is bad.
  7. sunbeam: This spell is poorly written. How long does the blindness last? Does the blindness end when you run out of rays? Or does it continue until the rounds/level duration expires? It affects "fungi, mold, oozes, and slimes" as though they were undead, but of those four only Ooze is a defined creature type. The wording regarding undead also makes it unclear if they are blinded in addition to the extra damage. The Pathfinder Rules Questions forum has several threads about the spell, all expressing similar concerns. I would interpret the spell as follows: Normal creatures take listed damage (4d6) and are permanently blinded. Undead take the bigger damage instead of the regular damage, and are blinded as normal. Oozes, and plant creatures which could be defined as "fungi, mold, or slime" (such as shambling mounds or mushroom creatures) are affected like undead. Consult your GM to be sure.
  8. sunburst: Though it suffers many of the rules interpetation issues of sunbeam, sunburst is slightly easier to interpret. Because the duration is instantaneous, the blindness effect is permanent. The damage dealt to undead is still unclear (do they take damage twice?), and the additional list of things affected like undead is still confusing.
  9. prismatic sphere: Very powerful area control, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
Day Subdomain

Day's resurgence isn't as cool as Sun's Blessing, but if you don't encounter a lot of undead and magical darkness, Day's resurgence can be a nice source of healing. The changes to the Sun spell list help to compensate for the loss of Nimbus of Light, and are a solid improvement over the Sun doamin's normal spells.

Replaced Power(s): nimbus of light.

Day's Resurgence (Su): Healing per day is fairly small, and there are very few effects which require daily saves. Still, this is free healing, and can help to overcome temporary negative levels and diseases.

  1. continual flame: Excellent way to get a permanent light source, but you really only need to cast it once or twice. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. daylight: Excellent light source, and overcomes Darkness. Already on the Cleric spell list.
Light Subdomain

Blinding Flash is better than Sun's Blessing in every situation not involving undead. The spell list is also a major improvement on the Sun domain. Faerie Fire is an excellent utility spell at any level, and Daylight is a welcome utility.

Replaced Power(s): sun's blessing.

Blinding Flash (Su): Blindness can be very debilitating, and blindness effects at level 1 are nearly nonexistent. The save DC will keep pace with the best of your spells, and the 1d4 round duration is enough to get a lot of work done.

  1. faerie fire: Longer duration than Glitterdust, and nearly as effective for revealing invisibile creatures. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. daylight: Excellent light source, but already on the Cleric spell list.

Travel Domain

The Travel domain introduces a bunch of teleportation and mobility options to the Cleric. If you like to move around a lot in combat, this can give you some excellent tactical options.

Agile Feet (Su): Great for clerics who need to move around a lot, but situational. Can be replaced by Freedom of Movement.

Dimensional Hop (Sp): Extremely useful for closing to deliver touch attack spells, or for escaping bad positions in combat.

  1. longstrider: Great buff, huge duration, usually not available to clerics.
  2. locate object: Already on the Cleric spell list, but you get it a level earlier than other Clerics.
  3. fly: Flight is hugely important, and Fly isn't usually available to Clerics.
  4. dimension door: Fantastic teleportation spell, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. teleport: Hugely useful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  6. find the path: Useful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. greater teleport: Hugely useful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. phase door: Powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list, but you get it a level late.
  9. astral projection: Situationally useful, but already on the Cleric spell list.
Exploration Subdomain

The Travel domain provides a lot of very cool tacticaly movement abilities, and the Exploration subdomain shifts this focus a bit more toward exploration and long distance travel. The spells aren't quite as useful, and Door Sight is less interesting than Agile Feet, and more options are available to replicate its effects.

Replaced Power(s): agile feet.

Door Sight (Su): Clerics already get a lot of excellent divination effects which make this ability hard to justify. It's about as situational as Agile Feet.

  1. expeditious retreat: Excellent escape optin, not on the Cleric spel list. Not as reliable as Longstrider, but still useful.
  2. locate creature: Situational, but very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. world wave: Very situational, but not on the Cleric spell list.
Trade Subdomain

The Trade subdomain is a weird change to the Travel domain. It somewhat reduces the focus on tactical movement, and introduces a grab-bad of general utility effects. Silver-Tongued Haggler allows you to be an effective Face, Overland Flight lets you fly all day, and Gate lets you summon things and travel to other planes. Each of these effects is fantastic, which makes this an excellent change to the already fantastic Travel domain. Because Travel is already so great, this is largely a lateral change. Pick whichever fits your playstyle better.

Replaced Power(s): agile feet.

Silver-Tongued Haggler (Su): Unless you are spending a huge amount of time in a given day making conversation rolls, you can get a ton of mileage out of this ability. With a passable charisma score and a handful of ranks in Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive, you can be a very capable Face for your party.

  1. floating disk: Situationally useful utility. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. overland flight: An all-day flight spell is a huge benefit for a Cleric. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. gate: The biggest, scariest summon spell in the game.

Trickery Domain

While Clerics typically don't dabble in stealth, guile, and generaly trickery, the Trickery domain allows you to do just that. The additional of Stealth to the Cleric spell list is difficult due to the Cleric's already limited skill ranks, but spells like Disguise Self and Invisibility can really make the Trickery Cleric a good stand-in for a rogue. The abilities are powerful and scale very well, and the spell list includes a ton of really fantastic options at almost every level.

Granted Powers: Stealth and trickery generally aren't things that Clerics do, but apparently you're the exception.

Copycat (Sp): Basically a 50% miss chance. The duration is very short, so you won't get much use at first level.

Master's Illusion (Sp): This can be very useful if you are creative, and the DC will keep pace with your best spells.

  1. disguise self: Situational, not on the Cleric spell list. Helps to compensate for your lack off the Disguise skill.
  2. invisibility: Fantastic. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. nondetection: Situational. Despite the huge duration, the 50 gp material component makes this annoying to cast on a daily basis.
  4. confusion: Excellent debuff. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. false vision: Very situational. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  6. mislead: Excellent escape mechanic, and you get it a spell level ahead of wizards.
  7. screen: Situational, but very effective, and you get it a spell level before wizards.
  8. mass invisibility: Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list, but you get it a level late.
  9. time stop: Absolutely amazing. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Deception Subdomain

Deception is a lateral move from Trickery. Its effects are more self-centered than Trickery, but certainly no less effective.

Replaced Power(s): copycat.

Sudden Shift (Sp): While not as useful defensively as Copycat, this is fantastic to get into flanking position. For medium creatures, 10 feet will take you to anywhere adjacent to that creature, which provides you with a lot of options.

  1. mirror image: Not as useful as Invisibility for your party members, but much better for you.
  2. project image: Situational, but not on the Cleric spell list.
Thievery Subdomain

The Theivery domain is really only useful if you have Trapfinding. If you plan to multiclass Rogue-Cleric, you may find the Theivery subdomain useful, but even then you will likely get more from the unmodified Trickery domain.

Replaced Power(s): master's illusions.

Thief of the Gods (Su): If you are a multiclassed Rogue, this could be useful. However, you don't get Disable Device as a class skill, and you can't disable traps with a DC higher than 21, so you need some rogue levels to make this even remotely useful.

  1. locate object: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. ethereal jaunt: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.

War Domain

The War domain starts of very flat, and doesn't really pick up until high level. Weapon Master is fantastic despite the limited duration. The War spell list is entirely Cleric spells until high levels, at which point you gain access to the extremely powerful Power Word spells.

Battle Rage (Sp): This should never be a better option than attacking or casting a spell.

Weapon Master (Su): Because you need to meet the prerequisites, this doesn't give you a lot of options. Combat Expertise and Power Attack are good options if you don't have them already, but you can also pick things like Toughness, Weapon Focus, or Dodge. You won't be able to use this much due to the limited duration, but it can go a long way in tough fights.

  1. magic weapon: Excellent, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. spiritual weapon: Excellent, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. magic vestment: Excellent, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. divine power: Excellent, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. flame strike: Great damage for a Cleric spell, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  6. blade barrier: Excellent area control, but already on the Cleric spell list.
  7. power word blind: Very powerful, and doesn't allow a saving throw. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  8. power word stun: Very powerful, and doesn't allow a saving throw. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. power word kill: Very powerful, and doesn't allow a saving throw. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Blood Subdomain

Wounding blade is less complocated than Weapon Master, but sacrifices much of its versatility. Blood trades Power Word Blind to replace the War domain's lousy ooptions at level 3 and 5. Overall this is a slight improvement on the spell list, but Wounding Blade just isn't as good as Weapon Master.

Replaced Power(s): weapon master.

Wounding Blade (Su): Wounding only inflicts one point of bleed, so it's not spectacular, but extra damage is never bad.

  1. vampiric touch: Fantastic, especially if you're in combat a lot. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. wall of thorns: Excellent area control, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. inflict serious wounds (mass): As far as AOE damage spells go, this is pretty terrible. Already on the Cleric spell list.
Tactics Subdomain

Tactics gives up Power Word Stun to replace Battle Rage with Seize the Initiative. Sieze the Initiative is miles better than battle rage, but Power Word Stun is one of the best options on the War spell list, and War has terribly few good options to trade.

Replaced Power(s): battle rage.

Seize the Initiative (Su): I would assume that you can only use this once per combat, so pick an ally who really needs to go first. If the Rogue didn't roll well, choose him. Otherwise, choose the Wizard. Rerolls on anything are fantastic, and going early in the initiative order frequently defines the outcome of an encounter.

  1. aid: Good buff, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. command (greater): Already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. planar ally (greater): Poweful, but already on the Cleric spell list, and the components are very costly.

Water Domain

The Water domain starts flat, and never improves. It has the generic elemental domain abilities, which are nice to have, but nothing to celebrate. The spell list has a lot of very mediocre options, and the high level options are pretty bad.

Icicle (Sp): Generic ranged energy attack. Solid, reliable, and a great option at low levels when your spells are limited.

Cold Resistance (Ex): Permanent resistance to cold, but it's not a lot of resistance.

  1. obscuring mist: Occasionally useful as an escape mechanic.
  2. fog cloud: A better, ranged version of Obscuring Mist. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. water breathing: Situational. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  4. control water: Situational. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  5. ice storm: This is a mediocre area control spell, and you get it a level late.
  6. cone of cold: Excellent AOE damage, but you get it a level late.
  7. elemental body IV (water only): Awful spell.
  8. horrid wilting: Decent single-target damage, but at this level you can use save or die spells with the save DC.
  9. elemental swarm (water spell only): Create a bunch of elemental servants. If you can spare the 10 minutes to cast this ahead of time, the elementals are big bags of hit points to defend you in combat. However, the biggest elemental you summon is CR 9, which won't be very scary at this level.
Ice Subdomain

Ice replaces the very dull and easily replicated cold resistance ability, and replaces two of the worst spells on the Water spell list with two decent direct damage spells from the Wizard spell list. This is a clear improvement on the Water domain.

Replaced Power(s): cold resistance.

Body of Ice (Su): This is a really cool ability. Cold damage is fairly uncommon, which means you can turn this on to resist ice damage, and you won't miss the cold resistance when you're facing anything else. The DR is also fantastic, and exceeds the DR of Barbarians until very high level.

  1. freezing sphere: Basically fireball with a higher dice cap and cold damage. Freezes water. You get it a level late, but nearly anything is better than Elemental Body.
  2. polar ray: A boat-load of single target cold damage, and it doesn't allow a save. Go point it at a red dragon. Not on the Cleric spell list.
Oceans Subdomain

Oceans isn't as much of an improvement on the Water domain as Ice, but it provides some cool new utility and area control options, and replaces some of the less interesting Water spells with new spells from the Wizard and Druid spell lists.

Replaced Power(s): icicle.

Surge (Su): You sacrifice the benefit of easy damage at low levels for an excellent tactical option. Even without focusing on Bull Rush or Drag, the utility of moving people around the battlefiend is undeniable. The wording doesn't mention the effects of feats, but your GM may allow you to apply feats like Greater Bull Rush to grant your allies attacks of opportunity. As always, check with your GM before making any character decisions. You can also use it on your allies to get them into position to full attack, or to get them out of dangerous locations.

  1. slipstream: Nice buff with a decent duration. Throw it on your mobile characters to help them move around the field. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. water walk: Situational, and it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  3. tsunami: A bit of damage, and some excellent area control. Throw it at groups of enemies. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Weather Domain

The Weather domain has a couple of interesting powers, though they don't do a lot of damage. The spell list has some great area control effects, but the damage spells are among the worst options available. Overall the domain tries to find a nice space between area control and damage output, and manages to fail at both.

Storm Burst (Sp): Similar to the generic energy bolt attacks, but Storm Burst deals nonlethal damage. Instead of real damage, the target takes a penalty to its attacks for round. Potentially useful at low levels, despite the damage limitations.

Lightning Lord (Sp): Replicates the effect of a decent damage spell, but the ability to hit more than one target at a time makes this miles better than Call Lightning. However, the damage is fairly small, even at 8th level, and doesn't scale with level.

  1. obscuring mist: Occasionally useful as an escape mechanic.
  2. fog cloud: A better, ranged version of Obscuring Mist. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. call lightning: Because the bolts are verticle, this will likely get used as a single-target damage spell. Instead of spending your standard action doing something helpful, you can deal 3d6 damage. That's an average of 10.5. Even at level 5, that barely exceeds your weapon damage.
  4. sleet storm: Excellent area control, especially against clumsy foes. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  5. ice storm: This is a mediocre area control spell, and you get it a level late.
  6. control winds: Allows you to prevent enemies from flying, and isn't on the Cleric spell list.
  7. control weather: Situational, and already on the Cleric spell list.
  8. whirlwind: Great crowd-control effect, and it's not on the Cleric spell list.
  9. storm of vengeance: This is a weird spell. It's hard to time, it's hard to use, and it's hard to not do just as much damage to your party. It's also on the cleric spell list already at the same level.
Seasons Subdomain

The only clearly good option in Seasons is Goodberry. A first level spell hardly makes a domain. Seasons gives up the two best spells on the Weather spell list and replaces them with Blight, which is terrible, and Sunburst, which is hard enough to interpret that I would probably never use it.

Replaced Power(s): storm burst.

Untouched by the Seasons (Su): Very situational, and only replaces the effect of a first level spell which is already on your spell list.

  1. goodberry: Often overlooked, Goodberry is an excellent healing option. Cast it repeatedly on off days, and the berries will remain potent when its time to adventure. Use them to heal those last few hit points without spending a prepared spell or potion. They also reduce the need to purchase food. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. blight: Very situational. If you need to kill plants, Flame Strike them. Most plants take double damage from fire. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. sunburst: Though it suffers many of the rules interpetation issues of sunbeam, sunburst is slightly easier to interpret. Because the duration is instantaneous, the blindness effect is permanent. The damage dealt to undead is still unclear (do they take damage twice?), and the additional list of things affected like undead is still confusing.
Storms Subdomain

Storms doesn't meaningfully change the feel of the Weather domain. It is still a poor mix of damage and control spells, with too little damage and too little control to be of any real interest.

Replaced Power(s): lightning lord.

Gale Aura (Su): Decent area control effect. Helpful for slowing highly movile enemies. Giving up lightning lord might seem disappointing, but lightning lord barely qualifies as green due to its pitiful damage.

  1. call lightning storm: The duration is nice, but at 9th level when you get this spell, Wizards can throw fireballs for twice as much damage. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  2. sirocco: Nice area control effect. A little bit of damage, knock things prone, and make them fatigued. Not on the Cleric spell list.

Multi-Domain Subdomains

Multi-Domain Subdomains can be taken as a subdomain of two base domains.

Archon Subdomain

The Archon domain is a lateral shift from the Good and Law domains. You give up the ability to enhance your weapons for an aura to debuff your enemies. In addition, you give up Protection from and Magic Circle against Evil/Law for some more general buff spells. Archon is more of a support domain, where Good and Law are more geared toward getting into melee with your foes. You also get to keep the excellent Touch of Law power if you take the domain.

Associated Domains: Good, Law

Replaced Power(s): Holy lance (Good domain) or Staff of order (Law domain).

Aura of Menace (Su): The -2 to AC and Attakc is prety nice, but the -2 to saves is fantastic. This won't do much at low levels due to the limited duration, but at high levels it's going to be very useful. Note that it doesn't allow a save.

  1. divine favor: This is good, especially because it's a luck bonus, but it's already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. prayer: Good, but already on your spell list.
  3. planar ally (archon only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The Archon limitation is annoying, but there are a ton of excellent Archons to choose fro,.
Azata Subdomain

Azata provides you with some ways to avoid being trapped on controlled. It's about on par with the Chaos and Good domains, and provides some useful effects.

Associated Domains: Chaos, Good

Replaced Power(s): Touch of chaos (Chaos domain) or Touch of good (Good domain).

Elysium's Call (Su): The only benefit you will likely use is the reroll on Charm/Compulsion spells, which is situational, but very powerful. Touch of Good is bad, and Touch of Chaos is about as situational as Elysium's Call.

  1. expeditious retreat: Excellent escape optin, not on the Cleric spel list.
  2. fly: Flight is hugely important, and Fly isn't usually available to Clerics.
  3. planar ally (azata only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The Azata limitation is annoying.
Demon Subdomain

The spell list isn't great, but Fury of the Abyss is good enough to still make the Demon subdomain appealing. The bad spells on the Demon list replace spells which are already on the Cleric spell list, so it's not a big sacrifice.

Associated Domains: Chaos, Evil

Replaced Power(s): Touch of chaos (Chaos domain) or Touch of evil (Evil domain).

Fury of the Abyss (Su): The -2 penalty to AC is annoying, especially at low levels, but that bonus is going to scale very well and it's going to be very helpful. Use it to buff your touch spells if you use a lot of those, or use it on important attacks if you're used to swinging a weapon around.

  1. doom: Situational, and not as reliable as Bless. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. rage: Interesting, but hard to use. Not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. planar binding (demons only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The demon limitation is annoying, but there are plenty of cool demons to summon.
Devil Subdomain

The spell list change isn't particularly interesting, and Hell's Corruption really isn't very interesting.

Associated Domains: Evil, Law

Replaced Power(s): Touch of evil (Evil domain) or Touch of law (Law domain).

Hell's Corruption (Su): Opposed skill checks are fairly rare, but the -2 penalty to saves can be occasionally useful.

  1. command: Unremarkable. Already on the Cleric spell list.
  2. suggestion: Good mind control effect, and not on the Cleric spell list.
  3. planar binding (devils only): Very powerful, and not on the Cleric spell list. The Devils limitation is annoying, but there are plenty of cool Devils to summon.