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Pathfinder 2e - Cleric Deity Breakdown

Last Updated: August 31st, 2021

Introduction

Your choice of deity typically does not have a mechanical impact on your character. Your champion or rogue can worship whoever they like, and while that might inform the character's personality or behavior, it doesn't provide any mechanical changes.

The Cleric is a notable exception. Clerics gain several benefits from their choice of deity, including proficiencies in a skill and a weapon, the Divine Font feature, three or more spells added to the Divine Spell List, and the list of domains which the cleric can choose from.

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
  • Green: Good options.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.

Deities

Find the full list of deities on Archives of Nethys.

AbadarCRB

With a good, versatile mix of options, Abadar is a good option for cloistered clerics. The crossbow is a difficult choice for warpriests, but makes a fine weapon for cloistered clerics at low levels before their weapon attacks fall behind other characters.

  • Divine Font: Harm or Heal
  • Divine Skill: Society: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Crossbow: A great weapon if you only need to make a Strike occasionally, but that makes it a frustrating choice for the Cleric. For warpriests you can't Strike frequently enough to make the Cleric's weapon-related class feats work, and for cloistered clerics the crossbow will be a worse offensive option than cantrips in nearly every situation.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Good options for creating both real and illusory objects temporarily, but Illusory Object and Creation are both very dependent on your own creativity. Prepare to do a lot of "out of the box" thinking to make these spells worthwhile.
    1. Illusory Object: An excellent illusion. The duration is long enough to let you do all sorts of useful stuff, and if you prepare it at higher levels the spell can be permanent. Cast at low levels, you can use this as a fun party trick, to create illusory obstacles like cover in combat or a fake wall over a door or a hallway.
    2. Creation: Limited only by your creativity and the limitations on material. Easy uses include creating temporary tools (ladders, pole, etc.), equipment (shields), and obstacles. If you run out of ideas, a 5-foot cube of solid wood can hold a door shut or you can drop it on a creature.
    3. Magnificent Mansion: A fine place to retire to or for a night's rest. Unless enemies know about the demiplane ahead of time or somehow discover it while you're resting, you're basically unreachable. However, this is a very expensive solution to the issue of resting. Typically something like Rope Trick will suffice unless you're specifically trying to show off or feed a small horde of people.

AsmodeusCRB

Paizo really nailed the devil theme here: charming, tricky, but still deadly when deception doesn't suffice. Even if your cleric's Charisma isn't great, Asmodeus's clerics get some enchantment spells that can solve social challenges magically rather than relying on your Charisma. But even with those options, a high-Charisma cleric is a natural fit for Asmodeus.

My first instinct for Asmodeus is a cloistered cleric. High Charisma suits the theme well, and the additional spells and the Trickery domain both support a charming, deceptive character. You could also build with a bit of extra blasting thanks to the Fire domain. A warpriest would do fine, and you might be able to make thr Tyranny domain effective by combining Touch of Obedience with Demoralize.

  • Divine Font: Harm
  • Divine Skill: Deception: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Mace: With the Deadly Simplicity feat (which the Cleric gets for free), the Mace is identical to the Warhammer. Shove is a decent trait for warpriests who plan to use Athletics to Shove their foes.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Good options for handling social situations and deceiving targets, but little diversity here.
    1. Charm: Against a solitary target, this is close to a save-or-suck, and unless the target critically succeeds on the save you may be able to cast Charm again if the first attempt fails. There is no limitation on creature type as there was in Pathfinder 1e, so this spell can be useful almost constantly. Consider expanding your language options so that you can talk to your new friends, and consider investing in Diplomacy so that you can permanently improve the target's attitude to ward you.
    2. Suggestion: Potentially very useful, but you need to be creative and your GM needs to be willing to play along. The 1-minute duration for a Failure doesn't leave you a lot of room to work, but it may be enough to convince an enemy to walk out of a room or for a guard to let you pass or something along those lines.
    3. Mislead: A great tactical option, but it can be difficult to use effectively. You want your actions and the actions of your duplicate to be plausible so that enemies won't immediately figure out what's going on, and keeping things plausible may require you to limit your spells to those which don't have a visually obvious origin point (Charm yes, Lightning Bolt no). If you move your duplicate into close quarters with enemies, it might draw attention (and ideally attacks) away from you and your allies, allowing this spell to be doubly effective as a defensive option.

CalistriaCRB

Most of Calistria's domains are excellent, she has a unique and powerful favored weapon, and her cleric spells are decent. There is some overlap between Asmodeus and Calistria, and wierdly it's easier to build a sneaky, tricky cleric with Calistria's options than with Asmodeus's.

There is a lot of room for effective, diverse builds here. A warpriest with a whip and Pain domain could be very effective offensively, and since whips have the Finesse trait you could even build around Dexterity and skills like Stealth and Thievery. A cloistered cleric could use the Passion domain and Calistria's additional cleric spells to hanlde things which normally require high Charisma, but high Charisma certainly isn't wasted here.

  • Divine Font: Harm or Heal
  • Divine Skill: Deception: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Whip: Whips are a fantastic weapon inhibited only by the Nonlethal trait.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Good options which can help handle social situations, but little diversity here.
    1. Charm: Against a solitary target, this is close to a save-or-suck, and unless the target critically succeeds on the save you may be able to cast Charm again if the first attempt fails. There is no limitation on creature type as there was in Pathfinder 1e, so this spell can be useful almost constantly. Consider expanding your language options so that you can talk to your new friends, and consider investing in Diplomacy so that you can permanently improve the target's attitude to ward you.
    2. Enthrall: Situational. An interesting way to draw attention to yourself, but you need to stick to singing or to speaking about topics which are non-controversial like how pretty flowers are or how terrible wet socks are.
    3. Mislead: A great tactical option, but it can be difficult to use effectively. You want your actions and the actions of your duplicate to be plausible so that enemies won't immediately figure out what's going on, and keeping things plausible may require you to limit your spells to those which don't have a visually obvious origin point (Charm yes, Lightning Bolt no). If you move your duplicate into close quarters with enemies, it might draw attention (and ideally attacks) away from you and your allies, allowing this spell to be doubly effective as a defensive option.

Cayden CaileanCRB

Cayden Cailean's domains provide some interesting support and utility options. Despite the Rapier being a Finesse weapon, Strength-based warpriests builds may be an easier fit than Dexterity-based builds in this case. Between Athletics as Caydem Cailean's divine skill and the Might domain's Athletic Rush spell, you're well-suited to rush into combat and Grapple or Shove targets. Cloistered clerics will likely find more use in the Freedom and Indulgence domains.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Athletics: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Rapier: The go-to weapon for Dexterity-based martial characters, it makes a fine weapon for warpriests built around Dexterity.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Mostly situational options, but Hallucination is really great.
    1. Fleet Step: Only situationally useful. With a 1-minute duration it's difficult to cast this before going into a fight, and with a 2-Action casting time it's rarely worth the Actions to cast it when you could just Stride twice instead.
    2. Touch of Idiocy: Situational by design. A great countermeasure to enemy spellcasters (especially if they're not Wisdom-based casters), but useless otherwise.
    3. Hallucination: Surprisingly powerful since you may stil be able to put this to great effect even if the target rolls a Success on their save. For example: you could target an enemy (multiple enemies with higher-level spell slots) to make them unable to percieve your party. They could roll a Success and would know what the illusion was, but they still couldn't see you and your party. The creature can Disbelieve the illusion to remove the effect, but that at least buys you some time. There is a lot of room for more clever uses than that, but making yourself invisibile to the target(s) is a great example of how to use Hallucination.

DesnaCRB

Desna's domains and weapon suit a Dexterity-based warpriest very well. Between the Starknife as a weapon and the Travel domain's spells, it's easy for you to build a nimble character who can move in and out of melee successfully, fighting both in melee and at range with equal effectiveness, and exploring rogue-like skills like Stealth and Thievery.

Clerics of Desna can find some exciting support options here, including the Dreams domain's Sweet Dreams spell, the Luck domain's spells, and access to the Dreaming Potential spell.

One of Desna's anathemas is causing "fear or despair", and Desna's entry in the core rulebook specifically calls out things like casting the spell Nightmare. This may not significantly impact how you play, but using the Demoralize Action or even the Intimidate skill in general might violate Desna's anathema so it's likely best to avoid the Intimidate skill and any spell that could make a target Frightened.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Acrobatics: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Starknife: A powerful and versatile weapon, the Starknife allows you to easily switch between melee and ranged combat with the same weapon (once you have a Returning rune). However, the damage die is small so your base damage will be consistently poor.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Mostly situational utilities, but Sleep is a good save-or-suck option.
    1. Sleep: Despite being heavily weakened comapred to Pathfinder 1e, Sleep is still a good spell, but you need to reconsider how you use it. Its effects no longer depend on the targets' hit points, and work on a normal saving throw more like other spells. The area of effect is small, so rather than clearing whole encounters by putting them to sleep you may need to target a few creatures that are clustered together, then either sneak past them or eliminate them without drawing the attention of other nearby creatures.
    2. Dream Message: A situationally useful utility. Hopefully whatever message you're sending isn't urgent.
    3. Dreaming Potential: Retraining is an important part of the game, allowing you to replace obsolete options and options which aren't working out how you would hope. This will speed up lengthy periods of retraining, allowing your party to retrain things twice as fast by casting this on whoever is retraining every night. But this is technically only situationally useful because your party might never need to retrain, or you might simply not have time for your party to invest in retraining.

ErastilCRB

Erastil's domains are all good, and the Longbow is arguably the Cleric's best ranged weapon option. There is a lot of room to build any type of cleric here. Erastil's weakest point is the cleric spells, but that's not enough to offset how good everything else is.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Survival: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Longbow: The best you can hope for if you want to play a ranged warpriest. The low Action cost to load and fire a bow allows you to easily fit a Strike in whenever you have a spare Action to spend.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: All three options have frustating limitations and may be hard for you to use effectively.
    1. True Strike: While it won't be especially helpful at low levels when your spell slots are extremely limited, this is a great option at higher levels. The 1-Action casting time allows you to cast this before casting another spell, dramatically improving the reliability of higher-level spells which require attack rolls. You can also use this in combination with feats like Channel Smite, though Channel Smite is usually a hard choice for clerics with Divine Font (Heal). The Divine spell list also generally has fewer attack spells than the Arcane spell list.
    2. Wall of Thorns: Mediocre area control. Creatures determine to get through the wall can fight their way through it without too much effort either by suffering the 3d4 damage or breaking through the wall's 20 hit points with a Strike or two. This will block line of sight and eat other creatures' time, but it's not going to actually block your enemies for long.
    3. Tree Stride: Frustratingly limited, short range compared to similar teleportation options, and the tree requirements are frequently very frustrating. If you can get any other option for long-range teleportation, use that instead.

GorumCRB

Gorum screams "warpriest", which makes sense for a god of battle. It's a high-risk, high-reward proposition, because you're almost certainly going to use a greatsword. With the Cleric's 8+ hit points, it's risky to drop your shield and rush into melee. Strongly consider heavy armor and feats like Toughness to improve your durability.

Gorum's domains are great for rushing into melee. Destruction is great if you want a lot of damage output. Might is good if you want to use Athletics, and Enduring Might offers a great way to mitigate damage once you're able to get Advanced Domain. Even the Zeal domain's Weapon Surge could be effective by combining it with True Strike (at least until you get a Major Striking rune and Weapon Surge ceases to function).

Gorum's biggest shortcoming is that all of Gorum's clerics are going to be built basically the same way. While there is plenty of room to build a good cleric of Gorum, basically every one of them is going to be a martially-minded warpriest who rushes into combat to hit things with a greatsword.

Gorum's anathema prohibits victory through "indirect magic". It's not totally clear what that means. "Direct" magic certainly includes spells that deal damage. Does indirect include spells like Magic Weapon? How about spells like Wall of Stone? I think the intent is that Gorum wants his adherents to overcome foes by strength rather than by trickery, but talk to your GM about it.

  • Divine Font: Harm of Heal
  • Divine Skill: Athletics: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Greatsword: Very powerful offensively, but with just 8+ hit points and medium armor the typical warpriest is taking a huge risk to use a two-handed weapon.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Perfect options for an aggressive warpriest.
      .
    1. True Strike: While it won't be especially helpful at low levels when your spell slots are extremely limited, this is a great option at higher levels. The 1-Action casting time allows you to cast this before casting another spell, dramatically improving the reliability of higher-level spells which require attack rolls. You can also use this in combination with feats like Channel Smite.
    2. Enlarge: Improved reach, a little bit of extra damage, and a nice 5-minute duration so it's sure to last through all but the most absurdly-long fights. The fact that the spell raises a creature directly to Large size also means that you can cast it on small creatures like halflings and they still get the full benefits in combat, but it also means that you can cast it on tiny creatures like your familiar and potentially ride them. While the effects of the spell improve with spell level, the 2nd-level version of the spell is still a significant advantage for your melee allies, especially if they have Reaction options like Attack of Opportunity, so you can count on a 2nd-level spell to provide a significant tactical advantage even at high levels.
    3. Weapon Storm: Decent damage, and since you're almost certainly using a greatsword you get to use the largest possible damage die.

GozrehCRB

Gozreh's domains all provide options to defend and heal your allies, making clerics of gozreh effective in a support role. This is an easy choice for cloistered clerics, but warpriests can also fill this rolely nicely by focusing primarily on defending themselves and their allies.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Survival: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Trident: Typical damage for a one-handed weapon, and with the Thrown trait you can easily switch to ranged combat. Throw a Returning run onto your Trident, and you have a reliable go-to ranged option that works one-handed.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Mostly situational options, and the fact that the 1st-level spell is the best of the three is disappointing.
    1. Gust of Wind: Gust of Wind is situationally useful when enemies rely on smoke or fog, and when you're facing flying foes. Knocking a flying foe prone causes them to fall, potentially dealing a huge amount of damage in addition to the 2d6 from the Critical Failure effect. As you gain levels and flying enemies become more common, this becomes more and more important. Despite not scaling with spell level, this should be a go-to option for handling flying enemies, especially if not everyone in your party can fly. At low levels you can probably forgo this because flying enemies are uncommon.
    2. Lightning Bolt: Good damage, but it's very difficult to hit more than two targets with a line.
    3. Control Water: Very situational.

IomedaeCRB

Perhaps the most iconic Lawful-Good deity, Iomedae is frequently thought of by players as the god of paladins. Iomedae's devotee benefits reflect that sense of moral certitude, but mechanically they're not fantastic.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Intimidation: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Longsword: If you're going to use one one-handed weapon for your whole career, the Longsword is your best bet. Solid damage and the Versatile trait make it a good go-to when facing a world of unknown perils.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: A good mix of options.
    1. True Strike: While it won't be especially helpful at low levels when your spell slots are extremely limited, this is a great option at higher levels. The 1-Action casting time allows you to cast this before casting another spell, dramatically improving the reliability of higher-level spells which require attack rolls. You can also use this in combination with feats like Channel Smite, though Channel Smite is usually a hard choice for clerics with Divine Font (Heal). The Divine spell list also generally has fewer attack spells than the Arcane spell list.
    2. See Invisibility: A staple option for countering invisibile foes. Already on the Divine spell list.
    3. Fire Shield: A good defense against multiple foes who can reliably overcome your AC.

IroriCRB

Clerics of Irori should expect to be warpriests and they should expect to multiclass. Knowledge is a fine domain but has little mechanical impact unless you have a way to turn Recall Knowledge into a mechanical benefit (such as the Ranger's Monster Hunter feat chain). Might is a fine domain if you're in martial combat, but you'll almost certainly want the Monk's stance feats to make your unarmed strikes more impactful.

  • Divine Font: Harm or Heal
  • Divine Skill: Athletics: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Fist: Only useful if you plan to multiclass into monk or something. On its own, unarmed strikes are not an effective weapon choice. And even if you multiclass, it's not totally clear if things like stance feats which give you new unarmed strikes count as a "fist". I'm going to assume that they count, but I'm not certain.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: A rough start, but Haste and Stoneskin are staple buff options that will serve you well throughout your career.
    1. Jump: Situational, but it still makes both the Quick Jump feat and the Powerful Leap feat largely obsolete unless you're building to jump almost every round. For spellcasters, this stops being interesting as soon as magical flight becomes convenient.
    2. Haste: Very powerful for martial characters, especially if they're good at managing Multiple Attack Penalties.
    3. Stoneskin: A great defensive buff on any character. The 20-minute duration is enough to allow you to cast this before wandering into somewhere dangeorus, but remember that the duration is also reduced every time the targets takes physical damage, so it won't actually last 20 minutes.

LamashtuCRB

Lamashtu is alarmingly effective, but doesn't have much room for build versatility. The go-to option here is the Cloistered Cleric with either the Family domain for protecting your allies or the Trickery domain for shenanigans. Animal Form allows you to step into melee just as well as the Warpriest, but I don't think the Might domain will do you any favors even if Animal Form is your go-to martial option.

A Warpriest build is tempting here, but faces several of problems. The Falchion is a difficult weapon choice for the Cleric, and your proficiencies in unarmed attacks don't improve past Trained so you get no benefits beyond the base benefits of Animal Form, and your reduced proficiency in spellcasting actually makes it worse. Unlike other deities like Gorum, you don't get domain spell options which can mitigate damage to justify forgoing a shield.

  • Divine Font: Harm or Heal
  • Divine Skill: Survival: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Falchion: The Falchion is already a difficult weapon for martial characters. It's most useful when you're making two or more Strikes per turn so that the Forceful trait offers a damage bonus, but warpriests will frequently spend their second and third Actions doing other things like casting spells. It's also two-handed so you don't get to use a shield.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: A rough start, but Animal Form and Nightmare are fantastic.
    1. Magic Fang: The spell is fine, it's just totally useless for the Cleric unless someone else in your party is using unarmed attacks. The best usage I can think of is to cast this on yourself before casting Animal Form, but with 1-minute durations and 2-Action casting times, that's a very difficult prospect.
    2. Animal Form: Turn your cloistered cleric into a martial monster for a minute at a time. See my Wild Shape Handbook for more details.
    3. Nightmare: Use this on major enemies every time you go to sleep. Keep them tired and annoyed, and then go attack them while they're debuffed.

NethysCRB

The staff sucks as a weapon, so don't consider a warpriest. But if you're happy as a cloistered cleric, Nethys is a great choice. You get Arcana, which is a hard skill choice for the cleric, but all of Nethys's domains are good, and you get nine cleric spells compared to the three which most other deities grant.

  • Divine Font: Harm or Heal
  • Divine Skill: Arcana: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Staff: Only 1d6 damage when used one-handed (even that's after Deadly Simplicity), and the two-handed trait doesn't add enough damage to make it appealing. No other traits.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: 9 spells! Most of the them are really good, too!
    1. Magic Missile: Reliable and flexible, Magic Missile has several great things going for it. First, it never misses, so it's a great option when facing foes with high defenses. Magic Missile deals Force damage, which very few creatures are resistant to. 120 ft. range is plenty to keep you well out of harm's way. And finally, you can choose to cast it with 1, 2, or 3 Actions to increase the effects at the expense of your time. Spending more Actions will get more effect out of the spell, so it's a more efficient use of your spell slots, but if you need to move or cast another spell in the same turn you can still get some damage out of Magic Missile.
    2. Magic Mouth: The fact that the duration of Magic Mouth is unlimited allows all sorts of shenanigans. You can use this mail letters or leave messages for people, but you can also use the spell to create distractions. Cast Magic Mouth on an object, and set the trigger to "the object is lifted from the ground". Keep the object off the ground (a shelf or a pocket will suffice) and it's ready whenever you need it. Make the message something like incoherent screaming or terrifying chanting in a language like infernal, and suddenly you have a very upsetting surprise that also serves as a mobile alarm against anything curious enough to pick up whatever bauble you cast the spell on.
    3. Levitate: Only situationally useful, and generally you'll abandon this the moment flight is readily available.
    4. Blink: The damage resistance is great, but the unpredictability of the movement can be a huge problem in close quarters. You might find yourself accidently adjacent to an enemy or inside a wall. You could use this to get out of dangerous situations like a grapple, but I wouldn't use this while you're trying to stay on the offensive.
    5. Prying Eye: An exceptionally powerful scouting option, Prying Eye allows you to scout dangerous areas from a safe distance, and the eye's small size can often slip it through obstacles by sneaking under doors or through cracked windows. The duration doesn't expire until you fail to Sustain the spell, so given enough time you can send the eye great distances and scout huge areas. The biggest limitation is that the eye uses your normal senses, so be sure that you have Low-Light Vision and/or Darkvision so that you can send the eye into dark places and still see.
    6. Wall of Force: Excellent area control. Wall of part of an encounter with multiple foes, and suddenly the encounter gets a lot easier. The wall is big enough that enemies can't quickly go around it (though they could go over it if they can fly), and with 30 hardness most creatures will struggle to break through it.
    7. Warp Mind: I already don't trust the Confused condition, and this is the Confusion spell but 3 levels higher and with the option of a permanent duration and it has the Incapacitation trait, so against major enemies which you would actually care about making permanently confused it's actually less effective than Confusion.
    8. Maze: The target doesn't get a save against being put in the maze. You need to spend an Action every turn to Sustain the Spell, but one Action to remove the target from combat for several rounds is frequently worth both the spell slot and the action cost. Maze the biggest thing in the encounter, kill everything else, then drop a bunch of problems into the space that the creature will re-emerge into before it escapes or before you willingly end the spell.
    9. Disjunction: Very situational. Generally you don't want to risk permanently disenchanting loot.

NorgorberCRB

As befits the god of assassins and thieves, clerics of norgorber are well suited to a high-Dexterity built with rogue-like skills. A little bit of Intelligence to get some extra skills, and you could easily serve as your party's Scout. Norgorber's domains will help you survive melee combat.

  • Divine Font: Harm
  • Divine Skill: Stealth: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Shortsword: A solid choice for Dexterity-based cleric builds, with both Agile and Finesse the Shortsword is a good option for making multiple Strikes in the same turn. Clerics have other options beyond making a Strike so you won't spend every turn making numerous Strikes (remember that the Cleric is still primarily a spellcaster), so the Rapier is typically a better choice, but the Shortsword is still a good option.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Mostly skituational options, and heavily reliant on illusion.
    1. Illusory Disguise: Only situationally useful, and you can frequently replace this by being Trained in Deception and owning a Disguise Kit.
    2. Invisibility: Absolutely essential, invisibility can solve a lot of problems. The spell ends if you perform a "hostile action", and while that's not explicitly defined it likely includes anything which requires an attack roll or which affects another creature in a harmful way even if it doesn't require an attack roll or saving throw. It's unclear what happens if you do something like cast Wall of Fire while invisible, so check with your GM. Generally you can get away with being inivisible in combat while doing things like casting buff spells and area control spells, but I don't know if commanding pets or summoned creatures to attack counts as a "hostile action". The 4th-level version of the spell reduces the duration but allows you to make hostile actions without breaking the spell, so you can spend a minute invisibly blaster your enemies.
    3. Phantasmal Killer: The damage isn't great (a 4th-level Fireball does the same amount of damage), and while Frightened is a great debuff I don't think it's enough to make up the difference. The Critical Failure effect has the Incapacitation trait, which is a profoundly weird way to format the spell, and means that the exciting part of the spell literally isn't accessible against targets worth casting this upon.

PharasmaCRB

Pharasma is a hard choice because none of Pharasma's options hit blue expect for her divine skill. "Fine, but not great" basically defines everything else. The most interesting mechanical piece of Pharasma's options is that you can get both the Death and Healing domains from one deity, and while that's neat there's no specific synergy there to make the build interesting.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Medicine: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Dagger: With Deadly Simplicity, the Dagger is just a slightly worse version of the Starknife. The Dagger's thrown range is half of the Starknife's, and the Dagger doesn't have the Deadly trait, but otherwise it's pretty close. You still get to switch between melee and ranged combat with little interruption (especially once you get a Returning rune), and 1d6 damage is decent.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Every option is only situationally useful.
    1. Mindlink: In real life this would be a fantastic utility. Imagine how short business meetings would be! But in the context of a game where you can just tell the DM "I spend 10 minutes telling them about the thing" and it's done in an instant, this is almost never useful. You might be able to make it work in a heist situation, or a situationa where you and the target can't be caught in the same place, but those situations don't appear frequently in dungeon fantasy games.
    2. Ghostly Weapon: Situational by design, so only bring this if you expect to encounter incorporeal foes like ghosts. If you expect to use this often, get Ghost Touch runes for your party's weapons. If you don't expect to encounter ghosts but still want to be prepared, buy a scroll.
    3. Phantasmal Killer: The damage isn't great (a 4th-level Fireball does the same amount of damage), and while Frightened is a great debuff I don't think it's enough to make up the difference. The Critical Failure effect has the Incapacitation trait, which is a profoundly weird way to format the spell, and means that the exciting part of the spell literally isn't accessible against targets worth casting this upon.

RovagugCRB

Rovagug has some great options which are difficult to combine.

Cloistered clerics of Rovagug are likely to be blasters. Earth domain is your best option, and you can think long and hard about what you're going to do with a greataxe and Athletics.

Warpriests of Rovagug are similar to warpriest of Gorum: You get a two-handed weapon and the Destruction domain so you can jump into melee and deal damage. But two of the three cleric spells won't help you, and you don't get a good way to mitigate damage until you can get Air Domain's Advanced Domain spell to get Disperse into Air.

  • Divine Font: Harm
  • Divine Skill: Athletics: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Greataxe: Very powerful offensively, but with just 8+ hit points and medium armor the typical warpriest is taking a huge risk to use a two-handed weapon.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Very offense-heavy. It feels like the spells are struggling to appeal to both cloistered clerics and warpriests.
    1. Burning Hands: Compare 1d6 damage in a 15-foot cone to 1d4+mod damage to any two creatures within 30 ft. of you. With the expected +4 abiltiy modifier, Electric Loop deals 1d4+4 (avg. 6.5) damage to two creatures. You can reasonably expect to hit two creatures with a 15-foot cone, and Burning Hands cast at 1st level deals 2d6 damage (avg. 7). The damage gap is negligible and the range gap is massive. The fact that you can even compare this to a cantrip should tell you why this spell is bad.
    2. Enlarge: Improved reach, a little bit of extra damage, and a nice 5-minute duration so it's sure to last through all but the most absurdly-long fights. The fact that the spell raises a creature directly to Large size also means that you can cast it on small creatures like halflings and they still get the full benefits in combat, but it also means that you can cast it on tiny creatures like your familiar and potentially ride them. While the effects of the spell improve with spell level, the 2nd-level version of the spell is still a significant advantage for your melee allies, especially if they have Reaction options like Attack of Opportunity, so you can count on a 2nd-level spell to provide a significant tactical advantage even at high levels.
    3. Disintegrate: Good single-target damage with good scaling, but it has two points of failure, so even if you hit your target may still only take partial damage. Of course, it's a Basic Save so it's equally likely that you'll score a regular hit and still deal double normal damage. This also doubles as a utility option, allowing you to disintegrate problematic objects like walls or strucurally-important columns.

SarenraeCRB

The god of sunshine, healing, and fire damage. Sarenrae is the patron deity of Pathfinder's iconic cleric, Kyra. Sarenrae is a great choice for players new to the cleric, offering a good mix of wizard-style blasting and effective healing and crowd control options. These options skew more toward cloistered clerics, relying heavily on spellcasting and spell DCs in most cases. Warpriests may struggle to find viable options from Sarenrae.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Medicine: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Scimitar: The Scimitar is at its best when you make two or more Strikes and attack multiple enemies. On many turns where you're in melee you'll want to spend an Action to Raise a Shield, so you'll rarely make more than one Strike per turn. Two may even be a rarity because you'll frequently spend Actions to Cast a Spell or to Sustain a Spell, so unfortunately Forceful and Sweep won't be consistently useful.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: I hope you like fire damage.
    1. Burning Hands: Compare 1d6 damage in a 15-foot cone to 1d4+mod damage to any two creatures within 30 ft. of you. With the expected +4 abiltiy modifier, Electric Loop deals 1d4+4 (avg. 6.5) damage to two creatures. You can reasonably expect to hit two creatures with a 15-foot cone, and Burning Hands cast at 1st level deals 2d6 damage (avg. 7). The damage gap is negligible and the range gap is massive. The fact that you can even compare this to a cantrip should tell you why this spell is bad.
    2. Fireball*: Good damage, good range, a big AOE, and good spell level scaling.
    3. Wall of Fire: Good area control. The Concealed condition will deter enemies from shooting through it, though area of effect spells won't be affected so beware of enemy spellcasters. The damage isn't going to kill anything in one shot, but if you and your allies can force enemies into the wall (Push them) and hold them there (Grapple them), the damage will add up quickly.

ShelynCRB

Great for a cloistered cleric looking to fill a support role, .

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Crafting or Performance: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Glaive: A reach weapon is great, but Forceful is a difficult trait for the Cleric becuase you'll frequently need to spend Actions to Cast a Spell or do something other then making a Strike.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Thematically the spells fit Shelyn well, but you'll need to put a lot of thought into these spells to make them effective.
    1. Color Spray: Useful early in a fight, but if you can't get the Dazzled/Blinded effects into play early you're not benefiting much from the spell.
    2. Enthrall: Situational. An interesting way to draw attention to yourself, but you need to stick to singing or to speaking about topics which are non-controversial like how pretty flowers are or how terrible wet socks are. Not on the Divine Spell List.
    3. Creation: Limited only by your creativity and the limitations on material. Easy uses include creating temporary tools (ladders, pole, etc.), equipment (shields), and obstacles. If you run out of ideas, a 5-foot cube of solid wood can hold a door shut or you can drop it on a creature.

ToragCRB

Clerics frequently dump Intelligence to make room for ability scores which support their class features, so Crafting is frequently a difficult choice. Fortunately, very few of Torag's options actually care about the Crafting skill, so you can choose to simply ignore it.

Torag's spell options (both the domain spells and the regular cleric spells) work equally well for the Cloistered Cleric and for the Warpriest. Expect to take spells which defend and buff your allies, and as a warpriest expect to spend a lot of time tanking and helping to position foes rather than running around trying to do damage with your weapon.

  • Divine Font: Heal
  • Divine Skill: Crafting: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Warhammer: Shove is a decent trait for warpriests who plan to use Athletics to Shove their foes.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Mostly bad options that can be solved better by other methods, but Creation can be a lot of fun for a creative player.
    1. Mindlink: In real life this would be a fantastic utility. Imagine how short business meetings would be! But in the context of a game where you can just tell the DM "I spend 10 minutes telling them about the thing" and it's done in an instant, this is almost never useful. You might be able to make it work in a heist situation, or a situationa where you and the target can't be caught in the same place, but those situations don't appear frequently in dungeon fantasy games.
    2. Earthbind: A decent way to ground flying enemies, but spells like Gust of Wind are lower-level and don't cause the target to fall "safely" so they can take damage in addition to being brought to the ground. Most clerics can't cast Gust of Wind, but the fact that knocking a creature prone by numerous possible means helps to illustrate the spell's limitations.
    3. Creation: Limited only by your creativity and the limitations on material. Easy uses include creating temporary tools (ladders, pole, etc.), equipment (shields), and obstacles. If you run out of ideas, a 5-foot cube of solid wood can hold a door shut or you can drop it on a creature.

UrgathoaCRB

A less directly-offensive option for warpriests, Ugathoa's domains and spells offer ways to improve your durability via False Life and a two-handed weapon that focuses on big critical hits rather than a big damage die. The easiest build is likely to take the Undeath domain and use False Life to compensate for your relatively poor hit points compared to classes like the Fighter. If you want other domains, consider Indulgence and Might. You likely can't match the damage output of clerics of Gorum or Rovagug, but you may be more durable, which is often worth the trade.

Cloistered clerics will benefit from the Magic domain, and if you want undead minions the Undeath domain is a good choice for Malignant Sustenance. The Indulgence domain's Take its Course spell works with spells like Goblin Pox, but make sure that you're successfully using a lot of those spells before you spend the feats to get Take its Course.

  • Divine Font: Harm
  • Divine Skill: Intimidation: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Scythe: The damage is less reliable than a greataxe or greatsword, but Deadly makes your critical hits very satisfying. Clerics already don't do fantastic damage with weapons due to their poor Weapon Specialization progression and their need to spend Actions on other things (spells, etc.), but the Trip trait is a great tactical option for the Warpriest.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: Several excellent options. Mostly defensive, and the offensive bits rely on debuffs rather than damage.
    1. Goblin Pox: This is a weird afflicition. The duration for stages 1 and 2 and 1 round each, so the target can bounce between them rapidly, but the duration for stage 3 is 1 day so the target can be Sickened for a full 24 hours. Ideally, you want the target to be stuck at stage 2 because it makes them Slowed 1 on top of being Sickened 1, but because of how afflicitions work they'll likely only be there for one round at a time, and even then only if they fail saves. This isn't going to win a fight on its own, but it could be a good way to weaken strong enemies in long fights.
    2. False Life: With an 8-hour duration you can make this a staple buff which you cast every day. The additional temporary Hit Points are roughly as much as you would get from an additional level, especially if your spellcasting ability modifier is good. If you're generous, you might cast this on one or more of your allies, especially front-line allies who are likely to draw a lot of attacks. Unfortunately, the scaling on the spell isn't great, so I recommend only casting False Life as a 2nd-level spell where your spellcasting ability modifier is the largest portion of the total number of temporary Hit Points.
    3. Mask of Terror: Similar in concept to Sanctuary, but less fragile. The penalty for failing saves is a nice touch since Frightened is such a good debuff, and the ability to upcast this to 8th-level to get 5 targets means that you can often cast it on your whole party.

Zon-KuthonCRB

Aside from the short range on Destruction's Cry of Destruction, there is very little reason to play a warpriest of Zon-Kuthon. The spells all work at range, and making Intimidation effective requires Charisma that warpriests generally can't afford. Clistered clerics built around area control and blasting may find that Zon-Kuthon has a lot to offer..

  • Divine Font: Harm
  • Divine Skill: Intimidation: See the Skills section of my Cleric Handbook for more information.
  • Favored Weapon: Spiked Chain: A complex and challenging option. The damage is poor for a two-handed weapon, and Disarm isn't consistenly useful because so many enemies don't use weapons, but Trip is still a good option for the Cleric. Finesse supports Dexterity-based builds, but if you're going to use Disarm or Trip you typically want to be built around Strength.
  • Domains: See my Domains Breakdown for detailed information about domains.
  • Cleric Spells: An interesting mix of offense, area control, and utility.
    1. Phantom Pain: Not a ton of damage, but it's mental damage (resistance is uncommon, though immunity is common for unintelligent foes), and if the target fails their save they take persistent damage and are Sickened. The spell ends if the target stops being Sickened, which they can do by spending an Action to "wretch" and attempt another save, as is normal for Sickened. But if you spend a low-level spell to force a target to spend an Action (more if they struggle with the save), that's a great trade.
    2. Wall of Thorns: Mediocre area control. Creatures determine to get through the wall can fight their way through it without too much effort either by suffering the 3d4 damage or breaking through the wall's 20 hit points with a Strike or two. This will block line of sight and eat other creatures' time, but it's not going to actually block your enemies for long.
    3. Shadow Walk: An excellent solution for long-distance travel, you effectively move 20 times your normal travel speed. Combined with decent mounts (ideally flying ones) your party can cover huge distances very quickly without resorting to higher-level (and potentially more dangerous) options like Teleport. The spell does specify that you may encounter denizens of the shadow plane, so be prepared to have your party members end the spell early (which might be hard for party members like animal companions or mundane mounts) if things get scary.