Cleric Top DPS Builds 1.6 Q1

November 28, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on


Hello everyone, in case you are curious what the top DPS builds for clerics are, here is a guide to help you out. This guide is relevant for 1.6 Quarter 1 (Q1), referring to the time period immediately after patch 1.6 and before any major changes to the Cleric class. However, looking at the preliminary PTS changes to Cleric DPS, the content of this guide should still stay relevant well onto patch 1.7

The emphasis here is on raid DPS, which is different from the DPS you would get from self buffed, beating up a dummy in Sanctum/Meridian. Certain souls, especially druid, do not scale well with raid buffs and falls terribly short in a raid setting even though they might excel in a solo/group setting.

One thing worth mentioning is that all top raid DPS builds are 51 point builds. Hybrid builds (with points spread over 2-3 souls) cannot compete at the moment due to the powerful passives one get from going 51 points into a build (well past 36 points).

Single target DPS Discussion

Cleric single target DPS build at the moment is very static, meaning that there is usually only one way you can put points into the build.

In terms of single target raid DPS, we have the following ranking in terms of decreasing DPS: 51 Inquisitor –> 51 Shaman –> 51 Druid. If you are interested in the raw data, please see this thread here.

On a typical self buffed dummy parse, however, you will see the following in terms of decreasing DPS: 51 Druid –> 51 Inquisitor –> 51 Shaman. Raw data can be found here. As mentioned before, this is has to do with scaling of druid soul. 51 Druid is probably your best pure DPS build for soloing and even some 5 man grouping. However, when you start to have a bard and archon with you, it falls short.

Generally, one should raid with the 51 inquisitor as you can bring the 7% magical damage debuff and do the best single target raid DPS (not to mention it is ranged). Unless things change, 51 inquisitor will dominate the cleric DPS parse as they are getting even more of a buff on the PTS. 51 Shaman might have a place in fights where melees are needed or if your raid is short on people for interrupt duty. 51 Druid have no place in a min/maxing raid force, sadly.

Single target DPS Builds/Macros

51 Inquisitor

Build: 51 Inq/10 sent/5 Warden

You are going 10 points into Sentinel for 5% increase to your SP (Spell Power) and 20% critical hit damage bonus. You are also going 5 points into warden for 10% damage increase to your instant cast spells in the inquisitor soul (Sanction Heretic initial tick, Waterjet). Note that Vex is not affected by this warden ability. See this thread for info on warden ability and inquisitor spells.

The alternative to this build is 51 Inq/10 Sent/Cab for the extra 5% bonus to your SP. However, your DoTs hit harder in the build with 5 Warden and you also have Waterjet for fights with a lot of movement where you can’t stop and cast your primary abilities like Bolt of Judgement. The difference between going into 5 warden or 5 cabalist is minimal but most players I talked to prefer the 5 warden.


Unlike the druid and shaman builds, the inquisitor build does not utilize a lot of complex macros. Instead, a good rotation is the key to this build. I utilize a couple  simple macros.

Macro 1: Slow and Purge (PvP).

#show Purge
cast Impede
cast Purge

Macro 2: Slow and Knockback (PvP)

#show excommunicate
cast Impede
cast Excommunicate
cast Crushing Wave

Macro 3: Heal + Hot (Can be used to save people in a pinch)

#show Healing Breath
cast Healing Breath
cast Healing Spray

Macro 4: SH 

#show Sanction heretic
cast fanaticism
cast sanction heretic

Macro 5: AoE macro

#show Sanction heretic
cast soul drain
cast circle of oblivion


The basic rotation is rather simple, you will want to cast Sanction Heretic coupled with Fanaticism using that above macro (macro 4). Then you will cast Vex. Between the time period you have for the DoTs to refresh, you will want to spam Bolt of Judgment and use Bolt of Depravity proc whenever it is up. Also, use  Nysyr’s Rebuke whenever it is up from cooldown. Have a separate button for Bolt of Depravity and Nysyr’s Rebuke so you can “mash” them whenever they proc or up from cooldown.

Macro 4 –> Vex –> (BoD if up) –> (Nysyr’s Rebuke if up) –> BoJ spam

If situations where you need to move, you will keep your DoTs refreshed and spam Waterjet.

If you have the 4 piece T1 raid inquisitor synergy crystal or the HK inquisitor synergy crystal (2 piece min), the above BoJ macro will also take care of that. Sanction Heretic will be used whenever it is up from cooldown, whether naturally or triggered by the synergy crystal.

Some players prefer to couple Fanaticism to Bolt of Depravity rather than Sanction Heretic. Parses have shown that Sanction Heretic takes a bigger advantage of that.

Since patch 1.6, the Clinging Spirit debuff (7% magicial damage debuff) is attached to BoD so you no longer have to get in melee range and use Soul Drain on single target fights.

For AoE fights, you will want to use Soul Drain whenever it is up from cooldown. Otherwise, use Circle of Oblivion instead. The AoE macro (macro 6) will take care of that. You will have to get in very close to the mob to get soul drain off however.

Do not use Spiritual Deficiency in your macros. It will overwrite an archon debuff called Crumbing Resistance, which lasts 5 minutes and buffs the archon themselves

Remember you have a purge ability called Purge! So don’t forget to use it when the situation requires it!


Use of Armor of Awakening at all times if possible. Currently, it provides only 5% more spell damage but on PTS this has being changed to 10% bonus. Only use Armor of Devotion or Armor of Teachery on fights where taking less damage or having more HP will make a difference in survival (i.e. Grug fight in HK).

Keep Shroud of Agony up as well. This is useful in AoE fights where you might take a lot of damage but on PTS this has being nerfed to affect a maximum of 10 enemies rather than all enemies.


Stack for SP. The softcap for Spell Crit (SC) is 1.1 k and on raid settings you will reach close to that. Although if you are soloing/5 mans, you might consider getting some lesser essences with a decent amount of SC as well. In general, you will want 2.5 times as much SP as SC. Whenever evaluating gear, use the formula total SP *2.5 + total SC.

Total SP is calculated as wis *0.75 + int *0.25 + actual SP

Total SC is calculated as int * 1 + actual SC.

In terms of the new 1.6 Lesser Essences, considering checking out this guide here and look at the bottom for ranking in terms of 2.5 SP + SC

DPS expectations

Generally, when you are self buffed and beating on a dummy, you can expect about 1.1 k DPS in tier 1 raid gear with some pieces of Hammerknell loot. Fully raid buffed in the same gear, I can expect around 1.6 k DPS in ideal condition where I have perfect rotation and do not have to move at all.

I won’t comment on the DPS you can expect with full HK gear/P8 gear but you can expect at least 2k DPS when raid buffed.

Here is the damage break down you can expect to see on your parse.

51 Shaman

Build: 51 Shaman/11 Inq/4 Justicar or 51 Shaman/11 Inq/4 Warden

The 11 points in inquisitor is not debatable. You are gaining 5% more chance to crit on damaging abilities and a 20% boost in your damage when you crit. The extra 1 point is for the Armor of Devotion,  which will give you 42 SP and SC for a simple 1 point investment.

What is debatable is the investment of the last 4 points. If you invest into Justicar, you gain 4% increase damage in your spells that are melee abilities (Lighting Hammer, Fated Blow, Massive Blow, etc.). However, if you invest into 4 warden, you will do 8% more damage on some of your hardest hitting spells (Jolt, Vengence of Primal North, and anything that is instant and not melee range). Going into either won’t make or break your parse, it comes down to personal preference. If you are interested in some numbers, check out this thread here.


Shamans have really only one macro to speak of.

#show Rage of the North
cast Massive Blow
cast Frozen Wrath
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Lightning Hammer
cast Crushing Blow
cast Rage of the North
cast Waterjet
cast Vex
cast Jolt
cast Fated Blow
cast Glory of the Chosen

You may choose to remove Rage of the North out of the macro for situations where you need burst DPS in raid settings (i.e. when your raid leader screams for Moar DOTs!)

The reason for Waterjet in the macro is for situations when you need to move away from melee range of the boss. Vex is also included there as you can cast it when you face away from the boss. In most situations where you are in melee range, Waterjet and vex will never go off as Crushing Blow will be your instant spammable ability. When you are out of melee range, Waterjet will go off. When you are out of melee range and faced away from the boss for whatever reason, Vex will go off.

Make sure you have a separate button for your interrupt ability – Bitter Wind and another button for your purge! These two abilities are essential in a raid setting.


Going into Shaman, you have two courage spells. Courage of the Eagle and Courage of the Jaguar.  These won’t stack with raid buffs but for a solo/group setting where you don’t have a bard/archon, the +40 dex/wis they provide do come in handy. It is debatable which one to use. If you are lacking in crit, use Jaguar, otherwise use Eagle.

You also  have two Vengence spells. One of them is Vengenance of the Primal North, an ability you gain at 44 points into Shaman. The other one is Vengenance of the Winter Storm, a 0 point ability. The rule of thumb is use Primal North for AoE situations and use Winter Storm for single target situations.

Make sure you have Armor of Devotion up as well for that little bit of extra SP and SC.


A good rule of thumb is that SP always worth more than SC. This applies to shaman as well but one do have to remember that some of Shaman abilities, including our highest hitter –Jolt, is dependent on the shaman critting.

This means you could treat yourself to a bit of crit. I personally have a sigil with heavy SC lessers that I like to use with shaman. If you have around 30-35% crit chance when you are self buffed, you will be able to hit the 45-50% crit cap (45% for softcap, 50% for hard cap) on raids.

Using a 2hander is a must for maximal DPS. I also like to have Invigorating Runehard as the rune for my 2hander.

Make sure to grab the Hailtouched Soulstone greater essence as well for your sigil/sourcemachine. This greater is better than the 6th lesser if you are 51 Shaman (51 Shaman ability – Frozen Wrath, will cause this greater to add about 30 dps). The rest of the sigil should be filled with SC heavy lessers if you are not reaching the 30-35% self buffed crit chance value.

DPS Expectations

I parse about 1.1 k self buffed on a dummy and about 1.6 k DPS when raid buffed (bard + archon, no spotter’s order equivalent).

Here is the damage break down.

51 Druid

For the druid discussion, please see this guide here.

As currently, the druid does not scale too well with raid buffs and some of its raidwide buffs do not stack with archon/bard equivalent. Unless this is fixed, 51 inquisitor/shaman are still the way to go for min/maxing raids unless your raid does not have an archon or bard.

AoE DPS Discussion

For AoE dps, nothing can beat a 51 Cabalist. Although 51 Inq is not bad for AoE dps if you cannot spare a Cabalist.

For build and discussion on 51 Cabalist, please see this guide here.


  1. Thanks a lot! I’m new to Rift and about to hit 51, and honestly all the options for speccing overwhelm me. I love finding a good spec and justification for it – I played Inquisitor for leveling and it’s great that I can keep it for raiding too \o/

  2. I got to say I love your site so freaking much. This is such a resource for new clerics or those that just don’t know where to start. I have been writing up guides and BiS lists on our guild website but it will be great to give this site to them!

    One thing about your 51 inq build. You don’t really want to put fanaticism in your DPS macro cause sometimes it will come up and sanction heretic will not be up and you will end up using your insta crit on bolt of judgment. Also, given the hot-fix with MOA the best inq dps atm is 51/10/5 inq/sent/cab, but I have not seen actual numbers proving this; just ppl on the forums stating it is. Plus it seems with the inq/sent/cab build you can use fanaticism on SH or BoD procs and your dps will be slightly higher, instead of waiting for SH to come back up.

    For my heal macro I use:
    Healing Breathe
    Healing Grace
    Healing Spray (if 5 ward)

    For AOE dps with 5 cab I do:
    Soul Drain
    Circle of Oblivion
    Bound fate (for that 1 sec that soul drain is not up – not sure if it is a dps increase or not)

    Keep up the awesome write-ups. Something clerics definitely need.

    • Hey, I am currently working on a guide that reflects the fact that 51 inq/10 sent/5 cab is now topping charts. It has a fair bit of number crunching so that is why I have not finished it yet.

  3. Looking over your 51 Inq spec and macros, im confused. Macro #4
    SH/BOJ doesnt have BoJ even in it. Should it? BtW ty for your guides, Im a follower 🙂

    Macro 4: SH + BoJ
    #show Sanction heretic
    cast fanaticism
    cast sanction heretic

    • Hey, that is a typo. It should be just SH. I am going to remove macro 5 actually. As the previous commenter have pointed out, having fanaticism in there is not a good idea as it might get used up on BoJ instead. BoJ should just have its own button.

  4. You can keep it in there if you want. My ST macro is

    #show Sanction Heretic
    cast Sanction Heretic
    cast Bolt of Judgment
    cast Life’s Vengeance (for when you are on the move and need a filler)

    Then I have Fanaticism on a separate button and just watch for when SH is up. I like SH and BoJ together cause if you get the Inq synergy crystal proc you can just keep on spamming your 1 button. But its six of one and a half dozen of the other.

  5. ty both so much! I’ll be looking for your cab guide as i don’t crunch numbers at all ;p

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