FOTM Cleric DPS Spec–51 Inq & Variations*

December 22, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on


*FOTM = Flavor of the Month

Hello everyone, I meant to write this about a week ago but life got busy!


Ever since the 1.6.1 patch and the change to cleric DPS, it is pretty apparent that Inquisitor soul is the predominant single target cleric DPS soul on raids (this was the case before 1.6.1 too but even more so now). Patch 1.6.1 brought a “25%” increase to all cleric DPS souls through Mien of Aggression and “5%” extra damage increase to Inquisitor soul through the change to Armor of Awakening. Note that both “25%” and “5″%” are in quotes because the actual damage increase is much less. This is because the 25% and 5% increase are addictive, not multiplicative.

Theorycrafting (has a bit of math!)

This additive vs multiplicative point can be confusing but it is pretty simple. Rather than explaining it myself, Quietmode have already explained it really well in reply to a post so I will just quote his explanation here!

The answer is because its additive. Right now lets say you do 1000dps. Before MoA (Mien of Aggression) was added you had 5% dmg from AoA (Armor of Awakening) and 15% dmg from CP (Corporal Punishment). So thats a 20% damage increase. so you now do 1200dps.

Adding in MoA thats 5%+25%+15% for a total of 45% damage. now you do 1450dps

1450/1200 = 1.208 which means adding MoA caused a ~21% damage increase.

The short version of it is that say if you have two modifiers, one of them adds 25% more damage and another adds 10% more damage to a spell that does 1000 damage. The final output damage for that spell is 1000 x (1+(0.25 +0.1)) = 1000 x 1.35 = 1350 and NOT 1000x 1.25 x 1.1 = 1375.

Anyways, the point is, Inquisitor is pretty much the “Flavor of the Month – FOTM” DPS soul for clerics since 1.6.1. Not only does it bring the highest cleric single target dps in raids, it also brings the 7% magical damage debuff – Clinging Spirit, and a purge. This also means that you will see a lot more clerics running the Inquisitor soul in WFs as the damage it can dish out can annihilate low rank players.

The question many of you might be wondering is which build of the Inquisitor soul can bring out the best DPS?

It used to be 51 Inq/10 sent/5 warden build. This build utilized warden’s destructive tide talent, which adds 10% more damage to instant cast spells. The main instant cast spells affected in this build are Vex, Sanction Heretic and Waterjet. (Even though Vex and Sanction Heretic are DoTs, they are affected on all ticks – i.e. Vex was 123 dmg/tick before talent and 135 dmg/tick after talent. Sanction Heretic was 557 on initial tick and 125 on subsequent ticks before talent and 614/137 after talent). This is great in fights with high movements where you don’t have much “stand-still” time to cast Bolt of Judgment (BoJ), your biggest DPS component.

However, as Ahov pointed out in his thread on the official forums,  the best DPS build might be 51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab. The reason, as he pointed out, is that BoJ makes up the biggest chunks of your parse. The warden talent does not affect it but the 5% SP increase from Cabalist does and this would increase the damage of BoJ even more. This damage increase is bigger than the increase you would get from Vex and Sanction Heretic viato the Warden talent.

One might ask why this would be the case. I have two possible explanations. One is that back when the 5 warden version was top DPS, the gear level was such that the 5% SP increase you get from Cab is much less than it is now with HK gear. On raids I could easily reach 2.2 k SP and I am not even fully HK geared. Hence with the greater boost to SP, BoJ, Vex, and SH all benefits to a greater extent than before.

The other explanation deals with diminishing returns. Vex and Sanction Heretic (SH) have a lot more damage modifiers than BoJ does.  If you look at this page, you can see that Vex/SH is affected by Mental Resilience and Corporal Punishment in addition to Ritual of Judgment.  Ritual of Judgment can be left out of the discussion as it offers a spell power bonus rather than a straight up damage modifier. Mien of Aggression (MoA)  is also a damage modifier. Now if you add these damage modifiers together, you would have 50% from Mental Resilience + 15% from Corporal Punishment + 25% from MoA for a total of 90% damage modifier whereas BoJ would only receive 25% damage modifier from MoA.

The more damage modifier you have already have before MoA is added in, the less is the increase in damage you would get from MoA. The formula to keep in mind is base damage * (1+(damage modifier)). Lets illustrate this with a simple example. Say you had a spell that did 100 damage. If have a damage modifier of 100%, you output damage would be 100 * (1 +(1)) = 200. If you now add 25% more damage modifier from MoA, it would be 100*(1 +(1+0.25)) = 225. 225/200 = 1.125. Now suppose you have a damage modifier of 200%, your output damage would be 100*(1+(2)) = 300. If you add in 25% from MoA, it would be 100*(1+(2+0.25)) = 325. 325/300 = 1.083, 1.083 is definitely less than 1.125.

Anyways, the point is, 51 Inq/10 sent/5cab scales better with gear than 51 Inq/10 sent/5 warden. It might not have being noticeable before, but it is certain true after patch 1.6.1.


For this section, I am going to list the FOTM 51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab build but I am also going to list 51 Inq/10 sent/5warden and 46 Inq/10 sent/10 Shaman. The 5 cab build might be the best under most situations but for fights with high movement (i.e. Zlias in HK) the 5 warden build will shine. Also, if you have extremely high crit chance (i.e. close to or over the softcap for crit chance), then the 46 Inq build might work better for you.

51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab

Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=10djo.EEkigtkqz.V0x.V


1. Fanaticism + BoD (Bolt of Depravity)

#show Fanaticism
cast Fanaticism
cast Bolt of Depravity

2. BoJ macro (Life’s Vengeance and Excommunicate only fire off when moving and Vex only fires off if everything above is on cooldown and you are moving or if you are somehow facing away from the mob)

#show Sanction Heretic
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Bolt of Judgment
cast Life’s Vengeance
cast Excommunicate
cast Vex

3. AoE

#show Soul Drain
cast Soul Drain
cast Circle of Oblivion

Also, I would have a separate button for Vex.

The priorities/rotation (provided by Ahov) are as follows:

Sanction Heretic –> BoD procs if any –> Vex –> Nysyr’s Rebuke if off cooldown–> BoJ spam via the BoJ macro.

Keep DoTs (Vex/SH) up at all times and use BoD whenever it is up except when it is time to refresh SH.

When moving:

Apply Banish, and then hit the BoJ macro. Keep Vex up via its own button if need.


Stack for as much SP (Spell power) as possible without negatively impacting your SC (spell crit) . If your SC is around 800-900 then you are in a good place and don’t need to worry about it.

Definitely get the Inquisitor crystal, either the T3 raid one or HK crystal. Both crystals will give BoJ a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Sanction Heretic. The HK crystal 4 piece set bonus is really nice as it adds 10% more life and death damage.

In terms of sigils/sourcemachines, you should use all lessers as there aren’t that good greaters. Necrotic Rage, the guardian only Greater Essence used to be very decent but the 1.6 lessers are a better bang for the buck and you don’t have a chance to wipe your guild on Sicaron (totem won’t show up if you have the lich form on, so the next person can’t see your totem and could walk into it…)

For your trinket, Lifebound Relic from Prince Hylas in GSB is very good. The healing from Vex will proc this quite often for extra 88 SP bonus.

51 Inq/10 sent/5 warden

(use on high movement fights i.e. Zlias in HK or if your SP is really really low – i.e. fresh 50s in T2 dungeon gear. I also like using it for PvP as I get two knockbacks and waterjet!)

Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=10dje.EEkigtkqz.V0x.V


It is debatable with the 5 warden if you should put Fanaticism on BoD procs or on SH. SH do hit a bit more with the 5 warden build. If you like to put Fanaticism with SH, use this macro

Macro 1

#show Fanaticism
cast Fanaticism
cast Sanction Heretic

Macro 2: This macro is handy for BoJ and also works great when moving (waterjet only goes off if you are moving, vex only goes off if you are turned away from the mob)

#show Sanction Heretic
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Bolt of Judgment
cast Waterjet
cast Vex

Keep an eye on Fanaticism if you are using it with Sanction Heretic. Press macro 1 when it is up, otherwise use macro 2.


Macro 1 (Sanction Heretic)  –> BoD procs if any –> Vex –> Nysyr’s Rebuke if off cooldown –> BoJ spam via macro 2.

46 Inq/10 Sent/10 Shaman

(use only if you have really high crit chance – i.e. close or over soft cap –40% or around 1100 SC)

Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=10djn.Egkigxoqz.V0x.ke

The point allocations in first tier of shaman is arbitrary. You definitely want 3/3 in Thick Skinned but the rest of the 2 points is pretty much waste points to get to the next tier.


I would put my Fanaticism on BoD for this build. See the 5 cab build for macros.


Sanction Heretic –> BoD procs if any –> Vex –> BoJ spam via the BoJ macro.


If you are using this build, you have to have high SC. Obviously using lessers with high crit on them would be ideal for that. Check out this page here for a list of 1.6 essences sorted by high SC.


Ideally, all parses should be done by the same person in a tightly controlled raid environment using a double blind approach (too much scientific jargon?) but that is never going to happen.

Two types of parsing are possible – controlled testing on dummies or parses from raids.

I will show you some of the parses on dummies here. Keep in mind that the 46/10/10 build may not shine as much on dummies as you won’t get as much SC as you would on raids. Since I don’t have very high SC due to gearing up for purifier on raids, I won’t be able to test it out.

I tested out 5 cab, 5 warden and 10 cab (spec into 5% more damage)

5 cab > 10 cab > 5 warden

5 cab – 1934 sp/788 sc – 1622.81 DPS – 5:02 parse
10 cab – 1934/788 – 1575.06 DPS – 5:03 parse
5 warden – 1858/788 – 1555.82 DPS – 5:02 parse


You can see that BoJs and BoDs are much higher with cab builds while SH and Vex tend to be higher with warden builds.

Here is the typical raid parse break down (courtesy of Ahov)

33% Bolt of Judgment
26.7% Sanction Heretic
17.8% Bolt of Depravity
12.1% Vex
5.7% Nysyr’s Rebuke

At very low SP levels, the 5 warden do outshine the 5 cab build slightly.

1054 sp/610 sc, 5:03 parse, 972.19 DPS (5 warden)
1102 sp/610 sc 5:01 parse 957.27 DPS ( 5 cab)


There you have it, 3 builds for the inquisitor that are viable for 1.6.1. Each build is designed for a specific type of encounter/gearing in mind. Finding out which one works best for you is the key.

Merry Christmas and don’t be jelly!!


  1. Just wondering what you call ‘really low’ SP. My wife plays a Cleric and currently uses the 51 Inq/10 Sen/5 Warden and has about 1320 SP.
    With that kind of SP (and a crit of about 900) is she better off staying with that build or is that enough SP to make the 5 Cab a better choice?

    Also, I always thought high crit was good for Cleric DPS while SP was more for healing. Judging by your stats it looks like once you hit 800 you should pile on SP? (unless going with the 46 Inq build)

    • Hey, I would say the cutoff is around a SP of 1200.Once your SP is over 1200 the 5 cab will probably come out top. As for if she should switch to 5 cab, keep in mind that this is pure min/maxing. The difference between the 5 cab and the 5 warden builds are not too big even on best geared clerics. If she is comfortable using 5 warden, there is no need to switch to 5 cab for extra DPS that might be insignificant.

      Both SP and SC are used for healing and DPSing. There is a softcap and hardcore for SC so once you come close to the softcap (1.1 k SC) it would be a waste to get more in it. SP, on the otherhand, have no cap. So yes definitely stack SP after 800ish SC. I can’t remember the numbers but someone said in raids you gain about an additional 100-150 more SC from all the buffs.

      • Thanks for the info. Think she will stick with Warden just for the high movement fights

  2. “This is because the 25% and 5% increase are addictive, not multiplicative.”

    I think you mean “additive” not “addictive”. ^.^ Love the guides.

    • hehe thanks for the correction! 😛

      • I think the min-maxers have shown that those increases are addictive though… 😉

  3. […] sent/5 warden. This is not a bad starting point for newbie players but at decent gear levels the 51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab build performs much better, especially with the upcoming nerfs to waterjet in patch […]

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