Hi there fellow clerics. Not much to be said post patch, we all know the situation facing us. While there are arguments that the changes are good and that the changes are bad, at least we all agree that our class is fundamentally altered.
My usual pre-amble isn't going to list my gear score and achievements, who really cares? I don't care if you're uber-leet or just a casual, we're all clerics in this together. The only thing I'm going to say is that for me personally gameplay has become a fairly standard rotation now and feels less dynamic which saddens me. It is great that threat was reduced along with some very nice quality of life improvements to the game but something had been taken away from our class.
So onto the actual reason for this post. Well before I respec I wanted to get some feedback on viable alternate builds post patch.
I think the majority of us agree that a standard skill layout has always been Sunburst, Astral Shield, your choice of a filler, pre-patch either Healing Word (don't laugh), ForgeMaster's Flame, Prophecy of Doom, Divine Glow or Bastion of Health (you may laugh now) along with Hallowed Ground, Divine Armor or a dps daily of your choice.
Post patch our choice is fairly limited if we want to maintain any semblance of consistent coverage so we're left with Sunburst, Astral Shield, Forgemaster's Flame, Hallowed Ground and Divine Armor.
Talking about at-wills I've always preferred Sacred Flame over Brand of the Sun unless I'm having to kite excessively. AStral Seal NEVER leaves my loadout.
Pretty standard stuff.
From a feat perspective I borrowed from both Deistik's Crit build and UnspecifiedError's earlier Hallowed Ground/Moon touched build. However I believe that the majority of clerics agree that a paragon feat distribution of 2/20/9 with small personal variations was the norm.
But is that still optimal post patch? Taking into account that we are going to be filling gaps and responding to situations with our dailies I do think that Hallowed Ground remains important BUT is Moon Touched and Invigorated Healing still mandatory?
Why am I asking this? Well as much as I loved that feat allocation, in the back of my mind was always an idea formed around temporary hit points and how certain feats and skills could build on the concept. So let's have a look at what revolves around those...
Allow me to preface this concept by stating that the primary purpose is to mitigate, not to top up hit points, the actual healing comes from our standard tools but by increasing mitigation, providing a buffer via temp. hitpoints and healing via our usual means I *think* the effective hitpoint gain will be better.
Sacred Flame - The third hit of this power deals additional damage and you or allies near your target will receive a small amount of Temporary Hit Points. Rank II & III: Damage +10%, Buff Radius +5ft per rank
Divine Armor - Call down an angel to cast a protective ward over allies in the targeted area for a long duration. While encased in divine power, your allies have enhanced defenses and are granted portion of their max hit points as Temporary Hit Points. Rank II & III: Damage Resist Buff +5%, Temporary Hit Points +5% per rank.
Strength of the Gods - You and your allies affected by Guardian of Faith or Divine Armor take 1/2/3/4/5% less damage and deal 1/2/3/4/5% more damage for seconds. Sadly I feel this feat is too deep into the Virtuous path to be of any practical use unless you're willing to divorce yourself from the Faithful path.
Deepstone Blessing - When your target is affected by Temporary Hit Points your heals are 2/4/6/8/10% more effective.
Benefit of Foresight - Defense bonus from Foresight is increased by 1/2/3/4/5%
Power of Life - Astral Seal now heals for 2/4/6/8/10% more and Sacred Flame now grants 2/4/6/8/10% more Temporary Hit Points.
Power of Oppression - Targets affected by Astral Seal deal 1/2/3/4/5% less damage.
If you're still reading kudos! With that out the way the question really is how does this synergize? Previously I stated that Astral Seal never leaves my bar and it becomes the anchor point combined with Sacred Flame for the build.
ASeal when combined with Power of Oppression & Power if Life will be healing 10% more and providing a 5% mitigation increase on every mob tagged. I hope that Deepstone Blessing can further buff the healing provided. Furthermore feats like Repurposed Soul and Benefit of Foresight will enhance this effect. We've all recently been in situations where our skills are on cooldown and the party is split, we need to get heals on somebody and have nothing to use other than our at-wills, hopefully the above combination will provide some relief by allowing you some healing and mitigation by retagging the mob with ASeal and Sacred Flaming the mob on the player in question. Will it be enough though?
In essence the real question I'm asking is it viable to drop Invigorated Healing and Moon Touched in favour of increased mitigation and healing from Astral Seal and attempting to buff the benefits derived from Sacred Flame and Divine Armor taking into account the fact that we have to kite less and are no longer so reliant on Brand of the Sun?
My apologies if I wasn't able to clearly communicate the ideas in this post, hopefully you get the gist of what I'm saying. I'd greatly appreciate any input from people who have done tests using feats like Power of the Sun, Power of Life and Power of Oppression.