Rift has a Battlemage
What’s that you say? You don’t see that soul in the 8 listed PvE souls? Well, no of course not. It’s a blending of the Inquisitor and Justicar souls.
So what exactly makes this a battlemage? Well, it slings high damage spells, wears medium/heavy armor, can take a hit, and can be right up in the battle instead of casting from the rear. Admittedly, in a group, casting from the rear’s still a good idea, but you don’t *have* to.
I’m still “only” level 44 on my cleric, so I don’t have the full build yet, but here’s your link to the proposed final build at 50.
The 6 points in Sentinel give you a passive 5% boost to your spell power, which increases your damage done and the size of your heals as well. It also gives you Life’s Vengeance (an instant-cast nuke on a long-ish cooldown), a big endurance buff (more HP is always good), 2 heals (1 instant on CD, 1 with a cast time, but spammable), and Shards of Light. Someone on the official forums did the math and SoL does more damage than spammed Bolt of Judgment for less mana cost, plus due to having a 6s cooldown on a 4s channel, it gives you a “free” GCD to use to cast a BoJ or a heal or whatever you need. Thus, to my eyes, SoL is a requirement for single-target dps.
The 16 points in Justicar may seem a bit odd, due to it being a low damage tank soul, but that’s not why we have it in the spec — Justicar has Salvation, which heals on damage done. It takes 8 points in order to guarantee that, so 8 is our floor for points spent. At 10 points, though, you can get the Mien of Honor which a) reduces any threat you produce by 50% and b) increases healing done by Salvation (and Reparation) by 50% also. and if you’re already at 10, why not take 11 to get Reparation in order to be passively healing your group while you’re dps’ing?
Now at this point, some people would tell you you’re done with the Justicar, but 1 more point gives you a mana regen for each melee hit you do in the next 10 seconds, and if there’s anything an inquisitor is NOT it’s mana-efficient, so anything you can do to improve your regen is a very good thing, even if your dps numbers do drop a little due to using those 10 seconds to spam your Justicar melee hit. Yes, there’s the Inquisitor’s channeled mana spell, but it only gets you 30% back every 2 minutes, while the Justicar one gets you 50 to 70% back every minute (10s is enough time for 5-6 GCD hits and 2-3 autoattack hits. Even accounting for misses, it gives back a lot of mana), so I think it’s definitely worthwhile.
From here, knowing we’re taking 44 points in Inquisitor, and 12 in Justicar plus the 6 in Sentinel, we still have 4 more points to play with. What does 4 more points in Sentinel get for you? Not much. What does 4 more points in Justicar get you? A doubling of your passive healing for the tank while in a group (assuming you aren’t taking damage, anyway) and the ability to drop a fairly large instant-cast heal on the tank during a damage spike in addition to your Sentinel’s instant-heal.
Now, are you going to be main-healing in this build? No, you’re not. But with the talented Salvation/Reparation combo going, along with the 50% boost from the Mien of Honor, most of your hits will be healing 16.5% of the damage you do, and occasionally 37.5% when you toss a Justicar ability (Bolt of Radiance anyone?). Assuming you are doing 500 dps at level 50 vs a single target (a figure that I’m told is a little low, actually) then you’re providing a steady stream of about 80 heals per second to your group while doing that dps job you were already there to do. And if you aren’t getting hit yourself, then that amount doubles on the tank.
So now you say “This is all well and good for a group, but what does this do for me while I’m leveling and questing and am largely solo?” The answer is, quite a bit. you see, you have this lovely DoT spell called “Vex” which does a fair amount of damage for a DoT and once you have 12 points in Inquisitor it will now be healing you for 90% of the damage you do with it. Plus another 16.5% from Salvation, so you’re actually getting healed for 106.5% of the damage it does.
Cast this on 4 mobs (it’s got a 35m range, so it can really reach out and touch someone a surprisingly long way away) and then once they’re all in close cast you lovely PBAOE spell Soul Drain. Soul Drain does its maximum damage to 4 mobs, so pulls of 4 are ideal, though 3 isn’t bad. You gain back 16.5% of all the lovely damage you just did (at my level it’s about 2000 per mob x 4 mobs = 8000-ish x 16.5% = 1300-ish heal) and the mobs are generally at 25% or less in health anymore. If you’re past level 31 you can now finish them off with a Circle of Oblivion. If before then, you can easily plink off the remaining amounts of health the mobs have with your Life’s Vengeance, Bolt of Radiance, Sanction Heretic and Bolt of Judgment spells. If your health drops too low, well… you’ve got the Justicar’s Doctrine of Bliss, and the Sentinel’s Healing Grace and Breath of Life to tide you over. Plus the ticking Vex dots, and you can reapply that to the mobs as well.
This isn’t to say that you can’t die as an “Inqusicar,” but since it makes you into a “Battlemage” it does make you a tough nut to crack. At least by pve mobs. I don’t pvp so I can’t speak to that at all.
I grouped with another cleric yesterday who was also primary inquisitor. But he kept dying when he’d pull 3-4 mobs, where I’d take them all and a couple of more adds, then swap to my healing role to rez him up. He eventually asked me what my build was and did quite the double-take when I told him I had Justicar in there. but I explained the benefits and pointed out that it’s not making me lose any dps and he said he’s going to give it a try, so I’ve made at least 1 convert, I think 🙂
Of course, he’d also body-pull the mobs instead of spell-pulling and Rift has this annoying mechanic to try to prevent that which slaps you with the “Exposed” debuff — any time a mob attacks you from the rear while you are moving you get a stacking debuff that makes any mob hitting you from ANY quadrant do 20% more damage and if you have 4+ mobs on you and suddenly the all are doing 80-100% more damage to you. . . that’s a bad thing. Did I mention it’s not cleanse-able? He didn’t realize it happened and so he stopped body pulling and that also helped his survivability a lot even without going to a trainer and adding in Justicar.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading about my fun fun build and if any of your are Rift clerics yourself, perhaps give it a try? Justicar isn’t thought to have a lot of synergy with the dps souls, but this works surprisingly well.