The Order Domain is not an original Cleric Domain. Instead, it is included in The Guidmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. These clerics are officials and diplomats, using their connection to their god to establish their authority. The law is all that matters for them. Whoever is chosen to lead must be obeyed, or else consequences must ensue. These are the few pillars of hope against a chaotic universe… Or so they seem. These clerics can be good or evil, as long as they have a lawbook in their backpack. So let’s read the rulebook, and find out what the Domain has to offer in our Order Cleric 5E Guide.
Follow the Law: Order Cleric 5E Guide
As a flavorful domain, the Order subclass is a buffet. All of the races have leaders of some type, so it makes sense for some of them to be religious zealots. In terms of mechanics, the Order subclass is about establishing your authority through buffs and enchantments. They are also bruisers, designed to deal damage on the frontlines instead of with magic. Leading by example, and forcing people to obey, will become your forte.
The domain spells for Order are not necessarily fantastic. They mostly ensure that the Cleric has access to oh-so important Enchantment spells.
Order Clerics focus on two things; enchantments and defense. Their spell list really capitalizes on this. Both Command and Heroism are fantastic spells. Command prevents targets from doing what they want on a turn. That means bosses can’t cast, deal heavy damage, or otherwise. Heroism prevents a large chunk of damage every round, and can prevent bosses that use Fear from doing anything impactful. These might be the best two spells on the list.
Hold Person, Slow, Compulsion, and Dominate Person are four more debuffs for the Order Cleric. They all either stop enemies from taking actions or completely take control of turns. Really potent, sometimes turn encounters around, but really require good Wisdom so your DCs are high. Target strong muscleheads for the most potent effects on these.
Zone of Truth is a weird one. It’s designed for out-of-combat but doesn’t actually force out truths without some help. Avoid using spell slots on this without some really smart planning.
Mass Healing Word is a good spell, but seems somewhat out of place on this list. Still, having such a potent spell always ready to go is a life-saver. You’ll be using this a lot when encounters get sour.
And finally, information spells. Locate Creature can really help solve some issues in town, letting you find kidnap victims and whatnot. Not really the kind of spell you want on your list all the time, but it’s usable. Commune is a great way to get information, since it’s so lenient and flexible. This is a much better information spell to always have available, though use it wisely; 5th level spell slots are strong, so use them on good questions.
The Order domain refuses to be considered amongst the same level as other Heavy Armor domains. Firstly, Heavy Armor is already one of the biggest boons a Domain can get. Access to this means that you are now available for the frontline bruiser role, dishing out more damage than cantrips can normally give before level 5. Reliance on Strength means that there’s more room for Wisdom and Constitution without sacrificing AC. So, that’s certainly powerful.
Order also gets a bonus proficiency in a face skill; Persuasion or Intimidation. This is not necessarily a moral choice; an Evil Order cleric might have good use of Persuasion, while a good one might just be big and intimidating naturally. Clerics can take Persuasion naturally, so Intimidation is a slightly better idea, if you end up taking both. And then you wont need an Intimidation background… Maybe you were an acrobat instead.
Voice of Authority
The first ability that you get makes healing so much better, as well as any buffs you gain access to.
Starting at 1st level, you can invoke the power of law to drive an ally to attack. If you cast a spell with a spell slot of 1st level or higher and target an ally with the spell, that ally can use their reaction immediately after the spell to make one weapon attack against a creature of your choice that you can see.
If the spell targets more than one ally, you choose the ally who can make the attack.
This adds a huge effect to all of your healing and buff spells; after this spell takes effect, deal damage to an enemy. With luck, this damage will usually be from a Barbarian or a Rogue – sneak attack is once per turn, meaning your turn is a new one! – hitting an enemy as hard as they can. It’s a pretty major boost in damage most of the time, though any ally can do at least some damage with a weapon.
In the late game, lower-level spell slots become useful; this makes Level 1 Healing Words into a bonus attack for your allies. Fantastic!
This does become limited to the number of spell slots you have per day; you can’t use Guidance to trigger this. And, it also means that offensive spells now have a caveat to them; they need to be more useful than buffing an ally and potentially dealing damage. If that’s a problem, though, then it’s a really good one to have!
Channel Divinity: Order’s Demand
Time for the option of channel divinity, and you know it’ll be really charming!
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to exert an intimidating presence over others.
As an action, you present your holy symbol, and each creature of your choice that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you until the end of your next turn or until the charmed creature takes any damage. You can also cause any of the charmed creatures to drop what they are holding when they fail the saving throw.
Okay, this… Is pretty good! Not fantastic, but good.
This is, at worst, an area-of-effect disarm. That’s not terribly useful against beasts or natural attackers, but against humanoids and demons… it’s strong. They’ll need to spend an action picking their weapons back up, and it could end boss fights that revolve around powerful weapons or rods.
The charm effect is somewhat weak. One turn isn’t a lot, even in an area of effect. And, if they take damage, they aren’t charmed anymore. That means that it might not even last until their turn. Sure, your allies could wait until the enemy skips their turn in the initiative with the charm effect, but… That’s metagaming. Don’t do that.
Still, the charm works for bosses, and the disarm effect is strong, since it targets a save that not many weapon masters have proficiency in. Good stuff!
Embodiment of the Law
Just in case you were worried that Voice of Authority wasn’t good enough…
At 6th level, you become remarkably adept at channeling magical energy to compel others.
If you cast a spell of the enchantment school using a spell slot of 1st level or higher, you can change the spell’s casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting, provided the spell’s casting time is normally 1 action.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
What a potent effect! As a reminder, this includes Command, Heroism, Hold Person, Slow, Compulsion, and Dominate Person. And those are just on your domain list! Bane and Bless can be sped up as well!
Of those, Heroism and Bless are the only two buff-based enchantment spells. They are really strong, and work well with Voice of Authority, but that’s limited. This is much better to use your bonus action in order to control your enemies and then do something with your action. A bonus action for Dominate Person or Calm Emotions can turn a fight quite quickly.
There are some downsides to this. 3-5 isn’t a large number of quickened spells, so that’s a pretty hard limit. Also, you still can’t cast two spells in the same turn – though you could cast a Cleric Cantrip – so this may only come in handy if you plan on crowd control.
Having said this, raising efficiency is one of the strongest things a caster can do. The Order subclass gets two abilities which makes casting that much better. That’s absolutely tremendous!
The level 8 damage increase is… Interesting, for this subclass.
At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with divine energy. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 psychic damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.
Well, interesting by standards of Divine Strike.
Psychic damage is actually a relatively strong damage type. In the original Monster Manual, not many creatures resist Psychic, a few are immune, and one’s even vulnerable. The damage type is unique amongst domains for almost being akin to Force. You’ll find this to be very influential in deciding whether or not to use cantrips… Though, this will be weak against things without minds, like constructs, or things with minds too vast to comprehend, like Mind Flayers.
And, just in case you were worried about Divine Strike not doing enough damage, level 17 has your back.
Starting at 17th level, enemies you designate for destruction wilt under the combined efforts of you and your allies. If you deal your Divine Strike damage to a creature on your turn, you can curse that creature until the start of your next turn. The next time one of your allies hits the cursed creature with an attack, the target also takes 2d8 psychic damage, and the curse ends.
Once per round, deal essentially 4d8 damage if you land a weapon attack. By now, landing weapon attacks should not be difficult for your weapon-based party members, so this is all but guaranteed.
It seems like just a boost in damage, but picture this; maybe your party member has a way of applying Vulnerability to all damage, like the Grave Cleric. You put the curse on, your party member uses this Vulnerability effect, and then your Paladin uses a Smite. That 2d8 damage could become doubled, in addition to a really strong attack. Or it could buff effects reliant on damage dealt, like concentration DCs.
In most cases, however, this will simply increase your Divine Strike damage. And that is not bad at all; You can use Divine Strike and cast devastating spells as a bonus action with Embodiment of the Law.
Best Race for Order Clerics
As we said above, all races have authoritative leaders. Does that mean all races have naturally gifted authoritative leaders? No, of course not! The Order Domain relies a lot on Strength, Wisdom, and Constitution to work the best it can. You could do a ranged build, but that makes your touch spells slightly less effective. Still, we definitely have our choices!
The prodigal scion of Order is the Hill Dwarf. Heavy armor specialization already makes Dwarf a top pick. Add in extra health, proficiency with better weapons, and a beard which just screams leadership, and there are just too many reasons to pick this race. Constitution isn’t quite what you’re looking for in a perfect Cleric – Strength would have been preferred – but the bonus to Wisdom certainly is.
If your GM allows the Volo’s Guide character races, then the Firbolg may be the best option for you. +2 to Wisdom is already crazy good for a Cleric, and this one has Strength! There is a slight problem with flavor, since Firbolgs are naturally quiet and timid. You can make changes to your own; maybe your Firbolg encountered a war band and had to adapt, or maybe they use Disguise Self in order to make them look tough. With stats, innate size, and some unique powers, the Firbolg would make any god of Order proud.
Race Notes: Everyone Can Be a Leader
Order is a domain that likes Wisdom… A lot. But, they do have the tools to be a bruiser or a ranged build that requires decent weapon ability. Since no races decrease your Wisdom, we suggest simply… Choosing whatever you like. Bugbears can make fine clerics, if you’re okay with losing some casting ability. Warforged make good use of heavy armor… And you get to make Terminator references. Even Halflings can make a ranged weapon build useful, though you lose the ease of use that heavier armor has. Whatever fits your background can be really effective, as long as your stats are in the right place.
Conclusion – Our Order Cleric 5E Thoughts
The Order cleric is insane. With good domain spells, fantastic spell efficiency, and some above-average damage, this is a really good choice for any Cleric. There’s some pretty intense morality requirements, but that’s part of the fun. And it can be weak against enemies that are immune to enchantment, but those are few and far between. We really suggest taking this domain, and reap the benefits of the law.
Want to see your other Cleric options or how to optimize your character in general? Check out our Comprehensive Cleric 5E Guide!