The Twilight Messiah – A Twilight Cleric build, ft Simic Hybrid

The Twilight Messiah

“She brings the night, the stars in millions

The messiah glides, her twilight so brilliant.”

Twilight Cleric / Stars druid

A guide by Lilith


Preface

The twilight cleric, a domain that represents the liminality between light and dark, to bring calm and tranquility, yet still majestic and brilliant. The subclass is so flavorful and well designed, that I can’t pass up the opportunity to make a thematic character with it. 

Concept

The build will more or less be a classic Cleric, and a lot more! You will be supporting the party, be their safe haven, and when the time comes, bring a devastating aura of defense, crowd control, and damage in the most fashionable way possible. 

Changelog:

Tasha is out, that means your temp hp generation is stupid strong. Flight is no longer unlimited and it becomes a one button combat trick that frees up your ba. You can probably ignore all the glide gimmicks unless you like to find high ground anyways, big sad. Stars Druid now being ba is also stupid good, as you can now SG Dragon in round 1 and just go brrrr. 

Race: Simic Hybrid

It’s finally time for the Simic Hybrid to shine! +2 Cons and +1 to anything, which you put into your Wis, and you gain two special racial abilities, one of which will be a fun gimmick of this character’s playstyle.

At 1st level, you’re choosing Manta Glide for your animal enhancement. 

Why?

Well let me show you

You have ray-like fins that you can use as wings to slow your fall or allow you to glide. When you fall and aren’t incapacitated, you can subtract up to 100 feet from the fall when calculating falling damage, and you can move up to 2 feet horizontally for every 1 foot you descend.”

In dnd 5e, falling is free. It doesn’t take extra movement or time during your turn. With this glide ability, the moment you let yourself fall from the air, you can glide up to 200ft, without costing any extra movement or taking fall damage, as long as you managed to start from higher up. 

At 6th level, you can gain a fly speed with a bonus action while in dim light, which will greatly improve your mobility. Fly up 30ft, drop, and you float forward 60ft, you can get anywhere without provoking OA on the way.

At 5th level, the optimal choice is Carapace for the +1 AC, but if you fancy, Nimble Climber will let you get to high ground more easily if you can’t use your flight often. 

Ability Scores:

Str 15 / Dex 8 / Con 16 / Int 10 / Wis 16 / Cha 8

You want 16 Wis as your primary ability score, and getting to 16 Constitution is nice too, 15 Str lets you wear Armor for up to 20 AC, or 21 at 5th level. 14 Con is also fine if you don’t want two ability scores below 10.

1: Twilight 1

+Eye of the Night

+Vigilant Blessing

Armor: All armor, shields

Weapons: Simple/martial weapons

Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

Skills: Pick 2

Consider grabbing Athletic from your background if going Moon

0: +Mending, +Toll the Dead, +Guidance

1: +Healing Word, +Bless, +Command, +Detect Magic +Sleep* +Faerie fire*

For most Clerics, your spell slots will go to Bless, but you also have access to sleep, which will easily obliterate most early level encounters. In the majority of cases, Bless will yield more value than Faerie fire, but it won’t hurt to have and might come in handy when fighting invisibility, 

Also, your first level domain features are AMAZING. Unlimited darkvision that you can share it to everyone a couple times a day? Fantastic! Also, your Gloomstalker buddy will absolutely love you for it, since they no longer have to convince the party to turn off the light and let them be invisible in peace. 

Advantage to initiative to anyone of your choosing? Brilliant. Improve your initiative to land extra value with bless, or share it to an ally who has a gameplan in mind.

2: Twilight Cleric 2

+Channel Divinity: Twilight Sanctuary

Spells

0: Mending, Toll the Dead, Guidance

1: Healing Word, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, Sleep*, Faerie fire*, +Guiding bolt

Idk pick guiding bolt for fun I guess

You gain an amazing Channel Divinity. At worst, it’s a free Inspiring Leader giving everyone 8 temp hp per long rest. At best, you soak a ton of damage for your team, and negate those charm/fear effects if they come up. The CD being concentration free is just the icing on the cake. 

3: Twilight Cleric 3

Spells

0: Mending, Toll the Dead, Guidance

1: Healing Word, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, Sleep*, Faerie fire*

2: +Spiritual Weapon, +Aid, Darkness*, *Invisibility

Aid is useful if you have spare slots for rest tricking, invisibility is situationally handy to have. 

4: Twilight Cleric 4

+Feat: Resilient Con/War Caster

Spells

0: Mending, Toll the Dead, Guidance, +Sacred Flame

1: Healing Word, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, Sleep*, Faerie fire*

2: Spiritual Weapon, Aid, Darkness*, Invisibility*, Aura of Vitality

You want to ensure those concentration saves. Usually the go to is War Caster, but since Stars druid let you autowin concentration, Resilient Con won’t be too far off, and it also grants you better Con saves. 

Most of the time your 2nd slot goes to Spiritual weapon and left one at the end of the day for Aid, but Aura of Vitality plus your Twilight Sanctuary will keep your team fully topped off for a particularly tough fight.

5: Twilight Cleric 5

+ Carapace

Spells

0:  Mending, Toll the Dead, Guidance, Sacred Flame

1: Healing Word, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, Sleep*, Faerie fire*

2: Spiritual Weapon, Aid, Invisibility*, Aura of Vitality

3: +Spirit Guardians, +Revivify, Leomund’s Tiny Hut*

Spirit Guardians is an auto-pick and Revivify is good situationally. You get Tiny Hut from your domain spells, another ability that makes you the ultimate safe haven! 

Also, you’re not just a Cleric with Spirit Guardian, you can also be a dive bombing Cleric with Spirit Guardian! Pop the spell just before an ambush, and leap from your high ground. You will come soaring up to 120ft into the fray, in addition to your movement. You can flavor Spirit Guardian to be a field of shimmering stars, an aura of searing comets, or a wailing of night spirits, and then come crashing down on your foes. Talk about dynamic entry. 

Oh and free +1 AC

6: Twilight Cleric 6

+ Steps of the Brave

+ Channel Divinity 2/rest

Spells

0: Mending, Toll the Dead, Guidance, Sacred Flame

1: Healing Word, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, Sleep*, Faerie fire*

2: Spiritual Weapon, Aid, Darkness*, Invisibility*, Aura of Vitality

3: Spirit Guardians, Revivify, Leomund’s Tiny Hut*, +Dispel Magic

Here’s your next major hallmark. At will non-concentration flight! The cost is your bonus action and need to be in dim light.  You can easily use the flight the same turn with Spirit Guardian or Twilight sanctuary, since it's not a spell effect. Flight in combat has the advantages of easier repositioning, avoiding fire, and overall looking real majestic with your Spirit Guardian running.

Don’t forget, you can also glide, which effectively doubles your movement rate, and when gliding you won’t provoke opportunity attacks either. 

7: Twilight Cleric 6, Druid 1

Spells

0:  Mending, Toll the Dead, Guidance, Sacred Flame, +Thorn Whip, +Druidcraft

1: Healing Word, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, +Absorb Elements, Sleep*, Faerie fire* +Goodberry, +Entangle, +Earth Tremor

2: Spiritual Weapon, Aid, Darkness*, Invisibility*, Aura of Vitality

3: Spirit Guardians, Revivify, Leomund’s Tiny Hut*, Dispel Magic

Note: Now, if your table is allergic to reflavoring and is adamant on Druids exploding when wearing metal armor, you might need to find replacement material, or just ignore druid altogether (do note that “not wearing metal” is more about class flavor, and multiclassed characters are not meant to represent the individual classes). An alternative to consider is Magic Initiate: Druid, grabbing Thorn Whip and Absorb element. 

An advantage of Cleric multiclassing is that you won’t miss out much when delaying high level spells, and upcasting Spirit Guardian is very efficient and will last you a long time. 

And here's the next major hallmark for the build, with the addition of Thorn Whip

Thorn Whip is amazing. Magical slashing is hardly ever resisted, and when combined with flight, you get a free 1d6 damage on top of getting enemies prone. Combined with Spirit Guardian and it will be debilitating, as the average enemy will be left with 7.5ft of movement when standing up with their halved speed. If you can slap Earth Tremor on top, the difficult terrain will make them unable to move at all. Thorn whip will also trigger Spirit Guardian an extra time if it pulls an enemy into the aura. You won’t miss having Spiritual Weapon when in flight mode at all. 

Absorb elements is a nice defense buff, and Goodberry lets you convert leftover spell slots for plenty of healing the next day.  

8: Twilight Cleric 6, Stars/Moon Druid 2

+ Star map/Combat wild shape

+ Starry form/Circle form

Spells

0:  Mending, Toll the Dead, Guidance, Sacred Flame, Thorn Whip, Druidcraft

1: Healing Word, Bless, Command, Detect Magic, Absorb Elements, Goodberry, Entangle, Earth Tremor, +Longstrider

2: Spiritual Weapon, Aid, Darkness*, Invisibility*, Aura of Vitality

3: Spirit Guardians, Revivify, Leomund’s Tiny Hut*, Dispel Magic

We are not done with major hallmarks yet. This is where your messiah form gets even more interesting.

  • Stars druid:

Star map gives you a couple free casting of augury and guiding bolt, nice. 

But the meat of it, is Starry Form. Chalice is handy if you really want extra sustain, Archer is like extra casting of Spiritual weapons but with better reach, but the best of it all, is Dragon, which basically makes you never lose a concentration save again. 

Your combo will be Spirit Guardian, and then start your Starry form to gain near perfect concentration, both of which can be set up before combat with their 10 minutes duration, and you have amazing mobility to get you anywhere, put a longstrider buff on top if you fancy. Once combat begins, you can start your Twilight Sanctuary if your team joins you in the fray as well.

You’re now the ultimate embodiment of the night sky, with your twilight presence and the constellations working in tandem. 

  • Moon druid

Moon druid is optional and you’re fine with leaving at druid 1 dip, but this can be a fun addition nonetheless. The recommended form is Brown Bear, which sets your size to Large, which significantly boosts the range of your Spirit Guardian aura. You get +4 to Strength, and can consider grappling enemies, then keep them there or fly up and drop them prone. Once you’ve cast Spirit Guardian, you can use all your class abilities as normal in beast form, and you now have a flying searing radiant bear. 

If your table features 4 and fewer encounters per adventuring day, with a short rest inbetween, which is the vast majority of tables, you can go all out with these combos on ALL of them, because your cooldown abilities synchronize perfectly. 

And that’s the gist of this build! From now on, you will just be going full Cleric, pick good spells, and you’ll be golden. 

For ASIs, you can grab the other concentration Feat if you like, or max out your WIS, then just pick general useful Feats like Lucky. 

Now go out there and dive bomb your foes with your brilliant auras!

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