You there! Stop in the name of the law!
Oh, I didn’t notice that you are the new recruit.
Have you come to swear yourself to the noblest duty of upholding law, security, and order? Are you prepared to spread these virtues and punish those who would spread chaos?
Then it is time to begin your training!
This is the full subclass guide to the Order Cleric in D&D 5e!
What is the Order Cleric in D&D 5e?
Some would argue that laws are the most important thing in a society. To these people, a legal system based on the concepts of order and justice is what separates civilized society from that of roaming barbarians.
In a way, all advances within that society are made because of that guiding framework.
Such a commitment to law and order carries a certain divine implication as well. After all, there are numerous deities dedicated to such concepts!
These deities are served by Order Clerics who focus heavily on crafting, advising and enforcing the laws of their society.
With clear hierarchies, obligations, and definitions of “right and wrong”, Order Clerics are the front line in bringing law, order, and security in an otherwise chaotic world.
They have little tolerance for those who break the law regardless of such a person’s status or position. Officials and leaders who fail to protect and uphold the law are quickly replaced.
Deities commonly revered by Order Clerics include:
- Tyr, God of Law and Justice
- Bane, Evil God of Tyranny, Oppression, and Terror
- Pholtus, God of Light, Order, the Sun and Moon
- Wee Jas, Goddess of Magic, Law, Death, and Vanity
- Majere, God of Faith, Discipline, and Meditation
The Order Cleric was originally published in the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica campaign setting. It was later republished in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything alongside the Peace Domain and Twilight Domain Cleric subclasses.
Role in the Party
Order Clerics are at their best when they’re on the party’s front lines. From there, they focus heavily on shutting down enemies and creating openings for their allies.
This makes Order Clerics uniquely qualified as shot-callers for their party. You’re effectively your team’s quarterback.
This means that Order Clerics wear multiple hats. They’re healers and supporters, tanks meant to create openings in combat, and strategists.
Most of your spells and features will rely on creating openings for you and your party members. This means you’re going to also want to prioritize communication at the table to make sure that you’re getting the full value out of your features.
It’s a lot to juggle, but it makes the Order Cleric an incredibly powerful member of the team!
Order Cleric Abilities
The Order Cleric relies on a mixture of melee attacks and magic, particularly enchantment magic. However, what really makes the Order Cleric’s features shine is how they empower the other members of the party.
More than most other subclasses in D&D 5e, the Order Cleric relies heavily on the party having a strategy and working together.
Order Domain Spells
Every Divine Domain (Cleric subclass) also comes with its own unique list of bonus spells. These are called Domain Spells.
You gain these Domain Spells when you hit the level on the table below. These spells are considered to always be prepared for you and they don’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.
Some Domain Spell lists might include spells that aren’t normally on the Cleric spell list. In these cases, the spell counts as a Cleric spell for you and uses your Wisdom modifier as the spellcasting ability.
So, let’s check out what you get for choosing the Order Domain!
|Cleric Level||Domain Spells|
|3||Hold Person, Zone of Truth|
|5||Mass Healing Word, Slow|
|7||Compulsion, Locate Creature|
|9||Commune, Dominate Person|
Thoughts on the Order Cleric Spell List
All in all, there are some excellent options on the Order Domain’s spell list. A couple are very situational, but you’ll get plenty of use out of most of them.
With a heavy focus on spells that debuff and restrain enemies, you’ll want to get your Wisdom score to 20 as fast as possible. That will make your spells harder to resist!
But as for each of the spells you’re gaining…
Both Command and Heroism are going to serve you very well throughout your entire adventuring career. They’re both great, especially for the Order Cleric!
If you’re dealing with a lot of humanoid enemies, you’ll get a ton of use out of Hold Person. Unless you find yourself needing to interrogate someone, you won’t be using Zone of Truth very much.
Mass Healing Word is a must for any Cleric, so it’s nice to see it on the Order spell list. It can be great in those clutch situations where you need to pick up several allies.
Casting Slow can completely shut down enemies who fail their save.
If you’re needing to track down a person or creature, Locate Creature can make it very easy. It’s situational but very handy to have when those situations arise.
Compulsion may not seem like much at first, but it can be an essential part of your party’s tactics. While you can’t herd enemies into a spike trap, you can line them up for whatever your party’s blaster is cooking up!
Once again, humanoid enemies won’t stand a chance once you gain Dominate Person.
Commune is useful for gathering information with plenty of applications. Especially if your party is trying to form a strategy or determine some course of action, it will come in handy.
Bonus Proficiencies (Level 1)
As you’ll see with the other features you gain, Order Clerics make for great shot-callers for their party. You’ll have a much easier time doing that on the front lines and heavy armor is a great way to keep your head on your shoulders!
You gain proficiency with heavy armor.
You also gain proficiency in the Intimidation or Persuasion skill (your choice).
Proficiency with heavy armor is great for two reasons. Not only will it give you a higher Armor Class, but it also lets you put more focus on your Strength, Wisdom, and Constitution abilities.
You’ll also gain proficiency in either Intimidation or Persuasion.
Good cop or bad cop? The choice is yours!
Voice of Authority (Level 1)
Shutting down enemies and empowering your allies is what the Order Cleric is all about. Voice of Authority is arguably your most important feature and you’ll be gaining it right out of the gate!
If you cast a spell with a spell slot of level 1 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.
Your party’s Rogue will be especially happy with this feature. After all, their Sneak Attack works once per TURN which means this will let them deal some heavy damage twice a round!
If you don’t have a Rogue or they aren’t in position for a Sneak Attack, look to use this with another heavy-hitter in your party. Paladins are also a safe bet when you need a single burst of heavy damage (especially with Divine Smite).
That said, any ally will likely be happy to make an extra attack!
As you level up, you’ll gain more spell slots which will increase how often you can use Voice of Authority.
Now your turn might look something like:
- Use your Action to attack an enemy.
- Bonus Action to cast Healing Word and heal an ally.
- Voice of Authority to let that ally get an extra attack on an enemy.
It might not always make sense to cast an offensive spell. Depending on your party and the situation in combat, it might be more efficient to empower an ally to take an extra attack instead!
Related: Action Economy in D&D 5e Explained
Channel Divinity: Order’s Demand (Level 2)
All Clerics get new options for how to use their Channel Divinity feature based on their subclass.
In the case of the Order Cleric, it’s time to lay down the law!
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.
The duration of this may leave something to be desired, but the area of effect is great!
Charming targets is nice, but the big draw here is that it’s a quick way to disarm several enemies at once. Obviously, this is going to be best used against humanoids, devils, or pretty much anything that isn’t using natural weapons.
Unless the tiger that’s attacking you can spit out its dentures or something, but I don’t know that I would count on that being the case…
Anyhow, this can have a huge impact in the right situation.
I mean, all you need is someone to play “Yakety Sax” if you can disarm the boss and have your party’s Arcane Trickster or other caster use Mage Hand to carry their weapon away.
This won’t be a feature that you use often, but it can be massively impactful when you do!
Embodiment of the Law (Level 6)
Enchantment spells are important to the Order Cleric and your level 6 feature makes them even better!
If you cast a spell of the enchantment school using a level 1 spell slot 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.
Now casting enchantment spells like Command or Hold Person lets you still have your action free. Even better, you’ll notice that you’ve got several enchantment spells on the Order Domain spell list!
Bless is a staple Cleric spell that’s also an enchantment, so be sure to pick that up. Bane is also an enchantment available to Clerics that you might consider if you want a debuffing option.
Once again, you’ll want to prioritize your Wisdom score as you continue to level up. In addition to increasing your spell save DC, it will also give you more uses of this feature per day!
Divine Strike (Level 8)
At level 8 your attacks do more than just bring the pain onto your enemies’ bodies. Now you also attack their minds!
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 level 14, the extra damage increases to 2d8.
Psychic damage is one of the most reliable damage types in D&D 5e. Only force and radiant damage tend to be more generally reliable.
Constructs, certain undead, and some aberrations will give you difficulty. But you’ll have little difficulty beyond those!
Order’s Wrath (Level 17)
Speaking of dealing psychic damage with your melee attacks, your capstone feature is Order’s Wrath!
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.
You can curse a creature this way only once per turn.
So, you’re already dealing an extra 2d8 psychic damage with your Divine Strike. Order’s Wrath lets you pepper in an extra 2d8 once one of your allies hits the creature.
Combined with your Voice of Authority, this could all even happen on the same turn. Talk about making sure your enemy has a bad day!
Putting it all together, your turn might go something like this:
- Smack an enemy for weapon damage + 2d8 psychic damage (from Divine Strike), the enemy is now cursed with Order’s Wrath.
- Cast Healing Word, Bless, or something else on an ally as a bonus action
- Let Rogue get in another Sneak Attack (9d6 damage at level 17) PLUS 2d8 psychic from Order’s Wrath
In that case, the enemy has now taken your weapon damage (let’s say 1d8 + 4 with a longsword) + 4d8 psychic damage + the Rogue’s weapon and Sneak Attack damage (let’s say 1d8 + 5 with a rapier plus the 9d6 Sneak Attack.)
So that’s a whopping 6d8 + 9d6 + 9 damage for an average of 68 damage total.
If you and your party can work together to set plays like this up, you’ll be able to pull them off very consistently.
Taken on its own, Order’s Wrath might seem weak. But it has so much potential in the bigger scheme of things!
There’s a lot of “wiggle room” with how you might play characters of any class, subclass, race, background, or whatever else in D&D.
However, the Order Cleric is, by their very nature, incredibly rigid. They fundamentally believe in the importance of laws, regulations, and an overall order of things. It’s… kind of in the name…
That said, I don’t think that this rigidity makes them boring in the slightest.
An Order Cleric might have a habit of viewing things in absolutes or be blind to how things “really work” in the world.
What might an Order Cleric do when their view of what is legal, just, or “right” no longer applies due to them going to a new land or perhaps a coup in their home city?
The flavor within the Order Cleric greatly inclines them towards being some type of law enforcement. Honestly, I could really someone building an Order Cleric in the style of Judge Dredd or Robocop!
Background options like Soldier, Acolyte, or Urban Bounty Hunter definitely stand out for Order Clerics. However, there are several that could work very well.
Prioritize getting to know your allies. Whatever the hook for the story is, you’re going to be relying on them in combat.
After all, proper planning and following through are essential aspects of establishing order!
Is the Order Cleric Good?
How good an Order Cleric is depends entirely on the party they’re in.
In a party that works together strategically, the Order Cleric is perfectly positioned to empower everyone.
While every party will eventually find themselves with a type of playbook, the Order Cleric relies heavily on that. With the group’s synergy established, it’s crazy how well the Order Cleric can supplement the party’s efforts.
The Order Domain spell list is a solid one that really plays heavily into what this subclass is all about. The combination of spells and features you gain work together seamlessly.
Just note that if you’re going against enemies that resist enchantments or psychic damage, you’ll have a harder time. However, there are plenty of options on the Cleric spell list to help you get through those encounters.
All in all, the Order Cleric is definitely an option to consider if you’re in a tight-knit group who are good at working together.
With your powers combined, you’ll have no trouble laying down the law!
Conclusion – Order Cleric in D&D 5e
For most adventuring parties, the assumption is that the characters will be of good alignment (or at least neutral.)
Curiously, Order Clerics concern themselves less with concepts of good and evil and more with what the law says. As such, an evil Order Cleric could also make for a compelling villain for a campaign with plenty of interesting ways to challenge the party!
When the Order Domain was first published, I didn’t particularly pay it any mind.
It wasn’t until I really started looking at how the features all work together and the strategic potential of this subclass that it really clicked for me.
Got questions or a character concept for an Order Cleric? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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