rift soul breakdown – cleric – tier 1, justicar

No preamble this time, let’s do this.

Justicar

Each point spent in Justicar increases damage by 0.5%, armor by 1%, endurance by 1.5%, and resistances by 2%.

Justicar is my thing. Cleric tanking has been a part of my game-playing identity since I did it with pen and paper in the early 90’s, and I’m glad a real MMO remembers that sort of thing.

As a zero point class, justicar grants a passive ability called Salvation that causes all of your damaging abilities to heal you. Justicar attacks heal for double the baseline. Non-justicar AoE abilities restore only 1/4 of the baseline, and ground target AoE restores only 5% of the baseline. Still, it’s a very attractive ability to splash justicar for in most builds since most of the time you don’t need a ton of self healing, just enough to put off casting a heal.

Tier 1 Talents

  • 5 points – +10% endurance
  • 5 points – +10% wisdom

2 points in the root earns you Bolt of Radiance, a solid instant cast ranged life nuke with an 8 second cooldown. It’s the justicar’s basic pull button and does more damage than your basic melee Strike of Judgment. Putting this in your rotation also goes a long way toward getting more benefit out of Salvation in a non-justicar build since it can still do meaningful damage.

4 points in the root introduces you to the Conviction mechanic. From this point on, all life damage attacks will generate a conviction point. Abilities can then consume convictions in addition to mana when cast. Think of them as a secondary mana bar, or maybe like a rogue’s combo points. Convictions decay after 30 seconds, which means you generate them as you go and once you get very deep into justicar, you will be earning more conviction points than you can spend.

Your first conviction consumer is Hammer of Duty, which acts like a ranged finisher. It consumes all convictions, dealing increased damage for each point spent. Initially, your conviction cap is 4, which isn’t enough to make the ability very impressive at low levels. Later on in the tree, you can increase your conviction cap to 7 and buff the damage on attacks that consume convictions… but even then Hammer of Duty is never very impressive.

In fact, the whole conviction system is a bit weak in my opinion. The abilities still consume mana like a normal ability of similar strength, convictions just act as a throttle on how often you can use them – and prevent you from using them out of combat. You’ll be generating your 7 convictions every 10-12 seconds in the worst case, but you eventually also get them when when you block and when you crit. This means that in reality, you are more likely to cap out your conviction points in 5-6 seconds if tanking a group of mobs.

Most conviction sinks are mediocre as straight nukes or heals, and the system as a whole feels like it is designed to keep justicars firmly in the tanking role. I treat my Hammer of Duty like a backup provoke button that I know will always be ready since none of my standard rotation consumes conviction points.

And that’s it for justicar tier 1. For tier 2, I think I’ll divide clerics up differently. And I’ll grumble more about convictions and justicar healing then. However, next up I’ll be taking a look at rogues.

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