Clerics are the quintessential healers because of their godly connections. Channel Divinity is one way for Clerics to connect with their gods and become conduits for their wills. Essentially, they are opening up their bodies as vessels for their god to bestow divine blessings upon them, often while they are in combat. Each Cleric domain has different options for Channel Divinity that we’ll discuss below.
Table of Contents
When Does It Become Available?
Channel Divinity comes online at 2nd level. Remember, this means your second level in Cleric, not your second character level. At 6th level, you can use Channel Divinity twice between rests, and that number increases to three times when you reach 18th level.
A few domains have additional options for Channel Divinity that become available starting at level 6. These work with the same rules as normal, but give you more choices for how you’d like to use the feature.
How Does It Work?
All Cleric domains begin with two Channel Divinity options, one which is dictated by their domain and Turn Undead. After using one of your two options, you cannot use this feature again until your character has completed a short or long rest. If an option requires a target to make a saving throw, it uses your Cleric spellcasting save DC.
List of Channel Divinity Options
Below we have a list of the various Channel Divinity options and their corresponding domains. Some domains have two different options that become available at levels 2 and 6.
As an action, you present your holy symbol and speak a prayer censuring the undead. Each undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.
A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
Starting at 5th level, when an undead fails its saving throw against your Turn Undead feature, the creature is instantly destroyed if its challenge rating is at or below a certain threshold.
As an action, you present your holy symbol, and one celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend of your choice that is within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw, provided that the creature can see or hear you. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage.
A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly end its move in a space within 30 feet of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can only use the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
After you reach 5th level, when a creature fails its saving throw against your Arcane Abjuration feature, the creature is banished for 1 minute (as in the banishment spell, no concentration required) if it isn’t on its plane of origin and its challenge rating is at or below a certain threshold.
Touch of Death
When the Cleric hits a creature with a melee attack, the Cleric can use Channel Divinity to deal extra necrotic damage to the target. The damage equals 5 + twice his or her Cleric level. Starting at 6th level, you ignore a foe’s resistance to necrotic damage.
You conduct an hour-long ritual with your Channel Divinity that crafts a nonmagical item that must include some metal: a simple or martial weapon, a suit of armor, ten pieces of ammunition, a set of tools, or another metal object. The creation is completed at the end of the hour, coalescing in an unoccupied space of your choice on a surface within 5 feet of you.
The thing you create can be something that is worth no more than 100 gp. As part of this ritual, you must lay out metal, which can include coins, with a value equal to the creation. The metal irretrievably coalesces and transforms into the creation at the ritual’s end, magically forming even nonmetal parts of the creation. The ritual can create a duplicate of a nonmagical item that contains metal, such as a key if you possess the original during the ritual.
Path to the Grave
As an action, you choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you, cursing it until the end of your next turn. The next time you or an ally of yours hits the cursed creature with an attack, the creature has vulnerability to all of that attack’s damage, and then the curse ends.
Knowledge of the Ages
As an action, you choose one skill or tool. For 10 minutes, your Channel Divinity gives you proficiency with the chosen skill or tool.
At 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to read a creature’s thoughts. You can then use your access to the creature’s mind to command it. As an action, choose one creature that you can see within 60 feet of you. That creature must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature succeeds on the saving throw, you can’t use this feature on it again until you finish a long rest.
If the creature fails its save, you can read its surface thoughts (those foremost in its mind, reflecting its current emotions and what it is actively thinking about) when it is within 60 feet of you. This effect lasts for 1 minute. During that time, you can use your action to end this effect and cast the suggestion spell on the creature without expending a spell slot. The target automatically fails its saving throw against the spell.
As an action, you present your holy symbol and evoke healing energy that can restore a number of hit points equal to five times your Cleric level. Choose any creatures within 30 feet of you, and divide those hit points among them. This feature can restore a creature to no more than half of its hit point maximum. You can’t use this feature on an undead or a construct.
Radiance of the Dawn
As an action, you use Channel Divinity and present your holy symbol, and any magical darkness within 30 feet of you is dispelled. Additionally, each hostile creature within 30 feet of you must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes radiant damage equal to 2d10 + your Cleric level on a failed saving throw, and half as much damage on a successful one. A creature that has total cover from you is not affected.
Charm Animals and Plants
As an action, you present your holy symbol and invoke the name of your deity. Each beast or plant creature that can see you within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is charmed by you for 1 minute or until it takes damage. While it is charmed by you, it is friendly to you and other creatures you designate.
At 17th level, you gain the ability to command animals and plant creatures. While creatures are charmed by your Charm Animals and Plants feature, you can take a bonus action on your turn to verbally command what each of those creatures will do on its next turn.
As an action, you use your Channel Divinity when 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.
Balm of Peace
As an action, you can move up to your speed, without provoking opportunity attacks, and when you move within 5 feet of any other creature during this action, you can restore a number of hit points to that creature equal to 2d6 + your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1 hit point). A creature can receive this healing only once whenever you take this action.
When you roll lightning or thunder damage, you can use your Channel Divinity to deal maximum damage, instead of rolling.
As an action, you use your Channel Divinity to create a perfect illusion of yourself that lasts for 1 minute, or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell). The illusion appears in an unoccupied space that you can see within 30 feet of you. As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the illusion up to 30 feet to a space you can see, but it must remain within 120 feet of you.
For the duration, you can cast spells as though you were in the illusion’s space, but you must use your own senses. Additionally, when both you and your illusion are within 5 feet of a creature that can see the illusion, you have advantage on attack rolls against that creature, given how distracting the illusion is to the target.
At 17th level, you can create up to four duplicates of yourself, instead of one, when you use Invoke Duplicity. As a bonus action on your turn, you can move any number of them up to 30 feet, to a maximum range of 120 feet.
Cloak of Shadows
Starting at 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to vanish. As an action, you become invisible until the end of your next turn. You become visible if you attack or cast a spell.
As an action, you present your holy symbol, and a sphere of twilight emanates from you. The sphere is centered on you, has a 30-foot radius, and is filled with dim light. The sphere moves with you, and it lasts for 1 minute or until you are incapacitated or die. Whenever a creature (including you) ends its turn in the sphere, you can grant that creature one of these benefits:
- You grant it temporary hit points equal to 1d6 plus your Cleric level.
- You end one effect on it causing it to be charmed or frightened.
Beginning at 17th level, you and your allies have half cover while in the sphere created by your Twilight Sanctuary.
When you make an attack roll, you can use your Channel Divinity to gain a +10 bonus to the roll. You make this choice after you see the roll, but before the DM says whether the attack hits or misses.
War God’s Blessing
At 6th level, when a creature within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll, you can use your reaction to grant that creature a +10 bonus to the roll, using your Channel Divinity. You make this choice after you see the roll, but before the DM says whether the attack hits or misses.
Channel Divinity is one of the key aspects of a Cleric character. It’s imperative that you become familiar with your options and weigh when you use them because you only have a limited number of uses between short or long rests. Knowing when to use Channel Divinity is a skill that all Cleric players must eventually develop, so start thinking about the best use cases now!