How To Build A Moon Domain Cleric In DND

The domain of the moon was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons by way of the talented Matthew Mercer in the sourcebook Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. From a setting with multiple moons comes the diverse lunar abilities of the Moon Domain Cleric, with a heavy emphasis on buffing your allies and empowering your party to take on stronger foes.


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Clerics of the Moon Domain may find themselves wielding light and dark magic simultaneously, concealing their intentions and goals to many. Some see clerics as manipulative, others as misunderstood or arcane to outsiders. Worshipers of this domain vary widely in morality and pursuits.


Deities Of The Moon Domain

Sehanine Sits Over An Adventurer
Sehanine by Nguyen Minh Hieu 

These lunar deities bring their unique celestial powers to shape the night and influence the fates of adventurers.

Deities

Description

The Moonweaver

Also known as Sehanine, she is the Exandrian goddess of moonlight and autumn. She also serves as the patron of illusions and deception.

Selûne

The goddess of the moon in the Forgotten Realms and opposite to Shar. She is known to have a changeable personality but maintains an affection for those who worship her, as well as a peaceful creed.

Eilistraee

The drow goddess of the moon, beauty, and hunting. Her most common appearance is that of a drow woman, though she also appears as a silvery radiance. Chaotic good and with an unpredictable, wild temper, Eilistraee accepts all folk who wish to walk in her path.

Sharindlar

The dwarven goddess of healing and mercy, Sharindlar is also known as a mother goddess. Romantic and warm, she appears to creatures of all types and looks kindly upon those who worship her on the nights of the full moon.

Malar

Also known as The Beastlord, Malar is representative of the bloodier side of nature. Merciless and graceful, the god of the hunt believes that power should belong to those who are the strongest. Perhaps this is why he is associated with the moon.

The Moon

As general as this is, your Moon Cleric may be inclined towards worship of the celestial body itself. In many settings, there are multiple moons, so your selection may broaden.

Catha and Ruidus are the specific moons of Exandria on which this subclass is based. Catha serves as a moon of enlightenment, with many stories surrounding it depicting the moon as being particularly gentle or ethereal. Ruidus is regarded with heavier suspicion, depicted commonly as an omen of bad luck.

Moon Domain Cleric Features Overview

Moon-Blessed Cleric by Marta Nael for MTG
Moon-Blessed Cleric by Marta Nael

At the first level, your cleric will gain an early ability called Clarity of Catha, shielding your party from those that would do them mental damage.

Clarity of Catha

You can use your reaction to let your allies in a 30-foot radius get advantage on a Wisdom saving throw.

Beginning at second level, you get the ability to utilize your Channel Divinity to let your allies take on the essence of a lycanthrope.

Blessing of The Full Moon

A creature within 30 feet of you gains the following abilities. They must be willing, and you must be able to see them:

  • Blessing of the Watchful Moon: Your ally’s speed grows by ten feet, and they will have advantage on Perception or Survival checks, as long as they are tracking a creature or using their sense of smell. This lasts for 11 minutes.
  • Blessing of the Blood-Drenched Moon: Your ally has advantage on any attack rolls against an enemy if one of their allies is within five feet of the target. This functions similarly to Pack Tactics and lasts for ten minutes. Your ally can attack as long as their allies aren’t incapacitated.

At sixth level, you’ll gain another aspect to your Channel Divinity, allowing you to split your concentration on spells.

Mind of Two Moons

  • You’ll be able to cast another spell that uses concentration while already concentrating on a singular spell. Both spells have to be from your spell list, and you’ll make a Constitution save with disadvantage if something threatens your concentration while casting both spells.
  • This leads to extraordinarily powerful combinations, such as adding Invisibility while casting area-of-effect spells.

At eighth level, your cantrips become more powerful.

Empowered Cantrip

Your cantrips will deal extra damage equivalent to your Wisdom modifier. This is cleric cantrip exclusive, so it won’t synergize with a multiclass.

At 17th level, you channel the power of Ruidus to create an eclipse effect.

Eclipse of IIl Omen

  • As a bonus action, you create an area of red, dim light. It expands out to 60 feet around you. Creatures in the dim light must make all saving throws with disadvantage. You can designate targets as being immune to the effects of the eclipse.
  • You can deal radiant damage to any creatures in the area of dim light once per turn, and can curse those targets to have their speed halved. While cursed, they cannot regain hit points.
  • This requires concentration, which will last for one minute and works with the Mind of Two Moons feature.

What Are The Best Moon Domain Cleric Species?

Mage Casting In Front Of Red Moon
Time Spiral via Wizards of The Coast

Any species can be played with a Cleric of the Moon Domain, but you may find that some have specific resistances and boons that can make your experience more fun.

Because you spend so much time maintaining your allies’ mental states, you may want to consider the elven species. Drow won’t add on much to what you get, but eladrin, high elf, and wood elf will likewise provide you charm resistance, with wood elf giving you extra movement.

For similar reasons, duergar will do well as a Moon Cleric, though you’ll receive Invisibility as a spell within the Moon Cleric subclass.

Protector aasimar will lend you resistance to radiant and necrotic damage, which is useful on its own, but you’ll also receive the ability to grow spectral wings as you level. Flavor-wise, aasimar works well for cleric, and may work especially well in roleplay.

Kobold gives you the Draconic Cry ability, which allows allies advantage on attacks, which adds to the advantage you already give them on saving throws. You could potentially get a full round in with advantage to saving throws and advantage on attacks.

You could also use Blessing of the Full Moon to follow up Draconic Cry, giving a party member who just had advantage on attacks even more advantage. It’s a lot of advantage!

Though Custom Origin is the standard, if you have the ability to use variant human as a species, you can take War Caster as the feat variant human comes with. This synergizes very well with Moon Cleric, allowing you to cast on a reaction.

What Are The Best Ability Scores For Moon Domain Clerics?

Moon Elf Extending Hand To Sky, Casting
Moon Elf by Tom Babbey

Uncover the optimal path to harness the celestial might of Moon Domain Clerics. These ability scores maximize their celestial potential.

Ability Score

Description

Wisdom

Your Wisdom is your spellcasting modifier, and as such, should be highest to ensure your spells are doing the most they can.

Dexterity

Improving your armor class should be your second priority, and as a Moon Cleric, you may find yourself the target of spells or attacks intended to throw off your concentration or incapacitate you. While Moon Cleric isn’t overly suited to be martial, it very much can be, so keeping your armor class high will benefit you.

Constitution

This makes up your hit point maximum. Ideally, you won’t be within melee range. However, we can’t always plan for that, so it’s good to keep it high regardless.

You can spread your other ability scores as you see fit.

What Are The Best Spells For Moon Clerics?

Spelljammer Ship by Bianca Morelos
Spelljammer by Bianca Morelos

As a Moon Cleric, you’ll gain ten spells inherently:

Level

Spells

First

Faerie Fire


Silent Image

Third

Invisibility


Moonbeam

Fifth

Hypnotic Pattern


Major Image

Seventh

Greater Invisibility


Hallucinatory Terrain

Ninth

Dream


Passwall

The spells you get automatically are pretty impressive, with Faerie Fire adding to the effectiveness with which you buff your party. Hypnotic Pattern and Invisibility will be able to be cast simultaneously with Mind of Two Moons, making you devastatingly useful with crowd control and stunning the enemy.

Cantrip

Description

Guidance

Guidance adds a d4 to every ability check, which you can intersperse throughout your party.

Toll the Dead

This gives you necrotic damage at the drop of a hat. As a cleric, it’s good to have access to a number of damage types, and Moon Cleric leans heavily into radiant damage, making diverse types of damage good to have in the event you find something resistant to your main damage type.

Spare the Dying

While your party likely will rely on you more for buffing, it could be useful to have access to a stabilization without use of a healer’s kit. This will do the trick, and your party will thank you for it when you keep them from rolling death saves.

Here are some spells recommended for first level:

Spell

Description

Bless

Bless will stay appropriate for you to have on your roster throughout the game by adding a d4 to attack rolls. If you’d like to further scale your Moon Cleric towards buffing, then this is the way to do it.

Healing Word

Healing word adds a d4 to healing and casts at a range on a bonus action. It could be good to have access to small amounts of healing, as Moon Cleric doesn’t gear itself toward it.

Protection from Evil and Good

This spell keeps your allies from being attacked by making it very inconvenient for your enemy to do so. If your enemy has an advantage, this spell makes sure they’re rolling normally. If they have a disadvantage, they may very well miss. It’s also a concentration spell, which lets you utilize your abilities.

Shield of Faith

This spell adds two points to the armor class of an ally. It only costs a bonus action, and lets you have some breathing room in terms of being relied on to heal, should that be an issue.

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