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The new Dungeons & Dragons movie proves this is the best DnD class

There is a lot to love about Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves, but one thing that this new movie proves is which DnD class is best, period.

The new Dungeons & Dragons movie proves this is the best DnD class

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is the latest adaptation of the hit tabletop roleplaying game – and for the most part, is an outstandingly fun film. There is Forgotten Realms lore for DnD experts, one-liners for comedy movie fans and all-star performances all around. But, as a long-time Dungeons and Dragons player, I couldn’t help but notice that the new movie was missing something.

The new Dungeons & Dragons movie centres around a group of adventurers having to face off against the Red Wizards of Thay to retrieve an ancient relic that brings people back from the dead – the Tablet of Reawakening. Throughout the fantasy movie, Chris Pine’s bard Edgin leads his crew through dungeons – fighting hordes of enemies, roly-poly fire-breathing reptiles, and a battle to prevent the Red Wizards from turning all the citizens of Neverwinter into an undead army.

As much as I loved seeing a druid in action and a barbarian swing about an intimidating axe, I left the cinema feeling a bit frustrated. In a film where resurrection was the main goal and the enemies had a focus on the undead, where was the cleric in the party?

Let’s clear up some cleric stereotypes first. Clerics don’t have to be the typical healers of the adventuring party. Too often, the class is looked on as the goody-two-shoes of the DnD pack. Newbie players or fantasy fans who are going purely based on other popular cleric depictions in media may simply see the class as righteous saints whose sole purpose is support.

Yes, clerics of the Life domain make great healers (and the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves adventuring party lacked some support spells), but clerics are so much more than a walking Band-Aid. Did you know there are over 14 types of clerics in DnD fifth edition – each of which has different powers and skill sets based on their unique domain?

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Clerics, most of the time, make great blasters or tank players – who have the ability to clobber enemies with their bare hands, shoot magic to smite spellcasters from afar and heal themselves and their party during dire times. But, most of the time, a cleric isn’t going to waste their turn on heals when they have crazy abilities – one of which can wipe out entire undead hordes (see where I am going with this?).

With the absence of any clerics in its main party, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves emphasised how difficult a campaign would be without them. So, let’s break down all the ways that the new comedy movie proves that clerics are the best, period.

Firstly, let’s go over the Tablet of Reawakening – aka the main bit of treasure of the film. Edgin is adamant about bringing his dead wife back to life, and the relic (which only has a one-time use) is the only way he can achieve said necromancy feat.

Dungeons & Dragons movie best DnD class: A Dwarf Cleric forging a hammer

This wouldn’t have been an issue for a cleric, though. No matter what type of cleric you may be (Light, Tempest, etc) at level 7, you can pick up the spell Resurrection. The DnD spell basically lets you bring back any dead creature at a touch – as long as they didn’t die over a century ago – so no tablet needed. A cleric can spit in death’s face with a flick of their wrist.

Ok, but let’s say that they hadn’t picked up this spell since they were a lower level. Clerics would also be able to thwart all of the Red Wizards’ undead minions and efforts. Meaning that the party would have had a pretty easy time going about their adventure. At level 2, every cleric gets the ability to Channel Divinity: Turn Undead.

Channel Divinity: Turn Undead is a prayer that, when uttered, corners every undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet. Your enemies must make a Wisdom saving throw, and if they fail it, the undead creature is turned for one minute.

Dungeons & Dragons movie best DnD class: the adventuring party standing on a pile of bones in a dungeon

So, your party can run and escape to safety or bypass an entire encounter to get to the next step of their adventure. At level five, this saving throw is also upgraded, and if the creature fails it, they are flat-out destroyed – meaning tons of enemies are wiped out all at once.

Clerics have a number of impressive core spells to add to all of the above, and nearly all these core spells are powerful and deadly in combat. Spiritual Weapon, for example, conjures a secondary weapon that can attack far away enemy’s as a bonus action – meaning a double amount of damage. And to top things off, spellcasting is far simpler for clerics as opposed to wizards, whose powers take longer to prepare and are sometimes tied to inventory requirements.

All these benefits, with the addition of a party member with high passive perception thanks to a focused wisdom modifier, make clerics a must in any enemy encounters. But, if you still aren’t convinced about the overpowered nature of clerics, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves directors Goldstein and John Francis Daley’s actions speak louder than any words.

Dungeons & Dragons movie best DnD class: a spellcaster attacking a dragon in the snow

During an interview, the two filmmakers shared how they deliberately nerfed the DnD class and took them out of the film since they would have made it too easy for our heroes. In the adventure movie, cleric healing abilities and powers of resurrection from the game don’t exist in the film’s world.

It was a necessary step for the sake of the flick’s overall story, which would have been a lot shorter and featured a lot fewer thrills and conflicts if clerics were still around. I mean, like we mentioned above, who needs a Tablet of Reawakening if you had a cleric handy, right?

“It’s what’s different about a movie versus a game, I think,” Goldstein told Polygon. “When you’re in a movie, if you give too much magical ability to too many people, it makes it very hard to keep coming up with obstacles they can’t surmount.”

“So the party we created, we wanted to have some brute-force characters, we wanted our swordplay paladin (Regé-Jean Page as Xenk) and our shapeshifting druid, but we just didn’t want spells being cast right and left.”

Dungeons & Dragons movie best DnD class: Edgin holding a sword in a dungeon

While it is understandable that clerics aren’t in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, it is high time that we recognise why they weren’t included. It isn’t because they are boring saints, it is due to the fact that they are just too powerful for their own good and the rest of the party can’t keep up.

Clerics are not only one of DnD’s most versatile classes – letting you play as a spellcaster, tank, or healer – they are also undeniably fierce. And if a campaign has any undead enemies, well, a Dungeon Master is going to be put through the wringer because clerics are an unstoppable sledgehammer of divine force.

For more on the new movie, here is our Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves review. You can also look over our Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves ending explained guide, and find out everything you need to know on the Dungeons and Dragons 2 release date.

For more picks, here is our list of the best movies of all time, and the best fantasy series that you can watch right now.