Twilight Domain 5e Guide

Published on August 20, 2022, Last modified on August 28th, 2022

One of the most powerful cleric subclasses, the Twlight Domain focuses on fighting in the darkness.

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What is this guide?

This guide is meant as a deep dive into the cleric subclass, the Twilight Domain.

For our full class guides, we use the following color rating scheme:

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange is an OK option
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

For our subclass guides, we focus mainly on the Blue and Sky Blue options, because the other options are discussed in the parent guide or other subclass guides. We also discuss options that normally would be good for a typical build, but underperform when used in a subclass.

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What Is the Twilight Cleric in 5e?

Twilight clerics seek to make the darkness a place of peace and tranquility instead of a terrifying, unknown void. These devout people live to make nighttime and dark places safe for all while becoming one with the darkness themselves.

Strengths

The 5e Twilight cleric excels at supporting a party while still being able to output some decent damage. These pesky little emo clerics have one of the most potent abilities in the game, with their Twilight Sanctuary ability granting temporary hit points to their entire party every turn without repeated actions.

Outside of potent temp HP buffs, they also get an insane 300ft darkvision that can be granted to allies, and they can fly in darkness once they hit level 6. Overall, these clerics pack a massive punch and offer a ton of utility. They basically eliminate the need for spells like darkvision, levitate, false life, and heroism.

Weaknesses

You might be surprised to hear this, but the 5e Twilight cleric doesn’t have a lot of downsides. This class can perform incredibly well, even with a suboptimal build.

The only real downside is that they aren’t a martial class, so they get all the benefits of being tanky and sustained healing but no martial abilities to make them on par with regular melee damage dealers.

Best Races for Twilight Domain 5e

WIS is our most important stat for spellcasting, but outside of that, we can dip into either STR or CON based on what you want to do: Tank or deal damage. We’ll be aiming for maxing out WIS first, so look for races that help with that.

Naturally, most backgrounds only apply to roleplaying your character and a few skill proficiencies. Because WIS is so important to you, you’ll want to stick with one that gives you WIS-based skills. If you want to dip into CHA to act as the party negotiator, that’s an option too.

Standard Races

Dwarf:

  • Hill: What’s not to love? You get CON and WIS, plus an additional HP buff as you level up.

Human:

  • Variant: Feats are great, and you still get ASIs in either WIS or STR.

Non-Standard Races

Firbolg: It’s hard to get a +2 to WIS as a racial ASI, so we’ll take what we can get. Plus, you get some STR, and the free invisibility is handy.

Kalashtar: You get a fat WIS boost, an advantage on WIS saves, and psychic damage resistance. This is a stellar pick for those who want to be a beefy cleric.

Best Backgrounds for Peace Domain

Naturally, most backgrounds only apply to roleplaying your character and a few skill proficiencies. Because WIS is so important to you, you’ll want to stick with one that gives you WIS-based skills. If you want to dip into CHA to act as the party negotiator, that’s an option too.

Acolyte: The default cleric background, as it makes the most sense in terms of lore and mechanics. It’s the safest bet.

Far Traveler: You get free language, Insight, and Perception. The instrument is a nice touch, but mainly for RP purposes.

Faction Agent: Learning two languages, Insight plus another skill is solid to start.

Twilight Cleric 5e Ability Scores

You gain Ability Score Increases at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level.

As a cleric, WIS is our most important stat. It’s the only stat directly affecting our spellcasting, so we want it nice and high for our buffs. However, none of our subclass features care about stats, so the rest is up to us.

STR is an excellent choice if we want to deal some damage, as this is one of the few cleric subclasses with martial weapons and heavy armor. This allows us to stay on the frontline and do some damage, but we won’t be as effective as a real martial class.

STR: Somewhat crucial for keeping up damage, but we won’t be maxing this out. You’ll need at least 15 STR to wear heavy armor unless you’re a dwarf.

DEX: If you want to be stealthier and go for light armor, this works great. However, that isn’t our plan.

CON: Important for not only staying alive but also for maintaining concentration for our spells.

INT: Absolute waste, unless you’ll be following the teachings of a deity of some sort and want a consistent bonus to Religion checks.

WIS: This is our spellcasting stat, so we’ll want to prioritize this as much as possible.

CHA: Not worth it, so we’ll pass. It doesn’t add anything to a cleric’s class features, though can be useful for social situations.

Peace Domain 5e Class Progression

1st Level

Hit Dice: You get a d8 hit dice which isn’t great considering the Twilight Domain’s features want you to be on the frontlines.

Saves: WIS and CHA saves don’t come up often at lower levels, but when they crop up the effects are usually dire. You also have the benefit that these are both abilities you like to punp, so having them as saves is pretty nice.

Proficiencies: You get light armor, medium armor, shields, and all simple weapons from the cleric’s list, but the Twilight Domain’s features will net us heavy armor and martial weapons.

Skills: Not a ton of choices here, but Persuasion and Insight are always helpful.

Spellcasting: WIS is our spellcasting ability which is nice because we’re able to pump useful skills at the same time as our spellcasting effects. Combine this with the fact that the cleric spell list is full of powerful spells, we’ll want to make sure we have a good list of them prepared. We also get Ritual Spellcasting too, so keep an eye out for spells with the Ritual tag.

Divine Domain: Twilight Domain

Twilight Domain Spells:

  • 1st level
    • Faerie Fire: Giving your allies advantage is really good, especially if you have a rogue or paladin in the party. Invisible creatures can also be a nuisance, so having a way to deal with them as extra value is sweet.
    • Sleep: Sleep is a very good 1st level spell slot. It can easily end encounters at lower levels. By the time you reach 5th-level  it will be pretty useless unless you want a semi-consistent way of none lethal damage.
  • 3rd level
    • Moonbeam: The spell does decent damage and has a good AoE, but it is clunky to move around because it requires an action. Unless you can trap enemies inside the moonbeam and prevent them from leaving, most of the time this spell isn’t worth it. The part where shapechangers make the save with disadvantage and revert to their normal form if they fail is extremely situational.
    • See Invisibility: Likely not needed cause faerie fire is already a solid option for fighting invisible enemies.
  • 5th level
    • Aura of Vitality: The healing takes set up and isn’t that impressive considering this requires concentration.
    • Leomund ’s Tiny Hut: This spell is both better than it looks at first glance and worse than it looks on a second glance. Being able to long rest uninterrupted or use it as cover anywhere you want is really useful. However, if you abuse it your DM will make you pay, like setting up an ambush just outside the dome. Even still, this spell is a fan favorite
  • 7th level
    • Aura of Life: Protection from hit point maximum reduction is very situational, although resistance to necrotic damage is handy when facing the undead. Bringing up all downed allies within the radius at the start of their turn sounds useful, but you will need to maintain your concentration until then for this to have an effect.
    • Greater Invisibility: Being able to attack or cast spells while invisible is a huge upgrade from regular invisibility. Give it to a melee party member and watch them get advantage on every attack and disadvantage on attacks against them, bonus points if it’s a paladin or rogue for extra crit + Divine Smite / Sneak Attack potential.
  • 9th level
    • Circle of Power: Useful full party buff that makes hostile magic less of a problem.
    • Mislead: Pretty decent scouting spell or opportunity to plan an ambush. Pretty high spell slot for the meager effect though.

Bonus Proficiencies: Heavy armor is great for clerics, martial weapons are nice to have but not necessary.

Eyes of Night: 300 feet of darkvision is simply ridiculous, plus you can share it with an ally that doesn’t have darkvision, making dungeons a lot easier to navigate as a team.

Vigilant Blessing: One party member can have advantage on Initiative for every single fight, given that you remember to use it between fights. This is very strong, especially for characters that like to go first to cast buffs or to get into position.

2nd Level

Channel Divinity:

  • Turn Undead: Refer to our Cleric 5e Guide.
  • Channel Divinity: Twilight Sanctuary: Getting temporary hit points every round and being basically immune to being charmed or frightened is really powerful, especially since all it costs is an action.
Harness Divine Power (Optional): The most you can get out of this feature is a 3rd level spell slot, which certainly may not be worth it depending on how you’re planning on using them as the Twilight Sanctuary Channel Divinity option is quite strong.

4th Level

Cantrip Versatility (Optional): Refer to our Cleric 5e Guide.

5th Level

Destroy Undead: Refer to our Cleric 5e Guide.

6th Level

Steps of Night: Flying is always good, even if this can only be used in dim light or darkness. The best part of this feature is that it only costs a bonus action and does not require concentration.

8th Level

Divine Strike: This is what we get instead of extra attacks since we aren’t a martial class. It’s a good buff to our damage output, but we still can’t compete with other melee characters.

Blessed Strikes (Optional): Depending on how often you might be using cantrips for damage, this can benefit you more than Divine Strike. However, at later levels, Divine Strike will eventually deal more damage.

10th Level

Divine Intervention: Refer to our Cleric 5e Guide.

17th Level

Twilight Shroud: Permanent half cover for the whole gang is one of the most busted subclass features in 5e, giving your whole party +2 AC and +2 to DEX saves.

Best Spells for Twilight Domain 5e

Clerics already have access to a lot of potent spells. As a 5e Peace cleric, you won’t be getting to deal much damage, so consider your spells wisely. We won’t list all of your available spells here but we will talk about the best ones. If you want a full rundown, check out our 5e cleric guide.

Cantrip

  • Guidance: Outside of combat, you can use this literally every time a party member makes an ability check. Just make sure you’re within arms reach of the creature you’ll be providing guidance to and make sure to announce it before the ability check is called for.
  • Sacred Flame: Good ranged damage option early on. Also scales well as a source of radiant damage.
  • Toll the Dead: Good damage, rarely resisted damage type, and solid range. Obviously, it’s best to use on an enemy that has already been damaged.

1st level

  • Bless: Bless is simply an amazing 1st-level buff. Adding 1d4 to all attacks and saving throws can really add up over a combat encounter. When given the choice, it’s almost always worth it to cast bless on your party than bane on your opposition.
  • Healing Word: Great option even if you have a dedicated healer as it can be useful for resetting death saving throws from a distance and only requires a bonus action.
  • Protection from Evil and Good: You love to see this spell in any party, the buffs this can provide are extremely useful in any combat scenario. The creature types this affects are very common so this spell will likely be useful in your campaign.

2nd level

  • Spiritual Weapon: Spiritual Weapon is an amazing spell that can provide tons of damage and action economy over an encounter. The fact that the weapon sticks around without needing concentration, is a bonus action to summon, has an effective damage type, and scales with your spellcasting modifier make this an absolutely stellar spell.
  • Hold Person: This can be encounter-breaking against humanoids. Scales well with levels.

3rd level

  • Revivify: Every party needs a party member with revivify. The nature of D&D is such that PC deaths happen fairly easily, so your friends will be looking to you to save them from that fate. Because each round of combat is 6 seconds, a party member that dies during combat can typically be revived within 1 minute. Make sure you’ve got diamonds worth 300 gp on you if you’re planning on stocking this spell.
  • Bestow Curse: If you can get within touch range, this can be an extremely powerful debuff for a single, tough enemy. The effect that causes the enemy to make a WIS save or waste their turn is extremely powerful and is made more powerful because they only get one chance to save, at the initial casting of the spell.
  • Aura of Vitality: The healing takes set up and isn’t that impressive considering this requires concentration.

4th level

  • Banishment: Get rid of creatures from another plane, or take out a big threat for most of the combat. One of the better save or suck spells out there. Keep in mind that, unless the creature is natively from another plane, they will return after the spell ends.

5th level

  • Summon Celestial: One of the best summon spells from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. The celestial you summon has flight, ranged and melee attacks, radiant damage, and healing abilities.
  • Greater Restoration: Great spell to have that can get you or party members out of very tricky situations.
  • Mass Cure Wounds: Range, multiple targets, and decent healing power. One of the best bang-for-your-buck spells if you have multiple party members down.

6th level

  • Blade Barrier: Most wall spells are worthwhile ways to divide a battlefield and provided a consistent source of damage and blade barrier is no different.
  • Heal: Strong, dependable healing with no roll needed. Also can be used at range and has some of the lesser restoration benefits built in. At 6th-level, it’s expensive but worth it if you can use its effects to the fullest.
  • Heroes’ Feast: The expensive casting cost doesn’t take away from the undeniably powerful buff your whole party will receive. The benefits also last a full adventuring day and don’t require concentration. Great spell to burn the night before a deadly battle.

7th level

  • Resurrection: Death is temporary when you’ve got resurrection. Because there is no time limit like revivify, this can be stocked when required.
  • Regenerate: Not much more healing than mass cure wounds, but it does have the advantage of growing limbs.
  • Plane Shift: Good utility to run away from a fight that has turned south, or force a CHA save to avoid getting banished.

8th level

  • Holy Aura: Wow, what a buff. Having all attacks against creatures in the aura at disadvantage and all saving throws at advantage can massively turn the tides of the encounter. Plus, at higher-levels your more likely to run into fiends or undead which provides a whole other level of value.

9th level

  • Mass Heal: The best healing spell a healer can hope for. 700 hit points divided as you choose can essentially hit the “reset” button on an encounter you were about to lose. Also bundled with some lesser restoration benefits.

Best Feats for Twilight Domain 5e

  • Fey Touched: It’s never a bad idea to take a free misty step. Paired with our other abilities, it allows us to stay super mobile in combat.
  • Heavy Armor Master: Seeing as the Twilight cleric only gets a d8 hit dice, this can help if you're finding issues with survivability.
  • Metamagic Adept: Doubling up spells with the Twin Spell option is always strong, plus Quicken can make a huge difference in a fight.
  • Tough: Another decent way to pump up your survivability with some more hit points.

Twilight Domain 5e Build Example

As a Twilight cleric, we are the most effective when we have our allies in our Twilight Sanctuary, so we’ll want to be surrounded by our team to maximize coverage. This means you want to be in the middle of the action as much as possible, so we’ll need to be tanky enough to sustain a few blows, as well as dish some out too.

Our chosen race will be the hill dwarf, as we want the tankiness and the ASIs. The darkvision by default is pretty nice, and we get some poison resistances. Sadly the extra proficiencies are wasted thanks to our subclass.
Clerics have some pretty great starting spells, especially our Domain spells. You’ll want to prioritize buffs over healing until you get more slots for heals, though. Any spells marked with an asterisk is a Domain spell and are always prepared.

We’re prioritizing WIS as our primary stat, as it helps with all of our spells. After that, we’ll want a high CON to stay alive in combat. STR is a close third for our weapon damage, but we won’t prioritize it because we aren’t a real martial class.

1st level
  • Race: Hill Dwarf
  • Background: Acolyte
  • Ability Scores (Point Buy): STR 15 (+2) DEX 10 (+0) CON 16 (+2) INT 10 (+0) WIS 16 (+2) CHA 10 (+0)
  • Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Religion, History, Medicine
  • Equipment: mace, chain mail, light crossbow, priest’s pack, shield, holy symbol
  • Spellcasting: sacred flame, toll the dead, guidance, bless, cure wounds, healing word, protection from evil and good, faerie fire, sleep
  • Subclass: Twilight Domain
  • Eyes of Night
  • Vigilant Blessing
2nd level
  • Channel Divinity: Turn Undead, Twilight Sanctuary
  • Harness Divine Power
3rd level
  • Spellcasting:
    • add spiritual weapon, hold person, moonbeam, see invisibility
4th level
  • Feat: Metamagic Adept
5th level
  • Destroy Undead
  • Spellcasting:
    • add revivify, aura of vitality, Leomund’s tiny hut
6th level
  • Steps of Night
7th level
  • Spellcasting:
    • add banishment, aura of life, greater invisibility
8th level
  • Divine Strike
  • Feat: Fey Touched (WIS) (WIS 17)
9th level
  • Spellcasting:
    • add greater restoration, circle of power, mislead
10th level
  • Divine Intervention
11th level
  • Spellcasting:
    • Add: blade barrier, heal
12th level
  • Ability Score Increase: WIS +2 (WIS 19)
13th level
  • Spellcasting:
    • Add: resurrection
15th level
  • Spellcasting:
    • Add: holy aura
16th level
  • Ability Score Improvement: +1 WIS, +1 CON (WIS 20, CON 17)
17th level
  • Spellcasting:
    • Add: mass heal
  • Twilight Shroud
19th level
  • Ability Score Increase: +2 CON (CON 19)
20th level
  • Divine Intervention Improvement

Other Cleric Subclass Guides

Sources Used in This Guide

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house. He is the author of Escape from Mt. Balefor and The Heroes of Karatheon. Mike specializes in character creation guides for players, homebrewed mechanics and tips for DMs, and one-shots with unique settings and scenarios. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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