Valuable in parties, Clerics are masters of healing magic. Clerics have a limited selection of attack spells and may also equip decent weapons. Clerics are well-rounded, much like Rangers. Clerics err slightly on the side of magic though, which is reflected by superior natural Intelligence and MP growth when compared to a Ranger. In spite of being limited to cloth armors, Clerics have the best natural physical defense of the four mage classes (Conjurer, Wizard and Warlock being the other three). They can be a fair shot with their weapon too if built for physical battle via appropriate equipment and skill point investment, although they will never be the equal of a similarly designed Ranger, Ninja, Merchant or Soldier.
Skill trees are the basis of leveling and customizing your character in NEStalgia. The skill tree menu unlocks at level 5 and at that point the player will be able to customize their character with the five points available. There are three ways to gain additional points:
Gain an experience level, which grants one point.
Progress through the plot of the game, which grants one point after completing the main quest connected to Verity's lighthouse and an additional point after completing the main quest connected to the Arctic's ice palace.
Spend 100,000 gold on a Greater Moon Blessing, which grants four points all at once.
As of v1.62 this allows for a maximum of 38 points to spend.
Big Heals: The appeal of this branch is simple: the more points you invest, the more HP your healing spells will restore.
Cleanse: It's worth investing one point into this branch at the very least, since doing so adds the HealMore spell to your arsenal which proves to be enough healing for most situations.
Holy Gift: The ability to cast a party-wide healing spell is very good. The decrease to MP costs on top of access to HealWave is what makes this branch essential for any cleric build that focuses on healing though.
Second Chance: If there are points to spare, this branch increases the value of the Redeem spell, more so if access to the Revive spell via the Malevolent Crucifix is not available. HealMost has its uses as well, being a spell that is capable of providing an amount of burst healing that very few sources can match.
Great Timing: While the success rate of this ability is rather low, access to the Speed spell helps make up for that matter.
Sandman: When putting a target to sleep is a priority, so too is placing points in this branch. Dream has its uses, but the increase to the success rate of Sleep and Goodnight (if learned) is the main appeal.
Good Health: Sanity is pricey, but being able to remove confusion from one or more allies is nothing to scoff at. Being able to put multiple targets to sleep via Goodnight can be quite valuable as well. Gaining resistance to sleep and poison on top of having those two spells, as much as 33% resistance when combined with Luck in the Foundation tree, is an added bonus.
+15% of cleric's top plus element statistic increases smite damage per point, up to a maximum of +90%. Points in Fire/Ice/Storm Enchant do not increase smite damage, only points in this branch. This branch includes the spell Smite.
Divine Power: One point is enough for most builds, adding the Smite spell to a cleric's arsenal and allowing them to inflict solid damage to physically resistant enemies. Select builds will require full investment though, for reasons noted below.
Zeal: Accessible only with full investment in Divine Power, points in this branch add the ability to restore MP onto the Smite and Judgment spells. This in effect decreases the need to rely on magic herbs in order to keep a high amount of MP available during lengthy dungeon runs.
True Faith: This branch goes hand in hand with Zeal, making it more likely that Smite or Judgment will instantly kill one or more targets and restore a fraction of the Cleric's MP.
Black Widow: Much like the Deep Cuts branch in a soldier's Berserker tree, points in this branch will increase the damage output of certain cleric builds. Poison is easier to cure when compared to Bleed, but it is still a good source of additional damage.
Easy Target: Physical (Red) clerics are advised to put as many points as they can spare into this tree, for having the ability to deal extra damage to poisoned targets as well as lower their physical defense can prove to be too good a thing to pass on. Less melee-inclined builds can still make use of one point in this branch for access to the Soften spell in order to boost the physical damage dealt by other party members.
Seeing Red: As the name implies, this branch is a cornerstone of Red Cleric builds, adding a fair amount of strength and agility to increase damage output and critical hit chance. There are uses in this branch for other builds, the least of which being that extra strength adds a small amount of physical defense and that extra agility can allow a cleric to more often have their turn come before those of their enemies.
Abilities are skills that the player can use both inside and outside of battle. These abilities will either be bought on the skill tree using skill points or will be learned automatically once the player hits a certain level.
Note: Listed MP costs are the default. Points in the Holy Gift branch of the Support tree will reduce the MP cost of Heal, HealMore, HealMost and HealWave.