Player's Handbook Edit


Race Rating Description Prefered builds
Dragonborn 5Star

As a melee cleric, dragonborn offer bonuses to both Strength and Charisma, as well as a decent minion-sweeper which can be based off of Strength. As a ranged cleric they will leave much to be desired, but a melee dragonborn cleric is a solid combination. Melee clerics may also want to boost their constitution and use axes or hammers, as constitution will increase the dragonborn's healing surge value and up the damage of its breat weapon.

More melee than others

Dwarf 4Star

With a bonus to Wisdom and traits that promote survivability, dwarves make decent ranged or balanced clerics. Dwarf balanced clerics will have an easier time qualifying for axe and hammer feats and should take advantage of dwarven weapon training.

Eladrin 1Star

Neither their ability bonuses nor their powers are helpful. If you insist on being an eladrin cleric, Eladrin Soldier is a good way to get greatspear proficiency.

Elf 5Star

Like the dwarf, the elf gets a bonus to Wisdom - however, the elf is a superior ranged cleric due to a bonus to Dexterity (making qualification for the Astral Fire feat easier) and the reroll the Elven Accuracy racial ability provides. Elf balanced clerics will also have an easier time qualifying for heavy blade feats, and you know you want to be able to use righteous brand on opportunity attacks.

Half-Elf 2Star

While the half-elf gets a bonus to Charisma, Charisma is a secondary stat at best for clerics. Constitution will help with axe and hammer feats, meaning that the half elf will give bonuses to two secondary charactaristics for some melee cleric builds. There are a number of good options for Dilettante for melee clerics, too. Unfortunately, constitution based weapons are all +2 proficiency; combined with a lower strength melee half-elves may not find themselves hitting often enough.

Halfling 2Star

Like the half-elf, the halfling provides a bonus to Charisma, but also like the half-elf it has little use for a cleric besides that. The dexterity will help qualify for Astral Fire, but ranged clerics won't have as much use for their racial powers; melee clerics will suffer due to the weapon limitations a small size imposes.

Human 3Star

As with all classes, the human provides a decent suite of abilities to the cleric. The stat bonus will go in your primary attack stat. If you're not a balanced cleric, the extra at-will will go to waste, but melee clerics in particular will appreciate the extra feat early on.

Tiefling 3Star

As with the half-elf and halfling, the tiefling only provides minor boons to being a cleric. Melee clerics can use a flaming weapon can make up for the lack of a strength bonus, however.

Forgotten Realms Player's Guide Edit

Race Rating Description Prefered builds
Drow 3Star

They have the same ability bonuses as halflings, but are a bit better due to their racial abilities. Cloud of darkness is not something you'll want to use as a melee cleric (as it will keep your other party members from seeing your targets), but is useful for ranged clerics that need to get out of a tight spot. Granting combat advantage to your whole part with darkfire is right up a leader's ally, though.

Genasi 5Star

The strength bonus is good for a melee cleric, but the real benefit is in the encounter powers; an earthsoul can knock adjacent enemies prone as a minor action. Other types of genasi can up damage or mobility.

Dragon Magazine Edit

Race Rating Description Prefered builds

(Dragon #369)


Great melee cleric, especially hammer and axe users.


(Dragon #367)


Their stats let them be good with either dexterity or constitution based weapons, but these suffer from a lack of a bonus to a primary stat. Their good mobility and bonuses to damage if you're bloodied and/or ganging up on a target with two others are handy for a melee cleric. Never try to make a laser cleric gnoll.


(Dragon #364)


Again, great for axe and hammer melee clerics. Keep a reparation apparatus for self healing; even better if there are other warforged in the party.

Races appearing in the following sources were not intended for use by player characters. Most of these have very limited racial options. Consult with your DM before creating a character using one of these races.

Monster Manual Edit

Race Rating Description Prefered builds
Bugbear 5Star

With a bonus to strength and dexterity, plus having oversized weapons, these are good dexterity-based weapon melee clerics. Their racial ability is icing on the cake.

Doppleganger 2Star

The charisma bonus is secondary and the racial won't help you in combat. Only consider it in a RP-heavy campaign, and even then there are better classes to be the party face.

Githyanki 2Star

Only any good for constitution weapon users.

Githzerai 4Star

Same modifiers as an elf; they're better if you want a high initiative to give bonuses before most of your party have gone. Racial ability can be pretty good, too, though not as useful as the elf's.

Gnome 2Star

Charisma and the racial abilities are minorly helpful.

Goblin 2Star

Would make a decent dexterity based melee clerics if they weren't small size.

Hobgoblin 3Star

Could make decent constitution melee clerics, though a problem with hitting will likely come up. Their racial ability is actually very good for clerics, who want to avoid being locked by a save ends so they can use their saving throw powers on others.

Kobold 1Star

Bonuses to noncompatible secondary stats that require being a melee cleric when they're small sized. Avoid.

Orc 5Star

Excellent stats for axe or hammer melee users, plus can heal himself once per encounter so you can save your other healing powers for your party members. A good choice, especially if you like charging in to battle.

Minotaur 5Star

Minotaurs become even better melee clerics if they have access to oversized weapons.

Shadar-Kai 1Star

Similar to the eladrin, without the benefit of racial weapons.

Longtooth Shifter 5Star

A strength bonus and wisdom bonus, plus a racial ability to get extra damage and regeneration when you're bloodied, make these excellent balanced clerics- the only race that can start with 18s in both strength and wisdom.

Razorclaw Shifter 4Star

Stats are the same as elves, but the racial isn't likely to be as useful to laser clerics.

Manual of the Planes Edit

Race Rating Description Prefered builds
Bladeling 3Star Again same stats as elves, but if you use your racial power much your party is doing something wrong.