One of the many ways that divine classes are differentiated from other classes in 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is that divine classes have the ability to use a special type of power called channel divinity. Each divine class possesses a channel divinity class feature that allows the class to call upon deific power once per encounter. The effect of this power is different for each class and ranges from the ability to deal damage to undead creatures to the ability to provide saving throws for allies. In addition, any divine character can choose a feat, based on the deity worshipped, that provides an alternate effect for the divine channel power. The following guide to 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons channel divinity powers and feats in the various Player’s Handbooks will help you play your divine character as effectively as possible.
Cleric: Turn Undead – Until 11th level, this power is remarkably dangerous for a cleric to use, because it only has a range of two squares. At 11th level, when the power increases to a range of 5 squares, the radiant damage and ability to immobilize potentially as many as 120 undead makes it a great power.
Cleric: Divine Fortune – In an encounter without undead, there is absolutely no reason to not use this power. Still, the remarkably weak bonus that must be used prior to an attack or saving throw is trivial enough that most clerics should choose a channel divinity feat in order to gain additional options.
Paladin: Divine Mettle – This use of channel divinity is even useful for paladins with low charisma. No matter the charisma of the paladin, it allows a paladin to provide a saving throw for an ally with a minor action, which paladins usually have to spare.
Paladin: Divine Strength – A paladin with high strength can use this channel divinity to deal additional 3-10 damage, depending on level. This is not a bad use of a minor action, but unless no enemies in a fight produce save ending effects, it is generally better to save the channel divinity use for divine mettle.
Avenger: Abjure Undead – The ability to deal massive damage and immobilize a single undead is great for a striker. If not for the alternate use avengers have of channel divinity, this would be a must use in any fight against undead.
Avenger: Divine Guidance – This channel divinity allows an ally to make a second attack roll against an enemy. Since it can be used after the initial die roll has been made, it can turn a miss into a hit. This is great for allowing critical attacks to hit. In a fight against undead, avengers will have a difficult decision on which use of channel divinity to use.
Invoker: Armor of Wrath – Only covenant of wrath invokers get this power. The reactive damage and push against an attacking enemy is an effective deterrent and should be used in any encounter it is triggered in where undead are not the enemies. The power is not exceptional and many feat based powers may prove better.
Invoker: Preserver’s Rebuke – Only covenant of preservation invokers get this power. The ability to gain a bonus to attack rolls is always good. Because this power only functions in specific circumstances against a specific enemy, preservation invokers should almost always gets a channel divinity feat to provide an alternate option.
Invoker: Rebuke Undead – This channel divinity power can attack up to 25 undead for good damage and daze. It should be used in every fight with undead and is an excellent power.
Feat: Armor of Bahamut – As a ranged power, this is not particularly useful for avengers, paladins or strength-based clerics. Since monster critical hits usually do not deal exceptionally higher damage than regular hits, it is only a moderate choice at best.
Feat: Avandra’s Rescue – This channel divinity power is incredibly limited in usefulness. Avengers, with their need to be adjacent to only one enemy at a time may find it rather useful, but other divine classes should avoid it.
Feat: Corellon’s Grace – In a party of at least 5 characters, another character is likely to spend an action point in just about every encounter, making this a generally useable power. A move action isn’t a big deal, especially one that can’t be timed well, but invokers, clerics, and some avengers may find this useful.
Feat: Harmony of Erathis – For clerics, this power is basically an improved version of divine fortune. This is a good choice for any cleric that uses mostly ranged attacks.
Feat: Ioun’s Poise – If this power were reactive it would be excellent. As a proactive minor action that provides will defense, it is a simply average power that is best for clerics and invokers.
Feat: Kord’s Favor – If this power had a range of burst 5 and affected you or one ally in burst, it would be a must-have power. Instead, as a ranged power, it is purely second tier. Avengers, who tend to score critical hits more often, may choose to risk the opportunity attack to use this and ranged characters or characters with reach weapons can benefit from this, but other characters should avoid the feat.
Feat: Melora’s Tide – If nothing else, this power can be used to provide free healing up to half hit points for any character at the end of an encounter. For that use alone, this is a solid power for any divine character.
Feat: Moradin’s Resolve – Starting at paragon tier, when large creatures become the norm, this use of channel divinity is good for just about any class other than avengers. Avengers, with already excellent hit percentage, just don’t get enough benefit from this minor action.
Feat: Pelor’s Radiance – Clerics and invokers already have an excellent multi-target undead attack power and generally don’t want to be in the front line of battle. For paladins and avengers, this is a great use of channel divinity that can stun up to 120 undead at epic tier.
Feat: Raven Queen’s Blessing – The ability to provide additional healing is helpful. The inability to control when it happens is less useful. Avengers probably get the most use out of this power because they are most likely to reduce an enemy to 0 and will usually be adjacent to no other enemies when they do it.
Feat: Sehanine’s Reversal – This ability will come up incredibly rarely, because it requires a natural roll of 20 on a saving throw, while an enemy is within 5 squares. When it does occur, it can be nice to transfer a negative effect to the enemy, but relying on a rare occurrence simply isn’t worth the feat.