Attempt 2: mechanical / balance issues with War Priest feature replacement?

I recently proposed a homebrew replacement for the War Priest domain feature. Consensus was that it was overpowered, because 1st level domain features should (paraphrasing):

  • Be situtational if they are powerful.
  • Have a meaningful resource cost.
  • Pose a trade off to the player.

(My personal opinion is that some equivalent abilities – e.g. the Order Domain feature – do not abide by these restrictions, but obviously there are contextual differences between subclasses).

I’ve written a new homebrew replacement for the War Priest feature based on that feedback. It allows a War Cleric to make an attack as part of a casting action by weaking the spell cast.

When you use your action to cast a spell by expending a spell slot, you may instead have the spell assume the level below the slot’s and target one or more hostile creatures. Make one weapon attack against a creature that was not a target of the spell, as part of the casting action.

The assumed level must be valid for the spell, and the hostile creatures must be valid targets for the spell at that level.

Some comments:

  • It’s situational. It requires the cleric to be both blasting (instead of the more useful healing / buffing) and engaged with other enemies. However, it does remain useful into the mid- and late-game.

  • It’s limited by the number of spell slots the cleric can use. However, it doesn’t have an action economy cost (cf. the 1st level feature of the Death Domain).

  • It trades an attack for one level of a spell slot. So the cleric can either throw away a low-level slot to weak blast + attack, or nerf a high-level slot to strong blast + attack.

  • It stacks with Spiritual Weapon. So in the best case, the cleric can blast + attack + bonus attack with spritual weapon. In contrast, the Order Domain cleric can heal + trigger a sneak attack + bonus attack with spiritual weapon.

Do you think there are mechanical or balance issues to the homebrew feature?