Use of corrosion-resistant cladding can greatly extend the design life of structural components in many advanced reactor systems. However, there are currently no ASME design rules for cladded components to guard against creep-fatigue failure and ratcheting strain accumulation in elevated temperature nuclear service. This paper, presented in two parts, addresses this gap by proposing a design strategy for cladded components that do not require long-term testing of clad materials. The proposed approach relies on approximate design analysis methods for two types of clad materials—a soft clad that creeps much faster than and has lower yield stress than the class A base material and a hard clad that creeps much slower than and has higher yield stress than the class A base material. Part I discusses the approximate analysis strategies for the clad materials—treat a soft clad as perfectly compliant and a hard clad as linear elastic—and Part II develops a complete set of design rules for each of the two types of cladded components. Finite element analyses of representative high temperature reactor components show that the proposed design analysis methods can bound the design quantities in soft cladded components and approximate the design quantities in hard cladded components.