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Vital Strike Builds, when can it be better


Advice

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I like the idea of vital strike both from a mechanics and RP standpoint.

mechanics wise its 1 attack, its always 1 attack , its neat its simple you hit or miss.

you get to roll a tonne of damage dice which is always fun

has that sort of samuari mystique about it, single quick and insanely powerful strikes.

However my question is from a metagamming standpoint are there any builds where there is a significant benefit on using vital strikes over a normal full attack ?

Now situationally;
Vital Strike is awesome for going through damage reduction
Vital Strike is awesome for staying mobile in combat
Vital Strike is awesome for hitting hard in round 1 , instead of waiting to round 2 for your full attack
Vital Strike is awesome for solo monsters with crazy high AC to beat

That said its usefulness is situational and often even with the feats the extra damage you can get from a full round attack, especially with bonus damage on weapons will often overshadow vital strike dmg.

So are there any Vital Strike builds where you'd choose to use vital strike 100% of the time becuase a full round attack would be worse?

Or is it a simply matter of Full Round is better most of the time.

the only thing I've read which kind of lends itself to it would be a mobile cavalier who only has their std action to hit with , while making use of all the riding feats


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Using Improved Feint and sneak attack vs an opponent, Vital Strike can add considerable damage if you are fighting solo.

For example, an 8th level rogue has +4d6 for sneak attack, and if using a short sword or rapier gains an extra 1d6 for Vital Strike. It's a 20% increase in damage given that you are going to be using sneak attack to get most of your damage, and you'll have to take a standard action to attack if you are using Improved Feint anyway.

Liberty's Edge

From a damage-dealing standpoint, Full-Attacks are almost always better.

However, I, too, share your interest in Vital Strike-centered builds. I, though not an expert, have a few tips I'll put out there:

1. Roleplay. The best aspect of single attacking is the roleplaying-side. I don't care how many levels of Fighter you take: if you pick up a Huge Greataxe (if they even have those), you're not going to justify 5 swipes with it in 6 seconds (a round). Get the picture in your mind of a brute slamming down a hammer that's twice as big as he is... that's you.
2. Concentrate on movement. Full-Attackers get a measly 5-foot step per turn. You can take your move then attack, every turn! Or, better yet, charge whenever you can. Take at least one level of Barbarian for the +10 speed. You'll get more out of it than any other build (except for, say, a Barbarian build itself o.O). Get Fighter's armor training or go Mithral... or both. Take Fleet, Nimble Moves, or Acrobatic Steps if you have extra feats. Monk levels are actually great for this, due to the extra movement. Do note, though, that your Barbarian will have to "become lawful" to take Monk levels, and that you lose the speed if you wear armor.
3. Take advantage of your high To-Hit. Full-Attackers try to keep as many bonuses as possible and get rid of as many penalties as possible so that their iterative attacks will hit. If their iterative attacks don't hit, they're reduced to a single attacker that wasn't built for single attacking (like you are!). Take Monkey Grip if you can, and wield the biggest weapons you can find. Those one or two -2's to hit for off-size weapons? No big. Which also leads to...
4. Max out your weapon damage dice. Vital Strike only multiplies the actual damage dice (the damage listed in the equipment tables), not your Strength or other bonuses. This is pretty much accomplished by taking the biggest version of the highest damage-dealing weapon you can find. I'd suggest the Greatsword or Earthbreaker. Large versions. That's 3d6 damage to begin with. 6d6 with Vital Strike (6th level), 9d6 at 11th, and 12d6 at 16th. All before any modifiers, and all for one feat (Monkey Grip) and a -2 to hit (I believe).
5. Worry about BAB, but for a different reason. While most melee classes worry about getting maximum BAB for iterative attacks, you need it to qualify for the Vital Strike feats. That said, you still don't need to max it, you'll just get the feats at a level or two later. And remember, you're probably not going to need the +To-Hit like the Full-Attackers.
6. Look at other movement feats. I already mentioned Fleet, etc. Take the Dodge line (Mobility and Spring Attack are pretty much a must for you anyways), and grab Wind Stance. Each turn you move more than 5 feet, you get 20% concealment against ranged attacks. For you? That's pretty much always 20% vs. ranged attacks, because you'll be moving as much as possible. Don't forget Bull Rush and/or Overrun! Pick at least one and take the Improved and Greater versions if you have the feats.
7. Make the most of your "single source" damage. What's that mean? All your damage comes from a single attack. Example: a TWF-ing Rouge attacks a big enemy 5 times, they all hit, and they all do 10 damage. He's done 50 damage total. On the other hand, you attack once (with Vital Strike, etc) and you do, say, 40 damage from your one hit. The Rouge did more damage, right? RIGHT?! Not always. What if that enemy had DR 10/-? In this case, the Rouge did exactly 0 damage, while you did 30. DR 5/-? Rouge did 25 and you did 35. See where I'm going with this?
8. Finally, sometimes it's just better to Full-Attack. Yes, you're not built for it, but every now and then you'll be right beside who you need to attack, they're easy to hit, and all you need to do is tons of damage. In these cases, Full-Attack your heart out.

Bonus Tip: You can deal damage from a variety of weapons easier than most. Full-Attackers need the Weapon Specialization damage and the enchantment damage (as well as the To-Hit), so it's feat- and financially-starving to have more than one weapon type that can deal top damage. For you? That +1 Enhancement bonus isn't going to add a whole lot anyway. Grab a Large (or Huge) masterwork weapon that can deal Bludgeoning damage, one that deals Slashing, and one that deals Piercing. They'll all probably be cheaper, total, than a +2 weapon AND you'll be set for whatever damage-type you need.

My Build Outline:
Start with Barbarian for Fast Movement and weapon profenciencies. Mix Monk and Fighter, or go straight Monk. Either way, whenever your BAB is +5,+10,or +15 and you won't be getting your normal feat at the next level, you can take a level of Fighter and pick up Vital Strike (Normal/Imp./Greater) as the bonus feat.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As was brought up in the "Heavy Crossbows: They Still Suck?" thread, a large heavy crossbow used by someone with Rapid Reload and Vital Strike can do 4d8 damage (6d8 with Improved Vital Strike and 8d8 with Greater Vital Strike) at their highest BAB (-2 for the large weapon) every round. Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).

Not necessarily enough to put a dedicated archer build out of business, but very good for many other characters. Since Vital Strike works with all weapons, you're only investing a single feat on the heavy crossbow, instead of two or three (Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, and Manyshot; rangers can skip Point Blank Shot) on a bow; melee focused characters can get a lot of use from Vital Strike when they move and attack (usually at least once every combat).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One very important point about the maths of Vital Strike is that if your opponent's AC is very high, your iterative attacks from a full attack count for almost nothing. If you can only hit your target on a 15 or greater, then your iterative attacks will only hit on a 20. In that circumstance it is certainly a better bet to use Vital Strike on a single attack than try for multiple hits.


VS is best when being used by a partial BAB character using a weapon with very high dice damage, especially if the character in question does NOT have other damage modifiers.

Druids tend to be good examples. A wolf has a single attack and high mobility, but no pounce. For a Druid in wolf form (med, large, or huge), VS is a pretty good attack overall. That single secondary attack (until hery high levels, when you are no longer WSing into wolves) will likely miss, but you can trip your opponent and move away next round to bound around the battlefield.

Alternatively, you could also become a giant ape, swing an appropriately sized club, and cast shilleligh on it. Now the club is 4d6, VS for 8d6. Since that secondary attack is unlikely to hit after things like Power Attack, you are probably better off swinging through trees, climbing obsticles, and taking one big swing every round.

Finally, Monk's NEED VS. FoB is a full round attack, and is already a good attack form. VS lets the monk use their superior mobility to get into position and hit HARD with that stunning fist. And after the Monk's Robe and Superior Unarmed Strike (if To9S feats are allowed), the base monk damage is great. Now the Spring Attack monk really CAN deal some decent damage without getting mauled by an enemy fighter.


Austin Morgan wrote:
1. Roleplay. The best aspect of single attacking is the roleplaying-side.

I second this without reservations.

The Exchange

I second the Barbarian Vital Strike build - with that high movement and a general tendency to go for the large damage dice weapons (to get maximum utility out of having a rage-induced Strength boost) makes a natural fit.

Enlarge Person is your best friend: bigger weapon, bigger base damage dice. A greataxe or greatsword when you're Large sized does a base 3d6. Not so easy to do this with ranged weapons (as you'll need to carry the large-scale projectiles around separately - projectiles shrink to normal size as soon as you fire them) but still do-able with some forward planning.

Look at other Feats which use the 'make one attack as a standard attack' wording. Cleave and Great Cleave spring to mind: one Vital Strike... plus all the rest (non-Vital, but still extra attacks)...

Plus play up that one-hit damage - carve through walls with your greataxe, chop down the ceiling supports: you are the natural predator of anything with Hardness!

Take Catch Off Guard and Throw Anything - as noted by others, Vital Strike isn't weapon-specific. Throwing a chest of gold at the big bad when he surprises you - accurately and for great damage - is as close to being Conan as most of us will ever get... ;)

Liberty's Edge

Dragonchess Player wrote:
Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).

No, Enlarge Person doesn't affect projectile weapon damage, as stated in its description.


In another post, Cleave (chain) and Vital strike cannot be used together.


Spirited Charge +Vital Strike can lead to some crazy damage.
Lance would do 2d8 from Vital Strike; x3 from Spirited Charge for 6d8+ (other modifiers x3)

Greater vital Strike makes it even higher…and your DM will hate you if you’re a Cavalier.

It does mean that you have to be mounted of course, so take that as ye` will.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Austin Morgan wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).
No, Enlarge Person doesn't affect projectile weapon damage, as stated in its description.

One of the small changes from 3.5 (where enlarge person did affect bows and crossbows, but not thrown weapons). My apologies for missing it.

Still, using a large heavy crossbow with Rapid Reload can do respectable damage for minimal investment from a melee character, since Vital Strike is useful with all weapons. One of the "problems" with melee characters is they only get full-attacks if they "stand in one place" (take no more than a 5 ft step); the Vital Strike chain is a way to give more options than the "Uber-Charger/Two-Weapon Pounce" characters when moving in combat. That is can be used to give melee characters ways to be more effective at ranged combat as well is a bonus.


Magus Black wrote:

Spirited Charge +Vital Strike can lead to some crazy damage.

Lance would do 2d8 from Vital Strike; x3 from Spirited Charge for 6d8+ (other modifiers x3)

Greater vital Strike makes it even higher…and your DM will hate you if you’re a Cavalier.

It does mean that you have to be mounted of course, so take that as ye` will.

You are incorrect:

Vital strike specifically states that the extra damage that it provides is not multipled by anything (which includes spirited charge). This means that vital striking while using spirited charge would net you:

(regular damage) x 3 + 1d8

With improved vital strike it would be:

(regular damage) x 3 + 2d8

and with greater vital strike it would be:

(regular damage) x 3 + 3d8

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Austin Morgan wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).
No, Enlarge Person doesn't affect projectile weapon damage, as stated in its description.

Is this like Wall of Iron and 'this iron is unsuitable for sale' line? Completely nonsensical rule for the sake of game balance.

Well, at least it makes some sort of sense on reviewing it.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Austin Morgan wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).
No, Enlarge Person doesn't affect projectile weapon damage, as stated in its description.

Is this like Wall of Iron and 'this iron is unsuitable for sale' line? Completely nonsensical rule for the sake of game balance.

Well, at least it makes some sort of sense on reviewing it.

Now go look at reduce person, follow with compare and contrasting the two spells.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Now go look at reduce person, follow with compare and contrasting the two spells.

Why would you hurt me so? :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Our Monk has greater grapple grabs them and vital strikes them for a bunch ist really cool

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:


Why would you hurt me so? :(

I just heard a man with a thick Italian accent saying this in my head reading it.

Why you make'a me so crazy?!


Abraham spalding wrote:
Magus Black wrote:

Spirited Charge +Vital Strike can lead to some crazy damage.

Lance would do 2d8 from Vital Strike; x3 from Spirited Charge for 6d8+ (other modifiers x3)

Greater vital Strike makes it even higher…and your DM will hate you if you’re a Cavalier.

It does mean that you have to be mounted of course, so take that as ye` will.

You are incorrect:

Vital strike specifically states that the extra damage that it provides is not multipled by anything (which includes spirited charge). This means that vital striking while using spirited charge would net you:

(regular damage) x 3 + 1d8

With improved vital strike it would be:

(regular damage) x 3 + 2d8

and with greater vital strike it would be:

(regular damage) x 3 + 3d8

Really? Such a pity then, Vital Strike is pretty much useless for mounted combat then.

Shadow Lodge

Austin Morgan wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).
No, Enlarge Person doesn't affect projectile weapon damage, as stated in its description.

You can however carry a large weapon and just use it when you are enlarged (assuming you don't let the weapon get enlarged also). Makes for a strange tactic but works.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Magus Black wrote:
Really? Such a pity then, Vital Strike is pretty much useless for mounted combat then.

Absolutely not. While in this one case you're not talking about obscene multipliers of your damage because the feats don't stack, Vital Strike is still almost required for effective mounted combat. The reason is that while directing your mount is a free action, if your mount moves more than five feet you are reduced to a single attack (not a standard action interestingly, just a single attack). So if you're using your improved mobility to the best of its use (charging with a lance whenever possible or moving for the best tactical position since you have such a high movement rate) the extra damage you do with the vital strike line will offset the loss of your iterative attacks.


Also if you're doing mounted charges, you're only getting 1 attack anyway...might as well throw a couple extra d8s in there, eh? ^_-


There is a feat in the Qadira book (iirc) that is called "mounted blade" (again iirc) that allows you a second attack while using ride by attack. It works like cleave in that the second attack must be against a target adjacent to your first target (it also takes a -5 penalty on the second attack).


0gre wrote:
Austin Morgan wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).
No, Enlarge Person doesn't affect projectile weapon damage, as stated in its description.

You can however carry a large weapon and just use it when you are enlarged (assuming you don't let the weapon get enlarged also). Makes for a strange tactic but works.

this would also apply to the throw anything feat, once large you can hurl bigger objects on hand which unlike somthing you carry won't get smaller once it leaves you.

bout as close to a rock throwing giant as you could get.


badbak wrote:
In another post, Cleave (chain) and Vital strike cannot be used together.

Weapon Trick Combat Feat

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/weapon-trick-combat/

Cleaving Smash

Additional Prerequisite(s): Cleave, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack

When you use Cleave, you can add the additional damage from Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks. If you also have the Greater Vital Strike feat, you can instead add the damage from Improved Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks.


For vital strike it really seems the weapons its useable with are heavily restricted.

Heavy Crossbow
Greatsword
Longsword.

Get a large heavy crossbow and the vital strike chain. Thats about the limit of the investment for that weapon

Greatswords love Cleaving smash and Gorum's divine fighting style. That lets you use it with cleave, charges, and as a caster deterrent.

Longsword honestly seems the most versatile to me as of Heritor knight.
It has a feat tax, it has alignment restrictions, it requires a prestige class, and it doesn't even come online until level 11. It does, however, allow you to use the vital strike chain on any standard action attack, which means cleave, deadly stroke, Iomedae's divine fighting technique, most of the prestige class' abilities. On top of this you can build for dual wielding and use the dual slice (or whatever the actual name is) weapon trick, or you can pick up a large longsword and play it like the greatsword.

Honestly I love the idea of the longsword wielding fighter into heritor knight for vital strike builds. It lets the fighter act as a pretty great utility member with bonuses to party saves, hit, damage and counterplay for a lot of niche monster abilities that can really ruin a parties day. It trades off damage for sure but replaces it with some potentially clutch abilities.


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Woo, thread necromancy!

Meanwhile, if your game allows third-party products, Spheres of Might makes Vital Strike a pretty good choice (because lots of the system focuses on standard-action attacks with added effects).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yup this thread was "necromancied", for newer readers that means this thread hasn't been viewed in a while (in this case 7 years) and someone decided to reply to it.

magnaangemon01 welcome to the forums, you can see the date of each post in the top right corner. If you have something new to add or a new question it can be a good idea to reply to an old post, but often people won't realise you've asked a new question, so starting a new thread to ask your question will often get you the answer you want faster. You can link people to the old thread if it's relevant.

(CLICK HERE->)HOW TO FORMAT YOUR POSTS:(<-CLICK HERE)

Formatting your posts makes it easier to read, and adding links means people can more quickly and easily see what you're asking, and are more likely to give you an answer.

NOW BACK TO THE QUESTION OF VITAL STRIKE:

magnaangemon01 suggested the feat WEAPON TRICK (<-Now in Link form), it's a good pick for Vital Strike builds.

Cleaving Smash

Additional Prerequisite(s): Cleave, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack
When you use Cleave, you can add the additional damage from Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks. If you also have the Greater Vital Strike feat, you can instead add the damage from Improved Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks.

I included a link in the quote above where it says "WEAPON TRICK wrote:" To find out exactly how I did that, click "REPLY" and it should show you what I've written there.

For a more general answer, I recommend taking Vital Strike feats if you're playing a WARPRIEST. (They get access to combat feats based on level, not BAB, meaning they can get Vital Strike before they get their second iterative attack. They also have weapon damage that scales with level, meaning they'll be rolling larger and larger damage dice which makes Vital Strike great).

EDIT: I forgot to mention FURIOIUS FOCUS. This feat is pretty neat with a Vital Strike Build.

(Another note for new members is that you can edit your post up to an hour after you originally posted it. It's considered polite to make the edit obvious in some way, in case someone posted in the time it took you to complete your edit.)


Phasics wrote:

So are there any Vital Strike builds where you'd choose to use vital strike 100% of the time becuase a full round attack would be worse?

Or is it a simply matter of Full Round is better most of the time.

A full-attack (assuming you're capable of one) will always do more damage, assuming you have any numerical bonuses to damage.

It is "better"? -- That's a tactical context. I.e., would a full-attack leave you within the 5' move zone of a vicious monster likely to still be alive on its turn? If the answer is yes, then a full-attack may not be your best move.

Vital Strike works amazingly well with these guys.


Vital striking with a bow to disrupt spells is a fun tactic.

Sovereign Court

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I don't think I'd want to go all the way too make Vital Strike work with Cleave, mainly because it's not that common that Cleave really works. Enemies tend to be trying to flank you, not stand adjacent to each other for your convenience.

Vital Strike itself isn't as bad as people make it out to be, but you have to understand what it's for. It's not a replacement for full attacks, it's for all the many times when you don't get a full attack:


  • Surpise rounds (combines well with Quickdraw)
  • Readied actions
  • Enemy was trying to keep his distance (archers, casters)
  • When dealing with multiple enemies, they often stand more than a 5ft step away from each other, so even after you kill the one on the left, you need to close with the one on the right next turn. This gets more common if you have multiple melee people in the party and you all focus-fire to take down enemies down one by one fast.


I feel like starfinder basically is all vital strike.

Silver Crusade

For the thread-necromancy enthusiasts and the new players.

My 2 cents.

Vital Strike is not bad per se. The problem is that it requires BAB +6, that is: you being able to attack more than one time per round. So what it does, essentially, is almost cutting in half your damage power (or cutting waaay more, in case you have access to Haste on a regular basis), in exchange of a move action.

Can it be useful? Yes!
Is it useful often enough to justify the waste of 1-to-4 feat slots? Not at all.

To me, the only circumstances in which it is worth are:

1- You can somehow get the feats without satisfying the BAB prerequisites. This generally means Warpriest, who can get Vital Strike at level 6 as a bonus feat, despite having BAB +4. This way, he does not have to sacrifice any iterative attack (as he does not have any) to get the benefits of the feat. In other words, by spending a feat, he gets extra damage, which is how feats are supposed to work.
In addition, Warpriests easily qualify for the Weapon of the Chosen feat chain, which makes Vital Strike slightly more appealing (although it restricts the weapon choice).

2- You can rage, which screams for Furious Finish, which lets you maximise your damage. The final maths will still be on the iteratives side, but at least you're getting more than a filthy bunch of extra d6 on your damage roll (that you'd get anyway with iteratives/haste).

3- You really need that move action for some unpredictable reasons.

3.5 (not worth a whole point)- You have feats to spare, your static damage is not that great, and yet you insist on wanting to be relevant in melee. This is usually symptomatic of a bad build.

All these options take for granted that you're wielding a humongous weapon. It makes no sense wasting feats on the Vital Strike chain if all you're adding is a filthy 2d6 with your normie greatsword. If you want to use it, you have to go BIG:

- Oversized butchering axe with a dip in Titan Fighter, or oversized bastard sword if you're too scared to dip.
- Impact enhancement or semi-permanent lead blade spell
- Permanent or semi-permanent Large (or larger) size.

Apart from the aforementioned Warpriest build, another one that I really like is 1 Titan Fighter / X Goliath Druid with oversized, Impact butchering axe and Rage (sub)Domain. At 15th level (but it actually grows quite smoothly), your (gargantuan) weapon deals 12d6 points of damage, which become 36d6 thanks to (improved) Vital Strike, which are maximised via Furious Finish + Rage (sub)Domain for a few times per day. Meanwhile, you can use your move action to direct some damage/battlefield control spells, such as Dazing Ball Lightning.

Is this a lot of damage? Yes.
Is it more than the average damage you'd deal with a regular full attack? Not really, considering that you'd have a Huge (literally) reach, so you'd be able to full-attack without many problems, and, most importantly, that full-attacking doesn't need any expenditure of feats to be relevant.
But at least it's worth the trouble!


People have mentioned the Barbarian, but I don't think anybody mentioned Furious Finish (separate from Furious Focus). Maximized Vital Strike damage can be really powerful.

Even better when you use a Greatsword and take the "Greatsword Battler" Divine Fighting Feat from Gorum. That allows you to make one Vital Strike as an attack of opportunity per round, as well as make a Vital Strike on a charge.

If you take the advanced benefit of the Divine Fighting Feat, then you can make a spellcaster's life miserable if you manage to hit them, by counting your VItal Strike damage as continuous damage for the sake of concentration checks.

To further optimize this, you'll want an increase in size. The easiest way to do this is to simply wear Juggernaut Pauldrons, but do note that these take up your shoulder slot, so you'll need to find a replacement for your Cloak of Resistance.

Silver Crusade

Kaouse wrote:
People have mentioned the Barbarian, but I don't think anybody mentioned Furious Finish (separate from Furious Focus). Maximized Vital Strike damage can be really powerful.

I just did, lol.


Another way to explore: There are those MoMS monk builds that revolves around moving in opponent's threat area to push them to use AOO and then counter-punch them.

Those build could probably synergize well with Vital Strike since they never to a full-round attack, and gain nice damage dice as part of monk improved unarmed attack damage dice feature.


Shapechanging druids can make great use of Vital Strike, particularly if they turn into an animal with one big natural attack. Vital Striking tyrannosaurs for the win!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

there are barbarian/bloodrager based builds allowing furious finish and some immunity or quick heal of fatigue with vital strike. Using much rage at a time, but nothing often lives through 1 hit.


badbak wrote:
In another post, Cleave (chain) and Vital strike cannot be used together.
Cleaving Smash wrote:

Additional Prerequisite(s): Cleave, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack

When you use Cleave, you can add the additional damage from Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks. If you also have the Greater Vital Strike feat, you can instead add the damage from Improved Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks.

Campaign we just ended had a Vital Strike/Cleave fighter.


Vital strike should be a good one feat choice. Most fights involve moving at least once to close with the enemy (or you ready an action and wait for them to close). So it will give you an extra 2d6 damage once per encounter on average (assuming great sword).


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One very effective strategy with vital strike is to use something that lets you vital strike on an AoO (e.g. Gorum's divine fighting technique, the vigilante talent "vital punishemnt") and then include something on your attack that forces an AoO (e.g. Felling Smash + Greater Trip).

If you can pull this off with high enough numbers that you can land your trip, you'll do better damage than full attacking a lot of the time.


tonyz wrote:
Shapechanging druids can make great use of Vital Strike, particularly if they turn into an animal with one big natural attack. Vital Striking tyrannosaurs for the win!

Tyrannosauruses are sadly not allowed. Druids are limited to Size Huge Animals.

A Triceratops would work, but the Vital Strike Wild Shape of choice on these Forums is the Crystal Ooze. Be a Cave Shaman Druid that can turn into Oozes. You get 1 Slam/round with a Base 7d8 Damage, iirc. Take Vital Strike and cast Strong Jaw, and you do 18d8/strike, or somesuch craziness.


Phasics wrote:
0gre wrote:
Austin Morgan wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Enlarge person on top of that increases damage to 6d8, 9d8, and 12d8; granted, with an additional -2 on attacks (-2 Dex, -1 for size).
No, Enlarge Person doesn't affect projectile weapon damage, as stated in its description.

You can however carry a large weapon and just use it when you are enlarged (assuming you don't let the weapon get enlarged also). Makes for a strange tactic but works.

this would also apply to the throw anything feat, once large you can hurl bigger objects on hand which unlike somthing you carry won't get smaller once it leaves you.

bout as close to a rock throwing giant as you could get.

Enlarge Person works with Projectile Weapons: you just have to be smart. Mark Seifter told me that he would carry around some Size Large Arrows. He would drop them on the ground and cast Enlarge Person on himself. Then he would pick up the Arrows and fire at Will. Will was terrified. Then, of course, then next step is to cast Gravity Bow....


Felling smash .
move in, vital strike + greater trip + AOO.
amazing.
i used on on my lorewarden .

also , amazing form druids.


more options :
Barbarians with good move action like the rage power form intimidate as a move action.

Bard that need the move to buff.

Druid with fast wild shape, that can turn and attack in the same round.


Or, you know, this. A cave druid, turning into a carnivorous crystal (it's only Medium-sized), casting strong jaw, and using Vital Strike: 32d6 on a hit.

Maybe using the feat Strike True?


ohako wrote:

Or, you know, this. A cave druid, turning into a carnivorous crystal (it's only Medium-sized), casting strong jaw, and using Vital Strike: 32d6 on a hit.

Maybe using the feat Strike True?

That's 192 damage just from "weapon dice" when used with furious finish.

Other favorite VS builds of mine are warpriest because of pseudo-full-bab for qualifications and increasing weapon die size; and negative energy channeling cleric of Gorum using channel smite, guided hand, the destruction domain, and the ferocity subdomain.


Similar to the heavy crossbow situation, Vital Strike is decent with some two-handed firearms if you don't have a means to execute a full attack.

Plus, in general (and this was covered already), players often undervalue mobility, but getting your entire move action and a single accurate-yet-damaging blow can be more decisive than getting lots of misses attacks.


I've had fairly good success with a Druid (Nature Fang/Druid of Gorum) 16/Rogue (Scout) 4. Slayer Talents on top of Druid spellcasting is quite a combination, though wildshape is traded away.


My, my, what a wonderful topic to sell gems to...

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