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RPG Superstar 2015

Is bullrush that useful?


Advice


I don't know if this count as advice, rules, or general :p .

I've never made a character based off bullrush, although I have made a few that where good at it, but I always found bullrush to be too situation to depend on as appose to trip or grapple, and the benefit not all that useful. Feats in pathfinder defiantly make it worth taking a second look, but those feats can get costly, and while trip, grapple, dirty fighting, ect, seem to out do it.

My top reasons I would use it is too.

1. To push an enemy off a friend.

A five foot step or withdraw would probably be better for them, not to mention you are giving up AC and your full round attack. You probably aren't an archer or where currently engaged with someone anyway though. Not to mention some barbarian builds that let you full-round on a charge. Very useful to help squishier characters like robe wearing mages or rogue types, probably my top reason I still find it useful.

2. Preventing an enemy from full-round attacking.

You are effectively trading a full round attacks for them to lose a movement "A standard action vs movement". Not a completely nice trade, and at lower levels, where you probably don't actually have any extra attacks, you still don't actually attack, while they still have theirs, at least in pathfinder you can choose not to move with them, so that is an improvement toward its favor. I remember one DM had it so that the charge bull-rushed also gave you an attack, and even then I though that was a bit costly. Greater bull-rush asks for an AoO, there is a good chance that if you are bull-rushing you probably don't have combat-reflexes, or some other feat consuming abilities.

3. Tripping multiple guys

I remember reading somewhere for 3.5 that if you where to push a foe into a wall, there is a chance for getting tripped, and the chances increases depending on how much movement you had left on the push, or something like that. It might have been if you succeeded on the bull-rush, and if they run into a wall, they also tripped. I also remember reading somewhere, all though I think pathfinder outright changed this, that if one just ran into another viva bull rush, the first would fall prone, and the second would keep going unless he hit someone else, aka a domino effect.

To get that off, you would need an really high CMB though, and depends on too many variables. So unless you min-maxed like crazy, and every one you fought stood in straight lines, I don't see that happening, not to mention I don't think it works like that.

4. Edge of cliff or pit

Need I say more. :p

So overall, even though positioning is very important, it just seems to cost too much to even bother with. As appose to abilities like trip, grapple, and dirty fighting, that adds a status effect instead of causing moving them out the way, as well as forcing the enemy to still use a movement to "recover" and provokes AoO for some abilities, while with the bull-rush, nothing is really wrong with them, and work on even larger creatures. So as far as cost vs benefits, and the situations it will be most effective work, other Combat maneuvers can replace it entirely.

So overall, is bull-rush worth investing in getting?


Yes, it is worth bull rushing sometimes (to push someone off a platform or to move someone out of the way, as you note).

No, it generally isn't worth investing in Improved Bull Rush or Greater Bull Rush. Shield Slam might be useful, though.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Every combat maneuver is situational. It's really just a question of whether or not you want to focus on excelling in those situations. Personal preference, really.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When you have a friend who can cast Acid Pit, Blade Barrier, Wall of Fire, or similar spells, Bullrush is sexy.


I think it is the kind of thing that is worthy of one feat. On another thread someone said Vital Strike should have been one feat, with the benefits of the later feats in the chain coming with advances in bab.

I think the same with the bull rush feats. It is awful situational unless you have your very own caster in your pocket who explicitly works with you to make it worthwhile.

Of course there was always the dungeoncrasher fighter variant from 3.5. That one actually made it up from tier 5.


Using Bullrush on allies is also a great way to give free movement to another party member.

Monk: "Remember, the code-word is 'go with it'"
~shoves out of LoE~


As someone else already said, bull rush, like all CM's, is situational. Bull rushing can be great to push someone down a well, or off a cliff or wall. It is useful for getting threats off your less resilient party members and, if your using 3.5 material, is absolutely devastating with the fighter "Dungeon Crasher" variant and the "Knockback" feat.

And the great thing is with Greater Bull Rush, IIRC, you cause AoO's for your allies on the target you move.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I made a sumo wrestler PC once that used bull rush alot along with grappling and tripping. I used Oriental Adventures so I could trip people and decide what square they landed in which was pretty neat.

It was a fun character to play!


note also that bull rushes done via shield slam knock the targets prone when they hit an obstruction. I think that is sweet. A more versatile trip basically(since it works against more targets and there is no counter tripping to worry about)


I should also add that since you can do a bullrush on a charge, effectively having double the range of the other CMs. So unlike having a movement to get to your squishy party member in need, you probably will get there in time from your current engagement, ideally

Greater Bullrush is nice like that yes, but how often are your team mates going to stand in such a way where everyone could AoO him. Especially if you consider its five feat per beating the cmd by 5, and that he is at most 1 size category larger. It is more likely that you would want to take greater trip, which flanky buddies would enjoy, "although I suppose flanky buddies could be around the bullrushie." While getting the added bonus of hitting him as he gets back from prone, while benefiting from prone.

Although, yeah, there are situations where trip grapple, and the other CM are not going to help you. I guess it just comes from the few times I did make a CM style fighter and monk characters. Took all the improve feats, just make sure I could do any of them, but found that most of the time I just ended up using trip and grapple, disarm on a few occasion. While the amount of times I used those moves in the double digits in those campaigns, I found bullrush was well under 10 times. More for the fighter, because the monk rarely had trouble being where he needed to be. :p

Dark Archive

If you are a caster or a mix, you could consider the Hydraulic Push spell instead of trying to improve your CMB with feats.


The bull rush manuver is one of the weaker ones IMO so by itself no its not that useful. However once you get greater bull rush it can turn into a hair pullingly frustrating move for a new GM and a "hey my players are clever so Ill reward them with slightly harder encounters" for an experienced GM. Greater bull rush allows for all PCs to get an attack of opportunity on them if they are pushed through a square. There is a fighter with stand still in my group and a Iomedae cleric who routinely bull rushes people into the fighters stand still range (and through the other PCs areas if he can). Its a really good tactic when used with teamwork

Of course you can also bull rush enemies off of cliffs, into pits, into spell effects, and other things so it doesnt require the greater version to be useful but it is often less useful then Trip/disarm/grapple (again, in my opinion) but not useless


In our last campaign, the Wizard of the group mixed Wall of Fire, Forceful Hand (the bull rushing hand) and Fly to effectively play "Pong" by shoving an enemy back & forth through the wall of fire.
The game didn't last long when the Blade Barrier was added to the "playing field"


Barbarians knockback rage power can be ridiculous. You get to bullrush with a weapon and can use it instead of any attack. Only way I know to bullrush someone as part of an AoO. Grab a reach weapon and knock people of of their charge line.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Bullrush is great, to fully utilize it it takes allot of feats, as well as rage powers. I created a Barbarian for PFS, I can get a +27 while raging and using an additional rage per round. My target take 11 points of damage.

This is unbuffed with no belts.

I have an AC of 14, so everything to prevent full attacks on me is good.

Liberty's Edge

I love me some bullrush. I have a PFS character devoted almost entirely to the concept.


Bull rush seems a pretty good feat for a summoned monster (like an earth elemental). As a summoner, for example, you have the pit series of spells, so you can use one of them and ask all your minions to throw enemies down the pit. Earth elementals also have climb speed, so they can go down to finish the job later.

Otherwise, I'm not considering taking it myself. Even if my summoner has already power attack, strength 18 and a love for melee fights.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Works well if you can get your party to help out.

A reach fighter with combat reflexes (for when you have greater bull rush) and casters with pit or other area affect spells works nicely.


As others mentioned: Bull rush is great for team players.... better: Great for teams.


Bull Rush is pretty weak in PF. In 3E, you could use it to make foes provoke AoOs without any training, now in PF you need 3 feats and BAB +6 to do that. Also, PF's much tougher odds of winning maneuvers at all compared to 3E inordinately hurt bull rush, since w/ bull rush it often wasn't just important if you won, but how much you won by. Another +5 result for each 5 ft makes it virtually impossible to push someone a notable distance.

That said, if you get the ability to bull rush on each attack, such as Shield Slam feat or the Push monster ability (which Elemental Body originally granted, but it seems to have been removed withotu a replacement ability since core came out), bull rush is nice just for the free option and to avoid an enemy's full attack if it's better than yours.

In 3E, bull rush still wasn't that good, but it had its moments. The Knockback feat, and possibly combined with Rampaging Bull Rush, were amazing. Knockback was basically shield slam, except with any weapon, and you got a bonus equal to your power attack damage bonus on the check! My Goliath Barbarian regularly was sending foes flying 30 ft into walls and stuff, it was great.


sunbeam wrote:


Of course there was always the dungeoncrasher fighter variant from 3.5. That one actually made it up from tier 5.

Not only was dungeoncrasher strong mechanically, the flavour elements are too good as well.


you can carry a reach weapon and overrun them to knock them prone. Then take AoO while they're down. Bull rush might be good if you get crowded to keep standoff distance for your reach weapon. Monks have maneuver training. plus you need it for Greater Ki throw. throw one opponent onto another. the first is prone, the other is bull rushed. NICE.

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