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Ultimate Archer


Advice

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Anyone out there that can point me please to the best archer build you can find? I am just coming back to Pathfinder after long time away and am pretty much clueless.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


I do not make any archerfor pathfinder, but it should not be dificult, you just have to take the right feats.

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/advice/guideToTheGuides/v5748gbij35a2/favorites

Figther, paladin, ranger and inquisitor guide should be useful, there i also the rogue archer but is a lot more dificult

Silver Crusade

I haven't looked into it much, but I'd have to assume that rangers make the best archers. Check out the guides, as Nicos recommended. And check out Treantmonk's bard guide while you're there - his archer bard recommendation tells you most of what you need to make a good archer in any class. Rangers just might get some extra stuff for archery that I don't know about beyond that.


Power is relative. It really depends on what you're looking for.

Rangers are great right out of the box.

Paladins are tough and can beat face on evil easily.

Luring Cavaliers can simply explode faces off at high level with one shot.

Zen Archers are crazy good with little to no mad.

Sohei's are incredibly powerful no matter whether you make them consistent with zen archers or not.

Bards, Clerics, and Inquisitors all use archery as a means to provide extra support without blowing spells or risking melee.

Rogues are great when you want a reason to whine.

Andoran

Right now, by RAW, sohei is your best build, as soon as they get weapon training in the bow. (Being able to flurry and use rapid shot is probably not RAI though so gamble as you will.)

After sohei, pretty much go through TarkXT's list, Rangers, Paladins, Luring Cavaliers (grumble, grumble) and Zen Archers are very good (and fighters as well, don't forget fighters).

If you don't mind multi-classing, archer fighter and barbarian work together to create a build that can spell sunder (rage power) at range, definitely not a bad ability to have, and the urban barbarian archetype can boost dexterity for you to make it even better.


Myrmidarch archer =better than the sohei
Weapon Training ,Fighter Feats,Ranged spellstrike,Arcane Weapon enchantments and hasted assault ....the best archer

Grand Lodge

I have a lot of love for the zen archer monk, I've played three and all seem to out pace our ranger archers and fighter archers in my party. I build a whole hawkeye thing with the trick arrows from the elves of golarion it is quiet effective


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps my two archer brothers will help you find your way?

Dayer is a master archer optimized for high attack and damage. Every arrow that lands promises more damage to the next, and he rarely misses. He laughs in the face of high hit points, high AC, and high damage reduction.

Deacon is a trick archer optimized for versatility and trick shots (such as bouncing arrows off a wall to bypass cover). He is a highly effective battlefield controller that can also perform a variety of useful combat maneuvers at range. He can disarm or trip an entire platoon of enemies as they attempt to charge into melee.

Enjoy!


I haven't done the math, but there's got to be some benefit to rogue + vital strike, hide in plain sight, deadly cocktail and pinpoint targetting, or is that still not enough to keep up with the archer archetype and rangers? One shot a round but dang it's powerful.


Dayer and Deacon above can easily net 150+ damage per round at 15th-level. I'm doubting any single attack build can top that.


Dang it, I really want to build a rogue archer, but I'm seeing less and less reason to do so, except that the concept, for reasons I don't have time to get into, really needs to be a rogue. Any ideas on a rogue build/maybe split level between rogue and fighter? It's a team of predominantly rogues and he needs to be able to rogue it up for the talents to make the game work, but I don't sit right making a character who can't really hold up to the people around him.

Cheliax

I have never down an archer before... so my "." to take a look at some of these builds.


try a rogue 3/ myrmidarch (magus) 7/ arcane trickster 10 ? rely on touch spells heavily along with that traits and feats that improve your caster level. Personally I'm in love with the intensified shocking grasp so you can get that intensified, empowered shocking grasp. you want something thats viscious in one shot there you go. 15d6 shocking damage + 7d6 sneak attack + Weapon Damage + Int Modifier


On my experience straight Fighters are very very good archers if your main concern is attack/damage/AC. The weapon training and weapon specialization makes a huge difference in terms of damages and attack compared with other builds.

Obviously a Paladin Archer will be awesome against evil outsiders but will be outdamaged against any other opponents.
Ranger have better skills but clearly not the same AC ( armor training for the win) and attack/damage. Against the main ennemy they may be better but that's all.

Zen Archers are really really not good enough. Again weapon training / better AC and HP for the fighter. (at high level or with a LOT of stuff, the monk may have better AC)

If you really do the math Ravindork is right and the best build is fighter. Maybe another build can shine more on a specific encounter and for a limited amount of time but believe me, the Pathfinder Fighter is so good (too good IMHO) you will be suprised.


Vital strike doesn't make a great archer feat beacause it takes a standard action to use and you want full attacks, and rouge archers suffer from not being able to flank to gain sneak attack. In my experience straight fighter makes the best archer simply because the archery feats are great and stack well with each other. You want them all, and you want them fast.

If you want to get tricky with an archer try going fighter/wizard/eldritch knight (or arcane archer, although it's not quite as good imo). The spell abilities will give you more options than rouge tricks.

An amazing fighter archer

Some help I got with the Gish Build

Silver Crusade

AdamMeyers wrote:
Dang it, I really want to build a rogue archer, but I'm seeing less and less reason to do so, except that the concept, for reasons I don't have time to get into, really needs to be a rogue. Any ideas on a rogue build/maybe split level between rogue and fighter? It's a team of predominantly rogues and he needs to be able to rogue it up for the talents to make the game work, but I don't sit right making a character who can't really hold up to the people around him.

Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

On a similar note, I built a human archer bard for PFS, based pretty closely on the advice in Treantmonk's bard guide. At level 1, he's got 18 dex, 14 str, point blank shot, rapid shot, and I found an Andoran faction trait that gives longbow proficiency, so he'll get a composite longbow with the reward money from his first mission. That's not bad for a 1st level archer.

He's not as good at archery as a human fighter, for instance, who could have added +1 BAB and precise shot on top of that at level 1. But the fighter wouldn't have spells, bardic performance, bardic knowledge, 7 skill ranks per level with only 10 int, and the ability to be a group's main healer just by walking around with a wand of Cure Light Wounds like my bard does.

And as he advances, I'll add on feats like precise shot, arcane strike, deadly aim, and many shot to make him a pretty solid archer, even if he's not the world's greatest at it.

It's all about what you want from your character. If you want to be the world's greatest archer, then don't be a rogue. But it sounds like you've got a specific idea for a rogue character, and I bet you could be a pretty good archer while staying true to the character idea, and having other advantages on the side. So go for it!


ranger are pretty roguish and they are great: you can look into archetype to substitute for things you don't need and to get an even roguish character (guide, urban ranger, trapper come readily in mind)


Fromper wrote:
Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

If you or anyone else can build a rogue archer that can readily deal even half the damage (50%) of any of these other archer builds, at comparative levels, then I will concede that they are NOT a trap option.

Good luck!


Ravingdork wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

If you or anyone else can build a rogue archer that can readily deal even half the damage (50%) of any of these other archer builds, at comparative levels, then I will concede that they are NOT a trap option.

Good luck!

I am with RD on this one. If you can show me a good 10th level rogue archer I will be impressed.

Silver Crusade

What's wrong with rogues as archers? Bards seem to be fairly well respected as archers, using mostly feats that are available to anyone: point blank shot, precise shot, rapid shot, deadly aim, many shot, etc. Bards get a couple of other bonuses such as inspire courage on themselves and arcane strike, but rogues should be almost as good, especially with the occasional sneak attack damage added in. I'm no expert on rogues, so I don't know what they have to do to get a sneak attack at range, other than catching their enemies flat footed.

For that matter, I'm not a huge expert on archers, so am I missing anything else for my archer bard besides what I mentioned above? I've got the dex, str, and I'll get a composite longbow right after my first mission. After point blank shot, is it better to take precise shot or rapid shot as my second feat? I'll have them both by level 3, but I'm trying to decide which will make levels 1 and 2 easier to get through - an extra arrow per round or avoiding the -4 for firing into melee. Bear in mind this is for Pathfinder Society, so I don't know group composition in advance, which keeps me from basing it on how many melee fighters are in my group who will regularly get in my way.


Ravingdork wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

If you or anyone else can build a rogue archer that can readily deal even half the damage (50%) of any of these other archer builds, at comparative levels, then I will concede that they are NOT a trap option.

Good luck!

Sniper Goggles + Potion of Improved Invisibilty (gotta love summoners)+ Sap Master + Merciful Bow using blunt arrows = 16d6+16(or maybe 32) in sneak attack on each of the archers 4 arrows.

Thats about 280 in sneak damage, if all the arrows hit. There are a fair amount of things that are immune to sneak and nonlethal, but for those that aren't the sneak damage does almost double what Dayer does.

Cheliax

Ravingdork wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

If you or anyone else can build a rogue archer that can readily deal even half the damage (50%) of any of these other archer builds, at comparative levels, then I will concede that they are NOT a trap option.

Good luck!

Here's my attempt!

Sniper Joe:

Half-Elf Rogue 10 (Sniper)

Str 14
Dex 22
Con 14
Int 8
Wis 12
Cha 10

Feats

Skill Focus: UMD
Point-Blank Shot
Precise Shot
Weapon Focus: Shortbow
Rapid Shot
Manyshot
Deadly Aim
Quick-Draw

Rogue Talents

Sniper's Eye
Bleeding Attack
Weapon Focus
Combat Feat: Deadly Aim
Crippling Strike

Gear (62,000gp budget)

16,000gp +4 Dex Belt
8,525gp +2 Shortbow (Str 14)
21,000gp Wand of Greater Invisibility
1,800gp Efficient Quiver
2,000gp Handy Haversack
2,100gp +1 Mithral Chain Shirt
4,000gp +2 Cloak of Resistance
5,000gp Bracers of Lesser Archery
8gp 160 arrows
320gp mwk rapier
165gp mwk buckler

Against a 24 AC opponent (CR 10 average AC), his DPR while invisible and within sneak attack range is 54.52. His first round is to make himself invisible and then stow the wand. (The wand is in a spring-loaded wrist sheathe prior to combat) Then he quick-draws his bow and full attacks while invisible for 6 rounds. Against enemies immune to sneak attack his damage is awful, but hey, he's a rogue, what do you expect?

I hate rogues, so I'm kind of amazed to be pulling this kind of damage. Also to note is that each arrow that hits does 2 points of strength damage (not counting the manyshot arrow). While hasted or with any bonuses to attack the damage really skyrockets.

Cheliax

Andy Ferguson wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

If you or anyone else can build a rogue archer that can readily deal even half the damage (50%) of any of these other archer builds, at comparative levels, then I will concede that they are NOT a trap option.

Good luck!

Sniper Goggles + Potion of Improved Invisibilty (gotta love summoners)+ Sap Master + Merciful Bow using blunt arrows = 16d6+16(or maybe 32) in sneak attack on each of the archers 4 arrows.

Thats about 280 in sneak damage, if all the arrows hit. There are a fair amount of things that are immune to sneak and nonlethal, but for those that aren't the sneak damage does almost double what Dayer does.

Your example is not apples to apples: you are using a 20K GP item (goggles) and drinking a potion every combat (loss of a full round attack, not too mention cost/availability of the potions), in order to make less attacks/round for more damage/round -- and at a much lower attack bonus. The Fighter archer can afford (because of his huge attack bonuses) to make that +5 bow a +1 Flaming/Frost/Holy bow instead, increasing his damage significantly while still maintaining a higher (much higher?) attack bonus than your rogue.

If you really think a pure rogue archer can out-damage a fighter archer, post some DPR statistics.

Cheliax

Argus The Slayer wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

If you or anyone else can build a rogue archer that can readily deal even half the damage (50%) of any of these other archer builds, at comparative levels, then I will concede that they are NOT a trap option.

Good luck!

Sniper Goggles + Potion of Improved Invisibilty (gotta love summoners)+ Sap Master + Merciful Bow using blunt arrows = 16d6+16(or maybe 32) in sneak attack on each of the archers 4 arrows.

Thats about 280 in sneak damage, if all the arrows hit. There are a fair amount of things that are immune to sneak and nonlethal, but for those that aren't the sneak damage does almost double what Dayer does.

Your example is not apples to apples: you are using a 20K GP item (goggles) and drinking a potion every combat (loss of a full round attack, not too mention cost/availability of the potions), in order to make less attacks/round for more damage/round -- and at a much lower attack bonus. The Fighter archer can afford (because of his huge attack bonuses) to make that +5 bow a +1 Flaming/Frost/Holy bow instead, increasing his damage significantly while still maintaining a higher (much higher?) attack bonus than your rogue.

If you really think a pure rogue archer can out-damage a fighter archer, post some DPR statistics.

Using a 20k gp item is fair for a level 10 character. At level 10 you have 62k gp to play with. While I would prefer to pick up a wand of greater invisibility and use the sniper archetype, sniper goggles are fair game.

Silver Crusade

Argus, nobody ever said a rogue would be better than a fighter. The rogue discussion came from this:

Ravingdork wrote:
Fromper wrote:
Just because a rogue archer will never be as good as some of the super-optimized ideas in this thread doesn't mean the idea totally sucks. With the right stats and feats, you can probably build a rogue who's 80% as effective at archery as the more optimized classes, but has tons of other roguish advantages that the more optimized archers don't have.

If you or anyone else can build a rogue archer that can readily deal even half the damage (50%) of any of these other archer builds, at comparative levels, then I will concede that they are NOT a trap option.

Good luck!

We're trying to prove that rogues are viable, not necessarily that they're the best archers. And from what I've seen, my original claim is probably accurate: an optimized rogue archer may not be the best archer around, but they're good enough, given the other, non-archery stuff that they bring to the group.

Cheliax

Fromper wrote:
Argus, nobody ever said a rogue would be better than a fighter.

Fair enough. And Mergy's build looks pretty solid, too. From what I've seen, fighters put out the best raw damage of all the archers. Zen Archers add some great survivability (Saves!) and versatility (skills), while giving up a slight amount of raw damage (lower attack, less damage/hit). Rogues drop off quite a bit on the damage side, but can (situationally) provide a large burst of damage, much like a Ranger (Favored Enemy) or a Paladin (Smite) -- while adding a ton of versatility and out-of-combat options.


I disagree on monks giving up damage. Sure they don't get fighter-specific feats, however their arrows consider as ki weapons, they have flurry, the damage of each arrow equals that of an unarmed strike (max of 2d10), and the ability to ignore cover and concealment.

Cheliax

Squawk Featherbeak wrote:
I disagree on monks giving up damage. Sure they don't get fighter-specific feats, however their arrows consider as ki weapons, they have flurry, the damage of each arrow equals that of an unarmed strike (max of 2d10), and the ability to ignore cover and concealment.

At 11th level fighters get Improved Precise Shot, leveling the feat playing field and catapulting the fighter ahead of the Monk on pure ranged damage -- at least from the DPR numbers that I have seen. The monk has to decide if he wants to use his Ki points to increase his base weapon damage (to 2d10), or if he wants to add an extra flurry attack at his highest bonus -- but those attacks are WAY below the fighters attack bonus.

I did DPR comparisons through levels 8 and 11 (max level for PFS...) and decided that fighter was the way to go -- but recognize the versatility of the Zen build.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Note that the Sap Master build above won't work. Invisibility does not make the enemy flat-footed, which is what Sap Master requires.

Mergy's build will.


12 is max. Also I do see the point behind your stand as Fighter's all around dependability would be better as Zen Archers work on a pseudo-mana point system, counting as ki pool and number of perfect strikes.

Though what I'm merely saying is that when performing his best, a zen archer will outdamage (flurry double ki with monk's robe), out range (the ki for range+farshot), and out attack (perfect strike) a fighter. And regarding Improved Precise Shot, Monks get it at level 6.

Cheliax

Thanks for the nods. I always forget that Sap Master requires flat-footedness, so I'm glad I went with the improved invisibility route.

Unfortunately Argus, the DPR I posted is WITH invisibility and WITH sneak attack. There's no insane burst damage to be had here, and I've seen level 10 builds that approach 100 DPR. This rogue does bring a hefty number of skills and the ability to do strength damage to easy-to-hit enemies (so much so that a few rounds of focus fire will neuter a melee threat, possibly even paralyzing) but I don't think anyone should play a rogue and hope for high damage.

Cheliax

Squawk Featherbeak wrote:
12 is max.

LOL.


Squawk Featherbeak wrote:
I disagree on monks giving up damage. Sure they don't get fighter-specific feats, however their arrows consider as ki weapons, they have flurry, the damage of each arrow equals that of an unarmed strike (max of 2d10), and the ability to ignore cover and concealment.

The problem here is that the damage is not sustained.

He will need to spend at least 2 Ki Points per round to be near the Fighter in terms of damage. Sometimes he may even feel the need to use an additional point to get rid of some range penalties to get nearly the DPS of the Fighter.

At lvl 15 you will have about 15 Ki Points (7 due to level and 8 due to Wis). That limits your "kickn' the butt" damage to about 7 rounds per day. Against major enemies you will be close to the Fighter but in the few encounters before it you will not dare to use up all your Ki Points for some medicore enemies.
Of course the Monk has other advantages (as has been pointed out correctly) who will make up for this (depends on the campaign)


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The best archer, at almost any level you care to mention, is the zen archer.

15th level isn't particularly favourable, but Ravingdork posts a solid fighter archer at that level way up above (Dayer) - and presents him beautifully too - so here's a zen archer at that level for direct comparison. Note that Lyu is built with 20pb, Dayer with (as far as I can tell) 26pb.

Name: Lyu. Race: Human. Class/Level: Qinggong Zen Monk 15. Favoured Bonus: H∞. Age: 30. Height: 5’. Weight: 130lbs.
Pointbuy: 14/14/14/7/17/7 = 20

Strength: 14 (18). +4
Dexterity: 14 (18). +4
Constitution: 14 (18). +4
Intelligence: 7. -2
Wisdom: 22 (28). +9
Charisma: 7. -2

Hit Points: 161
Initiative: +8
Perception: +27
Speed: 80
Armour: 43, Touch: 33, Flatfooted: 38
Fort +18 (SR25), Ref +19 (SR25), Will +22 (SR25)

Base Attack: +11/+6/+1 Base Flurry: +13/+13/+8/+8/+3/+3
CMB: +15, CMD: 52
Fist base attack +15/+10/+5 (2d10+4, cold iron, magic, lawful)
Fist vital strike +15 (2d10+4d10+4 & ditto)
Bow base deadly attack +24/+19/+14 (1d8+18/19-20x3, -1 attack & damage beyond 30’, all DR bar epic)
Bow ki damage deadly vital strike +24 (2d10+4d10+18 & ditto)
Bow deadly flurry haste +27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17 (1d8+18)
Bow ki damage deadly flurry haste +27/+27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17 (2d10+18)

Traits: Resilient, Wisdom in the Flesh (Fly)
Feats:
1st: Toughness
Human: Improved Initiative
Monk 1st: Improved Unarmed Strike
Monk 1st: Perfect Strike (bow, special)
Monk 1st: Precise Shot
Monk 2nd: Weapon Focus (longbow)
Monk 2nd: Point Blank Shot
Monk 3rd: Point Blank Master
3rd: Deadly Aim
5th: Defensive Combat Training
Monk 6th: Specialisation (longbow)
Monk 6th: Improved Precise Shot
7th: Dodge
9th: Vital Strike
Monk 10th: Improved Critical (longbow)
11th: Lightning Reflexes
13th: Stunning Fist
Monk 14th: Pinpoint Targetting
15th: Improved Vital Strike

The Way of Zen:
* Bow Flurry: no flurry with any other weapon
* Perfect Strike: once/round, 15/day, as part of attack; roll three d20s for one bow attack, with a discard as confirmation if the first threatens:
* Zen Archery: Lyu uses Wisdom to determine ranged attacks
* Vows of Cleanliness and Fasting: no potions etc., must remain clean, +5 ki
* Ki Pool: swift and one round unless stated, 21 points/day:
1= (i) extra bow flurry [one attack], (ii) +50’ bow increment, (iii) +4 dodge armour, (iv) unarmed bow damage, (v) +20 speed or jump, (vi) +5 barkskin [standard, 2½ hours]
2 = (i) heal 15hp [standard], (ii) bow ignores total concealment, (iii) dimension door 1000’[move]
3 = (i) bow ignores total cover, (ii) etherealness [move, 1 min]
* Grasshopper: +15 jump, with constant running start
* Reflexive Shot: Lyu makes (and by default does not incur) bow opportunity attacks
* Stunning Fist: once/round, 16/day, as part of unarmed attack: dc26w, stun one round
* Diamond Soul: Spell Resistance 25
* Quivering Palm: 1x/day, as part of unarmed attack: dc26w, slay

Skills:

Acrobatics +22 (15 ranks, 3 class, 4 stat)
Acrobatics [Jump] +57 (+15 class, +20 speed)
Heal +12 (3 ranks, 9 stat)
Perception +27 (15 ranks, 3 class, 9 stat)
Sense Motive +13 (1 rank, 3 class, 9 stat)
Stealth +18 (11 ranks, 3 class, 4 stat)

Gear (240,000gp): belt of physical perfection+4 (64,000gp, 1lb), composite str18 longbow+5 (50,800gp, 3lb), headband of wisdom+6 (36,000gp, 1lb), bracers of armour+5 (25,000gp), ring of protection+3 (18,000gp), cloak of resistance+4 (16,000gp, 1lb), monk’s robe (13,000gp, 1lb), boots of speed (12,000gp, 1lb), ioun stone+1 armour (5000gp), masterwork backpack (50gp, 4lb), 10 monk’s outfits (50gp, 10lbs), 1 holy water (25gp, 1lb), 1 unholy water (25gp, 1lb), 2 smoke arrows (20gp, 2lb), 300 arrows (15gp, 45lb), 40 blunt arrows (4gp, 6lb), cold iron knuckles (2gp, 1lb), soap (1gp, 2lb), waterskin (1gp, 4lb), 7gp
Encumbrance (light 116lb): 84lb

***************

I’m going to split the comparison into three parts: defense, offense and out of combat.

Defensively Lyu is streets ahead, as a monk should be. Dayer doesn’t get his buckler bonus when he’s shooting, since a bow takes two hands to use, so Lyu’s AC is 14 higher than Dayer’s when they’re both archering (43 to 29). This is the difference between a CR17 marilith needing 19s or 5s to rip either dude to shreds. Lyu’s touch AC is 13 higher, and his flatfooted AC is 14 higher (the buckler being valid there). Dayer is also lacking Point Blank Master, and so incurs with bowshots. Lyu’s saves are not only better across the board (5, 3 and 12 higher), but notably more consistent: like all fighters, Dayer comes up short on Will. Against a CR15 neothelid, Dayer needs a 15 to avoid instant bleeding unconsciousness: Lyu needs a 3. And again, Lyu is well ahead on CMD (52 to 42/50 sunder), which is important here - archers are vulnerable to both grapple and sunder. For example, the neothelid needs 8s to hit Dayer midcombat, and 9s to grapple and then swallow him whole; it needs natural 20s to hit Lyu, and 19s to grapple him. Lyu also has Spell Resistance 25, a smidgeon of healing, and the ability to gain +4 AC, touch AC and CMD with one of his 21 ki points (3 of which he always spends on 7½ hours of barkskin, incidentally). Finally, Lyu has 161 HP to Dayer’s 145, and the monk has the AC and saves to defend his total. This matters, because at these levels Lyu and Dayer are likely to start coming up against power words - probably stuns first, as with the CR13 glabezru and the CR16 planetar. Dayer is below the critical 150HP where this spell is a killer, and he’ll struggle against the power words blind and kill when they start to turn up too. In short, like all fighters, he’s defensively problematic.

This is only to be expected. Also to be expected is that Dayer should make up the shortfall offensively. He doesn’t: he’s better than Lyu here, but not by as much as you might think. On a standard single attack he appears much more accurate (+34 to Lyu’s +24), but the average CR15 AC is only 30, Lyu has three Perfect Strike attack rolls to get the 6 he needs for that, and he also has Pinpoint Targetting - Dayer doesn’t qualify yet - which knocks oodles off AC at these levels (for example, it reduces the marilith’s AC to 17, the neothelid’s to 4). Lyu does a lot more damage on a standard attack, too - 51 to Dayer’s 33.5, because it’s not worth Dayer’s while to take the Vital Strike feats - and Lyu has a 30% chance of a threat and an improved chance of a crit (two rolls). On a full attack, Lyu can shoot seven arrows, ten times per day, doing 203 damage if all his shots hit, and he has a 90% chance of a threat on seven hits, a 70% chance on the more likely five hits. Again, Dayer is much more accurate (average +28 to average +22), but Lyu is still hitting AC30 without fuss, and he has three rolls on one attack. In terms of offensive add-ons, Dayer gets a 10’ threat range and multiple opportunity attacks (which is tasty), and he can reroll one attack per day and make one x4 crit per day, but Lyu trumps the latter two abilities with his 15 zen-improved Perfect Strikes: if I haven’t emphasized it enough already, these greatly increase the probability of both threatening and critting over the course of a day. Lyu can also gain +500’ range for a ki point, and ignores total concealment and cover for a few ki more, which means, amongst other things, that he doesn’t worry about invisibility: he has the Perception to pinpoint a foe’s squares, and that’s all he needs.

I’ll reiterate here that Lyu has significantly less point buy than Dayer, who is himself an effective archer. Nor is this a particularly good level to consider the zen archer at, offensively: two levels from now all arrows Lyu fires will become ki focus weapons, which will allow him to shoot a stunning arrow each round (DC31 at 17th: DC36 at 20th) and a slaying arrow once per day (DC29 at 17th: DC32 at 20th): arguably, it would also allow him to add Elemental Fist, the elemental style feats and Touch of Serenity to his arrows, should he take those feats. It can also be argued that he activates the generic monk’s alternate stunning attack effects once he takes the Stunning Fist feat; if so, he can add these effects to arrows too, from 17th, including 1d6+1 rounds paralysis at 20th level. He doesn’t need any of this debatable stuff, though. With one round of stunning - and often without it - he ends up being able to put down just about anything in under three rounds.

Finally, there’s the out of combat stuff to consider. For Dayer, there’s not a great deal to add to the equation. Lyu can dimension door, he can turn ethereal as a move action, he can jump like jiminey, he has top-notch Perception and a smattering of other skills. To summarise, he’s well ahead of Dayer defensively and out of combat, and he’s not far behind offensively. At 17th he’ll overtake Dayer in that department too. At 20th level Lyu can defeat a solar, the tarrasque, a tarn linnorm, an ancient gold, a pit field, a balor and a shoggoth, with only one rest, without taking a single point of damage. Zen rocks.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is AC really a valid comparison? The point of archery is that you won't be hit often due to positioning.


I think it's valid. Positioning really helps, and a higher AC helps even more.

Cheliax

We need some ground rules to compare builds with. My rogue is elite array 10th level, which is difficult to compare with 15th level 20PB.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I suppose it's valid, but it shouldn't be too important.

I'm still a fan of bard archers. One of the biggest issues with archers is that they marginalize the contributions of other members of the party. It's hard to not do this. You're standing far away, hitting every enemy you want. All the while your allies just stumble around from enemy to enemy.

But Bard Archers? Bard Archers spend the first round buffing. This not only makes everyone more awesome, but it also gives the allies some time to position themselves to hurt enemies meaning they are important too.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In the discussion of everything else, a question I asked earlier in the thread was ignored, so I'll ask again. This is for my human archer bard for Pathfinder Society.

Quote:
After point blank shot, is it better to take precise shot or rapid shot as my second feat? I'll have them both by level 3, but I'm trying to decide which will make levels 1 and 2 easier to get through - an extra arrow per round or avoiding the -4 for firing into melee. Bear in mind this is for Pathfinder Society, so I don't know group composition in advance, which keeps me from basing it on how many melee fighters are in my group who will regularly get in my way.

Thinking about that last part, it does seem that we've got more front line fighters than casters or archers in my local PFS group, in general. But that's not a hard and fast rule.

Still, two arrows per round at -4 seems more likely to get at least one hit than a single arrow without the -4, just because you get to roll twice. The exception might be something with a really tough AC, where the -4 pushes it to the point where only a natural 20 will hit.

Andoran

Fromper wrote:
In the discussion of everything else, a question I asked earlier in the thread was ignored, so I'll ask again. This is for my human archer bard for Pathfinder Society.

You really ought to start your own thread, in the appropriate forum, and not try and hi-jack someone else's thread. That's why your question got ignored.

But to answer it, precise shot. One attack at no penalty is better than 2 attacks at -6.


Just to clarify, both my archers use 25 point buy, which is standard for my group (and is a theme in all my builds unless I'm specifically asked to do otherwise).

Zen archers ARE impressive, still, I wonder if there isn't an error in the above build somewhere. For one, I'm wondering why vital strike is in it. What could you possibly accomplish with one attack?


Sometimes you need to move. Then you cannot Flurry. So you might as well make the 1 shot hurt as much as possible.

Cheliax

Especially with the ability to spend a point of ki to increase your damage dice, vital strike looks pretty good for the monk on the move.


Lightbulb wrote:
Sometimes you need to move. Then you cannot Flurry. So you might as well make the 1 shot hurt as much as possible.

I suppose, but isn't a monk (unlike a fighter) generally hurting for feats without having to branch off for other feats that don't have much synergy with the rest?

The archery tree certainly isn't a shallow one.


Ravingdork wrote:
Lightbulb wrote:
Sometimes you need to move. Then you cannot Flurry. So you might as well make the 1 shot hurt as much as possible.

I suppose, but isn't a monk (unlike a fighter) generally hurting for feats without having to branch off for other feats that don't have much synergy with the rest?

The archery tree certainly isn't a shallow one.

Zen Archer gets more bonus archery feats then a fighter, until level 16-ish.


Ravingdork wrote:
Lightbulb wrote:
Sometimes you need to move. Then you cannot Flurry. So you might as well make the 1 shot hurt as much as possible.

I suppose, but isn't a monk (unlike a fighter) generally hurting for feats without having to branch off for other feats that don't have much synergy with the rest?

The archery tree certainly isn't a shallow one.

Well since you cant use manyshot and rapid shot with your flurry theres no need to really take them.

Then there are the bonus feats you get in like the first 6 levels. I found wiht my zen archer i was figuring out what to do with all my feats rather than starving for more.


Andy Ferguson wrote:
Zen Archer gets more bonus archery feats then a fighter, until level 16-ish.

Bwuh?

Zen archer gets 5 bonus feats in the first 14 levels. Fighter gets 8 bonus feats in the first 14 levels. In 20 levels it's 6 versus 11, respectively.

EDIT: Never mind. I overlooked the static bonus feats, Perfect Strike, Point Blank Master, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization, which puts Zen Archers 1 feat ahead in the first 14 levels. Fighters still get more choice out of their feats though as half their feats are not set in stone with the other half being from an extremely narrow list.


Ravingdork wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:
Zen Archer gets more bonus archery feats then a fighter, until level 16-ish.

Bwuh?

Zen archer gets 5 bonus feats in the first 14 levels. Fighter gets 8 bonus feats in the first 14 levels.

Bonus feats on Levels 1, 2, 6, 10, 14

Weapon Focus
Weapon Specialization
Perfect Strike
The lack of need for Rapid Shot and Many Shot
Point Blank Master
Improved Unarmed Strike

Total Bonus Feats= 12


Ravingdork wrote:
Andy Ferguson wrote:
Zen Archer gets more bonus archery feats then a fighter, until level 16-ish.

Bwuh?

Zen archer gets 5 bonus feats in the first 14 levels. Fighter gets 8 bonus feats in the first 14 levels. In 20 levels it's 6 versus 11, respectively.

They also get Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, point blank master and if you want to count it, perfect strike.


Improved Unarmed Strike and Perfect Strike are not "archery" feats.

I'll grant you the Perfect Strike one though, since they specifically modify the way it works for the Zen Archer.

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