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Class power rank


Advice

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Just for fun, I'm curious what people consider the most powerful classes and the weakest? If we could rank them, how would they stand?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Strongest: Wizard (I'm biased tbh, as I love wizards in any setting).

Weakest: Inquisitor


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This will always turn into a flame thread. Someone will say X and Y suck, and then it all goes downhill. If you search for "suck" or "weak" the answer will come to you.
Search for "tiers" also.

You can probably type in "tiers + D&D" in google to get the answer. It will take you to different forums, but the consensus is "about" the same.

More important than class power is player ability though. :)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That doesn't work. There is no logical way to create such a list. There are too many variables.


In my experience, wizard is the strongest, and monk/rogue compete for last place. Have never played or seen an inquisitor be played, so I cannot comment on that.

Purely my perspective and experience from play.

Grand Lodge

What it ends up being is more about ease of play. The easier the class is, the "more powerful" it is, as it doesn't take as much work to make it great. This means classes like Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Druid and a couple of others, which are mostly straightforward, are powerful even if the player doesn't know how to utilize the class properly, really most of the classes in the Core Rule Book with the exception of like the Monk are in the "easy to play" tier. The other splat book classes move more into the "hard to play" tier, they're really really powerful, but they take some knowledge to make work well.

However, Barbarian is one of the lower end of the Full BAB classes.

Of course, this is all my opinion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No, trying to create a tier list of classes does not work.
Every game is different, every class is different, every archetype is different, every group compilation is different.

This thread will devolve into a flame war of heated opinions and no list will be correct. This will be a bloody crusade in futility.

May God have mercy upon our souls.


The tier concept KV mentioned was not the normal "Tier" that is discussed. That tier is a reference to power, not ease of play.


A paladin is VERY easy to play in my experience. Heal up when damaged, and snite the big bads. Effective for very little deliberation.

A wizard requires a lot more planning, system mastery and so on. But he will be that much more powerful for it.

Some people delude themselves to think that a sorcerer is easier to play than a wizard. But the sorcerer is the ultimate test of system mastery and spell knowledge to get to the same power level, as you need to pick nigh perfect spells to shine.

Barbarian suffer from some of the same requirements, as you need intimiate knowledge of what works and what does not work in terms of rage powers to make it function well. As well as being able to predict GM style. Some powers simply work better with certain kinds of GMs. For instance, the Invulnerable Rager would be great in most games, but if the GM abuses stealth and is fond of sneak attacks, uncanny dodge is going to be very valuable.

In the end, a well oiled GROUP will always be better than a mishmash of strong individuals. A bard in his own right is not a terrifying force, but with 2-3 bruisers around him, and perhaps a few summoned creatures, his contribution increases to match.

Silver Crusade

This dilemma can never be solved, but I'll bite.
Imho: Cleric > ... > Rogue


Among the weaker I't see the monk.
Too many issues.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Strongest: Monk
Weakest: Wizard


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Character Class Declaration Of Equality

We hold these truths to be self-evident (and the only way to stop these arguments), that all classes will be considered equal, that they are endowed by their creators with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of experience points. That to secure these rights, rules systems are considered to give balance to classes, with the understanding that it is the player, not the character, that makes them unequal, and that individual games will weigh the worth of individual classes differently.

So say we all.

Scarab Sages

Gorbacz wrote:

Strongest: Monk

Weakest: Wizard

Very few wizards are going to survive an encounter with a Tetori monk.

At least, not without substantial backup.

Scarab Sages

Cornielius wrote:

Character Class Declaration Of Equality

We hold these truths to be self-evident (and the only way to stop these arguments), that all classes will be considered equal, that they are endowed by their creators with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of experience points. That to secure these rights, rules systems are considered to give balance to classes, with the understanding that it is the player, not the character, that makes them unequal, and that individual games will weigh the worth of individual classes differently.

So say we all.

This: Player > Class


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is not a rules question, by the way.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
blackbloodtroll wrote:

No, trying to create a tier list of classes does not work.

Every game is different, every class is different, every archetype is different, every group compilation is different.

This thread will devolve into a flame war of heated opinions and no list will be correct. This will be a bloody crusade in futility.

May God have mercy upon our souls.

Strongest is bard, they can both sing AND dance.

Weakest is wizard, while he can sing and dance they are not class skills.

Most medium strength is cavalier- he has the shiniest armor, and the most beautiful mount but has trouble dancing while riding.

Most preferred class is rogue, because they can sing and dance and do it in such a fashion as to be hidden.

I think this is a fair assessment of class strength.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No, there is no right way to rank "class strength".
As such, all power rank listings of classes will be wrong.
This is a futile, fruitless, and destructive endeavor.

This also has no bearing on rules, and is in the wrong forum.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ubercroz wrote:

Strongest is bard, they can both sing AND dance.

Weakest is wizard, while he can sing and dance they are not class skills.

Most medium strength is cavalier- he has the shiniest armor, and the most beautiful mount but has trouble dancing while riding.

Most preferred class is rogue, because they can sing and dance and do it in such a fashion as to be hidden.

I think this is a fair assessment of class strength.

This has got to put Witch near the top of the list, because she can have the most fashionable hair.


Artanthos wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Strongest: Monk

Weakest: Wizard

Very few wizards are going to survive an encounter with a Tetori monk.

At least, not without substantial backup.

Why?


pH unbalanced wrote:
Ubercroz wrote:

Strongest is bard, they can both sing AND dance.

Weakest is wizard, while he can sing and dance they are not class skills.

Most medium strength is cavalier- he has the shiniest armor, and the most beautiful mount but has trouble dancing while riding.

Most preferred class is rogue, because they can sing and dance and do it in such a fashion as to be hidden.

I think this is a fair assessment of class strength.

This has got to put Witch near the top of the list, because she can have the most fashionable hair.

Yeah, she's up there- though the male version, the warlock has sweeet eyebrows/mustaches. That's a hard one to parse really.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is a big difference between the easiest class to play and the most powerful.

A wizard can be the most powerful if he is very very good at what he chooses for spells each day. but this is also the most difficult because to achieve the perfect spell for every event requires that you have good intel on what is about to happen. If he goes into a cave not knowing if there is undead, constructs, or drow he will have a very tough time working with a generic spell list. Other wise he needs to make a significant investment in scrolls and wands to be ready for every emergency.

A sorcerer can be significantly easier to play with their limited spell lists and bonus feats and abilities. The limited spell list can be augmented with a collection of scrolls and wands just as easily as a wizard but don't have to worry about running out of spells and can just zot away. If you are in the camp that says you will always have your full list of spells for every encounter will not agree with the value of so many spells per day but our group loves big dungeon crawls and you don't always have the luxury of taking 8 hour breaks.

Monks and fighters are very easy to play and can make a significant difference in every fights. Monks are much more survivable but fighters (especially archers) can mop the floors with most other classes damage output with little planning or min-maxing.

Silver Crusade

Xzaral wrote:

Strongest: Wizard (I'm biased tbh, as I love wizards in any setting).

Weakest: Inquisitor

A buffed Anger inquisitor is something to behold.

Also, some barbarians are basically immune to spells and damage.
Also, my tetori monk would love your games and to hold you against his body while you try to beat 40+ casting rolls.

The whole "tier" system really is becoming old, but basically, Wizard has the highest potential to break the game if he has the right spells at the right time.


PF Tier System

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter 2014

ImperatorK wrote:
PF Tier System

See, the problem here is that even those ranking are based on completely vanilla classes and have tons of bias in them. If you consider archetypes, racial options, feats, etc., there is absolutely no concrete ranking. It's a futile exercise.


Not really.


The tier system also tends to be slanted toward level 20, which isn't where most play occurs.


In all seriousness, this is a good guide.

It's basically how much each class can effect the plot.


Furious Kender wrote:
The tier system also tends to be slanted toward level 20, which isn't where most play occurs.

Again, not really.

@ Pomkin
You do realize that it's the same link I posted?

Silver Crusade

This link leads to a 2011 theorycrafting post that probably never saw a properly built qinggong monk built with UM and UC ; or lots of other class/archetype/feat combinations created ever since (TWF-DB pistols pistolero, anyone ?).
The monk abomination may elbow drop several giants at the same time while being both barkskin'd-impossible to hit (and in any case able to negate any lucky crit if you ever roll two 20 on a row) or even harm thanks to awesome saving throws.

Yup, UM and UC gave sweet love to the monk, and made my DM puke blood a little in the mouth.


Let's clarify what the Tier system is: It's not a ranking of who is best at combat, it's a ranking of who can solve the most kinds of problems a party might face and also how well. This obviously makes a lot of assumptions about what kind of challenges you are likely to face.

Wizards, Clerics and Druids can solve a wide variety of challenges and can do so pretty easily using their wide selection of powerful spells. Oracles and Sorcerers are a level below because although they use the same tools to solve problems any given character has fewer tools at his disposal.

A well-built fighter (and these days, monk) can be a terror in combat, but that's just being really good at solving a single problem (i.e. kill that guy) which is the most common problem, but not the only one.

I think the linked list is pretty accurate, except summoner and witch (they are not that versatile) should move down one tier and monk should move up one (he no longer sucks).


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The best class is Upper middle class. They have the best wealth to obligation ratio. If you are Upper-Upper class then you have certain expectations to go along with it. Clearly lower and middle class are substandard to being in the upper class. I know that Carl Marx might disagree, but there is a sweet spot where you are wealthy but limited responsibility in regards to social change.


Oh puns.

I have seen the 3.5 tier list and even argued against it before I understood it. It is a ranking of how powerful a class can get when highly optimized and used by a skilled player, among other things, and the ability to alter reality is ranked higher than the ability to deal hit point damage.

It is my opinion that for the majority of groups, the list is pointless, as the players and the group play style override the intention of the list. Consider a list of the best cars. The top ones are very nice but aren't necessarily your favorites, and you probably couldn't drive them to their full potential anyways.


ImperatorK wrote:
Furious Kender wrote:
The tier system also tends to be slanted toward level 20, which isn't where most play occurs.

Again, not really.

@ Pomkin
You do realize that it's the same link I posted?

Sorry I rolled a 1 on my thread reading.

The tier list has almost nothing to do with combat. It's problem solving.

Dark Archive

I know I'm just reiterating what a lot of people said, but I think it is a bit fruitless because, since this is a game built around a group, no one class is going to outshine the others all the time.

It's about bringing the right tool for the job. If I need something sawed and you bring a hammer, it's going to be a splintered mess. If I need a hammer and you bring a saw, it's going to take a LOT of reps to get that nail in.

Even the tiers that try to correct this by splitting it up (Usually into Combat, Utility, and Social Interactions) forget that even in THAT regard there are further divisions. The aspects of Combat, for instance, are Control, Damage Per Round, Buffs, Debuffs, and you could even include Healing. And each one can be just as important depending on the circumstance.


EntrerisShadow wrote:

I know I'm just reiterating what a lot of people said, but I think it is a bit fruitless because, since this is a game built around a group, no one class is going to outshine the others all the time.

It's about bringing the right tool for the job. If I need something sawed and you bring a hammer, it's going to be a splintered mess. If I need a hammer and you bring a saw, it's going to take a LOT of reps to get that nail in.

Even the tiers that try to correct this by splitting it up (Usually into Combat, Utility, and Social Interactions) forget that even in THAT regard there are further divisions. The aspects of Combat, for instance, are Control, Damage Per Round, Buffs, Debuffs, and you could even include Healing. And each one can be just as important depending on the circumstance.

I take it you've never been in a group where the cleric/wizard/druid did everything like a jerk and made everyone else bored.

Dark Archive

Truthfully, no, I haven't. Perhaps I have been spoiled a bit by playing more with people are heavy role-players and very few optimizers.


Maxximilius wrote:

The whole "tier" system really is becoming old, but basically, Wizard has the highest potential to break the game if he has the right spells at the right time.

I think that fits the flavor, provided you have a bad enough player such that this doesn't happen too often (I'm thinking of Presto from the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, it's come to this.

Class Warfare.


Your puns tickle me.


Pomkin wrote:
ImperatorK wrote:
Furious Kender wrote:
The tier system also tends to be slanted toward level 20, which isn't where most play occurs.

Again, not really.

@ Pomkin
You do realize that it's the same link I posted?

Sorry I rolled a 1 on my thread reading.

The tier list has almost nothing to do with combat. It's problem solving.

Combat is one problem and for several classes, the only problem they can solve.


Kerobelis wrote:
snip

Yes, that's why they're lower tiered.


LOL, this is like posting a question asking what religion is the best.

In Pathfinder, by design, full casters are the most powerful classes and pure martial classes are the least. In between are the mixed classes that can do some of both but excel at neither.

Having said that, even though a wizard is far more powerful than a fighter, fighters don't run out of weapon attacks and can take a punch.

So, as long as the full casters have high enough spell slots available, they rule, but if they ever run out....

Scarab Sages

Top Tier Classes: Rogue, Inquisitor, Bard, Ranger, Paladin, Wizard

Lower Tier Classes: Fighter, Sorcerer, Monk, Gunslinger

My Logic: Power is all relative. Anyone can build a character that has good defenses, or deals a lot of damage, or w/e. The most powerful characters are those with the versatility to approach each situation optimally, and who aren't limited in their strengths. Those without versatility are the weaker options over the long run.

Liberty's Edge

I realize that, in order to have a productive discussion about class tiers, you have to assume each class is played by an equally-skilled player, but I think that it bears mentioning that the more skilled and knowledgeable the player is, the better certain classes become.

For example, terrible players will generally make HORRIBLE spontaneous full casters, bad prepared full casters (where they can learn from their mistakes, hopefully), bad-to-decent 15 BAB characters (magus, inquisitor), and pretty good full BAB characters.

In the hands of a very skilled characters, however, full prepared and spontaneous characters generally have the most ability to affect the outcome of a combat or other situation. I mention combat first because that's how most groups spend the majority of their time. The difference between a skilled player and a bad player playing a barbarian isn't as great as the difference between a skilled and a bad player playing a cleric. So I would suggest a tier system in which a class's tier is determined by the output of a function of player skill, with each class having its own unique function.

For example, a rogue's function (P(X), where P is power and X is player skill) might look like

P(X)=5+X

And a wizard's might look like

P(X)=X^2

X is a non-negative number.

So then you just define the tiers as ranges of P. This is obviously not a way to solve the tier question, because there's not a very good way to objectively measure skill at this game, but I think it's a decent way of thinking about it.

I'm of the opinion, though, that a sorcerer with a well-chosen selection of known spells is generally better than a wizard. There will be that odd time when the wizard has the answer that the sorcerer doesn't, but it comes up so infrequently that it can usually be solved by packing a scroll, and just buying a new one when the old one is used up. It's close enough to where they're about equal, though, and the wizard makes up some ground by having 4 times as many skill points.

Combat may only be 1 problem, but it's 90% of the problems most groups will face, and one of the problems that's hardest to just role-play away.

Liberty's Edge

Davor wrote:

Top Tier Classes: Rogue, Inquisitor, Bard, Ranger, Paladin, Wizard

Lower Tier Classes: Fighter, Sorcerer, Monk, Gunslinger

My Logic: Power is all relative. Anyone can build a character that has good defenses, or deals a lot of damage, or w/e. The most powerful characters are those with the versatility to approach each situation optimally, and who aren't limited in their strengths. Those without versatility are the weaker options over the long run.

How is it that you've concluded that paladins are more versatile than sorcerers? I agree that the Paladin is a very powerful class, but you can basically distill the class down to diplomacy and attack rolls with restricted flexibility due to a code of conduct.


Take Boat wrote:

Let's clarify what the Tier system is: It's not a ranking of who is best at combat, it's a ranking of who can solve the most kinds of problems a party might face and also how well. This obviously makes a lot of assumptions about what kind of challenges you are likely to face.

Wizards, Clerics and Druids can solve a wide variety of challenges and can do so pretty easily using their wide selection of powerful spells. Oracles and Sorcerers are a level below because although they use the same tools to solve problems any given character has fewer tools at his disposal.

A well-built fighter (and these days, monk) can be a terror in combat, but that's just being really good at solving a single problem (i.e. kill that guy) which is the most common problem, but not the only one.

I think the linked list is pretty accurate, except summoner and witch (they are not that versatile) should move down one tier and monk should move up one (he no longer sucks).

This.

We're not saying monks are horrible or Barbarians aren't combat kings. It's about versatility and the tier system is accurate. It should be mentioned that power goes hand-in-hand with the tier concept however. You either have spells, or you don't and that is the biggest difference of all.

Scarab Sages

Axebeard wrote:


How is it that you've concluded that paladins are more versatile than sorcerers? I agree that the Paladin is a very powerful class, but you can basically distill the class down to diplomacy and attack rolls with restricted flexibility due to a code of conduct.

You haven't seen the way I build my Paladins :).

Prepared spellcasting, Unsanctioned Knowledge, Self Healing, Damage Dealing, Archetypes that provide more options for Lay on Hands and/or Divine Bond... Paladin is a lot more flexible than people give it credit for.

Sure, the Code of Conduct is a mild restriction, but you can still make interesting and flexible characters despite that restriction.


Best, is the one I'm playing next.

Worst is the one I don't want to play anytime soon, this one changes almost as much as the first one.

Seriously the Goblin Commoner sux. Though is fun to play.
The Goblin Alchemist is awesome and is much more fun to play.


lvl20 wizard casts intensified maximized disintegrate 80d6 to a single target b--ches!maxed thats 480 damage with 1 spell who can do that with one arrow or one melee attack? nobody I know of. WIZARD IS THE KING OF THE MULTIVERSE get used to it.

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