Hi, been a long time coming but here is my latest guide.
Btw. It's not finished.
If anyone would like to collaborate please respond here.
Sorry for formatting. Copyied from my Phone:
Warlock- The complete guide for dealing with the devil
*Before we begin- I’d like to thank Treantmonk for his own guides that inspired me to write this one. Note I have copied his Guide style and borrowed some text to make this a style we are familiar with
##I won't rate the other class abilities since my ratings are the same as Walter's. See Walter's guide to the Magus.##
Improved Critical ***: You should be wielding either a Scimitar or Katana. Get it keen and you are doubling spell damage very often.
ARCANA SELECTION: (I won't do them all since walterGM covered the lot in his guide and I agree for the most part.)
THE 3 STIGEN WITCHES: (builds section)
But very basically:
The Blaster takes a single dip in Crossblooded Tatooed Sorcerer (Orc/Draconic) and plops Wayang Spellhunter (Shocking Grasp) and Magical Lineage (Fireball) and metamagics the crap out of these spells for MASSIVE damage.
The Transmorgifist focuses on Montrous Physique Spells and using Blade Dash and others tomake a Pouncer with tons of Natural attacks.
I'll hopefully get some time tonight.
After an admittedly quick read the first thing that jumps out at me is advising Hexcrafters to use conductive weapons.
Change that to use the spell storing AoMF and the Prehensile hair hex.
heh, am currently working on a Cabalist Hexcrafter myself, although I could also use Bladebound in addition, I plan to get the Giant bloodline so using a maul (earth breaker) fits better
but yes, a Magus Hexcrafter is in many ways more interesting and useful as the Witch itself, for flavor I use this for children of a Witch, usually having White hair (too bad you can't replace bloodline with the abilities of a White-haired Witch Archetype)
Why are Cackle and Evil Eye so highly rated?! You can't use your move actions and spell combat, they're very very incompatible! Not a good choice of hex. Needing 2 hexes just to get the one hex (evil eye) to reliably work isn't a good deal on a class that needs to spend feats to gain more hexes, either.
The healing ones are pretty poor, I think you're too generous. And Prehensile Hair should be on the list. To deliver your touch spells from safety and the general awesomeness of having reach on a class restricted to 1H weapons.
For feats... No mention of Hex Strike? Strict RAW, you can't, but I feel almost any DM would overlook the fact it's not exactly called "hex" and see that it's still the same class feature. Hex Strike (Slumber or Ice Tomb) is pretty nice. It's feat-heavy, but since Hex Strike needs IUS anyway, what about the Crane Style and Crane Wing feats as well? Also, what about Accursed Hex? Ability Focus?
For grand hexes...by RAW you can't get them, since you don't get a class bonus hex at level 20 and your last feat is at 19. If you do get one, I'd do Forced Reincarnate. Likely to severely debuff the creature you're fighting, give him 2 negative levels, and drop 50% of his unused spell slots for the day. And against dragons it reverts them to the Young Adult age category. ;)
Have to correct you there streamofthesky. They errata'd the Grand hexes, hexcrafters had that moved down from 20th to 18th so they can get a grand hex. Oh and Summon Spirit is the go to if you are only going to get 1 grand hex. 18 18th level sorcerors/wizards/druids/clerics/etc is easily better than a forced re-incarnate to a 2/3rds caster like a Magi.
Hex strike is universally bad unless you merge it into a natural attack via feral combat (waste of feats if you ask me).
Evil eye and cackle are actually pretty well rated for hexcrafters, just require proper priority to get the most out of them.
Evil eye is great since if you drop that on your targets AC it nicely resolves the -2 that spell combat costs you for a net 0 modifier to your attack bonus.
Prehensile hair is awesome-sauce, we both agree on that. And mention must be made of how Prehensile Hair allows a hexcrafter to use a Metamagic Rod in combat, something no other Magi can do.
I'm having a problem on your stat prioritization and really think you are incorrect on Str over Dex.
Yes, the Hexcrafter is a melee combatant and yes the dervish dance builds are boring and not needed for this type. However Magi have reflex as their poor save and don't get real armor options until 7th level. Add to that they are always using light 1-hd weapons so power attack is off the table leaving Strength only useful for carrying capacity.
Personally I’d prioritize it INT>DEX=CON>STR>WIS>CHA, with Con or Dex being 2nd based on individual presence. This will shore up your beginning Low AC or HP's will patching up that horrible reflex save as well as giving you a boost to those so important dex based skills (Acrobatics, Fly, Escape Artist and Stealth).
Really the only reason to ever prioritize strength is if you are going the Scimitar 2hd route or don't intend to take Prehensile hair and/or fly hex.
I'm also working on a Debuffer hexcrafter build based on my rime focused witch/hexcrafter build. Once I get a bit further on it I'll post it up for critique as well.
I did mention a number of times that you SHOULD be 2 handed spellstriking with power attack whenever you move.
may have to add a combat tactics section...
I know what you are saying there, I am just disagreeing with it. When it's time to start 2hd power attacking you don't use a weapon, you use your hair Hex instead.
Your actual sword is only there for storing spells and fighting mooks with so there is no real reason to invest so much into it. It's really just a backup weapon so you only want the absolute minimum strength for power attack and dump everything else into your Int to get that 1.5x int bonus on damage with the extra spell/hex DC's skill points and languages.
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
I suppose you have proof where you get 1.5 times your int bonus?
P.S. Do single natural attacks trump the rule that secondary attacks only get .5 x strength?
Spellstrike and spell combat both work fine with natural weapons.
The only rule for for spell combat is
Spell combat wrote:
must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand.
You have a hand free and a sword/rod in your other hand so you meet all criteria for spell combat.
whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack.
A natural attack is considered a weapon for all purposes so you can spell strike through it whenever you choose to.
As for the 1.5 modifier and secondary attacks:
Natural attacks wrote:
If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls.
Every attack you make with the hair will be at 1.5 x str (and this hex uses your Int as your strength) and will let you spellstrike & spellcombat at will AND once you get a decent metamagic rod to wield in your main hand you can buff any or every spell you cast.This is something no other Magus can get away with.
STR Ranger wrote:
Cool, many thanks I'll put a few things in this thread before adding anything to the Doc.
I've been giving a lot of thought to my debuffer build and it's really starting to shape up more as a Denial build instead. Mixes the best parts of a Tank build with the de-buffing of a Witch and the Combat maneuvers/AoO's of a Combat reflex build. Just need to get the feat progression down.
Here's my first pass on the Defiler/Debuffer. It's still a bit rough but I think it's all legal and just needs a bit of Polish.
The Defiler: This debuff build is focused on piling on negative effects and rendering every target as harmless and easy to kill as possible. This is a Melee effective option that is fully developed by 6th level with everything after that making it more destructive.
1 (Witch 1) (White Haired Witch archetype) Feats: Rime Spell, Scribe Scroll
How it works: This build hinges around using your Hair natural attack for ALL your attack actions. As your only natural attack it is always at Full Bab and does 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus on damage rolls. Since you use your Intelligence bonus in place of strength every time you boost your Int you boost your melee to-hit and damage. Taking two levels of Witch grants three important benefits:
1. An always on Natural attack that can never be sundered, disarmed or stolen.
Now this is a debuff build so our go-to spells are FrostBite (Rimed) and Frigid Touch mixed with Power Attack and Cornugan Smash all channeled through 4 different combat maneuvers (Grab, Trip, Sunder & Disarm).
Combat begins by activating your Prehensile Hair and using your arcane pool to get the +attack on it as high as you can and moving into position to respond to any AoO provoking action. At your first chance Spellstrike a Rimed Frostbite and attempt a combat maneuver (trip is best) on a target 10? away (try to always power attack this).
(Prone is -4 to attacks and CMD, Fatigue is -2 to dex and str for another -2 to attacks and CMD, Entangled is another -2 to attacks and -4 to dex for another -2 to attacks and a concentration check to cast spells. Total = -6 to Dex, -2 to Str for a -4 to attacks, -8 CMD, -3 to AC)
This also triggers your Grab ability so now make a Grapple check against their CMD -8. If you succeed then move them to any square adjacent to you (automatic action) and inflict Constrict Damage against the target. (1D4 + 1.5xInt modifier + Power attack Bonus). This will also activate your Cornugan Smash Feat so also make an Intimidate check now to demoralize them to inflict the Shaken Condition.
(Adding the Grapple condition reduces Dex by an additional -4, Attack rolls and Combat Maneuvers by 2, and adds another concentration check to cast, Shaken reduces attacks/saves/skill checks/ability checks by 2 more. Total = -10 to Dex, -2 to Str, -10 to attacks, -2 to saves, skill checks and ability checks and requires 2 Concentration checks to cast a spell)
All of this is done with a single standard action. If you decide to use Spell combat all of the above will happen with the addition at the end to cast an additional spell (which will end the charges from Frostbite), we usually use a Frigid touch spell to inflict 4D6 damage and the staggered condition (it is recommended to either use a Metamagic on this, either Rime, Sickened or Empower).
With this build raising your Int as high as you can is paramount since it powers ALL of your combat ability (attacks, damage, CMB, etc) followed by either your Dex (for more AoO's, Dex and reflex saves) or Con (to absorb all the damage that will be thrown your way the first time you use this trick) Strength needs to be 13 for Power Attack and after that it's useless.
If you would like to do more damage while doing this, always remember releasing a target from a grapple is a free action and the spell from spell combat can go after all your normal attacks. So after the steps above release the target and do a normal attack with the hair triggering everything again for more damage THEN do the spell combat for the Frigid touch spell for a third touch attack (this requires you to have pre-cast the Frostbite in a previous round).
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
I just wanted to point out here that the battle plan you listed won't really work if James Jacobs' clarification on the white-haired witch abilities is ever turned into a true FAQ. He said that Trip, Grab, and Constrict are all swift actions, and you only get one of those a round, sadly.
Edit: Also, I'm not sure why you have the second level of White-haired Witch, since you get the Grab ability at 1st level. Constrict is okay but not worth the loss of another Magus level, I would think.
Edit again: I'm also surprised to not see Improved Grapple or Improved Trip on here anywhere, to get the bonus +2 on either and qualify for Greater versions of them.
Mathwei your build only works if prehensile hair hex stacks with the White hair witch's ability.
I am not sure that they stack.
This build includes the update from JJacobs. if you'll notice we only use 1 swift action from the magus and that's at the beginning before combat.
look again, 5 high end debuffs off of a single standard action.
edit: IF *IF* the hair doesn't stack the only change it makes is the grapple debuff isnt added until the second attack ina full attack action.
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
There's nothing stopping somebody from using Power Attack with a light weapon. You can't two-hand it for the extra PA damage, but it works otherwise.
The issue with using Power Attack with a light weapon on a 3/4 bab class is the return on investment tends not to be worth the loss of hit bonus.
STR Ranger wrote:
Thought about it but decided against. Mixing any iterative attacks into this action would give us a -5 to hit and gut the damage bonus from our high Int. The real issue with it is Hex strike requires a swift action to rattle off and we just don't have any Swift actions to spare.
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
The build ideas that you and STR Ranger are coming up with for the Hexcrafter are intriguing. I look forward to seeing the finished version of the guide.
Mathwei, what changes (if any) would you make for your Defiler/Debuffer build to use in Pathfinder Society play since you have to cap out at 12th level?
About the only change you would need to make for PFS is to replace the Scribe scroll Feat you would normally take at 1st level (and it is REALLY an optional feat anyway).
Everything else can stay as it is since I actually designed the rest of this build for PFS (Scribe scroll is one of those feats I just like to have for any prepared caster).
Edit: @cartmanbeck, there is no need for any of the improved or greater feats for any of the Combat Maneuvers. We are doing all of this at 10'-15' away so the target won't be able to AoO us (and the hair cannot be attacked directly or sundered). The +2 bonus would be nice but we have an arcane pool and/or True Strike to guarantee a success if we REALLY need it.
This looks great, now we just need the Master transmorgifist build.
Mathwei, feel free to edit the title to include yourself as well.
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Would it be better to start with Magus at 1st level instead of the witch for the extra 2 hit points or is there a reason you should start with witch?
so how does one two handed spellstrike when it requires at least one free hand to cast?
STR ranger is right but I think he missed the point of your question.
SPELL COMBAT requires a free hand for the full round while casting the spell, SPELLSTRIKE does not.
Don't worry about it, everyone confuses those two at first.
@c873788, There are three reasons we want the Witch at first level.
2. Taking Witch first gives you a free and potent melee weapon, saving you cash.
3. 1st level is safest for survival. Taking the witch level later could be quite a bit more risky.
I've started to read up on the Magus as a result of this thread including Walter's Guide. Everyone seems to rave about using arcane mark/brand cantrip. Walter mentions that it seems to allow you to spell combat and spell strike in one round to gain a free attack. I'm feeling particularly dense as I can't see how placing a magical rune on someone improves your action economy in a given round. Could someone please enlighten me on how this trick works (be explicit)?
Spell Combat lets you full attack AND cast a spell, by taking a -2 to hit and so forth.
Spellstrike lets you deliver a touch spell with a weapon attack as part of the casting, instead of as a melee touch.
When you combine the two, you end up with a "pseudo-flurry" kind of deal, where you're full attacking with an extra attack by taking a -2 to hit.
That's basically all there is to it...
Ok, I finally got it. Thanks StreamofTheSky.
The main reason I started this guide is Hexcrafter is now firmly my favorite class.
Unlike witches, a hex's range is not a problem since you aren't particularly squishy and using them doesn't.provoke.
I am in a PBP with one right now and he's merely a versatile scimitar user. Only a little optimised. Uses a scimitar rather than Hair. Has power attack despite 1-handing when using spell combat (2 hands for spellstrike). I will likely post him at the end of the guide.
STR Ranger wrote:
I can understand why. This archetype certainly seems to have plenty of potential and multiple builds that work well.
Looking specifically at your 3 STYGIAN WITCHES build, I think you mean Intensified Spell but you have Intensify Spell as the 3rd level feat which is a non Paizo published feat.
I'm just trying to remember if the sorcerer and magus levels stack for your casting level when casting your Shocking Grasp spells which I don't think they do. This certainly makes the choice of Varisian Tattoo optimal to give you +1 casting level for your Evocation School. Are there any traits or feats that boost your casting level to your class level as all those Sorcerer based Shocking Grasp spells you pick up could then go from 2d6 up to your class level?
One last point of interest regarding the 3 STYGIAN WITCHES build, how does using the scimitar compare to the Hair as your preferred weapon? Off the top of my head, you can eventually get keen on your scimitar for a much greater chance of criticals versus the reach for your hair and being able to stack your Intelligence and dump strength to some degree. I'm not sure which is better.
The difference between using the Scimitar and the hair is simple. The scimitar is the weapon of choice if you want to damage your opponent the hair is what you use if you want to disable them.
Hair builds don't care about any damage past the first point that allows you to power attack and Intimidate your target.
Scimitar builds are all about inflicting massive amounts of damage as fast as possible.
Both are great depending on your interests.
touch of fatigue can be gained through a lot of ways, as example through a trait, a hexcrafter qualifies for most witch feats, so unless it is an archetype power from the witch you want you can avoid a dip into it, a cabalist hexcrafter can increase its possibilities when getting the bloodline, especially with destined/draconic/sylvan/envenomed/giant choices
Eldritch Heritage feats let you gain further powers from other bloodlines, as Cabalist choosing Sylvan as actual bloodline and somewhere on the road getting the Skill Focus for Perception saves you one feat if you want to go after the Draconic and Giant bloodline powers. A 2 or 3 level dip into Titan mauler combined with the powers of Giant bloodline also make interesting options available as the Magus gets heavier armor, and the STR is most likely not that great but due to the Giant weight power it will be much less an issue.
a cabalist hexcrafter with powers of the giants and dragons would gain additional natural armor in addition to usual armor class use, better use of the increased size from that certain spell, could become a living storageroom due to increased weight capacity, and if it choose the Sylvan bloodline then it also has an animal companion and very late in the game gets some additional spells that are not usually on the magus list. If the magus also took 2-3 levels of Titan Mauler then it gives a bit of his spellcasting up for slightly better BAB, and the ability to wield one damn huge weapon in a hand while keeping the other free for his casting as magus.I would pick a bigger version of the falcata or rhoka as that weapon, maybe scimitar. If you want a giantish flavor than some hammer you can throw. Cloud Strife will envy you.
As a Magus if taking Hexcrafter Archetype, I would consider it a sin not to also take Cabalist.
if you are looking for pure-basic data from Paizo, I believe many witch feats were made by them, 1-2 extra hex feats for the hexcrafter on low level can help out a lot
This is Varrel.
He is not quite finished but his basic combat routine is to 2 handed power attack spellstrike with 1st level intensified shocking grasps and buff with Blur for spell combat (Activates his moonlight Stalker feat.
I am contiplating swapping out Major Healing hex for a metamagic
I have 140, 000gp to spend.
Armor would probably be mithral agile breastplate (since I wanna be.stealty as)
Don't forget his Cassian familiar (who in Angelic Child form can use wands)
I'm pretty good at Min/Maxing Builds but not so hot on gear...
Didn't realize this had it's own thread discussing it. Just repeating from the Walter guide thread the correction about Accursed Strike being selectable to HC's but not just free.
And as for the Summon Spirit discussion, I'm in agreement with your rating (It's solid Blue IMO, and at worst it would be Green bordering on Blue), people may personally dislike it or dislike summoning/binding/allies/etc, but it doesn't change when used right it's insanely powerful for it's level.
I'd definitely say lose the healing hexes, on a Witch sure but on the feat starved HC-Magi they're not enough value [and as has been discussed by the math nuts around here, healing is subpar to offense in Pathfinder] especially since Infernal Healing got added to the Magus list, but metamagic's are tricky. They're hugely based on what's your prime attack spell, if you're going high enough to Spell Perfection it, if it's saved based (Persistent Spell) vs if it's damage based (empower spell) vs if you've taken Spell Pen yet (if you're not an Elf and past level 5-7 you want to get it instead). Hard to say.
Plus with a Hexcrafter... well unless you've got a Spell Perfection plan or similiar way to red line a certain spell, you're almost better iwht more Hexes, fewer Metamagics, so while I'm not very pro healing hexes, I'd say replace them with another hex or an arcana, not a metamagic unless the metamagic is towards a specific purpose.
Yep. pretty sure a few wands of gtr healing would be a better pick.
this is for an assault on the Acadamae. I'm pretty sure once we go in, we don't come out till we finish or die.
So either swap it for another hex? or a meta feat or combat feat.
Varrel is an Elf so he racially gets +2 Vs SR.
Reguarding Dumping Healing Hex- at first I thought Heighten for Blindness/Deafness but decided not to beacuse, well MY slumber or Ice Tomb hex is a better save or lose anyway and I can use it as instead of Spellstrike if I want a save or lose effect.
Pretty hard to pick a winner:
The only Hex that screams PICK ME is
I think I have it!!!:
Perhaps Quicken Spell at 13, Dazing Spell at 15 and Spell perfection twicex2 (class bonus feat- Chain Lightning) and (normal feat- Shocking Grasp).
this would let me Quicken an intensified Shocking Grasp (delivered via spellstrike- free weapon attack) and then Spell combat full attack with Intensified SG.
That's 3 attacks at full BAB and 2iteratives, carrying 20d6 worth of SG damage for 2 1st level slots. layered on TOP of my full attack is pretty sweet.
At rage I could Quicken a Chain Lightning and cast a Chain Lighting on top.
You can only take spell perfection once, unless a feat explicitly say you can take it multiple times you can only pick a feat once.