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Merisiel Advice


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

Grand Lodge

Our party is 5 strong (Lini, Valeros, Merisiel, Seoni, and Sajan) and we just got our first Power Feat. The player using Sajan (planning on Drunken Master) just switched from Harsk, opening up bows for anyone. Now I toyed with the fact of switching to Harsk (Sniper looks really good) but decided that I usually explore solo and Mersiel seems very well balanced with combat and barriers.

So the question: Do I take the +1 to the 1d6 for solo combat or Weapon proficiency and start taking Longbows/Crossbows?

Thanks in advance.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I personally took weapon proficiency with the goal of augmenting that with an extra weapon card feat when the first adventure deck ended. Other people might have different priorities, though, that would be equally useful. Adding one to the 1d6 recharge / discard power certainly isn't shabby.


If you've found lots of weapons that need proficiency then I'd go with that. If you haven't found them yet then I'd add the +1 to the combat-booster. Mind you, since Merisiel's main power recharges cards and she starts with armor in her deck I wouldn't overlook the bigger hand size either... especially if Lini is stocked up on Cures.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hi Guys,

I thought I would share my leveling up of Merisiel through Skinsaw Murders so far.

My Merisiel (playing with Harsk) through Burnt Offerings...

Dex: put my first skill point here.
Str: put my second skill point here.
Weapon Proficiency: put my first power feat here.
Card List: Weapon

Notes: Merisiel alone with her Returning Throwing Ax +1 is just a wicked combo (recharge a d6, or discard it for 2d6).
===

Then we moved onto Skinsaw Murders...

Hand Size 6: put my second power feat here.
Charisma: put my third skill point here.
Card List: When the time comes, Merisiel will probably do Blessings.

Notes: Once again that third skill point was a major head scratcher. Adding a +1 to a d6 just seems so fruitless. Maybe she can at least get lucky on some Ally acquisition rolls. Once again, blessings just seem so flexible and powerful (with Merisiel stocked at her other card slot types).

Her deck to date:
W: Greataxe, Icy Longspear +1, Returning Throwing Ax +1
A: Leather Armor
I: Masterwork Tools, Thieves Tools, Amulet of Life, Codex, Wand of Force Missile
A: Sabertooth Tiger, Poog
B: Gorum, Irori, Shelyn, BOG

Would love to hear how you guys have been leveling Merisiel through Skinsaw Murders if you care to share.

Thanks,

Ben (and Abby)

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

I am not a big fan of leveling up hand size just yet for any PC. I think it makes you more vulnerable then help. But that is just me.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

In my mind, Merisiel is a key character to level hand size. The way this game works you generally only fail checks you want to fail (by not spending a blessing/being willing to burn armor), so the main source of damage is checks you can't possibly succeed in, or non-combat encounter damage. But Merisiel can evade the majority of these. Weapon proficiency is the obvious first choice, but six card hand has been more valuable to me through Skinsaw Murders than +1 on her combat checks could possibly be especially considering, these days, I pretty much just recharge a card in combat to keep my deck cycling. Returning throwing axe +1 is good enough to kill just about every non-boss by itself, and most of the bosses too. Six card hand also makes you more willing to keep an armor in it, where with five I would recharge my armor more often than not.

I can see giving her strength if you've had the bad luck to get Str weapons, but d8 Str is never going to be as good as d12 Dex, and I guess I'd rather evade encounters on the rare occasion she doesn't start with a weapon in hand (it's only happened to me once in recent memory). I gave her other +1 to Cha, because allies pop up frequently enough and picking one up is a free explore. It's worked out fairly well so far. Additionally, I play in a duo with Kyra. She's got Wisdom covered, so Cha was the one stat I could improve to cover our bases on closing checks.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

You don't have to take Weapon Proficiency if you're only taking Crossbows - only if you're taking Longbows. While it means you can't add to another location's check, most of the Crossbows only add 1d4 anyway and it's a marginal benefit.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

You're right. At the time I only had access to stuff like long bows, so the lack of weapon proficiency was killing me. Then, it felt like a requirement. Returning Throwing Ax -does- require proficiency, but now, with a crossbow, the feat is closer to dead weight on my character card (Skinsaw has a lot of undead, however, and I've used Deathbane's power a few times... albeit with questionable value, since my partner is Kyra and already gets a D8). Still, with the state my deck is in right now +1 to combat checks feels like a waste of a feat, especially given an extra d6 or two is more than enough of a buff. My Merisiel can throw down d12+d8+2 constantly, so +d6 or +2d6 clinches just about any encounter without needing a blessing. I almost never use the discard portion of the power unless it's to get some crap boon I picked up out of my hand.

Of course, a lot of my play style is predicated on my deck, which has both Father Zantus and both Staves of Minor Healing ("both" assuming there are only two in the item deck, we don't read the cards ahead of time, so I don't know). I spent my first card feat on an Ally, so I have a continuing cycle of 4 blessings and 3 allies (one of which is Shalelu) to burn on explores. Two staves of healing also means you will always have at least 4 cards in your deck (barring some "discard top card" bad luck), which makes death extremely unlikely, even in a 2 player game where you have 15 turns to kill yourself.

We still have the last adventure of Skinsaw left. With a 6 card hand I'm considering using her next card feat on armor for added insurance against pre-battle boss damage (note that Merisiel's recharge power can operate as a preemptive point of armor, depending on how many cards you have in your hand).

That may be foolish/unnecessary, but I'm trying to think of what other ways to go. 2 weapons is plenty. 4 blessings is decent, could be more, 3 allies is decent, could be more. 6 items is enough; I've got a Chime of Opening in my deck I don't need, just because nothing better's come along (already have Holy Candle, don't know what else is in there that I'd need). I don't know what the loot is for finishing Skinsaw, but I know there's a lot of it. I kept the Medallion in my deck for a while, just because it felt like one of us should have it and Kyra wasn't wasting her one item slot on it, but ultimately it felt like it was of too limited use.

Maybe I should revisit that as, combined with her power, 4 damage reduction is essentially all damage reduction, with the benefit of the card being only discarded and not buried, like with armor. Having a card like that in hand allows you to take huge risks by overextending on explores. To that effect, the Elven Chain's -1 damage reveal vs. other armor's recharge is considerably better. It's let me to keep the card in my hand to deal with pings until I burn it on a big damage roll. We came across the Arrow-Catching Studded Leather recently and didn't even bother trying to get it. The (incredibly rare) times you'd want to reduce ranged damage are not worth sacrificing the reveal. Kyra has the Elven Breastplate with the same functionality, but 1 better! It's tough to imagine a card showing up anytime soon that's going to unseat that.

Admittedly there's a decent amount of luck involved in getting the cards to make your deck such a powerhouse, but our almost total indestructibility has recently caused us to increase the difficulty. I said in another thread recently that we've been setting up the decks for 3 player games since Burnt Offerings, and throughout Skinsaw we've been playing with 4 players' worth of location decks. Still haven't lost on time even once, though we've come close a handful of times.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
Dave Riley wrote:

In my mind, Merisiel is a key character to level hand size. The way this game works you generally only fail checks you want to fail (by not spending a blessing/being willing to burn armor), so the main source of damage is checks you can't possibly succeed in, or non-combat encounter damage. But Merisiel can evade the majority of these. Weapon proficiency is the obvious first choice, but six card hand has been more valuable to me through Skinsaw Murders than +1 on her combat checks could possibly be especially considering, these days, I pretty much just recharge a card in combat to keep my deck cycling. Returning throwing axe +1 is good enough to kill just about every non-boss by itself, and most of the bosses too. Six card hand also makes you more willing to keep an armor in it, where with five I would recharge my armor more often than not.

I can see giving her strength if you've had the bad luck to get Str weapons, but d8 Str is never going to be as good as d12 Dex, and I guess I'd rather evade encounters on the rare occasion she doesn't start with a weapon in hand (it's only happened to me once in recent memory). I gave her other +1 to Cha, because allies pop up frequently enough and picking one up is a free explore. It's worked out fairly well so far. Additionally, I play in a duo with Kyra. She's got Wisdom covered, so Cha was the one stat I could improve to cover our bases on closing checks.

I didn't think of it that way, but that does make sense. Still, I wouldn't do it more than once through the first adventure set.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I agree that 6 cards is probably sufficient and now, having looked at her prestige card, it seems irrelevant, because her Thief class is miles ahead of her Acrobat class, and can only level up her hand size to 6 anyway.


Dave Riley wrote:
because her Thief class is miles ahead of her Acrobat class, and can only level up her hand size to 6 anyway.

I actually like the acrobat for, for one main reason:

and may put the card on top of the deck (emphasis mine). Being able to scout a location and put the evaded card back on top of the deck is a fairly large benefit. giving Meresiel the cape that lets you move at the end of your turn and a spell for haste is good because as I see it she can scout out/set up quite a few locations for the rest of her party. and grouping with Amiri (assuming she took the "drag another party member along" feature of her movement ability) would be even better, as Meresiel can explore and then let Amiri deal with the bad guys. just my $.02

Silver Crusade

TClifford wrote:
I am not a big fan of leveling up hand size just yet for any PC. I think it makes you more vulnerable then help. But that is just me.

I like boosting those with only 4 up to 5. In fact, I'd go so far as to boost Sajan up to 6, because he's so reliant on having as many blessings as possible in hand. But I agree that I probably wouldn't boost the other 5 or 6 card hands up just yet.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I didn't notice the evade text, must've skimmed it because it's part of an existing power. That definitely makes it a lot closer. Much of the difference now is do you want to have to sink 2 powers into +2 to close a location (with the small benefit of +2 to barriers, but she hardly needs it) and sacrifice the +2 to item acquisition, and the possibly useful Charisma as recharge (with her junky Charisma, may not be very useful) for the "Evaded card back to top." Which I'll admit sounds extremely useful, but, at the same time, I can't think of more than once or twice where I've evaded something and would've actually cared if it were shuffled or left on top.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I don't know, putting an evaded encounter back on top seems great for group games. You can ensure a particularly vexing bane is taken care of by a specialized ally before you potentially waste more turns evading it further on in the deck.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Isn't the consensus / ruling that Merisiel can also evade a boon encounter, not just a bane encounter? That would be even more useful to put back on top than a monster...if there's a super-cool piece of bling sitting pretty on top of a deck that she wouldn't have a chance of getting...


Calthaer wrote:
Isn't the consensus / ruling that Merisiel can also evade a boon encounter, not just a bane encounter?

Yes, Merisiel may evade the encounter, which applies to both boons and banes.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Mechalibur wrote:
I don't know, putting an evaded encounter back on top seems great for group games. You can ensure a particularly vexing bane is taken care of by a specialized ally before you potentially waste more turns evading it further on in the deck.

I agree, it seems great. However in practice I've almost never encountered a situation where I would've cared. Maybe if I encountered a villain on the first turn when you have no weapons/blessings in hand, but that's never happened to me. If I encounter something like a Hill Giant with no weapons in hand I'm happier just evading it and shuffling, with the odds that I won't encounter it again.

The main thing Merisiel has trouble acquiring is arcane stuff which, in my duo with Kyra, we don't care about and usually ignore. Everything else is pretty much a guaranteed pick-up with a blessing or two. Or guaranteed enough that I'd hesitate to use a power feat on it over just getting the +2 item acquisition feat in thief. If the clock were more of a hindrance than it currently is, that'd change things.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Dave Riley wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
I don't know, putting an evaded encounter back on top seems great for group games. You can ensure a particularly vexing bane is taken care of by a specialized ally before you potentially waste more turns evading it further on in the deck.

I agree, it seems great. However in practice I've almost never encountered a situation where I would've cared. Maybe if I encountered a villain on the first turn when you have no weapons/blessings in hand, but that's never happened to me. If I encounter something like a Hill Giant with no weapons in hand I'm happier just evading it and shuffling, with the odds that I won't encounter it again.

The main thing Merisiel has trouble acquiring is arcane stuff which, in my duo with Kyra, we don't care about and usually ignore. Everything else is pretty much a guaranteed pick-up with a blessing or two. Or guaranteed enough that I'd hesitate to use a power feat on it over just getting the +2 item acquisition feat in thief. If the clock were more of a hindrance than it currently is, that'd change things.

Huh, in practice I've seen plenty of times where I wished I could have put it back on the top.

If you shuffle it back in, the odds aren't that you won't see it again. If there's one henchman or villain in the deck, you're just as likely to shuffle the monster in front of them as behind them. And if you don't manage to close the location, you'll definitely see that creature again. It also helps bring characters like Ezren toward Mystic Inscription, and lets you keep henchman at the top of a location so you can make sure a character able to close the location fights them.

And has been pointed out, you can also use it for boons you aren't likely to acquire. If you're playing with Valeros, and find a magic greataxe, you're going to want to leave it on the top for him to acquire next turn.

Grand Lodge

Well it has been a few weeks and we started over with a different group. Now we have: Valeros, Lini, Merisiel (me), Lem, and Erzen. I ended up taking Weapon Proficiency and it has been awesome. The discard to help at an additional location actually has helped on multiple checks with Lem and Lini. We just finished Burnt Offerings and now I am trying to decide on my card feat.

Currently by deck looks like this:

Deathbane Light Crossbow +1
Shock Longbow +1
Magic Leather Armor
Blessing of Calistria (x2)
Blessing of Erastil (x2)
Archer (x2)
Cape of Escape
Masterwork Tools
Crown of Charisma
Eyes of the Eagle
Boots of Elvenkind
Amulet of Fortitude

2 skill points in Dexterity
Weapon Proficiency

Basically, I play her as a jack of closing everything. I use blessings and allies 99% of the time to explore. All the items except for the cape allow me to auto pass a skill I am poor at by recharging (I am hoping to switch the Boots for a Tome of Knowledge). I am debating between either a weapon or ally and here is why. Returning Throwing Axe +1 gives me a really quick instant win on a combat especially if I recharge it. Not to mention, not getting your first weapon until half way through the game is rough. Adding an ally would give me another explore or if I can pick up Shalelu, a search/explore.

For further conversation, my next skill feat will probably be Dexterity and my next power feat will be +1 on sneak attack or another card in hand.

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