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Best / Strongest Archery Build


Advice

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Hi Everyone. as above, what's the most powerful bow archer build? i heard that fighters and rangers make the best. but what archetypes/feats/traits/spells make them amazing? should i focus more on a volley of arrows? or magic infused Arrows?


The Point Blank Master feat allows rangers, slayers and fighters to use only a bow which saves on money, feats etc. Full BAB is important for many archery feats too, as are bonus feats, especially those which allow you access to feats earlier than you would otherwise get them.

Rapid fire is more important than a single big shot. By quite a margin IME. The only time you might use the latter is with a very high-magic build focused on named bullet - which still won't be as good at archery as a fighter but which will likely have more breadth.

Is your only metric for power the average damage delivered, or do you count the ability to bypass anti-archery measures as power? Are there any limits on book sources (e.g. core books/any paizo/3rd party allowed)? At what character level are you making the comparison?


avr wrote:

The Point Blank Master feat allows rangers, slayers and fighters to use only a bow which saves on money, feats etc. Full BAB is important for many archery feats too, as are bonus feats, especially those which allow you access to feats earlier than you would otherwise get them.

Rapid fire is more important than a single big shot. By quite a margin IME. The only time you might use the latter is with a very high-magic build focused on named bullet - which still won't be as good at archery as a fighter but which will likely have more breadth.

Is your only metric for power the average damage delivered, or do you count the ability to bypass anti-archery measures as power? Are there any limits on book sources (e.g. core books/any paizo/3rd party allowed)? At what character level are you making the comparison?

well i would like a balance between damage and breaking through my foes defenses, book we are allowed are all paizo books. no 3pp/pisonic/path of war stuff

also probably stating at lv3.


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I'd be interested to see how inquisitors line up to full BAB archers


At level 3 the best archer is probably a zen archer monk. By 6th-7th level that may change as Manyshot enters the picture & as you need to build defences up a bit (& as full BAB becomes more than a +1 attack), but at 3rd they have a total of 4 bonus archery feats including point blank master, 5 if you count flurry as rapid shot. As feat-hungry as archery is this is very good.

So: Zen archer if you want immediate gratification. Back to ranger, slayer or fighter if you have a mind to the 6th-7th level future. Further into the future ... advanced weapon training: warrior spirit puts a fighter ahead at 9th I think. If wands of instant enemy are a thing in your game then the ranger may still be up there.

Inquisitors are no great shakes at 3rd level CD. At 5th maybe, when they have bane, but at 3rd they only have judgement & 1st level spells, no bonus feats, and will be inferior at archery compared to martial characters. Also when they do have more buffs they do tend to take a few actions to buff up & archers want to start shooting before the enemy closes, which is a bit of anti-synergy. A sanctified slayer can do study (move), divine favor (standard) and bane (swift) in one round which should mitigate that, but that's theorycraft for me, I haven't seen it done.


do we have a level you're wanting to be good at? Are you caring just about most DPR?


Chess Pwn wrote:
do we have a level you're wanting to be good at? Are you caring just about most DPR?

no, i'm just starting out at lv 3, i don't have to be "good" at lv 3, i like that Zen archer gives you load of archery feats, i want to to do well later on as well, and i have no problem waiting a few lvs if i have too.

the main 3 classes i been looking at are

1) paladin archer: we are in undead/taited heavy campaign so that might help.

2)Ranger: a lot of archery feats and animal companion that can be boosted to your lv through boon companion (but thats one feat gone then.)

3) fighter: a lot of feats as well as some nice advance weapon training options and archetypes.


Actually in an undead heavy campaign the ranger with favored enemy undead will probably be the strongest. I am running a undead heavy campaign myself and have both a paladin and a ranger. The Paladin is great for taking down the BBEG but the ranger is devastating vs large groups of undead.


fighter gets feats and a good amount of static damage per arrow. never spikes. Only archetype I'd look at is mutation warrior.

paladin can struggle to get all the feats, but it's doable. Divine Hunter can help. lots of damage when you smite, not as much when not.

Ranger gets some feats and good boost against FE, but they don't have much when not fighting a FE. Gets lots of skills though. Picks up at lv10 when you get instant enemy spell.

Monk skips feats since he can't use most of the normal archery feats when flurrying and gets all the feats he does need in class. Can't get as much accuracy or damage as the other classes.


I was thinking that making the first 2 levels Ranger made a lot of sense. You get Precise Shot and a Wand of Gravity Bow. Really solid.

Beyond that, I was thinking Grendadier Alchemist. Take Explosive Missile.

Exploding Arrows are cool.


Sir_Andrew wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
do we have a level you're wanting to be good at? Are you caring just about most DPR?

no, i'm just starting out at lv 3, i don't have to be "good" at lv 3, i like that Zen archer gives you load of archery feats, i want to to do well later on as well, and i have no problem waiting a few lvs if i have too.

the main 3 classes i been looking at are

1) paladin archer: we are in undead/taited heavy campaign so that might help.

2)Ranger: a lot of archery feats and animal companion that can be boosted to your lv through boon companion (but thats one feat gone then.)

3) fighter: a lot of feats as well as some nice advance weapon training options and archetypes.

If you plan to go Paladin, the Divine Hunter archetype will help you out a lot. Precise Shot at 1st level while avoiding pre-requisites means you don't have to rush it to not suck eggs, and gives you tools that will accent your ranged capabilities, though at the cost of having better defenses. If you're not concerned about that, then picking up the Oath of Vengeance would be worth it, and invest in some Extra Lay On Hands. Adding Smite Bonuses to each attack, combined with the Archer's ability to just create a volley of arrows, means that undead baddie is dead in the blink of an eye.

Rangers get Favored Enemy bonuses, some bonus feats, as well as Favored Terrain and other stuff. There are some archetypes that replace this stuff if you want something more general (the Guide archetype is especially cool in my opinion), such as the Divine Marksman archetype, but being full BAB, having solid saves, and the possibility of a dope Animal Companion (Boon Companion Feat OP) means you can be a Riding, Mobile Ballista of Death.

There is also the Slayer, which gives you Studied Target (like Favored Enemy, except a little better and a lot more flexible), Bonus Feats (like the Ranger, except more if you want), and Sneak Attack. The only downside is that you can't benefit from Sneak Attack from ranged attacks all too often, but if you can (such as Improved Invisibility, or even using the Empty Quiver Style for using your bow as a melee weapon), it's actually more powerful than the Ranger. Bonus Points for picking up the Sniper archetype.

Fighters are similar to Rangers and Slayers, except they are more generalistic, and lack the Favored Enemy/Terrain benefits, as well as the potential Animal Companion. Sure, they get more feats, but they can't circumvent pre-requisites. Even starting at 3rd level, you're only going to have the starter feats (Point Blank, Precise, Deadly Aim, and Rapid Shot). I'd also be cautious of archetypes that replace Armor or Weapon Training, since you may not get access to Advanced Armor/Weapon Training feats.


Quote:
Fighters are similar to Rangers and Slayers, except they are more generalistic, and lack the Favored Enemy/Terrain benefits, as well as the potential Animal Companion. Sure, they get more feats, but they can't circumvent pre-requisites. Even starting at 3rd level, you're only going to have the starter feats (Point Blank, Precise, Deadly Aim, and Rapid Shot). I'd also be cautious of archetypes that replace Armor or Weapon Training, since you may not get access to Advanced Armor/Weapon Training feats.

A great example of this is the ever-so-tempting Weapon Master. For certain builds, Weapon Master is a trap because while it gives early Weapon Training, it doesn't actually give GROUPS for weapon training. Thus, feats that require you have a specific weapon training group are impossible to get.

Basically, if you play with Fighter archetypes, pick one that you KNOW will not cost you the ability to use your weapon training properly with the feats/abilities you want.


The Advanced Weapon Training Feat has a special clause to address that issue:

Advanced Weapon Training wrote:
The benefits of a weapon master’s advanced weapon training options apply only to his selected weapon rather than all weapons in the same fighter weapon group, and he can’t select the weapon specialist advanced weapon training option.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just to clarify, Zen Archer Monks don't actually stop being good at Archery. Yes, other classes get Manyshot at 6th, but Zen Archers get additional attacks at full BAB at 8th and 15th level from Flurry of Bows (although Manyshot doesn't require an additional attack roll, FoB does give you another chance at a critical hit). Zen Archers can also burn Ki for another attack at full BAB.

It depends on what levels you want to be good at, and what you want to be good at. They're still worth considering beyond just "being good at 3rd level." :D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
NewXToa wrote:

Just to clarify, Zen Archer Monks don't actually stop being good at Archery. Yes, other classes get Manyshot at 6th, but Zen Archers get additional attacks at full BAB at 8th and 15th level from Flurry of Bows (although Manyshot doesn't require an additional attack roll, FoB does give you another chance at a critical hit). Zen Archers can also burn Ki for another attack at full BAB.

It depends on what levels you want to be good at, and what you want to be good at. They're still worth considering beyond just "being good at 3rd level." :D

Sohei monks get flurry of blows, ki for an extra attack, AND both Rapid Shot and Manyshot. They can thus put out more arrows per round than any other build.

Where the Zen archer shines is that it gets almost as many attacks as the Sohei (two less) and lots of bonus / early feats.


CBDunkerson wrote:
NewXToa wrote:

Just to clarify, Zen Archer Monks don't actually stop being good at Archery. Yes, other classes get Manyshot at 6th, but Zen Archers get additional attacks at full BAB at 8th and 15th level from Flurry of Bows (although Manyshot doesn't require an additional attack roll, FoB does give you another chance at a critical hit). Zen Archers can also burn Ki for another attack at full BAB.

It depends on what levels you want to be good at, and what you want to be good at. They're still worth considering beyond just "being good at 3rd level." :D

Sohei monks get flurry of blows, ki for an extra attack, AND both Rapid Shot and Manyshot. They can thus put out more arrows per round than any other build.

Where the Zen archer shines is that it gets almost as many attacks as the Sohei (two less) and lots of bonus / early feats.

I really like archery Sohei as well, though Rapid Shot's -2 to all attacks on top of the -2 from flurry... it becomes a question of whether -2 on the 4-6 attacks you've already got is worth it for one more attack. Really, a Sohei could skip Rapid Shot and Manyshot completely and still be making tons of attacks.

The Sohei can also make a really cool sword/bow character, since they can start with stacked STR/DEX and flurry with either a Monk sword or a bow. A "Mongol" build where you take Animal Ally and take Mounted Skirmisher as a Sohei Bonus Feat is extremely flexible and quite dangerous. The enemy that thinks they're clever by getting in your face gets two-handed sword-flurry to think about.

Grand Lodge

Vanilla ranger is pretty much good to go. 110f turret of death. Remember to multishot and improve your crit range for that juicy x3.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I'd be interested to see how inquisitors line up to full BAB archers

I've been wondering about it for a while, but i haven't done already some serious math.

My feeling is that in the early levels is absically going to suck, since you are very feat starved. Solo tactics and teamwork feat che help you somehow, but still not as reliable as a fighter/ranger.

but at lvl 12 i think it might be really powerful. Stalwart gives you amazing survavibility, and greater bane is simply amazing. The real problem is action economy: you wanna buff yourself in the least amount of time but you don't have enough action. Swift action are used for judgement/bane...

Something like this i think could work:

Assuming Heroism pre casted, it last 10/min lvl, so at this point 2 hour are enough for a dungeon.

Round 1: Swift action -->Judgement of Justice/Destruction
Standard action --> Divine Power
Round 2: Swift action --> Greater Bane
Full attack


I'd personally like to mention the Slayer, and one with the Sniper archetype at that. Sniper builds have often been deemed inviable, but I think the Slayer's archetype can fix that.

One of the big problems with Archer builds is the huge number of feats they require to function properly. Luckily, the Slayer gets ten extra Slayer Talents, of which 6 can be used to get feats relevant to an Archer build (the Ranger Style talents, up to 3 times, weapon training, combat trick, and feat). Also, humans get a favored class bonus that can give up to 3 more Slayer Talents.

The progression would look something like this:

1: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot
2: Ranger Combat Style (Rapid Shot)
3: Deadly Aim
4: Rogue Talent (Weapon Training (Longbow))
5: Combat Reflexes
6: Ranger Combat Style (Improved Precise Shot), Rogue Talent (Combat Trick (Manyshot))
7: Snap Shot
8: Blood Reader
9: Improved Snap Shot
10: Ranger Combat Style (Point Blank Master)
11: Clustered Shot
12: Assassinate, Stealthy Sniper
13: Silent Kill
14: Opportunist
15: Greater Snap Shot
16: Feat (Pinpoint Targeting)
17: Improved Initiative
18: Snap Shot [1], Evasion
19: (Empty Feat)
20: Sniper's Eye

[1] the Rogue Talent

One thing to note: the Sniper archetype gets a class feature at level 2 that doesn't seem to trade in anything. It might be that it gets two class features back for Track, but you might want to check this with your DM.

This build gets the relevant archery feats even faster than the standard Ranger build, and can even take some toys on the side, such as Blood Reader and the Assassinate package.

The plan of action is to start combat with sniping, which starts out potent and becomes devastating. The Sniper can, from second level on, ignore the range restriction on sneak attack when their target is totally unaware, and gets a damage bonus equal to their Slayer level. At level 12, you get Assassinate, which nothing says is not usable with ranged weapons. Combined with Silent Kill, you could theoretically wipe out an entire group of enemies without them noticing you. And at level 16, Pinpoint Targeting allows you to negate pretty much any AC bonus they might have. Nice little detail: with Blood Reader, you can inspect a group of enemies and pick out the one that you can snipe best. They don't know you're there, so you have all the time you need to cycle through a group with Studied Target.

So, what do you do when you're found out and combat starts? Well, you're at least as good as a ranger when it comes to archery feats, so you'll be firing volleys of arrows into your enemies. You might miss Favored Enemy bonuses, but Studied Target is half as strong and applies to everyone.

I hope this helps! If needed, I also have a build that gives up the 2nd level Slayer Talent if your DM decides to cut that one for the archetype, if you need I'll happily supply it!

Arcturus


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Slayers are up there for damage. What they don't have is anything like warrior spirit to add whatever magic property is needed now (e.g. cyclonic to beat wind wall, seeking for concealment, veering for cover, conserving because you're low on arrows, or just plain enhancement bonus to beat DR.) They also lack the utility of a ranger's casting.

While zen archers keep getting more stuff they're no longer one of the best archers once manyshot, higher BAB etc. start biting. I suspect that zen archer 4 / fighter X would be really solid though.


Alzhan wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I'd be interested to see how inquisitors line up to full BAB archers

I've been wondering about it for a while, but i haven't done already some serious math.

My feeling is that in the early levels is absically going to suck, since you are very feat starved. Solo tactics and teamwork feat che help you somehow, but still not as reliable as a fighter/ranger.

but at lvl 12 i think it might be really powerful. Stalwart gives you amazing survavibility, and greater bane is simply amazing. The real problem is action economy: you wanna buff yourself in the least amount of time but you don't have enough action. Swift action are used for judgement/bane...

Something like this i think could work:

Assuming Heroism pre casted, it last 10/min lvl, so at this point 2 hour are enough for a dungeon.

Round 1: Swift action -->Judgement of Justice/Destruction
Standard action --> Divine Power
Round 2: Swift action --> Greater Bane
Full attack

Yeah by Level 12 would be amazing

9 BAB + 2 heroism + 2 Judgement + 3 enhancement + 4 Divine power + 7 Dex (starting 18 + 2 from level + 4 from belt) = 27 -2 rapid shot.

25,25(+many shot),25,21 (1D8+4D6+13) (+4 from judgement +3 enhancement +4 Divine power +2 STR could be higher but it might be a bit ambitious to have a +4/+4 belt with a weapon and armour and other stuff to buy)

AVERAGE AC at 12 is apparently 27 so they hit on 2/2/2/7
For an average damage of 31,31,31,31,31
155 damage after one round of buffing
Seems decent.


avr wrote:


While zen archers keep getting more stuff they're no longer one of the best archers once manyshot, higher BAB etc. start biting. I suspect that zen archer 4 / fighter X would be really solid though.

Higher Base Attack? Don't Monks Flurry at a full BAB even if they are normally a 3/4 BAB class? Do Zen Archers not do that too? Or do you mean in terms of prereq-ing feats?


A fully buffed Inquisitor with active bane is gonna be out damaging most other archers except maybe Champion Medium due to it's silly extra attack.

However the inquisitors main issue is the fact that it will need so much time to buff.

The addition of the Ravener Hunter Archetype, which grants access to the Wood Bond Mystery in place of a Domain at level one really pushes Inquisitor past the competition. I mean you get Divine Favor + Bane + Judgement + Heroism + Wood Bond. That's so many to hit bonuses you can actually consider forgoing Precise Shot.

The Exchange

The killer feat in our RotRL campaign was Clustered Shot. Our dwarf ranger became the party main damage dealer after that because he could bypass DR so often.

Cheers
FW


Assuming you pre cast heroism you only actually need to buff on turn one and a swift on turn two, which you can do before the full attack.

I've ever heard of The archetype you mention but if it truly gives you wood bond then yeah that makes inquisitor just too accurate you would be hitting on a 2 or a 3 with Deadly aim.


Zen archers also get early access to improved precise shot so are superior till after 6th level to most builds. That is also the level they get weapon specialization as well. So if you go Zen Archer you want to go to at least 6th level. This will also give you your Ki pool and the ability to get an extra attack. After that gaining more Ki is a good reason to stay with Zen Archer.

The Exchange

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Another point not to ignore on the zen archer is the survive-ability and options they provide. Zen archers are using Wis for Atk so they will pump wis high which not only provides great will saves, but also gives increases to AC, running Qingong as well (because why wouldn't you) you also pick up Barkskin giving you Natural Armor without having to throw gold into an amulet. And because just about every archery feat you can use is given to you as a bonus feat, it allows you to use all your normal level feats to build or shape the character the way you want.

You can bump your Reflex/Fort saves even higher, build up skills (I highly recommend Perception, with high wis and feats to burn you can easily max out perception like no other! my lvl 7 has a +18 perception and that's without the +5 Goggles, and that's a PFS so no iffy bonuses.)

Because your AC is so high and you get PBM at lvl 3 you can even start playing the role of a front line fighter, while threatening targets for AoO and providing a flank (Improved Unarmed strike with your feet). Leveling from 3 to 5 there was only a single game where my Zen archer wasn't filling the "Tank" role.

With your increased movement you could even decide to do something like spending a feat to get step-up or the entire chain, then rush a caster early and watch as they either cast normally thinking you cant hit them, or step back only to have you step-up.

Combat expertise and Lunge can allow you to move to the middle of the battle field and take AoO on anyone within 10', eventually at 9th level you even get to take your AoO with your bow, so anything you can threaten with melee you still get to take the AoO with the bow rather than the weaker unarmed strike!

Lots of combination options are out there, I can't and wouldn't want to hunt down them all!

The Exchange

Alex Mack wrote:

A fully buffed Inquisitor with active bane is gonna be out damaging most other archers except maybe Champion Medium due to it's silly extra attack.

However the inquisitors main issue is the fact that it will need so much time to buff.

The addition of the Ravener Hunter Archetype, which grants access to the Wood Bond Mystery in place of a Domain at level one really pushes Inquisitor past the competition. I mean you get Divine Favor + Bane + Judgement + Heroism + Wood Bond. That's so many to hit bonuses you can actually consider forgoing Precise Shot.

Correct, monks (including zen archers) use their monk level as BAB when flurrying, and as for feat requirements, they tend to get feats before most others could anyway. And rarely is any ranged character not performing a full attack.

Many shot does help other archers hit harder, but if you compare shots/round with zen archers and include the Zen Archers Option to spend a Ki Point they aren't that far behind. The main option Manyshot gives you is a higher dmg in a single shot for bypassing DR (At least until Clustered Shot comes into play).

The Exchange

BadBird wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
NewXToa wrote:

Just to clarify, Zen Archer Monks don't actually stop being good at Archery. Yes, other classes get Manyshot at 6th, but Zen Archers get additional attacks at full BAB at 8th and 15th level from Flurry of Bows (although Manyshot doesn't require an additional attack roll, FoB does give you another chance at a critical hit). Zen Archers can also burn Ki for another attack at full BAB.

It depends on what levels you want to be good at, and what you want to be good at. They're still worth considering beyond just "being good at 3rd level." :D

Sohei monks get flurry of blows, ki for an extra attack, AND both Rapid Shot and Manyshot. They can thus put out more arrows per round than any other build.

Where the Zen archer shines is that it gets almost as many attacks as the Sohei (two less) and lots of bonus / early feats.

I really like archery Sohei as well, though Rapid Shot's -2 to all attacks on top of the -2 from flurry... it becomes a question of whether -2 on the 4-6 attacks you've already got is worth it for one more attack. Really, a Sohei could skip Rapid Shot and Manyshot completely and still be making tons of attacks.

The Sohei can also make a really cool sword/bow character, since they can start with stacked STR/DEX and flurry with either a Monk sword or a bow. A "Mongol" build where you take Animal Ally and take Mounted Skirmisher as a Sohei Bonus Feat is extremely flexible and quite dangerous. The enemy that thinks they're clever by getting in your face gets two-handed sword-flurry to think about.

Honestly I can't understand how someone logically allows a Sohei to have Flurry stack with Rapid Shot? Flurry is not a mystical ability that allows multiple attacks to every appropriate weapon! It specifically calls out that it acts as though the character has the two weapon fighting feat. (And Improved/Greater TWF at higher levels.) A Sohei Monk that wields a Bow is not going to have TWF provide any benefit to shoot a bow, as that is not using two weapons to fight. You could either Rule that they get no extra attacks (aside from those due to normal BAB), or you could rule that in the case of Bows/Crossbows the Sohei Gains the Rapid Shot feat to use. So in either option they are unable to gain the extra attack.

Manyshot however should logically work since there is nothing that calls out that it will not work with Flurry for the Sohei, like is specified under the Zen Archer.


Quote:

Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.

When doing so, he may make one additional attack, taking a –2 penalty on all of his attack rolls, as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. These attacks can be any combination of unarmed strikes and attacks with a monk special weapon (he does not need to use two weapons to utilize this ability).

That's the monk flurry of blows. Note the bolded bit.

He can use a bow to flurry and get an extra attack with it. This is not Rapid Shot; it functions similarly to TWF, except he DOES NOT need a second weapon. It explicitly says that. Ergo, he can still ALSO get Rapid Shot.

It works fine.

EDIT: As another example, if I was playing a level 1 Human Fighter with Rapid Shot, Two-Weapon Fighting, and Quick Draw, I could hurl 3 javelins in a round starting at level 1. It wouldn't necessarily be a good idea (yet), but I could. Likewise, a Monk who is benefiting from Flurry can still benefit from Rapid Shot to get extra attacks from each. If they can overcome the attack bonus penalties, they're gold.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

RAW, there's nothing wrong with Sohei Monks getting all those extra attacks with bows - most of the people in my circles just tend to avoid Sohei archers in the same way we avoid making double-barreled pistol-wielding Pistoleros. It's perfectly legal, but it's impolite, ya'know? Soheis simultaneously flurrying and Rapid-shotting with Bows is almost definitely not RAI (although they've had plenty of time to errata it and they haven't, so I could be wrong). That's just my opinion, and it is perfectly legal, so to each his own.

Anyway, back to defending Zen Archers :)
Glorf Fei-Hung makes a lot of good points. Zen Archers will have fantastic will saves, and at least at earlier levels will have very competitive AC (Ihaven't had an opportunity to play one beyond 7). Getting Point-Blank Master for free at 3 plus a good AC means you almost won't care whether or not an enemy is standing next to you or not, and since Zen Archers still get most of the normal Monk Unarmed Strike features (no flurry or Stunning Fist) you can still make AoO's with your unarmed strikes (much to your enemy's surprise).
And yes, they do function at full BAB when flurrying, and they will almost always be flurrying.


Zen Archer's damage output is not spectacular however as it lacks any form of to hit and damage bonuses. Imo that's just not cutting it despite it's awesome defenses and utility. All other full BAB options (Fighter, Ranger (Ilsurian Archer), Paladin, even Barbarain (Savage Technologist)) will have accuracy boosts to compensate for deadly aim and Rapid Shot penalties.

I ran the numbers at some point and an inquisitor is gonna be out damaging a Zen Archer by something like 40% once he has acquired Manyshot. His defenses are not far behind the monk's either...

BtW of course an inquisitor will pre-buff Heroism. But you still need to burn a standard action on Divine Favor for maximum effect and quickening isn't really an option for the inquisitor as he needs his standard actions for Bane and Judgement. I really dislike this part though because isn't that why you're an archer in the first place? So that you can harass opponents from round 1 onward?


Anyone ever tried out a fighter 7/Stalwart Defender? You don't really care about the downside of the defensive stance...

By the way, how would you get Point Blank Master on a ranger or a slayer? I thought you needed Weapon Specialization first?


It is in the feat, with ranger combat style you just need weapon focus.


'swhat I get for not reading...


Happens to everyone.


so sohei doesn't run into accuracy issues more than the zen archer because of it's weapon training. You'll probably want to wait till you can afford the gloves of dueling ~lv10, but then you're shooting everything at +1 accuracy over the zen while using rapid shot. Then at 12 you're +2 to the zen, negating flurry penalty.


I'm curious to see where Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain should fall in the rankings. Weapon training and swift divine favour seem like they would be very powerful. Bonus feats to help keep up with the fighter. Access to weapon specialization for more static damage increases. Playing lawful good would give great weapon enchantments for most games.


Well what about a little DPR competition assuming 20 Pt buy at level 10 versus AC 24 and WBL.


the 3/4 bab classes largely depends on the level chosen for comparison. at levels 6 and 7 they lag behind. then lv 8-10 they get the same amount of attacks, but fall behind again on number of attacks at 11.
but I'd like to write up some stats for lv10, and someone else can throw it in a DPR calculator if they want.


So on the DPR should we do DPR over 3 or 4 rounds, thus if you buff round 1 you have 2 or 3 rounds to out DPR? Should we assume only self cast 10 min/level buffs or longer are available to be up already and anything shorter would need to be done in combat? Are we assuming any elemental resistances? Can we assume the target is evil?

These answers really affect DPR.


I like 3 rounds with and with conditional damage is a separate category. Average DPR + Conditional Damage (elemental, alignment, type/subtype). But I'm open to other ideas.


The trouble with these comparisons is different classes peak at different levels, for instance the inquisitor gets a +2D6 + 2 per arrow at level 12 I'm sure other archers all have the own peaks.

EDIT: actually they get another +2 at 11 from deadly aim.


A Battle Spirit Shaman is another interesting candidate, since with the Weapon Specialization and Enemies' Bane abilities it becomes comparable to Inquisitor buffing. Probably a bit less overall power, but a ton of spell-levels and tricks to play with; including using Speaker for the Past to gain the Temporal Celerity Revelation, and using Guided Hand with a longbow...

Liberty's Edge

+1 for Zen Archers from me (especially combined with Evangelist of Erastil)

See profile for the lethality of such a combination. (a little outdated with erratas and such but has been retired since before they came into effect)


It's not perfect but it can be helpful. You are right that it should not be definitive ranking but a useful tool. If the inquisitor is tied and level 10 then you know there is a good chance it may take the lead at 11. If it is way head or behind you can make similar inferences.


Well I'd suggest doing it at a number of different levels that are a milestone for different classes.

I'd do it myself but I've never made a zen archer or a ranger lol

But you could pick some milestones

10 I'd assume is a big one for rangers and Paladins
12 is a huge leap for Inquisitors
Not sure for Zennys


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I'd be interested to see how inquisitors line up to full BAB archers

Incredibly strong.

I have played an archer Inquisitor, I have played an archer Ranger, I have built an archer fighter.

By far the Inquisitor was the strongest character of the bunch, having the most skill points, the most well rounded class features, 6th level spells, and strong class feature to enhance damage and attack such as Bane, Greater Bane, and Judgments. About the only downside to Inquisitors was the lack of Point Blank Master, but I took the Chivalry Inquisition and played a mounted archery, and not a single f$@# was given about not having PBM.

Ranger was pretty good, but only became exceptional after Instant Enemy was available. Before that it was fun and good, but not a "winner" for strongest archery build. I think the Inquisitor still out damaged thanks to all buffs they can apply to themselves.

Speaking of buffing, Warpriest also make one hell of a good archer with the ability to self buff, their spell casting in general, and access to fighter feats like PBM and weapon spec. Go molthuni arsenal chaplain for something really great.

I will give an honorable mention to the Zen Archer. This class is great up until about level 12. It lacks ways to increase attack or damage rolls inherently, and while it gets neat tricks and feats before most other archer classes it simply loses out long term. Potentially a candidate to start off playing as and retrain the class levels down the line (if you can).


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Fighter is probably going to win out overall as far as raw pew pew is concerned.

Warrior spirit
Tons of feats for a feat starved fighting style
Focused weapon
Gloves of dueling.

Honorable mention to Divine (ilsurian) marksman ranger archetype for making favored enemy help vs anything you fight but its probably not going to beat bane from warrior spirit.


lv10 mutation warrior fighter human dual talent:

base stats
18+2/18+2+1+1/8/7/7/7

total stats with items
22/24/8/7/7/7

+4 adaptive Composite longbow
gloves of dueling
belt of +2 str and dex
mutagen of dex

wf, pbs, precise, rapid, awt, ws, deadly aim, manyshot, cluster shot, gwf, awt

AWT of Knockout Training, Focused weapon and Warrior Spirit

deadly aim is on, PBS is not factored in.

+24/+24/+19 bow(1d10+22)
+24/+24/+19 bow(1d10+26) if non-lethal
warrior spirit can be used for +1 increase and bane and other boosters if Warrior spirit is legal and if it increases total DPR for the compared time.

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