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The Strike True Feat


Advice


I recently noticed this feat in Paths of the Righteous:

Strike True (Combat) wrote:

Pre-req: Combat Expertise, base attack bonus +6

Benefit: You can focus yourself as a move action. When focused, you gain a +4 bonus on your next melee attack roll before the end of your turn

It seems... pretty bad. The kind of pretty bad that leaves me thinking, when would a character ever want to make use of this? Some thoughts:

  • You have a 2-hit full attack (or more) by the time you can get this. Any time you use it you're giving up your potential second attack.
  • Full BAB characters generally don't have much trouble hitting with iterative #1 at Level 6+, so Strike True doesn't do much for them. 3/4 BAB characters get this pretty late but might get some value.
  • It only applies to melee, removing a niche use for people that want to have a chance to hit with backup ranged weapons.
  • +4 seems like a fairly small bonus considering the opportunity cost.

    Is there some kind of hidden use for this feat? Or is this mundane version of True Strike just a dud?


  • Seems to be made for Vital Strike. I guess it could be used for assassination class ability. Lastly perhaps on a gish build that spends a standard action buffing.


    I could see any vital strike build liking this.

    Would suck to furious finish on an improved vital strike only to miss.


    Cellion wrote:

    You have a 2-hit full attack (or more) by the time you can get this. Any time you use it you're giving up your potential second attack.

    Full BAB characters generally don't have much trouble hitting with iterative #1 at Level 6+, so Strike True doesn't do much for them. 3/4 BAB characters get this pretty late but might get some value.

    This could work for a Vital Striking warpriest. Warpriests have 3/4 BAB, but they can still take this as a bonus feat at level 6 when they only have one attack at +4 BAB.

    Cellion wrote:
    It only applies to melee, removing a niche use for people that want to have a chance to hit with backup ranged weapons.

    Bullseye Shot is the ranged counterpart.

    Cellion wrote:
    Is there some kind of hidden use for this feat?

    I could also see this working well with a build focused on standard action combat maneuvers like grapple or dirty trick.


    Warpriests are something I didn't consider. It does seem like a better fit for them. Plus they may be a little behind the curve in terms of their attack rolls (though from what I've heard, the attack roll accuracy gap gets filled pretty well with Divine Favor).

    With CMD scaling what it is, I guess you're right with combat maneuvers too. I'm not super excited to use a move action to land a single dirty trick with no follow up attacks afterward, but I can see times when it'd be useful.

    Scarab Sages

    This would be great for my Oracle/Warpriest who utilizes Vital Strike, and is even worse off than 3/4 BAB because of 2 3/4 BAB classes... however, the Combat Expertise requirement kills it for me. It might be worth 1 feat, but it's not going to be worth 2 feats.

    Maybe a Lore Warden trip build or something like that. Even my trip-based character doesn't have Combat Expertise, because Dirty Fighting substitutes for it as a prereq to Improved Trip.

    Improved Grapple does not have Combat Expertise as a prereq, so I can't see this being common in those build ether.

    Maybe for an Animal Companion with a single, vital-striking natural attack?


    Dastis wrote:
    Lastly perhaps on a gish build that spends a standard action buffing.

    Wouldn't work because the attack has to be made before the end of your turn to benefit. At least you could use it to add some accuracy to a Spellstrike attack.


    Narrow but it can be used to assist in Grapple checks as combat maneuvers are attack rolls. A +4 isn't awful.


    Heh, another feat that requieres combat expertise. Paizo, Paizo never learns...


    rashiakas wrote:
    Heh, another feat that requieres combat expertise. Paizo, Paizo never learns...

    Actually I think they learned pretty well: How do you keep people from over optimizing? Make them have a 13 INT.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Iirc, the feat was printed right next to Heritor Knight in paths of the righteous, which is strongly dedicated to standard action attacks and vital strikes.


    would be ok for reach built Standard action summoners if it were not for combat expertise feat tax ?


    The feat is from Paths of the Righteous so was meant for a mythic character. For a character using mythic vital strike this is actually a decent feat. In a standard campaign it is not worth it.


    There are now multiple ways around the Int 13 and Combat Expertise requirement (I guess I missed something):

    1) The ranger combat style Underhanded allows Combat Expertise without Int 13 - and removes the stat requirement from any follow-up feat.

    2) Brawler counts as at least having Int 13 to qualify for combat feats.

    3) Dirty Fighting (no Int requirement) unlocks maneuver feats based on Combat Expertise (and Improved Unarmed Strike).

    Alternatively you can go with the flow, simply take Int 13 (it doesn't cost much with point-buy), enjoy your additional skill ranks and take multiple feats based on Combat Expertise to mitigate the 'feat tax'. It also becomes less of a 'feat tax' if you actually use it, especially in situations where you can do only a standard action attack anyway.


    Designer's comment: "Since Strike True requires a move action to activate, you're only going to be making one attack in the round (ideally with Vital Strike or one of the heritor knight's standard-action attacks). That attack will be at your highest base attack bonus, however, and will also gain the +4 bonus from Strike True... giving you a lot of attack bonus to spare for use with effects like Combat Expertise. With a bonus like that, you might even be able to stack Combat Expertise and Power Attack on the same attack (and still hit with relative ease)."

    For most builds, Furious Focus serves the same porpose only significantly better (the benefit starts lower, but no tax feat and it still works if you have to move). For Warpriest, Greater Weapon of the Chosen is vastly superior. Does a VS Druid really want to invest two feats for a +4 to hit half the time at 11th (!!) level?

    Jodokai wrote:
    Actually I think they learned pretty well: How do you keep people from over optimizing? Make them have a 13 INT.

    No, the effect is exactly the opposite. Vital Strike et al. is already weak, making options improving it bad only serves to have more people play the established good playstyles (two-handed weapon or archery). So the prereq on Strike True leads to more people "over optimizing"!


    Also the kinetic knight gets a free 'as Combat Expertise' class feature and the ability to substitute Con for Int on feat prereqs. There's ways around it for some characters, true.

    The real problem is that if you're taking a standard action to attack and a move action to focus yourself then you could have done a full attack instead. There's no overlap between the characters who might want to vital strike and those who can bypass the prereq that I can see.

    Edit: I took a look & yes, it's good for the Heritor Knight. Not for anyone much else though.

    @Mysterious Stranger: Paths of the Righteous is about prestige classes mostly, it's not mythic material like the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path.

    Silver Crusade

    SheepishEidolon wrote:

    There are now multiple ways around the Int 13 and Combat Expertise requirement (I guess I missed something):

    1) The ranger combat style Underhanded allows Combat Expertise without Int 13 - and removes the stat requirement from any follow-up feat.

    2) Brawler counts as at least having Int 13 to qualify for combat feats.

    3) Dirty Fighting (no Int requirement) unlocks maneuver feats based on Combat Expertise (and Improved Unarmed Strike).

    Alternatively you can go with the flow, simply take Int 13 (it doesn't cost much with point-buy), enjoy your additional skill ranks and take multiple feats based on Combat Expertise to mitigate the 'feat tax'. It also becomes less of a 'feat tax' if you actually use it, especially in situations where you can do only a standard action attack anyway.

    3) --> NOOOPE

    Dirty Fighting wrote:

    Benefit(s): When you attempt a combat maneuver check against a foe you are flanking, you can forgo the +2 bonus on your attack roll for flanking to instead have the combat maneuver not provoke an attack of opportunity. If you have a feat or ability that allows you to attempt the combat maneuver without provoking an attack of opportunity, you can instead increase the bonus on your attack roll for flanking to +4 for the combat maneuver check.

    Special: This feat counts as having Dex 13, Int 13, Combat Expertise, and Improved Unarmed Strike for the purposes of meeting the prerequisites of the various improved combat maneuver feats, as well as feats that require those improved combat maneuver feats as prerequisites.

    So, Improved Trip ignores the Int 13 requirement, since it's an improved combat maneuver feat, Strike True doesn't.


    Gray Warden wrote:
    So, Improved Trip ignores the Int 13 requirement, since it's an improved combat maneuver feat, Strike True doesn't.

    That's true.

    Maybe Strike True works best when your first attack has some additional effect. Vital Strike was already called out, but also an invisible / sneaking rogue primarily cares for their first attack to hit - because that's the one with additional damage die.

    Further, an Int based caster might want to make sure the melee touch attack hits at the first attempt.

    And finally, Cleave profits twice from the +4 bonus - you are more likely to hit the first target, meaning you also have a higher chance to be allowed to attack the second.


    A magus or magus VMC with a two-handed weapon
    Round 1: strike true as move, cast chill touch/true strike as standard, fee action grip change to wield, free action spellstrike.

    later rounds: spellstrike full-attack.

    Sovereign Court

    Brawlers, Swashbucklers and the First Mother's Fang nagaji cavalier archetype also have their way around the Int requirement on Combat Expertise.

    That said, yeah, the move action is problematic. Vital Strike is better than a lot of people give it credit for because there's quite a few combat rounds where you can't full attack (surprise, moving to close with enemies, drawing weapons without quickdraw). So Vital Strike gives you a "consolation prize" - it's a Plan B. But it's not Plan A, and sacrificing an iterative attack is still unattractive.

    Maybe Strike True is interesting in builds with special attacks that must be used as standard actions?


    Doesn't work well with cleave since it's your next attack roll and cleave makes two attacks

    Scarab Sages

    SheepishEidolon wrote:
    Gray Warden wrote:
    So, Improved Trip ignores the Int 13 requirement, since it's an improved combat maneuver feat, Strike True doesn't.

    That's true.

    Yeah, that was one of the points I was trying to make. Dirty Fighting was released and finally gave an alternative to Combat Expertise for maneuver builds, but only for the Improved/Greater/etc. maneuver feats. So my trip build Magus can't take this without retraining Dirty Fighting back to Combat Expertise.

    Also, people keep mentioning that it might be good for a grapple build, but again, Improved Grapple does not require Combat Expertise as a prerequisite. Nor does it require Int 13. If it's a Grapple/Trip build, and you're ok with Combat Expertise instead of Dirty Fighting, then I could see this being an option. But Grapple builds seem to need a lot of feats already, and you're going to want Greater Grapple at the same time you qualify for this, which is going to use your move action for a second grapple check.

    SheepishEidolon wrote:

    Maybe Strike True works best when your first attack has some additional effect. Vital Strike was already called out, but also an invisible / sneaking rogue primarily cares for their first attack to hit - because that's the one with additional damage die.

    Further, an Int based caster might want to make sure the melee touch attack hits at the first attempt.

    Both of these sound like potential options. A brawler picking it up using Martial Flexibility when they've already taken Combat Expertise to improve versatility,, and they are having a lot of trouble hitting, might make sense. But then there are feats like Dedicated Adversary that give a +2 to-hit and damage and don't require a move action. So it's starting to become very specialized.

    SheepishEidolon wrote:
    And finally, Cleave profits twice from the +4 bonus - you are more likely to hit the first target, meaning you also have a higher chance to be allowed to attack the second.

    But a large part of the time, you're only going to use Cleave when you've already had to take a move action in the round. Again, this is good for a very specific combination of events... You have Cleave, you have not moved, there happen to be two opponents in position to Cleave, you don't want to attack the same opponent twice. That's not going to happen that often (not often enough to justify two feats) unless you go the Great Cleave and all the Dwarven Cleave feats route, and you have reach.

    Basically, to be a better choice than Weapon Focus, you have to be able to use it more than 25% of the time (and already have Combat Expertise). If you're a fighter or have access to fighter feats, Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Focus mean you need to be able to use Strike True more than 50% of the time. If you happen to have enough feats to take all of those, then sure.

    Haywire build generator wrote:

    A magus or magus VMC with a two-handed weapon

    Round 1: strike true as move, cast chill touch/true strike as standard, fee action grip change to wield, free action spellstrike.

    later rounds: spellstrike full-attack.

    If the Combat Expertise requirement isn't a big deal for this build, it could work out. A list of feats I think I'd take before it for that build: Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Furious Focus... from there it becomes a little more nebulous. I'd want Weapon Specialization the first time I'm able to. That won't be until 10th level with retraining, but you can't pick up Strike True until 8th with retraining because of the BAB requirement.

    It's an interesting feat. The prerequisites make it less practical for many, many builds.


    rashiakas wrote:
    Heh, another feat that requieres combat expertise. Paizo, Paizo never learns...

    I read that much like the opening sequences t Fallout games by Ron Perlman "War. War never changes.."

    This feat is actually half-decent in the revised action economy, along with Bullseye Shot. Assuming your GM waivers Combat Expertise that is.


    Ferious Thune wrote:
    SheepishEidolon wrote:
    And finally, Cleave profits twice from the +4 bonus - you are more likely to hit the first target, meaning you also have a higher chance to be allowed to attack the second.
    But a large part of the time, you're only going to use Cleave when you've already had to take a move action in the round. Again, this is good for a very specific combination of events... You have Cleave, you have not moved, there happen to be two opponents in position to Cleave, you don't want to attack the same opponent twice. That's not going to happen that often (not often enough to justify two feats) unless you go the Great Cleave and all the Dwarven Cleave feats route, and you have reach.

    again

    Chess Pwn wrote:
    Doesn't work well with cleave since it's your next attack roll and cleave makes two attacks

    it's really not that synergistic with cleave. All it does it make the first attack more likely to hit, which would allow for the second attack. But it doesn't boost the second attack at all.

    Scarab Sages

    Well that was kind of my point as well. Unless you have a build that cleaves almost every round, it's not a great feat with cleave. I've seen a very specialized alchemist/barbarian that can cleave just about everything on the board, so does it every round. So having something to use a move action for is better than nothing for that very specific build. Otherwise, no, it isn't that great with cleave. And you're right, it's only helping one of the attacks.


    Looking at this feat I just can't stop thinking of a Vital Strik based Cave Druid. That could be pretty fun. Also, I don't get the negative feedback. I mean sure, it isn't an instant classic, but why are you expecting it to be that? It's good for a bunch of specialized builds.


    Kaboogy wrote:
    I don't get the negative feedback (...) It's good for a bunch of specialized builds.

    Well, we doubt the "bunch" and the "good".


    Derklord wrote:
    Well, we doubt the "bunch" and the "good".

    I think more than enough examples were presented here to justify its existence, just not as a general feat. I could see it applied to touch casters, magi, brawlers (at least as a martial flexibility choice), lore wardens, eldritch knights, melee druid etc. They may not be the most highly optimized specimens of their types, but I think we can all agree the game is much more interesting when you have more than one magus/wizard/whatever build.


    Kaboogy wrote:
    Derklord wrote:
    Well, we doubt the "bunch" and the "good".
    I think more than enough examples were presented here to justify its existence, just not as a general feat. I could see it applied to touch casters, magi, brawlers (at least as a martial flexibility choice), lore wardens, eldritch knights, melee druid etc. They may not be the most highly optimized specimens of their types, but I think we can all agree the game is much more interesting when you have more than one magus/wizard/whatever build.

    I'd dispute that it'd be a good choice for a magus, and it's already been pointed out that it doesn't stack up for a melee druid due to requiring combat expertise and +6 BAB. A lore warden could get it easily but has no obvious use for it. If you're only reading the positive suggestions it may look better than it is.

    But yes, it's not totally useless. An eldritch knight might well get some use out of it, and brawler players with an encyclopedic knowledge of feats and a weird situation might be glad of its existence. A heritor knight, for which it was apparently designed, will find it useful.


    avr wrote:
    ... it doesn't stack up for a melee druid due to requiring combat expertise and +6 BAB...

    I have to disagree. This is an extreme example, but take a cave druid with a couple of levels of ranger for Improved Natural Weapon (Slam). With Vital Strike this means the Carnivorous Crystal Ooze does 24d6+1.5STR+Stuff. 24d6, that's an average of 84 per hit. Adding a +4 to hit is an additional 20% to hit, which means another 16.8 (just from dice) to your DPS for any enemy you would miss on a 5. That is worth the 13 INT and the two feats by a landslide.

    That is one extreme example, but I think it illustrates that while niche, this feat can have a great impact.


    You don't take Improved Natural Attack on a Cave Druid when Strong Jaw is already on your spell list. That's 16d6 before Vital Strike.

    It's only useful on a VS Druid against enemies with and high AC and/or notable DR. On my sample DPR calculation, I ended up overhitcapped, thus wasting half the feat's benefit, which made it worse than using the Haste attack instead of Vital Strike.

    You could compare it to Cleave, which has a similar thread going right now: If it fully work's it's not bad, but it doesn't fully work often enough to take it as a feat. If you have to move, it's useless. If the enemy's AC is too low, it's useless. If the enemy's HP is too low, it's useless (unless DR or AC are high). If you don't want to use some ability that only works on one attack a round, it's useless.

    Kaboogy wrote:
    I could see it applied to touch casters, magi, brawlers (at least as a martial flexibility choice), lore wardens, eldritch knights, melee druid etc.

    Where's the "good" part?


    Derklord wrote:
    You don't take Improved Natural Attack on a Cave Druid when Strong Jaw is already on your spell list. That's 16d6 before Vital Strike.

    Ehh, I gave the feat the worst chance.

    Derklord wrote:


    On my sample DPR calculation, I ended up overhitcapped, thus wasting half the feat's benefit, which made it worse than using the Haste attack instead of Vital Strike.

    My calculations show that the median AC is at least 6 higher than the druid BAB for quite the range of CRs, which is all you need to get the full benefit. I don't really mind it not helping with a mook that is dead anyway.

    Derklord wrote:
    You could compare it to Cleave...

    This comparison just doesn't work. Cleave needs a very specific, multiple enemy situation. Being a 5 foot step away from the enemy at the beginning of the turn is the case most turns. The rest is just nitpicking. Power attack is also useless if the enemy's HP is too low, or the AC is too high. It's still a good feat for most build because in a large enough number of situations the benefit is large enough.

    Where's the "good" part?

    The "good" part is variety, and opening new choices. If you will only be convinced by a list of builds with DPR calculations then you'll need to wait, I don't have the time.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I could see this being a really useful option for kineticists, since they usually only get one big attack anyways, especially if they are physical attackers--who always seem to be trying to get more accurate.

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