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Giantslayer: Mounted Halfling Druid / Rogue (advice)


Advice


Planned build is:
Druid (Nature Fang, Druid of Gorum) 16 / Unchained Rogue (Scout, Swashbuckler) 4
Fleet of Foot & Underfoot

Spoiler:

Progression will probably be Druid 1 -> Rogue 1 -> Druid 11 -> Rogue 3 --> Druid 4
I am aware of the casting loss, and am not worried about it.

Druid:
Nature Bond (Rage domain) [Allowed by DM]
Ranger Combat Style (Gorum)
-Power Attack
-Vital Strike
-Improved Vital Strike
Combat Trick
-Weapon Trick (Two-handed Weapon) [Specifically Cleaving Smash)
Opportunist
[Need two more slayer talents]
Rage Powers:
Superstitious
Lesser Celestial Totem

Rogue:
Martial Training (Greatsword)
Combat Trick x2
-Cleave
-Unhindering Shield

Feats:
Accomplished Sneak Attacker
Animal Ally
Boon Companion
Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum)
Furious Focus
Mounted Combat
Nature Soul
Ride-By Attack
Shield Focus
Spirited Charge

The goal is to deal massive damage in a ride-by attack with a Greatsword vital strike while staying out of the reach of the Giants. I will be using Nargrym's Steel Hand in order to use a medium size Greatsword (it isn't armor, so no issues with casting). I think it will be about 36d6+60 at level 20 (+4d6 sneak attack) when Large Size and Impact weapon.

I need help deciding on two slayer talents, two character traits (or three if I take drawback), and possibly getting a familiar without too much change to the build. If I can get a mount easily, Nature Soul, animal ally, and accomplished sneak attacker are feats I could trade away. Will use protector archetype with familiar and charger with animal companion/mount. Rage powers are also up for changing, if something better comes along. Tips on how to build the companion are welcome as well. I'm partial to the wolf, out of my options, because of the free trip attack. Charge -> Bite -> Trip -> Imp Vital Strike Sneak attack vs prone -> Keep on riding out of range.

Thanks in advance!


Charge won't work with vital strikes...


666bender wrote:
Charge won't work with vital strikes...

Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum / Greatsword Battler) explicitly allows this.


Taking Druid 1 then rogue 1 will leave you with a rather bad BAB. And level 2-3 of this AP is some of the harshest stuff I've ever played.


Melkiador wrote:
Taking Druid 1 then rogue 1 will leave you with a rather bad BAB. And level 2-3 of this AP is some of the harshest stuff I've ever played.

I pretty sure we are using fractional BAB and saves from the unchained book, as well as background skills. My to hit should be fairly ok, especially with Studied Target. I've heard the first book was pretty rough.

Grand Lodge

DeathlessOne wrote:
666bender wrote:
Charge won't work with vital strikes...
Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum / Greatsword Battler) explicitly allows this.

Isn't this only for "A chaotic neutral barbarian or fighter who worships such a god can replace a bonus feat or rage power with the following initial benefit."


Arktisk Rev wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:
666bender wrote:
Charge won't work with vital strikes...
Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum / Greatsword Battler) explicitly allows this.
Isn't this only for "A chaotic neutral barbarian or fighter who worships such a god can replace a bonus feat or rage power with the following initial benefit."

No. That's an alternate means of gaining access, but not required. Note just before your quote it says 'Optional Replacement:'.

Liberty's Edge

Hmm I really don't see the benefit of going scout for 2d6 damage, vs say just a barbarian dip. Then you can take the animal domain (or fur or feather which are great), and I think there's even a barbarian archetype that stacks animal companion.


I would drop the rogue levels and grab some or all of these.

-Improved critical
-Horn of the Criosphinx
-Wheeling Charge
-Risky Striker


blashimov wrote:
Hmm I really don't see the benefit of going scout for 2d6 damage, vs say just a barbarian dip. Then you can take the animal domain (or fur or feather which are great), and I think there's even a barbarian archetype that stacks animal companion.

The main reasons(s) that I chose to take Unchained rogue are:

Greatsword Prof (Swashbuckler)
Bonus Feats (rogue talents) from Swashbuckler archetype
Charging sneak attack from Scout archetype
Evasion & Trapfinding (without using Slayer talents)
Sneak attack +2d6 (to go along with the 1d6 I get from Nature Fang)
Debilitating Injury (debuffs when I hit with sneak attack)

If I can replace (or improve upon) what I will get from the 4 level dip into rogue, I will definitely consider switching to another class.

Going barbarian will get me:
Martial Weapon Prof
Fast Movement (negated by having a mount)
Rage and two (or more with feat) Rage Powers (Frees up domain)
Uncanny Dodge
16 BAB @ level 20 (4th attack, if that matters since Vital Strike)

Grandlounge wrote:

I would drop the rogue levels and grab some or all of these.

-Improved critical
-Horn of the Criosphinx
-Wheeling Charge
-Risky Striker

What would you suggest replacing the Rogue levels with, keeping the above information in mind?

Improved Critical - I hear there is a greatsword that I will be coming across with Keen already on it. I might skip this feat.

Horn of the Criophsinx - Sounds fun, but its only going to be maybe an additional 7 damage in the long run.

Wheeling Charge - Yeah, this one sounds very nice. Not sure if I can squeeze it in or not.

Risky Striker - If I can debuff my enemies with Unchained rogue after a charge sneak, it would be very worth taking this to boost my damage. However, I will eventually be a Large Halfling for most of the battles thanks to druid buffs. It might be situationally useful.


Just remember that 7 damage is equal to the 2d6 sneak attack damage. But it is multiplied on a crit and triggers on every charge attacks (immunities).

Risky Striker - staying small for AC and accuracy is likely better with risky striker in something called giantslayer. I'm going to guess that this will be more than situationally useful. Being medium I would call situationally useful.

This build works best with a flying companion. Many are good but some standout Rocs (start medium), Direbats (Blindsense), and Heron, Yolubilis (starts medium and has good con).

Opportunist is a bit of waste is it not? You have to be beside something when it is not your turn. The whole point of the build is to avoid that.

I would also consider dropping the whole cleave thing. The positioning is going to be really hard. If you have a lot of large or larger creatures you will have to be able to reach of both of them. They will have reach themsleves so why would they be beside one another? Again if the point of the build is to be charging and riding-by you don't want to be standing still. If you can't charge casting (with full or mostly full caster level) or having both you and your animal take full attacks will be way better than cleave.

I hope some of this helps take or leave as much as you like!


Thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate it.

Grandlounge wrote:
Just remember that 7 damage is equal to the 2d6 sneak attack damage. But it is multiplied on a crit and triggers on every charge attacks (immunities).

This is true. And, I forgot that spirited charge will double it.

Quote:
Risky Striker - staying small for AC and accuracy is likely better with risky striker in something called giantslayer. I'm going to guess that this will be more than situationally useful. Being medium I would call situationally useful.

Yeah, I am well aware of that. However, without going from Small to Large, I do not reach that lofty 36d6 Vital Strike. Normally, I would jump on taking Risky Striker. I just feel that in this particular niche case, it is not worth what I would give up to make it useful.

Quote:
This build works best with a flying companion. Many are good but some standout Rocs (start medium), Direbats (Blindsense), and Heron, Yolubilis (starts medium and has good con).

Now THAT is something I completely overlooked. As it is, with Animal Ally, I can't get an animal companion that can fly and hold me. I suppose that I can buff a companion with flight spells, but this is definitely something to pay attention to if I choose to dump rogue for barbarian. I'm not convinced yet, but considering it.

Quote:
Opportunist is a bit of waste is it not? You have to be beside something when it is not your turn. The whole point of the build is to avoid that.

A waste? Possibly, but there are few other Advanced Slayer talents that appeal to me and I can't take Combat Trick twice as a slayer. There will be times I can't hit and run, and have to flog it out in melee. If you have a better suggestion to replace it, I will listen. I have two other slayer talents to pick and I'm at the 'meh' stage.

Quote:
I would also consider dropping the whole cleave thing. The positioning is going to be really hard. If you have a lot of large or larger creatures you will have to be able to reach of both of them. They will have reach themsleves so why would they be beside one another? Again if the point of the build is to be charging and riding-by you don't want to be standing still. If you can't charge casting (with full or mostly full caster level) or having both you and your animal take full attacks will be way better than cleave.

Very good points. I suppose the only reason I picked Cleave was so that I could use Weapon Trick for two-handed weapons. Supposing I get into a situation where it is useful, I could deal 4x weapon damage with a standard action (2x weapon damage to two creatures).

Quote:

I hope some of this helps take or leave as much as you like!

It does help very much. So far, I think we can dump:

Cleave
Weapon Trick (Two-handed weapon)

And pick up:
Horn of the Criosphinx
Wheeling Charge

I'm still partial to the Unchained Rogue levels at this point, even though dipping barbarian will free up my domain. That Evasion and on-sneak debuff seems very tempting.


Somehow I feel your working too hard to accomplish your end goal. How will the character be in actual play going from Level 1.

A regular lancing build or some other Mounted build is good enough damage that all this work seems overkill. And if it turns out to be overkill, how will the rest of the group (DM included) like this character?


Louise Bishop wrote:
Somehow I feel your working too hard to accomplish your end goal. How will the character be in actual play going from Level 1.

When I build a character, I always build an outline and plan their progression out. Just like writing a paper. Then I fill in the details and improve as I go. I am running a Melee oriented full (almost) spell caster. I highly doubt I will be lacking in any area.

Quote:
A regular lancing build or some other Mounted build is good enough damage that all this work seems overkill. And if it turns out to be overkill, how will the rest of the group (DM included) like this character?

Mounted lance is just ... not my style, or is not as much as a challenge. I'm not making a knight, I'm making a raging chaotic neutral warmongering pint sized halfling of Gorum, Iron God Of Battle. I don't want to use an over sized toothpick for a weapon. I want to cleave my opponents in twain (or many smaller parts) with a mighty Greatsword.

As with any table, variation in optimization levels is mutable. I can always tone down the power level of the character, and have done so in the past with others I've played. This issue is irrelevant.


Air walk and the airwalk trick will work for flying it is helpful.

Quote:
Yeah, I am well aware of that. However, without going from Small to Large, I do not reach that lofty 36d6 Vital Strike. Normally, I would jump on taking Risky Striker. I just feel that in this particular niche case, it is not worth what I would give up to make it useful.

You maybe right about this but I would check the math on this. 2x The risky striker may be more damage then the one extra size increse. But, I'm honestly not sure without seeing the whole build. It also depends on your methode of increasing your size.

For advanced slayer talents:

- evasion decrease the need for rogue levels

- Slowing strike is good for you. Some creatures can move up to 200ft which means they can catch up to you on a ride by attack. even a small chance at cutting that in half is decent for you.

- Feat if you have not taken it but I assume you have.

- Hunters surprise and Oppertunist are OK as a back up if you can't charge. A plan b is not a bad idea.


Grandlounge wrote:


You maybe right about this but I would check the math on this. 2x The risky striker may be more damage then the one extra size increse. But, I'm honestly not sure without seeing the whole build. It also depends on your methode of increasing your size.

Ultimately, Frightful Aspect will be the go=to spell, as it make the character large, regardless of starting size. There are other Druid spells that increase size, or items that I can rely on to get larger.

Quote:

For advanced slayer talents:

evasion decrease the need for rogue levels

It does, but we are talking about level 12+ game play before that kicks in. I am now considering two levels of Rogue early on in the build just to get that ability quicker. By the time I could pick it as an advanced talent, I might be better off getting a ring of evasion.

Quote:
- Slowing strike is good for you. Some creatures can move up to 200ft which means they can catch up to you on a ride by attack. even a small chance at cutting that in half is decent for you.

True, but Slowing strike allows for a saving throw while Debilitating Injury (Hampering Strike) allows for no save, just needs to hit with a sneak attack and hits ALL movement types of the creature. I am planning on giving the animal companion the charger archetype for once an hour 10x charge speed, and occasionally casting Cheetah's Sprint on it though our link. Combined with Ride-by-attack, it should prevent a lot of things from following. Hmm, perhaps I will get both and retrain Slowing Strike later.

I am putting together my build and a rough outline is below. I am prioritizing mobility over sheer power at first.

Spoiler:

Level 1: Druid 1
Nature Bond: Domain (Rage)
Destructive Smite
Spontaneous Casting (Summon Nature's Ally)
Studied Target +1
Spells (level 1)
Feat: Nature Soul
Level 2: Rogue 1
Sneak Attack +1d6
Finesse Training
Martial Training (Greatsword)
Level 3: Rogue 2
Evasion
Rogue Talent (Combat Trick 1 [Mounted Combat])
Feat: Animal Ally
Level 4: Druid 2 / Rogue 2
Level 5: Druid 3 / Rogue 2
Trackless Step
Spells (Level 2)
Feat: Ride-by Attack
Level 6: Druid 4 / Rogue 2
Slayer Talent (Ranger Combat Style [Gorum: Power Attack])
Sneak Attack +2d6
Level 7: Druid 5 / Rogue 2
Studied Target +2
Spells (Level 3)
Feat: Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum)
Level 8: Druid 6 / Rogue 2
Slayer Talent (Ranger Combat Style [Vital Strike])
Level 9: Druid 7 / Rogue 2
Spells (Level 4)
Feat: Spirited Charge
Level 10: Druid 8 / Rogue 2
Rage Domain Power (Rage)
Slayer Talent (Combat Trick 1 [Wheeling Charge])
Level 11: Druid 9 / Rogue 2
Spells (level 5)
Feat: Boon Companion (Animal Companion)
Level 12: Druid 10 / Rogue 2
Slayer Talent (Ranger Combat Style [Improved Vital Strike])
Studied Target +3
Level 13: Druid 10 / Rogue 3
Daring +1
Finesse Training (sickle) for the x4 crit?
Sneak Attack +3d6
Rogue Talent (Combat Trick 2 [Shield Focus])
Feat: Unhindering Shield
Level 14: Druid 10 / Rogue 4
Debilitating Injury
Scout's Charge

------------------

After that (15th level +), it is just filling in the cracks. Probably want Boon companion eventually, maybe sooner if the game mandates it. I'll pick up Trapfinding early on if we need it.


Good rationales. Evasion is a nice to have not a need but if you have the space. It's good either from a dip or talent.

Frightful Aspect I don't think you get until level 18 I would have a plan for earlier if you are counting on it. Greater hat of disguse is a good way to do it.

Debilitating Injury (Hampering Strike) is really good for this build I had forgot that you had that.

Liberty's Edge

Gorum will fit the character much better.
At all levels you will have more HP, more damage, higher attack bonus.
You don't even get scouts charge here until 14th level.
You get uncanny dodge earlier.
Fast movement is traded out to your mount, or traded out for a bunch of other things with various archetypes.
Titan mauler is hilarious and great for an adventure path or if your crafting is limited, you can use the weapons of your fallen foes much more easily.
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/barbarian/archetypes/paizo-bar barian-archetypes/mounted-fury/

Liberty's Edge

I'll lay out a few more specific differences for why I think this:
Unchained barbarian (if you're not going AM BARBARIAN RAGE LANCE POUNCE IMMUNE TO PUNY CASTERS) is fine, even better, but this is similar either way.

Both get greatsword, but barbarian also gets as you say all martials (mighty comp. bow, etc).
4 more HP at level 1 all the time, and double level temporarily (even as temp HP with unchained)
1 bab
you say two bonus feats from combat trick, except getting rage means you can get a better domain, or trade nature's ally for boon companion and save nature soul as a feat, plus get two rage powers, one of which you trade for divine fighting technique.

I don't think rogues can take slayer talent - only vice versa. You are just thinking of combat trick? That works fine since you're not skipping any pre-reqs, the usual reason for ranger combat styles.
Sickles don't have x4 crit, you are thinking of a pick.

Level 1, you can start with a greatsword and power attack - way better than druid 1 with rage domain for sheer combat. So much.

You can't even take animal ally at level 3, and you don't get boon companion until level 11.

Actually I'm going to stop there, because I don't actually know if you want me to help you rebuild the character to a) use the rules and b) be effective. Sorry mate I'd love to do that so I hope that doesn't sound harsh! But yeah.


Unchained barbarian is GOOD. I know this. (And I caught that issue with Nature's Ally as well, I can just swap two feats around, no biggy. I am pretty familiar with the rules, but we all make slip ups).

Rogues can't take slayer talents, but Combat Trick is a rogue talent that Slayers can pick up with their talents.

The biggest drawn to taking the (Unchained) Rogue class is the Scout's Charge giving me free sneak attacks on a charge AND inflicting a no save debuff. The sheer amount of class features I pick up as an Unchained Rogue seems to me to outweigh the benefits I get with Barbarian.

Sure, all martial weapons, effectively 12 more hp (levels + temp hp), +1 BAB, and earlier rage powers sound great but I don't NEED them. I only need proficiency with one Martial weapon (Swashbuckler archetype gives me this), I'll get 50% more hp (effectively) with a protector familiar that takes half my damage, studied target makes up for the BAB loss (and Im getting certain feats prerequisite free due to ranger combat styles). I will get rage powers later in the character's career, but they are not necessary for the build. Well, Rage itself isn't even necessary for the build, its just nice.

I could just take Bloodrager instead, use primalist for the two rage powers I want and swap out the first power for a familiar. If anything, I'll just drop Rage domain for the Feather domain to get the animal companion I want. The domain was just for flavor anyway.

This character is already going to be a straight up BEAST in combat. We are just going back and forth about the minutia of how effective (in total) he will be.


Like I said before the build will be fine but here are my final thoughts to chew on. You are taking the hard way to a lot of things. This is fine if there is a story reason for that hard way. If not it's hard for hard sake.

Question:
Where are you getting a familair? Because you could get one with a single feat with a bloodrager and that familair would have fast healing 5. Boon companion for the familair to get the full protector benifits. Take the full animal companion druid option. Urban/blood conduit is a decent choice. As it stands you wont be able to cast when you rage urban fixes that.

One level dip (no rogue) gets you:

Gets you most of you 2 lost spell levels back, a better familair, full companion -1 level. Saves you 3 of feats (getting an animal companion). You could replace one of the feats with heavy armor prof which unless your dex is really high. and take skill focus ride and still ahve a feat left.

You lose 7 damage and dibilitating injury. I have already demostrated that the damage can be compensated for and then some.

4 Rogue may out weigh what you get from barbarian but not what you get overall barbarian + druid.

Also you are level 14 before the goal of the build comes online that's 70% of the game.

As always take as much or as little of my advice as you see fit.

ps did I ever mention Indominable Mount it's good make sure your mount in protected.


You have to think if nature fang is worth it for that AP. The reason is that nature fang gives up wild shape and 1 level of ranger + druid + shapeshifting hunter is full ranger favored enemy.

Since you can then put it into giants

Ranger 1/Druid 19 gets +10 hit and damage vs giants.

Liberty's Edge

The point of a spirited charge, I'll also mention, is not to leave it alive to retaliate.


blashimov wrote:
The point of a spirited charge, I'll also mention, is not to leave it alive to retaliate.

True, but I won't make the mistake of assuming I'll hit every time or that the monster will go down with one blow. There is always a 5% chance I miss. I'd rather have a plan B and plan C in place than put everything into a Hail-Mary attack.

Hmm, that reminds me. Furious Finish .... 36d6+94+4d6 sneak attack maximized is a lot of damage.


DeathlessOne wrote:
blashimov wrote:
The point of a spirited charge, I'll also mention, is not to leave it alive to retaliate.
True, but I won't make the mistake of assuming I'll hit every time or that the monster will go down with one blow. There is always a 5% chance I miss. I'd rather have a plan B and plan C in place than put everything into a Hail-Mary attack.

You will never remove that % to miss even with furious Finish.

What is your Plan b and C?

Because when I missed a charge my Plan B was charge again and not miss.


I have not done a lot of size stack can you help me understand the math?

Medium greatsword 2d6> Impact 3d6 > PC medium sized 4d6 >

This is where it gets tricky Vital Strike gives extra damage dice which are not multipled by spirited charge.

So you gain 8d6 from 2 Vital Strike feats

and your weapon damage is doubled to 8d6

That put me at a total of 16d6

Static Damage:
Power Attack 12*1.5*2 = 36
Plus 5 weapon *2 = 10
STR (3 stating + 3 belt + 1 size + 2 rage + 5 wish and tomes)*2*2 = 46

16d6 + 92

(I'm basically following on the static damage as you could easily have other items or something in there I feel like I'm missing something in the build for damage dice)


The way I read it:

Medium 2d6>PC +2 Sizes 4d6>Impact 6d6

Feat allows vital strike during charge (read it - it doesn't allow improved vital strike or greater vital strike)

So 6d6+6d6 spirited charge +6d6 vital strike = 18d6

Imbicatus wrote


Right frightful aspect marks you large. So the op is missing undersized mount.

And I did miss greater vital strike thanks for that.

I had not considered that the feat chain does not work here. Intresting.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have a mounted unchained Rogue that uses Scout + Skulking Slayer (half-orc) for d8 sneak attacks on charge. It's a blast. Adding in the Slow Reactions rogue talent to it has been a party-saver.

Though I rarely need scout's charge for sneak now. I've got enough hunter to share Blades Above And Below with the mount, so if it's medium or large and we both threaten it, it counts as flanked. Axebeak has reach, so it and my lance share the same threat area.

But charging for sneak attack + mammoth hide armor is a lot of fun. The Gorum + Charge + Vital strike option looks pretty cool.


nicholas storm wrote:

The way I read it:

Medium 2d6>PC +2 Sizes 4d6>Impact 6d6

Feat allows vital strike during charge (read it - it doesn't allow improved vital strike or greater vital strike)

So 6d6+6d6 spirited charge +6d6 vital strike = 18d6

Imbicatus wrote

If we are disregarding improved/greater vital strike (which I can agree with, reluctantly), Spirited Charge deals double damage with the weapon. I'm not aware of a FAQ that says otherwise, but Spirited charge does not double the weapon DICE, like Vital Strike. So I am applying the double at the end of the chain, not before Vital Strike.

Medium Greatsword (2d6)
Impact (3d6)
Frightful Aspect (6d6)
Vital Strike (12d6)
Spirited Charge (24d6)

The static damage isn't coming from 'wishes or tomes' but from power attack, studied target, the charge damage itself, and a furious weapon (effectively a +7 weapon)


Quote:

Multiplying Damage: Sometimes you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results.

Note: When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage. So if you are asked to double the damage twice, the end result is three times the normal damage.

Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weapon's normal damage are never multiplied.

See exception.

Vital strike gives extra damage dice not multiple on a crit thus would not be multiplied on a spirited charge.

I would like to be clear. I'm not trying to throw shade at your character. I want to see it work in the rules.

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