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Rate my Hunter - Killing machine build


Advice


(Sorry in advance for possible english mistakes since it's not my native language)

So i'm currently level 9, cutting through crimson throne with this build i wanted to share with you guys.
I was thinking a while back the usual evocation sorcerer (varisian tatoo/spell specialization/draconic bloodline) thing was the best to annihilate enemies. But this build is insane.

Hope in advance I didn't do mistakes :)

[u]The build: Hunter Killing Machine[/u]

Let's see the build straight away and i'll explain later

Human Hunter - Primal companion archetype
(20 pts buy)
STR 17 (+1 on lvl 4)
DEX 14
CON 12
INT 13
WIS 14 (+1 on lvl 8)
CHA 8

Feats:

1) - Combat expertise (it sux but it's needed)
3) - Spirit's Gift (usually going for Stone or Fire)
5) - Mounted combat
7) - Ride-by Attack
9) - Spirited Charge

Teamwork feats:
2) - Outflank
3) - Pack Flanking
6) - Precise strike
9) - Distracting charge

Animal companion (Big cat) feats:

1) - Power attack
2) - Weapon focus (claw)
5) - Light armor proficiency (take +1 INT at lvl 4 to qualify)
8) - Improved natural attack (claw)

Spells:
0)Light, Mending, Elemental Sample, Read Magic, Resistance to fear, Stabilize
1) Lead Blades, Alarm, Delay poison, Heightened Awareness, Windy escape
2) Barkskin, Shield companion, Vine strike, Bull's strength
3) Fickle winds, Strong jaw, Communal Protection from energy, Contingent moderate healing
4) Animal growth, Freedom of movement

Primal transformation:
2 pts: Bleed (claws), improved natural attack (claws)
4 pts: + Energy attacks (Acid)
Primale surge: Usually going for Flight (but good options can be immunity from energy, burrow, tremorsense...)

Skirmisher tricks:
Vengeance strike, upending strike, surprise shift, Sic'em, Deft Stand, Uncanny senses

Skills: What your group need. I went for Sense Motive, Survival, Perception, Ride(mandatory), Fly, Handle Animal, Heal

Stuff you might need:
For your hunter: Magic lance, Belt of strenth, Magic heavy wooden shield & breastpalte, amulet of natural armor, ring of protection, cloak of resistance, Equestrian belt
For your pet: Amulet of mighty fists, belt of strength, magic chain shirt

So for average wealth / level (46000 at lvl 9), it would be something like:
H: +1 impact lance (18k), +1 breastplate & +1 heavy wooden shield (2,5k), cloak of resistance +2 (4k), equestrian belt (3,2k), Ring of protection +1 (2k)
P: AoMM +2 (16k), Chain shirt +2 (4,5k)

Ok, so what's the point of the build?
The thing is it can be pretty hard to play for various reasons: a lot of buffs can be cast on your pet, you have a lot of situational modifiers, and a lot of your actions requires swift/immediate action tracking.

On the first levels, your hunter will tag along your tiger using a greatsword (melee), a horsechopper (reach trip) or a composite longbow.
After level 7, when your cat goes big, now's the real fun. Go mounted and classy.
Go spirited charge with your lance, using a shield in the other hand.

You have good Armor class on both your characters, incredible damage and attack bonuses, good saving throws, a really nice number of health points.

How does it work: Cast shield companion on your pet, barkskin when things can get hot & heightened awareness.
If you have time to buff, cast on your pet strong jaw, Bull's strength, vine strike. Buff your lance with lead blades. Don't forget to primal surge and use your spirit's gift.
Now you can pretty much one shot boss.

ONE charge will deal: (Power attack on pet, Combat expertise on Hunter)
bite: +21 3d6+16 + 1d6 (vine strike)+ +1d6 (acid) +1d6 (precision) + grab
x2 claws : +22 4d6+16+3d6 (various) + 1d6 bleed
x2 rake: +22 3d6+16+3d6(various)
Lance: +18 (using distracting charge) 9d6+15+1d6(precision)

for a theorical total of 42d6+95 if you touch with all your attacks
your AC will be nice with 31 (Pet) and Hunter (23).

Getting hit? use windy escape, mounted combat and transfer from shield companion. Dont forget to use vengeance strike to get one more attack

If you dont have time to buff, just use primal evolution and still deal a tremendous amount of damage. Your spells can make your group immune to poison, bolts/arrows, energy type, grapple...

Hope i didn't do too much errors and you guys will enjoy it!


The problem I have is that you have reach with the lance and your animal companion does not have reach (unless you have animal growth on it). So when you charge, either you or your companion can't attack.


Outflank gives Attacks of Opportunity, but you don't have Combat Reflexes.

You have a lot of Teamwork Feats, but your Animal Companion doesn't. I am not familiar with Hunter, though: do you have some special ability that lets you grant Teamork Feats to others or lets you activate them some other way such as the Solo Tactics ability of Inquisitor or the Tactician Ability of Cavalier?

Otherwise, Your Animal Companion should take some of your Teamwork Feats, too.

Outflank grants Attacks of Opportunity when you score a Critical Hit. With Outflank, I'd want to use a weapon with an increased Threat Range like an Elven Curved Blade (and Great Cleave), scimitar, or kukri. I would take Improved Crit and Crit Focus, and so would my cat.

To develop a character whose thing is charging with a lance, I'm thinking Overrun and Bull Rush combat maneuvers. Say Greater Overrun, Wheeling Charge. Maybe Greater Bull Rush and Merciless Rush? Both greater Bull Rush and Overrun grant Attacks of Opportunity, and both have Size limits, 2 Teamwork feats I would give both you and your car are Paired Opportunist and Harder They Fall.

nicholas storm wrote:
The problem I have is that you have reach with the lance and your animal companion does not have reach (unless you have animal growth on it). So when you charge, either you or your companion can't attack.

So my advice vis a vis this advice would be to take Improved Shield Bash and Shield Slam so you could do your overrun/bull rush/AOO thing at close range, maybe have a long sword or something and 2 weapon fight with it and a Shield for when mounted charging isn't the thing.

The problem with my ideas is that they are very Feat intensive, and your character is also a spellcaster. There wouldn't be much room for both. I'm less sanguine than you are about having the opportunity to buff my characters, but your build is working great for you, and that's awesome. Thank you for sharing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

ill give you a 6/10 on the killing capabilities but you get a 0/10 on your machine capabilities as neither you nor your companion are constructs

Grand Lodge

Your build looks great for a mounted combatant.

Hunters can get brutal in combat...I am currently playing a level 8 character with 4 levels of unchained rogue and 4 levels of hunter, dual wielding keen kukris, boon companion to keep my pet tiger even with me, etc...started off a bit slow with the multi-classing, but now I absolutely destroy anything I run up against in combat (4 keen kukri attacks, usually with 3d6 sneak attack each, plus the claw/claw/bite/grab/rake from the tiger...and any AoOs granted from Outflank) Even the BBEGs tremble in fear of me :)

I didn't go the mounted combat route, I play PFS...so I spend a lot of time indoors/in caves/dungeons/etc.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Outflank gives Attacks of Opportunity, but you don't have Combat Reflexes.

You have a lot of Teamwork Feats, but your Animal Companion doesn't. I am not familiar with Hunter, though: do you have some special ability that lets you grant Teamork Feats to others or lets you activate them some other way such as the Solo Tactics ability of Inquisitor or the Tactician Ability of Cavalier?

We got thisHunter Tactics (Ex)

At 3rd level, the hunter automatically grants her teamwork feats to her animal companion. The companion doesn’t need to meet the prerequisites of these teamwork feats.

So the thing is we are considered flanking when mounted if we both threatens the enemy. With outflank and precise strike, we get +4 attack and +1d6 precise strike damage.

By the way, i forgot to tell you that we only have one feat at lvl 1 because we take the alternate racial trait "Eye for talent" to give our tiger +2 STR.

The thing for the future i consider is going for:

- combat reflexes and improved critical (for outflank)

- Aoo feats (coordinateur manoeuvers, paired opportunists) and go for either feint (feint partner and improved feint partner) or trip (skrimisher trick, improved trip etc..).
It would be VERY feat intensive because we got already combat expertise but we'll need improved and greater feint/trip and pump up our bluff skill check (not a class skill for a hunter).

- Coordinated charge can be nice if i figure how it works here.

For the issue with the lance, obviously i was missing it. So no lance using with spirited charge i guess. Shenanigans with bull rush would be too much complicated. I just advise to change the lance for another weapon : a +1 impact greatsword.
More critical potential for outflank, and this is still doing 6d6+12 on a spirited charge (x2) or 8d6+12 with lead blades.

for more damage, let's make that AoMM +2 in a +1 corrosive amulet. +1d6 acid on all of our attacks (+2d6 with primal evolution). It should compensate the dice we lost on the lance problem.

@kemuri: Yeah, the cave/dungeon is a problem. Bringing some reduce animal scrolls can fix a part of it but no mounted combat in these. Indeed, outflank can combo very well with a rogue! Nice idea

@lady-J I guess being an android riding an artic tiger golem would definitely piss of my gm :)


you could have started as a Wild Child Brawler, in order to skip the Int prerequiste for Combat Expertise adn similar stuff


The whole point of playing the primal companion is you can give you animal companion reach so you can use a lance.


So, once you have reach most things work the way you want.

The issues is you can't pounce on a ride by attack, maybe. The rules are unclear because your AC does not have any ability to attack move attack.

So you have two combat options. Spirited charge and tiger pounce or ride by attack and stay safe no AC attack. But you will have to make that decission based on the fight.

Attack routine:
Lance and pounce.

After the lance pounce combo you will full attack and 5 ft away.

On turn 3 use a skirmisher trick to 5ft step as an immediate action then pounce lance attack.


TheMask wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Outflank gives Attacks of Opportunity, but you don't have Combat Reflexes.

You have a lot of Teamwork Feats, but your Animal Companion doesn't. I am not familiar with Hunter, though: do you have some special ability that lets you grant Teamork Feats to others or lets you activate them some other way such as the Solo Tactics ability of Inquisitor or the Tactician Ability of Cavalier?

We got thisHunter Tactics (Ex)

At 3rd level, the hunter automatically grants her teamwork feats to her animal companion. The companion doesn’t need to meet the prerequisites of these teamwork feats.

So the thing is we are considered flanking when mounted if we both threatens the enemy. With outflank and precise strike, we get +4 attack and +1d6 precise strike damage.

By the way, i forgot to tell you that we only have one feat at lvl 1 because we take the alternate racial trait "Eye for talent" to give our tiger +2 STR.

The thing for the future i consider is going for:

- combat reflexes and improved critical (for outflank)

- Aoo feats (coordinateur manoeuvers, paired opportunists) and go for either feint (feint partner and improved feint partner) or trip (skrimisher trick, improved trip etc..).
It would be VERY feat intensive because we got already combat expertise but we'll need improved and greater feint/trip and pump up our bluff skill check (not a class skill for a hunter).

- Coordinated charge can be nice if i figure how it works here.

Oh, Snap!


What would happen if you took some levels in Mammoth Rider?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I have a similar build that I am using in PFS, however, I've put more focus on taking Attacks of Opportunity by taking Combat Reflexes, Paired Opportunist, and Broken Wing Gambit, the tiger has Combat Patrol, and a Fortuitous weapon for the hunter and Amulet of Mighty Fists with the Fortuitous enchantment for the tiger.

Paired Opportunist is equally as key as Combat Reflexes for the setup. If either the tiger or hunter make an attack of opportunity, the other gets to do so as well at the same target. Both Broken Wing Gambit and Combat Patrol provide you with incredibly easy means to trigger AoO's.


Unless I am missing somethin, how is your AC taking Power Attack at lvl 1? ACs cant take any feat that requires a +1 BAB until lvl 3, so all of its feats are out of order unless you can choose to not take the first lvl feat and save it till lvl 3 but that doesnt seem right


Animal companions have +1BAB at first level. edit, well learn something new. Another pathfinder exception rule.


Actually, looking at everything, if you went in that order which means PA at 3, Improved natural attack wouldnt be until lvl 10


I would just move PA to 2nd, WF to 5th and skip taking light armor proficiency.

Animal companions don't need that proficiency when you consider that masterwork studded or mithril chain shirt can be worn without proficiency.


PA or any of his feats cant be until 3rd lvl


But regardless, his AC isnt legal with that current build lol


They dont get a feat at 3rd level, they get one at 2nd and they can take PA at 2nd.


Skirmisher tricks -
While these are nice, you have only a very limited amount you can use them. 1/2 animal companion's HD + the animal companion wisdom modifier total times per day. Not times per trick.

Then there's which of these skirmisher tricks your companion can learn/use. Quick & messy - just swap out the word Ranger in the skirmisher's tricks for 'Animal Companion' to see if your animal companion can use the tricks.


nicholas storm wrote:
They dont get a feat at 3rd level, they get one at 2nd and they can take PA at 2nd.

I mixed up HD with lvl. Still, with the route he took them, Imp Nat Attack wouldnt be until 10th level


He could stay on track just by not taking light armor as I suggested (or he could take it at 1st; though it's a trap feat for an AC).


AC would need 3 Int in order to take that, no? Which wouldnt be till lvl 4 with the ability stat boost, but yes, barding would just be easier


There is no int requirement to take light armor proficiency. It's just a bad feat by itself, since your AC can wear masterwork studded leather or mithril chain shirt without a feat.


Quote:


Animal companions can select from the following feats:

Acrobatic, Agile Maneuvers, Armor Proficiency (light, medium, and heavy), Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Overrun, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Run, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Stealthy, Toughness, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus.


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I play a brawler1/hunter X as melee flanking buddies. (An ape)
What I found is that my animal companion outshines me by so much that it's mostly my role to be sure the ape gets into position, with outflank/pack flanking. (I have a reach weapon) The Brawler1(Wild Child) is to be able to dump int, and the 1 level of martial flexibility can be very helpful (I've used to get Blindfight, and there even is a feat that lets you damage swarms)

Things to consider:

Helm of the Mammoth Lord will give your mount an extra attack. You need to feat an item slot onto it. Starting S9 this will be an option listed in the PFS guide, so it no longer requires you to buy Animal Archives.

Escape Route (Teamwork) while mounted is cheesy but incredible.
Since you are always adjacent to your mount, you never provoke AoOs
Also remember that you can switch your latest teamwork feat as a hunter a few times per day.

Consider Planar Focus feat, which is ok before level 8 and great after it, which adds 2d6 fire damage to all your mounts natural attacks, and gives you flexibility to deal with many environmental effects (levitate, burrow, swimspeed)

I found that Chameleon Step is the most useful Skirmisher trick. Double movement speed in a single move action is a big surprise to almost any foe.

There are 2 downsides to leaning on animal companions as damage monsters:

1) Their will save sucks. My ape has been fascinated, confused
2) Low HP. If it does get hit, it is not very sturdy. You can choose Totem Beast as a feat, and switch even more of your power into your mount, to get a second (third at 8) animal focus.

Another cheesy, though, expensive trick is to buy Mithral light barding. Because it has an ACP of 0 it doesn't negatively impact your animal companion. (It takes a -0 on attack rolls as a penalty for wearing armor it isn't proficient with). This frees up a feat in exchange for gold.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Grandlounge wrote:
Quote:


Animal companions can select from the following feats:

Acrobatic, Agile Maneuvers, Armor Proficiency (light, medium, and heavy), Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, Improved Overrun, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Run, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Stealthy, Toughness, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus.

There's some conflicting wording under the Druid class writeup. Emphasis mine.

From CRB wrote:
Feats: This is the total number of feats possessed by an animal companion. Animal companions should select their feats from those listed under Animal Feats. Animal companions can select other feats, although they are unable to utilize some feats (such as Martial Weapon Proficiency). Note that animal companions cannot select a feat with a requirement of base attack bonus +1 until they gain their second feat at 3 Hit Dice.


I think you missed the above thread. Nothing you posted suggest light armor proficency is unavailable before int 3. I posted the list so clarify nicolas storms point

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ah, yes, I did miss what exactly it was in reference to. My apologies. I've had similar discussions where the nuance was missed and there had been initial disagreement over an AC being able to take Combat Patrol.


No worries. It happens. Threads often veer far off topic.

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