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Need help with a Vanaran Pirate (PFS)


Hey all,

I've been wrestling with a concept for a few weeks and fleshed out over a half dozen builds, but am not yet satisfied with what I've come up with. So I'm looking for some help fleshing out a character for PFS which is going to inherit a bunch of boons, including one to make him a Vanara. Here's the rough basic backstory:

Since Vanaran culture is a little sparse, I'm going to play that this character was captured at a young age as a curiosity and forced into slavery in Cheliax. He'll be eventually 'rescued' when a pirate vessel attacks the slave ship transporting him between owners. The ship's Besmaran cleric takes a liking to my PC, and brings him into the crew which is easily supportable given his obvious knack for climbing rigging.

Some months/years later, the pirate ship will get lost in a storm, with my PC being the only survivor. He's rescued by a group of Pathfinders and he eventually joins the Society. While at the Grand Lodge, one of my retired characters, an enchanter wizard, sees some natural talent and takes the PC on as a protege. Enter level 1.

I'm looking for help with ideas on class and feat progression. I've already considered several options, but am hoping that what people suggest will either sway me to something I've already picked or encourage me to investigate something else.

Must Haves:

  • Vanaran (+2 Dex/+2 Wis/-2 Cha) with an additional +2 to any stat as a result of a boon
  • At minimum, venerates Besmara as a sort of 'patron saint' of slaves freed at sea. I have a bonus trait from a boon that mostly covers this mechanically (Ease of Faith, diplomacy is a class skill, +1 diplomacy), but if the class selected has religious aspects, consider Besmara as the diety selected.
  • Liberty's Edge faction, may not matter except trait selection, but feeds into the point above.

Should Haves:

  • Given his trainer is a wizard, this character should have some aptitude with magic, preferably arcane magic but I can be persuaded here especially if the alternative still included a spell book. Mechanically I think I would prefer 6th level casting, but 4th or 9th could work too.
  • Casting should be Wis or Int based, ideally. I've already got several Cha focused characters.
  • Build should have some way to capitalize on the natural climb speed of Vanarans. I've considered the following: Branch Pounce; shooting/throwing/casting spells from a high vantage; ki throw and blade lash to lift and drop opponents
  • Primary class features shouldn't clash with climbing without a means to compensate (Clinging Climber feat or just using a single hand)

Nice to Haves:

  • Use the Dex bonus to some degree -- Weapon Finesse would be good if it can be fit in. Ideally blending decent Dex with light or medium armor to maintain decent AC
  • Some way to save on standard character purchases during the PC's career (auto scaling weapon, no need for cloak of resistance or belt of X, etc). I've got dreams of saving enough for an airship by retirement to become a Sky Pirate Captain.

Extra Boons Available (not necessary to be used, but could be if it makes sense):

  • Arcane Ammunition: Can buy smaller amounts of +1 elemental arrows/bolts/ammunition
  • Fighting Off Corruption: Ghoul (my first character was killed by ghouls twice so his protege being infected would be thematic)

Thanks in advance for your help or ideas.

Edit: For those who are familiar with the Liveship Traders series by Robin Hobb, I'm using elements of Wintrow and Kennit's story as some inspiration.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

There's the Freebooter ranger archetype, with the "Besmara Faithful" combat style.
For a "scaling" weapon, look at the Blackblade Magus or the Phantom Blade Spiritualist.

Scarab Sages

I had great fun with a Venaran warpriest (sacred fist). Which seems to fit pretty well. No heavy armor or weapons to lose one a pirate ship (Ideal for fighting in the rigging) and you could be a warpriest of Besmara. Get an agile amulet of the mighty fists and you should be good. You could flavor his monk-like abilities as more like those of a brawler instead of a monk.

Also, while silly for a monkey person, the monkey style feat (you can get for free free at level six) gives you bonuses to climbing.

Silver Crusade

Stats on a vanara lend themselves well to ranger, inquisitor, or monk. I'm actually working on an archer ranger myself, and considered using my vanara boon for it.

But given your desire for a caster, maybe an inquisitor would be better. They're wisdom based casters, which would work well with your stats. They make good archers, so the dex bonus would work there, or you could melee, with a rapier, of course, since that's Besmara's favored weapon. She's got a couple of decent domains - Trickery would be very good if you go melee. My cleric of Besmara went Trickery and Chaos (Protean) to be a "bad touch" style cleric.

Actually, that's another idea. You could do a bad touch cleric of Besmara like mine, just with Weapon Finesse to use your dex on attack rolls instead of strength.

There was a thread a little while back dedicated to labeling each spellcasting class's stat, its casting type, and any archetypes that change these. Named something like: "Casting Classes and Variants in Pathfinder". Might give you an idea

Scarab Sages

Warpriest seems like it has just about everything on your list except being an Arcane caster. The combination of Trickery and War Blessings looks pretty strong for a melee character.

There's the Deep Shaman Archetype in Aquatic Adventures. It's unclear if it will be PFS legal, but on a quick glance I didn't see a reason why it wouldn't.

A lot of the pirate themed classes/archetypes rely on CHA, and they aren't casters. Swashbuckler, Daring Champion, etc. For a WIS based class with a nautical theme, you could go with Gunslinger. It's pretty easy to make that fit a pirate. Picaroon Swashbuckler also, but it's still CHA reliant.

EDIT: For something completely off the wall, this is based on a build I want to do for my Fighting Off Corruption (Ghoul) Boon...

Spiritualist. It's a WIS based 3/4 BAB class.

Backstory is that your boat was attacked by Lacedons, and your best friend / mate/ captain was killed. You were bitten and are fighting off the disease. Your friend returned as a phantom (phantom pirate!) and you began developing Spiritualist powers.

Someone suggested Phantom Blade, which is good mechanically and for saving you money, but I don't think a sentient weapon with the spirit of your captain (or whoever) is as cool as actually summoning up a ghostly pirate.

(My build is for a Tengu whose mate shows up as a tattered, ghostly Tengu. I'll be a natural attack build, with a bite to play on the ghoul corruption, and not pirate themed).

EDIT EDIT: Possibly the Scourge Archetype, to play up the tortured spirit aspect.

Thanks for the ideas all. Several I hadn't considered yet (Deep Shaman, Scourge Spiritualist). I think part of the problem I'm running into is how to take these pieces and put them into something that isn't a mess of class features.

E.g. Freebooter Ranger and Black Blade Magus

The other thing I think I'm still missing is how to actually take advantage of climb speed in a creative way with some of these ideas.

E.g. Being a magus and trying to use spell combat while climbing a wall.

One thing I'll point out too is that while Vanara's do tend to favor Wis casters, I do have a +2 I can assign elsewhere, which sort of opens up some options. It's pretty much not wasted as long as I don't put it in Charisma. It's an opportunity to also explore builds which might also be considered more MAD.

Given how many people are recommending War Priest, but I forgot to mention that I do actually like to have at least a few skill points ;). It's a reason I also hadn't mentioned Cleric previously. An alternative to cleric might be a Nature Priest of Besmara -- gets around the skill point issue a bit but would require only picking on domain. Do you think just Chaos (Protean) would be sufficient to make that concept work, Fromper? I'd lose out on the Trickery domain, but I wonder if the addition of wild shape and the druid spell list wouldn't make up for it.

I'm wondering if the Living Grimoire might be a nice half-way point, hauling around a spellbook/Besmara's Code which functions as a light mace and is finesseable. I could flavor the diety tattoos as sailor's tattoo's even. I'd lose out on some Inquisitor features and it'd minimize the impact of my Wisdom bonus (I could toss the +2 into Int) -- but it might be a decent compromise?

Hey all, bringing this back up because I think I'm working towards two paths and would be interested in some feedback on whether I'm missing something in these builds or whether or not.

"The Pirate Turned Wizard"

This is a multi-class build, designed to be "magus-like" but much more on the caster side. It should be able to adequately step into melee, though. Despite the term "knight," I still envision him as mostly light armored support for the team. I've kept it mostly Dex based to help use some ranged spells, shore up my defenses (since I'll lose illusion), and keep some lighter armor to deal with arcane spell failure. Besmara becomes more of a thematic note in the character between Freebooter and the somewhat on the nose choice of Greed.


Level 11 Build: Freebooter Ranger 1/Thassilonian Wizard (Greed) 5, Eldritch Knight 5

Str 13
Dex 17 (+2 from race)
Con 14
Int 16 (+2 from boon)
Wis 10 (+2 from race)
Cha 8 (-2 from race)

+1 at 4 to Dex, +1 at 8 to strength. Floating +1 at 2 from wizard goes to strength (bumping to 14) and then +2 to eventually at wizard 6 to strength or dex as needed.


  • River Rat (Regional): +1 bonus to damage with daggers, +1 to swim, swim is a class skill
  • Magical Knack (Magic): +2 Caster Level
  • [From a boon] Ease of Faith (Religion): +1 to diplomacy, diplomacy is a class skill


  • (1) Weapon Finesse
  • (2-Wizard) Spell Focus - Transmutation
  • (3) Arcane Armor Training
  • (5) Arcane Strike
  • (6-Wizard) Extend, Brisk, or Still Spell
  • (7) Branch Pounce or Careful Climber or ??; (7-EK) Piranha Strike
  • (9) Dimensional Agility
  • (11) Dimensional Dervish; (11-EK) Dimensional Assault

Potential Swaps: Rivening Strike, Spell Specialization, Improved Critical

General thoughts:
Unlike a magus, this build is either going to cast or attack in a given round. This leaves my swift actions to either reduce ASF or use arcane strike if attacking. I also have my tail to bring out metamagic rods, scrolls, or other consumables. Freebooter's Bane is a cool ability I'll have from level 1 to use as a move action to buff myself and the group.

For spells, I'll probably focus on long term buffs (mage armor before mithril, ablative barrier, greater magic weapon) and transmutation spells that give multiple attack rolls (coin shot, telekinetic volley, telekinesis).

Ultimately this leaves me with 8 BAB and level 5 spells at 11, also garnering level 4 spells at 9 (a level before a magus would get them). The emphasis on the dimensional line later is something I've wanted to do for awhile and I think would help me toggle between casting and getting into melee on appropriate targets.

Concerns: I might be spread a little too thin here. Greed lets me have some extra spell slots in transmutation, but also totally locks me out of illusion magic (mirror image, blur, displacement) and enchantment (heroism). I'm more worried about the illusion than anything. So definitely looking for suggestions on how to keep my defense up. Damage may be a little low too: the dagger with freebooter's bane, arcane strike, and river rat should be doing 1d4 + 7 [2(Str) + 1(FBB) + 2(AS) + 1 (RR) +1 (W)] at level 6. I'm not sure if that's reasonable or not.

Could potentially drop River Rat and pick up a boarding axe as a weapon instead of daggers. Little more thematic and gives a +2 climb on wood surfaces. There's also a super outside version of this build that I might go straight into Gray Corsair prestige class (if it becomes PFS legal) instead of Eldritch Knight. I'd obviously have a little less spell power and potentially abandon the dimensional dervish line.

"The Coinshot"

This is a card-caster magus build. I'm having more trouble coming up with exactly how to make this one work, but it's relatively similar to the build above conceptually -- a lightly armor character relying on ranged transmutation spells before going into melee as needed. This build probably needs the most work since it's a thrown weapons build and I have no idea what I'm doing. I could definitely use some advice from folks who have done Magi (particularly card casters) on what some pitfalls or recommendations might be.


Str 16 (+2 from boon)
Dex 17 (+2 from race)
Con 13
Int 15
Wis 10 (+2 from race)
Cha 8 (-2 from race)

+1 at 4 to Dex, +1 at 8 to Int.


  • Acrobat: +1 bonus to damage with daggers, +1 to swim, swim is a class skill
  • River Rat (Regional): +1 bonus to damage with daggers, +1 to swim, swim is a class skill
  • [From a boon] Ease of Faith (Religion): +1 to diplomacy, diplomacy is a class skill

  • (1) Point Blank Shot; (1-Magus) Deadly Dealer(3) Dodge
  • (5) Weapon Focus (Dagger); (5-Magus) Close Quarter's Thrower
  • (7)False Opening
  • (9) Quickdraw
  • (11) Startoss Style; (11-Magus) Startoss Comet

Possible Swaps: Precise Shot, Weapon Finesse, Ricochet Toss, Improved Critical

Magus Arcana:
(3-Archetype) Role Dealer
(6) Arcane Accuracy
(9) Spell Blending or Ghost Blade

General Thoughts:
Overall, a single class build which is nice. Hits most of my high points, I think -- but the fighting style is a bit confused. I'm worried I'm invested too much into throwing in melee range, which it might just make more sense to avoid using harrowed spell strike in those circumstances and switch to melee.

I like keeping spell blending to keep my spells per day up. I'll get less high level spell access, but I think it'll be sufficiently good to keep me going for awhile. Harrowed Spellcaster means I can be reasonably throwing coins or cheap daggers with a cantrip (acid splash/ray of frost/etc) even when I don't want to burn a 1st level spell. The racial climb speed would also let me climb to relative safety and throw from above when that option exists.


  • I think if I understand it correctly, that Spell Combat + Harrowed spell strike lets me stand in melee, swing with my dagger, then cast a spell imbuing the dagger with the spell which I can then deliver with a thrown weapon attack. This would provoke initially unless I could five foot out of range. I also think the thrown attack would not suffer the -2 for attacking within spell combat, but I'm not 100% on this. Otherwise I'd probably just be throwing 1 dagger per round with a spell attached via harrowed spell strike or when in melee doing spell combat to get a buff up or something while I fight.
  • Can I use the Card Caster's modified arcane pool to imbue energy into a dagger, which is a melee weapon that can be thrown? The ability only allows ranged weapons, but since it has a thrown range, I'm not sure if the dagger qualifies or not. Chakrams might fix that, but then I'd need proficiency which just makes this more complicated.
  • This build seems much more locked into a single weapon and is significantly more feat intensive (mostly because of thrown weapons). Not sure if it's worth that or if I should just go for a more traditional magus (maybe bladebound to help offset wealth) that happens to use coin shot when not in melee.
  • I feel like I might get swift action locked, between needing to use my tail initially to draw new daggers, imbuing my weapon, casting certain spells, etc.

Scarab Sages

Both builds look interesting.

I'm fairly sure that in a round that you use spell combat, you take the penalty to any attack that you make, whether it's a melee attack or ranged attack.

I'm unsure about a Card Caster adding an enhancement to a weapon, then using that weapon in melee. It sounds like it's counter to the spirit of the ability, but stranger things have been true.

The biggest issue I can see with using daggers on the Magus is that you won't have Quickdraw in your build until 9th, while you could be using Spell Combat/Spellstrike from 2nd level on. So if you have two daggers out (one in tail) and full round attack to throw both of them, you'll have trouble getting consecutive full round attacks off. Even with using a swift action to draw a new dagger, that's still only drawing one dagger a round, when you could be throwing two.

Possibly, you could focus on casting spells that aren't delivered through Spellstrike, so cast Burning Hands, for example, followed by throwing a dagger, but for a basic round, being able to Ray of Frost deliverer by a thrown dagger, then throw a second dagger, seems like the simple way to go.

On top of that, you'll have issues enchanting so many thrown weapons. You'll definitely want a blink back belt, so you can get whatever dagger you use arcane pool on back (or put returning on it with your arcane pool), otherwise you'll be spending a lot of pool points just to keep enchanting new daggers. Building to Startoss style/Comet at 11th is nice, but it's a long time to wait for the build to really work.

If you want a Magus with a nautical theme and some ranged abilities, I'd maybe go Myrmidarch. The Archetype can be a bit of a mess, and Diminished Spellcasting on top of losing Spell Recall isn't great, but you get Spellstrike AND Ranged Spellstrike, so you're a little more versatile. Fight with a Cutlass and keep some daggers around to throw when you need to. Don't worry about all the feats to throw in Melee. On the rounds that you do throw a dagger, just cast your spell, swift draw the dagger, and single attack throw it. That way you don't need Quick Draw at all. Put your Weapon Training in Cutlass.

I would go with something like:


Myrmidarch 11

Str 17 (+2 from boon)
Dex 16 (+2 from race)
Con 14
Int 14
Wis 10 (+2 from race)
Cha 8 (-2 from race)

+1 at 4, 8, and 12 to Str. Buy a Str Belt, Int Headband, a Snakeskin Tunic (+2 Dex, plus some minor benefits) or Ioun Stone for Dex, and Ioun Stone for Con.

Traits: Sea-Souled (Regional): +1 trait bonus on Swim checks, and you can always take 10 while Swimming.)
Clever Wordplay (Social): Use Int for Diplomacy in place of Charisma (Or go with Acrobat, if you want)
[From a boon] Ease of Faith (Religion): +1 to diplomacy, diplomacy is a class skill

1) Extra Arcane Pool (You'll need lots later)
3)Weapon Focus (Cutlass)
5) Power Attack
B5) Opening Volley (or Combat Reflexes, or Extra Arcane Pool)
7) Weapon Specialization
9) Combat Reflexes (Or Advanced Weapon Training: Warrior Spirit)
11) Cut From the Air
B11) Greater Weapon Focus (Cutlass)

3) Arcane Accuracy
9) Flamboyant Arcana (Talk to your GM about this one, and make sure they'll allow you to Riposte as if you had 1 panache in your pool)

All the fighter feats just make you better with a Cutlass. You won't need a DEX so high. Boost your STR higher instead.

Opening Volley gives you a little bit of the dagger throwing flavor. Opening round, cast a ranged spell and throw a dagger with Ranged Spell Strike. Following Round (assuming melee), cast your Shocking Grasp and attack with an extra +4 to-hit.

Flamboyant Arcana, assuming your GM actually lets it work (EDIT: Forgot this was PFS... I think Flamboyant Arcana still works. Arcane Deed does not), gives you Opportune Parry and Riposte for some Swashbuckler flavor. Or you could take Spell Blending, but I think the Magus Spell list is good enough. Unless there is a specific spell you're looking for.

Combat Reflexes goes with Flamboyant Arcana, to let you Parry more attacks. You could take it instead of Opening Volley at 5th. You won't get a ton of use out of it until 9th, though. Taking Combat Reflexes at 5th does mean you could take Warrior Spirit at 9th (see below), which is a pretty powerful ability for the cost of a feat.

Cut From The Air is just cool swashbuckler flavor, knocking down arrows with your cutlass, and you have Combat Reflexes anyway. You could take Smash From The Air later to deflect raged touch spells, which has a lot of Magus flavor to it. EDIT: Forgot this was PFS. Smash From the Air is not legal for PFS, but Cut From the Air is.

(EDIT: PFS Strikes again. Warrior Spirit is not PFS legal. Sorry, my mistake.) Or, as an alternative to Combat Reflexes/Flamboyant Arcana, you could take Advanced Weapon Training: Warrior Spirit at 9th, which gives you a second pool to enhance your weapons with. The bonus is that you can select ANY enhancement, not just the ones on the Magus list. That means, mainly, Bane whatever you need to at the time, but it can also be used for Ghost Touch. It's a standard action to use, but it's worth it. So at 9th level when you get it, you should have a +2 weapon. Use Arcane pool to make it +3 Keen. Then in big fights, use Warrior Spirit to make it +3 Keen Bane (Whatever), or effectively a +5 weapon against what you're fighting, plus the extra 2D6 damage on top of whatever spell you're delivering.

On top of all of that, you get Weapon Training and can buy Gloves of Dueling to boost the bonus. You should have a really good bonus to-hit, making up for the penalties from Spell Combat and Power Attack, and you should deal really good damage.

You get Medium Armor Proficiency/Spellcasting at 7th, and Armor Training at 8th, so you should have no trouble switching to an Agile Breastplate at that point, for some extra AC without losing much. No armor check penalty for climbing or jumping, and only a -3 for swimming and acrobatics, dropping to -2 at 11th.

Scarab Sages

For slightly more direct advice for your Magus build, if you want to stick to thrown weapons, then something like not taking a penalty for throwing into combat is more important than not provoking. Try this sequence of feats:


1) Point Blank Shot;
(1-Magus) Deadly Dealer
(3) Precise Shot
(5) Weapon Focus (Dagger);
(5-Magus) Quick Draw
(7) Deadly Aim
(9) Startoss Style
(11) Startoss Comet; (11-Magus) Startoss Shower

You can skip Quick Draw if you want. I'm not convinced Startoss Style is compatible with Spellstrike/Spell Combat, though, which could be a problem.

And if you take starknife, and use it for both throwing and for melee combat?

Scarab Sages

Which part? The arcane pool enhancement bonus looks like it might apply regardless. I don't see anything in the Campaign Clarifications saying otherwise.

Harrowed Spellstrike says it doesn't work for melee attacks, and I don't think a Card Caster retains regular Spellstrike.

Startoss Style has a PFS Campaign Clarification:
Page 15—The Startoss Style feat's bonus on damage rolls applies when making ranged weapon attacks with thrown weapons, not when making melee weapon attacks with them.

Startoss Style just adds damage, so it should work fine with Spell Combat. Startoss Comet and Startoss Shower require a standard action, so they wouldn't work with Spell Combat. If you've cast a spell the round before, I think you can still use Spellstrike, but it's only going to apply to the first hit for something like Shocking Grasp. For chill touch or frostbite, that have multiple uses, I'm not sure. Without more information, I'd probably treat it as each hit expending one use. So the last two feats in the chain may or may not be worth taking.

Ferious, thanks very much for the comprehensive feedback. After rolling back and forth a bit, I think I'm going to move away from trying to make the Card Caster work. I ran into too many problems:

  • It's too feat intensive to get up an running in any meaningful way.
  • After further review, I don't think you can actually use arcane pool to enchant a dagger
  • The problem of being able to use iteratives required even more feats or a blinkback belt.

I do like the idea of switching from away from a pure Dex based build as well, both for the Magus or the Eldritch Knight build, probably going with a slightly more balanced approach. Saves on weapon finesse at least and helps shore up damage a bit. I also really like the idea of using the opening volley feat -- alternating between using coin shot to throw a coin as a touch attack within 20 ft (like a poor man's gun) and following up with a stronger melee attack, or just doing spell combat with regular spellstrike in melee.

Could use some help filling in the later feats. Most of the recommendations for the Myrmidarch won't work for a more vanilla Bladebound magus.


Bladebound Magus 11

Str 16 (+2 from boon)
Dex 16 (+2 from race)
Con 14
Int 15
Wis 10 (+2 from race)
Cha 8 (-2 from race)

+1 to Int at 4, +1 to Str at 8 and 12. Buy a Str Belt, Int Headband, a Snakeskin Tunic (+2 Dex, plus some minor benefits) or Ioun Stone for Dex, and Ioun Stone for Con.

Traits: Sea-Souled (Regional): +1 trait bonus on Swim checks, and you can always take 10 while Swimming.)
Clever Wordplay (Social): Use Int for Diplomacy in place of Charisma (Or go with Acrobat, if you want)
[From a boon] Ease of Faith (Religion): +1 to diplomacy, diplomacy is a class skill

1) Opening Volley
3) Weapon Focus (Boarding Axe)
5) Power Attack
B5) Arcane Strike?
7) Extra Arcane Pool
9) ??
11) ??
B11) Greater Weapon Focus (Boarding Axe)

3) Black Blade (blade hates slavers, maybe spirit of old captain?)
6) Wand Wielder (seems like it'll help dealing with limited spells per day, and I'm fairly sure I can reasonably have my tail hold the wand when it's not in use so I can go back to casting other spells)
9) Throwing Arcana (to still occasionally throw a boarding axe when it makes sense to do so)

Scarab Sages

If you don't come up with anything better for level 11, at that point you would qualify for Weapon Specialization.

You actually don't qualify for Greater Weapon Focus at 11th with this build. The Myrmidarch eventually counts its full Magus level as Fighter levels, but a normal Magus only counts half its levels as Fighter levels. So at level 11, you only count as a Fighter 5 for feats.

Arcane Strike at 5th is ok, but you will tend to use a lot of swift actions, so it can be problematic for action economy. By 5th level, you should have a pretty good idea of how often you have an unused swift action.

Maybe at 5 take the Vanara Tree Hanger feat? That seems thematically appropriate with what you're planning. Or take it at 9, it's just less likely to be as useful that late, I think.

For 9 and 11, any 2 or 3 feat chain, really. Lunge and Monkey Lunge would give you reach when you need it. On top of Long Arm, you could attack out to 15'

Martial Focus at 9th would let you take Cut From the Air at 11th if you want it. It feels a little underwhelming getting that at 11th, though.

Step Up at 9, Following Step at 11, then Step Up And Strike with the level 11 bonus feat.

Or just use them on Extra Arcana. There are a lot of good Arcana, and you're giving one of yours up for the Black Blade. So maybe at 9th: Extra Arcana (Arcane Accuracy or Accurate Strike), at 11th: Extra Arcana (Prescient Defense).

Or you could still go with Combat Reflexes and Flamboyant Arcana.

For a version of that which doesn't rely on spending Arcane Pool points, or on making an attack roll to parry, you could go Combat Reflexes and Weapon Trick (One-Handed Weapon), then use the Stylish Repose trick. There might be some debate about whether or not this works in combination with Spell Combat. The way it's worded, you just have to be holding nothing in your other hand.

Anyway, there are lots of options that could be interesting, and counting your 5th and 7th level feats as ones that could change without affecting things too much, you could complete just about any feat chain that has a BAB +9 requirement or less.

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