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Advice for an Evocation Wizard


Advice


That's right, I was just looking for general advice on making the blastiest caster. Feats, spells and items.

For basic info

Race: Human
Current Level: 5th
Arcane Bond: Weasel Familiar
Opposed Schools: Illusion and Necromancy

Silver Crusade

Basic things

One or both traits (wayang spellhunter and magical lineage)

Feats spell focus + spell specialization

Metamagic feat dazzling spell (or another if you prefer)

Lesser Metamagic rod of haste if you can...

Area spells (like fireball)


What sources are you using?

What's the level projection you're expecting to go with this character?

Are you dead set on being a Wizard? An Arcanist can do the job better with their class features, even if being down on the spell progression, and can still cast basically the same spells a Wizard can, along with having a Familiar, and so on.

Their Arcane Reservoir can be useful for pumping Save DCs and Caster Level for added damage, even if it scales with Charisma instead. They also get access to an Arcane School's powers (with none of the opposed schools or other drawbacks), and with a certain archetype, access to Sorcerer Bloodline stuff as well (Orc bloodline for improved blasting, bonus points if GM allows Bloodline Mutations for even better blasting). They have more means to boost their Blasting capabilites than Wizards, and can have practically the same amount of flexibility depending on what Exploits you take. I fully recommend it, as I've written a Blasting guide with that in mind; you can find it here. Even if you don't want to be Arcanist, there are some solid tips in there to help out your blasting needs that can easily apply to a Wizard as well.

But, if you are deadset on being Wizard, make damn sure you go the Admixture sub-school, which lets you effectively bypass resistances and immunities so you are less at risk for blowing stuff up with your favorite spells (like Fireball) without doing anything to bad guys. The other Evocation schools aren't that great in comparison.

For feats, Spell Focus (Evocation) is nice to have, and required for other useful feats. Greater Spell Focus (Evocation) will be valuable later down the road. Spell Specialization is huge for focusing onto one blasting spell (as you usually should). Mage's Tattoo (Evocation) also gives a flat caster level boost across all your Evocation spells, not just your specialized one (though it's rare to not have to do that). Also, Metamagic feats. Lots of Metamagic feats.

For Metamagics, Intensify starting out is nice since it synchronizes quite well with your increased caster levels. Empower is important for damage boosts, and Maximize later down the road for more consistent high-end damage. You can snatch Selective, Heighten, Daze, and Quicken if you wish, though those might be better off as rods (except Heighten, which has to be done via a feat). Also, make sure you take Spell Perfection if you reach that high of level, as it gives you a lot of spell slot manipulation.

If Traits are permitted, Metamagic Master (Fireball) will be necessary, and depending on what the level projection is, Magical Lineage (Fireball) or Magical Lineage (Delayed Blast Fireball). These will reduce the Metamagic cost increases by 1 (or 2 if focused on Fireball).


Already playing a Wizard, so yes, I am kind of set on it at this point. This is entirely build advice for down the line. GM predicts we'll be going to 10th level or so.

Sort of got Traits already, based on backstory. Rancher, Transmuter, Clever Wordplay, and Naive.

Kind of have a secondary focus on transmutation.

Silver Crusade

I like your traits! ^^


Mondragon wrote:
I like your traits! ^^

Thanks, the character is sort of a rural farmboy turned Wizard. He was investigating poor crop yields before being roped into the adventure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would recommend banning enchantment instead of illusion. Illusion has many good defensive spells that will keep you alive. Also Your not playing to the levels where everything has true seeing.

Your probably going to want to be able to spontaneously cast fireballs.My recommendation would be greater spell specialization. This lets you have the exact number of explosions you need and still be able to provide a wide range of utility to your party

For metamagic your going to want empower and maximize. I prefer maximize on a rod and taking empower spell as a feat but it depends on how much gold your group gets. Normally you would want intensified and quicken but do to your level range maybe grab one at lv10. Additional traits for metamagic cost reduction would definitely be worth it. Staff of the Master is another good option if you have time to recharge it

Fireball is the best spell for you. Battering blast is good but I would consider it just a better scaling option for an admixture wizard

I would recommend buying wands/scrolls for your familiar to UMD:
Wands- protection from evil, clw, lesser restoration, true strike, remove fear, enlarge person, reduce person, endure elements, obscuring mist, air bubble, expeditious retreat, litany of weakness, feather fall, grease, horn of pursuit, liberating command, memorize page, moment of greatness, bless, unseen servant, vanish, ventriloquism, deadeye lore, expeditious excavation, faerie fire, mount, shield, honeyed tongue, animal messenger, delay poison, speak with animals, ill omen, mask dweomer, keep watch, alchemical tinkering, sure casting
Scrolls- deathward, freedom of movement, wish, heal, limited wish, teleport, knock, breath of life, see invisibility, break enchantment, stone to flesh, touch of the sea, secluded spellbook, magic aura, sculpt corpse, mind link, psychic surgery, handy grapnel, blood transcription, locate object, levitate, sending, commune with texts, true seeing, antimagic field, time stop, mages magnificent enclosure, subjective reality

Note these are just options. Never actually had all of these at one time. Mostly due to cost. Improved familiar is a pretty sweet feat for lv7


What do your feats look like?

If you are Evocation I recommend Spell Pen as your 9th level feat as that is usually when you start seeing it show up and the amounts of SR really start to scale up.

You can look into Spell Specialization and intensify to reach 12th CL for your blasts. We can look into Spell tattoo to increase another +1 CL. So you can drop 13d6 Fireballs by 10th level with just intensify.

Or you can look into dipping 1 level of Sorcerer Crossblooded at level 6 and get +2 damage per dice rolled which adds damage on the back end of your blasts. You can also take Bloodline Mutation and give up that 1st level power for Havoc which adds:

Havoc wrote:
Whenever you cast a bloodrager or sorcerer spell that deals damage, add 1 point of damage per die rolled. This benefit applies only to damaging spells that belong to schools you have selected with Spell Focus or that are bloodline spells for your bloodline.

So your fireballs can do +3 damage per dice rolled. If you do not like cross-blooded you can go Orc with Havoc and still get +2 on Evocations.


I think the general consensus is that the line

Quote:
Whenever you cast a bloodrager or sorcerer spell that deals damage

excludes Havoc from being used by Arcanists and Wizards who dipped one level sorc, since they aren't casting sorcerer spells, they're casting with arcanist or wizard slots.

Also ever if it did work for an Arcanist or a Wizard to get +3 damage they'd have to take 7 levels or sorc, since Crossblooded modifies bloodline powers. So you'd have to take it at 7 in place of a bonus feat.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I think the general consensus is that the line
Quote:
Whenever you cast a bloodrager or sorcerer spell that deals damage

excludes Havoc from being used by Arcanists and Wizards who dipped one level sorc, since they aren't casting sorcerer spells, they're casting with arcanist or wizard slots.

Also ever if it did work for an Arcanist or a Wizard to get +3 damage they'd have to take 7 levels or sorc, since Crossblooded modifies bloodline powers. So you'd have to take it at 7 in place of a bonus feat.

Ahh, I guess so. I just figure it is called the Wizard/Sorcerer spell list for a reason. But I can see where you must be casting AS a sorcerer class and not just from the same list AS a sorcerer uses.

So just cross-blooded for the +2 it is.


yarp, easily missed though.


The Admixture Subschool is very nice with the Rime Spell metamagic feat. You can turn any elemental spell into a [cold] spell, and then tag everything hit by it with the entangled condition. Plus you can more easily avoid resistances on enemies with Admixture.

The spell Battering Blast is great to specialize in at the point where you can cast it at CL10. Without using traits, it's still possible to have a 10CL by level 7, at which point you can sling two 5d6 force orbs that push around and knock down targets. The feats Spell Specialization and Varisian Tattoo (aka Mage Tattoo) boost CL.


Getting access to the Magical Lineage trait would be very helpful to you. It's good enough to be worth a feat (it should have been a feat, it's too good for a trait in my view) so see if your GM will let you pick it up as a feat even though you already have a magic trait. The key with evocation specialists is to pick a spell to specialize in and just pump as many feats and effects into enhancing it as possible. This is why Admixture is so critical for an Evoker Wizard, since it lets you get around the downsides of locking yourself into a single spell.


Louise Bishop wrote:

What do your feats look like?

If you are Evocation I recommend Spell Pen as your 9th level feat as that is usually when you start seeing it show up and the amounts of SR really start to scale up.

You can look into Spell Specialization and intensify to reach 12th CL for your blasts. We can look into Spell tattoo to increase another +1 CL. So you can drop 13d6 Fireballs by 10th level with just intensify.

Or you can look into dipping 1 level of Sorcerer Crossblooded at level 6 and get +2 damage per dice rolled which adds damage on the back end of your blasts. You can also take Bloodline Mutation and give up that 1st level power for Havoc which adds:

Havoc wrote:
Whenever you cast a bloodrager or sorcerer spell that deals damage, add 1 point of damage per die rolled. This benefit applies only to damaging spells that belong to schools you have selected with Spell Focus or that are bloodline spells for your bloodline.
So your fireballs can do +3 damage per dice rolled. If you do not like cross-blooded you can go Orc with Havoc and still get +2 on Evocations.

I really don't want to multiclass, especially not into other spellcasters.

As for Feats, looking for a 5th-level one. Right now I've got Spell Focus Evocation, Dodge and Eschew Materials.


Spell Specialization for your go-to blasting spell would be big, as Caster level scaling would be nice. You can switch the spell you apply the feat to every even level, so for those higher level spells that need the caster levels, it will be useful to make their bang worth the expensive buck.


I would call both dodge and eschew materials bad choices. Eschew materials does nothing if you have a spell component pouch and a few spares. Wizards generally have poor AC and a +1 from dodge makes little difference. Typically arcane casters will use miss chance from spells like obscuring mist, invisibility, and mirror image in place of boosting ac very high


Dastis wrote:
I would call both dodge and eschew materials bad choices. Eschew materials does nothing if you have a spell component pouch and a few spares. Wizards generally have poor AC and a +1 from dodge makes little difference. Typically arcane casters will use miss chance from spells like obscuring mist, invisibility, and mirror image in place of boosting ac very high

True, but I have illusion as an opposed school, so AC's all I've got. And right now, thanks to a really high dex, it's not bad.


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It might not be quite up your character's alley... but if you like fire and have a decent Fortitude (and/or easy fatigue healing, and/or don't use it every time), you might like Flumefire Rage from the Elemental Master's Handbook.


Isabelle Lee wrote:
It might not be quite up your character's alley... but if you like fire and have a decent Fortitude (and/or easy fatigue healing, and/or don't use it every time), you might like Flumefire Rage from the Elemental Master's Handbook.

Honestly, not really a fan of fire damage. I rely on it because it's 60% of all blasting spells, but I'll take any other element any day.


Blasting is weak if you do not invest heavily into it.
Check out the The Blockbuster guide.
I agree with Dastis about Dodge and Eschew materials, retrain them to Spell Specialization and Intensify spell. Take Additional traits to get Magical lineage.


Sarvis the Buck wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:
It might not be quite up your character's alley... but if you like fire and have a decent Fortitude (and/or easy fatigue healing, and/or don't use it every time), you might like Flumefire Rage from the Elemental Master's Handbook.
Honestly, not really a fan of fire damage. I rely on it because it's 60% of all blasting spells, but I'll take any other element any day.

It really isn't, if you don't like fire don't use it, you don't have to and it isn't the best option.

For overkill AOE damage the best spell is eventually chain lightning, but being Electric focused does put you behind the curve until about level 14-15 at which point it becomes the best option.

For single target Battering Blast is better, does force damage, doesn't require a save and is a level 3 Spell, so can be taken in place of fireball.

Fireball isn't the best blasting option for anything anymore.


It's worth noting in this case that Magical Lineage is completely non-negotiable if you're going the Chain Lightning route, since otherwise Chain Lightning is not eligible for quickened metamagic even with Spell Perfection. You do not want to give up the option to quicken. However, being inferior to fireball specialization from 5th-14th level is a pretty big downside in my view and I regard Chain Lightning as an inferior option overall unless you're starting play at 15+.


I think his magical trait is Transmuter. He can not have 2 magical traits.


Louise Bishop wrote:
I think his magical trait is Transmuter. He can not have 2 magical traits.

That's why I mentioned the issue. It's an incompatibility that would prevent him from working Chain Lightning specialization into his build.

Honestly, the underlying issue is that Magical Lineage shouldn't be a trait. It's a critical component of a very broad class of builds (blasters) and should have been a feat. My general rule of thumb is that if I ever catch myself adding the Additional Traits feat to an NPC for mechanical (non-flavor) reasons, it's a very strong indication that the trait I'm grabbing is overpowered.


Dasrak wrote:
It's worth noting in this case that Magical Lineage is completely non-negotiable if you're going the Chain Lightning route, since otherwise Chain Lightning is not eligible for quickened metamagic even with Spell Perfection. You do not want to give up the option to quicken. However, being inferior to fireball specialization from 5th-14th level is a pretty big downside in my view and I regard Chain Lightning as an inferior option overall unless you're starting play at 15+.

True enough although concerning the bolded I'd say its not too big of a loss from around level 10 (8 with Wayang spell hunter) at which point empowered lightning bolt is a thing, not as good as fireball but good enough to be worthwhile.

also its worth mentioning that whilst your damage would be behind until 14 your DCs would be massively ahead from 11(or 12 for Arcanists and sorcs), which probably brings them inline damage wise with a fireball user in a practical sense.

Being specialized in fire has the advantage of burning hands and scorching ray.
Although tangentially, if you're a orcish bloodline sorc with the havoc mutation you don't have to pick a favored element.

In which case I'd definitely build for chain lightning since you could use burning hand, scorching ray, fireball/battering blast and then eventually chain lightning.


Sarvis the Buck wrote:

Already playing a Wizard, so yes, I am kind of set on it at this point. This is entirely build advice for down the line. GM predicts we'll be going to 10th level or so.

Sort of got Traits already, based on backstory. Rancher, Transmuter, Clever Wordplay, and Naive.

Kind of have a secondary focus on transmutation.

I don't think he will even get access to chain Lightning stopping at level 10.


True xD Kinda a shame for a blaster really.

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