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Strong sorcerer blaster build


Advice


So, I'm thinking of playing a sorcerer for my next character, and, yes, I want to blast. Not solely, but mainly. And I want to be good at it. Not decent, but conversely, not optimal. There are plenty of threads out there about this, but most are older, and virtually all apply to my case generally, not specifically.

So, some guidelines/necessities.

NOT Crossblooded
Not Orc bloodline
Core races
No multiclass (just Sorcerer)
Preferably no archetype (other than Wildblooded if necessary)
Electric or Cold damage.

Things I have questions about:
Which Bloodline: Elemental or Genie with Blood Havoc for versatility and damage, or Draconic or Primal (Elemental) with Blood Havoc for damage+damage
Which Spells to focus on
Which Traits and Feats to take
Which race?
And which type of damage, electric or cold?

Thanks in advance for the help!


The versatility is limited, so I'd go with Draconic.

For spells, fireball or lightning bolt, going later into Chain lightning or delayed blast fireball, respectively.

Traits, nab Metamagic Master and Magical Lineage to your chosen spell. The pay off isn't immediate, but reducing Metamagic costs is huge.

Feats, spell specialization/Focus, spell penetration, and mage tattoo is your friend.

For damage, whatever you want.

For race, human.


You like Electric or Cold yes?

I would suggest Dragon + Blood Havoc and then you don't have to worry about Spell Specialization and Mage tattoo to boost damage which are in my opinion the more fiddly bits of building for blasting.

Going cold is in my opinion more friendly leveling up with a lower ceiling. You go Snowball into Ice Spears into Cone of Cold.

Going Lightning I would recommend basically not blasting till you get lightning bolt, you can use shocking grasp but you have to land a touch attack and you have to cast then move then deliver and you have to be in melee and its all a bit of a ball ache.

but then if you stick with it Chain lightning is the core of what is in my opinion the single most powerful blasting build in the game.

Battering blast does more single target but its strictly overkill, chain lightning also being overkill and selectively targeting what is in practical terms all your opponents.

The other awkward thing is Snow Ball and Ice Spears are conjuration where as Cone of Cold is Evocation which isn't very feat friendly. Then again cold damage also gets Rime spell, which is nice.


Elemental and Genie bloodlines are far worse than just doubling up on +1 damage per dice options. Being able to change your blasts to your damage type is just not as good, and the other abilities offered in each of the bloodlines doesn't make up for it.

I'd also pick draconic instead of primal bloodline, on the basis that it gets you a better class skill (perception), more versatile list of bloodline spells, and quicken spell as a bonus feat option.

If you're not interested in only maxing your damage, other bloodlines to consider with Blood Havoc include:
- Boreal (for higher cold spell DCs and the Snow Shroud ability @9, letting you see through your own fog clouds/obscuring mists)
- Stormborn (higher electric spell DCs)
- Void-Touched (Wildblooded. Arcana lets you silence enemies that you successfully blast, great vs. enemy casters. 9th level ability is a great control effect. You can swap out the 3rd level ability for Blood Havoc).
- Arcane (not much thematic synergy, but you can replace the bloodline feat at 7th with Blood Havoc. Metamagic Adept lets you do powerful things with your blasts, things normally in the Wizard's wheelhouse: Rime Spell metamagic for example)

Damage type to pick is more a function of your campaign than anything else. ie. cold is unlikely to be a good choice in Reign of Winter. Either way you choose, you still want to have access to multiple damage types due to immunities and resistances popping up.

I like Half-Orc or Halfling for sorcerers, gets you a +2 to CHA and they come with save bonuses to shore up your bad saves (assuming you take Sacred Tattoo on half-orc). Human also gets you bonus spells with its favored class bonus, which is pretty good.


Mbertorch wrote:

So, I'm thinking of playing a sorcerer for my next character, and, yes, I want to blast. Not solely, but mainly. And I want to be good at it. Not decent, but conversely, not optimal. There are plenty of threads out there about this, but most are older, and virtually all apply to my case generally, not specifically.

So, some guidelines/necessities.

NOT Crossblooded
Not Orc bloodline
Core races
No multiclass (just Sorcerer)
Preferably no archetype (other than Wildblooded if necessary)
Electric or Cold damage.

Things I have questions about:
Which Bloodline: Elemental or Genie with Blood Havoc for versatility and damage, or Draconic or Primal (Elemental) with Blood Havoc for damage+damage
Which Spells to focus on
Which Traits and Feats to take
Which race?
And which type of damage, electric or cold?

Thanks in advance for the help!

Here is my basic Dragon Disciple Sorcerer.

Basic Dragon Disciple Sorcerer:

Human 20 point buy
Str: 10, Dex: 14, Con: 12, Int: 10, Wis: 10, Cha: 19

Draconic Sorcerer 7/ Dragon Disciple 8

Feats:
Human: Favored PrC- Dragon Disciple
1: Spell Focus- Evocation
3: Craft Wondrous Item
5: Intensify Spell
7: Prestigious Spell Caster- D.D
7: (Bloodline Feat)- Bloodline Mutation- Havoc
9: Spell Pen
9: (Bloodline) Improved Initiative
11: Prestigious Spell Caster- D.D
12: (Bloodline) Toughness, Power Attack, or Great Fortitude ((You Pick))
13: Dazing Spell or Empower Spell ((You Pick control vs Damage))
15: (Bloodline) Quicken Spell
15: Spell Perfection or ((Your Choice))

As for the Element that is completely up to you. Both have Benefits. I will let you decide what best suits you. In the long run usually Chain Lightning makes a great Spell Perfection spell.


Cold resistance/immunity is more common than electricity r/i, unless your GM is fond of demons go for electricity.

If you go for cold anyway, take the elemental or marid bloodline because there aren't a lot of good cold blasting spells, snowball excepted. Cold is better for debuffing than blasting on the whole.

With electricity all those options are decent. Many of the best blasting spells are fire by default; burning arc, scorching ray, fireball - but there are enough good ones using electricity by default (shocking grasp, lightning bolt, chain lightning) that you don't necessarily need the ability to switch elements.

Later on some metamagic (intensified spell, empower spell especially) is necessary as well as the feats Darksol named. Mage's tattoo = Varisian tattoo & metamagic master = wayang spellhunter if you're not using d20pfsrd, BTW.


Okay, firstly, thank you everyone.

Secondly, according to this:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pwp4?BEST-ENERGY-TYPE -

while cold resistance is more common, electricity IMMUNITY is more common. But, I think that's in large part due to plant creatures which are more uncommon, yes?

Also, I did a very rough count, and of the ~190 undead on the d20pfsrd, about 50 were immune/resistant to cold, with like 40 or so immune and the rest varying degrees of resistant. About 7 or so were actually vulnerable to cold.

EDIT:
Oh, and I was kind of leaning towards Primal because I'd get Burning Hands and Scorching Ray of my element, and thus the bonus damage.

And most people seen to think the damage is better than the versatility, for bloodlines? What do people think of the Primal Dragon arcana that lets you reroll half your dice?


Mbertorch wrote:

Okay, firstly, thank you everyone.

And most people seen to think the damage is better than the versatility, for bloodlines?

The reason for this is you can get versatility from metamagic, rod, or a dip.

Damage can only be gotten via a dip or class feature. Not to mention most damage spells are reduced to half damage on a passed save so even if they save they take a good amount of damage anyways.


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I'd definitely say the Wildblooded Primal Elemental option is the best bloodline choice. It gives better powers than Draconic, and you're not stuck with all the redundant version of Form of the Dragon at higher levels. Its bad list of bloodline feats no longer matters now that bloodline mutations are a thing, since you'll be taking those optoins anyways. Draconic is a reasonable substitute if you prefer. Not a fan of the primal dragon option; rerolling dice slows down the game, and you'll be rolling lots of dice.

If you're going with Electric, the spell of choice is Chain Lightning. Electric is pretty terrible as an elemental specialization at low levels, but once you get Chain Lightning it jumps to being one of the best. Cold is another late bloomer, but Freezing Sphere and Cone of Cold make it come into its own a little earlier than electric does. Both are similar options and you could go with either just fine.

For traits, the only one that matters is Magical Lineage. Metamagic Master/Wayang Spellhunter is also great, but honestly I think any GM who lets these stack with Magical Lineage is insane. In any case, these traits are significantly superior to other traits and are better than most feats to be honest. No other trait really matters compared to these.

For feats, Spell Focus (Evocation) and Spell Specialization (Evocation) are good choices at 1st level. Spell Specialization can be automatically retrained into a different spell every time you level up, making it a great way to make it through the early levels before you get access to the spell you intend to specialize in. As you continue to level up, you want to start picking up metamagic options. Intensify, Empower, Quicken, and Dazing are always good picks for a blaster. Spell Penetration is also nice if SR proves to be an issue. Once you reach 15th level, Spell Perfection is your holy grail.

For race... human is the way to go, especially if you're starting at 1st level. Its favored class bonus just puts it ahead of the competition for Sorcerers, padding out your spells known. There are quite a few feats that are helpful for a blaster, so the extra human feat gives it an edge over half-elf and half-orc (which have the human subtype and thus qualify for human favored class bonus as well). The great thing about the favored class bonus is that you can diversify beyond blasting. It's still your primary focus, but you get to do a lot of other things on the side.


Demons. Demons are always immune to electricity, they'd make up a lot of those immune.

The primal dragon arcana is about the equivalent of +0.4 per die (0.8 per die rerolled). I can show you the math if you're interested.

I already gave my opinion on bloodlines.


The reason for me to prefer damage over versatility with blasting is that blaster casters have very very limited ammunition.

If you're not doing decent damage it really isn't worth while, whats the point of doing average or less than average damage when everyone else doing that damage can do it all day and you do it only 3-4 times a day?

For me blasters are about either spiking or controlling and sorcs are the go to class for spiking. Witches would be more suited to the controlling side me thinks.


While Sorcerers aren't Wizards, with human favored class bonus they have a pretty large number of spells known, and relatively few of those need to be for blasting. You already have versatility covered without any feat or class feature investment.


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Race Human- racial favored class bonus + bonus feat
Traits- Wayang Spellhunter + Magical Lineage. If you want anything else feel free to grab additional traits
Dragon Bloodline- solid all around for you. I recommend silver as I like the ice version better. Take all the blood havok
Feats- empowered/maximize(pick based on how gold generous the dm is), quicken spell, rime spell, spell perfection, spell focus, spell focus greater, spell specialization, mages tatoo, spell pen + greater, irrisen ice mage(pretty sure there is a flavor requirement here missing from pfsrd), craft rod
Spells- Snowball, Ice Spears, Dragon's Breath, Ice Storm, Cone of Cold, Icy Prison, Cold Ice Strike

Plays mostly like a fireball blaster but with Dragon's Breath instead. Costs you a bit more on rods but you a wide variety of CC you can use while hitting them


What Dasrak is saying is a very good point. I have a planned spell list for a level 20 Sorc, he only has 5 blasting spells and one of them is magic missile which he could arguably have re-trained.


If you are willing to go with fire damage, then Solar is the way to go.
+1 per die on all fire spells
Searing Light as a 1st level spell
Status removal at 9th level


Back on my computer, I can finally post this: Blaster Guide.

Yes, it's Arcanist specific, but it does contain a lot of relevant information to help you out that can apply to a Sorcerer as well.


A couple other interesting possibilities:

Go for specializing in Battering Blast. That spell can be devastating when you boost CL, and it's force damage. Spell Specialization, Varisian Tattoo, and Gifted Adept are fairly easy ways to boost CL.

Use an Esoteric variant on Draconic Bloodline to gain Psychic spells, and blast single targets with specialized Mind Thrust. Really unique type of Sorcerer blasting.

Edit: oh, and there's also Psychic Bloodline to become a purely mental caster. This means that you can freely use polymorph spells or even use heavy armor and a shield without any casting issues.


Speaking as someone who has made a mind thrust blaster.

The trouble with mindthrust is that if an opponent is immune to your element you can use the elemental spell metamagic or whatever it's called to change the element.

If an opponent is immune to Mind effecting (as many are) the fix is not so easy. Also it targets will saves which are typically higher than reflex.


Have you considered words of power? The blasting in this forgotten subsystem of Paizo's is amazing. It is, without a doubt, a system where spontaneous is king.


I really appreciate all this advice. I think I'm leaning towards Cold, just because there is a greater variety. Especially at lower levels. Although, if I go Primal, getting a Burning Hands and Scorching Ray of my element helps, right? And I'll definitely have other tricks besides blasting. I'm just making sure I'm good at it.

I'm also wondering how Metamagic Rods of Elemental Spell work with the Arcana for Primal/Dragon. Does a Cold Fireball get the bonus, or does, say, a Fire Freezing Sphere? Like, is the new type what matters, or the original?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When I make a Sorcerer, my favorite Bloodline is Solar--from the Campaign Setting Qadira, Jewel of the East--for it has some goodies other bloodlines do not. My favorite 'goody' happens at 3rd level: Your 1st level bloodline spell is Searing Light! No one gets that spell that early nor can cast it as often due to it being a FIRST level spell instead of the original 3rd level. Pretty good blasting ability, IMO.
The Arcana isn't bad with all fire spells receiving +1 damage per die rolled.


The Elemental Bloodline Arcana changes the actual descriptor of the spell to the new descriptor, so for example a Fireball changes from [fire] to [cold]. This means that everything relating to [cold] now applies, including Rime Spell metamagic and other Arcana relating to [cold]. Elemental Spell doesn't change the descriptor, but just the energy type. So while an Elemental Spell Fireball may deal another type of damage, it's still [fire] for all such purposes.


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I haven't seen any of these mentioned just yet (or in this combination):

Raging Blood
Flumefire Rage
Mad Magic
Furious Spell

Raging Blood allows you to enter a "state similar to a bloodrage" (and thus could be counted as the Bloodrage class feature for prerequisites, though ask your DM).
Flumefire Rages gives a static +1 dmg per die for Fire spells, though you run the risk of fatiguing yourself when using it. In a rage (or rage-like state) this becomes +2 dmg per die and you roll twice to avoid fatigue.
Mad Magic (if Raging Blood counts as bloodrage, ask your DM) lets you cast any spells in a bloodrage (which Raging Blood counts as).
Furious Spell is a metamagic (+1) that lets you cast a spell in a rage (if your DM doesn't allow Mad Magic)

Either way, its a three feat investment that slaps +2 dmg to fire spells, but could be incredible useful when combined with a melee oriented Draconic Blooded character going for Dragon Disciple (or a fire themed witch with the havocker archetype with fire blast).

A caster level 10 Brass Dragon Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple that casts fireball with blood havoc is getting 10d6+40 damage, and is still viable in melee combat. Bonus points if you are a half-orc and have Amplified Rage

If you MUST have cold or electricity, consider the Elemental Spell metamagic feat, and choose to convert half of the damage to another type. The spell will still retain its fire descriptor and get all of the same bonuses.


Solar seems interesting, but I'd rather stay away from fire. Defintely a cool one that I'll have to suggest to friends that like fire, though!

So, just to be clear, that means (for example) my fireball changed to cold damage with Elemental Spell will not benefit from my Primal Arcana for cold damage? But, my Cone of Cold switched to fire damage would still get the Arcana boost? Interesting.


To expand upon bad bird's explanation I would like to point out that you can use this to your advantage. IE if you used elemental cone of cold to deal lightning damage you can still apply rime. Elemental spell(cold) would still apply as well as any other cold modifiers. I recommend getting some elemental rods to diversify your damage types regardless of if you benefit from this


DeathlessOne wrote:

I haven't seen any of these mentioned just yet (or in this combination):

A caster level 10 Brass Dragon Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple that casts fireball with blood havoc is getting 10d6+40 damage, and is still viable in melee combat. Bonus points if you are a half-orc and have Amplified Rage

I was unaware of the Raging Blood...I might have to see if I can work that in somewhere.

But my example build does use the Havoc with blast spells and after gaining DD levels can be fierce in melee too. Not to mention it keeps full CL and doesn't lose the levels thanks to PrC spellcaster feat chain.


Mbertorch wrote:


So, just to be clear, that means (for example) my fireball changed to cold damage with Elemental Spell will not benefit from my Primal Arcana for cold damage? But, my Cone of Cold switched to fire damage would still get the Arcana boost? Interesting.

Yeah, weirdly this metamagic doesn't change the descriptor so even if you change the damage of a fireball to cold, it's still technically a fire spell and gains benefits as if it were a fire spell. Personally I consider this a weird oversight, and would have the Elemental Spell metamagic change the subtype of the spell in question (or gain both subtypes if you split the damage).


Okay, so firstly, thanks to everyone.

And secondly, now I'm just stuck between Cold and Electric. Cold has more options, but I feel like a lot of those options don't increase with level well, and Electric, is well, basically the opposite.


Rime Spell does make cold spells good later on. Just having to do any damage means that it affects creatures who make their saves on reflex half save spells, or those resistant to cold damage.

Conversely, if you get the ability to swap non-electricity spells to electricity damage then Burning Arc and Fireball are good with electricity. The primal ability to get electric burning hands and electric scorching ray is almost as good.

Mainly the question is do you want to be a hyperactive or crazy lightning-caster (those are the stereotypes, anyway) or an alien or grudge-bearing cold mage (ditto).


avr wrote:

Rime Spell does make cold spells good later on. Just having to do any damage means that it affects creatures who make their saves on reflex half save spells, or those resistant to cold damage.

Conversely, if you get the ability to swap non-electricity spells to electricity damage then Burning Arc and Fireball are good with electricity. The primal ability to get electric burning hands and electric scorching ray is almost as good.

Mainly the question is do you want to be a hyperactive or crazy lightning-caster (those are the stereotypes, anyway) or an alien or grudge-bearing cold mage (ditto).

Ha! That, and whether I'm more worried about my effectiveness vs demons or undead, it seems.


Have some other answers in your arsenal for when you hit enemies with annoying immunities.

Summon monster is a good fall back option.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Have some other answers in your arsenal for when you hit enemies with annoying immunities.

Summon monster is a good fall back option.

True enough. But I DESPISE summoning. Which, is like, heresy on these boards, I know. Oh well. Ha. I know there's still solid controls and saves-or-sucks I'll be able to contribute with, not to mention the ever-appreciated haste.

Dang. This is tough call. It stinks that Snowball wouldn't be affected by spell focus (evo), and thereby not affected by Blood Havoc...

But anyway, other than trying to find some intense math proving one over the other, I think I just have to take a leap on this one.

Thanks for the help, everyone!


Meh a lot of people think summoning is a bit clunky/not table friendly.

More general conjuration spells also work as a back up, create pit spells, Glitter Dust, Fog Cloud spells, Black Tentacles and a spot of buffing also works for a fall back.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

Meh a lot of people think summoning is a bit clunky/not table friendly.

More general conjuration spells also work as a back up, create pit spells, Glitter Dust, Fog Cloud spells, Black Tentacles and a spot of buffing also works for a fall back.

Cool, thanks. I appreciate that.


Yeah I don't like actually using summoning either. I would pick based on what level range you think the campaign will be. Ice blasting only caps out around lv13 and I can't find any good lightning spells lower than lv4. If you think most of the campaign will be lv8+ go for lightning. Otherwise cold is king. As for dealing with undead/daemon I would just learn a few more spells for dealing with those specific enemy types. As a sorcerer your only screwed if somehow your entire list is ineffective against the target.


I think another important factor will be the rest of the party's makeup. This isn't until our next game, probably, so I don't know right now. But if we have a lot of melee classes with low reflex saves, I'll probably go Electric because most good cold spells are AOE. On the other hand, if we're light on melee/have agile fighters, and a solid archer or the like, that Cold AOE might be more useful.


Mbertorch wrote:
I think another important factor will be the rest of the party's makeup. This isn't until our next game, probably, so I don't know right now. But if we have a lot of melee classes with low reflex saves, I'll probably go Electric because most good cold spells are AOE. On the other hand, if we're light on melee/have agile fighters, and a solid archer or the like, that Cold AOE might be more useful.

Selective Spell, even as a Metamagic rod, is a smart investment if blasting teammates is a concern.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Mbertorch wrote:
I think another important factor will be the rest of the party's makeup. This isn't until our next game, probably, so I don't know right now. But if we have a lot of melee classes with low reflex saves, I'll probably go Electric because most good cold spells are AOE. On the other hand, if we're light on melee/have agile fighters, and a solid archer or the like, that Cold AOE might be more useful.
Selective Spell, even as a Metamagic rod, is a smart investment if blasting teammates is a concern.

For sure, but it's also one more thing raising spell levels, right? Which is fair. Hmmm... tough decisions to be made.

Regardless, thanks for the info.


Certain spells are more easy to avoid targeting your friends with than others.

Ice spear for instance is easier to target than come of cold which is in turn easier to target than fireball.


Mbertorch wrote:

For sure, but it's also one more thing raising spell levels, right? Which is fair. Hmmm... tough decisions to be made.

Regardless, thanks for the info.

Yes, welcome to the struggle of being an omnipotent wielder of the arcane arts. So many different options, so few resources.


Also, quick question related to my build:

What exactly counts as an object? Because I was looking at the 5th level spell Lightning Arc, and it needs to be cast between two creatures or objects, and then in the spell says between two targets. So I'm assuming it could be between one creature and one object... So if that's the case, what is an object in Pathfinder? Or better yet, what isn't?


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Objects aren't explicitly defined, but a good rule of thumb would be non-living entities, or generic items. So, you can take a weapon, or even a stick, and turn it into a Lightning Rod.

Yes, pun intended. Yes, it's a bad one.


An object needs to be solid. Liquids and gases aren't valid targets. Other restrictions are made and broken in different places - can you target a sand dune or a part of a cliff? Both yes and no.


Hmmm... Okay. Cool. So, could I hypothetically carry like, a plate or cup or whatever in my hand all the time, drop it as a free action, 5 foot step aside, and then cast the spell between the dropped item and the target? Or even regular move for that matter? I'm not saying it's better than just casting Lightning Bolt. Just whether it's possible.


Yes.


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Just some options that weren't given above:

Feats:
Bloatmage Initiate (+1 CL to school)
Irrisen Icemage (+1 CL to cold descriptor, -1 to other elements; 3/day change spell damage to cold)
Flame Heart (+1 CL to fire damage spells)

Traits:
Secret of the Impossible Kingdom (+1 CL to one spell)

Items:
Voidfrost/Shocking/Blazing Robe (+1 CL to cold/electric/fire spells)
Conduit Rod (constant +1 CL to electricity descriptor)
Alchemical Reagents (variety of effects depending on the reagent and spell used, including +1 CL and +1 dmg/CL)

A rod of intensify or intensify spell and blood intensity become more and more crucial the more of these options you choose, so watch out.

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