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Brawler dip into Warpriest?


Advice


Simply put, is Martial Flexibility worth losing a level of spellcasting, particularly in a class that gets extra "building block" feats to flex off of like Warpriest?

Follow up: Does going Sacred Fist instead of standard Warpriest make a difference?


Well, the essential question is this: what are you planning to do with it?

Because martial flexibility basically just gives you a bonus feat that you have to activate with an action, but you can switch it every time. So the question is: what bonus feats are you looking for?

If it is just a single one... then no. Warpriest is already a class that gets bonus combat feats- at some point, your dip would delay that, which means you are wasting your other abilities for nothing. If you have a number you want on hand, then maybe it is worth it.

The question is a bit better if you also want to do TWF stuff and take 2 levels of brawler. Brawler gives a better version of TWF (sure, weapon restrictions, but you can use one weapon for every attack and you can 2 hand, and you can take ITWF normally; warpriest has martial weapons, so there are some decent monk weapons you could grab).


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Wouldn't taking Advanced Weapon Training: Abundant Tactics on an Arsenal Chaplain WP to supplement the Barroom Brawler feat be better?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Wouldn't taking Advanced Weapon Training: Abundant Tactics on an Arsenal Chaplain WP to supplement the Barroom Brawler feat be better?

Not if I'm a Sacred Fist.

I'm not looking for an alternate methodology, at least for the moment. I need to get a sense of the comparative importance of Martial Flexibility vs a level of cleric spellcasting.

lemeres wrote:

Well, the essential question is this: what are you planning to do with it?

Because martial flexibility basically just gives you a bonus feat that you have to activate with an action, but you can switch it every time. So the question is: what bonus feats are you looking for?

All of them? That really is my answer, unfortunately.

The way I'm analyzing this is that every new feat I pick up is not just that feat, but anything else I can unlock using MF. Dirty Fighting isn't just Dirty Fighting; it's Archon Style, Gang Up, Improved Dirty Fighting, Improved Feint, Improved Reposition, Improved Disarm, and Improved Trip.

I did look once to build toward Hurricane Punch. I wasn't looking at it as just Hurricane Punch - I'm also picking up Awe-Inspiring Smasg, Cleave, Furious Focus, Improved Drag, Improved Sunder, Pushing Assult, Improved Overrun, Shield of Swings, AND Hurricane Punch.

So the thought was never looking at any one thing; it was more "what else are we pulling in the process to getting that one thing.

The question is whether or not all of those things picked up en route become worth a spellcasting level.


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1 flexible feat for limited time that takes an action to use to me is a very weak ability and thus wouldn't be considering it as a dip for loss of anything.


Chess Pwn wrote:
1 flexible feat for limited time that takes an action to use to me is a very weak ability and thus wouldn't be considering it as a dip for loss of anything.

It lasts a minute right? That's 10 rounds so one encounter per day. If you wanted to spend a feat to increase the use you could do that. You'd need to decide if having flexibility available more often is worth spending the feat.

Scarab Sages

I’m a fan of dipping Brawler, but here I don’t think it’s worth it. Martial Flexibility is nice, but it’s the only thing you’re really gaining. Warpriest has 6th level spell progression. Getting to higher level spells to use with Fervor is a big deal. Getting more Fervor is a big deal. Getting your caster level to 6 or 9 for divine favor is a big deal. Or 12 for Divine Power.

When I look at a Brawler dip, I look at more than just Martial Flexibility. You already have Improved Unarmed Strike, so that doesn’t do anything for you. You’ve already got Flurry, so 2 levels of Brawler doesn’t help there. Do you have a 13 INT? If not, do you need to take a feat that requires it? If so, that would be something extra worthwhile. Otherwise it’s just Martial Flexibility and some additional bonuses for saves, which doesn’t seem worth it.


MageHunter wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
1 flexible feat for limited time that takes an action to use to me is a very weak ability and thus wouldn't be considering it as a dip for loss of anything.
It lasts a minute right? That's 10 rounds so one encounter per day. If you wanted to spend a feat to increase the use you could do that. You'd need to decide if having flexibility available more often is worth spending the feat.

Right, but lets look.

WP Can swift action buff and then charge or can swift action buff or move and attack or move and ready. With MF you swift action buff and attack or move.

R2 is when you're maybe looking at being able to use MF before you get your full attacks or have haste on you.

So which feat on round two is worth grabbing? Basically any feat worth having at the time is one as a WP that you'd have already.

Scarab Sages

I mean, Dedicated Adversary is solid on top of other Warpriest buffs, and a Warpriest that's only getting 1 attack a round before 8th level isn't going to miss using the move action that much. From 8th until 15th you're only getting two attacks, and one is at -5. So losing one iterative to get a +2/+2 for the rest of the fight isn't terrible (unless you're fighting a bunch of different things). It's the equivalent of a Slayer using Studied Target before they can do it as a swift.

Haste, blessing of fervor, or divine power obviously affect that and come online much sooner than your third iterative.

However, we're looking at a Sacred Fist here. Sacred Fist has Flurry, so choosing to use the move action for Martial Flexibility means that you aren't flurrying. Which means you're giving up an attack at your highest bonus (-2 for flurry). That's a pretty big deal. And, once you hit 8th, you're giving up three attacks. Now it's a real issue. Add one of those spells into the mix, and it's a huge problem.

I'm also assuming that the OP doesn't have Magical Knack, so is losing a full caster level with the dip. That alone on a Warpriest means that at 1/3 of your levels, you'd be effectively cutting the benefit of something like Dedicated Adversary in half, and that's about the best fallback feat for Martial Flexibility when you don't need something else.


Ferious Thune wrote:


I'm also assuming that the OP doesn't have Magical Knack, so is losing a full caster level with the dip. That alone on a Warpriest means that at 1/3 of your levels, you'd be effectively cutting the benefit of something like Dedicated Adversary in half, and that's about the best fallback feat for Martial Flexibility when you don't need something else.

It's an option. :) I just didn't want to include it because it muddied the waters. The question is whether or not 25 feats minimum available a la carte were worth a spell level. The answer is "no".

I'm looking at doing the dip at 5th level. At that point, my feats (for the purposes of analysis) would be the following: Dodge, Dirty Fighting, Crane Style, Power Attack, and Improved Unarmed Strike. Based on what PCGen, with nowhere near all of the books loaded, that gives me access to the following: Archon Style, Gang Up, Improved Dirty Fighting, Improved Feint, Improved Reposition, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Awe-Inspiring Smash, Cleave, Furious Focus, Improved Drag, Improved Sunder, Pushing Assault, Improved Overrun, Shield of Swings,Dazing Fist, Deflect Arrows, Improved Grapple, Jabbing Style, Nightmare Fist, Pummelling Style, Scorpion Style, Snapping Turtle Style, and Tiger Style. I have them for either 4 "standard" fights, or a couple of standard ones and a long one. That is based SOLELY on the feats I listed as taking; it doesn't include things without prerequisites, like Dedicated Adversary, which in this light I can STILL take via MF and pick a new adversary every day.

It feels weird to me that this sort of utility isn't viewed more strongly. A lot of these are situational, but that's the beauty of MF; I don't have to "invest" in it until I need it. I'm a bit taken aback, but I understand the arguments and reasoning given.

That said, I'm thoroughly convinced to cut Aldori Caution for Magical Knack, though. :)

Scarab Sages

Well Magical knack is only good if you’re going to take a level dip. If you aren’t, it doesn’t do anything for you. It caps out at caster level = character level. So take it if you’re going to take the dip, but not if you aren’t.

I think PCGen is incorrect about allowing you to qualify for Improved Feint. Feint is not a combat maneuver, and Dirty Fighting only works as Combat Expertise for combat maneuvers and feats that have combat maneuvers as prereqs.

The flexibility is nice, and if that’s what you want out of the character, then go for it. It’s just better done with a pure Brawler. Warpriest excels at self buffing and dealing damage.

Some of the feats on that list aren’t worth the actions to pick them up. Snapping Turtle Style isn’t very good without Snapping Turtle Clutch. But you’ll never be able to pick up Clutch. Similarly, Shield of Swings isn’t worth it. The Improved Maneuver feats might be, but you can already do those maneuvers, you just provoke. You don’t even provoke when you’re flanking, thanks to Dirty Fighting. Cleave means you aren’t using flurry. It’s a small bonus to-hit situationally, but probably not something you’d do often. Tiger Style is situationally useful for overcoming DR/slashing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to pull out feats when you need them. But taking an entire level dip for something you might not use every fight is tough. If you are going to use it every fight, it’s going to be for Dedicated Adversary or maybe Furious Focus (when you can’t identify the enemy or are fighting different types of things).

When you’re looking at being flexible as a character, a Warpriest with one level of Brawler can grab a useful feat. A Brawler can grab an entire feat chain.

Anyway, since you can take Magical Knack, the level dip doesn’t hurt as much. Your caster level will stay at max. You’ll have slightly fewer spell slots, slightly less Fervor, and get to new spell levels slower, but that’s manageable. If you’ll have more fun with a flexible character, go for it.

EDIT: Actually, I looked at my most recent workup for the build I'm talking about below, and it looks like I talked myself out of the Brawler level at some point. I moved things around and have it down for a Fighter level taking Improved Whip Mastery as a permanent bonus feat. But below was my thought process at one point.

For the record, I do have a Warpriest with a planned Brawler dip. He’s a whip wielder with crusader’s flurry, so he already dipped a level of Unchained Monk. I’m building towards Difficult Swings, so I needed a second full-BAB class level to be able to pick up Martial Focus (a prereq). Rather than take a second level of monk and be locked into a choice of bonus feats, or a level of Fighter and get a single bonus feat, I’m going Brawler. That will let me pick up feats in the different feat chains I’m building for earlier than I could take them as permanent feats. Or something like Lunge when I’m stuck at the back of the group. So there I felt like it was worth it. But that was more about meeting specific requirements than being versatile.


Archon Style, Gang Up, Improved Dirty Fighting, Improved Feint, Improved Reposition, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Awe-Inspiring Smash, Cleave, Furious Focus, Improved Drag, Improved Sunder, Pushing Assault, Improved Overrun, Shield of Swings,Dazing Fist, Deflect Arrows, Improved Grapple, Jabbing Style, Nightmare Fist, Pummelling Style, Scorpion Style, Snapping Turtle Style, and Tiger Style.

Let's see here and evaluate this list for their worth
Not worth, not worth, not worth, not worth,
not worth, not worth, not worth, not worth,
not worth, not worth, not worth, not worth, Maybe slightly worth,
not worth, not worth, not worth, maybe slightly worth,
not worth, not worth, not worth, not worth
not worth, not worth, not worth.

So taking your level dip, excluding all you lose, nets you the ability to flexibly grab 2 maybe slightly worth feats if their situation comes up..... This is why it's not valued highly. Sure you can grab one of 20 feats on the spot, but since none of them are good we don't value it high. Like unless you can explain the times that getting and using any of those is a good use of your turn and that those situations come up quite frequently you should be able to see why it's not valued.


With only 1st level Martial Flexibility, the only real option for a feat is Dedicated Adversary. The possible full round buff of [move action = Dedicated Adversary], [Swift = spell buff], standard = spell buff] for really tough ambushes might be worth it. Other than that, I'm with Chess Pwn.

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