For those of us that don't have speakers on our computers: could you clarify what you're referring to in mechanical terms? We have a Magus in our home game, and we would like to keep him up to date if possible.
So basically, what spell combat allows a magus to do is, if they really want to make sure they get the spell off in melee against an enemy, they can just take a large penalty on the attack roll, basically sacrificing the attack roll making sure the concentration check goes off.
Compiled in rules text format:
Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons effectively at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand is the spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free, while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a -2 penalty. He can also cast any spell with a casting time of 1 standard action from the magus spell list. He must cast this spell defensively. If the check fails, the spell is wasted.
A magus can choose to gain a bonus on the concentration check by increasing the penalty to attacks. For each -1 penalty to attacks (beyond the mandatory -2 penalty), the magus gains a +1 bonus on the concentration check to cast the spell. The increased penalty applies to all melee weapon attacks the magus makes while using spell combat.
A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks if he has more than one attack. Casting a spell in this manner does no provoke an attack of opportunity. The magus must have one hand free to use this ability, even if the spell being cast does not contain somatic components.
I've been bouncing around some numbers and came up with some surprising results. I wanted to double-check and see if the process we were using was correct. It requires a level 15 character, and there are plenty of ridiculous stunts you can pull at that level already, but this one seems a little overboard. Perhaps it's simply because it uses a very specific set-up. Anyway, enough rambling. Here's what we did.
1. Take Quicken and Maximize Magus Arcana abilities by 15th level.
2. Use a weapon with Spell Storing. Not hard.
3. Put Scorching Ray in it.
4. On your first strike, Scorching Ray goes off normally thanks to spell storing. Bam. 12d6 damage
5. On your last strike, opt to cast a spell in place of your final attack. Use your Spell Pool to cast an Empowered Scorching Ray (3 pool points). On that Empowered Scorching Ray, opt to utilize your free 1/day Maximize Magus Arcana. Bam. 108 damage.
6. Immediately use the 1/day Quicken Magus Arcana to cast another Scorching Ray. Once again, cast it using Spell Pool points and Empower it (3 points). 18d6 more
So by 15th level you're looking at 108+30d6 fire damage. From a 2nd level spell. Yeah, it's not something you can do consistently, but that kind of burst damage is still pretty nutty. I mean, SR still applies, and there are plenty of things that shrug off fire damage, but that's just ... that's a big number. Am I completely missing something here? I'm about 85% sure I'm doing something wrong...
[see Finishing Move! above]
So by 15th level you're looking at 108+30d6 fire damage. From a 2nd level spell. [...]
I'm no magus expert, but at 15th level, the 108+30d6 damage isn't from a 2nd level spell. It's from three 2nd level spells, 6 pool points, and two uses of 1/day abilities. Does that make it sound better?
not that your combo isn't a very good combo, but maximize doesn't maximize the empowered damage. max+emp+2d6= 12+1d6
You assume that you hit with a lot of attacks, okay, likely with touch attacks. You assume that there is no spell-resistance, not so likely at that lvl. And you are flaring, using up a lot of stuff in a very short time. But you made your point that in DPR Olympics a Magus can compete.