Spell Combat + Spellstrike: clarification please


Round 3: Revised Magus Discussion


I've combed through the posts and haven't found an answer to this:
If a magus of 2nd level or higher uses Spell Combat to cast a melee touch spell, can he or she channel it into a free melee attack via Spellstrike?

Spell Combat:
At 1st level, a magus learns to cast
spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This
functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the offhand
weapon is a 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 and can also cast any
spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1
standard action. If he casts this spell defensively, he can
decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls,
up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount
as a circumstance bonus to his concentration check. If
the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still
take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell
first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more
than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon
attacks. The magus must have one hand free to use this
ability, even if the spell being cast does not contain
somatic components.

Spellstrike:
At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts
a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell
list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is
wielding as part of a melee attack. If successful, this
melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the
effects of the spell. Instead of the free melee touch attack
normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make
one free melee attack with his weapon as part of casting
this spell. If used with spell combat, this does not grant
an additional attack.

Also, would that attack be at a -2 penalty?


xAverusx wrote:

I've combed through the posts and haven't found an answer to this:

If a magus of 2nd level or higher uses Spell Combat to cast a melee touch spell, can he or she channel it into a free melee attack via Spellstrike?

Spellstrike: "If used with spell combat, this does not grant an additional attack."

I have to say, "no."


So if you use spell combat, you can cast the spell before you attack and deliver the touch spell with a regular meele attack - or you can make all your attacks, cast the spell and deliver it with a touch attack.

That said a magus can always use quickened spells to get extra swings.


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If you want to get the extra touch attack in, DON'T use spellstrike. Just use spell combat normally.

Say, for example, I have a 10th-level magus who gets two attacks normally. If he uses spell combat and makes a full attack along with shocking grasp, then he gets three attack, one of which is a touch attack.

However, you lose that bonus attack whenever you use spellstrike (which you should only use whenever you intend to make a single attack as a standard action).

As for whether or not the touch spell takes spell combat's -2 penalty? The spell does NOT take the penalty. Spell combat specifically says it is your WEAPON that takes the penalty. The spell is not your weapon. It is a spell.

Shadow Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:

If you want to get the extra touch attack in, DON'T use spellstrike. Just use spell combat normally.

Say, for example, I have a 10th-level magus who gets two attacks normally. If he uses spell combat and makes a full attack along with shocking grasp, then he gets three attack, one of which is a touch attack.

However, you lose that bonus attack whenever you use spellstrike (which you should only use whenever you intend to make a single attack as a standard action).

As for whether or not the touch spell takes spell combat's -2 penalty? The spell does NOT take the penalty. Spell combat specifically says it is your WEAPON that takes the penalty. The spell is not your weapon. It is a spell.

Spellstrike is better to use when you are low level and only have a single attack. Since Spell Strike is a standard action you can use it to close with an enemy. Spell Combat is a full round action.

Essentially there is no reason to use spell combat with a touch spell unless you are already holding one until you get your second attack.

Use Spellstrike when you need to approach, before you get a second attack and generally when using touch spells.

Use Spell Combat when you are casting non touch spells, buffing or need to guarantee the spell can't be disrupted.


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Decorus wrote:
Essentially there is no reason to use spell combat with a touch spell unless you are already holding one until you get your second attack.

Baloney! Using a touch spell with Spell Combat is like using a superior version Rapid Shot (a most popular feat I might add). You make a full attack with a -2 penalty, and then you gets an extra attack at your highest attack bonus (the touch spell, which isn't penalized for Spell Combat).

Certain blaster spells or a buff/debuff spell might be better, depending on the situation, but if I'm wailing on a large BBEG with my friends in melee, I may want to drop an intensified shocking grasp rather than a fireball (which would fry the party). It may even be more likely to land and deal more damage since the BBEG doesn't get a save against it.

It's all situational in the end.


Long story short, follow this reasoning when casting touch spells:

1) Got only 1 attack? Spell Strike.
2) Already holding a charge? Spell Combat, spell strike, and cast after the attacks.
3) Got more than 1 attack? Spell Combat, no spell strike.
4) Got more than 1 attack, and trust your bonus to hit against normal ac? Spell Combat with spellstrike for the extra crit chance on the spell.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Synapse wrote:

Long story short, follow this reasoning when casting touch spells:

1) Got only 1 attack? Spell Strike.
2) Already holding a charge? Spell Combat, spell strike, and cast after the attacks.
3) Got more than 1 attack? Spell Combat, no spell strike.
4) Got more than 1 attack, and trust your bonus to hit against normal ac? Spell Combat with spellstrike for the extra crit chance on the spell.

Pretty much right (though I still don't think the extra crit range will make it into the final).


Ravingdork wrote:
Synapse wrote:

Long story short, follow this reasoning when casting touch spells:

1) Got only 1 attack? Spell Strike.
2) Already holding a charge? Spell Combat, spell strike, and cast after the attacks.
3) Got more than 1 attack? Spell Combat, no spell strike.
4) Got more than 1 attack, and trust your bonus to hit against normal ac? Spell Combat with spellstrike for the extra crit chance on the spell.

Pretty much right (though I still don't think the extra crit range will make it into the final).

Buhlman himself said that's how it was supposed to work, and no one has made any bad position about it other than "bleh so all magi will use rapiers and scimitars".


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Synapse wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Synapse wrote:

Long story short, follow this reasoning when casting touch spells:

1) Got only 1 attack? Spell Strike.
2) Already holding a charge? Spell Combat, spell strike, and cast after the attacks.
3) Got more than 1 attack? Spell Combat, no spell strike.
4) Got more than 1 attack, and trust your bonus to hit against normal ac? Spell Combat with spellstrike for the extra crit chance on the spell.

Pretty much right (though I still don't think the extra crit range will make it into the final).
Buhlman himself said that's how it was supposed to work, and no one has made any bad position about it other than "bleh so all magi will use rapiers and scimitars".

Which I think sucks! Everyone is being shoehorned into using those weapons, because anything else would automatically be considered an inferior choice.

Not a cool thing to do in a game that's supposed to be all about the options.


I agree with that, but it's not really supported by the rules. All the good weapons are the ones with either large crit multipliers or large crit ranges, because the base damage is largely irrelevant.

Personally I'd love to play a magus with a whip and a scimitar without burning feats just to be moderately competent.

Dark Archive

Ravingdork wrote:

Which I think sucks! Everyone is being shoehorned into using those weapons, because anything else would automatically be considered an inferior choice.

Not a cool thing to do in a game that's supposed to be all about the options.

No offense intended, but that's crap.

They're already the most effective weapons in the game for any class in melee. By your logic, Inquisitors, Fighters, and everyone else with access to martial weapons is also being shoehorned into using 18-20 weapons.


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YuenglingDragon wrote:
[Rapiers and scimitars] are already the most effective weapons in the game for any class in melee.

That's news to me! As far as I've seen, they are only good for crit builds, or people with high Dexterity scores who want to use Weapon Finesse. A strong man is much more likely to use a longsword and shield, or a greatsword or greataxe I'm thinking.


A longsword deals 30% more damage while a scimitar has 50% more crits. The LS is ahead by about 15% in total damage over a long string of hits, not considering any bonuses. At +18 extra damage, the scimitar beats the longsword.

Spellstriking favors high crit. With shocking grasps and level 5, a scimitar beats the longsword at a -2 static bonus (well, penalty).

Typically a magus will be 2handing the weapon any time spell combat isn't being used, reducing the gap between the two.

Without crit optimization (other than Keen since that doesn't change the average damage ratios between the two), the LS is ahead of the scimitar.
As soon as you add any crit effects or sufficient extra damage, Scim pulls ahead quickly.

Dark Archive

Ravingdork wrote:
That's news to me! As far as I've seen, they are only good for crit builds, or people with high Dexterity scores who want to use Weapon Finesse. A strong man is much more likely to use a longsword and shield, or a greatsword or greataxe I'm thinking.

Yeah, I don't know where you got that from.

First of all, I was talking about high crit range weapons in general so we should start from that basic premise. The math is pretty clear that nearly every melee build is better with an 18-20 weapon. 18-20 weapons do only 1 less base damage on average compared to 19-20 weapons except for the Falchion which is 2 less than the great sword. In exchange for that you have an increased chance to double your damage, a more efficient use of Keen or Improved Crit (a 15% increase instead of 10%), and a greater chance to deal crit-based damage/effects.


Crit Optimizing is great until you run into Crit Immunity or Fortification.
Then big dice is nicer, as it is for things like Vital Strike or other doubled dice effects...

That said, I think the weapon crit range applying to Spellstrike spells is too much...
I don´t see why wording can´t be added so that the spell charge only crits when it normally would and for normal effect, i.e. 20 for x2. It´s pretty easy to see when the weapon crits and the spell doesn´t, or when both do (for potentially different multipliers). Of course, limiting the multiplier on the {carrier} charge but using the weapon crit range (as suggested by Jason) just means scimitars/rapiers are MORE favored and low range/high crit weapons like axes are EVEN MORE sub-optimal. Please don´t do it that way...

From the feedback, I´m seeing alot of takes on how aspects of the Magus could get over-powered, but the over-all class definitely doesn´t seem over-powered, so while trimming down a few areas, alot more abilities can be added in which just add more versatility/endurance without threatening to over-power other classes.


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Quandary wrote:

Crit Optimizing is great until you run into Crit Immunity or Fortification.

Then big dice is nicer, as it is for things like Vital Strike or other doubled dice effects...

That said, I think the weapon crit range applying to Spellstrike spells is too much...
I don´t see why wording can´t be added so that the spell charge only crits when it normally would and for normal effect, i.e. 20 for x2. It´s pretty easy to see when the weapon crits and the spell doesn´t, or when both do (for potentially different multipliers). Of course, limiting the multiplier on the {carrier} charge but using the weapon crit range (as suggested by Jason) just means scimitars/rapiers are MORE favored and low range/high crit weapons like axes are EVEN MORE sub-optimal. Please don´t do it that way...

From the feedback, I´m seeing alot of takes on how aspects of the Magus could get over-powered, but the over-all class definitely doesn´t seem over-powered, so while trimming down a few areas, alot more abilities can be added in which just add more versatility/endurance without threatening to over-power other classes.

Totally agree. Being able to swing a rapier with a 15-20 threat range and smacking a target for 22d6 damage (2d6 rapier, 20d6 from an intensified shocking grasp) for only a 2nd level spell slot is just too powerful.


Doing so, however, is limited to 10th lvl or above, requires a feat, a critical, and a confirmation. On avg., it does a reasonable amount of damage.

Removing it greatly limits the effectiveness of spellstrike, almost to the point of uselessness.


It just makes Spellstrike useful for getting off a spell and an attack when you only have a Standard Action. Better than useless in my book.

I -think- I wrote this elsewhere, but I think failing a Concentration on a Spellstrike spell SHOULDN´T negate the attack that WOULD have delivered it, though it should probably still take a -2 attack penalty.


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Mynameisjake wrote:

Doing so, however, is limited to 10th lvl or above, requires a feat, a critical, and a confirmation. On avg., it does a reasonable amount of damage.

Removing it greatly limits the effectiveness of spellstrike, almost to the point of uselessness.

The whole point of Spellstrike is to be able to cast a spell into your weapon and hit a target with both as a single action. Far from useless if you have limited actions (such as when you just want to run up and smack em' in round 1). Whereas the fighter in the same situation only who gets a single attack, you get what amounts to a single attack AND an attack spell.

EDIT: Damn ninja!

Quandary wrote:

It just makes Spellstrike useful for getting off a spell and an attack when you only have a Standard Action. Better than useless in my book.

I -think- I wrote this elsewhere, but I think failing a Concentration on a Spellstrike spell SHOULDN´T negate the attack that WOULD have delivered it, though it should probably still take a -2 attack penalty.

Spellstrike does not have a -2 penalty, only spell combat has that.


A 20d6 damage attack at level 10, at the cost of a crit and a feat and a second-level spell... isn't much. It's within the range of all casters. The only advantage the magus has over them is being able to fish for more crit chances.

What will your baseline comparison be? If it's a fighter, then any new class will have trouble comparing to most others. If it's a wizard, then you'll never make a class of similar power unless it's "wizard, now with feeling".


xAverusx wrote:

I've combed through the posts and haven't found an answer to this:

If a magus of 2nd level or higher uses Spell Combat to cast a melee touch spell, can he or she channel it into a free melee attack via Spellstrike?

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Also, would that attack be at a -2 penalty?

From how I read it you should be able to cast a touch spell with Spell Combat then use Spell Strike to deliver it with one of you existing attacks. The description of Spell Strike specifically mentions using it with Spell Combat and it doesn't grant you a free melee attack.


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voska66 wrote:
xAverusx wrote:

I've combed through the posts and haven't found an answer to this:

If a magus of 2nd level or higher uses Spell Combat to cast a melee touch spell, can he or she channel it into a free melee attack via Spellstrike?

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Also, would that attack be at a -2 penalty?

From how I read it you should be able to cast a touch spell with Spell Combat then use Spell Strike to deliver it with one of you existing attacks. The description of Spell Strike specifically mentions using it with Spell Combat and it doesn't grant you a free melee attack.

So you have the choice of full attacking at -2 and casting the spell (without penalty to the TOUCH attack) or you can cast the spell and full attack while channeling the spell into one of the attacks (all of which suffer a -2 penalty).

The first option seems obviously better to me.


Ravingdork wrote:
voska66 wrote:
xAverusx wrote:

I've combed through the posts and haven't found an answer to this:

If a magus of 2nd level or higher uses Spell Combat to cast a melee touch spell, can he or she channel it into a free melee attack via Spellstrike?

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Also, would that attack be at a -2 penalty?

From how I read it you should be able to cast a touch spell with Spell Combat then use Spell Strike to deliver it with one of you existing attacks. The description of Spell Strike specifically mentions using it with Spell Combat and it doesn't grant you a free melee attack.

So you have the choice of full attacking at -2 and casting the spell (without penalty to the TOUCH attack) or you can cast the spell and full attack while channeling the spell into one of the attacks (all of which suffer a -2 penalty).

The first option seems obviously better to me.

Or you can cast the spell, full attack, and if they all miss take the free touch attack, since you can take it at any point during your turn.


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Caineach wrote:
Or you can cast the spell, full attack, and if they all miss take the free touch attack, since you can take it at any point during your turn.

But you only get the free touch attack as part of the casting. If you don't make it right when you cast the spell don't you have to wait until your next available attack action?


Ravingdork wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Or you can cast the spell, full attack, and if they all miss take the free touch attack, since you can take it at any point during your turn.
But you only get the free touch attack as part of the casting. If you don't make it right when you cast the spell don't you have to wait until your next available attack action?

Incorrect. You get the free touch attack at any point durring the turn you cast the spell.


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Caineach wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Or you can cast the spell, full attack, and if they all miss take the free touch attack, since you can take it at any point during your turn.
But you only get the free touch attack as part of the casting. If you don't make it right when you cast the spell don't you have to wait until your next available attack action?
Incorrect. You get the free touch attack at any point durring the turn you cast the spell.

Where does it say that?

Also, are you speaking in general terms, or is this something specific to the magus?

Dark Archive

Ravingdork wrote:

Where does it say that?

Also, are you speaking in general terms, or is this something specific to the magus?

This is true in general. It is common for Wizards and Clerics to cast, move, and then deliver a touch to minimize AoO's.


Ravingdork wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Or you can cast the spell, full attack, and if they all miss take the free touch attack, since you can take it at any point during your turn.
But you only get the free touch attack as part of the casting. If you don't make it right when you cast the spell don't you have to wait until your next available attack action?
Incorrect. You get the free touch attack at any point durring the turn you cast the spell.

Where does it say that?

Also, are you speaking in general terms, or is this something specific to the magus?

Combat section of the PRD, under the standard action casting a spell, Touch Spells in Combat.

Dark Archive

Caineach wrote:
Combat section of the PRD, under the standard action casting a spell, Touch Spells in Combat.

Over here

d20PFSRD wrote:
Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.


Magus wrote:

Spellstrike (Su): At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts

a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell
list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is
wielding as part of a melee attack. If successful, this
melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the
effects of the spell. Instead of the free melee touch attack
normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make
one free melee attack with his weapon as part of casting
this spell. If used with spell combat, this does not grant
an additional attack.

Emphasis mine.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks everyone! I had read that a long time ago, but had since forgotten about it. Is that unique to Pathfinder, or has it always been that way?

Kryzbyn wrote:
Magus wrote:

Spellstrike (Su): At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts

a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell
list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is
wielding as part of a melee attack. If successful, this
melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the
effects of the spell. Instead of the free melee touch attack
normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make
one free melee attack with his weapon as part of casting
this spell. If used with spell combat, this does not grant
an additional attack.
Emphasis mine.

Why are you pointing that out now?


Ravingdork wrote:

Thanks everyone! I had read that a long time ago, but had since forgotten about it. Is that unique to Pathfinder, or has it always been that way?

Kryzbyn wrote:
Magus wrote:

Spellstrike (Su): At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts

a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell
list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is
wielding as part of a melee attack. If successful, this
melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the
effects of the spell. Instead of the free melee touch attack
normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make
one free melee attack with his weapon as part of casting
this spell. If used with spell combat, this does not grant
an additional attack.
Emphasis mine.
Why are you pointing that out now?

Errm...

I thought what was being debated was an extra free melee touch attack.
If a magus casts a touch spell, he either has to choose to deliver it through a weapon via spell strike or via the touch that comes with the spell, not both. It further specifies it doesn't work in conjunction with spell combat.

If I came to party too late, NM <blush>.

Dark Archive

Kryzbyn wrote:


Errm...
I thought what was being debated was an extra free melee touch attack.
If a magus casts a touch spell, he either has to choose to deliver it through a weapon via spell strike or via the touch that comes with the spell, not both. It further specifies it doesn't work in conjunction with spell combat.

If I came to party too late, NM <blush>.

It's cool, we're actually talking about when in the round a touch can be delivered. I don't see any reason why the Magus would not be able to cast move and then make his Spellstrike attack.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kryzbyn wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Thanks everyone! I had read that a long time ago, but had since forgotten about it. Is that unique to Pathfinder, or has it always been that way?

Kryzbyn wrote:
Magus wrote:

Spellstrike (Su): At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts

a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell
list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is
wielding as part of a melee attack. If successful, this
melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the
effects of the spell. Instead of the free melee touch attack
normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make
one free melee attack with his weapon as part of casting
this spell. If used with spell combat, this does not grant
an additional attack.
Emphasis mine.
Why are you pointing that out now?

Errm...

I thought what was being debated was an extra free melee touch attack.
If a magus casts a touch spell, he either has to choose to deliver it through a weapon via spell strike or via the touch that comes with the spell, not both. It further specifies it doesn't work in conjunction with spell combat.

If I came to party too late, NM <blush>.

Oh okay. It does work with spell combat, it's just generally not as advantageous to do so (as you don't get an extra attack or a touch attack.


YuenglingDragon wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:


Errm...
I thought what was being debated was an extra free melee touch attack.
If a magus casts a touch spell, he either has to choose to deliver it through a weapon via spell strike or via the touch that comes with the spell, not both. It further specifies it doesn't work in conjunction with spell combat.

If I came to party too late, NM <blush>.

It's cool, we're actually talking about when in the round a touch can be delivered. I don't see any reason why the Magus would not be able to cast move and then make his Spellstrike attack.

Oh...well why wouldn't he?

He's just substituting a melee touch for a melee weapon attack?

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