Been PLaytesting this for awhile now.
Thought I'd post some thoughts.
Magus is a Very Fun Glass Cannon.
This stems from a few things
1. Handed weapon use when using spell combat-
The PA damage from 1handed sucks and the -2 to attack with spell combat blows. This neccesitates either a STR build or a Dervish Dance Dex Build.
These problems mean you need an insane STR to actually to decent damage with your attacks.
2. Spell Strike rocks awesome- Most classes can only standard attack on a move. Magus on the other hand can cast a touch spell with a standard action attack and strike with his weapon to deliver it.
So moving in Combat is a strength of the Magus because he can attack 2 handed for better PA and lay a No Save Vampiric touch on the spell, for example.
3. Magus is MAD. Most of the Magus's spells being blasts allow saves. Saves means high INT. The -2 to hit needs high STR. Being in Melee regularly requires Dex and Con.
4. Races- Best races for this class appear to be:
1st Elf ( for the free +2 Int, Dex and +2 vs SR, +2 Perception and saves vs Enchantment)
Half Elf (For ancestral arms- Bastard Sword or Falcata and Arcane Training Racial Trait, +2 ANY ability score, Perception and saves vs Enchantment)
Human- free feat, extra skill points, +2 any score
Splitting hairs here,
the Human extra Skill point here is not worth much since the class has high int anyway. A human could take Spell pen but the elf essentially gets it for free. The Half-Elf can get a free EXP at first level (racial) so the +2 Elves and Half- Elves get to perception and saves vs Enchantment put them above human for me.
STR 17 (22 all points to STR, +6 Belt of Phys Perfection= 28STR)
DEX 10 (+6 Belt of Phys Perfection)
CON 15 (+6 Belt of Phys Perfection)
WIS 10 (+2 vs enchantment racial-Elf, Half Elf)
INT 17 (Final Score 28 from a +5 tome and +6 Headband)
Traits- Focused Mind- +2 Concentration, Ancestral Weapon- free masterwork and +1 to Attack with that wpn
Note the Above scores are Possible on a 25pt Buy for either
Human, Elf or Half Elf
I Chose elf over half Elf for the +2 to SR, better than EXP Bastard Sword or Falcata (but only just) then I did my first playtest at level 10 and found hitting to be hard- so I rebuilt as a human and took the extra feat to get an early Gangup and free up room for an Improved Familiar.
My build will be relying on blasting for damage and an average +1pt damage is not great in the long run. I wield a longsword.
Focused Mind helps with those concentration checks (which hopefully you don't take often because you're 5ft stepping away)
Ancestral Weapon- Our DM doesn't go out of his way to destroy weapon. But we play AP's so if a given foe likes to sunder he'll do it. Really nice and needed at low levels. Doesn't matter so much later.
1 Arcane Pool +1, Cantrips, Spell Combat, Combat Expertise, Gangup
3 Magus Arcana (Arcane Accuracy), Weapon Fcs: Longsword
4 Pool Spell
5 Arcane Pool +2, Power Attack, Extra Arcana: Shield
6 Magus Arcana (Familiar)
7 Knowledge Pool, Medium Armor, Improved Familiar: Mephit
8 Improved Spell Combat
9 Arcane Pool +3, Magus Arcana (Empower Spell), Intensify Spell
10 Fighter Training
11 Weapon Specialisation, Improved Pool Spell, Persistent Spell
12 Magus Arcana (Maximised Magic)
13 Arcane Pool +4, Heavy Armor, Selective Spell
14 Gtr Spell Combat
15 Magus Arcana (Quickened Magic), Maximise Spell
17 Arcane Pool +5, Gtr Weapon Focus, Spell Perfection (Cone of Cold)
18 Magus Arcana (Wand Wielder)
19 Gtr Pool Spell, Spell Fcs: Evocation
20 True Magus
Now- I've tried the Magus in a few different groups.
How easy it is in Combat depends upon your melee buddies.
I found if Paired with a fighter and Rogue you feel out done.
Till you get Vampiric Touch you fall behind on Spellstrike (because the rogue was a scout- auto SA when he charged and the Fighter was a Two Hander)
Full attacks are a little better, but you shouldn't measure your damage vs single targets as success. Dropping a slow spell+full attacking a mook provides party value. If you must fight 1 dude use Scorching Ray with your full attack. You're still gonna be behind the rogue and fighter. NOTE: when you guys can afford it, try to con the fighter into getting a Menacing Weapon, you and the rogue LOVE someone else having this enchantment.
If you are partnered with a Bard or a Cavalier using Tactician, life gets alot easier.
Free Outflank or Inspire Courage= Happy.
I'll post more later.