Magus: Spellstrike + Spell Combat = Free Weapon Attack


Rules Questions

Silver Crusade

A friend of mine looking to play a Magus in an upcoming game noticed that combining Spellstrike and Spell Combat gets you an extra weapon attack. I didn't notice the potential for this because I started playing a Magus during the beta test, when there was language specifically prohibiting this:

Beta:

Quote:

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.
Final:
Quote:

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. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.

Worse, if you can spellstrike Arcane Mark, this gets you unlimited attempts at extra attacks from level 1! (And if you can't, all you need is the ranged-to-melee arcana and cantrips can give you unlimited attempts later).

The removal of the specific language from the beta seems deliberate, but is this really the intent? Am I missing wording somewhere that prohibits this?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Remember you still suffer the normal limitation of action economy. Even though an Arcane Mark-channeled Spellstrike does allow an extra attack per round all-day, everyday (provided you can make a full-round attack), you are still limited by one extra attack per round (unless you Quicken a touch spell, in which case you may get two). While it may seem 'powerful', remember it is virtually the same as two-weapon fighting, except you leave your arcane mark all over your opponent.

So yes, the change from beta is very much deliberate.

I do understand that there's a side benefit of only having to enchant a single weapon but for a character that's focused solely on dealing damage (and gets an average BAB progression and a d8 HD), it's not really a game-breaker.

Dark Archive

It is a built in version of TWF is all, nothing to see here folks.

Silver Crusade

Carbon D. Metric wrote:
It is a built in version of TWF is all, nothing to see here folks.

So what's the point of the Spellblade Magus then?

Dark Archive

So you can have cool lightsaber battles with your friends? What else?


Scottbert wrote:
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
It is a built in version of TWF is all, nothing to see here folks.
So what's the point of the Spellblade Magus then?

Two benefits:

1. you can now get two-weapon fighting line of feats to gain more iterative attacks

2. you can still spell combat with buffs and other blasts- just not at the same time.

Remember that the magus can choose to apply the benefits of his Arcane Pool to BOTH his actual weapon and the force dagger at no additional cost.

Edit: the actual problem with Spellblade Magus is that the Dex-based Magi tend to go for Dervish Dance to maximise their efficiency. Since the dagger-hand is considered free only for the purpose of casting spells and whatnots, you do not gain the benefit of DD while wielding it.


Carbon D. Metric wrote:
It is a built in version of TWF is all, nothing to see here folks.

It is in line with the monk's flurry of blows, in that it is inherent to the class.

The magus' drawback is that it always uses the 3/4 BAB (which is not compensated for until it gets true spell combat at lvl 12(?)).


The Grandfather wrote:
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
It is a built in version of TWF is all, nothing to see here folks.

It is in line with the monk's flurry of blows, in that it is inherent to the class.

The magus' drawback is that it always uses the 3/4 BAB (which is not compensated for until it gets true spell combat at lvl 12(?)).

I suspect that you mean the ability greater spell combat, but how can that compensate for the 3/4 BAB?


leo1925 wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:
Carbon D. Metric wrote:
It is a built in version of TWF is all, nothing to see here folks.

It is in line with the monk's flurry of blows, in that it is inherent to the class.

The magus' drawback is that it always uses the 3/4 BAB (which is not compensated for until it gets true spell combat at lvl 12(?)).

I suspect that you mean the ability greater spell combat, but how can that compensate for the 3/4 BAB?

Actually I was thinking of True Magus, which at 20th level effectively counters the penalty on attack rolls. Sorry for causing confusion.


So wait, specifically this hasn't been answered as best I can understand. Straight question Does the Spellstrike/Spell COmbat Add an attack?

EX: 5th level magus attacks with Bastard sword at minus two, uses spell strike to Shocking grasp (defensively) and swing his bastard sword at -2 dealing d10+mod and then dealing d10+mod AND 5d6 Shocking grasp? Is this right?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stewart Perkins wrote:

So wait, specifically this hasn't been answered as best I can understand. Straight question Does the Spellstrike/Spell COmbat Add an attack?

EX: 5th level magus attacks with Bastard sword at minus two, uses spell strike to Shocking grasp (defensively) and swing his bastard sword at -2 dealing d10+mod and then dealing d10+mod AND 5d6 Shocking grasp? Is this right?

both require attack rolls

so attack at -2, 2nd attack at -2 (with spell). damage, damage+spell


Stewart Perkins wrote:

So wait, specifically this hasn't been answered as best I can understand. Straight question Does the Spellstrike/Spell COmbat Add an attack?

EX: 5th level magus attacks with Bastard sword at minus two, uses spell strike to Shocking grasp (defensively) and swing his bastard sword at -2 dealing d10+mod and then dealing d10+mod AND 5d6 Shocking grasp? Is this right?

I believe statistically however, you want to use spell combat to cast shocking grasp first; that way if you miss with the free attack granted by spellstrike, you can then deliver the shocking grasp with your normal attack.

Correct?


Stewart Perkins wrote:

So wait, specifically this hasn't been answered as best I can understand. Straight question Does the Spellstrike/Spell COmbat Add an attack?

EX: 5th level magus attacks with Bastard sword at minus two, uses spell strike to Shocking grasp (defensively) and swing his bastard sword at -2 dealing d10+mod and then dealing d10+mod AND 5d6 Shocking grasp? Is this right?

No, the first attack would discharge the spell.

So you would have in this case two attacks.

The first would be a free attack from casting a range touch spell (shocking grasp). It would be at -2 as casting the spell was part of spell combat. If the target was wearing metal armor it would have a +3 to hit (via the shocking grasp spell). If it hits it would deal normal weapon damage as well as the touch spell damage.

The second would be the normal full attack routine, which in this case is a single attack. It would be at -2. If the prior attack had missed then the touch spell is still held. Thus both would you get the bonus to hit again (as per the spell description) and a successful hit would deal the normal weapon damage as well as the touch spell damage.

-James


Name Violation wrote:
Stewart Perkins wrote:

So wait, specifically this hasn't been answered as best I can understand. Straight question Does the Spellstrike/Spell COmbat Add an attack?

EX: 5th level magus attacks with Bastard sword at minus two, uses spell strike to Shocking grasp (defensively) and swing his bastard sword at -2 dealing d10+mod and then dealing d10+mod AND 5d6 Shocking grasp? Is this right?

both require attack rolls

so attack at -2, 2nd attack at -2 (with spell). damage, damage+spell

I thought so, seems crazy. The magus in the group I ran was 5th level, and doing upwards of an easy 40+ a round with this... Double what most characters can do. I understand the limits are his spells, but still it's powerful.


Stewart Perkins wrote:
Straight question Does the Spellstrike/Spell COmbat Add an attack?

An extra attack? No.

Touch attack + weapon attack = 2 attacks

Touch attack via Spellstrike + weapon attack = 2 attacks

The only difference is Spellstrike allows him to deal weapon damage in addition to discharging the spell, but he must hit vs normal AC instead of touch. (And the spell crits based on the crit range of the weapon)

KrispyXIV wrote:
I believe statistically however, you want to use spell combat to cast shocking grasp first; that way if you miss with the free attack granted by spellstrike, you can then deliver the shocking grasp with your normal attack.

In many cases you are better off casting first, as you said. If you already have a held charge, however, you may want to attack first to discharge it, then cast afterward, because you lose any held charge when you cast.

IE:
Cast Shocking Grasp
Walk around for an hour
Attack goblin:
* Use weapon attack first, hit, discharge shocking grasp
* Cast shocking grasp, hit, discharge again.


Grick wrote:
Stewart Perkins wrote:
Straight question Does the Spellstrike/Spell COmbat Add an attack?

An extra attack? No.

Touch attack + weapon attack = 2 attacks

Touch attack via Spellstrike + weapon attack = 2 attacks

The only difference is Spellstrike allows him to deal weapon damage in addition to discharging the spell, but he must hit vs normal AC instead of touch. (And the spell crits based on the crit range of the weapon)

KrispyXIV wrote:
I believe statistically however, you want to use spell combat to cast shocking grasp first; that way if you miss with the free attack granted by spellstrike, you can then deliver the shocking grasp with your normal attack.

In many cases you are better off casting first, as you said. If you already have a held charge, however, you may want to attack first to discharge it, then cast afterward, because you lose any held charge when you cast.

IE:
Cast Shocking Grasp
Walk around for an hour
Attack goblin:
* Use weapon attack first, hit, discharge shocking grasp
* Cast shocking grasp, hit, discharge again.

I guess that's what I meant. He gets to spellstrike with the spell after his attack, giving a second attack that piggybacks a spell. That's possibly craziness...


Stewart Perkins wrote:


I thought so, seems crazy. The magus in the group I ran was 5th level, and doing upwards of an easy 40+ a round with this... Double what most characters can do. I understand the limits are his spells, but still it's powerful.

Care to break that down?

I mean first of all at lower levels if you roll awesome then well you roll awesome..

Assuming successfully casting defensively and hitting both times with a medium BAB at penalty, then frankly you're bucking the odds.

But if we do the same with a 5th level Monk with power attack using a point of Ki, you could be doing (assuming all hits) around 69-70 damage.

Now is the monk considered an overpowered class?

-James


Is the -2 from Spell Combat in ADDITION to the penalties from normal Two Weapon Fighting?

Example: A Magus with the Two Weapon Fighting Feat makes a spell combat attack at a -4 penalty(-2 from normal two weapon fighting, and an additional -2 from spell combat)..

The description for Spell Combat states that it functions the same as two weapon fighting, it doesn't mention that it functions the same as having the Two Weapon Fighting feat.

To me this wounds like if you don't have the Twp Weapon Fighting Feat, you are taking massive penalties to using Spell Combat. Am I correct?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's just -2/-2.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Seraph Stormborn wrote:

Is the -2 from Spell Combat in ADDITION to the penalties from normal Two Weapon Fighting?

Example: A Magus with the Two Weapon Fighting Feat makes a spell combat attack at a -4 penalty(-2 from normal two weapon fighting, and an additional -2 from spell combat)..

The description for Spell Combat states that it functions the same as two weapon fighting, it doesn't mention that it functions the same as having the Two Weapon Fighting feat.

To me this wounds like if you don't have the Twp Weapon Fighting Feat, you are taking massive penalties to using Spell Combat. Am I correct?

Since you generally can't do two weapon fighting and spell combat at the same time, it's rather moot. Spell Combat is not the same as having the two weapon fighting feat. The description your'e citing, is just a demonstration on how the mechanic was put together. Spell combat lets you get your iterative attacks with one hand, and spellcast with your free hand. Spellstrike gives you a bonus free attack is your spell combat spell is a touch attack spell, such as shocking grasp. It's done at your highest BAB, but does take the -2 penalty all your attacks take during spellcombat. (this is alleviated at the higher levels though)


@seraph stormborn

You know you can't use twf and spell combat at the same time right?

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Magus: Spellstrike + Spell Combat = Free Weapon Attack All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.