Why would anyone ever get Cleave?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Khelreddin wrote:

My undead-hating ranger in Carrion Crown has used Cleave to great effect - we took on 8 wights, and with a little help from Lead Blades, I killed 7 of them while the rest of the party dealt with the last, all because I could move and still hit two of them at a time.

As to Cleaving Finish - I haven't ever played it. Is the benefit of it over Cleave that the target of your additional attack doesn't have to be adjacent to your first targer?

Not only does it allow you hit something within reach and not just adjacent to the first target, but say you drop something with your last iterative it allows you to hit something else at full BAB.


Gignere wrote:
Khelreddin wrote:

My undead-hating ranger in Carrion Crown has used Cleave to great effect - we took on 8 wights, and with a little help from Lead Blades, I killed 7 of them while the rest of the party dealt with the last, all because I could move and still hit two of them at a time.

As to Cleaving Finish - I haven't ever played it. Is the benefit of it over Cleave that the target of your additional attack doesn't have to be adjacent to your first targer?

Not only does it allow you hit something within reach and not just adjacent to the first target, but say you drop something with your last iterative it allows you to hit something else at full BAB.

Ah, so it can be tagged on to the end of a full attack, where Cleave can't? That moves it way up on my list of feats to consider! Thanks.


Benefit is that if you drop an enemy both cleave and cleaving finish are triggered.....so if your ranger had 3 of those wights in front of him and he hits and drops #1, he gets to attack #2 with the 'finish and then #3 with the cleave.

We were in Harrowstone and the GM thought it would be cute to have 6 spiders drop from the ceiling and surround me. 2 rounds later he didnt find it so funny. I loved all 12 seconds of it!

Shadow Lodge

In short, if you happen to face a lot of mobile combat or play a 3/4 bab class, take Cleave and Cleaving Finish to maximize your full base attack bonus strikes.

I felt kind of iffy about Cleave and Cleaving Finish for my alchemist until the first time I walked next to a huddle of three enemies instead of charging and managed to hit all of them on a mere standard action.


For our games, cleave is nearly useless. Very few enemies bunch up, they usually.spread around and attack all party members they can... for other groups im sure it is an excellent feat. :)


I hear that cleave sucks a lot around these forum, and a few other places. As a fighter I would love to be in these peoples games where enemies just stand there while I hit them all the time so I can constantly get my Full-Round Attacks...but alas enemies I fight tend to move around the field and thus I have to rely on my standard attacks often.

I like cleave, especially between level 1 and 5. One feat for the ability to attack multiple targets for 5 full levels, and then after that whenever I have to move, seems like a good payoff to me.


Is it more likely that enemies who move around happen to end up adjacent to eachother?


Are wrote:

Is it more likely that enemies who move around happen to end up adjacent to eachother?

No, not necessarily which is a bummer.

Last few games I have been in had lots of big battles so in those particular games yes lots of moving enemies and lots of cleaving.

Its not a feat that will always have a purpose, but by no means is it a bad feat thats never worth taking.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

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Are wrote:
Is it more likely that enemies who move around happen to end up adjacent to each other?

That's where your fellow party members come in. With a little bit of battlefield control, you can encourage them to move just where you want them. A trip here, a summoned beastie there, and they'll group right up. By aggressively engaging these foes, you also discourage them from scattering again, making them more vulnerable to spellcasters' efforts.

Foes may take cover behind various obstacles, clumping together behind rocks, trees, or other clutter. Other foes will try to hide behind heavily armored fighter-types. It may even be worth sucking up an AoO to set these poor slobs up as your "cleave fodder".


There are some Dwarf racial feats that let you cleave all targets you threaten.

Goblin Cleaver
Orc Hewer
Giant Killer

with Cleave through letting you take a 5ft step this could be very deadly against large groups


Horkos wrote:

There are some Dwarf racial feats that let you cleave all targets you threaten.

Goblin Cleaver
Orc Hewer
Giant Killer

with Cleave through letting you take a 5ft step this could be very deadly against large groups

If you're a dwarf it's not bad. Going six feats deep into a chain that borders on garbage until you have great cleave and orc hewer should, in my opinion, be way more impressive then whirlwind with a five-foot step.


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*Turns Unthread*


VargrBoartusk wrote:
Horkos wrote:

There are some Dwarf racial feats that let you cleave all targets you threaten.

Goblin Cleaver
Orc Hewer
Giant Killer

with Cleave through letting you take a 5ft step this could be very deadly against large groups

If you're a dwarf it's not bad. Going six feats deep into a chain that borders on garbage until you have great cleave and orc hewer should, in my opinion, be way more impressive then whirlwind with a five-foot step.

A very valid point, but I think if you completely focused on Cleave you could devastate groups of enemies.

It is feat heavy but if you added Cleaving Finish you could Cleave the same targets more than once as long as you killed one of your targets.


Horkos wrote:

There are some Dwarf racial feats that let you cleave all targets you threaten.

Goblin Cleaver
Orc Hewer
Giant Killer

with Cleave through letting you take a 5ft step this could be very deadly against large groups

Congratulations, you've revived a thread over 3 years old. You win a cookie.


Hmmm...I think I can make cleave rather nice, when comboing it with other feats.

The general point of the feat was made ages ago: getting more attacks when you are forced to make a move action.

So going along those lines: combine it with cornugon smash and hateful (also cruel weapon, cause why not?)

The idea here is to get an extra attack on one of the enemies by demoralizing them with cornugon smash, and then using hateful to get in a swift action attack. Now you are getting three attacks in for the price of 1 turn. A bit more spread out than you would want, but it still works out to decent enough use of turn (at least a turn where you had to move)

And cleave also means you are demoralizing more opponents. That is a -2 to saving throw- always useful. And with a cruel weapon, the enemy is also sickened. That is a total of -4 to attack, skills, and saves.

So...cleave alone is kinda useless, yes. But there are so many great options to stack with attacks in general, so it can be made into something useful.


Haha, only three years old? That's only worth one cookie. Try harder next time!

Scarab Sages

I want to say thanks for bringing this up. I'd originally intended my greatsword-favoring Cavalier to learn Cleave and Great Cleave, but that was based on my familiarity with them from 3.5 (mainly the computer games). When I actually looked at how 3.75 had changed it, I was shocked enough by the nerf to reconsider.

However, based on the arguments in its defense here, he may yet wind up taking those feats (or at least Cleave).


Lord Phrofet wrote:
I understand greatcleave allows as many attacks as there are adjacent creatures within reach but even then I am not very impressed. For two more feats I could get whirlwind and hit ALL the enemies within reach...

If your total attack bonus is unreasonably high AND you have reach, and you're a SAD (STR) character, Great Cleave works out to roughly the same thing for only two Feats, with no Dex requirement like Whirlwind. It's probably a rare situation, but I knew a character who generally only missed CR appropriate opponents on a 4 or so, and was size large. He pretty much attacked every opponent he could reach every round.


*Weeps tears of failure as his pitiful turn attempt washes off of the lumbering undead behemoth.*


I honestly do not like cleave/greater cleave, in theory its a good feat and allow you to move and hit two target, the issue is that they absolutely need to be a foe that is adjacent to the previous foe you hit because of RAW.

So if you are fighting let's say 4 goblins at level 1 with your fighter and that they are positioned this way:

GGG
-F-
--G

On round 1 you strike the goblin to the top left with cleave, and then you get one additional attack against the goblin to the right, you hit and kill both these goblin, great!

on round 2 the battle field look that way:

--G
-F-
--G

Now you cannot cleave because these two goblins are not adjacent.

Furthermore as your character level up and fight enemies with higher mobility like flying monsters, burrowing monsters & climbing creature.
The opportunity to use cleave and greater cleave will get lower and lower.
Event with the applications of feats like lunge and reach weapons as long your enemies are not adjacent you will not be able to cleave.

So after all the spiel, why would you take cleave early game?
Because; "upon reaching 4th level, and every four levels thereafter (8th, 12th, and so on), a fighter can choose to learn a new bonus feat in place of a bonus feat he has already learned."

Meaning that for a 2 Handed weapon melee fighter it's actually a good way to strike twice in a turn when the opportunity present itself at low level and then trade that feat for something else around level 4 or 8.

Beside this specific case I do not see why anyone would take that feat, especially feat starved classes.

Scarab Sages

It's good for a dwarf, and it's good for a sneak attack class. It's also good for unlocking cleaving finish, which is 3.5 cleave.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Lord Phrofet wrote:

It takes a standard action so no combining it with a full attack. It has to hit adjacent enemies. I really don't see the point in taking this feat anymore. It is almost as situational as 3.5 Cleave was. I understand greatcleave allows as many attacks as there are adjacent creatures within reach but even then I am not very impressed. For two more feats I could get whirlwind and hit ALL the enemies within reach (which with a spiked chain or other reach weapon would include a much bigger radius)...

Thoughts?

1. You say "for two more feats" as if that's a negligible amount. Even for a fighter, that's two more levels, and for anyone else it's probably four.

2. Cleave is a low-barrier-to-entry AOE option for martials. Low-level encounters frequently involve being mobbed by a large number of low-HP creatures (goblins, zombies, etc.), where the threat comes from the sheer number of attacks you're facing. The ability to drop those numbers quickly is very helpful.

3. It's only prerequisite is Power Attack, which nearly every STR-based martial is going to take anyway.

Just because a feat loses its luster by the late-game doesn't mean it's a bad feat choice; much of the game is spent below level 10, especially for people playing PFS. There's nothing wrong with Cleave, though the existence of feats like it is a good argument for implementing the (optional) feat re-training rules for Martial classes.


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People, you can't have it both ways. Either posters should be told to search for existing threads to minimize new discussions and NOT BE chided for rezzing old threads, or posters should be told to make new threads for old discussions and then BE chided for rezzing threads...

Ok, sorry ... where were we ...

Oh yeah, Cleave is great fun for GMs to put on single enemies. Or somewhat useful for melee types that try to draw in the opponents to themselves (or groups that have all melee types draw in together to get the enemies bunched up).


Power Attack, Cleave and Vital Strike as you move up to the bunch of Mooks


Of course you'd say that, justaworm. Probably in league with Kyuss, you are.


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Lord Phrofet wrote:

It takes a standard action so no combining it with a full attack. It has to hit adjacent enemies. I really don't see the point in taking this feat anymore. It is almost as situational as 3.5 Cleave was. I understand greatcleave allows as many attacks as there are adjacent creatures within reach but even then I am not very impressed. For two more feats I could get whirlwind and hit ALL the enemies within reach (which with a spiked chain or other reach weapon would include a much bigger radius)...

Thoughts?

If your DM is worth his or her salt, and knows how to make use of environment, you're not going to be able to count on full attack actions every round. This is where Fighters shine, they have the extra combat feats to be versatile... as well as full speed in heavy armor without magic.


Cleave is a really nice feat to have in your pocket if you have Martial Maneuvers; martials are generally pretty bad at dealing with large numbers of minor enemies so being able to pick up Cleave in those situations is great.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
This is where Fighters shine

Nobody say anything.

Just let it go.

I know the urge to argue here is almost irresistible, but just let it go. Go build a snowman, if you're on that part of the East Coast. A single remark is all it takes to launch an avalanche. It'snow big deal. Wow, I'm really piling on these snow jokes, aren't I? It wasn't even intended at first. They just sort of drifted in. I guess I precipitated it by saying "let it go" more than once, though.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
This is where Fighters shine

Nobody say anything.

Just let it go.

I know the urge to argue here is almost irresistible, but just let it go. Go build a snowman, if you're on that part of the East Coast. A single remark is all it takes to launch an avalanche. It'snow big deal. Wow, I'm really piling on these snow jokes, aren't I? It wasn't even intended at first. They just sort of drifted in. I guess I precipitated it by saying "let it go" more than once, though.

You're behind on the times, lizard man. Fighters are good now. Though I wouldn't say Cleave is what makes them so (the existence of niche feats is more of a boon to the Brawler).


Cleave can be pretty nice if you're using a single natural weapon. That applies to monsters and animal companions more often than PCs but can make a big difference. I used a winter wolf with a few Fighter levels as a monster once, and the players seemed really impressed with his ability to move up and then bite and trip two PCs.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Unklbuck wrote:
Power Attack, Cleave and Vital Strike as you move up to the bunch of Mooks

Cleave = Standard action

Vital strike = Standard action

so cleave + vital strike is not possible (if this is what you meant)

you can move and vital strike if a single enemy
OR you can move and cleave if 2 (or more with great cleave)

Scarab Sages

There is a way in the weapon masters handbook to combine vital strike and cleave. You have to have improved vital strike to take it though.

Dark Archive

Because the image of cutting through one guy to hit another is cool? Because the DM uses an alternate system such as the Unchained Action Economy where getting multiple hits off a 2-act attack might be worth it? Because your DM actually tries to accommodate for the choices of their players and puts lots of mooks in the fights so your choice is validated rather than saying "well that was stupid, you should've optimized"? Because you're playing Mythic and plan on making some horrific Power Attack / Cleave / Improved Cleaving Finish reach kineticist and abusing your huge size and extremely high base damage while simultaneously doing things like entangling enemies on hit?

I get that it's not the best feat, but come on. Maybe for PFS it isn't worth it, since the DMs can't actually alter the modules, but for home games it should be fine as long as your DM works with you to fulfill the concept.


Imbicatus wrote:
There is a way in the weapon masters handbook to combine vital strike and cleave. You have to have improved vital strike to take it though.

I think you are talking about All-Consuming Swing which is kinda cool, but when you do it you take the extra vital strike damage (not blocked by DR) as well as the enemy. Which severely limits it in my eyes.


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LuniasM wrote:

Because the image of cutting through one guy to hit another is cool? Because the DM uses an alternate system such as the Unchained Action Economy where getting multiple hits off a 2-act attack might be worth it? Because your DM actually tries to accommodate for the choices of their players and puts lots of mooks in the fights so your choice is validated rather than saying "well that was stupid, you should've optimized"? Because you're playing Mythic and plan on making some horrific Power Attack / Cleave / Improved Cleaving Finish reach kineticist and abusing your huge size and extremely high base damage while simultaneously doing things like entangling enemies on hit?

I get that it's not the best feat, but come on. Maybe for PFS it isn't worth it, since the DMs can't actually alter the modules, but for home games it should be fine as long as your DM works with you to fulfill the concept.

If an option is only good because you alter the game to make it so, it's not really good, is it? This is like people claiming Rogues are awesome when you houserule the crap out of stealth, flanking and sneak attack.

Yeah, houserule Rogues can do lots of cool things and Cleave is super useful against those 1 HP goblin hordes that didn't exist until just now, but we're discussing Paizo Rogues and Cleave in relation to natural, uncaring encounter design. Both of which suck.


i like cleave on my dwarf, with 3 racial feats (2 for cleave, 1 to use dorn dergars better) plus enlarge/lunge you can hit pretty much everything in your (15-20ft)reach every turn. then you add in cleaving finish for more attacks, and depending on how many mooks there are you can get off way more attacks than a regular full-attack.

having a fighter who can take on an army (with a tank buddy anyway) is pretty fun

EDIT: I should add that I also have phalanx formation and combat reflexes so i can sit in the middle of the fight and control the battlefield with me balls of steel (dorn dergars)


I like cleave for medium bab classes. You don't get a second attack until level 8, or a third attack level 15.

So at pre-level 8 it is better than a full attack. At level 8 through 14 it is equivalent (two attacks but different targets but smaller action type).

Only at 15 plus is it a lesser option.

Scarab Sages

Horkos wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
There is a way in the weapon masters handbook to combine vital strike and cleave. You have to have improved vital strike to take it though.
I think you are talking about All-Consuming Swing which is kinda cool, but when you do it you take the extra vital strike damage (not blocked by DR) as well as the enemy. Which severely limits it in my eyes.

No, I'm talking about the two-handed weapon trick Cleaving Smash.

Quote:


Cleaving Smash

Additional Prerequisite(s): Cleave, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack

When you use Cleave, you can add the additional damage from Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks. If you also have the Greater Vital Strike feat, you can instead add the damage from Improved Vital Strike to both your initial and your secondary attacks.


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Grand High Poo-Bah CXXXMCCCXIII wrote:
*Weeps tears of failure as his pitiful turn attempt washes off of the lumbering undead behemoth.*

You couldn't turn a year older on your birthday!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
DominusMegadeus wrote:


...but we're discussing Paizo Rogues and Cleave in relation to natural, uncaring encounter design.

According to whom?

Why wouldn't a GM and player cooperate on finding adventures in which a cleaving rogue (or any other PC class with that feat) can't shine with it?


Abraham spalding wrote:
Grand High Poo-Bah CXXXMCCCXIII wrote:
*Weeps tears of failure as his pitiful turn attempt washes off of the lumbering undead behemoth.*
You couldn't turn a year older on your birthday!

Ouch. A stinging rebuke.

Scarab Sages

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Grand High Poo-Bah CXXXMCCCXIII wrote:
*Weeps tears of failure as his pitiful turn attempt washes off of the lumbering undead behemoth.*
You couldn't turn a year older on your birthday!
Ouch. A stinging rebuke.

Indeed, this is a shocking turn of events.


I'm sure some will try to put a positive spin on it.


I'm Back!!

*Begins spinning all of the nuclei of this threads atoms in a positive direction*


Bill Dunn wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:


...but we're discussing Paizo Rogues and Cleave in relation to natural, uncaring encounter design.

According to whom?

Why wouldn't a GM and player cooperate on finding adventures in which a cleaving rogue (or any other PC class with that feat) can't shine with it?

It's not that they wouldn't, it's that other feats don't require this special treatment to function. Archery, Reach-trip-area-control and two-handed charging power-attacking don't need the DM to make any changes to accommodate them, and in some cases require special consideration to lower their power level.

Thus, "Why would anyone ever get Cleave?"


Actually they do. Archery can be stopped by windy conditions, vision restrictions and many other mundane means. Tripping can as well (flight for example).

Cleave is not going to be an always feat, but then few feats are.

And again I would take cleave on a medium bab class that I intend to melee with.


Also, charging is another bad example, as it is the easiest thing in the world to stop from happening as a DM, even by accident. I would have to go out of my way to make it broadly useful as a tactic.


Ian Bell wrote:
Also, charging is another bad example, as it is the easiest thing in the world to stop from happening as a DM, even by accident. I would have to go out of my way to make it broadly useful as a tactic.

Plus most times without heavy investment you are geting 1 attack at double movement with a penalty to ac and likely to eat a full attack in return before your next action.


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Here the thing about cleave.
Not everyone plays at 20 level or even 10 level.
A first level human fighter can take power attack, cleave and great cleave. Real handy when fighting large number of Goblins Kobolds, Skeleton and other low level stuff. Maybe there are better feats at tenth level, but you have to live to get there.


Abraham spalding wrote:
I like cleave for medium bab classes.

I'm a big fan of cleaving warpriests.

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