Eldritch Knight vs. Magus?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I just noticed a build so far not mentioned:

Fighter 1, Draconic sorcerer 4, dragon disciple 3, EK 10, dragon disciple 1, sorcerer 1.

BAB +16 but +4 str and +4 natural armor, thats for melee better than bab +17, also has 18 spell levels.


And some d12s! Nice !


One thing I've looked at is Summoner 8 into EK with the usual fighter dip. The BAB progression is smoother than a wizard or sorcerer and you can cast in light armor and the summoner list is 9 levels condensed into 6.

And that this looks good really says terrible things about the balance on the summoner.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love the magus...but for so long I've wanted to play a Pal2/Sor6/ElK10/Sor2...


Synergy...mm smitey synergy mmm.


Sangalor wrote:


Have you considered going monk (sohei) / sorcerer (empyreal) / EK x / arcane archer y?

Thats probably best, though one shoudl consider more sorcerer instead of arcane, because every spell level is critical.

Goblin version, 20pt:

st 5
dx 20
con 14
int 10
wis 17
cha 5
feats lev 1 agile maneuever (at higher levels maybe retrained), dodge

starts with AC 21, 10 HP and uses a guisarme to run to interesting positions to provide flank bonuses (his improved unarmed strike means that kicks threaten 5 ft and weapon threatens 10 ft) and attempt to trip with +4 (not good, but not completely useless), so should survie lev 1 and then spell casting helps. Damage output acceptable, the moment +2 weapon can be afforded, so he can use +1 agile.

And later goes for double kukris with weapon finesse and agile weapon quality, has high armor and will cast as swift action in 4 of 5 rounds of full attack. Being small and high dx and 2 weapon focuses means his melee damage output could be relevant and he casts spell on top. If at distance, just casts spells.


i really like both classes. To me the difference is "and" vs "or". The magus casts spells AND fights. the EK casts spells OR fights. Magus tend to burn out faster since they are spending spells at the same time that they are attacking where an EK can endure a long day much better. I run though the following when I'm deciding what to play and pick the option that is 2 out of 3:

Low level (magus)or high level(EK)?
Several smaller encounters (ek) or fewer big encounters (magus)?
More out of combat and downtime (EK) or more combat focused(magus)?

One build I haven't seen talked about yet is Magus 1(or 2)/Wizard 9 (8)/EK 10

Magus gives you martial proficiency, access to the arcane pool, extra cantrips per day, a better will save and spell combat vs. the fighter's bonus feat and +1 bab. Even with only a few spells per day (probably 2 with your INT bonus) you still get a fun trick or two from spell combat, you can cast a true strike while still full attacking, or full attack and then vanish for defense, add a small amount of damage via shocking grasp or frostbite, or drop an emergency shield or mage armor. The second level gets you the ability to spellstrike with arcane mark. The arcane pool is int based so you'll have enough uses to boost to your weapon that it almost equals the bab the fighter gets... all in all not a bad way to pick up your martial side of the PRC.

Side note, The magus abilities specifically say they work when the spells are cast from the magus spell LIST. They don't say magus spell SLOTS. You might be able to convince your GM that you should be able to spell combat/spell strike with wizard spell slots as long as the spell is on both lists. It's a long shot but if it's allowed the 2 level dip is great.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:

One thing I've looked at is Summoner 8 into EK with the usual fighter dip. The BAB progression is smoother than a wizard or sorcerer and you can cast in light armor and the summoner list is 9 levels condensed into 6.

And that this looks good really says terrible things about the balance on the summoner.

The other thing it says is 'Theorycrafting convinces you that things will work better than they actually will'...

Cause I can almost guarantee that you will wish your Eidolon/SM SLA wasn't stuck at level 8 when you are at level 12+


Yar!

*eye-balls Wally the Wizard awkwardly*

*slowly backs out of the room*

I don't actually have anything more to say, but I did do a double take upon checking up on the discussion. ^_^

~P


Pirate wrote:

Yar!

*eye-balls Wally the Wizard awkwardly*

*slowly backs out of the room*

I don't actually have anything more to say, but I did do a double take upon checking up on the discussion. ^_^

~P

I like the cut of your jib


I imagine a fighter/wiz/EK is more palatable to conservative GMs. The base classes are easy to understand and the PrC doesn't offer any surprises (from a game mechanics perspective). By contrast, magi have better action economy, unique class features (spell combat, arcane pool, etc) which can raise eyebrows.


Marius Castille wrote:
I imagine a fighter/wiz/EK is more palatable to conservative GMs. The base classes are easy to understand and the PrC doesn't offer any surprises (from a game mechanics perspective). By contrast, magi have better action economy, unique class features (spell combat, arcane pool, etc) which can raise eyebrows.

A double kukri EK has at lev 10 EK as good action economy as a magus. And with monk (sohei) and sorcerer (empyreal) the lack of armor no longer hurts.


carn wrote:
Marius Castille wrote:
I imagine a fighter/wiz/EK is more palatable to conservative GMs. The base classes are easy to understand and the PrC doesn't offer any surprises (from a game mechanics perspective). By contrast, magi have better action economy, unique class features (spell combat, arcane pool, etc) which can raise eyebrows.
A double kukri EK has at lev 10 EK as good action economy as a magus. And with monk (sohei) and sorcerer (empyreal) the lack of armor no longer hurts.

So at level 16 (at the earliest) an EK could have the same action economy benefit for offensive spells as a low level Magus?


chaoseffect wrote:
carn wrote:
Marius Castille wrote:
I imagine a fighter/wiz/EK is more palatable to conservative GMs. The base classes are easy to understand and the PrC doesn't offer any surprises (from a game mechanics perspective). By contrast, magi have better action economy, unique class features (spell combat, arcane pool, etc) which can raise eyebrows.
A double kukri EK has at lev 10 EK as good action economy as a magus. And with monk (sohei) and sorcerer (empyreal) the lack of armor no longer hurts.
So at level 16 (at the earliest) an EK could have the same action economy benefit for offensive spells as a low level Magus?

Yes, but with more spell choices and without concentration checks. And it might be slightly better due to two weapon attack instead of just one. And note that the EK can cast any spell as swift action that includes the target of his crit attack as targets or in area of effect. Which caster could slay an enemy with full round melee attack while having good armor and cast create greater undead on him in one round?

People here discussed mainly the high level end. If one worries about level 1-13 one should never pick EK over magus.

Liberty's Edge

Conundrum wrote:
Synergy...mm smitey synergy mmm.

Yessir. :)

Liberty's Edge

Wally the Wizard wrote:

i really like both classes. To me the difference is "and" vs "or". The magus casts spells AND fights. the EK casts spells OR fights. Magus tend to burn out faster since they are spending spells at the same time that they are attacking where an EK can endure a long day much better. I run though the following when I'm deciding what to play and pick the option that is 2 out of 3:

Low level (magus)or high level(EK)?
Several smaller encounters (ek) or fewer big encounters (magus)?
More out of combat and downtime (EK) or more combat focused(magus)?

One build I haven't seen talked about yet is Magus 1(or 2)/Wizard 9 (8)/EK 10

Magus gives you martial proficiency, access to the arcane pool, extra cantrips per day, a better will save and spell combat vs. the fighter's bonus feat and +1 bab. Even with only a few spells per day (probably 2 with your INT bonus) you still get a fun trick or two from spell combat, you can cast a true strike while still full attacking, or full attack and then vanish for defense, add a small amount of damage via shocking grasp or frostbite, or drop an emergency shield or mage armor. The second level gets you the ability to spellstrike with arcane mark. The arcane pool is int based so you'll have enough uses to boost to your weapon that it almost equals the bab the fighter gets... all in all not a bad way to pick up your martial side of the PRC.

Side note, The magus abilities specifically say they work when the spells are cast from the magus spell LIST. They don't say magus spell SLOTS. You might be able to convince your GM that you should be able to spell combat/spell strike with wizard spell slots as long as the spell is on both lists. It's a long shot but if it's allowed the 2 level dip is great.

Pearls of Power are your best buddy. :)


carn wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
carn wrote:


A double kukri EK has at lev 10 EK as good action economy as a magus. And with monk (sohei) and sorcerer (empyreal) the lack of armor no longer hurts.

So at level 16 (at the earliest) an EK could have the same action economy benefit for offensive spells as a low level Magus?
Yes, but with more spell choices and without concentration checks. And it might be slightly better due to two weapon attack instead of just one.

To stat this a bit:

monk (sohei) / sorcerer (empyreal) / EK x, Goblin, 20pt:

st 5
dx 20
con 14
int 10
wis 17
cha 5

has at level 17 with items stats dx 26, wis 27 (both with +6 items). 11 of his 13 feats are dodge, weapon focus 1+2, weapon spec, critical focus, improved critical (all kukri), all three two weapon feats, double slice, agile maneuver.

his attack rountine is without any further bonuses with +4 agile kukris:
+26/+26/+21/+21/+16/+16 1d3+14 (15-20).

Vs CR 17 (AC 32) standard the crit chance of +26 attacks is each 28.5%, of +21 is each 21% and of +16 is 12% -> chance for non-criting with all attacks is about 24%, so with some further buffing a swift spell in 4 out of 5 rounds of full attack would be the norm.

Furthermore, the critical has only to be confirmed, which is also done with crit immune enemies.

edit: AC just from base and +6 dx and +6 wis item is 26, which is a lot better than what normal casters have.


Craig Frankum wrote:
There have been a number of ways to go about this and many arguments for both sides. My question is simple. Why not PrC to Eldritch Knight from a Magus (or one of its archetypes)?

Because you wind up a worse caster than the magus, worse for every level of EK you take. The first one costs you a casting progression level. Every additional level of EK costs you at least arcane pool progression, and usually useful additional magus class features. All for at best 2 BAB over straight magus.


carn wrote:


has at level 17 with items stats dx 26, wis 27 (both with +6 items). 11 of his 13 feats are dodge, weapon focus 1+2, weapon spec, critical focus, improved critical (all kukri), all three two weapon feats, double slice, agile maneuver.

his attack rountine is without any further bonuses with +4 agile kukris:
+26/+26/+21/+21/+16/+16 1d3+14 (15-20).

Vs CR 17 (AC 32) standard the crit chance of +26 attacks is each 28.5%, of +21 is each 21% and of +16 is 12% -> chance for non-criting with all attacks is about 24%, so with some further buffing a swift spell in 4 out of 5 rounds of full attack would be the norm.

Furthermore, the critical has only to be confirmed, which is also done with crit immune enemies.

edit: AC just from base and +6 dx and +6 wis item is 26, which is a lot better than what normal casters have.

Stupid me, free hand necessary to cast and returning weapon quality works only when weapon thrown, not when dropped.

So goblin EK has to fight either with double cestus, which unfortunately only allows crit 17-20, which means in 62% of rounds spell cast. Hasted crit chance is 70%. With further buffs 75% should be possible.

Or one handed with scimitar (saves 3 feats by replacing the 4 two weapon feats just with dervish dance and frees +1 on weapon) for attack routine +29/+24/+19 1d4+15 (15-20) and 57% crit chance. Hasted crit chance is 70%. With further buffs 72%.

So it seems magus is still ahead in action economy, but EK can inch closer that way (the main drawback of EK is, that such spells must include the one hit as target or in area of effect).


Gloves of storing.


Dekalinder wrote:
Gloves of storing.

Thanks. Its expensive, but since the full attacking and casting starts anyway only at lev 17, thats ok, so back to double kukris.


if you want to go full cheese use a greater magic weapon + pearl of power to get the kukris to +4 and make them be +1 agile speed. BTW i think you are overextimating the chance to confirm a critical strike.


With +26 attack and critical focus the chance to confirm critical vs AC 32 is 95%. The chance to have a critical threat is 15-20, so 30%, therefore critical chance with that attack is 28.5%.

Grand Lodge

Since PFS rarely goes beyond 12, EK is kinda bad...and this is from somebody who actually prefers EKs over magus. Your gonna have a whole lot of games where your on complete edge because any small mistake and your gonna be toast (being able to anticipate the scenario help a lot with this). Your gonna go through consumables like mad (using your PP for scrolls and wands helps a lot at lower levels). The magus is just better off in PFS (especially since you can get pearls of power 1 and 2 pretty quickly and easily to extend your nova ability). I have a EK in PFS...it's pretty hard.


im playing a blackbladed magus lvl 6 now

they are just amazing i dumped cha and dont use anny cha based skills only STR and INT based skils and perception

i got 20 STR and 18 int right now aswell as 14 con

im realy kicking ass with the extra arcane pool arcane accuracy weapon focus and my black blade I can attack with a +17 (+5str +4bab +1w.focus +2black blade +1 arcane pool+4arcane accuracy)
critting on a 15-20

however I feel the most you get out of your magus is indeed around lvl 10 the abilety's you get beyond that are not so powerfull but you need the other charachters to chatch up so no problem there.


Just want to mention, that with the scarred witch doctor, you can make a pretty good sturdy gish.

Grand Lodge

+5 Toaster wrote:
Just want to mention, that with the scarred witch doctor, you can make a pretty good sturdy gish.

Fairly certain that isn't PFS legal....


Cold Napalm wrote:
+5 Toaster wrote:
Just want to mention, that with the scarred witch doctor, you can make a pretty good sturdy gish.
Fairly certain that isn't PFS legal....

It is not, though I have seen some crazy builds. Usually by using getting feral combat training and Hex Strike. Never played or seen one myself to know how viable it is.

Grand Lodge

MrSin wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
+5 Toaster wrote:
Just want to mention, that with the scarred witch doctor, you can make a pretty good sturdy gish.
Fairly certain that isn't PFS legal....
It is not, though I have seen some crazy builds. Usually by using getting feral combat training and Hex Strike. Never played or seen one myself to know how viable it is.

Orcs are not PFS allowed. This is an orc (not half orc) racial archetype. So...yeah pretty sure that this isn't PFS allowed since everything under orc in the ARG is not allowed.


Cold Napalm wrote:
MrSin wrote:
It is not, though I have seen some crazy builds. Usually by using getting feral combat training and Hex Strike. Never played or seen one myself to know how viable it is.
Orcs are not PFS allowed. This is an orc (not half orc) racial archetype. So...yeah pretty sure that this isn't PFS allowed since everything under orc in the ARG is not allowed.

I just said that it wasn't legal. Racial heritage is one way to nab it, or just house rules. I know a few groups who ditch the racial part of racial archetypes. You never know, was just stating I've seen some cool builds with it and that it wasn't legal.

Grand Lodge

MrSin wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
It is not, though I have seen some crazy builds. Usually by using getting feral combat training and Hex Strike. Never played or seen one myself to know how viable it is.
Orcs are not PFS allowed. This is an orc (not half orc) racial archetype. So...yeah pretty sure that this isn't PFS allowed since everything under orc in the ARG is not allowed.
I just said that it wasn't legal. Racial heritage is one way to nab it, or just house rules. I know a few groups who ditch the racial part of racial archetypes. You never know, was just stating I've seen some cool builds with it and that it wasn't legal.

Geh...misread the first part :P . Yeah I have done some spiffy stuff with this archetype in home games. But since the OP is talking about PFS, that is somewhat useless information.


I still prefer Pal 2/Sorc ~ EK ~ then either Sorc or Paladin to finish it up. But I prefer to run my EK's as something of a Switch Hitter. Buff, Insult Foes, Ranged Spells, Melee.

I'm also usually will to take the ASF chance on a turn when I need something to go off quickened.


People seem to be undervaluing one of the key features of the magus: spending pool points to enhance their weapon, that STACKS! An EK can never do that, and that alone makes the magus more accurate than the same-level EK until they are both wielding +5 weapons (which is pretty much late game).


yeah as soon as your black blade gets to be a +3 you can make your weapon +5 and that means alot of DR wil no longer work for enemy's wich is a bigg deal and dont forget this is at lvl 9 where a black blade is a +3 and your arcane pool also ads +3

this means you can get your scimitar to +5 and keen ! on a crit thats 10 bonus damage only from the damn magic bonus! i realy think the black blade is awsome you can spend all your money on items wich you would otherwise spend on your weapon!

people tend to forget as a melee charachter your main money drain is your weapon most of the times. a magus has this for free! im saving up right now for a magic breast plate at lvl 7

Grand Lodge

Gherrick wrote:
People seem to be undervaluing one of the key features of the magus: spending pool points to enhance their weapon, that STACKS! An EK can never do that, and that alone makes the magus more accurate than the same-level EK until they are both wielding +5 weapons (which is pretty much late game).

Well...not really. Now the way I make my EK, my to hit isn't that great. However if you were to make a more melee focused EK, your access to better buffs means your to hit will be higher then the magus when those are active. At least at mid levels...not so much at low levels where the EK really really sucks to play.


Caimbuel wrote:
The Fighter 1/ Wizard 5/ EK 3/ AA 4/ EK 7 is down right my favorite alt I have had, do hour buffs, Shoot bow damn well, and plenty of utility to keep me from being a one trick pony.17 BAB and 17 CL is about perfect IMO.

Sorry for getting slightly off topic, but would Sorcerer work instead of Wizard here? I'm trying to make a more gish-bow build, but really like spontaneous casting.

Grand Lodge

Islington wrote:
Caimbuel wrote:
The Fighter 1/ Wizard 5/ EK 3/ AA 4/ EK 7 is down right my favorite alt I have had, do hour buffs, Shoot bow damn well, and plenty of utility to keep me from being a one trick pony.17 BAB and 17 CL is about perfect IMO.
Sorry for getting slightly off topic, but would Sorcerer work instead of Wizard here? I'm trying to make a more gish-bow build, but really like spontaneous casting.

You can...but you will miss out of 9th level spells as you will lose 3 CL over the course of leveling.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Islington wrote:
Caimbuel wrote:
The Fighter 1/ Wizard 5/ EK 3/ AA 4/ EK 7 is down right my favorite alt I have had, do hour buffs, Shoot bow damn well, and plenty of utility to keep me from being a one trick pony.17 BAB and 17 CL is about perfect IMO.
Sorry for getting slightly off topic, but would Sorcerer work instead of Wizard here? I'm trying to make a more gish-bow build, but really like spontaneous casting.
You can...but you will miss out of 9th level spells as you will lose 3 CL over the course of leveling.

That's right, but you gain a lot of different options, e.g.

- strong bloodline arana: more damage per dice, options to change elements or similar abilities
- empyreal in combination with sohei monk will allow for you not only to have great saves but also gives you very high AC early in the game which will let you survive more easily to actually get to high levels
- you simply lose one level of EK or AA. Note that you don't lose BAB or CL here, just a feature from one of those - and neither are spectacular.

In the end it depends on whether you want 9th level spells or some of the above. Personally I never found 9th level spells that incredible. They are strong, yes, but 8th level is already pretty good. And in combination with some class features that may even be worth a lot more to you :-)


Magus
/thread


Sangalor wrote:


- empyreal in combination with sohei monk will allow for you not only to have great saves but also gives you very high AC early in the game which will let you survive more easily to actually get to high levels

And at high levels your AC will be good enough to also be melee.

Grand Lodge

Sangalor wrote:


- you simply lose one level of EK or AA. Note that you don't lose BAB or CL here, just a feature from one of those - and neither are spectacular.

Not sure what you would get from this tho. You don't get new bloodline until 8...and like you said you don't gain or lose any BAB and CL

Scarab Sages

I can't speak to the magus but I enjoyed ALL levels of my likely EK. I'm playing a CRB-only PFS character, half-orc Ftr 2 / Wiz 5 at the moment and he's fun as heck. Next level will be my first EK. Yes I have two fighter levels, I enjoyed hacking and slashing at lower levels. I now throw my spellstoring cold-iron greataxe charged with hideous laughter and arcane strike up and have a heck of a time. Gaseous form if I get in a pinch works wonders and of course so does a well placed lightning bolt. I've grappled casters and sucked the strength dry from bigger mooks at range. With mithral full-plate, amulet of nat armor and a shield buff up I'm sitting on pretty hefty AC, and my hp is decent as I've usually siphoned some delicious health with a touch attack that's hard to miss (long lasting false life adds to the mix for good measure). At 5% arcane spell failure, it's a fun gamble and the odd time I fail, well hey man that's flavor. Mmmmmmmmmm Delicious flavor.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Atarlost wrote:

One thing I've looked at is Summoner 8 into EK with the usual fighter dip. The BAB progression is smoother than a wizard or sorcerer and you can cast in light armor and the summoner list is 9 levels condensed into 6.

And that this looks good really says terrible things about the balance on the summoner.

What archetype are you trying to do that with? With a standard summoner, your eidolon would be useless once you get a decent number of EK levels. Even with a synthesist you would have some painful trade-offs.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Sangalor wrote:


- you simply lose one level of EK or AA. Note that you don't lose BAB or CL here, just a feature from one of those - and neither are spectacular.
Not sure what you would get from this tho. You don't get new bloodline until 8...and like you said you don't gain or lose any BAB and CL

Better class features from sorcerer (i.e. stuff that scales with levels). I originally thought it would give you higher level spells, but it won't - my mistake.

So it's just an option :-)

Grand Lodge

Sangalor wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Sangalor wrote:


- you simply lose one level of EK or AA. Note that you don't lose BAB or CL here, just a feature from one of those - and neither are spectacular.
Not sure what you would get from this tho. You don't get new bloodline until 8...and like you said you don't gain or lose any BAB and CL

Better class features from sorcerer (i.e. stuff that scales with levels). I originally thought it would give you higher level spells, but it won't - my mistake.

So it's just an option :-)

But there really isn't much you get at that level from sorcerer...well other then +1 to all saves. I suppose that can be worth it. The AA will lose seeker arrow...which is kinda nice, but at once per day and a standard action, ultimately pretty useless. The EK capstone is only useful if you don't bother to use arcane strike...so if you do use it, giving it up loses you nothing.

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