How many effects can be wielded effectively on a "single attack action"?


Advice


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm looking at pairing Vital Strike with Felling Smash. I know there are a lot of very strong opinions on this forum about Vital Strike, but rather than start a war on whether it's a good feat, I just want to solicit advice. I want to know how many other effects can be reasonably and effectively wielded on the same "attack action to make a single melee attack".

Are there many out there that are worth piling into the same build?

I'm thinking these are good picks:
*Vital Strike
*Felling Smash
*Furious Focus: Power Attack still hurts OAs, but since we're making only one attack on rounds where we use vital strike, we might as well enjoy full accuracy.
*Fury's Fall: More accuracy with Trip.
*Greater Trip: If the trip is successful, I and my flanking friends get to murder the foe with OAs.
*Dazing Assault: If I'm feeling super-confident in my accuracy and trip CMB, I can make sure the target stays prone for another round. Though the -5 to attack affects my attack before the trip, the trip, the OA after the trip, etc until my next turn.

I'm sure people are itching to point out that no single-attack combo will ever begin to touch the majestic glory that is the common full attack, but humor me and let's think of some neat effects to pile onto our hapless foe. The full attack vs single attack war has been fought to death in other threads already, and we don't need to duplicate their efforts.

I'm more attached to Felling Smash than to Vital Strike, btw, so if there's a conflict, Vital can go first. Of course, this is assuming I'm fighting enemies that are not effectively immune to combat maneuvers. Our gaming group has found that there are generally two types of enemies: those with lots of abilities, and those with lots of great stats. If your foe has lots of abilities, combat maneuvers will be stupid-effective against him; if he has few or no abilities, never try a combat maneuver because you will fail. So maybe the trip focus is misguided...?


I guess there's not much to add here. :/

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

It looks like everything you have listed there will stack to give you a single fairly effective attack that also inflicts a few nasty status effects. If you're going to Vital Strike, it's a fair way to go.


But are there more effects I could add? It's tricky to try to search for on the SRD that because the wording isn't so much a keyword as it is a combination of soft-words "When you use the attack action to make a single attack...". That needs to be a keyword of some sort. :D

So I'm asking if anyone knows/remembers more feats or effects I could add, or is this the peak of effectiveness? Vital Strike and Felling Smash appear to merge happily, there ought to be several other similar feats that do the same. Maybe the first attack of cleave?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Wazat wrote:

But are there more effects I could add? It's tricky to try to search for on the SRD that because the wording isn't so much a keyword as it is a combination of soft-words "When you use the attack action to make a single attack...". That needs to be a keyword of some sort. :D

So I'm asking if anyone knows/remembers more feats or effects I could add, or is this the peak of effectiveness? Vital Strike and Felling Smash appear to merge happily, there ought to be several other similar feats that do the same. Maybe the first attack of cleave?

I GOT YOU, OP. Let's DO THIS. COMBO BREAKER TIME.

If you do this unarmed (Monk base damage is among the best for vital strike in the game), you can:

1.) Vicious Stomp: Free AoO after you trip that dude.
2.) Ki Throw: Move him around
3.) Enhanced Ki Throw: Spend a Ki Point to auto-hit with ANOTHER attack
4.) Improved Ki Throw: Throw the dude who you just tripped, stomped, etc, into ANOTHER DUDE for a bull rush attempt
5.) Spiked Destroyer: SLAM YOUR ARMOR SPIKES AGAINST THE GUY WHO JUST GOT BULL RUSHED.
6.) Vicious Stomp: Guy who just got bull rushed also fell prone. Vicious Stomp him.

So, to conclude, for our full combo, we require:
2 enemies.
On the first enemy, we get: Vital Strike Attack, Greater Trip AoO, Vicious Stomp AoO, Ki Throw Auto-hit
On the second enemy, we get: Armor Spikes, Vicious Stomp AoO.

So, we just got ~6 attacks worth of damage out of an attack action...how's that?

-Cross

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Wazat wrote:

But are there more effects I could add? It's tricky to try to search for on the SRD that because the wording isn't so much a keyword as it is a combination of soft-words "When you use the attack action to make a single attack...". That needs to be a keyword of some sort. :D

So I'm asking if anyone knows/remembers more feats or effects I could add, or is this the peak of effectiveness? Vital Strike and Felling Smash appear to merge happily, there ought to be several other similar feats that do the same. Maybe the first attack of cleave?

Cleave and Vital Strike no worky, Cleave is its own Standard Action. You'll definitely want to grab Devastating Strike for some extra damage... Maybe Gory Finish? But that's a swift action and would not be useable with Felling Smash...

There's just not a lot that can be used in conjunction with Vital Strike.

**EDIT** Nice one Cross, wouldn't have thought to mix monk moves with armored fighter feats :P Where is Spiked Destroyer from? Also of note, your combo only works for an unarmed fighter, if he trips with a weapon the whole thing goes out the window.


Ssalarn: That's what worries me.

Crosswind: Nice, I like that. And I'm guessing I still have a move action to move into the perfect position before laying down the hurt.

To AoO multiple times with vicious stomp (x2) and greater trip, do I need combat reflexes or equivalent?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Wazat wrote:
*** To AoO multiple times with vicious stomp (x2) and greater trip, do I need combat reflexes or equivalent?

Yes. I'm also not entirely certain that you can take more than one Attack of Opportunity for the single provoking action of him falling prone.

Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity: If you have the Combat Reflexes feat, you can add your Dexterity bonus to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn't count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.

I guess technically the trigger for the AoO from Greater Trip is "you successfully trip an opponent" and the trigger for Vicious Stomp is "when an opponent lands prone in an adjacent square", so maybe you do have two separate triggers there.


I'm doing this with my Monk of the 4 Winds

Vital Strike combos with Elemental Fist
then Shaitan Style, Shaitan Skin

Vital Strike -> Xd6+wis acid damage -> reflex save or be staggered.


Hey all, few more things to add:

1.) If you look at the errata on Vicious Stomp, it specifically says that greater trip/vicious stomp gets you two AoOs (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/vicious-stomp-combat)

2.) Spiked Destroyer is from PPC:Faiths of Balance (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/spiked-destroyer-combat)

3.) You need combat reflexes as a pre-req to vicious stomp anyhow.

4.) Go ahead and vital strike/trip with a weapon if it makes you happy. You will still get your free unarmed attack from vicious stomp. Unarmed attacks can be with any part of the body - your feat are, I hear, great for stomping.

5.) The positioning for this isn't actually hard. In fact, all you need is for any two enemies to be adjacent to you. If you want to make it super easy, take Lunge, so you threaten 10 feet. Any time two enemies are adjacent to you, you throw one of them into the other, knock the other back 10 feet, and do your spikes/stomping.

-Cross


Crosswind wrote:

Hey all, few more things to add:

1.) If you look at the errata on Vicious Stomp, it specifically says that greater trip/vicious stomp gets you two AoOs (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/vicious-stomp-combat)

2.) Spiked Destroyer is from PPC:Faiths of Balance (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/spiked-destroyer-combat)

3.) You need combat reflexes as a pre-req to vicious stomp anyhow.

4.) Go ahead and vital strike/trip with a weapon if it makes you happy. You will still get your free unarmed attack from vicious stomp. Unarmed attacks can be with any part of the body - your feat are, I hear, great for stomping.

5.) The positioning for this isn't actually hard. In fact, all you need is for any two enemies to be adjacent to you. If you want to make it super easy, take Lunge, so you threaten 10 feet. Any time two enemies are adjacent to you, you throw one of them into the other, knock the other back 10 feet, and do your spikes/stomping.

-Cross

WAIT. I CAN DO THIS BETTER. THIS IS THE GREATEST CHARACTER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.

So, we go Dwarf Fighter (FoeHammer) 7, then some monk. We do this to get Hammer to the Ground from FoeHammer.

Now, every time we succeed at a bull rush maneuver, we get a free trip attack at the end of it. HEEHEEHEE. I am beside myself with glee. So here's what we do:

1.) Vital Strike/Felling Smash Target #1.
2.) COMBO BREAKER him with Greater Trip, Vicious Stomp, Enhanced Ki Throw for 3 more hits.
3.) Improved Ki Throw him into Target #2.
4.) Vicious Stomp + Spiked Destroyer Target #2 for 2 more hits.
5.) Foehammer now lets me take a free trip attack against Target #2. Sure, he's already prone, so this does nothing, except:
6.) GO BACK TO STEP 2. REPEAT UNTIL YOU RUN OUT OF AoOs.

(Also, I was wrong in the above post, you totally need to do this unarmed)

-Cross

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Crosswind wrote:

4.) Go ahead and vital strike/trip with a weapon if it makes you happy. You will still get your free unarmed attack from vicious stomp. Unarmed attacks can be with any part of the body - your feat are, I hear, great for stomping.

5-Cross

My point was actually in regards to the Ki Throw. Ki Throw must be done with an Unarmed trip attack. So the portion of your suggestion referencing Ki Throw and Spiked Destroyer doesn't work if you trip with a weapon. Also, Spiked Destroyer takes a swift action and isn't compatible with the Felling Smash the OP is using to trip with Vital Strike in the first place.


Ssalarn wrote:
Crosswind wrote:

4.) Go ahead and vital strike/trip with a weapon if it makes you happy. You will still get your free unarmed attack from vicious stomp. Unarmed attacks can be with any part of the body - your feat are, I hear, great for stomping.

5-Cross

My point was actually in regards to the Ki Throw. Ki Throw must be done with an Unarmed trip attack. So the portion of your suggestion referencing Ki Throw and Spiked Destroyer doesn't work if you trip with a weapon. Also, Spiked Destroyer takes a swift action and isn't compatible with the Felling Smash the OP is using to trip with Vital Strike in the first place.

Hey, good call Ssalarn. My mistake on that bit, excellent catch.

-Cross


Too bad Spiked Destroyer doesn't play well with Felling Smash. That was getting mean.

All the same, I love the evil direction this is taking. We're plucking a lot of extra attacks out of our single attack action, and it's looking like they're all at full BAB instead of the +16/+11/+6/+1 degenerative accuracy of a full-round action.

The disadvantages are it takes a lot of feats to pull it off, needs the attack chain to connect the full way or following attacks don't happen, and requires a trip-able foe. However, it does horrible things when that opportunity presents itself. 1-2 prone foes that just took a good chunk of damage (from me and flanking allies) fill me with joy. :D

I'm guessing I'd want to have Str & Dex as my 2 stats, as those come into play heavily for CMB/CMD, accuracy, damage, AC, and OA count.

Is it better to go with Fighter or Monk? The feat dependency cries for fighter (monk gets a couple for free but not as many), but the unarmed and combat maneuver stuff has synergy with monk. Without Spiked Destroyer we don't have as much of an armor requirement, which monk would have disliked. Is there a monk archetype that grants more of the feats we need for free, or really fantastic CMBs to overcome the ridiculous CMD on many monsters?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

I might take the Unarmed Fighter or Brawler archetypes and then multi-class Monk. Find a Monk archetype that keeps the bonus feats but ditches Flurry of Blows since you won't be using it most of the time anyway. Maybe Master of Many Styles and pick up Dragon Style to add 1.5 x STR on your unarmed strike when you start the attack sequence? If you grab Dragon Ferocity that'd be 2x STR on your first attack, and 1.5x STR on your follow ups. That adds that many more feats to the mix though.....

I'd probably go Human for the bonus feat, that way two levels of Fighter and two levels of monk could potentially have you 7 feats in to the chain and you can go where you want from there.


Let's start by listing the feats here and see how far we get by level 6 (Fighter2 & Monk4, right? Or fighter4 & monk2?)
-Power Attack
-Combat Expertise (required by improved/greater trip)
-Improved Trip
-Vital Strike
-Felling Smash
-Greater Trip
-Vicious Stomp
-Ki Throw
-Improved Ki Throw
-Improved Bull Rush
-Combat Reflexes

That's 11 feats so far. Did I miss any? ;)

That's getting awfully feat-heavy for an effect that's at the mercy of the opponent's CMD (and some foes have stupid-high CMDs, especially against trip... to the point that a combat maneuver focused monk might be able to trip or bull rush them if he rolls a natural 19-20). That has me a bit worried.


So, I have another thread that's questioning whether the infinite attack loop thing works. No replies yet, hoping that one of the resident RAW experts can help me out.

Basically, here's the problem: Greater Trip is really good, and Monk BAB sucks, so you couldn't normally qualify for it by 9.

Here's how I'd do this, though:

Human, 13/16+2/14/11/14/7

(1) Fighter (Lore Warden) 1: Weapon Finesse, (Power Attack), Improved Trip
(2) Monk (Flowing Monk) 1: Improved Unarmed Strike, (Combat Reflexes),
(3) Fighter (Lore Warden) 2: (Combat Expertise), Ki Throw, (Vicious Stomp)
(4) Fighter (Lore Warden) 3:
(5) Fighter (Lore Warden) 4: (Enhanced Ki Throw), Improved Bull Rush
(6) Monk (Flowing Monk) 2:
(7) Monk (Flowing Monk) 3: Greater Trip
---------------Straight Monk now
(9) Improved Ki Throw
(10)(Improved Reposition)
(11) Felling Smash
(13) Dazing Assault
(14) (Tripping Strike)
(15) Vital Strike
(17) Improved Vital Strike
(18)
(19)
----------------------------------
So basically, we dip Lore Warden for the following reasons:

1.) It allows us to get Greater Trip at 7 instead of 9.
2.) It gets us FOUR free feats (Fighter feats at 1,2 and 4, and combat expertise at 2). Also, we don't need to have the intelligence to pick up Combat Expertise
3.) +2 bonus to all CMB checks!

So, basically: At level 3, you can do most of the combo, because you have Improved Trip, Ki Throw, Vicious Stomp.

And you add on to that combo rather quickly. You get vital strike late, because, frankly, every other feat is better than it is. =)

You stack as much dex and wisdom as you humanly can, so your AC is high and you have lots of AoOs to blow. And you buy an Agile amulet of mighty fists as fast as you can, to add dex to damage.

...that's how I'd do this.

-Cross

Edit: There will always be enemies that your combo won't work on. Good news is, you still have about a million attacks, using dex to attack, dex to damage, etc. You'll be okay there. You probably will not be able to DEATH COMBO The tarrasque. =(


One more level of Lore Warden would get you Weapon Training... add Gloves of Dueling for an additional +3 to all melee rolls with whatever weapon group you favor. :)


Eben TheQuiet wrote:
One more level of Lore Warden would get you Weapon Training... add Gloves of Dueling for an additional +3 to all melee rolls with whatever weapon group you favor. :)

So, basically, this depends on how much you like the flowing monk's ability to spend ki points to do spell turning, at 15.

As soon as you go more fighter than LW 4, you have to buy monastic legacy to get up to +2d8 damage. Probably worth it.

The best combo, for 20 levels, is probably 12/8 Flowing Monk/LW.

You have BAB +17, you get another 2 feats, you get +2 to all combat maneuvers from LW 7, while still getting all the monk goodies, including 2d8 fist damage if you take monastic legacy.

-Cross


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've got a maneuver monk/unarmed fighter that's been kind of silly the last few sessions. On any mundane grounded mook, he'll blast across a 100-foot charge and:
1)Trip
2)Reposition from Ki Throw
3)AoO from Greater Trip
4)AoO from Vicious Stomp
5)Free grapple from Grab (via Anaconda's Coil and Final Embrace)
6)Constrict damage
7)Swift action grapple through Binding Throw to pin
8)Constrict again

So with a single charge, you've got your chump pinned, prone, and four attacks deep. Not too shabby.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

So... Greater Trip is one attack, Vicious Stomp is another, Ki throw chain for 3, plus our original Vital Strike...

Are we feeling 100% on the DEX over STR part of the stats instead of vice versa? we do have some options for armor... Going Brawler instead of Lore Warden gets us vastly improved damage on the Unarmed Strikes, and we save a feat by going STR instead of using weapon finesse, negating the advantage of getting Combat Expertise for free (we just throw on a chain shirt or something....). Brawler also gives us a bonus on those Bull Rushh checks we want to make with Improved Ki Throw. This also leaves us better able to still do damage to enemies our combo doesn't work on.


Take some levels of Kensai to get Superior Reflexes for more AoO's.
Not to mention you could cast Frostbite/Chill Touch the round before to add magical effects to every one of those attacks.


I am not sure this can fit into the build, but maybe someone finds a way to get this into the build above ...

1 level Rogue (Thug)
+ Cornugon Smash

If you hit with your combo and power attack and you manage to demoralize your victim. It will try to fee Standing up (AoO) and move away (2nd AoO).

I would even try 8 level (Scout/Thug)


Ssalarn wrote:

So... Greater Trip is one attack, Vicious Stomp is another, Ki throw chain for 3, plus our original Vital Strike...

Are we feeling 100% on the DEX over STR part of the stats instead of vice versa? we do have some options for armor... Going Brawler instead of Lore Warden gets us vastly improved damage on the Unarmed Strikes, and we save a feat by going STR instead of using weapon finesse, negating the advantage of getting Combat Expertise for free (we just throw on a chain shirt or something....). Brawler also gives us a bonus on those Bull Rushh checks we want to make with Improved Ki Throw. This also leaves us better able to still do damage to enemies our combo doesn't work on.

So, here's the thing:

Agile is cheaper on amulet of mighty fists than it is on anything else.

To get an agile weapon, you need to buy a +1, Agile weapon (8k)
Whereas you can just buy a flat agile amulet for 4k.

Your # of AoOs is limited by your dex. Plus, you use your dex for combat maneuvers, a number of nifty reflex abilities, etc. So, yeah, dex is really the best option here. Also, AC.

Finally, brawler sort of stinks, because it trades away weapon training.

Gloves of dueling + weapon training = +3/+3 to all your attacks. Assuming we're putting 8 levels in. With a brawler, we'd get +2/+4 on unarmed. Not exactly a big win.

-Cross

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

How does that work with the FAQ on replacement abilities? It references a Weapon Training Group, making it more specific than their Archer example, but it's not quite as specific as the Dragoon example..... I was thinking Brawler as more of a 3 level dip, then Monk, maybe 3 levels of Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist) for the insight bonus to CMB and the Strength Surge Rage Power for when you need trip that especially large bugger.....


Ssalarn wrote:
How does that work with the FAQ on replacement abilities? It references a Weapon Training Group, making it more specific than their Archer example, but it's not quite as specific as the Dragoon example..... I was thinking Brawler as more of a 3 level dip, then Monk, maybe 3 levels of Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist) for the insight bonus to CMB and the Strength Surge Rage Power for when you need trip that especially large bugger.....

My theory is thus: You want to dip out of monk not very much, because you'd like to get to those 2d8 fist dice so that when you vital strike, it's worth it.

-Cross


Crosswind wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
How does that work with the FAQ on replacement abilities? It references a Weapon Training Group, making it more specific than their Archer example, but it's not quite as specific as the Dragoon example..... I was thinking Brawler as more of a 3 level dip, then Monk, maybe 3 levels of Barbarian (Brutal Pugilist) for the insight bonus to CMB and the Strength Surge Rage Power for when you need trip that especially large bugger.....

My theory is thus: You want to dip out of monk not very much, because you'd like to get to those 2d8 fist dice so that when you vital strike, it's worth it.

-Cross

eh, with at least three monk levels, monastic legacy, and a monks robe you can be fairly set for damage.

also: towards the OP's idea: since you're power attacking, consider cornugon smash even without the rogue dip--as long as you've got a good number of ranks in intimidate and a non-negative cha you'll be laying down some sick debuffs on anyone watching (with the cruel enchant on your weapon you can inflict sickened on shaken people you hit!)

stand still might be worth looking into as well, and perhaps the step up line later on.


If you can add the enforcer feat to the build and do non-lethal you can add even more to the intimidate stuff. I know it does not stack with CS but it does give you two chances to on it. Enforcer also can make a foe frightened.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / How many effects can be wielded effectively on a "single attack action"? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.