What is the best anti-undead class?


Advice

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

What is the best anti-undead class? Say, 20 point buy, around 6th level?

Cleric? Life Oracle? Paladin? Ranger with undead as favored enemy?

Something cool I'm not thinking of?

Some kind of obscure archetype?

Thanks!

:-)

EDIT:

Undead Scourge paladin archetype looks pretty good, maybe with 2-Weapon Fighting and/or Power Attack and Cleave?

Dark Archive

Life oracle or undead focused ranger.

Life oracle due to usual charisma DC is higher than clerics. Add in aasimar favored class bonus equals dust.

Ranger over paladin due to constant bonuses

Shadow Lodge

Are you looking for specific builds, or just general classes? As a whole, I think Cleric, or Paladin are best.

Cleric because of all the spells they get, and then you make yourself a Sun and Glory domain cleric as an additional bonus, and Improved Channel to pump the channel DC for a nice AoE, and no Channel Resistance is added. Just pump charisma and wisdom and don't bother with strength/dex/int.

Paladins get the same channel ability, touch attack Lay on Hands, and Smite Evil that will let you overcome the DR undead often get (such as penetrate DR/Bludgeoning with a nodachi/lonsword/greatsword/etc.), and a +levelx2 damage and +Charisma(A.K.A. Stupid High Stat) to attack.

Life Oracle works too I guess, if you take the Aasimar FCB to Channel and Improved Channel for about the same, maybe better, DC. You could get a 5d6 AoE by level 6 that doesn't provoke or harm allies. But the Aasimar Cleric FCB for +1/2 gives +3 (as opposed to the +7 average of +2d6), while making more consistent damage (minimum 5 v. minimum 6).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

So, a 6th level oracle channels energy at 9th level? Pure awesome!

Shadow Lodge

SmiloDan wrote:
So, a 6th level oracle channels energy at 9th level? Pure awesome!

They can channel as a 9th level cleric, if your racial Favored Class Bonus is put to the channel revelation each level.


ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
So, a 6th level oracle channels energy at 9th level? Pure awesome!
They can channel as a 9th level cleric, if your racial Favored Class Bonus is put to the channel revelation each level.

AND if youre an aasimar.

Grand Lodge

Cleric is best for lots of undead, Paladin is best for nuking one BBEUG, and ranger is the middle man. Not quite the nuke a paladin is, better single target than the cleric, but not the same AoE as the cleric. The Sun/Glory domain also makes me inclined to say cleric> life oracle, but if you want more healing then go life oracle.


negative energy channeling cleric

Trait: the +1 to the dc of your channel energy

feats: control undead, spell focus necromancy, undead master.

Your level +4 hd of undead minions ! fight fire with fire!

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Last time I fought fire with fire, I had to buy all new stuff. ;-)


I like the Oath Against Undeath archetype for the Paladin. Detect undead at will, the usual smite, extra bonuses against negative energy and death effects (and grant a lesser bonus against the same effects in an aura), and the kicker: full armor bonus against incorporeal undead. Now you don't have to worry about a Wight or shadow because you're in heavy armor.


I'm gonna go ahead and say Barbarian.

While the Paladin is clanking up to the target to get his one big Smite swipe off (which he can only do like 3 times a day), the Barbarian just looks at the guy, Rages, says "CHAAAARGE!!!!" and has full attacked the beastie by the end of the round.


Rynjin wrote:

I'm gonna go ahead and say Barbarian.

While the Paladin is clanking up to the target to get his one big Smite swipe off (which he can only do like 3 times a day), the Barbarian just looks at the guy, Rages, says "CHAAAARGE!!!!" and has full attacked the beastie by the end of the round.

Smite applies to all attacks against the enemy until the paladin sleeps or the enemy dies


I'm going to go with wizard.


Dirge Bard!!


Expostfacto wrote:


Smite applies to all attacks against the enemy until the paladin sleeps or the enemy dies

Yes...but the Pally doesn't have Pounce, so he only gets one of those that first round, putting him at a distinct numbers disadvantage.

And 20+ Rage rounds a day is better than 3 Smites a day in the long run, unless you're doing some kind of boss rush.


what was it... sunlight/glory channeling aasimar (FCB) cleric? char-broils undead.

Scarab Sages

Rynjin wrote:
Expostfacto wrote:


Smite applies to all attacks against the enemy until the paladin sleeps or the enemy dies

Yes...but the Pally doesn't have Pounce, so he only gets one of those that first round, putting him at a distinct numbers disadvantage.

And 20+ Rage rounds a day is better than 3 Smites a day in the long run, unless you're doing some kind of boss rush.

Is there a way to get pounce at level six?


At 8th level or higher, Inquisitors with the Final Rest inquisition can be pretty nasty. While they do not pump out the damage as bad as a Paladin or undead focused ranger, turning any weapon they use into a scaling Disruption ability is not too bad. Save of be destroyed on every hit with your Bane ability is nice.

And it works with archery for max # of shots a round. Plus since bane is activated against a creature TYPE it is not limited to one declared target as long as it is up. You can hit as many undead as you want for the save or be destroyed per hit.

As for the non pounce Paladin, why is he not smiting with a bow?

Silver Crusade

I looked up the Inquisitor build Gilfalas mentions, and it is as he said.

I'll still go with the aforementioned Glory & Sun domains Cleric. Take the feats Improved Channeling and Quick Channel. Take the trait for +1 to DC. Say the PC is well rounded, so CHA is only 16. By 6th level they can probably acquire a Phylactery of Positive Channeling.

This cleric will channel to harm undead for 5d6+6 (average 23.5 HP) with a DC of 21 and no channel resistance. They can do this twice per round (with Quick Channel). That's nova damage of about 47 HP to each undead within range. If this cleric uses the Reach template then they will ALSO inflict martial damage (in the same round they channel twice!) on surviving undead who try to close the gap, albeit less martial damage than the Barbarian. If there aren't lots of undead about that same cleric is also an excellent healer and a competent martial combatant.

Not good enough? Instead of inflicting HP damage to undead, take control of the battlefield against undead. Be a cleric (or paladin, if they can get Variant Channeling) of Iomedae. Lose the Phylactery. Use the Variant Channeling option for Rulership, which Dazes undead. Will Save DC is still 21+ and no channel resistance. Now your channels only inflict about 8 HP each (no save), but they also Daze all affected undead for one round. If the BBEUG saves the first time then channel again the same round. The rest of the party can easily destroy the Dazed undead with little risk.

Shadow Lodge

SmiloDan wrote:

What is the best anti-undead class? Say, 20 point buy, around 6th level?

Cleric? Life Oracle? Paladin? Ranger with undead as favored enemy?

Something cool I'm not thinking of?

Some kind of obscure archetype?

Thanks!

:-)

EDIT:

Undead Scourge paladin archetype looks pretty good, maybe with 2-Weapon Fighting and/or Power Attack and Cleave?

the best in the game is a rage cycling rage prophet (life oracle)

kicks undead ass better then a paladin.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Cool ideas!

Now I kind of want to run/play in an Undead Hunting campaign with a party full of scourges of the undead! Maybe urban ranger (undead favored enemy), paladin, cleric, oracle, inquisitor, maybe a dirge bard.

Liberty's Edge

Really "good against undead" is so wide there are a ton of options.

Paladin has a huge advantage against undead that the ranger lacks, a strong will save. Furthermore going oath of vengeance will give the paladin enough uses of smite to last all day. Alternatively you can go with hospitaler and pick up extra channel energy uses.

But really, any paladin, cleric, inquisitor, or ranger focused around undead are going to be VERY good at it.


Life Oracle not only has the ability to channel with a better DC than a cleric but also has energy body to protect themselves from a large number of undead and enhanced cure IF cure spells are to be used offensively (which may not provoke an A.o.O.)

If it where a prolonged battle I would say them.

Single powerful undead BBG them I'd go Paladin.


Eragar wrote:


Is there a way to get pounce at level six?

I ignored the 6th level restriction because 6th level is kinda a weird level to limit to all around. Most builds haven't come together by then.

Shadow Lodge

Champion of Irori PrC does great as well. Smite all day at level 7.


SmiloDan wrote:

What is the best anti-undead class? Say, 20 point buy, around 6th level?

Cleric? Life Oracle? Paladin? Ranger with undead as favored enemy?

Something cool I'm not thinking of?

Some kind of obscure archetype?

Thanks!

:-)

EDIT:

Undead Scourge paladin archetype looks pretty good, maybe with 2-Weapon Fighting and/or Power Attack and Cleave?

The best class for anti-undead that I know of is a cleric-necromancer build revolving around animate dead. Push Strength prime, Constitution secondary, Wisdom around 13 base (plus magic items as desired). Use options like animate dead + command undead to fight the undead, or drop Command Undead and be a spontaneous positive energy channeling Neutral cleric with the same tactic, except now you have the ability to heal / spontaneously smash some undead with cure spells.

The reason for animate dead is because it's exceptionally good at fighting undead. This was a tactic that has always done very well against undead in my experiences. The worst weapons of the undead (ability damage/drain, level drain, diseases, etc) do not work on undead, so using mindless undead such as bloody skeletons and/or fast zombies to do the lion's share of your melee fighting will help you out a ton.

Meanwhile, clerics get access to death ward at 7th level and can use it before then with scrolls or partially charged wands. This can be invaluable when fighting undead as it completely neuters things like shadows, the entire necromancy offensive arsenal, and reduces the hurt received from things like wights and vampires from their level drain.

Later on still (or again via spell-trigger/completion) you can make any weapon you wield a disrupting weapon with a DC equal to your saving throw DC (which will in general be much stronger than the DC 14 on an actual disrupting weapon) allowing you or your party to mow down minor undead rapidly.

Silver Crusade

Rynjin wrote:
Eragar wrote:


Is there a way to get pounce at level six?
I ignored the 6th level restriction because 6th level is kinda a weird level to limit to all around. Most builds haven't come together by then.

If a build hasn't come together by level 6 that's a pretty huge drawback to that build. Realistically, most Pathfinder game play takes place at levels 1 - 5. That's why I suggested the variant channeling Rulership Cleric as the ultimate undead foe. Daze all undead in your 30' radius AOE, with a large DC, right from first level. This is not the strongest approach if you are alone, but is crushingly strong if you are part of a team.

An Oracle can have slightly better anti-undead channeling than a Cleric, until you consider Glory Domain, Sun Domain, and variant channeling of Rulership. Plus, if you use reach tactics you also deal martial damage at the same time.

I agree that a Cleric[Necromancer] who controls undead is also a very strong option. I shy away from this choice because, well, probably Evil, and I mostly play PFS style.


I disagree.

Note that by "come together" I mean "reach desired level of power" not the time it takes to be useful at all.

I'm not sure if your Rulership Domain idea would work, since a positive energy channeling Cleric can't use it. Read the fine print on Variant Channeling.

Quote:
A variant channeling either modifies positive channeled energy when used to heal or modifies negative energy when used to harm.

It doesn't modify Positive for harming Undead or Negative for healing Undead.

For damage, throw in the ever-common Channel Resistance (Though Sun Domain negates this) and Channeling is even less desirable as an undead killer unless the damage is somehow so massive that even halving it just makes it manageable.

Channel is good against hordes of weak undead, but so is a Fighter with a Reach weapon. Low level undead are a joke even at low level.

That's why I don't think 6th level is a good one for this, since at that point the most powerful Undead you're likely to face is a group of Fast Zombies.

Around 10th level things start to get interesting. The Barbarian may have the damage advantage, though the Paladin (throw in a Conductive weapon, shall we?) probably gives him a run for his money and has an AoE ability (though it is weak).

The Cleric at this level starts to falter, since Channeling isn't very good at higher levels. Even throwing in the Sun Domain again, 5d6+10 (average of ~27 damage) isn't that good. His spells, however, can be very helpful with crowd control, but overall still falls behind I think. Has an "I win!" button against undead harmed by sunlight though, so major plus there.

A Ranger with FE can deal massive damage to Undead, especially at range or with TWFing. I think he may actually out damage both the Barbarian and Paladin against single targets, but lacks the weak AoE capability of the Paladin.

The Life Oracle likewise sounds good, but even with the Aasimar thing it's only 8d6 (28 damage), which is about one damage more than the Sun Cleric...but the minimum damage is much lower.

Again, good against hordes of weak undead, but hordes of weak undead aren't really a threat to most parties. Even at level 6.

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Honestly, our Kingmaker (almost typed Kingslayer!) party heard a rumor of a barrow filled with undead and treasure, and we might get a new player or two soon, so we're (or at least I am) hoping for a healer/undead slayer.

The party is my dwarf barbarian 1/magus 5, a human ranger 6, a human cavalier 4/fighter 2 (I think), and a human rogue 3/witch 3. Possibly a human alchemist 6 might be joining us. Possibly plus 1 or 2 new PCs.

Silver Crusade

@Rynjin Sounds like we tend to play very different style games. You look on 10th level as when things "get interesting", I see 10th level as "nearly to permanent retirement".

Regarding your observation about Variant Channeling

Quote:
A variant channeling either modifies positive channeled energy when used to heal or modifies negative energy when used to harm.

Seems you are right, unless there's errata somewhere. Your [correct] interpretation actually makes Versatile Variant channeling better, since it's possible to e.g. choose a nice negative Variant Harm effect and still heal at full power. I had always thought variant channeling applied to both heal and harm, whether you wanted it to or not. Thanks for correcting me.


For me, after 6th is when things start getting interesting, yeah. Most classes don't get their coolest class features until around then, or get boosts to ones they've had since 1st at around that time.

I really like the ~8-13 game the most.

As for making it better, possibly yeah. I can see cases where it both hinders and helps depending on which you pick. I've never really liked variant channeling all that much, but it seems to have a few neat things in it.

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