Why do people tend to prefer Valeros' Weapon Master role over his Guardian role?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Hey Superstigs. Saw your question on the "Snapshot" thread. Mike had asked that thread be kept to a specific format because they were going to mine the data out of it, so I'm replying to you in this new thread. (Not sure if they are still mining that thread or not.)

Superstigs wrote:
So my kids and I are currently in Burnt Offerings so a while before I'll be posting (just got the game and all expansions on March 8th). I'm currently playing Valeros with the rest of the group being Amiri, Lini, and Harsk. As I looked through all of these posts it seems to me that everybody playing Valeros has gone Weaponmaster, and I'll admit it's the path I'm looking to go. I was wondering if Mike, Vic, and team had any insight/thoughts as to why that might be? Being still early into the adventures it does seem there are less armor boons to be acquired so that could be a symptom, but to me it came down to the benefit of using melee for ranged was greater than the benefit to reduce damage to my party. Especially since we often spend time in separate locations unless somebody desperately needs my 1d4 bonus.

That is a good question. There are definitely some roles that, at a glance, seem to be getting favored above others. I have a Valeros that is Weapon Master posted in the snapshot thread. But I've also got another Valeros, who has been progressing much more slowly due to his groups schedule, who I'll be making a Guardian. I'd always planned it that way.

I think the reason Weapon Master has been preferred is a few things. First, if you look at the powers and the cards at the end of Hook Mountain, the biggest difference does seems to be the one you've mentioned. And most people probably don't think they take damage enough to make that power seem worth it. But be warned, your allies may be taking more damage in the future due to Before the Encounter and After the Encounter effects.

Second, the Guardian's recharge armor instead of discard armor only applies to 1 armor at the end of HMM. But Mike has said there are others coming. But people can't see what those others are, so they prefer to take the known verses the unknown.

Third, people like weapons. They like them a lot. Much more than armor. After all, a weapon seems "cooler" than an armor.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

We are still mining that thread.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Third, people like weapons. They like them a lot. Much more than armor. After all, a weapon seems "cooler" than an armor.

It's not just that people like weapons, it's also that they hate armor. Armor cards are viewed as horrible burdens by a vast number of players.

I like armor myself, and even found myself spending card slots to get more armors in a couple of decks in AP4, but it seems like the majority of players have a strong dislike for the armor mechanic. Perhaps it's something that can be made more attractive in Skull & Shackles. And it certainly explains "why weaponmaster"

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

To be fair, the combat checks are easy enough in PACG, and mandatory damage rare enough, that armor - especialy in ADs 1-3 - can seem a bit of a nuisance. Most armor also doesn't tend to do anything else (e.g., extra powers or abilities).

It would be cool to have armor that allowed the player to do before-the-encounter damage (e.g., reduce the difficulty of one check by 1dx) to the monster(s) the same way some monsters do to the player...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Mechanically, there's a few issues with Armor:

1) Maximum hand discard means that even when you lose a combat check, you have a maximum number of damage you can discard to anyway.
2) Armor is insurance when you lose, rather than playing cards to win the encounter (which does the same thing as insurance and gets rid of the monster). Combat checks are rarely totally unwinnable (Sirens and Spectres notwithstanding)
3) It's too limited. Armor has the least variety out of all the boon types (other than Loot, but that's not a fair comparison). In addition, a lot of the armors do the same thing, or very similar things. Compare that with the variety of weapons - melee weapons, ranged weapons, support weapons. Shields have more variety, but they're often stuck in your hand doing nothing (you can discard when you reset, but that defeats the point of the insurance policy). I think the limit of basic armor to combat damage is a large contribution to this.

I suspect people enjoy utility in their hands (things that don't sit useless most of the time) and that's why Armor tends to be disliked.

I like Armor, but Shields I could probably live without most of the time. Armor can be useful because it blocks one giant chunk of damage, allowing you to keep the permanents in your hand that you like. But shields can't do that and they seldomly get used for their normal combat damage prevention.

EDIT: oh yes, one more thing specifically pertaining to Valeros. Valeros recharges his weapons when he discards them for extra damage, which means that 1) cycling is part of his strategy, armor interfere with this and 2) when he discards to damage he often has less weapons to discard.


Armor sucks unless it's magical and gives you the ability to recharge it when resetting your hand, then it's nice to have. I think the vast majority of the time it's used for its power to reduce any amount of any type of damage to zero, which is an awesome power for a card to have.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Spiny Shield is quite nice. And is an armor Valeros' Guardian power will apply to.


Uh, Hawk how many weapons does that Val have that are 1-handed?

That's the biggest problem with shields in the game, the dearth of exceptional one-handed weapons when compared to the 2-handed ones. I think that's the main reason for the weaponmaster role vs guardian. His Guardian power is basically useless unless you have one of the Longsword+2. I do have a Guardian Val in my 6-character party mainly to use as a shield for other members of the party, but I doubt I'll ever check that shield ability power.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

He can also use it with Shortspear + 3. If he could get 2 of those with 2 Longsword + 2, then he's have the majority of his weapons not having the 2-Handed trait.


The Shortspear +3 is pretty much made for Valeros.


I almost took the Guardian, but didn't because I didn't have any armors that worked with his ability and I like all my magical armor I have now that lets me recharge them if I don't need them.

I can't imagine there will be future magical armor that will make me give up my recharging armor that reduces damage to 0 if needed.

I also use one shield and all my weapons are one handed. The two handed weapons we let the barbarian have. I like recharging weapons for extra damage instead of recharging on a miss. I do lots or recycling.

Dark Archive

Hawkmoon269 wrote:
Hey Superstigs. Saw your question on the "Snapshot" thread. Mike had asked that thread be kept to a specific format because they were going to mine the data out of it, so I'm replying to you in this new thread. (Not sure if they are still mining that thread or not.)

Thanks for passing along your thoughts. I'm sure from a data mine that kind of information will come up and provide lots of insight for future adventure paths and characters.


zeroth_hour wrote:

2) Armor is insurance when you lose, rather than playing cards to win the encounter (which does the same thing as insurance and gets rid of the monster). Combat checks are rarely totally unwinnable (Sirens and Spectres notwithstanding)

Although I agree with most people's feelings on armor, one thing that has started popping up more since the start of AP4 is damage occurring to multiple targets. Then you don't have to be the one to lose a combat to take damage. I think armor might slightly improve in efficacy if the trend continues. It still would be the worst card-type, IMO, but any improvement is welcome.


Vyvyan Basterd wrote:
zeroth_hour wrote:

2) Armor is insurance when you lose, rather than playing cards to win the encounter (which does the same thing as insurance and gets rid of the monster). Combat checks are rarely totally unwinnable (Sirens and Spectres notwithstanding)

Although I agree with most people's feelings on armor, one thing that has started popping up more since the start of AP4 is damage occurring to multiple targets. Then you don't have to be the one to lose a combat to take damage. I think armor might slightly improve in efficacy if the trend continues. It still would be the worst card-type, IMO, but any improvement is welcome.

I think that armor is more valuable in a few cases:

1) Later Adventures, where success against a monster is not a sure thing. I know that it is insurance against rolling poorly or not having cards in hand, but there are times where you aren't expecting to hit the villain or a really tough henchman.

2) Later Adventures with cards that deal automatic damage, or force you to recharge cards. These cases seem to pop up more and more often as we have been playing, and they can really affect your strategies. If you think you will have 5 cards going into a fight, but end up with three, then that changes how you face the encounter.

3) As mentioned above, cases where you are at the same location as another character and they fail a combat check against a monster which deals damage to all the characters at your location.

4) Larger group, because you often use your blessings to explore further into your location, and may run out. This can happen frequently if you are the last player to take their turn, because may other people will expend their cards trying to dig through their location as quickly as possible.


I take weaponmaster because :

1- Armor is blatanly useless.
2- Sticking together is a losing proposal as to be efficient heroes have to split.
3- Using Melee skill for Ranged attack means you can use a lot of ranged weapon in Valeros deck in order to cycle it faster by recharging them during the other players turn.
4- Armor is useless and any power than help you get more armor is even more useless.
5- There is not that much power on Valeros card that deserver mention, except the 6 cards hand and the bonus to acquire weapons.

@Erixian, I am at scenario 4, AP 4, and I have yet to see a later adventure where success against monster is not a sure thing. Odds are a tiny bit closer to 66% than 80% now but still quite good. And if you only risk taking damage when in the same location as another player if he botch his roll. Wont happen that often to justify armor.

By the way just keeping the 3 armor cards is far enough, I wont say I am not gratefull to have one armor card in hand, it is just that I wont feel like I am in a deep poopoo when I have none. The same isn't true for weapons, blessing and allies, even items (Bell and Tools). Just check every character and ask them what card they want to have in their hand and you will see that armor is quite never there.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Actually, I realized something even worse:

WeaponMaster's STR d12 power is much much better than Guardian's CON d12 power. There just aren't that many CON checks in the game, and Melee combat (one of the most important checks) uses STR. If he adds the power to replaced DEX with STR on ranged checks, that's also a place where it would work.

I think damage reduction power on the Guardian is good (others don't have to get dinged by the "do 1 damage before the encounter" powers that quite a few monsters have) but it also requires being together.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

There aren't that many con checks in the game...yet. Who knows what will happen in the last two adventures. And the constitution power is a bigger increase from his normal die (d8 to d12 vs d10 to d12). We'll really have to wait to rate the roles until we've seen the whole AP.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nathaniel Gousset wrote:
@Erixian, I am at scenario 4, AP 4, and I have yet to see a later adventure where success against monster is not a sure thing. Odds are a tiny bit closer to 66% than 80% now but still quite good.

I would like to point out that somewhere between 66% to 80% is by definition not a sure thing.

That being said, each of the 3 parties I'm taking through the AP has one armor user, and that character is never the one that I have to worry about dying. Armor does its job, but it's not exciting. New weapons and spells and items and allies are exciting.

Besides, if the chance of a defeating a monster is coming closer to 2/3, that means to close a location with 3 monsters, to close a location on average you're going to fail one check to close the location. That sounds like a good reason to have armor (or some other way of reducing damage).

That being said, I feel like having lots of healing available is also an acceptable substitute (My Seoni survives because of her multiple staves of minor healing, My Lini survives because she has 3 cure spells.)


Hawkmoon269 wrote:
There aren't that many con checks in the game...yet. Who knows what will happen in the last two adventures. And the constitution power is a bigger increase from his normal die (d8 to d12 vs d10 to d12). We'll really have to wait to rate the roles until we've seen the whole AP.

This is true. we do not know what the next two Adventures will hold in the way of Con checks. Also, the great difference in stats is great because failing a Con check usually means that you are stopping your progress through a location deck, or you are taking damage. Both aren't great.

Iammars, thanks for making a point that I was coming back to make. 2/3 isn't a high success rate, and if you are failing by 2 or more, then armor can really save you.


Iammars wrote:
Armor does its job, but it's not exciting.

I also like having armor. I am not in the "armor is completely useless" camp.


Welcome to the club. It is fairly small, but we always welcome new members.


Armor might be seen as more useful if you ever get enemies who say "If the damage dealt empty your hand, discard the remaining damage from your deck/blessing deck."
Also, we need more cool armors who do fun stuff. Like enchanted leather armor that boost your dexterity or flight armor that allow you to move at the end of a turn and that kind of stuff. Or Shields that allow you to protect other people during there turns if they are at the same location as you.

Stuff like that could be nice.


I would agree that armor would be much better if it had more auxiliary effects. One of my favorite armors is the Snakeskin Tunic. You have a reveal effect, and also an effect that you can use if you are going to take damage. It is pretty versatile.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
There aren't that many con checks in the game...yet. Who knows what will happen in the last two adventures. And the constitution power is a bigger increase from his normal die (d8 to d12 vs d10 to d12). We'll really have to wait to rate the roles until we've seen the whole AP.

Well, while I don't know what the last two adventures hold, we do know the RPG guides (but is not an absolute indicator of) the design of the Card Game.

The problem is, CON is required in the RPG because 1) it increases HP and 2) it increases your Fort save. No skills rely on CON (unlike all the other stats).

1 doesn't exist in the Card Game. HP is "fixed". 2 seems to only apply to characters with Fort-targeting attacks (poisons etc). But non-monster checks tend to rely on a specific skill (Diplomacy for example, relies on CHA as its base, so diplomacy checks to acquire allies are Diplomacy/CHA). Reflex-targeting attacks target Acrobatics/DEX (See the newest blog post on this).

So by the nature of the RPG it seems that there's going to be few CON-targeting checks. Locations will do it, some boss attacks, and some traps (that will probably also target DEX/Acro or Disable). But suddenly expecting there to be a proliferation of CON checks (versus STR or DEX) is probably not realistic.


You can sign me up for the "armor is not worthless" camp. after playing with a friend as my homebrew monk (who has no real defensive items) and getting my butt handed to me from bad dice rolls (I mean, 4 1s on 4d8 really hurts) and then having him find one of the bosses and fail the check and take damage, then bury an armor to negate all the damage that I ate.....ya, that was a bad game.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
zeroth_hour wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
There aren't that many con checks in the game...yet. Who knows what will happen in the last two adventures. And the constitution power is a bigger increase from his normal die (d8 to d12 vs d10 to d12). We'll really have to wait to rate the roles until we've seen the whole AP.

Well, while I don't know what the last two adventures hold, we do know the RPG guides (but is not an absolute indicator of) the design of the Card Game.

The problem is, CON is required in the RPG because 1) it increases HP and 2) it increases your Fort save. No skills rely on CON (unlike all the other stats).

1 doesn't exist in the Card Game. HP is "fixed". 2 seems to only apply to characters with Fort-targeting attacks (poisons etc). But non-monster checks tend to rely on a specific skill (Diplomacy for example, relies on CHA as its base, so diplomacy checks to acquire allies are Diplomacy/CHA). Reflex-targeting attacks target Acrobatics/DEX (See the newest blog post on this).

So by the nature of the RPG it seems that there's going to be few CON-targeting checks. Locations will do it, some boss attacks, and some traps (that will probably also target DEX/Acro or Disable). But suddenly expecting there to be a proliferation of CON checks (versus STR or DEX) is probably not realistic.

Your knowledge of the RPG routes of PACG is something I lack. So thanks for sharing. What blog post in particular were you referring to?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
zeroth_hour wrote:
Hawkmoon269 wrote:
There aren't that many con checks in the game...yet. Who knows what will happen in the last two adventures. And the constitution power is a bigger increase from his normal die (d8 to d12 vs d10 to d12). We'll really have to wait to rate the roles until we've seen the whole AP.

Well, while I don't know what the last two adventures hold, we do know the RPG guides (but is not an absolute indicator of) the design of the Card Game.

The problem is, CON is required in the RPG because 1) it increases HP and 2) it increases your Fort save. No skills rely on CON (unlike all the other stats).

1 doesn't exist in the Card Game. HP is "fixed". 2 seems to only apply to characters with Fort-targeting attacks (poisons etc). But non-monster checks tend to rely on a specific skill (Diplomacy for example, relies on CHA as its base, so diplomacy checks to acquire allies are Diplomacy/CHA). Reflex-targeting attacks target Acrobatics/DEX (See the newest blog post on this).

So by the nature of the RPG it seems that there's going to be few CON-targeting checks. Locations will do it, some boss attacks, and some traps (that will probably also target DEX/Acro or Disable). But suddenly expecting there to be a proliferation of CON checks (versus STR or DEX) is probably not realistic.

Your knowledge of the RPG routes of PACG is something I lack. So thanks for sharing. What blog post in particular were you referring to?

The Sins of the Saviors blog post.

SotS spoiler:
The boss Arkrhyst appears to be a White Dragon; it has an ability corresponds roughly to its breath weapon; you have to pass a DEX/Acro check to reduce damage. The equivalent ability in the RPG requires a Reflex save (based on DEX). I didn't mean that they explicitly made the connection of RPG Reflex save = PACG DEX/Acro, but it seems to work that way.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Thanks for the explanation. Interesting to know.

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