Feat advice for a Battle Herald


Silver Crusade

I've got a PFS character I'm building towards battle herald. At the moment, he's Cavalier 1/Bard 2 and I have a feat I'm not sure what to do with. For that matter, I'm not quite sure what I'll want to do with any of my feats in the future.

My class plan is to continue to Cav 1/Bard 4 and then go up in Battle Herald levels.

My plan for the character's role in the party: He will primarily be a damage-dealing front-liner but with a very strong secondary role in buffing via Inspire courage, Tactician, Inspiring Commands, Banner, etc and a little bit of utility/combat utility magic. To this end, he wears fullplate, wields a lucerne hammer, and is focusing his spells known on spells without somatic components--feather fall, timely inspiration, and liberating command, later on, bladed dash and gallant inspiration unless I decide that heroism is too tasty to pass up.

Human Cavalier (Standarbearer) 1/Bard (Arcane Duelist) 2
Str 18, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14.
Traits: Magical Knack, Reactionary
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Arcane Strike (b), Precise Strike (b), Combat Casting (b), _undecided_

The feats I'm considering:

Lingering Performance-This seems like it would have uses once I get battle herald levels, but it seems like it falls into some really gray areas. It seems clear that it would only apply to bardic performance, not inspiring commands, but since Inspire Courage is both, it's not clear if it would apply to Inspire Courage if I take advantage of Inspiring Commands to start it as a move action. Whether or not it does, I would be able to use a standard for inspire courage (bardic performance), then immediately use a move for inspired commands and have both running simultaneously for two rounds. I'm just not sure how useful that would be. Most of the inspiring commands are either situational or underwhelming so wanting to maintain both benefits at once seems like a corner case rather than a core strategy. At 9th level, it might be useful to activate inspire courage and inspire greatness at once.

Weapon Focus-Missing is terrible. Having Weapon focus would mean missing less often.

Power Attack-More damage is great. Power attack would boost my damage even more.
Furious Focus-if I take Power Attack now I can take this later. It may be less attractive on a character with Reach and Combat Reflexes though.
Pushing Assault-I can use Power Attack to push enemies back and make them suffer an AoO in order to move past my reach.
Cornugon Smash-again, if I take Power Attack now, I could take Cornugon Smash later. Since I'm going to have a pretty good intimidate (and Voice of Authority will help with that), this might be a good route.

Toughness-The character is a little bit fragile at the moment.

Dodge-Not much to say for it but +1 AC is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. In fact it will occasionally keep you from being poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

Blindfight-Not terribly exciting but useful when it comes up.

Lingering Performance is a good feat overall, and since iirc ending bardic performance is a free action I believe it interacts with commands the way you want it to. Battle Herald specifically states that in general, you can use a command and Inspire Courage via lingering performance or similar effects. It saves up on rounds either way.

Wpn Focus is handy but not my first choice. Even with a 4-level dip in bard you're mostly going to be going mostly-full BaB with to hit buffs always on hand, so I wouldn't think it to be too much of a problem. I would consider it after other feats. If you want Dazzling Display and didn't take 2 levels of Order of the Cockatrice, I might consider this feat more highly.

Power Attack is always a must have, especially with a 2H weapon.

Furious Focus & Pushing Assault are also fine, again not my first choice.

Cornugon Smash is good because you need Intimidate ranks for entry anyway. Combine it with a cruel weapon and you can sicken, making you a more effective striker.

Instead of Toughness I would get a belt of CON, a +CON Ioun Stone, or Physical Might STR/CON.

Dodge and Blindfight are not terribly useful; you're probably not gonna go into the feat chain for Dodge and Blindfight is circumstantial.

Other feats to look into instead:

Flagbearer -- Doesn't stack with Heroism but can provide a static and constant Morale bonus. Goes up with the item Banner of the Ancient Kings, a must have for this kind of build.

Improved Initiative -- Your party probably wants you to lay down the buffs ASAP. This helps with that.

Discordant Voice -- You need 11 ranks in Perform but +1d6 on top of inspire courage is great.

Critical Focus -- Prereq for some of the other Critical feats that can stack even more debuffs.

Arcane Strike -- If you have a spare feat, it can help for more damage. Note that the Arcane Duelist Bard Archetype gives it to you for free. (EDIT: I just notice you took the archetype. I'll leave this here for anyone else who would like the advice :))

Hope this helps!

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