Hunter Builds?


Advice

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Grand Lodge

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I'm curious if anyone has built a hunter. I like the flavor and mechanics of the class, but I feel it's power level will drop dramatically after level 5 or so.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Glaive-wielding hunter with a wolf or big cat is really good and holds up well into 15th+.
You want to be sure to pick the big action economy boosters like Coordinated Charge and make sure your AnC has a couple good debuff tricks from the Skirmisher list known.
The big thing is that you need to remember that the class is kind of like the natural version of the Summoner, where the pet isn't just a nice class feature, it's a big part of the overall power of the class. You want a really solid mix of spells for buffing you and the pet, and you probably don't want to focus too much on control casting since that'll kind of dead-end on you as you hit the early teen levels and your DCs just can't keep up anymore.
Teamwork feat selection is super important. Broken Wing Gambit is a great one to have regardless of build and (as mentioned) Coordinated Charge is pretty much a must for melee builds. Escape Route is a really solid one if you plan on using your pet as a mount. Precise Strike is a solid choice if you have a pet with multiple natural attacks, like the big cat.

While the Hunter is derived from the Ranger and Druid, you're going to want to think of him in combat a bit more like the Cavalier, where the goal is to keep your mobility up and move in for big devastating attacks. You'll probably want to be the one setting up your pet for the big finishers by setting up the flank and then using a reach weapon to buy the room for the next big attack.

Archery is a whole different build that I haven't played around with much yet.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Archery wise, you get the critical ones early, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot (for free), Rapid Shot, and Deadly Shot at 5. Your team work feats should be the new ones that boost your to hit like coordinated shot, and enfilading fire, and later on intercept charge to help you keep at range. You also take advantage of your ability to switch out feats and get improved share spells to let you maximize your use of buffs like barkskin, bear's endurance, etc.

For either build, consider the human trait eye for talent to boost the ability score of your animal companion.

Animal companion classes also shine in lower point buy games as the animal's stats are static.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Hmm, yeah, it looks like Coordinated Shot and Distracting Charge would both be really good feats for an archer Hunter. Distracting Charge would actually be good for a melee build as well, syncing up nicely with Coordinated Charge. Definitely agree with Galnorag that Intercept Charge would be important for an archery build to let the pet help screen threats to its master. It looks like grabbing Share Healing and Wounded Paw Gambit would also be a good way of boosting your action economy and getting in some extra damage.

I have to admit, after taking a second look at the archery options presented in the ACG, I'm actually pretty impressed. It seems like you can squeeze almost as much out of the archery build as you can out of the melee option, though it'll play a little bit differently. Cool.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hunters should hold their own until high level plays...but well not like it's bad, because high level play anyway is the domain of the full spellcasters, where they can change reality with a standard action.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Eltacolibre wrote:

Hunters should hold their own until high level plays...but well not like it's bad, because high level play anyway is the domain of the full spellcasters, where they can change reality with a standard action.

Exactly. They're strong all the way up to the point when all the non-full-casters lose ground to the guys stopping time and creating their own realities, and even after that point they're still as good as any class that can't do those things.

After digging around and looking at some of the things that Galnorag pointed out and other options available, I'd say that both the melee and ranged versions are very capable of reliably maintaining pretty substantial bonuses to hit. I know the melee guys can get upwards of +8 or more when flanking with their companions, and it looks like just the two feats mentioned are providing a +3-4 on ranged attacks. Enfilading Fire potentially gets that up to a +6... I may have to take another look at the Packmaster archetype for the Hunter, there may be some potential there for a really good archery build.

Grand Lodge

Ssalarn wrote:

Glaive-wielding hunter with a wolf or big cat is really good and holds up well into 15th+.

You want to be sure to pick the big action economy boosters like Coordinated Charge and make sure your AnC has a couple good debuff tricks from the Skirmisher list known.
The big thing is that you need to remember that the class is kind of like the natural version of the Summoner, where the pet isn't just a nice class feature, it's a big part of the overall power of the class. You want a really solid mix of spells for buffing you and the pet, and you probably don't want to focus too much on control casting since that'll kind of dead-end on you as you hit the early teen levels and your DCs just can't keep up anymore.
Teamwork feat selection is super important. Broken Wing Gambit is a great one to have regardless of build and (as mentioned) Coordinated Charge is pretty much a must for melee builds. Escape Route is a really solid one if you plan on using your pet as a mount. Precise Strike is a solid choice if you have a pet with multiple natural attacks, like the big cat.

While the Hunter is derived from the Ranger and Druid, you're going to want to think of him in combat a bit more like the Cavalier, where the goal is to keep your mobility up and move in for big devastating attacks. You'll probably want to be the one setting up your pet for the big finishers by setting up the flank and then using a reach weapon to buy the room for the next big attack.

Archery is a whole different build that I haven't played around with much yet.

Coordinated Charge isn't available until 15, which most games never reach.


Well I don't do pfs so bear that in mind.
I have a crossbow feral hunter switch hitter scout guy.
gets acebolt to lv 5 then hunter. it looks good..

I think you could do a switch hitter with melee and magic, or archery and magic would work pretty well.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Some Other Guy wrote:


Coordinated Charge isn't available until 15, which most games never reach.

Umm, you said you were worried that he doesn't hold up past 5th. Did you really mean "How does he do between 5th and 10th"?

Every AP Paizo has made goes past 15th, so I'm not really sure about the actual veracity of that statement, but if you don't play in that range there's a ton of other good feats to pick from, including Precise Strike, Broken Wing Gambit, Pack Flanking, Distracted Charge, Improved Spell Sharing, Share Healing, Escape Route, Feint Partner and Improved Feint Partner, and Paired Opportunists. And those are just the good melee options.

Grand Lodge

Ssalarn wrote:
Some Other Guy wrote:


Coordinated Charge isn't available until 15, which most games never reach.

Umm, you said you were worried that he doesn't hold up past 5th. Did you really mean "How does he do between 5th and 10th"?

Every AP Paizo has made goes past 15th, so I'm not really sure about the actual veracity of that statement, but if you don't play in that range there's a ton of other good feats to pick from, including Precise Strike, Broken Wing Gambit, Pack Flanking, Distracted Charge, Improved Spell Sharing, Share Healing, Escape Route, Feint Partner and Improved Feint Partner, and Paired Opportunists. And those are just the good melee options.

All I'm really getting is "take teamwork feats and you'll do good"

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Actually there's some that are better depending on build. I listed the good ones, not every teamwork feat that's out there. But yeah, Teamwork feats on a chassis that's well built to take advantage of them are very good, some of the best options in the game outside of spells, and a major contributor in the strength and effectiveness of the Hunter.


If you really want to power up the hunter, go for the primal companion archetype.
He embodies the "natural summoner" in perfection. You can do whatever you want with the hunter itself with this archetype, because your companion can nova classlevel/day for ridiculous damage or even flavor if you want to.
The AnC are in general a better chassis for evolutions as an eidolon.

A normal hunter still holds its own quite well. Permanently buffed AnC are nice and he profits a lot from all the early entries of the ranger spelllist.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Ssalarn wrote:
Actually there's some that are better depending on build. I listed the good ones, not every teamwork feat that's out there. But yeah, Teamwork feats on a chassis that's well built to take advantage of them are very good, some of the best options in the game outside of spells, and a major contributor in the strength and effectiveness of the Hunter.

Especially Lead Blades. Getting it levels before anyone else can counts for a lot during that low level play. Swinging around a glaive dealing 2d8+1.5 STR at level one will take out most level appropriate challenges really fast.

The Primal Archetype is probably the best one in the book. You trade out the least amazing of the Hunter's abilities (Animal Focus) for a limited duration blast of awesome.
You want to avoid Feral Hunter though (the idea behind it is cool, but the mechanics are a big nerf), and the Packmaster is really risky since your companions have to split up levels. There's one or two good tricks you can get out of it, but generally not worth the required investment. The Divine archetype is basically for running a caster Hunter. You're giving up your Teamwork feats which pretty much means you've decided you don't want to be viable in combat past the first few levels, so either pick a domain with really good buff spells or have you and your companion burn feats to grab the Share Healing and Improved Share Spells feats or find some way to boost your casting up to having viable DCs. This is one archetype where it might even be worth it to dismiss your companion without replacing him and grabbing feats to buff up your boosted SNA spells.

Silver Crusade

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I'm just going to leave this as an example of what you can do with a hunter. He is not a min max as I don't like that kind of play style. He is effective in the role I chose for him (Melee combat). This character was made for PFSP.

Str 18 (16+2 Human)
Dex 12
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 8
Main weapon will be a great sword (because that's what the mini. I painted for him has.)
Skill Ranks per level : 7 (Totals) Handle Animal 3 +4 for animal companion, Heal 6, Knowledge Nature 4, Linguistics 5, Perception 6, Spellcaft 4, Survival 7.
Hit Points : 1st level 10 + 7 per level
Favored Class Bonus : +1 Skill point to animal companion.
Traits : Nature worshiper +1 save vs. death effects, and negative energy.
Weathered Emissary +1 linguistics and it is a class skill.
Human Racial Trait : Eye for Talent (+2 Str to animal companion. +2 sense motive.)
Feet's
1: Improved Initiative
2 Bonus : Outflank
3: Power Attack
3 Teamwork bonus : Lookout (Teamwork) I did not realize how good this feet was until I read over it a few times. If one of you can act in the surprise round. You can both act in the surprise round. If both of you can act in the surprise round you both get full round actions. So that is where the favored class bonus is going. To max out the animal companions perception skill.
5: Improved Spell Sharing (Teamwork) Cast one buff when you and your animal companion are adjacent to each other. 1/2 the duration to each of you. This let you cast less spells freeing up castings per day. Stretching your ability to heal and buff more often. Good for melee, or a range build.
6 Teamwork bonus : Escape Route When you are adjacent to each other movement dose not provoke attacks of opportunity. This combined with swap places means for the most part you can work it where you never provoke AoO.
7: Swap Places (Teamwork) Let's you trade places with your animal companion and it with you (Must be the same size). Allowing you to be more effective if you in tight spaces, or if you have a large group and melee space is at a premium.
9: Toughness
9 Teamwork bonus : Coordinated Distraction When you threaten a caster. Increase there concentration check by 2 for each person with this feet. This might get changed out, but undecided as of right now.
11: Improved Critical Great Sword (I'm not a big fan of keen. The cost of enchanting after the first couple of pluses. Makes taking improved critical a much cheaper option.

Animal Companion
Bear (Medium size at level 4)
Str 17 (15+2 Eye for talent) +2 Animal Focus = 19
Dex 15
Con 13
Int 2 (You could put your Eye for talent bonus here. I feel it is a waste. As you can teach them the important ones with out it. And get every thing else you want as you level.)
Wis 12
Cha 6
Feet's:
Hunter level 1: Light Armor (Yes I know get a mithral chain shirt. However I plan on put the bear in a breast plate that will max out his armor for the dex he will have.)
Hunter level 2: Power Attack
Hunter level 5: Medium Armor Proficiency
Hunter level 8 Toughness
Hunter level 10: Undecided.
Skill Totals Perception 6, Survival 5
Tricks : Attack(X2), Come, Down, Heel, Stay, Track. (Flank will be picked up at level 3) every thing else is extra.

Again this character was not meant to be min maxed. He is not fully optimized with a dino. As I can't stand them. It's a flavor thing for me. And large animal companions start haven problems in small spaces. Where a lot of scenarios take place.

Grand Lodge

Calagnar, if you're using Lookout, consider the Bodyguard AC Archetype instead of investing in Perception. Bodyguard always gets to act in a surprise round!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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For melee, I'd probably do something like this:

Jory the Smasher:

Race: Dwarf
Starting Stats: STR 16 DEX 14 CON 12 INT 13 WIS 14 CHA 8
Starting Trained Skills: Bluff, Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Perception, Stealth, Survival
Main weapon: longhammer, dwarven
Backup weapon: boulder helmet, dwarven
Ranged weapon: longbow

Feats:
1) Combat Expertise
Bonus 2) Outflank
3) Combat Reflexes
Bonus 3) Pack Flanking
5) Broken Wing Gambit
Bonus 6)Paired Opportunists
7) Improved Feint
9) Feint Partner
Bonus 9) Improved Feint Partner
11) Improved Spell Sharing
Bonus 12) Precise Strike
13) Power Attack
15) Share Healing
Bonus 15) Coordinated Charge
17) Distracting Charge
Bonus 18) Coordinated Maneuvers

My Animal Focii: At lower levels I'll juggle between Bull, Mouse, and Tiger as appropriate. As I start replacing Bull and Tiger with permanent magic items, Mouse will become my go-to focus.

Pet: Wolf
Pet Tricks (in order taken): attack, attack, come, defend, down, guard, heel, tangling attack (skirmisher), flank, aiding attack (skirmisher), surprise shift (skirmisher), track, hateful attack (skirmisher), seek, rattling strike (skirmisher), fetch
Pet Focuses: Primarily Bull, though I may use Mouse a bit until he gets Evasion on his own.

Given the 3/4 BAB I like the idea of generating a bunch of attacks at your highest BAB by triggering AoO with Broken Wing Gambit, Improved Feint Partner, and the wolf's built in trip, and then multiplying them between you and the pet with Paired Opportunists. You're fairly average during the first 5 levels, using enhancement spells like lead blades, your reach weapon, and the wolf's free trip for the bulk of your melee damage. From 5th level on you actually start taking off with all of the opportunities for attacks for you and your pet at your full BAB, with levels 11, 12, and 13 being more small damage and facility boosts that keep you competitive. 15 is your big action economy boost, gaining you up to 2 additional full-round charge actions each round (more if an ally happens to have the feat), and Share Healing will help shore up your companion who's starting to lose ground at this point. After this you're pretty much reduced to further static modifiers for your remaining levels, but Distracting Charge and Coordinated Maneuvers can both assist in keeping your earlier tactics viable and keeping your to-hit consistent.

Grand Lodge

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Hunter's definitely get a big bump at 8th, when Animal focus almost quadruples in power (most bonuses double, and you and the pet get two.)

One thing I would consider if you're looking at a Hunter, is making a Sacred Huntsmaster Inquisitor instead. They're very similar mechanically, and Inquisitor's have some cool stuff going on. In particular, I'd do Inquisitor over the Divine Hunter archetype.

I'm playing a Reach-built Hunter in PFS at the moment (mounted on a T-Rex) and rocking it. I just picked up Pack Flanking. Between the Snake Focus, Paired Opportunists, and Pack Flanking/Outflank, you're +12 on AoOs at 8th.

My Build is something like:
Brawler(Wild Child) 1/Hunter 8
Str 18
Dex 14
Con 12
Int 7 (I had to take Brawler 1 last level to be able to get Combat Expertise)
Wis 16 (my level bumps went here, I'd love to rebuild :))
Cha 12

Feats
Human Combat Reflexes
1 - Combat Expertise (retrained into @ 9th)
(Hunter 2 - Outflank)
3 - Power Attack
(Hunter 3 - Lookout)
5 - Paired Opportunists
(Hunter 6 - Broken Wing Gambit)
7 - I don't remember, I think Improved Trip.
9 - Pack Flanking

Pet (Ridden)
T-Rex, +1 Int at 4th, +1 Str at 9th
10' Reach (as near as I can tell.)
Belt of the Weasel (+2 Dex and compression super-squeezing for 5' corridors.)
Amulet of Mighty Fists (Fortuitous)
Strength Focus and Snake Focus are usually up.
Greater Magic Fang on the bite.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Bodyguard, In Harm's Way
30 Str (14+8(size)+3(AC)+1(9th)+4(Animal Focus))
Bite(+Grab) is +6BaB +10Str +2 GMF -1 Siz = +17/2d6+22 Power Attack +15/2d6+28
almost always +4 for flanking
AoOs are +8, for a whopping +27 to hit, while power attacking, at 9th.

I use a Lucerne hammer of Spell Storing with Frigid Touch (and make Unarmed or Ring of Rat Fang bites against adjacent foes.)

An ideal round is something like:
Martial Versatility (Greater Trip) and Snake Focus/Dex Focus are up on me.
Enemy charges through reach.
I Trip them (with +12 from AoO/Flanking) an activate Broken Wing Gambit.
T-Rex bites for ~35 and probably grabs, moving them adjacent and activates Broken Wing Gambit.
Fortuitous gives the T-Rex another bites for ~35.
Greater Trip gives me an AoO, so I smack him for something like 20.
Paired Opportunists gives the T-Rex an AoO, and hits him for another ~35.

They're now tripped and grappled adjacent to us with Broken Wing Gambit active on both of us.

They attack me (at -6 ish) or try to stand up, or try to break the grapple.
Broken Wing (or standing up) gives the T-Rex another AoO for ~35 damage.
Paired Opportunists gives me another AoO, and I re-activate Broken Wing Gambit.
Opponent gets to attack (from the ground while grappled.)
T-Rex uses Bodyguard on me for +2 AC, and eats the damage with In Harm's Way if need be (T-Rex can fight to -23 because of Bodyguard.)

Then, you know, I take my actual turn, which sets up Broken Wing Gambits again.

On the enemies turn, they're either eating another round of AoOs for every one of their attacks, or I use Frigid touch on the first AoO to shut down their full attack.

If I were optimizing more, I'd figure out how to use a Keen Fauchard instead, for a ~30% chance of each AoO to provoke another set of AoOs. If it were at all clear how Skirmisher tricks are supposed to work for the pet, I'd throw some of those in.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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For a ranged Hunter build I'd probably go this route:

Celeste the Unerring:

Race: Human
Starting stats: STR 14 DEX 18 CON 10 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10
Starting Trained Skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Perception, Spellcraft, Stealth, Survival
Main Weapon: Composite Longbow
Melee Weapon: Glaive-Guisarme
Feats:
1) Point-Blank Shot
Human 1) Weapon Focus (Longbow)
Bonus 2) Precise Shot
3) Rapid Shot
Bonus 3) Intercept Charge
5) Broken Wing Gambit
Bonus 6) Wounded Paw Gambit
7) Deadly Aim
9) Manyshot
Bonus 9) Coordinated Shot
11) Clustered Shots
Bonus 12) Enfilading Fire
13) Snap Shot
15) Improved Snap Shot
Bonus 15) Improved Spell Sharing
17) Greater Snap Shot
Bonus 18) Distracting Charge

My Animal Focii: Mouse and/or Tiger, as appropriate. If there's a lot of mobile enemies, I may go with Bear to enhance my survivability.

Pet: Probably Big Cat
Pet Tricks (in order taken): attack, attack, come, defend, down, guard, heel, tangling attack (skirmisher), menace, aiding attack (skirmisher), maneuver (bull rush), track, hateful attack (skirmisher), detect, rattling strike (skirmisher), distracting attack (skirmisher)
Pet Focii: Probably Bull and Tiger, though again, if I'm running into enemies with a lot of AoE attacks I'll probably use Mouse until the AnC gets Evasion on their own.

So you cover all the must-have archery feats, your WIS scales enough to ensure you've always got the appropriate spells available to you, and your cat acts as a mobile buffer/debuffer and damage machine, keeping you as open as possible so you can continue to attack unhindered. Gravity Bow is obviously a staple spell. I don't think it's quite as deadly as the melee version, but it's got the full archery spread with enough tricks to keep the to-hit very viable, and Ranger spells on a 3/4 caster chassis means that you've got a lot of great options for customizing how you keep your damage up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just started a ranged hunter, since I play WoW its hard not to think of them as a ranged class. Although after looking at teamwork feats there are a lot better melee options to start from.

I started off similar to Ssalarns build although I am considering using vital strike and not rapid shot at higher levels. Went with improved spell sharing for now and spirit's gift to add more defense to my companion. Trying a bird AC as well, know its not the combat animal of choice but hunters can see through their ACs eyes so it may have uses.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Seannoss wrote:

I just started a ranged hunter, since I play WoW its hard not to think of them as a ranged class. Although after looking at teamwork feats there are a lot better melee options to start from.

I started off similar to Ssalarns build although I am considering using vital strike and not rapid shot at higher levels. Went with improved spell sharing for now and spirit's gift to add more defense to my companion. Trying a bird AC as well, know its not the combat animal of choice but hunters can see through their ACs eyes so it may have uses.

With a bird animal companion, I'd suggest teaching it the Bombard Handle Animal trick from the Animal Archive that lets it drop things like alchemist's fire on designated opponents. It gives you some entertaining options for dealing with foes you don't want your bird getting close to.

Also, you're quite right, even though the class kind of bills itself as a ranged platform, the reality is that there's just way more support for a melee character. There's like 3 Teamwork feats specifically designed for ranged combat, one of which is designed for two ranged characters working in tandem, compared to over a dozen feats intended for two characters in melee together. There's probably a really good option for maximizing your effectiveness based on mounted archery in there, but I haven't sorted out a full progression for it yet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yup. I noticed that one a bit late but do plan on adding it when I get more tricks.

What is out there to help animal companions get past DR? Probably a better question fully in advise but hunters = pets.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Seannoss wrote:

Yup. I noticed that one a bit late but do plan on adding it when I get more tricks.

What is out there to help animal companions get past DR? Probably a better question fully in advise but hunters = pets.

DR can be a little tricky for pets, especially smaller ones like the bird companion. I'd look at maximizing the return on the Share Spells class feature at lower levels by sharing stuff like lead blades, and later making animal growth and strong jaw regularly memorized spells. That doesn't really get you around DR, but it helps you power through it.

Another thing to do is get your AnC an Amulet of Mighty Fists and beef it up to +5 as fast as possible. Enhancement bonuses bypass DR in the following progression:
+1 = magic
+3 = cold iron/silver
+4 = adamantine
+5 = alignment based

and any combination of enhancements that bring your total weapon enhancement to +6 or greater over comes DR/epic.
There's also the Eldritch Claws feat from the Advanced Player's Guide, which allows your natural weapons to count as magic and silver.

Silver Crusade

Markov Spiked Chain wrote:

Calagnar, if you're using Lookout, consider the Bodyguard AC Archetype instead of investing in Perception. Bodyguard always gets to act in a surprise round!

Shared Vigilance (Ex)

A bodyguard and its master both gain Alertness as a bonus feat whenever they are adjacent.
This ability replaces share spells*.

This means you can't take improved spell sharing, and can not cast things like lead blades, or enlarge person on your animal companion. Strike one.

Tenacious Guardian (Ex)
A bodyguard can always act in a surprise round (though it remains flat-footed until it acts).
This ability replaces evasion.

This means only the animal companion can act in the surprise round, and it removes evasion. Strike two.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
A bodyguard gains uncanny dodge, as the rogue class feature of the same name.
This ability replaces Multiattack.

Removes there extra attack per round. Strike three.

VS.
Spending 1 hp per level on the most important skill in the game. To let you do the following.

Lookout (Combat, Teamwork)
Benefit: Whenever you are adjacent to an ally who also has this feat, you may act in the surprise round as long as your ally would normally be able to act in the surprise round. If you would normally be denied the ability to act in the surprise round, your initiative is equal to your initiative roll or the roll of your ally –1, whichever is lower. If both you and your ally would be able to act in the surprise round without the aid of this feat, you may take both a standard and a move action (or a full-round action) during the surprise round.

Grand Lodge

To each his own.
I was talking about still taking Lookout. Lookout is awesome. Lookout+Bodyguard if you're riding or always adjacent means you both always get to act, and sometimes (when you make your Per check) you both get full rounds. That full round ambush can really shut down some fights.

Weirdly, Improved Spell Sharing doesn't have Share Spells as a pre-req, so you're just missing out on personal spells. Which is a significant loss, no doubt. We can't normally Enlarge Person the AC, but missing Longstrider is annoying.

Evasion is also a loss. You can get it back with an Animal Focus, but that's a definite hit.

But you're also getting the equivalent of Die Hard (act at negative HP, and don't die until -(Con+Level) and some extra oomph when you need it most. This has come in handy quite a few times (even saved my little buddy's life once.) At 9th level, it's almost 50% more hit points before your AC goes unconscious. (~60 vs ~83.)

I haven't decided how I feel about losing Multiattack, since I just hit 9th. Most of his damage comes from AoOs or on charges, but I'll keep an eye out for when it would have been useful. I may end up swapping to a vanilla AC, but so far Bodyguard has worked well for me.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Markov Spiked Chain wrote:

To each his own.

I was talking about still taking Lookout. Lookout is awesome. Lookout+Bodyguard if you're riding or always adjacent means you both always get to act, and sometimes (when you make your Per check) you both get full rounds. That full round ambush can really shut down some fights.

Weirdly, Improved Spell Sharing doesn't have Share Spells as a pre-req, so you're just missing out on personal spells. Which is a significant loss, no doubt. We can't normally Enlarge Person the AC, but missing Longstrider is annoying.***

I'm inclined to agree with Markov on this one, as far as which the best option is. The Hunter can get Evasion / Improved Evasion for the pet with the Mouse focus, Improved Spell Sharing doesn't require the core share spells ability, and most of the time you'll be getting more from charges and AoO's than a second Bite attack.

That being said, since you don't have share spells you don't have anything specifically allowing you to use spells on the AnC that normally have a target of You/personal (like longstrider or lead blades) or which wouldn't normally affect the creature's type, so there may be some loss of functionality there. I think Improved Spell Sharing might have made an oopsie when it didn't include Share Spells as a prereq, as it doesn't touch at all on whether or not you can share spells that normally wouldn't be valid options.

Grand Lodge

I'd been assuming it wouldn't change targeting restrictions without the base Shared Spells.

I've also just been picking Improved Spell Sharing up in the morning as my floating Teamwork feat, casting my Greater Magic Fang whenever we're thinking about going anywhere near an adventure, and then swapping it to something else. hour/level is where it shines, IMHO. I almost always have the remaining use of Teamwork swapping to switch it back before bedtime.

That reminds me, I should pick up a lesser Extend Rod to double up GMF to 9 hours for both of us (and possibly getting some leftovers from 18 hours casts the previous night.)

Silver Crusade

Seannoss wrote:

I just started a ranged hunter, since I play WoW its hard not to think of them as a ranged class. Although after looking at teamwork feats there are a lot better melee options to start from.

I started off similar to Ssalarns build although I am considering using vital strike and not rapid shot at higher levels. Went with improved spell sharing for now and spirit's gift to add more defense to my companion. Trying a bird AC as well, know its not the combat animal of choice but hunters can see through their ACs eyes so it may have uses.

Since I have been playing a hunter since vanilla, and yeah this class really fits^^ But remember that you are not allowed to quip melee weapons any more, it made the poor druids so sad, to lose their staffs to Hunters^^.

Primal evolution hunter, seems to be the best analogue for the BM hunter, and the archetype with the domain should be a nice analogue to the marksmanship tree.^^

Spirit's gift is neat (DR), shame it is banned in PFS.

Silver Crusade

Markov Spiked Chain wrote:

I'd been assuming it wouldn't change targeting restrictions without the base Shared Spells.

I've also just been picking Improved Spell Sharing up in the morning as my floating Teamwork feat, casting my Greater Magic Fang whenever we're thinking about going anywhere near an adventure, and then swapping it to something else. hour/level is where it shines, IMHO. I almost always have the remaining use of Teamwork swapping to switch it back before bedtime.

That reminds me, I should pick up a lesser Extend Rod to double up GMF to 9 hours for both of us (and possibly getting some leftovers from 18 hours casts the previous night.)

Hunter get animal companions like druids, thus they gain share spells, see page 52 or the CRB.

Grand Lodge

We're talking about the Bodyguard Archetype, which gives up the Share Spells feature of the Animal Companion.


Is there a guide for Druid and Ranger spell aomewhere that's more up to date with the newer matierial? I'm playing a Hunter at the moment and I'm having issues selecting spells. Lead Blades and Magic Fang are the only real stand outs to me.


What levels are you struggling with?

Strong Jaw(Ranger 3) is good.
Animal Growth(Druid 4) is nice.


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Here's a few low level spells to consider:

1st Level:
Bristle (like power attack, but for natural armor)

2nd Level:
Aspect of the Bear (AC bonus and maneuver enabler)
Barkskin (Natural Armor that stacks and scales)
Bull's Strength (higher bonus until 8th level when Animal Focus is equal)
Lockjaw (grants the grab ability)

Also, splash out 1,000gp for a Dire Collar (ACG) so you can enlarge person your AC.


I've got a gnome hunter (I know it's a terrible idea) in an Iron Gods game on the boards. I'm using the Verminous Hunter archetype for a pet beetle and just pumping up its AC atm. Give it a few levels and it will basically be a wandering teamwork feat platform which works well with our Vanguard slayer. My hunter is melee focused with a reach weapon. Due to lucky die rolls it's been pretty awesome so far. Vermin focus with the beetle and the +2 natural armor bonus is pretty nice for an AC 20 beetle at lvl 1.


Grangerer wrote:
What levels are you struggling with?

Honestly, 1st.

I've got Lead Blades, Entangle and Cure Light... now what?

2nd level is looking pretty iffy as well, though Aspect of the Beat for my Mantis is looking nice XD


Liberating Command is always good as a utility spell.
If you're around water and cliffs alot Monkey Fish might have some utility.
Heightened Awareness is a Perception and Initiative booster (and 10 minutes per level).

See above for 2nd level.


Some more spells:

Level 1:
Longstrider
Gravity Bow(for ranged)
Lead Blades(for melee)
Aspect of the Falcon(for ranged)
Delay Poison

I always struggle with level 2 as well. But here are some choices:
Lesser Restoration
Barkskin
Carry Companion
Fog Cloud


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I just wanted to pop up and thank everyone who's contributing to this thread. I find the hunter interesting, but haven't yet had the time to devote a lot of brainpower to figuring out an effective build for one. Y'know, just to have one "in pocket" to use in case I need it. :)

Ghorrin Redblade

Grand Lodge

Resist Energy should be on your short list for a first level slot. It's quite flexible, long duration, and the level scaling of the resistance is huge. At 7th: 20 points of Fire(or whatever you think you're going up against) Resist for over an hour for a first level spell.

Level 1 pages of spell knowledge are cheap, so you should definitely pick it up at some point.

Reduce Animal and Frigid Touch are both good for 2nd Level.
I prefer Reduce Animal to Carry Companion for crowded areas, as you don't have to dismiss it to actually fight.
Frigid Touch is a cheap way to shut down full attacks from big creatures with low Touch ACs. It's particularly good in Armor of Spell Storing, where you can shut down one full attack per fight without spending an action (first attack triggers Frigid Touch, they don't have the actions to continue the full attack.)


I was looking into a tripping build:

What do you reckon?

Human Hunter, Tilly Tripalot
Str: 16, Dex: 14, Con: 12, Int: 13, Wis: 14, Cha: 8

1: Combat Expertise (Human), Improved Trip
2: Outflank (Bonus)
3: Combat Reflexes, Pack Flanking (Teamwork)
4:
5: Broken Wing Gambit
6: Coordinated Maneuvers (Teamwork Bonus)
7: Tandem Trip
8:
9: Greater Trip, Paired Opportunist (Teamwork)
10:
11: Power Attack
12: Lookout (Teamwork Bonus)/Improved Share Spell
13: Improved Critical: Guisarme
14:
15: Seize the Moment, Coordinated Charge (Teamwork Bonus)
16:
17: ????
18: Escape Route
19: ????
20:

Wolf Animal Companion:
Weapon Focus: bite, Combat Reflexes, Improved Natural Attack: Bite, Toughness, Vital Strike, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike and Improved Natural Armour/Dodge.


Ssalarn,

I like this build for my son who wants to play a Ranged Hunter but had a quick question for you. What are the "Bonus" Feats you list? I am sure I am just missing them somewhere, but are they the Teamwork feats?

Thanks!

Ssalarn wrote:

For a ranged Hunter build I'd probably go this route:

** spoiler omitted **

So you cover all the must-have archery feats, your WIS scales enough to ensure you've always got the appropriate spells available to you, and your cat acts as a mobile buffer/debuffer and damage machine, keeping you as open as possible so you can continue to attack unhindered. Gravity Bow is obviously a staple spell. I don't think it's quite as deadly as the melee version, but it's got the full archery spread with enough tricks to keep the to-hit very viable, and Ranger spells on a 3/4 caster chassis means that you've got a lot of great options for customizing how you keep your damage up.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Krell44 wrote:

Ssalarn,

I like this build for my son who wants to play a Ranged Hunter but had a quick question for you. What are the "Bonus" Feats you list? I am sure I am just missing them somewhere, but are they the Teamwork feats?

Thanks!

Yes, the bonus feats I have listed in the build are the feats from the Precise Companion ability and the Hunter's Teamwork feats :)


Just letting you know that improved share spells allows you to cast personal spells with your companion. the feat says that "whenever you cast a a spell o yourself..." Does not exclude personal spells so go ahead and take bodyguard AC


I have another build I want to share with you. It somewhat resembles a build made by Ssalarn.

Baltor giantbane:

Race: Dwarf
Starting Stats: STR 16 DEX 14 CON 14 INT 14 WIS 14 CHA 5
Starting Trained Skills:
Main weapon: Greataxe (later perhaps a longhammer)
Backup weapon: boulder helmet, dwarven
Ranged weapon: Sling (later longbow)

Feats:
1) Spirit's gift
Bonus 2) Outflank
3) Combat Expertise
Bonus 3) Pack Flanking
5) Broken Wing Gambit
Bonus 6)Paired Opportunists
7) Escape Route
9) Combat Reflexes
Bonus 9) Precise Strike
11)
Bonus 12) Improved Spell Sharing
13)

Spirit Animal: Bones or stone
Animal focus (pet): At first mostly bull. At night/camp falcon for perception.
Pet: Not sure. I might use a boar because it is tough, hard to hit and feels like a good fit for a dwarf AC.
Pet Tricks (in order taken): attack, come, defend, down, heel, flank, Vengance strike (skirmisher), attack, tangling attack (skirmisher)

Alternatives:
I might try to squeeze in vital strike and grasping strike. Or power attack and wild flanking (letting my pet use it to deal more damage)

Multiclassing: I might add a level of ranger to get favored enemy (giant)

Grand Lodge

Note that Spirit's Gift isn't PFS legal. :( If your home game is cool with it, it seems like the Fast Healing from Life would do a lot of heavy lifting. 5' of flight from Heavens can also give a lot of utility if your companion is ridable, or strong enough to carry you.

I hadn't seen the Betrayal feats. Ally Shield looks like it could be a big win for Broken Wing Gambit+Paired Opportunists, potentially triggering two AoOs each for attacking both you and your AC.

I'd probably still take a Large AC and use Reduce Animal (hour/level) if things are crowded. Usually the bonus from Large is +8 and the penalty from Reduce Animal sending you back to medium is only -2.

Edit: Wow, Friendly Fire+Paired Opportunists sure looks like there's something you could build around.


Luckily I don't play PFS so I do not care what is legal under those house-rules. Heavens might come in handy now and then and fast healing is nice, too. But I guess Blur or DR5/adamantine will net me more, most of the time. But as I can change it from day to day it doesn't matter that much.

I'm not set on the boar. I'm just not sure I want a big cat. And I have to find an ingame reason to take a dino.


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ideas here


davidvs wrote:
ideas here

That's a good guide. I already checked it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Calagna, if you're going for Eye for Talent, I'd suggest boosting Int over STR so that your animal companion can have more tricks and capabilities. Some of the tricks from Animal Archive are very nice indeed.

davidvs wrote:
ideas here

Ooh, I had not seen that guide! I'm going to have to add a link to it in the Druid's Log.

Hmm

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Adding to the discussion, trying to do a switch hitter build. Nothing ground breaking, but something always useful, it's levelled out to 17 because Mummy's Mask is about that long, and focuses on gaining dex bonus's over strength because I was planning on taking the Scarab Stalker from Advanced Class Origins, so I admit this isn't for all, but here goes:

Human (+2 str, Eye for talent+2 AC Ability)

Abilities:
Str 14 (+2)
Dex 16
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 8

L1: Point-Blank Shot
L2: Outflank
L3: Precise Shot
L3 TW: Paired Opportunist
L4: +1 Dex
L5: Combat Reflexes
L6: Coordinated Shot
L7: Overwhelm
L8: +1 Dex
L9: Power Attack
L9 TW: Pack Attack
L11: Improved Critical Falchion
L12: +1 Dex
L12 TW: Enfilading Fire
L13: Deadly Aim
L15: Rapid Shot
L15 TW: Intercept Charge
L16: +1 Dex
L17: Cluster Shot

Uses a Falchion, and a scimitar situationally, and gets the Designating bonus on the bow as early as possible to mark combatants for death.

I figure the build is always valuable even if not overwhelming. In tight corridors joins in the fight, in open spaces rains death. I spent some of the normal feats on TW feats because they are shared with the AC, and might make others in the party choose to take them to join in their goodness. Overwhelm is especially good for the party and if allies take it makes the coordinated shot/enfilading fire better.


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Grangerer wrote:

If you really want to power up the hunter, go for the primal companion archetype.

He embodies the "natural summoner" in perfection. You can do whatever you want with the hunter itself with this archetype, because your companion can nova classlevel/day for ridiculous damage or even flavor if you want to.
The AnC are in general a better chassis for evolutions as an eidolon.

A normal hunter still holds its own quite well. Permanently buffed AnC are nice and he profits a lot from all the early entries of the ranger spelllist.

I also like the primal since it hold a path that is different from all other hunters: It can be a lone wolf and just take those evos for itself.

Just piling on strength boosts (from ability increase or large evo; whichever you are comfortable with; +8 str is usually the upper limit either way), as well as natural armor boosts (+10 AC) and tons of useful abilities like flight, blindsight, DR, and more, basically turns the primal transformation into something like a judgment or rage like ability.

And if you look at minutes/level for the primal transformation, and remember that most fights do not last more than a minute....you have a ton more usage out of this than inquisitors or barbarians get out of their key combat ability. Not enough uses that you can consistently pull off the rogue replacing eidolon, but enough that you can keep fights interesting and lets you handle a fair number of fights by mid levels.

Of course, with your animal companion in the big dog house on the outer planes, your teamwork feats might go to waste. Grabbing divine hunter to trade them out for a domain seems fairly useful.

Of course, in the end, this trades out all 'hunter' bits, doesn't it? Still, a watered down synthesist with martial weapons, medium armor, 6+ skill points per level, and a spell list with a ton of great battlefield control options.... I think this can keep up at higher levels.

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