Hunter Build Tips


Advice


I am currently working on a PFS Human Hunter to begin 1st level play with. I'm a Pathfinder novice and am hoping to keep it relatively simple but still keep it interesting. I had an interesting idea from another thread about using nets and also found a little information on using whips as a different build. Both of these interest me as they are not what I would have initially considered but sound like a tremendous amount of fun.

Here is some information on the stat load I was considering.

Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 8. I went fairly balanced because I wanted him to be a well-rounded character rather than sacrificing multiple stats to increase one higher.

My basic theory is I want to be able to lock down and kill a mob easily with my pet while the rest of the party focuses elsewhere. After first one is dead I would simply move to the next creature, rinse and repeat.

For each build, what would the "must have" feats be? Also, I am not knowledgeable enough with Pathfinder (yet) to dip into other classes so I can pick up specific abilities so everything will need to be available to the Hunter class. Also, I only have access to the Core Rulebook and Advanced Class Guide so all information will need to be taken from those sources. I am willing to pick up another sourcebook if a specific feat/trait/skill is only available there, and it's needed for my build.

I am finding that settling on a specific build is daunting. There are so many options out there. I am used to the more vanilla choices available with online games, or older versions of D&D from my younger days. This is fun stuff!


For any pet class, the Animal Archive (7.99 pdf I think) is a must. You also need to get access to the Advanced Players Guide, since the ability to use Skirmisher (ranger archetype) tricks as pet tricks is a very powerful pet option.

For PFS, see if you can get 2 odd stats since you will only get 2 stat increases through his career.

Start with Str 17 Con 13 instead, you won't need the HP as early as you will the higher hit/damage, provided you have a decent combat companion.

If you plan on nets, you need the net feats, at least the first 2. If you plan on whips, you need the whip feats, at least the first 2.

Netting an enemy then sending in pet to pounce on the now entangled enemy is amazing synergy, then having the pet use the free trip on an attack from the skirmisher list to give you bonuses.


Skirmisher tricks are available for a Hunter to use?


Yes. You can teach your pet the skirmishes tricks instead of the standard tricks. I'll take a look at some feats I'm going to take with my own PFS hunter and give you some suggestions. I only have my phone right now, so no access at the moment.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Over here I put up a pretty good example of what an archery Hunter should look like. I did a melee build here. It's a little harder to switch hit with a Hunter than a Ranger because you generally need both your normal feats and your teamwork feats working in concert to excel at either; with a 3/4 BAB and a high reliance on synergy with their pet the Hunter kind of needs to pick a combat style to specialize in.

Grand Lodge

Using the pet to "lock down" one enemy while you fight another makes it really hard to use Teamwork feats, which usually require adjacency, flanking, or attacking the same target. You're usually better off getting the pet up into the front line to generally stop enemies coming at the back ranks, but then focus firing with the rest of the group.

Since it looks like you're going more melee, I would try to get Pack Flanking. You'll need a 13 Int by level 3 when your Teamwork feats start kicking in to pick it up, though. Pack Flanking with Outflank is an easy +4 to hit (which also adds to combat maneuvers.)

Using a polearm and something like:
1. Combat Expertise
Human. Combat Reflexes
(Hunter 2 - Outflank)
3. Power Attack
(Hunter 3 - Pack Flanking)
5. Precise Strike
(Hunter 6 - Paired Opportunists)

Should serve you well. You'll need to understand Reach and Attacks of Opportunity though. Otherwise, switch Combat Reflexes for Improved Initiative and Paired Opportunists for something else that looks neat (Improved Trip?)

At 5th, this will give you and your buddy +4 to hit and +1d6 damage while you're adjacent and attacking the same enemy.

Past about 5th or 6th, you should have a clearer idea of what works for you wand what doesn't to fill out the rest of the feats.


Thanks for the tips!

To Markov: The "lock Down" was intended to be Me and My pet. I wanted to isolate a single target and we would blow it up while the rest of the party handles the others. Then, peel one out and repeat.


Krell44 wrote:

Thanks for the tips!

To Markov: The "lock Down" was intended to be Me and My pet. I wanted to isolate a single target and we would blow it up while the rest of the party handles the others. Then, peel one out and repeat.

This tactic works great with a melee hunter. I would suggest picking a companion that has a combat maneuver built in, such as a wolf. Big cats are damage machines with pounce.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Faelyn wrote:
Krell44 wrote:

Thanks for the tips!

To Markov: The "lock Down" was intended to be Me and My pet. I wanted to isolate a single target and we would blow it up while the rest of the party handles the others. Then, peel one out and repeat.

This tactic works great with a melee hunter. I would suggest picking a companion that has a combat maneuver built in, such as a wolf. Big cats are damage machines with pounce.

Wolf is a great one for builds that want to isolate an enemy and then quickly hammer him into submission. The melee build I linked in above uses a wolf for pretty much exactly that reason, and to pile on as many attacks of opportunity as possible.

I find the big cat is better for ranged builds where the synergy is less about the fine-tuned coordination of the melee builds and more about having your pet charge in to drop a metric f&+&-ton of damage that then leaves the enemy even more vulnerable to your ranged attacks.


You could take a Big Cat and get the Upending Strike Skirmisher trick and still have a Trip.

Basically, you get a Wolf with 3 attacks and pounce at the price of one Trick.

Sovereign Court

Step 1: Wolfy wolfy wolfy
Step 2: Two-handed Power Attack
Step 3: Outflank
Step 4: Spend the rest of the build on anything you want, because you're now proficient in combat! (some suggestions: Cornugon Smash for an intimidate build, Weapon Focus and Furious Focus for a better fighter, Iron Will or Great Fortitude for a more resilient character, Skill Focus for a skill monkey...)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Rambear wrote:

You could take a Big Cat and get the Upending Strike Skirmisher trick and still have a Trip.

Basically, you get a Wolf with 3 attacks and pounce at the price of one Trick.

My only hesitance there is that there's a FAQ request floating around with over 105 clicks asking how the Hunter's AnC actually uses the skirmisher tricks. If that FAQ comes back with one of the more conservative and limited interpretations, you may end up wishing you hadn't gone with a build counting on your pet being able to trip when your pet can only do so twice a day. I've been selecting tricks that are "cool but not 100% essential" until that is sorted out. Only getting an extra +2 to hit a couple times a day is something I can live with; building a character relying on an animal companion that can trip when the animal companion can only do so a couple times is a place I'd rather not find myself.


Faelyn wrote:
Krell44 wrote:

Thanks for the tips!

To Markov: The "lock Down" was intended to be Me and My pet. I wanted to isolate a single target and we would blow it up while the rest of the party handles the others. Then, peel one out and repeat.

This tactic works great with a melee hunter. I would suggest picking a companion that has a combat maneuver built in, such as a wolf. Big cats are damage machines with pounce.

What do you think about th small cat with weapon finesse for tripping?

With the tiger animal focus it starts with a dex of 23 or a +6 bonus and it has the trip ability.


Ssalarn wrote:
Rambear wrote:

You could take a Big Cat and get the Upending Strike Skirmisher trick and still have a Trip.

Basically, you get a Wolf with 3 attacks and pounce at the price of one Trick.

My only hesitance there is that there's a FAQ request floating around with over 105 clicks asking how the Hunter's AnC actually uses the skirmisher tricks. If that FAQ comes back with one of the more conservative and limited interpretations, you may end up wishing you hadn't gone with a build counting on your pet being able to trip when your pet can only do so twice a day. I've been selecting tricks that are "cool but not 100% essential" until that is sorted out. Only getting an extra +2 to hit a couple times a day is something I can live with; building a character relying on an animal companion that can trip when the animal companion can only do so a couple times is a place I'd rather not find myself.

Very true. However, you can always dismiss the pet and take a Wolf when and if it comes up in the FAQ. Silly wording of abilities is silly :).

Anyhow, I do wonder what order to take the Teamwork Feats in. You could go almost all teamwork feats and get Seize the Moment in as well.

I could also make a case for Coordinated Maneuvers and tandem Trip aswell.

Calculated a trip on the Wolf and myself at like 32+ at level 10, meaning that you could easily trip Dragons ;)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Rambear wrote:

Very true. However, you can always dismiss the pet and take a Wolf when and if it comes up in the FAQ. Silly wording of abilities is silly :).

Anyhow, I do wonder what order to take the Teamwork Feats in. You could go almost all teamwork feats and get Seize the Moment in as well.

I could also make a case for Coordinated Maneuvers and tandem Trip aswell.

Calculated a trip on the Wolf and myself at like 32+ at level 10, meaning that you could easily trip Dragons ;)

You have no idea how many times I've considered the possibilities of just going entirely with Teamwork feats :P

The issue of course being that some of them require standard feats as prereqs, and most of them are "link" abilities that facilitate or enhance actions you need normal feats for.


Umbranus wrote:


What do you think about th small cat with weapon finesse for tripping?
With the tiger animal focus it starts with a dex of 23 or a +6 bonus and it has the trip ability.

That's what I want to go for, except using the Primal Companion Hunter archetype to make him a "mist cat".


Another thing I've been thinking about is taking a badger or wolverine pet and learning sympathetic rage myself. That way my pet and I could rage together for some rounds per day.

That's instead of taking the maneuver route.

Or alternatively multiclass hunter and barbarian for ferocious companion and amplified rage. But this one would take at least 'till 5th level to come together.
Perhaps if I combine both ideas?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The primal companion hunter archetype is out for the OP as he wants a PFS hunter.

Being a human also gives you access to the racial trait: Eye for Talent.
At the expense of your racial bonus feat you get to give your companion a +2 bonus on any stat at level.

The next thing to keep in mind for whips/nets is that as a hunter you are at 3/4 BAB meaning you're looking at non-proficiency until level 3.

Outflank and Pack Flanking are probably the most important teamwork feats, followed by Co-ordinated Maneuvers (giving a total of +6 to combat maneuvers) and Tandem Trip (roll twice on the trip maneuver and take highest result).

As for weapons:
Guisarme (2d4/x3 Slashing, reach, trip), Horsechopper (1d10/x3 Piercing or Slashing, reach, trip) or the Hooked Lance (1d8/x4 Piercing) for reach tripping, or flail (1d8/x2 bBludgeoning, trip) (combine it with a shield for some extra AC) for non-reach.

The only other advise I have is to get a training harness (human equipment section of the Advanced Race Guide) for a +2 to handle animal, offsetting the -1 to charisma you have.


I am currently working on a dex focused hunter but some of the stuff is universal useable by any melee hunter.

1. Feat: Spirit’s Gift
This can be picked at 1st level. Each day you can give you animal companion DR 5/adamantin (stone spirit) or fast healing 1 (life spirit) for 24h. Makes any animal companion any animal companion nearly unkillable for early levels.

2. Teamwork feats: Outflank, Precise Strike, Pack Flanking, (Tandem Trip)
With this setup you get +4 to hit and 1d6 damage anytime you and you animal flank an opponent. Thanks to Pack Flanking you flank most of the time you and your animal attack the same opponent. In the case of wolf as animal companion i surgest to add Tandem Trip. So you wolf can roll twice on most trip attemts.


Breiti wrote:

I am currently working on a dex focused hunter but some of the stuff is universal useable by any melee hunter.

1. Feat: Spirit’s Gift
This can be picked at 1st level. Each day you can give you animal companion DR 5/adamantin (stone spirit) or fast healing 1 (life spirit) for 24h. Makes any animal companion any animal companion nearly unkillable for early levels.

Spirits gift is banned in PFS, trust me the second I read it I looked it up and saw BANNED!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Umbranus wrote:

Another thing I've been thinking about is taking a badger or wolverine pet and learning sympathetic rage myself. That way my pet and I could rage together for some rounds per day.

***

That's really clever! I like that idea, I'll have to play around with it.

Dark Archive

Ssalarn wrote:


You have no idea how many times I've considered the possibilities of just going entirely with Teamwork feats :P

The issue of course being that some of them require standard feats as prereqs, and most of them are "link" abilities that facilitate or enhance actions you need normal feats for.

Wonder why more people do not go this route.

At 3rd level, the hunter automatically grants her teamwork feats to her animal companion. The companion doesn't need to meet the prerequisites of these teamwork feats.

To me I read that as ALL teamwork feats my Hunter takes my Pet automatically learns, regardless if they were part of my freebies that I get at 3rd, 6th, 9th etc.. or part of the feats I get every other level.So early on I stay away from "individual" feats and get my pet the following:

1st level Combat Expertise(needed for Pack Flanking)
2nd level Outflank (freebie at 2nd)
3rd level (freebie feat)Precise Strike, (normal progression)Pack Flanking

So at 3rd level I have my Greatsword Wielding Hunter swinging for 2d6 normal damage and adding 1d6 when I am flanking, which just got a whole lot easier due to Pack Flanking all at a +4 to hit b/c of Outflank.

And the way precise strike is written "Whenever you and an ally who also has this feat are flanking the same the creature, you deal an additional 1d6 points of precision damage with each successful melee attack" means to me that if you have a critter with 2+ attacks you get an addition 1d6 per each hit. So even a Pet at 2 attacks per round for 1d4 is now at 1d4+1d6 2x's per round.

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