Using VMC to make an Arcane Trickster


Advice

Sovereign Court

Does Pathfinder Unchained make the Arcane Trickster prestige class better?

Wizard 7/Unchained Rogue 1/Arcane Trickster 10/Wizard 2 seems like quite a good build with the Rogue VMC.

You are a full Wizard for 7 levels and trade 2 feats for Trapfinding and Sneak Attack +1d6, dip 1 level in Rogue for the second Sneak Attack die necessary for Arcane Trickster entry then progress as a Sorcerer in terms of when you get new spell levels (and your Arcane School helps make up for the difference in spells).

Is it worth going Wizard 8 for the 8th level school power, then 2 levels of the Unchained Rogue for Evasion and a Rogue Talent, and using Magical Knack trait to make up the Caster Level gap?

Thoughts?


I would say VMC applies to all of your character's progression.
Furthermore while VMC paragraph says that you could use both at the same time though not reccomended, I think it means Player A could do VMC and Player B could stick to normal multiclassing, not that you can do VMC and multiclass ala oldschool within one character.

That is my interpretation though.


I thought that you can't take levels in the class you have as VMC.


Milo v3 wrote:
I thought that you can't take levels in the class you have as VMC.

You cannot, but Snakebite Brawler works fine to get that other D6.

Once you hit level 11 you can retrain that Brawler level to Wizard even, since then you have a 2D6 Sneak Attack without it.

Sovereign Court

kestral287 wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I thought that you can't take levels in the class you have as VMC.

You cannot, but Snakebite Brawler works fine to get that other D6.

Once you hit level 11 you can retrain that Brawler level to Wizard even, since then you have a 2D6 Sneak Attack without it.

I missed that, but yeah - Snakebite Striker works, and is probably better if anything. +1 BAB, +2 Fort, +2 Ref and a d10 worth of extra HP is quite nice if I need it anyway for the SA die.


Wasn't it ruled you can't retrain to the point you're using the prestige class to qualify for itself?


Azten wrote:
Wasn't it ruled you can't retrain to the point you're using the prestige class to qualify for itself?

The VCM is qualifying for it, but not till 11th level.

Sovereign Court

Milo v3 wrote:
Azten wrote:
Wasn't it ruled you can't retrain to the point you're using the prestige class to qualify for itself?
The VCM is qualifying for it, but not till 11th level.

Hence why I was using the level of Rogue (and now probably Snakebite Striker Brawler or possibly Vivisectionist Alchemist) to go into Arcane Trickster at 9th level, though I suppose I could take the level dip *at* 7th level, get +2d6 SA in one level and go in at 8th...


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd rather do something like this:
VMC Rogue

Wizard 5/Inner Sea Pirate 2

Immediately retrain the second Pirate level into Arcane Trickster

Wizard 5/Inner Sea Pirate 1/Arcane Trickster 5
Retrain out of Inner Sea Pirate into Arcane Trickster.

Now you are a Wizard 5/Arcane Trickster 6. Wizard 5 is a good point to jump out since you just picked up a bonus feat, too.

Sovereign Court

Xethik wrote:

I'd rather do something like this:

VMC Rogue

Wizard 5/Inner Sea Pirate 2

Immediately retrain the second Pirate level into Arcane Trickster

Wizard 5/Inner Sea Pirate 1/Arcane Trickster 5
Retrain out of Inner Sea Pirate into Arcane Trickster.

Now you are a Wizard 5/Arcane Trickster 6. Wizard 5 is a good point to jump out since you just picked up a bonus feat, too.

You are right, the bonus feat from Wizard 5 is nice, especially when the VMC is eating 5 of the normal feats.

I like the idea of retraining the 7th level as well, although it potentially forces me to play 6th and 7th levels as a Wizard 5/Inner Sea Pirate 2 depending on when this backup character comes in (my main character is not dead yet, but we are only level 2, hence my planning for a backup).

I have never seen Inner Sea Pirate before - any reason for that specific prestige class, or were you just using it to demonstrate the retraining trick with the SA die at 1st level?


Wizard 6 is deceptively good, which is why you should probably go that route. +1 to all saves and Bab.

Regards,
DRS


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Inner Sea Pirate is just a filler PrC that gives Sneak Attack. I believe there are several others (Sleepless Detective, Assassin) that can be used to sub in. Essentially, you just need a PrC to give 1d6 Sneak Attack and fill with it.

As soon as you hit level 7, you can retrain into Arcane Trickster. You don't need to play that level as Inner Sea Pirate. I just don't think you qualify for Arcane Trickster until after you 'level-up'. But you still lose 1 caster level until level 11.

Snakebite Striker also works, but keep in mind you cannot retrain that Brawler level into Arcane Trickster. You can only go into Wizard with it. As DRS3 mentions, Wizard 6 is not bad at all. But if you want the AT capstone ASAP, going into a Prestige Class at level 6 is necessary.

You'll probably go back into Wizard after AT 10 anyways, so you'll get the benefit sooner-or-later. Up to you, I suppose.


Azten wrote:
Wasn't it ruled you can't retrain to the point you're using the prestige class to qualify for itself?

Indeed. My suggestion is a bit of a backdoor approach though.

Variant Multiclass: Rogue gives a 1D6 Sneak Attack at 7th level, increasing by 1D6 every four levels after-- so it hits 2D6 at level 11.

So, if we waited for the VMC to give us qualifications in its own right, the first Trickster level can't come until level 12 and we're only able to get nine levels of it. That's no fun.

Instead, we jump-start it by going Wizard 6/Brawler 1, which gives us a 2D6 Sneak Attack at level 7. Thus we legally qualify for Trickster. We take four levels of it, and hit level 11. At this point, off the Variant Multiclass we get another 1D6 of Sneak Attack-- and thus have 2D6 without using Brawler or Arcane Trickster. So now we're qualified for Arcane Trickster off just our Wizard and VMC levels, just as we would be with the straight Wizard 11/Trickster 9.

Since it's the VMC, not Arcane Trickster or Brawler, that makes us legal for Arcane Trickster, we can freely retrain out of Brawler and into Wizard if we'd rather have another caster level.

I like the Inner Sea Pirate setup too, which bypasses the clause on not being allowed to retrain base classes to prestige classes. It gets you into AT faster, which is nice, but might make 6-7 a bit rough. Personally, I'd probably use Wizard 6/Pirate (or similar) 1 to qualify, which lets you split the difference on having the best use of actual Wizard abilities during your early-mid game and getting Trickster maxed out as quickly as possible by retraining into it instead of the less-useful Wizard 7.


You do know you can't retrain into prestige classes at all as well...


Pirate Rob wrote:
You do know you can't retrain into prestige classes at all as well...

Citation please?

The FAQ rule is this:

Quote:
Update 10/16/13: New ruling: You cannot use retraining to replace a base class level with a prestige class level.

This means that with my original proposal of Wizard 6/Brawler 1 into Trickster, with Brawler retrained at 11, it would have to be into Wizard and not Trickster.

But Wizard 6/Pirate 1 does not run up against the above ruling, because Inner Sea Pirate is not a base class level.


Why can't people just play the classes and prestige classes as written instead of trying to find loopholes and break the game? There are traits and feats that help with the levels of rogue you have to take, the fact that others cheated before the developers clarified the requirements of the arcane trickster is bad enough, but then to attempt a respec and qualify for a prestige class by getting rid of the classes needed to enter that prestige class is plain stupidity. Grow up and play the game by the rules and quit trying to create your own rules.

I've got 3 pathfinder society arcane tricksters all with 3 levels of wizard and 3 levels of rogue, all are plenty powerful, 2 are more spell caster than rogue and 1 is a ninja killer.

/end rant


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GM_Pwning wrote:

Why can't people just play the classes and prestige classes as written instead of trying to find loopholes and break the game? There are traits and feats that help with the levels of rogue you have to take, the fact that others cheated before the developers clarified the requirements of the arcane trickster is bad enough, but then to attempt a respec and qualify for a prestige class by getting rid of the classes needed to enter that prestige class is plain stupidity. Grow up and play the game by the rules and quit trying to create your own rules.

I've got 3 pathfinder society arcane tricksters all with 3 levels of wizard and 3 levels of rogue, all are plenty powerful, 2 are more spell caster than rogue and 1 is a ninja killer.

/end rant

There really are not any traits or feats that "help with the levels of Rogue".

Seriously. Find me a trait or feat that gives me three levels of spells known and caster levels and we can talk about actually going Rogue 3/Wizard 3 like that's somehow something to strive for.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm going to do my best to not be a condescending-ass here, but I apologize because my best isn't good enough.

Some people play in games where stressing the limits of a character and party are the name of the game. Any extra edge, any ounce lost, whatever it takes. This may be interparty competition or competition of the party against challenging encounters.

Other people enjoy trying to optimize a character to the highest degree. I personally love trying to build a concept out and then optimizing it. It's fun and challenging to do alone or with others. To me, it's part of the game I love and would never want to give up.

Would I enjoy playing a Wizard 3/Rogue 3/Arcane Trickster? Definitely. Would I enjoy playing a Wizard 5/Arcane Trickster? Possibly not! But the process of getting to that Wizard/Arcane Trickster is enjoyment by itself to me, and probably others. Eeking out that extra bit of efficiency in what is considered a weak build is what keeps me coming back to Pathfinder/D&D 3.X.


I think you can enter AT at 11 as you get the sneak attack by spending feats.


Entryhazard wrote:
I think you can enter AT at 11 as you get the sneak attack by spending feats.

Correct, you can simply be a Wizard 10/AT 10. You are allowed to fill prerequisites simultaneously as you gain them.


Calth wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:
I think you can enter AT at 11 as you get the sneak attack by spending feats.
Correct, you can simply be a Wizard 10/AT 10. You are allowed to fill prerequisites simultaneously as you gain them.

You select class before you get feats though.

This case is a bit odd because the VMC sort of is a class, so you could chat with the GM... but it's debatable.


Let's say that a PrC requires Leaderhip as a feat.

Can i Take the PrC and the feat at level 7?


GM_Pwning wrote:
<rant>

Yeah, stop all your badwrongfun. /sarcasm

kestral287 wrote:

There really are not any traits or feats that "help with the levels of Rogue".

Seriously. Find me a trait or feat that gives me three levels of spells known and caster levels and we can talk about actually going Rogue 3/Wizard 3 like that's somehow something to strive for.

Well, there are the Eclectic Training and Esoteric Training guild benefits from Inner Sea Magic....but that isn't a trait or feat.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Entryhazard wrote:

Let's say that a PrC requires Leaderhip as a feat.

Can i Take the PrC and the feat at level 7?

Well, you choose your fear after the class so no. But a fear and VMC ability are slightly different so it's tough to say.

Besides, you can just take any PrC level and retrain it to Arcane Trickster level 11. You probably qualify for at least one and it isn't too pricy.


Bringing this post back from the dead to make sure everyone knows about the feat Accomplished Sneak Attacker. Just take it at level 9 if you're VMCing, or take it at the same level as your Rogue/Vivi/Strangler dip, and you're good to enter the prestige class. And there's no issues for retraining the feat at level 11.


so wait, what is wrong with just going Wizard 10 VMC Rogue/Arcane Trickster, using the feat Accomplished Sneak Attacker to fill the gap at level 9


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hazrond wrote:
so wait, what is wrong with just going Wizard 10 VMC Rogue/Arcane Trickster, using the feat Accomplished Sneak Attacker to fill the gap at level 9

None. A lot of this discussion was prior to that feat being printed, so as tynansdtm pointed out it is a valid way of building now.

Dark Archive

Xethik wrote:
Hazrond wrote:
so wait, what is wrong with just going Wizard 10 VMC Rogue/Arcane Trickster, using the feat Accomplished Sneak Attacker to fill the gap at level 9
None. A lot of this discussion was prior to that feat being printed, so as tynansdtm pointed out it is a valid way of building now.

So now, possibly the simplest and yet possibly the best entry is

Unchained Rogue 1 (Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat)

Wiz 3

AT 10

wiz etc.


Hmm, can you just get accomplished sneak attacker at 7 with the rogue VMC and enter the PrC directly off that?

Shadow Lodge

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GM_Pwning wrote:
Why can't people just play the classes and prestige classes as written instead of trying to find loopholes and break the game?

Because they don't want to.


Sleepless detective and accomplished sneak attack is better because of what you pick up on top of sneak attack IMO, but the VMC seems like an interesting option for a pure wizard but it's a lot of wasted feat slots for an overall bad VMC option. I would rather sacrifice the single wizard level than 5 feats.

TOZ wrote:
GM_Pwning wrote:
Why can't people just play the classes and prestige classes as written instead of trying to find loopholes and break the game?
Because they don't want to.

Well it's hard to enjoy prestige classes in Pathfinder.

I don't see how any of this is a "loophole", it would be like calling using Dirty Fighter to ignore the 13 INT requirement for combat maneuvers a loophole.

Dark Archive

The Shaman wrote:
Hmm, can you just get accomplished sneak attacker at 7 with the rogue VMC and enter the PrC directly off that?

Yes you can.

However, I wanted a way to avoid Rogue VMC because it is a lot of feats - I'd rather the 1 non-Wizard level.

The other reason is that playing from first level starting as a Rogue is a lot more survivable than a Wizard. You will have a decent Dex anyway, tons of skills in class , Weapon Finesse and Trapfinding. With that extra Sneak Attack feat you will be okay for a few levels just hiding, using your vast amount of skills, casting Vanish etc. and stabbing dudes.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain K. wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Hazrond wrote:
so wait, what is wrong with just going Wizard 10 VMC Rogue/Arcane Trickster, using the feat Accomplished Sneak Attacker to fill the gap at level 9
None. A lot of this discussion was prior to that feat being printed, so as tynansdtm pointed out it is a valid way of building now.

So now, possibly the simplest and yet possibly the best entry is

Unchained Rogue 1 (Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat)

Wiz 3

AT 10

wiz etc.

You can also trade URogue 1 for Snakebite Brawler 1. You are trading Weapon Finesse and more skills for +1 BAB and +2 Fort Save at that point. I guess you also get Imp Unarmed Strike, too.

Anyways, Weapon Finesse may be better than all of that. Really depends on if you plan on using Touch Spells or just Ranged Touch.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There is really no reason to take Accomplished Sneak Attacker at 1st level. Sneak attack damage dice for a character with this feat top off at half your character level, meaning that you do not get any benefit from the feat until 4th level.

So you should probably wait until 3rd level to take this feat (leaving it as a "dead" feat for only one level) and take something more immediately useful at 1st level.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain K. wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Hazrond wrote:
so wait, what is wrong with just going Wizard 10 VMC Rogue/Arcane Trickster, using the feat Accomplished Sneak Attacker to fill the gap at level 9
None. A lot of this discussion was prior to that feat being printed, so as tynansdtm pointed out it is a valid way of building now.

So now, possibly the simplest and yet possibly the best entry is

Unchained Rogue 1 (Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat)

Wiz 3

AT 10

wiz etc.

It is actually a pretty horrible combination unless you are also playing with the fractional base bonuses option from Pathfinder Unchained. Without that option, a rogue 1/wizard 3/arcane trickster 1 has a BAB of only +1 as a 5th level character. It gets a little better at higher levels, with your BAB maxing out at +9 at 20th level.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
Captain K. wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Hazrond wrote:
so wait, what is wrong with just going Wizard 10 VMC Rogue/Arcane Trickster, using the feat Accomplished Sneak Attacker to fill the gap at level 9
None. A lot of this discussion was prior to that feat being printed, so as tynansdtm pointed out it is a valid way of building now.

So now, possibly the simplest and yet possibly the best entry is

Unchained Rogue 1 (Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat)

Wiz 3

AT 10

wiz etc.

It is actually a pretty horrible combination unless you are also playing with the fractional base bonuses option from Pathfinder Unchained. Without that option, a rogue 1/wizard 3/arcane trickster 1 has a BAB of only +1 as a 5th level character. It gets a little better at higher levels, with your BAB maxing out at +9 at 20th level.

Eh. I haven't seen a character in PFinder played like this, but I have seen 3.5 casters with only a +1 BAB at level 5 do fine as ray casters. Touch ACs are ridiculously low in most campaigns. Helps if you take Weapon Focus (Ray) and then train out of it later.


Not to mention the number of spells without an attack roll. It's nice to toss Jolt for a sneak attack, but in all reality sneak attack is not a great ability as written - URogue's Dexterity to damage is a bigger deal.

I'd also say that having 2d6 sneak attack at level 3 is the most important time to have the extra damage. Your stats are not built to hit hard and by level 3 your still a vanish/stab or color spray type.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It strikes me that when you make a complicated system (base classes, multiclassing, archetypes, prestige classes, feats, traits, etc. etc.) people will spend an awful lot of time trying to find ways to game the system. To each his own, I guess, but it seems far better to me to keep everything simple. <shrug>


Yeah, VMC is only good if you have a literal crapton of bonus feats (i.e. Fighter), or if your build is hardly feat intensive, and you end up grabbing stuff like Improved Initiative, Iron Will because you don't know what else to take. In most cases, it's not worth spending 5 feats for class features that either don't synergize too well, or are too sub-par to be worth 5 feats.

That being said, this "loophole" stuff makes no sense: A loophole would be to find a way to circumvent the need for requirements. At no point is the OP trying to qualify for a Prestige Class by not meeting its pre-requisites (which is what a loophole would do), he's trying to find the quickest (and most efficient) way to meet those pre-requisites. It is by no means a loophole, more than it is a cry for optimization help; to wit, you'd be complaining about optimization, which is a playstyle different from yours, i.e. "badwrongfun."

Dark Archive

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Isn't there a rule that you always have to retroactively qualify for feats and prestige classes that prevents retraining out of stuff like Snakebite Striker or Sleepless Detective into more Wizard or AT levels? For instance, if you have Wizard 6 / Snakebite Striker 1 / Arcane Trickster X, you can't retran those Striker levels because you needed 2d6 Sneak Attack at level 8 to qualify for the prestige class. Even if you have 2d6 from the VMC later you can't retrain because you wouldn't have had 2d6 at Level 8 without the dip.

Dark Archive

Captain K. wrote:
The Shaman wrote:
Hmm, can you just get accomplished sneak attacker at 7 with the rogue VMC and enter the PrC directly off that?

Yes you can.

However, I wanted a way to avoid Rogue VMC because it is a lot of feats - I'd rather the 1 non-Wizard level.

Not without a bonus feat from some class feature at that level. VMC makes you lose your Level 7 feat, so the earliest you'd qualify single-classed as a Wizard is 10 with the feat at 9.

Silver Crusade

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Ed Reppert wrote:
It strikes me that when you make a complicated system (base classes, multiclassing, archetypes, prestige classes, feats, traits, etc. etc.) people will spend an awful lot of time trying to find ways to game the system. To each his own, I guess, but it seems far better to me to keep everything simple. <shrug>

Because when you make something complex, people like playing around with the moving parts. One of the big reasons I like PF is because it has so many pieces. If I wanted a more simple game, I'd play one.

Seriously, at this point Esoteric Training should just be a feat, it would make SO many builds viable. I've always kind of wondered why Magical Knack was written but we never received a corollary feat to Practiced Caster from 3.5, it feels like such an odd oversight.

Sovereign Court

N. Jolly wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
It strikes me that when you make a complicated system (base classes, multiclassing, archetypes, prestige classes, feats, traits, etc. etc.) people will spend an awful lot of time trying to find ways to game the system. To each his own, I guess, but it seems far better to me to keep everything simple. <shrug>

Because when you make something complex, people like playing around with the moving parts. One of the big reasons I like PF is because it has so many pieces. If I wanted a more simple game, I'd play one.

Seriously, at this point Esoteric Training should just be a feat, it would make SO many builds viable. I've always kind of wondered why Magical Knack was written but we never received a corollary feat to Practiced Caster from 3.5, it feels like such an odd oversight.

I thought the reason we got Magical Knack but not Practiced Spellcaster was because they considered the latter more balanced than the former?

I remember looking for it when my group made the move from 3.5 to Pathfinder, but could be misremembering the reason.

Sovereign Court

Captain K. wrote:
The Shaman wrote:
Hmm, can you just get accomplished sneak attacker at 7 with the rogue VMC and enter the PrC directly off that?

Yes you can.

However, I wanted a way to avoid Rogue VMC because it is a lot of feats - I'd rather the 1 non-Wizard level.

The other reason is that playing from first level starting as a Rogue is a lot more survivable than a Wizard. You will have a decent Dex anyway, tons of skills in class , Weapon Finesse and Trapfinding. With that extra Sneak Attack feat you will be okay for a few levels just hiding, using your vast amount of skills, casting Vanish etc. and stabbing dudes.

The two Wizard Bonus Feats help with the VMC feat cost, though, and I've never found Wizards to be particularly feat starved.

As original poster of this thread, I ended up going Diviner Wizard 11/Arcane Trickster 9, using the Rogue VMC to qualify, and then retraining one Wizard level into Arcane Trickster once I had the necessary Sneak Attack to qualify without it.

If Accomplished Sneak Attacker had been out, I'd have used it to qualify at 7, and would have probably felt more like an Arcane Trickster rather than a Sniper Wizard earlier, but it didn't make too much difference.

Overall I'm a real fan of the Rogue VMC + Accomplished Sneak Attacker method, though - it plays like a Wizard with Sneak Attack and Trapfinding, which is precisely what I want out of the class.

Honestly, I just think the prestige class is badly named: it may well be Arcane, but it doesn't trick people (though it is tricky to build! :P )


Variant Multi-Classing.

You can find more about it here.


LuniasM wrote:
Captain K. wrote:
The Shaman wrote:
Hmm, can you just get accomplished sneak attacker at 7 with the rogue VMC and enter the PrC directly off that?

Yes you can.

However, I wanted a way to avoid Rogue VMC because it is a lot of feats - I'd rather the 1 non-Wizard level.

Not without a bonus feat from some class feature at that level. VMC makes you lose your Level 7 feat, so the earliest you'd qualify single-classed as a Wizard is 10 with the feat at 9.

You can retrain a feat at 7th into accomplished sneak attacker.

Dark Archive

graystone wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
Captain K. wrote:
The Shaman wrote:
Hmm, can you just get accomplished sneak attacker at 7 with the rogue VMC and enter the PrC directly off that?

Yes you can.

However, I wanted a way to avoid Rogue VMC because it is a lot of feats - I'd rather the 1 non-Wizard level.

Not without a bonus feat from some class feature at that level. VMC makes you lose your Level 7 feat, so the earliest you'd qualify single-classed as a Wizard is 10 with the feat at 9.
You can retrain a feat at 7th into accomplished sneak attacker.

So apparently you can retrain feats into other feats you didn't qualify for at the time you took them. It'd never fly at my table / tables I play at, but for some tables it's fair game and there's nothing wrong with using all the tools you're given. It just seems a bit strange to me since I always thought feats were tied to class levels, not to your current level.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

When you get them is tied to levels, but when you retrain them you use your current level. That's why you can't retrain into feats with "must be taken at 1st level" prereqs.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
LuniasM wrote:
Isn't there a rule that you always have to retroactively qualify for feats and prestige classes that prevents retraining out of stuff like Snakebite Striker or Sleepless Detective into more Wizard or AT levels? For instance, if you have Wizard 6 / Snakebite Striker 1 / Arcane Trickster X, you can't retran those Striker levels because you needed 2d6 Sneak Attack at level 8 to qualify for the prestige class. Even if you have 2d6 from the VMC later you can't retrain because you wouldn't have had 2d6 at Level 8 without the dip.

But if you have the Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat, you only need 7 non-Arcane Trickster levels to meet the Sneak Attack 2d6 requirement of that class via the 1d6 sneak attack ability gained at 7th level plus that feat. But you are right that that retraining would not work without that feat.

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