kineticist to go air or water


I am building a new kineticist character for a new game and I am debating on what way to build. It is 20 point buy and going to be low magic and wealth. That said I am between going air for fly at 6th and bolt at 10th. That or water for the better AC and getting impale. Then becomes the debate on physical or energy?

Going human and picking up point blank and precise shot but open after that. Any thoughts?

I get why you'd want to rush precise shot, but you can choose the energy blast to be targeting touch AC anyway, which will be about the same difference. If you wanted human anyway, then great; but don't feel that you have to go human. You can pick up a physical blast at 7th to deal with pesky energy immune creatures

For a human, both elements are good. If you are picking a race that has reduced movement, then it is hard to beat Air's all day mobility.

Do you wanna be up close or further away more? Air has comparative advantage of mobility and ranged attacks. AC ain't as big a deal if you're gonna be several enemy's range increments away or behind rest of the party providing cover.
My haven't read too much into water to have much of an opinion besides that they get kinetic healer.

Those are both good points past the first few levels if I am getting hit much it will be with arrows and the like that Air will have a miss chance on.

I am fairly set on human due to the background of my character but I am looking at "versatile human" trait to get an extra +2 to dex. Is that worth giving up the skill point and the feat. A part of me says of course as it gives +1 to hit,ref save, and AC. It will delay getting precise shot until 3rd.

Just a note, if you wanna get impale with water focus, you'd need to pick water as your primary and as your expanded element because impale needs earth, ice, or metal blasts.

I played a pyro and found Precise Shot pretty awesome (despite the feeling of "ugh feat tax"). Nothing feels as great as needing to hit the big bad whomping all over your party and rolling a 4 and finding out you still hit thanks to touch AC. With air kineticist you can be flying over allies' heads and raining down blasts against targets they're engaging, but suffering -4 to hit would suck. Even more so when enemies might have a +4 cover bonus to AC because allies are between you and the shot when you haven't got flight yet.

If you stick with the physical blast of air or water (I don't see why you shouldn't, electric blast has very few infusions for it compared to air and lots of things are immune to cold) you'll definitely want Precise Shot. Just ask archer rogues (HAH!) with no Precise Shot how average BAB and -4 to hit trying to targets fighting allies can mess up good rolls.

I'm also gonna say you want as many feats as you can get.
Ever plan on going melee? Weapon Finesse.
Plan on having Burn to take advantage of Elemental Overflow? Toughness is actually a worthwhile feat for this class. And it's pretty great having as much hit points as a raging barbarian. And the nonlethal damage will bring you down to functional HP equal to a fighter.
Because of the specific levels you get infusions and utility talents, Extra Wild Talent can help you get the lower level stuff you missed (not worth it until level 7 onwards).

+2 Dex from versatile human though?

+1 to Hit: Elemental Overflow will keep your blast accuracy up as if you had a full BAB.

+1 Ref: You're a Dex-based class with good reflexes and loads of HP. Not really that big a deal as compared to Will saves.

+1 AC: Well here's where we talk about what kind of armor you plan on wearing. For example, if I got a mithral chainshirt, my max Dex bonus is +6. Starting at level 6, if you got 3 burn you get a +2 size bonus to two physical stats of your choice. You can put it on Dex (for the same reasons as versatile human +2 Dex) and Con (to increase max burn, and bring up max hp so that difference between max HP and the extra burn/nonlethal damage evens out as if you had stuck with only 2 burn). By level 5 or 6, can probably afford +2 Dex and Con belt of physical might. If you had started off with 16 Dex, you'd be at a +5 Dex bonus. Would you wanna max out the armor's max Dex at level 6? Would it matter if you're blasting from who knows how far away?

Keep in mind, if you do far ranged combat, you're not exactly easy to reach for enemies to threaten you, especially if you're flying. With Air's Reach you can be blasting from 60 ft, 240 ft, or 960 ft away depending on what reach talents you pick up for yourself. Dedicated archers will have tough time hitting you thanks to range increment penalties, whereas all you gotta worry about are trees/objects/walls/buildings/allies/NPCs between you and your target when you snipe their heads off.

It can also get quite boring if you got lots of HP, AC, and too far away to feel any risk. If that's how you like playing the game? Go for it. Kineticist would excel at that. I played that way for first few levels and now committing more to switch-hitting and part-time tanking.

If you decide to be more switch-hitting or melee focused, water would be better for the armor or shield bonus from the element defense talent. Their utility talents are also tad more interesting when it comes to actual element manipulation.

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