A comprehensive Class-Tier List?!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Shadow Lodge

Disclaimer: English is NOT my first language, may contain grievous errors.

A comprehensive Class-Tier List?!

I'd like to have one :)

Though I am not the most mechanics-minded player/gm out there, I find mechanics quite important and an enjoyable part of the game. I – as many others – have the feeling that some classes simply do better than others in the grand scheme of things.

So I'd like there to be a resource analyzing this “apparent” phenomenon. This would have to be the first step to heal parts of the class-tier slope :)

I stumbled over the concept of a class's floor-performance and it's ceiling-performance in a forum-post lately (to be honest I don't know which one, or if it even has been on the Paizo-boards... but: credits to you!).
The floor- and ceiling-performance shows just how much system-mastery affects the performance of said class.

I'd like to include this concept, because it helps (new) players, who are then able to choose a class with a high floor-perfomance. And it may help gms (and maybe designers?) to raise the floor- (and/or ceiling-) performance of the low tiers.
This would also be a help in the recurring discussions where build-mastery is often brought up as “evidence” that a class can perform (which may well be true – but not for everyone or only with very specific builds).

I think the focus should be on Paizo's published classes, though I see no reason why 3pp classes should be excluded from this list.

I suggest we use the following format for the classes:

Class/Archetype

Combat Tier This obviously rates the combat performance of the class.
-Defensive How hard is it to damage the class? Does it have many ways to avoid HP-damage? Does it have a high AC, good saves etc.? Does it gain Special abilities that help it devensively? Does it simply have tons of HP?
-Floor-Tier:
-Ceiling-Tier:
-Offensive How much damage does the class? How consistently can it do this (¾ or full bab for example)? Can it target various things like HP, the saves (and which of them), attribute-scores, etc.?
-Floor-Tier:
-Ceiling-Tier:

Utility Tier How well does this class function as a general problem-solver? Does it have many skillpoints? Does it have access to a good array of class-skills, to a many of them? Does it have other abilities for problem-solving, i.e. spells or class-abilities?
-Floor-Tier:
-Ceiling-Tier:

I will likely have missed tons of things in this opening post, so please post them at your leisure!

As we gather content for this list (to say: IF we do that, maybe we just discuss the whole time, heh.) I'll make a new thread with said content or maybe it would warrant a google-doc?!

For your formatting convenience:

[+b][+bigger]Class/Archetype[/bigger+][/b+]

“[+b][+bigger]Combat Tier[/bigger+][/b+]
-[+b]Defensive[/b+]
-
-[+b]Offensive[/b+]

[+b][+bigger]Utility Tier[/bigger+][/b+]”


Here you go.


...and let the inevitable arguments begin. There's lots of edge cases and when you add archetypes to it, everything gets all crazy.

Then we get to my pet peeve. I think tier is a limited measurement. It refers to the theoretical ability of a class to perform any function. Which is only one measure. Yes, a well built wizard can do the job of any other class. This capability is mostly useful for solo adventurers and asshats who want to steal screen time from everybody else and make the game all about them. It's one measure of a class and some people think it's the holy grail. Yes flexibility is useful. But there are many other things that are also important.


Castilonium wrote:
Here you go.

That kind of chart is one of the least useful things in the game (not just because it only speaks for level 20 characters), but that ONE chart in particular is, in addition to that, pretty crappy and mostly inaccurate.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The problem with the linked tier and the one that people always talk about is that it is very much a utility tier list by definition and does not separate combat and utility.

For example, Paladin has solid utility but its not huge and it is the strongest combat class 1-20 in my opinion and cannot be reflected in the old tier list method. It is put as 4 which is ridiculous.

Separating two different lists seems smarter to me.


Oh boy. Is this the part where people list their tiers?

Tier 1 - prepared fullcasters + arcanist

Tier 2 - spontaneous fullcasters + chained summoners

Tier 3 - half casters, paladins, variants of the one true barbarian build(including the bloodrager build that mimics it)

Tier 4 - quarter casters, fully archetyped out fighters, unchained rogue, unchained monk, splat book chained monk.

Tier 5 - chained rogues, fighters that did not trade away most of their class features, adept NPC class, CRB monk.


In my opinion, there's too much to take into account to actually make a correct tier list.
There are a lot of opinions about each class, not all of them even spawning from actually playing the class. Most of the time I hear something bad or good about a class, it's totally ripped out from the context of a game, and just numbers. I've not played for as long as many other have, but I've played enough to have seen that some of the general opinions about how much some classes suck or how they dominate are a matter of nickels and dimes.
Please note: I'm not saying that all classes are equal, I'm saying that I've seen a lot of opinions on classes that I just can't agree with after having played them myself.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for the posts.

My intent seems to have been misunderstood by some posters, probably due to me not voicing it concretely enough:
I do not look for the standard tier-lists that are indeed floating around in the dozens.

Nor did I want to just list a roundabout "yeah,yeah casters at top, then 3/4, then martial etc. TADA!"-list.

The list I'd like us to create is - as described in the OP - specifically listing the strong and weak parts of the respective class. Ideally giving the reasoning behind the selected tiers for different parts of that class.

What Temeryn suggested is generally what I had in mind.

edit:@Rub-Eta could you share your experience (even on just one class)? I am totally on board that different people will have different play-experiences and different opinions.

On the other hand I think it is rather easy to see that the fighter would rate higher in the combat-tier, than he would in the utility-tier for example. (of course he could put everything into a high int, and use feats to become more utility focused, though that would imho be a rather rare build).


I understood your intent, Asurendra. I was planning to make a Character Creation guide with a table like this.

The problem is that "combat" is very broad. If you don't separate "mobile engagement", "maneuver-based tactics", "switch-hitting potential" and the like, it's not likely that you'll be able to truly show where a class shines or not.

Silver Crusade

Rhedyn wrote:

Oh boy. Is this the part where people list their tiers?

Tier 1 - prepared fullcasters + arcanist

Tier 2 - spontaneous fullcasters + chained summoners

Tier 3 - half casters, paladins, variants of the one true barbarian build(including the bloodrager build that mimics it)

Tier 4 - quarter casters, fully archetyped out fighters, unchained rogue, unchained monk, splat book chained monk.

Tier 5 - chained rogues, fighters that did not trade away most of their class features, adept NPC class, CRB monk.

As a general tier list, yeah, this works pretty well. I mean I myself like the idea of really putting this under a magnifying scope and going into the +1/-1 of each archetype, but guides do that already. Really a lot of archetypes won't push a class into a higher tier (there's a few that will, but they're not super common) although there's plenty that can drop you one (Driver Rogue is an NPC, full stop), so you'd need to go more exacting than T1-T5, like the amount that certain archetypes can boost a class.

For example, beastmorph vivisectionist doesn't raise alchemist by a tier, not at all. It only really adds (a lot of) damage and removes bomb versatility, but you'll rarely find a person who will argue that it doesn't make a stronger alchemist than vanilla. The same goes for invulnerable rager barbarian. Again, it doesn't raise barb a tier, but it's obviously stronger than the vanilla version.

I think a +1/-1 list of archetypes for classes could be fun in the fashion of the old tier list for prestige classes for 3.5, since archetypes are basically the prestige classes of this game.


@Asurendra

Magic is king. So be it combat or utility it ends up about the same. Fighters are actually bad at combat. Wizards are really good at combat. Rogues have poor utility. Skill points are just not that useful. Wizards have tons of skill points but more importantly they have the strongest spell list in the game.

In pf spells > not spells


N. Jolly wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Oh boy. Is this the part where people list their tiers?

Tier 1 - prepared fullcasters + arcanist

Tier 2 - spontaneous fullcasters + chained summoners

Tier 3 - half casters, paladins, variants of the one true barbarian build(including the bloodrager build that mimics it)

Tier 4 - quarter casters, fully archetyped out fighters, unchained rogue, unchained monk, splat book chained monk.

Tier 5 - chained rogues, fighters that did not trade away most of their class features, adept NPC class, CRB monk.

As a general tier list, yeah, this works pretty well. I mean I myself like the idea of really putting this under a magnifying scope and going into the +1/-1 of each archetype, but guides do that already. Really a lot of archetypes won't push a class into a higher tier (there's a few that will, but they're not super common) although there's plenty that can drop you one (Driver Rogue is an NPC, full stop), so you'd need to go more exacting than T1-T5, like the amount that certain archetypes can boost a class.

For example, beastmorph vivisectionist doesn't raise alchemist by a tier, not at all. It only really adds (a lot of) damage and removes bomb versatility, but you'll rarely find a person who will argue that it doesn't make a stronger alchemist than vanilla. The same goes for invulnerable rager barbarian. Again, it doesn't raise barb a tier, but it's obviously stronger than the vanilla version.

I think a +1/-1 list of archetypes for classes could be fun in the fashion of the old tier list for prestige classes for 3.5, since archetypes are basically the prestige classes of this game.

I intended for the tiers to be wide. Barbarians shift tiers because of superstitious and spell sunder with one of the two good totems. Fighters can jump tier because you can replace every class feature.

Tiers tend to be general groups rather than exact rankings because that breaks down into more of an optimal build discussion.

Scarab Sages

Rhedyn wrote:

Oh boy. Is this the part where people list their tiers?

Tier 1 - prepared fullcasters + arcanist

Tier 2 - spontaneous fullcasters + chained summoners

Tier 3 - half casters, paladins, variants of the one true barbarian build(including the bloodrager build that mimics it)

Tier 4 - quarter casters, fully archetyped out fighters, unchained rogue, unchained monk, splat book chained monk.

Tier 5 - chained rogues, fighters that did not trade away most of their class features, adept NPC class, CRB monk.

Pretty spot on, although I would rate adepts at low tier 3. They have low spells per day but a versatile spell list with no ASF chance, familiars to break action economy, and can gain channel energy with a feat.

Silver Crusade

Rhedyn wrote:

I intended for the tiers to be wide. Barbarians shift tiers because of superstitious and spell sunder with one of the two good totems. Fighters can jump tier because you can replace every class feature.

Tiers tend to be general groups rather than exact rankings because that breaks down into more of an optimal build discussion.

Oh, I know how they work, this is more of an individual class tiering, not ranking them all against each other, but rather a general guideline as to which archetypes and such are better for each class.

It's more how archetypes are rated in guides, since it's independent of all other classes, more of an internal ranking between things.

Liberty's Edge

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The Cynical Tier List:

Tier 1: Wizards and Clerics

Tier 2: Everybody Else


Secret Wizard wrote:


The problem is that "combat" is very broad. If you don't separate "mobile engagement", "maneuver-based tactics", "switch-hitting potential" and the like, it's not likely that you'll be able to truly show where a class shines or not.

Agreed. I think tier is a very important concept, but I also think it loses its utility when you push it too hard, for precisely this reason.

For example, the vanilla monk is tier 4, or maybe tier 12 (useful as a self-motile supply of emergency rations). On the other hand, the zen archer monk archetype is one of the best damage-dealers in the game (according to pure DPR). On the gripping hand [props to anyone who gets the reference], a ZAM is only good in a situation where archery is appropriate, and is more or less completely shut down when someone gets in its face, &c.

I can go back and forth in this vein until I've covered a statue of Kali, or perhaps even a hekatonkheires. I'm not sure, however, that doing so qualifies as an informative, productive, useful, or even helpful activity.

Adding system mastery into the mix makes things even more complex, as does evaluating at different levels. (Similarly, linear-fighter-quadratic-wizard is very useful, but exact curve-fitting is not.)

Perhaps there's a better and simpler way of answering the question that the opening poster really has in mind?


Imbicatus wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Oh boy. Is this the part where people list their tiers?

Tier 1 - prepared fullcasters + arcanist

Tier 2 - spontaneous fullcasters + chained summoners

Tier 3 - half casters, paladins, variants of the one true barbarian build(including the bloodrager build that mimics it)

Tier 4 - quarter casters, fully archetyped out fighters, unchained rogue, unchained monk, splat book chained monk.

Tier 5 - chained rogues, fighters that did not trade away most of their class features, adept NPC class, CRB monk.

Pretty spot on, although I would rate adepts at low tier 3. They have low spells per day but a versatile spell list with no ASF chance, familiars to break action economy, and can gain channel energy with a feat.

The way I see tiers is that they are a tool for building the party. You never want a gap of two tiers or more. Adapts really have no business playing with bards, unchained summoners, or sorcerers. Hence tier 5.


Rhedyn wrote:
The way I see tiers is that they are a tool for building the party. You never want a gap of two tiers or more. Adapts really have no business playing with bards, unchained summoners, or sorcerers. Hence tier 5.

That's not what tiers mean and it's not their purpose at all.

Tiers mean that, given a certain situation, class X could have access to N solutions, while class Y has access to O solutions.

It does not in any way reflect the EFFECTIVENESS of said classes in applying that solution.

Wizards, namely, need to prepare spells, and they can never have the N solutions that a tier list advertises at the ready. And perhaps a Wizard's solution for "ambushed by rogues" is less effective than what a Fighter could do.

Furthermore, tier lists only reflect a state at 20th level, for which it makes absolutely no sense to say a Fighter is useless on a party with a Wizard from levels 1-15th.

With this said, I still think they are a really useless exercise.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here is a list I just made in much less time than a great list would take. Somewhat taking into account archetypes but not doing them individually even in edge cases so a little rough. Also, assume hardbacks only and a rough assumption that things in hardbacks that are banned in pfs are probably not being considered (for example grand master summoner).

I started out trying to do the floor, ceiling thing but got frustrated trying to decide how incompetent the floor was. This is supposed to represent an average through 1-20 and is not only representative of high levels like some tiers like to assume.

The classes within tiers are currently not in a particular order. Note that this also means that averaging the different tiers does not give a good way of telling strength as a whole because the top of a particular tier vs the bottom could be significant as well as the gap between tier 1 and 2 being an indeterminate amount in relation to the gap between tier 2 and 3.

***

Combat Defensive (AC, saves, HP, ability to avoid damage, protect against certain statuses)

1. Cleric, Paladin, Antipaladin, Oracle, Warpriest

2. Barbarian, Druid, Monk, Inquisitor, Shaman

3. UnMonk, Alchemist, Arcanist, Kineticist, Occultist, Spiritualist, Bloodrager, Summoner, UnSummoner, Samurai

4. Wizard, Sorcerer, Psychic, Bard, Fighter, Gunslinger, Witch, Investigator, Skald, Medium, Mesmerist

5. Cavalier, Ranger, Magus, Brawler, Hunter, Slayer, Swashbuckler

6. Ninja, UnRogue, Rogue

***

Combat Offensive (debuffs, offensive buffs on you or allies, damage)

1. Witch, Sorcerer, Summoner,

2. Paladin, Wizard, Bard, Druid, Antipaladin, Arcanist, Shaman, Skald, Mesmerist,

3. Barbarian, UnSummoner, UnRogue, Bloodrager, Slayer, Gunslinger, Oracle, Psychic, Alchemist

4. Fighter, Cleric, UnMonk, Ranger, Samurai, Brawler, Swashbuckler, Warpriest, Inquisitor, Cavalier, Kineticist, Medium, Occultist, Hunter

5. Magus, Spiritualist

6. Monk, Rogue, Ninja, Investigator

**

Utility (face, skills, spells, ability to solve problems)

1. Bard, Cleric, Druid, Wizard, Arcanist, Investigator, Shaman, Medium,

2. Sorcerer, Alchemist, Oracle, Witch, Skald, Occultist, Mesmerist, Psychic

3. Ninja, Inquisitor, UnRogue, Kineticist, Spiritualist

4. Rogue, Ranger, Summoner, UnSummoner, Hunter, Slayer

5. Magus, Swashbuckler, Warpriest, UnMonk, Monk, Paladin, Antiplaladin

6. Samurai, Cavalier,

7. Barbarian, Fighter, Gunslinger, Bloodrager, Brawler

(Blech, the formatting got all jumbled)

Edit: Changed it a bit after a re-read


Secret Wizard wrote:


That's not what tiers mean and it's not their purpose at all.

Tiers mean that, given a certain situation, class X could have access to N solutions, while class Y has access to O solutions.

It does not in any way reflect the EFFECTIVENESS of said classes in applying that solution.

Wizards, namely, need to prepare spells, and they can never have the N solutions that a tier list advertises at the ready. And perhaps a Wizard's solution for "ambushed by rogues" is less effective than what a Fighter could do.

Furthermore, tier lists only reflect a state at 20th level, for which it makes absolutely no sense to say a Fighter is useless on a party with a Wizard from levels 1-15th.

With this said, I still think they are a really useless exercise.

You are mistaken. Tiers do not reflect a state at 20th level. They reflect the overall state of those classes from 1-20. A Wizard is still far more versatile then a Fighter at level 1 and has more ways of solving more problems. Which is what the tier list measures. And knowing which classes are the most versatile has considerable value and is far from useless, unless one does not value knowledge.


That's a s*!$ty list in my opinion and really useless too.

For example, UnMonk can have ridiculously high AC while outputting good damage and having tons of combat mobility and some out of combat utility. Nowhere in the list that is reflected.

Plus I also disagree heartily with your placements, particularly if you believe a Bard is better offensively than all of those classes you mentioned.

I'm out of this thread.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:

That's a s+#&ty list in my opinion and really useless too.

For example, UnMonk can have ridiculously high AC while outputting good damage and having tons of combat mobility and some out of combat utility. Nowhere in the list that is reflected.

Plus I also disagree heartily with your placements, particularly if you believe a Bard is better offensively than all of those classes you mentioned.

I'm out of this thread.

It is a little rough and obviously opinions will defer. I already glanced at it and want to move some up or down 1. But UnMonk was put in the combat offense slot of not most damaging fighting class but strong at damage without much debuff next to fighter. UnMonks should be in the same tier damage wise as fighters and they are tier 3 in defense (frankly near the top) but do not have what it takes to get to tier 2 because of the weak will save.

Druid has strong defensive spells, natural armor ans size increases to defense with wildshape, and strong fort, will the two most important saves. All the others in tier 2 have strong defensive abilities, strong defensive divine spells, good fort and will jsut like druid except Barbarian who has other massive defensive bonuses with superstitious.

Bard has strong offense because of buffs. Notice how that is included. This is not a 1v1 tier list and in a group bards and skalds can be massive force multipliers on damage while bing a little worse than divine full casters at defensive buffs.

Also Monk was in utility, the tier below rogue which I think is fitting because Rogues bring more utility.

Obviously with stuff like this though people will always disagree *shrug* just explaining the thought process.


As prudish as this sounds. I wouldn't worry about criticism that use swear words. Temeryn's list best reflects the OP's desires so far.


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Temeryn wrote:

Combat Defensive (AC, saves, HP, ability to avoid damage, protect against certain statuses)

4. Wizard, Sorcerer, Samurai, UnSummoner, Summoner, Bloodrager
Psychic

Does this take into account the Wizard's ability to cast Resist Energy/Protection from Energy, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Fly, and Blur/Displacement?

I'll agree the Wizard is a bit lacking on saves and status protection, but it has some of the best tools in the game to avoid damage, despite a low AC.

Scarab Sages

ZZTRaider wrote:
Temeryn wrote:

Combat Defensive (AC, saves, HP, ability to avoid damage, protect against certain statuses)

4. Wizard, Sorcerer, Samurai, UnSummoner, Summoner, Bloodrager
Psychic

Does this take into account the Wizard's ability to cast Resist Energy/Protection from Energy, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Fly, and Blur/Displacement?

I'll agree the Wizard is a bit lacking on saves and status protection, but it has some of the best tools in the game to avoid damage, despite a low AC.

Don't forget Defending Bone, False Life, Freedom of Movement, and Stoneskin.


I think part of the problem is in definition of terms. The Tier system is a very old ranking system. I'm not sure if it's from 3.0 days or 3.5. This refers specifically to how well the class can do multiple jobs and replace missing class members. For example, a wizard with the right spells prepared can detect and deal with traps as well as a rogue.

Trying to use the word tier to refer to other concepts is just going to confuse people. So a "combat tier" or "utility tier" is not a good use. I suggest finding another term for this.

To build a list like you want would take months of work, and be very subjective. I doubt anybody has play-experience will all of the available classes. I know that nobody has play experience with all of the archetypes and build options. What's more, in many cases this varies based on the style of the player and the campaigns.

For example, in a campaign where the characters have no downtime, a wizard is less ideal because they need time to scribe more spells into their books, to create scrolls and other items. A variation in the way the campaign runs means that two identical builds will not play the same.

A friend of mine loves to play characters that buff their allies. So they would rate a bard much higher than I would.

For looking for rankings on classes, I would go to the build guides for each class. It will tell you what the class is good at, bad at, and some popular build types for that class.

If you are looking to balance between the different classes, I suggest playing 4e. 4e is much better balanced between classes than Pathfinder. The way it's made, system mastery has much less effect and the floor and ceiling of each class are much closer.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Temeryn wrote:

Combat Defensive (AC, saves, HP, ability to avoid damage, protect against certain statuses)

4. Wizard, Sorcerer, Samurai, UnSummoner, Summoner, Bloodrager
Psychic

Does this take into account the Wizard's ability to cast Resist Energy/Protection from Energy, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Fly, and Blur/Displacement?

I'll agree the Wizard is a bit lacking on saves and status protection, but it has some of the best tools in the game to avoid damage, despite a low AC.

Don't forget Defending Bone, False Life, Freedom of Movement, and Stoneskin.

The wizard does not get access to freedom of movement, which is one of the classes main weaknesses.

And yes it does which is why wizard is placed above most full BAB classes with higher HP. Wizard still is weak to fortitude saves and has little to protect against them. Their will saves are pretty good but not the best and their reflex is also low if they are not resisting. Wizards have tons of ways of avoiding damage and many times the game being played is avoid getting hit dead on or else. Wizards are good at avoiding which is why they are higher than tough full BAB classes without extra goodies.

I actually just edited them to be more on par with other full BAB because I realized a lot of the defensive stuff only comes online later when you have spells to spare and at low levels wizards are much less beefy and still don't have enough spells to waste to defend. Obviosuly the true strength of casters is that they can switch what they want to do and a full defense wizard will be good at all levels but would then take a hit in offense or utility.

Also remember that this is not meant to be 1v1 casters do also have the weakness of having their defensive spells be shut down by other casters whether by dispelling or revealing or casting fly etc.


Imbicatus wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Temeryn wrote:

Combat Defensive (AC, saves, HP, ability to avoid damage, protect against certain statuses)

4. Wizard, Sorcerer, Samurai, UnSummoner, Summoner, Bloodrager
Psychic

Does this take into account the Wizard's ability to cast Resist Energy/Protection from Energy, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Fly, and Blur/Displacement?

I'll agree the Wizard is a bit lacking on saves and status protection, but it has some of the best tools in the game to avoid damage, despite a low AC.

Don't forget Defending Bone, False Life, Freedom of Movement, and Stoneskin.

In theory the wizard is amazing at this. In play, this depends on what they have available at the moment and action economy. If they are well-stocked with spells and scrolls and wands, have time to buff, and know their foe they are invincible. In practice, they can often only get partial protection up. On the other hand, a monk has their defense up all the time.

p.s. The reference was to Niven's moties.

Shadow Lodge

If anything it can be tailored around the anvil of combat roles

Tiering classes by role is how it was done at 4e

for example a wizard is god tier on :Hammer/Anvil/Arm

An archer ranger/fighter/monk is god tier on : Hammer

it can apply to other classes as well, as you can see many fullcasters can be god tiers on all tiers there hence the reason they are tier 1 on the regular tier list


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ElementalXX wrote:

If anything it can be tailored around the anvil of combat roles

Tiering classes by role is how it was done at 4e

for example a wizard is god tier on :Hammer/Anvil/Arm

An archer ranger/fighter/monk is god tier on : Hammer

it can apply to other classes as well, as you can see many fullcasters can be god tiers on all tiers there hence the reason they are tier 1 on the regular tier list

Without derailing the thread, the discussion was not really meant to be martial caster disparity, which frankly is my problem with the other list. The other list is about flexibility. We have that list already; this is meant to be a list showing which roles classes are better at in generic scenarios 1-20.

All in all I consider wizards to be tier 4 of 6 for defense. They can move up if they spend more resources but usually one will fall around there because of the weaknesses I outlined in my previous post. I feel the other classes higher in defense overall have better options through the level spectrum. Sometimes it is a different type of defense so it is hard to compare but for example arcanist with its dimensional slide and counterspelling I feel is consistently better at defense than a wizard.


Imbicatus wrote:
ZZTRaider wrote:
Temeryn wrote:

Combat Defensive (AC, saves, HP, ability to avoid damage, protect against certain statuses)

4. Wizard, Sorcerer, Samurai, UnSummoner, Summoner, Bloodrager
Psychic

Does this take into account the Wizard's ability to cast Resist Energy/Protection from Energy, Mirror Image, Invisibility, Fly, and Blur/Displacement?

I'll agree the Wizard is a bit lacking on saves and status protection, but it has some of the best tools in the game to avoid damage, despite a low AC.

Don't forget Defending Bone, False Life, Freedom of Movement, and Stoneskin.

Or clone... like to see some one top having a get out of death free.card lol


Temeryn wrote:
ElementalXX wrote:

If anything it can be tailored around the anvil of combat roles

Tiering classes by role is how it was done at 4e

for example a wizard is god tier on :Hammer/Anvil/Arm

An archer ranger/fighter/monk is god tier on : Hammer

it can apply to other classes as well, as you can see many fullcasters can be god tiers on all tiers there hence the reason they are tier 1 on the regular tier list

Without derailing the thread, the discussion was not really meant to be martial caster disparity, which frankly is my problem with the other list. The other list is about flexibility. We have that list already; this is meant to be a list showing which roles classes are better at in generic scenarios 1-20.

All in all I consider wizards to be tier 4 of 6 for defense. They can move up if they spend more resources but usually one will fall around there because of the weaknesses I outlined in my previous post. I feel the other classes higher in defense overall have better options through the level spectrum. Sometimes it is a different type of defense so it is hard to compare but for example arcanist with its dimensional slide and counterspelling I feel is consistently better at defense than a wizard.

I do feel that the wizard has a bit of a leg up in that positioning, arguably the most important form of defense in the game, is his specialty, but you have a point that outside of certain builds the wizard is at at disadvantage on this front against the Arcanist and Sorcerer, who are more likely to have non-spell mobility powers than the standard Divination-school wizard.

The Arcanist is probably the top of arcane full casting for defenses, what with its self-contained supply of temporary HP to make it seem bulkier than it is, dimensional slide, immediate-action counter spelling, and the option to nick one of the mobility bloodline abilities from a sorcerer as a blood arcanist.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Temeryn wrote:
ElementalXX wrote:

If anything it can be tailored around the anvil of combat roles

Tiering classes by role is how it was done at 4e

for example a wizard is god tier on :Hammer/Anvil/Arm

An archer ranger/fighter/monk is god tier on : Hammer

it can apply to other classes as well, as you can see many fullcasters can be god tiers on all tiers there hence the reason they are tier 1 on the regular tier list

Without derailing the thread, the discussion was not really meant to be martial caster disparity, which frankly is my problem with the other list. The other list is about flexibility. We have that list already; this is meant to be a list showing which roles classes are better at in generic scenarios 1-20.

All in all I consider wizards to be tier 4 of 6 for defense. They can move up if they spend more resources but usually one will fall around there because of the weaknesses I outlined in my previous post. I feel the other classes higher in defense overall have better options through the level spectrum. Sometimes it is a different type of defense so it is hard to compare but for example arcanist with its dimensional slide and counterspelling I feel is consistently better at defense than a wizard.

I do feel that the wizard has a bit of a leg up in that positioning, arguably the most important form of defense in the game, is his specialty, but you have a point that outside of certain builds the wizard is at at disadvantage on this front against the Arcanist and Sorcerer, who are more likely to have non-spell mobility powers than the standard Divination-school wizard.

The Arcanist is probably the top of arcane full casting for defenses, what with its self-contained supply of temporary HP to make it seem bulkier than it is, dimensional slide, immediate-action counter spelling, and the option to nick one of the mobility bloodline abilities from a sorcerer as a blood arcanist.

Also a Blade Adept arcanist+Battle oracle vmc can make a single class Eldritch Knight. On top of that, the Blade adept gains access to Magus Arcana which are decidedly very geared toward combat.

If you want to just leave straight Arcanist, he can easily focus on transmutation spells and make himself a giant and have his rather powerful Black Blade to hit things with... or make it a whip and you now have a Giant Whip user... with regenration....


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Temeryn wrote:
ElementalXX wrote:

If anything it can be tailored around the anvil of combat roles

Tiering classes by role is how it was done at 4e

for example a wizard is god tier on :Hammer/Anvil/Arm

An archer ranger/fighter/monk is god tier on : Hammer

it can apply to other classes as well, as you can see many fullcasters can be god tiers on all tiers there hence the reason they are tier 1 on the regular tier list

Without derailing the thread, the discussion was not really meant to be martial caster disparity, which frankly is my problem with the other list. The other list is about flexibility. We have that list already; this is meant to be a list showing which roles classes are better at in generic scenarios 1-20.

All in all I consider wizards to be tier 4 of 6 for defense. They can move up if they spend more resources but usually one will fall around there because of the weaknesses I outlined in my previous post. I feel the other classes higher in defense overall have better options through the level spectrum. Sometimes it is a different type of defense so it is hard to compare but for example arcanist with its dimensional slide and counterspelling I feel is consistently better at defense than a wizard.

I do feel that the wizard has a bit of a leg up in that positioning, arguably the most important form of defense in the game, is his specialty, but you have a point that outside of certain builds the wizard is at at disadvantage on this front against the Arcanist and Sorcerer, who are more likely to have non-spell mobility powers than the standard Divination-school wizard.

The Arcanist is probably the top of arcane full casting for defenses, what with its self-contained supply of temporary HP to make it seem bulkier than it is, dimensional slide, immediate-action counter spelling, and the option to nick one of the mobility bloodline abilities from a sorcerer as a blood arcanist.

I would say with the list, it is easier to see my thought process with similar types of classes. We agree about the defensive abilities of arcane classes and that is why arcanist is a tier higher (sorcerer did not quite make it).

The combat classes put higher were difficult but basically it had to do with having stronger defense throughout 1-20. At the higher levels arcane casters have strong defense (given time) but still have some weaknesses especially if only a few buffs can be cast or the right spell is not known or prepared. The combat Classes placed higher in defense usually were very strong in defense early and don't fall off as much as the other combat classes.

Barbarian being a good example. The extremely high hp and DR (and some from rage with the right powers) are great at low levels and still good at high levels aginast other fighting classes but the superstitious huge save bonuses and ghost rager and bonuses to will and fort (from con) from rage give the barbarian the anti-caster defenses at higher level as well. This leads to its placement as hard to stop at any level.

Admittedly I placed Barbarian 2 above so its a clearer case. It is much iffier between tier 3 and the sorcerer. Alchemist for example, got there because of having the highest AC in the game early on and scaling pretty well. I would agree at higher levels their defense is probably worse than wizard/sorc eventually but I think the tipping point was such that they are put above in total. Especially considering alchemists have great defensive spells too and only at very high levels does the disparity from the casting become big enough for the sorc to make up for the alchemist built in defenses with significantly higher level spells.


Temeryn wrote:


All in all I consider wizards to be tier 4 of 6 for defense. They can move up if they spend more resources but usually one will fall around there because of the weaknesses I outlined in my previous post. I feel the other classes higher in defense overall have better options through the level spectrum. Sometimes it is a different type of defense so it is hard to compare but for example arcanist with its dimensional slide and counterspelling I feel is consistently better at defense than a wizard.

I think you'd be hard pressed to top a truly optimized Wizard's defenses after level 9. Prior to that 4 sounds about right. And at level 17, they are tier 1 defensively.


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Tier 1: Characters that are the most fun.

Tier 2: Characters that you thought would be pretty fun, but just didn't coalesce like you hoped.

Tier 3: Characters you just couldn't get into at all.

Tier 4: Character you really didn't want, but you felt like you had to fill a niche that the party wanted.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
Temeryn wrote:


All in all I consider wizards to be tier 4 of 6 for defense. They can move up if they spend more resources but usually one will fall around there because of the weaknesses I outlined in my previous post. I feel the other classes higher in defense overall have better options through the level spectrum. Sometimes it is a different type of defense so it is hard to compare but for example arcanist with its dimensional slide and counterspelling I feel is consistently better at defense than a wizard.
I think you'd be hard pressed to top a truly optimized Wizard's defenses after level 9. Prior to that 4 sounds about right. And at level 17, they are tier 1 defensively.

Well I would say an arcanist stays consistently better at defense throughout (you can make arguments on some odd levels with strong spells arcanist does not yet have) because of their extra defensive abilities.

By level 10 wizards are certainly stronger than tier 4 defensively, but some of the tier 3 are imo still better especially when considering all buffs aren't up all the time and a few rounds of buffs isn't enough for wizards to fully leverage their higher spellcasting over the 6th level casters in tier 3 who have extra defensive abilities. (I also think UnMonk at level109 will still have better defense too)

Liberty's Edge

The Crusader wrote:

Tier 1: Characters that are the most fun.

Tier 2: Characters that you thought would be pretty fun, but just didn't coalesce like you hoped.

Tier 3: Characters you just couldn't get into at all.

Tier 4: Character you really didn't want, but you felt like you had to fill a niche that the party wanted.

Tier 5: The truenamer. =p

Silver Crusade

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Snorb wrote:
The Crusader wrote:

Tier 1: Characters that are the most fun.

Tier 2: Characters that you thought would be pretty fun, but just didn't coalesce like you hoped.

Tier 3: Characters you just couldn't get into at all.

Tier 4: Character you really didn't want, but you felt like you had to fill a niche that the party wanted.

Tier 5: The truenamer. =p

Tier 6: CW Samurai


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Temeryn wrote:

The problem with the linked tier and the one that people always talk about is that it is very much a utility tier list by definition and does not separate combat and utility.

For example, Paladin has solid utility but its not huge and it is the strongest combat class 1-20 in my opinion and cannot be reflected in the old tier list method. It is put as 4 which is ridiculous.

Thing is paladin was tier 4 when that list came out, but pathfinder improved upon the old paladin by a huge margin.

The old tier list shouldn't be used with pathfinder, not because it is flawed, but because it lists the tiers from a different game.


PF Paladin is still Tier 4 by the JaronK style tiering. It's a high tier 4 but indeed tier 4.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
PF Paladin is still Tier 4 by the JaronK style tiering. It's a high tier 4 but indeed tier 4.

Not really; PF paladin got better saves, better smite, ability to remove afflictions and break enchantments, better healing, more uses of smite, immune to more things, have auras that buff allies, detect evil was expanded, better damage, more durable mount, can identify magic, better spells and an actual capstone. Tier 3 now. Low tier 3 (IMO) but tier 3.

Personally, I do think it should still be Better. Giving it 4 skill points per level and their mount gets half-celestial eventually.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
PF Paladin is still Tier 4 by the JaronK style tiering. It's a high tier 4 but indeed tier 4.

Not really; PF paladin got better saves, better smite, ability to remove afflictions and break enchantments, more uses of smite, immune to more things, have auras that buff allies, detect evil was expanded, better damage, more durable mount, can identify magic, better spells and an actual capstone. Tier 3 now. Low tier 3 (IMO) but tier 3.

Personally, I do think it should still be Better. Giving it 4 skill points per level and their mount gets half-celestial eventually.

It is usually placed in tier 4 though I guess you could make an argument for tier 3. The issue is whichever of those you place it in, if paladin got an additional +10 damage per level on all attacks it would not move up because that tier list is all about flexibility, especially in ideal circumstances. Fundamentally, its about how given enough time, a mid-high level wizard can prepare for a specific known quantity and solve it at least as well as anyone else.

I have a lot of issues with this tiering system which is why I jumped on this thread at the chance to show the OP's requested style of tier list.

Unfortunately I am incapable of doing the skill floors and ceilings because I just cannot decide how incompetent the floor is and how ridiculous (and probably banned in my games) the ceiling is.

An example of this issue would be sorcerer vs wizard. A terrible player would be better at wizard because if they pick something dumb they can change their minds later. A pretty good player will pick solid spells and sorcerer will be better but a GREAT wizard might have all the spells needed for a particular day but an EVEN BETTER sorcerer will pick spells that don't conflict and have UMD for the fringe cases the wizard would have an advantage at and therefore have the edge case spells and the awesome bloodline arcanas and greater spells per day. It can ramp up or down infinitely in either direction to even something like all the spell choices made are so garbage and the sorc gets more free abilities so is better...


Temeryn wrote:


It is usually placed in tier 4 though I guess you could make an argument for tier 3. The issue is whichever of those you place it in, if paladin got an additional +10 damage per level on all attacks it would not move up because that tier list is all about flexibility, especially in ideal circumstances. Fundamentally, its about how given enough time, a mid-high level wizard can prepare for a specific known quantity and solve it at least as well as anyone else.

Umm... Only one of the things I mentioned were increased damage... Paladins can now do things decently other than just dealing damage. It's useful in many many situations, not just 1 like barbarian.


Snorb wrote:

The Cynical Tier List:

Tier 1: Wizards and Clerics

Tier 2: Everybody Else

HEY!

You forgot druids in Tier 1. You can't leave out the D part of CoDzilla

Not as great a spell list most of the time, but even as pure casters they have pretty great options (such as turning into elementals 24/7 for DR 5, a bunch of immunities, and maybe a unique movement; also if they mostly stay as elementals, they might as well get armor and maybe weapons for that form). Wildshape is long and often enough to make up the slight difference in versatility.

Even more so if you go with preerrata animal soul, which allowed them to cast atavism (the "+2 to EVERYTHING" spell- including spell DCs and saves) which appearantly stacked with wildshape. ...and that might be why animal soul was effectively replaced with an entirely different feat.


Indeed, THAT Tier List [which clearly isn't the one this thread is about] essentially goes something like this

Wizard > Cleric = Witch > Druid > Everything else [Shaman >=?Arcanist > Oracle > Sorcerer > Summoner > Everything else]


Everything in pathfinder sucks at defense if it can't:
- Negate damage
- Remove the party or themselves from danger
- Use a swift or immediate action (or control another creature) to save itself
- Come back to life
- Doesn't rely on armor/items alone
- Can survive many environments

Those are the standards set right now in a practical application of abilities. Defense is survival, and that is how you survive.

Offense needs to consider:
- Initiative
- Action Economy
- Stopping Power
- Range of effectiveness
- Desperation for feats

Almost all classes are good at offense in pathfinder, and the worst can't get their feat chains going until late and can't get into position to do their combat style's damage. And ultimately the game edges so close to one-hit encounters so often that initiative is critical for offense.

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