Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel: Kurald Galain's Guide to the Magus


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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Added capstones from Chronicle of Legends, note on VMC + Phantom Blade, and Occultist dip.

Ed Reppert wrote:
Any thoughts yet on how best to approximate a Magus in PF2?

That is unlikely, as currently none of the groups I play in have expressed an interest in switching.


On your note in the VMC magus section, you say that it It's of more value to those with magus class levels, but I think you mean magus class features.

Also you mention spell blending which I don't think anyone except a magus can actually benefit from due to an FAQ.
A good one to use as an example might be wand wielder or something else that requires spell combat.


Kurald Galain wrote:


deuxhero wrote:
The familiar boosting is also an option for capstones, but it takes a wizard/sorcerer/arcanist to utilize the full potential (Wish as SLA) of that.
Case in point. Yeah, that probably wasn't intentional.

At this point this use is so infamous that "Can I pick a spell with expensive components with this?" is the default question that should come up when giving an ability that offers a choice of SLA.


The Conductive enchantment should be higher tiered, at least green if not blue. A Hexcrafter would be scary with that ability cause every turn I could both hit with a Hex and a Spell at full BAB. If I grab more hexes then I could spend a different one every turn to incapacitate my enemy before a coup de grace and moving on, repeating the process. And since hexes have a limitless amount of uses so long as you have more targets, I will never run out, unlike spells. On top of that, its DC rises to match my HD and remains relevant at higher levels. Throw in the Accursed Hex feat and I can spam the same hexes twice at an enemy, doubling the chance that a hex will work against them.

The fact that Gnomes can add it to a Blackblade is even more nasty.


pfsrd wrote:
A conductive weapon is able to channel the energy of a spell-like or supernatural ability that relies on a melee or ranged touch attack...

The bolded line is why you can't spam hexes. Most of the hexes you'd like to use don't require an attack roll and so can't be channeled through a conductive weapon.


^Not only that, but usually you can't use a Hex and cast a spell in the same round. You COULD cast an Immediate/Swift Action spell and then use a Hex if you can find one that uses an attack roll, but spells that are intrinsically Immediate/Swift Action are few and far in between, and Quicken Spell becomes viable only for a Magus of at least 13th level unless you spend some serious specialization to pull it off with a lower spell level cost.


Zinoth of Chaos wrote:
The Conductive enchantment should be higher tiered, at least green if not blue. A Hexcrafter would be scary with that ability cause every turn I could both hit with a Hex and a Spell at full BAB.

I was going to reply to this but ...

baggageboy wrote:
pfsrd wrote:
A conductive weapon is able to channel the energy of a spell-like or supernatural ability that relies on a melee or ranged touch attack...
The bolded line is why you can't spam hexes. Most of the hexes you'd like to use don't require an attack roll and so can't be channeled through a conductive weapon.

... you beat me to it.

I checked this a while ago and the only hex with a melee attack roll was the BLIGHT HEX which isn't exactly stellar.

I believe there's a way to make this work with the Prehensile Hair Hex (or a racial natural attack or something) and Feral Combat Teaining, but it takes a bunch of feats.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
^Not only that, but usually you can't use a Hex and cast a spell in the same round.

The idea is that you use Spell Combat to cast a spell and make a full attack. Using your Conductive weapon you channel the Hex as a free action.

If it worked it'd be amazing.


^While looking up Conductive to see if the action economy would work, I noticed another problem: You have to be able to expend 2 uses of whatever ability you are conducting. Problem is that Hex doesn't have 2 uses -- in most cases, it has 1 use per target, and in most of the remaining cases, it has some passive ability, while in a few cases you get some amount of time (usually rounds or minutes), and in a very few cases you get one use per day.


There is one way to get both a hex and a full spell combat routine, but it relies on a gm call allowing you to take hex strike. If you can take hex strike you can deliver a hex with a melee attack via an unarmed strike as a swift action. So you take hex atrike, and hit with the unarmed strike, deliver your hex as a swift action and then complete the rest of the spell combat routine.

You can be brutal if you combine this with enforcer as well.

Start your routing with a hit to do non-leathal damage. Intimidate as a free action, deliver evil eye as a swift action applying a penalty to saves. Hit again and deliver your spell now with -4 to saves.. Your gm will hate you very quickly.


Conductive requires 2 uses only for abilities that have limited uses (Ex: Channel Energy). Its why things like Warlock or Kinetic Blast is so good with it.

Question how good would an Ashtifah dip be? I feel like it might be yellow or green do to basically at will lesser invisivility.


Rules As Written, Hex Strike should work for a Hexcrafter Magus who has taken any Hex plus Improved Unarmed Strike.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Rules As Written, Hex Strike should work for a Hexcrafter Magus who has taken any Hex plus Improved Unarmed Strike.

I absolutely agree, but a lot of people rule that the hexcrafter magus doesn't have the "hex class feature" which is a prerequisite for hex strike.


That seems weird, since Hexcrafter Magus can pick up Hexes, and DOESN'T have the text that VMC Witch has that says "never qualifies for the Extra Hex feat" (and Extra Hex has "Hex class feature" as its prerequisite).


It's a dumb stance, but I've seen it a lot of times.


baggageboy wrote:
It's a dumb stance, but I've seen it a lot of times.

I agree.

There's an FAQ about whether this kind of thing works that I 100% think means it works (the example they give are a Paladin's "Channel POSITIVE Energy" counting as "Channel Energy"), but my search-fu is really terrible today =P


Regardless, here's another Example of how you can have fun with the hexstrike(evil eye) and enforcer combo.

Striker Debuff:
-Cast Bestow Curse
-Move to opponent to mark
-Unarmed strike the opponent (nonlethal) delivering curse for -4 to saves
-Free action intimidate -2 to saves (total now -6)
-Swift action evil eye far another -2 to saves (-8 total)
-Wait for party wizard to petrify.
-Repeat

The best part about all of that is that intimidate is nearly unavoidable against someone who's invested much into it, and evil eye is unavoidable for at least 1 round even if they make their save. Your friend you liked save or die spells is going to love you.

With a single level dip into brawler you can do all of that while still having your weapon in hand. Also you can use martial flexibility to pick up hexstrike of other hexes as you need them.


Shouldn't Evil Eye go first to guarantee they fail to save against the curse?

Also the Hex feat to get another try would just wreck these target.

Target: "Yes! I passed my save it's only for 1 round"

Hexcrafter: "Hahahah, nope." *punches the guy and it fails the save due to all the other penalties/curses.*


Well when you hit them you deliver the spell, no actions required or allowed. Enforcer and hex strike both require actions and so you have to do them after unfortunately.

If you're doing the spell combat routine though you can totally hit once to use enforcer and hex stike, then cast the spell and hit again to deliver it. It's definitely better that way, but that's a full action so no moving in.


MrCharisma wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
It's a dumb stance, but I've seen it a lot of times.

I agree.

There's an FAQ about whether this kind of thing works that I 100% think means it works (the example they give are a Paladin's "Channel POSITIVE Energy" counting as "Channel Energy"), but my search-fu is really terrible today =P

FAQ


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
It's a dumb stance, but I've seen it a lot of times.

I agree.

There's an FAQ about whether this kind of thing works that I 100% think means it works (the example they give are a Paladin's "Channel POSITIVE Energy" counting as "Channel Energy"), but my search-fu is really terrible today =P

FAQ

Thanks.

I I could have sworn there was one with different examples, but oh well.

(TLDR: Hex Magus = Hex)


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Ah I found it. It's not an FAQ but it's from someone who was on the design team.

And that means things like Improved Channel and Alignment Channel and Extra Channel should apply equally to the cleric, life oracle, and paladin .... Because to do otherwise means we need different versions of these feats for oracles and paladins because under the strictest interpretation, neither of them has a class ability that's specifically and explicitly named "channel energy;" and three sets of redundant identical feats for clerics, oracles, and paladins is lame and a waste of space.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

Scarab Sages

I’m a fan of that post from SKR. He’s talking about game design philosophy. Unfortunately, the PDT doesn’t always stick to that philosophy. There are plenty of examples that are contrary to it, and even some that have been explicitly called out in FAQs to be contrary to the idea. Like Investigators and wand use, for example.

As much as I would like the linked FAQ to clear things up, I don’t think it does. Hex Magus doesn’t say that it works like or counts as the Witch’s Hex feature. It just says you can select a Hex that’s available from that class feature.

The FAQ is also talking about archetypes replacing their base class features. It’s not clear anywhere in there that it applies to an archetype ability from a different class.

It’s certainly reasonable to conclude that’s how it works and to allow it for Hex Magus, but it’s definitely not clear that is the case based on the way other situations have been ruled (see again Investigator and wands).


That linked FAQ is talking about changing an ability for example: Weapon Training into Bow Training. It is not however about gaining things from other classes.

Personally, I would say it works due to the having a similar wording to Paladin Channel Positive Energy. If Hexcrafter would not be allowed the use of Hex Feats, then the Paladin would not be allowed access to Channel feats and vice versa. (Do notice how both say, "use X class levels as your effective levels of Y class".

************
In the case of Inquisitors, they redefined Alchemy and used the statement, "like an alchemist you can do X"; not, "you get the alchemy class feature as using your level as Alchemist levels". A big clue should had been the lack of mentioning Bombs or Mutagen, both of which are part of the Alchemist Alchemy feature, but "detailed" in another section for presentation.

Scarab Sages

I don’t want to debate Alchemy on a Magus thread (Bombs and Mutagen are definitely separate class features and can be altered or replaced without affecting Alchemy).

A better parallel might be Flamboyant Arcana and Arcane Deed pre-eratta. You have deeds, but they’re really still Arcanas, and you can’t take feats that require deeds. Everyone assumed your Magus level still counted as swashbuckler level for the deeds you did have, and that Arcane pool points counted as having panache in your pool for the deeds you had. But those things ended up not being the case.

My point is, crazier things have happened in the rules, so it’s entirely possible Hexcrafters can’t take Hex feats. We’re unlikely to ever get an answer on that, so ask your GM. Or if it’s for PFS, weigh whether you’re ok showing up to a table and possibly not being allowed to use the feat.

If the Hexes are really Arcana, as Hex Arcana seems to imply, then Hex feats wouldn’t work (but Arcana feats would). So that makes it moot in terms of Extra Hex. If that doesn’t work, then Extra Arcana should. But it’s less clear for things like Hex Strike.


Okay the Arcane Deed arcana is a more compelling argument against it. To that The only counters are: 1 you had to go through an arcana to get the deed, while hexcrafter gets the Hex directly; and, at least 1 of your Hexes gets full Magus == Witch levels, there is a possible debate on that due to Hex Arcana not having the Magus lv == Witch level wording.

************
I know not to debate Alchemy but:

Alchemy (Su):
Alchemists are not only masters of creating mundane alchemical substances...

An alchemist can create three special types of magical items—extracts, bombs, and mutagens. Bombs are explosive splash weapons, and mutagens are transformative elixirs that the alchemist drinks to enhance his physical abilities—both of these are detailed in their own sections below.

Also you can always replace multiple parts of an ability without affecting the rest.

It's why Bladebound and Spell Dancer should be able to stack (even if people dont think so).

*************
Btw speaking of stacking, do you all think Eldritch Scion stacks with any archetype that doesn't replace Arcane Pool? And how useful is it really, I'm still not quite sure whether it's worth it or not.

Scarab Sages

Alchemy:
I stand corrected. I should have said Extracts, which is the section of Alchemy under which the spell-trigger items line appears. Spell-trigger items and Investigators was something that a lot of people assumed worked until the FAQ, including Mark Seifter, who did work on the book (Though I think Bulmahn did the Investigator).This wasn't meant as a reason why Hexcrafter shouldn't get to take Hex feats, just an example of where something was assumed by a majority of players (on the boards at least) only to be ruled differently by the PDT.

Bladebound/Spell Dancer - I'll disagree with you there as well. Arcane Pool doesn't break out the individual pieces in the way something like Bardic Performance does. Both Bladebound and Spell Dancer modify Arcane Pool, which is a single class feature. Remember even adding an option to a class feature and taking nothing away counts as modifying it and means you can't take a different archetype that modifies the class feature in any way.

FAQ wrote:

Archetype Stacking and Altering: What exactly counts as altering a class feature for the purpose of stacking archetypes?

In general, if a class feature grants multiple subfeatures, it’s OK to take two archetypes that only change two separate subfeatures. This includes two bard archetypes that alter or replace different bardic performances (even though bardic performance is technically a single class feature) or two fighter archetypes that replace the weapon training gained at different levels (sometimes referred to as “weapon training I, II, III, or IV”) even though those all fall under the class feature weapon training. However, if something alters the way the parent class feature works, such as a mime archetype that makes all bardic performances completely silent, with only visual components instead of auditory, you can’t take that archetype with an archetype that alters or replaces any of the sub-features. This even applies for something as small as adding 1 extra round of bardic performance each day, adding an additional bonus feat to the list of bonus feats you can select, or adding an additional class skill to the class. As always, individual GMs should feel free to houserule to allow small overlaps on a case by case basis, but the underlying rule exists due to the unpredictability of combining these changes.

Bladebound changes the number of Arcane Pool points. That's changing the way the entire class feature works in the same way that adding a round of bardic performance is changing that class feature.

Back to the Hex Magus topic... somewhere there is designer comment on another class feature that gives you one thing from a different class. I can't remember what it was, which is hampering my ability to search and find it. When I've had more (any) sleep, I'll look for it. Basically the designer said you get 1 "X," not the whole class feature. But I'll track it down eventually rather than expect you to take my word for it.


Man I remembered that FAQ poorly, I am sorry. Only remembered the first part where it says different sub-features can be exchanged. Still curious about Eldritch Scion given what it states.

Good luck with the search.


Well, Eldritch Scion modifies or replaces Spellcasting, Spell Recall (although strangely not improved Spell Recall), Arcane Pool, Spell Combat, Knowledge Pool, Improved Spell Combat, and Greater Spell Combat. Most Magus archetypes modify or replace some of these things. So as far as I know the guide is correct in saying that only Staff Magus stacks with Eldritch Scion, but I haven't exhaustively searched the most recently introduced archetypes for compatible ones.


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Temperans wrote:

Okay the Arcane Deed arcana is a more compelling argument against it. To that The only counters are: 1 you had to go through an arcana to get the deed, while hexcrafter gets the Hex directly; and, at least 1 of your Hexes gets full Magus == Witch levels, there is a possible debate on that due to Hex Arcana not having the Magus lv == Witch level wording.

************
I know not to debate Alchemy but: ** spoiler omitted **Also you can always replace multiple parts of an ability without affecting the rest.

It's why Bladebound and Spell Dancer should be able to stack (even if people dont think so).

*************
Btw speaking of stacking, do you all think Eldritch Scion stacks with any archetype that doesn't replace Arcane Pool? And how useful is it really, I'm still not quite sure whether it's worth it or not.

I feel the FAQ was a stealth errata for balance reasons, not a ruling on RAW.

RAI, there is no way they originally meant for the feat to do nothing.

They gave the magus level based precision damage, then realized what that meant for an already high DPR class and nuked the entire thing rather than try to refine it.


Ferious Thune wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Bladebound/Spell Dancer - I'll disagree with you there as well. Arcane Pool doesn't break out the individual pieces in the way something like Bardic Performance does. Both Bladebound and Spell Dancer modify Arcane Pool, which is a single class feature. Remember even adding an option to a class feature and taking nothing away counts as modifying it and means you can't take a different archetype that modifies the class feature in any way.

FAQ wrote:

Archetype Stacking and Altering: What exactly counts as altering a class feature for the purpose of stacking archetypes?

In general, if a class feature grants multiple subfeatures, it’s OK to take two archetypes that only change two separate subfeatures. This includes two bard archetypes that alter or replace different bardic performances (even though bardic performance is technically a single class feature) or two fighter archetypes that replace the weapon training gained at different levels (sometimes referred to as “weapon training I, II, III, or IV”) even though those all fall under the class feature weapon training. However, if something alters the way the parent class feature works, such as a mime archetype that makes all bardic performances completely silent, with only visual components instead of auditory, you can’t take that archetype with an archetype that alters or replaces any of the sub-features. This even applies for something as small as adding 1 extra round of bardic
...

Bladebound does not modify the Arcana class feature, it only replaces one sub-feature. The magi's 3rd level arcana.

This is why Bladebound stacks with Kensai, which replaces the magi's 9th level arcana.

FAQ wrote:

Archetype Stacking and Altering: What exactly counts as altering a class feature for the purpose of stacking archetypes?

In general, if a class feature grants multiple subfeatures, it’s OK to take two archetypes that only change two separate subfeatures. This includes two bard archetypes that alter or replace different bardic performances (even though bardic performance is technically a single class feature) or two fighter archetypes that replace the weapon training gained at different levels (sometimes referred to as “weapon training I, II, III, or IV”) even though those all fall under the class feature weapon training. However, if something alters the way the parent class feature works, such as a mime archetype that makes all bardic performances completely silent, with only visual components instead of auditory, you can’t take that archetype with an archetype that alters or replaces any of the sub-features. This even applies for something as small as adding 1 extra round of bardic performance each day, adding an additional bonus feat to the list of bonus feats you can select, or adding an additional class skill to the class. As always, individual GMs should feel free to houserule to allow small overlaps on a case by case basis, but the underlying rule exists due to the unpredictability of combining these changes.


Magus arcana and arcane pool are two different class features. Bladebound replaces just one of the arcana, yes, but it also changes the arcane pool. Spell dancer changes the arcane pool too.

Bladebound: 'This ability changes the Arcane Pool class feature...'
Spell dancer: 'This ability replaces the magus’s ability to expend points from his arcane pool as a swift action...'


Yep I misremembered the FAQ, and believed changing the number of points and changing the enchanment ability stacked. But it doesn't and I was wrong. Still Eldritch Scion has that weird clause.


baggageboy wrote:
If you'd like to discuss the Phantom Blade more I'd love to but that's a overview. Here's a link to a Phantom Blade specific guide. I don't agree with everything in it, but it does do a decent job of looking at the class.

Well, as the author of this guide, if you'd like to share the controversial points, I'll be glad to hear them.

Phantom Blade is a bit hard to compare in terms of efficiency with Magus, mainly, as I said in the guide, because the spell list is so vastly different that you end to have a different role in party than a Magus has.

I've played the Phantom Blade as a tank, for exemple, and I was fully satisfied of it.
I remember even my DM saying once that he should perhaps remove some of my spells because I was litteraly soloing some encounters without the help of my teamates.

Well... at the same time, after I defeated a boss in a single round by combining Ethereal Weapon, Spell Strike and Plane Shift... I could understand him.


Moonheart wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
If you'd like to discuss the Phantom Blade more I'd love to but that's a overview. Here's a link to a Phantom Blade specific guide. I don't agree with everything in it, but it does do a decent job of looking at the class.

Well, as the author of this guide, if you'd like to share the controversial points, I'll be glad to hear them.

Phantom Blade is a bit hard to compare in terms of efficiency with Magus, mainly, as I said in the guide, because the spell list is so vastly different that you end to have a different role in party than a Magus has.

I've played the Phantom Blade as a tank, for exemple, and I was fully satisfied of it.
I remember even my DM saying once that he should perhaps remove some of my spells because I was litteraly soloing some encounters without the help of my teamates.

Well... at the same time, after I defeated a boss in a single round by combining Ethereal Weapon, Spell Strike and Plane Shift... I could understand him.

Interesting: while the spell is on the spiritualist spell list, it is not listed as a spiritualist spell on the pfsrd.


Yes, the list on pfsrd is very incomplete.
That's sad because the Phantom Blade get some truly interesting touch spells like Plane Shift, Harm and Bestow Curse.

I usualy use D20pfsrd as a reference instead.


Moonheart wrote:

Yes, the list on pfsrd is very incomplete.

That's sad because the Phantom Blade get some truly interesting touch spells like Plane Shift, Harm and Bestow Curse.

I usualy use D20pfsrd as a reference instead.

That is what I was referring to.

AoN has it listed correctly, but looking up spells there is not quite as easy.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Temperans wrote:
Btw speaking of stacking, do you all think Eldritch Scion stacks with any archetype that doesn't replace Arcane Pool? And how useful is it really, I'm still not quite sure whether it's worth it or not.

It's worth it because several bloodline abilities are very powerful. For example, Aberrant gives you reach, lets you stagger on a crit and makes you immune to nauseating, exhaustion, and 50% of critical hits. Arcane bloodline gives you three strong buff spells at the same time for a swift action, and lets you take extra opportunity attacks. Or, the Destined bloodline gives you a large luck bonus to AC and saves, reroll one attack every two rounds and gain insight bonuses to more attacks, automatically confirms crits, and lets you make a saving throw to negate being killed.

The main downsides are lack of skill points, and that you effectively cannot use any arcana that cost pool points.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
They gave the magus level based precision damage, then realized what that meant for an already high DPR class and nuked the entire thing rather than try to refine it.

Right. Magus + precise strike was a problem, Magus + basically any other swashbuckler deed was not. Unfortunately they overnerfed the Arcane Deed arcana, making it entirely useless. At least Flamboyant Arcana is still good.

Moonheart wrote:
Well... at the same time, after I defeated a boss in a single round by combining Ethereal Weapon, Spell Strike and Plane Shift... I could understand him.

So what you're saying is you cast a save-or-lose spell on the boss, and he failed his save. While that's certainly effective tactics, it doesn't say anything about the Phantom Blade :)

It's still a good archetype though; I rate it green when compared to baseline Magus.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Moonheart wrote:

Yes, the list on pfsrd is very incomplete.

That's sad because the Phantom Blade get some truly interesting touch spells like Plane Shift, Harm and Bestow Curse.

I usualy use D20pfsrd as a reference instead.

That is what I was referring to.

AoN has it listed correctly, but looking up spells there is not quite as easy.

It is referenced in d200fsrd. Here: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spell-lists-and-domains/spiritualist/#TOC-5t h-Level-Spiritualist-Spells-Paizo-


Moonheart wrote:

{. . .}

It is referenced in d200fsrd. Here: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spell-lists-and-domains/spiritualist/#TOC-5t h-Level-Spiritualist-Spells-Paizo-

Linkified for your convenience (strangely, the forums DIDN'T break the link).


Moonheart wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Moonheart wrote:

Yes, the list on pfsrd is very incomplete.

That's sad because the Phantom Blade get some truly interesting touch spells like Plane Shift, Harm and Bestow Curse.

I usualy use D20pfsrd as a reference instead.

That is what I was referring to.

AoN has it listed correctly, but looking up spells there is not quite as easy.

It is referenced in d200fsrd. Here: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/spell-lists-and-domains/spiritualist/#TOC-5t h-Level-Spiritualist-Spells-Paizo-

They omitted spiritualist (and the other occult classes) here: Plane Shift


Kurald Galain wrote:
Moonheart wrote:
Well... at the same time, after I defeated a boss in a single round by combining Ethereal Weapon, Spell Strike and Plane Shift... I could understand him.

So what you're saying is you cast a save-or-lose spell on the boss, and he failed his save. While that's certainly effective tactics, it doesn't say anything about the Phantom Blade :)

It's still a good archetype though; I rate it green when compared to baseline Magus.

The reason why I decided to spend time to write a guide about the Phantom Blade is that after playing this archetype for a full campaign, I came to the conclusion that comparing it to a Magus is a bad idea itself.

In fact, the Phantom Blade is to the Magus what the Cleric is to the Wizard: Something that have in common the way they cast spells to hurt hurt opponents, and almost everything else different, including their strengths, fields of expertise, role and goals within a party.

Because of this, you cannot truly compare the two... exactly the same way you cannot say of the Cleric that you "rate it..." compared to the Wizard.
Two class can only truly be compared if they serve the same purpose... (well a class an an archetype in the present case, but you get the idea, I think)

I even truly think that you could actualy include a Phantom Blade and a Magus in the same party and that both would actualy complement each other very well.


^Interesting party concept -- I'll have to give this some more thought.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Interesting party concept -- I'll have to give this some more thought.

Some food for your thoughts, then:

The Phantom Blade can follow a Magus through a Dimensional Assault or an invisible scouting atrempt, and fight besides him.
He can cast See Invisibility, Feedom of Movement or Death Ward on the
Magus depending of what foe could appear, preventing the Magus to face problematic abilities.
He can also surround both of them with Etheric Shards, turning their surrounding into a death field for anyone getting close
Both can share a Life Pact together if they wish, and the Phantom Blade will be often closer the party healer to throw an emergency Heal on him.
The Phantom Blade brings variety of magical damage by spellstriking eith positive and negative damage spells, when the Magus does elemental damage
And all this, while they can actually perform flanking or abuse some teamwork feats...

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