Archery help


So I'm wanting to make an archer. I plan on taking the Deadeye Bowman trait to make it so improved precise isn't as important.
But I'm wanting some outside suggestions on which to do.

For all of these I plan on starting with 1 level of Primal Hunter Barbarian.

Ilsurian archer Ranger

Mutation Warrior fighter

Weapon master fighter

Zen Archer

Champion Spirit Medium

Molthuni arsenal chaplain Warpriest

Which do you think would be the best one to choose?

Barb/zen archer has an obvious alignment issue. If that's not going to be a problem in your game, it's very viable. Point Blank Master at character level 4 and trick shot at level 12 make you almost always able to make archery the answer to a combat problem.

Champion Spirit Medium has the most options when archery isn't the answer though. Their dash of spellcasting, the champion spirit free exotic weapon and of course the ability to drop 'Champion' means that they can do other stuff. This is probably the one I'd choose.

Zen Archer 4 the win-- good saves, built in feats, unarmed aofos, early built in feats without prerequisites, etc.

Silver Crusade

I LOVE the Zen Archer with a single LvL Dip into Ranger (Guide) for Wands of CLW and Gravity Bow. The Guide Archtype Helps with its mini Smite.

Personally I don't think a 1 level dip in barbarian is useful. Not even the Primal Hunter (though I'm unclear about whether their version of rage keeps the normal strength and con bonus while raging, as well as gaining a +2 to ranged attacks).

Zen Archer is strong for getting a lot of your feats quickly, but it's flurry ends up largely wasted if you multiclass. Still you can take Rapid Shot and Manyshot to make up for it.

I'm a big fan of Ranger or Inquisitor to build an archer.

Barbarian is less useful for an archer. You must get an Adaptive bow to make the strength buff work, and you can't get Furious on a ranged weapon (which is the big payoff for a 1-level dip). Urban Barbarian does give you the option of raging for Dex instead of Str, so that's helpful. (I'm not familiar with the Primal Hunter.) But if you want to be able to combine any barbarian with Zen Archer, you have to take all your Zen Archer levels first, then take your barbarian levels.

For the rest of it, it honestly depends on what you want to do with your character and what level you are building for.

If you're only thinking of damage, I've done a level by level breakdown of Zen Archer and Weapon Master Fighter. At lower levels, Zen Archer does the most damage. Around levels 4-6, Weapon Master fighter starts to pulls ahead, and it gets further and further ahead through level 12.

With the new Dedicated Adversary feat, the favored enemy bonus of the ranger is available to everyone. (I actually like doing a Brawler level and using Martial Flexibility to learn Dedicated Adversary as a move action--your GM might not allow that, though.)

But while they all make perfectly effective archers, Ranger, Inquisitor, Eldritch Archer Magus, Zen Archer, and Fighter are all completely different characters with different abilities. I'd focus more on what you want your character to do when you're not shooting, then choose your build around that.

Just to throw it out there, an urban barb is a fine archer because they can add mod to dex or strength. Add to that they have full BAB and they work pretty well, not the best but worthy. If you grab a scimitar you could switch hit based off one attribute if you wanted to. So don't discount the barb or barb dips.

Primal hunter keeps the str and con bonuses as well as getting a +2 to ranged attack rolls. So it's +2 to attack and damage for a 1 lv dip. Plus getting the the nice HP for level 1.

Ilsurian archer Ranger gets half his FE bonus against everyone, so at lv5 it's a +2 to attack and damage to everything and you have a mount and lots of sills.

Mutation Warrior fighter gets the feats fast and gets a fairly long duration of either +2 damage or +2 to hit. As well as getting weapon training at lv5 for the +1 to attack and damage and no skills

Weapon master fighter gets weapon training faster still no skills

Zen Archer this one gets an extra attack when spending ki, but has no other class attack or damage boosters.

Champion Spirit Medium this has lower bab than the others, but has good damage boost per arrow and at lv6 gets a free extra attack.

Molthuni arsenal chaplain Warpriest gets lots of feats and weapon training like a fighter and can fervor for divine favor for damage, it also has the lower bab though and no skills.

Scarab Sages

If you have an Inquisitor's Solo Tactics or the Fighter Advanced weapon training that allows the same, Friendly Fire Maneuvers serves the same use as Improved Precise Shot, and gives you a +4 to saves vs friendly spells. This might be more useful than Deadeye Bowman.

that's a feat or two and many levels without instead of a trait though. Yes it's better, but I feel it's not the biggest thing to base a choice off of.

Silver Crusade

I am a big fan of Zen Archer. I would do a 3 level or 6 level dip, or go full out (picking up Evangelist Prestige class worshipping Erastil, along the way).

If going for the 3-6 level dips, I would hit up Sanctified Slayer/Preacher Inquisitor after.

Zen Archer is my favorite Archer build in Pathfinder, if for nothing else that it lets you ignore prerequisites for bonus feats and it gets point blank master before anyone else can. Also, if you GM is nice they'll let you use Reflexive Shot and Point Blank Master serve as a prerequisite for Improved Snap Shot (I personally would). An archer who doesn't provoke and can threaten out to 15' is hilarious.

Just 10' Cabbage, it got nerfed in errata.

That's what I get for buying books that are made from dead trees.

The first levels of zen archer is pretty rough, you probably can't afford a decent bow, and most of what makes your build uber doesn't kick in until 2nd or 3rd level. From level 3 - 8 its pretty uber. I can't comment after that as I multiclassed to sorc 1 and arcane archer. (Which has also been really fun for an all wisdom based build.)

Personally I chose Zen Archer with 3 levels of Weapon Master Fighter. Then I increased the weapon training by 2 with Gloves of Dueling. I also chose Qinggong for the ability to cast Barkskin. The drawback is you delay access to the Ki Leech Qinggong ability which considering the # of attack dice you are rolling at that level may as well read unlimited Ki.

Your desire to go barbarian does not mesh at all with zen archer like many in this forum have suggested.

Barb meshes just fine with Zen in the game I'm going to be playing it in. If it wouldn't I wouldn't have put it as one of my options.

It seems like everyone is suggesting going Zen for an archer, but the reason I've seen is the better will save and the early entry for a few feats. Is that really all it takes?

What would you chose if zen wasn't an option?

A two level dip into Feral Hunter (an always on +2 stat bonus, Precise Shot, Wild Empathy, Track (+1 to survival to track) is a nice alternative to Zen Archer.

so that's a +1 to attack or damage and 1 free feat. That doesn't seem like as good of an options as other classes.

Scarab Sages

Chess Pwn wrote:
so that's a +1 to attack or damage and 1 free feat. That doesn't seem like as good of an options as other classes.

It also has access to first level hunter spells, so Gravity Bow and Aspect of the Falcon are good buff spells for archers.

ranger/monk multiclass is good. zen archer plus infiltrator/divine tracker for archetypes. lots of feats (regular plus bonus class) w ability to bypass prerequisites, bow flurry, monk saves, access to war priest blessings from divine tracker, buff powers from infiltrator, good AC w or without armor, rangers spells, bonus archery feats from zen archer and favored enemy. I run him with clustered shot and the reckless aim feat, nobility and good blessings for uber to-hit and damage, but snapshot w air domain or pb master also viable to make the bow act like a melee weapon.

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