Best / Strongest Archery Build


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Chess Pwn wrote:
Inlaa wrote:


Wait. Wait wait wait. How are you casting Good Hope? Warpriests don't get domain spells, right?

What is this madness?

This would help me in building a warpriest I plan on playing already - halfling warpriest, 15 point buy, has SUPER comparable damage stats while using a sling. Good Hope would be amazing to have on that build.

it's the Unique Spell Rules for deities. here is a god that grants good hope to their clerics. And in divine anthologies it was confirmed that WP count as cleric for anything they have spell levels for. Though it actually doesn't work for my example since I only get 1 lv4 spell per day and that's divine power. I mis-remembered the spell level good hope came in at.

Milani gives Good Hope as a L3 spell, your example is still accurate :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I wonder how well the Arrowsong Minstrel stacks up to these archer builds? It got the usual Bard buffing goodness that it can give out to others while it's archery should be decent as well since it can use it's Spellstrike on the first round while starting Inspire Courage and then full attacking after that.

Though I think it's DPS will be quite a bit lower than the others it can as any bard do lots of other things than simple combat.


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Blind Monkey wrote:

SO I started to look at the builds for this PFDPR calculator:

http://donovanpoe.net/pathfinder/dpr.html
And then I realized you didn't list who had Improved Criticals. Which is kind of important because it is something like a 10 DPR difference. I will guess that the fighter will get it somewhere and the monks are taking it for their 10th level bonus feat because not taking it is silly? Other than that I am just using the attack numbers listed.

For using the calculator Manyshot and things like Bane damage go into the non-critical-multiplied damage spot. The CR enemy box at the top automatically set the average AC and HP. Happens to being 24 AC at CR 10.

Fighter: 115.23
Assuming Warrior Spirit with Bane adds +3 hit and damage and 2d6: 159.89

Chaplain War Priest:
R1: 130.12
R2: 161.97
R3: 175.62
R4: 177.54

Inquisitor:
R1: 85.53
R2: 106.65
or
R1 then R2: 170.60

Zen Archer Monk: 100.11
Zen Monk Precise Strike vs an AC 24 enemy can be used on an iterative to effectively make their attack routine 18/18/18/18/14 for ten rounds. That is apparently about a 6 dpr bonus at this point.

Sohei Monk: 127.58

Medium thing: 106.75 or 112.33

Tempered Champion Paladin: 117.88

Barbarian: 89.54

Ranger: 103.88

Luring Cavalier: 123.37

Occultist: 79.43/R2: 122.01 or 72.63/R2: 114.39

So the final verdict is that casting Divine Power and Bane/Holy renders martials obsolete in the face of the Chaplain War Priest. Also Deflect Arrows vs some of these characters will block like 60-70 damage a round.

Deflect Arrows, don't leave home without it.

Hey look at that, the Inquisitor, Warpriest (Arsenal Chaplain), and Fighter are the top 3 like said. Sweet.

The Exchange

Blind Monkey wrote:

So the final verdict is that casting Divine Power and Bane/Holy renders martials obsolete in the face of the Chaplain War Priest. Also Deflect Arrows vs some of these characters will block like 60-70 damage a round.

Deflect Arrows, don't leave home without it.

Interesting Data Set/and point on Deflect Arrows, I'd wonder what the numbers look like if you assume the first shot each round is deflected?


Blind Monkey wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:
Zen Archer's damage output is not spectacular however as it lacks any form of to hit and damage bonuses.
Point: Zen Archers get Perfect Strike and are the only ones that can use it with a bow. They also can use ki to replace their bow damage with their unarmed strike damage for a round. With a Monk's Robe at level 7 they can be doing base 2d6 damage per arrow and rolling twice and using the better roll for one of their attacks.

Fighters and Warpriests can increase the base damage of their arrows without using consumable resources.


If you assume a three round combat and average the first 3 rounds Chaplain Warpriest and fighter with Warrior Spirit are around the same and everything else tapers off.


Wouldn't an inquisitor catch up rather than taper off?


Doesn't warrior spirit require a standard action activation?


Alex Mack wrote:
Doesn't warrior spirit require a standard action activation?

Apparently. It doesn't list an activation time or connect it to another action, so it should default to a standard action.

Grand Lodge

It's worth noting that the Arsenal champion could also have encouraging heroism up for a +3 on all attacks until good hope goes up. Which means you could see similar numbers on a build with more balanced stats. Though for their exercise chesspwn did a good job of sticking to a consistent level a stat optimization.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Wouldn't an inquisitor catch up rather than taper off?

Yes eventually. Poor turn of phrase on my part. The longer the combat, using the numbers posted above, the more beneficial it is to be the inquisitor or warpriest.

I don't know how Warrior Spirit works but if it takes a standard action then the warpriest is the clear victor. If it can be done as a swift action the warpriest and the fighter are more or less tied until round 5. Most combat's with this kind of damage don't last that many rounds.


I'm pretty sure it requires a standard action. So really that means the fighter isn't gonna be better of than the inquisitor.


Warrior spirit is a standard action.
That's why the WP and it's swift buffs wins. Getting a full attack off every round that ramps up to the highest DPR is more total damage then needing a full round to ramp up to the highest DPR.


Chess Pwn wrote:

Warrior spirit is a standard action.

That's why the WP and it's swift buffs wins. Getting a full attack off every round that ramps up to the highest DPR is more total damage then needing a full round to ramp up to the highest DPR.

Did you calculate the ranger holding a bane bow? If instant enemy as a swift action is a valid tactic then a bane of against the highest favored enemy is far better investment than a +2 strength belt. The belt creates one additional damage per hit and does nothing for to hit. The bane weapon give an additional +2 to hit and an additional +9 damage per hit...


Instant Enemy isn't always available for an archer, because of its close range. It's great in most dungeon settings though, because combat is often very close range there.


Chess Pwn wrote:

Warrior spirit is a standard action.

That's why the WP and it's swift buffs wins. Getting a full attack off every round that ramps up to the highest DPR is more total damage then needing a full round to ramp up to the highest DPR.

Do your numbers for the inquisitor include wood bond and Greater Magic weapon?

Warpriest also gets greater magic weapon though...


Kris Verschaeve wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Warrior spirit is a standard action.

That's why the WP and it's swift buffs wins. Getting a full attack off every round that ramps up to the highest DPR is more total damage then needing a full round to ramp up to the highest DPR.
Did you calculate the ranger holding a bane bow? If instant enemy as a swift action is a valid tactic then a bane of against the highest favored enemy is far better investment than a +2 strength belt. The belt creates one additional damage per hit and does nothing for to hit. The bane weapon give an additional +2 to hit and an additional +9 damage per hit...

Sure, one could do that. Obviously I didn't and the DPR guy using my numbers didn't. So I don't know why you keep asking if we did.

You're not getting bane for the price of the belt, you'd be getting bane at the cost of reducing your weapon enhancement by one.


Alex Mack wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Warrior spirit is a standard action.

That's why the WP and it's swift buffs wins. Getting a full attack off every round that ramps up to the highest DPR is more total damage then needing a full round to ramp up to the highest DPR.

Do your numbers for the inquisitor include wood bond and Greater Magic weapon?

Warpriest also gets greater magic weapon though...

Seriously, I listed what I used for the calculation and the DPR was just off of that.

I didn't say I included it so I didn't include it.

Greater magic weapon is far inferior to the bow they are already using, so it's a non factor.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Kris Verschaeve wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Warrior spirit is a standard action.

That's why the WP and it's swift buffs wins. Getting a full attack off every round that ramps up to the highest DPR is more total damage then needing a full round to ramp up to the highest DPR.
Did you calculate the ranger holding a bane bow? If instant enemy as a swift action is a valid tactic then a bane of against the highest favored enemy is far better investment than a +2 strength belt. The belt creates one additional damage per hit and does nothing for to hit. The bane weapon give an additional +2 to hit and an additional +9 damage per hit...

Sure, one could do that. Obviously I didn't and the DPR guy using my numbers didn't. So I don't know why you keep asking if we did.

You're not getting bane for the price of the belt, you'd be getting bane at the cost of reducing your weapon enhancement by one.

I keep on asking because I am curious what the numbers look like for that, and I dont know the math behind it to do it myself


Melkiador wrote:
Instant Enemy isn't always available for an archer, because of its close range. It's great in most dungeon settings though, because combat is often very close range there.

I appreciate you answering me, Thanks

My counter question to that because stacking favored enemy is possible, a bane weapon brings so much in terms of DPR if you can magically match your enemy to bane +FE isnt the feat investment of a reach spell (instant enemy) combined with wayang spell hunter worth it then


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Wicky1976 wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Instant Enemy isn't always available for an archer, because of its close range. It's great in most dungeon settings though, because combat is often very close range there.

I appreciate you answering me, Thanks

My counter question to that because stacking favored enemy is possible, a bane weapon brings so much in terms of DPR if you can magically match your enemy to bane +FE isnt the feat investment of a reach spell (instant enemy) combined with wayang spell hunter worth it then

If you mean it's possible to stack bane with favored enemy then yes that's true. But you would only have one type of bane on your weapon, so it wouldn't apply to all creatures and Instant Enemy does nothing for that.

As far as Wayang spell hunter goes...did you character actually grow up on Minata? If not, you probably shouldn't use this trait. In theory this is supposed to be a fairly restrictive trait in terms of characters that have access to it.


Claxon wrote:
If you mean it's possible to stack bane with favored enemy then yes that's true. But you would only have one type of bane on your weapon, so it wouldn't apply to all creatures and Instant Enemy does nothing for that.

Interestingly enough...

Instant Enemy wrote:
With this spell you designate the target as your favored enemy for the remainder of its duration. Select one of your favored enemy types. For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes.


Instant enemy "For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes."
So if you instant enemy a dragon to be a halfling then your bane halfling works since it's treated as a halfling.

Well, that's the idea at least for getting bane with instant enemy.


Chess Pwn wrote:

Instant enemy "For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes."

So if you instant enemy a dragon to be a halfling then your bane halfling works since it's treated as a halfling.

Well, that's the idea at least for getting bane with instant enemy.

While I think I agree with you on this, I will say I have seen it ruled both ways in pfs and in home games.

The GM's reasoning for not allowing it was that you treat the enemy as a Halfling, but the Bow is magically enchanted to fight Halflings, and doesn't care what you think or treat the enemy as, it is still a dragon.

There are arguments against that as well, but I think it is ambiguous enough to go either way and there are several threads on these forums going back years with people arguing for or against.


Because of said ambiguities and perhaps because of my bias, it was not included in my calculations.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Because of said ambiguities and perhaps because of my bias, it was not included in my calculations.

I appreciate that and I don't want to start an argument about this.

I would just like to know the theoretical difference between an optimized ranger that doesn't use this strategy and a similarly optimized ranger who does use this strategy as a benchmark with the caveat that may or not be legit. I'm fully aware that this may be ruled one way or another, erratad, nuked and whatnot.

I'll leave it at that. respectfully

The Exchange

Anyone with a precast or quickened Named Bullet will probably make it pretty high on this list. Rangers and Inquisitors get this at 10. Ranger can use a lesser quicken rod for theirs. An Eldritch Knight or Arcane Archer can also probably cast it.


BadBird wrote:
Claxon wrote:
If you mean it's possible to stack bane with favored enemy then yes that's true. But you would only have one type of bane on your weapon, so it wouldn't apply to all creatures and Instant Enemy does nothing for that.

Interestingly enough...

Instant Enemy wrote:
With this spell you designate the target as your favored enemy for the remainder of its duration. Select one of your favored enemy types. For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes.

Yes...YOU treat the target as if it were your FE for all purposes.

You are not your bow. It's not even a little ambiguous to me. Bane on your bow will only work against that specific creature type.

Do remember, that there are abilities that depend on FE other than just the bonuses from it specifically. Things such as Favored Defense or the Quarry class ability. Instant Enemy will allow those to work, but does nothing about your bow's magical enchantments.

Grand Lodge

To expound on what Claxon said:

"you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes"

You treat it as a "favoured enemy" of that type. That is categorically different than treating the enemy as the same types as your favoured enemy.

The spell make the enemy a favoured enemy human not human for all purposes. You can't throw Instant Enemy on the on a tiger and say hold person. It works for abilities that trigger off of Favoured Enemy Human


some view it the other way and it's ambiguous enough to allow it.
now I know which I feel is right.
View 1 is not suddenly getting tons more power or bending other rules.
View 2 is fun for the lols of really killing something because of a bane bow or casting hold person on an animal.


Claxon wrote:
BadBird wrote:
Claxon wrote:
If you mean it's possible to stack bane with favored enemy then yes that's true. But you would only have one type of bane on your weapon, so it wouldn't apply to all creatures and Instant Enemy does nothing for that.

Interestingly enough...

Instant Enemy wrote:
With this spell you designate the target as your favored enemy for the remainder of its duration. Select one of your favored enemy types. For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes.

Yes...YOU treat the target as if it were your FE for all purposes.

You are not your bow. It's not even a little ambiguous to me. Bane on your bow will only work against that specific creature type.

Do remember, that there are abilities that depend on FE other than just the bonuses from it specifically. Things such as Favored Defense or the Quarry class ability. Instant Enemy will allow those to work, but does nothing about your bow's magical enchantments.

Given the way the language is functioning, I'd say it's rather ambiguous. One way to look at it is that 'the weapon doesn't care'; another would be that ''you' are making a damage roll with a bane weapon as if the enemy was the bane target'. *Shrug*


Just a last question before I withdraw to my batcave.

Imagine I'm a dwarven ranger. If I cast instant enemy: humanoid (giant) does the dwarven defensive trait trigger ? What about earth child style, what about ascetic style transferring the Wisdom to damage to a "monk" weapon from earth child style? Is this possible with the relevant feat prerequisites or is it deemed in the same boat as a bane weapon?

It's not gear dependent .
Cheers


Kris Verschaeve wrote:

Just a last question before I withdraw to my batcave.

Imagine I'm a dwarven ranger. If I cast instant enemy: humanoid (giant) does the dwarven defensive trait trigger ? What about earth child style, what about ascetic style transferring the Wisdom to damage to a "monk" weapon from earth child style? Is this possible with the relevant feat prerequisites or is it deemed in the same boat as a bane weapon?

It's not gear dependent .
Cheers

I can't speak for anyone else, but if I was gming and this question came up, I would allow all of that to work. I don't see why it wouldn't.


Kris Verschaeve wrote:

Just a last question before I withdraw to my batcave.

Imagine I'm a dwarven ranger. If I cast instant enemy: humanoid (giant) does the dwarven defensive trait trigger ? What about earth child style, what about ascetic style transferring the Wisdom to damage to a "monk" weapon from earth child style? Is this possible with the relevant feat prerequisites or is it deemed in the same boat as a bane weapon?

It's not gear dependent .
Cheers

As none of that is gear dependent, I would say it all works.

Of course, you're already going to have insane number to attack and damage so I'm not sure it's necessary, but it works.


I believe Grandlounge was advocating that it's only for FE related things that they count for. Could be wrong on his meaning, but that's what I think he's saying. Thus your dwarf racial stuff wouldn't trigger.

Grand Lodge

You read that right. I think, for a lack of a better description, the spell puts a tag on the creature of "favoured enemy type".

Otherwise in would say "change the enemy's type to that of any one of your favoured enemies" or "treat target as the same race as one of your favoured enemies". But it is written unclearly so it could go either way. Though, I think more often then not paizo takes the conservative readings of rules. Over all it won't have much of an effect on a game so just ask first pfs or othewise.


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Eldritch Archer Magus can also grab Bane on the fly once it hits level 15. It's also grabbing Spell Perfection, which means it can Quicken Empowered Intensified Snowball Spellstrike > Maximized Empowered Intensified Snowball Spellstrike > Full Attack.

Admittedly that's well above where the calculations are being done.


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Ryan Freire wrote:

Fighter is probably going to win out overall as far as raw pew pew is concerned.

Warrior spirit
Tons of feats for a feat starved fighting style
Focused weapon
Gloves of dueling.

Honorable mention to Divine (ilsurian) marksman ranger archetype for making favored enemy help vs anything you fight but its probably not going to beat bane from warrior spirit.

It's not as pronounced as you might think. With class abilities and bonus feats, the Zen Archer actually gets more feats than a fighter up to level 11 I believe.

In terms of who's winning the DPR Olympics it won't be the Zen Archer, but there are things the Zen Archer can do that aren't quantifiable and are often dismissed. Cover and Concealment are circumstantial so aren't included in any formulas, but I would bet it is an issue in 90-99% of combats. Having Improved Precise Shot at 6th Level is HUGE.

This post from Porpentine really does a great job of breaking down the differences between Zen Archer and Fighter.

The Inquisitor is an interesting idea, I've never played one, but their abilities seem limited uses per day so not sure how sustained it would be.

If you know you'll be facing Undead the majority of the time, it'll be hard to beat the Ranger.

Spoiler:

Porpentine wrote:


The best archer, at almost any level you care to mention, is the zen archer.

15th level isn't particularly favourable, but Ravingdork posts a solid fighter archer at that level way up above (Dayer) - and presents him beautifully too - so here's a zen archer at that level for direct comparison. Note that Lyu is built with 20pb, Dayer with (as far as I can tell) 26pb.

Name: Lyu. Race: Human. Class/Level: Qinggong Zen Monk 15. Favoured Bonus: H∞. Age: 30. Height: 5’. Weight: 130lbs.
Pointbuy: 14/14/14/7/17/7 = 20

Strength: 14 (18). +4
Dexterity: 14 (18). +4
Constitution: 14 (18). +4
Intelligence: 7. -2
Wisdom: 22 (28). +9
Charisma: 7. -2

Hit Points: 161
Initiative: +8
Perception: +27
Speed: 80
Armour: 43, Touch: 33, Flatfooted: 38
Fort +18 (SR25), Ref +19 (SR25), Will +22 (SR25)

Base Attack: +11/+6/+1 Base Flurry: +13/+13/+8/+8/+3/+3
CMB: +15, CMD: 52
Fist base attack +15/+10/+5 (2d10+4, cold iron, magic, lawful)
Fist vital strike +15 (2d10+4d10+4 & ditto)
Bow base deadly attack +24/+19/+14 (1d8+18/19-20x3, -1 attack & damage beyond 30’, all DR bar epic)
Bow ki damage deadly vital strike +24 (2d10+4d10+18 & ditto)
Bow deadly flurry haste +27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17 (1d8+18)
Bow ki damage deadly flurry haste +27/+27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17 (2d10+18)

Traits: Resilient, Wisdom in the Flesh (Fly)
Feats:
1st: Toughness
Human: Improved Initiative
Monk 1st: Improved Unarmed Strike
Monk 1st: Perfect Strike (bow, special)
Monk 1st: Precise Shot
Monk 2nd: Weapon Focus (longbow)
Monk 2nd: Point Blank Shot
Monk 3rd: Point Blank Master
3rd: Deadly Aim
5th: Defensive Combat Training
Monk 6th: Specialisation (longbow)
Monk 6th: Improved Precise Shot
7th: Dodge
9th: Vital Strike
Monk 10th: Improved Critical (longbow)
11th: Lightning Reflexes
13th: Stunning Fist
Monk 14th: Pinpoint Targetting
15th: Improved Vital Strike

The Way of Zen:
* Bow Flurry: no flurry with any other weapon
* Perfect Strike: once/round, 15/day, as part of attack; roll three d20s for one bow attack, with a discard as confirmation if the first threatens:
* Zen Archery: Lyu uses Wisdom to determine ranged attacks
* Vows of Cleanliness and Fasting: no potions etc., must remain clean, +5 ki
* Ki Pool: swift and one round unless stated, 21 points/day:
1= (i) extra bow flurry [one attack], (ii) +50’ bow increment, (iii) +4 dodge armour, (iv) unarmed bow damage, (v) +20 speed or jump, (vi) +5 barkskin [standard, 2½ hours]
2 = (i) heal 15hp [standard], (ii) bow ignores total concealment, (iii) dimension door 1000’[move]
3 = (i) bow ignores total cover, (ii) etherealness [move, 1 min]
* Grasshopper: +15 jump, with constant running start
* Reflexive Shot: Lyu makes (and by default does not incur) bow opportunity attacks
* Stunning Fist: once/round, 16/day, as part of unarmed attack: dc26w, stun one round
* Diamond Soul: Spell Resistance 25
* Quivering Palm: 1x/day, as part of unarmed attack: dc26w, slay

Skills:

Acrobatics +22 (15 ranks, 3 class, 4 stat)
Acrobatics [Jump] +57 (+15 class, +20 speed)
Heal +12 (3 ranks, 9 stat)
Perception +27 (15 ranks, 3 class, 9 stat)
Sense Motive +13 (1 rank, 3 class, 9 stat)
Stealth +18 (11 ranks, 3 class, 4 stat)

Gear (240,000gp): belt of physical perfection+4 (64,000gp, 1lb), composite str18 longbow+5 (50,800gp, 3lb), headband of wisdom+6 (36,000gp, 1lb), bracers of armour+5 (25,000gp), ring of protection+3 (18,000gp), cloak of resistance+4 (16,000gp, 1lb), monk’s robe (13,000gp, 1lb), boots of speed (12,000gp, 1lb), ioun stone+1 armour (5000gp), masterwork backpack (50gp, 4lb), 10 monk’s outfits (50gp, 10lbs), 1 holy water (25gp, 1lb), 1 unholy water (25gp, 1lb), 2 smoke arrows (20gp, 2lb), 300 arrows (15gp, 45lb), 40 blunt arrows (4gp, 6lb), cold iron knuckles (2gp, 1lb), soap (1gp, 2lb), waterskin (1gp, 4lb), 7gp
Encumbrance (light 116lb): 84lb

***************

I’m going to split the comparison into three parts: defense, offense and out of combat.

Defensively Lyu is streets ahead, as a monk should be. Dayer doesn’t get his buckler bonus when he’s shooting, since a bow takes two hands to use, so Lyu’s AC is 14 higher than Dayer’s when they’re both archering (43 to 29). This is the difference between a CR17 marilith needing 19s or 5s to rip either dude to shreds. Lyu’s touch AC is 13 higher, and his flatfooted AC is 14 higher (the buckler being valid there). Dayer is also lacking Point Blank Master, and so incurs with bowshots. Lyu’s saves are not only better across the board (5, 3 and 12 higher), but notably more consistent: like all fighters, Dayer comes up short on Will. Against a CR15 neothelid, Dayer needs a 15 to avoid instant bleeding unconsciousness: Lyu needs a 3. And again, Lyu is well ahead on CMD (52 to 42/50 sunder), which is important here - archers are vulnerable to both grapple and sunder. For example, the neothelid needs 8s to hit Dayer midcombat, and 9s to grapple and then swallow him whole; it needs natural 20s to hit Lyu, and 19s to grapple him. Lyu also has Spell Resistance 25, a smidgeon of healing, and the ability to gain +4 AC, touch AC and CMD with one of his 21 ki points (3 of which he always spends on 7½ hours of barkskin, incidentally). Finally, Lyu has 161 HP to Dayer’s 145, and the monk has the AC and saves to defend his total. This matters, because at these levels Lyu and Dayer are likely to start coming up against power words - probably stuns first, as with the CR13 glabezru and the CR16 planetar. Dayer is below the critical 150HP where this spell is a killer, and he’ll struggle against the power words blind and kill when they start to turn up too. In short, like all fighters, he’s defensively problematic.

This is only to be expected. Also to be expected is that Dayer should make up the shortfall offensively. He doesn’t: he’s better than Lyu here, but not by as much as you might think. On a standard single attack he appears much more accurate (+34 to Lyu’s +24), but the average CR15 AC is only 30, Lyu has three Perfect Strike attack rolls to get the 6 he needs for that, and he also has Pinpoint Targetting - Dayer doesn’t qualify yet - which knocks oodles off AC at these levels (for example, it reduces the marilith’s AC to 17, the neothelid’s to 4). Lyu does a lot more damage on a standard attack, too - 51 to Dayer’s 33.5, because it’s not worth Dayer’s while to take the Vital Strike feats - and Lyu has a 30% chance of a threat and an improved chance of a crit (two rolls). On a full attack, Lyu can shoot seven arrows, ten times per day, doing 203 damage if all his shots hit, and he has a 90% chance of a threat on seven hits, a 70% chance on the more likely five hits. Again, Dayer is much more accurate (average +28 to average +22), but Lyu is still hitting AC30 without fuss, and he has three rolls on one attack. In terms of offensive add-ons, Dayer gets a 10’ threat range and multiple opportunity attacks (which is tasty), and he can reroll one attack per day and make one x4 crit per day, but Lyu trumps the latter two abilities with his 15 zen-improved Perfect Strikes: if I haven’t emphasized it enough already, these greatly increase the probability of both threatening and critting over the course of a day. Lyu can also gain +500’ range for a ki point, and ignores total concealment and cover for a few ki more, which means, amongst other things, that he doesn’t worry about invisibility: he has the Perception to pinpoint a foe’s squares, and that’s all he needs.

I’ll reiterate here that Lyu has significantly less point buy than Dayer, who is himself an effective archer. Nor is this a particularly good level to consider the zen archer at, offensively: two levels from now all arrows Lyu fires will become ki focus weapons, which will allow him to shoot a stunning arrow each round (DC31 at 17th: DC36 at 20th) and a slaying arrow once per day (DC29 at 17th: DC32 at 20th): arguably, it would also allow him to add Elemental Fist, the elemental style feats and Touch of Serenity to his arrows, should he take those feats. It can also be argued that he activates the generic monk’s alternate stunning attack effects once he takes the Stunning Fist feat; if so, he can add these effects to arrows too, from 17th, including 1d6+1 rounds paralysis at 20th level. He doesn’t need any of this debatable stuff, though. With one round of stunning - and often without it - he ends up being able to put down just about anything in under three rounds.

Finally, there’s the out of combat stuff to consider. For Dayer, there’s not a great deal to add to the equation. Lyu can dimension door, he can turn ethereal as a move action, he can jump like jiminey, he has top-notch Perception and a smattering of other skills. To summarise, he’s well ahead of Dayer defensively and out of combat, and he’s not far behind offensively. At 17th he’ll overtake Dayer in that department too. At 20th level Lyu can defeat a solar, the tarrasque, a tarn linnorm, an ancient gold, a pit field, a balor and a shoggoth, with only one rest, without taking a single point of damage. Zen rocks.


While it's not the strongest, the base Swashbuckler makes a pretty interesting archer. You have enough bonus feats to help keep up the style, even access to Fighter feats if you want to go Weapon Specialization. Full BaB, good HD, decent reflex for those AoEs. I found that out when I was trying to build a Flying Blade and found out that using a Bow is your best bet in the first few levels.... and throwing Knives don't do a good job of catching up, even when all those archetype abilities kick in.

Slap on a Spiked Gauntlet and you have the best backup melee option out of every possible archer build.

I think there's also a case to be made for an archer Summoner with an archer Eidolon due to the sheer volume of arrows, but I'll have to do some math when it isn't so late.


Archers a very underrated IMO..... can change encounters in a heartbeat

Sczarni

Claxon wrote:
BadBird wrote:
Claxon wrote:
If you mean it's possible to stack bane with favored enemy then yes that's true. But you would only have one type of bane on your weapon, so it wouldn't apply to all creatures and Instant Enemy does nothing for that.

Interestingly enough...

Instant Enemy wrote:
With this spell you designate the target as your favored enemy for the remainder of its duration. Select one of your favored enemy types. For the duration of the spell, you treat the target as if it were that type of favored enemy for all purposes.

Yes...YOU treat the target as if it were your FE for all purposes.

You are not your bow. It's not even a little ambiguous to me. Bane on your bow will only work against that specific creature type.

Do remember, that there are abilities that depend on FE other than just the bonuses from it specifically. Things such as Favored Defense or the Quarry class ability. Instant Enemy will allow those to work, but does nothing about your bow's magical enchantments.

How would this interact with someone using unarmed strikes or natural attacks combined with a Bane Amulet of Mighty Fists?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Rosc wrote:
Slap on a Spiked Gauntlet and you have the best backup melee option out of every possible archer build.

I would argue that this could instead be said about Zen Archers and Unarmed Strikes. Zen Archers get normal monk unarmed strike damage dice progression, and unarmed strikes cannot be sundered or taken away when captured. Enchanting them is a bit more expensive, but you're an archer, so it's not as much of an issue.


NewXToa wrote:
Rosc wrote:
Slap on a Spiked Gauntlet and you have the best backup melee option out of every possible archer build.
I would argue that this could instead be said about Zen Archers and Unarmed Strikes. Zen Archers get normal monk unarmed strike damage dice progression, and unarmed strikes cannot be sundered or taken away when captured. Enchanting them is a bit more expensive, but you're an archer, so it's not as much of an issue.

True true, though I feel like the Swashbuckler has a better list of abilitis for backup melee. Plus, I enjoy the irony of having an entire class' purpose revolving around acting as a Plan B to your primary fighting style.

EDIT: The format of this topic teeps playing tricks on my eyes. Anyone else feel like there's a / best /sub forum in the Advice board?


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doc roc wrote:
Archers a very underrated IMO..... can change encounters in a heartbeat

I don't think anyone underrates archers. It's pretty well known they do the highest sustained DPR of any build.


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Jodokai wrote:
doc roc wrote:
Archers a very underrated IMO..... can change encounters in a heartbeat
I don't think anyone underrates archers. It's pretty well known they do the highest sustained DPR of any build.

Yeah literally the only things to complain about regarding archery are being slightly MAD and tons of required feats.


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The only real problem with archery is that it shoehorns your build for the first 6-8 levels.

Once you have acquired the 5 must have feats and the one trait you have a bit more leeway.


Chess Pwn wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

And this is why DPR comparisons are terrible. You have spent 58400gp of your 62k and end up with an AC of 21 (assuming a chain shirt, you cannot afford much more), saves of +6/+10/+1 and 64hp. Good luck with actually surviving in a game.


High end DPR comparisons aren't meant to be actual characters. Pretty sure that's already been mentioned a few times, and me as some of those.

But DPR comparison builds are very useful. They show which classes have the best DPR to them based on kit. The high DPR builds should still out perform the low DPR builds as both swap some offense for defense. You lower the bows + by 1 to afford other gear and it's a uniform DPR decrease to everyone, the top are still the top and the bottom are still the bottom. You delay the gloves for a level then yeah, it'll shift a little bit, but you know once you get them you'll be at the top. You drop STR and a little dex to afford other stats, it's a uniform DPR decrease to everyone.

The thing is, for a comparison of something, aka DPR of a class, you need as many variables between the builds to be the same. If I said the fighter's build ran 8 str and 18 con and then compared it to the others it's not an accurate comparison of the DPR ranking for the class.


Chess Pwn wrote:
it's a uniform DPR decrease to everyone.

Except that this assumes that acquiring reasonable defences is equal across the classes which it patently isn't. Looking at things in a vacuum just presents a highly skewed picture.


-.- everyone knows spending all your wealth by level on DPR is bad but it's just a easy way to do a standardised test please stop behaving as though anyone has said this is a real or accurate in game representation.

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