Magus that doesn't use shocking grasp?


Advice


As the title says...

Several spells can deal roughly equal amounts of damage, but the thing that (to me anyways) makes shocking grasp the go to spell is the No saving throw part. Am I just missing some spell in some splat book that works equally well? or are all Magi doomed to be cookie cutter versions?


I like Frostbite a lot because it fatigues even though it deals non lethal damage and Snowball because it staggers and you cannot reduce the damage with the saving throw.
Also, you can use Frostbite multiple times so it helps to save spells.


Frost bite and frigid touch.

Doesn't do as much damage but TAC on Rime spell and you really hurt them.

Shocking grasp is for numbers...Cold spells are for a form of control while killing them. Both are viable.


Psychic Anthology has a Spiritualist version of Bladebound that's a more interesting Magus than Magus. You can even use your spell combat for healing.


Spells that need to hit normally don't allow a save where as spells that don't need to hit (lines and AoEs) will allow a save for half normally.

Not always true (disintegrate)

Vampire touch is good.


I like the idea of controlling with cold spells, even if the damage drops off somewhat, thanks.

QuidEst wrote:
Psychic Anthology has a Spiritualist version of Bladebound that's a more interesting Magus than Magus. You can even use your spell combat for healing.

Perhaps, but that would require me to invest in paizo's crappy psionics knock-off "psychic magic", when I'd rather just use actual psionics.


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Uhm... I had forgotten Frigid Touch. Great one too! Vampiric Touch is also a personal favorite, for temporary hit points and unnamed damage.


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I usually spam Touch of Fatigue while relying on static damage modifiers and crit fishing.

The majority of my memorized spells are buffs and utility.


How do you get touch of fatigue?


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
How do you get touch of fatigue?

The Two-World Magic trait lets you add a 0th level spell from another class list to yours. The Samsaran race could also get it through the Mystic Past Life alternate racial trait.

The spiritualist version seems interesting and has a lot of good debuffs, with almost no spells that deal damage without some more significant other effect (well, no good options, there's always Inflict Wounds). Until they get Harm and suddenly become amazing at nuking things down.
A shame they can't get the Close Range arcana without a lot of work though, Enervation would be a great thing to crit with. Samsaran also relevant here if you did want to increase your offensive options.

As a side note, this is the second spiritualist archetype that ditches their phantom for the ability to generate a weapon and pretends to be a magus (the other being the ectoplasmatist). The magus might want to consider a restraining order, it's getting a little creepy.


Close range arcana, and start spellstriking with disrupt undead and ray of enfeeblement. Or just focus on doing spell combat with buffing spells instead of spellstriking.


Aldrakan wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
How do you get touch of fatigue?

The Two-World Magic trait lets you add a 0th level spell from another class list to yours. The Samsaran race could also get it through the Mystic Past Life alternate racial trait.

The spiritualist version seems interesting and has a lot of good debuffs, with almost no spells that deal damage without some more significant other effect (well, no good options, there's always Inflict Wounds). Until they get Harm and suddenly become amazing at nuking things down.
A shame they can't get the Close Range arcana without a lot of work though, Enervation would be a great thing to crit with. Samsaran also relevant here if you did want to increase your offensive options.

As a side note, this is the second spiritualist archetype that ditches their phantom for the ability to generate a weapon and pretends to be a magus (the other being the ectoplasmatist). The magus might want to consider a restraining order, it's getting a little creepy.

That sounds like a great trait for a phantom blade to get a spell he can spell combat with.


Chill touch is an often overlooked option - it combines a bit of damage with a bit of debuff (1 str damage that does stack) and you get 1 attack per level. It really shines when you get attacked by undead though - each strike makes them save or be panicked, basically taking them out of the fight.

In my mind its not so much shocking grasp that makes magus builds similar - it is the critical mechanics of spellstrike. Even if you don't "build" towards shocking grasp with traits/feats/whatever, using a high crit range weapon is just better. And as a MAD class, its always tempting to try to get around an ability score (str).


magical lineage, frostbite, rime spell, enforcer, whip. Apply shaken, entangle, and fatigue all at the same time. All together that leaves them with half speed, unable to run or charge, –4 to attack rolls, -2 to str, -6 to Dex, and -2 to saves, skill checks, and ability checks.

Another sneaky combo I like is spell combat true strike plus disarm, trip, or possibly sunder.

Grand Lodge

Blade lash is great.


As everyone else has said, Shocking Grasp is just the top of the damage chart. Any touch spell that suits your fancy will do just fine.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:

magical lineage, frostbite, rime spell, enforcer, whip. Apply shaken, entangle, and fatigue all at the same time. All together that leaves them with half speed, unable to run or charge, –4 to attack rolls, -2 to str, -6 to Dex, and -2 to saves, skill checks, and ability checks.

Another sneaky combo I like is spell combat true strike plus disarm, trip, or possibly sunder.

Add Cruel weapon enhancement and give them the sickened condition too.


Carnithia wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:

magical lineage, frostbite, rime spell, enforcer, whip. Apply shaken, entangle, and fatigue all at the same time. All together that leaves them with half speed, unable to run or charge, –4 to attack rolls, -2 to str, -6 to Dex, and -2 to saves, skill checks, and ability checks.

Another sneaky combo I like is spell combat true strike plus disarm, trip, or possibly sunder.

Add Cruel weapon enhancement and give them the sickened condition too.

Just be careful to also invest resources in a "Plan B" for this build - lots of enemies are going to be immune to parts of the combo or even the whole thing. ("Plan B" can of course just be a shocking grasp to the face - and if the enemy has cold resistance and lightning immunity you need to fall back on "Plan C", so have some control spells memorized.)


Thaago wrote:
In my mind its not so much shocking grasp that makes magus builds similar - it is the critical mechanics of spellstrike. Even if you don't "build" towards shocking grasp with traits/feats/whatever, using a high crit range weapon is just better.

Yeah I agree. If you changed Spell-Strike so that you could use the weapon's crit-multiplier I think you'd see a lot more varied builds (either that or you'd just end up with a ton of Falcatas instead of Scimitars).

Symar wrote:
As everyone else has said, Shocking Grasp is just the top of the damage chart. Any touch spell that suits your fancy will do just fine.

Actually if you assume you hit twice in a round Frostbite & Shocking Grasp end up pretty much even.


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Thaago wrote:
Carnithia wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:

magical lineage, frostbite, rime spell, enforcer, whip. Apply shaken, entangle, and fatigue all at the same time. All together that leaves them with half speed, unable to run or charge, –4 to attack rolls, -2 to str, -6 to Dex, and -2 to saves, skill checks, and ability checks.

Another sneaky combo I like is spell combat true strike plus disarm, trip, or possibly sunder.

Add Cruel weapon enhancement and give them the sickened condition too.
Just be careful to also invest resources in a "Plan B" for this build - lots of enemies are going to be immune to parts of the combo or even the whole thing. ("Plan B" can of course just be a shocking grasp to the face - and if the enemy has cold resistance and lightning immunity you need to fall back on "Plan C", so have some control spells memorized.)

plan C- true strike + combat manuvers as a whip shouldn't provoke.

PLAN d- Hope a team mate has the counter and chance to shine. If not is there a way to neutralize (trap swarm in a separate room. ECT ECT)

Plan E- escape and come back with a spell list to beat the challenge.

Magus is very versatile.


There's also the element to consider. If I remember correctly in terms of most commonly resisted it's fire, cold, lightning, and acid, in that order. And fire and cold resist are significantly more common than lightning/acid (at least twice as much). So Shocking Grasp became the workhorse because it's a nice simple scaling damage spell of an uncommonly resisted element. Oh, and Corrosive Touch does less damage for some reason (and despite being Conjuration (creation), still has SR). The bonus to hit metal is just icing on top.


True Strike combined with Improved Trip/Disarm.


A hexcrafter gets a bunch of curse touch spells to play with.

In the right situation spell combat + color spray works just fine. Especially but not exclusively for a puppetmaster magus.

Eldritch archer magi use different spells of course, their closest equivalent to shocking grasp is snowball but they're more likely to use buffs.

Polymorphing into a gargoyle or something is fun/worthwhile later on.


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My kensai uses the pragmatic activator trait to turn on a lead blades wand, an improved familiar with a wand to enlarge, and a wrist-sheathed wand of true strike + wand wielder to squeeze the most out of Perfect Strike. Make that 3d8 from your lead and enlarged bastard sword turn up a 24 every time, on anything but a 1 to hit, and you have a solid damage floor to build on with other options without any shocking grasp. Though I do use that spell often, too.

Silver Crusade

Which book is the two world magic trait from?


Woodenman wrote:
Which book is the two world magic trait from?

Pathfinder Companion: Sargava, the Lost Colony


In later levels (10+ or so) I had way more fun without shocking grasp. I also made use of frost bite frigid touch, and vampiric touch. Force punch is also a great one that wasn't mentioned. I actually found that the greatest part of magus was the mobility that I had over the other frontliners while still being able to put out comparable damage. Once I saw it Bladed dash was my bread and butter, thanks to spell combat you get another attack at your highest BAB+INT, add in hasted assault and i had 3 attacks at or above my highest BAB and another at -5. I'd also grabbed dimensional agility so I can DDoor into flank, or other optimal positions. The item Jaunt boots let's you turn a 5-foot step into a 15 3 times a day, which I felt were made for the magus (not to mention they came out in the same book) And when you get higher level monstrous physiques you can really wreck things with the extra size and natural attack (I chose Thrae queen for the sting). By this time crits and arcane strike with lead blades, and the bonus from the arcane pool my damage was just fine without a spellstrike, no to mention it bypassed most DR for being +5. I wasn't even optimized as I spent a feat to get a katana, adn was strength based, but I still had a TON of fun, Maguns is definitely one of if not my all time favorite class. What they lack in damage (not much even without shocking grasp) they make up for in extreme versatility and mobility, which also makes the SUPER fun. I don't even know if that's all the tricks I had up my sleeve.


I've recently become smitten with Force Punch and I'm toying with ways to use it as a primary spell as a Wizard or Magus. A metamagic discount feat can make Toppling Spell same-level, allowing you to send foes spinning.

As a bonus, you don't worry about any resistances and incorporeal opponents aren't a big deal.


Aldrakan wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
How do you get touch of fatigue?

The Two-World Magic trait lets you add a 0th level spell from another class list to yours. The Samsaran race could also get it through the Mystic Past Life alternate racial trait.

{. . .}

Also don't forget to get the Magus Arcana Broad Study, which is required to enable use of a non-Magus spell with Spell Combat and Spellstrike. (This is true even if you are going VMC Magus and using a primary class with a different list for your spellcasting, and presumably also true of Blade Adept Arcanist, which doesn't have wording that says otherwise, although the Sorcerer/Wizard and Magus spell lists overlap enough, especially with respect to spells that you need to use with Spell Combat and Spellstrike, that it may not matter in most cases.)

Switch-hitting eventually Trip-em-out-of-the-air Myrmidarch Magus -- doesn't depend upon Shocking Grasp (although you potentially have a flex feat at level 7 that you could use for Intensify Spell and use Shocking Grasp tolerably well if you wanted to, although in this case Diminished Spellcasting and the total lack of Spell Recall or its Improved version hurts).

Skirnir Tank Magus build -- doesn't depend upon Shocking Grasp (although by swapping 1 feat at level 5 for Intensify Spell and choosing a different weapon, you could make it use Shocking Grasp tolerably well if you wanted to, although in this case Diminished Spellcasting (although it would suffer from the lack of Spell Combat until level 8 and the lack of Spell Recall until level 11).

Grand Lodge

My Staff/Hexcrafter Magus relies more on Frostbite and tripping her opponents rather than raw damage. That being said, I will get Improved Familiar so I can get some wands and save my action economy!


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
How do you get touch of fatigue?

Spell Blending at sixth gives me both Touch of Fatique and Mage Armor for the price of a single arcana.

Silver Crusade

Bladed dash is also very nice for a magus.


So is force hook charge


So is prehensile hair with a hexcrafter.
And it allows you to do really cool headbang too!

(Just being random out of boredom xD)


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Vanderes and Rosc wrote:
Force Punch

BLADED DASH + QUICKENED-TOPPLING-FORCE PUNCH (probably using SPELL PERFECTION) is pretty hilarious.

You get pounce while denying your opponent the ability to get close to you.


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Kileanna wrote:

So is prehensile hair with a hexcrafter.

And it allows you to do really cool headbang too!

(Just being random out of boredom xD)

PREHENSILE HAIR + FORCE PUNCH = HEAD-BANGER! \m/ (<-Ascii Horned Hand, in case it's not obvious)


Aldrakan wrote:


A shame they can't get the Close Range arcana without a lot of work though, Enervation would be a great thing to crit with. Samsaran also relevant here if you did want to increase your offensive options.

As a side note, this is the second spiritualist archetype that ditches their phantom for the ability to generate a weapon and pretends to be a magus (the other being the ectoplasmatist). The magus might want to consider a restraining order, it's getting a little creepy.

An Eldritch Knight VMC Magus could take the Close Range Arcana at 7 and start Spellstriking with Enervation at 11, couldn't he? But a Samsaran Eldritch Archer with a keen crossbow is probably less hassle.


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MrCharisma wrote:
Vanderes and Rosc wrote:
Force Punch

BLADED DASH + QUICKENED-TOPPLING-FORCE PUNCH (probably using SPELL PERFECTION) is pretty hilarious.

You get pounce while denying your opponent the ability to get close to you.

Falcon PUNCH!

Sovereign Court

Kileanna wrote:

I like Frostbite a lot because it fatigues even though it deals non lethal damage and Snowball because it staggers and you cannot reduce the damage with the saving throw.

Also, you can use Frostbite multiple times so it helps to save spells.

You can't actually use Snowball with Close Range Arcana. Close Range Arcana specifies "ray" in the actual feat text, which snowball is not.

You can of course still use it with spell combat, just not spell strike (barring a few archetypes).

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