Full Caster Power Rankings


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I'm bored so I feel like debating the most powerful pc option in Pathfinder, the full caster. Below is my power rankings, based on op capabilities not favoritism, with very minimal reasoning for their position. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Don't care? That's fair I probably shouldn't either

1. Wizard - best spell list in the game
2. Witch - su Hex mechanic that uses main caster stat is op. Spell list not as good as wiz
3. Psychic - top save vs suck specialist. Has to umd scrolls/wands
4. Cleric - best divine caster period
5. Arcanist - more versatile Sorcerer with less Spell slots. Exploits>bloodline
6. Shaman - strong spell list. Not used often but very potent
7. Sorcerer - OG master blaster
8. Druid - weakest spell list imo. Although Saurian shamans are so deadly
9. Oracle - Spontaneous Divine hinders flexibility. This is a darn good class to put last, just shows full casters reign surpreme

Shadow Lodge

Summoner is a 6 level caster.


Sammy T wrote:
Summoner is a 6 level caster.

Noted OP edited. Thank you


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I'm biased towards clerics because they're the best class


Really depends on what level we're talking about. At 20th, this would be my list:

1) Wizard - because he's a wizard
2) Arcanist - the closest thing you can get to a Wizard without being one
3) Cleric - the closest a divine spellcaster can get to being a Wizard
4) Sorcerer - the next closest thing to a Wizard, but spontaneous casting just isn't as good at 20th level play.
5) Psychic - solid 9-level caster, but not as good as wiz/sorc
6) Witch - probably should be higher, but I'm just not a fan of its class spell list.
7) Shaman - honestly not experienced with it, but it's a 9-level prepared caster so it belongs around here.
8) Oracle - spontaneous spellcasting isn't great at 20th level, but Oracles are still fine.
9) Druid - got to agree with the assessment of the weak spell list, but he's still a solid 9-level caster with decent class features.


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magispitt wrote:
I'm biased towards clerics because they're the best class

Clerics be dope


1) Wizard - Prepared best spell list
2) Arcanist - Prepared best spell list slower progresion plus exploits
3) Cleric - Prepared second best spell list
4) Witch - Prepared 9th level plus hexes
5) Shaman -Prepared 9th level plus hexes
6) Druid - Prepared 9th level plus wild shape
7) Sorcerer - Spontaneous best spell list
8) Oracle - Spontaneous second best spell list
9) Psychic - Spontaneous 9th level kinda different


I would imagine with the lore hex that gives wizard spells that the shaman would be top dog. Have awesome mental stats while being part human and have like the shaman, cleric and wizard list all in one kit. Plus good HP and bab and potentially an animal companion familiar mix.


Dasrak wrote:

Really depends on what level we're talking about. At 20th, this would be my list:

1) Wizard - because he's a wizard
2) Arcanist - the closest thing you can get to a Wizard without being one
3) Cleric - the closest a divine spellcaster can get to being a Wizard
4) Sorcerer - the next closest thing to a Wizard, but spontaneous casting just isn't as good at 20th level play.
5) Psychic - solid 9-level caster, but not as good as wiz/sorc
6) Witch - probably should be higher, but I'm just not a fan of its class spell list.
7) Shaman - honestly not experienced with it, but it's a 9-level prepared caster so it belongs around here.
8) Oracle - spontaneous spellcasting isn't great at 20th level, but Oracles are still fine.
9) Druid - got to agree with the assessment of the weak spell list, but he's still a solid 9-level caster with decent class features.

I think this is about how I place it.

I've never liked the Druids spell list, always just seems to be lacking in my opinion. Just doesn't have what I want.


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I mean, I'm inclined to put the druid first because of the whole "wild shape into a carnivorous crystal ooze and vital strike" thing along with "is best friends with a tiger" on top of being a 9th level caster, but are we just looking at spell lists here?


I can't recall for certain, but I think something was done so that the carnivorous crystal ooze + vital strike combo didn't work as well anymore. I think it had something to do with effective size changes, but don't remember exactly.

I think the rankings here are based purely on spell casting ability. While being able to do some decent melee damage is neat, it's no Wish. Also, nearly any character can actually have a full progression animal companion if you really want it, so I don't let that decide things for me.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, I'm inclined to put the druid first because of the whole "wild shape into a carnivorous crystal ooze and vital strike" thing along with "is best friends with a tiger" on top of being a 9th level caster, but are we just looking at spell lists here?

Not really, is just that the spell list is a huge component of what defines a caster and gives them they power

EDIT: Because of that the spell list is considered such a defining factor


Claxon wrote:
I think the rankings here are based purely on spell casting ability. While being able to do some decent melee damage is neat, it's no Wish. Also, nearly any character can actually have a full progression animal companion if you really want it, so I don't let that decide things for me.

But are we also considering every level from 1 to 20 or just what you can do once you can cast Wish? I mean, low level wizards are practically helpless in a way that druids are decidedly not, and most whole campaigns end before you can cast level 9 spells.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, I'm inclined to put the druid first because of the whole "wild shape into a carnivorous crystal ooze and vital strike" thing along with "is best friends with a tiger" on top of being a 9th level caster, but are we just looking at spell lists here?

as you reach high levels and higher, the value that being a beatstick with casting decreases. So at 20th level being a beatstick just isn't worth basically anything anymore. Look at all the martial V wizard threads. The wizard has to be highly restricted and agree to even be in the fight and stay there for the martial to have a chance at killing the caster. With enough money a wizard can alter the world, and create his own at a whim. The next best thing is hoping that your designated God will agree to fulfill your request and alter the world for you. Turning into an ooze or having a pet tiger just doesn't seem that cool in comparison.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I think the rankings here are based purely on spell casting ability. While being able to do some decent melee damage is neat, it's no Wish. Also, nearly any character can actually have a full progression animal companion if you really want it, so I don't let that decide things for me.
But are we also considering every level from 1 to 20 or just what you can do once you can cast Wish? I mean, low level wizards are practically helpless in a way that druids are decidedly not.

Well even considering level 1-20, how long does it take till the wizard is overshadowing the druid? 5 levels of druid winning doesn't make up for losing 15 levels. heck, even 10 levels split isn't winning for the druid in my book, since the amount that the wizard does over a druid for the latter 10 are so much surpassing to make up for any earlier loss, and the earlier loss isn't that big of a deal.

But also, to me, things that are ranking full spellcasters would be basically just considering lv 11+


1) Wizard - guess
2) Arcanist[/b - you might trick people into thinking you're a wizard
[b]3) Sorc
- I know conventionally divine prep casters are considered better but honest the spell list is just too fun
4) Cleric - Best divine caster (although I think Oracles are far more fun)
5) Witch - Spell list has self imposed weaknesses which I think is good honestly in prep casters.
6) Oracle - spontaneous clerics with much nicer class features
7) psychic - Same issue as the witch but with spont casting
8) Druid spell list is a bit niche and often environment dependent

Shaman is absent as I have 0 experience with them I expect they are somewhere around clerics though.


I know I'm probably opening up a can of worms, but how much would this list change if Mythic is taken into account? I feel like Wild Arcana gives the Sorcerer versatility that approaches that of the Wizard.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, low level wizards are practically helpless in a way that druids are decidedly not, and most whole campaigns end before you can cast level 9 spells.

Low-level Wizards are squishy and vulnerable, but not helpless by any means.


I think "power" rankings have to be something beyond spell lists, you need to take class abilities into account.

Wizards still do well, their bonus feats let you do some nice spell perfection stuff. Or crafting, of course, which can be crazy powerful. And the divination school for combat effectiveness.

Arcanists can do very well because of their ability to boost DCs by up to 2. Less staying power, but they can nova pretty hard for one big boss fight.

Psychics have lots of custom discipline and phrenic amplificaiton options to make them excel in certain niches. If you fight things vulnerable to mind affecting they are hands down the best save or suck, a few niche builds like Kitsune sorcerer FCB aside.

1. DC. Overpowering Mind phrenic amplification allows (limited, expensive) DC boosts of up to +3 on any mind affecting spell. Faith discipline can put a -1/-2 save penalty on targets in their aura, Mindtech and Abomination disciplines can boost all DCs by 1, and Psychedelia can boost all DCs by 2. So with the right discipline (and alignment circumstances if you're Faith) you can get an effective +3 DC vs. the second best Arcanist, +5 vs. most casters. Oh, and Psychic Anthology introduced a robe that further boosts mind affecting DCs by another +1.

2. Spell list. You don't have the Wizards stuff, but you have a few tricks they don't have. Offensively, consider Ill Omen. If it's vulnerable to mind affecting you can not only boost your DC by +5 (+6 with gear) compared to a Wizard, you can add a Quickened Ill Omen makes it save twice. A spell perfected/persistent mind affecting spell with every available boost and an Ill Omen can be a "LOL, you lose" situation for even the toughest guys. Outsiders are cake. Defensively, you have Psychic only spells for an immediate action boost to give yourself a big shield bonus (with fortification chance) or a big will save bonus against mind affecting. Borrow Luck can save you from that natural 1 and give you time to run until the bad luck runs out. There are also key early access spells like Mass Suggestion, a great Spell Perfection candidate to drop twice per round (one persisted). Plane Shift is also early access, for your 5th spell level Will save but not mind affecting needs.

3. Spell Resistance bypass. Relentless Casting phrenic amplification lets you roll twice to overcome it and is cheap. Stack with one other booster like Spell Penetration to put other casters to shame.

4. Other utility phrenic amplifications. You can effect undead with mind affecting without any spell level adjustment (Will of the Dead), so that means you can Dominate Monster a lich. Dispelling Pulse lets you knock out the targets buffs as part of casting your attack spell (goodbye, Spell Turning or Protection from X). Mimic Metamagic lets you grab a couple of niche metamagics for occasional use. Synaptic Shock is a NO SAVE 1 round confusion effect tacked on to your mind affecting spells, spam level 1 charms if you want to contribute on the cheap against a tough but vulnerable foe. Undercast Surge lets you juice the effectiveness of your lower level slots to maximum effectiveness for your Psychic only spells, and arguably lets you break the 9 level cap for a spell perfected spell with free metamagic boosted up to the max level. Etc.

A well built Wizard or Sorcerer will be able to do many things the Psychic can't do, and many things it can do better, but it'll never beat it in its niche.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, I'm inclined to put the druid first because of the whole "wild shape into a carnivorous crystal ooze and vital strike" thing along with "is best friends with a tiger" on top of being a 9th level caster, but are we just looking at spell lists here?

This is strictly power if you know something we don't share. I'm the OP and I made my original list without full Knowledge on all classes. If you think Druid crushes the best overall state why, I'll prolly become better w/Druid because of it

The Exchange

Shaman is the top of the top. You can do actual anything and everything with that class.

Reasons:

1. Shaman, Wizard, and Cleric spell lists.
2. Spirit Magic allows to spontaneously add metamagic to the bonus spells without preparation
3. Wandering Spirit allows for daily changes in spells and class features
4. Hexes: Wandering Hex and the Spirit Talker feat allow you to pick new hexes daily.
5. Half-elf Shaman can add paragon surge to their list and now add feats as another option to their daily customization.
6. Shaman is a wisdom based caster and therefore has a high will save.
7. Can decide to be an effective melee combatant with 3/4 bab if they feel like it and enhance it with battle spirit any day they choose.
8. Has access to the time and ancestor mystery revelations using an archetype.
9. Fantastic capstones. One even gives WIS to saves as well as better immortality with some extra abilities just in case.
10. Spirit abilities. Most are decent enough and free class features.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
A well built Wizard or Sorcerer will be able to do many things the Psychic can't do, and many things it can do better, but it'll never beat it in its niche

Enchantment focused Kitsune sorcerers may disagree with you. Between the Fey Bloodline and FCB you are looking at +7DC.


Dasrak wrote:

Really depends on what level we're talking about. At 20th, this would be my list:

1) Wizard - because he's a wizard
2) Arcanist - the closest thing you can get to a Wizard without being one
3) Cleric - the closest a divine spellcaster can get to being a Wizard
4) Sorcerer - the next closest thing to a Wizard, but spontaneous casting just isn't as good at 20th level play.
5) Psychic - solid 9-level caster, but not as good as wiz/sorc
6) Witch - probably should be higher, but I'm just not a fan of its class spell list.
7) Shaman - honestly not experienced with it, but it's a 9-level prepared caster so it belongs around here.
8) Oracle - spontaneous spellcasting isn't great at 20th level, but Oracles are still fine.
9) Druid - got to agree with the assessment of the weak spell list, but he's still a solid 9-level caster with decent class features.

At 20th level I'm inclined to think the Arcanist tops the wizard due to even better casting.


1. Wizard - Spell list, Versitile, bonus feats
2. Arcanist - Almost better than a wizard. Some exploits powerful, but Meta magic casting time is increased
3. Shaman - Less hexs than a witch, but more versatile. Missing a few important lower level spells though, like Remove Disease
4. Cleric - So many cleric options, but some of the best ones force you to be an evil cleric. Channel keeps your party alive at low levels
5. Witch - My personally favorite full caster. like hexs but not a lot of them are that good, so you always pick the same ones. Spell list is a little lacking, and in my opinion they should get a short list of proficiency with weapons.
6. Druid/Sorcerer Tie - I feel like they both have equivalent weaknesses. Sorcerer tend to get built into a corner, and will have some easily exploitable weakness. Druid get an animla companion which I think is underrated, but there are lots of ways to avoid those. Sorcerer also takes full round when using Metamagic, and druid is light on some of the more powerful divine spells.
8. Oracle - Can be more focused than the cleric, but just isn't as good
Psychic - I have not read that book, so I have no information on the Psychic


andreww wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
A well built Wizard or Sorcerer will be able to do many things the Psychic can't do, and many things it can do better, but it'll never beat it in its niche
Enchantment focused Kitsune sorcerers may disagree with you. Between the Fey Bloodline and FCB you are looking at +7DC.

I'm aware of that particular build, but it's only for Enchantment spells. I was talking about the wider category of mind-affecting spells, which includes a huge number of illusion options, a few good necromancy ones, and even the odd abjuration. Plus the discipline-specific DC boosters/save penalty options apply to all spells, not just mind-affecting. Put that together with the spell resistance penetrating and protection from X stripping phrenic amplifications, ability to affect undead without raising the spell level or extending the casting time, and quickened Ill Omen option, you can do more better (but not as often, due to phrenic pool limitations).


Shaman > Oracle ??!

No way IMO....

1) Oracle is v.SAD whereas Shaman is v.MAD

2) Oracle spell list >> Shaman spell list

3) Revelations > spirits

4) Archetypes better

Without crafting (eg PFS) Shaman has loads of probs and even with crafting so much money is tied up in MADness...

Grand Lodge

Just some thoughts, though I don’t have a specific ranking. I think arcanist and wizards trade of every second level. When the wizard has a new spell level they are likely ahead. When they both have the same level but the arcanist has the versatility and potent magic I would say the arcanist is ahead. Arcanist get one extra class skill which is UMD which is worth mentioning. I would call this a net tie.

Druid spells. My impression is that druids have vastly superior battle field control game compared to most other casters. Only the wizard spells list being better. If this is the “god wizard” way to play this is worth mentioning. It takes a bit of terrain knowledge but they can turn into a bird and see for miles around them so it should not be a problem. Consider spontaneous summoning, and for many standard actions spontaneous summoning, it is helpful when you mess up spell prep. The point of turning into a beat stick is not that it is better than casting it is that is saves spells so you have the most potent ones when you need them.

Caveat I have not played above 13th level with most 9th level casters do I don’t know the true power of creating demi plans, wish, miracle and all that wizard stuff.


Nature Oracle is number 1 for its infinite loop exploit.

Razmiran Sorcerer is number 2. Access to 9/9 arcane and 8/9 divine. Add to that the ability to use divine scrolls without actually expending them. Who can argue with effectively free resurrections?


MichaelCullen wrote:
Nature Oracle is number 1 for its infinite loop exploit.

...at level 20. Elemental Ally druids get the same thing on all four of their eidolons... at level 9.

Grand Lodge

Can someone include a few specific spells that validate their rankings for caster type?

It would be nice to eventually see a few different spell tiers fleshed out as well (lvls 5, 7, and 9?)


Arcane spells start getting game breaking around 5th level spells. My favorite example is magic jar.

Suppose a party had to clear out a fort of bad guys. He could cast magic jar and then have his bat familiar carry the focus component gem into the area near the fort. The wizard could then attempt to posses the people inside one by one, controlling their bodies and attacking the others in the fort. When one body was killed another could be stolen, until there was no one left. If the defenders lacked the ability to dispel his spell, he could pretty much do this with impunity. If he was worried about being dispelled he would just have to make sure his body was near by (using what ever spells he choses to make sure it remains undetected.)

With one casting of a 5th level spell a wizard can take out a whole fort, usually with little danger to himself.

Sorcerers can do the same thing a little bettter (eschew material means they can usually cast in the new body). But they arrive at the party a level late.

Psychics can do some similar things (attack without line of effect, with impunity) with possession, but possession, while safer, only gets one target.


Even with 3rd level arcane spells a wizard/sorcerer need not worry about dying too much. Just make sure you die in someone else's body. Via marionette possession, you just have to charm/suggest them first.


MichaelCullen wrote:
Just make sure you die in someone else's body. Via marionette possession, you just have to charm/suggest them first.

Or just knock them unconscious!

Magic wrote:
Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing


andreww wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
A well built Wizard or Sorcerer will be able to do many things the Psychic can't do, and many things it can do better, but it'll never beat it in its niche
Enchantment focused Kitsune sorcerers may disagree with you. Between the Fey Bloodline and FCB you are looking at +7DC.

Lol enchantment

Edit: I suppose I should also add something constructive. Wiz, then Cler, then Arcanist


Avoron wrote:
MichaelCullen wrote:
Just make sure you die in someone else's body. Via marionette possession, you just have to charm/suggest them first.

Or just knock them unconscious!

Magic wrote:
Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing

Works great if you know their name. Otherwise, you need to get that out of them first :)


I feel prepared casters are at an advantage in any hypothetical situation because we assume that they have access to everything on the spot. To be fair, exploiter wizards and arcanists can actually do this so they are ending up on the top of the list regardless.

Still, if reality manipulation is the most important thing then obviously access to Wish/Miracle is the most important part of high level spell casting.

If I had to list them, I do it in tiers

S Tier: Wizard [Exploiter]
A Tier: Wizard, Anarchist
B Tier: Psychic, Cleric
C Tier: Shaman [19 Int, Arcane Enlightenment], Witch [Endurance]
D Tier: Sorcerer, Oracle
E Tier: Witch (Non-endurance), Shaman (No 19 Int, AE), Druid

The list is rather simple, being a prepared caster is better than being a non-prepared caster. Being able to cast Wish/Miracle is better than not being able to caster Wish/Miracle. Having a larger spell list is better than having a small spell list.

This is, of course, assuming high level. High level is assumed since that is when it is relevant to talk about the last 3 tiers of spells which is all that differentiates full casters from 3/4s casters.


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There's also number of spells and earlier access to spells to differentiate full casters from 6-level casters. A 5th level wizard (specialist, 16 Int) has 3 3rd level spells/day to throw around. A bard gets the same number at 8th level. Some people turn their noses up at this sort of difference, thinking that they'd never play a full caster just for that, but it makes a huge difference to the way the classes play.

So; taking 6th level as a more rational comparison point than 20th, since most games include the former and very few the latter,

1) Druid. At lower levels there's a lot on the druid list, it's mainly at high levels that they have few choices. At 6th level wild shape, an animal companion or a domain is a big deal.
1=) Exploiter Wizard. OK, this is OP.
2) Wizard.
3) Arcanist. An easier to play wizard with a touch less power.
4) Oracle. There are plenty of things you can do with an oracle which are powerful enough.
5) Shaman w/Arcane Enlightenment. MAD but the customisable spell list is great.
6) Cleric. Solid if not always impressive. Knowing all the spells on your list, and the list being long is good.
7) Shaman w/out AE. Slumber hex and a moderately customisable spell list are good.
8) Witch. The slumber hex keeps it from being lower but that's all.
9) Psychic. A sorcerer with odd and hard to contest niches.
10) Sorcerer. OK, you can blast, but gunslingers, bomber alchemists etc can too. A blood arcanist can do it better in many ways. It has niches but is contested at all of them.


Perhaps this list should have multiple ranking sets? So a ranking set for just the casting type+list, a ranking set for the unarchetyped classes, and a ranking set containing the best archetype (including base) for each class?


If a Shaman's Arcane Enlightenment (4-8 arcane spells added to spell list, can be changed one spell per level) pumps up the power level of the Shaman that much, what does the Feat: Dreamed Secrets do for the Cleric?

Dreamed Secrets requires worshiping out Outer or Elder God, but there are some CN qualifying deities that allow for a Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral or True Neutral Cleric.

The power of Dreamed Secrets is that the Cleric can select any two arcane spells to add to his spell list that can be prepared each day when spells are prepared. They can be no higher than 1 level below the highest the Cleric can cast. The Cleric can change the two available spells each morning.

While Arcane Enlightenment allows more arcane spells to be added to the list on any given day, Dreamed Secrets allows the Cleric to change the selected spells far more often, allowing for a degree of flexibility at least as great (if not greater) that what is allowed by Arcane Enlightenment.

(Caveat: Using these spells with Dreamed Secrets requires a Will save, but by the 7th level required to take the Feat, the Clerics Will save should be pretty darn stout. At higher levels, the save would only fail on a 1.)


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a Shaman's Arcane Enlightenment can be changed each day as long as it's not your main spirit but a wandering spirit. Plus they can be of the highest level you can cast, not capped at -1.


Chess Pwn wrote:
a Shaman's Arcane Enlightenment can be changed each day as long as it's not your main spirit but a wandering spirit.

I think I read in these forums that there is now a tendency to rule against this use of Arcane Enlightenment as a Wandering Hex, arguing that you can change a spell only once per level in any case, and then your selection of spells is set for that level.


Soul Devourer wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
a Shaman's Arcane Enlightenment can be changed each day as long as it's not your main spirit but a wandering spirit.
I think I read in these forums that there is now a tendency to rule against this use of Arcane Enlightenment as a Wandering Hex, arguing that you can change a spell only once per level in any case, and then your selection of spells is set for that level.

I also have read a good bit of dissent against the change-every-day interpretation of Arcane Enlightenment; ie., there is nothing to indicate that each day you select Arcane Enlightenment as if you never had it before.


Thats the thing though, the Shaman is v.MAD

Its biggest strength is also its biggest weakness...

The entire class is built on the assumption that every single person will take Arcane Enlightenment... and to this day Ive never gamed with someone with a Shaman PC who didnt!!!

Getting WIS, INT and CHA up high is really hard and thats even with crafting rules..... good luck with that in PFS! And even if you manage it, your physical stats will suck bad.

And also you are tied in to the race FCB that get you cleric spells (at a -1 level).... this means no extra hp or skill and no PrCing.

I much prefer Oracle....super SAD


Also the prob with these 'Rankings' threads is that they are very situational...

For example, A lot of people havent ranked the Druid high but then if you had to solo an adventure, a Druid would probably be the best class choice going!!


doc roc wrote:
if you had to solo an adventure, a Druid would probably be the best class choice going!!

Almost certainly the best choice, since the druid is the only class which gets a "self-resurrection" (well, reincarnation) option through an archetype. If there's not a time constraint built into the adventure, the correct Druid build can just win via attrition.

There's nothing wrong with doing these sorts of rankings, but you sort of have to specify the reference frame we're comparing them from, since the answer is going to change depending on whether you're talking about level 6, 12, 20; whether you're in a small party or a large party, etc. You could maybe try to integrate over the whole possibility space, but enumerating that possibility space would be difficult.


ShroudedInLight wrote:

I feel prepared casters are at an advantage in any hypothetical situation because we assume that they have access to everything on the spot. To be fair, exploiter wizards and arcanists can actually do this so they are ending up on the top of the list regardless.

Still, if reality manipulation is the most important thing then obviously access to Wish/Miracle is the most important part of high level spell casting.

If I had to list them, I do it in tiers

S Tier: Wizard [Exploiter]
A Tier: Wizard, Anarchist
B Tier: Psychic, Cleric
C Tier: Shaman [19 Int, Arcane Enlightenment], Witch [Endurance]
D Tier: Sorcerer, Oracle
E Tier: Witch (Non-endurance), Shaman (No 19 Int, AE), Druid

The list is rather simple, being a prepared caster is better than being a non-prepared caster. Being able to cast Wish/Miracle is better than not being able to caster Wish/Miracle. Having a larger spell list is better than having a small spell list.

This is, of course, assuming high level. High level is assumed since that is when it is relevant to talk about the last 3 tiers of spells which is all that differentiates full casters from 3/4s casters.

The Fate Patron gives Wish too, not for nothing is the Patron of Baba Yaga


PossibleCabbage wrote:
doc roc wrote:
if you had to solo an adventure, a Druid would probably be the best class choice going!!

Almost certainly the best choice, since the druid is the only class which gets a "self-resurrection" (well, reincarnation) option through an archetype. If there's not a time constraint built into the adventure, the correct Druid build can just win via attrition.

There's nothing wrong with doing these sorts of rankings, but you sort of have to specify the reference frame we're comparing them from, since the answer is going to change depending on whether you're talking about level 6, 12, 20; whether you're in a small party or a large party, etc. You could maybe try to integrate over the whole possibility space, but enumerating that possibility space would be difficult.

Most tier list are pretty general, but a like the idea of making four sets, for: 1st level, 6th level, 12th level, and 20th level.


Yeah, I feel like the Druid is stronger than is being given credit for. I mean, I definitely feel it tapers off later on, but for the levels I actually play (and most people seem to actually play, given adventure path typical levels), the Druid is excellent. I wouldn't put it at Wizard tier, but I'd probably put it above Sorcerer and Oracle.

As far as usability goes though, Druid is top of my list. Wild Shape helps with a lot of common problems that face adventurers without having to manage spells, and having a martial character for a pet is just amusing. Poor, poor martials.


PK the Dragon wrote:

Yeah, I feel like the Druid is stronger than is being given credit for. I mean, I definitely feel it tapers off later on, but for the levels I actually play (and most people seem to actually play, given adventure path typical levels), the Druid is excellent. I wouldn't put it at Wizard tier, but I'd probably put it above Sorcerer and Oracle.

As far as usability goes though, Druid is top of my list. Wild Shape helps with a lot of common problems that face adventurers without having to manage spells, and having a martial character for a pet is just amusing. Poor, poor martials.

The druid is the best earlier because it's the least caster. None of the other full caster's have anything close to the melee capacity that wildshape gives. So Early game and early-mid when hit it with a stick still works most of the time the druid is the strongest because it hits with a stick really well. But it's casting is never that great, and the druid falls as casting gets more important and hitting it with a stick is less effective.


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I mean, I don't disagree with that, I just put more stress on the importance of the lower levels, and I also stress that despite all that, the Druid is still a full prepared caster, it just has a weaker spell list. I think it's still pretty competitive until level 13 (and even then is still an overwhelming force in most games, just a little less so than the other casters).

I'm not saying that the Druid is better than Wizard, or a well played Cleric. Again, I do consider it a tad better than Sorcerers and Oracles though, who don't get to benefit as much from their superior spell lists.

And again, on the usability front, the Druid always has a fallback strategy of "melee things to death", even if he prepares the wrong spells for the scenario. If he gets surprised, Wild Shape, no need to worry about rogues with step up starting the combat next to you, you can handle that. He always has a meat shield willing to be between him and the enemy. And then when the opportunity presents itself, caster them all to death as usual. This may not be pure power levels in it's traditional sense, but for a player like me it's significant. I don't always prepare the right spells for the right occasion, sometimes my spell picks for spontaneous casters are awful, so it's nice to play a caster with a strong fall back strategy.

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