Best class vs the undead?


Advice


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There are a few classes/archetypes out there that seem to stand out. What is your pick for devastating the undead (single target and multiple) while resisting or avoiding their worst abilities?

Or am I wrong and it's all about spell selection and magic items?

J


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I personally love a good old fashioned Wizard Necromancer.

They get Command Undead as a free feat and access to the spell Command Undead very quickly. My necromancers usually start with a 19 (after racial) INT and a 13 Cha so I can with magical items/feat keep the Command Undead up to snuff. Also, makes for a charming Wizard able to talk his way around things.

There are classes that do perform better at controlling large amounts of Undead but I just feel the basic wizard necromancer hardly needs much investment to be a great character. Plus having access to the games strongest spell list also is a huge bonus.


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If you are looking at fighting undead a cleric of Sarenrae with the sun and glory domain works pretty well. If you go Aasimar you can take the alternative favored class bonus for even higher damage when channeling positive energy. Normally a channel focused build is not that good, but this particular combination of race and domains works very well.

Aasimar will also allow you to take the Deathless Spirit alternative racial trait which will be very useful for defending against undead. Clerics also have good fortitude and will saves which will also be important vs undead. Through in a few defensive spells form the cleric spell list and you will have the best defenses against undead you possibly can get.

Normally the clerics offensive spells are lacking compared to most other classes. But vs undead it is actually quite good. While combat healing may be a waste of time cure spells can be used to damage undead. In a undead heavy campaign the cleric spell list becomes one of the better spell lists.

It may be old fashioned and not have all the glitter of the newer classes/architypes but the basic cleric is still very good vs undead.


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What Mysterious Stranger said, plus VMC Cavalier (Order of the Star) for 1.5x Channel Energy progression.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Paladin can be fun, since smite gets extra damage versus undead, and divine health is nice versus mummmies. I believe they also can get an anti-undead ability on their weapon from celestial spirit.


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Redelia wrote:
Paladin can be fun, since smite gets extra damage versus undead, and divine health is nice versus mummmies. I believe they also can get an anti-undead ability on their weapon from celestial spirit.

Like Athaleon said you can Take VMC Cav (Order of the star) and really drive home your Channel energy and LoH abilities.

But the casting abilities are extremely lacking...But for Melee and in combat with Undead a Paladin will rock.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There are different classes that would be good. Maybe it would be interesting to come up with an effective party in an undead heavy campaign.

martial: paladin
divine: cleric of Sarenrae, sun domain
skill monkey: either unchained rogue (if tomb crawling, because then probably lots of traps) or bard
arcane: ???

I don't think I'd try to mix a necromancer and a paladin in the same party.


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Sacred Servant Paladin with the Sun domain.

Oracle of Life.


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Redelia wrote:

There are different classes that would be good. Maybe it would be interesting to come up with an effective party in an undead heavy campaign.

martial: paladin
divine: cleric of Sarenrae, sun domain
skill monkey: either unchained rogue (if tomb crawling, because then probably lots of traps) or bard
arcane: ???

I don't think I'd try to mix a necromancer and a paladin in the same party.

That is if you believe every necromancer is evil.

It is very easy to make a Necromancer who does not Raise Undead but Commands undead already created to accomplish the greater good. The Paladin can easily be told, "What doesn't die in our Service you can put to rest. Let us just let them die helping us in our noble goals."

Command Undead both spell and feat are not evil in any way and many Necromancy spells can be used without evil. Magic Jar, Waves of Exhaustion/Fatigue, Ray of enfeeblement, Fear, Vampiric Touch, ext.

Most people hear necromancer and it brings up negative thoughts. Much like how you are conditioned to think negative of conspiracy theorist. It is a conditioning in most people's brains.

Silver Crusade

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Redelia wrote:
skill monkey: either unchained rogue (if tomb crawling, because then probably lots of traps) or bard

For tomb raiding, a Crypt Breaker Alchemist is also good (and thematic).


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Louise Bishop said wrote:

It is very easy to make a Necromancer who does not Raise Undead but Commands undead already created to accomplish the greater good. The Paladin can easily be told, "What doesn't die in our Service you can put to rest. Let us just let them die helping us in our noble goals."

Command Undead both spell and feat are not evil in any way and many Necromancy spells can be used without evil. Magic Jar, Waves of Exhaustion/Fatigue, Ray of enfeeblement, Fear, Vampiric Touch, ext.

Most people hear necromancer and it brings up negative thoughts. Much like how you are conditioned to think negative of conspiracy theorist. It is a conditioning in most people's brains.

This is because there are no good clerics who can control or animate dead. Animate Dead is an evil spell. Controlling undead is only possible by channeling negative energy, which is either evil or neutral. That's why hearing necromancer brings negative thoughts. Because undead are evil. I'm sure there are rare undead that aren't evil, but for the most part, they are evil. A paladin hearing your argument could just as easily say, "I won't be party to animated abominations that should be interred in hallowed ground, not traipsed about and used as a tool. That's someone's son or daughter! Not a sword or cart!" For every argument, there is a counter argument.

Just remember, Paizo made undead evil and added the evil stigma that goes along with undead. In earlier D&D editions, mindless undead were neutral. Simple animated constructs... but it was still somebody's son or daughter.

As for the conspiracy theorists, that's not conditioning. That's because most of the time, it's an armchair physicist that thinks he knows more than an actual scientist that spent long hard hours learning what the guy sitting in front of his computer is guessing at. Or, he thinks the scientist is lying to oppress the people for <insert evil agenda here>. I'm not saying that all conspiracies are fake or real. This isn't the pace for that flame war. I'm just saying that a few actual crazies ruin it for the rest. Stigma and stereotypes come from somewhere.


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In an actual attempt to be helpful, I'm playing a Ranger Corpse Hunter archetype. He's actually an undead, himself. For traits, he's got Stubborn (+2 vs control so he's resistant to Control Undead) and Scarred Descendant (+1 to confirm crits and survival checks to track on own racial subtype). I took a drawback and got an additional trait; Undead Crusader (+1 damage and Knowledge Religion checks against Undead). For Feats, he has Favored Defense (add 1/2 favored enemy bonus to CMD and dodge bonus to AC vs favored enemy) and Flesh Eater (heal 5hp/HD by eating freshly killed creature). All of that, along with the archetype benefits, he's pretty decent against undead. He's extremely focused, so he is definitely in need of a group to be in. He relies on the other party members and when it comes to undead, he's the go-to guy. The campaign is based around a huge undead threat, so I'm not completely useless. LOL


Paladins are best, followed by sorcerer for groups (or other class with access to good nukes). No matter what you use channel for, fireball will usually better it. Or any 1d6/lvl nuke.


Paladin with a Sunblade specific magic weapon. You'll melt undead.


Dual cursed Oracle, Bones mystery. Command undead and force them to reroll the save if necessary.


I don't know about the "best" but the Kinslayer Inquisitor archetype is pretty fun. They get Bane as a class ability which you can switch to the Disruption special ability if you take the Final Rest Inquisition (insta kill undead if they fail the save).

Plus they get a fun Branding mechanic which works really well against undead generally.


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A dwarven ranger could be fun.

* Hardy, Steel Soul, Glory of Old (+5 saves vs spells and spell like effects)

* Second Trait- Child of Platinum (You come from a family whose ancestors worked in platinum mines. Your parents never explained why they’ve never returned but they did make sure that you knew your way around a fight against undead foes. Benefit You gain a +1 trait bonus to weapon damage against undead.)

* Barrow Scholar: Dwarves with this racial trait gain a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (religion) checks to identify undead and can attempt them untrained. This racial trait replaces stonecunning. Source PRG:HA

* Barrow Warden: Dwarves with this racial trait gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +1 dodge bonus to their AC against undead. This racial trait replaces defensive training and hatred. Source PRG:HA

* Favored Enemy Undead (At 1st level, a ranger selects a creature type from the ranger favored enemies table. He gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of his selected type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A ranger may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.)

All works at lvl1.

+3 Hit and +3 Damage vs undead. +4 knowledge religion to identify undead. +5 saves vs spells and spell like effects. Also +1 AC vs undead to boot.

Grab your favorite hammer and raid some tombs!


Best class vs a known opponent is the Ranger.

Favored enemy bonuses are always on, all day, every day, starting at first level.


It always seemed to me after various unpleasant encounters, that the most important thing is to recognize what you are facing, since a good many undead are very similar at first glance, especially in the dark. If you have anyone with good knowledge-religion or past experience with the foe, then any party with suitable equipment (burning oil / holy water) should be able to deal with whatsit.

In a prolonged foray against repeated and varied undead encounters, it's good to have a cleric and to save the cleric's powers for nasty surprises, rather than as your principal offense. Other than that, I prefer to NEVER go hand to hand with undead (see under ghoul/shadow PTSD).


Thanks all for the helpful suggestions. A lot of good points have been made for the cleric, paladin and ranger, as well as not being a melee person. Multiple undead inflict multiple problems if they touch you and you don't save.

What about multiclassing possibilities?


JDawg75 wrote:

Thanks all for the helpful suggestions. A lot of good points have been made for the cleric, paladin and ranger, as well as not being a melee person. Multiple undead inflict multiple problems if they touch you and you don't save.

What about multiclassing possibilities?

Paladins are generally built with those saves in mind. But if you really want to stay back and fight undead I would start with fighter focus on bows or crossbows and then alternate with Divine Hunter after you get the feats you need for your respective weapon.

Mixing Divine Hunter with ranger or hunter would also be pretty powerful. I don't know your GM but I like do put living things with my undead just to mix combat up a bit.

Alternatively on the arcane side you have a whole host of Magus. Arcane is not specifically good against undead but some of the spells overlap and not many undead have immunity against good old fashion elemental damage. Not to mention they have horrible reflex saves. For some true range fun Arcane Archer. Arcanist fighter is a good combo for that since the exploits can give you mobility and CL boosts.

For your bat $^*! option mix a Arcane spell casting class with Divine Hunter for some true scoot and shoot action.


JDawg75 wrote:

Thanks all for the helpful suggestions. A lot of good points have been made for the cleric, paladin and ranger, as well as not being a melee person. Multiple undead inflict multiple problems if they touch you and you don't save.

What about multiclassing possibilities?

Most characters are better off staying single-classed because of the way class features scale. The only reasons to multiclass are to qualify for a prestige class (few of which are worthwhile in Pathfinder) or to "dip" one level, two at the most, for a specific purpose (e.g. Investigator starting with one level of Inspired Blade Swashbuckler for Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus and Parry).

Staying at range is good, but be sure to have a backup plan because you will be engaged in melee. A ruthless opponent will try to Sunder your bow, so be ready for that.

Good saves are paramount (especially Fortitude and Will) because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But prevention doesn't always work, so ensure you have options for condition removal. Cleric is best at that.

Aasimar has the Deathless Spirit alternate racial trait, which makes them a good runner-up to Dwarves in the save department. And their racial ability scores are much more flexible, especially if you want to go with Paladin.

Deathless Spirit:

Particularly strong-willed aasimars possess celestial spirits capable of resisting the powers of death. They gain resistance 5 against negative energy damage. They do not lose hit points when they gain a negative level, and they gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against death effects, energy drain, negative energy, and spells or spell-like abilities of the necromancy school. This racial trait replaces celestial resistance.

If you have permission to refluff it, Oath Against The Way is an interesting choice for Paladin.

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