Which class or archetype has the most powerful animal companion?


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Lots of classes out there have animal companions. Races such as Aasimar, Half Orc and Human even have racial feats related to them. There are a ton of options.

What's the best way to gain the most OP, pimped out animal companion out there?

Edit: I don't know if it's crazy powerful, but I like the idea of an Aasimar Inquisitor with the feather domain, taking a companion with the boon companion feat and the Possession inquisition if possible, and giving them the celestial template.

J


3pp friendly? I loved building a full caster using spheres of power and totally investing every feat and sphere point into a pair of insane minions filled with immunities, abilities, and poisons.

Grand Lodge

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A few contenders.

Sylvan sorcerer: spells like transformation, flash forward (with pounce), overland flight. Things can get silly. FLYING TIGER DOUBLE POUNCE

Evangelist cleric with the animal domain: animal with flag bearer buff, inspire, divine power is a pure beast. Animal companion with most of the best buffs in Pathfinder. Eventually, hunters blessing, eagles soul, Bestow Grace of the Champion. SING SONG TIGER SMITE POUNCE.

Nature or Lunar oracles: much like above there is even an archtype that gets inspire courage.

Hunters various: best AC stats, good generic buff like magic fang, strong jaw etc. Additional feats via teamwork feats. EXTRA BUFF TIGER POUNCE

Sacred Huntmaster: like the hunter but with inquisitor buff, divine power, heroism, greater invisibility. INVISIBLE EXTRA BUFF TIGER POUCE

Ravener hunter: see above but also get wild shape for TWO TIGER POUNCE (evangelist can make it THREE TIGER POUNCE)

Eldritch Guardian: technically a familiar but it's full bab and a feat per level. The mauler can be a monster. FLYING FOX DOES COMPLEX FIGHTER STUFF no pounce :(

Druid various: you get most of the good buff spells that the hunter has but you get them sooner, and you get more of them. Greater magic fang, atavism, animal growth, strong jaw, hunters blessing. BUFF TIGER POUNCE.

Add evagislist (pretige class) to any build and worship erasiitle to get a second animal companion BONUS TIGER POUNCE


Hunters, provided they're at least 3rd-level, automatically share all of their Teamwork feats with their companion, sans prerequisites. Pounce-kitties are nice, but anything that can wear Tuskblades will be a doom-machine once you start tag-teaming Paired Opportunists and the Fortuitous weapon enhancement.


what level are you looking to get it? hunters are pretty good at all levels for animal companions were as nature shamans can make their familiars also be animal companions so they can have an animal companion that is also a mauler familiar and when combined with some favored class bonuses it gets pretty dope


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Courtly hunter gets an animal companion with many of the upsides of a familiar as well. OK, it loses some of the hunter-only animal companion advantages, but still.

A sohei monk who takes animal ally (horse) - or who just keeps buying more and more expensive trained animals - can buff their mount quite nicely while also flurrying a lance.


Mammoth Riders get to ride Huge Mounts. They are a Prestige Class, so you could probably be a Hunter/Druid/Mammoth Rider with lots of Shared Teamwork Feats and the ability to Buff your Triceratops Mount.

Of course, the way to really have the most powerful Animal Companion is to play a Druidzilla character build. You don't take an Animal Companion at all. Take a Domain, and then take the Leadership Feat. In this scenario, the Animal is the Player Character, and the rider is the Cohort. You will be an Animal with a Person Companion!


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Summoner with Animal Ally.

Why have one pet when you can have two at full strength.


I have a character that is a supernaturalist druid that has a treant animal companion. At 4th lvl it goes from medium to large. At 3rd lvl a supernaturalist can take a spell from the psychic spell list and add it to her druid spell list. Chose enlarge person and you can cast it on your companion. 4th lvl a huge tree with 15' reach with its two 2d6 slam attacks, 25 strength, 30' climb speed, plant immunities, double damage to objects, doesn't sleep... throw on some strong jaw and you're looking at some serious damage.


Grandlounge wrote:


Ravener hunter: see above but also get wild shape for TWO TIGER POUNCE (evangelist can make it THREE TIGER POUNCE)

Do you mean feral hunter archetype? How do ravener hunters gain wildshape?

Grand Lodge

I should have put wild shape in quotation marks. There is a lunar revelation that gives hour/lvl polymorph. It is called Form of the Beast. It has a bunch of caveats that I should have also included but I was being lazy.


Grandlounge wrote:
I should have put wild shape in quotation marks. There is a lunar revelation that gives hour/lvl polymorph. It is called Form of the Beast. It has a bunch of caveats that I should have also included but I was being lazy.

Thanks I could have sworn that there is some polymorph spell for the hunter (so I either on ranger or on druid list) that transforms you into an animal equal to your AC (with some scaling restriction), but I cant seem to find it...


Merm7th wrote:
I have a character that is a supernaturalist druid that has a treant animal companion. At 4th lvl it goes from medium to large. At 3rd lvl a supernaturalist can take a spell from the psychic spell list and add it to her druid spell list. Chose enlarge person and you can cast it on your companion. 4th lvl a huge tree with 15' reach with its two 2d6 slam attacks, 25 strength, 30' climb speed, plant immunities, double damage to objects, doesn't sleep... throw on some strong jaw and you're looking at some serious damage.

A treant is a Plant creature and can't be targeted by Enlarge Person. Enlarge Person requires a Humanoid target.

Grand Lodge

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Share Spells let's this work does it not?


Thebazilly wrote:
Merm7th wrote:
I have a character that is a supernaturalist druid that has a treant animal companion. At 4th lvl it goes from medium to large. At 3rd lvl a supernaturalist can take a spell from the psychic spell list and add it to her druid spell list. Chose enlarge person and you can cast it on your companion. 4th lvl a huge tree with 15' reach with its two 2d6 slam attacks, 25 strength, 30' climb speed, plant immunities, double damage to objects, doesn't sleep... throw on some strong jaw and you're looking at some serious damage.

A treant is a Plant creature and can't be targeted by Enlarge Person. Enlarge Person requires a Humanoid target.

Druids and the other animal companion classes often get to bypass that restriction by virtue of the share spells class feature. Any spell that can target the druid is eligible to target their AC even if it wouldn't normally be.


Playing a hunter right now and the animal companion can be a beast with the right build and feats.

At third level, my wolf has an AC of 19 and I can boost that to 25 with the Bolster Companion ranger skirmisher trick and the Animal Focus. I've never seen companions as expendable since I focus more on the storytelling side of TRPGs, which meant I was always nervous about using my companion in a fight if it's AC was too low.

His attack is only a 1d6+2+trip right now, but he also has the Distracting Attack skirmisher trick to give enemies a -2 to their attack. I also plan on finding ways to boost his attack now that his AC is pretty good.

Hunter companions also keep whatever animal focus you apply to it all day and as the class levels up, it just gets more powerful.

But I think the ability to give the companion skirmisher tricks, combined with the shared Teamwork feats is what really makes the companion awesome. Really, Hunter Tactics is almost broken since it lets you swap feats at will equal to your Wisdom modifier.


Wow, OK. A lot of contenders in this thread. If there's no agreement on a top choice, can we at least narrow it down to a top 3?


JDawg75 wrote:
Wow, OK. A lot of contenders in this thread. If there's no agreement on a top choice, can we at least narrow it down to a top 3?

Well dude, you are the OP. Narrowing it down is your job.

Lots of people are saying Hunters. I suggested Mammoth Rider. But Mammoth Rider is a Prestige Class. There is no reason why you can't be a Hunter and a Mammoth Rider. Or an almost anything and a Mammoth Rider: Mammoth Rider is an add-on.

I'm really pretty sure that I came up with the most powerful suggestion for a Mount: a Druidzilla Build with the Leadership Feat. Druidzilla characters are really good at making opponents melt away under a hail of high-damage attacks. It's one of the most powerful kinds of melee characters you can have, and character builds are almost always more powerful than any Mount or Companion. Then you take the Leadership Feat. When your build is an Animal with a Humaoid Companion, the Animal will pretty much always be more powerful than any Animal Companion of any Humanoid.

You could do pretty much the same thing with a Synthesist Summoner. I don't know a lot about how to build a Syntheist Summoner, but I've heard they are pretty uber. So, maybe a Synthesist Summoner, and take Leadership, and let your Cohort ride you. Same idea as with the Druidzilla.

But, maybe you are interested in things other than just having the most powerful Animal.


JDawg75 wrote:


... I like the idea of an Aasimar Inquisitor ...giving them the celestial template.

J

Instead of feather domain, just go for the sacred huntsmaster.

IF you feel like a celestial pet is cool: 5 words: Swift action Litany Of Righteousness

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/l/litany-of-righteousness/


To narrow it down you need to define what you're measuring and when. If it's damage after 3 rounds of buffing at level 10 that's an answerable question, if it's some average of the benchmarks unbuffed at level 20 that's probably also answerable but very likely different.


It seems that several classes/archetypes/PC's can summon most of the same companions (such as dinosaurs). If I'm wrong about that let me know.

I'm wanting a companion that's effective as a tank and has great DPR, for as much of the range from 1-20 as possible. I don't want to worry about him getting killed all the time so I want him beefy, and preferably with a pounce but not mandatory. It's also important he not be Huge or needing lots of space, because I don't want to leave him behind whenever we need to enter a dungeon--or even a city, if possible, since lots of APs are urban. Flight would be nice but not required.

In terms of specific numbers, I love that bench-pressing table and use it often. I'd like him to be in the green for EDV for as many levels as possible (I'm not worried past lvl 17, as that's when most AP's end), but it's not as important as him being tanky enough to survive.

I hope these details help.


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I've done a bunch of "Animal Master" builds and of the ones I've done the following is the "strongest" IMO, as it sacrifices quantity for quality.
----------------------------------------------------------
Beast Riding Knight “Superbeast x2” (Druid/Inquisitor)
Key concepts: An inquisitor with two powerful beasts
Alignment: N, NE, CE (must be within one step of NE)
Race: Halfling
Racial Traits: Caretaker and Fey-Quickened
Class: Druid (1), Inquisitor
Archetype(s): Pack Lord(Druid), Sacred Huntsmaster(Inquisitor)
Domain: Chivalry Inquisition
Mount: Wolf(1st) / Worg (5th+)
Key Feats: Exotic Heritage[K. Nature] (1st), Eldritch Heritage [Sylvan] (3rd), Monstrous Mount(5th), Eldritch Heritage [Arcane] (7th), Boon Companion (15th)
Suggested Feats: Share Feature, Monstrous Companion, Celestial Servant (Aasimar), Companion Figurine, Totem Beast

How it works:

Druid/Sacred Huntsmaster grants you an animal companion
Chivalry Inquisition gives you a mount.
Eldritch Heritage (Sylvan) grants you an animal companion.

Normally, multiple sources of animal companions stack, and so you would be stuck with all of the levels going toward the mount or a single mount at your level and an animal companion at HD = to your level+1. The remaining levels would just be wasted and not contribute. However, the druid archetype Pack Lord, allows you to split up the HD into multiple companions as you see fit.

This means you can split all of the levels evenly between your mount and your animal companion and keep both of them at approx HD = your level+1. Once you hit level 16, the additional animal companion levels can overflow into a 3rd companion, while they won't be very powerful, it's better than losing it all together.

This build also gives you a familiar, who will progress at your level-2. I did this because it's basically just 1 feat and so "why not?"

Your progression will look approximately as follows:

Character Level |Mount|A. Companion 1|A. Companion 2|Familiar
1| 1| 0| 0| 0
2| 2| 2| 0| 0
3| 4| 3| 0| 0
4| 5| 4| 0| 0
5| 6| 5| 0| 0
6| 7| 6| 0| 0
7| 9| 7| 0| 5
8| 11| 8| 0| 6
9| 12| 10| 0| 7
10| 13| 12| 0| 8
11| 15| 13| 0| 9
12| 16| 15| 0| 10
13| 17| 17| 0| 11
14| 19| 18| 0| 12
15| 20| 19| 5| 13
16| 21| 21| 5| 14
17| 22| 22| 6| 15
18| 24| 23| 6| 16
19| 25| 24| 7| 17
20| 26| 26| 7| 18

Some extra details
*Any team work feat you take gets shared with at least 1 of your animal companions if not all (depending on how you interpret Hunter Tactics) along with a host of other abilities.
*Caretaker allows you to increase any one stat of your animal friends by 2, per animal friend. This means that if you pick int you don't have to rely on tricks to command them and they can take any feat they are physically capable of taking.
*Your mount starts with an int of 6, meaning you can pick a different stat to increase and it otherwise gains the same benefits listed above.
*Your mount starts off as a wolf and then gets improved into a worg via the monstrous mount feat.

Grand Lodge

I will offer one build for comparison at a reasonable level heavily optimized for damage.

This is all in fully buffed (first round attack) from a pounce for the evangelist provide they scrimped and saved for banner. I likely better represent level 8 (when I bought my banner on another build). I would not recommend min-maxing for damage this hard, but it is do-able. There may be builds like the hunter with outflank, paired opportunist and pack flanking that do more damage but I don’t think their animal companion does this much damage and it’s is unlikely to do so first round as the build requires both PC and AC to full attack to maximise crits (still a great build I run a version of it in PFS).

Animal feats: Power attack, death from above, additional traits (fate favored, Screaming Leap)

Attack = Bab 4 + 6 Str + -2 PA + 5 death from above + 2 flag bearer + 3 Inspire (with flag) + 3 Divine Power + 1 amulet.
Attack = +22 (95% accuracy CR10)
Grab bonus = +26

Damage = 6 Str + 4 PA + 2 Flag + 3 Inspire + 3 Divine favor +1 amulet + 1 (trait)
Damage = +20

Average damage for bites 2 (.95(24.5))
Average damage for claws 4 (.95(23.5))
Total damage before possible crits ~136.

With crits 142 average damage with crits. For perspective, according to the chart, that is a one-shot for cr 10 creature 130 hp. You one-shot if you roll above 1.8 average on the die.
This build adds discordant voice later for an additional d6 to every attack, hunters blessing at 9, eagles soul at 11 and start smiting at level 13 given any prep time. All core ability continue to scale, so this is a good representation of the power of this build. You can add a quickened buff if you like later to further pump damage round 1, or you can also use beast shape 3 to turn your big cat into an actual dire tiger and increase its strength and damage dice.
Swift spell, move song, standard divine power.


LordKailas wrote:

I've done a bunch of "Animal Master" builds and of the ones I've done the following is the "strongest" IMO, as it sacrifices quantity for quality.

----------------------------------------------------------
Beast Riding Knight “Superbeast x2” (Druid/Inquisitor)
Key concepts: An inquisitor with two powerful beasts
Alignment: N, NE, CE (must be within one step of NE)
Race: Halfling
Racial Traits: Caretaker and Fey-Quickened
Class: Druid (1), Inquisitor
Archetype(s): Pack Lord(Druid), Sacred Huntsmaster(Inquisitor)
Domain: Chivalry Inquisition
Mount: Wolf(1st) / Worg (5th+)
Key Feats: Exotic Heritage[K. Nature] (1st), Eldritch Heritage [Sylvan] (3rd), Monstrous Mount(5th), Eldritch Heritage [Arcane] (7th), Boon Companion (15th)
Suggested Feats: Share Feature, Monstrous Companion, Celestial Servant (Aasimar), Companion Figurine, Totem Beast

How it works:

Druid/Sacred Huntsmaster grants you an animal companion
Chivalry Inquisition gives you a mount.
Eldritch Heritage (Sylvan) grants you an animal companion.

Normally, multiple sources of animal companions stack, and so you would be stuck with all of the levels going toward the mount or a single mount at your level and an animal companion at HD = to your level+1. The remaining levels would just be wasted and not contribute. However, the druid archetype Pack Lord, allows you to split up the HD into multiple companions as you see fit.

This means you can split all of the levels evenly between your mount and your animal companion and keep both of them at approx HD = your level+1. Once you hit level 16, the additional animal companion levels can overflow into a 3rd companion, while they won't be very powerful, it's better than losing it all together.

This build also gives you a familiar, who will progress at your level-2. I did this because it's basically just 1 feat and so "why not?"

Your progression will look approximately as follows:

Character Level...

I really want to make a "Wolf, Ram, and Hart" build out of this now.

Grand Lodge

It is unlikely that you can use exotic heritage for the Sylvan bloodline power as it is also the bloodline arcana.

Eldritch heritage can't be taken twice.


The feat's author agrees that Sylvan is out, for what it's worth.


ShadowMoonWolfx wrote:

Playing a hunter right now and the animal companion can be a beast with the right build and feats.

At third level, my wolf has an AC of 19 and I can boost that to 25 with the Bolster Companion ranger skirmisher trick and the Animal Focus.

Quick question

Can you even take that trick?

It's my understanding your pet can learn skirmisher tricks. But it doesn't have an animal companion.

So it should only be allowed the tricks that say skirmisher right?


For what it's worth, I am playing a hunter with an ankylosaurus pet. His A.C. is 30 currently but I can go higher. I use compel hostility and share spells to make others try to hit him and not me.

I'm level 5.

He doesn't hit hard but thanks to teamwork feats he hits often, as he gets +4 to attack with me. I'll be going evangelist to get a second one, and stun lock the battle field.

Grand Lodge

Cavall wrote:

For what it's worth, I am playing a hunter with an ankylosaurus pet. His A.C. is 30 currently but I can go higher. I use compel hostility and share spells to make others try to hit him and not me.

I'm level 5.

He doesn't hit hard but thanks to teamwork feats he hits often, as he gets +4 to attack with me. I'll be going evangelist to get a second one, and stun lock the battle field.

This is cool. I do the opposite if I have a caster with an animal. I keep my animal companions AC good but not great but make them super threatening. Then I use shield companion so they can soak a ton of damage for the team.


I am a bit torn- it seems like it would either be ranger or huntmaster cavalier.

The ranger is simple- animal companions share in their favored enemy bonuses. While this can be a bit swing-y- (since it all depends on whether you are even fighting that opponent), there is potential for really high numbers. In a focused campaign (such as 'undead'), then they can get +8/+8. That is a fairly significant boost.

The hunt master cavalier is also a contender for a similar reason- their animal companion can share in their challenge damage. So no attack bonus, but +20 damage.

While a lot of the other options here can provide tons of great options (such as size changes, free teamwork feats, etc)... it is hard to get these hard numbers. Even barbarians that share rage usually only get +4/+4. So the raw numbers themselves are a fairly high foundation to compete against.

Grand Lodge

Evangelist has, at level 20, +7 luck, +2 morale, +5 competence song, +2 eagle soul, +2 hunters blesisng.

+18 to attack and +18+1d6 to damage. At level 20 that is without a standard action because divine power can be quickened as an 8th level spell.

If the enemy is either an evil outside (free activation of eaglesoul or you want until turn 2 you can smite with the PC using a standard to cast bestow grace of the champion it gets better.

For a final total of:

+16 to attack (no eagle soul) and + 26 + 1d6 bypass all dr.

This is the best I can do and still full attack round one.


Half-orc multiclass barbarian/hunter/MammothRider sharing Amplified Rage with a huge mount.


The commonest lists of companions are the usual mounts (horse, camel, pony, wolf etc.) and the full druid list. There's some classes/archetypes which get special options and a few which get a different subset of the druid list, and there are feats which can expand the list too.

A nature fang druid gets plenty of feats, an animal companion, and full casting from an excellent list for buffing animals. Get your usual big cat and they're going to match or exceed all your requirements.

A hunter might work very well, but it'd be hard to measure how the teamwork feats interact with the benchmarks.


Grandlounge wrote:


Eldritch heritage can't be taken twice.

hmm... looks like you're correct. I could of sworn it had text saying you could take it again it just applied to a different bloodline. I think I was mixing up Improved and greater with the regular one. Good catch.

blahpers wrote:
The feat's author agrees that Sylvan is out, for what it's worth.

It makes sense. It seemed like it may have been a bit of a streach, but I couldn't see anything in the feat the way it was written that would disallow it. It also seemed more reasonable once I figured out that you would be at CL-5 as is pointed out in the post.

Well, that pretty much destroys my entire line of "animal master" builds, since they used similar tricks. But at least it frees up a bunch of feats :)


I was able to rework the oracle version of my build and it stays mostly where it was. Though, I did lose the familar, but I suppose you could always pick it up post level 9, via eldritch heritage or Familiar Bond.

This build also assumes you can retrain the feat gained at 3rd level at 4th level to get animal ally.
----------------------------------------------------------
Beast Rider “Superbeast” (Oracle/Druid)

Spoiler:

Key concepts: An Oracle with a powerful beast
Alignment: N, NE, CE (must be within one step of NE)
Race: Halfling
Racial Traits: Caretaker and Fey-Quickened
Class: Oracle(4), Druid(1), Oracle(X)
Mystery: Nature
Revelations: Friend to the Animals(1st), Speak with Animals(3rd), Bonded Mount(5th)
Mount: Wolf(5th), Worg(7th)
Key Feats: Nature Soul (1st), Animal Ally (4th), Extra Revelation(5th), Monstrous Mount(7th), Boon Companion(9th)

How it works:

Animal ally gives you an animal companion if you don't have one
Oracle of Nature Mystery Bounded Mount Grants you a mount.

Now, intially it may seem like this doesn't work since animal ally only gives you an animal companion if you don't have one. The feat however goes on to state

Animal Ally wrote:
If you later gain an animal companion through another source (such as the Animal domain, divine bond, hunter’s bond, mount, or nature bond class features), the effective druid level granted by this feat stacks with that granted by other sources.

Once again, since we have the pack lord archetype from druid we can split the levels we gain from these two sources unevenly, in order to maximize our mount and keep it at HD = CL+1.

Your progression will look approximately as follows:

Character Level |Mount|A. Companion
1| 0| 0|
2| 0| 0|
3| 0| 0|
4| 1| 0|
5| 7| 0|
6| 8| 1|
7| 9| 2|
8| 11| 2|
9| 12| 7|
10| 13| 8|
11| 15| 8|
12| 16| 9|
13| 17| 10|
14| 19| 10|
15| 20| 11|
16| 21| 12|
17| 22| 13|
18| 24| 13|
19| 25| 14|
20| 26| 15|


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Since I can't seem to further edit my previous post. This is the revised Superbeastx2.

I apologize for being spammy.
----------------------------------------------------------
Beast Riding Knight “Superbeastx2” (Oracle/Druid/Inquisitor)

Spoiler:

Key concepts: An inquisitor with two powerful beasts
Alignment: N, NE, CE (must be within one step of NE)
Race: Halfling
Racial Traits: Caretaker and Fey-Quickened
Class: Oracle(4), Druid(1), Inquisitor(X)
Archetype(s): Pack Lord(Druid), Sacred Huntsmaster(Inquisitor)
Mystery: Nature
Revelations: Friend to the Animals(1st), Speak with Animals(3rd), Bonded Mount(5th)
Domain: Chivalry Inquisition
Mount: Wolf(5th), Worg(7th)
Key Feats: Nature Soul (1st), Animal Ally (4th), Extra Revelation(5th), Monstrous Mount(7th), Boon Companion(11th)

How it works:

Animal ally gives you an animal companion if you don't have one
Oracle of Nature Mystery Bounded Mount Grants you a mount.
Druid/Sacred Huntsmaster grants you an animal companion
Chivalry Inquisition gives you a mount.

see previous beastmaster build on explaination on how these interact with each other.

Once more, since we have the pack lord archetype from druid we can split the levels we gain from these sources as we please, in order to maximize our mount and animal companion to keep them at HD = CL+1.

Your progression will look approximately as follows:

Character Level |Mount|A. Companion
1| 0| 0| 0|
2| 0| 0| 0|
3| 0| 0| 0|
4| 1| 0| 0|
5| 7| 0| 0|
6| 8| 3| 0|
7| 9| 6| 0|
8| 11| 8| 0|
9| 12| 11| 0|
10| 13| 13| 0|
11| 15| 15| 5|
12| 16| 16| 7|
13| 17| 17| 9|
14| 19| 19| 9|
15| 20| 20| 11|
16| 21| 21| 13|
17| 22| 22| 15|
18| 24| 24| 15|
19| 25| 25| 17|
20| 26| 26| 19|

Grand Lodge

Wicky1976 wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:


Ravener hunter: see above but also get wild shape for TWO TIGER POUNCE (evangelist can make it THREE TIGER POUNCE)

Do you mean feral hunter archetype? How do ravener hunters gain wildshape?

What grandlounge didn't mention is that you take the Lunar mystery with the Ravener Hunter for an Animal companion revelation at 1st level and form of the beast at 8th level. At 9th level you can have a pouncing tiger and also be a pouncing tiger.

Combine that with Evangelist and at lv 12 you can 1/day summon an exact copy of your AC and have three pouncing tigers.


Druid (Elemental Ally) 19 / Spiritualist (Totem Spiritualist) 1
Variant Multiclass Summoner
Exotic Heritage / Eldritch Heritage (Sylvan) or (Arcane)
Animal Ally / Familiar feats

This nets you:
Four (4) elemental eidolons (one summoned at a time) ECL19
One (1) animal-like phantom ECL 20
One (1) summonable eidolon ECL 18
One (1) actual animal companion ECL 20 w/ Boon companion
One (1) Familiar ECL18

Feel free to customize your personal summon army. Feel free to join your army with whatever polymorph Spell you want to use, to tear face with them.


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Wicky1976 wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
I should have put wild shape in quotation marks. There is a lunar revelation that gives hour/lvl polymorph. It is called Form of the Beast. It has a bunch of caveats that I should have also included but I was being lazy.
Thanks I could have sworn that there is some polymorph spell for the hunter (so I either on ranger or on druid list) that transforms you into an animal equal to your AC (with some scaling restriction), but I cant seem to find it...

Share Shape.

I plan on using this to be two large raging hippos.


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Scott thank you for bringing up a great point about the mammoth rider.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Mammoth Riders get to ride Huge Mounts. They are a Prestige Class, so you could probably be a Hunter/Druid/Mammoth Rider with lots of Shared Teamwork Feats and the ability to Buff your Triceratops Mount.

It reminds me of my personal favorite build is bloodrager with the bloodrider archetype and the mammoth rider prestige class it is a whole lot of fun.


Related to this general discussion, what are the strongest options (especially feats) for Eldritch Guardian, for the fighter to synergize with their Mauler familiar? To the best of my knowledge, natural attack fighters are not a great option, even with Natural Weapons as a Fighter Weapon Group, and I'm not sure what other loadout is best to work for both of them.

Is Intelligence of 6 deemed enough for Exotic Weapon Proficiency, assuming the familiar has sufficiently compatible anatomy?


Backlash3906 wrote:

Related to this general discussion, what are the strongest options (especially feats) for Eldritch Guardian, for the fighter to synergize with their Mauler familiar? To the best of my knowledge, natural attack fighters are not a great option, even with Natural Weapons as a Fighter Weapon Group, and I'm not sure what other loadout is best to work for both of them.

Is Intelligence of 6 deemed enough for Exotic Weapon Proficiency, assuming the familiar has sufficiently compatible anatomy?

Intelligence 3 is enough to take the feat. Getting the familiar to actually wield the weapon is the hard part.


Backlash3906 wrote:

Related to this general discussion, what are the strongest options (especially feats) for Eldritch Guardian, for the fighter to synergize with their Mauler familiar? To the best of my knowledge, natural attack fighters are not a great option, even with Natural Weapons as a Fighter Weapon Group, and I'm not sure what other loadout is best to work for both of them.

Is Intelligence of 6 deemed enough for Exotic Weapon Proficiency, assuming the familiar has sufficiently compatible anatomy?

So, technically, a Familiar is not an Animal Companion, not that I'm one to talk: a few posts up, I recommended you play a Druidzilla with the Leadership Feat! You can't get an Animal Companion much more powerful than a Druid Wildshaped into an Allosaurus!

I have been thinking about how best to exploit Eldritch Guardian with a Mauler Familiar. I'm thinking you should play a Size Small character like a Halfling, get a Flying Familiar like a Bat or something, and then ride your Familiar as if it were a Flying Mount!

You can take any Combat Feat you want, including those Teamwork Feats. So I'd take Broken Wing Gambit and maybe Paired Opportunist. If either of you is attacked, you both get Attacks of Opportunity. I like Panther Style Feats. Every time you Provoke an Attack of Opportunity by moving out of a Threatened Square, you get a Free Action Retaliatory Unarmed Strike. Your Familiar can make Unarmed Strikes. They aren't very good, but they can be made. They won't provoke AoOs: if you have Improved Unaremd Strike, so does your Familiar. You might dip levels in things that give you Sneak Attack Damage and take Feint Partner Feats. If you take Precise Strike, you and your Familiar do Sneak Attack Damage.

This kind of Familiar also opens the door to using the Combat Maneuvers Trip and Bull Rush on creatures that would normally too big. The Harder they Fall Feat would make you the exception to that rule.

There's lots of good stuff.


It really depends on perception and personal taste. To me, the best designed choice would be a Hunter. You have a class that is built around the companion, with teamwork feats and buffs and a great overall feel.

If you want to brute force the system then you'll want to take a 9th level caster who can get a pet and abuse Share Spells. Among these, Druid is best if you want to support it in combat with wild shape and/or summons, Sorcerer is best if you want the most utility and control spells to debuff its targets, and Cleric is best for its amazing buff spells to make it a raw combat monstrosity. Naturally all 3 can 'minor' in the others' tricks as well. 9th level casting is a hell of a drug.

I also hear Inquisitor is pretty good.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:

Summoner with Animal Ally.

Why have one pet when you can have two at full strength.

Don't forget Eldrich Heritage for a familiar! Might as well go ham.


On the topic of Eldritch Guardian, neither it nor Mauler replace Deliver Touch Spells, so you could gain access to Alter Self and make your familiar into a copy of yourself.

Dark Archive

Aasimar Nature Oracle with Celestial Servant, Huntmaster (via Scion of Humanity), and the FCB applied to the Bonded Mount revelation to get a companion of level+1+1/6 HD. Add in fun stuff like Evolved Companion, Totem Beast, Genie-Touched Companion, etc. to have a Celestial Magical Beast horse that's probably stronger and smarter than you are.


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Backlash3906 wrote:

Related to this general discussion, what are the strongest options (especially feats) for Eldritch Guardian, for the fighter to synergize with their Mauler familiar? To the best of my knowledge, natural attack fighters are not a great option, even with Natural Weapons as a Fighter Weapon Group, and I'm not sure what other loadout is best to work for both of them.

Is Intelligence of 6 deemed enough for Exotic Weapon Proficiency, assuming the familiar has sufficiently compatible anatomy?

Monkey style, paired opportunist combat reflexes, intrepid rescuer (Kurgess followers only): every attack to you OR to the familiar generates an AOO attack from BOTH you AND the familiar


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Wicky1976 wrote:
Backlash3906 wrote:

Related to this general discussion, what are the strongest options (especially feats) for Eldritch Guardian, for the fighter to synergize with their Mauler familiar? To the best of my knowledge, natural attack fighters are not a great option, even with Natural Weapons as a Fighter Weapon Group, and I'm not sure what other loadout is best to work for both of them.

Is Intelligence of 6 deemed enough for Exotic Weapon Proficiency, assuming the familiar has sufficiently compatible anatomy?

Monkey style, paired opportunist combat reflexes, intrepid rescuer (Kurgess followers only): every attack to you OR to the familiar generates an AOO attack from BOTH you AND the familiar

Oh My Strong Man I love this.

"Spot! Combat positions!"
*familiar falls flat to the ground*
"Good boy, Spot!" *also falls flat to the ground* "Now, advance!" *Fighter and familiar begin belly-wiggling across the battlefield*


Backlash3906 wrote:
Wicky1976 wrote:
Backlash3906 wrote:

Related to this general discussion, what are the strongest options (especially feats) for Eldritch Guardian, for the fighter to synergize with their Mauler familiar? To the best of my knowledge, natural attack fighters are not a great option, even with Natural Weapons as a Fighter Weapon Group, and I'm not sure what other loadout is best to work for both of them.

Is Intelligence of 6 deemed enough for Exotic Weapon Proficiency, assuming the familiar has sufficiently compatible anatomy?

Monkey style, paired opportunist combat reflexes, intrepid rescuer (Kurgess followers only): every attack to you OR to the familiar generates an AOO attack from BOTH you AND the familiar

Oh My Strong Man I love this.

"Spot! Combat positions!"
*familiar falls flat to the ground*
"Good boy, Spot!" *also falls flat to the ground* "Now, advance!" *Fighter and familiar begin belly-wiggling across the battlefield*

I havent played it insofar its all theory to me.

Phalanx formation also potentially useful in this build


Some interesting traits to consider if taking Adopted:

Wild Domesticator (Half-elf)

Benefit(s) Handle Animal is always a class skill for you.

Additionally, you gain a +2 trait bonus on Handle Animal checks to train an animal, and can teach a trained animal one additional trick beyond its normal maximum.

Thoroughbred (Human)

Benefit(s): If you gain a horse as an animal companion or mount as one of your class abilities, its base speed increases by 5 feet and it gains a bonus trick that does not count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal.

Animal Friend (Gnome)

Benefits: You gain a +1 trait bonus on Will saving throws as long as an animal (Tiny or larger, must be at least indifferent toward you) is within 30 feet, and Handle Animal is always a class skill for you.

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