Mage Advice


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Im playing a magus in my new campaign coming up, I am a drow noble at lvl 5. Just looking for some advice about how to play this character (specifically in combat). I have heard that shocking grasp will be my saving grace but I was just wondering if there was more to it than just spamming shocking grasp spell all day long. Any other builds out there that are fun to play and deadly in combat??

Sovereign Court

I have a buddy of mine who plays a magus in PFS and from what ive seen your two options are Shocking Grasp and Chill Touch.

True Strike can be handy along with keeping burning hands for swarms but Shocking Grasp is your bread and butter as a magus.


Why did you chose magus in the first place? If you want to be a sword swinging magic user then go for it. Shocking Grasp is a key spell for this class because:

1) Limited spell selection. You want touch spells (or you want the ability to convert ranged touch into touch spells).

2) It gives you a free attack. Lots of Magus cast Arcane Mark just to get the free melee attack that comes with any touch spell.

3) You have a lot of first level slots. Considering your a 6 level caster with very slow progression, concentrating on 1st level spells pays off for the characters entire career.

Another Archetype I like is the Eldrich Archerer build. A while back in another thread we explored the idea of a gun-based magus that dipped 1 level into Spellslinger. Early game this will be a monster. Late game? Not so much. But still a lot of fun at anytime.

If you get to play a full blooded Drow Noble it seems like a shame to not choose a class that has sneak attack or some other way to take advantage of their ability to create darkness. A rogue sniper comes to mind.

Anyways, go with the image you have in your mind. What matters most is enjoying YOUR character, not making the most OP build you can find. Well, making sure it fits the game is important too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I like the shocking grasp attacks, being able to nova is fun.

But what I really loved about my Magus was the mobility. Bladed Dash, Dimension Door (with dimensional agility) and similar spells let me be wherever I wanted to be and fill attack.


I'm a big fan of taking PREFERRED SPELL as a magus. Shocking grasp is the obvious choice, but if you have something else you like you can use that instead. This lets you prepare all your utility spells and spontaneously cast Shocking Grasp (or whatever) only if you need it. Coupled with Spell Recall (or pearls of power) this lets you be a hugely versatile caster by level 5.

If you want a bit more than that I'm pretty sure KURALD'S GUIDE has a few different build options.


I had a lot of fun with my eldritch archer/hexcrafter magus. I took the flight hex and was able to get in position first round and then rain down arrows for the rest of combat. Snowball and scorching ray were 2 of the spells I used the most with acid splash on hand if I needed to save my spells. There are a good number of ranged tough attack options to consider if you go that route (check with GM if you can use the pre-UW version of snowball).


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Shocking grasp and crit fishing are extremely formulaic approaches to the Magus. Purely on principle I can't recommend going this route, it's just painfully overdone and strikes me as the way internet people use the class.

If you want to do something effective but actually interesting there are a surprising amount of options. I'm a bit of a broken record with this strategy but you can get magical lineage, a trait which allows you to lower metamagic spell level adjustments by one, take it for magic missile and constantly use toppling spell up make your missiles trip people. Combined with spell recall, you can absolutely spam this. It's a strategy that works well for INT focused magi.

Taking the maneuver Mastery Magus arcana is another strategy is talk about here a lot. If you focus on a maneuver that uses a weapon, you can combine this arcana with your arcane pool and be brutally effective with maneuvers.

Eldritch Archer changes the class up a lot and is quite effective.

You can also go hexcrafter. Boosting INT for high DCs or using buffing hexes with no saves are both good options.

Also remember that a Magus has access to excellent transformation spells, but has better BaB and melee/magic synergy than a wizard. This is one of the coolest transformer classes in the game, especially for humanoid forms that can still utilize casting and spell combat.

Variant multiclassing to wizard or barbarian is also an interesting thought. With the former you have to make vital tactical decisions about when to rage and when to cast and effectively have two very different modes of play. With the latter you can teleport around, smash things and cast in the same round.

Read through feats, Archetypes, arcana and hexes (if you go hexcrafter). You can spend a lifetime playing this class without resorting to crit fishing BS.

EDIT:

Another good niche for the Magus is having a high number of attacks. Certain spells allow for an attack roll and therefore give you another attack with spell combat (the infamous shocking grasp, bladed dash, etc). You also have access to transformation spells that confer natural attacks. Remember that natural attacks can't be used with spell combat without the proper arcana (forgot what it's called) but if you do get that arcana you can do the following

-all iterative attacks
-claw, Gore, bite, whatever natural attacks you have
-additional attack associated with the spell

Magi can attack many times per turn.


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Dave Justus wrote:

I like the shocking grasp attacks, being able to nova is fun.

But what I really loved about my Magus was the mobility. Bladed Dash, Dimension Door (with dimensional agility) and similar spells let me be wherever I wanted to be and fill attack.

Yeah, when you reach level 4 bladed dash becomes an option. Because you can use it with spell combat and the spell contains an attack, you effectively have two attacks and the movement doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. It's an insane spell.


For multi-attack Magus you want to build around frostbite. That gets pretty nasty by the time you can turn into a gargoyle thanks to monstrous physique.


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Zolanoteph wrote:

Shocking grasp and crit fishing are extremely formulaic approaches to the Magus. Purely on principle I can't recommend going this route, it's just painfully overdone and strikes me as the way internet people use the class.

To play devil's advocate; just because someone else got to have fun using a good combo isn't a good reason you can't enjoy the good combo.

While I tend to be a brewer in mtg and play weird builds in online games, there's certainly fun to be had in the unoriginal.

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