Build Concept: Magical Striker - Elf Wizard with Fighter Multiclass


Creating a Character


So... With the rules regarding Magical weapons being changed from Pathfinder 1st edition into what it is now for the Playtest, a +1 Magical Enchantment bonus to a weapon is much stronger than it was in the previous edition.

Magical Striker is a feat for Spellcasting classes like the Wizard and Sorcerer which turns your weapon into a +1 Magical Weapon (or increases its Magical strength by +1 if its already magic). This basically means that it doubles a weapons strength (or increases it by another dice if the weapon is already magical). The downside is that most good spells are 2 actions to cast, meaning that you'll only get 1 attack per round unless you find some way to work around this limitation.

Solution: Magic Missile with 1 action. This allows the player to cast a spell and instantly deal 1d4+1 Damage (plus another 1d4+1 damage per empowerment if you so choose), while maintaining two other actions that they can do anything else with. Now, with only two actions, we will have to make the most of our move action if we need to take one. Hence going Elf with the Fleet racial ability and then taking the Fleet core feat as well, buffing our speed to an obnoxious 40 ft. per movement. You'll be the fastest archer in the group.

Unfortunately, because you are forced into a Spellcasting class to use this Feat (unless you want to wait until level 8 and have even more limited activations for this ability), your HP will be lower than most classes. Because of this, I believe the most effective weapon to use would be either the Longbow or Shortbow. Composite Longbow and Composite Shortbows allow you to add 1/2 Strength to your damage rolls, but that also requires at least 14 Strength to give 1 point of damage, taking away from one of the other two core stats.

As stated above, this build will most likely play as an Elf with the Racial and Core movement speed feets for a total movement of 40 ft. per movement action. This means that you'll have +2 Dex/+2 Int/-2 Con.

Possible Stat Combinations:
1st) 12 Strength, 16 Dexterity, 10 Constitution, 18 Intelligence, 12 Wisdom, 10 Charisma
2nd) 14 Strength, 16 Dexterity, 10 Constitution, 16 Intelligence, 12 Wisdom, 10 Charisma
3rd) 14 Strength, 16 Dexterity, 8 Constitution, 18 Intelligence, 12 Wisdom, 10 Charisma

Personally, I believe either the 2nd or 3rd might be the most optimal, but you'll have to be careful with low HP, as both the racial and class health is reletively low.

So, all together, with a full attack action (not "wasting" an action with Movement or Drawing the weapon), the full damage output is: (Auto Hit/1d4+1)/(Attack/2d8)/(Attack-5/2d8). Seems fairly reasonable to work with. Any advice or suggestions you might have regarding this pseudo magus Wizard multiclass Fighter?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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You also have some other potential avenues for using Magical Striker beyond just magic missile. True strike is a solid go-to, and depending on class you'll have a few different potential combos. An Imperial bloodline sorcerer, for example, can do something like flaming sphere > Magical Striker > attack with enhanced bow, then on subsequent rounds use ancestral surge to proc Magical Striker and maintain their flaming sphere while freeing up an action to move or perform other actions.

One thing to be aware of is that Magical Striker only applies to the next Strike you make on that turn, so there's not a lot of benefit to trying to squeeze a second attack out; it won't benefit from the bonuses so focusing on using it to fill out rounds where you're either casting two-action spells or casting single action spells and moving will probably work out better for you.


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Another point about true strike is it's a big accuracy boost which frees you up to use a bigger weapon even if you are using your +2 str to hit instead of your +3 dex. Also true strike is verbal only so you can use bastard sword or great sword to get 2d12+2 damage which is fun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Magic Missile is already past its prime by the time you get the Magical Striker feat. It's a decent guaranteed damage fallback at low-levels, but by 4th it's already starting to show its age. Especially if you plan on using a ranged weapon, True Strike is the preferred option.

Mixing in the bastard sword so you can switch hit wouldn't be a bad choice either, but you'd really want to go with a 16/16/10/16/10/10 or a 14/16/10/18/10/10 array if that's what you want to do. Wizards already have extremely delayed weapon proficiency (the earliest you can upgrade to expert proficiency is 14th via fighter dedication, and that's the end of the line!) so it's really not worth paying for the additional magical weapon if you're not going all-in with the ability scores to match it.

In any event, you definitely want to multiclass fighter to pick up point blank shot. This lets you take the longbow and its superior d8 dice. You absolutely cannot afford the volley penalty, so if you can't go fighter for some reason then you're stuck with a shortbow.

In terms of spell point powers, Sorcerer and Wizard are kinda shafted on that front by a suite of bad options. Ancestral Surge and Diviner's Sight are probably the best simply by virtue of being 1 action choices that do something generally useful, the bar is really that low. Multiclassing fighter is non-optional (you need PBS as an archer, and at higher levels it's the only way to get expert proficiency, which to be clear you totally need) and that prevents you from stealing from other classes.


Truth be told, I was only able to do a quick search of the one action spells available at lower levels. True Strike seems to be an excellent choice for this build (and rather flavorful too, using Magic to enhance the Physical Prowess of the body and using the residue Magic to strengthen the weapon being held).

I honestly never thought of switch-hitting with this character, due to the poor Constitution score and overall HP due to Elf and Wizard and only 10 Constitution. Perhaps that will be an option if/when the Magus class is released or more melee caster options are added.

Also... The ONLY option for this build is Multiclass Fighter - due to Fighter being the only class with Ranged options for Multiclassing (wtf Ranger?!). Likewise, Power Attack is another option for hitting with a sword if that is an option.

Also, Wizards and Sorcerers do get a level 12 feat - they just don't have anything "new" to add at that level, so the earliest is level 12 to get expert in their attacks. That being said, it is still extremely late to be getting expert.

I'm curious to see how this runs, thanks for the tips n tricks guys!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Michael Sayre wrote:

[...]then on subsequent rounds use ancestral surge to proc Magical Striker and maintain their flaming sphere while freeing up an action to move or perform other actions.

[...]

Have to correct myself on this one, Mark Seifter has informed me that ancestral surge has some kind of confusing wording they'll be cleaning up in the final release; it can't be used to maintain another spell, the second paragraph is about maintaining ancestral surge specifically. So it can still proc Magical Striker but might not actually be the best use of resources unless you have a good single-action spell where having the boosted Spell Roll or DC would help out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheMonkeyFish wrote:
Also, Wizards and Sorcerers do get a level 12 feat - they just don't have anything "new" to add at that level, so the earliest is level 12 to get expert in their attacks. That being said, it is still extremely late to be getting expert.

The spellcasting classes, including wizard and sorcerer, do not get a level 12 class feat. It's easy to miss because the tables are a bit cluttered, but they are indeed missing the 12th and 16th level feats.

Michael Sayre wrote:
So it can still proc Magical Striker but might not actually be the best use of resources unless you have a good single-action spell where having the boosted Spell Roll or DC would help out.

It works best if you have haste. 1 action to ancestral surge, 2 action to cast, bonus action to attack.


I played the build at 9th.

Skip the strength as half damage is just not worth the massive loss of constitution, i'd rather have con over strength as the 1-2 damage i would get for 14/18 strength is flat out not worth the survivability constitution provides especially as a 6+con class.

Haste is very beneficial for this build and should pretty much be your bread and butter with the flexibility it provides. Do make sure you have shield just incase you using true strike or other low action spells like jump.

I wouldn't go optimal damage unless your group isn't benefitting from the crowd control you could provide. Mitigating damage through zone control and debuffing is still your role as a wizard after all. You can mix in some damage but i wouldn't make it the focus considering you can deal a lot of damage but few classes can control the battlefield like a caster could.

I never really bothered shooting the second time as spell striker only functions for the first hit and my chances to hit without it are on the low side, i favored casting shield in situations where i might get hit or using 3 action spells(such as magic missile and extended range cone of cold or metamagic'd spells) or 2 action spells(mostly CC/debuff spells) + stride.

Honestly, i think spell striker and divine sorcerers might actually be one of the more interesting healer/supportive type builds you could play as you'll still be able to contribute offensively and have flexibile action economy because of the heal spell in any case.


The fun "spell" to use with Magical Striker isn't True Strike (yes, this is really, really good and you should absolutely have it in your arsenal). The really fun "spell" to use is Weapon Surge. Magical Striker asks for only a "non-cantrip spell." This would lead one to think of level 1 spells for spamming; however, Powers are a type of spell in PF2. Weapon Surge totally qualifies as a non-cantrip spell. Because of this, you can use Weapon Surge to qualify Magical Striker and get a +2 bump to your weapon. Sure, rolling twice is still likely to be more effective at making contact (and therefore it's the better choice when hitting will be more difficult), but when fighting an equal level monster, this is another tool to have to do more massive damage.


Greg.Everham wrote:
The fun "spell" to use with Magical Striker isn't True Strike (yes, this is really, really good and you should absolutely have it in your arsenal). The really fun "spell" to use is Weapon Surge. Magical Striker asks for only a "non-cantrip spell." This would lead one to think of level 1 spells for spamming; however, Powers are a type of spell in PF2. Weapon Surge totally qualifies as a non-cantrip spell. Because of this, you can use Weapon Surge to qualify Magical Striker and get a +2 bump to your weapon. Sure, rolling twice is still likely to be more effective at making contact (and therefore it's the better choice when hitting will be more difficult), but when fighting an equal level monster, this is another tool to have to do more massive damage.

Do they stack?


ChibiNyan wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
The fun "spell" to use with Magical Striker isn't True Strike (yes, this is really, really good and you should absolutely have it in your arsenal). The really fun "spell" to use is Weapon Surge. Magical Striker asks for only a "non-cantrip spell." This would lead one to think of level 1 spells for spamming; however, Powers are a type of spell in PF2. Weapon Surge totally qualifies as a non-cantrip spell. Because of this, you can use Weapon Surge to qualify Magical Striker and get a +2 bump to your weapon. Sure, rolling twice is still likely to be more effective at making contact (and therefore it's the better choice when hitting will be more difficult), but when fighting an equal level monster, this is another tool to have to do more massive damage.
Do they stack?

RAW they both have clauses that say they stack with existing magic item bonuses so it seems like it. Would be pretty fun for a Paladin Sorcerer, might even make up for the fact they don't get smite.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
RAW they both have clauses that say they stack with existing magic item bonuses so it seems like it. Would be pretty fun for a Paladin Sorcerer, might even make up for the fact they don't get smite.

I have a player who is going to do exactly this in Heroes of Undarin when we next play. Zeal domain, multiclass into Sorcerer, and swing around a big honking greatsword. I totally agree that it actually feels like giving them back their smite.

It's also worth noting that you can get this combo through Cleric/Sorcerer, Sorcerer/Paladin, and Wizard/Paladin (remember you can get into Paladin with Str or Cha, so Str-based wizards can indeed get in). I definitely want to give all variants of the combo a shot because it looks quite promising.


Unfortunately, that means you'll need to change your Multiclass, or switch the main class and not get the Magic Strike until level 8 (which seems rather delayed vs getting it at level 4).

Thoughts on this subject?


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The paladin build is another fun way to do it but for an elven spellsword I would go Wizard/Fighter with a bastard sword or maybe an Elven curved blade if you want more dex based, something like:

Elven Spellsword (Wizard 4)
Str 12 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 18 Wis 10 Cha 10
Ancestry 1: Nimble (depending on how your Gm arbitrates getting access to uncommon items you might need Weapon Familiarity but that would only be for access since fighter dedication grants you proficiency)
General 3: Armor Proficiency for Medium armor (can retrain later when you pump your dex up more)
Class 2: Fighter Dedication
Class 4: Magical Striker


Dasrak wrote:
It works best if you have haste. 1 action to ancestral surge, 2 action to cast, bonus action to attack.
Quick Condition Page 324 wrote:
You gain 1 additional action at the start of your turn each round

I read that as meaning that the bonus action from Haste has to be your first action.


whew wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
It works best if you have haste. 1 action to ancestral surge, 2 action to cast, bonus action to attack.
Quick Condition Page 324 wrote:
You gain 1 additional action at the start of your turn each round
I read that as meaning that the bonus action from Haste has to be your first action.

Strange. I wonder if that's deliberate or a victim of bad wording.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Basic Concepts wrote:
During encounter mode, each player character gains 3 actions and 1 reaction to use each round.
Quick wrote:
You gain 1 additional action at the start of your turn each round.

"Gaining" and "using" actions are two different things. Quick causes you to gain an action at the start of your turn; it does not force you to use that action first.


whew wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
It works best if you have haste. 1 action to ancestral surge, 2 action to cast, bonus action to attack.
Quick Condition Page 324 wrote:
You gain 1 additional action at the start of your turn each round
I read that as meaning that the bonus action from Haste has to be your first action.

no, you "gain" the action at the start of your turn.

so, at the start of your turn, you have 4 actions, one of which can only be used for strike or stride or etc.

the clause is there so you cannot haste yourself and immediately gain the benefit, since you are only "gaining" the action at the start of your turn, and that has passed if you cast haste this round.

Greg.Everham wrote:
The fun "spell" to use with Magical Striker isn't True Strike (yes, this is really, really good and you should absolutely have it in your arsenal). The really fun "spell" to use is Weapon Surge. Magical Striker asks for only a "non-cantrip spell." This would lead one to think of level 1 spells for spamming; however, Powers are a type of spell in PF2. Weapon Surge totally qualifies as a non-cantrip spell. Because of this, you can use Weapon Surge to qualify Magical Striker and get a +2 bump to your weapon. Sure, rolling twice is still likely to be more effective at making contact (and therefore it's the better choice when hitting will be more difficult), but when fighting an equal level monster, this is another tool to have to do more massive damage.

i actually prefer inspire heroics->magical striker

gaining on average +2 attack and +2 damage for both of your attacks and giving it to the rest of the party seems better than +1 and +1 weapon die for only 1 of your attacks

as for true strike, it is, mathematically, the best option out of all 3, simply because it's an effective +4-5 to hit and +4-5 to crit threat range. Even against lower AC opponents, it's a much greater critical chance. It's just that you'll always have fewer 1st level spells compared to spell points.


Unfortunately, Inspire Heroics is also something the build is unable to perform due to having limitations on its build. Unfortunately, the Elven Curveblade pointed out previously doesn't seem to be an optimal choice. Elven Curveblade seems to work best when it attacks multiple times during the combat, whereas we will most likely be attacking with a single attack each combat instead.

Regarding Haste: That is how we have been ruling it in our group, where gaining doesn't have to be "used" right away. We thought that the wording was basically just used so people wouldn't try to rule lawyer getting the extra action on the turn they cast the spell.

So, it looks like we will be starting level 5 for this build. I will probably be putting my score increases into Strength and Dexterity and will also be taking Toughness (and later a Fighter Dedication), so it looks like we will be taking the following build for this class:

Ancestry: Elf
Background: Scout /or/ Hunter
Class: Wizard level 5

STR: 14 / INT: 16
DEX: 18 / WIS: 10
CON: 12 / CHA: 10

Ancestry Feats: Nimble, Weapon Elegance
Class Feats: Fighter Dedication, Magical Striker
Skill Feats: Fleet, Alertness, Forager /or/ Natural Surveyor
General Feat: Toughness

Wizard School: Universal

Spellbook:
Cantrips - Chill Touch, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation, Read Aura, Shield, Tanglefoot
Level 1 - Feather Fall, Fleet Step, Gust of Wind, Longstride, Mage Armor, Magic Weapon, Shocking Grasp, True Strike
Level 2 - Comprehend Language, False Life, Invisibility, See Invisibility
Level 3 - Ghostly Weapon, Haste

General Spellcasting Strategy:
- At the beginning of the day, cast Mage Armor at its strongest increment. In this case, it would be Level 2 - meaning +2 Armor and +1 Save Item Bonuses.
- At the beginning of the day, choose between False Life or Longstride (Hightened) and cast. False Life gives 6 HP while Longstride (Hightened) gives 10 ft. movement for 8 hours.
- Prepare Haste as one, or both, 3rd level spell slots for the day. Ghostly Weapon is prepared if you're scared of ghosts that day.
- Select the /IMPORTANT/ 1st level spells. Probably only Feather Fall.
- Magic Weapon is a cool trick, but it only adds one weapon damage and gives a +1 to attack. This fails to work once you've obtained a magical weapon, so you won't be preparing this after a few levels. This is mainly whats leftover after earlier levels, once you have a magical weapon DO NOT PREP THIS SPELL.

At the beginning of the day, you are casting two level 2nd spells and prepping one or two level 3rd spells and zero or one 1st level spells. This means that you'll have the following:

Two 1st level Spell Slot(s)
One 2nd level Spell Slot(s)
Zero 3rd Level Spell Slot(s)
Three Arcane Drains

That means you can cast True Strike 5 times per day, which allows you to double roll on attacks and increases the magical properties of your weapon by +1, meaning an extra weapon die.

Switch hitting is an option, especially with the healthy options of False Life and Toughness (bolstering our HP by a healthy 11 points, meaning our total HP at level 5 is: 46 + 6 Temp HP). Most likely the key choice will be a Bastard Sword with 1d8 damage, or 1d12 if you can two hand it (hint: True Strike is Verbal only).

What do you guys think?


Weapon Elegance has Weapon Familiarity as a prerequisite so if you want to go that route that's both your ancestry feats. If you are getting weapon proficiency from your ancestry and planning on using mage armor you might not need fighter dedication all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
Weapon Elegance has Weapon Familiarity as a prerequisite so if you want to go that route that's both your ancestry feats. If you are getting weapon proficiency from your ancestry and planning on using mage armor you might not need fighter dedication all.

To be fair, for a gish wizard there really aren't any decent 2nd level class feats anyways. Also if you plan on playing past 14th you really do need expert weapon proficiency and multiclassing fighter is literally the only way to get it.

TheMonkeyFish wrote:

STR: 14 / INT: 16

DEX: 18 / WIS: 10
CON: 12 / CHA: 10

These ability scores look extremely low for a 5th level character. This would be a more typical build for what you're doing:

Ancestry: Str / Dex / Int , -Con
Background: Dex/Int
Class: Int
1st: Str/Dex/Con/Int
5th: Str/Dex/Con/Int
= 16 Str, 18 Dex, 12 Con, 19 Int

If you don't plan to play to 10th, you can also drop your Int to 18 for more Str or Con.


My bad on that, I didn't know you got four +2 bonuses when you level up to 5. I thought it was only two +2's. I'll probably use the one you provided for level 5.

We'll only be playing level 5 this game, so I'll switch the 19 int to 18 and bump up the strength to 18.

I'll look to see what Multiclasses give with dedication feats, but the real reason for taking Fighter Dedication was to unlock options for ranged (like Point Blank, Duel Shot, ect) and unlock an HP option.

Basically, this is a Fighter who says he is a Wizard. Bwahaha


Update 1.4 will include a way to get expert in ancestry weapons as a higher level ancesrty feat so that might open up more options tomorrow.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
Update 1.4 will include a way to get expert in ancestry weapons as a higher level ancesrty feat so that might open up more options tomorrow.

While I'm happy to hear that there will be more options, I am concerned we're going to see the adopted thrown around all over the place as a feat tax to get expert in the weapon you want.

Silver Crusade

I have played that build in an earlier version of the playtest, here is my character, however, to be fair it worked so well in the scenario (though Raiders of Shrieking peak was a good fit for that build) that the other melee characters complained about it. In this older version, the Fighter multiclass build still allowed me to use

Level 5 Wizard with Fighter multiclass:

Archer mage v1 Level 5 Elf
Elf wizard 5
Elf, Humanoid
Percep +5; Senses low-light vision
--------------------
Defense HP 56 Hero Points 1 Res 6
--------------------
TAC 21; AC 23
Fort +9 (+10 to recovery saves.); Ref +8; Will +7
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 20 ft.
Wizard Arcane Spellcasting Prepared (CL 5th; ranged +4)
. . 3rd—fireball, magic missile
. . 2nd—glitterdust, resist energy, see invisibility
. . 1st—burning hands, true strike, true strike
. . 0 (at will)—detect magic, electric arc, ray of frost, shield
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 12 (+1); Dex 18 (+4); Con 16 (+3); Int 18 (+4); Wis 10 (+0); Cha 12 (+1)
Skills Acrobatics +6, Arcana +10, Athletics +3, Crafting +9, Occultism +10, Religion +5, Warfare Lore +9
Feats Fighter Dedication, Magical Striker, Quick Identification, Reach Spell, Toughness, Trick Magic Item, Weapon Elegance (elf), Weapon Familiarity (elf)
Languages Celestial, Common, Elven
Other Abilities arcane focus
Other Gear scale mail, composite shortbow, elven curve blade, staff, arrows (10), arrows (10), arrows (10), arrows (10), arrows (10), [i]lesser healing potion[/i], [i]minor healing potion[/i], [i]moderate healing potion[/i], spellbook (blank)s (2), purse (80 sp)

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at https://www.wolflair.com
Pathfinder® and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Inc.®, and are used under license.

That said, magic weapons are pretty insane, especially at low levels.
My players really invest a bit (getting more domains to get more spell points) to get as many uses of weapon surge as possible, and they are seriously considering multiclassing to combine it with Magical Striker.

Part of the problem is scaling, at lower level, something like magical striker is bloody amazing, but at higher levels, it becomes less effective than other options, after all from 1d6 to 2d6 is a bigger boost than from 4d6 to 5d6. One of my cleric players argues that at some level weapon surge becomes a bit worse than the Destructive Cry domain power (page 214 in the Playtest Rulebook).

True strike is similarly great and can also trigger Magical Striker, and that spell really shows that not all spells are created equal, I found myself using True Strike instead of level 4 spells on a spellcasting creature since single target save or suck was just worse than casting True Strike and hitting someone.

---

Right now my worry is not that a build I really like (seriously I have way too many Magus/Hunter characters in PFS I kinda like the mix) works, but that pure caster will not perform adequately.


I was finally able to play this build today! While I will admit that there were a few hitches in the build and in the game that seemed odd (i.e.: A forest Elf not being able to see Undead traveling in the forest when the Undead weren't even bothering to use Stealth checks), it was rather fun.

I did have a few issues from the players that I was playing with. For example, when someone asked me what build I was playing and I said that I was playing a Wizard Archer with Fighter Dedication, he replied "Oh... So a useless build." It didn't help that he was playing a rogue who seemed to always catch his opponent flatfooted, so he was dealing upwards of 22 Damage with every attack. They even made the joke that "Just because you have a bow doesn't mean you're an archer".

I think the biggest insult received from this was the fact that when we were tasked (and railroaded) into talking with the Minotaurs, I "set up" about 100 ft. from the farthest enemy, and everyone gave me this dumbfounded look (it didn't help I was LITERALLY the only squishy ranger in the party and needed to stay at a distance). They also had a problem with my character moving 50 ft. away from the targets and complained that my play style was too long distance with the character. Next time I'll probably just make either a Bastard Sword user or a Elven Curveblade magus.

All in all, I was only able to attack with the True Strike + Magical Strike duel combo about 3 times during the entire encounter - though I'll admit that I crit on two of the three times I used it. I had used a Sleep Arrow and a prepped 3rd level Sleep spell, I had used False Life at the beginning of the day and prepped Long Strike and another True Strike for my 2nd level spells, and my first level spells were two True Strikes and a Shocking Grasp (just in cast).

It was fun, but it just felt like I didn't have enough opportunities to do anything other than sleep two guards.

All in all: despite the heckling for playing a Sniper class character, the Undead who auto stealth without checks, and the obsured amount of damage Sneak Attack can do now, I had a lot of fun with this build. I'll have to explore more magic options with the build, but so far the Universal or Divination Wizard seems really strong - albeit outshines.

(Edit) If you need an explanation why as I tried keeping between 50 and 100 feet, please read the Volley weapon keyword.


Sounds like a hostile gaming group but I'm glad you had fun anyways. You could try carrying two bows if you have the Str for it (or a bag if holding) long and short. Short is probably more generally useful since most combats are within 50ft.


With the v1.4 content update, there are now new ways to receive Expert proficiency with weapons, and the Fighter Dedication is no longer required to receive Expert proficiency at level 14. That being said, because Fighters have the best Archery style feats (And this is still technically an "Archery" build), Fighter Dedication just seems like the most useful Feat Tax right now.

Here is the update I have so far, what do you all think?:

Ancestry: Elf (Level 13)
Heritage: Keen-Eared Elf
Class: Wizard (Universal School)
Background: Scout

Class Feats:
- Level 2: Fighter Dedication
- Level 4: Magical Striker
- Level 6: Basic Maneuver (Point-Blank)
- Level 8: Advanced Maneuver (Duel Shot)
- Level 10: Fighter Resiliency
Ancestry Feats:
- Level 1: Nimble
- Level 5: Weapon Familiarity (Elf)
- Level 9: Weapon Elegance (Elf)
- Level 13: Weapon Expertise (Elf)
General Feats:
- Level 3: Toughness
- Level 7: Fleet
- Level 11: Incredible Initiative
Skill Feats:
- Level 1: Forager (Background)
- Level 2: Survey Wildlife
- Level 4: Expert Tracker
- Level 6: Swift Sneak
- Level 8: Natural Medication
- Level 10: Battlefield Medic


So I've tried this and my verdict is this:
If you want to be a caster melee striker, make Fighter your main class and use Wizard/Sorcerer Multiclass Archetype.

Why? Because the fighter is, on average, +2-3 to hit better than the wizard (between proficiencies and attack stat). That *can't* be accounted for in any meaningful way, and it has a *huge* impact on effectiveness.

I tried both a cleric and a sorcerer striker type (cleric used Weapon Surge). They both felt highly ineffective relative to our fighter types.

NOTE: It takes a lot of feats to do this, namely really 5 to be effective, Multiclass, 1st spell progression, bonus spell, 1-2 feat, other feat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheMonkeyFish wrote:
With the v1.4 content update, there are now new ways to receive Expert proficiency with weapons, and the Fighter Dedication is no longer required to receive Expert proficiency at level 14.

Very much so; it went from a must-have to useless overnight. Never spend a class feat on something you can get as an ancestry feat instead. Your ancestry feats are definitely on-point in that regard.

With regards to your class feats, I'm not to keen on either Double Shot or Fighter Resiliency. However, I also think that wizards have pretty bad offering of class feats so it's not like there's much better to pick from.

Not much to say about general feats. It's not like there's anything better than fleet and toughness out there, and if you don't need ancestral paragon or adopted there's really nothing else to spend them on.

Skill feats don't matter much, but I would warn that focusing on wisdom-based skills like survival or medicine is a poor choice for a wizard. If you don't have the ability score to back it up, you generally won't get value out of it. The swift sneak feat is not legal at 6th level; it requires master in stealth, and you can't be master until 7th. In any case it's not a very good feat; the stealth skill is currently broken (outside of a few niche combos) and is only really useful for getting dex-to-initiative. Terrain Stalker is the only decent stealth feat since it lets you auto-succeed under narrow circumstances; the others are basically pointless.

Tivadar27 wrote:
Why? Because the fighter is, on average, +2-3 to hit better than the wizard (between proficiencies and attack stat). That *can't* be accounted for in any meaningful way, and it has a *huge* impact on effectiveness.

While this is true to an extent, I feel it misses the point: that you're still a full caster that has sacrificed little to nothing in terms of spellcasting ability. For this 13th level build, a Fighter/Wizard could have at most a spell slot loadout of 2/2/1/1. The Wizard/Fighter gets a spell loudout of 3/3/3/3/3/3/2. The spellcasting abilities are incomparably better. While spellcasting is legitimately underpowered right now, the point of builds like this is that if you can't be good any one thing, at least you can do multiple things passably at the same time.


tivadar27 wrote:

So I've tried this and my verdict is this:

If you want to be a caster melee striker, make Fighter your main class and use Wizard/Sorcerer Multiclass Archetype.

Why? Because the fighter is, on average, +2-3 to hit better than the wizard (between proficiencies and attack stat). That *can't* be accounted for in any meaningful way, and it has a *huge* impact on effectiveness.

I tried both a cleric and a sorcerer striker type (cleric used Weapon Surge). They both felt highly ineffective relative to our fighter types.

NOTE: It takes a lot of feats to do this, namely really 5 to be effective, Multiclass, 1st spell progression, bonus spell, 1-2 feat, other feat.

i think it's the opposite personally.

best feature of a Gish, by far, is magical striker.

a fighter/caster will have very limited ways to activate magical striker, mainly only its powers a few times per day. Even with spending 2 feats like you say on spells, that's still only 2 1st level spells/day. As opposed to around 4-5/day/level for a main caster.

a caster/fighter will have both the powers and the spells to do so.

Given that there are spells that offer up to +5 attack (true strike) or relatively easily +2 (heroism) and that magical striker adds both a die of damage and an additional +1, it seems to overpower the +2 attack that a main fighter has quite a bit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
a fighter/caster will have very limited ways to activate magical striker, mainly only its powers a few times per day.

I'd concur; it seems to only fare well in situations with 10 minute adventuring days, like Mirrored Moon. With that said, I have a player who wants to do this for Heroes of Undarin so I've been trying to find a way to give the build a bit more staying power. This is what's on my scratch pad right now:

2 - Sorcerer dedication
4 - Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting
6 - Familiar (feat tax)
8 - Magical Striker
9 (ancestry) - Multitalented (Cleric)
10 - Domain (Zeal)
12 - Basic Cleric Spellcasting

This gives you 6 spell slots total plus 4 SP for 10 magical striker uses per day, which is starting to look like something you actually could ration over multiple encounters. The problem is that this means the character needs 18 strength, 16 charisma and 14 wisdom at 1st level. There is currently no ancestry that can do this, so until we get Aasimar it looks like this one is still in the realms of the hypothetical for 12th level.


Dasrak wrote:
shroudb wrote:
a fighter/caster will have very limited ways to activate magical striker, mainly only its powers a few times per day.

I'd concur; it seems to only fare well in situations with 10 minute adventuring days, like Mirrored Moon. With that said, I have a player who wants to do this for Heroes of Undarin so I've been trying to find a way to give the build a bit more staying power. This is what's on my scratch pad right now:

2 - Sorcerer dedication
4 - Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting
6 - Familiar (feat tax)
8 - Magical Striker
9 (ancestry) - Multitalented (Cleric)
10 - Domain (Zeal)
12 - Basic Cleric Spellcasting

This gives you 6 spell slots total plus 4 SP for 10 magical striker uses per day, which is starting to look like something you actually could ration over multiple encounters. The problem is that this means the character needs 18 strength, 16 charisma and 14 wisdom at 1st level. There is currently no ancestry that can do this, so until we get Aasimar it looks like this one is still in the realms of the hypothetical for 12th level.

You'd be much better off with:

2: Sorcerer Dedication
4: Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting
6: Familar (Bonus spells eventually)
8: Magical Striker
10: Bloodline Breadth
12: Expert Sorcerer Spellcasting

This would give you 3 (familiar), 2, 2, 2, so 9 spells in total, and not require you to spread your stats so much. NTM, you'd save a race feat, and get an addition 2 spells at 14th level.

EDIT: Also, using this approach, Power Attack at 1st and going with True Strike (1 action) followed by Power Attack w/ Magical striker is the way to go.

Note that if you want to be a wizard who's capable of hitting things sometimes, then it's fine to do that first, but for me, Gish involves doing more of the hitting, with your spellcasting boosting that (just my normal take on that), you can't compare to a fighter for weapon damage when crits are factored in...


I haven't seen too much happening with the Fighter/Caster perspective for this build honestly. To be fair, this was met to be a level 5 build due to Playtest Events - I only went up to 13 because someone was saying Fighter Dedication was the only way to get expert level Weapon Training outside of the three beat-em-up classes.

Having played this at level 5, it was relatively fun and I hadn't felt useless, and with the Wizard/Fighter build, I was able to cast True Strike every single time without running of my prepared spell slots.

Additionally, being a Universal Wizard, I gain an extra use of my Drain Focus ability that (using my 13th level example) gives me 7 extra spells that I can tap into for free as long as they were cast one before during that day. (27 spells total)

I'll see how everything goes, but I might be playing the Wizard with Archery focus instead of the Archer with Wizardry focus, it feels more fun to have the spell casting options. Also, True Strike is a secret hidden Crit Fish spell. Two chances to roll Nat 20s (Auto-Crit if you would have hit anyway).


TheMonkeyFish wrote:

I haven't seen too much happening with the Fighter/Caster perspective for this build honestly. To be fair, this was met to be a level 5 build due to Playtest Events - I only went up to 13 because someone was saying Fighter Dedication was the only way to get expert level Weapon Training outside of the three beat-em-up classes.

Having played this at level 5, it was relatively fun and I hadn't felt useless, and with the Wizard/Fighter build, I was able to cast True Strike every single time without running of my prepared spell slots.

Additionally, being a Universal Wizard, I gain an extra use of my Drain Focus ability that (using my 13th level example) gives me 7 extra spells that I can tap into for free as long as they were cast one before during that day. (27 spells total)

I'll see how everything goes, but I might be playing the Wizard with Archery focus instead of the Archer with Wizardry focus, it feels more fun to have the spell casting options. Also, True Strike is a secret hidden Crit Fish spell. Two chances to roll Nat 20s (Auto-Crit if you would have hit anyway).

For higher levels, it's worth considering Wizard with Crossbow, and then Cleric Dedication and Deadly Simplicity.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
tivadar wrote:

You'd be much better off with:

2: Sorcerer Dedication
4: Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting
6: Familar (Bonus spells eventually)
8: Magical Striker
10: Bloodline Breadth
12: Expert Sorcerer Spellcasting

This would give you 3 (familiar), 2, 2, 2, so 9 spells in total,

You might want to take another look at bloodline breadth:

Bloodline Breadth wrote:

Your repertoire expands, and you can cast more spells of your bloodline’s

tradition each day. Increase the number of spells in your repertoire and
number of spell slots you gain from sorcerer archetype feats by 1 for
each spell level other than your two highest spell levels.

So it's actually 3,2,1,1 spells, or 7 in total. Bloodline Breadth only becomes worthwhile at 16th level, which is way too late for most builds.


tivadar27 wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
shroudb wrote:
a fighter/caster will have very limited ways to activate magical striker, mainly only its powers a few times per day.

I'd concur; it seems to only fare well in situations with 10 minute adventuring days, like Mirrored Moon. With that said, I have a player who wants to do this for Heroes of Undarin so I've been trying to find a way to give the build a bit more staying power. This is what's on my scratch pad right now:

2 - Sorcerer dedication
4 - Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting
6 - Familiar (feat tax)
8 - Magical Striker
9 (ancestry) - Multitalented (Cleric)
10 - Domain (Zeal)
12 - Basic Cleric Spellcasting

This gives you 6 spell slots total plus 4 SP for 10 magical striker uses per day, which is starting to look like something you actually could ration over multiple encounters. The problem is that this means the character needs 18 strength, 16 charisma and 14 wisdom at 1st level. There is currently no ancestry that can do this, so until we get Aasimar it looks like this one is still in the realms of the hypothetical for 12th level.

You'd be much better off with:

2: Sorcerer Dedication
4: Basic Sorcerer Spellcasting
6: Familar (Bonus spells eventually)
8: Magical Striker
10: Bloodline Breadth
12: Expert Sorcerer Spellcasting

This would give you 3 (familiar), 2, 2, 2, so 9 spells in total, and not require you to spread your stats so much. NTM, you'd save a race feat, and get an addition 2 spells at 14th level.

EDIT: Also, using this approach, Power Attack at 1st and going with True Strike (1 action) followed by Power Attack w/ Magical striker is the way to go.

Note that if you want to be a wizard who's capable of hitting things sometimes, then it's fine to do that first, but for me, Gish involves doing more of the hitting, with your spellcasting boosting that (just my normal take on that), you can't compare to a fighter for weapon damage when crits are factored in...

breadth doesn't give you for your 2 highest spell slots.

so it's only 3/2/1/1 spells

also, compared to the fighter for crits, it really depends on the rest of the party.

as an example, a wizard/fighter can surpass the +attack bonus of a fighter with a heroism (+2) and magical striker (+1) (+3 total when he's just 2 behind due to proficiency)

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