Slayer archer optimization


Advice


Hi everybody! I am building an archer that I intend to play in my next campaign. The main purpose is to make it fun to play, but since I play with people that tend to optimize their builds it also has to be competitive. So this is the build for now, I appreciate every advice to improve it and/or suggestions for higher levels. Thank you very much.

I was thinking about a Slayer 10/ Brawler 1/ Slayer X, but I am open to choose other classes

Build:

By level:
1: Studied Target +1, Feat: point-blank shot
2: Rogue talent: Weapon Training: composite longbow
3: Sneak attack +1d6, Feat: deadly aim
4: Ranger combat style: precise shot
5: Studied Target +2, Feat: rapid shot
6: Sneak attack +2d6, Ranger combat style: manyshot
7: Stalker, Feat: leadership
8: Combat trick: Sap Adept
9: Sneak attack +3d6, Feat: sap master
10: Studied Target +3, Combat trick: Clustered Shots
11: Martial Flexibility, Feat: Focused Target

I my calculations are correct at level 11:
Swift: Studied Target
Move: martial flexibility-->seething hatred
Next round:
To hit:
11 BAB
X dexterity
3 studied target
2 focused target
5 seething hatred
1 weapon focus
1 point-blank shot
-3 deadly aim
-2 rapid shot
= 18+X/18+X/18+X/13+X/8+X

Damage per arrow:
X strength
1d8
3 studied target
3 seething hatred
6 deadly aim
1 point-blank shot
1 weapon focus
≈18,5+X
If able to sneak (does not apply on the manyshot arrow)
+6 sap adept
+6d6 sap master
≈ 45.5 +X

I am taking leadership to have a faerie dragon that will act as the utility caster, since there's none in the party, and occasionally as battlefield controller (he's going to be a wizard sorcerer or arcanist). He will also take most of the crafting feats.

To deal non lethal damage I will use blunt arrows, to sneak attack I will have the dragon cast invisibility on me.

As to equipment it will really depend on how the master intends to develop the campaign


I'm admittedly unfamiliar with some of the feats you are using, but some of your math confuses me. Why does seething hatred give +5 to hit? Also, doesn't focused target give a maximum of +1 to hit? Why does weapon focus give +1 damage? There may already be threads about it, but I read sap adept to only grant +3 dmg because you have 3 sneak dice. Finally, being invisible does not activate sap master, so you may want to consider that damage a rare bonus rather than your typical amount.


You can use the Stygian Slayer archetype to get a couple uses of Invisibility on your own.

You could also trade out Brawler for Eldritch Scrapper Sorcerer, still pick up Martial Flexibility, and have access to wands on the Sorcerer spell list. This loses a point of BAB, but picks up your Will saves.

You added Weapon Focus to your damage calculations, but it only adds +1 to your attack roll.

Your action economy is not correct in your explanation.

Swift: Study Target
Move: Martial Flexibility
Standard: ???

You don't have to wait until the next round to attack. Sure, full attack on the next round with all those benefits, but don't forget to standard action attack on the same round as Study Target/Martial Flexibility... or drink a potion, just don't waste that standard action on your first round.

The rest looks pretty solid.

Sap Master blunt arrows should be a tremendous amount of fun.


Del_Taco_Eater wrote:
I'm admittedly unfamiliar with some of the feats you are using, but some of your math confuses me. Why does seething hatred give +5 to hit? Also, doesn't focused target give a maximum of +1 to hit? Why does weapon focus give +1 damage? There may already be threads about it, but I read sap adept to only grant +3 dmg because you have 3 sneak dice. Finally, being invisible does not activate sap master, so you may want to consider that damage a rare bonus rather than your typical amount.

You are right, I misremembered the description of the feats. Being the bonus from hatred only to damage and that from focused target limited to +1 I think I'll completely change the 11th level. As to sap adept, it is +6 only if combined with sap master, because i roll a total of 6 dice, but it is actually very situational.


VoodistMonk wrote:

You can use the Stygian Slayer archetype to get a couple uses of Invisibility on your own.

You could also trade out Brawler for Eldritch Scrapper Sorcerer, still pick up Martial Flexibility, and have access to wands on the Sorcerer spell list. This loses a point of BAB, but picks up your Will saves.

You added Weapon Focus to your damage calculations, but it only adds +1 to your attack roll.

Your action economy is not correct in your explanation.

Swift: Study Target
Move: Martial Flexibility
Standard: ???

You don't have to wait until the next round to attack. Sure, full attack on the next round with all those benefits, but don't forget to standard action attack on the same round as Study Target/Martial Flexibility... or drink a potion, just don't waste that standard action on your first round.

The rest looks pretty solid.

Sap Master blunt arrows should be a tremendous amount of fun.

Yeah I skipped the standard action because I wanted to show the full round action, but I am going to use it. Nice suggestion about the Eldrich scrapper sorcerer, my will save was actually very low.


I am not 100% familiar with all the feats and abilities you are taking. But I have an idea that should improve the build.

That is take 4 levels of Ninja with either the Scout or Sniper Archetypes. Those are Rogue Archetypes but as Ninja is an alternative class they are legit so long as the Ninja has what the archetype trades away.

The 4 levels of Ninja give you a Ki Pool, 2 Ninja tricks, +2d6 sneak attack and some other goodies, see the class description. One trick should be-

Vanishing Trick (Su)

Benefit: As a swift action, the ninja can disappear for 1 round per level. This ability functions as invisibility. Using this ability uses up 1 ki point.

With the obvious advantage for getting sneak attacks + other uses.

The sniper archetype adds to the range you can get sneak attack damage and is more the Archer thing.

Scout gives you sneak attach damage when you charge. That is more of a melee thing, but you are taking sap master.

I am not going to review your damage calculations but adding 5d6 or 6d6 sneak attack damage a lot of the time is going to boost the damage a lot.

The drawbacks are losing 1 on BaB and having to design the character to have a good cha for the Ki pool. Well worth it imho.

Grand Lodge

I’m of the personal opinion slayers make better switch hitters. Frontline fighter primarily but is able to quickly make picks vs targets caught alone and possibly flat footed.

1) power attack
2) rapid shot (ranger combat style feat)
3) deadly aim
4) combat trick (quick draw)
5) accomplished sneak attacker
6) Manyshot (combat style)
7) Leadership
8) ???
9) sap adept
10) Clustered Shot (combat style)
11) sap master


Honestly a very powerful option is a Sanctified Slayer inquisitor. Basically you take a couple hits but you gain spells and some really nice teamwork feats... to give you a idea he has bane (+2hit/damage and 2d6) Divine favor (at level 11 it is +4 hit and damage) I use a spell call bloodhound which gives me scent and with the pheromone arrows I get another +2 hit and damage Greater magic weapon (in case you want to get something other that + to hit and damage) Long story short you hit really hard.


Have you given up on Seething Hatred? I'm not sure from the discussion.

An additional problem with seething hatred is that it only applies to one enemy type that is selected from the ranger list...

Quote:

Prerequisite(s): Studied target class feature.

Benefit: Select a creature type from the Ranger Favored Enemies table. When you designate a creature of this type as your studied target and hit it with a melee or ranged weapon attack, your favored target bonus on damage rolls against it is doubled.


Sir Belmont the Valiant wrote:

Have you given up on Seething Hatred? I'm not sure from the discussion.

An additional problem with seething hatred is that it only applies to one enemy type that is selected from the ranger list...

Quote:

Prerequisite(s): Studied target class feature.

Benefit: Select a creature type from the Ranger Favored Enemies table. When you designate a creature of this type as your studied target and hit it with a melee or ranged weapon attack, your favored target bonus on damage rolls against it is doubled.

I would have changed the type every time I used martial flexibility. I still have to decide whether or not to keep it, because it costs me one level in a class with martial flexibility but gives +4 damage (having used focused target)


Eldritch Scrapper Sorcerer for Martial Flexibility and the Will saves. Bloodline and access to wands are a nice bonus, too.

That is clever changing the target type every time you use Martial Flexibility. I am going to remember that combination for just about every Slayer build from now on.


ekibus wrote:
Honestly a very powerful option is a Sanctified Slayer inquisitor. Basically you take a couple hits but you gain spells and some really nice teamwork feats... to give you a idea he has bane (+2hit/damage and 2d6) Divine favor (at level 11 it is +4 hit and damage) I use a spell call bloodhound which gives me scent and with the pheromone arrows I get another +2 hit and damage Greater magic weapon (in case you want to get something other that + to hit and damage) Long story short you hit really hard.

That is indeed a nice alternative to the Slayer class! I'll try it and compare with the original build.


Your DM/GM may, and absolutely should, have issues with your use of Martial Flexibility/ Seething Hatred for anyone within one step of your alignment.

Seriously, how mad can you possibly be at everyone?

The combination is clever, and f*&!ing awesome.

But you literally cannot hate everyone without your alignment changing...

PS. Still the absolute best Slayer dip ever... Seething Hatred "that guy" as a move action, +2 Will saves, access to wands from the Sorcerer spell list, and a Bloodline of your choice... yes, please. Take it at level 8 and enjoy your Slayer.

Even PFS optimized Slayer builds, a level 8 Eldritch Scrapper dip makes up for postponing Assassinate for one level.

Studied Target is a swift, Seething Hatred is a move... double down and kill it...


You have combat trick twice, can only choose it once. Looks like a fun set up.


VoodistMonk wrote:

Your DM/GM may, and absolutely should, have issues with your use of Martial Flexibility/ Seething Hatred for anyone within one step of your alignment.

Seriously, how mad can you possibly be at everyone?

The combination is clever, and f~+$ing awesome.

But you literally cannot hate everyone without your alignment changing...

isn't martial flexibility limited to so many times per day? as well as having a limited duration its self?

seems fine given those limitations. I mean barbarians literally get mad at everyone everyday and don't have alignment issues.


Suggestion for the eldritch scrapper bloodline. If you pick psychic as a bloodline you can cast the few spells you have without worrying about spell failure and they are silent as well. Depending on how your GM rules spells interacting with stealth you can do some fun stuff with that even if they are only low level spells.


Alternative build (without martial flexibility). I'll take the first 6 levels in Slayer to make the archer viable soon in the game, then at least 6 levels sanctified slayer inquisitor, with anger inquisition to acquire rage. The problem is that I do not know how to stack the different bonuses from studied target. Also I hope, but am admittedly doubtful, I can use the rage bonuses from the savage technologist archetype (Dex and Strength).

Race: half-orc
By level:
1: Studied Target +1, Feat: point-blank shot
2: Rogue talent: Weapon Training: composite longbow
3: Sneak attack +1d6, Feat: deadly aim
4: Ranger combat style: precise shot
5: Studied Target +2, Feat: rapid shot
6: Sneak attack +2d6, Ranger combat style: manyshot
7: Anger inquisition, Feat: leadership
8:
9: Solo tactics, Bonus: coordinated shot, Feat: clustered shots
10: +3d6 sneak attack
11: Bane, Feat: reckless aim
12: Divine Anger, bonus: amplified rage


I'm pretty sure you can't pick the rage, you get the canned rage it describes. On the bright side adaptable is a cheap enchantment (1000gp I believe) and it doesn't cost an enhancement increase, so you can benefit from the extra damage from strength increases.

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