Asmodean Evangelist: Does This All Work?


Rules Questions


Hi guys,

I've been playing around with a variety of cleric builds and I built one that feels exceptional. I was wondering if I'm interpreting the various pieces properly.

It's a 9th level evangelist (Cleric archetype, not PrC) of Asmodeus.

The build revolves around using Banner of the Ancient Kings and Sacred Summons for the alternate summoning options unique to Asmodeus.

If you weren't aware, certain gods give a couple of extra summoning options. In particular, Asmodeus gives the option to summon hellhounds with summon creature 2, and cerberi with summon creature 4. These have significantly better stats than other summons of the same level, and are compatible with sacred summons.

Banner of the Ancient Kings/Flagbearer, as far as I can tell, should work with Sermonic Performances granted by evangelist since it is "similar in all respects to bardic performance used by a bard of the same level". I've seen this debated before, however. If it works, the combination with evangelist would provide +5/+5 to all allies, using only a move action.

Combining these with basic summoning feats, the cleric could summon 1d3+1 (3 avg) cerberi as a standard action with summon monster V, and then immediately buff them and the entire party with +5/+5 on top of the bonuses from augmented summons.

The 3 buffed cerberi could then attack 9-12 times per round (depending on rends) at +18 to hit with massive damage bonuses, potentially dealing hundreds of damage and providing a large meat wall.

Does all this function like I think it does or am I missing something? This seems blatently unfair. You're basically summoning a CR 13 encounter as a standard action. It feels like any other cleric build I could make would pale in comparison. All of my other builds have to be compared to this one as it stands and its oppressive af. I almost wish there's something wrong with it.


I had this debate with a player when I was considering running Hell's Vengeance. In the end, we determined that Perform (oratory) is language-dependent, so as long as everyone understands Infernal and he delivers the performance in Infernal, it works on them. But that was our ruling at that time, and as you pointed out, it's been debated elsewhere with differing arguments on each side. It's ultimately up to whoever is running the game for you.


Summons are generally considered very powerful.

You've found summons that are more powerful than most.

You're using a 9th level caster who's stolen one of the best buffs in the game as an archetype (I recently discovered Evangelist, it's crazy good).

Now add on Augmented Summons and Superior Summoning and see where that gets you.

Silver Crusade

This is a very powerful build, for sure. It seems PFS legal. There are other highly optimized cleric builds, but the one you provide is certainly near the top.

I've played with, and GMd for, players using that +5 +5 bardsong/flagbearer/banner of ancient kings combo. It's basically a 'we win' button for your party. Use it well.

Besides summoning powerful creatures and buffing like a pro, what else can your PC do?

Also, do note that your PC will have a detectable Evil aura, even if the PC is Lawful Neutral. This is a minor inconvenience at worst in PFS play, so don't sweat it.


Magda Luckbender wrote:

This is a very powerful build, for sure. It seems PFS legal. There are other highly optimized cleric builds, but the one you provide is certainly near the top.

I've played with, and GMd for, players using that +5 +5 bardsong/flagbearer/banner of ancient kings combo. It's basically a 'we win' button for your party. Use it well.

Besides summoning powerful creatures and buffing like a pro, what else can your PC do?

Also, do note that your PC will have a detectable Evil aura, even if the PC is Lawful Neutral. This is a minor inconvenience at worst in PFS play, so don't sweat it.

It's got standard trickery domain shenanigans (invisibility and move action mirror image). This is particularly useful on an evangelist summoner. Summoning and buffing don't break invisibility. You can sneak into the room, have your uber summons basically solo the encounter, and walk away laughing. (although now that I think about it, singing probably doesn't help your stealth much and the summons wouldn't see the banner). The mirror image does a huge number for your defenses.

You don't have the feats to get combat reflexes/power attack, but the fact that you've provided yourself with +5/+5 and have decent strength and a longspear mean you aren't a half bad reach cleric. Hell, if you run out of summons, fate's favored divine favor/power puts your net bonus at +9/+9 (it literally doesn't matter that you don't power attack).

I haven't worked out the exact details of the build yet. I wanted to make sure it's legal before I spend a lot of time on it.

I'm actually not a huge fan of the build you provided. It feels extremely win-more. Yes, in a standard combat encounter it wrecks them six different ways, turns them inside out and replaces their veins with orange juice. The issue is, I usually design my builds around like, the worst possible situation. I don't play PFS, my GMs have zero problems throwing CR+6 encounters at us in 5 ft hallways with level-draining ghosts attacking us from the walls. The CR 15 zombieconstructoutsiderswarm doesn't give a fk about your move action daze. The axe beak is never going to trip it, and it's damage is comparatively insignificant even with CoDzilla buffs. It feels like the sort of build designed to wreck PFS encounters (this kind of stuff never happens there from what I hear). It's not bad, don't get me wrong. I just wouldn't call it an atomic bomb.

Silver Crusade

Mikemad wrote:
You can sneak into the room, have your uber summons basically solo the encounter, and walk away laughing.

Here's one legitimate objection [Youtube: Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit] to this build. It's a very strong and effective build that can render lower-tier builds irrelevant whilst also magnifying them. If you do play a powerful summoner-cleric be sure to give the person playing the ranged rogue [or even rouge] a chance to shine. Other PCs always love your buffs, but be careful not to over-use the infernal summoning thing.


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You can use the summons to give the rogue flanking buddies. That way even if you're out-shining him he'll be rolling all the d6's and probably won't even notice.

The other legitimate objection (that I can think of) is that these builds often end with the player taking a 30 minute turn. Know your summons and plan your actions. If you're taking 50% more time than the other players then you aren't up to playing the hoard, and you should play something else.


Magda Luckbender wrote:


Here's one legitimate objection [Youtube: Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit] to this build. It's a very strong and effective build that can render lower-tier builds irrelevant whilst also magnifying them. If you do play a powerful summoner-cleric be sure to give the person playing the ranged rogue [or even rouge] a chance to shine. Other PCs always love your buffs, but be careful not to over-use the infernal summoning thing.

The video was perfect LOL.

Yeah, I understand. Fortunately, the rest of my group builds quite efficiently. There shouldn't be too much issue with people being left behind, especially when everyone is at +5/+5.

It depends heavily on what level range we're playing at. This build is best at 5-10ish; it kinda struggles early on.


Magda Luckbender wrote:


Besides summoning powerful creatures and buffing like a pro, what else can your PC do?

I mean the build you linked doesn't really do anything beyond "channel," but that's the core of the build, is it not? bit silly to imply that just because a build has a focus means it can't do things, especially when it has access to a 9th level spellbook.

Silver Crusade

Commercial Grade Woodpecker wrote:
Magda Luckbender wrote:


Besides summoning powerful creatures and buffing like a pro, what else can your PC do?

I mean the build you linked doesn't really do anything beyond "channel," but that's the core of the build, is it not? bit silly to imply that just because a build has a focus means it can't do things, especially when it has access to a 9th level spellbook.

My point is that, if one is optimizing, one can sometimes get a lot of benefit for minimal expense. For example, it's often worth just the Boon Companion feat to get a full animal companion. I was pushing the OP to stretch and come up with additional clever options that the PC could do. It might be reasonable and possible for an Evangelist Cleric who summons to do several things.

For example, here's a one (1) attribute point build of a Cleric (Evangelist) who specializes in summoning, buffs like a pro, and is a capable melee combatant. Not a 20-point build, or a 15-point build, it's a 1-point build. And it's extremely effective. No primary powers require a high attribute value. Summoning just works, Inspire Courage just works, and the pet can be a melee beast. The OP's (very powerful) build is similar, and works just fine as a 1 point build. Since that's the case, what becomes possible with the other 19 attribute points?

That's what I mean by 'what else can your PC do?'


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Evangelist by itself doesn't use much, true. Evangelist with Banner of the Ancient kings requires 15 Charisma, a feat, and an 18k gold investment. It also notably eats your spontaneous cures and limits your channeling ability.

Summoning doesn't use any attributes, true. However, doing it effectively as a cleric eats 4 feats (You cant take herald caller as an evangelist). This sort of infernal summoning also restricts you to Asmodeus, so my domain options are extremely limited.

You need at least 13-14 in wisdom in order to be able to eventually cast 9th level spells. I also hate running characters under 14 constitution.

All told, this build eats 5 feats, a domain, 18k cash, restricts my second domain, requires 14 wisdom, 15 charisma, 14 constitution, everything else goes to strength. It also means most of my higher level spells go to summoning, and im stuck in light armor or mithral breastplate.

You have the following resources to spend when making a build:

Attributes
Feats
Domains
Spell Slots
Gold

I don't have very much wiggle room, unfortunately. That said, I'm still playing with it.

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