Some Good Spell Perfection Choices


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Spell Perfection is a really fun feat. Ever since it was shown to me it's been a major consideration on most spellcasters I make. Doesn't work for all, some have better feats that give them more (like Extra Evolution on a Synthesist Summoner) or else never really use metamagic with more than a +1 to spell level (as was the case with an Eldritch Archer 10/Arcane Archer who only really used Spellstrikes and the occassional Selective Spell). Some though it can be really cool, so I wanted to open the floor to hear some cool ones.

I'm gonna set some rules. The first, class and applicable metamagic make a big difference, so present your perfected spells with those included, as well as maybe a small bit of either reasoning for why it is/was good (avoid certain AP spoilers if it was only amazing due to the AP it was in). Rule the second, a lot of this is opinion. Something can be good because it's meta-good, good because it's good wrong fun, or maybe there was just a single moment that made it all worth it around the table. Unless someone specifically asks for suggestions, be polite and don't down on their perfected spells.

That said, I've got three.

Spell Perfection (Shocking Grasp)
Class: Sylph Magus (Sigilus)
Applicable Metamagics: Intensified + Empowered + Quickened
Pretty much the standard type of offensive Spell Perfection. I actually got pointed to this one and it was my introduction to Spell Perfection, so it's not really my place to claim it my own idea. But added to Magical Lineage the character spell combats with Shocking Grasp basically all the time. They get so many preps of SG with adjusted overall spell level and flat out ignoring a metamagic adjustment (the level 1 spell slot ones are all Intensified + Empowered, as can all the level 2 slots be by Spell Perfection ignoring Intensified instead of Empowered (for +1 total adjustment)).

Spell Perfection (True Strike)
Class: Tiefling Wizard Diviner 8/Loremaster X
Applicable Metamagic: Quickened
True Strike is a really hard spell to metamagic. It doesn't have variables, can't be extended, but it is a super powerful spell. The wizard in question is blind, so True Strike ignores the Concealment, and gives a nice pretty +20 so no spells are wasted on a miss. The ability to turn the level 1 spell slots (of which Loremaster grants an additional bonus on top of the high Int bonus) into essentially Swift Action boosts to every other offensive (non-save) spell you cast is such a stronger boost that Spell Perfecting any of them individually. Essentially it takes away the 2-turn setup for True Strike, and lets you prep more 5th level spells (which you can use with True Strike, it pays for itself!).

Spell Perfection (Mindwipe)
Class: Kitsune Spiritualist (Fractured Mind)
Applicable Metamagic: Persistent + Extend + Spell Focus (Enchantment)/Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment) + Spell Penetration
Taking the other route, using Spell Perfection for its other use to double up on making a spell nearly impossible to save against. The Spiritualist spell list is pretty light on Enchantment spells but this one seemed like the best (I'd be open to hear another Enchantment option from their spell list, or that they could get access too that would be fun). Add Persistent for free (I'm not sure if Extend works, since the effect lasts 1 Day/Level but the duration is listed as Instantaneous; see text) so they need to save twice against a double focused, double penetrating... Basically you will take 2 negative levels. It's only too bad that Kitsune Magic isn't also doubled from Spell Perfection since it's not a feat.


First the ones below are the ones I think are just pretty objectively amazing. That said it’s in no way exhaustive

Magical lineage essential for the below:

Any class: Caustic Eruption - dazing, selective, persistent. It’s a AOE conjuration, so it has no spell resistance applicable, so hits through SR related immunities, acid damage so rarely resisted, but AOE so hits multiple targets. Obviously it’s very late to come online (but then this is spell perfection so who cares) and when it does come online it’s probably the best dazing spell target.

Sorcerer: Chain Lightning - quicken, blood intensity combo with blood intensity and empower on a second casting. Strap a maximise rod on. Combo with orc or draconian blue bloodline and blood havoc. You get pretty much the best AOE blast in the game.

Without lineage (but it doesn’t hurt):

Sorceror: Battering blast - any combination of empower, maximise, quicken. Combo this with feats to boost spell casting level, like spell specialisation and mages tattoo. Attack again blood havoc and orc bloodline and you’ve got the strongest single target blast in the game.

Any class: Animate dead - the casting level boosts are what we are here for, allowing more hit dice of undead.

Now these I think are just fun

Druid: Greater Black Tentacles - fearsome Spell, merciful spell. This spell targets only evil targets, so it’s pretty fun I think to make these giant great tentacles that nonelethality hurt and grapple evil and leave good alone, tagging fearsome on to make them debuffer too and just be scary as s*!%. Haha.

Silksworn Occultist Suffocate - Persistent Spell. I think this is a pretty fun combo and for the Silksworn Occultist it’s probably their best option and their flat DC boost is nice too, given it’s only level 5. Particularly noteworthy because suffocate forces 3 saves so with persistent 6, so it pretty much is going to work. Which is nice.


Ill Omen for the Witch and Psychic makes a very versatile Quicken Spell option, so that all of your other single target save or loses are extra hard hitting (they have to make four saves if you add Persistent Spell to your main attack spell). Limited to mind affecting vulnerable creatures, though.


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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Fireball yet. Well, its a classic so I suppose its the benchmark to measure other spells against?

Reasons Fireball is good: Being 3rd level leaves potentially 6 levels of metamagic to enhance Fireball with. Combined with Magic Lineage and Wayang Spellhunter you can get Quickened + Empowered 9th level equivalent Fireball cast for a 3rd level slot.

Also 3rd level slots can use Lesser Metamagic Rods to add 1 more metamagic for cheap to Fireball. That means 3k to add intensified or elemental to 3 Fireballs. Or only 14k to add Dazing to 3 fireballs. Lesser rods are amazingly cheap when you're 15th level.

You can certainly get higher damage with higher level spells, or single target spells but Fireball has a very good utility. The shape and range are excellent. By using various rods almost any elemental immunity can be overcome. By using a good combination of metamagic feats this simple damage spell can be turned into a control spell, or improved to a much more effective hammer. Also 3rd level spells slots can be gained through the use of items like Ring of Wizardry and Potions of Channel the Gift. A lot of the versatility that Fireball enjoys is just because it comes at the right spell level rather than being a virtue of the spell itself.

The Exchange

Summon Monster IX or summon nature’s ally IX.

The key here is that you aren’t really after the metamagic advantages from Spell Perfection. It’s the other half that really shines in combination with other feats.

Augment Summoning, Superior Summoning, and Evolved Summon Monster are among the feats that have a set numeric bonus.


Belafon wrote:

Summon Monster IX or summon nature’s ally IX.

The key here is that you aren’t really after the metamagic advantages from Spell Perfection. It’s the other half that really shines in combination with other feats.

Augment Summoning, Superior Summoning, and Evolved Summon Monster are among the feats that have a set numeric bonus.

Oh man, that's a really good one I didn't think of! It's only too bad you need the 3 metamagic prereq, cause my Summoner doesn't really have the room for 4 extra feats when weighed against Evolutions and At-Will Darkness.

Maybe I'll have to try out a Conjurer Wizard though some day who gets that setup and uses the Metamagic stuff for their support Transmutation or Evocation spells.


so i wonder why no1 mentioned 'Disintegrate'.
Spell Specialization set for Disintegrate get you +4 caster level. which is more then you need with Intensified spell only adding +5 to the dice (so need +3 caster level more) take one of the traits to reduce Intensified and you get to:

quicken(perfection)+Intensified(trait) Disintegrate for 25d6 swift action then standard for empowered + Intensified Disintegrate for (45+22)d6 damage = 92d6 damage in a round

the dc will be high as well since your going to take spell focus for the spell specialization so getting the greater will be easy as well so +4 to dc.
total feats = spell focus,greater spell focus,spell perfection,spell specialization,empowered,intensified,quicken = 7 feats. a lot you'll get a lot of use for them on the way to level 15 anyway.


zza ni wrote:

so i wonder why no1 mentioned 'Disintegrate'.

Spell Specialization set for Disintegrate get you +4 caster level. which is more then you need with Intensified spell only adding +5 to the dice (so need +3 caster level more) take one of the traits to reduce Intensified and you get to:

quicken(perfection)+Intensified(trait) Disintegrate for 25d6 swift action then standard for empowered + Intensified Disintegrate for (45+22)d6 damage = 92d6 damage in a round

the dc will be high as well since your going to take spell focus for the spell specialization so getting the greater will be easy as well so +4 to dc.
total feats = spell focus,greater spell focus,spell perfection,spell specialization,empowered,intensified,quicken = 7 feats. a lot you'll get a lot of use for them on the way to level 15 anyway.

Spell Perfection can't be used on a spell with modifiers that place it above 9th level. The lowest level Disintegrate is 6th so that means the total Metamagic you can apply to it and use Spell Perfection is +3. Though you can apply a Rod of Metamagic on top of that when it is actually cast.


zza ni wrote:

so i wonder why no1 mentioned 'Disintegrate'.

Spell Specialization set for Disintegrate get you +4 caster level. which is more then you need with Intensified spell only adding +5 to the dice (so need +3 caster level more) take one of the traits to reduce Intensified and you get to:

quicken(perfection)+Intensified(trait) Disintegrate for 25d6 swift action then standard for empowered + Intensified Disintegrate for (45+22)d6 damage = 92d6 damage in a round

the dc will be high as well since your going to take spell focus for the spell specialization so getting the greater will be easy as well so +4 to dc.
total feats = spell focus,greater spell focus,spell perfection,spell specialization,empowered,intensified,quicken = 7 feats. a lot you'll get a lot of use for them on the way to level 15 anyway.

There is a few reasons disintegrate is overlooked.

It’s a ray and it comes with a fortitude save, so immediately you have two barriers on it as opposed to most other blast spells which give a save or require the caster to hit, Disinterrgate does both.

Unlike most blast spells it targets fortitude saves, which is statistically the worst save to target as it is on average the highest save in the bestiary as opposed to reflex which is the lowest. On top of which unlike other blasts which do half on a failed save disintegrate is significantly more boned if they make their save.

It doesn’t have a damage type so doesn’t synergies as well with Sorc blast builds as other spells and it’s single target so AOE spells quickly end up doing more and if you miss with it you’ve missed your one chance.


Holy Word/Blasphemy

A boost of CL by just +2 means that you can now effectively kill (aka paralyse) things upto and including your CL in HD.

Since monster CR is approx analagous to its HD.... you can now deal with some scary ass critters!


doc roc wrote:

Holy Word/Blasphemy

A boost of CL by just +2 means that you can now effectively kill (aka paralyse) things upto and including your CL in HD.

Since monster CR is approx analagous to its HD.... you can now deal with some scary ass critters!

I considered making a Cleric building to this but thought better of it eventually because it’s like slumber witch on roids.

Varisian Tattoo + Spell Specialisation + Spell Perfection + Orange Prism = +7 to your caster level

On top of which if you come across something particularly scary you can beads of Karma for a further +4 making +11 CL.

Couple with Spell focus and it’s greater brother and persistent and you get. DC 21(Before Casting stat) roll twice, fail equals death and save equals paralysed.

The Exchange

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
doc roc wrote:

Holy Word/Blasphemy

A boost of CL by just +2 means that you can now effectively kill (aka paralyse) things upto and including your CL in HD.

Since monster CR is approx analagous to its HD.... you can now deal with some scary ass critters!

I considered making a Cleric building to this but thought better of it eventually because it’s like slumber witch on roids.

Varisian Tattoo + Spell Specialisation + Spell Perfection + Orange Prism = +7 to your caster level

On top of which if you come across something particularly scary you can beads of Karma for a further +4 making +11 CL.

Couple with Spell focus and it’s greater brother and persistent and you get. DC 21(Before Casting stat) roll twice, fail equals death and save equals paralysed.

Persistent Spell is indeed a powerful metamagic feat to use with this combo. But most of the time you're going to need to use Selective Spell instead. Because if you cast blasphemy/dictum/holy word/word of chaos at your level +11 without Selective, your party members that don't share the proper alignment are going to really hate you.

You could use both if you took the Magical Lineage trait for your particular word of choice (reducing the metamagic level change by one.)


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

I considered making a Cleric building to this but thought better of it eventually because it’s like slumber witch on roids.

Varisian Tattoo + Spell Specialisation + Spell Perfection + Orange Prism = +7 to your caster level

On top of which if you come across something particularly scary you can beads of Karma for a further +4 making +11 CL.

Couple with Spell focus and it’s greater brother and persistent and you get. DC 21(Before Casting stat) roll twice, fail equals death and save equals paralysed.

I did basically run this build BUT only because it was a special 1 off all-weekend session that my mate GMd, he didn't know about my PC in advance and then things got boring quickly, so I tweaked my build for day 2!

People forget that the spell has a 40 ft radius and so even if the BBEG somehow survives, anyone that he/she has brought along to help is almost certainly toast!


Belafon wrote:

Summon Monster IX or summon nature’s ally IX.

The key here is that you aren’t really after the metamagic advantages from Spell Perfection. It’s the other half that really shines in combination with other feats.

Augment Summoning, Superior Summoning, and Evolved Summon Monster are among the feats that have a set numeric bonus.

Someday I'll make an Arcanist (Occultist archetype) level 20 with this combo who tosses out infinite super powered summons.


doc roc wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

I considered making a Cleric building to this but thought better of it eventually because it’s like slumber witch on roids.

Varisian Tattoo + Spell Specialisation + Spell Perfection + Orange Prism = +7 to your caster level

On top of which if you come across something particularly scary you can beads of Karma for a further +4 making +11 CL.

Couple with Spell focus and it’s greater brother and persistent and you get. DC 21(Before Casting stat) roll twice, fail equals death and save equals paralysed.

I did basically run this build BUT only because it was a special 1 off all-weekend session that my mate GMd, he didn't know about my PC in advance and then things got boring quickly, so I tweaked my build for day 2!

People forget that the spell has a 40 ft radius and so even if the BBEG somehow survives, anyone that he/she has brought along to help is almost certainly toast!

Yeah I can imagine, how did you get around the aforementioned issue above with blasting your buddies?

Xenocrat wrote:
Belafon wrote:

Summon Monster IX or summon nature’s ally IX.

The key here is that you aren’t really after the metamagic advantages from Spell Perfection. It’s the other half that really shines in combination with other feats.

Augment Summoning, Superior Summoning, and Evolved Summon Monster are among the feats that have a set numeric bonus.

Someday I'll make an Arcanist (Occultist archetype) level 20 with this combo who tosses out infinite super powered summons.

Curious, what do you think the optimal summon is for brutalising with this . combo


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:


Xenocrat wrote:
Belafon wrote:

Summon Monster IX or summon nature’s ally IX.

The key here is that you aren’t really after the metamagic advantages from Spell Perfection. It’s the other half that really shines in combination with other feats.

Augment Summoning, Superior Summoning, and Evolved Summon Monster are among the feats that have a set numeric bonus.

Someday I'll make an Arcanist (Occultist archetype) level 20 with this combo who tosses out infinite super powered summons.
Curious, what do you think the optimal summon is for brutalising with this . combo

Depends on your alignment. Pick Summon [Good/Neutral/Evil] Monster instead of Evolved Summon Monster, and maybe Expanded Summoning as a feat and Balanced Summoning as an arcane discovery (taken as an Arcanist exploit) so you can pick two each of opposing alignments without having any net effect on your own alignment.

I like the aligned monsters who have breath weapons: nuckelavees (evil) and jyoti (neutral) can give you 4-7 10d6 breath weapons. Good has to use the weaker bronze dragon or fewer gold dragon/dragon horse breath weapons. Nuckelavees are the best because nothing resists their breath weapon and it can add on Con damage and fatigue from the included disease. At the very worst you only summon 4 of them and they make all their saves and you still do 20d6 equivalent of unresistable damage. But most likely you'll get more and some saves will fail, so it has upside.

Heal is good to have, so leonals (8th level from Expanded Summon Monster) are a nice Everyone is Back to Full Strength button for the party or a Valkyrie if you can handle only one for out of combat use.

Out of combat you can use your permanent Valkyrie or inevitables to put a 10 minute geas (or several) on prisoners with no save.

I actually like the 8th level expanded dinosaur options for combat and/or crowd control. The diplodocus makes a great wall of AOOs (two per at 60' reach, with trip as a good option) or have them trample a bunch of scrubs, the spinosauras is a tyrannosaurs with a less damaging bite, but has pounce and a couple of claw attacks. Both combo well with Versatile Summon Monster and the aerial template if you want your big bruisers out of the way and not constraining you. If you have Evolved Summon Monster give a couple of spinosaurases the +4 grapple to help their swallow whole.

The sneak attackers are pretty good for melee if you can't afford Gargantuan or Colossal dinosaurs clogging up the map. Summon Evil has the Bogeyman at 7th (plus quickened Phantasmal Killer), Summon Neutral has the Imentesh (plus warpwave, haste, grab/constrict, polymorph any object) at 8th, Expanded Summon has the Coloxus demon at 8th.

Shadow Lodge

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
doc roc wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

I considered making a Cleric building to this but thought better of it eventually because it’s like slumber witch on roids.

Varisian Tattoo + Spell Specialisation + Spell Perfection + Orange Prism = +7 to your caster level

On top of which if you come across something particularly scary you can beads of Karma for a further +4 making +11 CL.

Couple with Spell focus and it’s greater brother and persistent and you get. DC 21(Before Casting stat) roll twice, fail equals death and save equals paralysed.

I did basically run this build BUT only because it was a special 1 off all-weekend session that my mate GMd, he didn't know about my PC in advance and then things got boring quickly, so I tweaked my build for day 2!

People forget that the spell has a 40 ft radius and so even if the BBEG somehow survives, anyone that he/she has brought along to help is almost certainly toast!

Yeah I can imagine, how did you get around the aforementioned issue above with blasting your buddies?

Having done this combo with an Oracle, the key is to hang out with a party where everyone is the 'correct' alignment (mind you, this was a Wrath of the Righteous campaign, so non-good PCs would be unusual).

That being said, I only used it once or twice before putting it 'in reserve': It just ended fights too quickly (semi-mythic game, so a 1 round paralysis was plenty of time for the Gunslinger to mythic move next to the BBEG and deliver a 120 HP Coup-de-grace) so I only used it when things looked bad (one PC was petrified in round 1) or no one really wanted to run the encounter in question (demon bursts into the room at the end of a session and monologs a bit, so I made a very loud but short counter-point).

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