What is the most overlooked / underrated class?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


do you have a class that you think is underrated by others?


Ioun Kineticist. People get hung up on the "mandatory, gimped Aether element" and "literally breaking your own iouns to attack", but just use 25gp greys (crafted out of adamantine, if you can persuade your GM) for your blast.

Once you have access to a reliable source of Greater Make Whole with CL12th, you can sacrifice-and-repair your ioun stones to get juicy burn discounts on everything whenever you want, which can totally obviate the Kineticist's normal limitations.

It's not that great because you're, uh, still playing a Kineticist. But you can surprise a lot of people!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Fighter - the Fighter has a reputation for being a one-dimensional DPR machine. You pick one fighting style, specialize in it... and that's about it for your build. There was a time when that reputation was fully-deserved, but it's a thing of the past for today's Fighter. The Fighter has received a lot of options in subsequent splatbooks, and in particular the Weapon Master's Handbook pushed him over the edge and really changed the class. While many classes have been buffed through archetypes or unchained versions, the Fighter is one of the few that has seen its vanilla baseline improve dramatically.

Today's Fighters can be skill monkeys, can use item mastery feats for limited spellcasting, have easy access to high will saves thanks to armed bravery, has much stronger combat feats available, and all while keeping the great DPR the class is known for. The Fighter has really come a long way, and so long as you have access to all Pathfinder content its historical reputation isn't really applicable anymore.


I agree with your description of the "modern" fighter. Fighters have always been my favorite class to play and now they're just beyond cool with all the options available to them.


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I rarely see the Slayer get mentioned or recommended, even for the things that suit it best.


I love the Slayer, particularly the Bounty Hunter archetype. It reminds me of a lot of the 1e Dragon Magazine Bounty Hunter class.

I don't see many of the Occult Adventures classes outside of the Kineticist ever mentioned.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I don't see many of the Occult Adventures classes outside of the Kineticist ever mentioned.

I see Occultists here and there, and occasionally hear about the Mesmerist, but I hear very little about Mediums, Spiritualists, and Psychics.


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Cleric - I still see people say Clerics are bad, despite being one of the most powerful casters in the game while also being pretty great at combat. I think it's just the heal-bot stigma that keeps this from being a more popular choice (that and the brain-paralysing choice that comes with a 9th level caster who automatically knows every spell on the spell-list).

Fighter - I think I agree with the others here, but ... I think this one slightly deserves its under-powered reputation. It's not that the class is under-powered, it's that the skill-floor is so low. The Cleric comes with a thousand choices of spells, but if you take a spell that ends up being terrible you can just swap it out the next day. For the Fighter that problem comes with feats. If you take the wrong feats as a Fighter you can end up with a useless character, and unlike the Cleric you can't just swap it out the next day. This means that newer players are going to struggle with this class and a good number of them will (justifiably) write it off.


That's a good point. A fighter's low skill choice really hurts it. Most people I know who play fighters don't even explore different feat choices besides Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, etc.


Another I don't see mentioned is the Vigilante. I know I have absolutely no interest in playing one myself. And it seems several others don't either.


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The vigilante class is odd. it's basically a whole subset of classes each with a focus on two personas. The way many of it's archetypes change it so dramatically it's hard to think of the class beyond the two persona aspect (even the base of the class has two class choices built into it). It can be almost anything but only a halfbaked version.

As a class it has, in a way, one of the most diversified build capabilities, but it also is constantly out shown by other classes in almost every area.


People make fighters. I don't think its overlooked/underrated honestly. Psychic? It is a 9 level casting class and probably the lest played of the 9 level casters.

Calling the psychic lackluster is probably the most accurate commentary of the class. It isn't bad, but I can't see anything about the class that makes me want to play it.


Psychic magic, in general, feels wonky and weird to me. But is that an underrated class or an underrated mechanic.


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Meirril wrote:

People make fighters. I don't think its overlooked/underrated honestly. Psychic? It is a 9 level casting class and probably the lest played of the 9 level casters.

Calling the psychic lackluster is probably the most accurate commentary of the class. It isn't bad, but I can't see anything about the class that makes me want to play it.

In general that generally sums up the whole psychic/spiritualist/medium paradigm. For basically any given reason I could recommend/pick a less janky version of those 3 classes and get a more easily digestable and often better character. While there's ultimately nothing terribly wrong with the class (in the core rogue/release shifter sense), there isn't much that makes me think "Boy, I sure want to play a Spiritualist and not a Summoner"


Another vote for Slayer. It's what the unarchetyped fighter should have been.

Vigilante is often forgotten because the multiple identities thing isn't really useful if the whole party doesn't have it and the default theme pushed is very unfantasy (and Hell's Rebels, the one AP where its abilities would be consistently useful, predates it and incorporating that is all on the GM as a result). People always seem to overlook that the class is fully functional if you just ignore that entirely and black knight in ID obscuring armor is a pretty staple fantasy character.


Chained monks.


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Medium. Very few people actually play this class, but a champion focused halfling medium is a GD buzzsaw, which also has incredible versatility on off days if needed.

Grand Lodge

Kineticist. The rules take some time to read because there's a lot of text and the leveling is wonky. But it's actually a pretty strong class for players with low system mastery because it has such a high floor.

We've all seen those misbuilt two weapon fighters that do 1d6+2 at like +6 to hit at level five. Even the worst built kineticist can still hit for 3D6+6 at like level 5 every round.


Kineticist is an odd case, because while it has a rather high floor, it also doesn't have much of a ceiling. It's very resistant to min-maxing, which kills the fun for a lot of people.

Grand Lodge

Melkiador wrote:
Kineticist is an odd case, because while it has a rather high floor, it also doesn't have much of a ceiling. It's very resistant to min-maxing, which kills the fun for a lot of people.

I won't argue this, it's definitely true that a teched out martial or a 9th level caster will be a lot stronger than a kineticist, which generally won't destroy a campaign.

I do think they are underrated in terms of their ability to contribute to a party in terms of damage and utility, and are also overlooked by players (and DMs who suggest classes) who want a class that's will be decently strong for someone with a little pathfinder experience, but don't have 300 feats memorized and a character built out from 1-20 before the first session.


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I've played a Kineticist and it was dope, tanky hybrid. I've also had encounters destroyed by an Aether Kineticist who used her abilities with intelligence. Kineticist can be pretty good at times.


There's a guy who sometimes plays in my group that plays a spiritualist. It's the only character I truly have a hard time challenging.

Grand Lodge

I'm gonna go with baseline vanilla Druid...I almost never see people play them, or really talk much about them, but they are easily one of the most powerful classes in the game without even having to worry about archetypes or other shenanigans.

Full 9 level divine casting...their spell list is not as straight forward as a Wizard, but if you look carefully there are some utterly game breaking spells tucked away in there.

Wildshape...with the right feats you can turn into a devastating martial character...all while still having your full access to spells...fly above the combat as an eagle hiding in a cloud raining lightning down on your enemies.

Summons...best summoning caster outside of the actual Summoner class...call up an army to do your dirty work for you.

Animal Companion...strongest pets in the game outside of the Hunter class, you basically are playing 2 characters at once. Buff them up and watch them wreck faces.


I'm going to agree with Slayer and Spiritualist.

Slayer is basically the "Ranger Fix" (Studied Combat instead of Favoured Enemy and Favoured Terrain), as well as an excellent option for a non-Heavy Armour melee character and/or a more fighty (or Strength-based) Rogue.

Spiritualist has a really cool psychic/pseudo-divine spell list (or divine/pseudo-psychic if you're an Onmyoji) and a quite competent companion, as well as being 3/4 BAB, 4+Int skill ranks/level, and proficient with kukri, scythes, and light armour and having a Super Mode themself (or a Haunted instead has the Phantom get a Super Mode).


Isn't it Rogue? Rogue the class everyone says regardless of Chaining to "play another class"? Doesn't get that underrated than that though maybe Shifter takes that title of "Most kicked dog".

Though I have say, outside of the Occult classes being usually not picked, I don't think I've ever seen an Inquisitor that wasn't NPC.

I've seen talk of all the other classes in my groups, even Vigilante and Shifter. Heck even Kineticist and at one time a Spiritualist. But I've not seen anyone talk about rolling up an Inquisitor. What's up with them?


As far as I know, people LOVE Inquisitors.


Bloodrealm wrote:
As far as I know, people LOVE Inquisitors.

Shrug. Not in my groups it seems.


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Lowly rated isn’t the same as underrated. Some things deserve their low rating. If anything, I’d say the rogue gets overrated by a lot of people.

The inquisitor is borderline OP, with some archetypes pushing it over the line. It has a huge number of class abilities, but many of those class abilities don’t work together. So archetypes that trade out a set of unfocused abilities for a set of focused abilities are dangerous on an inquisitor.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:

Isn't it Rogue? Rogue the class everyone says regardless of Chaining to "play another class"? Doesn't get that underrated than that though maybe Shifter takes that title of "Most kicked dog".

Though I have say, outside of the Occult classes being usually not picked, I don't think I've ever seen an Inquisitor that wasn't NPC.

I've seen talk of all the other classes in my groups, even Vigilante and Shifter. Heck even Kineticist and at one time a Spiritualist. But I've not seen anyone talk about rolling up an Inquisitor. What's up with them?

"Underrated" implies "good but overlooked and/or underappreciated".

Rogue isn't good. It's the single worst class in the game. If anything it's overrated by people who think that having lots of skill points and rolling lots of d6s on occasional sneak attack makes Rogues powerful enough to stand next to Fighters.

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

Isn't it Rogue? Rogue the class everyone says regardless of Chaining to "play another class"? Doesn't get that underrated than that though maybe Shifter takes that title of "Most kicked dog".

Though I have say, outside of the Occult classes being usually not picked, I don't think I've ever seen an Inquisitor that wasn't NPC.

I've seen talk of all the other classes in my groups, even Vigilante and Shifter. Heck even Kineticist and at one time a Spiritualist. But I've not seen anyone talk about rolling up an Inquisitor. What's up with them?

"Underrated" implies "good but overlooked and/or underappreciated".

Rogue isn't good. It's the single worst class in the game. If anything it's overrated by people who think that having lots of skill points and rolling lots of d6s on occasional sneak attack makes Rogues powerful enough to stand next to Fighters.

Unchained rogue certainly is underrated - you aren't a spectacular class, but debilitating injury puts you at similar levels to accuracy as most martials after your first hit (especially nice when combined with a touch attack you can sneak with - minor magic, items for at-will cantrips, etc), skill unlocks gives you a few areas you can beat the excellent skill monkeys (bards, investigators) in, 8+INT skills means you might not be the highest modifier but you'll certainly have a wide variety of skills you can cover, and sneak attack means your damage is competitive with most martials. AC can suffer a little unless they pick up Shield through Major Magic, but with that you've got AC and damage on par with the vast majority of martials, and if you land your first hit your attack is on-par with martials. You do need a gimmick to get sneak attack - circling mongoose and canny tumble, dazzling display and shatter defences, moonlight stalker feint + source of concealment, etc, but provided you do so it's certainly in line with most martials. Comparing the damage to an archer Inquisitor/warpriest, the skills to an investigator, the attack to a super-focused fighter, etc, will disappoint you a little, but they fill their role well enough - can easily take down even level+2 or so bosses with a full attack, and their skills are useful to the table.

They're treated as if they're useless, but an unchained rogue is solidly more useful to have in most parties than your classic big dumb fighter, as they can fill that martial dpr role in combat whilst still contributing effectively out of combat.


Some prestige classes are definetly underrated.

Heritor Knight, is hardly talked about yet it's the only class that can Vital Strike on any standard action.

Shadow Dancer, is the earliest entry into Hide in Plain Sight I know of. And even if it costs a feat (Flexible Shadow Jump) and getting a darkness effect (really easy), it is the most useful way to get Dimentional Dervish line for rapid short burst movement.

I'm not sure its underrated, but Winter Witch is definetly under talked about. Yet it has the best class progression besides Evangelist, the only lost is 1 spell class lv for the ability to guarantee cold dmg no questions asked and then reduce resistance on top of it.

Dawnflower Anchorite it get a Focused Class type feature & a scaling partial Inspire Courage, on top of almost full casting.


Temperans wrote:
Shadow Dancer, is the earliest entry into Hide in Plain Sight I know of. And even if it costs a feat (Flexible Shadow Jump) and getting a darkness effect (really easy), it is the most useful way to get Dimentional Dervish line for rapid short burst movement.

'

I'd guess it's the feat requirements that dissuades many people from entering Shadowdancer. Combat Reflexes breaks your stealth off-turn, and Dodge/Mobility forces you into a choice of very few playstyles.
So if you wanted to use stealth during combat, most builds end up taking three feats they won't get much mileage out of.

Out of combat "HiPS" can be achieved at level 5 with Equipment Trick: Shield, which is a pretty good alternative for scouts.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wonderstell wrote:
I'd guess it's the feat requirements that dissuades many people from entering Shadowdancer. Combat Reflexes breaks your stealth off-turn, and Dodge/Mobility forces you into a choice of very few playstyles.

Agreed; Shadowdancer is really hard on your build to enter since you need to basically throw away three feats, and if you can get HiPS somewhere else you should do so.

In terms of underrated prestige classes I'd have to say Eldritch Knight would be my pick. It has basically no class features and as a result its power floor is exceptionally low, which feeds into the perception that it's a trap option. However, it also has an exceptionally high power ceiling.

Mystic Theurge might also deserve mention in high-level play. Its valley of suck is every bit as bad or worse than you think at low levels, but the thing about the valley of suck is that you do climb out of it with enough levels. For games starting play at level 12+ the valley of suck is already behind you and the main problems with this PrC are irrelevant. I can't tell you how many "advice for a high-level game" threads I've seen where people just reflexively shoot down the idea of a Mystic Theurge.


I don't know about most underrated, but Cavaliers can do some neat stuff with archetypes beyond being a mounted lancer.

I have a constable cavalier for a Zeitgeist campaign which involves being police, and it's absolutely perfect for the setting.


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Dodge & Mobility are 2 of the most used pre-req feats besides Combat Expertise and Weapon Focus, so I wouldn't say it limits combat style. Although yes I agree Combat Reflexes can break your stealth if you aren't careful.

I still say for what it gets, its get too underrated.

I agree that Mystic Theurge and Eldritch Knight are kind of underrated.

* Mystic Theurge I always heard it was bad because of the whole "casters shouldn't multiclass cause of loss spell level".
* Eldritch Knight is definetly "empty" compared to most other classes (including clerics).


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Samurai, specially ones that trade out mounts like Yojimbo or sword saint, are very under rated as tanks. The Yojimbo of a warrior order and a little unconquerable resolve could very well be unkillable, really.

I also think the current fighter is very under rated, with a host of abilities that make it more versatile than ever.


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Cavall wrote:
Samurai, specially ones that trade out mounts like Yojimbo or sword saint, are very under rated as tanks.

Both the Warrior Poet and Brawling Blademaster Samurai archetypes are also *excellent* if you want a non-mounted samurai.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Multiclassing is under rated. My favorite pfs character was a Cavalier (honorguard + emissary) 6/Rogue (thug)1/Ranger (freebooter)2/Bard 1/Battle Herald 1


I haven't seen a non-multiclassed Rogue or a Fighter in probably 4-5 years.


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That's interesting. Once fighter got the Advanced Weapon Training options I felt there was 0 reason to multiclass. Fighters can be incredibly strong, but take a lot of knowledge to build well.


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I love Hunter to pieces and no one at my table will touch it without choosing an archetype that gives away everything that makes Hunter awesome.

So the thing about Hunter is that it has a hidden requirement: 13 Int and Combat Expertise. Using that you can get Pack Flanking at 3rd level as your first Teamwork feat. Pack flanking gives you the bonus from Outflank, regardless of positioning, as long as you are next to OR riding your animal. What this means is that you have +4 to all your attack rolls, and so does your Animal Companion. If your Companion can hold your weight, and you're a small character, you can have this bonus 100% of the time. 3rd level, you're riding a horse or whatever and you both have +6 to hit before we even factor in size, stats, magic, and other bonuses.

The class' spell list is amazing too! Thanks to Ranger cheating you some spells early, you get Resist Energy from level 1 and some other crazy buffs. You're basically a better Ranger.


Arcaian wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Rogue isn't good. It's the single worst class in the game. If anything it's overrated by people who think that having lots of skill points and rolling lots of d6s on occasional sneak attack makes Rogues powerful enough to stand next to Fighters.
Unchained rogue certainly is underrated - you aren't a spectacular class, but debilitating injury puts you at similar levels to accuracy as most martials after your first hit (especially nice when combined with a touch attack you can sneak with - minor magic, items for at-will cantrips, etc), skill unlocks gives you a few areas you can beat the excellent skill monkeys (bards, investigators) in, 8+INT skills means you might not be the highest modifier but you'll certainly have a wide variety of skills you can cover, and sneak attack means your damage is competitive with most martials. AC can suffer a little unless they pick up Shield through Major Magic, but with that you've got AC and damage on par with the vast majority of martials, and if you land your first hit your attack is on-par with martials. You do need a gimmick to get sneak attack - circling mongoose and canny tumble, dazzling display and shatter defences, moonlight stalker feint + source of concealment, etc, but provided you do so it's certainly in line with most martials. Comparing the damage to an archer Inquisitor/warpriest, the...

AC doesn't have to suffer; in fact, it can be higher than anyone else's by a country mile.

(I dislike the Minor/Major Magic talents, btw; as a rogue you possess UMD as a class skill. Buy a pile of cheap wands and devote talents toward better choices.)


@Slim Jim: Offensive defence isn't a legal talent for uRogue, they get debilitating strike instead. Didn't check the rest but that just leapt out at me.

A lot of people are turned off by the complexity of shamans and don't realise that a few levels in you can have a better spell list than the wizard, but with d8 HD, actual armour etc. and hexes like a witch.


avr wrote:
@Slim Jim: Offensive defence isn't a legal talent for uRogue, they get debilitating strike instead.

Huh, well, how about that.

<Replace Offensive Defense with Ninja Trick[Rogue Talent[Offensive Defense]]>

There! Now it's legal by RAW...maybe....

(Not that it matters much in that build, since it would get Debilitating Injury at 7th with uRogue4 and have even better AC without spending a talent.)

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