How is my Build looking


Advice


I have settle on a build using the Magus Archetypes Blade-bound and kensai

I'd like some one who has played a similar build or who understands the class well to look over my Build

Race is Half - Elf (If there is a Better race for this particular build please Enlighten me. I had not chosen any Alternative Race features so if there is one that is good for this build let me know

weapon is a Thorn Blade - I plan to Crit Fish

Character Traits are Magical lineage for shocking Grasp (oh wow no one saw that coming) and cleaver word play for Int to UMD

currently starting at level 3 and have the following feats

Feats
(1) SKill Focus - UMD (Race)
(1) Weapon Focus - Elven Thornblade (Archetype bonus)
(2) Weapon finesse level 1
(3) Slashing Grace - level 3

Future feats
Level (5) Intensify spell
Level (5) Some other meta magic Feat
Level (7) some other meta magic feat
Level (9) Arcane Deed - precise strike
Level (11) Dazing spell
Level (13) ???
Level (15) spell perfection Frost bite (Dazing spell)
Level (18)????

Arcana's
level 6 Flamboyant arcana
level 9 Arcane Deed Dodging Panache
level 12 Arcane Deed Bleeding Wound
level 15 Arcane Deed Evasive
level 18 Arcane Deed Dizzying Defense


Arcane deed was nerfed years back to have a swashbuckler level of zero, always. Which means precise strike adds zero to damage, evasive doesn't really work with improved uncanny dodge (tho' the basic uncanny dodge and evasion do function) and it's totally unclear to me how dizzying defense works anyway.

Also you may be thinking you can use slashing grace with spell combat. You can't -

slashing grace wrote:
You do not gain this benefit while fighting with two weapons or using flurry of blows, or any time another hand is otherwise occupied.

and spell combat occupies your hand with a spell. This is the case even if you use a stilled spell or something.


avr wrote:

Arcane deed was nerfed years back to have a swashbuckler level of zero, always. Which means precise strike adds zero to damage, evasive doesn't really work with improved uncanny dodge (tho' the basic uncanny dodge and evasion do function) and it's totally unclear to me how dizzying defense works anyway.

Also you may be thinking you can use slashing grace with spell combat. You can't -

slashing grace wrote:
You do not gain this benefit while fighting with two weapons or using flurry of blows, or any time another hand is otherwise occupied.
and spell combat occupies your hand with a spell. This is the case even if you use a stilled spell or something.

really? >.> crap

ah ok what do you think i should replace then with


To use dex as the attack stat on a magus you've three main options. You can use a scimitar, since the dervish dance feat isn't so restricted, or you can use a magic weapon with the agile property once you can afford 8K on a weapon (4K for unarmed strike or natural weapon users), or you can say screw it and get your damage from sources other than an ability score (your shocking grasp, or power attack/piranha strike, or whatever). Those are very different things to aim for and they don't much overlap. Pick one.

If you go with dervish dance then that doesn't change a lot of feats. DD replaces slashing grace of course, then from there you might take

5: Intensify spell
Magus 5: Empower spell
7: Elemental spell
9: Lunge
11: Dazing spell
Magus 11: Critical focus
13: Spell penetration
15: Spell perfection (shocking grasp)
17: Staggering critical
Magus 17: Stunning critical
19: Greater spell penetration

- note the L9 kensai ability for the critical feats.

with arcana like
6: Flamboyant arcana
12: Arcane deed (dodging panache)
15: Arcane deed (evasive)
18: Bane blade

Grand Lodge

If you are playing a home game, ask your GM if they will allow Fencing Grace to apply to a thornblade, they are basically just rapiers with spikes along the edges of the blade. You could also ask the GM to allow you to add Agile to your arcane pool at 5th level along with all the other possible enchants.

If you are sticking to purely rules as written, you would have to multi-class...3 levels of unchained rogue is probably the easiest, I think there is also a swashbuckler archetype that grants it. There are a few 'dervish' options for getting dex to damage with scimitars...but the options for thornblades are pretty slim.

The other option would be to just go with a regular old rapier, same damage and crit range, you just lose the +2 the confirm crits, which is honestly pretty negligible.

*edit*
As avr pointed out, you could always just get a weapon with the agile enchantment...but that would clash with your bladebound half. You could also just ignore the dex to damage...you'll lose out on a few points of damage from the weapon itself...but most of your damage will be from your spell combat and spell strike anyways.


My main suggestion would be to get Preferred Spell:Shocking Grasp working ASAP. That will free you up to take a variety of spells that you can convert to shocking grasp as needed.

My thought would be to kick out of slashing grace/dervish dance and just wait on adding dex to damage until you can afford an agile enchantment. That is a long wait, but the extra feat will make the casting part of the build come on line earlier.

(3) Elemental Spell(acid) Fire and Cold are fine too, but acid is resisted less often.

(5) Heighten Spell, Preferred Spell: Shocking Grasp

(7) Intensify Spell.

(9) Empower Spell.

(11) Dazing Spell

(13) Quicken Spell

(15) Spell Perfection: Shocking Grasp

(18) Echoing Spell

Replace one of the Arcana with Wand Wielder.

My build is very feat hungry, and benefits a lot from being human for the extra feat. If you made a human, take Empower Spell as a 1st level feat. You could do spell focus - Spell Specialization - Greater Spell Specialization instead of Preferred Spell but Greater Spell Specialization comes on line later and is inferior to Preferred Spell. The spell specialization line takes 1 more feat but it does offer an early boost to CL. In the long run I think Preferred Spell works out better, though Spell Specialization is more flexible.


@ avr
oH lOOKS GOOD.
i Forgot The kensai's 9th level ability
Ok I think i'll Do Scimitar but flavor it as a wakizashi

@ Slyme. well if i was to Ignore Dex to DMG
what would be a good Feat to Replace. Slashing Grace / Dervish Dance

@ Meirril
I SEE. Well For Story Wise I want to be a Half-Elf
I Looked at preferred spell , but i am not feeling it

Grand Lodge

Wayang is also a good pick for Magus. They get dex/int bonuses with an easy-to-fix wis penalty. Can easily do a 18 Dex / 18 Int if you have a 20+ point buy. Dissolutions Child alt racial trait also lets you cast vanish (basically) as an SLA 1/day which is also nice.

The weapon damage dice reduction is negligible (it amounts to an average of 1 point less damage) but you get a +1 to att and AC for being small.

Not that H-elf isn't a good pick too, but if you're open to the uncommon races, Wayang is a strong pick.

Having Dervish Dance is good to have even so, because it allows you to deal at least a bit more damage for the times you don't spellstrike. Like using spell combat for Bladed Dash, which lets you pseudo-pounce starting at level 4.


Slyme wrote:

If you are playing a home game, ask your GM if they will allow Fencing Grace to apply to a thornblade, they are basically just rapiers with spikes along the edges of the blade. You could also ask the GM to allow you to add Agile to your arcane pool at 5th level along with all the other possible enchants.

If you are sticking to purely rules as written, you would have to multi-class...3 levels of unchained rogue is probably the easiest, I think there is also a swashbuckler archetype that grants it. There are a few 'dervish' options for getting dex to damage with scimitars...but the options for thornblades are pretty slim.

The other option would be to just go with a regular old rapier, same damage and crit range, you just lose the +2 the confirm crits, which is honestly pretty negligible.

*edit*
As avr pointed out, you could always just get a weapon with the agile enchantment...but that would clash with your bladebound half. You could also just ignore the dex to damage...you'll lose out on a few points of damage from the weapon itself...but most of your damage will be from your spell combat and spell strike anyways.

fencing grace would appear to have the same spell combat incompatibility as slashing grace.

As a bad option that works with Elven Thornblade, Elven Battle Focus! Very little value in the (ton of) prereqs for you, although I suppose being able to Blade Lash adjacents without provoking is nice.

Silver Crusade

My advice is to avoid kensai, overall, its a pretty meh archetype that trades away some of the maguses coolest features... that out ofnthe way...

If you go kensai and want to focus on dexterity, I suggest dropping blade bound, unless the GM does 2 things for you, 1, allow you to take a whip as your BBlade, allow you to use agile as a weapon enhancement from your arcane pool.

As a kensai, I would suggest seeing if your GM would allow a whip or scorpion whip as your black blade, why? Because it has a 15ft reach. Once you get Improved whip mastery (about level 8 for you) you threaten ALL 15ft, which is great. I honestly would suggest focusing more on strength for this idea, but
If you want to keep a high dex, I suggest at least getting some strength for damage(if GM allows you agile weapon property from your arcane enhancement ignore this). Whats the difference between +4-6, vs +2-3? Its double damage, yes, but, that small amount won't effect much. You can't super stat dex this way, but the losses are negligible, and you open up a new world of combat options.

Combine the kensai whip magus with feats like
Whip mastery, greater whip mastery, and disarm/trip feats.

Suddenly, you laugh at more conventional enemies, another option is to go for stand still feat. (Though this depends on how your GM rules the feat) would suggest elf or human (elf for ability score bonuses, human for extra feat)

Feat path for dex focused, you get weapon focus for free
Weapon finesse, weapon focus
Combat reflexes
Stand still(possibly)
Combat expertise
Improved trip/disarm (or both)
lunge (possibly)
Agile maneuvers (depending)

If you go this route, you want to take ONE level dip into wizard early on (at an odd level) to gain access to knowledge is power this is far better than any generic feat you could take, as its modt likely netting you a 4+ to your rolls. Note, this is in addition to your strength/dexterity bonus.

Grand Lodge

Whip is a perfectly legal Bladebound option, it is a 1 handed slashing weapon, I've seen a few rather good bladebound whip builds.

As for feats to replace slashing grace...Piranha Strike, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, maybe Combat Reflexes loads if solid options.

If you plan on taking the character to higher levels, 3 levels of unchained rogue to get free weapon finesse and free dex to damage might be a viable option...it will delay your spell casting, but gives you a ton of skill points, evasion, trap finding, 2d6 sneak attack damage, and a rogue talent of your choice. You could also go with the Eldritch Scoundrel archetype to compensate for some of the lost magic, the levels wouldn't stack with your Magus levels, but you would still get a bunch of extra level 1 spells, in exchange for 1d6 less sneak attack and giving up the rogue talent you would normally get at level 2. You would still end up with the important finesse and dex to damage parts.


avr wrote:

5: Intensify spell Elemental Spell

Magus 5: Empower spell
7: Elemental spell Intensify Spell
9: Lunge
11: Dazing spell
Magus 11: Critical focus
13: Spell penetration
15: Spell perfection (shocking grasp)
17: Staggering critical
Magus 17: Stunning critical
19: Greater spell penetration

I don't think Intensify is worth taking at level till level 7. At level 5 it does nothing, at level 6 it's +1d6 (yay?), so you can absolutely afford to wait till 7 for it. On the other hand Elemental Spell might make a huge difference in those levels.

JuliusCromwell wrote:

@ Meirril

I Looked at preferred spell , but i am not feeling it

Preferred spell on a Magus is incredible. You can prepare nothing but utility spells at the beginning of the day, and then spontaneously convert them to Shocking Grasp when needed. It also lets you add intensified/elemental/etc on the fly, so you can always have the damage you need.

You can even take Heighten Spell with your bonus feat at level 5, so you don't have to set it up in advance and spend levels with a (mostly) useless prerequisite feat (Preferred spell is even better with Spell Recall, but I wouldn't change your archetype just for that).


rorek55 wrote:


Combine the kensai whip magus with feats like
Whip mastery, greater whip mastery, and disarm/trip feats.

Try to stat out what levels you'd take each feat at. I think you'll find the character is plain bad until 13th level. Especially if you go Half Elf and pure Magus like OP intends to.

I hate whip builds. Sure you get a 15' reach, but until you get all of the feats in place you're just weak. And being a Black Blade, you can't switch to another weapon until you pay your feat tax so you suffer until you pay. And pay. And pay.

And you could of had a better build if the feats were spent on something other than overcoming the massive drawbacks of a whip.

Silver Crusade

Kensai (Scorpion) whip build.

Ability scores, 25 pt buy, before racial bonuses
Str: 16
Dex: 14
Con: 12
Int: 16 (+2) human
Wis: 10
Cha: 08

1- weapon focus, combat expertise, (if human improved trip or improved disarm
3- knowledge is power
5- combat reflexes
6- intensify spell or elemental spell
7- whip mastery
9- improved whip mastery
11- weapon specialization (if you want more damage), greater trip/disarm, or improved grapple
13- greater whip mastery

From level 1, you threaten 15' and 5'

At level 3 your base CMB for trip and disarm is +11 (2 bab, 3 str, 2 from weapon, 4 from Int) your damage is 1d4+3. Note, you can use spellstrike with arcane mark, to get two attacks (and so two combat maneuvers) as a full round out to 20' (5ft step, and 15') at a -2 each, but hey, thats still a +9 to one, and a +11 to one of your choice.

At 5, you can make 3 AoOs, all of which are trip or disarm.

You have 3 1st level spells from wizard for mage armor shield, enlarge person, etc.

The build really comes online at level 5, and only gets better with levels.

By the time a lot of enemies are "immune" to trip/disarm you can get grapple, and by then you can do plenty of damage when you need to just by sake of the class.

You could also dip into sorcerer, for crossblooded dragon/orc, for +20 damage to a 10d6 shocking grasp, but thats getting more into cheese territory.


From level 1 the scorpion whip user threatens at 5'. They can attack at 10-15', using the scorpion whip as a normal whip, but they don't threaten at 10' until level 9 (improved whip mastery) or at 15' ever, unless they cast long arm or something.

Knowledge is power is an arcane discovery which magi have no means to access I can think of. They're not wizards or arcanists, or psychics who can get something similar.

Being limited to either intensify or elemental spell & not both is crippling. There'll be whole classes of enemy where tripping/disarming aren't helpful & some of those will be electricity resistant or immune, so elemental spell is more or less necessary, and intensify spell is just necessary.

Edit: if someone wants to do something like this as a magus I suggest extensive use of true strike or blade lash, maybe a dash of polymorphing, and not bothering with feats except maybe extra magus arcana (wand wielder) or emergency attunement. As written this is how to spend huge amounts of character resources in order to be really bad at something. Pathfinder has quite a few traps like that.

Silver Crusade

If you use the scorpion whip as a whip, you threaten as a whip would. If you use it as a light weapon, you don't. When used as a whip, it is equivalent to a whip. "...When you use a scorpion whip as a whip, it is equivalent to a whip, but deals lethal damage and can harm creatures regardless of their armor bonus." Which means... it functions just like a whip except for the specific part mentioned in you can do lethal damage to folk in armor.

Knowledge is power is an arcane discovery, you take a level of wizard at level 3 to get it, since you can use a generic feat or a bonus feat to get a discovery.

Shocking grasp, frostbite, vampiric touch, metamagic rods.

All the above can help get around resistance/immunity. Lesser rod of elemental spell is pretty cheap.

Trip/disarm are useful early on, and can be useful even late game .
Past level 13/14 you can grapple enemies with your whip, without grappling yourself.

You don't even need to worry about improved X if you don't want too. You won't be provoking AoOs usually at 15' anyway.


First @MrCharisma you're right about swapping those feats of course.

@rorek55: If you use the scorpion whip as a whip, you threaten as a whip would...which is to say not at all. Barring feats like improved whip mastery, whips do not threaten areas.

OK, an unwritten level dip in another class. Which does of course hurt absolutely every magus class feature; wizard progresses none of them except the will save.

Without noticeable investment all of those are bad options except the metamagic rods. And even metamagic rods want some kind of investment in order to get them in hand for use without spending a move action, and they aren't compatible with spell combat (unless you cast Aroden's spellsword, a 3rd level spell for which you likely won't have a free slot until magus level ~9, character level ~10 here) which makes them less than ideal for a magus.

Grappling with your whip is asking to have your whip sundered. Just saying. Trip and disarm are occasionally useful at many levels, but you're building around them here, they need to be better than that, or you need to have a second specialty not just a backup.

& certainly you can do without the improved X feats with sufficient reach. A specialist will really want the greater X feat though to avoid losing out on action economy. A part timer can use spells as I suggested. Half a dozen feats without those is a particularly bad middle ground.


@ everyone

I see.

Well to be honest The scorpion whip magus sounds cool but not right now
I've talked so much about blade bound kensai my group wants to see in action

Plus Since I am anime nerd talking swords are up my ally lol

I mean a magus main damage source is criting with things like shocking Grasp right?


@ everyone

I see.

Well to be honest The scorpion whip magus sounds cool but not right now
I've talked so much about blade bound kensai my group wants to see in action

Plus Since I am anime nerd talking swords are up my ally lol

I mean a magus main damage source is criting with things like shocking Grasp right?


I'm requesting a new guide to the magus. I want it to be called,

"Playing a Magus Without Having an Actual Orgasm Over Shocking Grasp".


Shocking grasp or frostbite are the usual suspects for a magus to enjoy life with. For the right build color spray or true strike can take their place. Specialised builds or archetypes may go for other spells; huntmaster's spear, reloading hands, mudball, light prison, etc.

But yes, shocking grasp is making a magus easy mode.


TheGreatWot wrote:

I'm requesting a new guide to the magus. I want it to be called,

"Playing a Magus Without Having an Actual Orgasm Over Shocking Grasp".

So Eldritch Archer and Snowball your way to orgasm. Though you'll be tempted to use other spells, like Scorching Ray so its not the same spell every time.

Or you could do a 1 level dip into wizard/spellslinger with an Eldritch Archer and use a musket. Use 2 ranged touch cantips for your offensive spells. Dump spells into the barrel and arcane pool to power your class ability to add enchants to the gun. You should be able to add 1d6 ice/fire/acid/electricity to whatever your actual shot/spell does for something like bullet + 4d6 damage at low levels and a touch range of 40'?

You could even go into spell cartridges if you feel like it. Though I think you could find better uses for your feats. Especially since you need 2 swift actions per combat to enchant your weapon.


I'm still likin' halflings with a mouser dip.

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