Does Striking Spell work with cantrips?


Magus Class

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Nowhere does it say Striking Spell doesn't work with cantrips. Cantrips still use the Cast a Spell action, but they are usually called cantrips rather than spells.

I was reading this excerpt: [b]Ancillary Effects:[b] It still has any non-targeted effects that might affect creatures other than the target, and any ongoing effects starting from the moment you hit with the Strike. For example, acid splash would still deal its splash damage to creatures other than the target, tanglefoot’s penalty would last for its normal duration, and vampiric touch still gives you temporary Hit Points. The spell takes effect after the Strike deals damage; if the Strike has other special effects, the GM
determines whether they happen before or after the spell.

This seems to imply that cantrips can be used with Striking Spell. Are cantrips spells? What about focus spells? Do focus spells use the Cast a Spell action? Could you use a focus spell with Striking Spell?

How are the majority reading it? This would clear up a lot of my issues with the Magus at least.


Yes, Striking Spell works with all kinds of Spells. It currently doesn't with Focus Spells, but that's only because Magi don't get any native focus spells that can target an enemy.
If you pick up something like Force Bolt through a caster MCD, you can Striking Spell with it just fine.


Too many people focusing on those spell slots with Striking Spell. Cantrips and Striking spell plenty powerful.

Now I'm good with Magus other than 4 spell slots. If he can Spell Strike every round, then the magus is solid.

Now I need an independent eidolon and and more varied casting ability and I'm good with these classes.


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Sadly most of the time Spell Striking (even with unlimited cantrip) is not really worth using unless you can guarantee a critical hit.


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Kalaam wrote:
Sadly most of the time Spell Striking (even with unlimited cantrip) is not really worth using unless you can guarantee a critical hit.

I'd say it's ONLY good if you can guarantee a crit unless you want your synthesis ability: if you are in position already, there isn't a need to slide anymore, so just Strike and cast normally.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Kalaam wrote:
Sadly most of the time Spell Striking (even with unlimited cantrip) is not really worth using unless you can guarantee a critical hit.
I'd say it's ONLY good if you can guarantee a crit unless you want your synthesis ability: if you are in position already, there isn't a need to slide anymore, so just Strike and cast normally.

That is true, but I think it is also a factor that people are writing off in the quest for damage rather than in recognizing that striking spell is as much an action economy boost as a damage boost. I have been playing around with a sustaining steel magus, and it is about half as good as getting to attack, cast a spell and raise a shield (a typical 4 action round). Comparing striking spell with a cantrip to a 3 action martial attack that does not include movement, or raising a shield feels disingenuous.

With the exception of the ranged ranger, and the monk, most martials are probably looking at 2 attack actions a round on average, which the magus does alright in comparison to attacking with cantrips.

Scarab Sages

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Unicore wrote:
graystone wrote:
Kalaam wrote:
Sadly most of the time Spell Striking (even with unlimited cantrip) is not really worth using unless you can guarantee a critical hit.
I'd say it's ONLY good if you can guarantee a crit unless you want your synthesis ability: if you are in position already, there isn't a need to slide anymore, so just Strike and cast normally.

That is true, but I think it is also a factor that people are writing off in the quest for damage rather than in recognizing that striking spell is as much an action economy boost as a damage boost. I have been playing around with a sustaining steel magus, and it is about half as good as getting to attack, cast a spell and raise a shield (a typical 4 action round). Comparing striking spell with a cantrip to a 3 action martial attack that does not include movement, or raising a shield feels disingenuous.

With the exception of the ranged ranger, and the monk, most martials are probably looking at 2 attack actions a round on average, which the magus does alright in comparison to attacking with cantrips.

But the Magus doesn't get to raise a shield or do whatever 3rd action (other than Stride for one specific branch). The reason that most martials will raise a shield instead of making a third attack is that it's been proven that you gain more benefit from doing so than you get from making a third attack. But that's harder to represent in a straight comparison. So if you're better off attacking 3 times than using the spell, and attacking twice and raising a shield is better than attacking 3 times, then attacking twice and raising a shield is going to be better than using the spell.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Which is why sustaining steel is a much more interesting option than I, or many people gave it credit for at first. It is like getting to benefit from using shield block, without the AC bonus, but while using a 2 handed weapon. That is pretty unique.

If you start to shift from thinking that you have to striking spell every round, to something that you do about every other round, the magus action routine becomes more interesting and flexible. The fact that the magus is a full martial on top of being a better caster than a MC caster (from getting top level slots) means that the class isn't failing when you decide to spend a round attacking 2 or 3 times instead of casting a spell. To me, that is a feature of the PF2 magus over the PF1 Magus because the action economy of PF1 made the magus features so exploitative of the action economy that just doing regular actions with your magus always felt like a let down.

Rangers sometimes attack without a hunted prey (sometimes it is not worth switching). Rogues sometimes attack without sneak attack, or spend actions setting up a more powerful attack next round by hiding or moving. Sometimes (Fairly often) Barbarians get knocked out and then lose their rage for the rest of combat. I really do recommend at least setting up some actual play encounters, even if it is just battle arena stuff to test out how these classes feel in play.

My sustaining steel test run didn't even start taking offensive spells in spell slots until level 5, and got to just act like a buffed up martial/caster MC that would throw down a cantrip mostly just to pick up some temp HP when in the thick of it. Otherwise, getting to be a martial that has 2 uses of true strike at level 2 on top of a magic weapon before any other martial means that the crit machine mechanics start right out of the gate at level 1. I have only got that character to level 5 so far, but it is a pretty fun and unique experience on the table, from the synthesis I thought would be the most boring and useless.

Scarab Sages

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I don't think that 1-9 temp hit points is the equivalent of +2 AC against every attack for a round.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
I don't think that 1-9 temp hit points is the equivalent of +2 AC against every attack for a round.

As it shouldn't be. You are a full martial using a two handed weapon. It is not a bad little buff though, that stays good even if you don't want to move. Overall, I think I still like the sliding one better, but the temp HP every round when you are mucking it up, but still getting to attack with a 2 handed weapon is pretty fun.

I have been using a fauchard, even though it is lower damage, jut because reach and deadly on a magus is a lot of fun.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Nowhere does it say Striking Spell doesn't work with cantrips. Cantrips still use the Cast a Spell action, but they are usually called cantrips rather than spells.

I thought this confusion would have been over after the playtest. Oh how I wish signatures were a thing on this forum.

Cantrip spells, focus spells, rituals and slotted spells are all spells. The biggest difference is the resource used to cast them.

I actually kind of object to the term "Focus Cantrips" for this reason, as that just confuses what could have been a very neat division. "Class cantrip" would have been better; the operating condition isn't that they are a focus spell that is resource free, but a cantrip specific to a class rather than tradition.

Since all focus spell are by definition class or archetype (so, effectively "class") specific, the distinction between a class spell and a focus spell is without difference, but it still bugs me.

Scarab Sages

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But... a Magus can cast shield while wielding a two-handed weapon. Granted that’s only +1 AC, which isn’t as great as raising a shield, but in every conversation I’ve ever seen about whether raising dex to get +1 AC or raising con to get +1 HP is better, the answer has been get the AC. And 1-9 HPs is half of the hitpoints you would get from raising con.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
But... a Magus can cast shield while wielding a two-handed weapon. Granted that’s only +1 AC, which isn’t as great as raising a shield, but in every conversation I’ve ever seen about whether raising dex to get +1 AC or raising con to get +1 HP is better, the answer has been get the AC. And 1-9 HPs is half of the hitpoints you would get from raising con.

Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round. When hasted, that's probably the way to go rather than a second strike, but for non hasted rounds you're either striking with that spell or using Shield. So the question becomes not if shield is better than the temp HP, but if shield is better than the strike. In fact, since you get the temp HP whether you strike that round or not, you could actually get both the shield and the HP if you really need to turtle up for some reason.

Plus, if you ever do need to use that shield to block, Sustaining Steel is a lot better than nothing for the next ten minutes.

I think the numbers need work, especially since there's lot of rounds where 2 strikes and shield is better than Striking spell + Strike, but fundamentally I agree with Unicore that Sustaining Steel was meant to be a shield block replacement.


Imagine if deadly or fatal changed the dice size of your spells on a crit xD or added more dice.

After the scimitar meta magus, the fauchard, pick etc meta magus

Scarab Sages

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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
But... a Magus can cast shield while wielding a two-handed weapon. Granted that’s only +1 AC, which isn’t as great as raising a shield, but in every conversation I’ve ever seen about whether raising dex to get +1 AC or raising con to get +1 HP is better, the answer has been get the AC. And 1-9 HPs is half of the hitpoints you would get from raising con.

Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round. When hasted, that's probably the way to go rather than a second strike, but for non hasted rounds you're either striking with that spell or using Shield. So the question becomes not if shield is better than the temp HP, but if shield is better than the strike. In fact, since you get the temp HP whether you strike that round or not, you could actually get both the shield and the HP if you really need to turtle up for some reason.

Plus, if you ever do need to use that shield to block, Sustaining Steel is a lot better than nothing for the next ten minutes.

I think the numbers need work, especially since there's lot of rounds where 2 strikes and shield is better than Striking spell + Strike, but fundamentally I agree with Unicore that Sustaining Steel was meant to be a shield block replacement.

The point is that they are better off just attacking twice and casting shield than using striking spell with a cantrip at all, because they do more expected damage attacking 3 times than they do using striking spell and a cantrip. And pretty much universally, people consider striking twice and using a/casting shield to be better than attacking three times.


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Quote:
That is true, but I think it is also a factor that people are writing off in the quest for damage rather than in recognizing that striking spell is as much an action economy boost as a damage boost.

Sorry...would you mind to explain because I see it beeing neither of both options


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well the star one makes ranged spell striking possible, so it might not feel like either, but not having to move to strike with your weapon is a massive action economy boost.

The sliding synthesis is nothing but an action economy boost. No gish gets to move, strike and cast a spell in the same turn. It is about what I expected the striking spell to be in full, which was why I was extra surprised to also get the crit rider boost.

The sustaining steel one looked bad to me at first, but actually is like half of raising a shield so it is not quite a full free action a turn, but like half of one, which is about what slide casting turns out to be as well.

And if you haven't seen how the crit rider on striking spell is a good damage boost, I really recommend you try playing around with using the slide feature to get flanking, or taking a round to set yourself up for the most accurate attack possible with truestrike. The class is the most fun when you set it up to crit with your weapon attack, which is not difficult to manage getting 15 to 25% of the time, without even using truestrike.


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There is barely any action economy boost going on - admittedly half an action with two of the synthesis (certainly not shooting star)

and the crit rider, yeah from all I've seen here and myself the crit effect is barely anything (it feels more like it needs the crit to hit at all)

maybe it's bad luck but my experience seems to vastly differ from yours


Unicore wrote:

Which is why sustaining steel is a much more interesting option than I, or many people gave it credit for at first. It is like getting to benefit from using shield block, without the AC bonus, but while using a 2 handed weapon. That is pretty unique.

If you start to shift from thinking that you have to striking spell every round, to something that you do about every other round, the magus action routine becomes more interesting and flexible. The fact that the magus is a full martial on top of being a better caster than a MC caster (from getting top level slots) means that the class isn't failing when you decide to spend a round attacking 2 or 3 times instead of casting a spell. To me, that is a feature of the PF2 magus over the PF1 Magus because the action economy of PF1 made the magus features so exploitative of the action economy that just doing regular actions with your magus always felt like a let down.

Rangers sometimes attack without a hunted prey (sometimes it is not worth switching). Rogues sometimes attack without sneak attack, or spend actions setting up a more powerful attack next round by hiding or moving. Sometimes (Fairly often) Barbarians get knocked out and then lose their rage for the rest of combat. I really do recommend at least setting up some actual play encounters, even if it is just battle arena stuff to test out how these classes feel in play.

My sustaining steel test run didn't even start taking offensive spells in spell slots until level 5, and got to just act like a buffed up martial/caster MC that would throw down a cantrip mostly just to pick up some temp HP when in the thick of it. Otherwise, getting to be a martial that has 2 uses of true strike at level 2 on top of a magic weapon before any other martial means that the crit machine mechanics start right out of the gate at level 1. I have only got that character to level 5 so far, but it is a pretty fun and unique experience on the table, from the synthesis I thought would be the most boring and useless.

This is what I started to expect after taking some time to think about how to play the class. I’m glad you found sustaining steel engaging, that’s the synthesis I chose for my Playtest next week.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round.

They sure can: Spellsprike, Message, Strike, Shield. You only get 1 attack but you get your free temp hp and your shield.

RexAliquid wrote:
This is what I started to expect after taking some time to think about how to play the class. I’m glad you found sustaining steel engaging, that’s the synthesis I chose for my Playtest next week.

It played better than I thought so hope your game goes well. ;)


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Kalaam wrote:
Sadly most of the time Spell Striking (even with unlimited cantrip) is not really worth using unless you can guarantee a critical hit.

It's not just about the crit. It's about the concept as well. My players used to spell strike with acid splash. They didn't care so much about always awesome damage as long as they were spell striking every round because that was the coolest feature of the class. You have a sword and get to channel magical power through it.

I would remove the double attack rolls myself and likely will if Paizo doesn't do it themselves, but keep the saves. Then Spell Strike is as it should be.


graystone wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round.

They sure can: Spellsprike, Message, Strike, Shield. You only get 1 attack but you get your free temp hp and your shield.

RexAliquid wrote:
This is what I started to expect after taking some time to think about how to play the class. I’m glad you found sustaining steel engaging, that’s the synthesis I chose for my Playtest next week.
It played better than I thought so hope your game goes well. ;)

I...That doesn't actually sound like a terrible build. Tanky as heck, you'd be hard pressed to be put down. Damage would be next to nothing but I think you wouldn't be dying much either. Hm.


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Ferious Thune wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
But... a Magus can cast shield while wielding a two-handed weapon. Granted that’s only +1 AC, which isn’t as great as raising a shield, but in every conversation I’ve ever seen about whether raising dex to get +1 AC or raising con to get +1 HP is better, the answer has been get the AC. And 1-9 HPs is half of the hitpoints you would get from raising con.

Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round. When hasted, that's probably the way to go rather than a second strike, but for non hasted rounds you're either striking with that spell or using Shield. So the question becomes not if shield is better than the temp HP, but if shield is better than the strike. In fact, since you get the temp HP whether you strike that round or not, you could actually get both the shield and the HP if you really need to turtle up for some reason.

Plus, if you ever do need to use that shield to block, Sustaining Steel is a lot better than nothing for the next ten minutes.

I think the numbers need work, especially since there's lot of rounds where 2 strikes and shield is better than Striking spell + Strike, but fundamentally I agree with Unicore that Sustaining Steel was meant to be a shield block replacement.

The point is that they are better off just attacking twice and casting shield than using striking spell with a cantrip at all, because they do more expected damage attacking 3 times than they do using striking spell and a cantrip. And pretty much universally, people consider striking twice and using a/casting shield to be better than attacking three times.

I wonder what level that would adjust if at all.

A two action produce flame at 1st level would be with a greatsword 1d12+3 plus 1d4+3 for an average hit of 16. Versus two greatsword strikes of 19.

By 11th level with a +2 greater striking weapon a produce flame spell strike would be

3d12+6 with 6d4+4 for 44 damage that would be reduced twice by damage resistance

2 greatsword attacks would be 3d12+6 52 points.

I guess the magus is clearly showing that single target cantrips are as terrible as people said they were.


Capn Cupcake wrote:
graystone wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round.

They sure can: Spellsprike, Message, Strike, Shield. You only get 1 attack but you get your free temp hp and your shield.

RexAliquid wrote:
This is what I started to expect after taking some time to think about how to play the class. I’m glad you found sustaining steel engaging, that’s the synthesis I chose for my Playtest next week.
It played better than I thought so hope your game goes well. ;)
I...That doesn't actually sound like a terrible build. Tanky as heck, you'd be hard pressed to be put down. Damage would be next to nothing but I think you wouldn't be dying much either. Hm.

Take a Maul and you can Shove people away with it in addition to it's being a 1d12 weapon. That way you can Shove enemies away from other or force an enemy to waste action if you aren't doing enough damage. Or a Guisarme for a reach trip.

Scarab Sages

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
But... a Magus can cast shield while wielding a two-handed weapon. Granted that’s only +1 AC, which isn’t as great as raising a shield, but in every conversation I’ve ever seen about whether raising dex to get +1 AC or raising con to get +1 HP is better, the answer has been get the AC. And 1-9 HPs is half of the hitpoints you would get from raising con.

Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round. When hasted, that's probably the way to go rather than a second strike, but for non hasted rounds you're either striking with that spell or using Shield. So the question becomes not if shield is better than the temp HP, but if shield is better than the strike. In fact, since you get the temp HP whether you strike that round or not, you could actually get both the shield and the HP if you really need to turtle up for some reason.

Plus, if you ever do need to use that shield to block, Sustaining Steel is a lot better than nothing for the next ten minutes.

I think the numbers need work, especially since there's lot of rounds where 2 strikes and shield is better than Striking spell + Strike, but fundamentally I agree with Unicore that Sustaining Steel was meant to be a shield block replacement.

The point is that they are better off just attacking twice and casting shield than using striking spell with a cantrip at all, because they do more expected damage attacking 3 times than they do using striking spell and a cantrip. And pretty much universally, people consider striking twice and using a/casting shield to be better than attacking three times.

I wonder what level that would adjust if at all.

A two action produce flame at 1st level would be with a greatsword 1d12+3 plus 1d4+3 for an average hit of 16. Versus two greatsword strikes of 19.

By 11th level with a +2 greater striking weapon a produce flame spell strike would
...

Potential damage is one part of it, but it’s that using Striking Spell there is a chance you never get to make the spell attack at all that kills it. If you’re in position to make two or three attacks, you always get to at least make two or three attacks. With striking spell, if you miss with the weapon attack, you do t get to make the spell attack. Only if you get things to the point where the weapon attack has a high chance of critting does the math swing in favor of the cantrip. A little.

Scarab Sages

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graystone wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round.

They sure can: Spellsprike, Message, Strike, Shield. You only get 1 attack but you get your free temp hp and your shield.

RexAliquid wrote:
This is what I started to expect after taking some time to think about how to play the class. I’m glad you found sustaining steel engaging, that’s the synthesis I chose for my Playtest next week.
It played better than I thought so hope your game goes well. ;)

I like that we’re now back to casting a non-damaging cantrip in order to get a benefit from the ability. Now that sounds like the 1E Magus!


Ferious Thune wrote:
graystone wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Normally, they wouldn't be able to strike, cast shield, and cast a striking spell cantrip all in the same round.

They sure can: Spellsprike, Message, Strike, Shield. You only get 1 attack but you get your free temp hp and your shield.

RexAliquid wrote:
This is what I started to expect after taking some time to think about how to play the class. I’m glad you found sustaining steel engaging, that’s the synthesis I chose for my Playtest next week.
It played better than I thought so hope your game goes well. ;)
I like that we’re now back to casting a non-damaging cantrip in order to get a benefit from the ability. Now that sounds like the 1E Magus!

You got to so that you gotta to do: With the general lack of one action spells, your options are limited. it's not like you had a great chance to connect with a damaging spell anyway. At least this way I can insult my foe when I hit them. ;)

Dark Archive

Ok, so if you're using a 2-action Cantrip, surely Spellstrike is ALWAYS better than Cast/Strike or Strike/Cast.

Because if you Spell Strike you get BOTH your spell and your attack at -0 MAP.
If you Cast/Strike or Strike Cast you get one at -0 MAP and the other at -5 MAP.

Certainly if you're burning one of your 4 spell slots and you have something that can hit more than one target like Fireball or something Cast/Strike makes more sense almost all the time, but since you only get 4 non-cantrip spells a day, you should want to Spellstrike with your cantrips any time you can right? Because you're essentially getting a +5 to one of your attacks by avoiding MAP.

Am I wrong? Because a lot of people seem to be arguing that Spellstrike is useless aside from it's synthesis riders, and I'm confused.

Scarab Sages

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If you are using a spell that requires an attack roll, then you get a small benefit from striking spell. If you are using a spell with a saving throw, then MAP never enters the equation, and you are introducing the possibility that you never get to discharge the spell at all in exchange for hoping that the weapon crits to make the spell more likely to take effect. Which the math keeps showing is a losing proposition unless there is a high possibility of the weapon critting.

In other words, in most situations casting electric arc and then attacking with your weapon is superior to using striking spell, attacking with your weapon, and discharging electric arc, even when there is only one target to hit with electric arc.

Dark Archive

I see. I hadn't realized so many of the combat cantrips were save based not attack based.


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TiwazBlackhand wrote:
I see. I hadn't realized so many of the combat cantrips were save based not attack based.

It's not just that. Spell Attack math is currently pretty flawed for the Magus. They have lower int, no (meaningful) master spellcaster proficiency, and spell attacks don't get weapon mod which means the higher level you go, the worse off spell attacks are. It's true that Striking Spell doesn't apply MAP. That doesn't mean much when your spell attacks are already at -5 compared to your weapon attack. At level 13 your weapon attacks are at +26, and your spell attacks are at +21. It's pretty flawed from the ground up.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Everything else aside, it would be nice to have a one-action damaging arcane cantrip. Wouldn't need to do much to fill a useful role, and it would be a decent combo with Striking Spell. We're getting more spells in Secrets of Magic and my preference would be for an actual arcane cantrip, but you could make it a focus cantrip for the magus alone too I suppose.

Scarab Sages

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TiwazBlackhand wrote:
I see. I hadn't realized so many of the combat cantrips were save based not attack based.

Acid Splash, Produce Flame, and Telekinetic Projectile are the three Arcane cantrips with attack rolls. Out of those teekinetic projectile fares the best, I think, with 1d6 base damage. But even that, while using striking spell with it is better than attacking normally then casting it, there are only certain levels where using striking spell with it is better than just attacking twice normally against an equal level opponent with high ac (more common than moderate ac). The thing that can swing things slightly in favor of the spell is to really boost your chance to crit with the weapon.

Attacking three times, however, has a higher expected damage than striking spell with telekinetic projectile in most normal situations.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So have people tested out a higher level magus using fiery form to have a one action, damage boosted cantrip? because that seems exactly what people are asking for.


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Unicore wrote:
So have people tested out a higher level magus using fiery form to have a one action, damage boosted cantrip? because that seems exactly what people are asking for.

So at 13th level, the level this comes online attack bonuses are +26 for the weapon and +21 for the spell. The average damage on a d8 weapon at that level with no other bells and whistles will be 20.5, and Fiery Body bumps the damage on Produce Flame to 24, so it is technically better than attacking twice with a normal weapon, not sure what an agile weapon does to the calculations but that is better. Problem is, Fiery body is a 2 action spell to cast itself which sets you behind a turn, and for that same turn you can Electric Arc/Energize Strikes for a +3 damage boost to weapon attacks which is a net +6 to damage across 2 strikes compared to Fiery Produce Flame's net +3 so it's still behind Energize and strike spam, and at the cost of a spell slot compared to Energize Strikes' no resources at all.

If you wanted to you could do it, but it's probably not worth the resources. Fiery Body does give some other benefits which may or may not be worth it to you though.

((And to be clear, I know we've clashed on other threads so I want you to know I came in to do these calculations in good faith, I really did want to see if it was better))


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Even the play test thinks you should use cantrips with it.

"During Combat Encounters...
You place spells into your weapon or body to hit enemies with a powerful Strike and spell combination. Because your spells per day are limited, you rely on trusty, carefully chosen cantrips."


I suspect cantrip expansion oer equavalent is going to be important. Just to get that range of spell strikes.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
If you are using a spell with a saving throw, then MAP never enters the equation, and you are introducing the possibility that you never get to discharge the spell at all in exchange for hoping that the weapon crits to make the spell more likely to take effect. Which the math keeps showing is a losing proposition unless there is a high possibility of the weapon critting.

That bold bit feels rather unlikely, given this is the first class that can "hold the charge" on a miss. If you don't land spell strike this round, you are probably going to land it next round without needing to recast the spell. If a Fighter misses with Power Attack, they don't get to "store up" the spent actions for next round. The Magus does.

And that means your next round will probably look very different, and that opens up a lot of tactical possibilities.

Maybe you True Strike to make sure the shot lands. Maybe you Spell Swipe to hit two enemies. Maybe you miss with your first strike but land the -5, and use Spell Parry for your last action.

There's also going to be times where it makes more sense to store up a spell to unleash next round, like if an invisible enemy hasn't revealed itself. Also, while really resource intensive, on a nova the Magus can True Strike a spell strike, then use a Fortune Effect on the spell attack roll, like a hero point or halfling luck. You've got good odds to land a crit with the strike and then bump the degree of success up by one, which you can further prevent from wiffing with a hero point. That's neat.

I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different. I'm not sure it needs mathematically superior DPR (especially with its durability advantages) so much as it needs to play differently than other classes without lagging behind them. And it certainly seems to have a unique fighting style. If they are currently lagging (and I dunno if they are) then that can get ironed out in the playtest.


The new magus/summoner spell level progression (do we have a term for that yet?) reminds me of the 5e warlock. Cantrips make up the bulk of your spell casting activity, then you've got you focus spells as a rapidly renewable resources and then finally you've got a handful spells for when you need to pack a punch.

Overall I like this new approach to spell casting.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different. I'm not sure it needs mathematically superior DPR (especially with its durability advantages) so much as it needs to play differently than other classes without lagging behind them. And it certainly seems to have a unique fighting style. If they are currently lagging (and I dunno if they are) then that can get ironed out in...

Using Striking Spell needs to be mathematically better than not using it for people to want to use it.

I’m enthusiastic for the mechanic intent to encourage tactical play that varies from round to round with Striking Spell being stronger in certain circumstances;

I’m very unenthusiastic about (1) Striking Spell being worse relative to just attacking in strong-enemy/low accuracy situations and (2) the difficulty of calculating whether Striking Spell is a net positive in a given round; it kinda feels like card counting at an 8-deck Vegas blackjack table; if you do it right, yes it should be profitable. But you don’t need a computer under the table to figure out what options are better or worse round to round with Devise a Strategem, for instance.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Lelomenia wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different. I'm not sure it needs mathematically superior DPR (especially with its durability advantages) so much as it needs to play differently than other classes without lagging behind them. And it certainly seems to have a unique fighting style. If they are currently lagging (and I dunno if they are) then that can get ironed out in...
Using Striking Spell needs to be mathematically better than not using it for people to want to use it.

I don't think it does. It really just needs to break even. Opening up new play styles is itself a reward. That being said, there are ways already that it does both: spell attacks. Up until now, Electric Arc has been THE cantrip to use alongside a bow. That's boring, and also has weird issues with needing to be inside a longbows volley range.

The Magus can effectively utilize all the elemental cantrips while still swinging a weapon around. This also means they can trigger elemental weaknesses like nobodies business, and Telekinetic Projectile lets them trigger it across the B/P/S spectrum as well. Runic Impression can also add to that flexibility.

Quote:
I’m very unenthusiastic about (1) Striking Spell being worse relative to just attacking in strong-enemy/low accuracy situations and (2) the difficulty of calculating whether Striking Spell is a net positive in a given round; it kinda feels like card counting at an 8-deck Vegas blackjack table; if you do it right, yes it should be profitable. But you don’t need a computer under the table to figure out what options are better or worse round to round with Devise a Strategem, for instance.

I agree that it shouldn't be that hard to figure out what to do with your turn. I've spent waaaay too much time waiting for a player to decide whether to Power Attack or not. But I also don't think "use this feature with spell attack rolls instead of saves" is super complicated, especially given you can only prepare so many options. With only 4 spell slots you can get away with never preparing a save spell pretty easy.

That being said, if the DPR is notably better attacking two or three times without using magic, then we have a problem. Especially if that is after factoring weakness exploitation in.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

the magus attacking 3 times with a weapon is way too much of an outlier to factor into the general DPR of evaluating it against striking spell. At the very least, it is only really comparable against using a bow. Right now, the 2 hander magus is the not likely using striking spell as an every round option because of the lack of mobility, although interestingly, the 2 hander is more likely to be able to stick it out in close combat without having to move around for survivability sake. Either way, just like the ranger, the barbarian, and the rogue, the magus is probably not expected to be "doing their thing" with full attacks every round.

The magus does benefit pretty greatly when targeting weaknesses, even with just their melee attacks, because they have a focus power that lets them easily switch up the elemental damage of their weapon rune, as well as possibly even staking elemental damage by using energizing strikes with one kind of damage and a different one for their runes.

I actually really like the support the magus has for acting like a martial and making their weapon attack magically powerful. If striking spell became a feat option and energizing strike got baked into the class, so that you wanted to cast a spell early in combat, but then could use the riders from having done so as a powerful martial combatant, I could see that working, but I think more people like the synthesis of using a spell and attacking round after round, than cast a spell and then melee attack for the rest of the combat.

Scarab Sages

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
If you are using a spell with a saving throw, then MAP never enters the equation, and you are introducing the possibility that you never get to discharge the spell at all in exchange for hoping that the weapon crits to make the spell more likely to take effect. Which the math keeps showing is a losing proposition unless there is a high possibility of the weapon critting.

That bold bit feels rather unlikely, given this is the first class that can "hold the charge" on a miss. If you don't land spell strike this round, you are probably going to land it next round without needing to recast the spell. If a Fighter misses with Power Attack, they don't get to "store up" the spent actions for next round. The Magus does.

And that means your next round will probably look very different, and that opens up a lot of tactical possibilities.

Maybe you True Strike to make sure the shot lands. Maybe you Spell Swipe to hit two enemies. Maybe you miss with your first strike but land the -5, and use Spell Parry for your last action.

There's also going to be times where it makes more sense to store up a spell to unleash next round, like if an invisible enemy hasn't revealed itself. Also, while really resource intensive, on a nova the Magus can True Strike a spell strike, then use a Fortune Effect on the spell attack roll, like a hero point or halfling luck. You've got good odds to land a crit with the strike and then bump the degree of success up by one, which you can further prevent from wiffing with a hero point. That's neat.

I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different. I'm not sure it needs mathematically superior DPR (especially with its durability advantages) so much as it needs to play differently than other classes without lagging behind them. And it certainly seems to have a unique fighting style. If they are currently lagging (and I dunno if they are) then that can get ironed out in...

In a normal situation, you end up with about a 10-15% chance that you never get to use the spell at all, even attacking over two rounds. The point is that it’s a cantrip. You aren’t losing the spell ever, because you can always just recast it. You aren’t gaining any actions except for possibly the free Stride. What you gain is the chance that the attack improves the result of the cantrip, and that’s not a good enough trade off unless you have a high chance to crit with the attack.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different.

Generally, no. Most circumstances it is either a bit worse or a LOT worse.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different.
Generally, no. Most circumstances it is either a bit worse or a LOT worse.

Hmmm... Do you have enough lots in there? It feels like it's lacking some. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different.
Generally, no. Most circumstances it is either a bit worse or a LOT worse.
Hmmm... Do you have enough lots in there? It feels like it's lacking some. ;)

I try to use proper jargon whenever possible. I have it on good authority the exact term for a large number is "lots and lots."


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its questionable at specific levels if using spell strike with a cantrip is better or worse even if you are optimized. so it amounts to a side grade activity that only becomes remotely compareable with slide casting.

once you get energized strikes, there is never a time where spellstrike with a cantrip is worthwhile.

Scarab Sages

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Just to show the math:

Against an at level High-AC opponent (high-ac has been established as the most common number), you’re generally at a 55% chance to hit (including crits on a 20):

Chance to miss round 1: 45%
Chance to miss round 2:
Attack 1: 45% Attack 2: 70% Attack 3: 95%

Chance that all 4 miss = .45x.45x.7x.95 = 13.5%

That’s a 13.5% chance that your two actions to cast the spell are wasted, because you never get to make the spell attack or force them to make a save.

Your chance to crit on the attack and improve the spell is more complicated.

Chance that attack 1 crits: 5%
Chance that attack 1 misses, attack 1 crits round 2: .45x.05=2.25%
Chance that previous attacks miss, attack 2 crits: .45x.45x.05 =1.01%
Chance that previous attacks miss, attack 3 crits: .45x.45x.7x.05=.71%

Chance that a crit improves the spell result: 5+2.25+1.01+.71 = 8.97%

You’re giving up using the spell 13.5% of the time for an 8.97% chance that you do an extra amount of damage equal to the normal damage of the spell. You’re more likely to do 0 damage with the spell than you are to do extra damage with the spell. You have to improve the situation to the point that you are more likely to crit on one of the 4 attack than you are to miss on all of the 4 attacks before it makes sense to use a saving throw cantrip with Striking Spell.

Or you are using it to get the free move or the temp hitpoints. Which is a separate ability and doesn’t need the mirage of nova crit damage to be there to function.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The sliding synthesis is also radically increasing the probability of getting flanking though, which moves the crit chance up to 15% in your math.

Scarab Sages

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Unicore wrote:
The sliding synthesis is also radically increasing the probability of getting flanking though, which moves the crit chance up to 15% in your math.

But that is a benefit of sliding synthesis, not of striking spell. It’s not something that either the archer magus or the two-handed Magus benefit from.

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