Hexes for a Blasting Witch.


Advice


I'm working on the next member of my group and I'm doing the Aasimar Witch. I'm looking at the Elements Patron. Yeah, Witches are better at buff/debuffs than blasting, but I think it might be fun. But pretty much all of the hexes are based on buffing or debuffing. Are there any hexes for a witch that would rather shoot a fireball than cast Charm?


There are almost no damaging hexes, so this is going to be extremely difficult. About the only thing I could see would be an evil hex channeler using channel negative energy.


Any of the Hexes that affect enemy saves or movement.

You could give up Hexes entirely for Kinetic Blasts or other interesting things archetypes might have to offer... like the Invoker's Bridge, which "treats other creatures as if their damage reduction and spell resistance were 2 lower. This increases to 5 lower at 8th level and 10 lower at 16th level." The Invoker also has Curiosity, which is also awesome for a blaster since "the DCs of the invoker’s hexes and patron spells increase by 1. These DCs increase by an additional 1 at 8th level and 16th level." An Invoker actaully can have both of those active at the same time from 10th and beyond. Lol.


Hm.... kinetic blasts on a witch.... It says that the Havocker alters the familiar and replaces the first level hex to get the element. But would one still get patron spells?


Havoker doesn't get Patron spells.

However, Invoker does not alter the Witch's Familiar. According to AoN, Invoker only replaces Hexes (@1,8,10, and 16).

Curses Wound and Pariah could both hinder your targets from being healed. Deathcall would similarly keep your targets from stabilizing when dying. Evil Eye and Misfortune can both affect saving throws. Likewise, Agony can make them nauseated. Pretty much all your standard debuff Hexes could help a blaster Witch.

Scion of Humanity Aasimar could take Racial Heritage [Halfling] to get a fun FCB that raises the CL of your Patron spells. Not sure if that's particularly worth it, but it is available.


There's some kind of mistake on AoN then. Because the list of archetypes just says hexes but the Havocker page itself says familiar.

https://www.aonprd.com/ArchetypeDisplay.aspx?FixedName=Witch%20Havocker


You are correct about the Havoker altering the Familiar, and not getting Patron spells.

Invoker is a different archetype that only trades out the Hexes at 1,8,10, and 16. This archetype [Invoker] can activate its Invoke Patron ability as a swift action "for a number of minutes per day equal to her level; this duration need not be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-minute increments." allowing you to choose something like the aforementioned Bridge or Curiosity to lower enemy Spell Resistance or increase the DC's of your Patron spells, respectively. After level 10, you could have both active at once. It's not as fancy as Kinetic Blasts, but does work pretty well for a blaster Witch with the Elements Patron... given that every single one of your Patron spells are subject to Spell Resistance, and all but one allow saving throws.

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Frankly I'd go with "passive" hexes like Ice Plant, Gift of Consumption, Murksight, and Flight. If you're a blaster, spend your combat actions on blasting, not on debuffs.

For a blaster witch, you should really take the Invoker archetype (reckoning spirit, for a good damage bonus on your blasting spells), and consider a one-level dip in sorcerer for a similar bonus.

The Exchange

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I did play a blaster witch - halfling witch (invoker) 8/sorcerer 1 - in a "build a cheesy character for a grindy survival challenge" game. It was quite effective.

Unfortunately, as others have said there just aren't any hexes that are particularly good for blastability. There are a few hexes that might be thematically appropriate (summer's heat and the major hexes hoarfrost and icy tomb come to mind).

Other than that, you are going to want the same save-affecting hexes as any witch - evil eye, misfortune, and cackle. The problem is - of course - that evil eye and misfortune are standard actions and that means waiting a round to blast.


I think there are two good options. One is the Invoker, which has already been mentioned. The other is the Winter Witch (archetype & prestige class both) who gives you additional cold spells and:

Ice Magic: +1 DC for cold spells
Unnatural Cold: targets lose 1/2 their cold resist
Inexorable Cold: +1 CL and another +1 DC for cold spells (but this is 15th level)

Either way you probably want to be an elf for the +2 vs SR.

And I would look at hexes to add breadth, or a Plan B for situations/opponents when blasting doesn't work for you. Definitely take the flight hex at 5th level. And Protective Luck, Cackle & Soothsayer are an amazing combination. Look to buy a Cackling Hag's Blouse as soon as you can, the 2/day swift action cackle frees you up to actually move when needed.


Blasting Witches do all of their blasting via cold and electricity spells, but Evil Eye, Misfortune, and Cackle are probably the best hexes for a blasting witch because it obliterates their saves, and Flight is good for increasing your mobility/survivability. If you take the Elements Patron, you get a nice mix of fire blasters, ultimately getting Meteor Swarm. The Winter Witch archetype gives a +1 DC to cold, so definitely consider this.

You probably don't need to Evil Eye/Misfortune every target you blast, but I'd definitely put these on a BBEG or a challenging encounter.

I would focus on taking metamagic feats, spell focus/greater spell focus (evocation), Spell Pen/Greater Spell Pen, and Elemental Focus (+1 DC to your favorite energy type).

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Considering most good blasting spells are area effects, it's often not such a good tactic to spend your first round debuffing a single enemy (and then blasting in the second round) when you could instead spend both rounds blasting.


If you go Havocker Witch, and you want to be a blaster, I'd suggest a single level dip into Spellslinger Wizard so that you can deliver spells through your gun, while working up to imbuing them with the Conductive weapon property to channel your Blasts through them simultaneously.

Here is a thread from GiTP that talks about such a build. I'd ignore the houserules they have going on and see if it peaks your interest.

If your GM is open to let you select a Unique Patron (or you can stomach two levels in Sylvan Trickster Rogue), you might be able to pick up some useful hexes. If you choose Fire as your elemental focus. Flumefire Rage might be a feat you are interested in.


I would also consider getting Prehensile Hair for a Blasting Witch, then you can use your hair as a third limb for retrieving/holding scrolls/wands/MM Rods, necklace of fireballs, etc.


Ok. So a Havocker Witch gets Kinetist talents at level 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. And hexes at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. I get a regular blast that I can do at will, but it's only a 30 foot range unless I take Extended Range. The Universal Element just means that you can take any of those talents no matter what element you choose, right?

The Exchange

Universal means it can apply to any element and you can choose that talent regardless of what elemental focus you have.

I'm not sure if there's been a clarification on the hex question. Specifically, the havocker's infusion ability says

Quote:
This ability replaces the witch’s hexes from 2nd level on, major hex, and grand hex.

"From 2nd level on" is not great writing, but it seems to indicate that you don't get any hexes. Even though you only get infusion talents every 4 levels.


The Havocker has witch spells and limited kineticist blasts, but no hexes and no patron spells.

Now the witch spell list is pretty good, with lots of will-based save-or-lose spells, a decent number of area effect/mass-effect spells, a few fort-based save/lose spells, the summon monster series, curses, and a scattering of cleric healing and random druid spells.

But what makes the class shine is the hexes. Buffing from protective luck & soothsayer, ignore SR with slumber & ice tomb, flight, and so forth. And patron spells are handy to fill in a gap in the witch spell list that your character needs.

Generally speaking I don't think 1/2 progression on kineticist blasting is a good trade. But I've never played one, never seen anyone play one.

I generally think that a Winter Witch is a good choice, as is an Invoker with the elements patron. And then plan your hexes around what you want to do other than blasting. That is, give yourself more options.


Northern Spotted Owl wrote:

The Havocker has witch spells and limited kineticist blasts, but no hexes and no patron spells.

Now the witch spell list is pretty good, with lots of will-based save-or-lose spells, a decent number of area effect/mass-effect spells, a few fort-based save/lose spells, the summon monster series, curses, and a scattering of cleric healing and random druid spells.

But what makes the class shine is the hexes. Buffing from protective luck & soothsayer, ignore SR with slumber & ice tomb, flight, and so forth. And patron spells are handy to fill in a gap in the witch spell list that your character needs.

Generally speaking I don't think 1/2 progression on kineticist blasting is a good trade. But I've never played one, never seen anyone play one.

I generally think that a Winter Witch is a good choice, as is an Invoker with the elements patron. And then plan your hexes around what you want to do other than blasting. That is, give yourself more options.

This comment from another thread sounds about right to me:

"If I were to build this, I would take the basic kineticist blast and really not spend any more feats on it and definitely take a touch AC one. You get a lot of infusions that you should probably never use. Then just make the rest of your build a primary caster and choose feats to complement whatever witch spells you want to prioritize."

The thread


I originally mentioned the Havocker just to showcase what is available from archetypes... I wasn't actually THAT serious about it being used for this build. Havoker sucks. Even for a blaster Witch... Havocker still sucks. Hexes are FAR more versatile than Kinetic Blasts, especially the half@$$, gimped version of Kinetic Blast that a Havocker gets.

Don't do it. It's a trap.

Invoker with the Elements Patron is probably the best all-around blaster when it comes to Witches. If you want to specialize in cold damage, then Winter Witch/Winter Witch is going to be your best bet. Either way, Havocker sucks.


Gimped version of Kinetic Blasts? What? Sure, they don't get composite blasts, but they still get the full progression of the regular blasts. "using her witch level as her effective kineticist level". How effective it is depends entirely on your selection of element and how you build the character.

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DeathlessOne wrote:
Sure, they don't get composite blasts, but they still get the full progression of the regular blasts.

That's still a trap, considering that kinblasts scale by 1d6 per two levels and are single-target, whereas Fireball spells scale twice as fast and affect a 20' radius area.

The OP is looking for options that support a witch that casts Fireballs; clearly a single-target lower-damage attack isn't helpful in that regard.


I have seen multiple posts stating that the Havocker is a trash archetype. I can’t say that is a good archetype but I took a little time to see if I couldn’t come up with a build that was at least viable. Here’s what I came up with (all witch levels no dips cuz I was interested in a pure build)(Codename Sparky. Pure blaster). Just a rough build but here goes. Race: Samsaran with the Mystic Past Life Alt Racial trait (choosing Shocking Grasp, and Fireball as spells necessary to the build, any others optional) Stats at lvl 1 INT 18 with secondary focus on DEX and CON dumping WIS and CHA). Traits Magical Lineage (Shocking Grasp), Wayang Spellhunter(Shocking Grasp), take optional drawback to get extra trait(chose any), Rich Parents (starting wealth 900 gp at lvl 1). Starting equipment masterwork Air Repeater (I chose this for several reasons: cheap, reliable, quiet, works underwater, and it WONT BLOW UP - successive misfires only destroy any loaded ammunition). Feats(in this order) Firearms proficiency, Arcane strike, spell cartridges, infused spell cartridges, intensified metamagic, empowered metamagic, maximized metamagic, point blank shot, precise shot, Deadly Aim (feats 1-4 are necessary for the build to function, the metamagic feats are necessary to keep damage competitive, the last 3 are preference-spell penetration feats and/or elemental spell metamagic could work well too). Elemental focus Air with electric blast I felt is the best choice. Infusions Energize Weapon at 4th is the only one necessary the rest are probably a waste of spells to use. Familiar: monkey familiar with the Emissary archetype so it can use wands to buff and cast Guidance on you at will. Necessary Spells: shocking grasp, fireball, and mending(to clear misfires). Recommended Alternate Capstone (not sure if this is legit though): Unbridled Power. Necessary weapon enchantment: Conductive at 5th level. Recommended equipment Kineticist’s Diadem Normal-Greater (not sure if this is legit either), a bag full of Pearls of Power (mostly lvl 1 to fuel infusion and infused spell cartridges as well as a few 2nd and 3rd. I think that’s most of the particulars. I’ve done some rough calculations but I think this build, by combining weapon damage, energize weapon, infused spell cartridges, and conductive applied kinetic blasts, can deal nearly competitive damage to a standard energy-only kineticist on single targets thru most levels (assuming the kineticist isn’t going full nova and using burn like candy to boost damage). While metamagic boosted fireballs aren’t as powerful as some of the AoE infusion blasts I think they are still a reasonably adequate stand-in. For this build I would fill spell levels 1-3 with metamagic boosted Shocking Grasp and levels 4+ with boosted fireballs. I welcome any suggestions on how to improve this build and apologize for the length of this post.


Kurald Galain wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:
Sure, they don't get composite blasts, but they still get the full progression of the regular blasts.

That's still a trap, considering that kinblasts scale by 1d6 per two levels and are single-target, whereas Fireball spells scale twice as fast and affect a 20' radius area.

The OP is looking for options that support a witch that casts Fireballs; clearly a single-target lower-damage attack isn't helpful in that regard.

I'd hardly call it a trap option, unless someone was just running blindly towards any options that let them deal the 'best' damage possible and doesn't bother to dig into the possibilities and limitations of the options this archetype has going for it. For those players, the hole theY fall into would very well appear to have been a trap for them. And kinetic blasts are only single target if you never make use of the infusions you have available to you.

But, you are correct. For the OP's request, the Havocker is likely NOT the path they want to go down. It only offers an alternative way to deal damage instead of just using hexes.


DeathlessOne wrote:
But, you are correct. For the OP's request, the Havocker is likely NOT the path they want to go down. It only offers an alternative way to deal damage instead of just using hexes.

Havocker only offers a way of just dealing damage instead of the MANY alternatives available with using Hexes... through and through, Havocker is pure garbage. I should have never even brought it up as an example. I apologize for polluting this thread with that trash. We should all forget that Havocker was brought up at all, and get back on track with helping Heather 540 make an Aasimar Witch blaster that will actually be fun to play. Havocker just is not it.

My best advice/suggestion would be Scion of Humanity Aasimar, for access to Racial Heritage [Halfling] so you can use their FCB on your Patron spells. Invoker Witch with the Elements Patron. Focus your Hexes on literally anything you want... buffing/debuffing/defense/offense/utility... whatever.


This may sound counter-intuitive, but when my wife was playing an elements-patron witch in Strange Aeons, she got a lot of mileage out of the sleep hex. Reason being, blasting spells tend to be reflex saves and a few fortitude saves. It's good to have a will save option for those enemies that have high reflex saves and evasion (rogues, for instance) or those targets with large HP pools and/or resistances (giants and elementals). Flight hex was the other one she constantly used in combat, mobility being a big thing for everyone in this game.

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