Author Topic: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder  (Read 189458 times)

Offline TiaC

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #60 on: June 23, 2015, 11:07:21 PM »
Alchemist with Potion Glutton might move up a tier. It's basically Battle Blessing for them.

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2015, 12:26:27 AM »
That's what my investigator uses, Potion Glutton.


Just curious why the paragon oracle and raz sorcerer are tier 1?
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Offline Snowbluff

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #62 on: June 24, 2015, 01:20:17 AM »
That's what my investigator uses, Potion Glutton.

Infusion with your tumor familiar is better. "Here, monkey on my shoulder, inject me with this when the fight starts."

Selection of abilities isn't any different from spell selection. Simulacrum is effectively on the Alchemist Spell List. Discovery Selection isn't any different from a decision on whether or not to utilize the Eidolon.

Vivisectionist blows actual bomb use out of the water.

And yes, the new Eidolon IS dysfunctional. You have 3 of your attacks consumed over 20 levels by your BAB progression alone.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 01:22:22 AM by Snowbluff »
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Offline linklord231

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #63 on: June 24, 2015, 02:53:47 AM »
Just curious why the paragon oracle and raz sorcerer are tier 1?

Paragon Surge Oracle because you can Paragon Surge to get any spell you want at a moment's notice (even off-list spells with the right feat choice) for Ultimate VersatilityTM.  This was FAQ-ratta'd to not work though, despite having no basis in the text for that ruling and also setting a terrible precedent for spells like Protection from Energy that allow you to change your selection each time you cast the spell as a matter of course.

Raz Sorcerer I'm not terribly sure about, but I think it's because the 9th level ability lets you buy a scroll of any divine spell in the game and basically add it to your Spells Known. 
I'm not arguing, I'm explaining why I'm right.

Offline Power

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #64 on: June 24, 2015, 07:37:05 AM »
Actually there was a FAQ "clarification" to restrict spell list poaching. They say that you can only add class spells to your spells known list, so you have to pick spells with overlap between the Oracle and Sorcerer now. Pretty sure the FAQ messes up a bunch of other stuff that uses spells known mechanic (Witch patron spells? Shaman human favored class bonus? More stuff too.) but that's paizo for you. You basically ignore this ruling for almost everything other than the Arcane Eldritch Heritage and maybe that too.

In other news your Oracle can still get wizard spells by using the Dreamed Secrets feat (technically this one gets broken too by the FAQ - still works for prepared casters - but the RAI is extremely straightforward), Spirit Guide archetype (for Arcane Enlightenment hex), Lorekeeper archetype, Lore mystery's Arcane Archivist revelation (losing the spell from your spellbook means nothing when you have a Blessed Book and maybe a Cypher Script feat and just write the spell in multiple times), Pathfinder Savant prestige class (6/7 PrC and spells are +1 level but mooch Summoner/Bard lists and you get discounts), Veiled Illusionist prestige class (10/10, no level penalty, illusion spells only, which includes shadow conjuration/evocation and simulacrum among others), Dawnflower Dissident prestige class (10/10 prc but first level is all you need to adds those wizard spells to your list - feat prereqs are troublesome though), and of course the normal bonus spells and SLA revelations that the Oracle gets. The easiest flexible options on this list are Dreamed Secrets and Spirit Guide archetype for the Arcane Enlightenment hex. And then there's UMD. You can UMD items to cast spells as if they are on your class list but you can also just use regular scrolls and wands that way. As a matter of fact Pathfinder Savant is also good for this: it gives UMD as a class skill, lets you always take 10 at Pathfinder Savant 2, gives 1/2 Savant level bonus to UMD, and at level 3 lets you use your class casting level with scrolls/wands. Also, the Oracle can poach off-list divine spells through the Samsaran race's mystic past life. So in other words, that ruling really doesn't stop spell poaching at all.

Also the Oracle and Sorcerer doesn't need Paragon Surge to be Tier 1, since a Mnemonic Vestment (5k gp) alone will basically let him use a spellbook of his class spells and 1/day cast a spell he's got written down (get more robes if 1/day is not enough). But Paragon Surge still helps, and on-demand Spell Perfection or even Additional Traits for Wayang Spellhunter and Magical Lineage (-2 metamagic levels) is quite good.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 08:02:32 PM by Power »

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2015, 12:03:59 AM »
Occult stuff yet? Of the archetypes, I'm curious about the ley line witch
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Offline stanprollyright

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #66 on: August 31, 2015, 07:53:46 PM »
This is a great list! Thanks for posting (and updating)!

I'm gonna throw my opinion out there though that I think it's a bit unfair to put Core Rogue and Monk down on Tier 6 with the NPC classes. The way I understand it, Tier 6 is reserved for classes that simply don't work as intended because they are poorly written, or are NPC classes that aren't supposed to be for players to use. Swashbuckler is more of a Tier 6 in my mind, as it's a one-trick pony with a crappy trick.

Tier 6: Not even capable of shining in their own area of expertise. DMs will need to work hard to make encounters that this sort of character can contribute in with their mechanical abilities. Will often feel worthless unless the character is seriously powergamed beyond belief, and even then won't be terribly impressive. Needs to fight enemies of lower than normal CR. Class is often completely unsynergized or with almost no abilities of merit. Avoid allowing PCs to play these characters.

Rogue, Vanilla Monk, Unchained Monk (if no TWF), Aristocrat, Expert, Warrior, Commoner, Vow of Poverty Monk

(Emphasis mine). Rogue, especially, is getting a bad rep here. In 3.5 the Rogue was solidly Tier 4 because it was very versatile and capable of contributing SOMETHING, most of the time. The skill system revamp may have made the skill-monkey role less usefull, but Rogues benefit too by being able to spread their skills even further. In Pathfinder it's still the same old Rogue. Can often shine outside of combat, especially in a low-magic campaign, and can do OK damage in certain situations with sneak attack. Also has UMD on its class list. A Rogue can beat an Expert or Aristocrat or Commoner at its own game without even trying, and a decently optimized Rogue can often out-damage a Warrior with Sneak Attack. As far as synergy goes, Rogues are certainly MAD, but most builds tend to focus Dex above others. A Rogue wants Intelligence and Charisma, but doesn't really need them to function. Nor Wisdom, they just can't dump it. Plenty of builds find a way to make Strength irrelevant. I think all that puts them solidly in Tier 5. Unchained Rogue and Ninja are definitely better, but not a whole tier better. Unchained Rogue is basically the same with a few bonus feats. Ninja is a Rogue crossed with an even worse class, which somehow manages to synergetically shine a little bit in comparison. Neither can do more things than a Core Rogue, they're just slightly better at a few of those things.

Tier 5: Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that well, or so unfocused that they have trouble mastering anything, and in many types of encounters the character cannot contribute. In some cases, can do one thing very well, but that one thing is very often not needed. Has trouble shining in any encounter unless the encounter matches their strengths. DMs may have to work to avoid the player feeling that their character is worthless unless the entire party is Tier 4 and below. Characters in this tier will often feel like one trick ponies if they do well, or just feel like they have no tricks at all if they build the class poorly.

I think that description sums up the Rogue (and all his variants) quite nicely. He can scout pretty well, but not as good as a Wildshaped Druid. He can find and disable traps really well, but so can others, and that ability is often not needed. He's got social skills, but the Bard or other Charisma class will outshine him. He's got UMD, but UMD isn't nearly as good as real spellcasting. He can have a good damage output with Sneak Attack, but it's very situational.

The Monk I'd say is a very low Tier 5, but still 5. Among the uninitiated Monk is a pretty popular class. I've played with a lot of Monks, and in an unoptimized, un-min-maxed party at low levels, the Monk generally proves to be useful as a secondary fighter and that athletic guy with no Armor Check Penalty who can hold one end of a rope and make a jump, climb, or swim check that the rest of the party would fail miserably. A decently optimized Monk should be able to outfight a Warrior 80% of the time while being more versatile as a scout or grappler or what-have-you on the side. It's not much, but it's both more powerful and versatile than an NPC class.
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Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #67 on: August 31, 2015, 08:06:09 PM »
Unchained Rogue is significantly better, it didn't lose anything and gained a whole lot (Dex to attack and damage ring a bell). It's at least a tier higher than the vanilla one.

The monk has lots of issues. Archetypes are a must to allow it to compete w anything. Yes, it's a million times better than the commoner, but it's still at the bottom. They can't have a dozen tiers. It makes thing easier w a bare # of tiers
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Offline stanprollyright

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #68 on: August 31, 2015, 08:38:36 PM »
Unchained Rogue is significantly better, it didn't lose anything and gained a whole lot (Dex to attack and damage ring a bell). It's at least a tier higher than the vanilla one.

The monk has lots of issues. Archetypes are a must to allow it to compete w anything. Yes, it's a million times better than the commoner, but it's still at the bottom. They can't have a dozen tiers. It makes thing easier w a bare # of tiers

Unchained Rogue and Archetyped Monks are undoubtedly better. But Unchained Rogue gains what is effectively 3-4 free feats over a Core Rogue, making it slightly better at (and locking it into) a suboptimal fighting style. If that's a tier's worth of power, then fighters would be king. Monks are low in tier 5 in my mind, and archetypes can boost it to the mid-to-high ranges of that tier, certain archetypes might even be tier 4 on their own. They aren't significantly worse in comparison to other classes as they were in 3.5 (unlike Rogues, were tier 4). I'm just saying it's unfair to put them in the same league as an NPC class that lacks any class features whatsoever.
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Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #69 on: August 31, 2015, 10:04:01 PM »
They can only so many tiers... there's no 15th tier only for commoners because it sucks the most. The monk got thrown in that one, because it's the trashcan of the tiers

Dex to damage for free as a base class 1 is amazing. That in and of itself destroyed any idea of a std rogue for any reason. The unchained monk sucks, you can't give up those still crappy features for much better ones, due to no archetypes allowed yet. More versatile, but sucks.
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Offline stanprollyright

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #70 on: August 31, 2015, 10:36:00 PM »
I don't know much about Unchained Monk, I haven't looked at it.

There are several feats that give Dex to damage. Slashing Grace, Fencing Grace, and Dervish Dance. And yes, Weapon Finesse and free Dex-to-Damage IS great. But not a whole tier great. It certainly doesn't reduce a Rogue to being a commoner. It just means there is a (slightly) better version available. A Rogue is still moderately useful most of the time, as opposed to not being useful at all.
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Offline stanprollyright

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #71 on: August 31, 2015, 11:14:18 PM »
The tier system represents a matrix of power and versatility, where the highest tier classes have both in droves and the low tier classes have neither.

I'm basing my argument off of this, from JoronK's 3.5 tier system:
Quote
Situation 1: A Black Dragon has been plaguing an area, and he lives in a trap filled cave. Deal with him.

Situation 2: You have been tasked by a nearby country with making contact with the leader of the underground slave resistance of an evil tyranical city state, and get him to trust you.

Situation 3: A huge army of Orcs is approaching the city, and should be here in a week or so. Help the city prepare for war.

Okay, so, here we go.

Tier 6: A Commoner. Situation 1: If he's REALLY optimized, he could be a threat to the dragon, but a single attack from the dragon could take him out too. He can't really offer help getting to said dragon. He could fill up the entire cave with chickens, but that's probably not a good idea. Really, he's dead weight unless his build was perfectly optimized for this situation (see my Commoner charger build for an example). Situation 2: Well, without any stealth abilities or diplomacy, he's not too handy here, again unless he's been exactly optimized for this precise thing (such as through Martial Study to get Diplomacy). Really, again his class isn't going to help much here. Situation 3: Again, no help from his class, though the chicken thing might be amusing if you're creative.

Tier 5: A Fighter. [...]

Tier 4: The Rogue. Situation 1: Well he can certainly help get the party to the dragon, even if he's not totally optimized for it. His stealth and detection abilities will come in handy here, and if he puts the less stealthy people in portable holes and the like he's good to go. During the combat he's likely not that helpful (it's hard to sneak attack a dragon) but if he had a lot of prep time he might have been able to snag a scroll or wand of Shivering Touch, in which case he could be extremely helpful... he just has to be really prepared and on the ball, and the resources have to be available in advance. He's quite squishy though, and that dragon is a serious threat. Situation 2: With his stealth and diplomacy, he's all over this. Maybe not 100% perfect, but still pretty darn solid. An individual build might not have all the necessary skills, but most should be able to make do. Situation 3: Perhaps he can use Gather Information and such to gain strategic advantages before the battle... that would be handy. There's a few he's pretty likely to be able to pull off. He might even be able to use Diplomacy to buff the army a bit and at least get them into a good morale situation pre battle. Or, if he's a different set up, he could perhaps go out and assassinate a few of the orc commanders before the fight, which could be handy. And then during the fight he could do the same. It's not incredible, but it's something.

[...]

So yeah, as you move up the Tiers you go from weak, unadaptable, and predictable (that Commoner's got very few useful options) to strong, adaptable, and unpredictable (who knows what that Wizard is going to do?). A Wizard can always apply a great deal of strength very efficiently, whether it's Shivering Touch on the Dragon or Blinding Glory on an enemy army. The Sorcerer has the power, but he may not have power that he can actually apply to the situation. The Beguiler has even less raw power and may have to use UMD to pull it off. The Rogue is even further along that line. And the Fighter has power in very specific areas which are less likely to be useful in a given situation.


Rogue still has all the same options as he had before, but since Pathfinder skills have been amalgamated and skill traits are a thing, every other class has more options too, so by comparison he goes down a tier. But not 2. He's still not commoner-level useless.
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Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #72 on: November 04, 2015, 05:27:38 PM »
adding the occult classes?
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Offline Power

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #73 on: January 29, 2016, 11:52:28 AM »
Hey, I'm back for now. To be honest I've kinda lost interest in PF (the design quality never really improves) and I think the tier lists have always been a bit of a crapshoot where tiers are a mishmash between an indication of a class's power and an indication of the level a class performs at under the average player. The Bard is a fun recurring topic here because depending on how he's played he can easily range from Tier 2 (I cast Glibness - Diplomancer ahoy) to Tier 5 (doesn't every Bard just spend his time in melee with a rapier using middling str and dex?) with severe outliers reaching Tier 1 (UMD/item/feat abuse or Legato Piece of the Infernal Bargain for Glabrezu wishes) and Tier 6 (My bard will just strum his lute and inspire courage).

Is it really worthwhile to make tiers for the new PF psionics?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 10:04:41 AM by Power »

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #74 on: January 29, 2016, 12:57:35 PM »
Id love to see it, but thats only if you WANT to.
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #75 on: January 29, 2016, 03:17:36 PM »
 :plotting or  :???

How many Tiers?
We know about i.p.proofing and 4e's hard math
and 5e has (supposedly) better math than that.

As a thought experiment, I was considering the
4e definition as a weird low end benchmark
for 3e classes :  +2 to hit, and >= monsters.

The basic underpinnings of monsters, are :
+3/4 BAB , d8 , 1 good save , 1 "medium" save
(which could be AC), 4 skills but limited list
and at least 1 more thing.

So now try to find classes that meet this hurdle (heh heh).
Commoner is horrible.
Aristocrat only has a chance right at the start, not even during level 1.

Warrior (it feels icky to say this) goes +1 bab right away
and gets the magic +2 bab at level 5, and it has good AC.
It has worst skills.  So overall it gets uncomfortably close
to the 4e-ish benchmark, but will eventually fail.

Anybody feeling this approach to "Bottom Tier" ?
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Offline Kaelik

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #76 on: January 30, 2016, 11:26:16 AM »
Okay, I don't really know Pathfinder at all, but isn't the Rogue/Ninja basically always getting Sneak Attack forever from Gaze of Flames or Fogcutting Lenses and the Obscuring Mist (or any other Cloud spell, or eversmoking bottle depending on how you read Fogcutting Lenses)? How on earth is that "Not even capable of shining in their own area of expertise." or "Capable of doing only one thing, and not necessarily all that well."

Full attack sneak attacks on pretty much every creature in the game was already kill everything in one round damage in 3.5, why is not needing wands to do it, and getting assured SA all the time from a lower level, and also whatever talents give you, somehow being bad at damage?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 11:28:33 AM by Kaelik »

Offline Power

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #77 on: February 01, 2016, 02:12:28 PM »
You can still see 5 feet in fog/mist, so you can't use that to catch enemies flat-footed (unless you use ranged attacks). An Eversmoking Bottle should work with Fogcutting Lenses and would definitely work with Gaze of Flames or a Goz Mask. That's a good trick to remember. If you do that with ranged attacks, the Rogue would jump to a Tier 4 until he's up against blindsight. So I think this tactic works for the level range where you can afford those items but aren't up against enemies who can ignore them yet. I don't really assume most Rogue players would do that though since this is the kind of tactic that requires the entire team to carry the appropriate goggles/features to avoid being crippled.

The main problem with the PF rogue is that with the skill consolidation, removal of cross-class rank penalties, and doling out of trapfinding via archetypes and spells, the Rogue typically has no niche to speak of. Additionally the Quick Draw nerf heavily constrains the trickster approach to combat with alchemical items, scrolls, and wands, the removal of guaranteed SA with Ring of Blinking, the reduction in flat-footed conditions imposed by spells and items, the savage beating applied to Tumbling (all of these were targeted nerfs to ruin the rogue's viability) was made to ensure that a Rogue essentially had to flank and melee for his sneak attack with his 3/4 BAB, weak AC, and weak hit die while having to provoke AoOs when attempting to enter flanks and of course being unable to full attack whenever he takes a move action. Unless you get at least two attacks, you're not even going to match a fireball in damage while attacking a single target.

Beyond that the lack of a Penetrating Strike means that PF Rogues are rather worthless against those remaining enemies that are SA immune in PF. The ultimate conclusion is that the PF Rogue consistently underperforms in virtually everything he's supposed to do and lacks a compelling reason to be played at all, except for Trapfinding which can be freely archetyped into a lot of other classes.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 02:18:33 PM by Power »

Offline Kaelik

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #78 on: February 01, 2016, 04:27:46 PM »
You can still see 5 feet in fog/mist, so you can't use that to catch enemies flat-footed (unless you use ranged attacks). An Eversmoking Bottle should work with Fogcutting Lenses and would definitely work with Gaze of Flames or a Goz Mask. That's a good trick to remember. If you do that with ranged attacks, the Rogue would jump to a Tier 4 until he's up against blindsight. So I think this tactic works for the level range where you can afford those items but aren't up against enemies who can ignore them yet. I don't really assume most Rogue players would do that though since this is the kind of tactic that requires the entire team to carry the appropriate goggles/features to avoid being crippled.

Yes, obviously you are going to use ranged attacks, since step 1 of Rogue optimization since 2000 has been "how do I get multiple attacks" and the answer for most of the last 16 years was "ranged full attacks" of course you are going to use range.

The main problem with the PF rogue is that with the skill consolidation, removal of cross-class rank penalties, and doling out of trapfinding via archetypes and spells, the Rogue typically has no niche to speak of.

...

The ultimate conclusion is that the PF Rogue consistently underperforms in virtually everything he's supposed to do and lacks a compelling reason to be played at all, except for Trapfinding which can be freely archetyped into a lot of other classes.

This reasoning is basically incompatible with Tiers. Tiers allege to be about what a class can do against challenges, as poorly as they do in fact measure that, it doesn't matter what other classes can do. The existence of the Lightning Warrior Class would not make Wizards drop to Tier 5-6 because "there is no reason to play them." They still do the things they do. So no amount of other classes being better (but Rogues also being better) makes rogues worse.

Additionally the Quick Draw nerf heavily constrains the trickster approach to combat with alchemical items, scrolls, and wands, the removal of guaranteed SA with Ring of Blinking, the reduction in flat-footed conditions imposed by spells and items, the savage beating applied to Tumbling (all of these were targeted nerfs to ruin the rogue's viability) was made to ensure that a Rogue essentially had to flank and melee for his sneak attack with his 3/4 BAB, weak AC, and weak hit die while having to provoke AoOs when attempting to enter flanks and of course being unable to full attack whenever he takes a move action. Unless you get at least two attacks, you're not even going to match a fireball in damage while attacking a single target.

Beyond that the lack of a Penetrating Strike means that PF Rogues are rather worthless against those remaining enemies that are SA immune in PF.

Actually, fuck the Quick Draw Nerf (I mean yeah, it's definitely a dumb thing that proves that Pathfinder devs are basically both idiots and assholes, who when shown they don't know how Rogues work immediately shit all over the example character for no reason except spite aimed at... an example character) but the main nerf was they also said you can't SA with splash weapons. Because Pathfinder devs hate being wrong about things. So yes, a Pathfinder Rogue has to use a Bow, and attack their regular AC from full concealment, instead of their Touch AC. That's a not insignificant nerf, but it's also the only one.

Nerfs to blink don't matter, because now you just use Bottles and accomplish the same thing for cheaper that is harder for enemies to bypass. Lack of Penetrating strike and Tumble nerfs are meaningless, because if you were actually using Penetrating Strike you were already a loser.

It's just like the things people said when they nerfed glitterdust "It doesn't matter if you nerf the best save or die each level, because you buffed the class, and then you write a better save or die in your splats anyway." They did the same thing for Rogues by nerfing Blink, and then turning around and making a better method of getting everyone always flat footed.

The remaining things that are immune to SA are traps and Elementals, and Elementals aren't immune to Str damage, so they can be beaten after level 10. I don't think "4 monsters that scale with level" is the end of the world.

TL;DR: Having to attack regular AC instead of touch sucks (unless you have guns! Hey, they did it again!) but it doesn't make them bad at doing craptons of damage, which they can still totally do, so in the Tier system, they really really really really really really don't belong on the same Tier with Commoner.

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: Power's Tier List for Pathfinder
« Reply #79 on: February 01, 2016, 08:11:16 PM »
1) What happens to your SAs when a critter is immune to ranged attacks (via wind, water, cover, etc.)? nvm this part

2) The reason they have to be compared to others is for a 'line' for the average ability to deal with various challenges. Otherwise, whats fast and whats slow? Rogue 1 will deal with the same issue as rogue 2 the same. But how does that compare to the others. Thats the point of the tiers.

3) shit happens, things get nerfed. Theres other classes that got hit by Quick Draw nerf

4a) Nothing should be on the same tier as commoner, but remember, tier 6 is the lowest rung. That's as low as you can go.

4b) what tier do you think it belongs in?


*** another note, some of the things you are saying, and they are written, sound angry to me. Don't get mad at us for helping you understand the ideas behind each class's ratings. Obviously, you aren't happy with where the rogue is... we'll hear your clean and reasonable arguments for changing things for the class.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 08:25:51 PM by zook1shoe »
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