Author Topic: PF Archetype Ratings?  (Read 11451 times)

Offline zook1shoe

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PF Archetype Ratings?
« on: March 24, 2018, 04:15:11 AM »
Beyond the traditional class handbooks and one archetype tier list, is there anywhere that has archetypes rated based on power (or whatever)?

There's quite a few archetypes that are missed on many of the handbooks, because they haven't been touched in a half decade. And I was curious as to other peoples' views on their power levels.
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Offline akalsaris

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 12:19:03 AM »
I don't think so. There's an interesting thread in the 2nd ed forum where the designers asked players to list their top 5 fav archetypes, which is a useful metric for seeing which ones are ahead of the curve.

With original PF on track to stop new content releases in a year or so, it should be feasible to start this sort of large-scale tier/rating. I'm not sure what the value of such a resource would be outside of the class handbooks though.

My vote for strongest archetype is probably master summoner.

Offline Versatility_Nut

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 12:50:21 AM »
My vote for strongest archetype is probably master summoner.
For the ceiling, probably. For the floor, Synthesist is leagues better, which is why its banned from the "official" campaigns. Kind of hard to actually be screwed as a Synthesist, all things considered, because too many Eidolon capabilities stack up.

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2018, 03:25:57 AM »
The good Pact Wizard, Jinx Witch, Death Druid, Razmiran Priest Sorcerer, and Bladebound Magus are probably my top 5.

Master Summoner got banned too, probably ground the combats out with multiple summons. PFS GMs are now allowed to remove buddies that cause too many problems with a particular combat.

Edit: found that thread
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 03:29:29 AM by zook1shoe »
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Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2018, 05:07:38 PM »
Don't really see the point. Major tier shifts in archetypes are usually already listed in tier lists. If you want to know the top archetypes for each class, I can crank some out quickly:

Alchemist: Gun Chemist, Preservationist (esp. with Planar Preservationist feat - mostly predicated on action economy abuse with extracts), Promethean Alchemist, Toxicant, Winged Marauder
Antipaladin: Tyrant (At level 15+ with Summon Monster VIII the Fiendish Boon opens up Contract Devils or Cabal Devils if you worship Mephistopheles or Mahathallah respectively, but at lower levels you're looking at either a fiendish pouncing cat or Erinyes for fear abuse)
Arcanist: Eldritch Font, Occultist
Barbarian: Invulnerable Rager
Bard: Studious Librarian, Voice of the Wild, Magician (if cheesing the non-unchained Summoner spell list; also, you can use it to stack multiple bardic performances by sacrificing spell slots), Fey Courtier (depending on how well you use the fey summons' abilities), Faith Singer, Chelish Diva (Instant no save frighten as a performance, why not, plus armor proficiencies), Sandman (depending on your party's spellcasters), Negotiator (if used to break the economy or to take advantage of enemies' lowered saves), Brazen Deceiver (especially if you have the Pageant of the Peacock masterpiece).
Brawler: Exemplar, Venomfist, Wild Child
Bloodrager: Bloodrider (especially if you use the Monstrous Mount feat to get a Griffon as your mount and Boon Companion feat to remove the level penalty), Crossblooded Rager (depending on your selection and ability to cover will saves, as you do eat -4 will - you may want the Deathtouched race trait, which conveniently works for any race, for +2 vs mind-affecting saves), Metamagic Rager (easily beats Improved Uncanny Dodge), Primalist, Urban Bloodrager
Cavalier: Constable (if paired with Padma Blossom or Indomitable Jewel)
Cleric: Ecclesitheurge, Divine Paragon, Evangelist (if you are going for Summon Monster abuse, especially with a Feather subdomain and Boon Companion for an animal companion - note that it works as bardic performance in all respects, which includes the shift from standard action to move and swift action)
Druid: Nature Fang (Not really better than Wild Shape unless you take advantage of the DC bonuses with Studied Target, since Spells are in fact a class ability of the Druid), Nature Priest, Halcyon Druid, Pack Lord (esp. with multiple Boon Companion feats), Lion Shaman
Fighter: Eldritch Guardian, Gloomblade, Martial Master, Mutation Warrior, Viking
Gunslinger: Bolt Ace (with dwarven pelletbows or double crossbows), Pistolero, Musket Master (if playing as Kasatha race to dual-wield muskets)
Hunter: Divine Hunter, Primal Companion Hunter
Inquisitor: Ravener Hunter, Sacred Huntmaster, Sanctified Slayer, Monster Tactician
Investigator: Antiquarian (if you want to craft magic items, use lesser metamagic rods of quicken spell, use Samsaran race for mystic past life, or use spellcaster prestige classes), Toxin Codexer (poison a lot of weapons out of combat with modified mundane poisons and you can ensure anything is exhausted and later suffering 30% arcane spell failure chance, best of all these modifications apply regardless of whether or not someone saves against the poison itself)
Magus: Beastblade (if abusing action economy), Bladebound (if not abusing action economy with familiars or using spell-storing weapons), Eldritch Archer, Hexcrafter
Medium: Uda Wendo, Fiend Keeper, Spirit Dancer, Rivethun Spirit Channeler
Mesmerist: Material Manipulator (especially with Half-Elf race for Paragon Surge, but you should really get Logical Spell and/or a Lesser Metamagic Rod of Logical Spell now that you can no longer remove shaken from yourself as a swift action)
Monk: Sohei, Zen Archer, Nimble Guardian, Qinggong Monk (if we are even treating that as an archetype), Invested Regent (get Divine Favor as a SLA and combine it with the Fate's Favored faith trait)
Monk, Unchained: Invested Regent (as above)
Ninja: Hunting Serpent (unless you are in a party with a Bard), Petal Ninja
Occultist: Haunt Collector, Reliquarian
Oracle: Spirit Guide, Cyclopean Seer if you want to abuse flash of insight, like with randomized spell/item effects or a Heart-Piercing bow (or arrow).
Paladin: Sacred Servant (with Oath of Vengeance and a good domain selection; also, a good planar ally can make this T2 or even T1), Oath of Vengeance, Oath against Fiends (mostly for the great spell list, although being able to split a divine bond with your shield is a neat perk), Oath of the Skyseeker (Mostly Stalwart and Smite Evil Hordes are very good abilities & you could use Perfect Style with Tea of Transference since you can't get Oath of Vengeance), Gray Paladin (if you use it to get Diverse Obedience with Deific Obedience (Shelyn) for an extremely powerful and more versatile smite evil)
Psychic: Amnesiac, Esoteric Starseeker (if your psychic discipline's 1st-level powers aren't worth having), Magaambyan Telepath, Psychic Duelist (if you abuse its ability to extend spell-inflicted conditions, which, being an extension of the duration of the condition and not the spell itself, can even be used with instantaneous duration spells, metamagic-inflicted conditions, or the Debilitating Pain spell for a lengthy no save daze)
Ranger: Beast Master (with multiple Boon Companion feats), Nirmathi Irregular (if you can expect enemies to be predominantly of a single type, like an undead campaign)
Rogue: Eldritch Scoundrel, Sylvan Trickster
Samurai: Ironbound Sword (if you dip 1 level of Fighter or 3 levels of Weapon Master Fighter, since Bonus Feats is a level-scaling class feature of the Fighter class)
Shifter: Adaptive Shifter, Weretouched Shifter
Skald: Red Tongue
Sorcerer: Razmiran Priest, Mongrel Mage
Spiritualist: Involutionist, Onmyoji, Priest of the Fallen, Totem Spiritualist
Summoner: Master Summoner, Morphic Savant
Summoner (Unchained): Blood Summoner, Master Summoner, Morphic Savant, Twinned Summoner
Vigilante: Pick a spellcasting archetype, really. Zealot and Magical Child probably are best.
Witch: Beast-Bonded (esp. from level 10 onwards), Dimensional Occultist (for high level campaigns where the planar binding spells, gate, and perfect dimensional travel are useful), Pact Witch (planar ally, early plane shift, and gate, plus Improved Familiar is a good trade for a hex), Scarred Witch Doctor (Even post-errata, it effectively permits a Half-Orc or Racial Heritage (Orc) character to start with 22 int before age modifiers, and it's easier to protect a mask than a familiar, especially if you use one or more Fortifying Stones, and the massive enhancement bonus to natural armor also helps a Witch obtain high AC)
Wizard: Exploiter Wizard (DC abuse and exploits), Spellslinger (bigger DC abuse), Runesage, Thassilonian Specialist (more spells), Spell Sage (for CL abuse and (early) spell access, esp. potent if abusing necromancy), Pact Wizard (Haunted Heroes Handbook version, get Witch patron spells which can be cast spontaneously, get Oracle curse, get much better initiative, caster level checks, and saves, and get -1 metamagic reduction to patron and oracle curse spells)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 04:01:18 AM by Power »

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 01:56:07 AM »
whats your opinion about the power of the following archetypes?

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Offline Nanashi

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 12:46:50 PM »
Herald Caller is generally held to be a pretty good option, especially if you're working with a deity that only gets one useful domain. All I know Chronicler of Worlds for off hand is that it removes all morale bonuses from the class (other than Heroism spells) so it makes for an interesting Android Bard.

Goliath Druid loses scouting, but gains a lot of stompy power. What the hell "Megafauna" is (the game gives multiple possible answers) can swing the animal companion's power a great deal though. With Half-Orc or some other way of 1d12/2d6 weapons, you can pull off the infamous Behemoth Hippo vital strike build, though it will come online later.

Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2020, 04:10:15 PM »
Alchemist:
  • Grenadier: It's only good if you don't abuse poisons. In addition, you still don't get to Quick Draw alchemical weapons, so infusing weapons with an alchemical weapon's properties involves wasting move actions drawing them (swift actions with a prehensile tail though). It's not until 15th level that you can meaningfully full infuse a weapon and full attack in the same turn.
  • Gun Chemist: It's probably one of the crazier gunslingers. It's good, especially with its version of fast bomb. Doesn't nova particularly better than a regular Fast Bomb alchemist, but does let you combine a single bomb's damage with a full attack doing ranged touch attacks while collecting bonuses to weapons. The Chemical Stability class feature single-handedly solves the misfiring problems of firearms for any weapon with a misfire score of 1, and then you have exploding bullet and rapid ordnance. Probably best gunslinger class in PF. Added.
  • Vivisectionist: I know the reputation, but I don't really have a high opinion of this one. It's strong from a martial perspective, but as an alchemist you will want to be using your extracts most of the time and sneak attack is an awkward mechanic. If you are melee you must move into position (preferably for flanking in order to collect sneak attack) while risking AoOs, burning a turn to do middling damage. If you are ranged it is difficult to collect sneak attacks unless you have an entire party that can see through smoke/mist and are constantly using obscuring mist/smoke clouds to obtain full concealment for ranged sneak attacks. Greater invisibility arrives later than Fast Bombs discovery does. There's a reasonably high optimization ceiling for sneak attack damage with the right stunts, but for the most part Alchemists with Fast Bombs can already annihilate a boss in a single turn with less effort, extracts tend to be more useful when you're not playing rocket tag, and ranged touch attacks are better for attacking than most weapons. Vivisectionist is good for showboating and laughing at mundane martials, but not appreciably better than a regular Alchemist (unlike the Gun Chemist who sticks to ranged touch attacks, can add bomb damage on top of a full attack, and does not need to worry about setting up sneak attacks).
  • Winged Marauder: Added, I suppose. They're weak animal companions but the ability to be flying from level 1 (if small size or using an Undersized Mount feat) is probably worth giving up mutagens, especially since you can reobtain them with a discovery. Probably using poisoner's gloves and the like to buff the animal companion or using feats to give them unusual abilities would go a long way to making your animal companion better. Worth noting that at high levels you can just buy mundane flying mounts that are more powerful, like combat-trained griffons (only 8k gp).
Barbarian:
  • Superstitious: Surprise rounds are usually not where you need AC the most. The initiative bonus is nice but it's not until level 12 that you have +4 initiative with it. The loss of DR sucks. I don't think you really come out ahead.
Bard:
  • Chronicler of Worlds: More of a sidegrade than upgrade. It does turn the Bard into a positively extreme skill monkey, since with 20 int you will have 11 skill ranks per level at level 1, but Bards usually aren't hurting for skill monkey prowess. Nerfed bardic knowledge sucks though and the planar infusions it provides are rarely useful if you're on the plane in question, not to mention it is awkward affecting multiple people at once. It removes the Bard's Inspire Greatness cycling stunt (ie. cancelling and reapplying Inspire Greatness every round to give your party massive temporary health) and Mantra of Tabris is only good for the Bard rather than the party. Good for people who want to play an Elf Bard, but if you just want to be an intelligent Bard as an extreme skill monkey, I'm not convinced you're better off than you would be playing a regular Bard with Peri-Blooded Aasimar race or something and getting 16 int to go with your 20 cha. One powerful stunt you can do as a Chronicler of Worlds is taking full advantage of the Samsaran race for the Mystic Past Life spell list poaching, but you can also do that as a Dwarven Scholar Bard (however, the Dwarven Scholar loses the Inspire Courage performance). I guess you can use it to play an Undine Watersinger Bard since the two archetypes can be combined and use an Undine racial variant to get an int bonus. You can also just use the Planar Heritage feat to qualify for Watersinger Bard though.
Bloodrager:
  • Id Bloodrager: Psychic spellcasting on a Bloodrager really fucking sucks. Any emotion effects you are under (like an Intimidate skill) fucks your spellcasting over, and you are liable to cast spells inside an enemy's threatened area which means the need to center yourself to get a decent concentration check also sucks, although at least you can gain Combat Casting and Raging Concentration at level 9 to compensate for this shit (Combat Casting only applies to concentration checks to cast defensively or while grappled though...). If you combine it with Metamagic Rager though you can at least use Logical Spell and Intuitive Spell to negate the major penalties which goes a long way to remedying the garbage drawbacks of Id Bloodrager, at which point it's more of a sidegrade than downgrade. The bonus feats are generally not particularly good either. Anger focus is useful for hitting hard and doing damage, although I'd rate Despair higher (especially if you have a slam attack, like with the Chaos Reigns conduit feat). Still, you'd easily be better off doing something like Cross-blooded Sphinx+Arcane and getting Divine Favor, claws, and a large set of self-buffs every time you rage.
Brawler:
  • Mutagenic Mauler: Basically trading flexibility for power, except martial flexibility is the Brawler's best feature, you lose AC bonus, and you specialize heavily into melee instead of getting good ranged attacks or being able to vary up your weapon and tricks depending on the encounter. Don't do this. Just play Mutation Warrior Fighter instead.
  • Wild Child: Give up all your bonus combat feats for a Druidic animal companion and Skirmisher's tricks. Probably worth it. Listed.
Cavalier:
  • Daring Champion: Perks are solid and it probably makes the Swashbuckler look like a joke, but giving up your mount is pretty bad, and I'm not sure you're all that better off for playing at a dex-based cavalier when you could've been in heavy armor with a heavy shield on top of a mount wielding a lance making spirited charges with a high strength score while your mount also brutalizes whatever you're hitting, and that's without getting into using Monstrous Mount feat so you've got a Griffon that can pounce for 5 attacks for massive damage like a tiger does.
  • Huntmaster: While I usually rate multiple animal companions highly, here you only get birds and dogs, which is pretty shitty and more of a sidegrade at best to a regular mount.
Cleric:
  • Herald Caller: Lose a domain, lose shield and armor proficiency (this doesn't particularly matter if you're just using nonproficient shields and armor and eschewing attack rolls), reduce your summon monster options, but you can cast summon monster spontaneously, communicate with all your summons, and get free Augment Summoning and Superior Summoning. Feels more like a sidegrade than an upgrade. The main reason this archetype is so strong is because it encourages you to spam summon monster, but you can do that either way and are possibly better off not using the archetype even for summoning since you get more options that way and will get all the feats the archetype gives you anyway. Ironically archetype might be better if you don't want to go fullblown summoner Cleric and just want to have it as a backup option.
Druid:
  • Death Druid: Trade your nature bond and wild shape for a phantom. The phantom has worse damage, cannot equip armor, and you have to use an Amulet of Grasping Souls to give it a decent opportunity of equipping magic items. Even with that I might consider it a sidegrade to the regular animal companion considering what perks phantoms provide, but you also lose Wild Shape, so I think this is more downgrade than upgrade. The expanded spell list's real perks are false life, ghostbane dirge (vs incorporeals), and speak with dead. The last one can mess with a campaign pretty hard but the others don't make a major difference.
  • Goliath Druid: Giant Form is good. Losing Plant and Elemental Shapes, not so much. Getting a limitation to your animal companions isn't very good either. I'm regarding this as a sidegrade.
Gunslinger:
  • Bolt Ace: The good news is that you no longer need to worry about managing misfires. The bad news is I still don't know why you're a Gunslinger. I guess you can burn through grit for ranged touch attacks and you can abuse Improved Critical with dwarven pelletbows to get a 17-20/x4 weapon with dex to damage. Listed I guess, but once you get a regular firearm working without misfiring, you're probably better off using regular pistols than crossbows until you get a Brilliant Energy pelletbow anyway. If you abuse double crossbows it's like the double-barreled pistol gunslinger all over again, but you need to hit regular AC with a -4 penalty, so you will also need a big enough attack bonus to offset the penalties (so no Deadly Aim).
  • Pistolero: Yeah, dex to damage is strictly better than regular gunslinger. Listed.
  • Musket Master: 2H is not really the way to go as a gunslinger, unless you're playing as Kasatha race to dualwield muskets.
Inquisitor:
  • Living Grimoire: Switching from wis-based to int-based is a bit of a downgrade, but does result in extreme skill monkey utility (at the expense of worse Perception, Sense Motive, and Will saves). You also lose adding Wis to initiative and adding wis to identifying creatures. Becoming a prepared caster makes it easier to attain a wider variety of spells for all sorts of occasions, but unlike regular divine casters you have to essentially fill out a divine spellbook to get the variety, which is a significant downside, even if the book is replaceable without issue, seeing as you will have much more difficulty filling out your holy book than Wizards do their spellbooks. You also lose bane, lose judgment, gain a few spell like abilities from your spell list, and generally specialize into hitting things with your book. Curiously enough nothing is stopping you from throwing the book at your enemies, so with a Blinkback Belt this can be used as a ranged weapon, although one with a bad range increment. I'd probably take bane and judgment over the book with its enhancement bonuses. Perfectly playable, but more of a sidegrade really.
  • Ravener Hunter: Adding all good descriptor spells from Cleric list to Inquisitor list adds fun spells like Angelic Aspect, Eaglesoul, Holy Ice, Martyr's Bargain, and so forth. Getting two Oracle revelations is also very good, assuming you select the right mysteries (avoid the cha-based revelations), especially when some of them let you stay in elemental form for hours/level as a supernatural ability (not dispellable). For instance, you can go Lunar and get Primal Companion (tiger) and Form of the Beast. Listed.
Investigator:
  • Empiricist: Int-based Disable Device, Perception, Sense Motive, and UMD are handy. Contrary to appearance, though, you still won't want to dump wis unless you're fine with lowered will saves, since Unfailing Logic only works against illusions with disbelief saves. Turning those skills int-based is decent, but sacrificing your Poison Lore and Swift Alchemy for it makes it a wash, given that you will typically still have modifiers above 10 for the ability scores you are replacing (especially since you can already turn UMD int-based with a trait), making it basically worth an Alertness feat and a Clever Wordplay social trait or Dangerously Curious magic trait to turn UMD int-based. The right poisons (or drugs that you use as poisons) are quite useful and there are a lot of very useful yet inexpensive alchemical items too. With Swift Alchemy and a Master Alchemist feat you can make a lot of decent items. Archetype's quite a bit better if you are not in the habit of using poisons and crafting alchemical items, and if you already have Poison Use otherwise (ie. Half-Elf racial trait). I guess you should also just dump wis and charisma all the way and spend it on more dex and con, papering over the weakened will save with a trait and/or racials in order to squeeze value out of this archetype. You can also use Student of Philosophy or Clever Wordplay social traits to make diplomacy/bluff int-based if needed. Going Half-Elf with Dual-Minded and Thinblood Resistance alternate racial traits while dumping wis and cha to the lowest would probably be best for maximizing the benefits from this archetype while offsetting its shortcomings. In that case it's fairly good.
  • Psychic Detective: Psychic spellcasting sucks. Psychic spellcasting with the Psychic's list (a more limited list which does not even have serious discounts, and you don't even get the Psychic's discipline spells) as a spontaneous 6th-level caster on a class that encourages you to cast inside an opponent's threatened area, sucks even more. And if the GM doesn't generously let you use the favored class bonus giving extra extracts to instead gain extra spells known, you are even worse off. You also lose your poison abilities and alchemist discoveries (like mutagen). This is a downgrade, not an upgrade. If you want to be a Psychic, just play a Psychic. Don't play a shitty half-Psychic that gives up most of what makes the Investigator good. If you're so eager to give up spellcaster progression to play a Psychic detective, play a Psychic and prestige into 1 level of Sleepless Detective and take the Student of Philosophy social trait. You'll be much better off doing it this way.
  • Questioner: On the upshot of things, the Bard list does have a lot of handy options and discounted options. On the downside of things, you get arcane spell failure (even in light armor), lose access to Alchemist discoveries (like Mutagen), don't get any Bardic Masterpieces, and are a spontaneous caster as a class which will require lenient GM rulings to get extra spells known as a favored class bonus. The remaining investigator perks are dubious, since if you want to be a skill monkey, just go Bard, and if you want to use studied strike and studied combat, you really don't want to be stuck with arcane spell failure for light armor and shields. If you need to be an int-based Bard, Chronicler of Worlds Bard is much better than this. Would not recommend.
Magus:
  • Blackblade: It's good, but you are giving up both a familiar (which has a high optimization ceiling) and taking a magic weapon that does not get the Spell Storing property, which in the hands of a Magus can be used to obtain another bonus attack. You still get a free and unbreakable magic weapon with scaling enhancement bonuses and various perks though. Eh, I'll put it up.
  • Eldritch Archer: Yeah, listed. Ranged attacks are easily better than melee attacks even with Bladed Dash giving the Magus as much pounce as he feels like burning 2nd level slots, and as a spellcaster casting inside melee is always unpleasant business. To top it off you get a free Arcane Bond for an extra spontaneous spell and half-price bow. You still get Arcane Accuracy too. Worth noting that the better spells you'd use with ranged spellstrike are on the Wizard list (ie. Heatstroke and Enervation). You do lose spell-storing stunts though, ever since Paizo errata'd it to only apply to melee weapons.
Mesmerist:
  • Aromaphile: Not a fan. You collect a new set of limitations to hypnotic aroma in exchange for making it AoE, you have to be in the middle of everything you want to affect, and this hypnotic aroma affects all creatures including yourself. You and your allies can avoid the penalties by holding your breath, but so can your enemies (and holding your breath is a free action). One of the big perks of Hypnotic Stare is that it helps keep the Mesmerist relevant against mindless enemies, but now anything that doesn't need to breathe (undead, constructs, oozes, aquatic creatures, and more) will be outright immune, anything intelligent enough to know to hold its breath can also ignore the penalties (spellcasters have to open their mouths for verbal components though), and anything that stays more than 10 feet away from you is also safe. There are too many new ways for enemies to ignore your ability, plus it can mess with your allies, plus it messes with your own positioning, so overall this archetype is bad except in cases when you didn't need the archetype to handle the encounter anyway. In the circumstances where the Mesmerist is at a disadvantage, it actually leaves you worse off (as most mindless enemies do not need to breathe).
  • Material Manipulator: Losing multiple tricks is a pain, and losing the ability to remove Shaken from yourself as a swift action makes you uncomfortably susceptible to Intimidate checks, but the list of Wizard spells you obtain is a pretty massive boon to a Mesmerist's bag of tricks. You get access to spells like Haste, Slow, Fly, Overland Flight, Paragon Surge, Telekinesis, Greater Magic Weapon, Shadow Step, and Shadow Walk. And you get polymorph stunts. Listed.
  • Mindwyrm Mesmer: You lose painful stare in exchange for a shitty breath weapon, and you trade your Bluff bonus (including its reduction of feat prerequisites) for an intimidate bonus. The only good thing about this archetype is Threatening Mien. If you have prolonged combats and are acting more as a spellcaster than damager (ie. not using Painful Stare for yourself), it is useful, but otherwise pass.
Occultist:
  • Silksworn: You get two extra spells known of each level, and you are no longer susceptible to getting locked out of emotion components, but while arcane casting is typically a step up from psychic casting, it introduces a new problem in the form of having terrible AC, no Mage Armor spell to see you through, and you can no longer cast spells undetected while invisible if they have verbal components. It also seems to screw you out of panoplies (this is major, unless you're doing PFS where the good panoplies are banned). My major concern is that if you go down this road of being a cloth-wearing arcane spellcaster, why aren't you just playing a Wizard or something instead. You seem to be entering a playstyle that does not make much use of the Occultist's specialties and is trying to copy another class in a weaker fashion.
Samurai:
  • Warrior Poet: Adding charisma to AC when unarmored and unshielded is pretty much trading down, so unless you are doing something wrong or dipping Samurai for some reason (but you may want to dip Scaled Fist Unchained Monk instead if you are going for this) you won't be making great use of this. This perk doesn't really become usable unless you are using the Unhindering Shield feat (which will cost you three feats - a Fighter dip would be advised to take care of 2 feats). Graceful Strike requires you to add str to damage with your weapon finesse in order to get half of your samurai level as another damage bonus, which makes dumping str for dex (the primary appeal of weapon finesse builds) pretty unproductive. Your challenge gets neutered. And you lose out on the Mount class feature, which is very solid when combined with the Monstrous Mount feat to get a Griffon mount or Order of the Beast to turn it into a pouncing animal. And you lose Banner, which was particularly useful with pouncing Griffon mounts. You do get some nice flourishes and weapon finesse. I don't think it really makes up for what you lose, though.
Shaman:
  • Animist: Hard pass. Spell list is full of situational junk. You give up a lot of hexes. And you gain access to spells and SLAs on a class that can already obtain those spells, seeing as you can help yourself to both the Wizard and Cleric lists for any spells you want as a Shaman while also nabbing spirit magic spells.
Shifter:
  • Holy Beast: Losing woodland stride might mess up your ability to pounce, but I suppose you can use acrobatics for jumping charges anyway. You also gain difficulty against DR/slashing in exchange for DR/alignment (which might suck against oozes), but you can still get slashing claws with alternate Shifter's Claws and Wild Shape. And you get favored enemy against outsiders. Definitely a step up against outsiders, but under other circumstances not as impressive. Still not listing it though because you should really be picking Adaptive Shifter or Weretouched Shifter instead, which are much better and not compatible with Holy Beast.
Skald:
  • Court Poet: Good for giving bonus DCs to your party spellcasters, bad for buffing martials or performing rage power tricks, but regular Skalds can already use Dirge of Doom to give enemies shaken for -2 to all saves though. Court Poets can Insightful Contemplation on top of shaken effects on enemies (like from a Blistering Invective spell), which is handy, but overall if you can't use rage powers with Insightful Contemplation (like in PFS), it sucks. If you can, I suppose it's useful since you can give non-martials massive fast healing, higher DR, or more AC with the right rage powers.
  • Fated Champion: Spell Kenning alteration is a step down. Getting faster divinations is neat, but it's a very limited set of spells (they have to be future-predicting divinations in particular), whereas there are a lot more useful spells with damage components that are now delayed. And if you want to go to town with divinations you want to be able to spam them. The best way to cast those types of divinations as a spellcaster that doesn't have them on their class list is typically to go Nature Soul -> Animal Ally or Exotic Heritage -> Eldritch Heritage (Sylvan) and put a Spirit Guide archetype on your animal companion, giving you a large suite of divination spells which you can cast as many times as you have slots, without even consuming precious Spells Known. Skalds in particular benefit from picking up animal companions since they can buff them crazy with Inspired Rage, Bard spells, and, if they want, use Expanded Spell Kenning to give them Druid buffs too. You also exchange Dirge of Doom (which is not a big problem, since a Doom Harp will give you the performance back) for fear immunity (which you can later get with Greater Heroism, and Remove Fear is on the Bard list too). Beyond that you trade Well-Versed for a slowly scaling initiative bonus (at level 8 it's worth an Improved Initiative feat) which is a step up at higher levels. Given the way it penalizes your Spell Kenning though, I'm inclined to regard this as more of a downgrade than upgrade. If you're bad with Spell Kenning, it's an upgrade.
Slayer:
  • Vanguard: You could have gotten a Ranger Combat Style with your 2nd level Slayer Talent or a Rogue Talent (like a combat feat). Losing two talents in exchange for a teamwork feat and the ability to burn another move action to share half your studied target bonus feels a bit unpleasant to me. You do get the initiative bonus and ability to act in surprise rounds, but I might rather invest regular feats into initiative and perception than take the archetype. The major issue is that the Ranger Combat Style can skip feat prerequisites for you and let you build more easily. It's a solid archetype, but I might rather have the Slayer talents all the same.
Spiritualist:
  • Fractured Mind: Switching from Wis-based to Cha-based is a pretty big step down, especially as it makes you annoyingly more vulnerable to emotion effects. Would not recommend. I don't view the SLAs as sufficient compensation for that, even though you can at least cast SLAs while under emotion effects.
  • Priest of the Fallen: It's good. Makes your phantom a lot better, really. Listed.
  • Totem Spiritualist: Better than your regular phantom. Worth noting that you lose the option to just invest feats into Nature Soul -> Animal Ally or Exotic Heritage -> Eldritch Heritage (Sylvan) and have both a phantom and an animal companion.
Summoner:
  • Blood Summoner: Listed for Unchained Summoners who have a more limited and slower Planar Binding suite. Regular Summoners can just cast all the Planar Bindings out of combat without issue, whereas here you only call evil creatures, and calling evil creatures mid-combat without a Magic Circle Against Evil is liable to screw you over (unless you have preexisting deals with specific outsiders, but then why are you calling them mid-combat instead of having them join you pre-combat) and even with those circles you have to first cast Magic Circle Against Evil, then use Planar Binding SLA, then perform your opposed charisma check all in combat while hoping that the circle does not get disrupted by the time you make your check. You do get a nice +4 to opposed charisma checks, but Summoners max their charisma modifier anyway and with a Circlet of Persuasion on top you're pretty much already set. It helps you bind evil outsiders on-demand pre-combat though, which is rather handy. For regular Summoners it seems to be broken more in the sense that it encourages you to abuse a broken tool you already possessed rather than because it gives you new options.
Summoner, Unchained:
  • Master Summoner: Forgot Unchained non-Monk classes can just use archetypes of base classes. Listed.
  • Morphic Savant: As above, listed.
Swashbuckler:
  • Rostland Bravo: You get a worse crit range and you lose buckler proficiency (which is easily regained with a Regional Recluse region trait). The abilities you get are only useful when wielding just the Aldori Dueling Sword (ie. no shield), which does not seem to be a good weapon. I do not recommend this.
Vigilante:
  • Serial Killer: Feels like a worse Slayer, unless I'm missing something. I guess you can also use Major Magic for Divine Favor and grab Take 'Em Alive (oddly enough).
  • Teisatsu: If you can retrain feats to have Abundant Step and Dimensional Savant on level 8 (use Ring of Ki Mastery to make ki costs manageable) it's fairly solid. You can also take Extra Ninja Trick feats if you really want more ninja tricks. Other than that you can get an extra attack and help yourself to a Barkskin self-buff I guess. It's a neat way to do a lot of damage or play a stalker spec Vigilante but really doesn't compare to 6th level casting.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2022, 08:16:13 AM by Power »

Offline Nanashi

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2020, 04:24:00 PM »
The main thing Vivisectionist has going for it is action economy: Sneak Attack doesn't require a separate action to use while bombs do. If you're building a melee alchemist who doesn't have the turns to use bombs anyways, it's going to be an upgrade if it ever once activates when you're doing something you're normally doing. If bomb alchemist outpaces melee alchemist (which was considered at the very least viable before vivisectionist) is an entirely different subject I feel.


Speaking of action economy, Arsenal Chaplain is another example of an archetype that loses features that aren't great due to action cost for something totally passive. Sacred Armor is a swift action to get... a couple points to AC for a few minutes on a class that has a lot of good swift action uses already. Trading that AC for energy resistance is OK, but Resist Energy is on your list, can be cast as a swift action with fervor and resists more by the time you get it. Likewise, Channel Energy is crap for its intended purpose on a Warpriest and is only mildly useful for dealing with haunts. The sacred weapon cap isn't much if at all a problem if you're using a weapon that's already good (it's a loss of ~1 damage for a longbow user, which weapon training more than makes up for, and none on a two hander).

Sacred Fist used to be cool (got flurry with the effective full BAB), but was errataed into the ground.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 04:40:47 PM by Nanashi »

Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2020, 03:49:13 PM »
Bomb Alchemist does outpace melee Alchemist. If you get the Fast Bomb discovery it's really easy to throw out as many bombs as you have attacks (and you can throw Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Rapid Shot, and Haste on top of your iteratives) except the bombs are ranged touch attacks for massive damage in an aoe. It kills just about anything in one round, doesn't require the finicky setup that activating sneak attack does, doesn't have to worry about DR (you can make your bombs do just about any type of damage with discoveries, even sonic, divine, or force damage), can have special effects attached, and targets touch AC instead of regular AC, making hitting enemies much easier. If you don't feel like having high dex for some reason, you can even use the Artful Dodge feat to replace all dex feat prerequisites with int instead.

Wasn't aware that Sacred Fist Warpriest had Flurry of Blows nerfed. Bit of a shame.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 06:00:24 AM by Power »

Offline TiaC

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 01:38:28 AM »
One of the best things melee Alchemists have is the Toxicant archetype. It gives an amazing poison, that from 6th level on can put a daze rider on your attacks and daze monsters that hit you. Until 14th level, this only costs a single feat or discovery.

Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2020, 08:35:48 AM »
Toxicant added. It looks like every time the alchemist gets hit it induces a new save too (no immunity for successfully saving once), and bombs count as weapons too (although only the direct target, not the splash effect, will eat the penalties). Plus you can get back your mutagen with a single discovery. You don't really lose anything for these extreme benefits. While you don't get Persistent Mutagen, at that level your mutagens already last 140 minutes and you can use Infuse Mutagen for those rare circumstances where you really need back-to-back mutagen duration. Also, if you consume a cognatogen during the 10 minutes that you apply Toxic Secretion, you get to keep your alchemical int bonus to all DCs applied by the Toxic Secretion for the rest of the day. An Ability Focus feat would not be a bad idea either. It's rather ridiculous that Staggered is treated as an upgraded version of the Dazed condition. I can't fathom the minds of these PF designers. Dazed is a far better effect than staggered or stunned (which has far more immunities than dazed).

Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2020, 01:06:30 PM »
Added Evangelist Cleric to the list, since the bardic performances are a definite step up if you use Summon Monster spells (and/or get an animal companion on the side). Also hyperlinked the list.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 01:19:06 PM by Power »

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2020, 06:12:14 PM »
ironbound samurai with the weird fighter levels stacking thing?

Quote
Merciful Combatant (Ex): At 3rd level, an ironbound sword becomes an expert at defeating foes without killing them. An ironbound sword can use any weapon to deal nonlethal damage without taking the normal –4 penalty on attack rolls. Additionally, the ironbound sword gains a +2 bonus on combat maneuvers against a target so long as the last successful attack she made against that target dealt nonlethal damage. Her samurai levels count as fighter levels and stack with fighter levels for the purposes of fighter and samurai prerequisites and class features.
This replaces weapon expertise.
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Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2020, 07:31:16 PM »
I guess that's another one to abuse in PFS where GMs are hamstrung by the need to enforce poorly written rules text. Bonus Feats is clearly written as a scaling class feature in the Fighter class so that's fun. Weapon Master Fighter 3 will even give you scaling weapon training to further empower with Gloves of Dueling and advanced weapon training. I guess I'll list it.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 07:33:24 PM by Power »

Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2021, 11:10:57 AM »
Hm, wondering if I should list Scarred Witch Doctor for Witches. You lose your familiar but get to effectively play a 22 int Witch as a Half-Orc before you even use old age for another +2 to all mentals (at the cost of -3 to all physicals).

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2021, 03:24:42 PM »
on your list? i dont think it rises to the level of tier 1 blue.

the only archetype that i think could be tier 1 blue is the Pact Wizard
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Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2021, 09:48:22 AM »
No, on the current list of best archetypes for classes.

Offline zook1shoe

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2021, 02:55:42 AM »
up to you, but if you do, add some of the other good witch archetypes like Beast-Bonded and Medium.
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Offline Power

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Re: PF Archetype Ratings?
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2021, 08:32:08 PM »
Beast-Bonded is already listed. Medium Witch's ability to affect incorporeal foes is good but the restrictions it imposes on patrons are fairly bad. I guess if you really hate incorporeal foes you can combine it with Spirit patron. At higher levels a lesser metamagic rod of ectoplasmic spell or +1 ghost touch net might be preferred though.