Pathfinder RPG How does the magus perform at high levels?





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    How does the magus perform at high levels?

    Has anyone seen the magus in play at high levels? Our group is looking to start a new campaign soon, and Pathfinder seems to be the system we're going with, in part because our longest-running campaign up to this point (2+ years) was 3.5.

    I'm enough of a powergamer to be irked if I'm not at least competitive in combat, so I'm hoping to get some anecdotal feedback from folks who've seen the magus in action.

    Browsing the forum netted me this previous thread: http://www.enworld.org/forum/pathfin...mary-each.html

    Though there didn't seem to be much actual experience with the magus expressed therein. Seems like if magus turns out to be underpowered though, I'm safe with the other two classes I've been considering, fighter or wizard.
    signed Jere, Lord of Pendragon

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    With eyes that speak of wonders on the other side of Day.
    She dances in the shadows where others fear to tread;
    But though her touch may kill you, it's her love that you should dread."

 

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    You can do some interesting things witha magus at high levels. They can be as potent as a fighter while casting a spell before or after a full attack. So they can nova quite well.
    You can also build them to function around a combat maneuver quite easily. I built a lvl 16 magus as an end boss of a campaign who was built to sunder, and he tore through the cavalier's full pate in a couple swings.
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    I just played a magus that got to 13th level. He was a beast. Very high damage output, though energy resistance was a sizable problem. You could plan around it but it's going to drop your numbers. Accurate Strike is the 3e Wraithstrike again, but magus-only. It lets you do a full attack against your target's touch AC, which is typically low for high-level monsters.

    I played a Strength-based magus with a bastard sword. Not the most twinked build possible, and he was still very powerful.
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  • #4
    At mid-level we have a magus in our group, he puts out a lot of damage and is very survivable with a high AC. He's a Blade-bound/Kensai who uses a black bladed scimitar to deadly effect. The damage output that the Magus is capable of is sometimes pretty insane. My character is usually the heavy hitter as a 2h fighter w/ a splash of barbarian, but he sometimes makes my character look like a chump *grumbles*.
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    Hrm...I am liking what I'm hearing. I don't need or expect to be the top damage dealer every fight, given the versatility of being able to cast spells, but I'd definitely need to feel like I wasn't a chump either, and it seems like the magus may be able to fit the bill nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelDraco View Post
    I played a Strength-based magus with a bastard sword. Not the most twinked build possible, and he was still very powerful.
    I'm still mulling over the magus' construction, trying to figure out how best to optimize him. Are there any important details you'd suggest?

    My first thought was bastard sword too, then it occurred to me that since you can 2-hand a longsword during rounds when you aren't casting, spending a feat on d8-->d10 might not be worth it.

    Seems to me that Combat Casting is vital, given that one can no longer dump skill points into Concentration checks.

    How strapped are you for Arcane Pool points at mid- to high-levels? The damage bonus from a Black Blade archtype seems very nice, but by level 20 you've lost 4 pool points and one arcana to buy it.
    signed Jere, Lord of Pendragon

    "Raven dark but beautiful, in a malevolent sort of way;
    With eyes that speak of wonders on the other side of Day.
    She dances in the shadows where others fear to tread;
    But though her touch may kill you, it's her love that you should dread."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post

    I'm still mulling over the magus' construction, trying to figure out how best to optimize him. Are there any important details you'd suggest?

    .
    I presume that you've already considered the Dervish Dancing Magus? Opinions seem fairly split whether this is better than the Str based build. The key advantage, of course, is the high crit weapon. And it is just cooler :-)

    If you're considering dipping at all the Dawnflower Dervish Bard combines nicely with the Magus. As does Urban Barbarian.

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    I'm in a game w/ a now-18th level Magus, and he's been just fine. Of course, it's a gestalt game w/ 3E content (he's mixed with Warblade), so my experiences might now be too helpful. But the core of his power is based in PF, mostly. I provide him with a badass mount (Phantom Stag; 300 ft perfect fly speed and ability to turn self and rider ethereal at will), he has Mounted Skirmisher feat to move and full attack to use spell combat and spellstrike with, and has an arcana to make his blade ghost touch.

    Of course, later on we noticed the Bladed Dash and Force Hook Charge spells, making the mounted stuff not necessary to move + spell combat, though he's still happy to not need to waste spells to reach melee (he keeps bladed dash as a backup now for when he can't use the steed).

    If you are going to high levels, you sould definitely get Crane Wing feat, though. Without a dip, it'll cost you 4 feats, but...you're high level.

    Also as a side note: Tiefling always had the [b]ideal[//b] stats for a Magus; now w/ advanced race guide, they can also get a prehensile tail. Why is this good? RAW, in PF apparently you need to hold a metamagic rod to use it. Your class features require having a hand free at the time of casting, the same time you need the rod, so free action dropping it isn't an answer. Cue the tail, which can hold it for you...
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauljathome View Post
    I presume that you've already considered the Dervish Dancing Magus? Opinions seem fairly split whether this is better than the Str based build. The key advantage, of course, is the high crit weapon. And it is just cooler :-)
    Haven't considered anything yet. My first objective after reading over the base classes was to try and get a gauge on whether the ones which caught me eye were feasible, then work from there. Reading quickly affirmed fighter and wizard being workable, but magus was somewhat unclear, hence this post.

    I found the Dancing Dervish bard archtype, but not the dawnflower dervish. Is that in later supplement? And regarding the Dervish Dancing Magus, wouldn't that still focus on strength, or am I missing something?

    Speaking of str-based, the Magus seems like it'd require 3 solid stats, a great strength and int, and a decent con. So my class choice may also depend on how my DM decides will be doing stats this campaign.

    Where might I find the Bladed Dash spell?
    signed Jere, Lord of Pendragon

    "Raven dark but beautiful, in a malevolent sort of way;
    With eyes that speak of wonders on the other side of Day.
    She dances in the shadows where others fear to tread;
    But though her touch may kill you, it's her love that you should dread."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Pendragon View Post
    Haven't considered anything yet. My first objective after reading over the base classes was to try and get a gauge on whether the ones which caught me eye were feasible, then work from there. Reading quickly affirmed fighter and wizard being workable, but magus was somewhat unclear, hence this post.

    I found the Dancing Dervish bard archtype, but not the dawnflower dervish. Is that in later supplement? And regarding the Dervish Dancing Magus, wouldn't that still focus on strength, or am I missing something?

    Speaking of str-based, the Magus seems like it'd require 3 solid stats, a great strength and int, and a decent con. So my class choice may also depend on how my DM decides will be doing stats this campaign.

    Where might I find the Bladed Dash spell?
    Almost everything you'll want to look at is up at the d20pfsrd site.

    The Dawnflower Dervish is in Inner Sea Magic. Its a bard archetype that inspires itself with +2 to hit and +2 damage as a move action.

    The Dervish Dance feat allows you to use your Dex for to hit and damage with a scimitar. So you get to max out Dex and Int (with reasonable Con).

    Dervish Dance (Combat) - Pathfinder_OGC

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauljathome View Post
    Almost everything you'll want to look at is up at the d20pfsrd site.
    Thanks! I'd been using the reference document at the paizo site itself, this one is much more complete.
    signed Jere, Lord of Pendragon

    "Raven dark but beautiful, in a malevolent sort of way;
    With eyes that speak of wonders on the other side of Day.
    She dances in the shadows where others fear to tread;
    But though her touch may kill you, it's her love that you should dread."

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