Friday, November 7, 2014

Builds: Sneaking Arcanist

The Sneaking Arcanist

Sneaking Arcanist

The Sneaking Arcanist is all about versatility. You have sneak attacks, you have spells, and you have a variety of skills. What you will lack is BAB which means you will need to be tricky. We are going with a level of Magus with the Greensting Slayer archetype.This is a thinking person’s
character and a boatload of fun to play.

Feats/Rogue Talents
Race-wise you want something with a useful 2nd level spell like ability. We are going to use this for an early entry into Arcane Trickster. Tiefling has darkness and a great stat array for it, drow magic is an alternate race
trait for half-elves and also makes a very strong option. Moving forward is going to be based on the Tiefling option.

1: Tiefling Magus 1 (Greensting Slayer): Combat Expertise (1d6 sneak)
2:  Rogue 1: (Counterfeit Mage, Scout Archetypes) (2d6 sneak):
3:  Rogue 2: Dervish Dancer, Finesse Rogue
4:  Rogue 3: (3d6 sneak)
5:  Rogue 4: Improved Feint
6:  Arcane Trickster 1: (4d6 sneak)
7:  Arcane Trickster 2: Arcane Strike
8:  Arcane Trickster 3: (5d6 SA)
9:  Arcane Trickster 4: Extend Spell
10: Arcane Trickster 5: (6d6 SA)
11: Arcane Trickster 6: Intensify Spell
12: Arcane Trickster 7: (7d6 SA)
13: Arcane Trickster 8: Greater Feint
14: Arcane Trickster 9: (8d6 SA)
15: Arcane Trickster 10: Improved Initiative
16: Rogue 5: (9d6 SA)
17: Rogue 6: Toughness, Weapon Training
18: Rogue 7: (10d6 SA)
19: Rogue 8: Iron Will, Bleeding Assault
20: Rogue 9: (11d6 SA)

In needs to start no lower than 13, it doesn't need to be any higher,
but it shouldn't be any lower.

Point Buy 20
Str: 10
Dex: 18 (16+2)
Con: 14
Int: 15
Wis: 12
Cha: 8

Attribute increases should go into Int as it is you’re casting stat, favored class bonuses should go into hit points.

Bluff, Perception, Disable Device, Stealth, Spellcraft, Acrobatics and
spread the rest around to remain versatile. Equipment that shores up
defense is a priority.

Reactionary (+2 Initiative)
Eldritch Heritage (either Chill Touch or my preference Shocking Grasp)

This build is about using magic to augment your ability to deliver an impressive amount of damage. We are never spell striking, it’s mostly using the Truestrike spell or delivering a Shocking Grasp to touch AC either way we are going to deal SA damage. It might not be a bad variant to go magus 3 before jumping into Arcane Trickster then at 7th level grabbing an improved familiar for flanking.

Tactics at Level…
Level 1-2: Use spell combat to either Vanish to maneuver into flanking position or Truestrike into Sneak Attacks.
Level 3:  You now have Dexterity to damage with a high crit range weapon, Whoot!
Level 5:  Hopefully you’ve bought a mask of stony demeanor and can now feint
like a champ as a move action giving you another option to set up SA. You also have ranged legerdemain which is very nice.
Level 7:  2nd level arcane spell whoot!
Level 10: 11d6 (5d6 from shocking grasp, 6d6 SA) on successful touch attack as
long as target is flanked or denied their dexterity bonus/flat footed…
It keeps getting better but the basis of the build is clear from here on

When you hit 15th level you get to add your SA to spells and you have 11th level casting as a magus, meaning some great 4th level arcane spells. This build has an outstanding number of options and is truly one of my
favorites. Make sure to grab some pearls of power, mix in wands and rods to just maximize the utter destruction of everything.


  1. The fundamentals matter and this build fails miserably at them.

    You're celebrating getting second level spells at the same level as the ranger when the bard has third and the wizard fourth, and even the ranger has a higher caster level.

    You're a half point ahead of poor BAB until level 18. You're actually a worse fighter than a wizard at level 2. Dex to damage can't make up for this, especially with attribute increases going into another stat.

    Your vaunted 11d6 at level 10 can be matched by any magus with intensify metamagic and a scimitar and he'll crit on an 18 and multiply all of those dice and get a full attack as a bonus. Not a touch attack, but when he wants a touch attack he'll still have 10d6 that doesn't rely on flanking or feinting and he'll have as many second level slots at that level as this build has first level slots. What he can do with his third level slots puts you to shame.

    These things matter. It is simply not possible to effectively realize the fighter/thief/MU in Pathfinder except as a rogue. Deal with it.

    1. You're entitled to your opinion but I'll counter with...
      1) who cares about the bab you're targeting touch AC with spells and cantrips.
      2) 11d6+you can also intensify a shocking grasp or snowball so make that 21d6