Looking at Winter Witch

At first glance this class looks really bad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a thing or two added (almost guaranteed there will be some more Cold spells at some point) but DC boosts are good enough and rare enough that I’d say it does in fact get there. It doesn’t help that you’d have no idea that you continue to get all your Hexes including Major and Grand Hexes like regular Witch. And you do. So it is a step up from regular Witch if you can find a way to get enough Cold Spells to cast.

This is always a good one. Here on Core with Leyline 8 Winter Witch 6 Azata that poor Derakni Devastator has a 4/20 = 1/5 chance on each roll so 1/25 chance not to be paralyzed. And that’s his strongest save! What about Hard?

Here each roll he has a 7/20 chance so in total 49/400 so a little around 12%. On Hard, against his strongest save. On level foe. Who’s laughing?

Well he was, but Icy Prison still leaves you Entangled which hurts Reflex so on the second try save chance was 5/20 = 1/4 doubled is 1/16 and he doesn’t make it.

This is what I’m testing with so nothing broken or minmaxxed. I’m sure the hardcore people can get that DC close to 40.

Everything here also works well with my new favorite spell - Swift Action AoE! 35 DC makes sure it hits hard.

This is what you’re building toward and what both the Winter Witch and Ley Line abilities help you get the most out of. Obviously if you’re Evil like Satan you can just merge with Lich and go off, but the rest of us have to be patient.

And there are non-Cold spells that go well with the Leyline Caster level boost. The downside is easily handled with Freedom of Movement which you can cast or pick up from a Divine Caster or Boots. You’ve got a couple spells each level that are very solid like Greater Heroism and Death Ward and even though it’s disappointing to get Resist Fire and Protection from Fire instead of Cold Spells those are very good spells to pick up free on a Spontaneous caster. Likewise with Daeran’s Resorations.

And then there’s things like giving your whole team a Bite attack that only Witch (and Skald) can do. But the Witch Bite doesn’t go away when you stop singing. While the poweramers are splashing to pick up Bites this awful class can give them to your whole team. Min/lvl as well. Check out the range on Agony:

You know who has weak Fort Saves? Casters. Can’t cast nauseated.

If you play it as a normal Witch with a side hustle in Cold Spells you can even skip Ascended Element and wait for her Coldfire ability. Icy Prison isn’t primarily a damaging spell anyway. Depends how much is Immune to Cold late. Resists can be handled:

And last but not least, try this with Feather Step, Mass:


Does the Winter Witch also get access to Icy Prison Mass?

The class looks great for a CC build if you take all the Spell Focus feats (for cold and evocation) and just fill your Spellbook with Icy Prison spells :smile:

BTW does the witch get Icy Prison from the Winter Patron? It’s not on the Witch spelllist and I thought already for a Winter Witch build about choosing the lich path to get access to the spell…

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Personally, I thought it was obvious that WW does get all the hexes. The in-game description literally says “Additionally, at 2nd level, and every 2 level after, a winter witch gets a new hex depending on the chosen spellcasting class.” and “Frost Power
Winter witch levels stack with shaman levels to determine the power of witch hexes and access to major and grand hexes, and for acquiring patron spells.”

Really? I thought it looked pretty good at first glance. You lose 1 caster level (which certainly doesn’t matter if you go Lich) and some DC on fire spells for 3 DC and 2 CL on cold spells. The only thing that made me question whether the class is good or not is the interaction with cold hexes. Does their DC increase?

Elements Patron does give you Icy Prison, Mass now.

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Is abjuration spells worth to pick/spend the mythic to transfer bonuses from primary school? All of them are dispels and I’ve never tried it yet or it’s better to make conjuration as secondary?

I had thought that you could use Heighten Spell to just fill levels 1-3 with Snowballs as the WW “basic attack”, and with the DC boosts you would be staggering things left and right. If you took Abundant 1 and Ascendant element at 1 and 2 you would have endless snowballs to smack things with, which is at least thematically nice. Maybe.

Also interested if WW gets Ice Tomb hex.

I love that you called him Vanilla Ice :rofl:


@TheMentat As I understand it, you only get spells from the Lich list (apart from the Lich special spells) that you can cast with your class? Right? Wrong? If you merge, obviously.

@Aluffi_fan Elements Patron always had Mass Icy Prison ; WW requires Frost Patron, though.

@abishai The Conjuration school is basically non-existent for a Witch; apart from Summons. - Do I miss something? Also, what would be your 1st School?

@Desiderius Obviously, in my eyes at least, WW is fine; especially if you do not want to go Lich.
Polar Midnight, Polar Ray, Cold Ice Strike, Icy Prison all do their job, and give flavor. Especially nice to have at least some(!) way to attack Reflex; a department Witch generally lacks in.
I still prefer Shadows patron, and Lich, with heavy focus on Necromancy, though. :wink:

Used to have Polar Midnight, I think. And it used to fulfill the prerequisite for Winter Witch.

The Hexes don’t show up graphically on Winter Witch as they do on the main class. The usual downside of Prestige Classes is that they sacrifice progression in your main class. I asked @Weritoz to name an obviously weak class after he said there were classes that were WAY worse than others and he chose WW.

Conj has Glitterdust and Web and Cave Fangs I think. It’s ok if you like the Summon Feats. As for Abjuration would be better if there weren’t an entire chapter immune to Banish but yeah it might be worth it late to pick up Spell Specialization on Dispel, Greater. Obv Necro would be your first choice for Witch, although Enervation is no Save.

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That’s an UI bug more than anything. Winter Witch indeed properly grants access to new hexes according to its feature descriptions.

The prestige class used to have no Witch Patron prerequisite at all. Only Frost Spirit for Shaman. Now a Witch requires the Winter Patron to access the Winter Witch.

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Could you tell us which spells the Winter Patron gets, please? I only found an old video in which the guy qualifies for WW with the Elemental Patron. Probably was a temporary solution by Owlcat at some point.

Winter Patron


There you go. Personally, I really do wonder why it grants Resist Fire and Protection from Fire. Should be Cold instead.


Oh god. Why does it grant Polar Midnight???

I mean, it’s because it does so in PnP, but when elemental gives Icy Prison, Mass… Why is it that Elemental Patron is better for WW than the Winter patron?

Yep, I’ve found myself to use Web a lot. Stinking cloud is situational (was I-WIN button in KM, but demons are tricky here), but still useful to disable cultists.

We have a mythic that transfers feats to another school, probably we can/should pick it for school that is utility, to expand out versatility. From this perspective Evo is redundant (clashes for slots with necromancy), so it’s better to pick niche school with some cool stuff. It can be Conj or Abj. Have you used dispels and was they useful ?

Because we have no Meteor Swarm spell for Elements Patron, most likely. Icy Prison, Mass was a replacement for it. Either way, Elements won’t get you into Winter Witch anymore. No use to think about “what if’s”.

If they managed to swap a spell of one patron, nothing’s stopping them from swapping another, especially considering how different the class is from the PnP version already.

Swapping spells makes sense when certain spells are not in the game. But spells which are already implemented? Not so much.

Oh come on, we are way past that now. Winter Witch is completely different from the PnP counterpart, which is not at all limited to a single patron, and there are classes like Eldritch Scion which still use Sorcerer bloodlines instead of Bloodrager ones. Compared to that, modifying a single patron to not make it synergetic with the class which Owlcat decided to shoehorn into said patron is noting.

No, the Fire makes sense. See the vulnerability on Greybor’s Dragon.

And if you’re playing spontaneous, which you pretty much have to to play this Prestige, then having those spells in reserve is in fact pretty damn good. Remember that the non-Communal version has 10 min/lvl duration too. See the threat posed by Greybor’s dragon. Likewise Drezen gets way easier if you keep those up.