Optimizing 2 handed Bloorager Builds

Hello,

I am currently struggling with my 2 handed bloodrager build (on normal) and want to know where I went wrong.

Idea: Big bloke in heavy armor who is in the middle of melee, but with some added advantadges over a Barb, can also operate as the parties face to an extent.

Issue: Frequent inability to actually hit things, havent found a 2 handed sword for a long time (still using Finean level 1 on middle of act 3), get one turned KOed by “Babau infiltrators”.

Playfix: Equip Glaive, pretend to be a reach guy behind 10000 loyal skeletons summoned by Daeran.

Build:
Level 10 Bloodrager

Aasimar Angelkin,
STR 18
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 12
Char 15

One statpoint to charisma, rest to STR.
Skillpoints into athletics, Perception and Persuasion.

Aquired feats (Early levels were easy, I dont remember the exact order):
Cleave, Great Cleave, Cleaving Finish, improved Cleaving Finish, Weapon focus Greatsword, Power Attack, Iron Will, Dodge, Disruptive.

Mythic Abilities: Second bloodline (Arcane), Bypass Epic damage reduction, Bit of Fun, disruptive Bloodrage, Summon Will o Wisp, Mythic Power attack, Hard to kill, Creative Approach, limitless Rage, Summon Mastodon, Song of heroic resolve, Dragon Companion

Base attack bonus is just +18/+12 with heroism, so it would get to +19/+13/+7 with Haste and + +21/+15/+9 with haste, heroism, bloodrage. Meaning I have a 25% chance of hitting something with AC36 with my best attack. Flanking/Enlarge person can probably give me close to 50% odds of hitting these ACs.
AC of 27 full (25 with Bloodrage), 24 flat footed and 16 touch kind of means that everything I would care about would pretty trivially hit me. Currently wearing Stauntons Full plate, lucky bracers, a ring of prot + 2.
I could get AC to 31 by exchanging some items, but that still isnt particularly high.
109 HP, 129 while raging is within one turn KO range of certain critters. The build does work when I kill stuff before it kills me, but that just isnt the case for a lot of stuff.

I may be missing something, but I don’t see your first bloodline.
You also mention wearing Full Plate, but I’m not seeing Heavy Armour Proficiency.

I would suggest taking Bloodrager (Primalist), and then mapping out the abilities and feats from all of the bloodlines. Match them up to see which abilities are at each level so you know what can be replaced with barbarian rage powers. Lethal Stance → Deadly Accuracy → Lethal Accuracy adds a massive amount of damage if you can replace 2 sets of mediocre abilities.

For the above, I’ve mapped out Serpentine & Fey with rage power replacements at level 8 and 16. Poison, On-crit debuff, Nat Armour, Reach etc.

If we’re saying optimizing, then for Mythic Path, maybe Azata (looks like you already picked that). The Superpowers for you, and the Songs for your whole group to focus on hitting or not being hit as required.

Unfortunately I’m at work, so I can’t run the numbers on this. Hopefully you find some of those bits of information useful. Good luck!

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As far as I know, the only unique greatsword in acts 1 & 2 is in the ruins of the hamlet just east of Drezen. It’s an okay weapon, but not great. Glaive is a better choice, as is fauchard if you are good, and scythe if you want to use Wide Sweep. I would make room in the build for the vital strike line of feats since you are full bab and take mythic vital strike instead of power attack at ml2.

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Frist Blood Line was angelic, as it seemed thematically appropriate.
It was also a Steelblood, which is where the heavy armor proficiency came from.

I have to second frightboy and recommend primalist instead. Heavy armor looses sooner or later to going unarmored with magic armor + a monk level + the mystic ability “archmage armor”. Buff charisma + dex for further AC increase, the necessary spells are level 2 (or use items). In any way, don’t forget the shield spell, that’s +4 AC (you don’t mention that in your initial post).

For front line builds, the crane style feats are recommended to ramp up ac: crane style + fighting defensively, crane wing and crane riposte. This also works well with a monk level (scaled fist to profit from the high charisma). This gives you +8 AC for -1 AB.

I would drop the feats iron will and disruptive for that. You have buffs for will saves, and enemy spell casters are best handled by focusing them and/or swarming them with summons.

Use a draconic bloodline to insert 4 levels of dragon disciple for additional strength and AC (and caster levels).

Dazzling Display + Shatter Defenses + a way to frighten enemies will also help, e.g. a dirge bard, or fear spells from your cleric.

A general problem for the bloodrager is the flat damage, also you will encounter bosses and optional bosses with an AC that is simply out of your range, nothing can be done about that.

For a build specifically designed for boss encounters (but this is not a bloodrager build), please see (I don’t want to spoil your fun, but the vital strike sword saint has better AC ramp up and better damage and hit chances when it goes nuclear on a boss than you can ever get with a bloodrager):

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Do you think its worth to get 4 levels in Dragon Disciple?

Doing that means I will not be reaching the capstone of level 20, and will only hit the level 16 abilities very late. According to PnP, Dragon disciple supposedly should add to Bloodrager levels, but in PnP my GM would have allowed that only for draconic bloodlines, and I have no idea whatsorever if this is implemenent in the Beta.

Thanks for the detailed reply, I do have shield as my pre buff routine. Knowledge of Pathfinder Rules wise, I think I know enough to know when I messed up, but not enough to know how to build good.

Multiple questions though:

Question: Can I save a mythic ability by giving archmage armor to another character who casts Mage armor on me?

Secondary question: Isnt Crane style only supposed to work with a free hand and thus inefficient with a 2 handed weapon such as a Fauchard? Or am I editionally confused in some ways, tooltip for it in WOTR does not say anything about 1 hand free.

Third question: I believe Azata or Trickster will be the fun mythic paths for me, I also believe that both of these will require going fairly chaotic, and thus could result in losing the Monk bonus. Is this an issue?

That’s a good point, I don’t know either. But you will end the beta-2 on level 17, and we will see how much time you will spend in the final game on level 20, if any.
You can get 4 levels of DD by level 8, and it gives you 3 caster levels, +4 strength and +2 AC, which you can enjoy for the rest of the game, so yes, I think it is worthwhile.

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No, you have to cast it on yourself. It works with potions and scrolls, too (in the beta), if you use them on yourself.

That’s an ongoing discussion from Pathfinder:Kingmaker. Most people report that it works in the game. If that is a bug and is corrected, just stop with crane style. It will give you, with mobility 3, +4 AC for -2 AB, which is good if you get attacked often.

The game does not force you to change your aligment, at least not in the beta-2. Aivu will complain, maybe. You don’t loose anything if you go chaotic, though. The monk only looses the ability to level up as a monk, unlike the Paladin who actually cannot use powers like smite evil anymore.

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Ah, maybe we should also mention that the primalist, unlike the steelblood, gets uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge, which is very handy on the front line.

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Thanks a lot everyone, as a result of the respec based on your posts /suggestions (1 scaled fist, 4 Dragon Disciple 5 Primalist) I have now:

-19 “Base” AC prior to spells/equipment (10 base + 2 from dex 14 + 1 from dodge + 3 from various dragon stuff + 3 from charisma 16 )
-In buffed combat with items it should be: +2 from +4 Charisma headbeand (never actually thought of scaled monk being a turn charisma into AC mechanism, shows how little I know), +2 from cats grace, + 3 from ring of protection, +7 from mage armor, +4 from shield + 3 from crane style for a total of 40AC.
I could up it to 43 by using a natural armor amulet +3 instead of that blood rager only fast healing thing.
I guess and to 45 vs undead if I switch headgear around can cast a cha spell instead.

Thats a whopping difference of 13-18 AC rofl (Basically a pretty good D20 result higher), and I cant be flanked/flat footed on top of that, and someone else gets to wear the one good armor I found so far and I could use something thats not + 4 charisma as headgear and cast the level 2 spell for cha gain on me instead. I will probably stick with the CHA headbeand for more spell slots.
Shield and Mage armor are pretty impactfull and somewhat limited since I didnt go with abundant casting mythic ability.

Attack Boni are similar to before, but with vital strike and shatter defenses instead (just need to figure out how to make people afraid, as I dont have cornugnon smash yet and I am not sure if I want to waste full round actions on dazzling display).

Thanks everyone!

I was thinking about a bloodrager with good offense and defense.
My idea:
stats: 19, 14, 12, 10, 10, 14
1lv monk, 4 levels dragon, 15 levels bloodrager
dragon + snake bloodline (both give defense bonus)
feats for beast totem line (AC, pounce) and Lethal stance line.

Downside: best lethal line power needs bloodrager 16, is dropping monk better?
Or defensive stance for more AC?

If you are a motherless tiefling you would get claws (dragon) plus bites (tiefling, snake, DD, rage power)
I am not sure if this is better or a human with a weapon (skills+feat, not sure if natural attacks overcome DR)

Welcome :slight_smile:

In terms of action economy, the best solution is a bard, who gets the dirge song at level 8. This does not have a saving throw. You can have Dearan or Ember doing dazzling display when they are not casting, as they suck with weapons anyway, but after taking the abundant casting mystic feats I found that I mostly never run out of spells with them. Especially if you give them summoning and/or necromancy damaging spells (and the necessary feats to be effective with them), they will always have something useful to cast, so that’s not an optimal solution. Clerics also get spells like frightful aspect (but that’s a high level spell).

IMHO, from theory, not practice, I would not take more than 8 levels of primalist + 4 levels of DD, and try to spend the other levels on increasing damage. For buffs, you only need two or three level spells. The rage powers have a flat return, and the uncanny dodge feats are at level 2 and 5.

I have not spent much time figuring out what would be good to increase damage, though. Obvious solutions would be the 2h fighter, a slayer or maybe even a ranger (Freebooter?). With one level of monk, we are talking about a level 13 character anyway, so this obviously limits what can be done with the build.

I don’t think it’s worth it. The 4 Strength from DD is practically outscaled by your rage. Bloodrager 20 is definitely stronger than Bloodrager 16/DD 4.

After some thinking I came to the conclusion:

  • A motherless tiefling with a falchion, mystic hero demon, take different path later
    At lv20 without buffs you would have: 4 weapon attacks, 4 bites and 1 gore
    Falchion because reach weapon makes no sense when you have natural attacks, falchion for more crits with outflank
  • 1lv monk, 12lv primalist, 4lv DD
    This leaves 3 levels open which could be 2h fighter (2 bonus feats, does the bonus damage work for the first attack in a full attack?) or paladin (saves, 1 smite, remove fatigue with LoH, disease immunity) or monk (maybe 2 monk, 2 pala?) or simply more bloodrager (1 bloodline feat)
  • I would take angel mystic path. For role playing, but they also have great buffs.

Maybe this is not perfectly optimized, but I am only playing on normal and there is a point where I say “This makes no sense.” or “This is too much cheese for my taste.”
With dragon bloodline, DD and scalded fist I would call it “raging dragon warrior”. and then I try to convince myself that it makes at least some sense RP wise.

I agree that bloodrager 20 is better than bloodrager16/DD4.
You gain tireless rage, mighty rage and the lv20 bloodline power and DD4 would lose 1 BAB
So BR16/DD4 would not have better AB and damage than a pure bloodrager.

Things are different if you use more levels of another class which means you will not get bloodrager 20 in any case.

I am currently 4 DD 1 Monk BR 5,

questions:
–What is in Bloodrager 8/Primalist 8 that makes it a semi capstone?
–I am confused about those natural weapons. Unless I am wrong, I dont actually get to use them while using a 2 handed reach weapon like a glaive (or weapons at all?, )
–If I stay lawfull good I could probably add some pally levels?
–Build has charisma for bard, but i think that gimps attack boni too much?

  • Bloodrager 8 gets his bloodline power (or rage power).
    -You need to have a hand free to attack with a claw. You can attack with bites while holding a weapon, but it will have the regular reach, not the increased one from your weapon.
    -Sure, Paladin 2 is nice to have.
    -You don’t need a lot of charisma. 14 base max, probably can get away with less.
  • Primalists can chose to get two rage powers of barbarians instead of their bloodline powers at lv 4, 8, 12 and 16. I would like to have primalist 12 for pounce (greater beast totem, you make a full attack when charging, otherwise you can only have one attack per round if you have to move. An alternative way around this is using mystic vital strike.). This is my personal taste, I am not sure what is most effective game mechanics wise.

  • You cannot use weapons in combination with natural attacks that use your hands, such as claw attacks. You can use any natural attacks that do not use your hands (e.g. bite, gore) in combination with weapons.

  • According to PnP rules you can only attack with each part of your body once per round if you use natural attacks. For some reasons you can have many bite attacks per round in the computer games but you can only have 2 claw attacks, even if you get claws from different sources. I am not sure about other natural attacks.

  • Kingmaker had the problem that improved unarmed strike feat would turn your hands into weapons, so unarmed characters with that feat could not use claw attacks. I think this has been fixed (not 100% sure, I never played a char with claws so far)