Posted in 2012, this build is no longer optimal, though it is still effective. The newer traits, feats, weapon enchantments available to archers, nerfs to the Greater Magic Weapon Spell, new insights, and new Paladin spells would change the advice for an optimal Paladin build today. And the current Optimal Paladin ranks among the best martial archers and is available in Optibuilds Greatest Martial Archers PDF.
Original Goodwill Hunting Build
Human Pathfinder optimized paladin build “Goodwill Hunting“. He’s got high BAB, high saves, smite evil from range, deadly critical, good AC, good healing, leadership, and range feat buffing abilities. Let’s take a preliminary look at the stats:
- Bow Attack: +13 BAB +1PBS +1WF –2RS +8Dex +3GMW –4DA +1BoA +3DF= +25 (x2 from Manyshot) / +25 / +20 / +15
- Bow Damage: 1D8 +8DA + 3GMW + 1PBS + 1D6 flame + 1D6 shock -1Str +3DF = 1D8 +14 +1D6 shock +1D6 fire
- Smite Evil: +4 attack & +13 damage against run-of-the-mill evil and +26 damage against the real evil added to the numbers above.
So anyone who says that this Paladin can’t dish out the damage is smoking some good stuff. It does not matter that his Str is low.
Summary: This human Pathfinder optimized paladin archer build is to 13th level with all levels in the paladin class.
- Paladin archetype is Divine Hunter, which gives this build Precise Shot, the ability to enchant her bow and the ability to grant other party members bow related feats and abilities.
- Boa Jangle’s role in the party is Buffer / Range Damager / Secondary Healer / Leader.
Starting Stats (25 points): Str (9), Dex (20), Con (10), Int (10), Wis (7), Chr (17)
Starting Stats (20 points): Str (8), Dex (19), Con (10), Int (10), Wis (7), Chr (17)
Starting Stats (15 points): Str (9), Dex (18), Con (10), Int (10), Wis (7), Chr (16)
Raising Stats – For 25 point build put leveling stats into Dex, Dex, Chr, Dex, and Dex. For the 15 point build put points into Dex, Chr, Dex, Dex, and Dex. For the 15 point build put points into Dex, Dex, Dex, Dex, and Dex.
Favorite Class Option: Take the extra hitpoints at every level.
Campaign Traits / Feat Progression: Traits) Reactionary and Dangerous Curiosity; Human Feat) Point Blank Shot; 1) Rapid Shot; 3) Deadly Aim; 5) Weapon Focus (Longbow); 7) Manyshot; 9) Critical Focus; 11) Bleeding Critical; 13) Sickening Critical
Mercies: 3rd: Sickened; 6th: N/A; 9th: Nauseated; 12th: Paralyzed
Skills Ranks at 13th (39 points): Diplomacy (10); Use Magic Device(10); Knowledge Religion (5); Fly (4); Ride (5); Acrobatics (5)
Spontaneous Spells: 1st: Divine Favor(2), Grace, Hero’s Defiance; 2nd: Fire of Entanglement, Righteous Vigor (2); 3rd: Magic Weapon, Greater, Magic Circle v. Evil
Typical Weapon Enchantments Selected: All the potential enchantments Goodwill Hunting can place onto his bonded bow have there time and place. However, with his critical weapon build, he typically will choose flaming burst and speed.
Items 12th Level: Total Wealth for 13th Level is 140K. Use the leftover amount for pocket change.
Miscellaneous (31.5K): Handy Haversack (2K); Efficient Quiver (1.8K); +3 Cloak of Resistance (9K); Winged Tattoo (Priced Like Winged Boots) (16K); Cloak of Elvenkind (2.5K)
AC Related (42K): +2 Ring of Protection (8K); +2 Amulet of NA (8K); +5 Mithril Chainmail (26K)
Weapon Related (23K): Bracer’s of Archery (Lesser) (5K); +1 Shocking Burst Longbow or +1 Shocking Burst Heavy Crossbow (18K)
Stat Related (20K): +4 Belt of Dexterity (16K); +2 Headband of Charisma (4K)
Wands (6.75K): Expeditious Retreat (50), Abundant Ammunition (50), Gravity Bow (50), Cure Light Wound (50), Invisibility (50), Air Bubble (50); Note: The number in brackets represents the number of charges in the wand.
Playing Strategy –The strategy for this optimized paladin archer builds is pretty straight forward. Cast spells on your bonded weapon and enchant your bonded weapon before battle. Let the arrows fly. Smite Evil. Normally heal once battle is over, unless you are forced to do otherwise. Use Flight, Grace, Righteous Vigor and Hero’s Defiance to keep you in the fight during tough battles. Turn your allies into range specialist. Use wands when you need to for extra damage, escape and healing.