If you play Pathfinder: Kingmaker and looking for single-classs builds, this guide will show you a single-class build for a Slayer (Deliverer) Archer build that puts out some hefty damage. It’s viable from start-to-finish and works great for your main character. Let’s check it out.
Part 1: Race Choice and Build Progression
Hey folks, I’m starting a series of single-class builds that are viable from start-to-finish for PKM. This is one of my favorite archer builds that peppers out some hefty damage and also acts as a skill monkey for the party. You can play it from start-to-finish on any difficulty level.
Our level 10 Slayer clearing the room of undead. He was first in the initiative order, catching all the enemies flat-footed.
- Race: Half-Elf, +2 DEX, Skill Focus Persuasion
- Alignment: Lawful Good (Very important!)
- Important Skills: Trickery, Mobility, Stealth, Perception, and Persuasion are my usuals.
- Starting Stats: 14 or 16 STR and 19 DEX (–> 24 DEX) are most important. Fiddle with the others how you like, but you’ll want a decent Persuasion skill for Dreadful Carnage. I like 14-19-12-14-10-10 for more skill points.
Build Progression: Slayer (Deliver) 20.
1. Point-Blank Shot, Skill Focus: Persuasion (Half-Elf)
2. (Determined Zeal, replaces Slayer Talent) +2 to Will Saves + Diehard feat vs most enemies.
3. Precise Shot
4. ST: Trapfinding
5. Rapid Shot
6. ST, Menacing: Intimidating Prowess (+2d6 Sneak Attack)
7. Clustered Shot
8. ST, Menacing: Shatter Defenses
9. Manyshot (+3d6 Sneak Attack)
10. (Divine Anathema, Replaces Slayer Talent, +2d6 Damage to unaligned targets)
11. Improved Precise Shot
12. ST, Menacing: Dreadful Carnage (+4d6 Sneak Attack)
13. Improved Critical
14. ST: Deadly Aim
15. Accomplished Sneak Attacker (+6d6 Sneak Attack)
16. ST: Crippling Strike or Blinding Strike
17. WF: Longbow
18. ST Familiar (Hare) (+7d6 Sneak Attack)
19. Improved Initiative
20. ST: Hammer the Gap
- This build is a skill monkey, DPS, and face of the party all in one!
- Most of your combat rounds will be full-round attacks because you’re attacking at range.
- Why Half-Elf? I love Half-Elves not only for their extra Skill Focus feat, but they also get +2 to Perception, +2 to save vs Enchantments (looking at you, Nixie Tricksters), and sleep immunity. Determined Zeal (Slayer, Deliverer 2) will also give you an extra +2 on Will saves vs most enemies with this build. All of these are extremely viable racial bonuses in PKM.
- Why Deliverer? Two main reasons. If you choose Lawful Good as your alignment, every enemy in the game that is not LG, NG, or LN will take an extra +2d6 Divine Damage on your attacks starting at level 10. Stack that with your Sneak Attack Damage and you will clean up in combat! Secondly, you’re going to want your Studied Target as a Swift Action (Slayer 7) so you can dish out a full round of attacks as often as you can. Certain Slayer subtypes do not gain Studied Target as a Swift Action.
- Why Menacing and not the Archer Route? Shatter Defenses and Dreadful Carnage on a Slayer archer is a beautiful combination, as any enemy that is flat-footed (and that is open to precision damage) is now vulnerable to Sneak Attack. It can make for some brutal critical hits (see below). Also, archery feats are easily attainable without the Slayer Fighter style feats.
Our Slayer at Level 12 with a solid Many Shot critical hit.
Part 2: Strategy and Items of Note
- Why take Trapfinding? Well, Trickery isn’t a standard skill for a Slayer. However, it becomes a class skill with Trapfinding. Since archers are DEX-based, it works perfectly. Also, I use my Slayer as my Rogue, so the bonus to Perception is always welcome. Since there is so much room in this build to fiddle around with feats, you may as well take it.
- Trapfinding is brilliant to optimize the Necklace of Double Crosses, as well. Although the NoDC isn’t supposed to work with ranged attacks, it will (with certain limitations); with ranged attacks, the NoDC affects flat-footed enemies only (but not simply flanked targets, as it does in melee). Hence the importance of Shatter Defenses and Dreadful Carnage. When all of your cards align, you have + 11d6 damage on each attack with Sneak Attack (+7d6), the NoDC (+2d6), and Divine Anathema (+2d6).
- To get Dreadful Carnage as soon as you can, you’re going to have to take your Slayer Fighting Style feats at levels 6, 8, and 12. If you want to shuffle around the feats some, you can. However, I recommend Clustered Shots before Manyshot (*shakes fist at elementals*).
- Want a play a different race? Go for it! Any race that can receive a bonus to DEX can be used. Half-Orcs are great with their bonus to Intimidate and an extra skill point per level. Aasimir and Tieflings get nice racial bonuses, too.
Our end game attack bonus is wonderfully ridiculous.
- Dirge of Doom: If enemies are far away and you want them flat-footed… This build works really, really well when Linzi gets Dirge of Doom at level 8 (the same level you take Shatter Defenses). Dirge of Doom automatically makes enemies shaken if they’re subject to fear effects (that’s right, no save). With Shatter Defenses on your Slayer, every enemy that is open to the effects of Linzi’s song AOE is now flat-footed for your archer! I specifically give Linzi Improved Initiative at Level 7 so she (hopefully) can pop Dirge of Doom at level 8 and move into position before my Slayer’s turn in combat. It doesn’t always work, of course, but it’s really nice when it does! Put those Swiftfoot Boots, cast Expeditious Retreat, and you’re golden. Pro-tip: Hit your song first, then move.
- Frightful Aspect: Your cleric will get access to Frightful Aspect at level 15. This has the same effect as Dirge of Doom (enemies are shaken, no saving throw).
- Kill Afar First: If enemies are close to you, this where Dreadful Carnage shines. I like to take out an enemy that is far away, proc-ing Dreadful Carnage. Now, all of the enemies who are closer to you will most likely be shaken (and therefore flat-footed). Remember taking Intimidating Prowess at level 6? Now your STR bonus is added to your Intimidate checks. You’re welcome.
An end game critical hit of almost 400 damage. This is one attack of six.
Items of Note
- Necklace of Double Crosses can be assembled immediately upon getting your Kingdom at level 5 or 6. All of the pieces of it can be found in Chapter 1.
- It gives an extra +2d6 to Sneak Attack damage and an untyped bonus of +4 to Mobility, Stealth, and Trickery (hence my love for Trapfinding on a Slayer).
- Great Gear Early On: Bracers of Archery (around level 6) and Death From Afar (around level 9, found in the second portion of the Tenebrous Depths) are items you’ll find and never unequip. Get these as soon as you’re able! Death from Afar gives you an untyped +4 bonus to all ranged attacks. Yes, it stacks with the Bracers of Archery. Yes, it’s insane. Yes, you’ll love it.
- Better Bows: After defeating Vordaki, you’re going to want to pick up the Longbow of the Cold Moon as soon as you’re able. The Marksman Hat comes in around levels 13 or so that gives you a +2 to attacks while using Deadly Aim. These are all tasty choices for this build. Eventually, Kimo will craft you two exceptional bows (Mirrow Bow and Hunter’s Blessing).
- Greater Invisibility: Having a party member cast Greater Invisibility on your Slayer is also a great way to get (most) enemies instantly flat-footed. Extend Rods FTW!
That’s all we are sharing today in Pathfinder: Kingmaker Single-Class Build – Slayer Archer), if there are anything you want to add please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll see you soon.
Credit to jasonpauldegraaf