Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous – The Best Magus Builds (2024)

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous has an absurd amount of customization options for creating the perfect niche RPG character. Boasting over 25 playable classes, it can be overwhelming trying to find just the right one, especially when each class then has an additional seven or so subclasses.

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With the perfect balance of Warlock and Fighter, the Magus build can be a highly flexible one that'll see the player balancing spell casting and one-handed weaponry. The Magus class may seem like one of the more difficult ones to tackle, but players can find everything they'll need to know below to make a solid arcane warrior worthy of a crusade in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.

Character

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When starting a new game, after choosing difficulty settings (which are just as customizable as the character creator!) players are greeted with the character creation screen. There are no pre-generated Magus characters, so the player will need to create a custom character.

Portrait

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Characters are then greeted with the portrait screen. There are many new portraits (as well as all the old ones from the previous game!) to select from. Depending on what portrait the player selects the character model will reflect that, so keep this in mind. The player is able to tweak things like hair and other minor accessories, and they could change the race to not match the portrait, but initially, if the player chooses the Kitsune portrait it will generate a Kitsune character.

Class

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Now the player is presented with the class screen. There are a ton of options, but luckily they are alphabetical. Clicking the Magus class will reveal a dropdown of seven other possible subclasses within the Magus class.

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Players are able to roll with a good vanilla Magus and go from there, but those perhaps more familiar with cRPGs or other RPGs for that matter may want a bit more nuance with their character. Players looking for the details on the subclasses can keep reading below, otherwise, feel free to skip to the Race section.

Magus Subclass - Arcane Rider

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Perhaps one of the coolest of the subclasses, this one will allow the player to form an inseparable bond with a mount of their choice. This will see the character sacrificing a lot of their Magus bonus feats, and instead of replacing them with Mounted Combat feats. This subclass does little in terms of altering the main mechanics of the Magus, so it can be a really great choice starting the game with a mount available without straying from the Arcane focus.

Magus Subclass - Armored Battlemage

The Armored Battlemage subclass is simply replacing the offensive capabilities with entirely defensive-based. The player will sacrifice Spell Combat and their Arcane Pool for the purposes of enhancing their weaponry, instead opting for enhancement of armor. This will also allow the spell caster access to higher-weight armors. This is a great choice for players who want to keep themselves alive while also dealing powerful magical damage.

Magus Subclass - Eldritch Archer

Much like the previous, this subclass will be replacing melee combat, although this one opts for archer-based combat instead. If the player cannot decide between a Warlock and a Ranger, this is the way to go as it takes the best of both worlds. This will sacrifice the player's spell combat and replace it with ranged spell combat.

Magus Subclass - Eldritch Scion

This subclass sees the player ditching the Arcana aspect of their magic, instead opting for an inherent ability instead. Where a Magus would usually learn their magic through tomes or learning skills, this subclass will have the player making an Eldritch bond of some kind to produce their magic. If the player is into role play, this is a great choice as it allows the player access to the Eldritch Bloodline, which will offer players different spells, skills, and abilities depending on their choice.

Players have a lot of options here in terms of bloodline choice, such as Draconic, Celestial, Undead, and so on, and these will add all sorts of abilities depending. Players who are more familiar with cRPG mechanics, or even more specifically Pathfinder, may find this class more enticing than a beginner as it is fairly micromanage-heavy and involves a lot of moving parts working together. So, while entirely fun with a lot of role-play potential, this is definitely one of the more advanced of the subclasses.

Magus Subclass - Hexcrafter

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This is a fun little subclass for those wanting to add a little extra evil to their Magus playthrough. This subclass will essentially replace the player's arcana with a heavy dose of witchcraft. This will allow the player to bestow curses or hexes on their foes with the weapon of their choice as well as the already incredibly powerful spells.

If the player is wanting to lean towards a more evil playthrough and feels limited by the magical options available to them, then the Hexcrafter would be a good choice.

Magus Subclass - Spell Dancer

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This is a heavy role play subclass. This subclass will force the player into playing as an elf. This subclass will see a lot of the arcane weapons and feats being replaced with movement ones, in particular the Spell Dance ability, making the player incredibly nimble.

This differs from a wizard in that it does allow for more martial ability. Players looking to dump into dexterity while also managing a good heap of spell casting will find this class appealing.

Magus Subclass - Sword Saint

This subclass will have the player focusing their arcana on one particular type of weapon versus the flexibility of all the martial ones. Players who have a specific weapon in mind that they know they will want to be using more or less exclusively throughout their campaign will find this a highly favorable subclass.

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This subclass will allow the player to dump loads of damage capability into their weapon, at the expense of a lot of defense. This is perhaps the truest of the Magus builds and is highly recommended as the damage output is insane. This subclass is a bit of a glass cannon in that regard, however, so it is more intended and recommended for more experienced players.

Race

In order to max out the Magus build, the player is going to want to focus on three abilities in particular. Unlike Sorcerers who use Charisma, the Magus will use Intelligence for the spell casting, Dexterity to avoid getting hit, and Strength to hit back hard in melee. Depending on the subclass chosen, this should be adjusted accordingly. For example, the Eldritch Archer subclass is not going to be getting up close and personal with the enemy, or at least they shouldn't.

In that case, they will want to prioritize Dexterity over Strength as much of their offensive capability will be related to Dexterity rolls since they are ranged attacks. In this case, the player will want to play as a race that may have some inherent ability already in these. The Elf race can be great for this, as it has +2 in both Dexterity and Intelligence, however, they come at the cost of -2 Constitution.

The Elf is probably going to be one of the best options for a Magus as they can easily put points in Constitution to mitigate the loss and beef up their HP, and they don't need to worry about those points being wasted by not going into Dexterity or Intelligence because of course the Elf already has those inherently. Otherwise, choosing a race that allows for the selection of +2 anywhere would be good, such as a Human, Half-Elf, or Half-Orc if players want to avoid the -2 on Constitution.

Racial Heritage

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This will of course change depending on the race chosen. Given the previous racial options in terms of maximizing the build, the Elf racial heritage "Loremaster" is going to be great in enhancing the already powerful build that is an Elf Magus.

Otherwise, anything related to intelligence or knowledge/lore of Arcana is going to be pretty vital here for spell casting. Those who opted perhaps more for martial or ranged attacks may want to consider selecting a racial heritage that enhances that ability, such as the "Hunter" heritage for a human if they are going for the Eldritch Archer.

Ability Points

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For a general Magus build, the player is going to want to balance spellcasting ability and damage output with maneuverability, so higher stats into Intelligence and Strength will be the most important for those using martial weaponry, while Intelligence and Dexterity will be best for those using ranged. This should only be the case however for players who don't use the "Weapon Finesse" feat, as this will allow the player to use Dexterity for attack rolls instead of Strength.

If players want to choose a different feat at the start then it is recommended to allocate points in Strength for martial weapon usage. Those opting for almost exclusive spell casting builds, will want to put the majority of their points into Intelligence, with Dexterity second for avoiding damage. For an optimal build using the Elf Loremaster as previously described, the player will want to put the max amount in Intelligence, with the rest in either Strength or Dexterity depending on martial or ranged weaponry respectively.

The rest should go into Dexterity for avoiding damage, and then if the player wants to use the remaining points to eliminate the negative modifier on Constitution, that would be a fine choice.

Skills

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The Magus generally will be needing a heavy dose of Arcana and Athletics. It is recommended to prioritize these two skills primarily. From there, the player can choose whatever feels right for role play or what feels important, although anything related to Knowledge and Lore will be fairly applicable to the player.

As a spell caster, it is less likely that the player will need to worry about using magical devices, as often they know these spells already instead of using scrolls or wands. In this case, the player may consider avoiding points in this one and instead opting more for perception or persuasion for more options with interacting with the world and its characters.

Feat

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Choosing the right feat is going to really be based on the player's choice of subclass. Otherwise, for a general Magus build, the "Weapon Finesse" feat is a great one to get started as it will replace the player's attack rolls with Dexterity rather than Strength.

For players wanting some different options, the "Combat Casting" is a good one if the player is going to be getting in the enemy's face a lot while also casting spells. This will help prevent missed rolls when Threatened or Distracted. "Toughness" may be a good starting option as well for those starting out a bit on the squishy side while waiting for those more powerful spells as they level.

Spells

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There are so many spells in the Pathfinder games it is incredible. Honestly, the player can really choose whatever spells they like, and they will all work well given appropriate use of it of course. Given the Magus, however, some good spells to maybe prioritize would be "Shocking Grasp" as it is a touch-based ability that is great if the player is melee-focused.

"Corrosive Touch" is good for the same reason. "Shield" is great of course for those squishier players, and "Magic Missile" is a great choice for guaranteed damage. Given the Magus gets to choose eight spells at the start, don't feel too worried about making the wrong choice here.

Deity and Beyond

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From here it is going to be entirely up to the player as it is preferential and role-play-based decisions. This is where the player can decide whether they want to follow the path of righteousness and help protect the lands against the demon incursion...or perhaps not! Keep in mind that the choice of Deity cannot be changed later, and it will have role play implications down the line.

Alignment however is a constantly changing and fluid structure that changes based on the player's actions and interactions with characters. Whatever the player decides to go down first is what will be immediately available in terms of dialogue choices, but fear not heathens as the path to redemption is entirely possible, even for the most wrathful.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is available now on PC, with console release set for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in autumn of 2022.

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Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous – The Best Magus Builds (2024)

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