Magus Feat Breakdown

Randal Reads Secrets of Magic: Magus Feat Breakdown

Welcome back to the continuation of the Secrets of Magic special review blog! If you missed the beginning, you can find it here! Yesterday, I started reading about the Magus. Today, we dive into magus class feats!

Magus Feats

1st level

Arcane Fists – For the brawlers among us. Ups unarmed damage and removes penalties for lethal damage.

Familiar – I mean, magus is an arcane caster, why not have a familiar?

Magus’ Analysis – [A] Recall Knowledge about a creature (+1 if you spellstriked them this turn). If successful, recharge your spellstrike.

Raise a Tome – [A] You can raise a book to gain a bonus to AC *and* gain a bonus to Recall Knowledge, as well as use Shield Block reactions. The wording implies that any action that allows you to Raise a Shield should also allow you to Raise a Tome, which is nice to see called out.

2nd level

Cantrip Expansion – If you love cantrips and want two more

Enhanced Familiar – When in Rome (I mean, if you can get a familiar, why not enhance it?).

Expansive Spellstrike – Now this is what we are playing the magus for! You can now use your spellstrike with spells that don’t have an attack roll, with a couple caveats. Critical failure on the attack roll means the spell is lost. If you hit, creatures use their normal defenses against the spell, such as saving throws. Otherwise, the spell effect’s origin is *basically* the point of impact for areas, bursts, cones, and lines. So, a starlit span magus wouldn’t shoot a lightning bolt between themselves and their target, but it would start with the target they hit and extend from there.

Force Fang – Magic Missile, Melee* Edition! Gain the force fang conflux spell. [A] your weapon becomes pure force and automatically hits for 1d4+1 force damage, adding 1d4+1 every 2 spell levels. *Compatible with Starlist Span by explicit wording, which again implies to me that Arcane Cascade should also be compatible.

Spell Parry – [A] Free hand guard, gaining +1 AC / Saves against incoming spells

Spirit Sheath – A magical extradimensional sheath for a weapon 1 Bulk or less, can draw for free as part of a spellstrike.

4th level

Devastating Spellstrike (Inexorable Iron) – [A][A] Make a spellstrike and deal splash damage. You gotta be in Arcane Cascade stance do use it, but it is a simple little upgrade to your spellstrike that can add up over time.

Distracting Spellstrike (laughing shadow) – [A][A] Free Feint against the target of your spellstrike before making the actual Strike. Free Feint? Yes, please!

Emergency Targe (sparkling targe) – [R] raise shield or cast shield when you get hit and resolve the attack against your new AC. I really like freebee defense options, and freebee shield spell is so fun.

Starlit Eyes (starlit span) – In Arcane Cascade, your flat checks against concealed creatures are 2 less. When casting shooting star, you do not roll to target a hidden creature. Any chance I get to lower a DC or not roll against one, sign me up!

Steady Spellcasting – Ahh, Combat Casting returns! If a Reaction disrupts your casting, a DC 15 flat check to keep it.

Striker’s Scroll – You can use Affix a Talisman to attach a scroll to your weapon, thus allowing you to use that scroll to spellstrike. This really extends the daily options available to a magus, and I look forward to trying it.

Student of the Staff (twisting tree) – critical specialization with staff, and deadly d6 in Arcane Cascade. Better yet, you can place property runes on a magic staff as part of your preparation!

6th level

Attack of Opportunity – Ahh, for the fighter inside you.

Cascade Countermeasure – Learn cascade countermeasure conflux spell. [A] your arcane cascade stance provides resistance 5 against spells, adding 5 every 3 levels.

Knowledge is Power – Wow, the name wasn’t kidding. A critical success on a Recall Knowledge check gets you (and allies if you choose to tell them) a single +1 against that foe (attack, AC, or save) for up to 1 minute. The temp status of this seems light, but if you all get it, that is pretty handy, and there isn’t a recharge/reset on this ability … roll another Recall!

Shielded Tome – This is a really fun way of tricking/motivating/inviting people into using tomes in place of shields. During daily prep, you can fuse a shield and a tome, so that the tome shares the shield’s stats in combat. You can still read the tome, and you can switch its form back/forth with just an action! Really fun times and shenanigans to be had there.

8th level

Arcane Scrapper Sample Build
Capture Magic – This. This will make me try harder to use Arcane Cascade. You gain a reaction that let’s you absorb magic from a failed magical attack against you (they fail attack roll or you succeed on the save) … and you can enter Arcane Cascade or add +2 to your bonus for a round.

Fused Staff – I am really digging the fusion options. Fuse a staff with another weapon. Single action to switch forms. They both use the highest potency and striking runes present, but otherwise you only have access to the weapon/runes of the current form.

Runic Impression – Learn the runic impression conflux spell. [A] for 1 minute you (or your weapon) gain one of the following runes: corrosive, flaming, frost, ghost touch, returning, shock, or thundering; at 8th they upgrade to greater and you add keen. I really like this type of focus usage … it really allows you to have access to elements you need without devoting your weapon to one or two runes.

Spell Swipe – I was not expecting to see a 3 action spellstrike … but one that lets you attack two adjacent targets from one spellstrike … you had me at … ahem, well, you had me until it said melee only and explicitly denied starlit span. I look forward to seeing its version of this feat.

Standby Spell – This is good. I am not yet sure if it is 8th level feat good, but I like it. Choose a spell in your spellbook that you can cast (still using a spell slot) without preparing … and you can change it anytime you add a new spell or study for 1 hour. Versatility is always good.

10th level

Cascading Ray – The name alone has promise. Ok, I had to read this twice. After you hit with a spellstrike, you use this [A] action to recycle that spell energy into a ray that shoots out from the target (not hitting them again) up to 60 ft, allowing you a spell attack roll (same MAP as the spellstrike) to do damage of the same energy type as your spell. The damage is 1d4 per spell level (or 1d8 damage if you used a spell slot to cast the spell). That last bit has interesting implications, but looks pretty solid at sorting cantrips and focus spells from “normal” spells. I really wanna use this feat.

Dazzling Block (sparkling targe) – In Arcane Cascade stance, a Shield Block creates a cone effect that dazzles or blinds. This calls to my mind some fun anime visuals, and I am here for it.

Dimensional Disappearance (laughing shadow) – This is an interesting alteration to dimensional assault. After you teleport, you become invisible (per invisibility) until after your Strike … or you can opt out of the Strike and stay invisible. Again, options are always good.

Lunging Spellstrike (twisting tree) – Another way to alter your spellstrike, this time with the visual of a magical three section staff! A spellstrike with a non-cantrip non-focus spell alters the staff to increase its reach by 5 ft per spell level. I am starting to like this usage of “normal” spells as a qualifier for making some options more special / limited.
Arcane Fist Sample Build
Meteoric Spellstrike (starlit span) – Ok, another spellstrike modifier … but does it make up for not getting Spell Swipe? No cantrip, no focus spell. All creatures in the line between you and your target take damage equal to double the spell’s level (type as Arcane Cascade) … and it doesn’t say that you have to actually hit your target! Hmm. Not sure it makes up for Spell Swipe, but this can potentially do a bit of damage.

Oh, man, the visual of combining this with Cascading Ray … gives me a bit of a DBZ vibe of a powerful attack hitting baddies in a line and then upon striking its target it turns into a big ball of energy that then explodes into a ray that goes through the baddie into another beyond them. Alas, the wording is such that these abilities that modify/upgrade spellstrikes don’t count as spellstrikes for requirements of feats like Cascading Ray

Rapid Recharge – Once per day free action to recharge Spellstrike. With so many cool options, I will have to play a higher level magus more to see if I need that recharge over another option.

Sustaining Steel (inexorable iron) – This is interesting. In Arcane Stance, any time you Cast a Spell, you can use this [F] free action to regain double the spell level in Hit Points and roll to end persistent negative damage … free healing … hmm.

12th level

Conflux Focus – Classic refocus for 2 points instead of 1

Magic Sense – Detect magic in your field of vision … hell yeah! Seems high, but it is always on *and* you aren’t a pure wizard, so … what level should a wizard get this feat at?

Overwhelming Spellstrike – Ok, name’s got promise! The spell you cast as part of the Spellstrike ignores some resistances equal to your level. That’s a nice upgrade.

14th level

Arcane Shroud – Huh, an upgrade to Arcane Cascade. [A] After a spellstrike or casting a spell, this action does Arcane Cascade and also grants a spell based on the spell’s school (stoneskin, blink, see invis, heroism, fire shield, invis, false life, fleet step).

Hasted Assault – Gain hasted assault conflux spell. [A] quickened (Strike only) for 1 minute

Preternatural Parry – [R] Reaction to gain +2 to AC or save against a Strike or spell attack or effect.

16th level

Dispelling Spellstrike – Another 3 action spellstrike upgrade. If you hit you can try to counteract a spell of your choice on the target. That could be pretty fun, especially at those levels.

Resounding Cascade – [F] When you enter a basic Arcane Cascade, your allies within 5 ft can sorta benefit. While limited, extra damage is extra damage, and well timed extra elemental damage can mean huge results.

18th level

Spell Sniper Sample Build
Conflux Wellspring – Classic refocus for 3 points instead of 1

Versatile Spellstrike – This is interesting. You can set aside a spell slot while preparing that you can later fill as part of a spellstrike … allowing you to get just the right spell at just the right time … I can see being on the fence of “potentially perfect spell” vs “already low on slots”.

20th level

Supreme Spellstrike – Permanent quickened, only for Strike or recharge Spellstrike. That’s good, but …

Whirlwind Spell – The ultimate 3 action Spellstrike. Strike all enemies in your reach, count MAP after the spellstrike, the spell only effects up to its cap of targets, unless you use Expansive Spellstrike. Oh, and, no starlit span … looks like I will be taking Supreme Spellstrike for my magus …


Ok … that, was a lot of class info. While the theme seems to be fun upgrades to spellstrike unless you are a starlit span … I think the options I have for my archer magus are going to make him pretty powerful without those couple melee only choices. I think for my starlit span magus, I will choose the following route:

Expansive Spellstrike (2nd), Striker’s Scroll (4th), Cascade Countermeasure (6th) [or maybe Steady Spellcasting (4th)], Runic Impression (8th), Meteoric Spellstrike (10th), Cascading Ray (10th), Arcane Shroud (14th), Dispelling Spellstrike (16th), Versatile Spellstrike (18th), Supreme Spellstrike (20th)


That wraps up the Magus. Thanks for reading along … tune in tomorrow as I start reading about the Summoner! And, as always, please join us at our Discord server https://discord.gg/Rt79BAj to let me know what you think or simply have a chat!

Randal Meyer

As a lover of crunch (rules and numbers), Randal is always tinkering with rules options. His love of magic users has led him to always fuss with the mechanics of magic and magic items. Years of GMing on the fly have given him endless ideas and content from which to draw on for adventures (ideas, plots, NPCs). When not working, gaming, or playing with his kids, Randal is likely working on improving Sage (his Discord bot for immersive play-by-post gaming that you can see in action on Know Direction's Discord in the Know Direction Societous PFS channels) over at https://www.patreon.com/halfmugtavernsage!

Randal Reads Secrets of Magic: Magus Overview
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