Fox’s Cunning – Summon-Dex Part 4

Last time on Summon-Dex Z: I analyzed the options for Summon Celestial, Elemental and Fey! This week we are going to look into character options from the Advanced Player’s Book and review the remaining summon spells: Animated Undead, Summon Fiend and Unseen Custodians!

Summon-Dex Navigation:
Part 1: Summon Animal (arcane, primal)
Part 2: Abberations (occult)/Constructs & Dragons (arcane)/Giants & Plants (primal)
Part 3: Celestials (divine)/Fey (occult, primal)/Elementals (arcane, primal)
Part 4: Undead (arcane, divine, occult)/Fiend (divine)
Part 5: Lesser Divine Servitor/Anarch/Axiom (divine)

Advanced Player’s Guide Character Options

While I love summoning, it isn’t the-all-end-all of character options. It has some limitations and backdraws that you need to be aware of if you want to play an effective summoner. Note that you can get some of the class-specific feats listed below with multiclass devotions!

• Final Sacrifice: This spell is incredible and can be used by any of the four traditions! It’s basically a 2nd level fireball (meaning it heightens better than a normal fireball too) that requires you destroy one of your summons to cast it. It’s perfect for those summons you bring out just to use a single area of effect attack, debuff or spell. It’s especially potent with an exploration mode Unseen Servant.

• Witch/Druid: Using Rites of Convocation or Elemental Summons you can spend 10 minutes to replace any prepared spell with a summon spell. This is really nice, as a summoner will want a summon spell prepared at all times but will rarely have to cast their summon more than once per encounter. You might want to spend some downtime retraining Rites of Convocation as you level depending on which summon monster spell is best at that tier.

Aasimar/Tiefling: Summon Celestial/Fiendish Kin are ancestry feats that let you cast Summon Celestial/Fiend once per day. But they limit you based on your heritage and the spells do not heighten. Plus since these are 13th level feats, you are using this spell 3 or 4 levels after the 5th level monsters were really relevant.

Dust of Corpse Animation/Oil of Object Animation: Basically a one use Summon. It can only summon creatures up to level 3 and costs around 3x more than a scroll, but not everyone can use those. They also require having a corpse or object around to use.

Sources Note: Going by Pathfinder Society guidelines, I’ve only included monsters from the Bestiary, not from Adventures. Bestiary 2 is not yet sanctioned, so there is a chance options marked B2 may not be legal for Society, but they are still more likely to be allowed by most GMs.

Animate Dead (Arcane, Divine, Occult)

While technically not a “summon” spell, the spell shares enough similarities that we can compare it’s minion selection alongside other conjuration spells. Note that with this review I am assuming that minions are unaffected by the Slow condition because of how they get actions, but you can effectively downgrade most minions that are permanently slowed by 1 or 2 stars.

Home Rule: I would tentatively allow casters to spend up to two actions to give a zombie minion up to two actions. Or you can allow zombies the second action if the caster summons the creature with the spell heightened above what it needs to be to summon that variety of zombie.

Spell 1:

★★★★★ Crawling Hand (B1) — Amazing Controller. It can grab very well and has lifesense and tremorsense.
★★★★☆ Predatory Rabbit (BD) — Good Controller. Memes aside, you are summoning this for Stench. Decent AC and  the bonus to disease spells is good too. Sense Companion has some niche but potentially delicious uses if you are tracking someone down and only have their dead pet.
★★★☆☆ Skeleton Guard (B1) — Decent Tank. It has low hit-points but some decent resistances. It can hold someone back for a couple actions at level 1.
★★☆☆☆ Severed Head (B3) — Mediocre Striker. +1 Star as a Debuffer if your GM let’s you use the Fiendish or Entangling Beheaded ability. Being able to make someone bleed if you succeed at two attack rolls involving MAP is pretty lame. Doesn’t have resistances like the Skeleton Guard. But it can Fly!
★★☆☆☆ Zombie Shambler (B1) — Mediocre Striker. If it get’s two actions per round, it’s the strongest undead as it’s a better grabber, tank and striker than anything else on this list. With one action? It’s worse than the skeleton.


Heightened (2nd):

★★★★☆ Festrog (B3) — Strong Striker. Strong and consistent base damage with automatic damage (and healing) using Feast. Diseased Pustules means you want to position it away from the party, but close to other enemies, making it a great flank partner.
★★★★☆ Scorned Hound (BD) — Strong Striker. Animating your enemy’s loyal companion gives you a very solid striker. Also great in exploration mode using create undead or master of death to track someone down.
★★★★☆ Skeletal Soldier (BD) — Strong Tank/Striker. Good resistances, a ranged, reach, and melee weapon. The glaive also has deadly. And you can use this to effectively summon an armory incase your fighter really needs a weapon. Set Defense isn’t really useful as a minion.
★★★☆☆ Festering Gnasher (BD) — Decent Niche Striker. Having a fly speed at this level isn’t bad. Brain rot is too slow to be viable.
★★☆☆☆ Ghoul (B1) — Mediocre Niche Controller. The paralysis probably isn’t going to work, since it’s incapacitation. But it is intelligent and has a burrow speed.
★★☆☆☆ Mummified Cat (BD) — Niche Striker. The damage is okay for a Creature 0, but you probably want a Creature 1 at this spell level. Climb speed and scent are neat. Aura of Repose can be useful if you can pick this minion up for days at a time.
★☆☆☆☆ Plague Zombie (B1) — Poor Controller. If it gets two actions per round it can use that grab and becomes a four or five star monster.
★☆☆☆☆ Wolf Skeleton (BD) — Poor Tank. Decent Mount (+2 stars) with Surge of Speed and Knockdown isn’t bad. The resistances and AC make it decent, if only it had Creature 1 stats.
☆☆☆☆☆ Zombie Snake (BD) — Terrible Debuffer. It’s permanently slowed. Stats are mediocre (it’ll get crit all day long). Filth Fever takes 1d4 hours to take effect.

Heightened (3rd):

★★★★★ Draugr (B1) — Amazing Debuffer. It can sicken on hit or when destroyed. It has a swim speed and can hit multiple enemies.
★★★★★ Shredskin (BD) — Amazing Single-Target Controller. Decent damage and a constrict ability. Compression and a fly speed are a plus. Enshroud is solid. Control Body has some niche utility.
★★★★☆ Lacedon (BD) — Amazing Multi-Target Cnotroller. Paralyzing Spew is an incredible debuff. Solid swim speed and corpse scent are useful in water. Only 4 stars because the DC doesn’t scale so its only really useful for the first level and it has the incapacitation trait.
★★★★☆ Squirming Swill (B3) — Good Debuffer Niche Utility. Malodorous Smoke plus Slippery Grease means you get to sicken and trip. Motion sense and swim speed are both useful. Magical Brother doesn’t work on a summon.
★★★☆☆ Flaming Skull (B3)  — Decent Striker. The persistent fire damage is okay. It can light stuff on fire and fly. Might hurt your party when they die!
★★★☆☆ Ghast (B1) — Decent Niche Debuffer. It has a stench that can make people sickened and can paralyze like a ghoul (although that’s even less likely to be useful at this tier, since it’s incapacitation).  You’ll be summoning this for the sickening stench.
★★★☆☆ Husk Zombie (BD) — Decent Striker. It is slow, but it has a very high attack and sneak attack. If it can use sudden surge it becomes a 4-star for the single combat auto-flat-footed plus action surge, but it’s turn never really “begins” as a minion.
★★★☆☆ Decrepit Mummy (BD) — Decent Striker. The mummy we have at home. Fun for long-term disease spreading I suppose, but Crumbling Form hurts. It does have decent damage, and theoretically is great for translating stuff thanks to its language entry!
★★★☆☆ Skeletal Horse (B1) — Decent Mount. A horse is probably cheaper, but there are some cool points to having an undead pokehorse, and those resistances are nice. Just don’t beat it.
★★☆☆☆ Zombie Brute (B1) — Mediocre Striker. Becomes five star with two actions. Even with just one action per turn it has push and it’s large size with reach.
★☆☆☆☆ Skeletal Champion (B1) — Poor Tank. It does damage. It has reach. Without reactions, this isn’t that good. AC isn’t bad, but also isn’t great. I suppose it comes with a back up Steel Shield, Longsword and Lance if your fighter needs it.


Heightened (4th):

★★★★☆ Fiddling Bones(BD) — Good Controller. Dance with Death is why you’ll summon this. Destructive Finale has a high DC for this level. Theater Lore and summoned instruments can be useful.
★★★★☆ Combusted (BD) — Good Striker: AoE and Persistant Damage plus Intense Heat means the Combusted will throw solid damage.
★★★☆☆ Deathless Acolyte of Urgathoa (BD) — Decent Spellcaster Healer. Especially for undead PCs, the fast healing and being able to cast Harm three times is really good. If you have a non-undead in the party they can benefit too using Touch of Undeath.

★★★☆☆ Trailgaunt (B3) — Decent Debuffer. It can lower movement speed and cause frightened. Burrow speeds are useful. Tremorsense.
★★★☆☆ Wight (B1) — Decent Debuffer. It can inflict drained.
★★☆☆☆ Zombie Owlbear (BD) — Mediocre Debuff Tank. Stats are good, but it is slowed. Grab is good. Ground Slam will require a critical success on Grab. Horrifying Screech is a nice debuff for a single-action.
★★☆☆☆ Skeletal Giant (B1) — Mediocre Niche Tank. It can try to attack two creatures, or charge and try to demoralize. It does have 15-foot reach on a large body, so it can occupy space?


Heightened (5th):

★★★★★ Shadow (B1) — Amazing Niche Debuffer. It has a fly speed, incorporeality and intelligence, so it makes a great scout. It can also inflict enfeebled. Creating spawn is really nice, but remember that they disappear when the summoned monster leaves. Negative energy melee attacks are useful too!
★★★★★ Taunting Skill (BD) — Amazing Tank. Incessant Goading is everything we’ve wanted in a monster. The fact it’s a single action means the creature can goad two creatures at once (or try to goad the same creature twice), assuming reach works. How it’s worded infers that a creature will even have to strike the skull if it moves into reach, so you can tactically place your skull between yourself and your target to make them go for your minion instead. It’s Jaws damage is decent.
★★★★☆ Ghul (BD) — Good Striker Controller. High hit points, fire resistance, a climb speed, Grab, persistant bleed, and the ability to fascinate everyone within 60-foot is very nice (watch out for allies). It also comes with a planar language!
★★★★☆ Harpy Skeleton (B3)  — Good Striking Tank. The AoE has a DC 26 save! It also does pretty good damage with its alon and can fly. Good resistances, AC and HP.
★★★★☆ Iruxi Ossature (BD) Good Controller and Iruxi Buffer. Terrain Advantage gives it a very high effective attack modifier for its level. Fossil Fury is why you summon this, letting you create a 30-foot cone of difficult terrain. 5-Stars in an Iruxi Party and Territory, where it can give everyone +1 status. Even without the status bonus, Totem of the Past will Dazzle. Technically you could build a wall using downtime if you are an Iruxi player. Swim speed and lifesense are great. Twilight Spark means you can summon it even against undead with a pesky allied cleric who spams positive energy.
★★★★☆ Namorrodor (B3)  — Good Debuff Niche Striker. Causes most enemies to become frightened 1 and, if you are playing a fear build, forces enemies to stay frightened as long as they are within 30 feet. It can Lifesense from the Shadow Plane to Material Plane. It also has a decent Grab. In a chase, it can stride twice and bite (with 40 ft speed).
★★★★☆ Poltergeist (B1) — Good Niche Caster. Incorporeal and flies. Casts telekinetic maneuver (at will). Can effectively AoE with telekinetic swarm. Natural invisibility and incorporeality make it an amazing scout (plus it’s intelligent and can speak common).
★★★★☆ Priest of Kabriri (BD) — Good Caster. Touch of Undeath to two party members will let him (and you) heal more targets with Harm. Chilling Darkness and Silence are solid niche spells. Paralysis is a nice rider if you can hit any low-Fort creatures.
★★★★☆ Skeletal Mage (BD) — Good Caster. Lightning Bolt, Magic Missile, Paralyze, Acid Arrow, Enlarge and Grease are all solid spells. He has enough spells that he can cast every round and has the resistances needed to survive a couple rounds.
★★★☆☆ Attic Whisperer (B1) — Decent Niche Debuffer. It’s aura causes stupefied and Steal Voice let’s it silence a target, so it can ruin the day of a caster. It’s not likely to work against the named final boss given this is a 4th level creature, but it has its niches.
★★★☆☆ Skaveling (B1) — Decent Debuffer. It has a feat AoE and it’s paralysis bite can slow even on a successful save. They have a 30-foot fly speed and echolocation.
★★★☆☆ Vampire Spawn Rogue (B1) — Decent Niche Debuffer. It can grab, fly and inflict drain. It’s also likely to know whatever regional language you’re in and is intelligent.
★☆☆☆☆ Ghost Commoner (B1) — Poor Debuffer. It can cause frightened, flies and is a decent scout since it’s incorporeal. But it’s not as good as a poltergeist.
★☆☆☆☆ Giant Crawling Hand (B1) — Poor Controller. It can grab. That’s basically it.
★☆☆☆☆ Withered (BD) — Mediocre Striker. It only does decent damage with sneak and even then it’s not the best on the list. You’ll have to talk to your GM about using Sudden Surge, but that would make it a 2-star monster.


Heightened (6th):

★★★★★ Greater Shadow (B1) — Amazing Niche Debuff. Incorporeal, flight and still able to create spawn. It also gets darkness (at will) and can inflict enfebbled 2.
★★★★★ Specter (B1) — Amazing Debuff Striker. Incorporeal flier with telepathy. It has a frightful presence and can auto-win combat with it’s incapacitation effect, or at least inflict stupefied 2 if they make the save. 6d6 negative damage on hit isn’t bad either.
★★★☆☆ Abandoned Zealot (B3) — Decent Niche Controller. Will wreck lower level divine casters. Will annoy same or higher level divine casters. Can automatically detect “false priests”, fly, lifesense, and cast crisis of faith and zealous conviction (self only).
★★★☆☆ Mummy Guardian (B1) — Decent Debuff. It can inflict frightened 1 without a saving throw.
★★★☆☆ Vampire Count (B1) — Decent Niche Caster. It can grab and inflict drained. It can cast dominate (at will). But it’s best use is controlling certain swarms and other animals with Children of the Night (no save, but table variation). It also has a +1 rapier, in case you are desperate for a backup weapon for a minute.
★☆☆☆☆ Beetle Carapace (BD) — Poor Niche Utility Controller. Grab and construct aren’t bad, but it’s weaker than a Revenant at it. The abdomen cache makes this a potential exploration mode utility minion.
★☆☆☆☆ Hungry Ghost (BD) — Poor Damage Dealer. Incorporeal and flight are fine, but Feed on the Living isn’t great. It can potentially do ‘save damage’ instead of ‘to hit damage’, but you can’t delay it for a full minute as a summoned minion.
★☆☆☆☆ Revenant (B1) — Poor Niche Controller. It can grab and cause frightened. It can constrict. Sense murderer can break a campaign depending on how your GM rules you “dredging up a body” with the use of this spell (unlikely).
★☆☆☆☆ Vrykolakas Spawn (B1) — Poor Niche Controller. It can grab and inflict drain, but not as well as the Vampire Count. You might be able to get some creative solution leverage out of feral possession, but probably not.
★☆☆☆☆ Wraith (B1) — Poor Debuffer. It’s an incorporeal flier that can inflict drained. It can potentially create spawn, but probably not with the 1d4 round timer. Lifesense isn’t bad.
★☆☆☆☆ Sulfur Zombie (B3) — Poor Debuffer. The slowed condition makes this bad. It’s 4 stars if your GM let’s you give it both actions, as Blinding Sulfur is pretty good, and Death Throes are a fun plus.
☆☆☆☆☆ Skeletal Hulk (B1) — Terrible Striker. It does damage.
☆☆☆☆☆ Totenmaske (B1) — Terrible Niche. The only reason to summon this is to use shape flesh, and it’s such a niche ability I just can’t think of when I’d want to use it.
☆☆☆☆☆ Zombie Hulk (B1) — Terrible Striker. It does damage.

Heightened (7th):

★★★★★ Geist (BD) — Great Niche Utility Debuffer. Being able to turn off a Haunt for a round is a fabulous unique ability and is probably the reason the Geist is banned in Organized Play. Telepathy, flight, incorporeality, and terrifying laugh are also solid.
★★★☆☆ Daqqanoenyent (BD) — Decent Controller. Grab plus Snatch is great against non-fliers (falling damage). Baleful Gaze is a solid AoE frightened effect.
★★★☆☆ Raw Nerve (BD) — Decent Utility. Electricty damage is hard to get using Animate Dead. Stopping reactions is useful. Thoughtsense, telepathy, and a +20 Lore are all useful.
★★☆☆☆ Tyrannosaurus Skeleton (B1) — Poor Controller. It has decent immunities but is pretty fragile for this tier. It can grab and rib skewer is a decent use of a second action, but there’s not enough versatility to make this an adequate choice for a 7th level spell slot.
★★☆☆☆  Vetalarana Emergent (BD) — Poor Niche Utility. Grab is okay and thoughtsense is neat, but the best use for this monster is draining thoughts which is very GM dependent.
★☆☆☆☆ Baykok (B3)  — Poor Striker. It flies and can deal damage. It can potentially paralyze, but will most likely only slow if you are lucky, since it’s an incapacitate effect on a 9th level summon.
★☆☆☆☆ Ghost Pirate Captain (BD) — Whiel incorporeal and capable of using Combat Current to do some decent negative damage, ultimately the only real use this monster has is for its sailing lore. Curse Ye Scallywags! might work if you have a very giving GM.
★☆☆☆☆ Dread Wraith (B1) —Poor Niche Debuffer. Flying incorporeal creature that inflicts drained in an aura and can create spawn. Destroying it’s spawn to do damage in a line is a neat trick,especially if there are other wraiths in the room already. Lifesense.
★☆☆☆☆ Mohrg (B1) — Poor Controller. It grabs and creates spawn. The paralysis is unlikely to ever work at this tier.
☆☆☆☆☆ Drake Skeleton (BD) — Terrible Striker. While it can attack three times the damage isn’t that great and Fragile Wings makes it a terrible mount.
☆☆☆☆☆ Zombie Dragon (B1) — Terrible Striker. It does damage and is slow. It has an AoE and can fly.


Heightened (8th):

★★★★☆ Clacking Skull Swarm (B3) — Great Controller AoE. Drop it into a group and watch them deal with the AoE damage, frightened, and confusion conditions each round as the swarm tears them apart. The death throes are icing on the cake.
★★★★☆ Unrisen (BD) — Great Niche Utility. Death Grip gives you a way to potentially make more undead, just make sure you have a way to control them. Awful Approach throws out Sickened. Agonized Howl is a pretty good AoE. Best use of this undead is against a positive energy caster, so he is better in an undead campaign.
★★★☆☆ Bhuta (B1) — Decent Niche Caster. Has access to neat primal spells and effect, including speak with animals, summon animal, command (animals only), charm (animals only), and animal vision. Possess Animal and Primal Corruption make this an excellent choice against an animal. Ask your GM abount bound.
★★★☆☆ Corpseroot (BD) — Niche Tank. Great against plants. Branch does decent damage, but you’ll likely want to grab. Huge!
★★★☆☆ Provincial Jian-Shi (BD) — Decent Caster. Can cast harm (×7), spirit blast, vampiric exsanguination, shadow blast, enervation, ghostly tragedy (×2), bind undead, and fear (×3). Drain Qi has some uses. Can speak Tien. Breathsense (precise) is useful.
★★★☆☆ Vrykolakas Master (B1) — Decent Niche Caster. Can cast vampiric touch (×3) and fear (×3). Can inflict drained and dominate animals. You are summoning this for Children of the Night to control werewolves and similar creatures, but ask your GM before you try it.
★★☆☆☆ Ghost Mage (B1) — Poor Caster. An incorporeal flier that can cause fear, has ranks in Arcana and can cast cone of cold, hallucination, phantasmal killer, suggestion, blindness, dispel magic, nondetection, telekinetic maneuver  and ray of enfeeblement. The DCs are really low by the time you can cast this, so it’s probably not worth it since these are mostly offensive spells.
★★☆☆☆ Graveknight (B1) — Poor Niche Control AoE. Devastating blast does some fair damage if you are lucky on that 1d4. You’ll mostly use this against enemies using positive energy, which is more niche than usual for your typical good aligned adventurers, but it does happen. It has ranks in Warfare Lore.
★☆☆☆☆ Zombie Mammoth (BD) — Poor Controller. Improved Grab on a huge creature with 15-foot reach is solid. Constrict and trample aren’t bad. Permanent slow is bad. -1 Star if your GM decides the trunk doesn’t move when severed.


Heightened (9th):

★★★☆☆ Vanyver (BD) — Great Niche Spellcaster. Banned in PFS. Being able to cast ten Dispel Magic-like effects with Drain Magic during the minute you have this guy is insane. The pull effect and enfeebled on entropy’s shadow is solid. Sunlight powerlessness makes the vanyvr’s environment dependent. Drain Magic can be very powerful. Can cast plane shift (to Material Plane; Negative Energy Plane; or Shadow Plane only), dispel magic (at will), harm (×3), darkness, see invisibility. Has telepathy (100 feet), Lifesense, and Negative Energy/Shadow Plane Lore!
★★☆☆☆ Silent Stalker (BD) —Decent Niche Utility. A 10-foot aura of silence that can move around the battlefield isn’t bad. The best use for this is summoning a murder victim to hunt down their murderer, which is very GM dependent.
☆☆☆☆☆ Llorona (BD) — Poor Controller. Wail can stun each living creature within 120 feet, but you are more likely to stun your party and even then it has incapacitation. Funeral Touch can drain, but that’s also underwhelming.
☆☆☆☆☆ Skeletal Titan (BD) — Bad Controller Tank. It can take a couple hits. It can create areas of difficult terrain, but it can’t use mountain slam as a summoned creature and it only affects one square per action. 20-squares of difficult terrain is not worth a 9th-level spell slot.


Heightened (10th):

★★★★☆ Sykever (BD) —Banned in PFS. Graining Gaze is a solid debuff. It can cast splent of spells including harm (×3), paralyze, plane shift (to Material Plane; Negative Energy Plane; or Shadow Plane only), true seeing, darkness (at will), invisibility (×3). Entropy’s Shadow is a nice constant AoE aura. Watch out for Sunlight Powerlessness.
★★★★☆ Tormented (BD) — Great Striker AoE. Banned in PFS. Tortured Gaze can inflict Slowed 1, negate concealment, knock enemies prone, or even do 8d4 persistent bleed damage in a 30-foot aura with a decent saving throw! Plus it can use Scream of Agony and will likely recharge it each round if it takes a crit, easily letting it stick around for 3 rounds and potentially doing 32d6 mental damage plus the triple rounds of endless suffering (assuming your opponent’s try to attack them).
★★★☆☆ Hollow Serpent (BD) — Good AoE Control Striker. Desiccation Aura is your reason fro summoning the Hollow Serpent. Slithering Strike and Improved Grab are both solid, and vampiric exsanguination is a good AoE spell.
★☆☆☆☆ Gallowdead (BD) — Poor Striker. Aura of Frightened isn’t bad, but 3d8+4d6+14 damage isn’t going to cut it. Chain Capture and Gallow Curse don’t work on summons. You can flip off Tar-Baphon when you summon them, which is fun. And +2 striking spiked chain incase your fighter loses their weapon, I guess?
★☆☆☆☆ Minister Of Tumult (BD) — Poor Striker. It can use Bone Corpse Stance to make a target potentially fall prone if they Stride after they are striked if you use Drain Qi, but that takes a full round of set-up and only lasts one round and involves an attack roll and a save.



Summon Fiend (Divine)

Since the lowest level this spell can be cast is 5th level, many of the lowest level creatures you can summon are too weak to be helpful at the earliest tier they can be cast. They would only be useful in extremely niche situations.

Spell 5:

★★★★★ Brimorak (B3) — Amazing Utility Striker. This guy does impressive damage and comes packed with a breath weapon and fireball. It also has dimension door, dispel magic, and can produce a smokescreen every round. It can even use telepathy to help the party navigate the smoke.
★★★★★ Ostiarius (B1) — Amazing Buff Striker. It has an aura of sickened and can inspire courage like a bard (albeit for some minimal damage). It has a potent attack for this tier and can cast enthrall, wanderer’s guide, calm emotions (at will), darkness and silence. If you are caught in the Shadow Plane, sense portal can help get you home. It also has telepathy 100 feet and painsight.
★★★★☆ Barbazu (Bearded Devil) (B1) — Great Striker. Decent bonus and infernal wound is pretty good. Reposition can help get into a flank (or in range for wriggling beard). Wriggling beard means it might actually hit with two strikes per turn.
★★★☆☆ Abrikandilu (B3) — Good Niche Striker. Wreck doesn’t apply to or count MAP, so this summon gets four attacks at full MAP against an unattended object (or attended mirror) per round. It’s not often that you need to use magic to destroy an object, but when you do, summon an abrikandilu!
★★★☆☆ Aghash (B3) — Good Debuffer. Can frighten or stun targets with its gaze. Can cast outcast’s curse, touch of idiocy, and illusory object.
★★★☆☆ Nucol (B3) — Decent Striker. It does okay damage, but no extra relevant effects. It does have the highest Athletics in this tier. Has scent and telepathy.
★★☆☆☆ Ostiarius (B3) — Poor Niche Tank. You might fight an enemy who can only deal damage that this is immune to, but that’s very unlikely at this tier. This would be amazing if you could summon it with a first-level spell.
★☆☆☆☆ Barghest (B1) — Poor Caster. It has confusion and levitate (at will).
★☆☆☆☆ Dandasuka (B1) — Poor Caster. It has clairvoyance, clairaudience, and mind reading (at will).
★☆☆☆☆ Imp (B1) — Poor Niche Scout. Infernal Temptation isn’t bad, but not worth a 5th level spell. It has flight, invisibility (at will, self only) and detect alignment (at will, good only).
★☆☆☆☆ Quasit (B1) — Poor Niche Scout.It has flight, invisibility (at will, self only) and detect alignment (at will, good only).
★☆☆☆☆ Dretch (B3) — Poor Niche Utility. It can potentially get 2.5 actions per round, if your GM lets a summoned dretch still use its Sloth ability. Most GMs will not, making it a zero star.
☆☆☆☆☆ Augur (B1) — Terrible Debuffer. Saves are too low for a 5th level spell.
☆☆☆☆☆ Cacodaemon (Harvester Daemon) (B1) — Terrible Scout. It has detect alignment (at will; good only), Telepathy and Flight. It can go invisible at will.
☆☆☆☆☆ Doru (B3) — Terrible Spellcaster. Can cast illusory object.
☆☆☆☆☆ Esipil (B3) — Terrible Debuffer. Can cast fear and turn into a small domestic animal.
☆☆☆☆☆ Hell Hound (B1) — Terrible AoE. The breath weapon is too weak.
☆☆☆☆☆ Lemure (B1) — Terrible. It’s poop.
☆☆☆☆☆ Yeth Hound (B1) — Terrible Striker.
☆☆☆☆☆ Zebub (Accuser Devil) (B1) — Terrible Scout. It has, summon animal (swarm creatures only), flight and telepathy 100 feet.

Heightened (6th):

★★★★☆ Babau (Blood Demon) (B1) — Good Striker. 1d8+5d6 plus frightened 2 isn’t bad. Make sure to summon it into a flanking position for that sneak attack damage. It can cast darkness. It also has telepathy and see invisibility.
★★★★☆ Evangelist (B1) — Good Control Debuffer. The aura of frightened 2 is great. Animated chains that pin people into place is super useful too. Painsight is neat.
★★★★☆ Levaloch (B3) — Good Striker. The net and trident combination is going to deal 2d8+3d6 damage per strike, with a good attack bonus and range. Better damage than the baubau, but a little less utility.
★★★★☆ Nightmare (B1) — Good Mount. A one-sided smoke effect is always a plus. You can heighten the spell to grab plane shift (self and rider only). And it has a 90 ft fly speed.
★★★★☆ Succubus (Lust Demon) (B1) — Good Control Caster. Seductive Presence actually makes the spell DC’s decent and it can inflict drained. The suggestion effect isn’t bad. It also flies and has tongues and telepathy. If you heighten the spell you can fetch dominate. It can also cast suggestion (at will), mind reading (at will), and detect alignment (at will).
★★★☆☆ Adhukait (B1) — Decent Striker. The attack bonus and damage isn’t bad, but it loses most of its power by being a summon who can’t use reactions. Has telepathy.
★★★☆☆ Wihsaak (B3) — Decent Niche Controller. The confusion aura is fantastic against lower level enemies (incapacitation). Immune to swams. Telepathy and flight. It can cast fear, vomit swarm, suggestion, and see invisibility.
★★☆☆☆ Ceustodaemon (Guardian Daemon) (B1) — Mediocre AoE Striker. It hurts itself with most of it’s attacks including its breath weapon, but at this tier even this beefy summon won’t last too long. So it’s a little better if you are in a position to spam AoE heals, but not much. It has dispel magic (x2), paralyze and detect alignment (at will; good only). It can see invisibility and has telepathy.
★★☆☆☆ Hellcat (B1) — Mediocre Debuffer. It has a cone of frightened and telepathy, but only speaks infernal.
★☆☆☆☆ Invidiak (Shadow Demon) (B1) — Poor Niche Specialist. It can cast shadow blast and darkness. You need to heighten the spell to 8th to use possession which is where most of it’s stuff comes in, and at that point the saving throw is too low.


Heightened (7th):

★★★★☆ Hellwasp Swarm (B3) — Good Swarm. 8d8 piercing damage plus two doses of poison per round is really good. It can confuse lower level enemies and infest corpse is fun.
★★★★☆ Nabasu (Gluttony Demon) (B1) — Good. Death-Stealing Gaze and Consume Death will let you inflict Drained very efficiently. It can also cast grim tendrils, paralyze and vampiric touch. It has telepathy and can fly.
★★★★☆ Nessian Warhound (B1) — Good AoE. The recharging fire breath is pretty good if you are launching your own AoE fire spells (or can figure out a way to get multiple Warhounds breathing on one another). It has scent.
★★★☆☆ Leukodaemon (Pestilence Daemon) (B1) — Decent Niche AoE. It can use the breath weapon every round and quicken pestilence has some niche synergy with disease users. Lowering DC against disease is nice. And it can cast dispel magic (x2) and detect alignment (at will; good only). Plaguesense is kind of neat, and it flies.
★★★☆☆ Osyluth (Bone Devil) (B1) — Decent Control Striker. Tail sweep can knock multiple enemies prone. Can cast phantom pain, dimensional anchor (×2), discern lies and zone of truth. Its venom can inflict enfeebled.
★★☆☆☆ Night Hag (B1) — Mediocre Niche Caster. Can cast shadow blast (x2),, magic missile (at will), invisibility (at will), ray of enfeeblement (at will), and detect alignment (all alignments simultaneously). If you want to burn a heightened slot, it can also cast ethereal jaunt (at will).
★★☆☆☆ Onidoshi (B1) — Mediocre Caster. cone of cold, charm, gaseous form, sleep, fear and darkness. Regeneration makes it tamly, but it’s only casting each of those once. It can fly.
★★☆☆☆ Vrock (Wrath Demon) (B1) — Mediocre Aoe Control. Spore cloud and screech can occupy many lower level enemies at once. Flies and has telepathy.
★☆☆☆☆ Sarglagon (Drowning Devil) (B1) — Poor Aquatic Specialist. It gets control water, freedom of movement, and hydraulic torrent. The venom isn’t bad and drowning can induce sickened on success. Swim speed, flies and has see invisibility. It’s aura can also make people encumbered, but it’s incapacitation so it’s only “useful” against a mob of weak enemies.
★☆☆☆☆ Erinys (Fury Devil) (B1) — Poor Striker. It gets true seeing, flies and can reduce speed with a rope.


Heightened (8th):

★★★★★ Sacristan (B1) — Amazing Control. That aura of Stunned 1 is not incapacitation! Being able to focus your gaze is just free real estate. chilling darkness isn’t a bad spell and it can trip with it’s chain.
★★★★☆ Meladaemon (Famine Daemon) (B1) — Good Debuffer. It can grab and inflict fatigued and enfeebled. It can cast phantom pain, fear, magic missile (at will), and the uncommon detect alignment (good only; at will)
★★★★☆ Phistophilus (Contract Devil) (B1) — Good Spellcaster Striker. 3d6 bleed on a grab attack is really useful. It can cast fireball, illusory scene, lightning bolt, locate (at will), mind probe and sending (at will).
★★★★☆ Raja Rakshasa (B1) — Good Spellcaster. A caster in your pocket! It can do an aura of sickened that buffs evil allies, but that’s not relevant for most parties. It can cast dispel magic, hallucination, shadow blast (3 slots), clairvoyance, dispel magic, fly, suggestion (4 slots), clairaudience, dispel magic, nondetection, vampiric touch (4 slots), blur, hideous laughter, invisibility (4 slots), charm, illusory object, item facade (4 slots), and detect magic, ghost sound, mage hand, read aura and sigil.
★★★★☆ Greater Nightmare (B1) — Good Mount. It flies. It ethereal jaunt and plane shifts it’s rider. And it has a smoke aura that isn’t bad.
★★★☆☆ Hamatula (Barbed Devil) (B1) — Good Control Striker. It can inflict frightened, bleeding and immobilize an enemy! It can cast harm and paralyze (×2).
★★★☆☆ Munagola (B3) — Good Evil Utility Striker. It can use both actions to give every Evil character in the party +40 feet fly speed each round. It can also strike pretty well.
★★☆☆☆ Bebilith (B1) — Mediocre Niche Tank. Summon against demons. It can smell them and gets cold iron and good weapons. Being able to dimensional anchor is useful.
★☆☆☆☆ Piscodaemon (Venom Daemon) (B1) — Bad Debuffer. It can grab, poison with enfeebled and stinking cloud. Also has see invisibility and telepathy.
☆☆☆☆☆ Hezrou (Toad Demon) (B1) — Terrible Tank. It can grab and cast divine wrath, paranoia and abyssal plague. It has stench, which might hurt the party.


Heightened (9th):

★★★★★ Gelugon (Ice Devil) (B1) — Great Buff Spellcaster. Where is your balanced action economy system now?! Tactician of Cocytus effectively let’s your entire party get a free stride, and can be used multiple times per round! Slowing frost isn’t bad, but he probably won’t hit with it at this tier.It can also cast cone of cold (x2), illusory scene, wall of ice (x3) and ray of frost;
★★★★★ Glabrezu (Treachery Demon) (B1) — Great Spellcaster. Twisted Desires is effectively Miracle using a 9th level spell slot. Can cast reverse gravity, dispel magic (at will), dimension door, confusion, telekinetic projectile, true seeing, tongues.
★★★★★ Interlocutor (B1) — Great Spellcaster. The aura of stun is brutal. Focus gaze is great. It can also cast breath of life, heal (×2), and restoration (×2).
★★★★☆ Frost Yai — Good Control Caster Tank. Ice missile will slow even on a successful save. cone of cold and wall of ice are both solid spells. It can also fly and has regeneration.
★★★★☆ Thanadaemon (Death Daemon) (B1) — Good Debuff Caster. Frightened and fleeing are both excellent debuffs. It can also cast finger of death, plane shift (at will; self plus skiff and passengers only; Astral, Ethereal, and evil planes only), teleport, slow, and vampiric exsanguination (×2).
★★☆☆☆ Japalisura (B3) — Niche Utility Striker. It can produce arrows that do an extra 4d6 mental damage, which can help if you have a party of archers I suppose. It can cast some illusion spells, but nothing worth a 9th level slot. It can turn enemies against each other, but it’s an incapacitation effect that requires a skill check.
★☆☆☆☆ Derghodaemon (Ravager Daemon) (B1) — Bad Striker. It can turn into a swarm and do some damage. It can cast blade barrier and feeblemind (×3).

Heightened (10th):

★★★★☆ Fire Yai — Powerful Striker Caster. Impaling push can grab and push creatures. Smoke form can sicken 3. It has a plethora of useful spells including fireball, flame strike, and wall of fire.
★★★★☆ Pakalchi (B3) — Good Control Debuffer. Betrayal Toxin will ruin enemy buffs and are amazing against enemies with AoE effects that exclude allies. Has tongues, telepathy, and true seeing. If heightened it can cast dominate. It can cast suggestion and calm emotions.
★★★☆☆ Nalfeshnee (Boar Demon) (B1) — Good Niche Spellcaster. Light of Avarice let’s you steal four items, which can come in handy. Dispel magic (at will), divine wrath (at will), illusory object (at will) and true seeing.
★☆☆☆☆ Gylou (Handmaiden Devil) (B1) — Bad Spellcaster Controller. It can grab and swallow whole, but probably not as good as a Fire Yai for melee. It also comes with dispel magic, dominate, black tentacles, dimension door, illusory object (at will), and true seeing.
★☆☆☆☆ Nikaramsa (B3) — Bad Spellcaster Tank. It has reach and improved knockdown, but becomes medium and debuffed against most enemies who can see through illusions or have decent will saves. Sap Mind might work since it’s not incapacitation. The best use I can see is as a healer, as it can cast heal, neutralize poison, remove disease, remove curse, and restore senses. It comes with constant detect alignment, telepathy, and see invisibility.
★☆☆☆☆ Sepid (B3) — Bad Spellcaster Striker. The best use of a 10th level spell slot, just check out that first ability! In all seriousness, it has an AoE and cast dispel magic and paralyze.

Dustin Knight

Dustin has been playing and improving on RPGs since AD&D in 1999. He ran games and conventions around California while studying Graphic Design, Philosophy, English & Architecture. After developing a tabletop game seminar he began working freelance for Alderac Entertainment Games. During his stint on the East Coast, he became a Venture Lieutenant and began reviewing Pathfinder mechanics for Organized Play. After moving to Washington in 2019, he met Alex Augunas at Paizocon and developed, designed and wrote for Everybody Games LLC. He has since published work with Rogue Genius Games and Paizo. He can be found on the Know Direction discord where he goes by the username "KitsuneWarlock".